$100 is Too Cheap
$100 is Too Cheap, Oneshot, (Akamaru Jump, Winter 2008)
$100 is Too Cheap
=Name's Petey, I'm a girl though...
=Guess how old I am.
=Just an educated guess. Underage customers tend to order beers.
=Even if you were over 21, you wouldn't get angry if I guessed lower, right?
=Yep, you're right.
=What about my profession?
=When you first came in through the door,//You immediately checked to see whether I had a gun.
=A work habit.
=In spite of that, you dress normally, and your glasses are fake.
=Customers who come in with disguises are either...//Bounty hunters or celebrities.
=Anyone who checks for a gun must be—//A bounty hunter.
=Hey,//How old are you?
=I think that's enough questions for now... Let's get down to business.//What's the mystery you want me to solve?
$100 is Too Cheap
Mystery Solver = A person or group of persons who solve mysteries for a living.
=Suna (age 17), male//Mystery Solver & Bartender
=Hmm—A 17-year-old bartender, huh. Pretty bizarre if you ask me.
=I get that often.
*Ginger Ale...As suitable
=Here you go.
=—Alright.//Every mystery needs a little bit of explaining,
=So here goes.
=Like you said, I'm a bounty hunter, but...
=Lately, there's been a huge increase in our numbers.//About 200 in my town, I think.
=You know how all the mines've been closing because they can't find anymore gold? I guess the workers drifted over into bounty hunting, but...
Oh,//Not me though. I was originally with Irony Railways and...
=Anyways,//My town's chock-full of bounty hunters. Plus, there's even the guilds and the Sheriff's Office!
=There's just waaay too many of us.
=It really makes me wanna cry! I mean, the competition just gets tougher and tougher and you can barely even scrape out a living!
=Oh,//I wanted to be a sheriff, by the way...
=But this year, the Sheriff's Office announced that they were only hiring one new sheriff!
=Just one! When there's 200 bounty hunters lying around!
=So you're saying they should hire more when there's that many people willing to do the job.
=Anyways, that's not important...
You see, when there's that many people, the criminal's as good as captured once that wanted poster goes up.
It's like dropping bread crumbs into a lake filled with fish!
=Oh yeah! Speaking of lakes, this one time I...!
=—Uhh,//Umm... Can you maybe not talk about yourself so much?
=Hey!//I'm getting there, alright.
Shirley Temple (Non-Alcoholic)
=There's one scrap of bread that nobody's gobbled up.
=It's been 3 months, and he's still at large.//The guy's name is "Blue Cheese." No criminal's ever lasted this long after getting a wanted poster.
=Isn't he just really tough to catch? Or maybe he's already dead.
=Nope, you see...
=Nobody's even tried to capture him.
=A bounty of negative $100?
=Exactly!//Can you believe it!? A negative $100 bounty!
=Negative...? That means...
=Normally, you'd be paid for catching a wanted person, right?
=It's the opposite.//A fine! You have to pay $100 if you catch the criminal!
=Really? Then why would anyone—
=That's the mystery I want you to solve for me.//That's what I came here for.
*Orange Juice...As suitable
=Can you check the room temperature for me?//It's the blue one over there.
=May I ask one question?
=Why do you want to find out?//It's not going to make you any money, right?
=Oh c'mon—! A strange bounty like that would catch anybody's eye—!
=Everybody wants to know!
=Why don't you just go and capture him?
=The fine's only $100.
=Don't underestimate bounty hunting! You put your life on the line for every criminal!
=I'm not working for free.
=That's why all the other bounty hunters lost interest.
=Well... My curiosity got the best of me. I guess that's why I'm here right now...
=I asked around for the mystery solver with the most free time on their hands, and they introduced you.
=What a rude introduction.
=Very well, I'll take this case.//Let's begin by jotting down any possibilities we can think of. Process of elimination is the basis for any line of reasoning.
="Commercial?" Like an advertisement?
=When word got out,//Lots of people came to see this poster, right?
=Maybe he's running a business that would benefit if his name got out...
=Hmm... I don't think people would be willing to cooperate on something like that.
=If the person offering this bounty—//Is Blue Cheese himself,
=He could make easy money off somebody who mistakenly captures him.
=The Sheriff's Office put up this bounty.
=Either way, isn't $100 too cheap for that?
=...The Sheriff's Office put it up...?
=Usually, a bounty indicates that they want the person captured.//So in reverse, a negative bounty indicates that they don't want the person captured.
=Maybe this criminal named Blue Cheese is actually an important governmental figure, or a secret philanthropist...
=Gosh,//How do you come up with so many ideas?
=But that can't be it.
=That guy's a straight-up criminal.
=He even stole money from the Sheriff's Office. That's why they put the bounty up.
=From the Sheriff's Office...
=You should've told me that before.
=If the Sheriff's Office was the victim, and put the bounty on his head,//Then naturally, they must also be the ones behind all of this.
=This is a camera. It records scenery into a photograph.
