When I arrived at the office, I found a white man in a suit sitting on the sofa across from the boss (Oyassan).
He was a tall, gangly man with dull blond hair and scruffy cheeks.
「There you are. Hey, Jun. Knezevich-san here has some questions for you.」
「Huh... What is it?」
When I tilted my head, the white guy looked at me and started to speak fast.
「I don’t understand what you’re saying at all.」
I cower my shoulders, and Mike, the fellow pusher who brought me here, opens his mouth as he leans against the door.
「He wants to talk about the Devil.」
I roll my eyes. I’m sure my face is tense. I turn to my boss and he gives me a small cower.
「Oh, right, I didn’t tell you that. I don’t know how he knows you, but he’s from an organization I’ve known for a long time. You don’t need to worry.」
My boss is Hikari’s uncle. He knows that I’m "Kasuya Junichi", who disappeared with the devil during the live broadcast. Mike must have known it too, seeing that he didn’t seem surprised.
「Huff... But why did he mention it?」
When I looked at him warily, the white guy glanced at the boss.
「It seems that the leaders of their organization are being attacked one after another. There are rumors that the culprits are involved with the devil. So they’re looking for clues.」
「Yeah, a Japanese woman named Misty (The actor who turns into a woman). Do you know anything about her?」
「Misty...? No, nothing that comes to mind...」
Mike tells the white guy in foreign language, and he makes a sour face.
But I don’t like that kind of look either.
The only devils I can remember are the little bitch devil and the goat head.
I don’t know what the devil to him, but as for the female devil and Kimo-jima, as soon as I try to talk to someone about them, my body becomes immobilized.
So the only thing I can talk about is the goat head, but as far as that one is concerned, the only contact I’ve had with "him" is before and after I was taken out of the TV station’s studio.
「This Misty, is she working with devil?」
Mike translates my question, and the white guy shakes his head.
「The opposite. This Misty says she’s trying to get revenge on the devil. Uh... sorry? Misty’s rumored to be looking for clues to the devil too, so she might get in touch with you sooner or later」
「Yes, because you just made contact with the devil on live TV. The only clues she has about the devil are you and Teruya Hikari.」
My boss waved his hand jokingly and looked at me with a fixed stare.
「If this person make contact with you, let me know right away, okay?」
For a while after that, I watched the white guy and my boss talking to each other in foreign language and thought to myself.
If this Misty wants to take revenge on the devil, maybe she is the one who had been beaten up by that little bitch devil and Kimo-jima, just like me.
* * *
[Ichida Sanae POV]
「Well... it should be over by now, right?」
I get up from the sofa in the lobby and walk to the elevator.
It’s surprising that there seems to be no commotion, but Kito-san has told me that in the worst case scenario, he will take care of both Asuka and Doremi.
In that case, I will have to play the role of the first one to find them.
（That would be the worst case... and it would be troublesome. Just the thought of police questioning... It makes me sick）
As soon as I left the room, I threw down my key card on the floor.
Kito-san’s men will pick it up, unlock the door, and leave the keycard on the floor again. Then, they break into the room.
When everything is finished, I pick up the keycard again and go back to the room.
Well, that’s how it goes.
（Uh... card key, card key, here it is...）
The hallway has a black-and-white plaid carpet, and it is hard to notice a black key card even if it has fallen down.
I pick up the card key from the floor and unlock the door. Then I step into the room with a nonchalant look on my face.
「I’m back... Eh, what? Who’s there?」
I was expecting to find Asuka and Doremi’s dead bodies lying around, but I didn’t find their dead bodies or even any bloodstains in the room.
Instead, there was a stranger, a woman, standing there with a thoughtful look on her face.
She was in her early thirties. Wearing a tight skirt and a white blouse, she looked somewhat sexy with glossy black hair and a strikingly dark mole.
「Uh, um... Who are you? Ah? Where are Asuka and Doremi?」
The woman turns her eyes toward me and opens her mouth with a puzzled look on her face.
「Nice to meet you, Ichida-san. I am Yamauchi from KKO. Actually, Nitani-san and Mimura-san were attacked by a suspicious person just now...」
I pretend to be surprised.
「Wh-What happened to them?」
「Fortunately, they are alive. But Nitani-san was slashed in the face several times and was rushed to the hospital. Mimura-san is accompanying her」
（Wow! That’s perfect. He did exactly what he was supposed to do）
I made a worried face, suppressing the joy in my heart.
「So, who is the culprit?」
「The culprit? Ah, uhh... it was great (delicious?)...」
「Ah... I’m sorry... unfortunately, we couldn’t catch him.」
「You mean he escaped?」
「Yes, I just called the president to discuss the matter, and we’ve decided to treat Nitani-san’s injury as an accident. So, don’t talk about this matter to anyone. Understood?」
「Uh.... Does that mean it’s a cover-up?」
「In short, that’s what I mean. The fact that he targeted Nitani-san alone suggests that it may have been a romantic entanglement. As for our company, we have to avoid scandals.」
（How convenient! All that’s left is for Kito-san to nominate me as Nitani’s replacement, and everything will be all right.）
「Um, what should I do now?」
「Well, I guess. You can call a cab to the airport now. Do you have enough money for now? I’ll give you the money later, and you can take the first flight home in the morning. You’re the first one to leave and you will be out of this room. It’ll be that way.」
「What? What do you mean...」
「It’s the President’s way of telling you that if there’s any scandal over this, you’re out of the picture. We don’t want to lose any more talent.」
This is exactly the kind of thing that is a godsend.
I can only say that I’m lucky that the office is willing to give me an alibi.
「Well then, I will discuss the next steps with Ponpoko-san, and when you are ready, please go to the airport as soon as possible. Understood? And when you get home, please go on as usual until further notice.」
I nodded my head and Yamauchi-san left the room.
After a while, I opened the door and peeked into the hallway.
「Kito-san! Perfect! You did exactly what you planned, you’re the best!」
As I said this, I heard Kito-san’s doubtful voice on the other end of the phone.
「Really? I was worried that it might have failed because I haven’t heard from my men yet」
「Maybe your phone is broken or something? Anyway, Kito-san, please, I’m talking about putting me in Asuka’s place」
Inui-san's (Earthworm/the pink one) Illustration -> here
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading.