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< The Monetary Circumstances of Mr. Strauss (2) >
Lin Lang brought up the data she had organized onto the screen in the corner of the room. Apparently, that’s what she has been doing as we didn’t have any work to do.
It was a simple graph.
“There are currently 6238 credits in Mr. Strauss’ account.”
“… Why are you asking me?”
Lin Lang, very briefly, made a face as if she was seeing non recyclable trash. The multi-calorie stick, often consumed by the peasant class, is 2 credits. It could be seen as an enormous amount considering it could buy three thousand multi-calorie sticks.
But people can’t live on just bread. They have to pay rent, and require all sorts of entertainment, right?
However, as if trying to prove people can live on just bread, the Vice Marshal was nibbling away at the peasant meal – multi-calorie sticks.
That’s all she eats. Always.
Allen has never seen her eat something besides multi-calorie sticks of her own volition. The only times she ate something else was when Allen took her to a restaurant.
“That’s why I told you to… not go drinking so much.”
It was all because he had gone off to the red-light districts instead of coming to work for a multitude of days.
“You seem fine with those multi-calorie sticks for three meals a day, but I need happiness in my life!”
“…the multi-calorie stick is the greatest invention in Elysium.”
“It’s the devil’s creation upholding Elysium’s policy of low pay and low-cost grain. They’re basically saying since you won’t starve to death if you eat this, you’re getting paid less.”
“It’s no use trying to defend yourself by defending laborer’s rights. Those types are the first to try and make these kinds of things. If Mr. Strauss was the CEO of the company, you would’ve invested most of the funds into cutting the production costs in half.”
“How did you know? Whatever, what’s important is that I can’t live like you. I can’t. Multi-calorie sticks are basically feed for humans.”
“I can’t believe you said that about the food industry's revolutionary product which while simple, packed with the essential calories and can be preserved forever if not opened. According to a test people who only eat multi-calorie sticks have a 20% higher life expectancy compared to those that do not.”
“It’s a study the dining industry would love to dispute.”
“It’s the truth.”
She continued to nibble away at her calorie stick.
“It doesn’t even have any flavor in the first place. It tastes like uncooked raw pork fat wrapped in raw flour dough. Disregard the nutrition, if I have to eat that for the rest of my life, I’ll commit suicide, Vice Marshal. I wouldn’t stay alive even if it let me live longer.”
“Is that so. I’m sorry for being a Vice Marshal that eats feed for humans as her main meal.”
Lin Lang glared at Allen upon finishing her multi-calorie stick, and Allen couldn’t do much besides shutting up.
“T-that’s not what I meant. Your frugalness is so great that it’s admirable. That’s what I was saying!”
Lin Lang ignored him as if he were a barking dog and went back to her main point.
“Anyway, Mr. Strauss’ apartment rent is two hundred and fifty credits a month. This office also costs two hundred and fifty credits a month, so the fixed cost per month is five hundred. That’s three thousand credits in six months. Mr. Strauss’ average expenses for a month is five thousand credits. Been around a fuc… a lot. Oh, you’re due for bankruptcy next month. I have made a mistake. I apologize.”
“I spent that much? A-and how do you know where I’ve been?”
“I do your taxes, Mr. Strauss. You handed me the work that should’ve definitely been done by a separate tax agency as extra work.”
Upon seeing Lin Lang wave around the electronic payment receipts showing all of his recent destinations, Allen’s face went red. It was the regret of one living thoughtlessly, but it was too late.
“Listen, Vice Marshal. When a Federation Marshal chases criminals, they end up in those dark, musty places as part of the job…”
“That’s why you left a tip huh.”
‘You?’ flashed on her expression for a moment, and Allen wanted to commit suicide from the embarrassment.
“Who is Lilith? How much did Lilith… damn this fuc… hmm, sorry.”
Lin Lang took a deep breath, trying to not curse at her superior. Soon, she organized the receipts neatly, and looked over at the screen with a calm expression.
“The age of Federation Marshals is over. There’s no more work. It’s funny that Mr. Strauss is the cause, but Elysium is actually much more safer. ESPD and LNPD alone are more than enough to take care of most of the criminal problems. If this continues, in a year’s time even if you, Mr. Strauss, choose to sustain life by only eating multi-calorie sticks you will still go bankrupt.”
Peace means unemployment for some. Much time has passed since the conception of the Federation Marshal Act, and the Federation Marshals, who wield their absolute immunity to poke around Elysium, making many violent criminals disappear. As society became stable, regular police were enough to keep the peace instead of having to rely on Federation Marshals.
It spelled the end for their role as the government’s hunting dog.
Understanding his own predicament, Allen became calm.
“Vice Marshal, is there a bank worth robbing nearby?”
“…You seem to be serious, so stop.”
“But I’m supposed to be a Federation Marshal. Does it even make sense I’ll be kicked out because I can’t pay rent?”
“Then is a Federation Marshal robbing a bank supposed to make sense?”
“You told me to earlier!”
“I’m starting to suspect alcohol abuse since you can’t tell jokes from reality. What do you think about installing a brain preservation equipment?”
Even though Lin Lang was making fun of him, she always provided him with a solution in the end. As she flipped to the next screen, there was a super fancy-looking building. It wasn’t comparable to the red line’s skyscraper, but it was practically a holy temple compared to the Marshal’s office here, located in the gray line.
