“Hurry up and move!”
“I know! I know already!”
They gathered all the customers into a corner of the floor while shooting their guns from time to time.
At the resting place or reading space next to the bookstore were fifty people including the children.
There were less than ten criminals, but none of these people felt like resisting when a gun was pointed at them.
“Let’s start by making something clear.”
Said a man in suit as he pointed his automatic rifle at them while standing on top of a bench.
“We are heroes of justice!”
What are they saying after doing something like this? The customers all thought that, but with the armed criminals surrounding them, they had no choice but to keep quiet.
The man in suit knew that but he continued without flustering.
“I understand that our actions aren’t persuasive, but I want you all to think!”
The man said with serious face as he gestured.
“About what happened this past 8 years! About how the otherworld Garesto appeared and twisted our world!”
The man spoke feverously as if he were giving a speech.
The customers were anxious because guns were pointed at them, but gradually, their attention was taken by man.
“Our world changed because incompetent politicians accepted these unknown existences. I’m sure you all remember – How our daily lives were destroyed. How our dreams were taken. How we were miserably crushed by their rules!”
A number of people changed their expression.
They were all young. Most of them were in the latter half of their teens or in their twenties.
In other words, these were people who were still just students or new members of society 8 years ago.
It could be said that it was their generation that were troubled the most by the cultural exchange.
There were differences in the extent of the changes they underwent, but they all understood what the man in suit was saying.
“We should have never interacted with the otherworld!”
“The politicians just accepted them without thinking!”
The other armed criminals yelled in response to the man in suit as if to say that they were in the right and that the interaction with Garesto was wrong.
“I wanted to be a boxer and trained desperately everyday, but because of them I never got a chance to debut!”
“I was supposed to get a scholarship abroad from track and field, but those guys who never did anything before were chosen over me!”
“My company went bankrupt because Garesto had to bring all sorts of things and we couldn’t sell any of our stock! It’s ridiculous that the companies who just managed to get a consignment by chance were the ones to survive!”
“Everyone in my family is unhappy because of Garesto! My parents lost their jobs just because they couldn’t use Garesto’s equipment! My younger sister is being bullied at school just because her stats are low! I was supposed to get my dream job, but the Garestonians stole it!”
The criminals surrounded the customers and poured out their bitter feelings.
Humans were simple creatures who are weak to stories of ‘I worked so hard and yet I was treated poorly’.
People would sympathize with such people even if a gun was aimed at them. Or perhaps, it’s precisely because of that that they can’t help but sympathize.
Either way these were stories that could have happened to the customers or could happen to them in the future.
“Is it really okay to leave things like this!? The government keeps saying that the interaction with the otherworld will open the curtains to a new age!
But that’s a lie!
Garesto’s appearance has only turned this world strange!
it’s true that they brought new technology, but what about the people researching those things?
New jobs were made, but what about the people who lost their jobs?
There are sacrifices that come with change. Does that mean that the people who can’t adapt have to be abandoned!?”
The words of the man in suit spurred the displeasure of the armed men even further.
Only a few were able to benefit from the changes, while most of the people had to change the way they lived.
Most of these people, however, either gave up or just accepted the little benefits and convenience they got.
In other words, they just covered up their displeasure.
Under the instruction of another man, a girl was brought before the customers.
They pushed her onto the ground, and she swallowed her breath as she raised her body.
She was also able to hear what the armed men were saying, so she knew that these men were people who were against Garesto.
That’s why she could still understand why they eyed her so harshly.
She quivered for no reason. She felt fear in the gazes other than that.
She wore a beret over her head, so although it was hard to tell from the side, since her blue hair wasn’t completely hidden, anyone could still tell that she was a Garestonian.
Those sharp reproachful looks told her that much.
The people who weren’t looking at her were still fine, but there was a considerable number of people glaring at her.
It seemed as if they were blaming her, saying, ‘it’s you and your people’s fault’.
Evidently, she had been brought out to spur the people’s hate for Garestonian.
Someone did once say that it’s easy to manipulate people when you give them something to direct their emotions to.
“This kind of thing…”
But this girl was more concerned about the bitterness of these people than to fear what they might do to her.
She had heard that things were going well. That they were accepted wherever they went.
That the elements missing in their respective worlds had encroached into each other and that they were now making progress.
But she never knew that there were people who couldn’t adapt with the changes.
Apparently, the girl being speechless was unexpected. Or perhaps the man in suit simply didn’t like it, but either way, he looked down at her and continued his speech.
“Behold! Here lies a Garestonian before you!
But don’t be fooled! It may look like a woman, but it is not human! It is a demon that will destroy our world!”
Do it, the man signaled with his gaze.
Apparently, they would much rather show it in action than try to convince the people with words.
At the man’s behest, the biggest one of the criminals had a rod in is his hands.
It was a chain pole that could be found anywhere in the department store as a decoration.
Normally, it was a tool to indicate that entering an area was prohibited, but that tool had now lost its chain and was being aimed at the girl as a weapon.
The man raised the chain pole with both hands and aimed the stone weight toward the girl, then the man swung down toward the girl. Immediately, the girl covered her head and her face with her arms.
As expected, there were people who closed their eyes, but that abnormality (normal) still occurred before them.
“Tch, you monster!”
The strong-looking man was swinging about that pole, giving rise to dull sounds as it slammed into the defenseless girl, and yet that defenseless girl was able to receive that weapon with her slender arms as if it were nothing.
“If Garesto— If you people just never came here!!
I would never have lost anything, you demon!”
Although her clothes became wrinkled and dirty, she didn’t falter even a little despite being hit by that pole.
The Garestonians had high stats on average. Her resistance was a B+ and her strength was A. With those two attributes together, the difference in muscles was irrelevant.
But that only held true in situations other than this one.
She was hit that much but she was not hurt even a little!
She may look like us on the outside, but the truth is she is nothing more than a monster!”
“That’s, kyaa, stop it!!”
“It’s your fault! It’s your people’s fault!!!”
The girl tried to refute their words, but the man wouldn’t let up.
The girl could indeed endure the man’s attacks, but it was not as if there was no pain or impact.
Every time she was hit, her face would twist, and fear and panic would make her curl.
But these armed men were being incited, and so failed to notice the change in her expressions.
The only thing they saw was a terrifying creature that didn’t get hurt in the face of violence.
“At this rate, these monsters will one day rule our world!
That’s why we must rise up now as the proud Earthlings and expel Garesto from this world! We don’t need monsters in our world!”
The customers watched that spectacle with fear.
They all feared the monster that wouldn’t get hurt no matter how many times a weapon smashed into it.
And the girl saw the terrifying way in which they looked at her. Those eyes that said ‘You’re scary’.
“S, top, it!”
The girl didn’t resist against the violence. She didn’t know what to do.
The man swinging the weapon was scary. The killing intent aimed at her was scary. The eyes of the crowd was scary.
Everything was scary and she had no idea what was going on.
Even the choice to ask for help vanished from the girl’s head.
“Go to hell, monster! You, you, you—!?”
But as the man was showering her with abuse, there was a sudden change to his voice.
Wondering what happened, the girl looked up, and a sticky substance could be seen stuck onto the man’s face.
“Stop it!” Someone cried.