Editor: Thor’s Stone
It’s been ten days since we decided on our next course of action. Our days have been passing by steadily without any other unexpected incidents happening. As usual, we meticulously hunted down pirates, captured their ships, handed the surrendered pirates over to the authorities to exchange for rewards, and sold the captured ships we modified for cash. The busiest among us during these past ten days were undoubtedly the mechanic sisters.
“Do your best, guys♪ Do your best♪”
“We’re happy that you’re cheerin us on, Boss. But even we have our limits y’know?”
“The ones we’ve worked on this time around were in relatively good condition with just a few damaged portions, so we had it easier than usual, I guess.”
“I at least have that much consideration y’know.”
I either preemptively destroyed a pirate ship’s main thrusters before it can attempt to flee, chipped away at their will to fight by dealing reasonable amounts of damage until they decided to surrender voluntarily, or simply just crushed the cockpit block alone with pinpoint precision, so the sisters should have had an easier time fixing up and modifying the captured ships.
“The Black Lotus turns out to be a really worthwhile purchase. And thanks to you two, we’ll soon recoup our investment on it.”
“Our pockets are fatter than they’ve ever been too.”
“But in a way, we’ve been working harder compared to when we were at Space Dwerg though……”
“Sorry guys. I’m really sorry.”
I couldn’t do anything but apologize. Um, I’d hear them out if they want to improve their workplace environment you know? If it’s just stuff like getting additional equipment or things to that effect, then I’m totally cool with it. I can’t do anything about reducing the workload though. That’s why I’d at least hear them out. Yep. I definitely will. So stop swinging around that wrench and spanner, both of you! Seriously, stop!
After getting (physically) persuaded by the mechanic sisters, I ran away from the hangar and brought myself to Black Lotus’ break room. The media guys were currently relaxing in it.
“Since your job here is ending Captain, then that means this is it for our coverage as well.”
“So we’ll be saying goodbye to Black Lotus’s accommodations that’s comparable to a high-class luxury hotel soon huh. I’m feeling kinda reluctant about it.”
“It’s very spacious and has really good food after all.”
“You definitely won’t be able to afford anything comparable to this with Fomalhaut’s low salary. Poor you.”
“What? You got a problem?”
I ignored Fomalhaut Entertainment’s Zuia and Nyaatoflix’s Nia going at each other’s throats and called out to Space Dwerg Entertainment’s Wamdo and Moebius Ring’s Allen.
“So where do you guys wanna get off? You’re not gonna tell me to ferry you all the way back to the capital, right?”
“We’ll be fine. There are regular flights from the Comatt system to the Dexer system, and once we arrive at the system governed by the earl, we’ll be able to catch a direct flight to the capital.”
“I see. So we don’t need to worry about sending you back huh.”
“It’s regrettable though.”
“We did live together for a month. Once Wamdo and the rest of the guys are gone, the Black Lotus will be all quiet again.”
For a month, five separate rooms were occupied by four media staff each, for a total of twenty media staff. These guys spent their time either in the Black Lotus or Krishna.
In the first place, Black Lotus felt too spacious with just me, Mimi, Elma, Mei, Tina, and Whisker staying in it, so it felt especially lively with an additional twenty media staff staying over. There were always other people relaxing whenever I went to the break room, and we often ate meals together too, so it was especially lively. Once these twenty media staffs get off, it would certainly feel a bit lonesome around here.
“Hahaha! Once we’re gone, you can finally flirt with Mimi-chan and Elma-san as much as you want, so you’re actually happy, right, Captain?”
“If you tell us there’s no such thing, it would sound like you’re lying you know.”
“As they say, great heroes have a great fondness for sensual pleasures…… By the way, what about those two from our company?”
“I’m not that unscrupulous you know.”
“Is that so? I do think the two of them are young and beautiful though?”
“To us human’s eyes, the two of them look a little too young……”
“You nailed it.”
Wamdo tilted his head in puzzlement as Allen laughed bitterly. I immediately seconded what Allen said. It’s true that those two definitely look very cute, but they really looked far too young…… Yes, I’m well aware that both of them are full-fledged adult dwarven ladies, but their outside appearance just doesn’t reflect their age. I admit their appearance does cater to certain, uh, unique tastes though. They had their own special charm.
“Or rather, it’s not like I absolutely have to lay my hands on them the moment they boarded my ship…… And the two of them have the right to decide who they want as a partner as well.”
“……You’re unexpectedly quite the romantic, aren’t you?”
“To be honest, your mentality doesn’t seem like that of a mercenary’s at all, Captain. You’re too straight-laced. Or perhaps describing you as ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’ might be more appropriate.”
“Was that really a compliment!?”
