There Was Demand For Me, The Loner, But Not For That Guy, The Boss Monkey.

“First, as it stands, it has become nearly impossible for Japan to import goods.”

“Is that because Japan went into financial collapse and the value of the yen dropped to an extremely low level?”

–And Shisae is still asking questions…….

It was almost more like a debate than a briefing.

“Yes.
Japan is financially collapsed.
No one wants the money or stocks of such a country.
Right now, countries around the world are selling the Japanese yen and stocks of Japanese companies.
The value of the Japanese yen is less than one-tenth.
In other words, a dollar's worth of goods used to cost 110 yen to import, but now it costs 1,100 yen.”

“But didn't Japan rely heavily on imports, as I recall?”

“The Japanese companies cannot import anything now, and most of the import industry is scheduled to go bankrupt by the end of the year. If the government does not set up a system whereby they can prepare and buy the goods they used to import from the government, Japan will be flooded with unemployed people.
In other words, your parents!”

With these last words filled with power, anxiety ran through the students and the entire auditorium was abuzz.

My father worked for an export-oriented company, but I was getting a little worried.

If the number of unemployed people in Japan increases, the recession would accelerate, and we might suffer the consequences.

“So, if you don't want to be a homeless high school student, you'll have to work yourself to death.
But Japan imported more than 80 trillion yen worth of goods every year.
If companies buy goods from the government, money that used to go overseas will now circulate domestically, and the government will still make money.
And if that money is allocated to the government's budget shortfall, the problem is solved.”

They said, importing something meant paying money to buy things overseas, which meant that the total amount of money in Japan would be decreased as well.

It was somewhat understandable that a decrease in imports would enrich the domestic market.

“And the following are Japan's major imports!”

Director Sayuri tapped the space on her hand, and a huge MR screen unfolded above her head.
There, Japan's import items and amounts were displayed.

Mineral fuels: Oil 9 trillion yen, Crude oil 7.3 trillion yen, Gas 5 trillion yen, Coal 4 trillion yen

Raw materials: Metal resources 4 trillion yen

Food: Agricultural products (including livestock) 5.8 trillion, Fishery products 2.7 trillion, Forestry products 1.2 trillion

Others: Clothing 3 trillion

Transportation devices: Automobiles 1.4 trillion

Electrical equipment: Communication equipment 3.1 trillion, Semiconductor and other electronic parts 2.8 trillion, Audiovisual equipment 1.2 trillion

Scientific optical equipment 1.8 trillion

General Machinery: Computer 2 trillion, Prime mover/Motor 1.3 trillion

Chemical products: Pharmaceuticals 2.7 trillion, Organic compounds 1.8 trillion

“Of these, machinery and chemical products can manage to be produced domestically.
In fact, demand for domestically produced goods will grow, and the industry will be enriched.
However, the four categories of [mineral fuels], [metal resources], [food], and [clothing] are unmanageable.
Based on that, here is a summary of the situation.”

Mineral fuels: Oil 9 trillion yen Crude oil 7.3 trillion yen, Gas 5 trillion yen, Coal 4 trillion yen

Raw materials: Metal resources 4 trillion yen

Food: Agricultural products (including livestock) 5.8 trillion, Fishery products 2.7 trillion, Forestry products 1.2 trillion 

Others: Clothing 3 trillion

“Japan lacks underground resources and is 100 percent dependent on imports for cotton.
The food self-sufficiency rate is 30 percent, and 70 percent of our food comes from imports, and crops and livestock cannot be grown overnight.”

None of this was something I could do with my teleportation.

Since I recently awakened my supernatural ability, it seemed that I would be useless.

–I dare say that I could save on transportation fuel by teleporting things, though.

“And because of frozen meat stocks, supermarket meat sections will be deserted from next month onward, and prices will jump several times.
We have to systematically pour the frozen meat we have into the market, and even then, we are not sure how much longer we can hold out.”

“Oh, I can probably do something about food.”

“Well, that was quick.
As I recall, you are Shisae Esashi, and your ability is Operation.
You control all living creatures other than humans, right?”

“Yes.
As I remember, Japan has been suffering from the destruction of fields and the environment due to the overpopulation of deer and wild boars caused by the extinction of wolves, isn't it?”

I saw that on TV before.

It was said that deer and boars, which no longer had natural enemies, were increasing without limit, ravaging fields and devouring the greenery of forests and mountains.

As I recalled, there were about 5 million deer and 1.8 million boars in Japan.

“So, we catch about half of them with Shisae's ability.
Originally, we ate deer meat and wild boar meat from the wild, right?”

