360 – Dr. Shouko’s Circumstances

Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

“Well now, this is quite different from what I expected……”

Dr. Shouko muttered as she looked around the spacious and clean dining hall of the Black Lotus.

“That’s what everyone who comes to our ship for the first time says. The media people who came to interview us, the Imperial soldiers who boarded us for a routine inspection, and the big shots from the Imperial Capital all reacted the same way.”

“The image people have of typical mercenary ships is that they’re dreary, crude, and filthy after all! I aimed to go in the opposite direction from the norm.”

Mimi smiled proudly as she boasted. Well, we did use Krishna’s interior, which was apparently on par with a high-end luxury liner, as the benchmark for Black Lotus’s interior, so she wasn’t wrong. Of course, I was the one who approved of Mimi’s plan. After all, it was much better to live inside a clean and spacious interior than a messy and dreary one. It was good for mental health as well.

“So, why exactly are you in a place like this anyway, Dr. Shouko?”

Elma, who took out a well-chilled beer from the cooler installed in a corner of the dining hall, asked Dr. Shouko in a straightforward manner.

“Ah…… About that… Un, it’s a bit hard to talk about it.”

Dr. Shouko, who received the cold beer from Elma, displayed a bitter expression on her face. She really didn’t seem to be the type to hold back like this. It must be a really hard topic to talk about then. I wonder what circumstances she found herself in. Was it related to money?

“If you find it hard to talk about it, then we won’t force you. We’ll be glad to help if you’re in some sort of trouble though.”

“No, that’s not the case…… Or rather, you just offered to help naturally just like that? Is that one of the tricks you use to attract so many women?”

“You’d earn benefits if you’re nice to beautiful women after all. Well, enough joking around. I’m more than willing to at least listen if a friend is facing some sort of trouble. I can’t guarantee that I’d be able to help out though. It depends on the circumstances.”

“You say that, Boss. But I bet you’d help her out anyway.”

“There hasn’t been any instance of Big Brother refusing to help out so far after all.”

That’s not true. I think there are certainly some situations where I won’t be able to do anything. You guys wanna hear examples? Let’s see…… It would be impossible for me to rescue the inhabitants of a planet that’s about to explode in three days. Or rather, I think that would be impossible for most folks as well.

“Ah–…… Well, I’d find it even more uncomfortable not to tell you guys, so I’ll talk. You see–”

“Mm, go on.”

I was honestly pretty interested so I urged her to continue.

“Well, after you guys left the Alein system, I somehow got really interested in this mercenary stuff, so I researched a bit about it and ended up admiring the kind of life you guys live. I basically ended up longing for the mercenary life as well. It’s embarrassing to confess this stuff to you guys though.”

“……I see?”

Her current situation and Dr. Shouko’s words just now didn’t really match. Smart people act like this sometimes. They tend to not care much about the details and just rushed ahead.

Um, so after we left the Alein system, Dr. Shouko ended up getting interested in the mercenary life, or maybe just the general idea of cruising freely around space. I do get that.

“So, why did you become a civilian employee assigned to the Imperial military then?”

“It’s gonna take a long time if I start from the very beginning y’know. In short, I did well at work and was able to take an extended leave, so I took a temporary job at the Imperial military with the intention of advancing my career and going on a trip on the side. Our company has a lot of researchers and doctors who specialize in genetic engineering and nanomachine engineering, so we get job offers from the military related to those from time to time. Our company will be able to gain the military’s favor and will earn a good track record of contributing to the Empire. The personnel who take these kinds of jobs earn good salaries in addition to a nice internal assessment record. And the military will be able to gain excellent doctors and researchers in turn. Thus, outsourcing is a win-win-win situation for the company, military, and us employees.”

“I see. And you just happened to get assigned to Captain Serena’s ship huh.”

“Yep, that’s how it is. I actually applied to work as a ship’s medical doctor, but the military took a look at my records and assigned me as a researcher instead. I’m a medical doctor, genetic, and nanomachine engineer right? It seems like the military thought that my know-how in the field of nanomachine engineering will be of great use to the research being done here. After all, you also need knowledge on materials engineering in order to become a certified nanomachine engineer.”

Dr. Shouko shrugged her shoulders after explaining. She was assigned to a job she originally didn’t apply for, but she did get to meet us again as a result.

