§019 What’s with this Winning Bid!? 11/4 (Sun)

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Just when I left the bathroom, after waking myself up with a shower, the door to my apartment slammed open, and Miyoshi rushed in. I covered my body with a towel in a hurry.

“You know, even though we decided to use this place as a makeshift office, this is still kind of my home…I know we agreed you need your own key, but could you at least knock?”

“Se-Se-Se-Se-Senpai! This isn’t the time for that sort of thing!”

“Not the time, she says…”

“Look, here, here, this.”

Once I look at the smartphone she’s shoving at me, I see D-Powers’ website.
Come to think of it, today at twelve o’clock (Japan Time) was the auction deadline, wasn’t it?
The display shows the final winning bids. Let’s have a look…

“200,000,000!? Wow! Isn’t that three times what we expected?”

“Senpai, zeros. You missed a zero!”

“Hmm? …one, ten, hundred, thousand… Wut? Two billion four hundred eighty two million?”

——–

2,482,000,000 JPY
2,643,000,000 JPY
2,562,000,000 JPY

——–

The prices attached to Miyoshi’s <Water Magic> orbs are all above 2.4 billion Yen.

“Moreover, the same bidder won all three…an ID related to the government, huh?”

The WDA ID (World Dungeon Association Identification Code) consists of four parts. The first part consists of Classification + Area ID + Country ID.
Beginning with P means it’s personal, or, in other words, a private individual’s ID. C stands for company, G for government, and D for an organization connected to the WDA.
For example, the first part of the code code for an individual under the jurisdiction of the JDA in Area 12 would be “P12JP-“.

“It’s the Ministry of Defense, right?”

Really now…
Well, given that a single fighter plane costs ten billion Yen, not even counting maintenance, it might end up being cheaper to develop soldiers with similar capabilities…

“Rather than that, look at this.”

What Miyoshi is pointing at is the winning bid for <Physical Resistance>.

——–

3,547,000,000 JPY

——–

“Three point five billion?”

This price is based on just the name, since it’s an unknown skill. On top of that, the ID is that of an individual.
Just where did this multi-billionaire come from…?

“It’s a famous enough ID that the filter converts it. Look, it’s Simon Gershwin.”

“Famous? Is he some multi-billionaire? But yeah, I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere…”

“What are you talking about? It’s this person. Look, this guy.”

Miyoshi points at the third rank of the WDARL.

“Isn’t that the leader of the party that captured Evan Dungeon!? So he was called Gershwin, eh?”

Confronted with shock after shock, I slump down on the chair in the dining room, and breathe out deeply.

“The profit will be 8,987,200,000 Yen after taxes, but what are we going to do?”

“Basically, it means we can stock up on 『Alien’s drool』 for decades. So, even if you ask me what we’re going to do, next up is the examination over at your senpai’s place, right?”

Once I say that, Miyoshi lets a chuckle slip.

“Senpai…it’s quite amazing, isn’t it?”

“What is?”

“I mean, you’ve gone from being penniless to being a wealthy person possessing close to 10 billion Yen in one swipe, no? It wouldn’t be strange even if your head went blank there, don’t you think?”

“What are you saying? That’s the party’s money, isn’t it? I’m still as broke as before.”

It’s impossible for an employee to freely use company funds. That’s common sense.

“The members are just you and me, senpai. Half of this is definitely your money.”

“Well, even if you say that. It’s not like I’m going to do anything with it in particular…oh, right. I think it would be great if the company’s HQ was relocated to an office in a proper building.”

It’s troublesome for it to stay in my room forever. Mainly for me, though.

“Forget an office, we could buy an entire building.”

“Oh, that’d be nice. Almost like a secret base. How exciting.”

“Are you a child…? Ah, now that you mention it, your party card is finished, so I will leave it over here.”

It’s an IC card that has my Party ID and Member ID carved into it in small, golden, letters on a matte black carbon base.
It’s fairly simple and stylish.

“The D-Card, the WDA’s license card, and a party card, eh? Can’t you combine all of these into one?”

“The D-Card can’t be reproduced with human knowledge. Parties do change. Besides, if you combine it with your license card, your identity will be exposed when using it, no?”

The Party ID is a simple, serial number, but if you were to combine it with your license ID, it’d be possible to link it with your WDA ID.

“So you’re saying they don’t wanna take the time and effort to create a design that can’t be deciphered by others?”

While fiddling around with the party card, I suddenly ask something that has been on my mind, “By the way, how much can I spend with this per month?”

“Senpai, you understand that neither of us has a monthly wage, don’t you?”

“Whoa.”

“This card is like a combination of a debit card, and a credit card of a corporate account. Given that it’s basically issued by the WDA, the debit card part is similar to Daimex, funds will become available immediately after we complete a transaction like selling orbs. And, there’s no upper or lower limit.”

