Today’s the day after the second auction. The deadline was midnight Japanese time.
Since I’m kinda curious how it turned out, I go down to the office early in the morning, but the lights are already on, with Miyoshi apparently doing something.
“Ah, good morning.”
“Mornin’. You’re up early. Did you pull an all-nighter?”
“Well, yes. I went over the code of the previous status measurement for a bit.”
“Oh, oh, I guess I can’t laugh at the evilness of our previous workplace anymore.”
“Except this time we both stand to benefit from all our hard work.”
“Well, you’re right there.”
Miyoshi’s hands stop flying across her laptop’s keyboard, and she starts to pour herself some coffee.
“So, you’re going to raise your stats before diving, right senpai?”
Ah, she’s right. Now that I think about it, I haven’t touched my stats since the previous examination.
But then again, since stats aren’t really needed for Bounce♪ Psshh♪ Bam♪, I haven’t paid any attention to them.
“You’re right, it might actually be better as a safety precaution.”
“In that case, how about getting it measured up to 100 in increments of 10?”
How will the measurement change when dealing with larger values? I’m definitely interested in that part.
“After rounding my stats up to 30, I’ll increase them in steps of 10 to 100…that’s 43 measurements? Hmm, we won’t be able to measure this value range ever again, so wanna have a go?”
“Please, the more basic data, the better it is!”
“43 times, means roughly 90,000,000 Yen, huh? Yep, I sure feel like our frame of reference in terms of money has gone haywire since the other day.”
“Maybe. Our funds will be alright, though.”
“I see. I’m going to play around with slimes for a little bit, and get my skills checked as well while I’m at it.”
Miyoshi swiftly sends an email. Probably to Midori-senpai’s place.
“I want to invest in Midori-senpai’s company, but what’s your take on it?”
According to Miyoshi, she has tried to extract the measurement values that seem essential from the last examination data, so she wants them to build a prototype of a measurement device based on that data.
“Just a simple device?”
“Yes. Later, we will measure you using that device, and I will adjust the model so that we can quantify the values.”
In my eyes, it’s a task that appears to be suited for an AI, but I’m the only one who clearly knows the numerical values. That’s why measuring a great number of people and feeding the patterns to an AI isn’t really feasible.
Because we have no choice but to rely on heuristic tuning for the time being, we gotta depend on Miyoshi’s skill.
“That’s fine with me, but if you do develop such a device, it’ll be copied in no time.”
“Right? Because of that, I want to set up the terminal part to only consist of a simple sensor, a value panel, and a communication option.”
“Kind of like the voice recognition of Google or Amazon?”
“Yep. The measured data will be sent to a central database, and the terminal will just receive the result and display it.”
In such a case it won’t be possible to analyze the underlying software.
It will likely be possible to deduct it recursively from the results after allotting various values, but we just gotta cut off illegal access then. It will make building something similar quite difficult, I think.
“Are you going to rent a cloud server somewhere?”
“If I did that, it would make a leak possible. We will use Amazon’s SWS for the transceiver part and the preceding calculations, but we’re going to use the computers at the office to run the final calculations for the results.”
“Is our connection going to hold out?”
“It’s not like there’ll be this much access at first, and bandwidth is unnecessary, too. Won’t it be alright if we lay out around 10 lines of 1-GB and 10-GB cables for consumers?”
“That sounds like a test setup, doesn’t it?”
“If it goes according to plan, and yields profit, we just have to make a contract for a proper private line.”
“Besides, this setup, routing all the data through our own server, will also work as camouflage.”
“Senpai…don’t you understand? If this device is going to be sold commonly, you will get measured as well. But any measurements of you will come from our server.”
Oh, I got it! Moreover, it will be displayed with the highest precision precisely because it’s based on a model, right!?
“Guh, I didn’t think of that at all… However, will recognition of individuals be possible?”
“The data is based on you, senpai. Putting aside other people, I think that you might be the only one capable of that.”
“In that case, I’m looking forward to your work. Still, the device will be in the shape of glasses, huh?”
“What’s up with that assumption? You vying for a Scouter?” 1
“Correct. It’s cool, right?”
“You could say so, but that will allow for people to secretly scan others all over the place.”
“Won’t it be just fine if we lower the accuracy and show something like an integrated value? Kind of like a toy.”
“Toy? You know, it’ll be a tool that will quantify humans…it might be convenient, but I wouldn’t want it to lead to discrimination.”
“…You’re right, I’d absolutely hate to be told 『A combat power…of just 5, eh? …You trash…』.” 2
“Messing around with that’d definitely be popular, don’t you think?”
Aye, it’ll likely be popular. I’d do it as well, for sure.
“…Let’s give up on a Scouter-shaped toy, after all.”
“Yep. Can’t we just go with a speed gun type for simple measurements, and a stationary version for precise measurements? The data communication will run over wi-fi with a SIM.”
“That’s good, I think. Sounds like it’ll come cheap.”
But, investment, huh?
