The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village:Bonus Part 2
- I drove up the mountain road.
- I found Enbi after entering a tunnel on a private road. I picked her up because I thought she might have run into some trouble.
- I heard a rumbling behind me. The tunnel collapsed, isolating us.
- No cellphone signal.
- There’s a mansion on the slope of the mountain. The two of us are headed there in the hopes of finding a landline phone.
Hayabusa: “I glossed over it as ‘picked her up’, but as soon as I called out, a brat with eyes like rusted blades suddenly hit me on the side of the head. And with the bottom of a gigantic flashlight!”
Enbi: “O-oh, c’mon. When a fragile little girl is walking along a mountain road and a strange adult calls out to her from a car, of course her self-defense instincts are going to kick in! Really, detective, you should’ve just shown me your police badge right away.”
Hayabusa: “And I also glossed over it, but the fact the Mystery Freak was walking on the mountain road alone is a pretty important point.”
Enbi: “What about you, detective? Were you there for work? Or just out for a drive?”
- A storm blew up on the way to the mansion.
- Enbi and I arrived at the mansion.
- When we knocked on the gate, a mysterious butler with a bandaged face answered.
- We were welcomed in and found an insane interior with every floor, wall, and ceiling except for the exterior walls and roof made from transparent reinforced glass.
- The mysterious butler (ha ha) and Enbi-chan know each other.
- The detective seemed to think he could use their phone. → But the black landline phone(!) isn’t working either.
- The mansion’s wife, Hoshimi Akua, is doing some remodeling even though the butler and the maid (sparkle sparkle) are trying to stop her. She was even moving the paulownia dresser. (←She’s surprisingly strong.)
Hayabusa: “Y’know… You had a tensely sour look on your face the entire time back then, but your memos are pretty cute.”
Enbi: “Well, of course! Enbi-chan is cute from head to toe! Ah, what’s that sigh for, detective!?”
Hayabusa: “And that was how we were let inside the mansion.”
Enbi: “Mhh! A-anyway, that’s the rumored Glass House. By the way, this is how it was introduced on the builder’s website.”
“A Record of Our Office’s Past Jobs (with permission from the owners, of course)”
The Natsukawa Construction Planning Office does more than just create a living space. We will meet our customer’s needs by creating custom works of spatial art that fit your personality and satisfy your heart.
When seen from outside, the Glass House high in the mountains of Western Tokyo is beautiful, but might not seem like anything special. But with the exception of the roof, external walls, and ground floor, every interior wall, floor, and ceiling are made of glass. This strange design gave physical form to our customer’s family rules and the building was thoroughly designed to satisfy that desire without neglecting the fundamentals.
Enbi: “As you can see from the fact that I was talking with the butler like normal, I had already been staying at the mansion. In other words, I wasn’t lost or stranded; I was out exploring.”
Hayabusa: “There are also a few explanations of the mansion’s layout, but that honestly doesn’t matter.”
Enbi: “Yeah, it wasn’t a case that requires knowing the layout to solve.”
Hayabusa: “And the wife’s remodeling will be more important later.”
Enbi: “Um, also note that the storm came after the tunnel collapse. In other words, it didn’t collapse due to the storm.”
- I was introduced to the mansion’s family and guests in the living room.
- Hoshimi Shuuren: 56. Male. Owner of the Glass House and a fortune teller that specializes in well-off customers.
- Hoshimi Akua: 36. Female. Shuuren’s wife. Technically a housewife, but the housework is left to the butler and maid.
- Hoshimi Dounyuu: 27. Male. Son of the Hoshimi family and another fortune teller.
- Hoshimi Kanpa: 20. Female. Daughter of the Hoshimi family and another fortune teller. Must have bad legs because she is confined to a wheelchair.
- Kariba Toga: 40. Male. The Glass House’s butler. Also the cook.
- Matsushima Ren: 22. Female. The Glass House’s maid.
- Yatsui Toshi: 72. Male. Honorary President who has left active management of the Yatsui General Trading Company.
- Matsushima Ryou: 17. Female. High school girl. Set to be the next head of Matsushima Construction, a major general contractor.
- Hatsutomo Naru: 19. Female. College girl. Illegitimate child of the president and representative director of the Hatsutomo Shinkin Bank, a major financial institution.
- Toyokawa Ryuu: 25. Male. Secretary of the president of Toyokawa Automobiles, an international car manufacturer.
Enbi: “There’s so much there it’ll make you dizzy, but you’ll be fine if you remember these three things:
“1. There’s a family of fortune tellers.
“2. People connected to major corporations are butting heads with them.
“3. The people can be divided into those from inside the mansion and those from outside.”
Hayabusa: “Well, there are also some obvious oddities. Like the age of the wife versus the age of the kids, whether someone would really come out and call themselves an illegitimate child, and why a member of the main family would be a secretary.”
- During the introductions, I learned Enbi’s family name is Hishigami.
- A stir ran through the room when Uchimaku Hayabusa said he was a police detective. Hoshimi Dounyuu was the most obviously nervous.
Enbi: “This was pretty awful too. You kept calling me a brat, but you didn’t even know my name.”
