Editor: Thor’s Stone
In the end, the order-made lightweight power armor was…… man, that’s a damn long name. I’ll just call it the ninja armor. Anyway, the ninja armor was sent to the hotel without any problems. The shop clerk was still agitated by the entire incident, but his professionalism won out, and he performed his duties without a hitch. He even included data needed for the armor’s maintenance.
We said goodbye to the shop clerk who seemed to be having a headache and decided to go straight back to the hotel so we wouldn’t get caught up in any stranger incidents.
“Why did you get yourself into trouble straight away after just going outside for less than two hours……?”
“As expected of Hiro-sama……”
“Can’t you guys stop saying I’m a trouble magnet all the time? It wasn’t my fault we got into trouble this time, right?”
We just coincidentally got caught up in trouble this time around, okay? Ugh. Well, a lot of the prior incidents were kinda similar, but still.
“But you said you encountered a ‘living’ spider combat robot with its own will, Master. That’s quite interesting.”
Mei, who heard Kugi and my recollection of the earlier events, showed a somewhat unusual interest in that metallic spider.
“That’s rare. Do you really find that thing interesting, Mei?”
“Yes. Specifically, it’s the ‘mind waves’ Kugi-sama mentioned. You cannot detect them from me, correct?”
“Yes. I cannot detect any mind waves emanating from you.”
“I see. Then it is even more likely that the metallic spider you encountered really was a living creature. To the best of my knowledge, there are no similar creatures that can withstand continuous attacks from military-grade laser weapons. That goes the same for plasma weapons.”
“If that was really a living creature, then it would be a great discovery. Just where did it come from anyway……? Not good. I have a really bad feeling about all this.”
“Hey! Can you stop it with that!?”
The moment Elma yelled in complaint, my portable data terminal’s ringtone rang out. I silently took it out of my pocket, glanced at the caller’s name, and couldn’t help but look up to the ceiling in resignation. Elma covered her face with her right hand and Mimi smiled bitterly. Perhaps they already had an idea about who the caller was. Mei was acting like usual, and only Kugi hadn’t gotten the situation and tilted her head to the side.
『Thank you very much for that enthusiastic greeting. It really warms my heart.』
As you’ve probably guessed, it was Col. Serena on the other end of the line. The voice that resounded from the data terminal sounded so flat that you couldn’t help but tell that she was in a very bad mood.
『Well, it’s like we’re in a relationship that requires perfunctory greetings though. So, I’ll get straight to the point. I called you for work.』
“Sorry, but we can’t take your request right now because our ship is still under maintenance. It’s really unfortunate.”
『Of course, the job can wait until the maintenance work on your ship is complete. We’ve already taken your circumstances into account. We haven’t contacted the Mercenary Guild yet, but my higher-ups have already decided that we’ll be putting up a request with three times the usual reward money. You’re going to take it, right?』
“It’s not like I’m obligated to accept it since it’s not a mandatory mission. I have the right to veto.”
『You’re going to accept the request, right?』
“No. Like I said, it’s not a mandatory mission, so I have the right to refuse–”
『You’re. Going. To accept. The Request. Right?』
“Why the heck are you just looping the same response!?”
That flat and emotionless tone of yours is scary, so can you please stop that, lady? Or rather, she was acting more forceful than usual. And I’m scared because my bad feeling seems to be right on the money again. There hasn’t been a single instance where I managed to avoid trouble when getting these sorts of premonitions before.
“Anyway, I’ll hear you out at least. I’ll switch the call to holo-image mode, okay?”
With Col. Serena’s consent, I switched the call over from the portable data terminal to the holo-display installed inside our hotel room. The image of a very sullen Col. Serena was projected from the holo-display.
“You look like you’re in a very bad mood again……”
“But Col. Serena always manages to look pretty in any expression, right……?”
“She’s a fellow woman of class.”
The girls quietly whispered to each other. I’m not sure if Col. Serena can hear them, but just leave it at that, guys. Well, it’s not like they’re slandering her anyway, so I don’t think there would be a problem even if she heard them.
“So, what are the details of this request?”
“Are you kidding me? I’m gonna cut the call.”
『Right now, that’s the only response I can give. Please wait for the official request to get sent by the Mercenary Guild.』
“If that’s the case, then what’s the point of you calling me right now? If you can’t even talk about it, how am I supposed to respond?”
『Do you understand what I felt when I was told to persuade you in advance because we have a supposedly ‘close personal relationship’?』
Col. Serena smiled. But it was scary because her eyes weren’t smiling at all.
“My condolences, but you’re already a colonel, right? Are they still pushing those kinds of jobs for lower-ranking officers to you even after you got promoted?”
『You’re a Gold Star recipient, Platinum ranker, and an honorary imperial viscount, so you’re a lot more powerful and influential than you think. It’s to an extent that even high-ranking imperial military officers hesitated to contact you themselves and went to the trouble of pushing the job to someone like me who has a ‘personal friendship’ with you.』
“Is that so? Well, I suppose this is better than someone I don’t know suddenly dropping something like this on me.”
『Well then, I take it that you’re going to take up this time’s request?』
“That’s a different story altogether, colonel.”
Both the colonel and I fell silent. We gazed at each other expressionlessly. But no matter how much she stares at me I won’t budge until I hear the details of the job.
