The Let's Play Archive

Hatoful Boyfriend

by ChorpSaway

Part 72: Episode 64: Missing

Life is such a curious thing. Everyone has their own dreams and desires, all of them tied to their mortality.

Some people live for others, with a desire to help and better the people around them.

Others live for themselves, constantly desiring power.

Some live for attention, wanting to be noticed and appreciated.

Then there are those who live for a higher power, waiting for a revelation.

Me? I never really gave much mind to what I was doing with my life. I was just happy enjoying myself, not giving much thought to my future. School was hard enough to deal with on its own!

I don’t think that meant I was wasting my life, though. I was making friends, I was getting good grades, and I was participating in a number of extracurriculars. I just wanted to enjoy the simple pleasures of life while I had the chance.

The problem with life is that time is constantly moving forward, and every day we come that much closer to death.
Aah, classes always feel really long after summer vacation… I think I’ll go home and sleep.

I’m going to go home, Ryouta. Want to come with--

Ryouta isn’t at his desk. He’s always slow, so I don’t think he packed up and went home…

Everyone desperately clings to life in the hopes that they can have more time to do what they love.
Hello, Lourde. What is it?
Do you know where Ryouta went? I don’t think I’ve seen him since homeroom…
He went to the infirmary earlier. I think he wasn’t feeling well.
He had a stomach ache?
Mmm, could be. Maybe you should go check on him, if you weren’t going somewhere else.
I will!

It was on that day that I would learn just how fleeting life was.

I’ve been slow getting out of bed before, but I’ve never slept through my alarm like this!
Maybe I’m not getting enough sleep… Anyway, gotta go fast!

Thankfully, I made it to school just after opening ceremonies had finished in homeroom.

Good morning, Kawara. We were just about to sit down.
Late on the second day? As expected of a feral.
Now, now, nobirdie’s perfect.

As I looked around the classroom, I realized that there was one particular face missing from the crowd.

Sir, where’s Goon? Isn’t she here?
Apparently not.
…No wonder her kind died off.

Where are you, Goon?
Usually you’d be here early… You were late yesterday, and now this?

I think we can start homeroom now.

You wait until now to teach that? What a pathetic country.
Of course, everyone learned it years ago. But it’s required for the second day of the semester.

Back when we birds were still beasts and pets, a virus known as A(H5N1) appeared.
At first it only affected birds, but it underwent a mutation and spread to humans.
This mutated strain was highly infectious and had an extremely high mortality rate.

It became clear that it posed a threat to the survival of the human species.
So the humans engineered a powerful virus to cull birds and prevent A(H5N1) from becoming pandemic.
In hindsight, it seems foolhardy and rash, but the world leaders of the time saw no better option.

…Except the new virus didn’t work. Infected birds didn’t die.

Rather, their brain grew in size and power. Starting with doves.

Other birds, including quails like me, are still adapting to social life.

Anyway, the development of social intelligence in birds had a huge impact on their predators.
Which leads me to the next point…
Since their gambit failed, humans were left defenseless to A(H5N1). Most died out.
The few that are left now live peacefully with birds, though in the past there were large conflicts.

As Mr. Nanaki was finishing his sentence, the school bell rang, signalling the end of homeroom.

Goon never came. I hope she’s okay.
Maybe I should try calling her…

Kawara, do you have a minute?
Uh, sure.
We’re supposed to get our print boxes today. Would you mind picking ours up?
Our print box…?
Yup! It has all the hand-outs and everything. Since we don’t have a council yet…
Okay. It’s in the faculty room, right?
That’s right. If you could have it back here before second period, please.
The music stops.

Inside the faculty office is a stack of cardboard boxes. These must be the ones.

This one, maybe?

I pick up the box marked 2-3. It’s awfully heavy…
During this section of the game, a number of important and not-so-important terms and phrases will be colored differently in the screenshots. When I transcribe these terms, they will be underlined. It would be good in most cases to keep these in mind.

I guess paper isn’t exactly light when there’s this much of it…

I made it back to class just in time for the bell.

It was a little heavier than I expected, but I was fine.
Let’s take a look inside, then. Just to make sure everything’s there…
Huh? Did you cut your wing, Kawara?
Cut my… I don’t think so.
It’s bleeding.

I looked down at my wings, and…
It is. Did I scratch myself on something? It doesn’t hurt at all…
No. This isn’t my blood.
I turned my eyes towards the box I had been carrying.

There’s blood leaking through a corner of the box.
I feel sick. But I reach out and open the lid anyway.
Inside the box…

The eyes are glassy. But even like this, I still recognize her.
She wasn’t late. She was here all along.

This… It can’t…