And then the next day greeted us, bringing unreasonably nice weather with it.
Miyoshi narrows her eyes, seemingly dazzled by the sunshine. Most likely she’s still recovering from all the wine she drank while we were partying, after finishing up our work yesterday. “This endless blue sky kinda makes me feel like some kind of small bug.” She says.
That’s just you having drunk too much.
“A glossy, black bug with a pink head and pink spots?”
“Our office is on the second floor, though.”
“In that case, it’ll be a friend, and a good-luck charm of mine, that I took along with me down to the flower bed. I will wait for him to get up to the second floor. That’s still far closer than the 18th floor.” 1
“There’s no flower bed below, though.”
Miyoshi is sure a nice girl to casually go along with my Chandler make-believe act.
“Unfortunately, this place has no more than 17 floors either.”
“No, senpai, I think you can stop now.” Miyoshi, who bluntly shoots me down as I say this while looking up to the strangely shaped multi-floor build of the JDA, quickly enters the lobby and heads for the third floor.
“Please take a look at this then.”
A uniformed man with masculine features, who introduced himself as Teresawa, and looks to be around 30 years old, holds out a memory card towards us. Miyoshi takes it, inserts it into her notebook’s card reader, and swiftly confirms the code.
“I have confirmed it. The goods are over here.” Miyoshi opens the lids of the three titanium boxes, showing him the orbs.
“Please verify them.” She says to the JDA’s witness ─ it’s Ms. Naruse ─ and lines up the boxes in front of her.
You normally wouldn’t allow the other party to directly verify the goods at this point. After all, it’d all be over if they used the orbs while touching them. No matter what anybody said or did at that point, the orbs would be gone for good.
Thus it’s standard procedure to let a neutral observer check the goods first, and only hand over the orb after confirming that the agreed upon fee has been paid.
Ms. Naruse touches the three orbs in turn with a meek expression.
“I confirm. The JDA guarantees that all three items are the skill orb <Water Magic>. The orb counter of all three…is less than 60.”
The instant she finishes saying all that, I hear a small stir from the other party.
An air of shocked disbelief spreads on the spot.
“Can I confirm as well?”
“Please do so after paying. After all, you can get your money back, but the same can’t be said for an orb after usage.” Miyoshi answers.
In response, the man operates a device to transfer money to our bank account, while laughing and saying that she’s a level headed person.
A trade related to dungeons, and carried out through a WDA license, will always run through the administrative authority ─ the JDA ─ if it’s within Japan. The paid money will have the dungeon tax and the JDA’s administrative fee deducted, and transferred to the account linked to the license of the other party. Taxes will always be taken.
“Certainly, I have verified the payment.” Miyoshi confirms this and lines up the three orbs in front of the other party.
“Please use them as you see fit.”
At once, the man called Teresawa nods and touches the orbs.
“It is as you said.”
“The trade is over with this then. Thank you very much everyone.” The air inside the room noticeably relaxes upon Ms. Naruse’s announcement.
“May I, Ms. Miyoshi?”
“How did you bring three of the specified orb from a dungeon to this place in less than one hour? Unless you used a fighter plane that would be able to transport them within that time frame, only Yoyogi would be an option, but…” The man asks, looking very curious.
“Trade secret,” Miyoshi says with a smile.
“Well, I expected as much.” The man folds his arms and pulls a complicated face.
Feeling that things were about to become troublesome, I address Ms. Naruse, “Next we have a meeting with the people of the JDA, right?”
Teresawa cuts in, saying, “Please wait. Sir, there’s still one topic left.”
Teresawa passes the conversation to a nondescript man in a business suit, who has been simply sitting next to him without saying a single word.
“Nice to meet you. You can call me Tanaka.” 2
“I can’t reveal my affiliation, but I have been sitting in on this exchange after receiving an order from the relevant authorities.”
“In short, a big-wig in the government?” Miyoshi asks back before I can.
He doesn’t reply to her, presents some documents, and informs us of their shocking contents.
“As of now, the two people called Miyoshi Azusa and Yoshimura Keigo are requested to voluntarily refrain from traveling abroad.”
Once I check the documents handed to us, they are jointly signed by the Dungeon Agency Director, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the National Public Safety Commission Chairman.
Now, just a moment there. No matter how you look at it, those members….are way over the top, aren’t they?
“Umm, I don’t know what’s what, but…”
“After holding a skill orb auction run by D-Powers the other day, the intelligence agencies all over the globe have started to move.”
“In other words, if you two travel, it’s possible that it will produce grave issues that may go beyond Japan’s ability to guarantee your safety.”
“No, that’s too exaggerated. Wait, even Europe and America?”
“No…way. They are allies, no?”
“In case it’s absolutely necessary to visit those places, please get in contact with us. We will dispatch personnel from the Security Bureau.” Saying so, Tanaka hands us a card with just his name and a number.
“Huh? Well, I’m a civilian, though…”
The Security Bureau is a section that usually guards VIPs. However, Tanaka doesn’t answer.
“We trust that you will be sure to follow our advice. Please excuse me then.”
Tanaka, who stood up after one-sidedly stating his demands, silently bows to Teresawa and leaves the room.
“Umm, what was that just now?”
As I have no idea what’s going on here, I ask Teresawa, who stayed behind, but his answer is curt.
“It’s nothing that concerns me. I just allowed him to attend after being asked to do so by my superior.”
