347 – To Wrap up the Year
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Outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, John slipped his phone into his pocket after making a quick text. That done, he casually walked into the police department, idly adjusting his white jade moon cufflinks as he did.

"M-Mister Smith!" A mature woman wearing a black suit dashed after John, panic on her face. "T-There's no need to do this!"

A young man with bright red hair and fiery crimson eyes followed right behind the woman and scoffed. "This is what we should have done in the first place, Lin Senpai."

The woman, Lin, rounded on the man and glared at him. "It's Partner Fae, Mars."

"Then it's Associate Kurai, Partner Fae." Mars adjusted his tie and then walked up to John, grinning. "So how are you going to screw them over, Boss?"


"What?" Mars looked back and said, "Boss is a bigshot, isn't he?"

Lin sighed and pressed her hand against her face. "I should never have accepted mentoring you..."

John looked at the crowd of police staring him down and smiled. "Don't worry. I've been in situations like this before. Plus, it's probably related to me."

It was an annoying, but common tactic. Against a newbie who got too big too quickly, the people in charge would feel threatened and pull their strings to hang the upstart.

For most people, it worked. They just didn't have the resources or experience to deal with it.

But for John...


An older man wearing a police uniform with some fancy badges walked over, frowning. From the looks of his nametag, he seemed to be the Superintendent.

Lin gulped and said, "I-Is that the Superintendent? Oh no..."

"Heh." Mars stuck his hands in his pockets and said, "Seems like they got annoyed enough with us to send out a bigshot."

John sighed and said, "This is Japan. Could you two stop acting like characters from a two-bit modern cultivation novel and just be normal."

Mars blinked. "A what novel?"

"...Never mind."

Looks like John would need to be a bit more proactive. He had more than a lifetime of faceslapping people and would very much like to not have to do that again.

Mostly because so many goddamn idiots popped out of the woodwork when that happened.

The Superintendent came to a stop in front of John, giving him a once over. After that, he glanced back at Lin and Mars, raising an eyebrow.

Lin nervously waved and said, "H-Hello there, Superintendent."

Mars clicked his tongue, but he still gave a respectful nod and said, "Nice to see you, Superintendent."

"Attorney Fae and Attorney Kurai." The old man nodded and said, "I've heard you two have been causing some trouble after your recent case."

Mars glared and started talking. "That's because-"

"Sorry to cut the conversation short, Superintendent." John interrupted and gestured for Mars to step back.

Mars clicked his tongue again, but he nodded and did as John motioned.

Seeing that, John continued and said, "But it seems that there's been a misunderstanding. My friends here seem to have been framed of forging some evidence in their last case."

The superintendent nodded and said, "That's right. Explains their perfect win streak really well too."

Lin clenched her hands against her pants, pursing her lips.

Mars grit his teeth, but didn't say anything.

...Yep. This was that development.

But John was sick of all that, so...

He put on a bright smile and reached over to pat the superintendent on the shoulder. As he did, he started sifting through everyone's thoughts while boosting his rapport with a little psychic nudging.

"But that's just what the young'uns think, right? An experienced veteran like you knows better... And I'm sure you've heard from Kimura-san by now. A few of those yakuza people are still hiding in plain sight... Why don't we run around to see exactly who's forging things, hm?"

Lin blinked. "Mister Smith-"

The superintendent laughed and said, "You're just as interesting as Taka-kun said you were, Mister Smith."

Lin froze. "...what?"

John laughed and said, "Glad to hear it. Now, I've actually got some experience in rooting out spies and traitors, you see, so how about I make a little trip around the department with you?"


Mars burst out laughing.


Yue paused in the middle of tickling Aurora. Glancing out the window, she frowned and said, "Husband is doing something ridiculous again."


Yue nodded and said, "Yes. Your father is being ridiculous."


"...That isn't something to get excited about, Little Aurie."

Aurora wrinkled her nose and turned her head to the side.

Yue pouted and said, "What? Do you not like being called Aurie as well?"


"...Perhaps Husband was right. Aurora is a difficult name to create a nickname for..."

Yue shook her head and then stood up, straightening her back.

At the moment, Yue and Aurora were spending time together in John's apartment. It was a bit cramped and far from sufficient to serve as a family home, but that small enclosure also gave it a bit of a comfortable warmth.

Compared to everything she had experienced in life as the Imperial Jade Princess, having a quaint small home like this was comfortable.

...Although she did wish her husband would hurry and find a proper family home. After all, he promised two more children, and a small home like this, while comfortable, was insufficient.

A soft chime echoed. The doorbell signaling a guest.

Yue blinked, wondering who that could be. And then an elderly voice called out.

"Accursed thing! You dare to keep me away from my lovely daughter and grandchild?!"

Yue's eyes widened and she quickly walked to the door. "Father! Do not break down the door!"

"Daughter! This accursed barrier is preventing me from entering! Tell me, what is the combination to undo this formation?!"

Yue sighed and unlocked the door. After that, she opened it and said, "This is not our homeland, Father. There are customs that must be followed. Please, do not make such a ruckus."

The Jade Emperor, Yudi, crossed his arms and huffed. "Customs this, customs that... The people in this land are far too conservative." He shook his head and walked into the apartment, picking up a pair of bags that he dropped on the floor beside him. "I go to buy gifts for my granddaughter and people stare at me. I stop at the street and hear mortals gossip about my sacred attire." He walked past Yue and set the bags on the table nearby and said, "Never in my entire existence have I heard such impertinence. No wonder Son-in-law was so daring. This entire world neither respects nor admires the heavens at all!"

Yue smiled and said, "And that is why it is so interesting, is it not?"

"...I suppose." Yudi brushed off his emerald robes and fixed his long white beard. "It *is* a bit amusing seeing how dumbstruck mortals can be with my magnanimous appearance."

Yue started sorting through the bags, picking out some bright-colored baubles and toys before setting them aside, sorting them. As she did, she looked at her father and said, "Then you should relax a bit more and enjoy yourself. As Husband said, this world is one without the hassles and stresses of the Three Realms- Hm?"

Yue pulled out a small cardboard box and tilted her head, wondering what it was. But when she turned it around and saw the illustration on it, she froze. "This is..."



"Hm?" Yudi glanced over at Yue and then nodded when he saw what she was holding. "Ah, that. The merchant selling it spun an interesting tale of what that story was about so I decided to purchase it."

"...I see."

Yue had mixed feelings after seeing the box art and reading the description on the back. Still...

"...I suppose if it makes Betty happy."


A lab in Akihabara. There, in pitch darkness, a certain mad scientist wannabe burst into laughter. "At last, the servers are online!" Sweeping his arms out, he grinned and then glanced off to the side. "My dear assistant... The time has come for world conquest!"

Amadeus glared at Titor and said, "Shut up and help me run diagnostics, idiot. We've got too many people logging in now and it's overloading the CDNs."




Titor blinked and said, "...That's possible? I thought CDNs were created to stop the internet bottleneck."

Amadeus rolled her eyes. "They did. Until some crazy bastard overlaid the infrastructure with his Incarnation System."


"Keep laughing and I'll jack you in while you're sleeping and remove the logout button."

"...Sorry, Dear."

"Just help me sort through this mess already, you bastard."