There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF!
Side Story: The Sun Rises Again
Volume 3: Tsukiyomi, the Dark Secret Organization
After the fight with Oyabun was over, I got to ask him what it had been all about.
From what he told me, I realized that he hadn’t actually figured everything out about me.
Just as he said before the fight, he had gradually realized the fact that I was hiding my full power through occurrences such as the door lock giving way during Carol-chan’s rescue operation and the strange “protection” that Tsukimori-gumi enjoyed during Oyabun’s recuperation period.
Regarding my amnesia, I was exhibiting none of the usual signs of an amnesiac. I did not seem depressed, and I made no apparent effort to get my supposedly lost memories back. As such, it was blatantly obvious that the whole amnesia thing was a lie. I had studied up a bit on amnesiac patients, but wasn’t sure how to act the part and therefore had gotten sloppy about keeping up the front. It already took everything I had to be careful about not accidentally letting someone catch me admitting that I wasn’t an amnesiac.
Therefore, although Oyabun trusted me, I clearly had a suspicious backstory, and so it made sense to look into it. From the business card that Chris had found in my dress shirt, Oyabun arrived at Ama-no-Iwato, from where he learned my previous address, my position there, and my real name. Through talking with Kuma-san — who was serving as the bar master of Ama-no-Iwato in my stead — it became apparent that Sago Kinemitsu had a place to return to, which meant that he was not supposed to remain in Tsukuyomi.
Then the question became why I was still remaining in Tsukimori-gumi. From carefully observing my everyday behavior and mannerisms, Oyabun deduced my longing for a superpower battle.
Although he had not seen through how I was the one who had set everything in motion ever since the Super Water Sphere Incident, he had instead seen through to the very deepest part of my character. Once again, I was in awe of how good an eye he had for people. It was something that I could never imitate in a thousand years.
Oyabun was indeed angry about how I had basically put Tsukimori-gumi through unnecessary hardship by hiding my power, but at the same time, he also felt deeply thankful to me. That was why he decided to host a “Sago Kinemitsu-kun Farewell Party.”
And as could be expected, Baba very much had a hand in this.
Baba had somehow managed to wriggle herself into the “mysterious brains of the operation” position next to Oyabun.
After making up something random like “My entire race has been charged with the creation of a Demon Lord in order to defeat other Demon Lords,” she had then proceeded to appropriate my blood — which had been extracted to give Oyabun a blood transfusion after the big gunfight — and Ig’s blood from the healing PSI drive that had been smuggled in during the same period. She also took on the responsibility for the storing and preparing of the blood.
In other words, this was another surprise set up by Baba, less than half a year since the one on my birthday.
Again?! Baba, I will never trust you again! More like, can someone do something about how susceptible she is to the keywords ‘demon lord’ and ‘hero’?
After Oyabun revealed everything, we returned to Tokyo on Miyama’s boat, who had turned back in consternation at the bright flashes of light that had apparently been visible quite far in the distance even on the other side of my barrier. I received emergency surgical treatment from DD, then disappeared from my sickroom — and by extension, Tsukimori-gumi — as soon as I regained consciousness.
I did not get to say any goodbyes. Oyabun would help gloss over things for me, and as I was no longer a part of Tsukuyomi — having lost not only my tattoo, but the arm it was on — my name was probably already stricken from the Tsukimori-gumi ledger. Even though I was already an outsider, if I stayed to say my goodbyes, I didn’t think I could continue staying an outsider.
Baba chose to stay behind with Tsukimori-gumi in order to continue helping them deal with the fallout of the Tanioka-gumi / Tsukimori-gumi conflict. When I talked over things with her, I also borrowed her smartphone, with which I used to contact Kaburagi-san to explain how things had played out and work out how I was going to return to Amaterasu, all while hiding out in a random warehouse and suffering the worst telekimuscle growth pain that I had ever experienced before. When she heard that I had lost my arm, Kaburagi-san naturally brought up preparing a healing PSI drive, but I turned her down. In the course of my fight with Oyabun, I had gained the right arm that I had lost. I did not want to lose what I had gained. I did not want to “repair” this right arm of mine.