“In short?”

“You can withdraw as much money as is in the account. Please use it moderately since there’s no credit limit on the card.”

“Now listen, that’s a bad idea, don’t you think?”

“It’s after taxes anyway, and there’s only us two in the party. Because the credit limit on a Daimex seems to be set individually to begin with, I think they might set it of their own accord despite saying that they haven’t.”

Is that how it works?

“Well, let’s make it a rule to discuss it before buying something big. How about saying that up to ten million can be used freely?”

“Well, I’d like to put some money aside, though.”

“Me too, but this card is the bank account, and thus something like savings.”

“Oh, I see…”

At that point both of us burst into laughter.

“It really feels like we’re taking the petty bourgeois mindset to its extreme here.”

“We’re petty bourgeois, so it’s inevitable. I will handle the remaining finer details on my side, so please earn a truckload of money in the dungeon, senpai!”

“Righto~ But man, having an agent sure makes it nice n’ easy.”

“Right? I’m happy that you regard an Oumi trader latching onto you as parasite as worthwhile.”

That makes us both burst into laughter again.

“However, since we have to pay rent and monthly expenses, won’t it be troublesome to not have any individual assets?”

“When money is deposited into the party account through the JDA, you can split it to the accounts linked with the WDA card of the members belonging to the party. It’s currently set to automatically split the money and deposit 1% into the bank using that system. Given that it’s likely to anger the tax office, if you withdraw the money directly and deposit it in your personal bank account, I’d like you to please refrain from doing that.”

Oh, I guess that means the money, after paying any taxes, will be divided between the party and the party members. That sounds logical.
However…

“1%? I’m spending more than 100,000 Yen per month. Is that going to cover it?”

“Senpai. Even if it’s just 1%, that’s almost 90 million Yen from just the payment for the first orbs, you know? Moreover, that’s after taxes.”

“Eh…my monthly income is 90 million?”

“For this month that’s correct,” Miyoshi laughs and then warns me, “Please be careful since 10% will be taken away as municipal tax from the rest.”

Hearing all that, how to say it, I feel somewhat dizzy. Let’s just forget about this matter.
Anyway, it looks like there are no problems with the payments. That’s the only thing that matters.

“So, have you decided on a delivery schedule?”

“The delivery to the Ministry of Defense will be tomorrow.”

“Fast! Will the preparations and such be ready in time?”

“Fu fu fu, I prepared cool titanium boxes! The inside is lined with a high-density silken velvet. Look.”

The box, which Miyoshi retrieves from a cardboard box in the kitchen to show me, has just the right size for an orb to rest in it. The inside is blanketed with dark blue, which is pretty close to black, and crimson, with a low chroma, silken velvet.
Two questionable magic crests have been engraved on the inner part of the lid and the bottom of the box.

“So that cardboard over there was a box, huh? But, somehow it looks kind of expensive.”

“Yes, of course it does. It’s custom made. 1 lot is 100 boxes, and a box costs 120,000 Yen.”

“The box costs 120,000 Yen!? Wow.”

“Luckily we can pay after the orb sale, otherwise I could never afford it.”

Miyoshi talks about being unable to pay while brimming with confidence.

“So, what’s up with those magic crests?”

“It’s a bluff, a bluff. I created those so that the various lines would result in a funny mathematical value if analyzed. Isn’t it bloody hilarious to imagine some research institute analyzing those magic crests seriously.”

“You…have a nasty disposition sometimes.”

“Awww~ I’d like you to put the orbs into these right before the delivery.”

“Sure. What’s the location?”

“I have booked a conference room rented by the JDA after 11 am. Ah, come to think of it.”

“What’s up?”

“The other day I was contacted by the JDA about setting up a meeting with us.”

“It’s about how we’re preserving the orbs, eh?”

“Most likely.”

“Since the time and date for the hand over has been decided, I have decided to meet them at the JDA’s headquarter tomorrow afternoon while I’m there anyway. Senpai, you coming as well?”

Let’s see. No matter how much I don’t want my identity to be exposed, the JDA is likely aware of me being a party member. I suppose I can go this far. In the first place, I’ll be worried if it’s just Miyoshi alone.

“For the time being I will attend as a party member.”

“Got it.”

“Alright. Guess it’s time to go to sleep in preparation for tomorrow.”

“It’s still morning.” Miyoshi says while astounded.

“Oh, right. I think I will go to the dungeon for a bit then.”

“I will do some office work for the company and then go look at multi-floor buildings and houses at several real estate agencies. What location should I target?”

“Hmm, isn’t this area okay? It’s close to Yoyogi and I’m kind of attached to the location, too.”

“Gotcha.”

