104 – Conclusion
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“……We will take that man into custody.”
Earl Daleinwald declared his decision with a stern countenance and signaled the maids and butlers at his side with a glance. The maids and butlers started to take action in a fluster in response to the Earl’s gaze. One of them brought out something resembling a choker and snapped it on the neck of the dual-wielding bastard.
One maid retrieved the long and short swords the guy had, which flung into a corner of the room during the battle, placed them back in their scabbards, and brought them over to me. What’s this?
“I have some misgivings regarding your battle methods, but it remains a fact that you and your equipment were the ones who led to the defeat of this man. Those swords can be counted as your spoils of battle.”
“……I don’t get it. What’s up with this, May?”
“There are several methods to resolve strife between nobles, but the one Balthazar Daleinwald chose for this occasion was a sword duel. In the end, we barged in on the duel between Earl Daleinwald and his son, and ended up defeating him. This can be counted as Earl Daleinwald’s win, and Balthazar’s fate, including his life or death, will now be decided by him. It is also customary for the winner of a duel between nobles to claim the loser’s prided swords for his or her own. Despite our intervention being an irregular factor, it remains a fact that without us, Earl Daleinwald would have lost to his son. That is why they are presenting Master the swords as a prize for our assistance.”
“I see. Those rules are a bit way over my head, but I more or less get it. So it’s okay if we take these, right?”
“I presume so, Master.”
If May says it’s fine, then I guess it is. And so, I gratefully received the swords the maid-san presented to me. It looked a bit awkward because I was still wearing power armor though. A sumo wrestler-based power armor wielding swords is yet another surreal sight.
“So what’s gonna happen to that guy?”
“We will handle his matter with the appropriate measures.”
After a curt reply, Earl Daleinwald turned on his heels and walked out of the room. The maid and butler-sans hurriedly followed after him. After sending them off with my gaze, I proceeded to pick up the splitter laser gun I threw earlier as well as the cut off half of the other one. The weapons can be mounted on my power armor’s back. I dunno what sort of weird tech is used, but they just automatically float and attach to the weapons rack just like in mecha anime or games.
Just kidding. The weapons rack is equipped with auto controlled sub-arms. It just looks like what happens in anime and games from the front. I only carry my laser gun most of the time, but this world does have things like tactical armor. I saw some in an online store, so there’s no mistake.
“It’s been hard on you, Hiro-sama.”
Chris approached me as I was busy recovering my stuff.
“Yeah. You too. You’re not hurt, are you?”
“No, I’m okay.”
I saw something hung on Chris’s hip which she didn’t have before. It was a knife… No, it was a bit longer than your average knife. A self-defense dagger huh.
“I’d actually like to pat your head, but I’m still wearing power armor y’see. Anyway, I’m glad you’re okay, Chris.”
“It’s all thanks to Hiro-sama. We finally managed to resolve this whole ordeal without me having to use my dagger.”
“I’ll refrain from asking how exactly you planned on using that thing.”
If it’s anything like what I’m familiar with back on Earth, those types of self defense daggers can also be used as a last resort to protect a woman’s dignity in hopeless situations. In other words, they’re used for voluntary suicide. If Earl Daleinwald lost and I didn’t arrive in time to rescue her, Chris would probably choose to end her own life rather than being disgraced.
“Oh, right. Gotta contact Elma and Mimi…… Hey, Elma, Mimi, we’re finished here. As for Balthazar Daleinwald… Yeah, we didn’t manage to kill him, but he’s been apprehended. Earl Daleinwald’s men placed something that looked like a metal choker on his neck.”
『Gotcha. So you didn’t finish him off huh?』
“We barged into his duel with Earl Daleinwald, and May crushed his legs in the end. He fainted and is now in custody. I asked if we should finish him off, but the Earl decided against it and just captured the guy.”
『I see. Are you and May alright?』
“Yep. One of my splitter laser guns got cut clean in half though.”
『Well, that’s unlucky. But I’m glad the only casualty was your laser gun. It’s way better than you getting cut in two, right?』
With that crazy sharpness, my power armor would have been really split in half. Hooray for energy shields!
『Please come back safely, Hiro-sama.』
“Yeah. Let’s have a feast tonight to celebrate. At least, we can finally breathe easy now.”
I suddenly remembered something after hearing Mimi’s cheerful reply.
“Right, do you want to come with us to the ship, Chris? We’re gonna have a celebration party of sorts for taking down that Balthazar.”
“A party? That sounds nice. Thank you for inviting me, Hiro-sama. I’ll gladly join you all.”
“Even though I say it’s a party, we’ll just have the auto-cooker make a bunch of things as usual. If you’re fine with that, then by all means, come over my princess.”
“Yes. I will obtain permission from grandfather no matter what.”
After saying so, Chris balled her fists and pumped herself up. She’s already acting similar to Mimi huh… Well, they did spend quite some time as roommates, so it’s no wonder she picked that gesture up.
“Oh yeah. What about the fighting outside?”
『It looks like they already announced Balthazar’s defeat, so the fighting has stopped. Some ships surrendered, while some attempted to flee.』
“I see. Guess I’ll head back then. Hey Chris, we parked Krishna on this ship’s hangar, so come over once you get permission, alright. May, I’ll leave escorting Chris to you.”
“Alright. I will see you later, Hiro-sama.”