No matter how many times I tried explaining this to her, Kaburagi-san could not understand why I kept on refusing usage of the healing PSI drive. Eventually, however, despite still not understanding, she became willing to accept it. I got super panicked from hearing Kaburagi-san on the verge of tears so many times on the phone. If she had meant to persuade me with tears, I knew for a fact that I would have been persuaded right then and there.
A whole day after the ultimate final battle, as Kaburagi-san was busy arranging things for my return, I cast a telekinetic eye over Tsukimori-gumi from my hiding place, with attachment still lingering heavy in my heart.
Oyabun was, once again, bedridden. According to DD’s diagnosis, thanks to Oyabun’s supernatural self-healing capabilities, everything except for his right eye had been fully healed and should be fully functional. In spite of this, for some reason, he could only move about like a convalescent. Exact cause was indeterminate.
I checked Oyabun’s mukimukin just in case and found it all shredded up and barely holding together like patchwork. It was in such a wretched state that it looked like it would fall to pieces if I touched it wrong, and so I had no choice but to give up and withdraw my telekinetic touch. Inside a locked drawer in Baba’s desk was a memo — most likely put there in expectation of my spying — that said that Oyabun had not felt growth pain after the fight.
In all likelihood, this was because he had gone too far overboard. Even though it was only for a short period of time, he had taken my telekinesis into his body, and his supernatural muscle had paid the price for it. Forget growing; Oyabun’s mukimukin was on the verge of breaking down. And this was likely affecting the rest of his physical body.
However, this state did not seem to bother Oyabun at all. Seeing Chris being all shook up, he placated her in a gentle tone, glossing over what had happened and even followed his account up with a lighthearted “Guess I’ll be needing an eyepatch and wheelchair going forward” and a laugh.
There was no sign that Oyabun was forcing himself. Rather, he had the deeply satisfied air of someone who had finished everything that he had set out to achieve. Even so, I felt stricken with an unbelievably heavy sense of guilt. It wasn’t just a right arm for a right eye. Oyabun had lost far, far more than I had.
Oyabun’s mukimukin had a growth rate of only 1.04, but even after half a year of fundamental training, he had yet to hit his growth ceiling. Whereas everyone else that I had granted superpowers to eventually hit their ceiling two to three months later, Oyabun was the only one who had continued to grow.
Who knows, maybe he was an infinite growth type just like me.
If I had stopped my own training and waited, eventually, he might have grown powerful enough to stand on the same footing as me without needing to dope himself.
All possibility of that was now gone, however. For my sake, Oyabun had sacrificed his own future potential.
I wanted to apologize to Oyabun. The person who had gone to such lengths for me had now ended up in such a state. Every fiber of my being wanted to reveal everything to him and beg him for forgiveness.
But I couldn’t. I knew I shouldn’t.
In that no-holds-barred fight, Oyabun and I had already settled everything between us. If I dug it back up to apologize, if I tried to make it up to him, that would be literally the most insulting thing that I could ever do to him. I knew that full well.
As if having seen through my mental state, every once in a while, Oyabun would murmur, “Don’t apologize. Enjoy your life” to empty air.
He knew about my clairvoyance. He knew my personality. It was obvious to whom those words were directed to.
And so I decided to not apologize and enjoy my life.
I would never, ever forget what Oyabun had done for me nor what I had made him do. However, keeping up a glum face and living everyday solely occupied with thinking about how to atone for the past was wrong. Neither I nor Oyabun wished for that.
“We’re evil” and “Laugh” summed it up.
Life needs to be enjoyed.
I consciously turned my thoughts to happier things.
And what was happier than the fact that I would finally be returning to Ama-no-Iwato after half a year’s absence! It felt like it had been years.
Let’s return to Amaterasu. I’ve already had my fill of bloodstained scenes of carnage. Let’s return to the bright light of day.
The night was over, and the sun was rising again.
◇ ◇ ◇
When you serve as a part-time warrior1 in Tokyo, every once in a while, you come across extremely easy jobs with ridiculously high pay.
