409 – Next Objective


After meeting up with Hartmut, Elma and I excused ourselves using the pretext that we didn’t want to intrude any further since they must be busy dealing with the pandemic, left the upper district entirely, and started headed for our next objective.

“Entering and leaving the colony is pretty troublesome, but it seems like you can actually sightsee, or rather, just stroll around the upper district without any problems. The fact that it’s close to the spaceport is also a plus.”

“Right. The public order here seems to be good, and there’s also no danger of getting infected. But is that really advisable? In this sort of situation?”

“Probably not.”

If we were planning an extended stay, it’s probably gonna be necessary to go outside the ship and take a breather occasionally, but we weren’t planning to stick around that long, so it didn’t make sense to go out of our way to take the risk and sightsee. And due to the ongoing pandemic, the availability of goods and supplies was being affected. As a result, the prices of goods and services were gradually increasing. It was honestly not worth the expense. And finally, the upper district being mostly clean didn’t actually mean there was absolutely no chance of getting infected here.

“I should probably get in touch with the others now…… Can you read me, guys? We’re about to pass the gate and head for our other objective.”

『Yes, Master. Our connection is stable. Please be careful.』

When I used the command link function installed in my combat helmet to contact Black Lotus before passing through the gate between the upper and lower districts, I heard Mei’s voice reply to me immediately. It looks like the connection didn’t have any problems. Good. I’ll test the video feed next.

『The video’s coming through as well…… Wow. The atmosphere’s kinda oppressive.』

“Hiro here was actually worried that a riot might break out earlier.”

“Well, I can’t deny that, but don’t say something like that out loud, okay……?”

“It’s not like they’re gonna get angry if they heard something like that, so it’s fine.”

『Hahaha, Elma’s really quite gutsy.』

Elma being gutsy huh……? Well, I suppose that’s one way to put it. She really does display a tough and no-nonsense attitude often. I suppose you can call her character the gutsy heroine-type. But far from being a heroine, she was comparatively more docile in bed though.


“Oh, nothing.”

As I gazed at her side profile while we were getting examined before passing through the gate, Elma responded by glaring at me. I wasn’t thinking of anything particularly weird y’know? I tried to make excuses inwardly, but it looks like she was still somewhat suspicious of me. I believe that my combat helmet’s visor wasn’t transparent right now, so Elma shouldn’t have been able to notice that I was gazing at her. Just how was she able to pinpoint my exact line of sight? Uncanny.

“The examination is complete. Please be careful out there.”


Compared to when we entered, the examination before leaving the upper district was faster. Well, I suppose that’s a given. It’s not like we were carrying a lot of baggage, and the only stuff they needed to check were our weapons.

Incidentally, we only brought a few pieces of equipment with us this time around. I sported my usual short and long swords, my laser gun, a spare energy pack, and an emergency medical nanomachine unit in case I got injured. Elma’s equipment loadout was mostly the same as mine aside from the swords. Other than those, we also brought our portable information terminals and some calorie bars just in case something happens later that prevents us from coming back to the ship and having a proper meal.

Actually, we had other emergency rations that were more portable, but they were so bad that they were stored in the Black Lotus as a last result.

Eh? What kind of rations were they? Well, they were basically like slightly large nutrition tablets that you can take with water. Once taken, they’d make you feel full for a whole day. They react with water and expand in volume inside your stomach, resulting in that feeling of fullness. They were basically tasteless though.

“Please navigate us to the target destination.”

『Got it! I’ll display the minimap and locator on the visor of your combat helmet, Hiro-sama.』

As soon as Mimi said so, the minimap popped up on my combat helmet’s visor. The minimap was, as its name suggested, a small map. The locator was an auxiliary function of the minimap that visually indicated specific locations on it. To put it simply, the path to an objective was displayed on the minimap as a highlighted line. We weren’t heading to some kind of planetary mining ship, right? That pathogen won’t suddenly mutate and start to reanimate corpses, will it?

“So, where exactly are we going anyway? Oh, I don’t mean the general area. I wanna know what kind of building or facility we’re heading to.”

『Oh, did I forget ta mention it, Boss? Mm, how should I put it? An orphanage? Nursery? Well, somethin’ along those lines anyway.』

“You don’t sound quite sure.”

“But aren’t we heading to an area with really poor public order……?”

『Nee-san, no matter how bad the public order is, as long as there are men and women, children’ll still get born. And some of them get thrown away cuz their parents can’t afford to raise them. But the government doesn’t like it when dead children are just left out in the open. And the less-upstandin’ folks don’t wanna give the government any reasons to officially intrude on their interests. That’s why such a place was basically created by them. It takes in such children so the number of those dyin’ a dog’s death out in the streets were kept to a minimum at least.』

“That’s good, I guess?”

『It does not sound like a good situation for those poor children to be in either……』

『Well, no matter what, ya can’t really avoid the influence of those shady folks. But since some of those guys also lived in the facility at some point, the situation ain’t as bad as it can be fer the most part.』

“Things in this world can’t really be divided cleanly into good and evil after all.”

I’m not sure how many underground criminal factions were active in this colony’s lower district, but judging from Tina’s descriptions, the orphanage or nursery we were about to head to was a sort of non-aggression zone, buffer zone, or neutral zone for them.

“And you were also under their care for a time, Tina?”

『Nn, well…… I suppose. They did take care of me, or rather, I owe them a lot. ……Anyway, a lot’s happened in the past. I do have more acquaintances here, but I’m most worried about them right now.』

“What about those other acquaintances?”

『I’m worried about them too, but we’re all adults now. That means they gotta wipe their own behinds fer the most part. Rather than that, I just wanna focus on those that need help the most…… That’s what I’m thinkin’ anyway.』

“I see.”

