401 – To The Next Destination
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“It kinda feels like we’ve caused you some trouble. Sorry about that.”
We went straight back to the ship after our consultation with the Mercenary Guild and didn’t bother going anywhere near the system’s military base. The moment we arrived, Dr. Shouko and Mimi immediately expressed their apologies. It seems they were apologizing for the thing about alerting the authorities and causing them to inquire about our team due to our purchase of medical supplies……
“It’s fine. Considering the circumstances, it’s only natural for them to be concerned, so there’s no need for you guys to apologize. In any case, this sort of stuff will probably happen again in the future anyway. So, it’s okay as long as you guys report to me whenever this stuff comes up! We just happened to be in the guild this time around, so we got word about it right away.”
It was only natural for the authorities to be mindful of a group with a doctor that’s skilled in pharmacology coupled with equipment suited for drug manufacturing. And we weren’t some mercantile fleet but mercenaries instead, so it was reasonable for them to hold suspicions about us. The license held by Dr. Shouko was meant for avoiding such fears, but our particular circumstances were probably just too eye-catching.
“It doesn’t matter if we attract a bit of suspicion or trouble as long as we make a tidy profit in the end. And besides, our activities could lead to saving lives, so it’s fine.”
It’s not like I’m trying to make up for the bad karma resulting from making a living out of killing other folks. Anyway, if doing this business will lead to profit and help people out at the same time, then why not? Getting into a bit of trouble with the administrative process ain’t such a big deal.
In the first place, pirate hunting, which is our main source of income, also results in saving the lives of innocent victims, so I’m sure I get plenty enough good karma from that!
Eh? Pirates are humans too? Okay, then we’ll be good if I just promise not to lop off their limbs, grind their innards, and process them using our chemical manufacturing equipment, right? We can also use them for other more eco-friendly purposes officer! Yeah, right.
“That’s true. I’m a doctor, so I’m all for doing work that would result in reducing the number of people suffering from injuries and illnesses, even if just a bit.”
“But just remember that we are mercenaries who are all about earning money. It’s fine as long as we get paid and don’t do things for free.”
“Of course. I personally don’t want to offer my services for cheap either. The only ones who can afford such charity work with plenty to spare are rich nobles.”
“That said, Hiro’s an honorary imperial viscount y’know?”
“Come to think of it, that honorary title’s supposed to come with a small annuity…… That said, I don’t even own a territory in the first place. There’s no reason for them to go through the trouble of sending that money to some honorary noble without an estate, I suppose. Anyway, we just need to refrain from earning money through unscrupulous or illegal means.”
I couldn’t help but think back to the matter Elma pointed out though. How much pension should I be receiving anyway? I guess I’ll check with Mei later. To be honest, I didn’t even pay any attention to that pension previously because it should just be a small amount.
“So, um, right. Can you really manufacture dangerous drugs, Dr. Shouko?”
“Theoretically, it should be possible for me. Why? Are you interested?”
“Nah. I only wanted to confirm it as the captain. We can’t engage in distributing them outside, and we also can’t use them ourselves because that’s also illegal. If there’s medical equipment that you think is absolutely necessary for us, then you don’t have to get my permission in order to procure one, but just make sure you report to me about it afterward. I’ll leave managing the medical equipment and supplies to you, Doc.”
“Roger that. Can I have Mei help me out with the management?”
“That’s actually a good idea. Is that fine with you, Mei?”
『Of course, Master. Please leave it to me.』
Mei’s voice echoed out of the speakers installed in the mess hall where we were having our discussion. It should be fine to leave that stuff to Dr. Shouko and Mei.
“But there’s a wide range of prohibited drugs y’know?”
“I’ll leave those matters to your discretion, Doc. If you have some misgivings, then just consult with Mei whenever possible. I’m just an amateur when it comes to stuff like that, so it’s better for me to leave them to a specialist like you. Just make sure to make a proper report and we’re all good.”
“Ahaha, those are some heavy responsibilities alright…… I’ll make sure to try and live up to your trust, captain.”
