By the time I wake up, Lady Sun has already traveled high into the sky.
As I shower, my stomach grumbles. After roughly making myself presentable, I head down to the office on the first floor.
“You’re way late. It’s already past 11 o’clock.”
“You see, yesterday was quite tiring…”
Afterwards, Ahmed came out of the room and effusively thanked us. Against our will, he took us to Ginza, and in the end he dragged us on a bar hopping-spree around the 6th district, with plenty of champagne flowing, saying that it was in celebration of his daughter’s fresh start in life.
“An antiquated salon and crystal glasses. The highlight was the Clos d’Ambonnay1, senpai. Yep, that was just like a dream.”
Miyoshi appears to be on cloud nine, due to remembering the variety of drinks we had yesterday night.
“I sure was surprised when the First Release Lot of Guillaume’s Au Dessus du Gros Mont entered the fray. You can really find anything in Ginza, can’t you?”
“Having said that, I wonder whether that’s a bottle you’d open for a celebration,” Miyoshi tilts her head in contemplation.
Like I’d know.
When I asked Ahmed whether it’s OK for Hindu people to drink alcohol, he answered that there are definitely places where it’s forbidden, but that the Hindu people overall drink about as much as anyone. No doubt, it’s quite the liberal religion.
“Anyway, what’s planned for today?”
“Seeing as I’ve got to deliver the three orbs, I’d like you to cancel your dungeon trip.”
“Since I should be able to get another <High Recovery> soon, I will go dive for a tiny bit if we wrap it up early. How are things going on your side?”
“So far as it goes, the code is starting to take shape.”
“Roger. Well, seeing as how it’s all moon runes to me anyway, I’ll leave that part completely to you.”
“Moon runes, you say…didn’t you do something similar in your previous company?”
“I’ve forgotten all about it by now.”
“Looks like it.” 2
Going across the dining room, I step into the kitchen. I’ll grab an Evian from the refrigerator…eh? It’s become a glass bottle. …Châteldon?
“Miyoshi~. This Châteldon is water?”
“Yeah, it is. Senpai, you like semi-carbonated, don’t you?”
I roughly twist the screw cap open, pour it into a glass, and gulp it down. Whoa, this is…really refreshing and delicious.
“I was thinking of making some omelets. Want some too, Miyoshi?”
“It’s lunch time soon anyway. You’re not going to eat at Ichigaya?”
“Ah, true. I guess I could do that. Where?”
“I have thought about kidnapping Ms. Naruse once she shows up here, and going with her to the staff canteen, but she’s kind of not coming.”
“Yesterday turned into a huge mess, didn’t it? Isn’t she just buried under written reports?”
“Well, even the issue with immortality popped up while we don’t know what’s what.”
As expected, it might be possible to become immortal through <High Recovery>, but it’s only natural that an immortality-or-such skill orb would appear sooner or later. It’s anything goes with skill orbs after all.
“Miyoshi, try calling her, and tell her to meet us at JDA’s canteen if possible.”
“I’ll get ready to go out then.”
I drain the rest of the water in the glass, stuff it in the dishwasher, put the bottle back into the refrigerator, and return to my room to change my clothes.
The deals in the afternoon of that day were in the order of Huang, Simon, and William.
The fourth rank in the world, Mr. Huang…how to describe it best…was a taciturn and hasty man.
I thought he might use the orb himself as soon as the sale finished, but instead, he just repeatedly opened and closed his right hand, as if checking its condition.
And then he suddenly said “Shao Hochien” or something like that, and left.
“A little guardian, was it?”
“There’s no way for me to understand Chinese, you know?”
The next party was Simon. Thank you very much for shopping with us for a second time.
It looks like he’s been warming up in Yoyogi nonstop since I last met him a few days ago.
Once I asked him how deep he dived, he said something along the lines of going down to the 17th floor in one day, and then coming back up in a day. I’d expect nothing less of a top party. Even their adventuring style is leagues apart from other parties.
Warming up, he says. Isn’t that more like, something else?
『It appears yesterday things escalated for some reason, doesn’t it?』
『You do have sharp ears.』
『What are you playing dumb for? At present, Yoyogi has become the front line of an intelligence war, right? Haven’t even GB and CN shown up here?』
『Regardless, we’re unrelated to that kind of world.』
『No…I don’t think you can say that at this point』, he said, pulling a face as if being astounded.
『However, Yoyogi has a truly broad and interesting ecosystem. It’s the most convenient dungeon in this world if you’re looking for specific resources. Besides, it’s nice that it’s a public place anyone can enter. I suppose that’s characteristic of Japan.』
『Being off-guard, that’s characteristic of Japan, you mean?』
In response to my words, Simon smiles bitterly, stands up, and says, 『Still, if you consider all of mankind, this is the correct approach』, before leaving the meeting room.
“So his thoughts are heading in that kind of direction, as expected.”
“He might primarily act for the benefit of his own country, but if Earth perishes, his country isn’t worth shit either. If the passage theory proves to be the real deal, considering it like that applies all the more, right?”
Is it going to lead to a different world if you descend to the lowest floor of a dungeon?
It was a retarded theory on par with saying that the Earth is hollow…at least it should have been.
“Well, we’ll do what we can do.”
“I’ll take on the world as an Oumi trader!”
“Go for it. So, what about the last one?”
