Editor: Thor’s Stone
“In the first place, it’s not like you’d be paying me out of your own pocket, right, Commander Serena?”
I resisted the urge to flat-out ask her if she wanted to haggle down the price by giving me those flirtatious looks. She had her sword within reach after all. I might lose my head if I made any careless comments.
“Hiro, The military’s budget, or rather, our fleet’s, isn’t unlimited.”
“Okay, I get that. But you see, if I agreed to get hired by you for cheap, the other Platinum-rankers might take issue with me.”
I replied to Commander Serena, who was making a serious face, with an equally serious tone. If I agreed to get hired by the Military, or rather, Commander Serena for a trifling amount, and it results in the pay for Platinum ranked mercenaries getting reduced, I would probably get all of the blame and be hated in the mercenary circle as a result. The Military was also part of the Government after all. Since unwritten rules were prevalent in these kinds of organizations, I better avoid setting a bad precedent, or I might get burned.
“In the first place, if you came here at the behest of the Imperial Government, don’t you have more than enough funds on hand?”
When the first pirate attack took place, an emergency request was issued by the Star System Garrison, which was composed mainly of people from the Rose Clan, and in response to that, Commander Serena’s Independent Mobile Anti-pirate Fleet was dispatched. Although the Refill system was an autonomous region, it firmly remains as part of the Graccan empire. Since an Imperial territory suffered a brazen attack by space pirates, there’s no way the Empire would stay quiet because it involved their honor as a galactic power. That’s why Commander Serena and her fleet were sent here, so she probably has quite a bit of budget funded by the Imperial Government as well.
“……You were so gullib– ahem, innocent when I first met you, but you’ve become such a boor before I knew it.”
“Were you about to say ‘gullible’?”
“I didn’t say anything of the sort.”
Although she replied with a straight face, she definitely almost blurted that word out, didn’t she? I didn’t mishear that at all.
Well, it’s true that I was basically led by the nose by Commander Serena when we participated in the conflict with the Vereverem Federation back in the Termaine system. I was cajoled by the beautiful female Military Ffficer until I was basically wrapped around her finger, and that was that! I was made to participate without any say in the matter. I ain’t gonna fall for the same trick twice.
“Look, it’s not like I’m not gonna participate this time. I’m just saying you need to pay me proper compensation.”
“I see. Alright then. How about this much?”
The amount offered wasn’t 300,000 Enels per day just like what Earl Dareinwald gave us, but the usual 200,000 Enels per day for Platinum rankers. In addition to the daily payout, we also get the usual kill rewards and guild bounties. Not a bad deal.
“I have one more condition, but it’s not about raising the price.”
“Let’s hear it then.”
Commander Serena nodded and urged me to continue.
“I want to upgrade Black Lotus’s equipment. If possible, I’d like to obtain some military-grade equipment and weapon systems from you guys. I’ll pay for them, of course.”
“Ah, I see. That’s your gunship, or rather, your mothership, right? It would help us out as well if that ship’s firepower is improved.”
Yep, it’s our mothership. It does have a wee bit more firepower than your average mothership, but it’s still a mothership nonetheless.
“I think I told you about this next one before, but we were in the middle of an operation then so I couldn’t elaborate much on it. Y’see, I want a lightweight power armor of my own.”
“Understood. Let us include that in our deal this time then. Since it’s a request from a Gold Star recipient, you can rest assured that we’ll do our best to satisfy you.”
“Thanks. So I suppose you’ll notify me once the schedule is decided?”
“Yes, I will contact you once our action plan is finalized, so please be ready to sortie at any time. I don’t think it would take that much time to finalize everything.”
However, our opponent this time is the Red Flag pirate organization, which had eluded the pursuit of Imperial Forces for many years. I don’t think they’d go down that easily. I wonder if Commander Serena has a special strategy in mind.
“And so, it’s been decided that we’ll be participating in the Red Flag subjugation operation.”
When I returned to Black Lotus, I immediately told everyone that we would be participating in the pirate mop-up operation, and everyone was cool with it.
“You acted like you didn’t like it one bit, Boss, but you agreed in the end huh.”
“It’s because this is a good opportunity for us. It would definitely go smoother if we left the acquisition of military-grade weapons and equipment to Commander Serena, and if we earn enough in the subjugation operation, we’d be basically getting them for free. Since we’d be earning a daily payout coupled with the kill and bounty rewards, it would be a shame not to participate.”
“But it’s true that you were throwing a fit before, right?”
“……I just lose my cool a bit whenever something that involves Commander Serena comes up. That’s all.”