There are usually three main scenarios for this.
One, the employer needs someone in a hurry and is therefore posting a high salary to draw eyes. This kind of job is generally safe, so just think of it as your lucky day.
Two, the high salary is being used as bait to rope people into performing something illegal for the employer. You might not even get paid for this job or, worst case, end up dead.
Three, ones that are entirely incomprehensible from start to finish. You do a few weird things based on orders, then get to go home with a big wad of cash in your pocket.
The job that I was currently carrying out was a Three, the rarest kind. I was told it would only take me half a day at most. ¥40k deposit, ¥60k contingency fee.
There was a limit to being generous with pay. The job was suspicious as fuck. However, from the explanation given by the extremely suspicious-looking person in a witch or a wizard’s get up who was also wearing a mask, a deep-hooded mantle, and a voice changer, I determined that the job itself sounded quite safe. The employer’s instructions were as follows:
– Take a stroll at 6:30~7:00 in the morning around Menuke Rock on Heisaura Beach in the city of Tateyama in Chiba Prefecture.
– If a man gets washed ashore, call out to him. Don’t pry, just say, “If you’re heading for Tokyo, want me to give you a ride?”
– If the man agrees, let him in your car, and drive him to an underground bar named “Ama-no-Iwato” in Adachi Ward in Tokyo.
– If nobody washes ashore by the agreed time, consider the job done and feel free to leave.
– Gasoline fee will be reimbursed separately. Take a picture of the car odometer and receipt from a gas station, then send those to the specified email address.
– The contingency fee and gasoline fee will then be paid as a lump sum. Feel free to choose between bank transfer or registered cash mail.2
Everything about the job was bizarre and cryptic. Especially the first half.
But on the flip side, it was because it seemed so cryptic that I determined it to be safe.
The reward that seemed so completely disproportionate to the job details and the more than generous deposit.
Enigmatic instructions that definitely seemed to mean something, but which was completely beyond my comprehension.
The absolute lack of background information provided about the job.
The curious appearance of the employer who I couldn’t even determine the gender of.
It was almost as if… indeed, it was almost as if this was one part of a large secret plan, and I was a “regular guy” being made to cooperate without knowing what was going on.
My well-trained part-time sensor whispered “Accept this job. It’s gonna be interesting. It’s definitely going to be interesting” at me, so I decided to say yes.
The next day after I took on the job, I was driving my car along the coastline before sunrise. The whole world was all abuzz regarding the Shichijou-jima annihilation? halving? incident from two days ago, and every radio channel was just news flash after news flash. The chaotic mess of occult-related references and conjectures was almost like the Super Water Sphere Incident all over again.
For now, it was pretty much a confirmed fact that several successive explosions of enormous scale had gone off at Shichijou-jima around daybreak the day before yesterday, and that the island had ended up being split in half. How crazy is it that the entire island got split in half? I’ve never heard of something like that happening before. What, am I actually living inside a manga or a light novel?
There were a ton of theories, such as it having been a live nuclear bomb test, a volcanic explosion, a meteorite crash, plasma (whatever this means), or maybe even a battle between an esper and another Super Water Sphere. However, it proved impossible to produce any evidence to substantiate any of them. The incident itself had taken place on a solitary island in the middle of the open sea during early dawn when everything was still dark. Therefore, even the satellites didn’t pick up any conclusive footage, and everything had already been over by the time that the news helicopters arrived on scene.
While rolling down my window to enjoy a bit of late autumn sea wind, I tried to tie the incident from two days ago to my current job. I could feel the chuuni heart that I had almost forgotten starting to throb again.
That’s right, what if my employer was a member of the secret organization that’s fighting against the Super Water Spheres who possesses the power of precognition and predicted both the battle at Shichijou-jima and that the member who fought in that battle would be washing ashore here and at this time?
That could work. Or not. Uh… I can’t really tell.
