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< Contract Killer Police (1) >
Allen’s office is located in a corner at the second floor of a three storey store building in Grey Line D Sector 11-1.
Originally, the Grey Line is essentially a ‘grey area’ in the Line City divisions but that wasn’t important.
The Federation Marshal’s office didn’t need a signboard. The work orders are promptly sent from the government, so the public didn’t need to know this was an office.
But it’s different now. Now that he chose to essentially become a detective agency, there was a need to let the public know that he was here. Fortunately, the Grey Line is an entertainment district overflowing with people, so there was no need to worry about population flow in the area.
“I get it now, but why does a tiny building like this have so many sign boards?”
Lin Lang tsked at Allen’s words. She knew he wasn’t a sociable person, but he absolutely had no interest in his surroundings. There were thirty-six neon-signs with dizzying lights clustering the walls of the three-story building. It meant there were thirty-six shops in this tiny building. And would the addition of the ‘Marshal Agency’ sign be noticed at all? Neither Allen nor Lin Lang could say for sure.
Lin Lang too wondered why a high-ranking police officer of the ESPD like her was wasting time on a worthless project like this but had made the decision to make this idiot be able to at least beg for his food.
“We need signboards, and some marketing. We have one thing going for us; Federation Marshals are much sought after in the detective agency sector. If we just put ourselves out there, people will be lining up.”
“The Unconditional Immunity Privilege is a big advantage for a detective agency.”
It was a bargain to solicit the services of a Federation Marshal, who were basically Elysium’s Executioners with outcalls, for a small sum of money. It wasn’t just luck that got Salome enough money to buy a building.
The government, corporations, civilians, always need someone to do their dirty work. Allen just expanded his target customer base from just the government to include corporations and civilians. It wasn’t that different.
Allen could soon see some Architecture Drones veering through the milky sky and clattering away as they installed the signboard on the corner of the 2nd floor. The Architecture Drones are the perfect non-paid laborers who can install signs on buildings up to a hundred floors.
“Did you order those?”
“The faster the better.”
“Yeah, you’re good at your job. But the money… I’m sorry. There’s no need for you to pa….”
“It’s your money.”
“What? Why are you using my money like it’s yours? And how do you know my account password?”
“I’ve known it since five years ago. 6974… Hah, truly one of a kind tras…. Sorry.” (TL Note, you all probably know 69, but 74 sounds like ‘creampie’ in Korean.)
Allen couldn’t do much besides shut up.
The sign was finish in less than 10 minutes had passed, an instant.
[Office of Federation Marshal Allen Strauss]
[I’ll show you something]
“I’ll show you something? What is this? It sounds like an illegal sex shop!”
“Strictly speaking, it’s worse than illegal sex services. It’s the place where a Federation Marshal uses their power to fulfill their selfish desires instead of cracking down on the public enemy.”
“You told me to offer detective services!”
“I only recommended a suitable occupation because all Mr. Strauss knows is fighting and tracking. If you don’t like it that much, it doesn’t seem so bad to work as a male waiter in that saloon you like so much?
Allen’s face turned red at those words. She continued with an exclamation of ‘Wow’ and a stiff expression as if she realized something.
“That seems like a good idea. You can work with the Lilith you like so much, isn’t it grea…”
“Please Vice Marshal. It’s my fault.”
“You’ve done nothing wrong to me. Mr. Strauss just chose to become unhappy.”
It appeared as though it’ll take some time for Lin Lang to forget about the Saloon incident. After the installation of the signboard was completed, Lin Lan was busy jabbing away at her tablet as if calculating something.”
“We’ll be using the Patrol Drone’s voice advertising for marketing.”
“Yes, if we had enough funds and the situation allowed, it would be better to use the EBS (Elysium Broadcasting System) Channel’s advertisements, but as you already know, Mr. Strauss, you’re broke. And if you have enough money to use an expensive ad like that, you can just retire.”
A flying patrol drone was chattering away at the spot Allen gestured. It was a rather adorable cylindrical machine in the form of a flying bug with propellers. The patrol drone patrols for the LNPD (Line Police Department) and surveys the area looking for wanted criminals in order to subdue any criminal activities that happen.
