331 – Consultation
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“You’re just overthinking it.”
I was currently inside the cockpit of Elma’s ship, the Antlion. She smiled bitterly while sitting on the main pilot seat of the ship.
“You’re our captain, the owner of the ships, and our group’s leader Hiro. You can just do as you wish.”
“But ain’t I being a bit too arbitrary?”
I sat on the sub-pilot seat as I consulted with her. I don’t wanna act like the boss of a black company.
“You’re unexpectedly pretty naive when it comes to things like this. Even though you don’t have a problem charging headfirst against a swarm of pirates or crystal lifeforms.”
“This is a different matter, right? There’s no reason to back out of a fight I can win.”
“And that’s exactly why you get called dangerous-sounding nicknames like『Crazy Hiro』you know……? Well, in any case, she really can’t serve as a pilot if she can’t perform combat maneuvers well. Actually, I think she knows that better than anyone.”
“But she might improve her skills through training. I mean, she’s become able to fire a gun normally now.”
“Sure, she can already fire at targets in the firing range, but will she actually be able to fire at real living people?”
“You have a point.”
Anyway, Mimi’s personality really wasn’t suited for combat. She was just too nice. In a certain sense, she might be even more sheltered than the daughters of nobles or princesses. She was originally the only daughter of a colony’s middle-class family, so she was raised in a place that was far away from violence and conflict.
“That girl is also bad at hand-to-hand combat.”
“It really seems like she’s bad at fighting in general. Though it doesn’t look like she finds physical training unpleasant.”
“Instead of a sub-pilot, maybe the position of engineer or navigator might be more suited for that girl.”
An engineer was a professional who manages the engine, shield, and sub-systems apart from mechanics such as Tina and Whisker. In SOL, it was an NPC-exclusive profession that couldn’t be replaced by the skills of players. It provided a slight boost to a ship’s basic performance, shield strength, and a passive ability to automatically use sub-system functions such as shield cells and chaff. That was an engineer.
The navigator was an NPC crew member that improved a ship’s maximum speed and mobility during FTL navigation, shortened the activation time of the FTL drive and hyperdrive a little, and also slightly shortened the time needed to navigate through a hyperlane. That was a navigator.
“Hmm. I was actually planning to buy Mimi a transport ship eventually and leave all our supply and trading needs to her.”
“That might be a good thing in the future. However, I think it would be good for that girl to accumulate training and experience as an engineer and navigator right now. If she does move on to commanding her own transport ship in the future, experiences in both professions will serve her well.”
“I see. That’s true.”
I guess it’s fine as long as it will be good for Mimi’s career progression. And if needed, we can also opt to hire a skilled pilot and have Mimi focus on commanding the transport ship. Rather, that might be more suitable for Mimi, given her temperament.
“Tell Mimi everything we discussed today, including your intention to buy a transport ship for her and have her officially handle our supplies. On second thought, let me come with you as well.”
“Thanks. You’ll be a great help. You really are very reliable, Elma.”
“That’s only natural, right? I have more experience compared to you after all.”
After saying so, Elma displayed a proud expression. Yeah, what a perfect smug look. But she really was someone you can count on, so I couldn’t exactly call her out for that smugness.
“Well, it doesn’t feel bad to be relied on by you in situations like this. I kind of feel proud that you came to consult me instead of Mei.”
“Huh? Don’t tell me you actually feel a sense of rivalry against her?”
“It’s not something that grand. I’m just happy you’re relying on me. Now then, shall we? Strike while the iron is hot, as they say.”
Elma sat up from the pilot seat and reached her hand out to me. I took her hand and got up from the sub-pilot seat as well.
She’s right. It’s better to get things like this over with as soon as possible. Alright. Let’s go and talk to Mimi.
“That’s basically it.”
I and Elma moved to the dining area of the Black Lotus and told Mimi, who was drinking tea with Kugi, about everything that we discussed. Mimi muttered, closed her eyes, and hung her head down in response.
“You’re going to always stay with me, aren’t you, Hiro-sama?”
Mimi, who had quickly raised her face again, threw a heavy question at me with a serious look. Heavy indeed. But my heart already knew the answer, so I didn’t hesitate to reply.
“Of course, I will. Unless Mimi doesn’t want me anymore, I’ll always stay with you.”
“Then it’s fine. I want to do things that will be most convenient for you, Hiro-sama.”
“I’m happy you feel that way, but I want you to think about your future too, Mimi……”
“My future is to always be together with Hiro-sama. That’s why I want to train and gain skills that will be useful to you.”
Oh…… Heavy. Truly too heavy.
“OK. Then from here on out, try both the engineer and navigator training programs, then choose whichever you feel is more suited for you. Since you already have plenty of experience as an operator, transitioning to a navigator might be easier for you, but I’ll leave the final decision to your judgment, Mimi.”
“Understood. Then Kugi-chan will be the one training to be the sub-pilot, right?”
After saying so, Mimi turned toward Kugi who was looking at her from a spot a little distance away. The stuff we were talking about wasn’t particularly confidential anyway, so she should have heard it all. When Mimi mentioned her name, Kugi turned toward her as well with her ears jerking to-and-fro on top of her head. How cute.
“That’s basically how it’s going to be. With that, there will be a clear distinction between your roles.”
“Understood. I will continue to do my best.”
Mimi displayed a refreshed smile.
If we were to continue working as a mercenary corps, it would be necessary to spend time thinking from a long-term perspective. Well, if I recklessly increased the number of our crew members, I might not be able to handle them all. And honestly, I don’t really feel like increasing their number any time soon. There was also the issue of trust when accepting new comrades.
“Mm. Don’t try to overdo it–”
Before I could finish my words, an easygoing voice echoed within the dining area.
“Hiya guys!!! Boy, am I tired as heck. Good work everyone.”
“You’re being too hyper, Big Sis.”
Tina and Whisker made their entrance. They seemed to be pretty energetic ever since yesterday, but that might be because they finally quit their former job and let go of some of their burdens. On second thought, I think it’s mostly Tina who’s all gung-ho. Don’t tell me she was actually drinking alcohol while working?
“Huh? You guys kinda seem to be talkin’ about somethin’ serious.”
“Fine. I’ll let you off this time.”
“Yay! Boss is really magnanimous!”
Tina raised both her arms and whooped in joy. Man, her tension really is high. Did she really drink alcohol? Are you drinking? Why don’t you try breathing out for a bit?
“I’m sorry guys…… I’m really sorry. Big Sis has been like this recently.”
“Just make sure to be careful during work so you won’t get hurt.”
The good little sister Whisker seemed to be having a hard time due to her big sister’s current state. Good luck, little sister.