036 – Mercenary Guild and Referral Letter
After we finished shopping at the specialty clothing store 『Atelier Pure』, Mimi and I headed to the Mercenary Guild branch next. Mimi chose to wear the black goth loli dress in the end. Her act of clinging onto the cuff of my clothes and hiding behind me due to not being used to wearing such clothes and being embarrassed to walk around with them in public was seriously cute. But she couldn’t hide her satisfied expression from me.
“Mimi, you’ll stand out more if you continue clinging to me like that you know. Just walk in front proudly. I’m sure you won’t gather as much attention if you do so.”
“There’s really no reason for you to be embarrassed you know. It really suits you. It suits you to a tee. You’re super cute!”
“Please spare me already.”
Mimi hid her face with both hands and sank from my merciless attacks. No, Captain! I didn’t mean to cause a friendly fire incident! I’m reflecting upon my actions. But seeing her so embarrassed is just so utterly cute. Hehehe.
Mimi finally settled down after a little while. She still seemed embarrassed, but she was now able to walk normally, so we continued on our way to the Mercenary Guild branch. The Guild building’s location was on a different upper block area from the tower Atelier Pure was renting in. It was located closer to the sector where the starship docks were at.
We came to a different tower structure, entered an elevator inside, and rode it to the sector where the Mercenary Guild building was located. The towers were separated into different layers. There were three floors on the upper block, fifty-two on the middle block, and thirty floors on the lower block. I have no idea about how huge the structures exactly were, but they sure looked pretty impressive.
“I wonder where this colony’s residents live?”
“It seems there’s a tower fully dedicated as a residential building as well. It’s a bit far from here, though.”
“I see. It does look like one of these buildings could hold a huge number of people.”
I wonder just what the total population of this colony is? It was such a huge colony, so there may be hundreds of thousands living in it perhaps.
But what’ll we have for lunch? I consulted Mimi, but we were disturbed by a *pon sound before we could decide. It looks like the elevator reached the floor where the Mercenary Guild was located in.
“Maybe we can ask around in the Mercenary Guild as well. They’re more familiar with this place after all.”
“Yes, you’re right.”
Gazes instantly focused on us when we left the elevator. The types of people whose gazes came our way were varied. There were stereotypical mercenary guys radiating an intimidating atmosphere, bipedal lizard aliens who also seemed to be mercenaries, a tan-skinned woman who – for some incomprehensible reason – was wearing bikini armor, a woman who seemed to be a maid no matter which angle you looked at her, a group of six people the size of children wearing identical space suits, an alien who looked like a red panda in a work uniform, etcetera etcetera.
“It seems… more lively compared to Termaine Prime’s Mercenary Guild branch, isn’t it?”
The gazes didn’t linger on me for long, but it was the opposite for Mimi, so she felt a bit uncomfortable from all the attention. She’ll get used to it eventually. I urged her to go to the counter, so she started walking ahead of me. The number of gazes turned toward Mimi decreased a bit when we started walking together. The mercenaries should have realized she was with me, who looked like your typical merc.
The cliché template of people going 『Looks like you brought quite the cutie with you eh, rookie?』 didn’t happen, and we reached the reception counter without any issues. Mimi was really quite cute, so her gathering attention was something inevitable. It was all but natural.
“Welcome. What is your business with us today?”
The one manning the counter we arrived at was a beautiful young woman. She looked like a proper career woman wearing the standard Mercenary Guild uniform. Her assets left Elma in the dust and even seemed to be comparable to Mimi’s. She was really quite the beauty. Was beauty a requirement in order to be hired as a Mercenary Guild receptionist?
“My name’s Captain Hiro. This is Mimi, my ship’s operator. We just arrived from Termaine Prime a few days ago, so we came here for a visit. We’re planning on staying in this colony for a while, you see.”
We handed her our data terminals, which she ran through a scanning device of some sort. A beep rang from the device, and a holographic display appeared before us.
“Yes, I’ve confirmed your info. You’re Captain Hiro, correct? Your rank is Silver, the number of crew members is two… Where might the other crewmember, Elma, be?”
“She stayed on the ship. We’re waiting for contact from Inagawa Technology, you see.”
“Inagawa Technology… I see. To encounter something like that right when you arrive. I don’t know if I can consider you lucky or not.”
“Well, we did make some money out of it, so I guess you can consider us lucky.”
When she heard my reply as I held both my hands up and shrugged, the receptionist gave me a wry smile in return. Yeah, I know. You’re trying to imply we’re the type to invite trouble, aren’t you, Miss? I do kinda feel that as well. Just a bit. But we won’t be able to get things done if we didn’t consider getting caught up in troublesome matters a stroke of fortune as well.
“Has the Guild received word from them?”
“No, nothing at the moment. They’ve probably just decided on the number of monetary rewards, and it’s taking some time to be approved. They’re a big company, after all.”
“I see. Please contact us or our ship if there’s any sort of correspondence from them.”
The receptionist raised her voice in surprise and operated her terminal.
“What good timing. We’ve just received word from Inagawa Technology.”
“Oh…… What did they say?”
“The total reward amount is 500,000 Enels.”
“I’m not sure about that price… It kinda feels like they didn’t go cheap on us, but it doesn’t look like a big amount either. Can we consult with the crewmember left on the ship as well before we give a reply?”
After receiving consent from the receptionist, we immediately contacted Elma. It looks like she was manning the ship normally, so she picked up right away.
『Yes, Elma here. What’s wrong? Trouble?』
“Nah, we’re in the Mercenary Guild right now. They just received a reward notice from Inagawa Technology. The reward is 500,000 Enels. What do you think?”