“Our special friends, someone from Great Britain.”
“You think that butler guy will show up?”
“No, that’s kind of unrealistic, I believe.”
Contrary to my prediction, the butler guy opens the door and comes in.
『I don’t think we actually need an interpreter for English, you know?』
He returns a bitter smile, and replies, 『Japanese foxes are good at hiding their tails.』
『We’re just careful not to get on a ship made out of sand.』
As I reply in my mind that the proverb he used should actually be about racoons as far as I know, a very soldier-like man shows up from behind him. A man that doesn’t give off the same sense of looseness as Simon.
The United Kingdom had formed a dungeon capture unit, referred to as DCU, beneath the SAS (Special Air Service). Because of that, all their members are elites of Great Britain’s army.
It seems he’s William.
The trade itself goes smoothly.
The butler guy frowns slightly at the orb’s count being below 60, but after the trade ends, they uneventfully shake our hands, and leave. That actually feels really ominous though.
“Phew, that was nerve-wracking, wasn’t it senpai?”
“Amen to that. I certainly didn’t expect him to bluntly show up as if nothing happened.”
“I wonder what’s the idea behind that?”
“No clue? Declaration of war?”
“Please stop it.”
Hearing that, Ms. Naruse grimaces, “She’s totally right. Mr. Yoshimura, sometimes I don’t really know whether you’re peaceful or belligerent.”
“What a thing to say! I’m the very definition of a lazy pacifist.”
“There’s no doubt about you being lazy. Still, as of late, you’re diligently doing your job. Like yesterday.”
“Am I working a bit too much?”
“I wonder about that?”
At that moment, there’s a knock at the door.
It’s Ayesha who comes through the door.
Being suddenly hugged, I get really flustered. I’m super happy about it, but I’m not used to this.
『Ayesha, what’s up?』
“Came to fulfill, promise.”
Miyoshi and I look at each other.
『You’re terrible. Are you telling me you forgot?』
With those words, Ayesha speaks about the reward I suggested when we talked about acquiring her D-Card.
“Senpai, what a show-off.”
Hearing about it for the first time, Miyoshi rolls her eyes, and retorts at me, “Aren’t you adopting to modern Japan’s culture way too much?”
Huh? Didn’t I tell her about this?
“No, back then I intended to lighten the mood a bit…”
“It was a joke!?”
“Ah, no. That’s not it, I think.”
Ayesha grabs my hand and pushes something like a written invitation into it.
『It’s an invitation. Given the location, it looks that it will be alright for you to invite up to six people.』
『Got it. I’m looking forward to it.』
『Yes! See you tomorrow then!』 Ayesha says and leaves the meeting room.
“She sure seems to be in a hurry.”
“It looks like there will be some kind of hearing or something at the JDA after this.”
It must be about the matter with <High Recovery>. I’m slightly worried. But then again, as long as that papa is around, I doubt he’ll let them do anything unreasonable to her.
“By the way, senpai, can I please have a look at that invitation?”
“I can open it?”
Once Miyoshi takes out the letter and scans through it, her eyes immediately widen.
“S-Senpai, this…the place is…『Saito』, you know?”
“It’s the ARK Hills South Tower’s sushi restaurant.”
“Ah, it’s because she’s a Hindu. It looks like fish is okay for her family.”
“No, that’s not the problem here…let me put it so that it’s easy for you to understand, senpai. It’s one of only three sushi restaurants with three Michelin stars in all of Tokyo.”
“…I don’t quite get it, but is such a restaurant a place where you can get a reservation on short notice?”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. You’d wonder what happened to the previous bookings, right? Don’t tell me, they got canceled…18th!?”
“What is it?”
“The 18th…that’s tomorrow!”
“『Saito』 is closed on Sundays.”
“Ah, so that’s how he was able to make a reservation.”
“No, wait a sec there. Bursting in unannounced and making the restaurant work on its day off? Just who the hell is Mr. Ahmed, senpai?”
“All information related to our clients is confidential.” Ms. Naruse answers with a straight face.
“Well, leaving that aside, it means all-you-can-eat of delicious sushi on the wallet of someone else, no? You must be hyped, Miyoshi.”
“Of course! Ah, Ms. Naruse, you’re coming as well, aren’t you?”
“Eh? Me? That’s okay?”
“Wasn’t it you who held back the party of Great Britain while massively abusing your authority?”
“T-That was── You’re right. Sunday, it is. Please allow me to take you up on that offer.”
“It’s three people then, huh…? Well, whatever. Miyoshi, is there anyone you want to invite?”
“On the spot, no one besides Midori-senpai…ah, right, Ms. Naruse, you were Midori-senpai’s big sister?”
“You mean the Midori that started a company for medical treatment devices?”
“Yes, that’s the one!”
“Does she have anything to do with you, Ms. Miyoshi?”
“Right now we’re trying to develop something special together! Please look forward to it!”
“Hey, Miyoshi! Don’t blab. We haven’t directly talked it over with Ms. Midori yet.”
“Eh? I want to hear about it! Isn’t that the kind of stuff that falls into the duty of a full-time spy?”
“No, spy, you say…anyway, please wait a bit longer.”
“Miyoshi, forbid Ms. Midori to speak about it. Tell her that her big sis is going to come investigating.”
“Aye, aye, sir.”
In the end, the sun went down with the women chit chatting.