Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

Kou and the others took out the hangar carrier stored in Astraea and rode it to the designated meeting point to meet with the representatives of the Underground Forces they hired. After waiting for a short while, they finally saw a number of hangar carriers, tanks, and armored cars coming over. It was a number that can easily be called a battalion.

They included an Underground Force that was hired through the recommendation of Metal Iris and Aki.

Kou confirmed that there was no danger and proceeded to wait outside. Nyanta, Aki, and Voy were also lined up next to each other behind him. Aimer remained inside the transport car.

The representatives of Metal Iris and the other Underground Force finally arrived before them.

The representatives of Metal Iris were Jenny and Blue. The representative of the other Underground Force was a dog-type Familiar. It was a St. Bernard model.


Jenny and Blue came forward first. Kou welcomed Jenny with a smile. He waved back with one hand in greeting.

「Thank you for accepting the request.」

「You’re as stiff and formal as usual. Right, Blue?」

「True. He also only calls occasionally. And most of the time, it’s only about song requests.」

Blue sounded upset.

「Huh? He didn’t even call me even once though?!」

Kou tried hard to maintain his smile, which kept twitching. Blue’s radio show could be picked up by Astraea, so he formed a habit of listening to it every early evening.

He couldn’t even think of any topic to talk about, so calling a beautiful young girl and woman was a tall order for the socially awkward Kou. He didn’t even consider experiencing such a thing back on 21st century Earth.

The St. Bernard model Familiar also came over so Kou greeted it as well.

「I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Mozuya Kou. Thank you very much for accepting the request, Rick-san.」

「Nice to meet you too, Kou. I’m Rick of『Storm Hound』. Oh, and you don’t need to use formal speech when talking to me.」

Storm Hound. It was a mercenary outfit centered on Familiars that was found and recommended by Aki. It’s said that Rick was a very hard-to-please captain who chooses which client he wants to cooperate with.

Kou extended one hand for a handshake, or, in this case, a pawshake.

Rick was taken aback for a bit but extended his paw to accept after a few moments of hesitation. Kou grasped his paw tightly and shook it.

「You actually recognize beings like us as people, don’t you?」

「When I was newly transferred to this world a Familiar like you practically saved my life and helped me out a lot. To me, Familiars aren’t just merely animals capable of speech. They are people in the shape of animals.」

「I see. I sure hope you keep holding on to that view.」

「I promise that I won’t ever change my mind regarding this.」

Rick nodded heavily in response. He was shaped like a large dog, but he had an air of a reliable father-like figure. A truly respectable man. He was like a dog patriarch. Many probably held him in high regard and looked up to him as a father figure.

He also exchanged handshakes with Jenny and Blue, then moved on to the main topic of the day.

「Our mission is a particularly dangerous one. Hence, we’ve judged that it’s key for heavily armored units to hold the frontlines once we engage in combat.」

「If so, then compared to leaving that job to Silhouettes, entrusting it to us would be better. The universal humanoid weapon doctrine is pretty prevalent in the Nemesis warfront, so outfits like us aren’t held in very high regard. It’s good that Metal Iris also employs tanks.」

「Silhouettes may be versatile but they’re also basically jacks of all trades but masters of none. Although it also depends on the skills of pilots, generally, they can’t compare to tanks when it comes to frontal firefights. Antique Silhouettes are a different story though. They might fit the description of being universally much better than the present models.」

Since Asia’s terrain and environment were too dangerous for performing operations on foot, infantry soldiers were considerably few in number. That might have contributed to the ensuing prevalence of humanoid Silhouettes.

There were quite a lot of adamant supporters of the universal humanoid weapon doctrine among the original inhabitants of Planet Asia. That only began to change when transferees started coming over and started piloting tanks as well.

「But this sure is a surprise. I actually thought Storm Hound exclusively employed tanks. But it looks like you also have Silhouettes and armored vehicles.」

Kou saw Storm Hound’s weapons and equipment and gave his impression. Familiars couldn’t pilot Silhouettes after all.

「The all-tank doctrine had become obsolete as early as the 20th Century. However, the combined arms concept still rings true even in the Nemesis warfront.」

「I don’t really know much about such topics. It would be great if you taught me about them.」

「Sure thing.」

「You use Silhouettes for resupply work?」

「Silhouettes are pretty handy when it comes to supply replenishment and repair work after all, so I hired some humans to handle them. It’s also important to optimize the assortment of units in a Force, Kou-kun. This is especially true for independent mercenaries like us.」

Just as Aki said, it looks like Rick of Storm Hound’s knowledge was at a level where he could be called a seasoned tactician.

Kou thought it would be worthwhile learning from him. Just like Master, a lot of Familiars often take the roles of being mentors and guides to people.

「Ara, you’re not going to ask us to teach you as well?」

「Of course, I will. I’ll have you guys teach me more about Silhouette combat. I finally got myself a rifle, but I’m not very good at using it.」

「Not very good…… with a rifle?」

Blue sounded exasperated.

「Don’t worry, Kou. Blue and I are gonna train you up real good.」

While the other three were engaged in their conversation, Rick took the opportunity to approach Aki.

「I suppose you’re the one who contacted me about this job. Aki, right?」

「Yes, Rick. How was it? Did our master pass your standards?」

「Fumu. He’s actually more than I expected. I didn’t expect him to ask for a handshake. It seemed quite natural, so I suppose it wasn’t a calculated move to get into my good graces.」

「Of course, not. Kou isn’t really all that calculating.」

「Yeah. I noticed. Fufu. I’m already used to being treated as a pet or animal, but to think he’ll treat me as a person. He sure is a strange one, that kid.」

「There’s also being treated as a mere machine. Therianthropes like me had it pretty bad more than a thousand years ago as well.」

「Hou. So you’re from that era huh. I suppose I understand why you’d be so charmed by him. Thank you. You introduced me to such a remarkable young man.」

「Likewise. Thank you for accepting our request.」

Storm Hound was a special mercenary outfit. They are said to be very picky regarding their clients.

They were a Force that specialized in fighting the Stones.

Many of the Storm Hound members had their masters killed by the Stones, so they held great animosity toward the latter. Since the Stones were especially adamant in destroying Familiars as well, they were practically natural enemies.

A long time has passed since Rick first founded his Underground Force.

He was also one whose master was killed and was fighting for revenge. The fundamental rule of being beholden to humans was not limited to living ones. And the coming mission will also lead to the protection of human beings.

After hearing from Aki about a human who truly sympathizes with Familiars, Rick decided to accept the high-risk request despite some of the details being unclear.

If what Aki told him was true, then he and his subordinates wouldn’t mind being sacrificial pawns in order to protect such a human.

Because they were a Force that consisted mostly of Familiars, they were often offered jobs where they would basically serve as cannon fodder.

If necessary, he and his Force members were willing to serve as both vanguards and rearguards to fight for humans, but he really didn’t want to work for shameless and blatantly discriminatory ones if he could help it.

「We’ve gathered in such numbers here. We probably stand out like a sore thumb. We should probably get going.」

Rick called out to Kou and the two ladies. The three nodded in response. All of them proceeded to return to their respective teams.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!

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