380 – The Crafty Schemer Drowns in Their Own Scheme
Editor: Thor’s Stone
I left the job of selecting a suitable security service company for Mimi and Elma to deal with. We then joined the Black Lotus renovation team with Kugi.
“It looks like everything’s pretty much decided.”
“Yeah. I didn’t even have ta say anythin’.”
We looked around the interior of the Black Lotus, which was in the middle of the renovation, together with Tina. About half of the living quarters, which were basically empty until now, were converted into a large research area. Even so, several vacant rooms were still left, so it was still possible to house a reasonable number of people. However, it was no longer possible to accommodate four media crews together like before. There might be enough room for one company, or maybe two if they didn’t mind squeezing in.
“A sub-generator for the research equipment huh……? Wasn’t the capacity of the Lotus’ generator more than enough?”
I frowned when I saw a small power generator installed inside the research room. Why? Because something like this was dangerous. Even if it was a sub-generator, it was still a generator, so if this section ever took a direct hit, the Black Lotus might possibly blow up in one shot. Spaceships were quite vulnerable to losing pressure from the inside.
“Master’s concern is understandable. However, it is essential to secure a separate power supply system when employing research equipment. It has been installed in the section of the ship where the armor is thickest and is least likely to suffer critical hits probability-wise. We have taken steps to ensure that possible damage will be kept to the absolute minimum in case of an incident.”
“It’s not that the power capacity of the main generator is insufficient, but this was installed just in case…… I mean, we can’t be certain that we won’t encounter a situation where the ship consumes an unexpectedly large amount of power in an instant, leading to the equipment ceasing all functions.”
“If that happens to the main generator of the ship while it’s actively navigating, in the worst case, the shield might suddenly go down while traveling at superluminal speed, and the ship will end up being filled with holes due to debris as a result. Or it might get thrown out into a crazy place if the hyperdrive suddenly goes down…… Well, it’ll probably be fine, but still.”
“That’s scary, man. Fine, I approve the installation of this sub-generator.”
I don’t like the fact that the Lotus gained an additional weak point, but it’s a different story when the main purpose is to prevent possibly fatal accidents.
“You’re not gonna demand we stop conducting research huh, Big Brother?”
“It sure is great to have such an understanding ship captain.”
I don’t really know just what kind of research Dr. Shouko and Wiska were planning on doing. But it would certainly be difficult to conduct proper research if there’s a limit to the power that can be used. This means that the sub-generator was necessary in order to have the two conduct research freely. It was a cheap price to pay if it meant having an excellent ship doctor named Dr. Shouko as part of our crew…… I think? Well, I do believe their research will eventually turn out profitable for us in some way later down the line, so it’s fine. Yeah. I suppose everything’s gonna be fine as long as the Black Lotus doesn’t get hit. It’ll work out somehow. Yep.
“I know it’s best ta leave this kinda thing ta the specialists and just let the head honcho take full responsibility, but……”
I glanced toward Tina. She does get carried away and go crazy sometimes, but Tina’s usually quite professional when it comes to work.
“Alright then. You should serve as the head of the engineering team, Tina. Make sure to hold the reigns of these two and not let them act recklessly.”
“Wait, are ya serious, Boss? Yer not kidding, are ya?”
Tina, who was suddenly forced to take care of Dr. Shouko in addition to Wiska, immediately raised her voice in protest, but I ruthlessly disregarded her objections.
“I’m gonna prioritize having good alcohol as the technical chief’s allowance.”
“Ya promise? It’s gonna get pulled out if ya lie, okay?”
“I’m afraid to ask what exactly you’re planning to pull out……”
Whether its limbs, hair, or even a man’s most important symbol, any one of them getting pulled out was hella scary. With Tina’s ridiculous strength, her pulling them out just like that really was possible. Well, instead of them getting pulled out, they might actually get crushed instead.
“Anyway, I’m fine with the generator, but…… Mm, I don’t get it. Why do we have two laboratories?”
“We divided them into a combined nanotechnology and biotechnology lab, as well as a lab for conducting other types of research. They both need a clean room, but we have to be extra careful with leaks when it comes to the nano and biotechnology lab.”
“I feel like I heard something quite scary, but I’ll just let it slide…… I’m not gonna tell you guys to only conduct research that’s beneficial to us, but please take us into consideration when choosing research topics, okay?”
“I’ll do my best.”
“I’ll do my best.”
Dr. Shouko and Wiska replied with the same words while displaying refreshing smiles, but I couldn’t help but feel that something was off. Well, it’s not like I was expecting to immediately gain returns from this investment, and it would be tactless of me to demand that of them.