I wasn’t sure about how exactly Tina and the orphanage facility were connected, but based on what she said earlier, I can surmise that the facility was treading a very fine line. It was in a very precarious position. And now that the power balance between the various underground criminal organizations has likely collapsed due to the pandemic, there’s no telling what could have happened to them.

“Anyway, we should just head there first before deciding our next course of action.”

“Right. But let’s not rush things.”

“Aye, aye, ma’am.”

We’ll get there eventually as long as we followed the direction of the locator. It was a little far so I would like to secure a ride first, but…… if that’s not possible, then I guess we just gotta walk.

“……This is the place, right?”

“The minimap’s locator is indicating this building, so yes.”

We spent thirty to forty minutes walking before finally reaching our target destination. We reached it without any problems through the guidance of the rest of the crew in the Lotus. However……

“It’s quite battered.”

“There are also obvious laser marks left on the outer walls.”

The outside of the building was already in utter tatters. An intense fight probably broke out here. The scorch marks were likely from lethal high-output laser weaponry, and the traces of reddish black substances scattered here and there were perhaps blood stains. There was most likely an intense battle between a force that hunkered down near the entrance of the building and one stationed near the alley facing the building.

『……Boss, can you enter inside? I wanna find out what happened. Please.』

“Gotcha. Hey, Elma.”

“I’ll back you up.”

It may be because of the battle traces, but the surroundings were literally deserted. Even after approaching the building, there were no signs of anyone checking us out. Hence, the residents of the other nearby buildings probably either ran away or were hiding and trying their best not to get involved in the mess.

I placed my right hand on the hilt of my long sword, opened the door of the building with my left, and stepped inside.


When I began to concentrate my senses, I felt several signs of life within the building. Kugi had fully awakened my psionic abilities, so since then, I’ve been doing something akin to training from time to time. Just recently, I’ve become able to catch the presence of living things quite clearly as long as they were close enough. To be exact, I was able to sense their mental waves. I can sense them even through armor or walls that were able to withstand direct hits from a combat ship’s laser cannon.

“How is it?”

“I sense several people inside. There are probably three or four adults among them. The rest are children. There seem to be at least seven children. This is just my speculation, but I suspect some of them are quite ill.”

The life signs of some of them were clearly weak. They didn’t seem to be purposefully trying to hide their presence either. They were simply too weak.

“I think stepping inside without warning will be pretty dangerous.”

“That’s true. Shall we call out to them first then?”

This place was connected to the criminal elements of this colony after all. And judging from the signs of devastation outside the building, it was highly possible that at least some of the people inside we armed with weapons. Moreover, they were probably lethal high-output laser guns. Even a child can kill an adult with a laser gun, so it wouldn’t hurt to be careful.

I left my back to Elma and proceeded to the interior of the facility, toward the room where I sensed the presence of people. Hmm. There were no obvious battle traces inside the facility itself huh? It was slightly dirty, but there were no signs of it being roughed up. Were they able to prevent the enemy from intruding inside? Or perhaps the defenders got wiped out at the entrance, and the other force was able to successfully intrude inside without any resistance.

“It’s here.”

“Should we knock?”

“No, let’s just call out to them. And it seems they’ve already noticed our footsteps anyway…… Hey, can you hear me in there? I was asked by an acquaintance of yours to check up on you guys. Can you open the door and let us in for a bit?”

There was no response. I think they were probably hesitating about what they’d do because there were signs of a commotion occurring inside.

『Boss, tell them the red-haired repair lady sent ya.』

“Okay. The acquaintance I mentioned is the red-haired repair lady. She asked us to see how you guys were doing. Anyway, I swear we mean you no harm.”

There was another commotion on the other side, and before long, the door was finally unlocked.

“……Don’t make any suspicious moves.”


The door finally opened, and a spunky-looking boy peeked out from the inside. He held a small laser gun in his hand. Yep, they were definitely armed alright.

Since he only went up to my chest, I was able to get a peek inside the room, and what I saw was alarming. Everyone except for the boy looked clearly unwell, and among them, the adults, in particular, seemed exhausted to the point that they were unable to get up anymore.

“That’s quite a sorry sight.”

“Well, I’ll be damned. What a mess. Oh, Mei. Can you please hold Tina back and make sure she doesn’t do anything rash.”

『Understood, Elma-sama. I am already doing so.』

『Let go of meee–!』

『Calm down, Big Sis–!』

Tina and Wiska’s raised voices can be heard clearly through the comms. I understood where Tina was coming from, but for the time being, there wasn’t anything much that she can do even if she rushed here in person, so I hope she can calm down first.

“Can we speak with them?”

“……If it’s just talking, then probably.”

When I asked the boy if it was possible to talk to the adults lying at the back of the room, he nodded affirmatively. If that’s the case, I suppose it will be better to do something about the adult’s weakened states first so we can talk properly.

However, why was this boy still looking quite spry despite only wearing a regular mask? Was he gifted with a super-strong immune system from birth or something? Anyway, we need to do something about the weakened people first before anything else.

Novel Schedule

I Woke Up Piloting the Strongest Starship, so I Became a Space Mercenary

Schedule will be reduced when the goal is reached

Balance: 0

Comments (6)

  1. Seven

    At the state this is going, I know it has a good chance of not happening, but I really hope that by the time Hiro and the others leave this colony that it’s already on it’s way to making a full recovery.
    I’m a sucker for stories/novels with characters helping others, especially the weak ones after all.

  2. aristocrat

    Oh no. It is the last of us. He’s immune.

    1. GoingAway

      I hope Hiro doesn’t get killed with a golf club.

  3. Philips

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

  4. Hikikomori

    Thanks for the treat.

  5. mikoreimu

    hope it wont evolve into some nurgle infestation

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