“Whoa~, this is Japan?” A man with a balanced body build and a brown crew-cut gets down from the Patriot Express, and speaks in an awed tone. 1
His brown, amiable-looking eyes give off the impression that he is a man overflowing with humor.
“Isn’t the interior of the base still part of the US, Simon?” A tall and slender man with ash blond hair takes a jab at Simon’s words.
This man, who sports a slightly sly impression, is Joshua Rich, the excellent scout of Simon’s team.
“What about Mt. Fuji, geisha, and tempura?” Mason, who has a tall and burly body, stoops down a bit in order to fit through the passenger entrance. His left arm is bound up in a sling.
“Eww, how ancient. Right now, Kobe beef is a must, right? Is Kobe close?” The meat lover Simon asks Natalie, the sole woman of Team Simon.
“You boys… Mt. Fuji is further west. The geisha of Kyoto, and Kobe’s beef is in Kansai. Listen, it’s faaaaaar to the west, okay? We’re in Yokota right now, got it?”
Simon lowers the corners of his mouth, looking disappointed while shrugging his shoulders and saying, “That sucks. But, it’s more refreshing than Nevada here. Isn’t Japan a humid country?”
“That’s only during summer.”
“Buuut, Simon.” Joshua speaks up, seemingly anxious.
“Is it really alright for us to do something like this? The higher ups told us to search for that orb. Their faces were so red it looked like you could boil water on their heads, weren’t they?”
“As if I’d go along with such a dumb plan. Like hell you’re going to find what you’re looking for using a messed up strategy like that.”
The US dungeon explorer teams have been ordered to get an orb after one of the monsters inhabiting the Kiryas Kul’yegan Dungeon has been confirmed in the US. It’s a highest-priority order.
“It’s that <Different World Language Comprehension>, right? Just the specified monsters amount to more than twenty types, no?”
“Even when we did nothing but dive into dungeons, the number of orbs we got was at most two to three per year. I don’t know precisely how many dungeon exploration teams are around, but the chances of finding that orb with a plan like that is close to zero.”
“No, even so, we’ll be told that the chance is definitely zero if we don’t dive, right?”
“I’m telling you to not worry. We expressly came to Japan because of this matter as well.”
“You saw it, that site, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, that incredible auction, you mean?”
“Aye. Could you gather so many of the same orbs?”
“Definitely not.” Joshua immediately replies.
“Of course, I’m not capable of that either. Don’t you think there’s a means to get the target orb over there?”
“…I see. My eyes were blinded by the possibility of orb preservation, but you mean preservation isn’t worth a damn without the orbs, eh?”
“You got it.”
“Well, enough of all the complicated stuff. Let’s hurry up and go. I’m hungry.” Mason, who holds his stomach with his right hand, gestures as if saying to give him something to eat as soon as possible.
Hearing that, Joshua and Simon look at each other and shrug their shoulders.
“We’ll set out to the JDA tomorrow, right? What are we going to do today?” Natalie asks.
“We’ll go to the hotel for now.”
“So we’re not lodging at the base. Where’s the hotel?”
“Shinjuku. It’s pretty much a holiday, so I booked rooms at the Park Hyatt.” 2
“Wow, how generous of you, leader!”
“It’s cheap compared to the orb.”
And then, the four start to walk towards the control room in order to greet the base’s commander.
Lieutenant General Martinez, the base’s commander, contorts his face as if he just ate something bitter, and links his arms behind his back while looking out of the window.
It’s because he received a report that troublemakers would arrive in Japan with today’s Express.
“Certainly, those guys are capable…”
Even without citing Evans Dungeon as an example here, they have reached the deepest floors among humanity, making the US widely known as an authority in dungeon capturing. It’s a remarkable achievement that even matches the success of the Apollo Project. But, although that’s the case…
“Their human natures are…”
Lt. Gen. Martinez recrosses his arms, and looks up to the ceiling.
The troubles caused by Team Simon are innumerable. They are the kind of people who blew a building to smithereens just to keep it out of the hands of terrorists. Apparently they drew some criticism for that, but they simply replied, “We’re just tools,” as if it was their employer’s problem, and no concern of theirs.
The nickname that was attached to them is HESPER.3 It means, those guys are quite capable of firing a mass driver in operations they join.
What’s worse, dungeon capture units are under the direct control of the president. Many of them are people transferred from the DEA, CIA, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. I don’t have the authority to give them direct orders.
A quiet knock at the room’s door interrupts his thoughts.
The four, who resemble hitchhikers, enter the commander’s office and salute.
“First Lieutenant Simon Gershwin and three others. We’ve come to extend our greetings after having arrived just now.”
“G-Got it, good job. So, what’s the objective of your visit to Japan on this occasion?”
“We’re on holiday.”
“Hoh, holiday, eh?”
I have received a report stating that First Lieutenant Simon won the bid on a skill orb.
It’s probably not wrong to assume that they came here to fetch it, but there’s no way that things will actually finish with just that.
“How long is this 『Holiday』 of yours?”
“For the meantime we plan to go with one month, but it could be longer, depending on the situation.”
The length of their stay depends on the situation, eh?
“I’ve been told to accommodate you during your stay here. Please get in touch with my secretary if something happens.”
“Thank you very much for your consideration! Please excuse us then.”
They salute and leave the room.
“If the theory of dungeon = passage proves to be true, they might become the heroes of Earth, but…”
Please, don’t cause any trouble while in Japan during my tenure!
The Lieutenant General, who holds the posts of commander of the Fifth Air Force Base and General of the US Forces in Japan, prays to god.
- Author’s note: Patriot Express – A charter flight operated by the US Airforce. Normally lands at Yokota Air Base on Friday mornings
- Hotel chain with five star hotels
- Author’s note: Hesper is the AI introduced in James P. Hogan’s book “The Two Faces of Tomorrow.” It causes an incident after receiving a maximum-priority, unrestricted order on the moon’s surface.