118 – Apology
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“Alright, I’ll hear you out. But first, who was the one who crashed onto me this morning?”
“U-Um, that would be me, sir.”
The aqua blue-haired loli, err, dwarf, Whisker, timidly raised her hand.
“I see. Well, you just got tossed over without a choice, so I guess I can let that slide. Fine. Go and sit down.”
“Y-Yes… B-But, what about sis?”
She worriedly glanced toward the red-haired loli called Tina, who I made to stand in the corner earlier along with her. It looks like she felt bad for being the only one allowed to sit back down on the sofa.
Judging from her reaction, it seems that this dwarf girl Whisker is a pretty decent person. She must’ve just been influenced by her less savory companion into doing reckless stuff. Of course, I still can’t say for sure.
“I see. Alright, I’m not really an unreasonable person. So, you said you want to discuss with me, right? What’s this about?”
“Y-Yes. Um, we’re going to be chased out of our home and deprived of our jobs due to the incident this morning, so……”
“Well, of course, you would. Do you think a decent employee will assault a client for no good reason? It’s just common sense not to.”
I’m not sure what they mean about getting chased out of their home as well, but I understand why they were about to be fired from their jobs.
“So, what does all this have to do with me? Did Space Dwerg tell you guys to offer your bodies in order to appease me in exchange for getting hired back or something?”
“No, um, not exactly… It’s not like that, but, uh, I just thought it would be bad to leave it like this so… um…”
So these guys weren’t sent here by Space Dwerg after all?
“So what about losing your home and job?”
“I-I just thought it would eventually lead to that if we didn’t do something soon, so, uh……”
“So you weren’t really chased out nor were you threatened to be chased out, right?”
“Um, yeah, but… uh…”
So these guys went here on their own? Seriously? Don’t they realize doing something like this will just make the situation worse? If Space Dwerg was to learn of this, they might really end up out of a job. Rather, these guys were actually talking in the Kansai dialect. Are most dwarves like this?
“So let me get this straight. You didn’t get told to do so by anyone, but you still dragged yourself along with your little sister to me in order to sell your bodies for favors?”
“B-Bodies…? Um, y-yeah, I guess.”
Tina’s face alternated between red and blue as she nodded weakly. I turned to Whisker, and after she noticed my gaze, her face also turned bright red.
“Hey, do you guys really understand why I actually got so angry?”
“Eh…? Um, because we ended up injuring you–”
“No, that’s not it. That’s also an issue, but the number one reason why I got so angry was that you fellas from Space Dwerg kept on bothering us to no end ever since we got here and it was annoying me a lot. You get it?”
Tina didn’t seem to get it yet, but Whisker looked like she did and started trembling pitifully.
“Let me put it this way. Because of guys like you who keep on doing outrageous stuff without a care for the consequences, we’ve been put through so much trouble and I find that extremely annoying. You even called me out so early in the morning only to let me eat a dead ball. Is that head of yours filled with cotton or something? Or is it just empty inside?”
I ended up smiling unnaturally. I had this habit of smiling unnaturally whenever I got really angry. Whenever my colleagues and acquaintances saw me making one, they made sure to avoid me in order to not get caught up.
After finally realizing that she messed up, Tina started sweating buckets.
“Yes, Master. I have already contacted Space Dwerg for you.”
“Great. I can always count on you, May.”
“Thank you for your praise, Master.”
I ignored the dead-ball sisters for the time being and exchanged gazes with Mimi.
“Mimi, I think these two are already beyond saving.”
“U-Um, but at least they came here in order to take responsibility… even if their actions are a bit off. Can’t you at least consider their intent, Hiro-sama…?”
“No, that just won’t fly, Mimi. They weren’t really forced to come here by their superiors in the first place. They just decided to do this on their own. In other words, they’re just trying to save their own skins.”
The dead-ball sisters let out pained groans after hearing my words.
“Well, it’s not like I can’t forgive you both. But that’s just me.”
“I only got minor injuries because of what you did anyway. It would be too petty of me to keep blaming you for that. I won’t do anything serious to you guys just because you made me eat a dead ball. I’m not that much of a lowlife.”
The dead-ball sister’s expressions brightened considerably.
Well, that’s just how it is. No matter how you slice it, I really did only receive minor injuries from the actions of these two just like May said earlier. I would be completely fine after a session inside a med-pod, and it’s not like my injury hurts too much in the first place.
As I explained that to the two, May went in front of the room’s entrance and opened the door. I guess they’re already here. That was fast. They must have rushed over right after receiving the call.
“Anyway, I’m gonna let this drop.”
The door opened fully.
“But I’m not too sure if THEY will though.”
