Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
The author has deleted the novel from Syosetu completely, thus making it impossible for me to continue translating.
I have contacted him on Syosetu, and he’s responded apologizing, saying it was due to personal reasons.
It’s sad, since I really enjoyed this one…
The Storks branch manager began explaining the admission information. As one would expect from someone who climbed the corporate ladder, her report was concise and easy to understand.
Well, I didn’t listen to most of it.
As her words went in one ear and left through the other, I asked Tama and Shu to give me pointers on what to do from now on.
“The three major things that need to be resolved are the withdrawal of the lawsuit, the collection of their love letters, and you not joining Storks. Basically, we’ll leave the argumentation to you, Tsune-chan, as we provide support from the sides,” said Tama.
“Is it okay for us to do just that? Tsune-kun doesn’t seem to be that good at arguing… He won’t be able to speak well.”
Shu had great insight, as always. Truth be told, I couldn’t think straight in situations like that much less say anything due to my upbringing. I might lose my mind if I end up taking the lead in a conversation.
“I see… Then why don’t we do this? If push comes to shove, I’ll break it down for you and you just repeat the words to them! That way you won’t have a meltdown!” Tama suggested.
“That’s better. By the way, what can I do to help?” Shu asked.
“Just go home.”
“Stop f*cking around.”
It helps if all I have to do is repeat their words. I don’t think I could beat an entire organization with my ineloquence.
“Let’s see then… Shu-chan, could you tell me if they are lying at any point? Knowing what’s on their mind will be helpful.”
“Are you sure you want me to just gaze? Wouldn’t it be better to think about it with you?”
“We don’t know anything about recently added laws, so it would be troublesome if he ends up being caught lying.”
“Well… you’re right. Wow, you’re good at this kind of thing, Tama-san.”
“Zip it, dummy.”
Stop fighting, you’re the only ones I’m counting on right now. the success or failure of this whole ordeal will affect the lives of many people, so take it seriously—I thought to myself, then turned to Dekiri. Tears rolled down her cheeks, and despair tainted her face. I wanted to reassure her and the other officers as soon as possible.
As the manager continued her vain explanations, she suddenly stopped and turned her gaze. “Mikuni-san, wait a second. They’re annoying, so I’ll get them out of here.”
She probably thought I wasn’t paying attention due to the crying and wailing behind me. With that misconception, she walked up to the kneeling Dekiri.
“You know there’s no use in crying, right? You’re interrupting my explanation, so would you mind leaving, hm?”
“Hic… Ugh… Uuuuuuugh!”
Being told to get out, Dekiri answered with sobs and tears. Her teeth grit together and she sniffed uncontrollably.
“What’s with this attitude… Hey, I won’t hesitate in calling the police! Get the hell out of my sight already!” Her voice bore the sharpness of a crooked knife.
We couldn’t wait any longer… Time to start.
“You don’t have to leave. Stay here,” I turned to the girls and called out. Them leaving was something I didn’t want happening, and the Storks didn’t have such authority in the first place.
I shifted my gaze to the branch manager.
“Could you withdraw the lawsuit against the government officers? As Dekiri-san said earlier, I have no intention of suing or making a big deal out of this.”
The room quieted down. Everyone in the room was surprised, except the goddesses. In particular, the branch manager from Storks had the strongest reaction of the bunch since she didn’t expect me to cover for them.
However, I could see Dekiri’s eyes opening wide beside her as she grinned in relief. Her cheeks then flushed, and she started huffing and puffing… Hey, why do you look so happy? There’s a time for everything! You should know better.
“…You are very kind, Mikuni-san, but it’s a felony to violate men’s rights. We can’t just turn a blind eye to crime.”
Ignoring the excited Dekiri beside her, the Storks manager retorted me. I knew she wouldn’t budge.
“Even if I, the victim, forgive them?”
“That’s right. It is our job to protect men’s rights. If we overlook this, we will not be able to show our faces to the other men that are a part of the organization, and our very existence will be put into question. It’s not just about you, Mikuni-san.”
“Could you please overlook it just this once?”
