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Me, Her, And The Ballistic Weaponry [Antique]

Chapter 33

“Union, eh?… I feel like we might disagree over interest rights so I would like to decline, if possible.”

Tarou didn’t really know much about forming an union but he liked the idea of doing as he liked. He didn’t want anything obstructing that.

“‘Isn’t that what the contract is for – to stop something like that beforehand? It’s not like you have to come to a decision right now, I will be happy if you were to just listen to what I have to say. Because I think you’ll surely be interested if you do’”

After snorting at Liza’s voice, Tarou lowered the transmission volume to zero for once.

“Or so she’s saying but, what do you think? Should we collaborate with a stalker?”

“Well, can’t really answer when I don’t properly understand what she’s talking about. However, it is quite rare for such a big organization to say ‘let’s form an union’ rather than ‘join the union’ or something along that line. Judging from her way of speaking, she spoke on equal terms. Let’s put aside the ‘stalker’ for now.” Maar said, putting a finger to her lips.

Judging from what she said, Tarou decided he could at least listen to what Liza was saying and turned the volume up again.

“Alright. Then, let me hear what you have in mind. What kind of a collaboration set up are you expecting?”

Liza shifted her gaze hearing Tarou’s voice.

“‘Right. How about a third stage of confidentiality in the form of a business partnership? You get 35% of policy deciding rights and rights of usage of shared resource and we get 65%. Of course, no meddling in each others’ companies. Also, there’s a right to refusal too.’”

“Hmm… Koume, what’s this third stage of confidentiality?”

“Yes, Mister Teirow. The third stage requires confidentiality for 50 years after withdrawing from the union. It is very powerful.”

“I see… What are the merits, demerits you can think of?”

“‘Our merit would be the military prowess you possess. Considering the recent state of affairs, it is extremely attractive.’”

“There are others who possess warships too, ya know?”

“‘Teirow-san, I would be happy if you were to stop making light of us. Certainly, there are many co-ops which possess a warship, but when you talk about being able to use those warships properly, the matter is different. Cooperations which bought warships recently can’t possibly hope to properly use them. And besides, my elder brother also said this, that ‘that man has surely received specialized training and probably possesses high level of skill’.’”

“Ah, that reminds me, he saw the records of the ship, eh?… Well, I got that part. Please continue.”

Tarou was by no means making light of them but he realized he probably lost his cool more than he had thought. As if to pull herself together again, Liza cleared her throat and continued.

“‘As for our demerit… right. I guess it would be how small our joint usage will be. To be honest, till the union gets on track, we will probably be on the red.’”

“Either you make a joint base or buy a ship, we would be completely relying on you, after all.”

“‘Yes, that’s right. And that will also be your merit. I also think there are more techniques and information we can offer. Do you possess transportation for fresh food? Are you not interested in transporting precision machines or razor metals?’”

“I see… That’s quite attractive.”

Hearing Tarou’s words, Liza said ‘Then,’ full of expectations but was stopped by Tarou’s ‘But,’

“Personally, I still feel like we are giving more here.”

“‘Oh, and why is that?’”

“Hm, do you really not understand?”

“‘Yes, I would be happy if you were to enlighten me.’”

Tarou grabbed the flexible monitor’s rim tightly and brought it close to him.

“‘It’s because we’re putting our lives on the line here, Miss Francois. You can’t even understand that, when you are leading 200 men yourself?’”

The atmosphere froze. Liza had a wrinkle on her forehead and her lips shaked. Maar, who was beside, opened her mouth to say something but then gave up.

“Oouf, wh-what is it, Maar-san? You’re too close.”

Putting her chin on the back of the seat Tarou was on, she glanced into the monitor. Her position was such that she was barely not visible to the other side. ‘Do continue’ Maar said.

While her perfume tickled Tarou’s nose, he noticed that her mouth had formed a U shape.

“I don’t really know what’s up but it seems like you’re in a good mood… Umm, and as such, I guess we will be breaking off this conversation here. Well then.”

Tarou had very much realized that he was speaking in a harsh way due to their impression of a stalker. And thinking that, he knew this talk was also over and was about to cut the line when,

“‘Wait… I admit… that we were the ones looking down on you. Besides, I haven’t heard your counter-suggestion yet. Aren’t you being too hasty to finish this negotiation here?’”

Liza’s voice had a trace of anger in it but she didn’t let them feel it. Although Tarou was impressed by her will, he had no intention of advancing this negotiation.

