Population Control – Chapter 4

Population Control – Chapter 4

This is a translation of a Japanese novel. You can read the Raw here.

This is a work of fiction, with depictions of violence such as death of many people at a time. It is not suitable for readers under 15.


Hey everyone!

Chapter 4 is here. So, I usually try to adapt the novel a bit to make the text more pleasant to read (since that’s my role as a translator), but I’ve kept a lot of stuff as is this time, because I think you guys know about these things and I believe changing them would hurt the story. Still, I put a little explanation in the footnote, just in case.

Anyway, here is chapter 4 of population control, I hope you’ll enjoy it!


Chapter 4: Resting day and lucrative experiments

Oh, Sunday. How I’ve longed for you.

I wasn’t waiting for this particular sunday with a red circle on my calendar or anything. I was just waiting for the day I could take a break from work. And after 20 days, it’s finally here. There have been some complications on the way, no doubt, but today, I’m going to rest my mind until I’ve had enough.

However, there are a some things I have to take care of.

It’s troublesome, but I have to check the ability that that guy gave me, see how it works, and think about how I should use it. The first issue is what I look like when I use it.

I’ve already experienced for myself the effect that using the ability has on my motor functions, but I didn’t stop to think of what that made me look like from the perspective of other people. According to Hatori, yesterday, in the middle of work, my eyes suddenly turned at a weird angle, and I just stayed that way with my mouth half open for quite a while. He said it was not a pleasant sight.

If it affects my appearance that much, then I probably can’t use it near other people.

…Not much I can do about it. I guess I’ll give it some more thought once I get a little more familiar with this ability. In the meantime, I’ll just avoid using it in public.

Next, I need to give a name to this ability. Naming is the first step of human thought. When we’re faced with any matter or phenomenon, we first have to name it so we can proceed forward. That’s all there is to it. Nothing else.

First, I’ll refer to the group of methods and parameters that comes out for each target object as a ‘Registry’. I don’t feel too good for coming up with that.

And I’ve decided to call the ability itself ‘Regedit’.

I rolled around on my bed, cringing at my immature idea of a name, but after a full minute of that, I laughed a bit at myself and came back to my senses. I’ll be alright. I have a strong mind.

Anyway, now that I’ve found a name, this is officially a full fledged cheat ability. Next, I have to find it a meaningful use. For instance, can I use it to make money?

I believe if you drop big responsibilities on someone and expect great achievements of them, you better have equally great rewards for them. That’s the type of guy I am. I’m not going to hesitate for a second to abuse my ability.

Granted I have yet to achieve anything in particular, but it’s still hard to bear the weight of these responsibilities. More importantly, that guy said I’m the only one who’ll be working on reducing the population, with no competition, so my achievements will eventually come along… Probably. No, definitely.

For a little while after, I pondered on how I could effectively use my ability, ‘Regedit’, for my personal use. But it’s not that easy to come up with ideas for this. I’ve read many different transmigration, reincarnation, isekai novels, but that alone won’t help since I never thought that I would actually be able to use a cheat ability myself one day.

“Right now, I need to pick a target.”

Looking around my room, there was a mug gathering dust on my PC desk. It was a ceramic mug, with a humorous, cartoonish drawing of a rabbit; one of those Chōjū-giga pictures. This is just a random cup that used to be on my desk at work, but then this and that happened, the company notified us that we should keep our personal belongings at home, and it ended up at my place.

I tried checking the mug’s registry as a test. It looks like it’s mostly made of Silica dioxide and aluminum oxide. There are also a lot of magnesium, potassium and calcium oxides among its components.

“Alright, I’ll change its composition.”

I decided to experiment to see if I could modify the mug’s components. For now, I’ll try to turn it into gold.

I probably had a ridiculous expression through the whole process, and by the end of it, my limbs felt sluggish and I had cramps in my neck, but the normal mug covered in dust had turned into a golden mug… covered in dust.

It’s a success!

With this, I won’t have money problems for the rest of my life. I won’t have to fight late at night with the neighborhood’s students at the supermarket to get a bento box at half price. I no longer have to walk miles away just to find a supermarket that accepts my coupons.

Well, as an AI engineer who works overtime hours like a moron, I get quite a good salary. That being said, I also happen to be a no good fool who spends a big chunk of said salary on gacha games, so I’m always running out of money.

But I no longer have to be afraid of that. I can play my gacha games as much as I want.

If a friend or anyone else had witnessed this incredible feat, they’d have probably told me that, besides playing gacha games, this was also my chance to quit my company and to no longer have to deal with those overtime death marches.
Personally, I only came to that realization later in the evening, after I heard the price that a gold dealer in Okachimachi offered for my dusty mug.

But how many times will this method work?

I didn’t think far enough. I know too little to do this.
If a man close to his thirties like me started selling one golden mug after the other, he’d probably soon be noticed by the tax authorities. Switching between stores wouldn’t help either since the name on the receipts would still be mine. And there is no way I could deceive the tax authorities with my amateurish, superficial knowledge of this field.

