030 – Volume 2 Prologue

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Translator: SFBaka


I opened my eyes to a sight of dazzling radiance.

Countless torrents of light streamed past my vision. They flew towards me from the front and disappeared behind me, forming a pale, bluish-white corridor of light. The ‘corridor’ of light enveloped me from all sides. And what lay before me, towards the furthest distance, was a single point of twinkling light. It was the glow of a star with the same color as the light streams flowing past.

“Hey, don’t tell me you fell asleep?”

A voice tinged with annoyance came from my left. Now then, just whose voice was it, I wonder? In the first place, just where the heck am I?

I moved my confused gaze toward a holographic display in front of me. It resembled a control panel with lots of buttons. There were also several virtual gauges. Were the streams of light in front of me actually part of an… HD display or something? They looked quite realistic for some special effects.

“Hiro-sama?”

I heard someone call out in a worried voice. Hiro-sama? I am… My name is Takahiro Satou. I’m not some ‘Hiro-sama’. But this voice seems kind of familiar…

I felt the presence of someone approaching me.

“Ouch!?”

I felt an impact hit my forehead. It was quite painful.

“You’ve got a lot of guts dozing around in the cockpit, buster…”

“E- Elma-san, don’t be too violent…”

I turned around while holding my aching forehead and finally saw the figures of the one who knocked her fist on top of my head and the one who sounded worried about me.

“Ah…… Now I remember.”

“Remembered what?”

The name of the woman who was looking at me with an angry gaze was Elma. She had long, pointy ears and moderate ‘assets’ out front. Her fine, delicate hair strands were pale silver in color. Her skin was milky smooth. She also had a lithe figure. No matter how you looked at her, she was unmistakably an honest-to-goodness elf.

But her clothes were that of a typical mercenary, without a lot of skin exposure. It was a peculiar combination of cyberpunk and fantasy elements. She even had a boorish laser gun strapped on her hip via holster. She was someone who didn’t really seem like an elf if you took away those pointy ears of hers; how truly disappointing.

She was a veteran merc boasting a five-year-long career. But she was now working as one of my ship’s crew members.

The reason why she ended up boarding my ship was… well, let’s just say it was due to a truly unfortunate accident. The ship she piloted ran out of control while in the middle of a large-scale pirate subjugation operation and crashed right into a military warship.

As a result, she owed the military a massive amount of monetary penalties. However, even after selling all her assets (including her starship), she couldn’t fully cover the imposed amount and was nearly sent to a harsh prison colony. And it was at this point that I ended up bailing her out by paying her debt.

Afterward, she became a member of my ship’s crew. She was working in order to repay her debt to me and obtain enough funds to purchase a new starship.

Incidentally, I managed to find out in the end that the huge amount of penalties they slapped her with was actually unreasonably high compared to the gravity of her offense. I investigated it, and it reeked of suspiciousness. In the first place, there was actually nothing in the official military database that stipulated she was to be fined monetary penalties.

That being the case, a penalty amount and deadline was still issued due to a mistake in the processing of her case. The guy who made the mistake was apparently reassigned to a frontier-based penal unit which had atrociously high mortality rates. It was really scary that one mistake cost the guy a one-way ticket to a penal unit. It really was the best decision to stay the heck away from the imperial military.

“Oh, just some stuff about the two of you, among other things.”

“Did you actually forget about the two of us……?”

A young girl sporting a sorrowful expression peeked out from behind Elma.

“Nah, I was just half-asleep.”

The name of the young girl peeking from behind Elma was Mimi.

She was a really cute girl with light-brown hair and pupils. They were hidden behind Elma right now, but her ample frontal ‘assets’ were ‘battleship’ tier. However, her overall build was just in the ‘destroyer’ tier.

She was also my crewmember just like Elma. She also ended up boarding my ship due to a massive debt issue… But, unlike Elma, she really couldn’t be blamed for her previous plight.

