Editor: Thor’s Stone
The next day.
“Oh…… Good morning. Uh, do you want to have breakfast? If you’re not feeling up to it, how about drinking some coffee?”
“I’ll have tea please……”
Col. Serena, who gave off a listless aura, visited Black Lotus early in the morning. I just finished dressing up and haven’t had breakfast or performed my regular morning exercises yet.
I don’t remember allowing her to board the ship, but Mei was here anyway. With her keeping watch, she’d be able to deal with things easily even if Col. Serena does have some kind of malicious intent. That’s probably why Mei allowed Col. Serena onboard under the condition that she would accompany the latter.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Mei brought me my breakfast and Col. Serena’s tea. My breakfast today consisted of a large helping of rice, stir-fried meat and veggies, tamagoyaki, and boiled greens. It was a hearty Japanese-style breakfast without any soup.
I got busy with Elma last night, so that’s probably why the portions of today’s breakfast were larger than usual…… Just how did Tetsujin V get ahold of that info in the first place? Perhaps it got Mei involved? Yeah, that’s probably it. By the way, Elma was still sleeping peacefully.
“You sure have a good appetite even though it’s just morning……”
“That’s because I’m gonna go work out after this. And even if that wasn’t the case, isn’t it normal to eat a hearty breakfast in order to improve your energy levels throughout the rest of the day? So? It’s rare for you to visit this early in the morning.”
Was she simply just too free that she has the leeway to loaf around here so early in the morning? I looked at her suspiciously. Col. Serena took a sip of the tea Mei prepared for her, sighed heavily, and spoke after a pretty lengthy pause.
“……Please lend Kugi-san to me.”
“Eh……? Well, it’s Kugi, so she’ll probably agree obediently if I do tell her to cooperate with you, but I personally don’t have any reason to simply go along with what you want, Colonel.”
“Please don’t bully me…… I really am quite troubled right now.”
“I have nothing against helping out an acquaintance, but I also have to consider the safety of my crew members. I’m their captain after all.”
I didn’t have any intention of bullying her at all. Or rather, this woman really did seem quite desperate if she’s cornered enough to complain cutely about me bullying her in this situation.
“It does bother me seeing you so weak-willed, but tears aren’t gonna be enough to persuade me. Since this matter is related to a classified military mission, there need to be proper procedures if you want to involve civilians, even if we’re working as mercenaries. After all, won’t we get disposed of if we mess up?”
“I know, I know, okay…… However, this world isn’t so reasonable that things can always proceed in an open and aboveboard manner. That’s why I came here in secret in order to beg for your cooperation.”
“Is that really something a high-ranking military officer should say……?”
I couldn’t help but smile bitterly. Well, Kugi and I have already pretty gotten ourselves involved in all this shady stuff in the first place, and there’s a saying that if you’ve already swallowed poison, just swallow the plate as well. To be honest, I don’t really see any benefits for us in this matter and don’t wanna get involved any further. Even if you can chalk it up to being unable to communicate with the other party due to how unique their communication method was, the empire still did end up seizing those spheres that may possibly be members of an intelligent race, and even destroyed several of them.
If those spheres really were proven to be intelligent lifeforms whose means of communication was telepathy, the Graccan empire would be charged with violating the Universal Culture Preservation Law. It would become a huge international issue for sure. There was no guarantee that the empire won’t decide to get rid of me and Kugi in order to prevent that from happening.
“I do understand what you’re worried about, but you’re still a Platinum ranker of the Mercenary Guild and an honorary imperial viscount. You’ve even been awarded a Gold Star by the empire. There is no way the empire would be able to get rid of you without serious consequences. That’s why please rest assured.”
“……I haven’t said anything yet y’know.”
“I more or less understand how you think. We’ve already known each other for quite some time now…… You really do hold strong suspicion toward the empire, or rather, the authorities in general.”
“I make it a point to never underestimate another party after all.”
“It’s good not to underestimate other people or institutions, but I think you also need to have better self-awareness.”
Col. Serena stared at me with reddened eyes. Being careful was one of my strong suits. So, get off my case, lady.
