Afterwards, Amy spoke with Mirul, while the others reviewed the negotiation’s transcript and recorded the specific amounts of the compensation payments down in writing; the documents were then signed by all parties involved to indicate all agreements. Apologies toward the fabricated articles, as well as their collection and amendments: fifty million G to Tsutomu. Ten million G each to Camille, Amy, and Garm. Moreover, Mirul’s portrait photo and the fact that she had fabricated information for her articles were to be publicized.
The mustached man took the copy of the letter and addressed the five on Tsutomu’s side for the last time, then left the room in a hurry with a stern look on his face. The Editor-in-Chief hurried after him, dragging Mirul along. When they were gone, Tsutomu leaned back against the back of the sofa, as if he had exhausted his energy.
Beside him, Camille also relaxed, cracking her knee joints; the Deputy Guild Master was still reviewing the documents and transcript despite having already checked them several times.
“You all right, Tsutomu?”
“Hmm? Yeah…” Tsutomu answered while using both his hands to rub his temples, as if trying to relieve his expressionless, stiff face.
“You think I did okay?”
“Hmm, yeah, sure did. Surprised me a bit, actually — but we got the results, so that’s all good.”
Tsutomu gave Amy a thumbs up; Amy, seeing that, put her hand on her chest and let out a sigh of relief. Tsutomu had concluded from Mirul’s behavior and reactions that it was unlikely for her to resort to violent measures from this point on.
Tsutomu had been given a description of Mirul’s character by Amy during yesterday’s meeting to prepare for today’s negotiations; from that information, he had decided that it would be difficult to silence her with reason alone. Judging from what Mirul had said to Amy after the latter had been caught infiltrating Solit Company, it was apparent that the former was an emotionally-driven person. Therefore, Tsutomu had felt that talking would be meaningless no matter how reasonable his arguments were.
With that knowledge, Tsutomu had decided to appeal to her emotions first. First, he would bring up the fact that he was able to defeat the Fire Dragon with a suitable replacement for Amy on his team. That would lead to Amy tearfully berating Mirul for the article, with the former saying that if not for this incident, she could have been on the team and defeated the Fire Dragon herself. That was the plan Tsutomu had that would open Mirul up for further negotiations.
Amy had clearly been unamused upon hearing of the process from Tsutomu. It was fact that she had been left out of the party, and subsequently missed out on the Fire Dragon battle, because of the article. Amy had always been more than willing to hurl abuse at Mirul, as she had not much compassion for her in the first place.
But since Mirul was supposed to be Amy’s devotee of sorts, Tsutomu had wondered what the former would do if Amy were to deny her of that obsession. Tsutomu could imagine her outright murdering him, on grounds that she considered him the reason why Amy ended up hating her.
As such, Tsutomu had wanted Amy to try and convince Mirul, so as to not hurt the latter’s feelings. If Mirul were to end up emotionally broken, Tsutomu would find himself in danger of being killed. Tsutomu had also contemplating ending Mirul outright before that came to pass, but that was the one thing he had wanted to avoid.
Amy, on the other hand, no longer had any desire to be involved with Mirul, but had reluctantly agreed to go along out of her guilty conscience towards Tsutomu. And since Tsutomu wasn’t all that confident in his own unstable strategy, he had left a certain extent of the decisions for Amy to make by herself.
With that setup, Tsutomu had proceeded with the meeting as normal… then Amy suddenly slapped Mirul, prompting him to panic internally quite hard. But then Mirul clung on to Amy, putting the course of development back into the planned route… despite Tsutomu himself actually not really knowing how things had turned out that way.
As a result, and in part thanks to Amy’s convincing afterwards, Mirul didn’t feel as if Amy hated her. She had kept quiet and owned up to all her crimes — not even one word of objection — and didn’t end up holding an excessive grudge against Tsutomu, either.
The next day, all the employees of the Solit Company went out to the streets to distribute the newspaper themselves. The front page showed a portrait of Mirul’s face. The text contained the amendment of her fabricated story, and the Chief Executive man led his employees on an apology campaign throughout the whole town.
Although the man’s honest attitude prevented some of the subscribers from changing their main publication of choice, Solit Company’s newspaper sales would undoubtedly decrease. Then the next day, large sums of money were transferred to the Guild accounts of those involved. The long-time Editor-in-Chief, having been exposed by Mirul confession that he had actually approved the false articles, was also demoted to a position no better than that of a fresh employee.
Nevertheless, the Solit Company still maintained its monopoly. Although it had shrunk a good deal in scale, the two other runner-up newspaper publications still weren’t big enough to compete with its market shares. It was important that at least those two companies grew larger from now on, so as to prevent Solit Company’s monopoly.
So, as a way to help them, Tsutomu decided to provide them each with a free interview in regards to the defeat of the Fire Dragon with his party of three. Additionally, he would be refusing Solit Company all coverage on him and his team so long as the two other companies don’t rival Solit Company in scale.
Mirul was fired from Solit Company, and the article covering the incident gave her a bad name in the town. Having lost all her connections at Solit Company, not even one newspaper publication in this Dungeon City would dare to hire her. But the look in her eyes suggested that she hadn’t lost all hope — that she still held on to the light of hope that was Amy.
She still had hope that Amy hadn’t abandoned her… and also remembered that Amy was still by Tsutomu’s side. Not quite sure of what to do with her life, Mirul ultimately decided to become an Explorer, with the intention to eventually take Tsutomu’s place.
Since God’s Dungeon had been designed under the principle that God treated every person equally, anyone — even those among the nobility — could enter and explore it, barring those who had been abandoned by God Himself. As such, even though Mirul had gotten most of her assets confiscated, she could become an Explorer by paying a portion of what little money she had left.
In a strange twist of fate, Mirul’s Job was appraised to be White Mage, the same as Tsutomu’s. This led her to think that it would not take long for her to replace Tsutomu in his position of prestige.
But it remained widespread a fact that Mirul had committed evil deeds against Tsutomu. She would soon find out for herself how cruel the consequences of defamation would be.