Her parents died in an accident that caused a lot of damage to the colony they were living in. The ensuing indemnities all fell onto her juvenile shoulders.

She really shouldn’t have been punished for it, but due to the whims and schemes of adults who should have known better, she ended up burdened by it anyway. And no one offered her a helping hand.

But she luckily met me, who happened to have enough financial capability to rescue her from the situation she was in. I ended up actually saving her and she became one of my crewmembers as a result. In fairytales, this would have been a ‘happily-ever-after’ ending already, but this was unfortunately reality. Even after being freed from her debt, it didn’t change the fact that she already lost her home.

So, as part of my responsibility as the one who saved her, I ended up looking after her as well. I welcomed her as a crewmember and assigned her a supporting role as my ship’s operator.

She’s now currently learning the ropes of being an operator from the ground up. She was learning from a training AI and Elma’s lectures and was in the middle of gaining valuable first-hand experience as a qualified starship operator.

“You’re still quite the cold-hearted guy even if you were just spacing out as you said. You’ve already done all sorts of ‘stuff’ to both of us after all.”

“Oh c’mon… Don’t make it sound like I’m the bad guy here. Cut me some slack.”

“But I’m just saying the truth, right?”

“I guess I can’t deny that huh.”

Yeah. I’m in ‘that’ kind of relationship with both of them.

This world had an entirely different set of customs and culture compared to Japan. There was a lot of incomprehensible stuff they considered as common sense here. I’ve not managed to learn all of them, but one particular custom was『a woman who gets on-board a man’s private starship was to be considered as the man’s lover』or something like that.

It was utterly absurd, right? I also find it ridiculous. But that’s just how it is. I still don’t have a full grasp of this world’s history, but I’m sure lots of factors contributed to this particular custom becoming part of universal common sense. Even so, I had no choice but to accept such a custom anyway.

The two of them got on-board my ship fully prepared for such a thing. Well, the two of them didn’t have much of a choice anyway, so I guess you could say they had to accept such an outcome due to the circumstances.

On the other hand, I invited them to get on my ship without thinking things through all that much. I just simply wanted them as part of my crew, apart from taking pity on them, and invited them on-board. But the two of them misunderstood my intentions and thought I was raring to get into ‘that’ sort of relationship with them after inviting them.

Due to me and my careless remarks, I ended up taking responsibility and got into ‘that’ sort of relationship with the two of them even if it wasn’t my intention in the first place. It was considered as common sense after all.

I had to bite the bullet and accept the consequences. Besides, they were already cornered by their debts, and there was virtually no way out for them except for going with my suggestion.

Mimi didn’t have any relatives left, and without a way to protect herself, she would have just ended up getting caught by low-lives in the slums, toyed around with, and thrown aside like garbage once they got tired of her.

Elma, on the other hand, would have been imprisoned in a prison colony filled with former pirates as convicts if she failed to pay her dues. There was no telling what they would have done to her once they found out she was a former mercenary. It seems that they didn’t separate male and female convicts in this world after all. What would have awaited her was a lifetime of violence and abuse.

I ended up saving them from those cruel fates, and they both boarded my ship as a result. Thus, I couldn’t really refuse them when they told me they wanted to get into ‘that’ sort of relationship with me. Mimi was even afraid I would abandon her if she didn’t offer herself to me. In Elma’s case, I think she would have gotten along just fine if she wasn’t fined that ridiculous amount of debt.

Well, whatever the case, I already ended up in a serious relationship with the two of them. Objectively speaking, I was a goddamn bastard who took advantage of their debts to lay my grubby hands on two breath-taking beauties. I really can’t offer any excuse for myself.

But please think of it this way. A big-breasted loli and an elf with a flawless appearance both offered themselves up to me willingly without any sort of resistance. Is there any honest-to-goodness guy alive who can resist such delightful temptations?

Well, maybe there were. Yeah, maybe there are some guys who can do that.

