We approach the end of Nageki's romantic route...! Will we ever get this poor mourning dove out of the library?
Its majestic brilliance sweeps across the land, lighting it into incandescent glory!
It's the first day of the new year. Looks like I'm still alive to enjoy it!
It's a little cold out, but it's calm and the sun is warm.
I think I'll go visit the shrine.
There are a lot of birds here already. Must be nice to have some warm winter plumage...
Maybe I should borrow some from somebirdie.
I think I'll buy an amulet and go home.
I don't know which Ryouta outfit I like the best.
"Happy New Year! Here's to many happy returns, right?"
"What are you doing, Ryouta?"
"Exactly what it looks like! I'm working here today and tomorrow!"
"O-oh... it looks good on you...!"
"You came here to buy an amulet, right? Which one would you like?"
Luckily things are pretty straightforward at this point. If you guessed Fulfillment in School, you're correct!
"Here you go!"
"Thanks, Ryouta! Are you here all day today?"
"Yup! The first day's always busy."
"Oh well. I was going to ask if you wanted to get lunch together, but..."
"Sorry, Hiyoko. Maybe some other time?"
"Since you're here, why not go get a fortune? They're next to the main building, over there."
"Okay! Thanks. See you, Ryouta!"
Happy New Year!"
"Oh, hello, Tosaka.
Happy New Year."
"Did you get a fortune, sir?"
"Yes. Unfortunately, I seem to have drawn the Chicken of Ill Omen... Why don't you take one?"
"Hmm, which should I take...?
Moa is running with this gimmick and laughing all the way to the bank. BIRDS IN A DATING SIM HOW RIDICULOUS HHAHAHH
"Good, you got a better one than I did. I think this will be a good year for you, Tosaka."
"Thank you, sir!"
(St. Pigeonations' Institute)
"Happy new year, everyone."
"I hope you all had good vacations? I hibernated."
"What a shocker."
"You're still hibernatING!
Sir, wake up!"
"Umm. I've said this before, but your junior year will be over before you know it."
"Let's enjoy this time while it lasts!"
There's nothing special this semester...
Nothing to worry about!
(St. Pigeonations' Institute)
It's still light out, so maybe I'll go somewhere before I head home. Wheee!
Oh! Tomorrow's Legumentine's!
I think I'll buy some beans.
Today, Legumentine's is a holiday where you give beans to the boy you like, but apparently it used to involve throwing them at pigeons.
"Good evening! Here for the beans?"
"Yes. Is there a kind that you think is particularly good?"
"This year's trend is towards these bean medleys for racers, but they are a little pricey. It's hard to say without knowing the bird in question, really."
"Hmm... that's true. And sometimes the cheap ramen tastes better than the expensive stuff."
I originally played through this game with my fiancee, who somehow instinctively knew who enjoyed which beans. Unfortunately I am not endowed with my waifu's sacred gift, but at least I have the wiki! It tells me that Nageki prefers Country Millet.
"I'll take these!"
"Thank you, Miss. Here you are."
(St. Pigeonations' Institute)
Today's the day! The preparations are complete! Time to give the beans to that special somebirdie.
Almost empty, as always.
And unsurprisingly! The heating doesn't work well here, so the winter cold will stick around well through February.
The pervading chill has earned the library the dubious honor of being one of the schools' least popular places in winter.
The few students here are huddled around the heater. So, Nageki should be...
"There you are, Nageki!"
Sitting in a frigid corner, far from the meager effects of the heater, as expected.
"--quiet in the library."
Oh, can you somehow forgive my dreadful sin?
"Brrr, it's cold here... are you okay, Nageki?"
"I am fine."
"Don't mind me, Miss Tosaka.
Feel free to go sit by the heater if you're cold."
"Nope, I'm fine! My house doesn't have a heater at all."
"Anyway, I... have something to give you. It's Legumentine's, you know."
"Here! Foxtail Millet!"
"Yup! You're supposed to give beans to the most important bird in your life today.
...do you want them?"
"...yes. Thank you."
He looks happier than usual.
Or is it my imagination...?
"I often ate these, when I was younger...
This brings back memories."
"Thank you, Miss Tosaka."
"You're welcome, Nageki!"
Aah, it's cold...
Legumentine's is over and now I just want Spring to come already.
I'm out of firewood!
What should I do? Climbing down to gather more right now would be dangerous...
Well, I can last one night in the cold!
"Hey, Hiyoko... Are you okay?"
"...huh? What do you mean?"
"You look kinda sick... your skin's all pale."
Maybe it's your imagination?"
"You're always healthy, after all."
"That's right. I'm the toughest guy in town!"
"You're not a guy, Hiyoko!"
"Oh, I need to go to the library today.
See you, Ryouta!"
Last night was awfully cold...
But I don't feel sick or anything.
Probably just Ryouta worrying about everything, as usual!
"...what is it?"
"Umm, I'm returning books that've wandered away from home to their loving families, and--"
"Wandered away from home?"
"...ah. Misshelved books."
"I'm almost done, but... where do you think this one goes?"
"I flipped through it, but I can't tell if it's fiction, or psychology, or science, or what!"
"It should have a genre mark."
You'd think Hiyoko had never been in a library before. How have you been shelving books all this time?!
"Isn't there a label near the bottom of the back cover?"
"Oh, yes, there is!
But it's all numbers."
"...you work here and you don't remember the classifications?
How have you been filing them up until now?"
Thank you, Nageki.
He stares at me with eyes like scornful daggers.
You'll leave a hooole!
"Give it to me."
"This is... natural science.
It starts with 4, so it's physics."