“Well, yeah, sorry for being harsh… Hmm, counter-proposal, eh? We will have 51% rights over policy decision and assets usage and you will have 49%. If you can accept this, I will agree.”

It was an insensible condition no matter how you looked at it.

“Hey, Teirow-san. Do you really think we would accept that condition? Even if I were to agree, other members will oppose it.”

“Then, isn’t it your job to pacify them?”

The two locked eyes with each other through the monitors. After a few seconds of silence which felt like minutes, Liza said ‘Could we have some time to think?’. Tarou nodded and decreased the transmission volume.

“Fuiii, discussing really is tiring.”

“Good work, Mister Teirow. Even still, Miss Liza sure has strong willpower. It wouldn’t be weird to lose your temper if a lower ranked person talked to you like that.”

“Eh, it was that bad?”

“Well, to be honest, you were pretty scary. Although I won’t deny that you might have not been somewhat uncool.”

“No, I can’t understand what you’re saying one bit. But, really…? Well, it’s that, see? The thought of you yourself being at a safe place while ordering someone to be at danger is itself the worst, right? No matter how big they are, they would be holding the right to decide as well.”

‘True’ Maar replied to Tarou. She must have also thought that the negotiations were over, and went to her own seat and started recalculating the overdrive. Tarou also stood up wondering if he could help out with something when the line connected again.

“‘Teirow-san, your previous condition, we will accept it.’”

Tarou and Maar’s mouth opened wide. ‘Are you sane?’ asked Tarou to which Liza replied, ‘Do I look like I am not?’.

“‘Thanks to you, we cut 25% of the speed carriers. Ah, don’t worry about them, though. We will handle the cost and after all, we will be starting up a new different company. But, since I have done this far—’”

And after giving a radiant smile, she continued again,

“‘Please take responsibility, alright, Teirow-san?’”

The only thing Tarou was able to do was to give a stiff, dried-up smile.

After that, while heading towards the alpha station, Tarou and the others progressed talks with Liza about the trades. Although they are in the same union, it doesn’t change the fact that they are from different companies so they settled with half-half profits from shared trades.

The two cooperations had started their efforts for joint coordination with each other by boarding each others’ ships, chatting on the stations, having as much interaction as they could. Even though they worked in the same field, their techniques differed greatly and so, even sharing information like this was a big merit.

“What exactly is this map?!! So you guys had a connection with the army, after all!!”

Liza was most surprised by Tarou’s specially-made network map. As she had misunderstood that she was betrayed by that, it took Tarou quite some trouble to clear up.

“So many secret paths the other companies don’t know of… This is the danger territory? What is this code? Hey, could you tell me a bit more? I will pay as much as you want.”

In the current situation, when travelling through stargate, relying on the beacon has become unstable, it could be said that the existence of a precise network map was like a treasure. Where and how should one cross a road to be relatively safer? Which way is the shortcut? Where is the star system which will be linked soon? — because such information could be read from the map.

“Na, if need to I will send you the information but spare me giving to to you right away, will ya? Besides, it could turn out pretty bad if it leaks.”

There was a time when Tarou had thought of publishing this personal map to the public. It was because he was feeling guilty of having the safety to himself.

However, such worries were also turned upside down with one word from Koume.

“Mister Teirow, I think the army also possesses such a map but even then the map hasn’t been made public. There are many reasons I can think of but the biggest one is probably because of the influence it will have if it leaks. Mister Teirow, have you ever thought of a situation where the Wynds get a hold of this map?”

A big reason why the empire has been able to hold public order is due to the battlefield being limited to near the stargate. Also because the army can use the neural network as an intermediary to communicate and coordinate.

Just as Koume says, if this map was to be used by the Wynds, everywhere on the borderline would turn into a battlefield. Fighting at an isolated area is nothing less than a nightmare and it would also scatter the forces even more.

It is evident that the Wynds are using the beacons for stargate, judging from the sequence of events but depending on the situation, they could destroy all beacons on the borderline–severing communication, which is equal to physically blocking everything off. If that happens, then all the areas except the central area would be annihilated. The harm would rise from a 100 million to a trillion.

“‘Oi, Teirow. Try looking up front. Do you see that blue-ish nebula? Look underneath it, there’s a big light.

10 days after departing from the delta. From the stargate which was ahead, a voice signal was sent through the communication device.

“‘That is the alpha star system. We have finally arrived. And if it’s according to the information–’”

Tarou squinted at the monitor. The countdown for the last jump had started and he prepared himself.

“‘It seems that there is a huge fight going on. Let’s capture the doctor and make a run for it.”