396 – Amidst the Explosions




Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

“Well, well. That kid’s quite skilled.”

“Now’s not the time to be all impressed, captain!”

As I admired that kid’s ship as it zipped about on the surface of the asteroid that had been converted into a pirate base and accurately crushed its remaining defense turrets, Nicholas called out to me in a desperate tone.

“You’re acting like a jittery mess again. That’s why you’re not popular with girls, Nicholas.”

“You think I can keep my composure while we’re being smothered with a barrage of lasers and seeker missiles!?”

It’s true that the pirate ships were firing lasers at us, but they were all rickety old models that didn’t seem to have undergone proper maintenance, so we should not have any problems taking some hits from them as long as we focus our energy shield output on the front of the ship. As for seeker missiles, that maid’s doing a great job intercepting all of them with her ship’s lasers, so they didn’t even have a chance of hitting our shield. This sure is a pretty easy job. Honestly.

“We have multi-lock.”

“Gotcha. Alright then. Number one to number four, launch.”

A large number of stalker missiles fired out from their pods and swiftly chased after the enemy pirate ships.

『What!? Missile alert!』

『They aren’t seeker missiles!? They’re too tiny to hit!』

『So fast! We can’t intercept– Uwaaaa!?』

The confused pirates were desperately shooting their lasers and multi-cannons to intercept the stalker missiles, but they wouldn’t be able to hit those missiles at that rate. The stalker missile warheads were about one-third the size of a standard seeker missile, so they were pretty small targets, and their propulsion was set to staggered intervals, so they were difficult to catch both optically and thermally.

“Ooh, that’s nice. Hearing prey scream like that never fails to make my day.”

“What a twisted hobby……”

“What are you saying? It’s a common hobby of mercenaries to intercept pirate comms and listen to their dying screams. It’s called battlefield music.”


Lattice’s sensibilities regarding mercenary work still weren’t up to standard. Well, I admit that it does seem in poor taste when seen from a common person’s perspective. I had no intention of stopping to enjoy it though.

“Impact confirmed. One ship’s gone down.”

“Such dirty fireworks.”

Three stalker missiles had directly hit one pirate ship. This was the Annihilator’s usual recipe for bringing down pirates. The first missile will blow their shield away, and the second will shatter their hull. The third one was insurance just in case one of the first two missiles misses. If they manage to survive the missiles, we’d finish them off with our heavy laser turrets.

“But we’re really having it easy here, captain. We don’t even need to move from our spot.”

“It looks like the kid’s having a harder time though.”

“Shield cell!”


“Seeker missiles incoming!”

“Release chaff and flares!”


The resistance of the pirate base was stronger than expected. It’s not like Granny Serestia’s info was wrong, but…… was the person in charge of the base’s defenses actually pretty competent in his or her job?

While confusing the incoming seeker missiles with chaff and flares, I accelerated Krishna and completely shook them off. Naturally, the missiles that were shaken off went and hit the surface of the pirate base instead, but…… should I consider damaging the pirate base like this after getting chased by those seeker missiles a small mercy?

“I’m gonna turn the ship around!”


“Yes!? Ugh!?”

While pulling away from the surface of the pirate base with the thrusters fully open, I switched flight assist off and flipped the ship around using the side thrusters. As expected, another swarm of seeker missiles were already coming after us. Missile alerts have been going off for a while now.

After wiping out the incoming seeker missiles by firing the shot-cannons consecutively and heading straight into the resulting flaming explosions, I switched the shooting mode of the heavy laser cannons from automatic aiming to manual.


I held my breath, and the bursting explosions surrounding Krishna began to slow down in my eyes.

While getting annoyed by the frustratingly slow aiming movements, I locked onto the seeker missile pods that were pointing at us with the laser cannons.

That’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven– Alright.

“Haa……! With this, it’s over!”

“The seeker missile pods of the enemy base have all been destroyed!”

“W-We only have three shield cells left!”

