Chapter 12:

Double Dipping is a Big No-No

Otherworld Isekai Service

Sera Lyn was currently on the run. She wasn't quite sure what was going on, but it seemed like someone was coming after her. For the past several days, an ominous presence kept following her, as if watching for her to make a slip up.Bookmark here

Sure, she had her enemies, but she was the famous journalist Sera Lyn, who went around reporting the hottest topics of the moment. She got special access to events and restricted places purely due to her renowned face and press badge. It was necessary for those arranges to be made, if people wanted to know exactly what was going on in the world. It was her duty to reveal everything to those who wanted to know it. Of course, that would make her some enemies.Bookmark here

She looked around the corner carefully. There were only a few blocks until she reached the news station, where she worked normally. Everything would be fine once she got there. The backing of a large news organization would ensure her safety, especially when it came to covering polarized topics.Bookmark here

A horn honked at her, making her jump. Turning around, she freaked out before dashing away. It was THAT truck! She had to get away!Bookmark here

Judging by the decorations on the side, that truck likely belonged to the new progressive party for the election that was coming up. They were the rising stars in the political world, competitors challenging the conservative party that had dominated in the past.Bookmark here

Because of that, there was no way that she wouldn't be interested in covering stories about them. She would do her normal arrangements to get her scoop – infiltrate and pretend to be supportive of their efforts, curry favor among its members, and make her way to interview the leaders of the party.Bookmark here

Direct statements from their own mouths were powerful tools that determined the party's intentions, and often, they would drive the fate of the party. Gaining access to them was what Sera did best. She had her renown built up over the years to smooth the path towards that.Bookmark here

Likely, her role and objectives had been leaked to them, which was why someone was driving around stalking her. Every time she saw the truck, it was a reminder of what she had done to them. How she had wronged them.Bookmark here

She reached the door to the station and bolted inside. She marched through the lobby and through the offices, before reaching her own. Sitting down and breathing a sigh of relief, she checked her computer for any new messages.Bookmark here

She had told her boss about the strange stalking that was occurring, but he had asked her what she did to piss them off.Bookmark here

"Nothing. I just reported the news as normal! The camera crew was there! They can vouch for me!"Bookmark here

"Okay…I'll look into it."Bookmark here

Of course, she couldn't tell him what she had been doing on the side. Other than the standard on-air time where she had interviewed the progressive candidates, she had asked more 'targeted' questions to them off camera. They were questions tailored to induce edgy responses and served to pry their inner characters more. These responses were more interesting and held more weight, especially to others.Bookmark here

In the case of new, inexperienced candidates who lacked a certain eloquence to their words, they could be easily misinterpreted, especially when cherry-picked and manipulated in the right hands.Bookmark here

In truth, she had a higher loyalty to something else than her reporting job.Bookmark here

Sera clicked on a message that was marked 'unread' from someone that she was expecting.Bookmark here

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Salutations,Bookmark here

Thanks to you, we've got plenty of ammunition to tear down those nasty progressives. They and their wannabe party are going to get a rude awakening soon. Poison, in the form of their own words. Hahaha.Bookmark here

The funds have been wired. You'll get more when we get the next set.Bookmark here

P.O. DoomkoffBookmark here

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Secretly, Sera had been using her connections to gather slander for the conservative party to use. It was a simple matter – record the conversations based on those raw responses from the progressive leaders, do some careful editing, and then send it off to the conservatives.Bookmark here

With some careful rearrangement of their answers and a little adjustment to the context, one could make it seem like the progressive party was a bunch of quacks that supported all the wrong things. Since it was their own words, they would be hard pressed to explain themselves afterwards. First impressions truly stuck out in people's minds. Some would likely hear the initial news bomb and forgo anything else the candidate had to say.Bookmark here

It would certainly shift the tide in the conservatives' favor. Both she knew it, and so did the conservatives, which was why she had been 'requested' to do such a thing. No one would suspect a famous person to use her connections to support them in secret.Bookmark here

Sera could care less about the conservative party. She just wanted the money. She was perfectly happy playing nice to whoever to get it.Bookmark here

"HONK!"Bookmark here

Sera's attention snapped back to reality when she heard a strange bird outside her window. Looking in that direction, her eyes widened when she saw a goose outside the window jangle something in its mouth.Bookmark here

"What?! My keys? When did it-?" She felt her pockets, and sure enough, they were gone.Bookmark here

She raced outside, nearly tripping over herself on the stairs. Quickly correcting herself, she moved to the side when she heard something above her.Bookmark here

CRASH! A heavy potted plant had fallen where she last stood, creating a mess of dirt and pottery on the sidewalk.Bookmark here

Her time as a journalist in dangerous situations had given her an ability to sense impending danger. It had saved her time and time again. However, there was something strange about this. The recent 'accidents' appeared to be too frequent, and she always seemed to hear a goose nearby. Was it a coincidence?Bookmark here

Sera shook her head. There were more important things to worry about. Namely, the possible leak about her contributing to false propaganda.Bookmark here

