World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 23: Planning and Pay-Off
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March 15, 2:08 pm, London, England
"I didn't know Dr. Larsson had managed to make a human chimera," said Ms. Kang, narrowing her eyes at me. I grinned in return.
"He hasn't. Yet," I said, savoring the blank look on Ms. Kang's face. Sure, she looked calm, but I had gotten to know her well enough to know she was quite confused at the moment.
We sat in silence for a while. I twirled my pen in my hand in enjoyment as I watched Ms. Kang frown slightly.
"I see..." said Ms. Kang, looking down at her tablet, as if suddenly uninterested in the question. "Then it must've been you who made the Naga..."
I dropped my pen.
Well...yes. I mean...okay sure, there was no one else who could have done it. But could you have at least let me be the one to reveal it?
"What do you plan to do with the body?" Ms. Kang continued, oblivious to (or, I was starting to suspect, ignoring) my internal agony.
I blinked. The body? Why would I do something with the body?
"It's in near perfect condition, after all. Internally, I mean," she went on. "It would be a shame to waste."
Well, when she put it like that...
"I was thinking of giving it to Dr. Larsson," I said. "He has been at a roadblock for a while...I hear he's starting to get a bit frustrated."
Ms. Kang nodded, making notes.
"Could I make a suggestion?" She said suddenly.
Ms. Kang had yet to give a bad suggestion. Why not humor her?
"I would like him to research the Naga at our Tokyo office."
"Why?" I asked, rubbing my chin thoughtfully.
"Well," Ms. Kang began, "Miss Watanabe is starting to make a move. Therefore..."
March 24, 1:10 pm, Tokyo, Japan
One week. Sakura had one week left.
She sat on a bench in the middle of the park. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining, but not too bright, with the sakura blossoms in full bloom. Sakura watched as a petal fell, her phone to her ear. She was wearing a pink floral dress with a matching bowler/cloche hat, and large sunglasses. Beside her was a large handbag. On her phone, another woman was speaking to her, but Sakura's mind was somewhere else.
She had passed by the office today; just to pick up a couple of things. She couldn't have been in there for more than five minutes.
It felt like five hours.
Everyone had been looking at her. Staring, whispering.
"That man is still here?"
"What is he..."
"Why is he-"
"What is she doing here?"
Sakura ignored them all and simply went on with her business, but she couldn't help but listening in. Ignoring all the misgendering, she pieced together that people thought she had been fired.
Sakura had no illusions as to her place in the company. She knew that management would love to be rid of her. After all, their decision to hire her had been more than reluctant.
"You said during my internship that with my qualifications at the time, I would be hired on the spot," she remembered arguing. "I have only added to them since. Could you please explain to me in what way I am lacking?"
She smiled, remembering the sour looks on the faces of those men and women when she walked into the building on her first day. Sakura had been so hopeful when she started.
No. This wasn't the time for a trip down memory lane. She still had a job to do.
One week. She only had one week left.
Sakura needed this plan to work out.
In the distance, she heard sirens, coming closer. She took a deep breath, and got into her role.
I'm just an ordinary woman, with nothing to hide, who just came across a very disturbing scene. Truly disturbing, very upsetting for a woman with as weak a constitution as I…
Sakura's breathing quickened, and she could feel herself starting to sweat. Yes, this was the effect she was going for.
Soon, she saw a police car pull up near the entrance of the park. She watched carefully, but secretly, as a uniformed officer walked up to her.
"Ms. Kaname?" He asked.
"Ah," Sakura pretended to be startled. "Y-yes."
She spoke into her phone.
"They're here. Thank you."
She hung up, and placed her phone in her bag.
"I-I', so sorry officer, it's just, I couldn't believe-"
"I understand Miss," said the taller one soothingly. "Do you think you can show us where you found the body?"
"Of course!" Sakura sprang up, still clutching her bag, as if she just remembered the fact that they were here to see a body.
"Of course, you need to inspect, how silly of me, oh my I am all over the place, please forgive me-"
The taller officer spoke some calming words, and Sakura lead them over a hill. At the foot of the hill, a river ran down towards the metropolitan area. From here, even the police officers could see what looked like a dead body, lying by the river, crimson blood staining the grass around the body.
"Th-there he is," said Sakura, body shivering. She had always been good at making her body act the way she wanted it to. Years of practice in a body she always wanted to change did that, she supposed. For her anyway.
The taller policeman seemed to notice Sakura's condition.
"Takeshi, go take a look," he said to his partner. "Let me take Miss Kaname back to the car. The ambulance will be here soon."
Officer Takeshi gave his partner a look, which the officer replied by simply gesturing to Sakura. Officer Takeshi sighed. Before he left, he raised a finger at the taller officer.
