(TL: *Random Panting Sounds* Alright, SaltAndVinegar, WWL is done. To everyone else, I don’t really want to start a new Sevens Chapter because ToS releases on the 29th, so it’ll inevitably be left on a cliffhanger for a while. I’ll need about a week to find a balance between school, translation… and ToS)
TEORA 2: Ah, Yes
Together with the girl, who had named herself as Mayuzumi Maki, Neito headed for the employment interview meeting hall of the Evil Organization Metallica.
“… Hey, um…”
The situation was just too strange, and he couldn’t help but open his mouth.
“? What is it?”
Maki tilted her head a bit to the side.
Don’t you find it strange Metallica is conducting an interview in such a normal business district?
In the first place, should they really be putting out help-wanted ads like a standard corporation?
I was tested online, but you said something about a preliminary examination in America right? And also… what exactly are you supposed to do after joining an Evil Organization?
He had too many things to ask, that on the contrary, the words wouldn’t come out at all.
“Ah~ no, it’s nothing.”
“? Oh, you’re nervous, aren’t you! That’s alright… I’m the same. Let’s do our best.”
Likely misunderstanding something, Maki made a clenched fist, and held it up in an encouraging pose.
“Ah, yes. You’re right.”
He could only answer as such. And he headed into the building set for the examination. A normal building on a normal street. Metallica LLC wasn’t written anywhere on it.
But he noticed one peculiar thing about it. While it was a weekday in a standard office district, there was no one around but Maki.
Strange. That was quite clearly strange.
When he entered the building, there was an arrow guiding to ‘M Corp’s’ employment examination. The clean and tidy office was the very definition of a major corporation.
After showing the receptionist-esque person the admission ticket and proper identification papers, they were let through to the waiting room.
By the way, the receptionist was, for argument’s sake, a large breasted older woman.
On her chest area was a stylized name tag. It was enclosed by a flower-like design with wings, making it look like quite an official company badge.
The woman smiled, and spoke.
“Welcome to Metallica. Please do your best in today’s examination. We’re always waiting for comrades to fight alongside us.”
The waiting room was already filled with several tens of people.
Neito himself had just become twenty, but the rest were quite varied.
A gangster-ish old man who clearly didn’t come from a respectable business.
A punk rocker whose ears were pierced wherever space would permit.
An intelligent-looking young man in glasses.
A skin headed giant noticeably a foreigner.
A young handsome man who could pull off quite a dashing suit.
“Yeah, I’m done.”
He whispered that quietly. Perhaps it was shock, or maybe something else.
He decided not to make remarks on any of the finer details. While he didn’t really get what was going on, at the very least, he knew that some sort of interviewing was going to be going on for some sort of corporation.
He had thought it would be a joke. But a little, in just a very small part of his mind, he did consider that it was the real deal. That’s why he had come all the way here. In that case, shouldn’t the current situation have been just as he had hoped for?
It was his chance to escape NEET life. The income was also quite nice.
Of course it was. Can you not call this a first-rate business known worldwide as best in the field?
It’s a little questionable with it being an Evil Organization and all, but it’s not likely to get any worse than this. Probably.
Hey, I’m home~ Daddy’s home.
Oh my, welcome home dear. How was work today?
No~ well, we were doing a little bit of demolition around the prime minister’s office, and it was quite a hard job, you see. Well, I can’t go against the department chief’s orders after all.
Right. That must have been tough. The bath’s been drawn already, if you want to use it.
D-dad, welcome home~ um, you see! Next birthday, I want a PS4!
(TL: This was released before PS4 was, as in this being a vision of the future)
Yeah~. How about that. I’ll get a bonus if the Oceania oppression plan succeeds, so I’ll consider it.
Wow! Yay! It’s a home run!
Hahaha, ya’ little squirt.
It’s not like he wasn’t able to fathom such a household situation.
Neito thought about it, and decided to spend his day on the first examination.
The morning was occupied by a written exam. He was first put to solving mathematical puzzles, of which he couldn’t really do. Next he was to read a text, and give his answers to word problems.
Fitting of an evil organization, the contents were all over the place. Something like this even popped up.
Circumstance has led to you fighting with a heavyweight boxing champion in the room pictured below. How would you carry out this battle? Please look closely at the picture. But please understand that if the champion has not been killed, you will die.
