Editor: Thor’s Stone
I felt someone’s presence and my drowsy consciousness started waking up.
I heard the soft rustling of clothes while in the midst of warm and comfortable sleep. I finally managed to open my eyes somehow and turned my gaze to the direction of the sound. There, I saw the figure of a woman who just finished putting back her maid clothes on. She had her back turned to me and bunched her long, black hair into a neat-looking ponytail.
It seems she picked up on me being awake, and the woman turned toward me.
“Good morning, Master.”
The woman in classic maid clothes had a faint smile on her face which was near unnoticeable if you didn’t look hard enough.
“Good morning, May.”
I returned her morning greeting while still feeling drowsy.
“Good morning, Hiro-sama, May-san.”
I went out of my room with May after taking a quick shower and found Elma and Mimi lounging inside the dining room. But both of them seem to be devoid of energy.
“It would be better if both of you took the entire day off, I think. Rather, I insist.”
“Yes. Thank you very much.”
“Sorry about this.”
The both of them smiled at me while looking under the weather. They’re not really sick. It’s that time of the month for both of them. Even if they already took some pills, they only alleviate the symptoms and do not completely eliminate them. Well, it can’t be helped.
“I’ll hole up inside the cockpit. Please bring my breakfast to the cockpit later, May. You can look after both of them afterward.”
“Oh, it’s okay. We’re fine. We’re just feeling a bit sluggish. The symptoms aren’t that bad.”
Elma made a strained smile. Mimi, who also looked a bit sick, raised her voice as well.
“That’s right. Please just accompany Hiro-sama, May-san.”
“Really? Can you help me out with some routine tasks after bringing my breakfast then, May?”
After seeing May nod, I headed to the cockpit block.
“Mm. It’s quite psychedelic as always…”
After entering the cockpit, what entered my view was a torrential wave of bright multi-colored lights. Right now, my private ship, the Krishna, was navigating through the hyperlanes and heading for the Brad star system. The estimated time of arrival displayed on the cockpit’s HUD was approximately seven hours.
Interstellar travel using the hyperlanes. It’s basically just auto-pilot navigation using the Hyperdrive, so there’s actually no need to sit inside the cockpit and watch the funky light show. But on the off chance that some sort of incident happened, we would be able to respond better if someone was stationed inside the cockpit. Therefore, it was a common practice for someone to keep watch inside the cockpit while navigating the sea of stars.
“Now then, it’ll take seven hours to get to the Brad system…… Guess I have to find ways to kill time.”
While saying so, I sat on the main pilot seat and operated the console. I pulled up the galaxy map and projected it on the holo-display. I checked out the galaxy map and confirmed the coordinates of the Brad system.
The Brad system was quite similar to the Termaine system, where I found myself in when I first came to this dimension. It’s composed of four planets and an asteroid belt centered on the G-type star Brad. The asteroid belt was a rich source of mineral resources for the system and was regularly mined. Valuable gaseous raw materials were also harvested from the gas giant Brad III. It was one of the most resource-rich systems in the entire Graccan empire.
Since there were plenty of resources and riches to be had here, pirates should have been quite active as well. But that actually wasn’t the case at all. The reason for this is because this system is the home of the main branch and shipyard of the famous ship-making company Space Dwerg.
Why would there be no pirates because of the shipyard, you ask? That’s because they will be immediately attacked by a swarm of prototype ship models produced by the Space Dwerg company the moment they show their ugly mugs.
Why is the Space Dwerg Co. Ltd. so enthusiastic about getting rid of space pirates? That’s a good question. There was once a journalist who asked a representative of the company this very question during an interview, and this was how they responded:
『Our company has excellent engineers who constantly challenge themselves in making the most advanced and innovative ships in the market. When a chance to test the performance of the ships and equipment presents itself, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t take advantage of it. It would be a shame to waste test targets that come basically free of charge after all.』
In other words, the crazy engineers of Space Dwerg considered pirates as mere guinea pigs for their tests.
They would make a nice profit if the pirates can successfully capture a ship, but since it was a prototype, it was unknown if it had any major issues or flaws, so capturing one was basically a gamble. Hence, the pirates generally don’t even attempt to capture prototype ships. It wasn’t just Space Dwerg either. All ship-making companies had the same policies regarding pirates, so they generally avoid any system with a ship-making company present.
And systems two to four hyperlane nodes away is fair game for the ship engineers in order to test long-distance navigation, so pirates avoid them too if they can. The destroyed pirate ships are also a source of valuable materials and data for those mad engineers, so they plunder everything they possibly can, and the money from selling the unneeded parts will be used to fund even more experiments.
They can test their new prototypes and secure funds. There’s no reason to let go of such a delicious opportunity.
“Man. They totally picked the surrounding systems clean……”
This time, the chance of getting in trouble with pirates was close to zero. It was a bit boring and it’s a pity that there are no opportunities for making money present, but it’s also a good thing since we can finally put our feet up and relax after that fiasco in the Sierra star system. It would also take a bit of time to completely customize the ship once we purchase one, so maybe I’ll take this opportunity to get Krishna an overhaul as well. Mimi and Elma weren’t feeling well anyway, so the timing is just right.