–Fortress Area B812–

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This Fortress Area had a large airport available.

Before long, a state-of-the-art aircraft arrived at the said airport.
Its pilot was Voy.

He landed the aircraft according to the guidance of the air traffic control AI.

The pilots of the Silhouettes serving as airport security were inwardly screaming in shock and envy.

There were very few Underground Forces in the Nemesis warfront that owned the new model of cutting-edge transport aircraft piloted by Voy.
In fact, some of them were still waiting for the planes to get manufactured after preordering them.

The aircraft could carry up to four Silhouettes.
Its maximum loading capacity was around 120 tons.
However, no other transport aircraft had the level of speed and defense the new model sported.
It was a new model that was just released a month ago after companies got their hands on the relevant new technology from a mysterious source in an auction.

Several figures got down from the transport plane.

The first person who got down from it was a beautiful blonde lady.
It was Jenny.

A small-statured Japanese middle-aged man followed after her.
Then, a young man who looked to be Japanese as well got down next.
A young woman with dog ears got off the plane last.

A luxury car picked them up from the airport the moment they arrived.
The ones who welcomed the guests were representatives of Wangcheng Industrial Group Co.
Ltd.
– a transferee-led company based on Fortress Area B812 that was led by the A-Rank Development Engineer Wang Yunlan.
Representatives from the trading company responsible for the handling and distribution of Wangcheng Industrial Group products were also present.

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The security personnel was already informed about Metal Iris arriving to inspect the products they were going to purchase from Wangcheng Industrial beforehand.

Let’s turn back the clock a bit.

Metal Iris received word that Kou and Aki were coming to pay them a visit to the facility they were currently staying at.

Due to this, Blue and Fuyuki were called up by Jenny.

「It looks like Kou already has a new request for us.
Or rather, it’s probably a request from Kou’s patron.
There’s little to no danger this time around, and there’s a hefty reward to boot.」

「Eh?」

Blue, who theorized that the AI Astraea was the entity behind Kou, opened her eyes wide after hearing Jenney’s words.

She felt that Kou saying he was only a representative was ultimately just a front.

「The name of the patron in question is listed as Libra – in other words, The Scales astrological sign.」

「H-Haha.」

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Blue let out a dry laugh.
It was way too obvious.
Astraea was said to have served as the basis for the Libra zodiac sign.

She must have not felt like hiding her identity anymore, Blue inwardly mused.

「I’m also needed?」

Jenny grinned after hearing Fuyuki’s question.

「The request is for the C-Rank Development Engineer Kou to get in contact with a certified A-Rank Development Engineer to further his knowledge.
The designated member for this request is you, Fuyuki.
They also asked for either Blue or me to accompany you.」

「Gah.」

Fuyuki ended up muttering unintelligible words in response.
He was probably quite shocked that his name specifically came up.

「It says here that it’s absolutely imperative that Kou be accompanied by three people who understand his skills.」

It was dressed as a meeting between three Development Engineers.

A subtle air permeated the room the three were in.

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「It’s quite a ridiculous request……」

「The reward proposed is something that would apparently grant us with powerful military strength that won’t lose out to the best Underground Forces out there.
We can also opt for a substantial cash reward instead.
As for how substantial exactly, let’s just say I haven’t seen so many zeroes in my entire life working as a mercenary.」

「The former reward offered is obviously way more valuable, isn’t it?」

Fuyuki analyzed things in a calm manner.

「Yes.
They’re gonna borrow the name of Metal Iris, basically.
The operation is quite simple and easy.
We of Metal Iris are requested to enter negotiations with another party in order to purchase a large number of new weapons.
That’s with the additional pretext of conducting a fruitful discussion between fellow Development Engineers.
By the way, if the purchase gets finalized, the one who will actually provide the money will be Libra.
And apparently, the budget granted for this mission is practically unlimited.」

「It does sound nice and easy but…… it also includes some pretty unconventional conditions huh.」

「Purchasing and procurement of supplies isn’t my thing, I’ll have you know.」

「Even so, you’re the only businessman from 21st century Earth among our ranks, Fuyuki.
Even I help out on procuring supplies sometimes.
Above all, you’re a fellow Japanese, and you’re familiar with Kou to boot.
You’re the best fit for the job.」

「Well now, it looks like I can’t refuse if you’re gonna go that far, captain.」

Blue then voiced the question she’d been mulling over since earlier.

「But can we really meet up with an A-Rank Development Engineer just by purchasing loads of weapons?」

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「Look at it this way.
We’re part of the main driving force behind the liberation of Asia.
Even though it’s being officially kept top secret, it’s pretty obvious to those who know what they’re doing.
I’m sure the other party would be more than willing to meet up with us as well.」

The operation that led to Asia’s rescue sent shockwaves throughout all of the Fortress Areas and Defense Domes around the planet.
In some Fortress Areas, the long-halted production of Familiars has restarted once more.
The only one who could possibly do such a thing was Asia.

And there should be a force responsible for the reactivation of Asia.
There had been no response from Asia herself, but rumors that the ones who pulled it off were a combined force comprised of the Metal Iris and Storm Hound Underground Forces have begun circulating around.

In fact, a lot of inquiries trying to ferret out the truth were forwarded to both Jenny and Rick.
The two gave all of them the same answer: 「We cannot answer any questions regarding Asia’s release and reactivation as it would violate our obligation to keep things confidential for our client.」

They subtly hinted at their involvement while refusing to provide any substantial information.

「I see.
Understood.
I’m sorry but I guess I’ll have to refrain from participating this time around.」

「Ara, it’s fine for us to go together you know.」

「But you need to have at least a basic grasp of business for this mission, right, Fuyuki?」

「Let’s see.
Yes, I suppose you do.」

「Alright, I get it, you two.
I’ll be coming with Fuyuki then.
I’ll leave this place to you, Blue.」

「Understood.」

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