"The second number is a 5, so--"
"...are you listening?"
"The second number is a 5, so this is a book on seismology.
So it should go--"
The screen blurs into black, and there's a thump.
"What's wrong, Miss Tosaka?
...hey, say something...!"
"How can I get someone else's attention...?!"
There's the sound of breaking glass, and then...
I feel lousy.
Where am I?
I feel like I've--
How do you feel?
Are you all right? Do you remember who I am? Can I get you anything? Would you like me to peel you an apple?"
Ryouta is the best boyfriend fyi.
I can't answer all that at once!"
"Why am I here, of all places?"
"You wound me."
"You collapsed, and Kawara brought you here.
Any other questions?"
I do feel really heavy... I was fine just a minute ago.
"A sudden fever, and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
A cold, and nothing more."
"Though the violent episode leaves me somewhat puzzled."
"The... violent episode...?"
"You don't remember? You kicked down the library door."
"I remember no such thing!"
"I heard the glass smashing as I was heading home, and when I went to look I found you collapsed in the doorway."
"There was no one else there, so I figured it was you who..."
"I made that much of a mess when I was out cold...?"
If anyone could do it, Hiyoko, it would be you.
"Do you think you might have some deep-seated desire to indulge in violent acts?"
"Don't make me sound like some sort of psychopath!
"You have to rest, Hiyoko!"
"I'll sit with you.
Doctor, I think you're making her worse by hanging around like that, so please go back to whatever you were doing."
"My, I am unpopular. Is that any way to speak to a member of the faculty?"
"...but, very well."
The music fades out and the screen turns slowly black.
Everything inside my head feels fuzzy.
I'm causing trouble for Ryouta...
I'm probably going to have to pay for the library door, too...
The library... where'd Nageki go?
Natural sciences start with 4, and...
I wonder if he put it back on the right shelf...?
Lots of requested books are going to come in today. I'll have to work through lunch...
Aah, sorting all of these takes forever! I think I just have the encyclopedias to do before I'm done.
There's a note on the helpdesk counter.
"Miss Tosaka. Be here after the other students have all left.
It reads like a challenge to a samurai duel.
I think this is the first time he's approached me? I wonder what it's all about.
The screen fades to black for a moment, and back in.
"Nageki, are you here?"
"...hello, Miss Tosaka."
You startled me! How long have you been standing there?"
"From the very beginning."
"So, what did you need?"
"I want to... talk with you, miss Tosaka."
"Talk with me?"
"Continue our conversation."
We were talking about... bullying, I think?
"Okay. I'm all ears, Nageki."
"I'm... not sure where to start.
I've noticed a lot, since we last spoke together."
"Let's go outside."
But... he hates going outside!
He stands up, and walks over to the door. I follow, agitated.
Why does he want to go out all of a sudden? I should be happy, but...
"What's wrong? You said you wanted to come out here..."
He stands in the doorway, pushing against open air.
"What are you doing?
He walks back a little ways into the library, and then...
Runs forward, crashing into the air.
The screen shakes, and goes black.
He bounces off the invisible wall, and falls back into the library. That's... too good to be a mime act.
"As I thought. I can't leave."
"I... can't leave this room."
"I wake up in this library. After a while, I lose consciousness and wake up here again.
And so it repeats."
I said I'd come to understand the truth by talking to you, Miss Tosaka."
"You've probably noticed too.
Why no one else talks to me."
"I'm... the only one who can see you?"
"I forgot why I was here. How I came to be stuck in this place..."
"I've been alone here for years, with no one to talk to."
"My sense of time... has broken.
I cannot feel or remember its passage."
"I've seen at least... five school festivals go by."
"But then, you came.
And talked to me."
"I had had no partner but myself for so long, and suddenly...
You wouldn't leave me alone."
"As I talked to you, I finally remembered... why I can't leave."
"I killed myself in this room.
And so here I stay."
"My clock broke here, its hands turning meaninglessly, each day the same as the last."
"No one is bullying me. I'm not here to begin with."
"I have no regrets.
It was my choice to end my life here, after all."
"But... I think I will miss you, Miss Tosaka."
"If I wasn't like this...
I would have liked to talk to you more, for longer..."
I wrap my arms around him.
I can feel him, softly...
But he's cold.
"At first, sitting here alone was painful. But I grew numb, over time... I ceased to feel pain."
"That feeling, that I thought I had lost, came back...
"I-I'll talk to you enough to make up for everyone else, Nageki! Maybe one day you'll be able to leave..."
"As I talked to you, I... changed.
I didn't notice until just recently..."
"When you told me about this school, I was probably trying to take back the time I...
was never able to spend here."
"I never asked you to, but you relentlessly told me everything that was going on here.
I already feel like I've spent a full year at this school..."
"And... now it's over."
"I think the clocks' hands... are going to stop, soon."
His head is right next to mine, but his voice sounds muffled and distant. When I look down, his feet are already disappearing...
We've... we've never talked like this before!
I don't want this to be the last time...!"
"Don't cry, Miss Tosaka. I'm already long gone. There's no one here to mourn."
"There's just one thing I need to tell you before I go.
The thing that I noticed.
The secret that stopped my clock..."
"No! No, don't say it!
"As I filled up, I grew closer to disappearing. You're the one who made me disappear, Miss Tosaka. I can't stop it now."
"But I still have so many things to tell you...!"
"You've already given me more than enough.
The screen goes white.
I love you."
Thank you for joining me for Let's Play Hatoful Boyfriend - The Nageki Route! Now you have a little understanding, with Nageki and Okosan down, the sort of emotional highs and lows contained in Hatoful Boyfriend.