016 – Shooting Star




Translator: SFBaka

“Mimi, what’s the battlefield’s current state?”

I called out to Mimi after the drones finished collecting all the loot from the ship wreckages.

“Eh? Um, err… it looks like our allied forces have the advantage for the time being.”

“Can you pinpoint the spots where our allies aren’t doing so hot?”

“U- Um… I’m sorry. I can’t.”

Yeah, I figured as much. I also mostly rely on my intuition when searching for those particular trouble spots, so her answer’s not all that surprising…

“Generally, there’s a one-on-three or one-on-four ratio between merc and pirate forces scattered all throughout the battlefield. Spots, where the pirate numbers are a bit too many for comfort, are the ones that require some support. But if the pirate numbers exceed ten, going in to act as reinforcement poses quite a bit of risk, if not outright suicidal. I think we’ll be fine even with those numbers though.”

“I see… Um, so, it should be this particular spot then, on the lower-left portion of the battlefield map. It’s close to the position of the Star System fleet, but they still seem to be struggling due to three medium-sized pirate battleships participating in the battle.”

I checked the coordinates Mimi pointed out, and it did look like our allies were having a tough time. Four mercenary ships were surrounded by over twenty small pirate craft. They also faced the aforementioned three medium-sized pirate ships. They were still managing somehow due to support fire from the military fleet, but it looks like they won’t be able to keep it up if the current situation continues.

“Alright then, we’re going to help them out Mimi. But keep your eyes on the radar so we won’t be taken by surprise. Also, make sure to hail our allies before we engage the enemies to avoid confusion.”

“Yes, I’ll do my best!”

I checked the weaponry and equipment of the hostile medium-sized pirate ships after hearing Mimi’s energetic reply.

They were also heavily modified civilian-use starships, just like the missile support cruiser we fought earlier. Pirates commonly used these types of retrofitted ships. They would attack civilian ships, disable their main thrusters, dispose of all the passengers and crew and would then take the ships for themselves.

They would then equip these ships with weaponry and defense systems plundered from mercenary and escort ships they managed to shoot down, and the result would be the patchwork pirate battleships they often used. At least, that’s how they were said to operate in Stella Online. Looks like things are pretty much the same in this world. I don’t even want to imagine what happened to the original crew of those ships.

Anyway… those modified medium-sized pirate warships are equipped with rapid-fire multi-cannons for close-range defensive fire and a medium caliber laser cannon for support bombardment. They probably operate by supporting the small attack crafts from behind through long-range laser cannon fire. The multi cannons are most likely of the auto-targeting turret cannon type.

They’ve mainly concentrated their weapon batteries on the front end of the ship, on top and on each side. They look pretty solid, at least. I’m pretty confident Krishna’s energy shields, powered by a top of the line, high-performance shield generator would be able to tank hits from these weapon batteries even if they attack simultaneously, but there’s no reason I’d go at em right from the front to begin with.

Judging from their weapon battery arrangement, their bottoms and rears are complete blind spots. They’re all modified from civilian cargo ships, so they should have large cargo holds located below deck. The chance of the pirates reinforcing their armor is pretty low, so they should be relatively defenseless in that particular area. I reckon there won’t be any unexpected nasty surprises popping out from there.

I decided on my course of action after determining their capabilities and powered down Krishna’s reactor to minimum output, turned the weapon systems offline and activated the rapid cooling system.

“It’ll get a little cold, so bear with it for a bit, alright?”

“Understood. Um, what are you planning?”

“Hm? Oh, well, us mercs don’t just fight battles head-on Mimi.”

When the temperature of the hull cooled down, the temperature inside the cockpit also started to rapidly decline. After three minutes, the air inside the cockpit turned cold to a point where my breaths expelled white vapor. I checked if Mimi was okay, but it seems her clothing really did provide ample cold-resistance. She was also breathing out white vapor, but at least she doesn’t seem too bothered by the cold.

“Alright, let’s do this.”

When I judged that the ship has cooled down sufficiently, I started to head towards the blind spot of the enemy ships using minimum thrust. The small craft and the medium-sized ships remained completely unaware of our existence.

“Why couldn’t they detect us Hiro-sama?”

“Ships engaging in active combat usually give off high heat signatures. Therefore, most folks rely on heat sensors to detect other ships during battle. There’s a lot of ship wreckages littered all over the place in battles like this, so ordinary radars just won’t cut it. That’s why it’s possible to fool the heat sensors by lowering the ship’s temperature and slipping in amongst the debris.”

This was a strategy called “Thermal Stealth” in Stella Online.

The rapid cooling system was originally intended for cooling down the ship’s temperature whenever the hull gets too heated up due to continuous laser cannon use, but the players managed to create another use for it outside its intended purpose.

