026 – Those Burdened with Bad Luck

 


Translator: SFBaka


It’s been a day after the manga meat party. We decided to patrol the asteroid belt area again today.

We’ve managed to make enough money anyway, so it won’t be a problem for us if we headed to a new star system right away. However, it would be a pity not to take advantage of the increasing flow of prey in the area, so it was decided that we would hunt for pirates for a bit more. All three of us were of one mind in the matter.

“That’s strange.”

“Yep, really strange.”

“Is it truly strange?”

Elma muttered with a serious expression. I expressed my agreement. Mimi tilted her head in puzzlement as she looked at the two of us.

We’ve come to hunt some more big, fat prey prowling the area again today but we detected guys who were making some strange moves and seemingly stalking the prey as well. We detected a total of three small crafts.

They were navigating inside the asteroid belt with the express intention of hiding themselves and obviously didn’t come here to mine resources. We were mostly sure these guys weren’t pirates either. Their maneuvers were too organized and calculated. They were obviously gunning for prey as well. They were trying their best not to get in contact with other ships in the area.

“What do you think?”

“They’re really suspicious.”

“Yeah, thought so too.”

“???”

It looks like Mimi still hasn’t understood, but I already have an idea regarding the identity of these guys. They were most likely a recon or covert ops unit from the Vereverem Federation. I don’t have an exact grasp on what their goals are, but it’s likely along the lines of keeping an eye and grasping the troop deployment of the Graccan Imperial Fleet; in other words, the system military.

“Well, this is troublesome. They’ll surely detect us the moment we make a move.”

“You’re right. They’ll probably find us right away.”

“What’s going to happen once they find us?”

“They’re probably going to try and ‘silence’ us.”

“Yeah, guess so. Man, this is really troublesome.”

“So they’re dangerous people?”

“Very dangerous. And armed too. They’re probably from the Vereverem military.”

“Eh!?”

Mimi suddenly made an aghast expression as she gazed at the radar screen. Mimi probably wouldn’t be able to make such a connection by herself just by observing the blinking icons on the radar.

“Ah.”

“Tch. They found us.”

The three unidentified craft shown on the radar screen changed their movement patterns. They were apparently maneuvering to outflank and surround us. They were in the middle of covert operations, so it would make sense that they would want to get rid of any witnesses.

Un, should we cut the generator output, initiate the cooling system and enter thermal stealth mode?

“Nah. That won’t do any good. Can’t be helped then. Let’s take them on.”

“You really have an acute case of bad luck, you know that?”

“Oh that’s rich. Especially coming from you, Elma.”

“Ugh… But it’s not like Mimi’s any better, right?”

“Eh!? Me!?”

Elma reeled from my retort, but immediately deflected the issue toward Mimi.

Elma, who got saved by me after causing an accident and getting slapped with massive debt, certainly had really bad luck. But I, who got suddenly transported to this world without a clue, was probably worse off. But Mimi, who we first met in the 3rd Block when she was about to be assaulted after falling into debt following her parents’ deaths, wasn’t spared from misfortune either, was she?

“Let’s just stop with this topic. We’re just poking open each other’s wounds y’know.”

“Y- Yeah.”

“You’re right…”

“Maximum generator output. We’ll intercept them. Go ask for their affiliation just in case, Mimi.”

“Understood.”

We came out from the asteroid we were hiding behind and started maneuvering so we didn’t get surrounded by the unidentified ships.

“This is the ship of Captain Hiro, Silver Rank mercenary affiliated with the Mercenary Guild. Callsign, Krishna. I’m the ship operator, Mimi. Unidentified ships, please state your affiliation.”

Mimi opened a comm channel and contacted them, but there was no response. Mimi, who confirmed there was no response, tried again. But it was useless. The other guys really didn’t have any intention of talking it out, it seems.

Oh yeah, by the way, my mercenary rank went up from Bronze to Silver a few days ago. The receptionist uncle said that it wouldn’t be possible for me to stay as a Bronze Rank after delivering such results at the subjugation operation and hunting loads of prey in the asteroid belt area.

But it isn’t like a lot’s changed after ranking up to Silver. It’s just that my colleagues looked at me with a little bit more respect, that’s all.

“Unidentified ships have deployed their weapons!”

“Just as expected. We’ll follow suit. Deploy weapon systems.”