 

◆◇◆

 

The Dungeon Capture Group (JDAG – Japan Dungeon Attack Group) is a unit that mainly focuses on dungeon capturing and dungeon disaster relief. The Ground Self-Defense Force naturally plays a central role in the capture of Japan’s dungeons because of the topographical requirements.
At times, its members are recruited from the whole JSDF and police organizations, but since the unit was established with the 1st Airborne Brigade, which is a similar special operations force, as a parent body, it’s naturally situated at the Narashino Garrison.1 As a unit subordinate to the Ground Component Command that had been established last year, the unit is currently operating with Narashino Garrison as its headquarters.

On that day First Lieutenant Iori Kimitsu, after finishing her independent training at the Narashino Garrison, was on the way to her official residence. It felt somewhat lonesome for her to train by herself on a Sunday, but she had nothing else to do once she finished cleaning and doing the laundry. While on a light jog, she suddenly got all motivated. Besides, she had absolutely no doubt that she would be given a new mission in the near future.

It seems like the focus will lie on searching for something specific rather than capturing this time.

“<Different World Language Comprehension>, eh…?”

It’s the name of an orb mentioned in the documents she saw the other day.

“Even though it’s already rare for it to drop randomly, I can’t believe that we will be able to actually target its acquisition…”

She had personally witnessed the appearance of a dungeon orb only two times since the dungeons came into this world. And, the first dungeon orb she caused to drop became the main reason for her to be dragged down this path.
As Iori absentmindedly ponders about such things, she hears a voice calling out to her from a distance.

“Iori!”

“Master Sergeant? What’s wrong?”

Master Sergeant Hagane is an elite veteran and has been assigned a post in Team I equivalent to a warrant officer. As they have a relation of him being primarily responsible for training Iori’s unit, she treats him politely outside their missions.

“I’m glad I ran into you here. I received a message from Ichigaya. It says you are to report tomorrow at 1400.”

“Aye! Report to Ichigaya, tomorrow at 1400. However, if it’s Ichigaya…”

“Major Terasawa…which reminds me, I think he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.”

Terasawa and Hagane are close in age. The paths they each took were completely different, but they got along strangely well when they belonged to the same unit, and have fostered a private friendship ever since.

“Very likely he will wait for the beginning of the new year and get promoted to lieutenant colonel during the January promotions. Having said that, Master Sergeant, you can take the SL C, can’t you Sir?”

Hagane, who continued being devoted to working in the field, is already 36 years old. He has reached an age allowing him to take the C line. Within the JSDF, those who pass the leadership cadet selection test within their department, starting from non-commissioned officers, belong to the B line. Those who complete the Second Lieutenant Candidate Curriculum (SL C / Second Lieutenant Course), after passing the selection test from age 36 to 49, are referred to as C line.

“Indeed. But well, right now I’m your babysitter.”

“That’s terrible of you.” Iori says while smiling wryly.

Hagane is the kind of man who likes working in the field. Having said that, it’s not like he can do so forever. Iori also felt that she wanted him to use his abundant knowledge to give advice to the upper echelons.

“At any rate, it’s a direct notification from Major Terasawa.”

“Direct? The major? On a Sunday?”

“Correct. If it’s an order, it’s quite exceptional.”

If he knew the schedule in advance, he should have sent the notification on Friday at the latest. Something requiring a quick response must have occurred.

“Is it about the matter with <Different World Language Comprehension>?”

“No, he also told me to bring Kaiba and Sawatari along. It looks like it’s no mere rumor that the Ministry of Defense won the bids at that auction.”

“That was real!?”

“We won’t know that until tomorrow, will we?”

At the beginning of this month, a party with a clown name,「D-Powers」, started an auction site.
That in itself wasn’t anything especially unusual for a party possessing a trade license, but the items put on sale there caused a major uproar.
Even at the JDAG a mountain of inquiries asking whether they would be able to do the same arrived, from not only the Ministry of Defense, but various related places. The answer is of course: “Impossible.”
Considering it normally, you couldn’t take the site as anything but a joke, if not a scam.
All those in a position that would allow them to bid there have known that it’s impossible. It would be very unlikely for them to get cheated.
And yet, contrary to the expectations of the majority, even now that three days have passed, the site is still up. That means, the party hasn’t been told by the JDA to shut it down. In other words──

“──It’s the real deal, isn’t it?”

“Hmm? Did you say anything?”

“No. Master Sergeant, you are coming with us tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I guess we will all go by car? It will take around one hour through the Kudan Hill after getting off at Kitanomaru along the C1.”

“Won’t we get killed by the Major if we end up stuck in a traffic jam?” Iori says while laughing.

“In that case we will gather at the main gate, tomorrow at 1230. We will be sent up to Tsudanuma by car and then switch to the Sobu Line.” 2

“We gather at the main gate, tomorrow at 1230.”