During the immediate suppression, the cute cylinder opens three doors, each of which has three small later Gatling guns. Most criminals turn into ashes on the spot or are tied up by Gel-type nets.
For most people however, the patrol drone is just an annoying ad-machine.
-V-V-Volcano pasta! V-V-Volcano pasta! Tasty enough to not notice your friend die! V-V-Volcano pasta! Look for ‘Somad Pastarian’ in the Grey Line sector A 44-9! If you order two plates, one cup of mocha is free! Caution: UponConsumptionBeAwareYouMayHaveLowTemperatureBurnsInYourMouthAndWeDoNotTakeLiabilityForAnyCivilOrCriminalCasesThatOccur. (TL note: Korean idiom of the food being so good that you wouldn’t notice if he dropped dead)
Lin Lang tilted her head.
“What is the end part saying?”
Normal people couldn’t hear the end part because of it being played back four times faster. Allen shook his head.
“It says it’s super spicy.”
“You have good ears.”
But Allen Strauss had no problem understanding words of that speed. While Allen Strauss was being criticized by his Vice Marshal, he is the best combat specialist.
-All new spectrum! The new hologram device H-8000 from the Plasma Extreme Co.! A new beginning! Do you want to become beautiful? A better look? No more polygon breaks! A cleaner and prettier face hologram! Yours now for the low price of 10,000 credits! Buy H-8000, now!
“It’s fucking noisy.”
“We need to insert ours in that noisy ad and make ours even noisier. If we play ads in the whole of the Grey Line, it’s 4000 credits for 10 seconds of playback every 120 minutes for a month. We need at least 20 seconds, so the cost of the ad will be about 8000 credits per month.”
Lin Lang hand already finished her calculations before he realized. Patrol drone Ads could be subdivided into areas, so the advertising rates were much cheaper. Well off corporations use ads through broadcasting stations.
So, in truth, the patrol drone ads were a weak medium as much as it was cheap, but it was the only marketing method as Lin Lang emphasized.
But 8000 credits.
Allen’s assets had already fallen past the 6000 credit-line after the signboard installation.
“Vice Marshal, I don’t have any money. Are you trying to rush me to bankruptcy?”
“What are you talking about?”
Lin Lang shoved her tablet in front of Allen.
[Overloan (오버론)! We guarantee your future! Astonishingly low interest for zero-collateral! So cheap that you would not believe your eyes!]
And on the screen, the loan contract was just waiting for a seal.
“Money is plentiful in banks.”
Lin Lang quickly put her tablet to Allen’s finger and got his seal.
[Fingerprint Substituted for Signature.]
[ID: Elysium Marshal – Allen Strauss#1 verified.]
[Customer, Allen Strauss, we thank you for using loan product number 593.]
[20,000 Credits have been paid out to your ID.]
[Monthly interest rate of 5.6% applied.]
[Please note that there is a fee of 10% upon early repayment loans.]
[A level 7 combat humanoid will be mobilized upon overdue payments of 3 months or more.]
[Overloan is proud to offer definite loans as well as collections.]
[If you wish for extra loans, please click the ‘One-button continuous loans’ button. Loans will be paid out per press. If you need a large sum, hit repeatedly. We will offer free loans at a very high rate (0.000043% - according to the Special Law of Gambling Law following the Act of Roulette Crates)! 20,000 credits for free! Try your luck now!]
“Cancel! Cancel! Cancel Loan!”
Upon voice recognition, the tablet started to sound the related announcements.
[Voice recognized, customer Allen Strauss. Upon cancellation 10% fee is required and will charge your account for 22000 credits immediately. Will you proceed?]
“What? T-that’s daylight thievery! Hey! I didn’t use a single penny!”
[Proceed? Upon failure to answer, we will take it as an acceptance. 10…9…5…4…]
“What? Why is it counting like this?”
“Cancel! I cancel my cancellation!”
[Unfortunately, it was cancelled.]
“What? W-What the fuck?”
[Thank you for using Overloan.]
“What the fuck is this AI?”
Allen was practically breaking out in cold sweat from being almost swindled out of two thousand credits in that moment. This batshit crazy city’s AI counts 10 seconds as if it were 5.
Allen glared at the wicked Vice Marshal.
“Vice Marshal, d-did you just put me into debt?”
“You can pay it off.”