“I’ll have you guys tell me about your future plans in more detail later…… Anyway, it looks like the med bay’s also gotten expanded huh?”
“Yes, Master. I had the facilities expanded in light of a doctor with specialized skills joining the crew.”
“I promise that I’ll get you back in shape no matter what condition you guys find yourselves in as long as you’re still alive. Though it would be better if things don’t come to that in the first place.”
“That certainly sounds reassuring.”
With this world’s technology, it seems that you can get revived from any state as long as you didn’t outright die. So Dr. Shouko wasn’t simply boasting when she made such a declaration.
“So, is all this within the budget?”
“Yes. Just barely though.”
“Just barely huh……?”
I told Mei that she could use up to 30 million Enels, so if she says that much just barely made the cut, then it should have been quite close. A deal worth 30 million would probably be treated as pretty big business. You get what you pay for, so to speak.
But I had no idea if this price was expensive or cheap. That’s because the pricing of goods and services here is just too different from Earth’s…… I remember hearing that one electron microscope actually costs tens of millions of Yen. No, perhaps it was billions? I don’t really remember it that clearly.
Now, we only had to care about how much it was gonna cost us to hire the services of a security firm…… Well, it probably won’t cost more than 10 million Enels. I also wasn’t familiar with the market prices when it comes to security services.
“Well, I suppose it’s fine as long as it’s within the budget. We won’t get anything done if we keep fussing about such details.”
“That’s true. We’d be able to do more things if we have an unlimited budget though.”
“Please cut me some slack here. This is already expensive even from the point of view of a mercenary.”
“Uh, I think I just realized how much money we ended up spending, and now I feel a little scared.”
Wiska’s smiling face suddenly turned pale, but since she was one of those who made the purchase, I think some self-awareness was just appropriate. After all, part of the money used was earned through Tina and Wiska’s blood, sweat, and tears.
Also, you don’t really need to hide your uneasiness behind a smile, Terada-san. We’ve already come this far, so I won’t just suddenly back out at this point.
After entrusting the renovation work to Terada-san of Okamoto Company, we decided to go back to the hotel. For the time being, we decided to get a good rest and complete the arrangements for hiring a security service company.
“Once we finish arranging for a security service, let’s go shopping or sightseeing.”
“Right! We did come here before, but there were still lots of places we weren’t able to check out, Hiro-sama.”
“I definitely wanna take Tina and the others to that place as well.”
“Yeah. It’s a very fun place.”
“Yer makin’ a really suspicious face though, Boss.”
Hey. How rude. I’m just planning to take you for a tour of the lab-grown meat factory in order to broaden your horizons.
“Ah, I think I got it. Yer referring to that cultured meat factory, right? No way I’m goin’ there.”
“Tsk. I already mentioned it to you guys before huh?”
What a failure on my part. Come to think of it, I guess I did talk about that cultured meat factory on Alein Tertius at some point. I’ve talked about the events before I met Tina and Wiska with them on several occasions. We also shared stories before going to bed.
“A cultured meat factory?”
Kugi curiously tilted her head. Oh yeah. I haven’t mentioned it to Kugi yet.
“In other words, it’s a factory that produces meat.”
“A factory that produces meat! I’m looking forward to it.”
After saying so, Kugi looked at me with a hopeful gaze.
“I already went there before, so maybe I won’t go this time around!”
“Is that so……?”
Kugi’s mood noticeably dropped. Her ears and tail drooped down. Ugh. That’s just unfair you know? Well, it’s not like she did it on purpose.
“If there’s an opportunity…… No, let’s just make an opportunity.”
When I saw Kugi getting even more depressed, I ended up making a promise to go anyway. And then, I grabbed the arm of a grinning Tina who was right beside me.
“Tina and Wiska will also come with us. They haven’t seen the factory yet too.”
Wiska displayed a shocked expression, but I pretended not to see it. If I’m going down, then we’ll all go down together. It looks like I’ll end up accomplishing my initial plan after all.
“I’m gonna pass. I’m sure Hiro-kun knows the reason why.”
I’m not sure if Inagawa had any dealings with the factory we visited back then, but they should have done plenty of research on those white monstrosities after that outbreak incident. Dr. Shouko and her colleagues made nanomachines to counter those monsters back then, so she must have also been involved in the investigation of that incident. If that’s the case, then she must already be familiar with the origin of those monsters.
“Anyway, let’s just go back to our room first.”
Elma responded with a clearly exasperated tone. I’ll just pray that Kugi ends up simply forgetting about this entire deal later on.