Editor: Thor’s Stone
“The data storage devices you took from the pirate ships allowed us to pinpoint the location of their main base. It’s located in this sector. It’s in a spot opposite the Dauntless’ location, past this system’s parent star. To be specific, it’s in the outer edge of this system’s asteroid belt, near one of the hyperlane nodes leading to an unexplored start system.”
Col. Serena indicated a spot on the star system map displayed on the holo-screen. I see. It’s true that the Dauntless would find their location difficult to detect because the system’s parent star and the asteroid belt were in the way. The location also made it fairly easy for the pirates to catch the movements of the exploration ships returning from the unexplored star system. I wasn’t sure if their base was already located there from the start or if they built it in consideration of the Dauntless’ position. In any case, it was a well-thought-out location.
“Our scouts have already sent us the detailed coordinates of the base along with information about their equipment. It looks like they are already preparing to make their escape. Hence, we need to hurry up and subjugate them before they get away.”
Maj. Gen. Esreben’s face was illuminated by the light of the holo-screen. Mm, he definitely looks the part of a handsome protagonist. I suppose you can say that he’s giving off the charisma of a general.
“I see. We can sortie any time, but what about the rest of the force?”
“The fighter squadron of the Dauntless can sortie at any time as well.”
“Fortunately, our Independent Mobile Anti-pirate Fleet is just about ready for sortie as well. We had to deal with some things after finishing fleet maintenance and resupplying, but we’re just about done with them. Some of the mercenaries are already out hunting so we won’t be able to assemble the entire combined force, but we’ll be fine if the fighter squadron of the Dauntless participates in the operation.”
When Col. Serena commented about having to deal with some things, she briefly glanced toward me. I’m sorry, okay? I really didn’t do it on purpose y’know?
“Then it looks like we need to launch as soon as possible and quickly destroy them. Considering the scale of our combined forces, I think we’re fully capable of pushing all at once and crushing them with force. But if we want to prevent them from escaping, we’ll have to split up. The Independent Anti-pirate Mobile Fleet will serve as the main force and will be tasked with attacking them head-on from the outer edge of the asteroid belt. Then, the mercenary ships and the Dauntless’ fighter squadron will spring an ambush from within the asteroid belt and hunt them down. The support ships equipped with gravity jammers will prevent them from retreating and keep them within the vicinity of the asteroid belt.”
After saying so, I operated the holo-screen and placed icons that visually indicated my plan of attacking the pirate base from two directions. It might be a bit dangerous to fight inside the asteroid belt if the Dauntless fighter squadron wasn’t trained in such operations, but carrier-based fighters that were even smaller than small-class starships were basically designed to handle fighting in such environments and overwhelm enemies with numbers, so I think it’ll be fine. It’s a strategy that makes good use of the advantages of our combined force.
“Just why are you aware of the existence of the GJ……? Come to think of it, the number of your ships seems to have increased by one huh.”
“So, they really provided your fleet with that equipment huh, Colonel. It looks like my guess was right on the money.”
I said so and shrugged my shoulders. The use of the gravity jammer was tailored to specific situations, so I told Elma that they might get provided to Col. Serena’s fleet. After all, even if its use was limited to a few specific situations, the star system garrisons and the Independent Anti-pirate Mobile Fleet will surely find the gravity jammer extremely handy. If the jammer was deployed just as pirates initiate their attack on a civilian ship, it would be easier to catch or destroy them.
“We’ll use Captain Hiro’s plan as a reference. We’ll iron out the details ourselves.”
“Aye, aye, sir. We’ll get ready to sortie then.”
“Please do so. Needless to say……”
“I know. I won’t leak anything until the operation starts. I’m aware of that much, at least. Make sure to keep it to yourselves as well, you two.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
I turned my gaze toward Elma and Kugi, and they nodded in response. Well, even if information about the operation leaks out, I don’t think it’ll have much effect on the situation. But it was still better to prevent any leaks, in any case. Let’s be careful.
“Oh, right. What happened to that sphere you confiscated, Colonel?”
