115 – Punishment (LV1) and Suite Room
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“Okay then, we’ll have to book a hotel for now.”
After finishing the necessary procedures, I, Elma, and Mimi finally left the Space Dwerg building. Both of them agreed to book a hotel. Since Krishna was due for an overhaul, we wouldn’t be able to stay there for a while. The Krishna served as both our ship and residence, but right now, if we don’t book a hotel, we’d be temporarily homeless.
“We’ll be handing the ship over by noon tomorrow. We’ll have to pack some things and book lodgings before then.”
“We just need to take the essentials, right?”
“Yep. It would be fine to just bring our portable terminals and tablets, as well as some change of clothes. That would be enough for me anyway.”
The portable terminals also function as our wallets, and it’s not like a guy like me needs to pack a lot of stuff anyway. I’ll just buy anything else I’d need later.
“In any case, we have to return to the ship for a bit to pack.”
“Yeah. Let’s go back, eat a quick meal, and then search for a hotel to stay in.”
The three of us walked back to the docks with May following after us. The areas nearest to the dock area where Krishna was parked were filled almost completely with offices owned or related to Space Dwerg Co. Ltd. The commercial and downtown areas are situated on a different block.
Most people that come to this colony have business with Space Dwerg and its related companies. There are a lot of people like us who book hotels to stay at the colony for a period of time, so there are plenty of hotel chains operating in order to meet the demand. At least, that’s what Sara-san said. She also gave us a list of hotels affiliated with Space Dwerg and enthusiastically endorsed them to us.
By the way, May was walking a few steps away from the three of us. I’ll have to issue May’s punishment later after all. I’m not sure how effective it’ll be, but I’ve already decided on a punishment method. Well, I’ll just implement it once we successfully book a hotel.
And so, we finally got back to where Krishna was parked. However…
“Backup! Send us some backup immediately!”
“Uoooooh!? Quit it, you idiots!”
“Unauthorized scanning is strictly prohibited! Drag them away!”
“This is for the sake of advancing starship technology! Get lost, you government dogs!”
The area around Krishna was in complete chaos. It was a full-on riot already. There were lots of diminutive uncles and little girls crowding around while carrying various unfamiliar equipment trying their hardest to approach Krishna, and more of their kind wearing matching government-issued uniforms trying to push the other group away and apprehend them.
“What the heck?”
“This is terrible.”
“Maybe I should have really pushed for more discounts earlier. The passion of dwarves for new tech is overwhelming.”
May bowed her head toward me in apology. Mm. I don’t really care about that all that much. In any case, we won’t be able to get back to Krishna at this rate. What do we do about this? As I was thinking of our next move, Elma raised her voice and called out to the crowd.
“This ship is already scheduled for an overhaul and will be handed to the engineers working for Space Dwerg by noon tomorrow! You’ll get a better chance studying Krishna if you sneak yourselves in along with the Space Dwerg engineers tomorrow instead of crowding around and making a racket here!”
The surrounding crowd of researcher and engineer-looking folks reacted to Elma’s words, calmed down for a few moments, and then started running full speed ahead toward Space Dwerg’s company office.
The only ones who ended up getting left behind were the engineers who already got apprehended and the government officers who looked pretty beat up from all the commotion. Thanks for all the hard work, government guys. Much respect.
“Uooooh!? So you guys are the owners of this ship!? Please get these boors to release us! This is illegal detention! Illegal detention I tell you!”
“Please! We’re begging you! Not being able to participate in the overhauling process will be the death of us!”
“Take them away.”
“Leave it to us, sir.”
“Nooooo! Stoooop! Lemme gooooooooo!”
The government officers took away all the apprehended engineers. I don’t know how many days you’ll be held in detention, but just treat it as a vacation, guys.
The next day.
We successfully booked a hotel to stay in, packed our stuff, and used the freight delivery system to send them all to the hotel in question. We then walked to the hotel almost empty-handed.
“The colony freight delivery system sure is convenient. And their service is improving a lot.”
“I can no longer imagine life without the freight delivery system.”