But I’m not one of them goddammit! I confess folks! I’m the kind of guy who’s weak to those kinds of stuff and thinks with his lower half when subjected to them, okay!

I’m certainly no damn saint who wouldn’t do anything in those kinds of situations. Want me to say it plainly for you? I’m the guy who’d unhesitatingly pick the option that would lead to ero developments in games if they were available. Sorry folks.

“But if both of you don’t like it- ”

“It’s not like I’m saying I don’t like that sort of stuff you idiot.”

“I don’t hate doing it with you either.”

They both indignantly told me off. Elma’s face blushed bright red as she turned away. Mimi, on the other hand, had a serious expression on as she stared at me unblinkingly with an air of conviction.

“Yeah, I got it. I love you girls.”

“Yes!”

“I- Is that so?”

Mimi smiled blissfully after I expressed my feelings. Elma shyly lowered her head in embarrassment. Yep. My girls are the cutest.


Well then, time for some proper self-introductions.

The name’s Takahiro Satou. Right now, I’m going by the alias of ‘Captain Hiro’.

The small-sized combat starship we’re riding on right now is called the 【ASX-08 Krishna】. It’s likely a unique, one-of-a-kind ship in this world, and I simply call it ‘Krishna’.

We’re currently in hyperspace – around the vicinity of the Ghanam star system – heading for the Alein star system. Let’s leave the pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo about hyperlanes and hyperspace for later. Let me brief you about this world first.

I don’t know the exact name of the world – this galaxy – I’m currently in right now. It seems nobody actually named the galaxy in the first place. Anyway, interstellar navigation technology has greatly developed in this galaxy. The people here had already broken away from the hold of gravity on each of their native planets, and have spread out to the great ocean of stars. I suddenly found myself stranded in this galaxy one day; along with this ship – the Krishna.

The only thing that I was familiar with from my former world was this Krishna. Uh, it’s not like we had futuristic starships like this in my former world, okay. As far as I know, we’ve only managed to develop things like orbital space research stations where astronauts carry out a number of experiments in the zero-G environment of outer space. We haven’t even come close to developing space colonies where people can live normally.

People were living on Earth, like usual. What I meant when I said I was familiar with this ship is that this was a unit I had in a video game I was playing.

I was really into an MMO called Stella Online before I found myself in this unfamiliar galaxy. It was a game where you could do stuff like exploring a massive online galaxy, going on adventures, participating in battles, engaging in trade and making money and the like.

I got Krishna as a prize from a game event. It was a unique unit I was using in the game. I think some of the sharper ones out there have already gotten an idea about my circumstances. I actually got transported to a world highly resembling Stella Online.

There was a lot of stuff on the ship I was familiar with from my time playing Stella Online. There are also things like space pirates who liked to attack civilian ships and crystal creatures that indiscriminately attacked all other living organisms in the galaxy. These are also just like the ones I’ve encountered in Stella Online.

But it’s not like everything’s the same. There a lot of ship models and parts in the market that didn’t exist in Stella Online, and the name of the star systems weren’t the ones I was familiar with back in the game. I also haven’t heard of any of the galactic empires ruling said star systems before as well.

I wasn’t sure if this was really a different galaxy or if I was just thrown to an unexplored corner of it. That’s because we still haven’t managed to explore the entire virtual galaxy back when I was still playing Stella Online.

Stella Online has already reached more than four years in service, but the players haven’t managed to explore every corner of the galaxy just yet. Yeah. It’s still like that even after four years. ‘Just how big is this overworld?’ the players often asked.

In other words, if this place was the side of the galaxy we’ve yet to explore, it goes without saying that I wouldn’t be familiar with the local star systems. No one’s reached this place in the game yet after all. So I wouldn’t be familiar with it as well.

I tried searching for the Solar system as well and didn’t find it. We also haven’t found an equivalent of the Solar system in Stella Online, so we weren’t sure if it really wasn’t included in the game or just wasn’t discovered yet.