“Roger. Deploying weapons. Leave the chaff, flare and generator output controls to me as usual.”

“I’m counting on you. Let’s go!”

We headed for the closest unknown ship as we maneuvered between the asteroid cluster.

“You’re piloting is crazy as usual……!”

“I’m already used to it.”

Elma’s face convulsed as we weaved through the asteroid clusters while Mimi smiled. I don’t think it’s that crazy though. This is normal y’know. We soon found ourselves outflanking the enemy ship.

I piloted Krishna so it seemingly slid on the surface of a large asteroid and soon found myself staring at the defenseless gut of an enemy ship. You’re mine, sucker.

『What the- !?』

“That’s one down.”

I fired our two large-caliber live projectile cannons and the countless destructive submunitions tore through the shields and armor of the Federation’s small attack craft [Sword Fish] and ripped its hull to shreds.

“Those shard cannons pack quite the punch as usual.”

“It’s great huh!”

“You’re just about the only one I know who uses such absurd weapons…”

“But they’re strong right?”

The range of the scattershot cannons really leave much to be desired, but doesn’t it feel awesome to tear through the shields and armor of small-sized enemy ships like they’re made of paper? It can also give considerable damage to large ships, provided their shields were down.

『Hunter 2 was- 』

『Judging from those maneuvers, that’s no mere Silver Rank. Be careful. Take some distance and shoot it down!』

“They’re too far out of effective shard cannon range…”

The other two remaining ships retreated from the asteroid field and turned their bows toward us. Hou, so you want to finish us off with your long-distance firepower huh? And you’re going against Krishna? Interesting. Let’s see what you got.

I hid the ship behind a large asteroid and deployed the four large-caliber pulse laser cannons.

『What the- !? That ship just grew some arms!?』

『Those are high-output laser cannons……! I- It’s no good! We can’t withstand that!』

The Federation craft immediately made evasive maneuvers and fired back. But their laser cannons couldn’t make a direct hit because we were using the asteroid field as cover. Our laser cannons, however, packed enough firepower to penetrate through and eventually scored direct hits on them.

These were literally attacks going at the speed of light. It’s nearly impossible to dodge them directly. Well, their evasion maneuvers were still effective to some extent, but we were still able to get an 80% hit rate. And Krishna’s laser cannons packed enough firepower to greatly damage them even with just an 80% hit rate.

『Tch! The difference in firepower is far too large!』

『Evasive action!』

The two Federation ships then tried to escape, but letting them go here could spell trouble. I activated the thrusters and made the ship fly out of the asteroid field as well. I then gave chase.

『Seeker! Fox 1! Fox 1!』

“Flares.”

“Roger.”

The two Fed ships fired heat-seeking missiles, but Elma immediately deployed flares at my order and made the missiles miss us.

『You bastaaaards!』

I rained down laser cannon fire on the panicked Fed ships. Emerald-colored light beams pelted the blueish energy shields of the Fed ships one after another and eventually depleted them.

After this, it was all over. Even if they had military-grade armor plating as well, after getting bombarded by high-output laser cannon fire, their hulls soon grew red-hot and melted down.

『A- Abandon ship! Abandon- Uwaaaaa~!?』

The two Federation ships were overwhelmed by laser cannon fire and were soon shot down. So they weren’t able to escape huh. Maybe the military-grade hull was warped too much from bathing in waves of laser cannon fire so the escape pods couldn’t launch out in the end. Sometimes it wasn’t good to be so tough.

“Alright then… Shall we recover their data caches and black boxes then head on back?”

“We’re going back to the colony?”

“Yes. I bet the military would pay us quite a bit for these.”

“I see.”

“Leave selling the data to me. I have some connections with the system military.”

“Connections, huh. I hope your so-called connections don’t bring us any trouble.”

“Hahaha. That goes without saying. I’ll just sell the data quickly then come straight back.”


“So, do you have anything to say for yourself?”

“I’m so sorry girls.”

“Hiro-sama……”

“Hah. Well, it can’t be helped.”

Two hours after coming back to the colony, I found myself kneeling seiza-style on the dining room’s floor.

Uh, I did accomplish selling the data and all.

I left Krishna’s maintenance and resupply to Mimi and Elma, then went straight to the military base and got an appointment with Lieutenant Serena. It looked like she was free, so Lieutenant Serena met up with me immediately and guided me to her personal office. I then handed over the data caches and black boxes in exchange for substantial rewards. So far, so good, right?