Hayabusa: “I’ll admit it was a shock. The Hishigami Group is a giant corporation with ads running everywhere on TV. They have so many affiliated companies the list just goes on and on. Although I could see why such a big name would be gathered with the others.”
“Hishigami Group Business Concept Commercial (120-second single-sponsored ad that airs nationwide Monday’s at nine)”
Many small water caltrops join together into a single large god.
That is the Hishigami Group which is an indispensable part of your life.
Our Group’s history dates back to the end of the Edo era. Our founder was the first to grasp the changes brought by the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji Restoration and began searching for a standard to be used in the coming age of interpretation.
The conglomerate was broken up after the two World Wars we survived and was reborn as a group of corporations.
We currently include 58 companies in 9 divisions and have more than 200,000 employees in all. The Hishigami Group is always opening new frontiers. Our novel and bold advances and our reliable and detailed care have established us in an excellent position internationally.
Hayabusa: “Oh, c’mon.”
Enbi: “What? Nothing good can come from a monstrous company that calls itself a god!”
Hayabusa: “And I guess I’ve got to deal with that eventually.”
Enbi: “Don’t bother! In fact, I get the feeling you’d end up as a collector of the Hishigami Women like me and my sister or end up charging down the path of an ultra-high powered harem! I don’t even want to think about a summoner detective who can call in Yume, Kuji, or Ama with his cellphone!”
Hayabusa: “Well, that can wait.”
Enbi: “Let’s get back on topic with Hoshimi Dounyuu’s suspicious behavior. He was obsessed with hunting, so he had a ton of crossbows in his room. They ranged from a giant one too big to pull the bowstring back since it didn’t use pulleys and a pistol-style one that would fit in a camera bag. He was nervous because he thought the detective might get after him for shooting empty cans in the mountain. He was of course innocent and was worried over nothing. You could say he had an imagined crime, confusingly enough.”
Hayabusa: “So you had been walking along the mountain road to investigate that, right?”
Enbi: “I was looking for evidence of a crossbow actually being used. With a planned murder, the culprit would have practiced beforehand.”
Hayabusa: “Those really are some dangerous toys, though. And to be honest, I hadn’t thought this would turn into some big case. With the walls, floors, and ceilings transparent, you couldn’t hide anything and you couldn’t secretly plan out a murder even if you had a weapon…or so I thought.”
- Yatsui Toshi and Toyokawa Ryuu seemed mistaken about something and snapped at me.
- There seems to be some kind of argument between the fortune teller family and the people connected to major corporations.
- The butler Kariba Toga and the maid Matsushima Ren know nothing about the fortune telling and can’t follow the conversation.
- Toyokawa Ryuu keeps one hand in his pocket.
- A threatening letter had arrived for Hoshimi Shuuren. The corporation side thinks Shuuren called the detective to protect himself and they’re demanding he admit to it. (Such a tense atmosphere.)
Hayabusa: “That’s the first I’ve heard of a threatening letter.”
Enbi: “Well, of course he wouldn’t say anything. He’s a fortune teller who specializes in politicians and major corporations. It would hurt his image if he couldn’t even predict an assassin rushing at him with a knife.”
Hayabusa: “That questionable fortune telling is a problem too.”
“Special Tabloid Article on the Lawsuit Ruling”
Over the holiday, a black luxury car secretly drove deep into the mountains of Western Tokyo. The car looked horribly out of place deep within the thick woods, but it was carrying Mr. A, a self-proclaimed “expert” who is well-known in the financial world.
When people think of fortune telling, they usually think of magazines and the morning talk shows, but what if there was a special service for VIPs?
This happened on the day before the infamous mistaken speculation conflict known as the Black Minutes and the miserable result of that program sale goes without saying.
What if fortune telling had been involved in that decision?
It would seem modern international incidents come from outside the Restaurants. Of course, they’re a problem no matter where they come from.
Enbi: “Basically, they created believers here and there in the political and financial worlds and controlled their clients’ actions with the results of their fortune telling. That let them manipulate stock prices all they wanted, so Madoka would probably faint if she heard about it.”
Hayabusa: “What’s the legality of that? Wouldn’t that be insider trading or spreading rumors?”
Enbi: “The important point is they were only giving fortunes, not stock information. The country’s rules say we can’t interfere with people’s religious or ideological beliefs.”
Hayabusa: “And then the corporation group stormed in, telling them to give it a rest. That’s hardly surprising since they were all working hard and then someone showed up and completely changed the GDP and international balance of payments just by muttering some mumbo jumbo over a crystal ball. We’re talking about a world that can go beyond billions and reach trillions!”
Enbi: “By the way, Enbi-chan had no interest in the Group created by the Hishigami Men. I had just slipped in because I was interested in the threatening letter.”
- Yatsui Toshi threw an ash tray in anger, but it missed its target and flew toward Enbi.
- I caught it in one hand.
- Stop that! I’m gonna fall in love! (But this is a date to remember! Memo memo.)
Hayabusa: “…Hold on.”
Hayabusa: “Didn’t you fall for me a little easily there!?”
Enbi: “Sh-shut up! Don’t underestimate a lonely girl whose scarred heart is starving for some love! Grr, grr!!”
- Hishigami literally means Walter Caltrop God.
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