As I am pondering on how to drag the mastermind out, a phone in the chest pocket of one of the fallen policemen rings.
I stick my hand in and take out the ringing phone.
Immediately, I know it to be a clue leading towards the mastermind.
While on duty, policemen bring along a policemen-only terminal.
With security and physical damage worries in mind, it is a specialized terminal that looks similar to a flip phone.
But this one is not it. This is a normal smartphone.
The latest version of smartphone with the logo of an apple on it. This is something that an officer on duty should not have on him.
“ ‘Secretary,’ huh.”
The registered name showing on the screen says ‘Secretary.’
I brace myself and pick up the call, wondering what ‘Secretary’ stands for.
“It’s me. Have you secured the target?”
I make my voice sound muffled, and give a vague reply.
“Then take care of him the usual way. After you send confirmation, we’ll transfer the reward to you.”
With that, ‘Secretary’ hangs up.
After memorizing the phone number from the phone log, I go to wake up the policeman who owns the smartphone.
I grab his collar with one hand, and lightly slap his face.
“N……nn. Th-, this is……?”
I slap his face once more. The sound rings out crisply across the otherwise silent pier.
“Wh-, what’s going on?!”
“Still half asleep? Want one more?”
The policeman’s eyes snap open as he finally comprehends the situation in its entirety.
“I’ll be blunt. Who is ‘Secretary’?”
The policeman’s face stiffens.
“Ho-, how did you know……”
“He called just now.”
I dangle his smartphone in front of him. His face becomes increasingly stiff, and is now colored with horror.
“Who is this ‘Secretary’? Wait, no, that’s not right.”
On purpose, I cut myself off there for emphasis. Then I rephrase my question.
“Whose secretary is he?”
Yes, that is the correct question.
It doesn’t matter who this secretary is.
The crux of the matter is that, as he is a secretary, then there must be someone above him who is the true mastermind.
“I, I can’t say.”
“E-, even if I die, I can’t te——”
Right in front of his eyes, I crush his smartphone with my bare hand.
It’s a threat. A threat that if he doesn’t tell me, that is what’s going to happen to him.
The policeman grows even more terrified, but clamps his mouth shut like a clam.
It seems that wasn’t enough.
I casually throw the smartphone away, and instead punch the ground.
It’s a punch with only [Close Combat VII] without any other skills synergized. But it’s enough.
There’s now a crater on the concrete ground of the pier.
“Hey, is your head tougher than concrete?”
“S-, stop! I’m begging you!”
“Then speak. Whose secretary?”
“Alright. Then I’ll ask the other one.”
I clench my fist, and slowly draw it back.
“O-, okay! I’ll speak!”
“Arai Takahiko-sensei. The one in the National Diet.”
A member of the National Diet, huh.
The mastermind turns out to be a bigger fish than I had expected.
(T/N: ‘Sensei’ when used as a suffix is done so to indicate respect. It’s for people in supposedly respectable positions, ranging from teachers to doctors to lawyers to politicians.)
After that, I punch the policeman lightly to put him back to sleep, then do a little searching with my smartphone.
As expected of a member of the National Diet. Just a brief search on the internet already brings up a ton of information on him.
Arai Takahiko. A legitimate member of the National Diet, elected from this prefecture. But just a brief search already reveals a whole department store of suspicions and dark rumors about him.
Including all the rumors, he comes across as the cliche politician.
I was half in doubt when hearing the name from the policeman, but now I’m pretty sure it’s very likely this guy.
Well then, how should I go about this?
First thing to do, I’ve got to meet him.
The perfect skill for meeting him——I’m still a bit short.
Original cost of 200 discounted by 20% is 160. With everyone that I’ve defeated here bringing me up to a total of 149 points, I still need a little bit more.
No helping it, guess I’ll go find a bear or som——
Something that sounds like a war cry suddenly rings out.
When I look over, I see that the other policeman has actually woken up. Not only has he woken up, he’s somehow managed to get back inside the patrol car, and is hurtling towards me at full throttle.
I had overlooked him. I guess he’s trying to run me over to silence me.
“Sorry, but…… I’m gonna have you become my points then.”
I lightly clench my first, then rush towards the incoming patrol car.
With a tight half turn, I evade the car, then use both my momentum and the momentum of the car to unleash a punch like a lariat aimed at the driver’s seat.
[Close Combat VII]
[Increase Attack Power (Evade) I]
The punch that has everything synergized together shatters the front glass and rips apart the frame of the car.
Then it gouges into the policeman’s shoulder.
I feel the feedback of his shoulder blade being crushed to smithereens.
The patrol car loses control and crashes right into the truck brought by the Kanai Enterprises guys.
The policeman in the car slams into the airbag and stops moving.
Well, he’s not dead. I did miss on purpose.
——You have earned 20 skill points.
I got the same number of points as a bear, so now I have enough.
Without further ado, I acquire the skill.
