Editor: Thor’s Stone
We finally finished collecting all the pirate starship wrecks, and the mechanic sisters started repair and restoration work while displaying troubled expressions from time to time.
“Man, I don’t get any of this.”
“Of course, you don’t, guys. Sheesh.”
We were overlooking the ship wreckage being repaired by Tina and Whisker from on top of Krishna’s gangway. The sisters were busily operating the drones and maintenance bots while doing something or other, but I didn’t get what they were doing at all.
By the way, the pirates inside the base seemed to have put up quite a decent fight this time around, so it was taking some time for the imperial marines to completely secure it.
Things seemed to be proceeding smoothly now though, and they were in the middle of mopping up the remaining pockets of resistance. We’re staying on standby just in case pirate reinforcements arrive.
“This operation is a lot more laid back than I expected. Don’t you feel so too, Hiro-sama?”
“It’s pretty standard. The larger the force, the more adjustments, and preparations are needed to be made before everything’s ready. Look, even though we’re in the mop-up phase now, the marines are still busy fighting inside the asteroid base. We can’t just leave them behind to attack the next pirate base.”
“If we don’t keep a unified pace, we’ll end up with a lot of holes in our troop formation. Going up against a hundred enemies with a hundred of your own makes a load of difference compared to taking them on with just five or twenty, right?”
“That’s true. Others would definitely have trouble if they’re ganged up by a hundred enemies, but if it’s Hiro-sama, it kinda feels like he can actually deal with those numbers if they fought him one at a time. I’m not so sure if they went at him all at once though.”
“Uh, I think it’s kinda overdoing it if I went up against a hundred enemies at the same time……”
Well, maybe I could actually manage it, but I sure as heck don’t ever wanna try it out for real. In the first place, I don’t like engaging in melee combat all that much. It won’t end well if I ate a laser directly to my face after all.
The mercenary gear and underclothes I always wear seem to be made of special synthetic fibers that are treated with anti-laser protection, but I’m not sure how effective that treatment actually is. And I definitely don’t want to try it firsthand.
“Well, anyway, that’s how it is. The bigger the scale, the less light-footed a fleet is. There are some definite advantages when mobilizing on such a large scale though. In other words, it’s a trade-off.”
“I see. The more ships you have, the more loot you can collect, and you can cover each other in a pinch as well.”
“Right. For example, if Krishna gets shot down, we’re basically screwed. Black Lotus is also an excellent ship, but it can’t really perform quick and tight turns.”
“That’s true. I suppose it’s about time to get a ship for Elma huh.”
When she heard my words, Elma turned to me with a surprised expression on her face. Wow, she got really surprised by that huh.
“Eh, um, but that’s……”
“I’m the owner of all our ships. I’m also your captain. And since I’m the owner, anything that would make our jobs go more efficiently will benefit me in the long run.”
“Are you thinking about that bit where you’re gonna leave us once you get your hands on a ship? I personally don’t want to let you go, but you do have the right.”
Elma’s ended up owing me a lot since I first met her after coming to this dimension, and conversely, I owe her a lot too. In other words, we’ve been supporting each other all this time. At least, that’s how I personally feel. No, maybe I’m the one relying on her more and more? Elma does tend to spoil me a lot after all.
“O-Of course, I don’t plan on going anywhere at this point……”
“So think about it. If it’s you Elma, I feel like I can definitely leave my back in your care.”
“Okay, I understand.”
Elma’s lips curled into a pretty smile. She looked really happy. I felt a fervent gaze directed to my back. When I turned around, I saw Mimi’s expectant expression.
“You’re gonna get promoted to sub-pilot as well, Mimi. Can you do it?”
“I’ll do my very best!”
Mimi made fists in front of her chest as she breathed out roughly in excitement. Mimi’s experience as an operator should be more than enough by now. It’s about time for her to step up a notch. By the way, I and Elma can also perfectly serve as ship operators. Or rather, while I was playing SOL, I did everything basically on my own. I controlled all of a ship’s sensors and sub-systems. I could have hired an NPC to do the job, but I ultimately chose not to and did it all manually. That’s because I could perform far more precise operations if I did them personally.
“Let’s proceed with that in mind from now on then. We’ll have to start browsing for a good starship model as well.”
We might have hunted down a lot more prey if there was another ship supporting Krishna that could have prevented the rest of the pirates from escaping. After all, if our only mobile combat craft was Krishna, we’ll inevitably expose gaps. There have been other instances in the past where the prey escaped because we couldn’t pursue them in time after all.
“I want a Swan!”
“Rejected. Don’t tell me you still haven’t learned your lesson……?”
The starship that Elma used to pilot – the Galactic Swan – was a machine with very high specs. But it had the fatal flaw of going out of control and exploding in a blaze of glory if you pushed it past a certain point. It was obviously a defective machine that should have been recalled, but for some reason, it’s being distributed without any reserve in this dimension. ……No, maybe it actually isn’t being sold openly. I mean, I personally haven’t encountered any shops selling the thing until now. Perhaps it’s actually a pretty rare ship. Just what kind of back channels did Elma use to buy that thing anyway?
“I’m going to be the new ship’s owner as well, you know. So I have the right to decide which model to purchase.”
“It can’t be helped. I’ll just follow your lead, Boss. But is this really okay? You’ll be set back from your goal again if you purchase a ship for me, you know?”
“It’s fine. I and Mimi already obtained first-class imperial citizenship anyway, and you’ve been one since childhood, right, Elma? We’ll have to think up something when it comes to the sisters, but we have some pretty influential backers to lean on anyway.”
“Well, that’s true.”
We can rely on Earl Dareinwald for help, and even though I don’t wanna rely on her all that much, there’s also Lt. Col. Serena. We can even ask for His Imperial Majesty’s help through Mimi. Though that’s kind of ill-advised.
In any case, if we keep earning at our current pace, we’ll be able to re-earn the money we’ll be using to purchase Elma’s new ship in no time. Being able to operate a ship apart from Krishna and Black Lotus will expand our options by quite a bit. We’ll be able to take on a wider variety of jobs too.
“Anyway, let’s shop around for Elma’s ship after we’re finished with our current job. It’s perfect timing since I plan on going to a system with advanced tech industries to purchase lightweight power armor as well.”
“That’s true. Since we can use the gates, it’s also possible for us to come directly to a ship-making company’s main headquarters to purchase a ship.”
If you go to a system with a highly developed tech industry, it would be easier to obtain info regarding the latest cutting-edge tech. In other words, it would be easier to get info on the latest ship models as well. There would be plenty of ship-makers and dealers after all.
“Now I’m really looking forward to finishing this job and heading to our next destination.”
“We’ll have to do our best so we can finish our current job quicker then.”
“Right. Well, at this rate, we’ll be done after crushing one or two more bases. Let’s get this done, you two.”
The two ladies seem to be really motivated as well. Great. It’s always nice to have high morale. What about my morale? Mine is always clocked at a hundred percent y’know. I’m not kidding.
There’s Mimi, Elma, Mei, and now there’s Tina and Whisker as well. There’s no guy in existence who won’t get fired up when surrounded by such breathtaking beauties. Men are simple creatures after all. WAHAHAHA!
I’ll have to work hard to make sure I live up to their expectations.