334 – Kugi and Hyperspace
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“It’s finally time.”
While agreeing with Mimi’s words, I drank my tea inside the dining area of Black Lotus.
It’s been three days since I spent an intimate time with the mechanic sisters, and now, it was finally time to depart. While I’m well aware that you can’t expect the same speed of organization from the military compared to mercenaries, they still took quite a bit of time.
“It feels like we’re still passing the time quite leisurely though.”
Kugi gave such a remark as she sipped her tea. Yeah, that’s true. We’re actually still spending a leisurely time like this even now. In truth, even if it technically was time for the fleet to sortie, we still won’t have roles to play for a while. After all, we’ll be acting in concert with the Independent Anti-pirate Mobile Fleet which now has a lot of ships at its disposal. And many other mercenaries apart from us have joined up as well. In other words, we were now a flock of regular combat ships centered around the military combat ships of the Imperial military. There probably would be no pirate stupid enough to pick a fight with a group like us, so we probably won’t face any enemy attacks until we arrive at the Edge World.
“It’s been a long time since I was this excited.”
“Look, I know you’re excited, but spare me from getting that new ship of yours critically damaged straight away, alright?”
Elma’s fighting spirit seems to have been stoked due to being able to pilot her own ship for the first time in a while. I just pray that her fighting spirit doesn’t go to waste in the end. We did repeatedly check and confirmed that there were no problems with her ship though. She was already familiar with how Krishna and Black Lotus operate, so I’m sure there will be no problems in terms of ship cooperation. We’ve also confirmed it by using the simulator. I would have preferred to hunt actual live space pirates down when practicing our combination tactics though, but it was a shame that the situation didn’t allow it.
By the way, Black Lotus was now currently towing Antlion. She was now navigating by connecting with the towing joint of Black Lotus. And because that joint was also equipped with a pathway to go back and forth between both ships, Elma was currently relaxing with us inside the dining area of the Lotus.
“My Lord, we are navigating in subspace right now, aren’t we?”
“I cannot feel it at all.”
“Yeah, that’s just how it is.”
Black Lotus departed from the Windas Tertius colony about 30 minutes ago, synchronized with the Independent Anti-pirate Mobile Fleet, and switched to FTL navigation together with them. Afterward, all ships simultaneously entered a hyperlane, and were now navigating within it.
If you enter the cockpit of the Black Lotus, you’d be able to see the scenery inside the hyperlane, but to be honest, that psychedelic light show really hurts the eyes, so I don’t recommend staring at it for very long. I don’t recommend it, but–
“Do you want to go see it? Hyperspace, I mean.”
Kugi’s animal ears shot up as her face glowed with excitement. Kugi was a girl with a healthy sense of curiosity. Maybe it’s because of her sheltered upbringing.
“What about you two?”
Elma and Mimi don’t seem to be interested in seeing hyperspace.
Actually, it was also possible to see the hyperspace scenery in the dining area by playing the live footage captured by the ship’s external sensors into the holo-display, but seeing it through the bridge screen was still a more authentic experience.
I and Kugi left the dining area and headed to the bridge of the Lotus.
“How’s your sub-pilot training going?”
“There are a lot of things to remember, and I’m worried because you have to make quick decisions on the spot.”
“Even I couldn’t do it perfectly in the beginning. At first, just remember the terms and focus on getting the sub-systems up and running under my instructions.”
“Yes. I will do my best to meet your expectations.”
“Hahaha, don’t be so stiff. Even if you make some mistakes, I’ll make sure to cover for you, so don’t worry too much.”
It’s good to have a serious attitude toward work, but it also wasn’t good to be too tense. Combat is quite stressful after all. I’m not sure why though, but it seems I personally don’t feel stressed out at all. Maybe because it still doesn’t feel that real to me. Did the part of my brain that’s making me feel fear get messed up when I got sent to this world?
I mulled over stuff like that as I chatted with Kugi until we reached the bridge.
“Welcome, Master. Kugi-sama.”
“Sorry for intruding.”
“Please excuse us.”
Kugi and I greeted Mei back. The bridge of Black Lotus was like Mei’s private room. Or rather, it was more akin to her territory or castle. Being a maidroid, she hasn’t personally claimed the bridge for herself, but everyone except for the newcomer Kugi already agreed that it was. Mei herself doesn’t seem to have any plans to acknowledge that though.
“You are not intruding at all, so please be at ease. Did you come here to observe hyperspace?”
“Yeah. Put the screen up for us, Mei.”
The multicolored hyperspace scenery was projected on the bridge’s main screen. It was still a pretty funky sight, but its appearance today was a little different. Since there were many ships that entered hyperspace together through hyperdrive synchronization, the other ships also appeared under the backdrop of the usual hyperspace scenery of colors chaotically blending together in irregular patterns.
“Sure is a lively sight.”
Kugi was staring silently at the hyperspace scenery displayed on the screen. Was something up? She kinda seems to be staring at just one point on the screen though…… There’s nothing there, right? There wasn’t a ship there or anything.
“Did you see something that caught your interest?”
“It’s not interesting at all.”
Even as she said so, Kugi still kept staring at that one spot. Uh, even if it wasn’t interesting, she was definitely seeing something, right? I’m getting a bit scared here y’know? I glanced over to Mei, but it looks like she hasn’t detected anything unusual either and expressionlessly shook her head. This video was being picked up by the external sensors of the Lotus, so Mei can also view the exact same visual data. If even Mei couldn’t detect an anomaly, then there shouldn’t be anything strange out there.
After saying so, Kugi took her eyes off the screen and walked back toward Mei and I. It seems that she’s totally lost interest in hyperspace.
“Y-Yeah…… Did you see anything out there?”
“It’s a trifling thing, My Lord.”
Kugi smiled as she replied. The atmosphere around her doesn’t seem normal, but it also kinda felt like I shouldn’t pry too much. To put it straight, it was a dangerous atmosphere.
“I see. So, what should we do now? Do you want to chat with Mei for a while?”
“Let’s see…… If it’s no bother, I’d like to hear all about how you met My Lord and the time you spent with him until now, Mei-san.”
“Understood. I shall tell you all about it then.”
Mei then talked about how she was first introduced to me back on the resort planet in the Sierra system. Though it might be an interesting story for Kugi…… it was very embarrassing for me to hear about our encounter from Mei’s point of view.
Stop. I’m not that great of a person. Please give me a break already.