Main Character’s Perspective
Yasunaga must have been uncertain of my intentions.
It's not uncommon for transfer of loans to happen in the underworld, but this proposal is just too outrageous. It's not surprising if he suspected that there was something hidden behind this.
As evidence, Yasunaga's face clearly showed his perplexity and his eyes were searching for something in me.
"Do you want me to hand over that parent and child...? I don't think you sympathized with that girl, did you?" Yasunaga asked calmly.
"Why not? I'm a human being, too. It's not strange to feel sorry for a stranger a little bit, is it?" I said firmly.
"Masuda-san, I can't agree that you wanted to help that parent and child out of sympathy. It's just too difficult to believe," Yasunaga said with a surprised look on his face.
"Hehehe. I was just joking, Yasunaga-san. To tell you the truth, I'm currently having some trouble. You remember I said I have some business to attend to later? It's about that. When I saw that girl, I thought she might be useful to me." I explained with a smile.
I tried to remain as calm as possible, so that even the slightest suspicion that I might be related to Kyouka would not arise. Moreover, it's not wise to cause trouble here.
If I were to create a scene, Yasunaga and his men may try to find my whereabouts afterwards, and they may try to get their hands on Kyouka and Sayaka.
I just can kill them. But, killing everyone here is not an option either.
Or am I just simply scared? Anyway, I am afraid that once I cross the line of murder, as in the other world, I will lose control of myself...
In any case, resorting to violence is the last resort. It would be better to settle the matter here as peacefully as possible.
"What do you mean when you say that?" Yasunaga asked, his tone guarded and curious.
"It's only natural that you wouldn't be convinced without a detailed explanation. However, this is not something we can openly discuss here. Besides, it would be a hassle to go through this twice, so would it be alright to call Akusawa-san to the office back there first?" I explained in a measured and professional tone.
"I understand. After all, that's Akusawa's business. . Either way, I can't interfere too much," he acquiesced, his tone resigned and unemotional.
With that, he stood up and left.
I should intervene as soon as possible. I already know what the outcome will be.
As I secretly glanced at Kyouka's demeanor, I walked quickly to the office at the back of the room.
"Masuda-san. What's this important matter that you wanted to talk to me about?" Akuzawa said jovially as he entered the room with Yasunaga.
"Akuzawa-san. I apologize for bothering you with work," I replied apologetically.
"Hey, don't worry about it. I just finished up over there, although there's still a lot to be done. But once they sign the IOU the rest will take care of itself," Akuzawa said, his tone upbeat and cheerful.
Perhaps I was a little late.
However, it's not too late.
"So, Masuda-san, what's the matter? If you want me to play a part in your money deal, I'd be glad to do so. Or is it something more violent?" Akuzawa asked, his tone curious and expectant.
"No, it's not that. I'll get straight to the point since I don't want to be difficult. Can you give me that parent-child duo that was brought here?" I said with a serious and businesslike tone.
"Huh? You mean the Amasawa family?" he asked.
It seems like the crucial part of the conversation was not conveyed properly to Akuzawa.
He looked at me in confusion.
"Yes, that's correct. I heard a little bit about that couple's situation from Yasunaga-san. In short, I will take over their debt, and I would like to ask for the transfer of the loan agreement," I replied calmly.
"Masuda-san, you... This is not a small matter to ask for advice on. It seems like you don't know how interfering in other people's business is a taboo in this business," Akuzawa said with a hint of annoyance
"Well, I think I have a general idea of that. So, I'm going to add about 2 million yen to your fee as a nuisance. I will pay a total of 10 million yen, and I would like to settle this matter with that. Is that not enough?" I replied firmly.
"Oh? Do you have any idea how much time and effort I put in to frame Amazawa? And you want me to settle for a mere 2 million yen?" Akuzawa said angrily.
I do not expect Akuzawa to nod in agreement.
I have already assumed from the beginning that he would raise my offer by 50% or 60%.
I am also prepared to never use James Masuda's mask again. Well, I don't mind showing some weakness.
But the only thing I don't want is for my true intentions to be revealed and for him to know that I intend to close this deal.
If I were to propose a large sum of money from the start, he would naturally become suspicious, and if he reject it outright, it would be a waste of time and resources. Finding the right balance is quite difficult.
"Excuse me, but why do you want that family to be transferred to you? I haven't heard the reason yet," Yasunaga interrupted from the side.