Ever since the Super Water Sphere Incident, the line between reality and fiction seemed to have gotten quite blurry. Ever since the plane crash incident, it even seemed like fiction was beginning to eat into reality. What could previously be easily laughed away with a “like that could happen! lol” could not be so readily dismissed out of hand anymore.
Damn, I sure am living in a crazy age. If I sudden declared myself a magician in the middle of a street, 90% of the passersby would just laugh at me, but there would be 10% who would actually ask me, “Really?” Less than two years ago, all 100% would have laughed at me without thinking about it.
As the delusions or inferences inside of my mind (even I couldn’t tell the difference) grew bigger and bigger, I found myself having arrived at the specified location.
The coast of Tokyo was currently completely packed with onlookers, but this beach at Chiba was entirely quiet.
I got out of my car, then started pacing around the sandy beach as I had been told to, breathing in the smell of the sea.
If I don’t find the man, I’m going to feel like an idiot. But then again, finding someone actually drifting to shore is pretty crazy in its own way. Just the fact of having come all the way to Chiba to take a morning walk on the beach for a ¥40k deposit already makes for a pretty interesting story though.
After trudging along for several minutes, I stopped in surprise.
There he was.
There actually was a man washed ashore.
I had found him.
At the water’s edge, there was a man lying face down, weakly trying to pull himself to drier ground.
The situation was exactly as the job had detailed, but I found myself in quite a fluster now that it was actually happening for real.
Hold on, isn’t this a big deal? This would normally be a big deal, right? Someone’s actually washed ashore. To make matters worse, he looks really weakened. Shouldn’t I dial the police or call an ambulance or something?
However, I was here for the job. According to the instructions, I was supposed to ask the man “You want to go to Tokyo?”
First thing I say to a man who’s just washed ashore is “You want to go to Tokyo?”? That’s nuts. Am I crazy?
Argh! But the reward for going crazy is a contingency fee of ¥60k! I just have to become a little bit crazy, then I’d get ¥60k!
After a short hesitation, I rushed up to the man and got on one knee.
“Um, I’m sorry if this is a weird question, but, uh… if you want to go to Tokyo, want me to give you a ride? You okay? Want me to call you an ambulance?”
“…Tokyo would be good. No ambulance.”
“Eh? Oh, sure, okay then.”
That surprised me. This guy actually does want to go to Tokyo.
What the heck is going on? I seriously have no clue.
Maybe my employer really does have the power of precognition.
The man looked to be in his mid-twenties, and was wearing a tattered white dress shirt and navy blue pants. What immediately caught my eye, however, was that he was missing his right arm, and his right sleeve looked torn off right where the arm would have been. He seemed to be having difficulty standing on his own, so I gave him a piggyback. His body was as cold as ice.
After eventually making it to my car with the man who had become freaking heavy due to his wet clothes, I then set him up in my back seat. I helped him out of his clothes and laid those out on the assistant driver’s seat to dry. In exchange, I covered him with my coat and lap blanket, then closed all the car windows and turned on the heating at full blast. I handed him a cup of coffee that had gotten lukewarm, and then started driving towards Tokyo.
Despite looking thoroughly exhausted, the man did not sleep a wink during the journey, only staring out the window the entire time.
Exactly who is he? Does he really not need the hospital? Why did he wash ashore? Why does he want to go to Tokyo? What is his relationship with my employer? Are those reddish-black stains on his shirt blood?
There was a mountain of questions that I wanted to ask the man, but after having been specifically told not to pry, I couldn’t voice any of them. I was worried that if I asked anything, the ¥60k could go poof.
However, if it was to satisfy this burning desire to know inside of me… no, stop it, ¥60k is a ton of money. It’s two whole month’s of food expenses, or 30 purchases of 10-consecutive gacha rolls. Let’s not.
I kept sneaking peeks at the man in my rear-view mirror, but ended up not being able to ask anything. Three hours later, we arrived in Adachi Ward. I stopped the car a 30 seconds’ walk away from the specified underground bar. From this point onwards, the road was too narrow for a car to fit through. I asked the man to change back into his half-dried clothes and to get out of the car. Despite looking entirely weakened, his steps were sure.
