173 – Fastest Platinum-rank Promotion in History
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“What the heck are you acting all depressed for anyway?”
Elma, who was sitting behind me, scolded me about my behavior. Perhaps she read what was going through my head when she saw my expression the moment I heard about being promoted to Platinum-rank. Come to think of it, she was also clad in an aura of jealousy when I was promoted to Gold-rank back then.
“Uh, well, I was just thinking I’m getting promoted too fast so there’s no more thrill. It’s like I suddenly lost a goal I was aiming for just like that y’know.”
“……You Platinum rankers really are a weird bunch.”
Chief Johannes shook his head in exasperation and let out a sigh. It looks like he’s acquainted with other Platinum-rank mercenaries.
“Even if you don’t agree with it, the entire thing’s been decided, so give up already. In the long history of the Mercenary Guild within the Empire, you’re only the second merc to officially receive the Gold Star at Gold rank out of the four individuals who’ve received the award.”
“So some political considerations played a part in me getting this award, right?”
“Something like that. However, there’s absolutely no doubt about your skills and abilities. We’ve taken into consideration the battle data sent over by the Military from the time you were in the Termaine system up until your current achievements. Achieving so much in such a short amount of time is nothing short of astounding. Your merits do not pale in comparison to the other Platinum rankers at all.”
“……It’s just as the Chief says, Hiro.”
“It’s Hiro-sama after all.”
It looks like Mimi felt pretty proud of our achievements. She looked pretty content as she nodded at the Chief’s words. Un, her smug smile was also pretty cute.
“So, um, when will my rank go up?”
“Today, actually. The relevant procedures are already underway. We plan to announce it publicly in conjunction with the award ceremony, so you’ll be promoted to Platinum-rank straight away.”
“I see. Do I get any perks?”
“There’s a number of them. First, all your transactions with and mediated by the Mercenary Guild will be prioritized from now on and will be expedited with the greatest speed. It’s sort of an incentive from the Guild.”
Honestly, that didn’t sound like much of an incentive. It was certainly great that all our transactions will be prioritized, but for a perk after attaining the highest mercenary rank, it seemed quite lacking.
“The insurance fees will also have a 30% discount, and your average job reward will increase by 30% as well. Furthermore, the Guild will prioritize introducing you requests to test out prototype ships, weapons, and other equipment from ship and weapon makers that patronize us. You would also be given samples of said equipment to play around with under the pretense of collecting operational data.”
“That’s actually quite nice.”
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be given a ship or equipment that trumps Krishna and its loadout though. These are things I’ll entrust my life to after all…… I don’t want to rely on something that isn’t up to par.
The fact that the insurance fee will decrease by 30% and our reward would increase by the same percentage was a pretty sweet deal. These were pretty straightforward benefits that’ll increase our total net profits. That’s because the insurance premium applied when purchasing a ship will be reduced by 30%, and we’ll have extra funds to allocate for maintenance, repairs, and resupplying.
“Isn’t there something else? I heard that Platinum rankers can’t be messed around with easily, even by Nobles.”
“Well, it’s not like you’ll be completely untouchable, but Platinum rankers are like the top representatives of the Mercenary Guild you see. Of course, we’ll help out if some Nobles ever decide to stick their noses in your business. There aren’t really any Nobles who actually dare to pick a fight with Platinum rankers in the first place though.”
“I’m currently being picked on, remember?”
“Well, your current situation is a result of your own actions anyway. Rather, it’s more of a family spat…… We won’t meddle in that sort of stuff if we can help it. However, we will take action if, for example, a Noble uses his influence to pressure you to hand over these lovely ladies because he wants them as his concubines. Basically, things of that sort.”
“Man, I can’t tell if that’s actually useful to me or not……”
“Simply put, you have to wipe your own behind, son.”
After saying so, Chief Johannes shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. Well, I can’t say I don’t understand where he’s coming from. After all, what we’re doing is like a no-name punk bringing home the runaway tomboy of a daughter and picking a fight with her loved ones. But I do think their demand of handing over Elma immediately is too overbearing as well. They didn’t even want to discuss it with us first to hear our side.
“It can’t be helped then. Is that everything you wanted to talk to us about?”
“No, there’s more. The reward for you taking down the Mother Crystal has been decided as well. It seems like you’ll be receiving 15,000,000 Enels.”
After hearing the amount, Mimi was totally floored.
