Editor: Thor’s Stone
Our employment contract with Earl Dareinwald this time stipulates that we would work for him for at least one month. And after that period, depending on the circumstances, we could be re-contracted for a maximum period of three months.
In this past month, we’ve defeated a great number of pirates, crushed their main base, and fought off enemies supposedly related to the Ixthermal House that’s suspected of funding the pirates in order to mess with the Dareinwald House. It was a pretty hectic month.
As a result, the pirates have lain low during the last ten days, and the overall public security within the entire system has improved by quite a bit, if only temporarily. At least, that’s what the recent data indicated.
“And so, that means your contract with the Dareinwald House is now officially over. Then… Hiro-sama will soon fly away to somewhere out of my reach again, right?”
“Uh… Yeah, I guess.”
I nodded honestly in reply.
I was currently paying a visit to Chris’ office on the Comatt Prime colony. The time right now was almost evening. Chris was sitting behind her large office desk, and the large window behind her showed a magnificent night view of Comatt Prime in all its glory. On Comatt Prime, the artificial sunlight within the colony gets turned off between 6 in the evening until 5 A.M. the next day, simulating nighttime.
“My feelings for you haven’t changed, you know.”
I could barely mouth a reply to Chris who just confessed to me again while looking at me straight in the eye. If I was the type to say something witty in a situation like this, then I would probably be a qualified lady killer, but unfortunately, that just ain’t me.
“When will I be able to see you again, Hiro-sama?”
“That’s…… I’m not sure.”
“So that’s how it is. Hiro-sama wouldn’t want to meet with a troublesome girl like me if it’s not for work.”
“That’s not true, okay! That’s a bit too much, even for me!”
While entering into a relationship between a man and a woman with Chris was an absolute no-go due to the difference in age and status, that doesn’t mean I’d totally distance myself from her. There are various issues, but I think most guys would feel good if a beautiful girl like Chris said she loved them. That includes me, of course.
“So does that mean you don’t actually hate me, Hiro-sama?”
“……I’m still not staying, okay.”
Somehow, I felt like Chris’ shining onyx pupils took on a strange hue and I stepped back involuntarily. I wonder what that was? It kinda feels like warning bells are going off inside my head for some reason.
“By the way, you went out alone today, right?”
“Uh, yeah. Mimi and Elma stayed behind on the ship today… And Mei seems busy performing final checks on the recording data sent to her by the media companies.”
“I see. I’m feeling really worried, Hiro-sama.”
Chris touched her cheek with one hand as she tilted her head and displayed a troubled expression. I ended up tilting my head as well. Her weird state from earlier was gone, and she seemed genuinely worried for me this time.
“I think Hiro-sama will have more opportunities to be in contact with nobles from now on. Some of them could possibly covet Hiro-sama’s prowess and your powerful starship, and would do everything to obtain them.”
“I see. I’ll make sure to be careful.”
I nodded obediently to Chris’ words. There certainly was a good chance of us attracting the attention of such individuals. As I resolved myself to be more careful and raised my head to face Chris once more, I found her smiling widely as she put her hands on her clothes for some reason.
“What are you–?”
Chris suddenly raised her voice. Uh, she’s practically screaming, ain’t she? But the volume and pitch of her scream were oddly in monotone.
“Y-You can’t, Hiro-sama–”
Chris’ hands slowly moved as she undid the buttons and clasps of her dress one after the other. She loosened her dress and slightly revealed a glimpse of her bra and her neck, which turned a faint cherry pink in hue. Whoah! Now hold on! Hold it right there, girl!
“Ahn, that’s no good, Hiro-sama. You’re too rough–”
“Wai–!? Wha–!? The heck are you doing?”
“And finally, I just need to press this button to call in security.”
As Chris began to reach for a small egg-shaped object on top of her desk, I rushed toward her and held her wrist tightly to prevent her reckless move.
“Ufufu. If someone were to see us right now, you wouldn’t be able to make excuses, you know.”
Chris giggled mischievously as she looked up at my face with a provocative glint in her eyes. Her flushed cheeks, moist lips, and white neck made her seem strangely alluring for some reason and I couldn’t help but turn my head away.
“Chris, a prank like this isn’t funny, okay. No matter how close we are, something like this still isn’t good.”
“Yes. I’m sorry. But I truly meant it when I said you need to be careful, okay?”
The instant I turned back toward Chris, she raised her free left hand and hooked it over my neck. And then, she pulled me over to plant a kiss on my lips.
I stiffened up for a bit after being briefly assaulted with a soft sensation on my lips. Chris looked at my flushed face with upturned eyes.