“It was a huge coincidence that we were able to meet again in this wide universe…… The world can seem to be surprisingly small sometimes.”

“Well, it’s Hiro after all.”

“That’s right. It’s Hiro-sama after all.”

“Can you guys stop making it sound like I’m some sort of singularity that attracts such low-probability events?”

“Well…… Isn’t it difficult to deny that now?”

Dr. Shouko, who heard the words of Elma and the others, giggled as she teased me.

“So, you’re usually like this huh, Hiro-kun. So, does that mean meeting me again is the work of fate?”

“I didn’t think a word like ‘fate’ would actually come from the mouth of someone like you, Dr. Shouko. You’re unexpectedly a romantic huh?”

“I’m a silly young woman who ended up working outside the company while longing for the unfettered life of a mercenary after all.”

Ugh. I’m trying to tease you back and you deflect it just like that? She’s tough. A silly young woman? How old was she anyway? No, I can’t retort with that. It’s a trap. Talking about a woman’s age is taboo.

“So, what do you plan on doing now? I’m serious about inviting you to join us y’know?”

“Mm, it’s certainly a tempting offer. This ship is spacious and clean, and the interior looks good overall. It’s even more comfy than our company houses. But I’m still employed by Inagawa after all, so there are various procedures to go through if I want to board this ship as a crew member……”

“Mei will help you go through all of them.”

“Please leave it to me. I will provide the best support.”

Wiska mentioned Mei, and the latter followed up with her usual proud but deadpan expression. Yeah, I know ‘proud’ and ‘deadpan’ seem contradictory, but even though Mei looked expressionless most of the time, she did give off this proud atmosphere somehow. Her tone was equally deadpan, but I wonder why I’m able to determine her emotions even though that’s the case. I honestly find it curious as well.

“In any case, I can only come over after my current contract ends. I can’t just jump ship midway, and I do have an obligation to Inagawa and owe them at least that much. It’s not that simple.”

Dr. Shouko displayed a bitter smile as she replied to Wiska and Mei’s offer. Well, it’s true that upholding contracts was important, and even if she wants to join us as soon as she can, it can’t be at the expense of her current employer. And we’d have to prepare a number of equipment and facilities first if Dr. Shouko were to join us as well.

“Then, once our job here is done, I suppose we can take the chance to visit the Alein system again. I’m not just spouting lip service here. But that’s only if you really are willing to join us, Dr. Shouko.”

“Um, that’s…… Is that really okay? I’m really gonna take you seriously y’know?”

“I really am serious about this. We can maintain our health with med-pods, but it’s still a lot more reassuring to have a good medical doctor onboard. I don’t mind putting in some effort for that. That’s what I think anyway.”

I then turned toward Mimi and Elma to ask for their consent, and the two of them nodded in response. Kugi and the mechanic sisters haven’t experienced getting checked up by Dr. Shouko, but Mimi and Elma already have, so it was best to ask them.

“I’m really, really gonna take you seriously, y’know? Is it really fine?”

“I don’t have a habit of going back on my words. Uh, it might happen occasionally, but I won’t do that this time around, so rest assured.”

I extended my hand toward Dr. Shouko, and she took it in response. We exchanged a firm handshake.

“I gladly accept your offer then. And to that end, we really have to resolve our current problem.”

“That’s true.”

It was great that Dr. Shouko finally accepted my invitation to join our crew, but we still have to resolve the mysterious sphere case first. Well, we can’t do anything about it right now, so we just have to wait for the results of the analysis.

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 (7)

  1. Seven

    Having Dr. Shouko around permanently after this mission would be really nice and so beneficial for them. I mentioned a while back how the mechanic sisters aren’t really being used full well since their introduction. They were highly evaluated with Tina being the more careful one and Whisker the more spontaneous one that tends to go over the top.

    Since then all they did was repair/salvage ships and drink booze like crazy. I first thought adding them to the crew would lead to them inventing a more advanced tech that rivals/surpasses the military ones.

    Having Dr. Shouko resurface again, and the three of them hitting it off, I really hope it would lead to something more beneficial for improving their ship/weaponry more aside from just having more money (which isn’t even calculated anymore).

    1. 88898

      Mechanic job are to make sure nothing break down in emergency and fix them when something broke down, doctor are the same in that regards. If they done their work well, they won’t have a lots of thing to do.

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