Even if I just pick some stones in the area and turn them into gold, I’d eventually have to say where I found them, in which case, most of the revenue would end up in the pockets of the landowner. Plus the whole neighborhood would start looking for gold everywhere afterwards.

I don’t want anything to do with that kind of trouble. I’ll have to be more careful with my actions from now on.

Now that I think about it, most heroes hide their identities. If they didn’t, they would have to respond to an awful lot of interviews, demands to deal with this or that monster, or property damage charges.
Hiding is a wise choice. Now that I have an extraordinary ability, I better do the same.

On my way back home, I bought a set of 1-million yen Tokyo lottery tickets at a lottery counter in front of the Akihabara station.
After sitting on a park bench, I opened the registry of the set, where I found many parameters, such as each individual ticket(s chance of being a winning ticket etc… For now, I decided to rewrite the probability of there being a first-prize ticket in the set as 100%.

And just like that, my sunday is already basically over. Damn it all.

Far from resting until I’ve had enough like I initially planned, most of my time today went into checking my Regedit.

My only consolation is that I’ll probably be getting a million yen three weeks from now. I’ve also made 1.68 million yen from the mug. This is a great gain for me, but I don’t want to keep that kind of easy money to myself. I’d rather return it to the people, let it flow back in society. That’s my personal policy.

“…So, should I invite Hattori to get some fancy Yakiniku?”

I called Hattori and asked him “Wanna come to a high class yakiniku place in Akihabara with me? It’s my treat.”
Hattori is single and lives in a rented studio in Akihabara, I knew it wouldn’t take him long to join me.
When I called him, he didn’t think for a second before giving me the ok. Armed with his bicycle, he came at top speed to the place we agreed on: The Mansei bridge.

“Alright, let’s go.”

There is a famous, high-class yakiniku place very close to the Mansei bridge. As we aren’t familiar with these kinds of places, we awkwardly sat down on their extravagant chairs, and ordered draft beers.

“You sure gave it your all to come here. Look at you, you’re drenched in sweat.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve last had yakiniku. I rushed to you as fast as I could.”

When our beers arrived, Hattori was still catching his breath. Using my Regedit is kind of like riding a bicycle, sure, but the aftermath doesn’t look quite the same.
While I was thinking about these things, I was staring right at Hattori’s face. We should be tired of seeing each other after working together with no breaks over such a long period, but I’m unexpectedly fine with meeting him during my breaks. I just don’t get fed up with him. It’s a mystery.

“But what happened, mister Kageyama? It’s not like you to get something extravagant like yakiniku. Especially in such an expensive place.”

Hattori edged closer to me as he said so. I wondered if he figured something out, but I hid that thought behind a simple smile.

“Well, that’s because I made a fortune on horse racing. I had my pockets full, so I figured I’d celebrate, but I couldn’t bring myself to go to a yakiniku place on my own. So I brought you to keep me company. Hahaha.”

This is a lie I thought of earlier. Hattori’s eyes were round with amazement but he didn’t doubt my words at all.

Sorry, Hattori. The truth is much bigger than you think, but I can’t say it. How could I ever tell you that?

“That’s amazing! How much did you win? Please share half with me!”

“Let me stop you right there with the requests and questions. Rather than that, how about your just order something for now? Go ahead, come on.”

“Why be stingy with that kind of easy money?! You should use it all!”

After looking through the menu with sparkling eyes, Hattori called a waitress to make his order.

“Hmm, so, please give us two servings of skirt steak, two servings of cucumber kimchi, and four servings of beef top sirloin, baby back ribs, upper tongue, upper rumen, and top round roast.”

“You know, you could hold back a little… Fine, whatever. Let’s drink to the end of our death march.”

“Cheers!”

My sunday night ended on a good note; with me eating delicious meat and sharing laughs with my junior. Thanks to this, my melancholy from earlier completely vanished, like it was never there to begin with.

It seems like the meat we ordered was branded beef from A4 or A5 wagyu beef cattle. My golden mug’s handle’s worth of money ended up in our stomachs.

When he saw the amount we had to pay, Hattori became blue in the face, but once I showed him my thick wallet that had grown many sizes thanks to my mug, he felt relieved enough for his usual squirrel-like smile to come back.

Once we left, he told me he’d try his hand at horse racing, too, and with these parting words, he dashingly pedalled into the night and vanished under the neon lights of Akihabara.

Meanwhile, the grilled meat was giving my stomach an unexpectedly hard time. When I was young, I could never have my fill of yakiniku meat, but it’s apparently no longer case. Is it because I’m tired from all the work I’ve been doing lately? ….Or is it because of my age?

On my way back home, inside a train on the Toei Shinjuku Line, I thought of something I have yet to do with my ‘Regedit’.

That’s right. I have to try rewriting the registry of a living being, or to be more precise, the registry of a human.


Translator’s note: If you don’t know what Yakiniku is, it’s basically grilled meat that’s barbecued on the spot, in front of you. Usually, it’s pretty expensive, and you share it together with your friends or family.

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