Editor: Thor’s Stone
Three days have already passed since Kou arrived in Astraea.
Kou was staring seriously at the tech development tree using a data terminal when a call came through.
The girl inside the medical capsule seems to have finally woken up. Kou put the thing he prepared for her just in case inside his pocket and headed for the medical bay.
He found Nyanta and Aki standing beside the capsule when he arrived. Voy headed for another of Astraea’s facilities so he wasn’t present.
Shortly after Kou arrived, the capsule hatch finally opened up.
The girl within was completely expressionless.
「Nice to meet you. I’m Mozuya Kou. Can you understand me?」
「I understand, Kou. I am…… I can’t remember my name.」
The girl replied in a whisper-like but clear voice.
「I see. You don’t have to push yourself to remember.」
Being placed in cryo-sleep for more than a thousand years caused severe damage to her memory. It would have been simpler if Master created an entirely new persona for her. However, Master didn’t want to do something like that.
「Oh, right. Here, this is for you. Bear with it for a bit.」
Kou took out the Metal Iris cap from his pocket and placed it on the young girl’s head.
The girl quietly touched her new cap.
「Aki, Nyanta, do we have medical wigs available? Um, something that would look great on this girl if possible. I’m not really good with that kind of stuff.」
She was a young girl. Kou thought that even though she was still pretty young, she probably still cared about her hair.
「Leave it to us!」
「C’mon dear. Follow us big sisters nyaa.」
The two went to another room with the girl in tow and came back after a short while.
Kou thought the blonde wig they found for her looked pretty great. She also changed into a jacket with a style similar to the one Kou was wearing. She was also still wearing the cap Kou gifted to her. Kou was positive that she would grow up into a great beauty in the future.
「She wanted a rough look just like Kou nyaa.」
「It does seem like she’ll look good in anything though.」
The two were already acting as the girl’s big sisters. It was a full-on showcase of the Therianthrope’s specialties.
「Astraea gave me a name. I’m Aimer. Nice to meet you, Kou.」
Her tone still sounded flat, but it was evident that she was trying to communicate as hard as she can.
「So you’re called Aimer huh. Nice to meet you too, Aimer.」
Kou grinned good-naturedly at Aimer. Aimer was bewildered at first, but she soon nodded softly.
「Can I keep this cap, Kou?」
「Sure. I’m happy you like it.」
Aimer nodded several times in response.
「I inherited the memories of the cat Mii… Um, Mii is the one you call Master. Kou, I think it would be nice if I can help you.」
So Master’s name was Mii, Kou thought. He only found out just now.
「Thank you. I’ll be counting on you from now on, Aimer.」
Aimer nodded cutely in response once more.
「You do the rest, please…… Master.」
「Kou, it’s me. Do you recognize who I am?」
The tone of the girl’s voice changed drastically. Kou instinctively knew that it was Master. The sound of her voice was the same as Aimer’s, but Kou didn’t find it too strange. Perhaps it’s due to Master’s original voice being gender-neutral.
「Yes. Her memory storage capacity is unexpectedly quite extensive, and since she openly accepted me, I now exist as a sort of separate soul, so to speak. My will exists together with her own. I was just given a little bit more time.」
「What do you mean?」
「I am currently supporting her personality. When her emotions and personality recover to a certain level, I will probably disappear. However, I wasn’t supposed to have this sort of borrowed time in the first place. My existence as well as capability to be the support for Aimer’s personality while it’s recovering are truly unexpected instances of good fortune.」
「I see. That’s good, I suppose.」
「It’s great. I won’t be able to come up often, but with this, you feel relieved, right?」
Kou smiled broadly. Master’s will was still present. That was more than enough for him.
「However, this doesn’t mean you can just slack off, alright?」
Kou grinned bitterly after being reprimanded by Master like usual. Still, he was able to get reunited with Master. That made him honestly happy.
Kou was now in the middle of browsing all kinds of information data from the combat command post’s terminal.
He first needed to find out what kind of information can be applied to strengthen Unit 5.
「You don’t really need to think too hard about things. It’s true that you’re a Development Engineer with the highest qualification, but you’re not a researcher.」
Master’s will within Aimer spoke.
「First, try to form an image of the final item you want to build, then start acquiring the required parts in order for you to build it. Then proceed to build some technically old but newly manufactured weapon systems. That’s the main thing you’re able to do.」
「The fact that I don’t have to learn too much specialized knowledge helps a lot. So I need to select the required parts huh.」
「If an architect is one who designs blueprints, then a bricoleur is one who creates new things using certain materials that are readily available to him or her.」
「It sounds easy but is actually fairly difficult. New stuff huh.」
Creating new weapons by combining a multitude of available parts. It seemed like a really fun task to Kou, but he didn’t know what to start with.
「I suppose you need to have a knack for it to be able to successfully select the correct ones from the innumerable parts designed by a Super AI.」
「Can an amateur like me really do something like that?」
「There are amateur do-it-yourselfers, right?」
「So, basically, you’re just telling me to go with the flow huh. Or maybe this is just proof that I can’t make light of this kind of work……」
Kou proceeded to continue searching Okeanos’ database. Kou felt it was like surfing the internet.
「This is an application to simulate the desired performance of an end product. Basically, you decide on a concept, work out what kind of performance you want out of it, then allow the application to put together something that meets your criteria.」
「That’s pretty convenient. But I can’t attempt anything that’s too unrealistic huh.」
「You might as well try. Who knows? You might actually discover some unexpected combinations. In any case, what Okeanos does is merely offer proposals. Ultimately, you’ll be the one to assemble the product.」
「I’m afraid I’d end up giving a lot of conflicting requirements.」
「It’s only natural to have some contradictions, or rather, conflicting demands. That’s not just limited to weapons. Even civilian vehicles are often required to be cheap to manufacture, light, tough, facilitate ease of maintenance, and safe for passengers in case of accidental collisions, right?」
「The people in charge of presswork and the sheet metal workers often complained about that.」
The number of automobiles with lightweight ultra high-tensile steel bodies has been steadily increasing during Kou’s time. Although the presswork process had been modified into a line, he’d heard that there were still considerable difficulties in getting it on track.
Also, unlike conventional steel plates, ultra high-tensile steel was difficult to repair. So it’s only natural that the sheet metal workers would hate it. There were many cases where cars had to be scrapped entirely after getting into accidents.
「There’s a trick to making valid requirements. Determine just how many tons things should be for them to be considered ‘lightweight’. High defense doesn’t only involve the hardness of materials. You also need to consider maintainability and other such factors. You can narrow it down by quite a bit that way.」
「I’ve never even thought about how many tons tanks or planes weighed before.」
「You’ve at least thought about the power-to-weight ratio of your car, right, Kou? The comfort level and fuel efficiency of the car are also part of its overall performance.」
「Yeah. So that’s how it is huh.」
Kou felt it was pretty troublesome to look up and study the details of the tanks and planes that existed during his time, but it did make it easier to enter requirements based on 21st century standards.
And moreover, it was fun to witness the number of information he was allowed access to gradually increase.
「Kou, you don’t have to rush things.」
This time, it was Aimer who expressed her worry for Kou.
「Thank you, Aimer.」
Aimer proceeded to look up information next to Kou. She then selected easy-to-understand information and patiently taught them to Kou.