“We’re keeping it under tight watch for the time being. We’ve also proceeded with interrogating and negotiating with the related party, but it isn’t as urgent as dealing with the pirates. We’ve already secured the actual item.”
“……I hope a containment breach doesn’t happen.”
“I’m not sure why you’re worried about that, but the item has remained dormant, and we’ve placed it within a shielded container. Even a Titan-class combat bot will find it impossible to break out.”
“Sounds good. We’ll be excusing ourselves then.”
I was internally questioning if everything was really fine, but I don’t dare to blurt out my true thoughts. If I blurted it out and it ended up coming true, Col. Serena will either faint due to stress or pull out her sword and try to cut me down.
We obediently left the restricted block and returned to the Lotus. We don’t exactly know when the operation will be announced, so we took no detours this time.
“Welcome back, Hiro-sama. That was rather quick, wasn’t it?”
When we arrived back at the Lotus, we found Mimi and the mechanic sisters all staring at a tablet terminal inside the hangar. Were they checking the supplies or something?
“The talks proceeded quickly after all.”
We’ve been dealing with Col. Serena for quite some time now, and Maj. Gen. Esreben was also a pretty straightforward guy. So the discussions didn’t take long.
“Let’s start preparing to sortie. We could receive launch orders any time now, so if there are still some supplies that will take time to get delivered, just pay for them first and have them get set aside first.”
“That’s quite sudden. But we’re fine, Boss. We didn’t have that many supplies to replenish so we’ll be done soon.”
“Are we going to subjugate the pirates?”
“That’s how it is. The data storage devices we retrieved proved really useful.”
“I see…… What about that sphere?”
“It looks like they’ve temporarily put it aside. Since they’ve secured the item itself, it seems they’re proceeding with questioning the involved party. The level of urgency dropped because they were able to quickly secure the item.”
“That’s true. Anyway Boss, what kinda conclusion is Colonel Serena aimin’ for anyway?”
“I have an inkling about her objective, but I’m not sure what kind of arrangements she’ll opt for in order to achieve it.”
Tina and Wiska tilted their heads to the side. I also did the same.
I still didn’t have any idea about what kind of arrangements the colonel will settle for. The best outcome is the military being able to freely process and manufacture the shells of those sphere creatures due to their excellent properties as armor material, but will Col. Serena’s fleet that primarily hunts down pirates really be capable of achieving that goal? Her fleet basically specializes in hunting pirates, so I think they’ll be out of their element when surveying and researching an unexplored star system.
Well, the Restalias was a pretty big ship anyway. It should have enough space. If they put their mind to it, I think it’s plenty possible for them to set up a temporary research area and housing research staff.
“Colonel Serena will probably move on to that matter after the pirates are dealt with. It’s a matter that doesn’t have anything to do with us, so I don’t think we’ll need to worry about it…… I hope.”
“You know that’s basically impossible, Boss.”
“We’ll definitely get involved at some point.”
“I think so as well.”
Tina, Elma, Mimi, and Wiska immediately retorted. Only Kugi, who only met Col. Serena recently, tilted her head and displayed a puzzled expression.
I really don’t wanna get involved though. I mean, I already experienced landing on a planet in the middle of being terraformed previously. Now you’re telling me I’d probably have to land on a mysterious (and possibly dangerous) unexplored plant with unknown (possibly fatal) surprises lurking about. We’d at least encounter those deadly metal sphere creatures. I absolutely don’t wanna go. Landing on a mysterious planet housing hostile alien creatures or killer robots was a common plot of action-horror SF flicks.
“Anyway, let’s focus on discussing the countermeasures for the pirates first. The Black Lotus will most like get assigned to direct bombardment duty from the front. The Krishna will probably be part of the force that will attack from the inner depths of the asteroid belt, and the Antlion will be part of the force that will prevent the pirates from escaping. The Antlion will probably get assigned with escorts and placed together with the anti-pirate fleet ships equipped with gravity jammers, but you still have to be especially careful, Elma. The chance of the Black Lotus or Krishna not being able to support you right away if you get yourself in a pinch is quite high. So make sure you don’t overdo it.”