The picture contained a man of color absolutely brimming with motivation, and behind him were machine guns and knives, and various other things that could be used as weapons. Yep.
He answered it as follows.
The probability of victory is low, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to run, so I’ll give up. Because no matter what I try, one hit, and it’ll be down for me, and I won’t be able to stand for a while. So for now let’s count that bout in the room my loss. Then the next day, use the cover of night, or poison to kill him off.
Now I understand that may not really answer the question. Perhaps the champion has to be beaten in that room for it to count. But look here, if a killing match took place in that specific room, then I’m definitely going to be the one dead. So there’s no helping it.
When it all comes down to it, isn’t it fine as long as the champion is dead in the end?
The questions were all like that.
He had no idea how he was doing on those ones, but he just wrote down whatever came to mind, and filled them all in.
Next was the interview. It was a group interview, it seems, and he was set to wait in the waiting room a while. There, he managed to get a seat beside Maki.
Yeah~. I have to say something, don’t I. The reason such thoughts came to mind was because it had been quite a while since Neito had last conversed with a woman, and it goes without saying he sucked at it.
This is bad. What do I do? She isn’t reviewing or anything, and she’s just sitting and sipping tea with an uneasy face as she waits her turn. Is it that, you know that, she wants to hear something considerate. I… I have to think of that something first…! I don’t think I’m hated yet! If I give her a good impression of myself here, then maybe…!
“M-Mayuzumi-san! I-I don’t think yyyyyou have to be so nervous!”
The voice he finally got out had completely turned coat on him.
Maki opened her eyes wide, and after a while…
“… Pwa, ahahahaha. Aren’t you the nervous one here, Komori-san? That was quite a voice you put out there, you know?”
Bitch, do you know how hard I worked to put out the voice you laughed at…
Wasn’t on Neito’s mind at all. From his point of view, that was a successful conversation in itself. He had gotten her to smile, so he was satisfied for the time being.
“No… well… yes, I’m also nervous, but…”
“Yeah. I am as well… but thank you! Because of that, I think I’ve calmed down a little. Let’s do our best.”
When she said that, his spine suddenly straightened. Small as she was, she gave off quite a dignified air.
“Ah, come to think of it, I’d prefer it you called me Maki. I’m not that used to people calling out my surname.”
Oh, if it’s that pattern, then the response is…
“U~m… un derstood. Maki-san. Then I’m fine with Neito as well.”
“NEET? … That’s quite a strange name you have.”
“O-of course. It was a joke. I knew that already, okay?”
Her face was a little pink. Yeah~. How nice. Neito couldn’t help but think that. At that moment, the door opened, and a person that looked to be a Metallica staff member called out.
“Komori-san, Mayuzumi-san, Ikeno-san, Suzuki-san, Smith-san, please step in.”
It seems the time had come. Come to think of it, he was still in the middle of an evil organization’s exam, wasn’t he?
Maki gave a spirit-full reply as she stood from her seat.
“I hope we pass together!”
The girl said that with straight-forward eyes. Now if I just think of this as an airline or media company, and think of this exam as something perfectly normal, then…
For now, that’s all he could answer.
The interview hall had two middle-aged men, one elderly man, and one woman. They were probably on management.
Of the men, one was wearing a lab coat-ish uniform and an eye patch. Perhaps he was representing the mad scientist side of things.
The other middle-aged one was in good physical shape, with his long hair tied up behind. A trench coat, and even gloves. Was he a fighter?
The old man had white hair, and it was as if he was audibly giving off the aura of a mild mannered grandfather. Is he a bigshot? No, is he purposely misleading?
For some odd reason, the woman looked like a sexualized secretary.
Neito had never undergone an interview, even for part-time work. HE couldn’t help but feel nervous.
By the time it had started, he couldn’t tell what was going where. It took all his might for him just to listen to the exchanges of the other interviewees.
“Ikeno-san, would you please state your aspirations in entering our company?”
It seems that handsome one’s going first. Do even evil organizations respect them? His head turned around such pointless things, as the man called Ikeno fluidly gave his reply.
“Yes! As long as I can remember, I’ve held interest in your organization’s business policy! While working in an industry with much competition, you have continued to be the top of the market since your founding, and I’d very much like to partake in that vigor! While the goal of world domination may be a grand and distant one, I think the profits that can be reaped from the processes now will prove necessary for your company when it comes time for the twenty second century. I wish to apply to become a part of that driving force for the future!”