“That would be collusion with the government. And besides, if we let this pass once, what could impede us from doing it once, twice, or even three times more? We can’t listen to your request for the sake of the future.”
“I understand you’re kind, Mikuni-san, but please consider our situation. We’re in trouble too.”
This is bad. She fought back with sound arguments so I couldn’t come up with any retorts. Them playing their positions and duties into their hands made it so that no response I came up with would work.
What should I do…? Doubtful, I looked at Tama seeking advice, and she began thinking without budging. “What could you say, hmm… Got it. Ok ok, Tsune-chan, repeat my words from here on out.”
With that said, her counterargument began.
“Then I’ll sue the Storks.”
T, that’s not the rebuttal I imagined. Honestly, I thought she would argue back with more logic and reason than that. Instead, her point was, “If you don’t stop suing them, I’ll sue you!” or something along those lines… This isn’t a children’s fight, you know? I don’t think this sort of thing is able to win against the manager.
“Hehe, it’s fine, don’t worry about it~! It’s a good idea. C’mon say it, say it! If you don’t start speaking soon, you’ll seem suspicious, so hurry up! Come on!”
Ignoring my uneasiness, Tama gestured for me happily to repeat her words. I couldn’t help but doubt if it was really okay. I was worried, to say the least.
While words escaped my mouth, my eyes met the government officers. They all looked like they were dying inside, hopeless.
…I don’t have any other choice, so why bother? I’ll say it!
“T, then I’ll sue the Storks!”
My stuttery words stopped the manager and the legal director in their tracks. They never imagined being threatened with a legal battle, it seemed. To be fair, neither did I.
“Huh? W, why are you going to sue us, Mikuni-san? D, didn’t you hear what we said?”
The manager was the first to unfreeze, and she asked an obvious question. I myself asked the same thing. While the two Storks officials were confused, Tama continued to instruct me from behind.
“Say this next: ‘From my point of view, the Storks are also a criminal organization.’”
…No no no no! That’s crazy! The Storks didn’t commit any crimes as far as I’m aware, in fact, they were victims of the circumstance! They will definitely get mad and retaliate!
Do I really have to say this? It’ll probably only worsen the situation.
That said, there’s no backing out now.
Ignoring my gut feelings, I trusted Tama’s words and repeated her suggestion, “F, from my point of view, the Storks are also a criminal organization.”
The atmosphere froze over, and both the manager and the legal director became expressionless. My gut feeling was right, and the atmosphere was so bad, I almost instinctively kneeled down in prostration.
“Mikuni-san… What do you mean when you say we’re a criminal organization?”
Tama instructed me once more, “It means exactly what I said! Are you not aware of it?”
I’d like you to choose your words a little more carefully, Tama… Still, I repeated her words as instructed in half-desperation.
“What do we have to be aware of? We carry our duties with pride, always. Aren’t you being awfully rude?” Her tone was deadly cold and her mood clearly bad.
This is the point of no return, and I can’t take any of it back. This will end badly~!
Regardless of what I thought, Tama continued, “I’m surprised you don’t realize it… You all have less authority than government officials.”
I wonder if this is enough to settle it… Still, I repeated those words.
“G, guh?! So we’re no better than them? Don’t bunch us with those criminals! What do I have to be aware of, huh? Tell me again!”
The manager finally snapped. She must’ve been quite prideful of her job, so much so, my and Tama’s words ended up causing her normally slanted eyes to bulge in pure anger.
“Well, can I ask you a few questions then? If you’re really innocent, you can answer any, right?” Tama instructed and I followed.
“Huh? Questions?! Spit it out, I’ll answer whatever comes my way!”
She glared me with her nose pointing up in the air. With crossed arms, she was ready to wage war. Seeing her like this, Tama changed her instructions.
“Well then, Tsune-chan, could you turn to the snot-nosed girl and ask a question? It is, ‘How did you realize my family register had been falsified?’”
Snot-nosed…? Oh, Dekiri? Just say her name.
In any case, I couldn’t understand the intent behind that question. Why does she want me to ask about the false ID right now? Well, no use in fruitless questions, so I’ll just trust Tama and ask it.
“I have a question for Dekiri-san: how did you know that my family register had been falsified?” I turned to her.
“Hic… Ugh… W, wait, me?” Dekiri, who cried and wallowed in despair, came back with my sudden question. She looked blatantly lost as she didn’t expect me to ask her something out of nowhere. “T, the falsification of your ID? W, well… I c, checked the data, and found out you were a w, woman…”
What is this answer supposed to accomplish?
Tama then told me from behind, “Ah, I had to be more specific so you’d understand… You see, your basic resident register, certificate of residence, family register, and ID all had you classified as a woman, hadn’t they?”
I recall Marui saying something like that, yes.
“Do you know there’s no way to actually say your gender is falsified with only those documents? Then why did the officers come to apologize to him for doing so? How did they come to the conclusion your gender was mismatched? That’s what I want you to ask them, Tsune-chan.”
After Tama explained her logic, Shu interjected. “Wait a minute, isn’t it because the Hello Work staff explained that a man was coming to the office after went inside the establishment? Didn’t they relay that knowledge to the higher officers?”
“The first thing they should’ve done is to fact-check. Why did they come to the conclusion the documents were falsified, then came to apologize soon after? Too many steps were skipped.”
“Didn’t they assume he was a man based on his manly name, Yoshitsune?”
“Women’s names are becoming more diverse lately. It’s not unusual for some to have masculine names, and the government offices that handle such things don’t make the decisions based on that alone.”
“Could it be… There’s another record that was tampered with?”
“It’s impossible to do such a thorough investigation in such a short amount of time, isn’t it? Something being falsified two decades ago would surely throw a wrench in things.”
“So there’s still an averment to be made that he’s a man by law…”
“A, averment? What are you on about?”
“H, hey, what’s with those condescending eyes?”
I understood what Tama was trying to get at. If the family register or my ID card were registered as if I were a woman, then by all accounts he would be one. There was nothing to suggest otherwise based on the name alone…
And that’s because all of my documents had me registered as a female.
That’s why there must be some other factor at play to suggest I’m actually a man, legally speaking. Earlier, I was kept waiting for about two hours, but without proof, it would be impossible for them to come rushing in and apologize in such a short period of time.
Chewing on such info, I relayed the question to Dekiri.
“O, oh, that’s what you meant…” She muttered and started to explain how she found out my documents were actually tampered with. “One reason was that the staff member who was involved in the falsification immediately confessed to doing so.”
She replied apologetically. It wasn’t Dekiri’s direct fault, yet she still got pulled along with it as if it was.
“The other reason was that Mikuni-san’s birth certificate indicated he was a man. For these two reasons, we were certain of that fact, especially since a birth certificate is a document that only the hospital is able to fill out, and therefore is impossible to be tampered with.”
That’s a document that’s only filled out and changed when a baby is born, so that was the only non-falsified document of the bunch.
I got that much, but so what? What’s the use in knowing that?
However, unlike me, who was still confused and pondering, several people had other reactions to Dekiri’s words. First, Shu and the section chief, then, the branch manager and the legal head.
The two Storks officials, in particular, were clearly anxious, as if all their previous anger had never happened.
Seeing all those reactions, Tama put on a very evil expression and exclaimed, “Mwahahaha! Now ask the Storks why didn’t they check your birth certificate, as they do with everyone else!”
T/N: Suddenly, Better Call Saul.
Tama is surprisingly good at this, and it scares me.
For those of you who didn’t understand, they are dealing with this legally, so they must use documents to prove their arguments. If everything about the MC is falsified to say he’s a woman, how would they prove he wasn’t one all along? —His birth certificate.
However, that document is something the Storks have direct contact with, so it would put in question whether they are as good as they say or not.
At least that’s what I got from it.
Also, the MC not being able to put all of his thoughts and feelings into words makes sense. He lived all of his life under scrutiny, and everything he ever did and said was met with contempt and abuse. That’s why his mind is so averse to speaking out loud, and why he’s bad at it.
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