Now, I am in a cabaret club "L'OASI", which is belonged to Yasunaga, a member of the Rindo group.
However, I was not looking for a drink.
When I visited the office of Ando Finance to collect information, I was informed by Takayanagi, the president of Ando Finance, that Yasunaga had just arrived at L'OASI to meet an important client.
True to his word, as soon as I enter the store, I see Yasunaga chatting with someone at a seat in the back of the store. The fact that not only Yasunaga but also Sayaka, the number one of the store, are present at the table indicates that the person with whom Yasunaga is chatting is an important customer.
The man is a mature man in his late 40s or 50s.
His face looked vaguely familiar to me, but it might have been just a mere resemblance of someone else's.
But given the fact that Yasunaga was bowing down to him, it was easy to imagine that the man was a bigwig.
However, Sayaka seemed to have apologized and left the table after the manager talked to her, and I saw her coming toward me immediately.
"Excuse me. Did I keep you waiting? I was with another customer."
Sayaka says to me as she sits next to me.
When I entered the store, I was asked if I wanted to have a woman with me, but I had refused, saying that I was drinking alone until Sayaka was available, so the manager must have gone to tell her that.
"I just came in now."
"I see. Thank goodness. Would you like something else to drink?"
"No, thank you. The house bottle is enough for me. If you want something to drink, you can order whatever you like."
I know it sounds very stingy to ask for only the house bottle, but in fact I was just being reserved to Yasunaga.
I insist on paying for it myself every time I leave, but in the end it is Yasunaga who pays for it. I have also told Sayaka that I don't like drinking that much since I returned to this world.
Still, Sayaka recommended other drinks to me because she knows that I sometimes drink sweet drinks like liqueurs and cocktails.
Maybe my taste buds have changed because I don't feel the spirit of liquor. The cocktail drinks that I didn't like so much in the past taste better to me now. For me now, alcohol is just like juice. I used to drink only for the sake of socializing or for show.
In any case, I can't get drunk no matter what kind of alcohol I drink, and I can't deny the feeling that it has become a drink only for quenching my thirst.
"So, may I order a bottle of Kirishima Shuzo?"
"Yes, you may. But there seems to be an important customer here?"
"Yes. About that..."
After saying that, Sayaka suddenly stopped talking.
I didn't need to see the hesitation on her face. I could immediately tell that there was a reason behind the pink aura of [Love] that flared up as soon as she saw me, and the black aura of [Hate] that was smoldering like an ember as she saw the man.
"If it's something you can't talk about openly, you can talk about it later when we're alone."
"Yes, sure. Although it's true that it's not something we can talk about openly. But it's nothing to hide who he is. The visitor over there is Professor Kusunoki Seiichiro, whom I have told you about before."
"Oh, so you mean that. The boy who was in the same room with Kaede-chan, let's see, his name is..."
"Yes, yes, Satou Yuuki-kun. I think that Yuuki-kun's opponent in the traffic accident was Kusunoki Kenjiro. In other words, he is the younger brother of Kusunoki Seiichiro who is standing over there, isn't he?"
Ah, so that's it.
Even if I have never met a prefectural assembly member in person, it is not surprising that I have some familiarity with his face from a news program or something. On the contrary, it is quite possible that he was just stuck in my mind because of the election posters posted all over the city.
But the fact that I thought the name of the person was vaguely familiar to me when I heard it before does not seem to make sense.
"That must be a bit complicated. I don't know what the truth is, but when a person is suspected of using money to change the eyewitness information of a fatal accident of an acquaintance..."
"If that's all there is to it, there's not that much of a problem. Of course, I don't have good feelings for him from the beginning."
"What do you mean?"
"This time, Professor Kusunoki Seiichiro arranged a meeting with Yasunaga-san because he had something he wanted to ask him to do. It seems that he had already discussed the details of his request with Yasunaga-san, and although he did not mention much about it here, I guessed from the atmosphere of the conversation that it was something like that."
"Hmm... I can imagine that the fact that he took the trouble to request a meeting with someone like Yasunaga-san must mean that he was talking about something like that. But, well, such people are always in trouble. I don't think it's that strange."
"But then I heard the two of them mention the name Satou several times in their conversations..."
Hearing Sayaka's words, I stop stirring the ice in my highball with the muddler.
"Hmm, is it Satou...? In that case, I can't help but smell something fishy about him."