“Well then, I will take my leave here as well. It’s great that we could make a good deal. I look forward to working with you again if an opportunity presents itself.” Teresawa holds out his hand towards Miyoshi.
“The pleasure was all mine. Thank you very much for your purchase.” Miyoshi grasps his hand.
Once they finish their handshake, Mr. Teresawa leaves the room at a brisk pace.
“In the end, he didn’t use them here.”
“You’re right. But, the Ichigaya headquarters3 is right around the corner. He has plenty of time left.”
“Rather than that, senpai.”
“The plan to go eat delicious food in Europe…”
“You want to go there while surrounded by SP4?”
“Uuh, goodbye, my Angkor Wat.”
While crying crocodile tears, Miyoshi falls prostrate on the table in the conference room.
“Umm, you two?”
“Ah, good work to you too, Ms. Naruse.”
“Yeah, good work.”
“If you think about it, it’s amazing, isn’t it?”
“What is?” Ms. Naruse tilts her head to the side with a confused look.
“Ms. Naruse, just now you have earned more than 760 million Yen in 30 minutes, haven’t you?”
“Yep, the commission fee is pretty sweet huh…”
“No, wait, it’s not like it’s my money…”
“Please make sure they give you a big bonus then, since you just made them a ton of money.”
“If you say so…by the way, since there’s still some time until afternoon, how about going out for lunch?”
Miyoshi suddenly raises her head and energetically says to Ms. Naruse, who changed the topic, “Sure! 『Minamijimatei』? How about it Senpai?” 5
『Minamijimatei』 is located in Yotsuya6. They serve very manly French food, it can be kinda addictive. They also hand out lots of souvenirs.
They have a lunch menu too, but befitting their manly aesthetic you can also order a grand buffet. It’s a very, very, dangerous place to visit with Miyoshi.
“I don’t have that kind of money.”
“Eh? You just earned the money, though.”
“Ah, true…but, we don’t have time.”
Miyoshi apparently glances at the clock in her own notebook, and nods while looking bored.
“How about『Suragawa7 』 then, it’s right across the street from the JDA, no?” I offer
“You really like 『Suragawa』, don’t you Senpai?”
“I can relax there, it’s a good, safe choice. It’s easy on the wallet, and it’s close too. Also, the logo and name of the building both have that very nice Morohoshi-sensei-like flair.” 8
“Huh? What’s with that?”
The building’s name is the same as the surname of Demon Hunter’s protagonist. Moreover, the logo is written in Ming-style typeface using katakana, but it has quite the charm as the letters are slightly crooked. To a very small part of society mostly.
I’d like those living nearby go visit it by all means, it’s completely unrelated to 『Suragawa』, though.
“Umm…” Ms. Naruse says apologetically, “…if it’s ok with you, how about our staff canteen?”
You can’t enter the JDA’s staff canteen unless you’re with a staff member.
It’s rumored to have quite delicious food, but we have never eaten there.
Miyoshi and I look at each other, and nod our heads repeatedly.
“The JDA is sneaky, isn’t it?” Miyoshi stalks angrily through the corridor, after finishing lunch.
“A huuuuuge tonkatsu set meal like that for just 500 Yen? A dirt-cheap-frigging-tasty gyuudon, you say!?” 9
“Relatively tasty, I must say.”
“Relatively is the wrong word here! I want them to make it available for regular explorers with a WDA license. I would buy it three times a week!”
“Wait, that’ll exceed our train budget, if you’re coming from our place.”
Using the Sobu Line and the Atsumi Line from Hachiman to Yotsuya costs 290 Yen. If you use a card, it’s 278 Yen. 556 Yen for a roundtrip. With the tonkatsu costing 1000 Yen, it’s difficult to call it expensive, but I kinda doubt it deserves to be eaten three times a week.
“Oh, I see.”
Ms. Naruse giggles at the statement you wouldn’t expect from a woman who became a billionaire just a little while ago.
“Ms. Naruse, who are we going to meet at the meeting with the JDA?”
“I think it will be the boss of my boss, but…I haven’t heard any details either, you know?”
“Hee, what kind of person are they?”
“Saiga is the chief of the Dungeon Management Department. He’s a relatively reasonable person.”
“In that case it’s good, no matter what kind of talk it’s going to be.”
When we open the door to the meeting room, we see an old man, around the age sixty or so, sitting within.
- There’s an author’s note: “It’s a scene from Raymond Chandler’s “Farewell, My Lovely.” The protagonist gently releases a bug at a flowerbed located outside after discovering it in an office situated on the 18th floor of Los Angeles’ Police Department. No matter how often I read it, it always gives me the impression that I don’t really get it.”
- Tanaka is an ultra common name, and the Japanese equivalent to “Mr. Smith.”
- Same building complex according to the map
- Security Personnel.
- Probably a pun by the author (he went out of his way to add the kana above the kanji). In Tokyo there’s a French restaurant called Kitajimatei (Northern Island Restaurant)…he used Minamijimatei (Southern Island Restaurant). Or maybe it’s a branch or it renamed itself, not going to look further into food-related matters. ;p
- A district of Shinjiku
- A small soba restaurant
- Morohoshi Dajirou is a mangaka. His most known works are Saiyuu Youenden (Journey to the West: Monster monkey’s Commentary) and Youkai Hunter (Demon Hunter). You can google him if you want to know more.
- tonkatsu is breaded pork cutlet, gyuudon is a bowl of rice covered with beef and vegetables