“Well, in some places, the delivery companies send the items in bulk to local branches, then the delivery guys from those branches load the items into company vehicles and deliver them to all customer’s addresses one by one. It’s inefficient, but some less-developed places still make use of such a system.”
“It’s a tough job…… I also did some part-time work for delivery companies when I was a student.”
Working in winter was pretty tough. The road conditions were really bad, so I had to be really careful to avoid getting into an accident while still trying to be on schedule. It was tough, but pay during the holidays was pretty good.
May still had her usual blank expression on, but the atmosphere about her seemed quite gloomy. Well, that goes without saying. She’s undergoing her punishment after all.
“Um, shouldn’t we forgive May-san already? I’m sure she’s learned her lesson already……”
“The results of her acting arbitrarily did turn out mostly fine, but it’s still too early to stop her punishment. I need her to really repent on her actions, or it’s no good.”
Right now, May was prohibited from serving me apart from acting as an escort. For May, her greatest pleasure in life was serving me in all ways possible. It was literally her reason for being. So being prevented from doing that is incredibly unbearable for her, so that’s why I’m treating her as nothing more than a bodyguard right now.
I wasn’t all that sure about how effective this method is. But it’s something I learned from the receptionist gynoid we met at Orient Corporation when I took her lecture, so I think it’s trustworthy enough.
Their loyalty and abilities are really high, so young independent AI tend to get carried away a lot as long as it’s for the benefit of their masters. And that’s why I was taught special punishment methods in order to curtail that tendency. One of them was ordering a maidroid to refrain from any service activities apart from acting as an escort for their master.
By the way, any form of physical punishment is practically useless since they have tough mechanical bodies. You’ll probably be the one who gets injured if you attempt to hit them. And in the first place, I find the act of hitting a girl as punishment quite distasteful and have no intention of doing something like that if I can help it. I’m no feminist, but I just don’t like that kind of stuff. Well, it also depends on whether or not the other party deserves it though.
And I know some of you are thinking about it, but punishment in a sexual context wouldn’t be a punishment at all in this case. Actually, it may have the opposite effect.
“I have thoroughly repented, Master. I will never do something like keeping secrets from you ever again. So please have mercy.”
May begged with a serious expression. I gazed at Elma, who shrugged her shoulders and sighed.
“AI technically aren’t able to lie to their masters, so I’m sure she means what she says. How about you forgive her already?”
“Hiro-sama. Please. I can’t stand seeing May-san all gloomy like that.”
Mimi also pulled my sleeve and spoke out for May. Well, if the two of them say so, then I guess I’ll relent.
“Okay then. I’ll forgive you for the sake of these two. And it’s not like we didn’t benefit from your actions, May. But don’t ever do something like going behind my back ever again, okay? Promise me.”
“Yes. Thank you very much, Master.”
The punishment only lasted a dozen minutes or so. But for May, who has a positron brain with extremely high information processing capabilities, it might as well have been an eternity. We haven’t gotten far from where Krishna was parked yet.
But once I lifted the master service ban, May’s steps became lighter. The gloomy atmosphere from before was blown away, and she seemed rather happy about being forgiven despite her usual expressionless face. Even if she doesn’t show much emotion in her expressions, you can still kind of tell from her aura and gestures.
We continued walking and took some detours for a bit of sightseeing until we finally arrived at the hotel we will be staying at.
“It looks like a real fancy hotel.”
“You’re right. It does look pretty high-class.”
“It’s 1,500 Enels per night, including breakfast and dinner. So it’ll just be 10,000 Enels for a week.”
“That’s still expen–”
“Our stay on Sierra III cost us 10,000 Enels per day you know? And that’s 10 thousand per person. So this one’s actually pretty cheap.”
“Really……? No! I won’t be deceived! It’s expensive! A room at a cheap hotel only goes for 50 Enels per night you know! A twin room just goes for 150 to 200 Enels!”
Tsk. So I couldn’t fool her huh. Mimi’s pretty sharp.
“Mimi, since we have the money, we should spend it. Or rather, any Gold-ranked mercenary who would still insist on staying at a cheap hotel will be treated as a laughingstock you know.”
“Is that the case……?”
“Yup. That’s how it is.”