“I don’t care if it’s confidential. I won’t be able to decide whether or not I’d take the job until I know the details of the request and the offered rewards. That’s just common sense.”
It’s not like we were like other mercenaries who often didn’t know whether or not they’d be able to earn enough for a decent meal. We had more than enough funds to stay at a decent hotel for a few months, and once the maintenance of the ships is done, we can just choose a suitable star system and travel there. Then we’d be able to make as much money as we like by hunting space pirates. There’s no reason to accept a mysterious request from the military that had unknown risks.
『That’s true. Actually, I think so too.』
“So, this talk is over then.”
『It can’t be helped. By the way, did you know that a murder case occurred in the upper-class commercial district of this colony?』
Was this related to that metallic spider I fought earlier? Even if it wasn’t, hearing information like this always doesn’t lead to anything good.
The direction of the talk has changed. I wonder what kind of story would pop out from here.
『It seems the security team had managed to suppress the criminal eventually, but by then, as many as seven colony citizens have already been killed. I’ll need to change to another topic for a bit. It seems a research vessel that had recently returned from an exploration mission conducted on the Edge World arrived at the port of this colony a few days earlier and brought back a lot of interesting items. And it seems one of those items was bought by a store in the upper-class commercial district. And the citizens who ended up being murdered include the employees of that store, the shop owner, and some customers who happened to be shopping there when the crime happened.』
“Ugh. It instantly turned into something really shady.”
No matter how you slice it, this matter was probably related to that research vessel, and by extension, the Edge World. So, in other words, the contents of this time’s request were probably related to the Edge World as well.
The Edge World was the so-called furthest imperial frontier and was just recently incorporated into the empire. It was the site of the current expansion efforts of the Graccan empire. It was also an area where imperial law was still loosely imposed, and as a consequence, was a haunt of many dangerous space pirates and space monsters. Other than those, there were other dangers such as secret interference by other hostile nations, undiscovered (and possibly hostile) alien lifeforms, and illegal outlaw ‘kingdoms’.
“I see. So, they’re trying to build up the Mobile Independent Anti-pirate Fleet in order to send it all the way to the Edge World to establish imperial control all at once huh. And furthermore, they managed to find some interesting alien artifacts there, so you guys were also told to collect anything and everything that seems worth collecting, right?”
『You sure have a very active imagination, Captain Hiro. For now, let’s just say my superiors believe that the imperial army, or rather, I, have figured out how to make effective use of someone like you.』
So, she wouldn’t be able to disclose any more details huh. However, judging from the flow of the conversation so far, if I decide to accept the request, I’ll be placed under the command of Col. Serena again.
Well, Col. Serena should be more or less accustomed to how I operate, and I was also used to her style as well. She probably won’t order me to do overly crazy stuff…… No, she actually might huh. Anyway, they probably wouldn’t be too unreasonable. I hope.
“I’ll consider it. The rest depends on the conditions. I did promise you after all.”
『For the time being, I’ll just accept this response. Well then, if you’ll excuse me.』
Col. Serena cut off the call.
“So? Are you going to accept the job?”
“I wonder. Just like I said, it depends on the conditions. If it’s gonna let us earn a lot of Enels, there’s no reason to go out of our way to decline.”
I shrugged my shoulders and replied to Elma.
Doing a job where we’ll get a steady salary even if we just stayed on stand-by and earn extra depending on how much work we do was certainly a lot better than just chasing around small-fry space pirates. Since we’ve splurged quite a bit during our stay in this colony, it wasn’t a bad idea to earn some big money at this point.
“What preparations do we need to make if we’re going to the Edge World, Hiro-sama?”
“I don’t think we’ll need to worry about the replenishment of ammunition, armor, structural materials, and the minimum amount of food needed for our day-to-day lives since we’ll be working for the imperial military. But we might run out of other daily necessities and luxury items if we end up staying there for an extended period of time.”
“I see. Then, depending on the details of the request, I’ll consult with Mei-san and procure the appropriate number of needed supplies.”
“I think I need to go ahead with my pilot proficiency training for the Antlion. I wouldn’t want to deploy without any practice.”
“Um, I will…… Uu. Whatever should I do?”
Mimi and Elma were already accustomed to making their own judgments about what to do to prepare for each new request, but the rather inexperienced Kugi wasn’t able to make such decisions. Well, of course, she wouldn’t. That’s only natural.
“Well, do you want to train as an operator first so you can support Mimi later on?”
Mimi was planning to gain experience as a sub-pilot in the future. Eventually, she will switch from operator to sub-pilot, so we needed someone to take over the vacant operator position.
Well, that still depends on Kugi’s affinity for the job…… Mimi was able to learn how to be a proper operator in just a short time due to her efforts, but it might not turn out that way for Kugi. There’s also the possibility of Mimi having no talent for being a sub-pilot. In that case, it might be possible to consider having Kugi train to be a sub-pilot instead. Man, there’s a lot I need to consider huh.
Thanks for the treat.
Selena is back, after a break of a couple chapters. Looks like the murder ballz got even her involved.
Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!
Welp thus begins the Alien portion of the LN
Grazzi tax-xogħol tajjeb kollu mal-kontenut. Żomm ix-xogħol it-tajjeb.
Edge World? Clue to alternate earth?
No. Edge in this case is frontier
It is the edge of known space and the world is in the process of being assimilated by the empire.
Currently imperial presence is light so the environment is Wild West in space.