Population Control – Chapter 14 (Part 1)
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.
Chapter 14 (part 1) is here!
Why only one part? Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting one chapter a week, just that I’ll post the first part on Thursdays and the second part on Saturdays/Sundays. That way there won’t be a gap of a week, and given the length of certain chapters, maybe it could help taking them in smaller doses.
Well, ultimately, it’s just an experiment.
Anyway, here’s the Chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Chapter 14: Wizard Allegations (Part 1)
Since I’m a director now, I’ve received a room fitting of my position, with transparent acrylic walls enclosing it. Being able to see the regular employees go back and forth in the corridor without having to move from my room has been a fresh experience, but recently, I’ve noticed something a bit strange.
―― Every day, the female employees keep staring at me.
Save for Ichikawa, there are three female employees working here on site, handling communications and routine tasks. They’re all around their twenties and thirties.
Am I wrong in thinking that there is something going on when there are only 4 women among the 19 employees, and all 4 of them have been paying attention to me?
One day, while I was eating lunch and writing down some things for a project, Jagoda came in my new office.
“Can I bother you for a little while?”.
Jagoda is a veteran here at the company.
He’s a cool, black man in his early forties. He has a short beard with white patches here and there, which is his most charming feature if you ask me. His voice is quite hoarse, but oddly enough, the hoarseness works for him. It makes him sound cool.
“Come in, come in. I heard your daughter caught a cold the other day, how is she doing?”
I invited Jagoda to sit on a small sofa not far from my desk, and I took a seat facing him.
“Ah, yes, my girl’s doing much better now, thank you. The medicine they brought from Japan seems to have worked well.
Speaking of girls, lately, the women around the office have been behaving unusually restless, and I’ve been wondering why.”
Jagoda looked hesitant to talk. He looked at me like even he couldn’t believe what he was about to say. After wavering for a while, he leaned forward with both elbows on his knees, and cut to the chase.
“Kageyama, are you a wizard or something?”
That’s a bit confusing. There is no way that Ichikawa told anyone about my ability, and I don’t recall ever using Regedit to do something showy so far. There is no reason why Jagoda would treat me like a wizard at this stage.
“I heard you’re around 30 but you don’t look like it. Besides, back when Ichikawa came here along with you, she definitely looked her age. Asians tend to look young, so I’d get it if you seemed to be in your mid 20’s, but right now, you both look like you’re at the second half of your teenage years.”
So that’s what this is about. So far, I’ve used the treatment four times on Ichikawa, and at this point her body is 20 years old… I’ll just say it’s make-up or something.
“There is a rumor among the women that if they do you, they might become younger again. They think that’s why Ichikawa looks young like you.”
They have keen eyes, I’ll acknowledge that, but what’s with that interpretation? They only side benefit I got was to see Ichikawa’s soft skin, but I’m afraid things never went any further. In the first place, Charlotte is still pretty young and she was staying nearby, so there is no way Ichikawa and I would have been able to do anything with each other.
“Jagoda. I don’t know about your story of wizardry and whatnot, but I have to tell you, living beings can’t become younger. Except if you count Euglena and a certain type of jellyfish.
Ichikawa only looks young thanks to some cosmetics that were sent to her from Mibu’s headquarters. Those cosmetics are still under-development, so she’s in charge of writing down and reporting their effects.”
“Oh? Really? Cosmetics?”
She did receive some samples of cosmetics from headquarters, that part’s true. Maybe she got mister Oba to pull some strings.
The rest is a lie I threw on the spot. All I hope is that it won’t come back to bite me hard later. The consequences of the lie I told about the money I made through Regedit are still fresh in my memory. I mean, it’s ultimately because of that horse-racing nonsense that I couldn’t stay in Japan…
“Yes. Japanese cosmetics are apparently considered to be incredible. Not that long ago, it was perfectly normal to see foreigners buy a whole cardboard of make-up at a store and take it with them on their way back to their countries. That must speak of the quality of the product. Then again, as a man, I can’t really tell.
Oh, by the way, how about your daughter? I can tell headquarters to send something for her in their next package.”
“Oh yeah, thanks, that would be nice. I owe you one. But really, it was just Japanese makeup in the end… I feel like I may have heard something about that before… Man, I feel bad about the nonsense I said earlier now.”
“It’s fine. All I’ll ask of you, if you don’t mind, it to please explain all that to the women in the office. Tell them I said ‘please don’t attack me’.
If they’re not convinced, tell them to look up the word “Bi-Ma-Jo” online. It stands for ‘beautiful witch’.”
“Gahaha! Not quite common to hear a man say “Please don’t attack me” to women, I must say.
Still, beautiful witch, eh… You’ve got witches walking around in Japan? Sounds like a scary place.”
“You’ve got that right. Why do you think I escaped from there and came here?”