294 – I Didn’t Lie You Know

 


Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


Refill IV — a few days after descending to Theta. A lot has happened since we first arrived. We deepened our relationship with the people of the Willrose main house, repelled(?) the advances of the chief of the Minfa clan, had the daughter of the Grado clan chief Tinia-san and her two attendants who unexpectedly arrived incognito join us in our sightseeing tour around the Rose clan’s territory, and so on. Anyway, things have been pretty lively these past few days.

And so, we finally bid farewell to the people of the Willrose family today and boarded Krishna in order to head to our next destination, but……

“You seem like you’ve taken quite a liking to that huh.”

“Doesn’t it make me look like a successful career woman?”

Mimi displayed a self-satisfied expression while wearing her recently bought military uniform-style dress. She even made an effort to make herself look smarter by wearing non-prescription fashion glasses.

“Well, I guess. Somehow, you kinda resemble a receptionist working for the Mercenary Guild though.”

They wore a roughly similar style of uniform after all. Mimi’s outfit also had a pretty distinct military uniform styling, so she did look the part of an intellectual career woman or a female military officer. I personally found her get-up with minimal exposure appealing as well.

“I think it’s not bad to change things up a bit from time to time. I personally feel the same after all.”

“I definitely want to see you sporting that innocent and pure get-up again, Elma.”

“No way.”

Elma, who was sitting on the sub-pilot seat, stuck her tongue out at me. Her cheeks were slightly red. Did she get embarrassed after remembering herself as an innocent and pure child? Well, she did eventually run away from home and lived life as a mercenary despite being a genuine aristocratic lady after all. She must have faced a lot of troubles when she started out. But I still think she’s pretty impressive since she managed to climb up to Silver rank in just a few years.

“Master, I’ve finished loading the luggage.”

“Thanks, Mei. Where’s Tina and Whisker?”

“They will probably arrive here soon as well.”

After saying so, Mei sat down on the sub-operator seat. Well, she wasn’t actually assigned any work in the cockpit though, so she was merely using the seat as a passenger chair. Krishna was a ship that one can pilot solo with little to no problems after all, so having Elma as sub-pilot and Mimi as the main operator was more than enough to operate her smoothly.

“Sorry fer makin’ ya wait guys.”

“Sorry.”

A little bit later, Tina and Whisker finally arrived and sat down on the sub-seats they personally modified.

“So, how was it?”

“Preparations are goin’ pretty smoothly.”

I already told everyone about the request I made to the Mercenary Guild. Well, the contents of the request were simple enough. I sent out a request to escort a VIP out of refill IV and wanted to recruit a suitable number of ships for that purpose.

Mercenaries often accepted private requests without going through the Mercenary Guild, and in order to more reliably complete such requests, mercenaries can opt to recruit other mercenaries affiliated with the guild after forking out a suitable remuneration and giving the guild a commission fee for their service. I made use of that system to increase our fighting power by hiring reinforcements.

As a condition, the contract fee will be increased by 50% for mercenaries who are Silver rank and below. If a pirate ship gets shot down, the bounty money will go to the merc ship that shot it down. Any loot recovered by them will also become theirs. Also, since we had a mother ship, the Black Lotus, I also offered to lend the cargo hold to the mercenaries free of charge if their own cargo spaces proved too small to store all the loot they would manage to recover.

“But they’re just a rag-tag mishmash of different mercenaries in the end, right? So those Crimson Lance guys or somethin’… Ya sure the mercs we’ll hire will be able to keep up with them, Boss?”

“That depends on how many we’ll be able to hire, but I guess it’s a pretty tall order.”

“So it’s no good then.”

The Crimson Lance was a Gold rank mercenary fleet, and they’ve been active as a fleet for quite a while, so they should have polished up their coordination in combat to a considerable degree. Even if we supplemented our strength with Silver rank mercenaries or lower, it’s honestly doubtful if we can actually win by taking them head-on. Though there’s also the possibility of overwhelming them with numbers depending on how many mercs we’ll be able to hire.

“It’s not like we absolutely have to beat them head-on in this situation. Isn’t that right, Hiro-sama?”

“That’s right. As expected of Mimi. You have a good handle on things.”