“That would be nice.
Can I count on you?”

“Leave it to me ♪”

Shisae smiled brightly, putting a v sign with three fingers up to her eyes.

Her manner was very easygoing, but I would say that she was quite knowledgeable and intelligent.

–Perhaps the reason she has been asking Director Sayuri so many questions since a while ago is that she thought it would be easier to get the message across to everyone in a debate format?

Maybe I was overthinking it, but Shisae's words and actions made so much sense that I couldn't help but overthink it.

–Hm? Wait a minute.

I realized something and my mouth naturally dropped open.

“Hey, does Esashi’s ability allow her to collect only non-native species?”

“Yes, it is possible.
Shisae's ability is to control organisms within a 10-kilometer radius, but Shisae can decide which organisms to control.
By the way, I don't like it if you don't call me Shisae, you should call me Shisae.”

She was very friendly.

“Alright.
So, Director Sayuri, I think I saw on TV before that many of the non-native species that are a problem in Japan are edible, but if there is a food shortage, can't they be used as food exceptionally? Kyon, black bass, bullfrogs, etc.”

“You're right.
Let's contact the Ministry of the Environment.
If the non-native species disappear, we can save the budget for environmental measures.
Ikuo Okui, use your teleport to teleport Shisae all over Japan.”

“What!? Ikuo, you are a teleporter!? I've never seen or heard of it before! After school, both of us should go on a trip to the local area!”

“A trip huh?”

She was a little more aggressive.

On the other hand, I was relieved that I could be of some use.

–But, she said that she never heard of a teleporter before.

Teleporter was a rather common ability in fiction, but not in real life.
Maybe I became the first teleporter in the history of the world?

After that, hands were raised one after another, and everyone proposed solutions based on their own abilities.

Director Sayuri summarized them and quickly tapped the space in front of her.

“How impressive.
Everyone is skillfully handling their own abilities.
Now, let's see if I can summarize everyone's opinions.
It’s like this.”

 

·         Mineral fuel and metal resources

 

Search for undiscovered mineral veins by detection. The topography should be manipulated to excavate them.

 

·         Food

 

Collect wild animals using Operation. Develop farmland through psychokinesis. Increase the growth of crops through plant manipulation.

 

·         Forest products (other than food)

 

For wood, domestic cedar trees will be cut and dried instantaneously by moisture manipulation to produce the woods.

 

·         Medical supplies

 

Until a mass production system for domestic products is in place, we will dispatch people with healing abilities to hospitals around the country. Dispatch personnel with the ability to accelerate chemical reactions to factories to support the production of pharmaceuticals.

 

·         Tax Reduction

 

Reduce the cost of police investigations by solving crimes with detection, psychometry, and psychic photography. Reduce environmental costs by collecting non-native organisms with operation ability.

“Everyone, please gather in your respective abilities for a detailed explanation of your tasks in the other room.”

Then, Director Sayuri assigned everyone to a metal group, fuel group, food group, etc., and everyone moved to their seats or gathered in front of the stage.

Uchimine was assigned to the metal group, Koimai to the police group, and Shisae and I to the food group.

However, a good number of students, including Bando, were not called at all.

“The metal team will be in conference room 1, the fuel team in conference room 2, and then—“

“Wait a minute, Director Sayuri!”

Bando, who was sitting in the front row, stood up and shouted aloud.

“What is it, Ryogo Bando?”

“Why, no, what are we going to do?”

To the exasperated Bando, Director Sayuri calmly replied.

“The ones I haven't called in yet are all combat-oriented people, including you.
We are planning to offer you and the others jobs as bodyguards for important people.”

“Bodyguard? Ah, yes, you mean SPs.” (Security Police)

Instantly, Bando was in a better mood and straightened the collar of his uniform.

He then turned his smug face toward me as we gathered in front of the stage.

“Okui, I'm going to work on national affairs with the important people, and you're going to procure food for us.
Be careful of insects in the mountains.”

It was a roundabout sarcasm.

Bando was telling me that while he was in the city interacting with the upper class, I would be in the countryside, covered in dirt, dealing with deer and wild boars.

“I'm sure you'll be happy, Ikuo-chan.
While that scoundrel wig is having a good time with the old people's association, Ikuo-chan will be touring the country with this lovely Shisae ♪”

Frankly hugging my neck with her slender arms, Shisae gave me a quick thumbs up and a wink.

“How can you be so frank with a boy you've never met before?”

“Ikuo-chan, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a friend begins with a first meeting.”

“Then let's take the first step.”