Wamdo and Allen laughed heartily at my reaction. Oh well. It did feel lonely when I think that I wouldn’t be able to talk about stupid stuff with these guys like this soon.
“So we’ll be taking a quick break at the Comatt Prime colony before we leave, right?”
“Isn’t it fine? It’s not like we’re in a hurry to depart or anything. We just finished a big job after all. There’s nothing bad about taking a break afterward.”
After leaving the break room, I headed to Krishna’s cockpit next and talked about our future plans with Mimi and Elma.
“We can’t just leave Wamdo and the others to their own devices once the job is over too. We’ll stay in the Comatt Prime colony until they can arrange a flight to the Dexer system. And during that time, I was thinking of checking out our next possible destinations.”
『I think that’s a fine idea.』
Mei agreed with my proposal through the cockpit’s main monitor. Mimi and Elma who were with me inside Krishna’s cockpit seem to have no problems with my proposal as well.
“For the time being, we’ll need to decide on where to build our home…… But we can just build it anywhere suitable, right?”
“What kind of place would be easy to live on?”
“It would be great if we could find a place with a good climate. I don’t like planets with extremely high-temperature differences between night and day. And we also need to find a place with good public order for the entire system. You’d hate to find yourselves in the middle of a pirate attack or civil strife, right?”
“That’s true. I definitely wouldn’t like planets where orbital bombings from pirate ships fall from the sky regularly in addition to rain and snow.”
“That’s definitely no good!”
Mimi strongly agreed with my words.
“In that case, we’ll have to find a properly terraformed planet with good security, social order, and a comprehensive climate control system in place. Well, if we make use of our connections, I think it would be easy to secure one if we ask Earl Dareinwald.”
『There’s a great possibility of you receiving preferential treatment in terms of purchase cost and taxes, Master. The fact that we will be living within Earl Dareinwald’s territory will also prove beneficial for both parties as well.』
『If Hiro-sama decides to settle somewhere within the Dexer system or here on Comatt system and treats the place as your home base, the earl will be able to count on your help straight away whenever they have any trouble with pirates and other rogue elements. Even if nothing large-scale happens, you would still be able to contribute to the overall security of the star system by hunting pirates on a regular basis. The Dareinwald House would also expect you to serve them to at least some capacity in exchange for favors. In other words, it’s an exchange of benefits for both parties.』
Since I’ve basically become a noble in all but name, things like that would come naturally huh. Well, that’s just proof that my influence is way greater compared to before, and I do feel pretty proud about it. But it’s not good to get too carried away. I have to keep it low-key. Yep. Low-key. Well, not really all that low-key though. Yosh.
“I’ll talk to Chris about buying some land to put up a house later, but do you guys have any prospects about where we could go next? Where’s a good place?”
“Mm, it’s a bit troublesome. I did gather some information about the mother systems of several races living in imperial territory though.”
“Hou. So what have you found out?”
“The places we still haven’t visited are Refill system which is the home system of the elves, Galakis system which is the home of the dwarves, Ammerzulu system which is the home of the Repilica, and the Cirrus system which is home to the Tekters.”
“Oh, I’ve been to Refill II in the Refill system before. I was brought there by my mother and father when I was little. I was born and raised in the imperial capital, but they wanted me to also get to know my race’s roots, so I was brought there for a visit.”
The mother systems of the different races are special after all huh?
“I haven’t really thought about the human race’s mother system all that much, but I was really moved when I got to see the imperial capital.”
“That’s how it is huh?”
It was a type of feeling I didn’t really get. Well, it would be a lie if I said I didn’t feel anything about the possibility of returning to Earth while riding on Krishna though. But I’m sure it’ll cause quite a commotion once we arrive. They’d probably tell me to cease my approach or something. There’s a chance they’d chase us with fighter jets.
“Oh, and there’s something I just remembered.”
“Remember the drink you got on Sierra III? You know. The one you drank with a conflicted expression on your face. You had me drink that stuff as well, right? Its smell was quite similar to the medical infusion they had me drink on Refill II in the past.”
The drink Elma’s talking about is probably root beer. The prototype of modern root beer was a beverage that’s basically a mixture of various herbs and spices. It was then developed further into countless original recipes to create different takes on the drink. One particular recipe was cola. In other words, there’s a good chance that the home system of the elves, Refill II, has the necessary groundwork for the birth of cola.
“Yosh. It’s decided then. We’ll head straight for Refill II.”
“Um, that sure was quick.”
“……Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything. Well, since it’s Hiro, then I guess it’ll be fine.”
I think Elma was worried about something, but for me, it was more important to worry about whether or not we’ll finally be able to discover cola. Was there some sort of produce that’s essential for making cola on Refill II? Or maybe they already have developed a soft drink that’s equivalent to cola there? My entire thoughts were only occupied by those points.