176 – Apology and Reunion
Editor: Thor’s Stone
An hour has passed since Tina and Whisker came back.
“We’re really sorry for today’s matter.”
The Space Dwerg Company Grakkis Secundus Colony Satellite Office Entertainment Department Chief (Man, what a damn long job title.) and Vice-Chief were now lined up in front of me while performing some splendid dogeza.
And behind them, the rest of the entertainment department personnel who tagged along with Tina and Whisker were now tied up with ropes like bagworms as they laid about on the floor. The color of their faces was way past blue and was now close to deathly pale.
Well, uh, there’s a good reason for this folks. These folks didn’t listen to a word we said and forcibly boarded the ship with Tina and Whisker even though we already expressly refused and began filming without permission. They suddenly handed us a script and told us to do as it said, started taking pictures of everything they laid their eyes on, tried to break into our private spaces, went to the hangar and started taking pictures of Krishna, tried to open the cargo containers without asking for permission in order to check out their contents, among other things…… Anyway, it was really too much to take.
I inquired with Elma and Mei regarding the treatment of people who trespass on a private mercenary ship without permission and also confirmed it with the Mercenary Guild. I also had Mei submit the recording of our refusal to let them onboard to the Space Dwerg Company Grakkis Secundus Colony Satellite Office as part of an official complaint and then had her capture the illegal trespassers.
I showed the trespassers, who were spouting nonsense like violating their rights, my Silver Sword Wings Assault medal and emphasized the fact that I am already considered an Honorary Imperial Knight. I also explained to them that the use of force against illegal intruders on a mercenary ship is legally permitted. The use of force being permitted meant that even if an attempt at capture resulted in casualties, we would not be held legally accountable.
It seems this was a policy that was implemented primarily for the convenience of mercenaries who accept missions such as transporting highly confidential military cargo and guarding VIPs. Of course, there are some other regulations in place so that mercenaries won’t be able to abuse this policy, but in our particular case this time, everything checks out, so we have nothing to worry about and can do whatever we need to do.
I also told the idiots who’ve become bagworms that I’ve already lodged an official complaint to their company in my name under the purview of the Mercenary Guild. After I’ve spelled things out to that extent, the idiots finally realized the disaster they landed themselves in and started begging for mercy. Well, of course, I ignored them. I mean c’mon.
“Anyway, after pissing me off in the past, this happens huh? Don’t tell me this is actually part of your company’s usual style? Well?”
“We can offer no excuse, sir.”
“Did you guys actually think you can do as you please after selling me a good ship? I mean, the normal way of doing stuff like this is making an appointment in advance first, and then setting up a proper meeting, right? Is this really how you folks do business? Causing trouble and suddenly launching a surprise interview without any warning at all is utterly ridiculous.”
“We can only offer our deepest apologies……”
It’s kinda awkward seeing an elderly dwarf with a short stature performing a dogeza in front of me, but that doesn’t mean I can let them off the hook just like that. How troublesome.
“This entire series of events have been recorded by our capable maid using our onboard equipment. If you can’t give me a satisfying response, we might just leak the footage to your rival companies one of these days.”
In response to my remarks, the Sales Manager, Vice-Chief, and Chief, all widened their eyes in shock and apprehension.
“It looks like you have quite a lot of competitors huh? Mobius Ring, Fomalhaut Entertainment, and Nyaatoflix all seem like good picks, don’t you think?”
Mobius Ring produces fairly standard and realistic documentaries, and Fomalhaut Entertainment leans toward flashier and more dynamic stuff. I wonder if Nyaatoflix makes those day-to-day reality-TV style ones?
Or rather, what is up with the mascot character of Nyaatoflix anyway? It looks like a creepy alien creature with a conical head. Isn’t this guy bad for people’s SAN points due to how creepy it is? Is this thing really okay?
“P-Please, sir! Anything but that……!”
The Chief of the Entertainment Department rubbed his forehead on the floor and begged like his life depended on it.
“You guys might have already heard of it, but the main reason I’ve come to this system is that I’ll be receiving an award. To be more specific, I’ll be awarded a military medal. It’s probably gonna be announced in a big way and will make the headlines……”
The Sales Manager, Vice-Chief, and Chief were all looking at me with fixed gazes.
“I’ll probably receive offers for interviews at the ceremony you know. I already agreed with Space Dwerg to give you guys priority rights, but since I’ve been treated this poorly, don’t you think it’s better if I cut my losses early? I mean, is there even any reason I need to stick to our earlier agreement?”
