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Translator & Proofreader: OssanTL
“Maeda-san, what’s the matter? Why can’t you grasp who this woman ‘Rei’ is? You’ve seen her face multiple times at the snack bar, haven’t you?”
“Yeah, that’s the thing. For some reason, once she leaves the bar, I can’t remember her face. I can only vaguely recall our conversations.”
“Oh come on! What’s that? And you, Maeda-san. Haven’t you planted a tiny camera? Or at least a hidden recorder?”
“I did plant them. But the person’s face is blurry, and I can’t make it clear no matter how much I analyze it. The recorder is the same. All I hear is static noise.”
Saying that, Maeda from the Insurance Investigation Department shows his subordinates a printed image.
The upper body of a woman wearing a coarse net is printed, but the crucial part of her face is blurry. It’s as if fingerprints are smudged on the lens, causing the blurriness.
“Did you properly clean the lens beforehand?”
“I did! Isn’t it obvious? I even did a last-minute check. And yet…”
“So, you’re saying the face never shows up each time? This isn’t the time to happily say, ‘It feels good to have someone read my fortune.'”
After the failed suicide attempt of President Goto from Goto Industries, there was no claim for insurance money. It’s only natural since he didn’t die.
Goto Industries went bankrupt and folded the company. There were no losses as an insurance company, but there were suspicious points in the information obtained from the police.
“President Goto was supposed to have attempted charcoal suicide by consuming a large amount of shochu, but his blood alcohol level was zero, and there were no issues with the carbon monoxide level in his blood. Isn’t that strange?”
The investigation department was intrigued by the possibility of a staged suicide, but it didn’t make sense since former President Goto didn’t gain anything from it.
“What kind of person is the woman who saved him?”
One of them started investigating the woman, and the results were highly suspicious. She was rescued on the beach five years ago and has been living with a temporary registry and a given name due to having no past memories.
“Did this woman collaborate in the staged suicide but had a falling out at the last moment?”
“This woman might continue to be involved in similar schemes in the future.”
They casually asked a young man from the shipping company who seemed to be coming in and out of her workplace.
“Are you talking about Rei-san? She’s beautiful. She’s a big eater. Seems to live a simple life. Always brings a hefty bento, you know.”
When they asked the probation officer who dealt with the woman, she also received high praise: “She is diligent and hardworking.”
However, one day, while investigating her movements, it was discovered that she would visit a snack bar dressed like a funeral attendee at night. Two or three times a week. When asked by the bar’s customers, they said she was there for fortune-telling.
Fortune-telling? So I asked the mama at the snack bar.
“Rei-chan is a mysterious fortune teller, you know.”
That’s all she said. I stayed a bit longer with a glass of water and asked other regular customers.
“Oh, it makes the discomfort go away. Why don’t you give it a try? It will relieve your shoulder stiffness and lower back pain.”
“Is she using some suspicious medicine or something?”
“It might be something beyond just a scam.”
The insurance company’s investigation department contacted a familiar detective after that conversation. Although it wasn’t a case, the detective, in the guise of gathering information, tried out Natsukawa Rei’s fortune-telling a few times.
Just doing vague fortune-telling didn’t involve any drugging of the drinks.
As other customers had mentioned, they genuinely felt relieved from fatigue and lower back pain.
As a precaution, they secretly took the glass with her fingerprints that had been used at the snack bar and examined it, but there was no criminal record. It was just a fruitless effort to call her “suspicious” and conclude that “Natsukawa Rei is innocent.”
By the way, it was true that Natsukawa Rei lived a modest lifestyle. She often purchased discounted items at the supermarket.
“But it’s strange, isn’t it? Not capturing her face every time. It feels like she’s doing something. Maybe she’s using something that causes the recording equipment to malfunction.”
“According to what I heard from the facility where she received training, she had to be taught how to use computers and smartphones from scratch. All the facility staff members unanimously said she seemed like she was seeing them for the first time.”
“But there’s no way such a person exists, right? Even the Maasai tribe, who are said to fight lions as part of their coming-of-age ceremony, can operate smartphones in this day and age.”
“The recent Maasai don’t do that kind of thing. I’ve read a blog written by a young Maasai myself.”
In this way, Natsukawa Rei was suspected by the investigation department of a certain insurance company and the detectives from the local police station. However, the more they investigated, the more it became clear that she hadn’t done anything.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Lately, there have been customers who have been secretly installing hidden cameras and recording devices. I wonder why. I haven’t done anything that would violate the law.”
Natsukawa Rei worked at the snack bar tonight, earning some pocket change by doing fortune-telling.
That’s right, Rei hasn’t violated any laws. After all, no law in this country prohibits the use of magic.
When examining the flaws of fortune-telling clients, Rei uses her X-ray vision to see through their entire bodies. However, she casts a spell to prevent faces and voices from being recorded on any active recording devices she finds. Electronic devices are susceptible to magic. Their functions are hindered by casting a weak spell on the operational parts.
And Rei ensures never to say, “My fortune-telling will make you feel better”, no matter what clients ask. She also casts a spell to make the memories of herself fade away from the minds of her clients. She is fully prepared.
“Well, tonight I’ll treat myself and watch a movie.”
Movie tickets are a bit cheaper during late-night hours.
Since it’s one of the privileges of being single, Rei took advantage of it and began preparing to watch the movie “School of Young Wizards and Witches.”