Oy, oy, what the hell.
“I see. You have quite some motivation there. Then please state your PR and the department you’re hoping to enlist in.”
“Yes! In my father’s company, I’ve worked in France from a young… (text omitted) where I went to college overseas, and majored in modern warfare (text omitted), and in my high school years, I went to the nationals for kendo, and…”
The self-advertisement continued.
Is that guy for real? Neito found himself on the verge of clicking his tongue. So he’s a rich kid from a nice place, handsome, a sportsman, and a scholar? Go die. Why the hell are you applying to Metallica? Go apply to an advertising firm already.
“I plan to contribute no matter what department I’m stationed in, but I want to join the planning department to draft up invasion plans involving mysterious creatures!”
Oh~ I see. Now isn’t that nice. Go die.
Ikeno finished talking, and next up was Maki’s turn.
“I want to triumph over your industry’s rival-like existence, the Rocks. I wanted to aid whatever plans you have against them, and that is why I have applied.”
Rocks… ah, those heroes, right. She sure is a strange one. Aren’t heroes supposed to be everyone’s aspirations? She’s cute, but as I thought, she’s a bit strange. I mean of course she is. She’s applying to an Evil Organization after all.
“I skipped grades, and graduated from America’s MIT, and I hold two PhDs. I think I will be useful to the maintenance and improvement of your company’s resident mysterious creatures.”
But she sure is cute~. And smart too. Amazing. Even so, cute.
In a situation so far-removed from reality, all little Neito could do was send his mind to some far-off land.
“Well then, Komori Neito-san. Please state your reasons for applying.”
He was suddenly snapped back to reality. His first interview. A large company, and evil at that. The expansive personal records of the other candidates. While he was a timid and incompetent NEET. All the conditions were assembled for well-deserved panic.
“I was d-deeply impressed by your company’s ideals…”
“And of what ideals do you speak of?”
“That is, um… well…”
“Do you have a hobby or specialty?”
“… My hobby is the internet, and specialty… well… I’m level three at the abacus.”
“… I see. That’s enough.”
It’s all over. It wasn’t just Neito, the other applicants thought the same.
Maki was taking some fleeting glances at him, and Ikeno was enduring his urge to grin.
Yep. Interview over. Even for evil organizations, finding a job is hard if it’s a major enterprise.
In the first place, me being here was already out of place. Yes, let’s just have some curry on the way home. It was at the moment when Neito had finished changing his train of thought.
The old man who had remained silent up to now opened his mouth.
“I believe you came from the public offering, right?”
The old man’s question seemed to generate quite a stir.
The public offering likely meant that website. Based on his way of speech, that meant the others present were different. And based on this clamor, that must be quite a strange thing.
“I saw it on the net… and…”
“I see, I see. Then I have my own question for you.”
The old man’s words were gentle and kind. As if to put you at ease as you listened to them. But that in itself was scary.
“You want to change the world. You answered that online, did you not?”
The words not coming out, Neito could only nod.
“You want to change the world. Even if that means to destroy the current one?”
? This man sure says some strange things. Now isn’t that obvious. Damn realers, damn conglomerates, damn elites, damn handsome guys. Each and everyone one of them can go get Hyahhah’d and drop dead. After a little while, Neito gave his answer.
(TL: The term go get Hyahhah’d, refers to the standard laughing sound thugs in the wasteland make before they meet, and try to fight a certain master of the Hokuto Shinken. I really don’t know how to translate this one.)
Maki felt a little relieved as her turn to speak game to an end.
But that feeling was quite a fleeting one indeed.
The boy she had just met today, Neito-kun.
The responses he gave were simply too terrible. To be blunt here, he didn’t look like someone who should be there to take the Metallica exam at all. An exam outside the knowledge of the common man, and where only the greatest of elites in every field and other special people were offered listings. It’s not like she was looking down on him, she just found it all quite strange.
As his interview continued to go downhill, she struggled to contain her restlessness.
But after that, she found herself a little surprised. Of all things, he had passed the public offering’s criteria, and come all the way to the final interview point. She had heard of it in rumor. That unlike those that had to take a number of difficult examinations to reach this stage, there was an unspecified number targeted online that could take a back-door route.