“I see… So there are actually a lot of different strategies you can use.”

“It’s not something that’ll work each and every time, but it happens to be an effective strategy in our current situation.”


Once I’ve confirmed that we were completely positioned in the blind spot of the medium-sized pirate ships, I reactivated the weapon systems and aimed the pulse laser and live projectile cannons on their defenseless stomachs.

[Eh!? There’s a hostile enemy ship signature right below us! Shit, it’s completely in our blind spot!]

[What!? What the heck were you doing!? Were you actually sleeping the whole time!?]

[I was properly keeping watch boss! But it suddenly appeared out of nowhere like a goddamn ghost!]

[Don’t give me that crap! Dammit, evade! Evade you fucking idiots! F*ck, are we even gonna make it on time?!]

I fired my four pulse laser cannons simultaneously and quickly saturated their energy shields.

[Hiii! The shield!]

[Oh my f*cking god! Evasive action! Get those boosters up! Get the f*ck outta our way bastards!!!]

The live projectile cannons followed suit, pelting the wide-open bellies of the ships with countless destructive pellets, piercing through their thin armor and peppering them full of holes. Their armor really was quite weak. The projectiles seemed to have savaged their power reactors, life support modules, power conduits, and ammunition caches.

[It’s no use! We’re losing power!]

[Abandon ship! Abandon shiiip!]

Lots of small explosions occurred inside the damaged hulls of all three medium-sized pirate ships. After a final large explosion went off on each of them, they completely shut down. Three down.

“Mimi, contact the allied ships and declare our intention to reinforce them!”

“R- Right away! This is Captain Hiro’s ship, call sign Krishna. I’m his Ship Operator, Mimi. We will now proceed to aid you all as reinforcements!”

[We’re grateful for your help. It was honestly getting pretty bad earlier.]

[Chiih! We can’t let any more prey get away! We’re going all out ya bastards!]

[Nuwaaah! He’s actually with a cute female Operator!? I won’t lose godf*ckingdammit!!!]

[Hey now, you can’t just judge if she’s cute from her voice man.]

[No brah. Her voice is cute. Therefore, there’s no mistake that she’s a cute girl. Girls with cute voices definitely have cute faces too. It’s a universal truth.]

The heck. Wouldn’t these guys be fine even if I didn’t butt in to help? They sounded pretty chill, considering the situation.

“Let’s go.”

“Y- yes!”

I proceeded to deplete the enemy ship’s shields with the pulse laser cannons equipped on Krishna’s manipulator arms and finished them off with live rounds. The remaining pirates, who’ve lost the support of the three medium-sized ships, had their morale brought to rock-bottom and messed up their coordination. Their actions were a mess. It was an all you can eat pirate buffet.

[Hiiih!? This thing’s a four-armed monster!]

[Dammit! Stop that freak! Hold it down!]

[Damn you! We’ll just be torn to pieces by canister rounds if we go head-to-head with it! You do it, fucking smartass!]

[Run away! Run away! There’s no f*cking way we’ll defeat that thing!]

[What the- ?! Hey! Don’t run dammit! You’ll just be gunned down by the military battleships idiot!]

The pirate ship which tried to run away was pierced by a thick pillar of light and exploded. It was support bombardment from the system military fleet. The “cage” was finally completed and sealed shut.

“There’s no escape. You’ll all die here.”

[You die, you fucking four-armed bastaaard!]

All the remaining pirate ships turned towards Krishna and started attacking. It looks like they wanted to concentrate fire on my ship in order to bring me down. I evaded the projectiles which drew bright arcs in space with my ship’s superb maneuverability and shook off the attacking pirate ships.


After detecting hostile enemy fire, the ship AI issued a warning and displayed the ship’s overall condition through a hologram projection. The total shield depletion rate was displayed in real-time. It seems I didn’t manage to come out of that completely unscathed and the ship took a direct hit.

Mimi let out a distressed scream after seeing the projection, but I kept my cool.

We did take a direct hit. But only the first three shield layers were brought down. There are still two layers left. The shield cells would also completely replenish them in time, even if enemy fire does manage to bring the last two layers down. And even if they do manage to bring them all down, we’re still protected by layers of tough, military-grade armor. It’s definitely not cause for panic.

I’m currently unable to attack because I’m concentrating on evading enemy fire, but as a result, all the pirate’s attentions are focused on me. Any half-decent merc would definitely capitalize on this opportunity.

[Hyahaaa! It’s an all-you-can-eat ya bastards!]

[Hmph! They’ve completely ignored us. Looks like we’re being severely underestimated here.]

[Typhoon! Fox 2! Fox 2!]

[Hurricane! Fox 2! Fox 2!]

