112 – Prelude: Exclusive Contract Talks
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“You wish to purchase a mothership from us, correct?”
She immediately got to the point while still wearing that perfect business smile. She was really straightforward, so I was a bit surprised. But it’s better this way.
“Yes. We were planning on purchasing a Skizbrazunil from your company, you see.”
As I said so, Sara-san’s eyes started sparkling in delight and she leaned over. She leaned forward, but since she was so small, it actually didn’t make much difference. It wasn’t sexy at all.
“The SDMS – 020, right? You have great foresight sir! The SDMS – 020 is our best seller in the carrier category. We released the base model roughly 89 years ago, but we’ve continuously improved the line based on feedback from our loyal customers and innovations made by our prized engineers. As you know, the product’s concept is high reliability and customizability. And you’ve come at just the perfect time. We have just completed a newly developed edition of the ship.”
Sara-san rubbed her hands together as she made a delighted smile.
“But…… It’s gonna be expensive, right?”
I made a circle with my index finger and thumb to better get my meaning across.
“Well, that’s true. It supports a wide range of the latest cutting edge optional parts. But don’t you worry, sir. I have the perfect proposal to satisfy your needs, Hiro-sama.”
After saying so, the dwarven lady’s smile deepened even more. I raised my guard after seeing that.
“Hiro-sama is a brilliant up-and-coming mercenary who rose from Bronze rank to Gold rank at a blazing fast speed. Is this correct?”
“……Doesn’t it feel like I’m just bragging if I say yes to that? It may seem like I’m just full of myself y’know.”
“That’s not true! You’re very cool!”
Mimi denied my words with sparkling eyes.
“I also feel a bit embarrassed about it… but it’s the truth anyway.”
Elma gets where I’m coming from but she didn’t deny the claim that I was some super amazing merc. May just quietly stood behind us. She didn’t say anything, But I guess that means she agrees with Mimi and Elma.
“So it’s the truth, huh… Alright then. Let’s leave it at that. I understand that Sara-san, or rather, the Space Dwerg company sees me quite favorably. So?”
I set aside the matter of whether or not I’m a super awesome merc and urged to continue the discussion. Anyway, it’s not about what I think of myself but what others think when they see my accomplishments. If she and Space Dwerg think I’m a great mercenary, then that’s fine. I’m not gonna dwell on that any further.
“Yes. If you sign an exclusive contract with us, we will be able to offer you more favorable terms and big discounts.”
She said all that without breaking her sunny smile. I inclined my head after hearing her offer.
“I can’t decide objectively if you don’t give me the details of that exclusive contract.”
“Yes, of course. To put it simply, we will need you to continue using our products and mothership as much as possible, come to our facilities for your maintenance needs whenever possible, collect performance data from you regularly, and make use of your various exploits for our company’s advertising campaigns. Those are the four main conditions.”
I ran the details of the four conditions she presented inside my head.
There’s no problem with the first condition, I think. It’s not like we’ll be replacing the mothership anytime soon.
As for the second condition, well, I guess it’s okay. She did say I only had to use their facilities whenever possible, so it’s not like I can’t go to other facilities for maintenance and repairs if there are no Space Dwerg facilities available.
I have no problem with the third condition either. But I have to discuss it with everyone just to be sure. It’s the fourth condition that I have a problem with. I need to hear more details about it in order to decide.
“I don’t have problems with the first and second conditions, but what do you guys think about the third and fourth? I personally don’t really have a problem with handing them performance data. As for the fourth one, I think we need to hear more details since it’s a bit vague.”
“I think it would be fine if we excluded the details related to our private lives. I have no problem with using the collected data for advertising either. But something like having us serve as spokespersons for Space Dwerg is a no-go I think. It would be troublesome to always promote Space Dwerg products and services anywhere we go.”
“I also agree with Elma-sama. In any case, I think it would be best if we also hear how much discounts and perks they are willing to offer us before we decide to sign any sort of contract with them.”
“Fumu… I see. What about you, Mimi? Any opinions?”
“I don’t understand the part where they will use our exploits for advertising. Are they simply going to use our mercenary activities for advertising campaigns? But we basically just travel around and hunt pirates, right? I don’t know how they would use something like that to promote their company.”