We’ve already handled Balthazar, so I think it’s fine already, but I’ll have May accompany Chris just in case. Well, even without May’s escort, there’s still those laser gun and rifle-wielding maids and butlers though. But I decided to relieve May of her bulky laser launcher and will be bringing it back along with the other equipment.
I checked with the ship personnel if there was still some fighting going on in other sections of the ship, but they confirmed that the enemies have all been eliminated, so I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“Man. I feel exhausted.”
Maybe it’s because we apprehended the ringleader going after Chris, but I couldn’t help but relax my guard. How do I put it? I just feel kinda drained by this whole fiasco so I couldn’t help but want to finally relax. I know I should still keep a minimum amount of vigilance, but I couldn’t help it. I gotta get my act together.
I walked with lumbering steps that attracted the attention of the maid and butler-sans I passed by until I made it back to the hangar. The escort fighters stationed on the ship started to return as well.
There were units that were pretty much unscathed aside from a few nicks and there were some that were so beat up, it was a wonder how they actually made it back. The fighter escorts were your standard imperial fighter model.
They sported two mounted multi-cannons and two seeker missile pods on each wing. They had great speed and maneuverability. Their armor was virtually paper thin, but nevertheless, they were excellent units overall.
Mercenaries tend to prefer models with greater cruising range and cargo capacity though. But there were also some mercs who preferred these models instead. They looked like badass sci-fi fighter planes and were quite cool.
Krishna towered over all of them though, and was pretty conspicuous. It was classified as a high-speed small combat craft, but its overall size was actually quite close to medium-sized ships. Its specs and combat abilities was another matter altogether though.
I walked through the hangar, which was busy with mechanics heading to and fro for maintenance and repairs, as well as personnel aiding the injured fighter pilots, and headed back toward Krishna. Since I was carrying a bulky laser launcher, I had to be careful not to accidentally injure the personnel running around inside the hangar. They also cleared the way for me, so I managed to pass through without any incident.
I went up the ramp, went through the hatch, and made it back to Krishna’s cargo bay, where Elma and Mimi were waiting.
“I’m back. Anyway, I’ll get out of my power armor first.”
Mimi followed after me as I went to park the power armor. I didn’t really get injured, but she still acted worried. I went over to the armory and placed the laser launcher back on the weapons rack. I then tossed the destroyed splitter gun inside the junk box and parked the power armor.
“Puhaaa! Freedom at last!”
“Good work, Hiro-sama!”
I took the towel Mimi handed over and wiped my head to get rid of all the sweat. The power armor has an air conditioning unit installed, but going through an intense firefight still made me sweat a lot.
“Thanks, Mimi. Oh, right. Get a load of these.”
I took down the swords I got as trophies from defeating Balthazar and showed them to Mimi.
“Swords? These are the ones used by nobles, right?”
“Yep. May and I beat Balthazar up together, and Earl Daleinwald gave them to us as a reward.”
“Can you really obtain these just like that…?”
Mimi displayed a perplexed expression. Yeah. I kinda get that. I was confused about it too. But there’s no use worrying since I already brought them back anyway. It looks like they weren’t against me taking them, and May also said it was okay.
“Well, I was reluctant to receive them at first, but they insisted, so…”
Mimi switched from being perplexed to being curious. To Mimi, these swords were the very symbols of nobility. In other words, they were things only those who ruled above the masses possessed. In Japan, they are kinda like the badges worn by national diet members, I guess. Uh, that example might be a little off. A-Anyway, they are not something your average joe can have.
“Do you want to check them out?”
“Is it okay?”
“Sure. Here you go. Oh, and be careful since it’s really sharp.”
I handed the short sword to Mimi while I checked out the long sword.
Fumu. It was surprisingly thinner than I expected. It was at least thinner than the sword Lieutenant Commander Serena had. But I guess its sharpness was about the same huh. I haven’t really seen these swords in action apart from today, so I can’t say for sure. It was double-edged. The blade wasn’t that wide, and the point was sharp.
I guess they prioritized speed and handling instead of power when they made this huh. Well, the thickness of the blade doesn’t matter much if they focused on sharpness, so I guess being lightweight and easy to handle is better.
“They look quite grand, don’t they?”
“Really? Hm. Maybe.”
I exchanged items with Mimi and checked out the short sword next. This one was thicker compared to the long sword. It may be just as sharp, but it kinda looked more solid over all. This wasn’t made for attacking, but defending instead.
“…What are you guys doing over there?”
We turned toward the entrance of the armory and found an exasperated Elma with her hands on her hips. I held the short sword aloft so she can take a better look at it.
“Do you want to check out the spoils as well?”
“Spoils huh…… Did you receive those from the Earl?”
“Yep. May and I beat up Balthazar and rescued Earl Daleinwald, so he rewarded us with these.”
“You’re talking like it’s no big deal……”
Elma displayed a pondering expression as she eyed the swords.
“Was it bad for me to take them?”
“No, it’s not like that, but…… Well, I guess it’s up to the other party to decide what to make of this. It’s not like we can do much about a noble’s whims. Anyway, what about our preparations for tonight’s celebration? Just put away those dangerous-looking things and let’s get to it, you two. But first, take a shower Hiro. You stink of sweat.”
“Okay, I got it.”
I listened to Mama Elma and obediently put away the swords inside the weapon case, then walked out of the cargo bay. Mimi and Elma stayed to take out the foodstuffs and beverages. I went for a shower as Elma suggested.
After showering, it’s straight to partying baby!