After a while, Kou headed for the control center in the middle of the city to register himself and get his ID card issued with the help of Jenny and Blue.
Since the rest of the registration process would take some time to finish, he asked the two ladies to deal with it for him instead.

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「By the time you return from whatever it is you’ve set out to do, you can get your ID card issued from any facility that has a control center available.
They’re pretty common on both planets.
Your money, other assets, and privileges are all managed by Okeanos, so there’s no need to worry.」

「That’s the far future for you…… Um, I sorta only picked up Unit 5 from a junkyard.
Will there be any issues?」

「The owners of abandoned Silhouettes will be decided by the Fennel OS installed in the machines.
If you’ve already registered yourself as Unit 5’s pilot, that will be reflected in your ID.
If it’s recognized as a stolen item or was loaned from another mercenary, it won’t get registered in the database.」

「Understood.
I think I’ve already completed my pilot registration.
That’s one thing less to worry about, at least.
I’ll be going then.
Thanks for everything guys.」

「Good luck!」

Jenny waved goodbye.
Blue was also waving while standing beside her.

Kou turned around one final time to acknowledged them and finally boarded Unit 5’s cockpit.

「I’m back, Master.
I got myself registered for an official ID.」

「That’s good.
They certainly are very generous and considerate folks.」

「Yes.
Yes, they are.」

The two of them headed out and continued their journey through the wilderness.

Feeling a bit mischievous, Kou reached out for the comm terminal.

「Huh? I can’t complete his registration.」

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「What’s wrong?」

When Jenny tried to finish up Kou’s registration process, an error message was generated, saying that the registration could not be finalized.

「There’s an error regarding his profession.
I registered him as a free mercenary.
I tried registering him under us too, but that didn’t work either.」

「……Why don’t you just leave that blank? That person is a bit weird, so he might already be registered under something else.」

Blue suggested as such after some thought.
Jenny found it a bit mean to say Kou was a weird guy, but she chose not to point it out because even she found the guy quite strange.

「Alright.
Hey, it worked!」

Kou’s personal data started being processed.
Of course, the two ladies could only see Kou’s name, age, and profession.

However, the info that popped up under his occupation on the confirmation screen shocked them greatly.

Jenny and Blue became breathless after they got a gander at it.

Jenny hurriedly skipped the registration screen and ended the process.

The two exchanged apprehensive gazes and looked around to confirm that there was nobody else nearby.
Thankfully, there really was no one around except for them.

They then quickly made their way back to their hangar carrier.

「J-Just what was that!?」

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「……Are you familiar with that rank?」

「No! I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an EX Rank Development Engineer (Bricoleur)!」

「EX Rank Development Engineer… A C Rank Development Engineer already has the right to launch a company.
And there are only six confirmed A Rankers currently……」

「Only six A Rankers?」

「There’s Jack Cliff of the United States who came here 30 years ago.
He founded John Arms.
Then there’s Skunk Technology’s Kelly Rich, Kurt Ludwig of the German company Kurt Maschinenbau, Misumaru Heavy Industry’s Kinukawa Eiji who got transferred twenty years ago, and Wang Yunlan from Shenzen, China, who founded the Wangcheng Industrial Group Co.
Ltd.
The most recent one confirmed was TAKABA’s Takaba Hyoue from Japan.
He was transferred just ten years ago.」

「They don’t have a lot in common, don’t they?」

「There’s one thing they have in common for certain though.
They are all machinery fanatics and tinker with machines day and night.」

「Depending on one’s Development Engineer rank, one could get info directly from Okeanos and Ashia, and could singlehandedly reactivate and run an automated production plant, right? Great.
Now I kinda feel like dragging that guy back right this instant.
That kid’s existence alone could spark a war.
There’s no doubt.」

「It’s because he has the EX Rank which is a first in history, right?」

Certain unmanned factories could be reactivated and run by just C Rank Development Engineers.

Even E Rank Development Engineers were more valued than A Rank mercenaries.
There was a big difference between having and not having the authority to command unmanned machines.

For example, even if you managed to acquire an automated repair shop, you’d still need an E Rank Development Engineer or higher in order to run it.

「Didn’t I invite him enthusiastically earlier? I’m sure he’ll be joining Metal Iris later.」

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「It’s said that the Japanese are weak to pressure after all…… Wait, that’s not it.
Isn’t it dangerous to leave that guy by himself out there?」

「Did your true intentions leak out just now, young lady? Well, I get it though.
His fighting methods are a bit too reckless.」

The buildings within Defense Domes and Fortress Areas are supplied with plenty of Whis energy so they are able to serve as effective cover.

Normally, the Murders would opt to flatten the terrain by way of long-range bombardment during an attack to counteract this.
If the central control tower was successfully taken over by the enemy, the city would have faced a far more intense bombardment.

Under such circumstances, the tactic of getting in up close and personal to slash enemies was certainly a reckless tactic.

「It looks like Kou has only stayed on this planet for three days, including today.
This was actually only his third time engaging in active combat.」

「……Third time? You’re kidding, right?」

「Do I look like I’m kidding? His first live combat experience was against a Mantis-type Keres.
Normally, most transferees would be finished after encountering a monster like that unprepared.」

「And he ended up beating it? With only a great sword for a weapon, no less.
That’s insane…… He said he had a goal or something to accomplish, right? I actually want to go and help him out, but I suppose it’s better just to wait for him, huh.」

「We have to respect his will after all.」

「……Hey, Blue.
You know, it’s pretty rare for you to be that concerned for a person.」

「Is that so? –Mm.
Maybe.」

「I guess we should wait for that guy’s return then.
Since an EX Rank Development Engineer has appeared on Planet Ashia at this time, I’m sure his existence is probably necessary somehow.」

Blue nodded in agreement.

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Jenny couldn’t imagine what such a thing would bring.
What would necessitate the appearance of an unprecedented EX Rank Development Engineer? Add to that his exceptional Silhouette piloting skills.

It was at a level that a mere mercenary organization leader couldn’t hope to imagine.

However, she still earnestly prayed for Kou’s safety.

『Good evening, everyone.
It’s now time for Dusk Buster.
Good work on the defensive battle, guys.
I would like to play soothing songs to cheer up everyone currently staying on the battlefield this evening.
I’m your host, Blue.』

Blue’s broadcast had already begun.

She was currently inside a small room within the Metal Iris Hangar Carrier.
The only things inside the room were two small chairs and a microphone.
The radio broadcast was carried out using the Carrier’s comm room.

『……We have a song request today.
It’s from【The Guy Who Got Fooled by the Cover】[1].
……What the heck……? Um, anyway, the song name is……』

No matter how many times Kou heard her voice, he felt like he would never get tired of it.

He clearly picked up her soft grumble as well.

Kou laughed unreservedly within Unit 5’s cockpit.
It was a joke only the Japanese would understand, but there should be some of his countrymen listening in on the broadcast.

Since he was given Jenny and Blue’s contact details, he decided to prank them a bit.

TL Notes:

[1] Got Fooled by the Cover – This is a well-known joke in Japan.
The context is when someone complains about purchasing a gravure/porn mag or video (or any other media in general) with a great-looking cover and not-so-great-looking content.
A popular instance of this was when Light Yagami of Death Note complained about the very same thing while he was looking at a gravure magazine (or at least pretending to, since he was under surveillance XD).

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