“I only accepted it as a prerequisite for getting discounts when I purchased a ship from you guys. But, honestly, I never thought I’d actually receive this kind of treatment…… Should I just refund the 2 million Enel discount and forget the deal ever happened?”
After hearing my words, the bagworms started squirming and letting out weird cries. That’s right. I’m telling you guys I can just refund the 2 million Enel discount given by your Brad System branch and cancel the priority coverage rights.
“Well, I guess I’ve vented enough for now. Let’s talk business.”
After saying so, I bent down and matched gazes with the three dwarves kneeling on the ground who looked absolutely terrified. Hahaha, what the heck are you all scared about? It’s not like I’m gonna demand anything that unreasonable y’know.
“We’re really sorry……”
“Nah, I don’t blame you guys, so don’t let it get to you.”
We kicked the bagworms out of the ship along with the Sales Manager, Vice-Chief, and Chief, but the mechanic sisters ended up looking quite dispirited afterward.
“I mean, those guys wouldn’t listen even if you warned them off, right? You sure had it hard, you two.”
“Uu…… You’re so nice, Boss.”
“Thank you very much……”
In fact, judging from the state of the two of them when they rang the buzzer, they must have tried everything they could to dissuade their colleagues.
“In any case, are you really fine with just that?”
“Yeah. It’s not good to overdo it and create a grudge.”
I replied to Elma, who pointed toward the expensive-looking alcohol and snacks the dwarves gave us, and shrugged.
The thing I demanded from Space Dwerg was to take responsibility and handle the other companies who want to request interviews. I don’t want to experience another fiasco like this from other companies after all. I’m sure what’s awaiting them is some hellish damage control and adjustments in their operations.
I don’t really mind if Space Dwerg makes a profit out of the interviews by making deals with other companies for the rights. I’ll accept interviews as long as they go through the proper procedure first. However, I won’t tolerate things being turned into a mass media circus. Everyone has their own specialties. It’s better to leave those in mass media to their peers.
However, in the event that they cause trouble for me and my crew, we have every right to sue the offending party or resort to other means to demand justice. I made sure to emphasize this point to them. Of course, I’ve also included Tina and Whisker when I referred to my crew. Even though they are just temporary crew members sent by Space Dwerg, I already consider them part of our family.
“You two should be careful from now on. I’m not scolding you, okay. I’m just genuinely concerned. If I step into the limelight after this ceremony, you’ll most likely attract attention as well as part of my crew. This is even more true due to the fact that I 100% own this ship, and I’m also the captain. Furthermore, I’m the only male in here. You know what I’m getting at, right?”
The two dwarven girls meekly nodded.
“It doesn’t matter what our true relations are. That’s just how it is. You’ll probably be thought of as women with that sort of relationship with me. Once the news gets spread out, I’m sure some will spout some tasteless comments regarding our situation. If some of them get directed at you guys, and you feel bothered by them, don’t hesitate to talk to us, okay? If you find it hard to talk to me, you guys can consult with Mimi, Elma, and Mei instead.”
“Nn, I understand.”
“Understood. Thank you very much.”
I nodded and turned around.
“It’ll be okay, Hiro-sama.”
“You don’t need to worry.”
“Please leave it to me.”
My words don’t just apply to the sisters, but Mimi and the rest as well. The three understood my meaning and nodded resolutely. I’m probably gonna be in the line of fire as well, but…… ‘Hahaha! You jelly, folks?’ I’ll face those guys with this kind of attitude.
If I get annoyed, I can just have Mimi, Elma, and Mei comfort me anyway.
“Now then, as for our plans for today–”
As I was about to discuss further, my portable terminal suddenly rang. Huh? What’s up? I don’t recognize the address. It looks like the call came from the Imperial Capital though…… Anyway, let’s check it out first. I operated my terminal and projected the image on the lounge’s holo-display. I was instantly surprised.
Her glossy black hair that was once in a shoulder-length bob was now somewhat longer, but her strong-willed eyes that shone as brilliantly as onyxes were the same as I remember…… Did she actually grow taller as well? She now seems slightly more mature compared to the girl in my memories.
“It’s been quite some time, Hiro-sama.”
“It’s been a long time.”
The noble girl who once spent a vacation with us on a resort planet, Christina Dareinwald, smiled at us through the holo-display.