121 part 3
Next to the headquarters was the former girls’ school built in the Meiji era and the Hakodate Orthodox Church. The city hall could be found a little further ahead.
This was a famous tourist spot in Hakodate.
However, since the appearance of a dungeon on Mt. Hakodate, what used to be a tourist attraction, had now become a place where adventurers could develop their countermeasures.
Kagemitsu, who arrived at the Hakodate Headquarters of the Self-Defense Force, proceeded into the building while enduring the collective gaze that focused on himself.
“If only we were in more peaceful times, I’d rather go sightseeing…”
Van, who was walking behind Kagemitsu, nodded languidly.
Aerial ran through the entire distance between Sapporo and Hakodate in a single day.
With their physical strength, which was the best in all of Sapporo, they could cover the entire 300 kilometers in a day.
Even so, after 10 hours of running those 300 kilometers, they had accumulated a considerable fatigue.
Kagemitsu and Van were fine, but the other Aerial members who weren’t with them at the moment were down at an inn in the Yunokawa district, where the hot springs were located.
“Then you should have come here back when things were peaceful. Didn’t you come here on a school trip or something?”
“… I can’t remember anything other than eating curry at Gotoken.”
“That’s too good for a school trip meal!”
Both Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan had visited Gotoken. It was the most famous restaurant in Hokkaido since the Meiji era.
It was now impossible for anyone to enjoy that curry, which had been endorsed by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, due to the influence of the first Stampede.
If only they had access to some kind of seasoning, the traditional taste of Hokkaido would be restored, but there were no signs that that would happen anytime soon.
I envy you. Kagemitsu shook his head as if hating on others’ happiness.
While having such idle talk, Kagemitsu and Van were led into the meeting room.
The executives of the Hakodate Self-Defense Force had already gathered there.
When entering, the gaze of all of the executives pierce Kagemitsu all at once.
Their harsh gazes of tension, doubt and exclusion made Kagemitsu’s heart weep as he wished he could go back home already.
The first one to open his mouth was a bald, slightly obese man.
The man was located at the top seat of the conference room. It was safe to assume that he was the one leader of the group.
Kagemitsu started talking with great efforts so as to not look disrespectful.
“I’m Kagemitsu from Team Aerial. We’ve taken on the request to help Hakodate City. This here is Van. The rest of our team members are currently resting in Yunokawa.”
“Ah, so it’s you…”
Kagemitsu’s eyebrows were slightly raised after hearing the man’s tone of voice.
Though his words were polite, his voice didn’t seem to be very welcoming.
(But we’ve been called here, haven’t we…?)
Since Hakodate was at stake, they had run all the way there without a break.
It wasn’t much of a big deal for Kagemitsu since his physical strength had improved, but the other members, including Van, were so out of breath that they felt like vomiting blood.
(We’ve come all the way here this fast precisely because Hakodate is in danger…)
Kagemitsu suppressed his emotions with his mental power so that they wouldn’t come to the surface.
“Sorry for being rude, but who are you?”
“You really are rude. I’m Yoshioka, chief of the Hakodate Self-Defense Force.”
“Mr. Yoshioka. Please tell us more about this unique species monster that has appeared in Mt. Hakodate Dungeon.”
“Why…? We came here, taking a request from Hakodate City. The request is to defeat the unique species monster. In other words, defeating this monster is our job.”
“What a coincidence. Subjugating that unique species monster happens to be our job as well.”
I won’t let you do anything.
His intentions were completely transparent, and Kagemitsu felt nauseated by them.
“I’m sorry, but this is a problem our city will handle by itself.”
“The Self-Defense Force cannot even protect their homeland, so they aren’t qualified to do this job… Is that what you think?”
That’s not the case at all!!
Does it make you feel better to yell that as you hit your desk with all your strength?
However, Yoshioka’s words were absolutely correct.
The Self-Defense Force existed precisely to protect their own city.
Most of the Self-Defense Forces were organized by locals.
We want to save our city with our own power. That spirit would be stronger than that of an adventurer.
In addition, if the Self-Defense Force, which should be the first to deal with any incident, were to raise the white flag before doing anything, not only their morale but also the significance of existence itself will be questioned.
What on earth are we paying from taxes for? Things like that.
“Understood. Then at least let us operate as we see fit.”
“What makes you think we’ll let you do anything?”
Kagemitsu was completely befuddled by Yoshioka’s words.
“If both we and the Self-Defense Force were to attack the unique species monster together, wouldn’t that resolve this situation quickly?”
“It’s not necessary. Everything will be handled by our Self-Defense Force. There’s no need for you to interfere.”
Ah, I see.
This guy is a complete idiot.
Just as Kagemitsu was about to throw in the towel, Van, who was standing next to him, leaned forward.
“You bastard, what are your citizen’s lives to you–”
“Stop it, Van.”
Immediately stopping the raging Van, Kagemitsu looked straight at Yoshioka.
“… Thank you for your time.”
With a light bow, Kagemitsu dragged Van along and left the meeting room.