181 – Ceremony


Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


We rode the imperial palace high-speed railway train and got off at the inner station. The name of the station we got off to was the『Special Events Section』.

“So the scale of this place is so big that the venue for special events comprises an entire station huh.”

“It’s the palace that serves as the home of His Imperial Majesty after all.”

“Control yourselves and don’t ogle at every little thing. It’s embarrassing.”

Elma sternly warned Mimi and me, who were busy gazing in wonder at the surroundings. Well, even if she tells me that, we just went from a standard train station to somewhere that very much resembled those grand and imposing palaces I only ever saw on TV. Of course, I’d be curious. The floor of the wide halls was paved with practically spotless red carpets, lined with really expensive-looking flower vases and sculptures, and grand-looking opulent chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling… That’s how fancy everything was. I was like a little kid in elementary school on a field trip and could only exclaim ‘Whoah, cool!’ in my head.

We walked through the fancy-looking halls and finally reached a place where people were gathered. It looks like we finally reached the ceremony venue.

“Major Serena Holz. I have brought Captain Hiro and his crew over.”

“Yes…… Yes, I’ve confirmed everything. Your seats are–”

Major Serena finished all the necessary procedures for the entire group, and we were finally allowed to enter the ceremony venue.

“Whoah… This sure is amazing.”

“Fuwaa……”

The ceremony hall boasted a size that could easily host a social dance ball and was filled with a great number of tables and chairs. Almost 80% of them have already been filled. A single huge chandelier was hanging on the ceiling of the hall, and a luxurious-looking throne was located at the furthest right-hand side…… A throne?

“Didn’t they say the emperor won’t be attending today’s ceremony?”

“That should have been the case……”

Elma’s gaze also wandered to the luxurious-looking throne further back. We were told that the emperor wouldn’t be attending today’s award ceremony, but maybe another member of the imperial family will be attending instead……

“Uu……”

“Just put up with it for a while, Mimi……”

Mimi started feeling uncomfortable from all the gazes that were gathering toward her. We did make sure to place Mimi in between Elma and me to minimize her exposure, but people inevitably got a glimpse of her anyway and they were now gossiping with each other in hushed tones. Mimi really did look like the spitting image of Princess Luciada, so it can’t be helped.

By the way, Mei was treated as our attendant, so she wasn’t given a seat. She was standing with the other attendants at a spot close to one of the walls.

“Her Imperial Highness, Princess Luciada is now entering the venue. Everyone, please rise from your seats and greet Her Highness with a warm round of applause.”

The people around us hurriedly rose from their seats, so we followed suit. I didn’t particularly hold anything against the Graccan Empire anyway, and I’d also like to avoid being called out for rude behavior as well.

As soon as everyone finished standing up, a beautiful girl in an elegant dress appeared from the rear of the ceremony venue. Un, now that I’ve gotten a good look at her in person, she really does greatly resemble Mimi. Her hair was a little longer than Mimi’s, and her breasts were comparatively more modest (although they were still much larger than Elma’s) but her face was practically the same as Mimi’s.

She quietly proceeded to her seat – the luxurious-looking throne we saw earlier – and sat down elegantly on it with her knees aligned in a well-behaved manner. Her gaze wandered around the venue until she managed to spot our location. Her eyes widened in surprise. It looks like she already saw her ‘twin’ standing between Elma and me and was surprised. But judging from her relatively subdued reaction, they must have told her about Mimi beforehand already.

The ceremony began in earnest after the entrance of Princess Luciada. I was considered the highlight of this ceremony since I’ll be receiving the Gold Star, but there were also others who were participating aside from me. It looks like these people will be awarded for their various achievements, and some were unrelated to the Crystal Campaign I participated in.

It seems the Graccan Empire periodically holds award ceremonies in order to recognize the merits of her citizens, and such ceremonies were usually conducted once in the first or second month of each year.

“We are expecting to harvest a great number of rare crystals from the subdued Mother Crystal corpse. Depending on the research results, we might be able to utilize it as a continuous and renewable source of rare crystals for the foreseeable future–”

At the beginning of the ceremony, awards for minor research and cultural achievements were handed out, and the latter half consisted of awards for economic and military achievements. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting anything from today’s ceremony and thought the proceedings would be really boring, but I was able to hear some pretty interesting anecdotes. Right now, they were talking about the potential uses of the Mother Crystal remains we were able to bring down in the Crystal Campaign.

I already knew that they would be able to harvest a lot of rare crystal materials from the Mother Crystal’s remains, but now, it seems they were planning to research a method to artificially culture crystal lifeforms from it. It looks like the Mother Crystal corpse still retains the ability to absorb the energy emitted by the pulsar star and use it to ‘proliferate’. The presenter explains that if all goes well, they might be able to produce rare crystals continuously.

The crystal materials harvested from defeated crystal lifeforms are considered as core materials for modern laser weapons, and could also be used for armor. I think they were also touted as excellent building materials for colonies and space stations. It was durable yet flexible, and should also be able to possess the property of automatically restoring damaged sections over time if processed properly.

I remember the exploration vessels equipped with rare crystal inner frames and crystal composite armor were the favorite ships of explorer players in SOL who liked to explore deep space since they required minimal maintenance. They weren’t that suitable for combat though since their overall defenses were relatively on the low end. Oh, but they were more resistant to laser weapons compared to ships with regular armor though. Even so, I haven’t flown them at all.

The presentation finally ended before long and the awarding of medals to those who participated in the Crystal Campaign finally began. Major Serena, who was recognized for her outstanding achievements in strategic planning and information analysis regarding crystal lifeforms, was awarded the Silver Light Order, which was a pretty awesome-looking medal.

