The Lying Counselor’s Eloquent Reasoning - Chapter 58
“In the meantime, could you please tell me more about yourself? Even if it’s something casual, we might be able to find the cause as we chat.”
“Ah, yes, I suppose so. By the way, I haven’t introduced myself yet.”
From the breast pocket of his suit, the man produced a card and presented it to Uroma. When Tomomi stretched her neck to look at it, she noted that the name on it was Akiyama Ryuichi. The company’s name was in a trendy font that was difficult to read, but the title read “Representative Director”.
“So you are the president of the company, Mr. Akiyama. That’s quite an accomplishment for such a young man.”
“No, no, it’s not that big of a company.”
“Haha, don’t be modest. To tell you the truth, I was somewhat familiar with your face from the beginning. Now I know what that feeling of deja vu was. Didn’t you appear on TV about half a year ago, Mr. Akiyama?”
“Oh, did you watch that, by any chance?”
“Yes. I watched it thoroughly, it’s one of my favorite programs. If I remember correctly, you were on the show for an hour as a handsome president of an up-and-coming venture company. The way it was presented, you were truly a successful person, a winner in life.”
“Ah, not to that extent.”
The grim expression on his face from earlier was nowhere to be seen. Ryuichi began to grin as Uroma lifted him up.
“According to the program, your company is a so-called IT company that provides cloud services for nursing care providers. Since the nursing care industry is currently experiencing a serious labor shortage, the services of your company, which is expected to streamline the system, will be very convenient. It is quite evident that the company’s business is booming.”
“Thank you very much. Things are going well, owing to everyone’s support.”
Somehow it’s beginning to sound like a business talk…
“But for an outsider like me, I can’t imagine an IT company without the image of hellish overtime work, where SEs are stuck in front of their computers all day with bloodshot eyes.”
“Oh, that may be the case elsewhere, but not often at ours.”
“Well, there are times when we are occupied. You could say it’s the period when the concept of returning home vanishes.”
President Ryuichi laughed refreshingly, “Hahaha”. Tomomi felt as if she had somehow seen the darkness of an IT company.
“So, Mr. Akiyama, you didn’t experience any significant stress in your daily work?”
“Yes, that’s right. At least, nothing has changed before and after the accident.”
“I see. Then, have there been any changes in your lifestyle recently? For instance, have you suddenly quit drinking a lot of alcohol, started using drugs like LSD, or dabbled in some questionable health foods?”
“None. What do you mean, ‘health food’?”
“There are dangerous mushrooms and secret cactus that contain hallucinogenic alkaloids in the world. If you unwittingly ingest such things from health food imported from overseas, you’ll be in trouble. The black cat vision may even be caused by them.”
“Oh, so that’s what you mean. But nothing in particular has changed in terms of what I put in my mouth. I don’t even drink that much alcohol to begin with. Even any strange substances.”
“So you’re sure it’s not alcohol withdrawal symptoms or drug-induced visual hallucination?”
“The term ‘visual hallucination’ refers to images that do not exist in reality. Most of them are caused by some organic abnormality of the eyes or brain, or by alcohol or drugs. The most common psychogenic visual abnormality is vision loss due to depression. There is also psychogenic vision impairment, but this is almost exclusively seen in children. Alice in Wonderland syndrome is also common in children. This may be a little similar to the symptoms you are experiencing, Mr. Akiyama.”
“Alice in Wonderland? The fairy tale?”
“Yes. This symptom is derived from the fact that Alice, the main character of the fairy tale, grows and shrinks, making things in front of her eyes look bigger or smaller. This is caused by some kind of viral infection, and is generally temporary. It heals itself in a short time.”
“Does it occur in adults? Like me?”
“Yes, but it is often accompanied by migraines and other symptoms. Also, encephalitis.”
“No such thing occurs. I’ve had all the tests done at the hospital…”
Ryuichi let out a sigh. He seemed to be discouraged that his mark was off.
“Are there any other illnesses that visual hallucination or others that you might be aware of?”
“Well… There’s also Charles Bonnet Syndrome, where blind people have visions.”
“Blind people have visions?”
Ryuichi gave him a look that said, “What are you talking about?”. It’s definitely a strange Japanese phrase.
“The human brain is a strange thing, and even if one suddenly loses their sight, the part of the brain that controls visual information in the sensory cortex remains active for a while as if they had sight. This unilateral outburst of activity in the sensory cortex is the true nature of the illusions seen by blind people with Charles Bonnet syndrome.
“I see. So, even if the remote host abruptly breaks off its response, the local device is still alive, and data is transmitted from it as usual.”
Ryuichi was convinced by the unfamiliar analogy that was typical of people in IT companies. Was that really the right understanding?
“In fact, such anomalies are not limited to vision, but can occur in other senses as well. For example, there is something called phantom pain. It is written as ‘phantom limb pain’. A person who has lost a limb in an accident, for example, may perceive it as if it exists and feel pain.”
“It sounds like the Charles something from earlier, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. The human brain may sometimes develop a bug in a sudden void of large information. Well, it’s quite difficult to imagine that the brain would malfunction in some way in the face of a very small amount of visual loss, such as in the case of myodesopsia.”
“… I suppose.”
Once again, Ryuichi heaved a sigh. This story also seemed to have no bearing on him, and he felt disappointed all over again.
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