“Ehehe.”

Mimi smiled cutely after hearing my compliment. She has already gotten quite accustomed to my style as a mercenary. She’s most likely been thinking about a lot of stuff since first hearing about the request I submitted to the Mercenary Guild.

“What do you guys mean by that?”

“Um, our win condition this time is to use the gateway to shake off Crimson Lance. In order to do that, we don’t have to go head to head and beat Crimson Lance. It would be enough if we can make Crimson Lance hesitate to pick a fight with us.”

“Hmm-?”

Tina tilted her head in confusion after hearing Mimi’s explanation. It looks like she couldn’t reconcile the info of us being unable to win in a head-to-head clash against Crimson Lance despite hiring mercenary reinforcements and them hesitating to actually fight with us in the first place.

“Ah, I got it. Even if they do beat us, it’s still technically gonna be a big loss for them if their ships suffer damage in the battle. And if even one mercenary we hired ends up escaping and reporting their attack to the Mercenary Guild and the system garrison, it would spell the end for Crimson Lance as a mercenary fleet.”

“Yep, that’s absolutely correct.”

“Oh……? I see?”

It looks like Mimi’s explanation clicked for Whisker. But it seems Tina still wasn’t clear about everything yet.

Well, it’s exactly as Whisker said. Even if we’re inferior in overall combat strength, if even one of us makes it out to report to the Mercenary Guild and the system garrison, Crimson Lance would essentially be over. Their captain’s status as a Gold rank mercenary will be stripped from her, and they will become prime targets for other mercenaries, local star system forces, and the imperial military as a whole.

The Mercenary Guild especially loathes people under their wing targeting their fellow members. In addition to the prize money from the empire, a large bounty is also offered by the Mercenary Guild for the necks of former mercenaries who’ve gone rogue. Back when I was still playing SOL, one of my biggest money-making methods was hunting down big bounty targets for loads of Enels. Ever since I got sent to this place, I only checked them out but never actively pursued them yet. It’s because doing so was pretty dangerous.

Most of the big bounty targets were former mercenaries and ex-military. Their ships were powerful and were a cut several levels above your average pirate ship. Of course, that means many of the parts they had equipped on their ships were high-quality and powerful as well, so they were also pretty valuable. But that also meant their equipment and weapons were on par with most players, or if you were unlucky, even better. So hunting them down was really dangerous. They also had a knack for running away when the odds turned against them.

Of course, if players keep doing shady stuff in-game, they’d also get branded as bounty targets. If you accidentally sink an NPC or a neutral player’s ship, you’d usually just be asked to pay some compensation, but if you double down on it and perform repeated assaults, you’d find yourself on the bounty list pretty quickly. People called it cringy stuff like “falling to darkness”. There are people who prefer that style of play. Of course, that would lead to them not being able to access stations. They would be fired upon by the station’s powerful defense net if they attempted to approach one with a bounty on their heads, and they would get hunted down by the system garrison, military forces, and other players. But even so, there were still masochistic players who got off from getting hunted down from all sides.

“That’s how it is. I’m trying to overcome the situation with the help of our courageous mercenary friends. There’s no need to fight with the enemy head-on with our own strength.”

“I see…… But isn’t that kinda underhanded Boss?”

“Tina.”

“What?”

“The one who survives, in the end, will be the winner. Dying for honor and pride is just plain stupid.”

“That’s true, I guess. But isn’t what you did basically lyin’ to the Mercenary Guild?”

“Lying?”

“Yeah. The part about escortin’ a VIP outta Refill IV.”

Tina tilted her head again, but I just grinned in response.

“What are you saying, Tina? Isn’t there a genuine daughter of a noble family right next to me? I didn’t lie, see?”

“……Uh, I guess you technically didn’t lie, yeah.”

Tina rolled her eyes at me for some reason, but I didn’t mind it one bit. Yep. Not one bit. Everything’s fine as long as we win in the end.


 


9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the translation!

  2. Thanks for the chapter!

  3. Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!

  4. Thanks for the treat.

  5. Thanks for the chapter

  6. Thanks for the hard work!

  7. Thank you veryyyyy much!

  8. Hahaha, did he forget that he himself can be considered a VIP too?

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