After the door was opened, the ones who entered while bringing a luxurious-looking fruits basket, a bottle of expensive-looking alcohol, and a fancy-looking box, were a male and female dwarf wearing formal suits.
“We are really sorry for all you had to go through this time, sir……”
Three dwarves were seated on the sofa opposite mine and were busy bowing their heads in apology repeatedly.
At the center of the three was the general manager of Brad system’s Space Dwerg branch. He was Sara’s superior, and the person at the very top of Brad system’s Space Dwerg branch.
On his right was the chief engineer of the workshop who I saw earlier this morning. On the left was the sales chief of Brad system’s Space Dwerg branch, who was directly responsible for deals with well-known mercenaries and other prominent figures. The assistant manager and Sara herself were standing behind their bosses along with other high-ranking Space Dwerg employees.
“The way your company does business is really shocking huh. I don’t think I’d ever get bored from the way things are going, hahaha.”
Really. It’s like you guys can’t sit still unless you make a huge commotion. It’s certainly quite exciting, in a bad sense. That was what I was trying to get across.
“A-Ahahaha… M-Much obliged, sir.”
The sales chief started laughing awkwardly with his face wet with cold sweat. Hey, you wild-pitching red-haired loli over there. I’m not praising you, okay. I’m being sarcastic.
“I was surprised about how they barged in on me like this. They were trying to offer me flowers in order to apologize. I’m a fan of flowers myself, but I also have preferences when it comes to them, you see. I thought they were trying to force them onto me, so I almost got angry again.”
“A-Ahahaha, we had no idea at all. Even we were surprised, sir.”
The sales chief took out a handkerchief from his suit pocket and wiped his sweat as he made a bitter grin. Hahaha, now you can’t make excuses anymore, huh?
“Yes, well, I’m sure a reputable company like Space Dwerg won’t do something foolish like offending a Gold-ranked mercenary, right? Of course not. Hahaha.”
“Yes, of course. Mercenaries, and most especially Gold-ranked mercenaries such as yourself, are valued clients and business partners of our company after all.”
“Even so, I still find your service to be slightly lacking in propriety. Rather, don’t you think you have to tighten up measures in order to supervise your employees better? And if things like this continue to happen often, won’t the reputation of your company’s after-sales service suffer as well. What do you think, chief?”
“O-Our company’s after-sales service prides itself on its high degree of customer satisfaction and has received great reviews. We have excellent staff and services that are head and shoulders above those of other companies.”
“But those excellent staff just injured me this morning you know.”
At my words, the sales chief, along with the branch manager and chief engineer, started sweating buckets.
“And in their desire to be forgiven, the two culprits even barged into my room at night. Why are the culprits of today’s incident allowed to freely do what they want, hmm?”
The sales chief glanced nervously at the chief engineer.
“I already warned the two of them to stay put until further notice. But the two of them decided to slip out on their own, sir…”
“On their own huh. I see. So because they did this on their own, you’re saying the rest of you can’t be blamed for it, correct? Is that what you’re trying to say here?”
“N-No! That isn’t what we mean, sir……”
The sales chief interjected on our exchange in a panic.
“If so, then I expect all of you to hold equal responsibility for this incident and act accordingly.”
“……Yes. We truly are sorry, sir.”
The sales chief bowed deeply again, and the rest followed suit. Oh well. Let’s cut them some slack with this.
“Alright. I accept your apology under two conditions. The first condition is for you to complete the work I’ve entrusted to your company in a speedy, thorough, and efficient manner. The second is to guarantee I will never be subjected to unreasonable conduct from your employees again. In my opinion, I shouldn’t even be demanding these of you because these things are but natural for any business. But in any case, those are my two conditions.”
“It’s definitely as you say, sir.”
Some color returned to the face of the sales chief as he nodded briskly in agreement while still wiping his sweat. Those are really just part of common sense, okay.
“And so, if you have any proposals in order to show your sincerity, I will be more than happy to hear them out. We are planning to go on with traveling throughout the galaxy after this. Since we’ve obtained a mothership, we’ve been thinking of dabbling in the trading business as well you see.”
In other words, I’m indirectly asking for compensation from the company. Since they gave us so much trouble, I don’t think doing this much is unreasonable at all. Or rather, since they’ve troubled us a lot, I would feel cheated if I didn’t get anything out of them.
“Ha… Haha… We will discuss further back at the company and promise to give you a satisfactory proposal, sir.”
“I’m looking forward to it then. Oh, right. One more thing.”
The sales chief acted antsy once more. It looks like he’s worried about what else I was going to demand, haha. Hey, there’s nothing to be afraid of, okay. I’m not planning on asking for any more compensation.
“Just why did you call for me this morning anyway? I ate a dwarven dead ball so I didn’t get the opportunity to ask earlier, so I want to know now.”