"Behave," he warned, and walked off towards the body.
"Ambulance?" said Sakura, eyes widening. "Could he still be alive?"
The officer smiled, and explained that they needed a medical professional to do a check to make sure the body was actually dead, just to be sure. Of course, Sakura already knew this, but she needed to play up her character.
She needed them to think she was small and helpless, after all.
The officer took her to his car, and let her sit in the back seat while he went to get some snacks from a vending machine. As soon as he was out of sight, Sakura took out a small microphone from her handbag and placed it underneath the driver's seat. By the time the officer came back with instant coffee, Sakura was back to playing the role of the nervous "Miss Kaname."
"Does this happen a lot?" Sakura asked, taking the coffee and taking a sip.
"No, this is quite unusual," said the officer. "But don't worry madam, we're trained to catch killers like these."
As he was speaking the ambulance pulled up behind the car. While the officer helped Sakura move over to the ambulance, an all black van with tinted windows pulled up behind them.
Her memory was right. There had been a car like that at the scene one month ago. And from it should walk out…
He was tall. Taller than Sakura remembered. His pale skin reminded her of a ghost. His hair was brown, but his eyes were startlingly black.
Sakura brought her mug to her lips as she watched him. He moved with the confiedence she was used to seeing in the more brash of her male collegues. She inferred from the way he carried himself, as well as the way his suit clung to his body, that he was the type the work out for the vanity of it. She had a feeling that if they were to talk, she would not get along with him.
He was soon followed by a woman from the driver's seat, but Sakura focused her attention on the foreigner.
"Who is that foreigner?" she asked the officer, feigning surprise as she watched him stop at the sidewalk to put on a pair of sunglasses. She almost snorted at the action; how pretentious.
For the first time, the officer seemed to be in a bad mood.
"He's not with us, he's...an advisor," he ended up saying.
"More of a specialist," he explained. "Cases like these are rare; we sometimes ask for the help of people with more experience."
"I do suppose Americans are more used to gruesome crimes like this," Sakura joked weakly.
The officer cracked a smile, then went off to assist the white guy. Sakura watched the van for a while, noting that a stretcher was pulled out from the back.
The next ten minuted was a blur of action, with people questioning Sakura about how she found the body, building a timeline.
It was all then rudely interrupted by the discovery that the body was just a very detailed mannequin.
"I am so sorry for wasting all your time!" Sakura bowed deeply as she apologized.
"It's alright ma'am," said Officer Takeshi. "Even I thought it was a real body for a few moments there."
Sakura hid her face in embarrassment, but secretly kept an eye on the foreigner. He was a distance away from everyone, on the phone. Even with the sunglasses covering half his face, Sakura could tell he was royally pissed.
Suddenly, he looked at her. Caught staring, Sakura could only look away in embarrassment.
Once everyone had left, Sakura sighed with relief, and picked up her phone. She put in earphones, and called someone. They answered on the second ring.
"Hey Sakura-tan," said a boyish voice. "So? How did it go?"
"You had the police fooled for all of about ten minutes," said Sakura.
"Oh, that's good," said the voice, surprised. "I tried a couple new things with the blood make up. I guess I'll use it for my next play then..."
"Thanks for the body too, Michi."
"I bet that's what you tell all the boys. Sorry, I mean girls."
"I'm not you, Michi."
"Wow. After I gave you my body and all.
"I managed to get what I wanted by they way. Thank you for asking," said Sakura sweetly, making a point to ignore his last innuendo.
"All of this, just to get a glimpse of a white guy," sighed Michi. "I hope he was hot at least."
"Hot; debatable," said Sakura. "Suspicious; definitely."
"What about Bunta's microphones? When am can I tell him he'll get them back?"
They chatted for a little longer, while Sakura looked at the pictures of the number plate for the van. Those didn't seem like government plates...interesting.
"I gotta go, Michi," said Sakura eventually. "Can you send me the audio files from the microphones when you get them?"
"I'll ask Bunta about it," Michi sighed. "Promise me you'll talk to him about getting into MIT?"
"It's been years, if he doesn't want to go, he doesn't want to go."
"Then convince him to get a job."
"He seems to like the convenience store fine."
"Sakura, he could hack the Pentagon if he wanted," Michi complained. "The least he could do is help me pay off the rent."
"It's not like he's your boyfriend."
"Alright, yes, fine, I'll convince him he's wasting his programming talents," Sakura sighed. She realized she had crossed a line. "Though why he'd listen to me and not you is beyond me."
Then after a moment, she added:
"Apology accepted. Oh, and just one more thing," he added. "Can you learn to text like a normal person, instead of calling me like my mother?"
Sakura hung up the phone.
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