Even though he asked, I only just learned about Kyouka's father, so I had to come up with something believable to explain the situation.
I'll have to make up something appropriate to say as a reason, but I wonder if Yasunaga and the others will believe me.
"Well, it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I made a mistake at work. I wanted to have something to apologize for it right away. Yasunaga-san, Akuzawa-san. You know I'm not a pure Japanese person, right?" I began to speak.
"Yes, well..." Yasunaga nodded.
"To tell the truth, my mother is from a certain country in the Middle East. And although I said I was freelance, I do have some kind of organization behind me. A nation-state organization," I explained.
"Wow, a nation-state, huh? That's quite impressive," Akuzawa was impressed.
"Well, whether you believe it or not is up to you," I shrugged.
"Brother Akuzawa... I see. Well, smuggling gold is impossible for an individual, so I thought you must be a member of some organization. However, I don't think of the Middle East as a gold-producing country," Yasunaga thought aloud.
"Yes. In reality, oil money is stronger. And when it comes to affiliation, it's a little different. To the people of that country, I'm just a Japanese person, not considered to be of the same ethnicity. Even so, I managed to follow my mother's connections and get a job as a kind of go-between. And the person I work for is close to a certain influential person," I spoke quietly.
"What's with all the vagueness? Some country or some influential person?" said Akuzawa.
"I'm sorry, but please spare me those details. If I speak too much, my head might separate from my body. Just by talking about this, I'm already crossing a dangerous bridge," I said.
"Well, okay. So, what kind of shady deal did you make?" said Yasunaga.
"Well, this influential person's son is a Japanophile who is currently studying abroad in Japan for about a year. However, even though he's supposed to be studying, he's been busy with women. Then, he saw a popular idol named Mirai Yazaki on TV or something, and he wanted to call her to his hotel room by any means necessary," I said.
"I'm sorry. I don't know much about idols or anything like that," Yasunaga replied.
"Mirai Yazaki, huh? The new idol group called "What's Up?" I see. I'm starting to get the picture. You probably boasted and took on the job thinking you could handle it,' said Akuzawa.
"You're right. Even though she's an idol, she's just a kid. Plus, nowadays it's impossible for her to still be a virgin. I thought I could get away with it if I just paid enough money, so I took the job lightly...," I said.
"So, it didn't work out. How much money did you put up?" Yasunaga said.
"In the end, 20 million yen for about a year's worth of being his partner once a week at night," I said.
"Hmm. so around 400,000 yen per session, eh? That's not a bad deal, is it?" Akuzawa said.
I don't know if 20 million yen was an appropriate amount to offer for pillow sales.
It's just that the offer for the idol was 20 million yen, so Kyouka's case was probably less than that. And I wanted to make Akuzawa think that he might be willing to be paid up to 20 million yen.
"I got approval from the agency, but apparently the person herself insisted on not doing it. She said it was not a question of the amount of money. With her being a celebrity, I can't just secretly kidnap her, so there was nothing else I could do. When I told the son about the result, he got really angry. That's when I was struggling with what to do, and coincidentally, I found that girl," I said.
"So, you're saying that instead of this idol named Mirai Yazaki, you're going to use that girl?" Yasunaga asked.
"Yes. Don't you think they look alike?" I answered.
"That girl?" Yasunaga asked.
"Hmm, now that you mention it, it might be. There's a certain resemblance between Mirai Yazaki and Amazawa's daughter," Akuzawa said.
Of course they do.
I just used the name of an idol who looks like Kyouka without permission.
Whether or not she was approached for a pillow talk, even if she refused the offer, it is nothing serious. Even if Yasunaga's acquaintances knew someone related to Mirai Yazaki, they wouldn't answer honestly.
I was pretty sure there was no need to worry about Yasunaga finding out.
However, the reason I thought of this on the spot was that, while it may be subtle whether Akuzawa and the others will believe it or not, it's not entirely unreasonable as a reason why I would want to obtain Kyouka
No, the reason itself doesn't seem like that much of an issue. From Akuzawa's perspective, what's more important is whether it's profitable or not. As long as we can come to an agreement on the amount of money involved, he'll definitely nod in agreement.
"Well, I'm going to try to get her to take Mirai Yazaki's place, as a last-ditch effort. If I don't get the son in a good mood, it may affect the gold business in the future. How about it? Earlier, you mentioned a sum of 2 million yen, but given what I heard about her father, it's doubtful if even the principal will be returned," I suggested.
