I Became a Regulatory Official for the Poaching of Monsters, but the Rescued Monsters are trying to Eat Me.
Chapter 1 – Why am I falling from a plane!?
(Are you kidding me?! Shit…shit. I want to go home…!)
Taketo was curled up and holding his head. This was because the stewardess…no, the flight attendant, had directed them to do so through the speakers. And so he went into the posture as he was told and tightened his legs. However, the floor was shaking violently in every direction, and it was hard to keep his balance. Even now, he felt as if his body was going to be thrown into the air.
Taketo was currently inside of a plane that was being tossed about by turbulence.
Every time that the floor jumped up, the aircraft was filled with screams. He could not even distinguish the men from the women anymore. He just gritted his teeth and tried not to give in to despair. However, if he were being honest, Taketo wanted to scream with them.
He was in a Boeing 747, and had been on his way to Bangkok, when they entered some dark clouds. Immediately after, the plane was assaulted by turbulent winds. It felt like they were a leaf inside of a storm, and they would crash at any moment. How many times had the plane suddenly fallen like a roller coaster before stopping? He had lost count.
(Damn it. This is bad. They’re not saying anything on the speaker anymore. Are we going to crash? Am I…am I going to die?)
Bottomless despair began to eat away at him. If by some kind of luck they managed to land without being killed, would anyone be able to rescue them from the middle of the ocean? Was landing even possible? What altitude were they at? Perhaps death was unavoidable now. It was hard not to give in to despair.
(Ahhhhhh! Why didn’t I just eat that chocolate mint ice cream they were selling at the airport!!!)
That was the first thing he thought of once he started to really face the possibility of death. He wanted to kick himself for not thinking about family or a girlfriend or his job. But if that’s what came to mind, what could he do?
He hadn’t met his family in over a year. And he was also single. As for the chocolate mint ice cream that happened to be sold by a cute girl in a frilly apron, who called out to customers within a small western sweets shop in the airport terminal…well, it had looked really delicious.
(Shit… If I get out of this alive, I’m going back to Narita airport and eating that chocolate mint ice cream!)
As for why Taketo was in danger of crashing in a plane over the East China Sea, the explanation was to be found on Friday of the previous week.
Since graduating from university up until the age of 32, which was his current age, Taketo had worked at the police department. And now he was a veteran detective who worked in the Consumer and Environmental Protection Division. This department handled violations regarding seeds brought in from outside of the country, as well as violations of the Washington Convention regarding plants and animals. In other words, he mostly unmasked illegal imports and possession of animals and plants.
On that day, Taketo had been called in by the chief and handed a sheet of paper. It was thick and white. He had received such a sheet before. It was a new order.
“Himukai. I’m sure you’re aware of the recent occurrences of small-clawed otters being smuggled in from southeast Asia.”
The paper read: Himukai Taketo. You are ordered to head to Bangkok, Thailand.
“Yes. They’ve become quite popular as pets…”
Taketo quietly started to read through the order. But then the chief shook his head.
“Those creatures were never fit to be pets. They are just like racoons. Their wild instincts are very strong. Such animals cannot be tamed by your average pet owner. Still, they are cute, which leads to appearances on tv. And now they are so popular that the cases of smuggling are skyrocketing.”
The chief leaned deeply into his chair and folded his arms. Then he looked up at Taketo with a severe expression.
“All twelve types of the otter species are endangered. And the small-clawed otters from southeast Asia are on the IUCN’s red list of endangered species and on the Washington Convention appendix II. Normally you would need permission from the exporting and importing countries, but people are doing it without that permission. Apparently, Japanese people are not satisfied with killing the otters in this country, but want to make them go extinct in others as well. And so I want you to go investigate and find out the smuggling route.”