But, before I knew it, I, Krishna, and the rest of the crew were enlisted as cooperators in the coming conflict between the Empire and the Federation. And it was even settled through proper channels and approved by the Mercenary Guild as an official request.

Just what the heck happened man? I have absolutely no idea. Was Lieutenant Serena really that impressed with me? Nah, that can’t be. I’m just a single amateur mercenary, y’know. Eh? The Federation fleet? I’m not that scared of them, honestly. Actively participating in the war is a different issue though.

Eh? The Imperial military is looking for brave and talented mercenaries to participate? No, no, I’m not really all that… I see. That’s kinda embarrassing, oi. Ahahaha. Well, if you say that much… Yeah, I guess. Eh? You didn’t really mean me… I probably won’t do, you say……? I- I can definitely do it, y’know!

“It went pretty much like that.”

“You were completely at her mercy, huh.”

“Hiro-sama……”

“I am truly sorry. It was all my fault.”

Their critical gazes pierced my poor, little heart. I really have no excuse, so I’ll just honestly bow my head here and do a textbook dogeza [1. TL Note: Kneeling directly on the ground and bowing to prostrate oneself while touching one’s head to the floor as a form of apology or a show of deep remorse.] in shame.

“Oh well. What’s done is done. You’re the captain of this ship anyway. You’re the one calling the shots.”

“That’s right. Hiro-sama is this ship’s captain after all.”

“Thanks for forgiving me, girls!”

“But you still have to make it up to us, okay? How about giving us a bonus?”

“Bonus, is it……? I still think the pay I’m receiving is more than I deserve though.”

“It’s fine. You don’t have to hold back at times like this y’know. You can do this much at least, can’t you captain?”

“I shall ponder a most appropriate amount that will satisfy you both, my dear ladies.”

“That’s that, then.”

“I- Is this really okay……?”

Mimi still wasn’t comfortable with the idea yet, but I don’t think it was such a big deal to give out a bonus to make up for my blunder. Hm, will it be fine if I gave them some high-quality alcohol and delicious food? I’ll browse Oishii Mart’s online catalog later. I can pay them in cash as well.

“So now we have to stay on stand-by until the battle starts?”

“I guess so. I was told we have to be ready for an immediate sortie at all times.”

“You did manage to secure a reimbursement salary for the days we’re on stand-by, right?”

“I did negotiate for that. We’re going to get a daily remuneration of 50,000 Enel until the formal sortie order comes.”

“Wow. It’s amazing that we’re going to get fifty thousand daily even though we’re just on standby, isn’t it……?”

“I think that’s a reasonable amount though.”

It’s certainly a far cry from our previous average daily income of 200,000 Enel this past week. But, as we weren’t risking our lives earning such an amount, it wasn’t all that bad a deal.

Anyway, we’ve ended up formally taking up the request of the system military – or, more accurately, the Imperial military.

“Hold back on the alcohol though, Elma.”

“I- I know, okay.”

Elma made an ugly expression after being temporarily banned from binge drinking. It’s only proper, y’know. We could be ordered to sortie at any time, so one can’t be drunk on alcohol when that time comes.

“Not being able to drink alcohol is a small price to pay for a daily remuneration of 150,000 Enel, Elma-san.”

“……I guess you’re right.”

“In other words, as long as you sacrifice a bit and hold off on drinking, we’ll be able to receive 150,000 Enel daily to buy lots of alcohol when this is all over.”

“…That’s right, isn’t it!?”

Miss Disappointing Elf’s ears perked up after hearing Mimi’s explanation. Her tension was now MAX level. Well, it was certainly a great deal to be able to receive a daily 150,000 Enel alcohol fund, if you put it that way. If you’re a true-blue alcohol lover, that is.

“You’re really smart, aren’t you, Mimi.”

“Ehehe.”

Mimi may have a natural talent for cheering people up… Yeah, she sure does. I mean, I get cheered up daily just by being around her after all.

“Well then, let’s go ahead and make preparations.”

“Preparations?”

Elma gave me a puzzled and worried look after I stood up. She’s probably thinking I was gonna do something crazy again. Well, she’s right though.

“Yep, preparations. I’ll go to the cargo bay for a bit… Uh, Mimi, where’d we put that duct tape we bought a few days back again?”