Dr. Shouko displayed a wry smile as she answered. I felt someone’s passionate gaze coming at me from the side and turned to Tina. I nodded to her in acknowledgment. Yes, yes. You and Wiska are our crew’s ship engineering specialists and I trust your judgments and professionalism as much as I trust Dr. Shouko’s.
“Are we done with our business here in the Alein system once the supplies get loaded into the ship?”
“Yeah. Have you said goodbye to your grandma, Mimi?”
“Yes! We’ve even exchanged contact info!”
Mimi held up her tablet terminal and showed us the screen. I see, so they exchanged contact details huh? Electronic messages can take from a few days to a month to arrive depending on where one was in this vast galaxy, but you can be sure they’ll reach the recipient eventually. They would probably feel more at ease now since they have a way to keep in touch.
That being said, I myself also exchanged contacts with some people I’ve met. Chris, for example. We do exchange emails quite frequently. I also occasionally receive emails from a grumbling Captain Serena and even from some of the press members who boarded our ship back then. They don’t email me as often though.
“Great. How about you, Dr. Shouko?”
“I’m fine on my end. I already said my goodbyes when we visited, and I have all their mail addresses handy.”
“I see. Shall we depart straight away once all our stuff is loaded up?”
“Righto. Oh yeah, Boss. Where are we headin’ to next anyway?”
“Oh, I haven’t told you guys yet huh? Our next destination is the Reemay system. According to Mimi’s grandma, there seem to be signs of a pandemic caused by a new type of virus or something in that system.
After hearing my reply, Tina suddenly stood up and cried out in surprise. What’s with her?
“Are you familiar with that star system?”
“Well…… You can say that.”
Tina was acting evasive for some reason. I turned to Wiska and found her acting the same way as her sister.
“It looks like the two of you have some history with that place. There’s no need to force yourselves if you have a good reason to avoid that place, but we’ll cut it close if we change our destination at this point, okay?”
Medical supplies can practically be sold in any star system, so it’s fine to just sell them off steadily as well. However, it would be more profitable to sell them all at once to a star system that needs a large amount of them for some reason or other. If the matter wasn’t really that big of a deal, I still planned on going to Reemay.
“……Well, I do have a bit of history with that place. But it won’t make sense to suddenly change our destination just because of our circumstances, Boss. We’ll be fine, so don’t mind us.”
“If you say so, Tina. Are you fine with that, Wiska?”
“If Big Sis says she’s fine with it, then…… Big Sis.”
“Well, it’s not really that big of a deal. And I don’t intend to keep it from you guys anyway. Um, y’see, Reemay system is kinda my old stompin’ grounds. Before I reunited with Wiska, that is.”
Tina confessed while sporting an awkward expression.
Her old stomping grounds huh? I see…… Come to think of it, Tina did mention that before she reunited with Wiska, she hung out with a bad crowd in a colony somewhere. When she met her sister again, she cut her ties with those people and braved the dangers to flee to the Brad system.
“……In other words, it smells like trouble again huh?”
“Yeah…… Sorry, Boss.”
“Nah, it’s fine.”
I consoled the depressed Tina. It’s kinda a given at this point that we’ll always encounter some sort of incident no matter where we go anyway.
“You look like you’ve just gained enlightenment there……”
“Ahaha…… It’s always like this anyway.”
It’s just as Mimi said. It’s always like this. So, there’s no problem. Yep.
“Is it really always the case with you guys?”
“I have only been with them for a comparatively short period, but…… I suppose that is the case as of now.”
“I see…… I hope it won’t be that big of a deal.”
You’re talking like it’s not your problem Doc. But make no mistake, you’ll also get dragged into whatever is waiting for us there. You can’t get away y’know? Also, you sure adapted to things quickly, Kugi. Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you.
“Well, that’s how it is. I’ll be counting on you again this time, Mei.”
『Please be at ease, Master. I will ensure that the combat bots are prepped and ready to sortie at any time.』
That certainly sounds reliable, but also a bit aggressive. I’ll just pray that all that preparation simply won’t be needed.