Our fearless reporter risks getting accosted up by a drunkard to uncover the truth.

Mr. Sato has been a writer here for nearly 10 years now. After so many years as an investigative journalist he has developed the instincts of a grizzled reporter and can sniff out a story wherever he is.

Such an incident happened while he was on an official trip to Saitama Prefecture. After he detrained at Nishi-Kawaguchi Station and emerged from the West Exit, Mr. Sato happened to pass by a certain older gentleman who had a drunken air about him.

“Gentleman” was a generous label considering this person’s less-than-stellar grooming and hygiene. It certainly wasn’t the first time Mr. Sato crossed paths with a disheveled drunk at 10 a.m. on a weekday, but there was something particular about this disheveled drunk that set our reporter’s Sato-sense tingling.

Mr. Sato eyed the man as he stumbled along the sidewalk when, suddenly, the man began to reach into a tree planted on the side of the street in a most peculiar fashion.

“Something is afoot!” cried our reporter. Then, as he cautiously pulled down his pollen resisting mask he gasped, “Mystery paper.”

Many people don’t realize it, but the world is full of mystery papers. These are papers that people hide in plain sight and contain cryptic messages or uncertain origin or purpose.

Mr. Sato’s last encounter with a mystery paper was in 2017. A strange man in Shinjuku, Tokyo had hung it on a lamppost, and scrawled on the paper was a phone number that led to the last place he would have imagined.

The mystery of that paper had haunted him for years, and now he was getting another chance at cracking the code!

He hung back until the drunk guy had wandered out of sight and then went straight for the tree and the mystery paper it contained.

Mr. Sato trembled as he got closer. Maybe it was a stroke of luck that his trail went cold all those years ago. Perhaps the truth behind these papers is something he isn’t ready to handle, and was something so horrific that it drove that other guy to alcoholism.

Maybe this is the gateway to an underworld of intrigue and danger with unstable gangsters who huff gas out of tanks and threaten him through Roy Orbison lyrics.

Still, he just couldn’t live with the unanswered questions any longer. He pulled the paper from the tree, and it turned out to be…

A pair of losing One Piece lottery tickets.

Mr. Sato examined them and found that, aside from them being scratched to reveal no winning combinations of pirate symbols, there were no unusual markings on them at all.

Disappointed, he went to a nearby trash can and tossed the tickets inside. Then, suddenly, his Sato-sense tingled again!

If a trash receptacle was so close by, why did this guy go to the trouble of hiding those tickets in a tree? And if he was such a lazy litterbug, then why not just toss them on the ground?

The mystery deepens…

Images: SoraNews24
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