In the latest episode of “The Eminence in Shadow,” titled “Mask of Falsehood,” our protagonist Shadow, along with Shadow Garden, has departed from Lawless City after the conclusion of the Red Moon incident. They have returned to the capital of Midgar Kingdom, where a fresh enigma begins to unfurl. Shadow adopts a new identity, going by the name Mr. John Smith, as he hatches clandestine schemes in the shadows.
Simultaneously, Alpha and the upper echelons of Shadow Garden oversee the operations of their company, Mitsugoshi. Leveraging the knowledge Shadow brought from his previous world, Mitsugoshi has risen to prominence, outstripping competitors. However, from Shadow’s perspective, he perceives Mitsugoshi as encroaching on his own endeavors, prompting him to take action and reclaim what he believes is rightfully his.
In this pursuit, Shadow sheds his previous persona and takes on the role of the highly skilled secret agent, Mr. John Smith. He forges an alliance with one of Lawless City’s three rulers, Yukime, a spirit fox. Their objective is to let Mitsugoshi and the Major Corporate Alliance vie for supremacy, all while they profit discreetly from the shadows. Garter, an executive of the Major Corporate Alliance, discusses fortifying their defenses against Mitsugoshi, hinting at an enigmatic underworld swordsman who shares a history with Yukime.
While Mr. John Smith and Yukime orchestrate their covert plans, the Major Corporate Alliance mobilizes against Mitsugoshi. They are not alone in this endeavor, as various shopping districts, along with major corporations and downtown shopping centers, join forces in a concerted effort against Mitsugoshi. With the entire retail industry harboring animosity towards Mitsugoshi, its longevity appears uncertain. In response, John Smith devises a strategy to relocate to a new market, establish a fresh corporation, and invite Alpha and others to join as upper management. This ambitious plan sets the stage for the rebirth of Mitsugoshi under a different guise.
Elsewhere, Cid makes a discovery about the Major Corporate Alliance’s introduction of new bills that can replace those from the Mitsugoshi bank. Surprised by this revelation, Cid reflects on past discussions about banks and credit creation with Alpha and the others. He marvels at how they managed not only to establish their own bank but even create their currency. Inspired, Cid contemplates the idea of forging counterfeit bills.
Cid, now operating under the guise of Mr. John Smith, approaches Yukime with a proposal to replicate the Major Corporate Alliance’s bills due to their rudimentary design and lack of security features. He delves into the intricacies of credit creation and the evolution of paper money, which supplanted gold coins. While John Smith envisions a lucrative venture through counterfeiting, Yukime astutely points out its potential pitfalls. This leads to a comical misunderstanding, as Yukime misinterprets John Smith’s intentions, believing him to be testing her loyalty.
Meanwhile, after the encounter with Yukime, Cid joins Delta for a hunting excursion. Unlike the rest of Shadow Garden, Delta displays a more relaxed demeanor around Cid, revealing a unique dynamic between them. During the hunt, Delta encounters her brother Zabra, a worker for Gettan, the mastermind behind the Major Corporate Alliance. In a shocking turn of events, Delta swiftly dispatches him, illustrating her uncompromising stance on weakness within their family. Meanwhile, Gettan, in league with the Cult of Diablos, recognizes Mitsugoshi as a formidable adversary.
As the narrative unfolds, alliances and rivalries intertwine, setting the stage for a complex web of intrigue and conflict in this captivating episode of “The Eminence in Shadow.”