“Okay. Now, hurry up, go home and rest. Sundays aren’t for doing voluntary training. You could at least find a partner to go on a date with, couldn’t you?”

“Master Sergeant, is that sexual harassment?”

The instant Iori reveals a terrifying smile, Hagane performs an exemplary salute

“I shall excuse myself with this for today!”

No sooner than saying that, he flees in a hurry.

 

◆◇◆

 

Having dived into the dungeon for a bit around noon, I come back home. Upon opening the door, I discover Miyoshi, laying prostate on my dining table.

“Senpaaaiii.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I have no clue whether the multi-floor buildings I’m looking at are expensive or cheap.”

“The hell?”

Because Miyoshi has decided to go with a place that serves as a domicile and office, she ran around various real estate agents after getting a feel for prices by searching the net.

“If you exclude really huge buildings, and places around Ginza3, you can buy one for between 200 million to one billion Yen, but almost all have tenants, you know?”

“Well, that makes sense.”

Unless it’s a new building, there’s probably no value in a multi-floor building without any tenants.

“I’m totally wiped out after looking at various buildings… My last thought was that it might be just fine to buy an entire building and keep making some cash with real estate afterwards. That’s really scary, isn’t it?”

“That means you thought it’d be fine to go with a floor of an office building that already has a tight security set up.”

“Correct. The company’s building having an air of being a secret base sounds cool, but that’s all there is to it.”

“So, I investigated that next. Once I did, the buildings with proper security were full of floors with 300 square meters or 500 square meters, making me go like just how many people are we supposed to employ here.”

“I really don’t know whether to call it cool or saddening to work with just two people right in the middle of a floor with 300 m² of space.”

“Senpai, I will be all alone if you go to a dungeon, you know? I’m sure that’d be impossible for me.”

Working alone at one of the two sole desks in the center of a 300 m² office…yep, that’d be harsh.
Or rather, there’d really be no point in having a 300 m² office.

“And then, since I was worn out already, I just bought a slightly bigger house located behind this apartment.”

“Just bought?”

“Well, I reserved it for the time being. Since the plot has more than 400 m², it’s a bit expensive. Originally it was a two-family building with an unusual style. The first floor is shared, and there’s two 2LDKs4 on the second floor. I decided that I will live on one side, and you on the other, senpai.”

“No, wait. Decided? The fuck?”

“The first floor will be the office. It’s a 1LDK, a 16 tatami5 Western-styled room + LDK. The living room has a size of more than 30 tatami, so it’s perfect as an office. There are three entranceways, properly divided separately.”

“Haah.”

“It’s fine with this. I’m exhausted. I don’t want to look at any more places.”

Miyoshi flaps her feet while lying on the dining table.

“I-I got it, I got it. Are we going to call movers then?”

“Senpai, is there any furniture you want to take with you no matter what, out of some sentimental attachment?”

“No, my furniture is basically limited to a worn-out kotatsu, a bed, and a coat hanger, so there’s nothing like that…”

“We’re going to buy everything new then. That’s better since it’ll be treated as a company owned house anyway.”

“Are we going out to buy furniture?”

Lifting her face all of a sudden, Miyoshi starts speaking with a very serious look, “Senpai, I didn’t know why people such as coordinators existed in this world, but after all this, I now understand completely.”

“What?”

“Deciding or choosing something, the modern era is cluttered with information and things. It’s a really maaaaajor pain!”

“Y-Yeah.”

“That’s why I will leave it all to someone else! I will outsource everything after telling them what I have in mind, get them to assemble things, and just complain a bit! What a dreamy world!!”

“Y-Yeah.”

“Thus, when I checked the net, I found people with such an occupation. That’s quite amazing. After that, I delegated all of it to a place that seems to have a good track record, please take a look at the draft they will send us and complain away as you like, senpai.”

“Y-Yeah.”

“Jeez, researcher is a nice job after all, isn’t it? Nothing but you and your research target matters. I don’t wanna think about anything unnecessary for a while.”

An Oumi trader appears to have many hardships as part of their occupation.
Since it couldn’t be helped, I went out shopping in the early afternoon, turning that day into a party in honor of Miyoshi’s services.

 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. Please look here for further info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Airborne_Brigade_(Japan).
  2. A train line connecting Tokyo with Chiba. Tsudanuma is a part of Narashino
  3. Shopping area in Tokyo
  4. A 2LDK is an apartment with two rooms in addition to a living (L), dining (D) and kitchen (K) area.
  5. Generally 85 x 170 cm – since they are in Tokyo, it could also be 88 x 176 cm

One Comment

  1. Pingback: D-Genesis – Chapter 19: What’s with this Winning Bid!? 11/4 (Sun)

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