=I'll show you how to use it, so please get me a photograph of that wanted poster.
=Me!? No way!!
=I still have some work left. And besides, I don't know where the poster is.
=Right now!? Do you even know how long it took to get there!?
=The stagecoach should be departing shortly. Please come back within 3 hours.
=Take it, thief!
=Oh, you going home already?
=Damn right! You beat me today, alright!! Bastard!
=Hey Blue Cheese, you heard about this?
=There's some weird girl that's out trying to arrest you.
=No way in hell—You gotta come up with something better than that.
=Take one good look at that bounty on my head. You'll see why.
=Sorry to bother you.//Please, have some tea.
Milk Tea (Non-Alcoholic)
Tea Leaves...As suitable
=Hey... Were you thinking it was a typo or a joke or something?//I'm not that dumb, you know!
=Damn, I lost again.//Maybe I should go rob someone—
=It wasn't that.//I just wanted to make sure you read the poster correctly.
=But,//It looks like you were right.
=I don't need this photograph anymore.//No wait... I could use the back as scrap paper...
=I guess it's over then.
=Oh well, I had fun anyways.//It's about time I moved on to other things.
=You should go capture him.
=You figured it out?
=Remember how I said that the process of elimination is the basis for any line of reasoning?
=Eliminating each hypothesis leaves the most logical explanation.
=What the...!? Who the hell—!?
=Don't turn around. Just answer my questions.
=Your name is Blue Cheese.//You are a wanted man. Your crime was theft.
=Nod if what I've said is correct.
=I'm a bounty hunter. I'm going to hand you over to the sheriff's office. Listen carefully—
=Hah! Haven't you heard about me!?//The bounty on my head is—
=Shut up.//Listen, I'm going to count to 10.
=Choose whether you want to come quietly or put up a fight.
=I'll go! I'll follow you! Just stop skipping numbers!
=It's pretty far. We won't make it before daybreak if we walk.
=Don't fall behind.
=Is that right?
=That's gonna be tough.
=I might not look it, but I have lumbago.//Doctor said one of the bones in my back is all worn out. Let's see, was it the 2nd or 3rd vertebrae...?
=Think it was right around here...
=Don't make me draw. Moron.
=Alright,//Confirmed. Go over to the front.
=Do you think there's a bounty hunter out there who would capture criminals with no bounty on their heads, Ms. Petey?
=I don't think so.
=If there was one,//What kind of person do you think they would be?
=They must have an annoyingly strong sense of justice.//Like they won't stand to see any criminals walking around.
=Exactly! I think so too.
=That's it.//If you keep eliminating meanings from this mystery, all that remains is the simple truth.
=About the reward...
=They're just waiting.
=For a bounty hunter with a strong sense of justice to appear.
The wanted person isn't important at all. The bounty hunters are the ones that are being tested.
They're seeing if there's a bounty hunter who would be willing to capture criminals for no monetary reward...
=Things get clearer if you think about it that way.
=I get the "test" part,
=But Blue Cheese's crime is too minor for that. He's just a petty thief!
=I know. Here.
=They can't use big-time criminals. Someone else might've already put a bounty on their heads.
=That's why they used Blue Cheese. He was only in trouble with the Sheriff's Office.
=Okay,//So the Sheriff's Office finds this bounty hunter with the strong sense of justice... And then what? Do they get commended?//Like, "Wow—It's so great of you to capture a criminal for no reward—!?" What's the point of that!?
=The answer,//Is what you said at the very beginning.
=...Interested in becoming a sheriff?
They announced that they were only hiring one new sheriff—
=They're scouting for a new sheriff.
=Didn't you think it was odd?
=Publicly announcing that they would only hire one new sheriff...
=If they just wanted to hire a sheriff, the sooner the better. They could just pick out the most able individual and appoint them. What could they possibly be waiting for?
=The answer is, they're waiting for an individual with a strong sense of justice.
=That mysterious negative $100 bounty was the ticket to getting that sheriff's job.
=One week later—
=Is it too big...?
=No no, it looks good.
=If they wanted to hire the candidate with the strongest sense of justice... Then I suppose using this method would make sense.//Don't you agree that this is the one and only logical conclusion?
=Do you have any proof?
=I don't.//Besides, this isn't a case where you can gather evidence.
=You have to go and capture the criminal to find out.//But I think it's well worth the risk if you wish to become a sheriff, Ms. Petey.
=But just one thing...
=What's with the negative $100!?
=Why didn't they just leave it at zero?
=I thought about that too...//I'm not sure about this—
=But it's probably...
=The uniform fee.
=They're selling it!?//That's so stingy!!!
=Yes, well... Adults are all stingy.
=Gosh, I can't tell whether you're really smart,//Or just plain stupid.
=Yep.//I'll trust you reasoning.
=Besides, I've got to hurry.//How much is the bill?
=Let's see... The solving fee,//Drink fee and other expenses comes out to...
=Hey, it's exactly $100.