“So it’s actually like that huh.”
I didn’t really consider that factor when I chose this hotel. I paid much more attention to the reviews, the available facilities, the look of the rooms, and the overall atmosphere. It had a training room that didn’t lose to the one on Krishna, and also had a suite available spacious enough to allow us all to stay together. Actually, only this hotel had that kind of room available, so choosing it was a no-brainer. It’s a hotel affiliated with Space Dwerg, so we got a discount as well. So the price actually was relatively cheap.
Actually, the reason I was liberal with spending was thanks to May negotiating that favorable deal with Space Dwerg. The overhaul was also offered for free, so we still had 12 million on us right now. May did a lot of stuff behind our backs and manipulated our actions to suit her intentions, but the overall result was still beneficial to us all. So I guess the punishment being light is fairly reasonable.
“Alright. Come on you two. Our luggage has already been sent in, so don’t just stand at the entrance. Let’s go ahead and check ourselves in.”
We pulled the still-unconvinced Mimi and headed inside. The hotel lobby looked quite classy and grand. The waiting area inside had several elegant-looking sofas and tables, and beyond it was an indoor garden with various plants. It was quite a relaxing sight. The ceiling was also quite high, and the crystal chandelier hanging at the very top filled the entire lobby with gentle light.
“It really does look premium. It’s better than I imagined.”
“Well, it’s a first class hotel after all. Let’s go, you two.”
I was also a bit daunted, but seeing Mimi getting antsier than me calmed me down. Elma looks like she was used to this sort of luxury, and she wasn’t fazed at all. Hm. Was she really a runaway noble lady or something similar? Or maybe she was just used to it since she’s been to these kinds of places many times already during her mercenary career? I can’t just arbitrarily judge her. Yep.
“Welcome everyone. Thank you for visiting our hotel today. Have you made a reservation?”
“Yes. We’ve booked a room under the name ‘Captain Hiro’.”
The middle-aged employee at the front desk who sported a splendid-looking mustache fiddled with a portable data terminal and checked our reservation. He then gave us a professional smile.
“I have confirmed your reservation. It’s Hiro-sama and company, correct? I will send the digital passcode for the room to the rest of your companions as well if you’d like.”
“We’ll take it. Here, save the code too, Mimi, May.”
At Elma’s urging, Mimi took out her portable terminal and gave it to the receptionist. May just put her right hand forward. The middle-aged nice guy swiped his terminal over all of our own terminals to transfer the code. The code will serve as the electronic key for locking and unlocking our room.
“Well then, we shall now guide you to your room, everyone. We have already sent your luggage up to your room as well.”
“Please come this way.”
A young lady wearing a maid uniform bowed to us and led the way. She also looked like nothing more than an elementary school student, but her aura was very mature. I’m sure she’s also a dwarven lady. She’s small and cute, but she’ll probably be angry if I ever pointed that out, so I’ll just keep my trap shut. Let’s be more careful.
“This will be your room, dear guests.”
The maid dwarf lady and us finally reached our room. It had a pretty spacious living area. There were quite a number of elegant-looking furniture in the living area. Our luggage was neatly placed on one side, and there were a number of side-rooms.
“Mm. It’s bigger than I thought.”
“Uh… Um… I don’t know which is which…”
“The doors on that side are our private rooms. Right?”
“Yes. This suite consists of four bedrooms, two restrooms, a dressing room, a large closet, a premium bathroom, and a living and dining area.”
“It’s wonderful. It’s a room fit for Master.”
“Thank you for the praise. You can contact the lobby using that terminal over there, so please do so if you are in need of anything.”
The dwarven maid bowed to us and excused herself.
“Let’s organize our luggage first. Come on, Mimi. Let’s choose our rooms.”
Elma took their luggage and pulled the still-overwhelmed Mimi to choose rooms.
“The master bedroom is this way.”
May picked up my luggage and accompanied me to the master bedroom. Honestly speaking, I’m also a bit overwhelmed since I was just your average employee back on Earth, but we’re already here, so I’ll just go with the flow like always. Anyway, we are going to stay here for a week. Let’s enjoy this to the fullest, shall we?