Editor: Thor’s Stone
The Metal Iris members were divided into groups and guided around the ship. It was so huge that touring it in its entirety would take at least a whole day.
The ones who served as their guides were Kou and Aki.
「Man. To think that greatsword boy would actually become our boss.」
「You said it. It feels like it’s already been a long time since we first met him eh?」
The men who Kou met first, Barry and Robert, chatted with him without reserve.
Barry was a tall but slender man who looked like he was in his early thirties. Robert was a big-bodied black man.
「Prior to meeting you guys, I also didn’t think things will turn out this way.」
After all, if Barry didn’t offer to recruit Kou, he probably wouldn’t be here now.
「I think you would’ve been successful no matter where you end up in. Whoah, so this is the pilot house!」
The visitors arrived at the pilot house. Rick and Jenny were present within.
「Welcome. The interior of the ship is pretty vast, right?」
Jenny waved her hand toward the newcomers.
「This is nice! This wheelhouse! This helm! Very nice! Y’know, I was a sailor back on Earth guys.」
Robert excitedly grabbed the helm of the ship.
「I really wanna get promoted someday and become the captain of a ship like this. Right, Barry?」
「Bob. You can definitely become a captain someday. Then I’ll serve as your first mate. It looks like it’ll be fun after all!」
The two freely joked around with each other. It seemed that the Metal Iris members behind them were used to their antics and didn’t pay them any attention. They busied themselves with checking out the interior of the pilot house instead.
However, there was one person who paid attention to the two’s conversation.
Kou turned to Jenny with a sharp gaze. Jenny matched his gaze with her own and nodded.
「Dike, what do you think about that earlier proposal? I personally don’t have any objections.」
『Understood. He is qualified for the role. Welcome, Robert. Starting today, you are officially assigned as the captain of the Number 1 Cimon-class ship.』
Robert’s big, round eyes turned even rounder.
「Oi. You’re joking right, Kou?」
「Bob, it looks like you really are a captain now.」
Kou was actually looking for a qualified ship captain.
He was glad he managed to find someone he was familiar with in the end. He didn’t expect Robert to be a former sailor though. It was really very timely.
Robert turned to the left and right. He found Jenny and Rick smiling while giving him thumbs-up signs.
『Barry, you shall be serving as Captain Robert’s First Mate. Please make sure to do your best in supporting him.』
「Hey! Now just hold on!」
Getting caught off guard, Barry’s objection echoed inside the pilot house.
「We’ll be counting on you, Captain and First Mate!」
Jenny grinned from ear to ear.
She must have been feeling happy to have companions under similar circumstances.
Robert asked again.
It looks like it hasn’t settled in for him yet.
『Seriously. –Please go ahead and take the captain’s seat.』
Dike replied matter-of-factly.
Robert nervously took a seat. He had a large build, but he didn’t have any problems fitting his frame inside the captain’s seat.
『We will commence a starship captain crash course by tomorrow, Captain Robert.』
『You’ll also attend training, First Mate Barry.』
「Are you seriously gonna make me First Mate?! What did I do to get caught up in all this? Hey, Jenny! Is this really okay?」
「It’s fine. I also suddenly ended up as a representative of a huge organization after all. You’re an old member, so you need to pick up some slack as well.」
Jenny waved her hand at Barry with an evil-looking grin.
Rick was also waving his paw in amusement. Perhaps he was more carefree since he doesn’t have to be a captain. He was acting more like a dog than usual.
『The official chain of command will be Kou, Jenny, and then Rick.』
Robert became as meek as a housecat.
He might have sounded like he was joking around when he said he wanted to be captain earlier, but his passion was very real.
He was simply nervous about his new role.
「You better get a grip, Bob. –Man, it’s no good. Of course, it’s no good. I was just a pilot yesterday y’know!」
「Good luck, First Mate Barry.」
「Hey, Kou. You better remember this! I’m definitely gonna deploy to the front lines!」
Kou couldn’t help but laugh.
He had a feeling that the pilot house will be a lot livelier from now on.
Kou and Aimer were dining together in the Enlisted Officer’s mess hall.