Skill Points: 9/999
Acquired Skills (8/10)
[Close Combat VII]
[Increase Attack Power (Evade) I]
[Lower Point Cost] (80%)
[Double Skill Points] (200%)
This is a skill that guarantees that I’ll be able to meet the person that I want to meet. After I meet that person then all gloves are off, but until then, as long as that person is still alive, then I’m guaranteed to meet them.
I’ve gotten the skill I wanted. Now I’ll be able to meet this Arai-sensei person.
Nagata Ward in Tokyo. Inside the National Diet Assembly Hall.
After returning from Iwate Prefecture to Tokyo in Executive One, I then drove the passenger car to this place.
Incidentally, I’ve already said farewell to Shiho. Her matter has already been resolved, and it’d be better for her to not get involved in what’s going to happen next.
The Assembly Hall is under heavy guard with checkpoints and security checks and all the works, but with [Free Visit] activated, I am allowed to pass right on through.
Proceeding down the aged and formal-looking hallways, I eventually find Arai’s room.
There’s a secretary in front, but the skill’s effect continues until I meet my target, so the secretary who’s never met me before in my life says this to me:
“Sensei is within. Please go right on in.”
This skill that would allow me to meet even the President of the United States or the Pope if I wanted to lasts until the moment I actually meet with the person.
That’s why I’d left it up to now, and didn’t pick it up during the terrorist hostage situation at the embassy.
Well, that aside.
Arai really is in the room at the back.
Just like the picture that I’d found on the internet, he is a plump man in his fifties.
I had thought this when I saw his picture too, but he really does like the spitting image of a politician…… the spitting image of a corrupt politician, I mean.
Well, as they say, one’s face is the mirror of the life that that person has lived, so I suppose that seems about right for someone in his fifties.
“Who are you? Oi, Ogura! What are you doing, who is this man?”
This is a very typical scene illustrating how [Free Visit] lasts only until ‘the moment I meet the target.’
Now that I’ve met him, Arai reacts in a natural way.
“It’s best you don’t raise a fuss, ‘Sensei.’ In consideration of what we’re about to talk about from here on.”
Arai’s face changes.
“Kanai Enterprises. Fishing boat.”
Now he’s scowling deeply.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Do you think that would fly in the face of someone who learned of those two things and then came straight to you, ‘Sensei’?”
“…… What do you want? Money?”
“I have no interest in money.”
“I want you to stop the smuggling of illegal immigrants and the selling of family registers. Well, in this case it might be more accurate to call it the laundering of family registers. But either way, I want you to stop both of these things that you are organizing.”
“That I cannot accede to. Those are not things that I can stop at my own discretion.”
“So you are saying that you are also just a pawn being used? Then tell me, who do I have to talk to to stop all this?”
“You seriously believe I’ll tell you?”
Arai snorts derisively.
“More like, you probably already have an idea, don’t you? Since you’ve already come here and all.”
“Kanai Enterprises, illegal smuggling of immigrants through fishing boat, and all your rumors on the internet…… so they are all true?”
“They are. But youngster, take some advice from me.”
Arai laughs through his nose. Because right before, I made a frown on my face.
The enemy is much larger than I had expected——is the impression I’m trying to portray.
And Arai fell for it.
“Forget it all. If you do so, then I’ll also forget that this ever happened. But if you don’t——from shadows into shadows. You understand?”
Arai threatens me.
“S-, Sensei! It’s terrible!”
The secretary from outside flies into the room with an ashen face.
“What’s terrible, Ogura? Right now I’m in the middle of wiping your as——”
“Phone calls to here and to our local office are flying in like crazy!”
“All asking whether Sensei’s comments on the live broadcast are true or not.”
A corner of my mouth rises as I reveal my hand.
Thanks to [Free Visit], I was not frisked when entering the building, so I had it on the entire time.
I take out my smartphone and show Arai that I’m currently doing a live broadcast.
“Y-, you didn’t?!”
“That’s what it is. Our conversation from the very start has been broadcast to the world at large. It being my first time, I think there isn’t that many people watching it live, but once it’s on the internet it’ll just spread all by itself, I’m sure.”
“Y-, you have no evidence nor grounds!!”
“We’re no longer on that level of discourse.”
My smile deepens further.
“Since ‘Sensei’ has just admitted from your own mouth your ties to illegal immigrant smuggling, family register laundering, and even other comments intimating at other crimes. Did I just say ‘from your own mouth’?”
“Nah just kidding——is probably what you’re hoping I say. But no dice.”
Arai abruptly jumps up and lunges towards me.
I activate [Invisibility].
“WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GO?! COME THE FUCK OOOUUUTTTT!!!!!!!”
Leaving Arai still roaring and raging in his office, I get out of there using [Invisibility].
I wasn’t able to physically hit him, but that should have been enough.
Afterwards, Arai will be tried by public opinion. I’m sure that’s going to be even more intense than being physically beaten.
Arai…… is already finished.
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