"Masuda-san, do you think the two of them were talking about Satou's couple, as I thought?"
"I can't say for sure. The surname "Satou" is very common. Have you had any contact with them recently?"
"We spoke briefly on the phone the other day. They're still looking for new witnesses near the accident site."
If that is the case, it is quite possible that Satou's couple are persistently sniffing around about the accident, and Kusunoki Seiichiro is planning to do something.
I hope that he is not thinking of blackmailing, kidnapping, or even murdering them, but once a person has gained power, there is no telling what he will do to save his own skin.
I have seen and heard such things happen so much in the other side of the world that I had already given up the naive idea that a big professor would never do such a thing.
However, if he did something so rough and the media got a whiff of it, it would be the end of him. Would he take such a risk even for the sake of his brother?
Of course, it may be that Kusunoki Seiichiro is a very bold person, who thinks that he can hide his affair as long as there is no clear evidence.
No, it is not that. It could be that he just can't back down after the accident because he made witnesses to lie after the accident to get the money.
But whatever the truth is, in the end it's none of my business. Just like when I met them in the hospital room before, I don't feel any sympathy for Satou's couple at all.
"I see. But to be honest, I think it would be better not to get involved with them. Sayaka-san, your sense of justice may even put you in danger."
"So you think I should refrain from doing anything unnecessary?""
"I don't mean to sound cold, but you're right. Just because your daughter is in the same hospital room, it doesn't mean that the two of them are that close, does it?"
"Yes, that's true, but..."
"Sayaka-san, if you're still concerned about it, I'll deal with it somehow instead. However, please do not expect too much from me. If I ask Yasunaga-san now, he will probably become suspicious, and I think I can only talk to him about small talk."
Sayaka gently puts her hand on my lap with a seductive gesture, and the white of [trust] appears on her face.
But it wasn't just for Sayaka's sake. Even if I had no feelings for Satou's couple, I did not feel the same for Kusunoki Seiichiro.
After drinking with Sayaka for a while, it seemed that the business with Kusunoki Seiichiro was over.
I saw Yasunaga bowing and looking away as Kusunoki Seiichiro walked toward the exit, passing right by our seats.
After Kusunoki Seiichiro left "L'OASI," Yasunaga turned around and came toward us.
"I'm sorry, Masuda-san, but there is a little bit of a visitor here."
"No, no, no, it's all right."
"So what can I do for you today?"
"Well, I know I'm a little early, but I just dropped by Ando Finance a little while ago. I had a deal with Takayanagi-san over there. At that time, I heard that Yasunaga-san was here, so I thought I'd drop by and see you."
"Thank you very much. I don't mind if you come early. I would be very grateful for your visit."
"I'm glad to hear that. In that case, we may be in touch again soon."
"I'll be waiting for you. Please feel free to contact Takayanagi anytime. Hey! Bring some fruit for my table."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bother you. Oh, yes... That gentleman was the prefectural assemblyman, wasn't he?"
"Oh, you noticed. Yes, that's right. He's Kusunoki Seiichiro, a member of the prefectural assembly."
"I see. Yasunaga-san works in that field as well, I understand."
"Thanks to him, I've been receiving a lot of business."
"Is that so? I envy you your prosperous business. It's just..."
I said that, and then I trailed off meaningfully.
"Hmm? Is there something I can help you with?"
"No, I'm sorry. I've been learning a little bit about him myself. I hear that he's crossing some dangerous paths."
"I don't suppose Masuda-san's organization is involved?"
"Don't worry, it's not a double booking or anything like that. It would be easier to say that it is the police."
"Police... Is that true?"
"No, it's just a rumor. I don't even know if the police really took notice of him or not, and I don't even know what he did."
"I see, so that's how it is. I'm sorry, Masuda-san. Thank you for your advice."
"I wish I could have been of help."
I'm going to make a preemptive move to deter him.
I don't know how this will react, but I think Yasunaga will refrain from making any showy moves.
Even if the Satou couple's case had nothing to do with the current situation, he would still come to Yasunaga to ask for a favor. He must be a person who has some kind of a scar on his shin.
"Then, it's not a good idea to leave it to that bastard Akuzawa."
Yasunaga inadvertently expressed his feelings even though I, an outsider, was standing right next to him.
I pretended not to have heard his words and reached for a highball on the table.
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