“The military-grade one? I think I put it inside the toolbox.”

“Gotcha. Thanks.”

I’ll just need to wrap around some tape on ‘it’ a bit so I can stick ‘it’ on. Then I’ll just launch ‘it’ from the lower weapons bay later on once we get the perfect opportunity. I’ll have to bring ‘it’ out from the secret cargo compartment then. Man, talk about busy.


 


27 Comments

  1. i think i know what it is. I just re-read every chapter from the beginning. man is he devious. that would surely destroy the federation. and it is free. had a feeling he would use ‘that’

  2. I have no clue what that is, though he has been referring to a super weapon his ships has 3 shots off so it could be that I assume. Likely a missile, a massive EMP type maybe.

    Dunno exactly how realistic the game he was playing is, but if it is Elite Dangerous it definitely isn’t a black hole bomb

  3. Thanks for the chappu~

  4. There are some things I don’t understand. Why would you be able to hear the enemy’s communications on your own radio? How did he get 35 million credits when the average earnings is only 200,000 per week, and he only arrived a few months ago without any money, and only earning a couple million credits for the metals and pirate data?

    • I’ve been paying attention to the numbers mentioned in every chapter to see if the math checks out (and using a calculator to boot lol), but sometimes the amounts mentioned in the raws don’t make sense. I’m still not sure if I’m the one at fault, or the raws just didn’t have the right amount from the start. So I’ll try to go over the raw chapter again and puzzle it out for you soon. As for the comms, I have no idea. Maybe they normally use a public channel. Or maybe Krishna is just so high-tech, it can even intercept and decrypt enemy comms during battle. It wasn’t explained at all lol

      Edit: Okay then. Here’s the deal. They were averaging 200,000 Enels per day during pirate hunting, so the average total earnings is actually 1,400,000 Enels plus the loot and data sales, for a total of more than 2 million.

      The 35 million was the total of the reward money for the large scale subjugation mission given by the military, the bounty money (all the pirates the mercs shot down were worth something) given separately by the guild, the loot and data cache sales (rare metals are worth a lot of money, and he managed to swipe a new stash), and Hiro’s left over funds.

      He had to fork out 30 million in order to bail Elma out, so he only had about 5 mil left. Coupled with the earnings from the recent pirate hunting spree (2 mil), he should now have about 7 million Enels in his account as of this chapter.

    • Oh, and he did have money in the form of a large stash of rare metals when he first came to the game universe. He even got held by the port authorities because of them. He was able to sell them for tens of millions of Enel in the earlier chapters.

  5. Real question is if the Empire is better than the Federation. Tier based citizenship which doesn’t care for the lower tiers judging from the “social safety net” , corruption, etc.

    • Probably not. We’re not given any concrete info on the Feddies in this arc either. So it’s too early to tell if they’re better. But corruption is unfortunately quite a common thing in any society. And mercs don’t really care about politics anyway. What they do care about is good paying jobs.

  6. -10 Reputation Federation
    +10 Reputation Empire.

  7. Not gonna lie, absolutely disappointed in how the author handled the “assisting the military” plot device we all saw coming, literally offscreen, and the MC was a complete naive sucker even tho he had shown to not be completely clueless before, and even felt something was off about that High-Ranking girl?
    Oh well, let’s just hope it at least is an entertaining arc.

  8. Thanks for the chapters!

  9. Dude… he’s gonna commite a mass genocide…

    AND I LIKE IT!!! FUCK YEAH!!!

  10. I caught up…

  11. Thanks for the treat.

  12. Looking forward to seeing how Captain Picard deals with THAT.

  13. Thanks for the chapter!!

  14. “『Seeker! Fox 1! Fox 1!』

    ‘Flares.’

    ‘Roger.’

    The two Fed ships fired heat-seeking missiles, but Elma immediately deployed flares at my order and made the missiles miss us.”

    This is weird, because it was previously done correctly, but the author messed up here. Fox 1 is for a semi-active radar missile launch. Of which, obviously, flares would do nothing against. Fox 2 is the brevity code for heat-seekers/infrared guided missiles and, again, the author used it correct before. Weird.

  15. How did Hiiro getting 50k a day to be on standby turn into 150k a day? Just because the ship has 3 crew it doesn’t mean each of them are getting paid 50k!

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