“Three’s plenty. We’re gonna take care of the remaining laser turrets next.”

“”Aye, aye, sir!””

『Good work out there, Master.』

After we destroyed all the defense turrets of the pirate base and stripped off all means of resistance from it, a transmission came from the Black Lotus.

“Yeah, nice work as well. Did you encounter any problems on your end?”

『No. We have incurred no damage, Master. However, our collaborators have managed to make off with most of the prize money for shooting down the pirate ships.』

“That can’t be helped. That ship’s specialized for hunting down pirate ships and is a bad matchup for you and the Lotus.”

『It was amazin’ Boss. Maybe we should slap some stalker missiles on Antlion too?』

“That does sound good, but the problem is the increase in ammunition cost. Those things are expensive.”

Their destructive power was relatively weak, so it was necessary to fire a large number of them to cause sufficient damage, but the cost-per-unit actually wasn’t much different from regular seeker missiles. Which one was easier to use between them? Personally, I’d go with the stalker missiles, but considering cost-effectiveness, they didn’t actually offer much of an advantage against regular seeker missiles.

“So, how’s the battle going?”

『We are aiming at the critical parts of the base apart from the power generator. We will be able to fully incapacitate it soon.』

“Okay. Just keep the bombardment up.”

The bow of the Black Lotus glowed brightly, and soon after, an explosion went off on the pirate base. What were we doing right now, you ask? We were reducing the remaining personnel inside the base with artillery fire.

In other words, in order to safely salvage the supplies within the base, we were punching holes all over it with long-range bombardment to ruin its airtightness. Naturally, the average ‘person’ – in the broadest sense of the term – can only survive in an environment filled with properly pressurized, breathable air.

It’s said that there were actually rare species out there that can safely operate even in outer space without the use of special equipment, but in most cases, this was practically an impossible feat. Humans will die in less than a minute if they were thrown alive into outer space. The same will happen in space structures that have lost their airtightness.

Humane treatment? What’s that? Is it delicious?

Yeah, I know. I get it. As someone born in modern Japan, it’s not like I didn’t feel any sense of discomfort about this. But being honorable and humane wouldn’t protect you from lethal laser fire. Our lives were more important than the lives of pirates and the unlikely innocent victims that this bombardment might cause.

『Well done. That was a pretty good dance.』

“Thanks, I guess. Did you guys do well?”

『We ended up using up a ton of ammo. This kind of job with quick returns but small profits is hard for my heart.』

I imagine that the person on the other end of the transmission was still displaying her signature grin though. They might have to fork out a pretty hefty amount to cover the cost of ammunition replenishment later on, but once we’ve taken this base down, they’d be able to pocket the subjugation reward in addition to the bounty money for downing individual ships. If that’s the case, then the profits they’d eventually make wouldn’t really be small, right? Oh well. After all, we will also get 70% of the profits from selling off the loot salvaged from the pirate base. I suppose we’d be earning about the same amount of money.

『We’re gonna go take a break until the base is done getting softened up. You do know the position of the storage area of the base, right?』

“Don’t worry. Mei wouldn’t mess up.”

『That’s fine then. I’ll contact you once we’ve had enough rest, so you can rest up as well by then.』

“Roger that.”

It looked like we wouldn’t allow ourselves to completely let our guards down. At this point, we’ve already eliminated all resistance from the base itself, but it’s still possible that some pirates who were out hunting would hurriedly return once they’ve noticed that their base has fallen. That’s why it was still dangerous to let our guards down at this point.

“We’re gonna focus on the job until we return to the colony. Don’t let your guards down, you two.”


“Yes, My Lord.”

It looked like Kugi had already regained her composure. Also, it appeared that Mimi was rather unaffected by all that action. Or rather, she seemed to have gotten used to such situations. I’ll have to seriously consider raising her reward rate. It might seem hasty, but I’m talking about her share of the earnings from this time’s job, of course.




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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