A truck beeped at her.Bookmark here

"Not again! Go away! I did nothing!" Sera turned around angrily.Bookmark here

But this time, it was not what she expected to see.Bookmark here

A different truck, this time with the decal of the conservative party was there, staring at her.Bookmark here

"…W-What? Why would they-?"Bookmark here

She backed away slowly. Why was the conservative party keeping tabs on her now? Were they pressing for more damaging material? Were they trying to make sure that she wasn't planning to bail?Bookmark here

She didn't like this. She shouldn't have taken this job after all. If anyone found out, then she would lose all credibility.Bookmark here

Nervously, she went back inside and continued to work. The goose can have her keys. She had another set in the office as backup. There was no way that she was going to go outside and get hounded once again. She felt much safer within the walls of her workplace, shielded from the scrutiny.Bookmark here

Maybe, if she sent the last batch of dialogue over and tell them that this was all she had, they would leave her alone. Then, she would no longer have to deal with either side, and her life would go back to normal. Sera hurriedly edited the videos to make them sound as horrible as possible.Bookmark here

"There, sent!" After this, she was going to ask her boss for some time off. Then, she could lay low before going out again. Hopefully, they would forget all about her after a period of time.Bookmark here

The sun had already set. She had taken the entire day working to rid herself of the last bit of evidence. Now, she only had to make it home.Bookmark here

If it was anything like the previous nights, she would expect the truck to be waiting. They had not done anything yet, but what did they have in store for her? It was too late already. If she had thought to, she would've asked someone to accompany her home.Bookmark here

Instead, she walked out into the cool air, thinking that she would be fine if she got through this night.Bookmark here

The roar of an engine sounded in front of her, causing her to jump.Bookmark here

"Not again!"Bookmark here

Sera looked around hoping for someone to turn to, but the streets were strangely barren.Bookmark here

"It's not that late! Why isn't anyone around!"Bookmark here

Little did she know, the divine beings had arranged for the place to be empty ahead of time. Fewer witnesses was better. The existences of the supernatural was not meant to be known by the general public.Bookmark here

The truck rolled forward, into the path of a streetlamp that shone its light down, which made it give off a certain sense of predatory terror.Bookmark here

Immediately, Sera started running the other way. She turned her head back to see the truck slowly following her but not making any efforts to catch it. It was obvious to her that they were messing with her to prove a point. She just had to get home, and she would be safe.Bookmark here

Or that was what she thought.Bookmark here

As she approached the next corner, a different truck speeded towards her. Her attention had been fixed on the one behind her, so she hadn't bothered to check in front. She turned far too late, colliding into it. The force from the blow sent her flying into the air. By the time she landed, her consciousness had already faded.Bookmark here

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"And…that's how you target someone who is sharp-minded and perceptive. You have to distract and mislead them in order to surprise them. And fear is always a good way of doing that. Plus, it got her to think carefully about her shortcomings, so maybe, she'll be a bit wiser in the next world." Jester snickered at his companion.Bookmark here

"Ultimately, we just ran her over though. Seems like quite the setup for something so simple." Diesel sighed at his temporary partner.Bookmark here

"Hey, when it comes to something as monotonous as getting hit by a truck, half the fun is the buildup, am I right?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, yeah. If you say so…Who requested for her 'service' anyways?"Bookmark here

"Her boss. He noticed that she was getting into some pretty shady emails, and when he dug around, he found some stuff that would damage the integrity of the news station. Kami-sama told me that the public would find out eventually, after the election concluded and the progressives won. Rather, the guy wanted to get the jump on the issue to cover their hides."Bookmark here

"So, he can see the future after all! Then, wouldn't he have known if our job had succeeded?" Diesel pondered about Kami-sama's abilities, but Jester shot him down. Apparently, his vision couldn't see the actions influenced by those that originated in the divine realm, namely the recent sniping of requests by the Isekai Goose Squad.Bookmark here

"Hey, we still managed to get her before the goose did. Someone needed to keep it away while I set things up. You did good kid."Bookmark here

Diesel shrugged off Jester's compliment. All he had done was shoo away the goose that kept trying to steal their target from them. Kami-sama had temporarily paired up Truck-kuns to keep that from happening. Though, that goose was a crafty little devil that was hard to spot at times.Bookmark here

After losing his last target, Diesel had talked to Kami-sama about them. Apparently, Moon Goddess Yue was trying to run a competing service, one that employed those that reincarnated as geese to do the job.Bookmark here

Those dubbed as an 'Isekai Goose' were actually mischievous humans that loved to cause chaos. Moon Goddess Yue thought of them as adorable pets and had set up her store, Yue's Goose Squad, as a way for them to display their natural trickster abilities.Bookmark here

By taking Kami-sama's targets, the geese stole the karma that had been meant for the Truck-kuns, so obviously, they had not been happy about it.Bookmark here

"What is this world coming to? People being slaughtered by trucks and geese now."Bookmark here

Diesel could only hope that things wouldn't get any stranger.Bookmark here

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