A Serious Error in Chihaya-chan’s Reputation – Volume 1 – Chapter 1

𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐛 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏: 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐛 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬

One month ago, Usabuki Chihaya experienced a recurring series of failures in her job search.

Having graduated from a technical high school, Chihaya had been pursuing a job in the design field since her school days, but she had faced consistent rejection during interviews.

“People who struggle with holding a proper conversation pose an issue… . . . . .”

This phrase, uttered without fail by every interviewer, encapsulated Chihaya’s disposition and stood as the primary reason for her unsuccessful job quest.

She struggled with a severe communication disorder, was introverted, had a tendency to stutter, and when challenges arose, she would attempt to resolve them on her own due to her social awkwardness.

Given her inclination, she possessed the capability to solve most issues independently, yet her presence was undesired within any organization.

Her appearance didn’t attract attention, and her perpetually timid demeanor cast an uncomfortable atmosphere in group settings. Over time, even previously smooth relationships would become strained.

Usabuki Chihaya, an eighteen-year-old, was unmistakably ill-suited for social interactions.

“. . . . . . Fu-He heh.”

Even her laughter took on an unsettling, forced quality. When anxiety struck her, she sought to mask it with eerie laughter, but her unique laugh prompted those around her to recoil, exacerbating her tension.

Chihaya averted her gaze from the rejection email bearing the words 『We wish you success in your future endeavors』, burying her face in a cushion shaped like a capybara.

“Impossible. . . . . .”

Enrolling in a technical high school had been a strategic decision, as it had minimal female presence and none of her middle school acquaintances, allowing her to avoid boys without complication.

However, her social awkwardness only intensified in this high school environment.

Group assignments? Tasks she tackled solo. Chihaya lacked connections for job placements.

Should she retreat to her parents’ home? Return to her hometown, where she scarcely knew anyone beyond familiar faces, where each street greeting triggered anxiety in her?

“Impossible. . . . . .”

Desperation filled Chihaya’s desire to secure a job, preferably one with minimal human interaction. Sales were, naturally, out of the question.

Chihaya retrieved her smartphone to explore work-from-home opportunities.

At that moment, a thud echoed as something slipped into her room’s mailbox.

Assuming it was yet another rejection letter, Chihaya cast a vacant gaze toward it, swept her black bangs aside with her fingertips, and rose from her seat.

As she opened the mailbox, she discovered an unusually thick envelope within. Adjacent to the emblem of her recently graduated technical high school lay an unfamiliar seal.

“New World Resources Agency?”

A relatively new government institution, established during Chihaya’s elementary school years.

Multiple governments that succeeded in accessing gates to an alternate world established this agency to explore and analyze resources in the “New World” they’d uncovered.

While pondering why she’d receive an envelope from such an organization, Chihaya perused the documents extracted from the envelope, using her capybara cushion as an improvised desk.

Evidently, the documents were dispatched to all technical high school graduates across the nation. The agency sought personnel for the operation of a humanoid construction mech, Actanoid.

The document contained images of a recognizable humanoid robot. The photographs depicted the nearly two-meter-tall construction mech, Actanoid, in action during disaster rescue operations and similar scenarios.

Actanoid could be controlled remotely either wirelessly or through wires, and its motion-capture technology facilitated intuitive operation, making it suitable for remote or perilous areas.

Within the New World, unknown viruses and hazardous flora and fauna were prevalent. Humans couldn’t enter safely due to potential biohazards, leading to the development and flourishing of Actanoid.

The New World Resources Agency dispatched these documents to technical high school graduates, given their foundational mech knowledge.

In truth, Chihaya had tinkered with the original Actanoid model, the All-Rounder, during her high school coursework.

“Actanoid, huh.”

Rustling through the papers, Chihaya mutters while she taps the head of a capybara cushion along with the documents.

With no job lined up, it might be okay to apply on a whim.

Flipping through the papers, the job details were laid out.

『Remote mech operation. No need to leave the room as long as there’s a proper communication environment. Payment is on a commission basis, but the average annual salary is $69,000. Complete remote collaboration even when working in a team is expected.』

――Complete remote collaboration.

“Fu-he he.”

Reading it repeatedly, Chihaya smiles faintly.

This is it. A job where she doesn’t have to meet people is perfect. It’s a perfect fit.

Though there’s a confidentiality agreement and a requirement to reside in the New World Development Zone, even moving expenses are covered.

They must be really short-handed.

“. . . . . .Isn’t it too convenient?”

Good things often come with a catch, Chihaya thinks, setting the papers aside and searching the internet.

The development of the New World has progressed rapidly since the rise of Actanoids. However, there’s always a shortage of manpower as the entire world needs to be investigated.

There are many different worlds, and each country determines the allocation of worlds during international conferences. In other words, every country is responsible for investigating and managing their own entire world, leading to a shortage of manpower everywhere.

In addition to the expected natural resources like oil and genetic materials, concerns arise about bioterrorism involving unknown bacteria, genetic contamination, and environmental destruction due to the introduction of unfamiliar flora and fauna.

To address these concerns, each country has imposed capital controls on the development of other worlds to prevent foreign espionage. This has worsened the shortage of manpower.

Japan is no exception, and there are so many surplus Actanoids in the New World that it’s become a problem. There seems to be a plan to lend these surplus Actanoids to lower the financial barriers for new entrants.

As far as research goes, the documents don’t seem to contain any falsehoods.

“A, Anyway, it doesn’t seem like I’ll get a job. . . . . .”

Deciding that it would be better than diving into a life of unemployment, Chihaya starts filling out the application forms.

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