This one looks fun, so i try to pick it up
I hope you can enjoy it
Thanks, and enjoy the chapter
Translator & Proofreader: OssanTL
The story takes place in a modern Japan-inspired country. Still, since it’s a work of fiction and fantasy, it has no relation to any real countries, people, or organizations with the same name.
Rei Natsukawa works as a clerk at a small town factory called Kikawa Metal.
“Rei-chan, can you work overtime tomorrow?”
“Sorry, tomorrow is the day I have an appointment with my probation officer.”
“Oh, right. It’s been a year already, huh? Time flies. I’m becoming more and more like an old man.”
“You’ve been taking care of me here for five years now. Nakata-san, you’re not an old man. You’re a cool Ojisan.”
“You always know how to flatter me, but that won’t get you anywhere, you know?”
Rei giggles with a shy smile.
Nakata, grinning with a smug face, is a family man in his fifties.
Five years ago, Rei was found unconscious on the beach and taken into protective custody. Now, at the age of twenty-five, Rei has made significant progress.
During the initial investigation, she was questioned by the police about her situation. After determining that it was not an attempted suicide, she was taken under the care of the welfare department. Rei was very confused then and claimed she had no memories up to that point.
“Well, based on the appearance, overall health, and examination results, I’d say around twenty years old.”
The doctor concluded.
Given the name Natsukawa Rei and an address at a shelter, Natsukawa Rei became a Japanese citizen. Despite having slightly Western facial features, her fluent Japanese indicated that she was either Japanese or had grown up in Japan.
After receiving vocational training, she was also introduced to a job, and for three years, she had monthly meetings with her legal guardian.
But now, the meeting only happens once a year.
“Well, today we have to deliver five boxes of connecting brackets to Marubishi Industries and ten boxes of small truss screws to Ida Industries.”
“Rei-chan, sorry to bother you when you’re busy, but could you go collect payment from Gotou Industries?”
“Is it okay if I do it after lunch?”
“Well, I have a bad feeling about it, so could you collect the payment first? I want the deposit made before the bank closes. You can grab some lunch afterward. Here, take this for your lunch. Consider it a little bonus.”
“Thank you very much. Alright, I’ll go collect the payment first, then.”
After receiving a thousand yen bill and putting it into her wallet in the red tote bag, she tidied up the desk and went out to collect the payment.
Gotou Industries was a subcontractor of a major construction company. They were the type of company that would be hit by the cold wind first when the economy was bad, although things were good when the public sentiment was high.
The manager’s bad feelings might not be an actual intuition. It was probably because Gotou Industries’ payment method or timing had changed. Suppose they were told to collect the payment without waiting for the other party to transfer the money. In that case, Gotou Industries must be in a precarious financial situation.
‘If I don’t collect the payment right now, Kikawa will lose out.’
Muttering to herself, she boarded the bus. Her destination was about 15 minutes away by city bus.
When she arrived at Gotou Industries, three shutters at the entrance were closed, and one of them was halfway down.
“Oh dear, this might really be dangerous.”
A black haze drifted and flowed out as she opened the half-closed entrance.
Although there is no miasma in this world, there are similar things. What she is seeing right now is one of them. But this dreadful and ominous is something that humans create.
“Hello! It’s Kikawa Industries! I’m coming in!”
She cautiously called out just in case to avoid being accused of illegal entry. Well, even so, it might still be considered an illegal entry. Still, she stepped into Goto Industries while recording a video on her smartphone for situations like this. She had learned this kind of knowledge from Nakata after joining Kikawa.
Entering through the shutter, she made her way into the office that seemed devoid of any human presence. The black haze that had been drifting outside grew even denser.
“What is this…?”
There was a faint smell, one she remembered from a charcoal grill restaurant. She thought her body was fine, but to be safe, she covered her mouth and nose with a handkerchief and tried to open the door separating the office from the living quarters. However, it was locked. That wasn’t all – an intense black haze was billowing out from inside like waves.
In a low voice, yet with a determined tone, Rei muttered as she held her palm towards the door. A bright white light emanated from her hand, causing the negative energy to dissipate.
Once again, a thin beam of white light was directed toward the doorknob, and there was a clicking sound as the lock opened.
Quickly turning the doorknob and entering the room, she found Goto Hiroshi, the president of Goto Industries, lying on the guest sofa with his eyes closed.
Rei couldn’t help but click her tongue. She knew it was impolite behavior, but she often used it alone, as it relieved her.
A charcoal stove was on the room’s floor, and the cylindrical charcoal burned bright red. When she tried to open the window, she found it tightly covered with duct tape.
Peeling off the duct tape with a “rip, rip” sound, she opened the window to let some fresh air in. She also took the charcoal stove outside.
Then she returned to the sofa. It seemed that President Goto had already finished his generous gulp of shochu. The one-liter pack of “Akaki Koroshi*” sake he was holding was almost empty.
(*Red Devil Slayer = it could be a brand of an alcoholic beverage or a specific drink.)
“Tsk. Detoxify! Heal!”
White light enveloped President Goto’s upper body. His breathing, which had almost stopped, became steady, and he moved his body.
After that, it was a flurry of activity. She stopped the recording function on her smartphone, called an ambulance, and notified the police. She then explained the situation to Nakata over the phone.
An ambulance arrived within a few minutes, followed by a police car.
She thought she had to ride in the ambulance as the person who discovered the situation but was stopped by a police officer.
“Ah, wait a moment, could you stay here? I’d like to hear more about what happened.”
While putting on a bright smile, Rei felt disappointed inside.
‘I should have come after having lunch, after all. But as a responsible citizen, I should cooperate here.’
Rei’s stomach growled loudly, expressing its discontent.