“I know already. You’re so overprotective, Hiro.”
“Of course. The ship can get destroyed for all I care, but make sure you don’t die. You can start over as much as you want as long as you’re alive after all.”
“Yeah, yeah. I understand. Safety first, right? I won’t take any unnecessary risks, so don’t worry.”
“It’s good that you understand. However, the Antlion won’t be able to earn much this time around huh…… I guess I’ll negotiate for a special reward or something.”
Actually, our original concept can’t be performed unless Krishna and Antlion work in concert. But since the Antlion will be using special equipment to perform a role that other ships won’t be able to, asking for a little special reward was plenty reasonable.
“That sure was a quick doubletake, Boss. Why the sudden change of heart?”
“There’s no such thing. I just don’t want to sell the services of our skills and equipment for cheap. It’s consistent with our usual policy. I also claimed compensation when they made use of you sister’s maintenance skills during an operation back then, remember?”
“Oh…… that’s true.”
Wiska displayed a faraway look when she remembered that time when they busied themselves repairing damaged mercenary ships in the middle of a great battle with crystal lifeforms. We didn’t offer the sister’s skills and the facilities of the Lotus for free back then and properly demanded payment. It’s pretty much the same thing for the Antlion.
“That’s how it is, so please prepare for launch guys. Our policy is to keep ourselves safe as always. Alright?”
“””Aye, aye, sir!”””
Most of the crew members replied together. Kugi being a bit late to respond was cute.
Preparations huh…… I guess I’ll check out my new ninja power armor. I don’t think I’ll get a chance to use it today, but I have a feeling I’d be needing it soon. Oh, boy.
Lol, the foreboding feeling of having to use that new power armor, it should be a happy and exciting moment, but considering the place and possible baddies there, well, things get interesting for the readers, not HIro, lol.
Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!
Cómo amo tus comentarios! Me encantan que siempre dan en el clavo
Thanks for the treat.
5 spring rolls on Col. Serena fainted after that egg hatched
10 spring rolls that she draws her sword on Hiro
Thanks for the chapters!
Will the egg behave until they get back. Interesting Hiro plotting out the likely bullshit he’ll have to deal with going to the source planet.
Thanks for the treat! I like this, he’s really accepting his fate at this point 🤣
Hmm…Col. Serena setting up a research center on her ship? Looking into turning these alien creatures into armor resources? Wonder if a certain beautiful genetics researcher from the early chapters might get recruited?
Now you’re telling me I’d probably have to land on a mysterious (and possibly dangerous) unexplored plant with unknown (possibly fatal) surprises
unexplored plant > unexplored planet
Thanks for the chapter
Just wanted to check, did Whiskers name change to Wiska?
Yes there was a note about it in the last few chapters somewhere, Wiska is from the official translation and based on a metallurgical thing.
Wiska, wisker, & whisker are alternate English spellings all with the same meaning
Whisker is the accepted “correct” spelling at the current time. The other spellings are obsolete, though wiska as a word meaning whisker is still heard in some English dialects.
The meaning is a stiff hair strand (cat or dog whiskers) or facial hair (beard or moustache are whiskers)
In chemistry it is a strand of material grown by deposition. Lithium Ion battery failure is often due to the growth of lithium whiskers that short circuit the cell.
In radio It is a stiff wire used to tap the antenna coil to tune in to a particular frequency when using a super heterodyne tuner.
Grazzi għall-isforz kollu tiegħek mal-kontenut. Żomm ix-xogħol it-tajjeb.
Thank you for the chapter
hello, remember in which chapter he was trapped in the forest of the elves that I read this novel a long time ago but I don’t remember the exact chapter
I wonder if Serena will be hiring the Soul Owls, similar to how she hires mercenaries? Perhaps the Dauntless will do that instead…
After all, they may want a guide to get back to where the sphere creatures were found.
I wonder what they are, too… the sphere creatures, that is. Perhaps they’re alien lifeforms that are in a state of suspended animation and their “stasis pods” double as power armour?
Thanks for all of the chapters.
I have a bad feeling about this. Like something that’s about to go terribly wrong…