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, I hope you’re doing alright!
Sorry for not posting a chapter last week, I was unfortunately too busy.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Chapter 20: The right property (Part 1)
After driving for quite a long time, we finally arrived at Foster city.
We temporarily left the car at a local supermarket’s parking lot to give our sore backs and shoulders a well deserved break.
We then went to have a lie down near a lake at a flourishing public park not far from there.
The fresh breeze blowing on the lakeside and the greenery all around were a healing combination for my nerves and fatigue.
Hearing the sound of airplanes flying far too low, and looking at lines of ducks moving together all the while hummingbirds were drinking on the nectar of some flowers, I felt like forgetting all about my mission to reduce the population.
But I’m well aware this isn’t something I’ll be able to forget easily.
Recently, it’s become a habit for me to think of plans to kill large numbers of people, while not affecting good people if possible. This is always in a corner of my mind.
I haven’t told Ichikawa that the reason behind the many things I do is to reduce the population of the planet.
Instead, I made up a much cooler objective, claiming that “I want to create an advanced nation in Africa at the level of the G7’s countries, through my own hands and talent”.
Ichikawa seems half-aware that that’s a lie, but she’s still sticking with me for various reasons, like the money, the rejuvenation, and probably the daily fun of it. Thanks a lot, Ichikawa.
“Oh hey, mister Kageyama!”
That was Tyler.
It seems he got here a step ahead of us because he traveled directly by airplane.
Having probably seen us enter the park, he came at us waving his hand.
Wait, I don’t recall planning a meeting here…
“Hey there, Tyler. You did well finding us.”
“That’s my line, mister Kageyama. How did you find out I was here?”
Now that I think about it, Tyler did tell me to call him when I came around the area.
I just dozed off while appreciating the scenery and forgot about that.
I must be a pretty troublesome client to work with.
“This is the office I wanted to show you.”
Tyler pointed his finger in the direction of the parking lot we left the car in.
The property that he wanted us to see was apparently in a building right next to the supermarket.
With the greenery of the park under it and the blue sky of California above, the chalk-like white color of the towered building made for a nice contrast… Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it looked cool, is my point.
Blue white green, it’s like a FamilyMart… Except the green is on top in those stores.
“A game company used to have its office there not so long again, but it apparently became too small for them so they moved out. Thanks to that, the third floor is open now.
What do you think? You’ll be five minutes away from the station by car, and 30 minutes away from the airport, too. You can move in right away, if you want. I’ll add that it’s a one-minute walk away from a great Chinese place where you can go for Dim Sum.”
“What do we do about the electricity, internet, water, and such?”
“Please leave that to us. We haven’t decided on when you’ll be moving your office in yet, but when you’ll happen to need these sorts of things, they will be ready for use.”
This concluded the opening of our US office and bank account.
Our cooperation with Tyler and Olaf was only limited to the US, but we still signed a personal advisor contract with them and gave them a certain amount of money to maintain a good relationship in the future.
This trip to the US has helped me understand and appreciate the worth of having the solid support of specialists.
After signing some paperwork and having a quick meeting with a real estate agent, I transferred 285.49 millions of the 288 millions I won at the lottery to my US bank account.
The rest of the money went to pay for our hotel stay, our car rental, the lawyers’ firm, as well as two years’ worth of rent for the new office.
That felt like a lot, but it’s not like I went on a spending spree. These were all necessary expenses. Definitely.
After that, 4 individuals in total showed up at our hotel, representing rich people who wanted to buy the Benitoite, but I politely refused.
It already belonged to Ichikawa, after all.
I figured there was no need to bother with gift taxes and whatnot since the gemstone was technically worthless, so I just straight up gave it to her. What she does with it afterwards is her problem.
I mean, 2 carats of Benitoite can easily sell for 1 million yen. Even after being cut, the whole gemstone would weigh 1500 carats, which would be worth 750 million yen. But the offers she’d be getting would probably be around 100 million yen instead. Considering the rarity of such a big piece, I think it should actually be worth something like 4 billion yen, however…
‘You have nothing to lose so let me buy it from you for dirt cheap’ I understand that shameless thought process, but I just can’t get behind it.
In the end, after going through many insipid experiences, Ichikawa and I left for Japan. We both had our own things to do there.
Our stay in the US lasted almost three weeks, yet there wasn’t a single day we got to enjoy ourselves. That’s how busy we were.
The coffee I drank on my way back from the US was boiled-down, just like the coffee back at Tyler’s office. Things were boiling in Nigeria, too, according to the newspaper.
I’d like to say I’m glad I’m not there, but I’m not sure I have any right to say that.
The first thing I did when I returned to Japan was to go to the training department of the labor bureau near my parents’ house to look for a place where I could learn to drive a loader.
Heavy-machinery manufacturers have made it their their duty to actively teach these sorts of things, so it’s not hard to find.
With a good training program, getting a licence to drive a shovel loader is apparently not any harder than getting a regular driver’s licence.
A licence that’s only valid in Japan isn’t particularly useful for me, but I need to study how to drive a loader for my next plan.
I’ll supplement that with a 10 days-long training course, and all that’ll be left to do will be to practice some more in Nigeria in order to get used to it.
The training is actually the most important part, more-so than the licence, but I can’t move on to that when I don’t even know how to start the vehicle’s engine.
I’ve actually always been interested in this kind of machinery.
That might be why the well organized training program felt like a breeze. By the end of it, the driving methods of the heavy machinery were drilled in my hands and brain.
While my training was ongoing, I found out in a crisis management report intended for Japanese employees working overseas that Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs had issued a recommendation to suspend all travel to Lagos right on the day I arrived in Japan.
Granted, there was always the option of telling my superior that I wouldn’t be able to return for a while from this already long business trip, but not being able to return was troublesome for me regardless.
Given the circumstances, I contacted mister Oba, and told him “I’ll have to stay in a japan for a little while, so I’ll be having email exchanges with Nigerian outsourcing companies from here.”
This way, I was able to work from home while still in Japan.
After all, even if I went to work in Mibu’s headquarters in Japan, there wouldn’t be any desk or seat for me, and if I told mister Oba that I wanted to work there, that would only have troubled him.
This was probably the right call.
Eight weeks after I left Lagos, the recommendations to suspend travel to there loosened up. Apparently, the gold we’d thrown in the river had almost run out.
Even so, there were still skirmishes in Lagos and Ijebu Igbo about money obtained from selling gold, but at this stage, people who had a good reason to go to Lagos could do so as long as they were careful.
This change came at time I was getting worried. I’d given enough money to Charlotte, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she was alright and was eating enough.
As I kept dragging my stay in Japan, such worries overthrew all other thoughts.
After returning to Lagos, I took a full 31 hours training course and obtained a licence to drive construction machines locally.