“Finally, Princess Luciada will be presenting a medal directly to Captain Hiro, who played a very major role in the battle against the Mother Crystal in the Jerom system and landed the decisive blow that led to its eventual defeat.”

“What?”

“Ue?”

“Eh?”

I didn’t hear about this! The other awardees and participants aside from us began making a fuss. However, the commotion soon subsided when Princess Luciada left her seat.

“Captain Hiro and his crew members, Ms. Mimi and Lady Elma Willrose, please come to the front.”

Princess Luciada called out to us in a gentle and quiet voice. Since she already did so, we had no choice but to respond. The three of us left our seats and walked toward Her Highness with me leading the other two.

“So you are Captain Hiro…… This is the first time I’ve been able to meet a real-life mercenary.”

“Well, uh, what can I say……? I hope you aren’t disappointed, Your Highness.”

Man. I found it difficult to find the words to respond to her comment. The longer we talked, the greater the chance of me messing up somehow, so I hope she’d just give the medal to me and get this over with though.

“I must admit, I’m a little jealous of you, Viscount Willrose’s daughter. It looks like you also went out to the sea of stars just like my grandmother…… I would like to hear your stories next time if possible.”

“Yes, of course, Your Highness, if given the opportunity.”

Elma answered and bowed gracefully. Uumu. She’s really composed. As expected of a bona fide viscount’s daughter.

“So you are Mimi-san. We really do look quite alike.”

“Y-Yes. Um, I’m sorry.”

“There is no need for you to apologize at all.”

Princes Luciada giggled cutely. Umu, her laugh really resembles Mimi’s as well.

“I’d really like to exchange stories with you, but let’s leave that for later. Well then, Captain Hiro. In honor of your brave actions against the Mother Crystal, I now present you the First-class Star Cross medal.”

“I gratefully accept, Your Highness.”

I lowered my head and accepted the medal from Princess Luciada. Wow. No wonder they call this thing the Gold Star. It really was shiny and golden. The crimson jewel placed on the center of the medal looked quite expensive as well.

“If possible, I would like you to continue using your talents for the empire.”

“I will endeavor to accept any mission as long as the reward is satisfactory.”

It won’t be good to answer ‘yes’ in a straightforward manner here since I had a feeling they’ll use it as a pretense to get me enlisted in the imperial military. I answered in a typical mercenary fashion while wondering if I was being far too blunt.

“Oh my. As expected of a mercenary. Well then, our empire simply must device something in order to keep the services of an excellent mercenary such as yourself.”

“Hahaha…… Please go easy on me, Your Highness.”

My smile couldn’t help but cramp up when I heard the gentle princess utter such ominous-sounding words. What does she mean by ‘devising something’ anyway? Oh boy. It’s seriously terrifying so could you please leave it at that, Princess? If I suddenly find myself right in the middle of a scheme, you can bet I’d immediately turn tail and run to the neighboring nation as if my life depended on it.

“Well then, I shall see you all next time.”

We bowed to Princess Luciada and returned to our designated seats. Oh, man. That princess sure packs a lot of surprises. Elma, who was usually cool and composed, now looked quite worn out. Mimi still seemed quite out of it. Uh, isn’t her soul seeping out of her mouth? You okay, girl?

Princess Luciada, who just finished presenting me a Gold Star, left the ceremony venue with graceful steps, just the same as when she first appeared. All of those present stood up and saw her off. The emcee then declared that the award ceremony was finally over.

The entire thing lasted about an hour and a half or so, I think? We sure made lots of grueling preparations just for the sake of these one and a half hours. Everything seemed all too quick somehow.

“Haa– It’s finally over. Okay then, let’s–”

“You bastard! What was the meaning of your appalling behavior toward Her Highness, Princess Luciada earlier, huh!?”

Question: What were my honest feelings when the moment I thought the troublesome stuff was finally over, an even more troublesome fellow suddenly reared his ugly head?

Answer: The heck? You talkin to me, bastard……?

To think something like this would happen at this timing. Haah.



30 Comments

  1. Is it just a random noble or is it Elma’s siscon?

  2. I call for a sucker punch

  3. Hahaha the fun is beginning 😁

  4. Yeah, they really want Hiro, so the princess asked for, well, him, not as a husband (probably), but either way Hiro would answer, something bad would happen. Saying ‘yes’ would mean a life of slave (or close to that), saying ‘no’ too impolite, something in-between still gets some “you bastard” dude’s attention. Somehow, the whole crystal extermination campaign just ended up with a terrible outcome. Funny for us, the readers.
    Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!

  5. Thanks for the chapter. Time for captain Hiro to show off some fancy sword move

  6. Thanks for the chapter!

  7. Thanks for the treat.

  8. I can say that the first flag to arise is the argument & duel flag…
    Now! What will happen to Hiro and his crew?
    Find out in the next flag reveal!

  9. Thank you for the chapter

  10. I foresee Mimi and the Imperial Princess becoming BF’s since it is highly unlikely that Mimi’s “secret” is not known within the current Royal Family.
    Thanks for the chapter!

  11. *sighs in alien language* quite disgusting, much “noble”

  12. Started re-reading the series since I enjoy it so much, and had a thought:

    What if Mimi’s grandmother, the missing sister of the emperor, is that guild clerk onee-san from Termaine colony?

    While re-reading that part, the way she acted almost seems to have a double-meaning now.

  13. ???????
    I am confused

    “It looks like you also went out to the sea of stars just like my grandmother……”

    Princess’s grandma?
    If I am getting it right, the one should be Mimi’s grandma?
    And she is the SISTER of the current emperor,
    and the emperor should be the Father of the princess?
    Then the princess should be a generation older than Mimi?

  14. Wow a day without a chapter feels weird now. Its like my life is missing something

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