Editor: Thor’s Stone
Fuyuki exchanged business cards with the sales manager of Benshin General Trading.
The act of exchanging business cards didn’t actually hold much meaning. It was like a sort of traditional ritual that only fellow Japanese understood. As long as one had registered and gotten an I.D., others would be able to get in touch with them via e-mail.
The other party was a swarthy and thin Japanese man. He displayed a warm and disarming smile.
「The two ladies over here are Jenny from Metal Iris and her secretary, Aki. This young man is the C-class Development Engineer, Kou.」
Fuyuki proceeded to introduce his three companions.
「My name is Imabe Shouichi of Benshin General Trading. Please just call me Shouichi. Is this young man planning to establish his own company in the future as well?」
「The name’s Jenny. He’s only gotten transferred over recently and doesn’t know a lot of stuff about being a Development Engineer yet. And by the way, you can’t poach him just because he’s C-rank, okay?」
「Haha. I understand. I just wanted to let you know we’ll be able to help if you ever plan on establishing some kind of business.」
The man already began giving a business pitch. General trading companies don’t just deal with buying and selling goods.
They also handled product planning and helping to organize new business opportunities. Setting up an organization and an accompanying business model is one of their specialties.
It can be said that general trading companies are unique to Japan’s business environment.
And C-rank Development Engineers were very enticing targets for them. After all, they had the ability to reactivate and run an unmanned factory. As long as they were supplied with blueprints from A-class or B-class Development Engineers, they can fully operate such factories.
Kou exchanged glances with Jenny and proceeded to give Shouichi a bow.
「We’ll keep that in mind. We’ll contact you via Fuyuki if there’s ever a need.」
Jenny and Fuyuki skillfully brushed Shouichi’s probing aside.
Kou pretended to be unused to dealing with people.
But he actually wasn’t pretending at all. He really sucked at socializing, so he simply kept quiet.
Aki gently snuggled up to Kou and pretended to show him some documents while secretly holding his hand to reassure him.
Only Fuyuki noticed her discreet actions.
They finally got on board a car and arrived at the main office and factory of the Wangcheng Industrial Group.
It looked more like a military research facility than a factory. An imposing fence surrounded it.
The facility was rife with activity. Many Silhouettes and large vehicles were coming and going from it.
「The factory itself is located underground. Wang-san is currently drawing up new plans there. This facility can manufacture most parts apart from MCS components.」
「The materials used to create MCS components can only be manufactured in outer space, right?」
「Precisely. We are actually able to obtain part of the manufactured space metals. One of the orbital elevators within humanity’s territory is still fully functional, so we get our supply from there.」
Their trading company seemed to be doing quite well.
「Well then, first, let me introduce you to the members of the Wangcheng Industrial Group.」
Jenny and the others were brought over to meet and exchange greetings with the people of Wangcheng Industrial.
Perhaps they were employed by the military before they were transferred over. Many of them gave the impression of military personnel instead of businessmen.
However, it appeared that Chairman Wang Yunlan would be late.
Jenny took the initiative to step out and exchanged greetings with them. She was now viewed as one of the heroes who rescued Asia. The members of the other party also seemed somewhat tense around her.
And so, a form of information warfare got started in a roundabout way.
Kou and Aki were wondering about what they should do next when someone called out to them from behind.
「Hello there. Are you Kou-kun? I’m Wang Yunlan. It’s nice to meet you.」
Kou turned around and saw a bespectacled middle-aged Asian man standing before him with a calm smile displayed on his face.
「It’s nice to meet you as well, Wang-san. My name is Kou. I’m Japanese. It’s really an honor to meet an A-class development engineer like you.」
「Just Yunlan will be fine. And you shouldn’t do that, young man. Acting too humble is a bad habit of the Japanese. Taking note of this is all the more important for those who are truly special.」
After hearing his words, Kou and Aki’s expressions visibly stiffened. Yunlan maintained a soft smile.
「That’s how it is. Why don’t we move to somewhere we can talk more freely? Hey, you all. I’ll be personally guiding them around the factory. Will that be fine?」
Yunlan called out to the men conversing with Jenny. The men nodded in assent.
When they walked a certain distance, he whispered to Kou.
「She’s a blonde beauty, and someone related to the military. Our men are still quite young, so it can’t be helped if they’re taken with her. Sorry about that. Even though you’re supposed to be the main character today.」
「What do you mean?」
After making sure there was no one else nearby, Kou responded with a question of his own.
「Ah. I heard about you from a certain silver-haired lass, you see.」
Those words were enough. Kou confirmed that his identity was already known to the other party.
「I express my thanks to you as well. Kou-kun. You see… I’ve been really vexed for quite some time now because previously, I could only hear her sorrowful cries. A-class Development Engineers like us are only capable of that much. I suppose it’s pretty much the same for the other five.」
Yunlan was revealing things about their group of six A-class Development Engineers.
「But now, we can finally hear her words clearly. She said you saved her, Kou. I was sure it was the truth after meeting you today.」
Asia should have already divided her consciousness and was busy with maintaining the condition of the planet.
She should have gotten in contact with the A-class Development Engineers before that.
「Now then. What do you wish to know, Kou-kun? My explanations will vary depending on what they are.」
「Thank you. I heard that you’re already working on improving the coordination between Silhouettes and other weapons. I want to hear more details about that.」
「And your reason?」
「I want to improve the combat capability and survival rates of Familiars and Therianthropes. In order to do so, I’m looking at starting with improving the coordination between Silhouettes and combat vehicles.」
「I see, I see. Understood. That’s quite a clear-cut direction. Follow me.」
He continued to talk to Kou as he led the way forward.
「Fortunately or unfortunately, the focus of the technology provision you held previously was centered on transport vehicles. It’s a good thing for you to finally realize the importance of coordination with Silhouettes.」
「Although embarrassing, I didn’t realize it until someone ended up pointing it out to me.」
「There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s enough for you to realize that point. That in itself is an achievement. Coming up with everything on their own is an architect’s job. We, however, are bricoleurs. We collect information and create things by making use of them afterward. That’s how we work.」
It seemed they had arrived at their destination. Yunlan opened the door and led the way inside what appeared to be a weapon testing facility.
「Come on. I’ll show you the thing I’m currently researching.」
The three started walking further inside the weapon testing facility.