What was needed to find the public offering was a large amount of luck. And to pass the public examination, it seems there was but a single quality that had to be in abundance. There was only ever a single person to be chosen through the public offering. This is only the talk of rumor, but the online examination was said to be one personally written by Metallica’s big boss.
Just a single quality. Evil. That was all.
Neito didn’t look like a villain. If she had to say, he was reserved, and shy, and a little awkward. That’s how she had been looking at him, and she did have a bit of a favorable impression
So learning he had passed the public offering evaluation, and come all the way here was truly a surprise.
After that, the only elderly person in the room asked Neito his question.
If he wanted to change the world, even if it meant destroying the current one.
Maki felt a shiver run down her spine as she heard the interviewer’s question.
Everyone out there had their own dissatisfactions with the world. Doesn’t that mean they want to change it to some extent?
But even at the cost of the current world? Was there anyone out there who could give an immediate reply from the bottom of their hearts?
It was something different than just answering everyone should die! With lighthearted feeling. Right?
The old man interviewer’s voice had something in it that drew out the true intentions of its listeners. She knew Neito wouldn’t tell a lie.
Even if Maki had been given the very same question, she thought that she would have to answer, ‘I don’t know.’
Ikeno san sitting beside her would likely answer, ‘of course,’ with it being an interview and all. Or so he’d try, but with this amount of pressure, she doubted he’d be able to say anything at all.
Neito-kun… Even with it being her interview as well, Maki ended up looking his way.
He raised his face, and answered. Much too plainly, too naturally.
And at that moment, his expression was simply too natural. But around the boy who looked a little unreliable, for just a brief moment, she thought she saw a jet black flame. It was weak, and faint, but definitely there.
She felt she was being drawn into the depths of his eyes.
Hm… huh…? Why am I… huh?
A moment late, Maki noticed the heightened beating in her chest.
The moment the interview ended, Neito immediately went on his way home. Embarrassed, he didn’t want to remain there any longer. It’s over. I’ve failed.
At first, I thought it was a joke, or a scam of an employment exam, but for me to fail so miserably at the real thing… Anyone’d get depressed. Let’s go get that curry. He thought as he walked down the hallway.
If you call out to me, I’ll turn around. My social ability isn’t that low, though it isn’t high enough to pass interviews. He couldn’t’ help but beat himself up inside, but it’s not like Maki had done anything wrong. So while that was going on in his head, he made sure to greet her as calmly as he could.
“Good work back there… Do your best in Metallica. I’ll be cheering for you.”
When he answered like that, Maki looked down, and fidgeted. She grabbed the hem of her skirt.
? Does she have to use the restroom?
“N-Neito-san, aren’t you entering the company too…”
A kind person. Feeling Maki’s kindness, his despair and shock only increased.
Perhaps this girl would have been my coworker had I passed… he thought.
“Haha… nope, not happening. There’s no way that one would get me through.”
“Please don’t say something like that.”
Neito thought a bit. About why this person would say such things.
Ah, I see. She feels sorry because she’s the one getting the position.
Oh don’t worry~ you don’t have to pay mind to something like that. I can’t think of you as a person joining an evil organization. Please marry me.
“Then, I’ll be off.”
He felt apologetic for making her so mindful. Neito spoke curtly before walking away.
On that day, in the main underground headquarters of Metallica, a meeting was being held.
“So we can take on Ikeno-kun and Mayuzumi-san, right?”
“Right. Ikeno is qualified enough, and Mayuzumi is… cute, after all.”
“You always bring it to that. Mayuzumi-san is also more than qualified. Just look at her history.”
“Come to think of it, what are we doing about that Komori kid?”
“I mean, it’s just the standard, we deeply apologize, but we are unable to… shtick, right?”
“Ah! … What are you here?”
“Oh, I just thought I’d put my mouth into the employment meeting a bit.”
“That man called Komori. He’s quite an interesting one. You’d be hard pressed to find a loser aura of that extent. The losing team, or something like that? Right now he’s just a brat sulking at the world, but if you polish him up, you might find a gemstone in him. Can’t you put him in with respect to me?”
The meeting lasted two hours.
And another two hours after that, a single letter was delivered to Neito’s doorstep.
“How rare. Mail for me… hm… eh? Huh? Fo realz? Let’s just look over the contents again and…. Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!”
From April onwards, I’ll be an Evil Organization’s new hire.
It was a phrase that he felt would make him burst into laughter if he said it aloud, so he decided to whisper it in his heart.