"That's why I let the daughter earn more money. She's young and reasonably attractive. She could earn nearly 10 million yen a year if she works in a brothel. Why should I hand over such a paltry sum of 2 million yen to you?" Akuzawa argued.
"I wonder if that will work. There is the risk that the girl is under 18, and customers must fear being caught by the police. Even if they are not charged with a crime for not knowing her age, customers will undoubtedly avoid a sex worker under 18. Besides, there is no way that all the earnings from the woman will end up in Akuzawa-san's pocket. In the end, you'll probably only get 3 million yen at most, right?" I argued.
"Well, even if that's the case, isn't it better than just selling for a profit of 2 million yen now?" Akuzawa said.
"I understand. If that's the case, why not add another 2 million yen and pay a total of 12 million yen? There's no reason to cling to that girl, is there? With your brilliant skills, Akuzawa-san, it should be easy to find another target," I suggested.
Akuzawa fell silent, deep in thought about my proposal.
From the look on his face, it seems that he is not at all unwilling to transfer the claim. He is probably thinking about how much money he can pull out of my pocket.
"Hmm, there's no other way. Masuda-san and I are good friends. How about 20 million yen in all? How about 20 million yen for the whole thing? If you're willing to pay that much, I'll consider it," Akuzawa said.
"Brother Akuzawa, don't get too greedy. Realistically, if Masuda-san secretly hands over 8 million yen to that parent-child pair, that would be the end of it. But he's just making sure that everything is done properly," Yasunaga said calmly.
"Oh? If you think you can do it, go ahead and try. If you're trying to ruin my business, I'll do anything to make you 'happy'," Akuzawa said.
"No, no. I don't want to offend Akuzawa-san in order to get the girl. But still... 20 million yen? Even Mirai Yazaki's deal was only for 20 million yen, and she's a famous person. This girl is just an ordinary girl..." I argued.
"That's none of my business. Besides, are you sure? You made a bad move once, right? I thought you said you needed a replacement right away to please the son," Akuzawa interrupted.
"That's true, but..." I tried to argue.
"Well, I don't really care either way. Because that girl will earn us a lot of money. But since Masuda-san and I will continue to work together in the future, I'll sell her to you at a that price," Yasunaga interrupted.
I don't know if Akuzawa and the others really believed what I said. Especially Yasunaga, he's got a sharp intuition. He could have sensed something was off.
But I'm not trying to scam them for money. At least it doesn't seem like they're doubting me outright.
That is enough for now. Anyway, I don't plan on leaving Akuzawa be like this...
"I understand. Let's settle this for 20 million yen this time. However, I want you to promise not to get involved with that family anymore. If anything happens to that girl after that son had her as his mistress, and Akuzawa-san takes matters into his own hands, I’ll take care of you by myself," said Masuda.
"I won't do that. I'm a man of my word," replied Akuzawa.
"I'd like Yasunaga-san to give me his guarantee as well. This wasn't a verbal agreement between me and Akuzawa-san, but something the Rindo group agreed to," I said.
"That's all right. But do we really need to go that far?" asked Yasunaga.
"There was a guy who tried to make a move on the son's mistress before. I took care of him. So, even if it's just a slight misunderstanding, it could lead to a conflict between our organizations. That's why I need this guarantee," I explained.
"I see. So that's how it is. I understand. Is that right with you, brother?" Yasunaga asked.
"Yeah. I get it," Akuzawa replied.
"As for the payment, can you deduct today's gold transaction and settle the rest tomorrow? If it's absolutely necessary to do it today, I'll make arrangements," I asked.
"Sure. It's totally fine if it's tomorrow or some other day. I trust Masuda-san, so I'll cover for Brother Akuzawa temporarily on my end," Yasunaga said politely.
"Thank you very much. If you say so, I'll take you up on your offer," I replied with a smile.
"Well, you know what? I'm willing to let you have them even if it means taking a loss. Just remember that," Akuzawa said confidently. His tone made it clear that he was full of confidence.
"Of course. I'll never forget that I was taken care of by Akuzawa-san when I was in trouble. I'll repay this debt in a different way, that's for sure..." I expressed my gratitude and spoke in a polite tone.
With that, I let out a fearless laugh
They must have thought my smile was friendly. I mean, Akuzawa, who was overly familiar, placed his hand on my shoulder.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading.