──Have they all been lured out already?
A few days after Eiji Agatsuma was threatened by the black clothed mask, on an ordinary day’s afternoon, when Shinichi was window shopping at a small bookstore, he ‘saw’ a presence nearby.
Shinichi had supposedly entered a convenience store’s toilet some 50 meters earlier, but then suddenly exited the store to find some panicking presence.
Shinichi heaved a sigh of relief.
It was just the small teams prepared by the countermeasure office to trail him.
Through the application of illusion magic and masquerade, Shinichi scattered his observers and showed them his face.
A small test to make them panic and confirm that they were indeed following him.
Nothing was amiss in the way the townspeople conducted themselves except for Shinichi’s observers who could not understand his movements.
Since the meeting, Agatsuma has fully demonstrated his brilliance, which was the one thing about him acknowledged by everyone.
First, he used the information leaked by Shinichi to pursue liabilities and preserve information.
Using the uncovered route, he found people in the know, provided evidence, and exposed them.
Afterwards, he went after the illegal organizations that those people were affiliated with.
The fact he was able to do so much in just a few days spoke of his brilliance. It was such a masterful performance that even Shinichi couldn’t help but be shocked.
As for what Shinichi was doing during that time, he was going out to town by himself under some excuse he gave his parents.
He was truly alone this time since bringing ‘her’ wouldn’t make for a good bait.
The plan was to use this moment as a chance to lure out those people trailing him and make them cough out information using methods that can’t be mentioned.
Shinichi would then leak that information to Agatsuma and have him crush them legally.
Unfortunately, although it has only been three or four days since he started doing this, no one has been trailing him other than the countermeasure office.
Shinichi would like to take this as a sign that no one from the underworld who knows of the peculiarities surrounding him are left.
It was rather early to be optimistic, but Shinichi didn’t really want to keep moving on his own like this.
Frankly, using his secret power to protect his secret still meant that he would end up revealing his power to other people. And even if said people were just those from the underworld, it still felt like he was getting his priorities mixed up.
But that wasn’t the only reason Shinichi went to town.
“…Is this really Earth’s Japan?”
Shinichi muttered as he watched the buildings in the backdrop and the people moving to and fro.
This was a different district from the business district that the Nakamura family visited on their day off. As a district with many government offices and public organizations, not to mention it being an ordinary day’s afternoon, many adults wearing suits could be seen in the area.
There was a ratio of about 6 to 4 for black-haired people to colored hair people. On top of that, one out of those four would have beast ears.
Shinichi found that peculiar, though, probably because despite the ears they would still be wearing the same suits as everyone else.
It’s also probably because Shinichi knew the fantasy world, Falandia, and this world before him was like a mix of that and Earth.
“Can you not block the road?”
Was Shinichi shaken so much that he couldn’t handle it?
Has the events surpassed his understanding’s capacity and left him in confusion?
Or was it a combination of both that left him in vertigo?
Regardless, Shinichi had stopped in the middle of the road, causing him to block others’ way.
When Shinichi gave way, he noted that the person who asked him to move aside looked like a celebrity’s wife and was in the middle of walking her dog.
When Shinichi saw the dog, his jaws fell to the ground.
The woman was not walking some strange organism Shinichi had never seen before. No.
That was indeed a dog. Or at least resembled one.
Only, it was not made of flesh but of steel.
With a black steel body and visor glasses for its sensor eyes, it was not a living dog.
But it was indeed a dog.
“Come now, Joseph-chan. Let us go.”
But as shocked as Shinichi was, the madam just went on her way to walk her dog as if all was right in the world.
Interestingly, the robot dog didn’t have any of the hardness one would expect from metal, and was instead light like the real thing.
There were also robot dogs in Earth in the past, but this thing was in a different league compared to those toys.
Moreover, the only one shocked at the sight of the robot was just Shinichi.
Later Shinichi would find out that Garesto doesn’t have pets.
They have livestock, but that’s all.
The raybeasts, such as the Amaryllis Fox, were all too dangerous to keep as pets.
Every one of them had attributes so high that it was difficult for humans to make them subservient.
The closest thing they had to a ‘pet’ were the animal-type drones, a kind of robotic weaponry which was originally meant as support to fight against raybeasts or as training partners for new soldiers.
After finding out about Earth’s culture, however, it was introduced into the market as something that could serve both as a guard and a pet. It has since become popular among the affluent.
“…My head is starting to hurt…”
Another reason why Shinichi went out was to see the world with his own eyes.
As such, he went here and there, but the only result he got was a never ending series of culture shock that has now left him with a headache.
No matter how Shinichi spun it, rather than feeling like he’s finally come back home, it felt more like he’d found himself into another otherworld.
To make things worse, the things he was feeling and doing during his first month in Falandia was exactly the same.
Moreover, because he already had knowledge from one otherworld, Falandia, the shock brought to him by a world that he should’ve been familiar with was greater than when he’d been drifted.
“…Thinking back to the past makes me feel bad.
The me 2 years ago should’ve been a much nicer kid…”
But there was one thing different that made Shinichi feel even worse.
Back when he’d arrived at Falandia, the people that saved him taught him many things.
Language, culture, magic, status, dangers, monsters…
It was because of those people that Shinichi was gradually able to study the culture of Falandia, but now…
“Why in the world am I investigating the things my dad taught me?
Sigh… Where did the honest me go?”
He deeply doubted any and all information he was given.
As Shinichi muttered to himself in self-derision, he laughed.
He had to. Otherwise, his mind (heart) wouldn’t be able to take it.
Although he didn’t want to go back even a little this time around, the situation was so similar that he couldn’t help but notice that one difference.
And when he thought about how he’d grown differently, he couldn’t help but think to what it was that brought that change…
—Do you want power? 
It was only a pity that the impetus behind that change was accompanied with so great a sin that he could not accept it.
No. Shinichi could not possibly accept what he considered to be the greatest mistake of his life as something good.
 RAWS for this line: チカラ ガ ホシイ カ？
Note that it’s in katakana and has odd spacing. Japanese text normally doesn’t have spaces like that. Here’s an example of normal looking text: プリンとはぜんこくずかんのNo.039のポケモンのこと。
 Also in katakana.