There were three types of dining facilities available: the Officer’s mess where the high-ranking space navy officers dined, the Enlisted mess where the NCOs dined, and the First Class mess where guests, government officials, and dignitaries dined.
In Asia’s current government-less state, the only distinction was between a high-class restaurant and a cheap diner. At present, the Officer’s mess was still closed. Familiars were preparing the First Class mess to get it ready for receiving guests.
「The mess hall has become really lively.」
『The inventory of the residential area is currently empty. For now, we will get by using the ingredient stockpile stored before humanity was turned into quantum data. I will also introduce a new companion to you, Kou.』
After Dike’s announcement, Nyanta and Aki came in with a new figure in tow.
It seemed to be a humanoid-shaped android. It was obviously a machine though.
It resembled a tin robot toy straight from the Showa era with a wig attached on its head. Its skin was metal. And its mouth was shaped like a box.
It really didn’t look like a futuristic robot at all. Even in 21st century Earth, there were already better robot designs.
It was wearing a chic maid outfit.
「Nice to meet you.」
『She is a maid robot who slept together with this ship when it was sealed. Since she has now been reactivated, she will be in charge of taking care of Kou and the others from now on. She can also serve inside the hangar carrier when needed. Regardless of her appearance, I assure you that she is a high-performance domestic unit.』
When Kou heard the term “maid robot”, he got excited for a bit. He managed to calm down quickly though.
「Nice to meet you. How should I address you?」
「I was previously called Junk or Scrap Iron. Please address me however you like.」
Kou frowned immediately. In the first place, he could sense malice in the robot’s design. She could definitely have been made with a more beautiful appearance given the advanced technology of the era.
It was the same for her voice. After all, even though they were biological in make, Aki and Nyanta were both still considered androids. Hence, Kou couldn’t understand why the robot was made the way she was.
「I apologize for making you upset.」
After noticing Kou’s dark expression, the maid robot apologized.
「No, it isn’t your fault. I was just wondering why you’re like that.」
Aki and Nyanta picked up on Kou’s irritation.
「Robots of her type were widely used in domestic tasks such as babysitting and cooking nyaa.」
「Their design stemmed from the worries of parents regarding the possible negative effects of having a competent and beautiful maid robot taking care of their children.」
「Even so, they also didn’t want to leave them in the hands of ugly ones or male types. That’s why they completely removed any semblance of humanity from the design and focused on improving specialized functions more nyaa.」
「I see. I’ll be in your care then. From now on, you’ll be called Ponko. Ponko-san.」
The design had questionable intentions, but it possessed a strange warmth.
「Please take care of Aimer…… Oow.」
Aimer stepped on Kou’s foot.
「I’m not a kid.」
Aimer insisted with a reproachful glare.
「It was your fault just now, Kou.」
「Right. It was definitely Kou’s fault.」
「O-Okay, I get it. Sorry. Please do take care of everyone, Ponko-san.」
「Yes. Understood. I am looking forward to working with you all. You will usually find me in the kitchen together with the Familiars.」
Ponko bowed her head and stepped back again.
「She’s an all-around cook? Does she have my data?」
「Dike installed it into her. She can cook up great-tasting miso soup, gyuudon, and karaage. She can also prepare noodle dishes.」
「That sounds amazing…… She’s really high-performance ain’t she? I’m looking forward to it.」
「Please leave it to me.」
「Now just hold on a minute nyaa. Please teach me how to make those, Ponko.」
For some reason, the two ladies felt a sense of crisis after seeing Kou’s heartfelt admiration for Ponko.
「By the way, Kou. I saw you react when you heard the term “maid robot” earlier y’know.」
「Really? I dunno.」
「If you prefer maid uniforms, then we can wear them!」
「That’s probably overdoing it, so stop. I think your current get-ups with the jackets suit you both more.」
Kou was inwardly troubled after imagining the blinding sight of animal-eared maid girls.
「Are you sure nyaa?」
「I have seen through the matter. I’ll prepare some uniforms for the two of you as soon as I can.」
「Stop it guys.」
Kou got reminded that being too high-performance can also be a problem.