Lin Lang say tacitly.
“It’s Federation Marshal Salome’s office.”
“Huh, Salome? The Salome I know? She had an office in that kind of place? What floor is it?”
Lin Lang took a breath, drew a circle with her fingers while pointing at the building.
Allen asked again wondering if he’d heard wrong.
“The building is under the ownership of Salome Corporation.”
“Co what? Corporation?”
“The corporation I know?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
The building looked at least thirty floors tall at first glance. From the background, it seemed to be a wealthy area, at least yellow line or above. Allen was certain he’d misheard something.
“Salome that bitc… woman is the owner of that building? The one that’s shit..ty?”
“Federation Marshal Salome has had a side job for quite a while. Not just the government related jobs, but also various… contract work, and side jobs like detective agencies.”
“I know that. That fu…riend doing those kind of uncouth jobs made me not even consider her as a colleague...”
“Through the uncouth jobs that helped her save up like crazy, she created the Salome Corporation and even bought that building. Unlike the prestigious Federation Marshal who didn’t work and instead had the audacity to give Ms. Lilith tips.”
Upon hearing Lin Lang’s words, Allen’s face went dark.
There are no additional Federation Marshals because of the nature of the job. Federation Marshals are continuing to decrease in number because of deaths during missions.
So, the Federation Marshals that were left all had to hold their own, and were small in number.
Federation Marshals using their special immunity privilege to dip their hands into dirty jobs isn’t a new occurrence. Because of the sentiment that true Federation Marshals should only take government jobs led to the situation of ones like Salome being looked down upon by the others.
But in the end, Salone was the one who saved up like crazy to create a foundation and purchased a building became a landlord, and Allen Strauss was the one who upheld his professional convictions until the end and as a result was penniless.
“Salome corporation said that they wanted to hire me. For an annual salary of four hundred thousand credits.”
Allen’s mouth gaped open from the unprecedented salary. Four hundred thousand credits weren’t something that could be offered easily. A worker on his 5th year of a famous company in the red line approximately makes one hundred thousand credits in a year.
To look at it objectively, it basically says she’ll receive a raise of at least ten times her current salary. Truthfully, Lin Lang was very good at her job. For a Marshal to be good at their job, the Vice Marshal also needs to be good at their job. For Allen Strauss’ record, even though he was jobless, he was unmatched in skill. So, it means that Vice Marshal Lin Lang is just as skillful.
Lin Lang was smiling, which is quite rare for her to do so.
Allen knew her well enough. The only times she laughs is when she is very, very angry. Allen stuttered as he attempted to chatter on.
“H-H-Hey… Vice Marshal? You’re going? I-I uh well. I don’t work well by myself.”
To be fair, wasn’t it a tempting offer?
“My pride was damaged.”
Allen has no clue of what Salome thought of Lin Lang, but Lin Lang really despised Salome.
As if the pretense of an outsider boasting about becoming a building owner was the most annoying thing ever, Lin Lang proceeded to calm herself down and said with an emotionless expression.
“Anyway, since the era changed to this, and I hate to admit it, but I think Federation Marshal Salome’s method was right. Not only that, but most of the Federation Marshals are looking for a way to survive. Only Mr. Strauss… thought that the work opportunity would last forever.”
“Yes, Mr. Strauss.”
Lin Lang made a deep sigh.
“If you don’t want to go bankrupt, you will have to do the detective agency that you looked down on.”
The era of Federation Marshals was over.
They had to find their own ways to survive. Each to their own.
“You should’ve saved up.”
Allen couldn’t help but agree with a heavy expression at Lin Lang’s words. Then, he abruptly raised his head and asked.
“T-then… what about you?”
A job with a salary of four hundred thousand credits wasn’t easy to find. There was no reason for Lin Lang to refuse. And even if they take on commissioned jobs, it isn’t a part of her contract for the ESPD, so Lin Lang’s actual earnings wouldn’t increase.
Then this probably meant that she was saying good luck and goodbye before she went over to Salome’s side.
Allen Strauss’ bankruptcy had nothing to do with Lin Lang.
“Mr. Strauss is a jobless, chronic smoking fool that doesn’t even know how much he has left in his own bank account. He is also a pathetic idiot who visits the salon too often for his own good. Who the fuck is Lilith? I need to go take a loo…”
“V-Vice Marshal! If you say too many facts, I’ll get hurt…!”
Even his terrible temperament was squashed when he realized that his Vice Marshal might leave.
Lin Lang sent a terrifying glare at Allen and continued.
“I’d rather work with a superior good at his job than the noob-trash like Salome.
Disregarding his laziness and violent tendencies, Allen Strauss has been and still is the best Federation Marshal with the highest number of arrests and best performance records.
And for Lin Lang, whoever is good at their job is a good person in her eyes.
“But I thought we don’t have any more work?”
Allen Strauss did his job too well, and because of that, he became unemployed. Then it’s no longer possible to be good at your job, right? Then it meant that Lin Lang no longer had a reason to work with Allen.
Lin Lang answered Allen’s question stiffly.
“Mr. Strauss, five years is quite a long time.”
“What does that mean?”
Allen cocked his head at the quizzical statement.
Enough time to become attached.
< The Monetary Circumstances of Mr. Strauss (2) > End
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