“I’m fine with cooperating, but it definitely won’t be for free. Also, I won’t allow Kugi to come with you alone. At the very least, I or Mei should accompany her. In addition, this particular matter is gonna cost you a lot. I propose a daily payout of 50,000 Enels including a non-disclosure agreement.”
“……Isn’t that a bit too outrageous?”
“It’s already quite cheap in my opinion. The cost of hiring a Platinum ranker can go up to 200,000 Enels per day you know? And while Kugi is working with you guys, either the Krishna or the Black Lotus wouldn’t be able to sortie. In other words, the whole team would be stranded here.”
“But you’re already being paid a lot by the Mercenary Guild, right?”
“That’s that and this is this. Considering the confidentiality fee and the loss of our regular earnings due to being unable to sortie, I think 50,000 per day is pretty reasonable. Or rather, wouldn’t paying 50,000 per day as hush money make your higher-ups feel a lot more reassured?”
The reward money for hunting down pirates in the Edge World was set a lot higher than the amounts offered in other star systems. You’d earn 50k in no time by just shooting down three ships.
“……You do have a point.”
Col. Serena displayed a hesitant expression and eventually sighed in defeat.
“It would be better if you pay me using something untraceable. Like rare metal ingots.”
“……My head hurts.”
“Being a high-ranking officer sure is tough huh.”
Col. Serena was mostly an honorable and upright person. She wasn’t your typical noble who’s used to more underhanded methods to get their way, so I suppose she wasn’t that agreeable to this kind of back-door deal.
That said, this would serve as a good experience for her since she’s going to encounter more of these sorts of situations while serving as a colonel of the imperial military. Probably, anyway. I’m not really sure though.
“Those spheres are currently secured and restrained, right? Are they inside the Restalias?”
“……Well, yes, that’s right. We modified a part of the Restalias’ cargo hold and put up a temporary containment, analysis, and research facility. We’ve also invited researchers onboard.”
“I see. Then we’ll head over once we’re ready.”
Kugi and Mimi woke up earlier than me and should be working out in the training room right now. I’ll contact them and tell Kugi to get ready. We’ll then head to the temporary research facility together. Oh, ‘that thing’ might come in handy so I guess I’ll bring ‘it’ with me as well. Tina and Wiska may be able to give some meaningful opinions about the sphere as well, so if Col. Serena gives permission, why not take them with me too?
“Sorry for abducting and killing a bunch of you, uber metal spider bros. Water under the bridge?”
Regardless of intent, they were destroyed while in the process of rampages causing material damages and personal injury/deaths.
Goes both ways, but justifiable response in defence is not the same as wilful attack and murder.
If I was abducted and sent to another solar system I’d probably rampage a bit
While true they could have been considered abducted, in all cases we have seen and heard about are the spider bros waking up in antique stores and open marketplace settings and going batshit crazy. So at most they only had the walls of businesses between them and open air.
OTOH i cant imagine many people reacting well to an unknown spider adjacent being “hatching” in front of them. With no method to communicate any action either side took would seem threatening and result with both sides reacting as described in chapter.
To be fair, those uber metal spider bros were fighting back, and since most means of combat, containment (I think they can tear down most walls, so only heavily shielded stuff can lock them up) and communication don’t work on them, it’s like a disaster in ball form (or spider).
Headaches again, maybe col. Serena recently went through another body improvement procedure (or whatever it was called) to improve her brain and/or processing capacity (since her fleet grew). Well, she might be using this headache to try to get on Hiro’s good side, making him pity her. Doesn’t always work, lol.
Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!
Oh, it seems like a nice chance to see that doctor from back then?
Thanks for the chapters.
Thanks for the treat.
Grazzi għall-isforz kollu tiegħek mal-kontenut. Żomm ix-xogħol it-tajjeb.
Serena really is the one to pity, out of all of the main characters. Not that she’s pitiful (that is something entirely different) – just deserving of pity.
Thanks for the chapters.
“We’ve also invited researchers onboard.”
Doctor coming back?
I remember about Hiro thinking about spacial monsters in one of the first chapters and I remember very well that he mentioned the cristal left forms and somemmonsters spiders plague.
Probably the author forgot about it, and those spiders become the metallic spiders from this arc XD
Is it time for the tree to finally make an appearance?