First, there was that operation where we simply had to capture a pirate base, but we ended up getting involved in a border dispute with a neighboring country afterward. Commander Serena noticed my skills during that time and that led to her promotion, and the creation of the Independent Mobile Pirate-hunting Fleet soon after. Then, I was just supposed to play a minor role as a delivery guy but got involved in a decisive battle with crystal lifeforms instead. And because of that, I got promoted in mercenary rank, slapped with an award, and made to come to the Imperial Capital. Then, the mess in the Imperial Capital happened…… I think there’s a definite pattern where I’d get involved in trouble as long as Commander Serena was involved in it as well.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have agreed after all……? But if we run away now, my reputation and trustworthiness would take a huge hit.”
“Yeah. I suppose it’s already too late to escape at this point.”
“I should have predicted this and chose to run away the first chance I got.”
“It would be impossible to anticipate that much you know……”
In other words, this was another example of fate playing around with me huh. I’m not really into metaphysical stuff and whatnot, but ever since coming into this world, there are many instances that felt like they were prearranged. Or was it just me being a bit too paranoid?
“Anyway, that’s how it is, so make preparations for an immediate sortie, everyone.”
As I watched everyone busy themselves, I gave instructions to Mei as well.
“Please create a draft plan for improving the Black Lotus. I’d like to say money isn’t an issue, but…… let’s make the maximum budget 20 million.”
“Yes, I think that amount would be more than enough.”
A 20 million Enel budget would ensure that we’d at least be able to replace the armor and laser cannons with military-grade ones.
“Ah, Hiro-sama, will we also take up a job as a supply ship this time?”
“It’s a pass this time. We can expect a lot of loot since we’ll be going up against a large pirate organization.”
Mimi, who remained in the dining hall while fiddling with her tablet terminal, replied cheerfully and resumed working.
Now then, what should I do……? Oh, I can’t take the Sacred Tree seed with me, so I suppose I better make the needed arrangements. Well, I guess I can just hand it over to a person with suitable authority in Refill Prime.
That’s what I thought. But–
“I’m sorry, but we’d like you to keep it until it sprouts……”
“But if I did that, I’d end up carrying it away when I leave the star system.”
“Please, anything but that……”
“No, even if you say so, I’ll be participating in the subjugation operation against the Red Flag pirates you know? The Thetan autonomous government doesn’t have the authority to prevent me from participating, right?”
“That’s true, but……”
The Theta Autonomous Government representative stationed on Refill Prime kept talking in an evasive manner as sweat poured down from his forehead. Even if it was called an autonomous state, it was, in truth, governed by a parliamentary system made up of the three major Clans. Furthermore, most of the people living in the Refill Prime colony were part of the Rose Clan; basically, the most technologically receptive faction among the elves that acted as the race’s innovators. But apart from the Rose Clan, none of the other elves liked the idea of leaving their home system.
“To those shut-ins, the Sacred Tree seed acts as their mental and spiritual support after all……”
The Government representative, who was a member of the Rose Clan, replied while displaying an expression akin to that of a guy swallowing a bitter pill. Judging from his reaction, I suppose even he thinks this current situation was just a load of nonsense.
“I already said this before to the ones down below. I’m very willing to just leave that thing to the elves.”
What I referred to when I said ‘down below’ was the surface of Refill IV, or Planet Theta. I’m sure the people living on the surface would find the term unamusing, to say the least, but I don’t have to care about their feelings right now anyway.
“I’m well aware of that, of course. This is just us being willful. You really don’t have to take our views on the matter into account. It’s just……”
“We would really prefer it if you didn’t leave the seed in our hands at this timing. The tension between the three major Clans has been on a steady rise due to the things that happened recently. If you left the Sacred Tree seed in our hands at this timing, it might become a spark that lights up an even greater conflict between the Clans.”
“In other words?”
“If possible, please just take it with you. And you can bring it back to us once it sprouts.”
“Eh…… But wouldn’t the Grado and Minfa Clans raise a fuss if I did like you said?”
Honestly, I didn’t really want to earn any further animosity from those folks.
“We are prepared to shoulder the blame on the matter, so please don’t worry.”
After saying so, the Government representative gave a dry laugh. Well, in the worst case, I can just leave it somewhere in Refill Prime later, I guess. It would be a bit troublesome to come back to Refill Prime after the operation, but I suppose I could provide at least that much extra service.
“I understand. You elves did do your best to entertain us, so I suppose I can do that much for you in return.”
“We are much obliged.”
The representative gave me a deep bow. For him, or rather, for the Rose Clan, this situation was nothing but a bad draw. Anyway, as I said, the elves did provide delicious food for us and pretty nice inns as our accommodations, so I guess I can give them this much in return, at least.