“W-what. You just made me get a 20,000 credit loan with zero plans! What’s wrong with the interest rate? Monthly interest and not annual? Are you crazy?”
Allen could feel the back of his neck becoming stiff from the crazy interest rate. A monthly interest rate of 5.6% surpasses 7000 credits in a year in just interest. Elysium’s interest rate is trash.
Lin Lang tsked at Allen who had turned pale.
“You’re scared of 20,000 credits when Federation Marshals can get a loan of 1,000,000 credits without collateral?”
“O-One million? They give you that much?”
“…I’ve looked down on Mr. Strauss too much. I’m sorry. The status of Federation Marshal is much higher than you think. Simply, it’s equal in status with a lower house representative. Even in marriage match-making companies it would match executive officers of the top firms.
“Top firm executives?”
“Two down from the top tier.”
Aside from doing his job, Allen didn’t know anything about how his job was perceived. Because Lin Lang took a loan without the consent of Allen, he had 20,000 credits in his account.
Allen just absent-mindedly gazed at the easy money come into his account and 8,000 credits vanish for the patrol drone ads.
The money came and vanished.
“Vice Marshal? Aren’t you using my money too much as if it were yours?”
It was surreal to see money enter and leave his account when he didn’t move a finger. Lin Lang casually ignored him and murmured into her tablet.”
“Federation Marshal Allen Strauss ★! Will do anything you request! Has someone refused to pay? Are you in a sticky situation? Do you want people beaten up? Do you suspect that your wife or husband is cheating? Do you want to see the Federation Marshal’s ‘Marshal Arts’( 마샬아츠)? The Federation Marshal with the privilege of ‘Unconditional Innocence’ will take care of it! Innocent no matter what! The Federation Marshal who is innocent even if he decapitates cheating wives or husbands is always by your side! We welcome you to Grey Line Sector D 11-1! Inquiry number HTD-33-9321-45! Caution: WhileTheFederationMarshalIsInnocentForKillingOnHitRequestsBeAwareTheRequesteeIsNotExemptFromTheLawAndTheAllenStraussDetectiveAgencyWillNotTakeAnyLiabilityForCivilianAndCriminalSuitsThankYou❤.”
It appeared as though she were recording the ad message on the spot. Lin Lang, who was speaking in a lively tone, came back to her usual glum look and looked at Allen. It was as if the cutesy look was nowhere to be found.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Since when were you able to make that kind of voice?”
“Are you taking about ★?”
“Yeah, that. What the fuck.”
Allen leaned back as if it gave him goosebumps. If you think of Lin Lang’s personality, the voice and cute expressions just now were enough to make Allen tremor in fright.
“It’s easy if you take Voice Manipulation and Method Acting training for Spy mission preparations. Just like ❤ or like ★.”
“How do you talk so fast? You can’t understand, but you can say it?”
“A non-combatant personnel like me have various specialties.”
Allen was almost terrified of the multi-talented Vice Marshal who was mumbling at 4x speed. It was a new side of her that he didn’t know in the past 5 years that they spent together. As if Allen’s terrified reactions were funny, Lin Lang was rapidly repeating cutesy sounds like ❤ or like ★.
Allen felt his mind going queasy.
“S-Stop. I don’t want to hear it anymore. That’s enough.”
“What a shame. If you would like, I can create a repertoire list. There’s multiple versions.”
“Unfortunately, I haven’t practiced the saloon waitress version. If you give me a day’s time…”
“Please, can we put that to rest. Haven’t I already said I’m sorry?”
Allen shivered at the discovery of his Vice Marshal’s newfound talent in five years. Lin Lang had terrifying talents that Allen had yet to know. Even though she worked fast, it was an understatement to simply say ‘She’s fast.’ when she finished the sample recording in ten minutes after saying ‘Let’s work on ads!’.
Even if the debt was coerced onto him, Allen needed to admit the fact that if he was working alone, he wouldn’t have thought of anything else besides putting up the signboard. Allen suddenly lifted his head as if he realized something.
“If you think about it, doesn’t it mean that I can just get a loan of one million credits and not pay it back?”
Lin Lang laughed at Allen who acted as though he thought of a great idea.
She looked as though she’d had enough.
< Contract Killer Police (1) > End
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