“Oh, so it’s about that. Actually, we are lacking in qualified test pilots for our next-generation prototype ships, you see… After they saw how you handled your ship, our engineers wondered if we could invite you to be our test pilot, at least temporarily. Since the development teams got wind of the plan, they all gathered in the workshop earlier today in order to appeal for your help with each of their projects. And, well, each of them didn’t want to lose out, so……”
The sales chief explained as he continued to wipe his sweat.
“Okay. But wouldn’t it have been better if you sent a formal request to the guild in order to hire me? No matter how you think about it, calling me over personally for such a thing without even explaining what it’s all about is just plain rude. And I’m also your client, so that makes it even worse, don’t you think?”
“Yes, it’s as you say. We are deeply sorry for our actions. We can offer no excuse.”
The chief engineer’s small body seemed to get even smaller as he bowed even lower in apology. Perhaps this guy was an excellent engineer, but that doesn’t mean he had excellent management skills as well. Perhaps he’s not really suited to be in a managerial position.
“Well, it’s true that we will be staying in this colony for a period of time in order to wait for the mothership to be finished. So I guess I could take your request to serve as a test pilot. But that depends on the remuneration you’ll be offering. So please send a formal application to the Mercenary Guild.”
“Thank you very much, sir.”
The sales chief, branch manager, and chief engineer all bowed down in unison. I’m also interested in serving as a test pilot for next-gen ships. Maybe I’ll even get to pilot ships I haven’t seen in SOL. It’s as good a chance as any, so I should grab it.
“Alright then. That’s about it for the time being. Please contact me again once you’ve made the proper arrangements. Oh, and this means I’ll go ahead with the mothership purchase.”
“Yes. Thank you, sir. Again, we are really sorry for all the trouble you went through.”
“Mm, alright. I pray nothing else happens from now on. Oh, and about those two……”
The dead ball sisters started shaking nervously. Since they were wearing thin, skimpy clothing compared to the dwarves in formal suits– Oh, who am I kidding? They aren’t the least bit sexy at all. Really. What were these two thinking?
“While they share part of the blame for today’s incident, I wouldn’t really want them to get fired because of it. It’ll leave a bad taste in my mouth you see.”
“We will deal with them appropriately, sir.”
After saying so, the folks from Space Dwerg started filing out of the room. They left behind the high-quality fruits basket, expensive alcohol, and fancy-looking box.
“Hoo boy. That sure tired me out.”
“I’m kind of impressed. So you’re also well versed in negotiations if you feel like it, huh.”
Elma, who was observing us earlier from the corner of the room, approached the table and started checking out the alcohol bottle.
“Nah, not really. I’m not sure if that was the best outcome, but it could have been worse.”
After saying so, I picked up the box and opened it up to see what’s inside. What I found was an assortment of processed food. Some were vacuum-sealed smoked stuff, and others were packed in clear bottles. There were some fancy-looking canned goods too. They looked like part of a high-class snack set to go with the alcohol.
“I think you did quite well, Master. You accepted the apology of the other party graciously and made it so both sides can make appropriate concessions. Since the other side’s entire upper management came in-person to apologize, it was a good decision to not drive them into a corner too much and offer a way out.”
May, who was standing behind me, offered some praise. It’s not a direct equivalent, but you can think of a company manager as comparable to a lieutenant colonel or rear admiral in the imperial navy. With that as a basis, that sales chief was higher ranked than Major Serena.
And the sales department can be said to be one of the foremost departments in any company. And I made those higher-ups continuously get drenched in cold sweat. It wouldn’t have been a good idea to corner them more than I had. It might have led to an even bigger mess.
“If you say so May, then I guess I did a pretty good job after all…… Uh, Mimi?”
Mimi seems lost in thought. I wonder what’s up.
“Ah…… No, um, I was just thinking I want to handle such situations as calmly and wonderfully as Hiro-sama as well. Um, I’ve always known Hiro-sama is cool, but today, I saw a different kind of cool, so…”
“So him dealing with the officials of a large company in an equal footing impressed you more than him hunting down pirates or rampaging in his power armor huh.”
“Something like that.”
Mimi nodded to Elma’s words.
“Please stop, girls. I really didn’t do anything that impressive.”
“Oh, are you blushing? How cute. Where’d that cool and collected Hiro from earlier go, huh?”
“Okay, stop. I mean it. Oh, hey, look at these delicious-looking snacks. Let’s try them out right away.”
I offered the vacuum-packed snacks to Elma, who was having fun teasing me, and diverted her attention.
I’m seriously all worn out today. I’ll just rest my tired heart by enjoying these fruits and delicacies.