I picked up the photo to take a good look at it.
At first glance, this looked like a picture of a pretty girl, but upon closer inspection, she had an angry look in her eyes, rough skin, and messy black hair. That rugged appearance gave her the presence of a wild beast rather than a normal girl.
―― Who is she?
Her name was on the documents that were joined to the photo.
Defendant: Claudia Rheinland, 18 years old(?), Occupation: unknown, Address: unknown,
【”Murder? She killed someone?”】
I looked at the picture again. The girl’s piercing glare seemed to be saying she’d be ready to take on the whole world as her enemy.
―― Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be the target of her grudge.
However, I thought.
Judging by her wild looks and the fact her address is listed as unknown, she’s most definitely a bum.
Grimberd is a sort of solitary island surrounded by steep mountains.
Thanks to those strong natural frontiers, this land has known no conflict over the last few hundred years.
But tracing back the country’s history, it’s been the target of many wars between the powerful countries surrounding it and the fuel of great bloodshed.
To avoid those sorts of altercations, Grimberd does not partake in war nowadays.
Some call it a peaceful nation, but in truth it’s a cowardly nation that stays away from war by never backing anyone.
However, this cowardliness does keep the peace and it’s what allows the nation’s economy to keep growing.
In the last decade’s war, every country, powerful or not, played at least some part. Even some peacekeeping independent organizations intervened.
The only country that did not participate is Grimberd, the neutral nation that stands for nothing outside its borders.
This neutrality comes at a price.
With time, Grimberd has become a very convenient environment for criminals and outcasts.
Refusing to take part in anything also means putting a cross on any potential cooperators who would intervene in case something happened to Grimberd.
When criminals come to Grimberd from other countries, those countries’ governments have no reason to bother cooperating with investigations or providing any information.
Therefore, criminals can take refuge here to avoid interference from other countries. Moreover, they will not be arrested nor punished by Grimberd unless they commit a crime in the country itself.
Though Grimberd is surprisingly active when it comes to cultural exchanges and trade, the nation is also very consistent about keeping the neutrality of the law and politics; they categorically refuse any interference from overseas.
A country that has chosen to isolate itself for the sake of peace.
And that’s why people like this girl show up now and then.
Bums with no known address or occupation.
No matter how many crimes they’ve committed in the past, whether they’re the worst criminals, the most heinous people, or even the demon king, they could get a clean slate here and have hope for a new life.
Not every foreigner who comes to this country has that in the mind, but you’d almost be tempted to assume that that’s the case since about 50% of our criminals come from overseas.
Even after everything they go through to come to another country, they just fall into a life of crime again.
After all, they won’t find their happiness unless they put in some effort and work on their personalities. The change of environment doesn’t matter.
Or at least, that’s what I believe. I’ve always thought and lived that way, and that’s why I never stop moving forward, no matter how bad my environment or circumstances.
【”Phew! Feels good to take a shower after so long!”】
Natasha, the director, opened the door to the bathroom and came out humming to herself.
Her blond hair was still wet and a bit covered by steam.
【”Director, what’s with the getup?”】
【”Hmm? Does it look weird?”】
I couldn’t help but stare.
Save for a white towel covering her from over her shoulders, she left her upper-body mostly exposed.
The rest wasn’t covered much better either.
Droplets of water dripped on her waist and fell on her pink short and the red ribbon on its front.
I don’t know if it was because of her proportions being too good or the fabric being too small, but the short was way too close of a fit.
【”You do realize this is a workplace, right?”】
【”So what? There is no one here.”】
【”I’m right here, aren’t I? Here, please hurry and go change yourself.”】
I threw a change of clothes, which I’d prepared beforehand, towards the director.
From way back, she always had the habit of coming out of the shower almost wearing nothing, so I have to prepare clothes for her every time.
I was surprised at first, but I’m already used to it.
【”Seriously? But that’s such a drag. Dan, how about you take care of…”】
【”Just hurry and change already.”】
I pushed the director again, to the dressing room this time, and closed the door on her.
I heard her say something like “Uh, I think I’m going to turn into an M if I keep being treated like this.” from the other side of the door, but I ignored it.
Seeing her like this, anyone would think she’s an idiot with a few screws loose.
But appearances aside, she’s a lawyer who has never known how to abandon those types of people when they need her.
I looked back at the picture on the desk.
How many times have I seen the very same lawyer who makes all those twisted jokes pull out people like that wild girl from the worst of situations?