“Tah-ha! Ikuo-chan is so harsh with his tsukkomi!”

“Why are you so happy?”[1]

Although she was a so-called albino who had no pigmentation, with her hair and skin a fragile white and her eyes a divine crimson, Shisae was as high-spirited as a comic comedian.

“Due to the nature of the job, those who are assigned to protect important persons are required to undergo psychometric testing as part of their psychiatric examination.”

At a single word from Director Sayuri, the expressions on the faces of Bando and the other combat-oriented abilities froze.

They had all been as proud as Bando a moment ago, but now their faces were wandering in different directions as if they were feeling bad about something.

“Why do we have to do that? Wouldn't it be better to just have a normal meeting with a psychiatrist?”

“What are you talking about? Wouldn't psychometry be more reliable? We can't have a person with combat-related abilities and a history of violent acts on the side of important people.
If you don't take a psychometric test, we can't offer you a job as a VIP bodyguard.”

“Huh, then, isn't there any work for the Self-Defense Forces or the police? To be honest, those criminals are nothing to look at.
If you want, you could form a special unit just for people with abilities.”

At Bando's suggestion, the other combat-oriented abilities were also agreed upon.

However, Director Sayuri returned with an indifferent, nonchalant attitude.

“You guys are not strong enough.”

“Huh?”

“It's not a manga or an anime.
It’s useless and inconvenient for supernatural forces.”

Bando, who had been cut off in a curt dismissive manner, made a forced, amiable smile, while his cheeks twitched.

“W-what are you talking about? I am the strongest ice user called the Ice Emperor. There are not many people who can beat me, even those with the same ability.”

“Is your ice kinesis stronger or more defensible than machine guns, rocket launchers, stinger missiles, tanks, fighter jets, fighter helicopters, and their main guns and missiles?”

“What!? That’s…”

“To become a police officer, one must learn, memorize, and train at the police academy on the law and how to properly handle each case before they can be used in the field.
In the first place, the job of the police is to solve cases, and only a small part of their work involves combatting thugs.
Even then, there are special forces such as riot police and SAT.
There is no place for students with powers such as manipulating ice and fire.”

“Then why does it have to be a VIP bodyguard?”

“It's just for publicity.”

“Publicity”

“That's right.
Combat-oriented abilities are flashy to look at.
It would be a good deterrent.”

“But there's something else, isn't there? My ice kinesis allows me to freely and instantaneously create and manipulate ice at any time!”

Gradually, Bando's voice was filled with anger, his vocabulary became rougher, and the plaster of the honor student was peeled away.

As if she was looking down on Bando, Director Sayuri's gaze turned cold and her voice became bleached and cold.

“We always have ice machines on worksites where ice is needed.
It would be inefficient to call you every time ice is needed.
Or are you going to be on the worksite all day?”

Bando couldn’t say anything.

“It’s wonderful that you and other people with supernatural powers can do things with only their own bodies, regardless of the time and place.
However, their greatest weakness is that they can only be used when they are present.
Unfortunately, if they are going to keep you on the worksite, it would be better to have an ice machine.
As for the other abilities, the electric and flame abilities can save electricity and gas at the household level, but it would be difficult for them to be useful in a power plant.
I intend to solicit companies that want them in the future, but the only job I can place them in right now is as VIPs' bodyguards.”

“….”

Bando sat down in his chair with a mixed expression of anger and despair and slumped down to escape reality.

“I don't get an assignment? Even Okui is in the project, but I'm not a part of it? This is ridiculous…….”

After he said that in a stifled voice, Bando glared at me with an upward glance.

I felt uncomfortable with his gaze and turned my face away.

As if Bando was not there, some of the combat-oriented people walked past him and came forward.

Unlike Bando, they must have confidence in their own deeds.

That alone made me feel positive that they were good people.

But many students, perhaps because they had something to feel guilty about, remained seated, shying away from the psychometric examination.

“The food group will now move to the second conference room.”

“Come on, Ikuo-chan, let's get going.”

“R-right.”

Shisae pulled my shoulder in a friendly manner and smiled nictitatively.

I ran away from the auditorium and from Bando, trying to go with the flow she made.

 TN:[1]: I too, don't understand that conversation lol.
Here's the raw:

「お前は初対面の男子相手によくもまぁそこまで気さくにやれるな」
「イクオちゃん、千里の道も一歩から、ズッ友も初対面からっすよ」
「じゃあ一歩目を刻めよ」
「たっはー! イクオちゃんツッコみ厳しいっす!」
「なんで喜んでいるんだよ」

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