After hearing our concerns, Sara-san nodded and began to explain.
“Regarding the use of performance and operational data, we will make sure to exclude the details pertaining to your private lives, so please do not worry. And as for using your exploits for advertising, you will basically have to give priority coverage rights to our company for live battle footage during your operations.”
“Priority coverage rights?”
Another thing I wasn’t clear with was mentioned.
“Yes. The Space Dwerg group doesn’t just deal with developing and building starships, but numerous other businesses as well. For example, our industrial department covers a wide range of fields such as weapons development and manufacturing, as well as brewing quality beverages. There’s also an entertainment and media department as well.”
I kinda have a bad feeling about this.
“Yes. For those living in the colonies, the lives of people traveling around to various parts of the galaxy is a very exciting topic. In other words, they like to hear and watch things about the lives of you intrepid space drifters. The documentaries about mercenaries exterminating evil pirates are very popular programs in the colonies you know.”
I looked toward Mimi, who was a former colony citizen, to ask about her opinion and found her eyes sparkling in excitement.
“That’s right! I also liked watching those documentaries about monster hunters and mercenaries when I was living in the colony! So our activities will be broadcasted in those documentary programs, right!? Uwaaaaaah…!”
Mimi-san was shivering in excitement. If she had a tail, it would be wagging energetically. I see. Judging from her reaction, those mercenary life documentaries look like very popular programs in the colonies.
“What do you think, guys?”
Compared to the excited Mimi, Elma was acting more reserved.
“I think it would be best to decline…”
“No, well, if they watch our daily interactions, the people out there will find out about what kind of relationship we have with Hiro, right? It’s probably going to be broadcasted to the whole galaxy, even. Do you really realize what that means?”
So it’s about this dimension’s common sense regarding a man and a woman living under one ship huh?
If they feature us in a documentary program, that’s like announcing our relationship to the entire galaxy.
“Is there something wrong with that? I don’t think there would be problems even if they knew our relationship with Hiro-sama though.”
Mimi heard Elma’s reasons for declining, but still stuck to her opinion. Elma was taken aback by Mimi’s reaction.
“Yeah. I think it’s too late to be feeling bashful about it too. Our relationship is already obvious to the people from the local port administration bureaus and the Mercenary Guild branches we visited. And as long as we continue to travel around in space, it will eventually be known to the entire galaxy anyway.”
“T-That’s right, I guess. But…”
Elma was losing her ground against the calm Mimi and looked down in reluctance. Or rather, Mimi’s quite intense today huh.
“I’m also quite interested about your relationship with these two lovely ladies, but anyway, that’s how it is. We would like for you to accept the offer of Space Dwerg’s entertainment and media department. Oh! And of course, you will get a satisfactory appearance fee as well!”
After saying so, she made the same finger sign that I did earlier to illustrate her point. Oh, okay.
Well, Mimi’s episode would be akin to a Cinderella story, so I bet it will be real popular huh. At least I think so. Depending on how you look at it, it’s like she stood up from the very bottom and obtained success after all.
“…..Since you’ll have priority rights, I assume it would be better if we decline offers from other companies, correct?”
“Yes, that’s how it is.”
“We’re not forced to divulge everything, right? Meaning, we will be able to refuse at our discretion if we think it’s inappropriate.”
“……Yes. That’s correct.”
It felt like Sara-san wanted to click her tongue just now, but she still kept her perfect smile.
“Hiro-sama! Let’s accept the coverage deal! Come on!”
Mimi excitedly pulled my arm. Ah〜 You’re shaking me far too much, young lady… My teeth are clattering already.
“So I take it that you agree to our offer, correct? Then let us move on to the price of the ship and the optional parts and equipment you want added on to it.”
Sara-san picked up a portable terminal from her desk and put up an image on the holo-display. What was displayed was the ship we were planning to buy; the Skizbrazunil.
“Let’s start with talking about the Skizbrazunil itself first. Depending on the direction of the discussions, we may be able to accommodate your needs better by offering suggestions.”
Sara-san’s eyes displayed a sharp glint akin to that of a raptor scoping out its prey for a brief moment. Oh boy. Guess I gotta brace myself. I can’t let my guard down around this lady(?). Bring it on then. I’m gonna haggle like my life depends on it.