Even so, I was worried. I had heard about people who were bad off but looked fine who were actually still really bad off and then collapsed out of the blue. I decided to escort him on that 30 second walk. After all, my job was to bring him to the underground bar, not to the front of the underground bar.
As I pushed open the signless door while lending the man my shoulder, the people inside all froze for a second, then simultaneously got up and rushed over.
“Master! Welcome back!”
“Well done making it back. We’ve been waiting.”
“Master, I’m so glad you’re oka— wait, hold on, are you missing an arm? You’re missing an arm?! What the hell happened?! Hah?! Who did you in?!”
There was a cute high school girl in her school uniform, a bartender who looked like a giant bear, a delinquent with red hair, and… a monkey? Why’s there a monkey?
As I was occupied with the monkey, the next moment my collar got grabbed and I was slammed against a wall by the delinquent. At the same time, a chill that seemed to penetrate to my very bones assaulted my whole body.
“Was it you?! Were you the one who did this to Master?!”
“N-, n-, n-, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do anything I didn’t do anything I didn’t do anything! I don’t know anything! Really! I just picked up this guy at the beach! He said that he wanted to go to Tokyo so I drove him over, and… uh, yea, that was it!”
“He’s not lying. Let him go. Sorry about that, even though you went to all the trouble of helping me.”
Master(?)’s words caused the delinquent to let go of me with an embarrassed look.
What the hell, isn’t this delinquent a bit too scary?! It’s the first time in my entire life being bathed in killing intent. So killing intent feels cold, huh. I definitely did not need to know that.
The last person, who had been at the back of the bar and keeping a distance from the raucous crowd, stepped forward.
It turned out to be a goddess so beautiful that I stopped breathing from the sight. Even though I knew how rude it was to stare, I just couldn’t pull my eyes away.
What’s with this drop-dead gorgeous woman?! Her dress… her cleavage… whaaat?! Holy shit! Pretty girl! Shit! This is nuts! Such a beautiful person exists in real life?! Goddamn!
The pretty lady opened her mouth as if she was about to say something, but Master enveloped her in a hug and hushed her before she even got a word out. The monkey that had been clinging to Master the whole time and was trying to claw at the woman got picked up by the bear-like man.
With the lady still in his arms, Master planted a kiss on her forehead, in response to which the delinquent whistled and the high school girl covered her face with her hands in embarrassment. In a truly apologetic tone, Master said,
“It’s been hard on you. I’m sorry.”
“…I’m not so easy a woman that you can gloss over everything that’s happened with something like this. But, well,…I’ll forgive you in exchange for a hundred favors.”
The woman looked directly into Master’s eyes and smiled.
“Mm, I’m back.”
……What is with this emotional reunion scene. I looked like the only person who didn’t know what was going on, with everyone else seemingly moved to tears.
Whoa, this intense feeling of being out of place. Why am I even witnessing this supposedly emotional reunion scene. I feel très awkward.
“Uh, I’ll be heading back now. Thanks for everything, and, uh, you guys take care.”
I murmured my farewells, then immediately got out of there. Mission accomplished.
Afterwards, I tried visiting the underground bar again several times, but only ever saw a CLOSED sign hanging on the door. I tried Googling the place, but the keyword “Ama-no-Iwato” only gave me search results about the Japanese mythology. I couldn’t find any mention of the place on online forums either. Maybe it had gone out of business. It was a weird job in which I felt like I had gotten a small brush with the extraordinary.
For those who are wondering, the contingency fee did get properly transferred into my account, gasoline fee and all. I didn’t know what was what from start to finish, but, yay! Happy end! All the money! 100k for just half a day of work! Hip hip hooray for cryptic part time jobs!
All’s well that ends well!
If you’re enjoying the series, please consider buying Volumes 1 and 2 in Japanese and English to support Kurodome-sensei and me!
All details in the Table of Contents page.
2 In Japan, you can send cash through the post office in a service called 現金書留 (genkinkakitome), which is basically a registered envelope that you put the cash in that the recipient will have to sign or stamp for.