“A sneaky and vile noblewoman might attempt to forcibly establish a relationship with you like this you know. So you can’t meet with any other noble ladies alone aside from me, okay?”
What the heck? I crossed swords with nobles and won, survived battles with ferocious Twisteds and that stupidly huge Grappler, and dealt with that four-armed monster, but I actually ended up being caught by Chris like this huh.
Perhaps she was satisfied with my obedient reply. Chris quickly separated herself from me while sporting an expression akin to a mischievous cat. She then buttoned up her dress again, but made sure to flaunt her actions in front of me. She was obviously provoking me, but I didn’t move an inch. It would be a disaster if I get turned into a lolicon!
“……I don’t mind making our relationship an established fact here and now, you know?”
“Stop tempting me…… Sheesh. It’s only been a short while since we parted ways, and before I knew it, you’ve become quite a naughty girl, haven’t you?”
“A girl grows up really fast you know.”
Oh, I know. Especially girls in love, I guess.
I couldn’t do anything but shut my mouth as Chris continued to smile at me.
“Girls are scary.”
“Is this an acute onset of gynophobia?”
Mei made a comment that was kinda off the mark as she tilted her head.
Uh, it’s really not all that serious y’know. It’s just that before I left, that girl gave me these parting words: Please come see me again soon, alright. If you take too long, I might just tell my dear grandfather various things hidden in my heart because of loneliness. Who knows what would happen after? See? I couldn’t help but get the shivers after hearing that. Well, it’s Chris, so she’s probably just joking. She’s joking, right?
“No, I’m okay. Probably. Yep, there’s definitely no problem.”
“Is that so? That’s for the best.”
Mei nodded as she proceeded to display several videos on the main screen of Black Lotus’ cockpit. The videos were of Krishna destroying an enemy pirate ship, an imperial military battleship performing a barrage, Krishna and other starships annihilating Grapplers and Bulls through close air support, and Lt. Col. Serena and my figures brandishing swords in the middle of a raging sandstorm.
“I have finished checking all the video data sent for review by all four media companies. I have deleted everything that might compromise our ship’s security.”
“Thank you. It must have been hard on you?”
“It took some time, but it wasn’t hard at all.”
“Maybe so, but I still want to thank you. I’d even like to give you a reward, but what sort of reward do you actually want, Mei?”
Basically, Mei didn’t seem to have any materialistic desires, and she didn’t want to get paid a salary either. So I don’t have any idea how I could even reward her.
“Yep. A reward. Even if it’s in your nature to work for me unconditionally as a maidroid, since you’re always doing your best, I’d still like to give you a reward, Mei.”
“I see. Well then–”
Mei spread her arms wide while sporting her usual deadpan expression. It’s like she was asking for a hug.
“Please embrace me.”
“A maidroid’s energy can be replenished by particles called masternium, which can be obtained whenever their masters embrace them. It also has the additional effect of improving their overall performance.”
“Hm? Well, if just a hug, then sure.”
Was that supposed to be a maidroid joke or something? I stood up, spread my arms, and wrapped them tightly around the expectant Mei. After I did so, Mei wrapped her arms around my body as well and hugged me back. I wonder why Mei smells so good even though she’s supposed to be a machine? I think her body warmth comes from the residual heat given off by her power generator or something. Her muscle fibers and skeletal frame are supposed to be made out of special alloys, but her body was still as soft as that of a biological woman. In fact, I think that she might be the most mysterious existence I encountered in this dimension. Yep. Even more so than Krishna or Black Lotus.
Mei and I hugged each other for a good while, and then naturally separated. And after our mysterious hugging session, Mei’s expression wasn’t as deadpan as usual. She actually seemed happy and content. The corners of her mouth were ever so slightly raised to form a faint smile.
“Have you managed to get your fill of masternium?”
“Yes. My processing capacity has improved by 4%.”
It was probably just a maidroid joke, but it would be amazing if that hugging session really did manage to improve her processing capacity by 4%. That way, if I hugged Mei every day, Mei’s overall performance would probably increase by more than twofold.
Now then, we would finally bid goodbye to this star system after the media guys complete their travel arrangements. I kinda feel like we’re forgetting something, but it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
I’m a bit curious about what Earl Ixthermal will do next and whether or not that four-armed monstrosity was really Geritz, but it’s not like I really need to know. The risk that comes with getting a glimpse of the truth was too much, and the price was too high in exchange for simply satisfying my personal curiosity. If I do find out what’s really going on somehow, I’m sure I’ll be targeted by Earl Ixthermal. We better leave as soon as our preparations are finished then.