『Hm. It’s not like we towed them all the way back to the colony anyway. It’s a reasonable amount for guarding them until the local military patrol arrived, I think. It’s a normal reward for that kind of medium-sized civilian ship.』
“So, should we accept?”
『Yes. I don’t think there’s any problem. Try to consult with Mimi as well, just in case.』
『It’s fine. I’m happy you’re relying on me.』
“I’ll continue relaxing on the ship then,” Elma declared as she hung up. I looked toward Mimi after Elma cut the call.
“Elma said the 500,000 reward was okay. Do you have anything to add, Mimi?”
“I believe Inagawa Technology also manages a general hospital. Why don’t you try asking them for a referral letter for our check-ups, Hiro-sama?”
“Really? Okay then. I’ll try asking. Uh, please do as we discussed, Miss.”
“Yes. I shall tell the other party your intentions, then. We will contact you as soon as we get a reply from them.”
“We’ll leave it to you. And, uh, I have something I want to ask you about as well.”
“Yes? What is it?”
“Can you tell us the special products of this colony as well as places where we can eat some tasty food?”
She may have not expected such a question. The Guild receptionist froze up. It seemed like there was a question mark hovering on top of her head.
Was it really such an unusual question……?
The day after my enjoyable date with Mimi, we received the referral letter from Inagawa Technology and immediately headed for the general hospital under the company.
Eh? What about the local specialties, you ask? It’s not like there wasn’t anything that tasted okay, but I just can’t bring myself to like them. Normally speaking, a product good enough to be considered a local specialty shouldn’t be too bad.
That’s what I thought at first.
Well, you see, I know that the raw ingredients used in food cartridges didn’t have much flavor unless they’re properly processed. But what am I supposed to think if I get shoved with those very ingredients combined into a sort of funky paste?
It did manage to fill the belly, and it’s not like it didn’t have any flavor at all. How can I describe it? An umami shake? And in Large size too. I can’t think of anything else to compare it with. To put it simply, it was just nutrient paste.
Mimi and I made expressions akin to Tibetan sand foxes when we first tasted the thing. Did the receptionist onee-san have a sort of grudge against us or something?
“What’s up with you? You look like you just swallowed some sand.”
“Un, well, I just noticed that stall over there y’see……”
I saw a street-side stall similar to the one we went to yesterday on the way to the general hospital. I looked to the side and found Mimi displaying the same expression as me. By the way, Mimi was wearing clothes that were easy to take off if it was ever required during the check-up. She wore her usual training clothes with a jacket on top. I and Elma dressed pretty much the same. We did have our laser guns holstered though.
“Was it really that bad?”
“It was recommended by the guild receptionist, but it was awful.”
“It certainly was a hard-to-describe experience……”
It may be considered a local specialty in the sense that you can’t find it anywhere else except for this place. The fact that it was cheap and filled you up wasn’t bad… but it’s not something I’d want to eat on a daily basis.
I and Mimi continued to discuss just how bad the nutrient paste was until we arrived in front of a large building. The words ‘Inagawa Technology’ was painted on the sidewall of the said building. Are all the tenants of those buildings working for Inagawa Technology?
“Well, it sure is easy to find.”
“Yes, you’re right. We can easily spot it even from a distance.”
Mimi looked up at the building and seemed impressed. Elma didn’t have much to comment though. The three of us entered the building.
“Just how many floors are there in this place?”
“I think they have navi robots here. Let’s check with one of them.”
What’s a navi robot supposed to be? We followed Elma until we got in front of a console where she slotted her information terminal. When she did so, a beep sound rang out, followed by something round and was the size of an adult fist coming out of a circular hole in the wall.
『Welcome. I am the navigation unit, N-34. I shall guide Elma-sama and companions to your destination.』
“Hey, that’s high tech stuff.”
“It’s nothing all that high-tech you know…… Oh, I see. It’s high-tech for you huh.”
“Is that so?”
Mimi tilted her head at my response. Oh yeah. I haven’t told Mimi about my being from another dimension yet huh… I’ll tell her later tonight then. I don’t think Mimi would doubt whatever I say, so it’s not like I absolutely had to tell her. Maybe I’ll consult with Elma first?
The navigation unit rolled along as it guided us. It looks like we have to take the elevator.
“Hm, this little guy’s pretty cute.”
“Really? You have a peculiar taste.”
“Eh? I mean, doesn’t it kinda resemble a small animal?”
“I can sort of see that. It feels like it’s working really hard even though it’s so small.”
The navigation unit inputted the specific floor we needed to go to, and the elevator started moving. Speaking of which, this dimension’s elevators don’t seem to stop for picking up more people along the way. Just how does that work, I wonder. It was kind of a mystery.
We reached the destination after a few moments. The elevator doors opened up and the navigation unit started rolling away again. It was rolling around while emitting electronic beeps. Maybe it’s a mechanism to ensure the guests following after it didn’t lose sight of it by making use of the beeps.
“It looks like we’re here.”
We passed by people wearing doctor and nurse uniforms as we walked along the aisle until we arrived at an open space. It was a bright and clean space, as expected of a medical institution.
“Hey there. Welcome. I’ve been waiting for you guys.”
The navigation unit stopped rolling in front of a person.
It was a woman. She was about as tall as me. She sported light brown hair bunched up in a single braid which went down till her waist. Both her hands were stuffed inside her coat pockets. The gaze reflected from behind her slightly unfashionable glasses seemed somewhat sleepy-looking. Her face was relatively plain but was still strangely beautiful. The size of her chest weapons was… at the level of Mimi’s. Excellent!
“My name’s Shouko. I’m the person in charge of your health check-ups today… Well, I’m a doctor, basically. Nice to meet you, folks.”
She flashed us a good-natured smile.