Thanks for the chapter!!!
Hiro should get them some stomach ache medicine
Once it sprouted it would a female dryad like being? or have sort of avatar .
They say it have the form of a sword it will sprout like a melon with arms and feet floating around I bet
Hiro: take back your troublesome tree!
Elves : it would cause a war take it with you till it hatches!
Tree “seed”: *sprouts*
Naked dryad loli: “Daddy!” *glomps Hiro’s leg*
Hiro’ Here we go again….
LoL. I can so see that scene.
Hiro is such a softie.
Thanks for the chapter!
Hiro should be appointed Honorary captain of Red Flag pirates by the sheer amounts of flag raised in this chapter alone >.>
Hiro cannot destroy the red flags, he will constantly resurrect them with his Raise Flag ability lol
the banter on this wn is top tier. I just love the back and forth of hiro and any other of the girls lol, elma/serena are the best for this shit.
Them troubles. Hiro just keeps getting trouble after trouble. At least that high grade cursed item will get to experience space flight and combat.
Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!
Thanks for the treat.
Thanks for the chapter
It’s weird that this novel is the only one that i dont see at the wordpress when it’s updated
I think there’s a definite pattern where I’d get involved in trouble as long as Lt. Col. Serena was involved in it as well
Serena says: “total bullshit!!! … it’s everyone in this galaxy who gets involved in trouble when Lunatic Hiro is involved!!!”
This reputation and reliability thing taking a hit is really stupid, does that mean he can’t deny any quests then? It would only make sense if he gave up in the middle of the mission not before even accepting it.
When will Hiro learn to say no for once and then he says he’s the harbinger of trouble.. or Hiro should just nuke this author coz he seems like cause for Hiro’s unnecessary stress
Can’t believe I’m making an account for this rant, I know Hiro doesn’t have much common sense but he I remember he wasn’t an idiot. Then why the hell is he getting dumber and dumber in this da*n arc. About that overflowing magic power thing, when he heard that did he even remember about what happened to the spirit silver sword he held when he was looking around at the art gallery/museum (forgot what’s it called). Then he just proceeds to ride a ride powered by magic which clearly will be affected by his “overflowing magic power”, yet he didn’t even think about it. Then he got stuck on a jungle because those elves were too busy in their squabble. They got delayed in their rescue operation, they even tried to stop Mei from leaving to rescue her master when she ran out of patience .Then, when they were out of the jungle, what does he get? A fu*king bas*ard that doesn’t even repent for his mistake shouting at him in his own ship. They were the ones who doesn’t want Hiro and his crew to use Krishna which resulted in their crash yet he got shouted at because he brought technological things or something. He can just kill them because he’s an honorary noble or whatever and they are disrespecting him too much, yet what does he say?
“For example, you can provide us free accommodation in your highest-class hotel and resort where we can relax without worries, offer us delicious and rare delicacies that are difficult to find in Theta, give us a ton of tasty foodstuffs that can be stored without spoiling for an extended amount of time, gift our three alcohol lovers rare liquors, or give the ladies with me some beautiful jewelry and clothes”, that’s what he said. Come on, man! You almost died in that crash yet you ask for something like that?!! Is your and your crew’s lives just has the same worth as rare food , rare liquor, and high class accommodation? I mean he can just buy that if he wants to.
Then, when they go to the Minda clan’s home, you expect them to greet and welcome him with a banquet or something so he can relax, yet what do they welcome him with? A fu*king tournament which he doesn’t even have to participate to, when did he even care about reputation anyway? It just makes him look like a pushover with that forgiving them or whatnot. I mean he’s an honorary noble or whatever, he can just use his authority to stop that “welcome” that the Minfa elf’s clan leader prepared, yet he didn’t. If he doesn’t want that, then he just have to leave the planet, he doesn’t even have a reason to stay in that planet any longer. They don’t have his cola after all. And what about the magic? He doesn’t want to learn it because he’ll get in trouble with the Empire because the magic’s too strong? He doesn’t have to learn magic that breaks mountains, he can just learn magic that helps him on his daily lives or magic that helps him if he ever gets in to a situation like the one when he was stranded in the jungle/forest.
And about that seed, why doesn’t he just leave it there? If they’re going to fight because they out that he left the seed why don’t he just secretly leave the seed? I feel he’s being much of a pushover in this arc.
It’s called diplomacy. It is what allows most Terrans to live in relative peace.
For a look at diplomatic warfare from a diplomat’s point of view I recommend Retief of the CDT. Keith Laumer is the author of the series.