「You see, my surname is "Kinuta", so if you read it backwards, it's "Tanuki"...」
Kinuta-san smiles at me.
The color she emits is blue, and she is not lying.
（No matter how you look at it, this is a nickname derived from a raccoon face, isn't it...? I wonder if she interpreted it to her own advantage...）
There are some people.
A person who is very sensitive to harassment and sarcasm, and is naive at best.
Nevertheless, she is indeed look like a Ponpoko-san, so I will be grateful to call her Ponpoko-san.
「Don't just stand there, why don't you sit down?」
When my sister said so, Ponpoko-san said, “Well, by all means” and sat down diagonally across from me, next to my sister.
「So... are you from the TV station?」
I asked her, stuffing her business card into my parka pocket, and she gave a small shake of her head.
「I'm from an entertainment consulting company. We do a wide range of work, but in this case, the station has entrusted us with the management of two people who don't belong to an agency, specifically, Detective JK. To put it simply, you can think of me as a temporary manager」
The color is blue. No problem. I decided to ask a few questions just in case.
「Do you know Fumio Kijima?」
「Yes, he's the one you two are going to find out the lie about」
「And Mai Fujiwara?」
「I don't think there was anyone by that name in the show. I'm sorry, I don't know」
「Do you believe in angels?」
「Oh, I saw it in the material. It's said that your powers were given to you by angels, right?」
「It's not a set-up」
When I glared at her, Ponpoko-san said “Haha...” and turned away.
「I'm sorry. It's just, I can't believe it even if you say it's an angel... I wish they were real, though」
I knew she wasn't lying.
If she was related to the devil, she wouldn't have doubted the existence of angels. It's safe to trust her for now.
「Anyway, I'm supposed to think of you as our manager, right?」
「Yes, that's right. I'll just give you an overview of the show. The two of you will be appearing on a two-hour live special of "World's Amazing Phenomena" from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. one week from now」
「Wait a minute? Isn't that our special?」
「Well, the entertainment agency's proposal was for a one-hour program with Detective JK as the title, but that would have been at least six months later and we would have missed the season. So, they decided to put it in the second half of the program, which was scheduled from the beginning」
「The second half... how much time do we get?」
「The last thirty minutes of a two-hour program. Personally, I feel that it's an unparalleled treatment, and that the station is expecting a lot from you」
（I'm not lying. I'm not happy that it's not our show, but I guess I can't blame them for treating us like royalty...）
「So, what's the show like?」
「I'll give you the script and time schedule later, but the show itself will be about paranormal phenomena such as UMA, ESP, UFOs, etc. There will be VTRs and demonstrations by self-proclaimed paranormals and self-proclaimed psychics, followed by discussions by commentators」
「Isn't that kind of crazy...」
I droop involuntarily.
That's just too much. I felt my ego creaking.
「I'd appreciate it if you could put up with that. It's a popular show with over twenty percent viewership. I'm sure it will raise the profile of the two of you」
After that, Ponpoko-san explained the arrangement of our segment, step by step.
First, the introductory VTR of Detective JK. The video that I had made before, in which we chased down a scammer, was reconstructed and exaggerated to the max.
Next, a demonstration of how to "see through a lie". I ask some questions to the commentator, and win the audience's trust by detecting whether the questions are true or false.
Finally, Fumio appears as "the Confinement King", wearing an exaggerated villainous mask, and I repeatedly ask him questions to expose him as the culprit.
（But that's how it's supposed to be...）
Before I could say anything else, my sister said the same thing to me.
「Fumio Kijima won't be coming on board. He wouldn't go to the trouble of getting into something that would expose him as a criminal...」
To which Ponpoko-san replied with a wry smile.
「That's... well, it's the world of adults, and detecting lies is a trick. They'll adjust it so that the result is that he is not the culprit. It's just a show. In the end, he will be proven innocent, and the matter will be settled」
「...That's a mess」
Ponpoko-san opened her mouth with a wry smile as my sister let out a sigh.
「It's really a mess, isn't it? It's unavoidable that it happened because it's live. Even if someone sues you later, you can just say it was an accident and be done with it. This is the first big job I've had since I changed careers, so I'm thinking the entertainment industry is scary」
「Job change? This job is new to you?」
「Yes, my previous job was closer to the entertainment industry... I was editing a fashion magazine, but I had a lot going on and I wanted a change of scenery... There was someone who approached me. Oh, but don't worry! Progress management is an essential skill for editors, so please leave it to me as if you were on a big ship」
「Oh... well, I'm just a novice, so I have no choice but to leave it to you」
「Just in case Kijima-san tries to run away or gets violent, we'll have more security guards at the studio. The producer seems to be expecting a picture of Kijima-san being seized while trying to escape, though」
I don't think the guards will be able to do anything about it, because if that happens, the devil will intervene.
We're just going to do our best to protect ourselves.
But if the devil gets into trouble in front of the camera, it will be the broadcast accident of the decade, and the name of Detective JK will be known all over Japan.
「So, about the costumes for the two of you... do you mind if we show your faces? Of course, you can go barefaced, and we can provide masks if necessary」
I glanced at my sister, and she was looking in the direction of the day after tomorrow. She seems to be leaving it to me.
「Well.... Considering our future activities, it's better that people don't know our real faces too much. I don't want to wear a mask like a pro-wrestler, but I'd like to wear something that can hide my face.」
「Okay. Then I'll give the TV station the costumes and props that will make you look like a detective.」
Ponpoko-san typed a note into her phone, looked up and smiled.
「Also, about the fee...」
「Oh, we're getting paid?」
「 Yes, that's right. You're a main cast member」
To be honest, the idea of getting paid had completely slipped my mind. But money is important. If I'm going to get paid, I'm going to be grateful for it.
「How much will we get?」
When I asked this question, Ponpoko-san put her phone on the table, displayed a calculator app, and typed in the numbers right in front of me, as if she was worried about what people would think.
The amount was astonishing.
My sister's eyes were wide open and she was completely stiff.
「Isn't there... an extra zero in this?」
「Well, it's a day's work, and you're treated as a foreigner, so it's not that unbelievable」
（Wow, I'm surprised. We're treated as foreigner...）
For the first time, I was glad to have this appearance. I'm completely Japanese on the inside, and up until now, I've only remembered the losses I've suffered because of my appearance.
「If it becomes popular and becomes a series, I think the price of the fee will go up and up」
「...More and more?」
My sister muttered stupidly. I can't help but understand how she feels, since a 30-minute performance is more than a month's salary for her.
（But still... getting more, being able to judge the devil's pawns, and having all this money coming in... it's just too good to stop laughing...）
Our future is rosy. That's what I thought.