“You wanting to invest means it won’t be a loan, right? An increase of capital will be difficult if we don’t know what’s going on with the stocks of Ms. Midori’s place. Since she mentioned something about VC (Venture Capital), she might feel up to it, though.”
“If I remember correctly, there shouldn’t have been an increase in capital at all, so I think the face value should be 1,000 stocks for 10,000 Yen.”
“It’ll be simple if Ms. Midori is the only stockholder, but if a university or a laboratory holds some stocks as well, it’s quite possible that there’ll be a dispute over the stock rate. Since there’s isn’t that much common ground with their current work, it might be better to form a special joint venture.”
“I will try to talk it over a bit with Midori-senpai, including that part as well. How much money can I use?”
“Putting aside the final investment sum, around a billion would be okay for starters. Having said that, I think it should be on the condition that they’ll first prioritize the development of a prototype that would incorporate just the sensor related to the quantification.”
“Sure thing. I will discuss it with her later.”
“I’m leaving it to you. Well then, I guess I will continue frequenting the dungeon to earn the funds… Ah, speaking of funds, how did the auction go?”
Man, I totally forgot, even though that’s the reason why I got up early in the first place.
“<Physical Resistance>, which I can only think of as plain, is surprisingly popular.”
Not to mention the prices, the three <Physical Resistance> orbs have amazing winning bidders.
Simon of the US, Huang of CN (China), and Wiliam of GB (United Kingdom) – in other words ranks three, four and six in the world.
Since ranks five, seven and eight are all members of Team Simon, it’ll be a complete line-up of all stars, except for the rank two Dmitrij, if those guys come to pick up their orbs themselves.
Of course, it’ll likely be paid out of the respective nation’s military budget, but it was truly a contest between single digits.
“All of them are high-ranking. Well, they are experiencing situations that would make them consider that skill necessary, I suppose. By the way, I wonder what’ll happen if you use the same skill twice?”
“Want to try it out?”
Hmm, I think it’s okay to do so, but I’d hate to cause trouble for ourselves by pointlessly testing it…
“Well, let’s hold off on that until the need arises.”
It should be okay as long as we use a skill that doesn’t have any potentially dangerous interaction effects. Some kind of detection skill or something.
At that point, Miyoshi’s smartphone rang.
“It looks like Midori-senpai has woken up…”
Miyoshi informs me after reading the email.
“They don’t have enough reagents to do 43 runs, she says. She’s gonna place an order and wants to know whether the 19th will be okay.”
“Monday? Sure, give her an okay.”
“Okidoki. Ah, about <High Recovery>…”
“I wonder who has placed the bid on this?”
Saying so, Miyoshi shows me the winning bid screen of <High Recovery>.
“5.5 billion!? What’s the ID?”
“Looking it up normally, I didn’t get a hit. The ones competing against it were non-personal IDs, but the ID that won enters the personal category. Maybe it’s a proxy?”
“In other words, you’re saying it’s not a famous soldier, nor a dungeon capturing organization or a company?”
“Correct. But then again, we won’t know anything if it’s a proxy.”
“Since we’re keeping the IDs private now, there’s no point in using a proxy for winning the bids, is there?”
“I’ve got a slightly bad feeling about this one.”
“What’d you mean?”
“This is called <High Recovery>, right? Moreover, it’s an unknown skill with an unclear effect.”
“I kind of think…that an amazingly rich person with a family member, who got an incurable disease or something like that, has bid on it.”
“What if this skill had no effect on the illness?”
“We will earn an unjustified resentment, no? Furthermore, such people have a tendency to hold more authority than they ought to.”
Now that she mentions it, I feel that it might be very likely.
“Which reminds me, what kind of function did <High Recovery> have again?”
“I just know the rough outline. But, it keeps up the condition of your body. Even though I braced myself for the consequences of pulling an all-nighter, I almost don’t feel any exhaustion at all.”
“That sounds like quite the dangerous drug, doesn’t it?”
With those words, Miyoshi retrieves a box cutter from a drawer of her desk, and abruptly cuts her fingertip.
“Now, now, senpai. Please take a look.”
Once she gently wipes the blood off her fingertip with a tissue, while casting a sidelong glance at me, who’s flustered, the cut, which should be visible there, is nowhere to be found, and there isn’t even the faintest scar left.
“I noticed it when I jumped out of the way of a car and scratched my arm on a nail protruding from a signboard on the shoulder of the road yesterday. I don’t know what will happen if it’s a big injury, but…I feel like I’m gradually becoming non-human.”
“…An item that seems to take humanity to the next level, huh?”
Unintentionally the description, which is commonly used for skill orbs, escapes my mouth.
“On top of that, that person appears to be in quite a hurry. The day appointed for them to receive it is today.”
“Today!? Like less than 24 hours?”
That means they came to Tokyo before winning the bid, assuming they don’t live here. Their motivation is on a completely different level.
It makes me think that the guy who’s going to use it, might be about to die…
“Yep, we have agreed on 10 o’clock.”
“Unbelievable! What did they plan to do if the auction had dragged on? Wait, isn’t that less than three hours from now!?”
We hurry our preparations in order to head over to Ichigaya.