The mercenary ships, which have been driven on the defensive earlier, got their bearings together and started to shoot down the enemy pirate ships one after another. I also didn’t fancy always being a moving target, so I aimed for an opening and started fighting back by firing off my laser cannons; successfully bringing down pirate ships myself.

The large-caliber live projectile cannons were powerful but had limited, not to mention expensive, ammo. So I can’t exactly fire em without a care. The pulse laser cannons however are quite cost-effective. So if I wanted to make a tidy profit, these babies are a must.

And after less than five minutes, the situation was completely reversed, and we managed to clean up all pirate ships in the immediate area.

[Area cleared. It’s our win.]

[Man, I actually thought we were goners for a bit earlier. But we managed to turn things around when Four-arms came.]

[Nice going, Four-arms!]

Apparently, they slapped me with the nickname “Four-arms”. It kinda sounds weird though… Well, maybe it depends on personal taste.

“I’m heading out to another part of the battlefield. Good luck guys.”

[Yeah, you too. And the Operator girl as well.]

“U- Um, thank you very much.”

[Dammit! She really has a cute voice! She’s definitely a cute girl, guys! I’m sure of it!]

[You’re always like that man. That’s why you’re still a damn virgin.]

[I- I’m no virgin brah!]

Man. Looks like these kinds of skits are also prevalent even in another world. Hm… How mysterious.

I turned up the throttle and proceeded to head out to a new portion of the battlefield. But in the middle of doing so, a particular unit zoomed past my field of vision.

“A white ship… Elma, huh?”

“Is Elma-san fighting here?”

“Yeah. We’re going after her.”

I then witnessed an intense light beam firing out from the pirate ship Elma was chasing. Oh boy. That’s not good. Elma was up against a medium-sized pirate battleship and her escort units. And it was equipped with an irradiation-type laser cannon nicknamed “Gerobi” by Stella Online players.

The pulse laser cannons equipped on my Krishna were designed to fire off laser projectiles in consecutive short bursts. The “Gerobi” cannon, however, was an irradiation-type which would continue to fire off an intense high-heat laser blast until it eventually stops due to overheating. The nickname “Gerobi” had a lot of different interpretations, but the most basic one was gero(vomit) + beam = “Gerobi”. In other words, it was a cannon which vomits out high output laser beams. But all of that stuff doesn’t matter right now. If I don’t hurry and help Elma, something absolutely awful would likely happen. I gunned the thrusters to try and make it in time.

[Eh? Why?! The controls aren’t working– Kyaaaaaaah!!!?]

I gave up and took some distance instead. Unfortunately, I was too late.

[Uwaah! What’s with that white ship?! It’s heading straight for us– Evade it!]

Elma’s ship started flying straight at an unreasonable speed. Once that happens, it’s too late to do anything.

“H- Hiro-sama, is that fine?”

“Nope. It ain’t. It’s completely gone on a rampage.”

[Nooooooo!? Wh- what’s happening– Iyaaaaaaaah!!!]

Judging from her reaction, it seems like she really didn’t know about the Fe***ri’s tendency to go out of control…… So Elma wasn’t a veteran who knew the inherent risks, but an idiot who got her ship just by looking at the specs.

“U– Um, shouldn’t we help her?”

“We can’t do anything to help… If we try to approach her carelessly at that kind of speed, chances are we’ll just crash into her and go boom together.”

“B– But Elma-san… Elma-san is…!”

“Uh, well… That ship’s cockpit is unexpectedly tough. We’ll just have to recover her cockpit once she crashes and– “

Elma’s ship blasted through the pirate encirclement and headed towards a completely different direction. It really looked like a shooting star streaking past.

At first, I thought she was heading in our direction. But it didn’t seem to be the case… Whoah, wait up! She’s heading straight for the military fleet…!

[Kyaaah! Get out of the waaay!]

[Uwaah! It’s gonna ram us! Shoot it do… No, wait. That’s a mercenary…! Nuwaaaah!]

Elma’s ship crashed against a military battleship and completely stopped moving afterward. It looks like the cockpit block made it out okay, so if her luck was good, she would probably not get injured all that much. The problem was the battleship which she crashed into was also wrecked… Just how much would it cost to repair that thing?

“Um, what should we do?”

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. Let’s just concentrate on our current task.”

“U– Understood.”

Due to Elma’s rampage, the previously tightly wound formation collapsed. I went straight for a cluster of confused pirate ships and opened fire with my pulse laser and live projectile cannons. Sure it was a bit cold of me, but I really can’t do anything about it y’know. I’ll just concentrate on doing my job while praying for Elma’s safety. Yep, let’s do just that.




Novel Schedule

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

Schedule will be reduced when the goal is reached

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