“Fifteen mil huh. That sounds pretty good.”
“It’s decent, I guess.”
“Don’t you guys think your sense of money is really skewed?”
Chief Johannes made a bitter smile when he saw Elma and my bland reactions. Well, I do think it’s quite a sum, sure. But it ain’t even enough to match the purchase price of Black Lotus.
“Please set Mimi’s cut to 1% and Elma’s to 3%. It’ll be 150,000 and 450,000 Enels respectively. My share is gonna be 14,400,000 Enels.”
“O-One hundred fifty–”
“I’ll receive it gladly then, captain.”
Mimi, who just heard she would be given a decent sum of money, became absentminded again, but I do think it’s about time for her to get used to the monetary sense of us mercenaries. Well, I guess Mimi doesn’t have anything that she’ll want to spend her money on right now, and that’s why she has misgivings. Even if she had gourmet food sampling as her hobby of sorts, it’s not like she buys a lot of expensive products all the time, and she wasn’t the type to do so so anyway.
“So that’s everything, right? We’ll excuse ourselves then. We still need to prepare for the ceremony.”
“Understood. His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor, will also attend the ceremony. Be sure to be on your best behavior in his presence.”
“Please pray we don’t get the opportunity to meet him directly then.”
“Sure. Oh, and one more thing.”
Chief Johannes called out to us before we could step out of the office.
“Pardon me, but have we met somewhere before, young lady?”
Chief Johannes addressed Mimi curiously. Mimi tilted her head in puzzlement and shook her head after a short pause.
“Hmm. I don’t think so, sir. This is the first time I came to the central system, and I wasn’t involved with mercenaries until I met with Hiro-sama. Before Hiro-sama brought me away from the Termaine Prime colony, I haven’t stepped outside of it at all.”
“……I see. Fumu. It’s probably my misconception then.”
Chief Johannes was also tilting his head like Mimi. I do think a girl as cute as Mimi would probably be easy to remember once you meet her. Did she resemble a celebrity in the capital system or something? Well, they do say it’s possible that you could find at least three similar-looking people in the world back on Earth. The probability would surely increase if you take that concept up to a galactic scale.
“You’re not trying to smooth-talk her, are you Chief? I’m sorry, but if you are, I’d like to advise you to consider your age.”
“There’s no way I’d try to flirt with a girl the same age as my granddaughter you know. Bah. Just get out of here already.”
Chief Johannes shooed us away with his cheek twitching in annoyance, and we finally left the office.
Afterward, we went back to the receptionist oneesan who we talked to earlier, listened to her pointers about the award ceremony again, and asked her to recommend stores where we could purchase clothes and accessories to wear for the occasion. We then left the Mercenary Guild building.
And yeah, my rank has already been updated from Gold to Platinum. I wasn’t the youngest Platinum ranker in history, but it seems I was the fastest to promote instead.
History’s fastest Platinum-rank promotion. Yeah. It doesn’t sound bad at all.
“Un, this one looks better……”
“Wow, the fabric looks gorgeous.”
Women really take a lot of time when they shop. That’s especially true when it comes to purchasing clothes, accessories, and makeup. I know, I know. Of course, I get it. This is just me looking at it from the male perspective. But aren’t they the ones who’ll decide what to buy in the end? I don’t really need to be here then. No? Uh, okay. Something like that.
I have absolutely no sense when it comes to dress designs and whatnot. I simply don’t get it……! Cute! Beautiful! That’s about the only impressions I could offer y’know. Basically, I’m the same level as a grade-schooler when it comes to stuff like these.
Let’s see. If I were to give an opinion, I would probably suggest for Mimi to pick out clothes that are a little bit less eye-catching so she’ll avoid attracting the interests of Nobles who might get some unsavory ideas. She doesn’t have any status to rely on after all, unlike Elma. Also, it would be good if she picked out clothes that hid her breasts as well. Those will absolutely grab most men’s attention after all. If it proves impossible to completely conceal them, showing her cleavage is a definite no-go. That’s my two cents anyway.
Mimi, who probably heard my jealous muttering, twisted bashfully as her cheeks got dyed pink. Ugh. She’s too cute. I’m about to get a nosebleed here. Elma, on the other hand, kept glancing back and forth between Mimi’s imposing chest assets that swayed and jiggled from time to time and her own meager endowments. It’s not like Elma’s completely flat y’know. I like yours too, Elma, so you really don’t have to mind the size of your chest.
“……I know already. Geez.”
Her ears reddened a little. Elma was also the easily embarrassed sort.
However, even if this was a super high-tech SF world I got transported into, the design of their clothes wasn’t really all that strange. I was a little worried that we’d find super flamboyant stuff since this place was called the ‘Blossoming Capital’, but it looks like that’s not the case. Y’know. Like those gaudy stuff models sometimes wear on a certain city of light with a certain historical monument called Arc de Triomphe…… I was worried that stuff was also trending here, but I guess not.
Although the materials certainly do feel high-tech. They certainly gave off somewhat of a cyberpunk feel, but they were still certainly formal dresses. The imperial aristocrats might be a lot more conservative when it comes to fashion than I first thought.
Well, if you think about it, these guys were the ones who revived the usage of swords and swordsmanship in an age with tech such as laser guns and rifles. I guess they really were quite particular when it comes to tradition. Or perhaps the old designs just underwent a revival because the people found them interesting?
In the end, Mimi picked out a modest but elegant white dress, and Elma got a stylish light-green one. Since their entire body measurements were taken perfectly by the store’s scanners, it looks like their orders will be completed immediately. They would then be sent to our ship directly afterward.
“Man. It sure is impressive that order-made custom dresses can be completed in just a few hours.”
“But they also cost a lot though……”
“Don’t mind that. I’ll be satisfied as long as I get to see how cute and pretty you two would look in those dresses.”
“Geez. You sure have a glib tongue even though you looked so bored earlier.”
Elma berated me, but she didn’t particularly seem dissatisfied though.
I don’t really mind spending 10 or 20k for a dress or two anyway. One anti-ship reactive torpedo is way more expensive than both their dresses combined after all.
“Next is accessories……”
When we left the store after buying the dresses, I felt a strange presence from a short distance, and the next thing I knew, something flew right at me along with some palpable killing intent.
I caught the sight of something that looked like a bundle of white cloth at the edge of my field of vision. Before I could confirm exactly what it was, I stood in front of Mimi and Elma and gripped the handle of the sword on my waist. It would be bad to fire a laser gun in such a crowded place after all.
“Hou, so you are in possession of swords as well.”
I saw a beautiful-looking male. He had fine features, pointed ears, a well-proportioned body, an elegant outfit, and a slender longsword on his waist. And the thing that dropped right at my feet was a white glove.
“My name is Ernst Willrose. Knave, I challenge you to a duel!”
“I don’t wanna.”
I replied straight away. The beautiful male paused in bewilderment for a moment, but his features distorted to a fierce grimace shortly after. His face resembled that of an Asura.
“You dare refuse!?”
“I don’t have a reason to fight you, after all, brother-in-law.”
“Don’t you dare call me brother-in-law, you bastard!”
When I removed my hand from the handle of my sword and gave him the most amiable smile I could manage, Brother Ernst yelled angrily and unsheathed his sword. The passers-by who saw his actions panicked and took distance from our group.
“Whoah there. I didn’t pick up the glove, see. You do know that a duel won’t commence unless the other party picks up the glove, right?”
“Well then, I shall hound you until you accept–”
“Um, but wouldn’t you also get in trouble if you continue to cause a scene like this?”
I pointed to the Silver Sword Wings Assault medal on my chest as I said that. Brother Ernst then clammed up while still looking upset.
Under the public eye, Nobles might still manage to avoid trouble if they picked a fight with an ordinary mercenary, if just barely.
However, I now have a Silver Sword Wings Assault medal on my chest and two Noble-issue swords on my waist. In other people’s eyes, I was also a bona fide Nobleman. Since Brother was a genuine Noble, he should be aware of the rules. And he probably won’t unilaterally swing his sword at me in a situation where I haven’t officially accepted his duel request.
“E-Elma! There’s no need for you to stay beside that knave! Come home with me n–”
“I absolutely hate a violent brother like you. Please just leave us alone.”
Ernst, who heard Elma’s ice-cold words, dropped his sword and fainted while standing. Eh? Did he really just faint? Uwah, he’s foaming at the mouth. Just what did you do, Elma? You went and killed the guy with your gaze!? Scary!
“Let’s just ignore him.”
“It’s fine. C’mon.”
Elma pulled my and Mimi’s hands and started leading us away. She then led us to the jewelry shop under all the commotion.