Anyway, I found myself in the middle of such an incomprehensible situation and am now stuck here. Fortunately, I found myself able to pilot Krishna without any major problems and proceeded to make a living as a mercenary just like in the game. I had funds due to the stuff I found inside Krishna when I first got here, but they would have been used up sooner or later.

I don’t know how I got here, but the fact is I found myself in a world similar to the game I was playing. I might as well enjoy it instead of brooding over my situation.

And so, I became a mercenary, met Elma and Mimi, hunted down pirates, and teamed up with my fellow mercs to render meritorious service to the imperial military.

But it looks like I stood out way too much. I got eyed by a beautiful but dangerous-looking female Imperial officer and pestered daily into joining the army. I got annoyed by it, so I decided to escape from the clutches of the scary imperial military and ran away. What I sought for was freedom.

Mercenaries like us ought to be free after all. We’re free to move to another sector if we feel that it would make us more profit by doing so. It may not be so bad to join the imperial military, but I’d still be able to make a decent living as a mercenary even without involving myself with the military. There’s absolutely no problem.

By the way, the three of us on this ship each have our own goals.

My goal is to buy a detached house with a nice garden on a residential planet somewhere in this galaxy. Oh, and I want to drink lots and lots of carbonated drinks as well.

This galaxy didn’t have carbonated drinks available for some reason. I tried to investigate, but couldn’t find out why this was the case. I couldn’t find any clues regarding carbonated drinks no matter what media I used. I really don’t understand.

But I have heard before that it was hard to drink carbonated drinks in a zero-G environment or something. I don’t know just how it turned out this way, but it really looks like carbonation has become a form of lost technology out here in space.

So I decided to revive and spread the wonderfulness of drinking carbonated drinks to terrestrial planets in this galaxy instead. And afterward, I’ll get to drink to my heart’s content.

Anyway, that’s why my goal is to buy a house with a garden on a residential planet. It seems like in order to do that within the empire, I’d have to get first-class citizenship and fork out several hundreds of millions of Enels. It was crazily expensive.

Mimi’s goal was to tour the galaxy and taste all the gourmet food it has to offer. There should be a lot of mysterious, tasty treats we’ve yet to eat out there in this wide galaxy after all. She wanted to eat all of them. That’s Mimi’s ultimate goal. It’s a simple yet grand-sounding goal! I’m tagging along for the ride as well, by the way. I’m also secretly aiming to have Mimi drink carbonated beverages as part of our gourmet adventure as well.

Lastly, there’s Elma. In addition to fully paying me back for her debt, she wanted to earn enough money to be able to restart as an independent mercenary again someday.

She currently owes me about 3,000,000 Enels. One Enel is equivalent to one hundred Japanese Yen, so when converted, she owes me three hundred million Yen. That’s a lot of money. That said, Elma’s actually earned more than 260,000 Enels during our pirate hunting gig and run-in with the Federation in the Termaine star system. I’m sure she’d be able to pay me back within a year or two at this pace.

Well, she did have to buy herself a new ship if she wanted to get back to being an independent mercenary again, so she’d still have to stay as my crewmember even after paying back her debt.

These are our current circumstances.

We’re now heading towards the place with the best medical technology in the empire; the Alein star system.

The reason for this is me being unable to tell the girls honestly that I’m a guy who wandered into this alternate galaxy from another world. Because I wasn’t familiar with things the locals consider as common knowledge, I ended up giving the excuse that I was involved in an accident during Hyperdrive and got selective amnesia.

Elma and Mimi got really worried after hearing that and suggested I get myself a detailed check-up at a medical station. It would seem suspicious if I refused such a suggestion, and I was also interested in having my body checked out as well, so I agreed in the end. I got transferred from another dimension after all. I want to make sure there wasn’t anything funny going on with my body. There’s always the possibility of some disorders popping up, so I wanted to make sure.

Anyway, that’s why we’re heading for the Alein star system. We were after their cutting-edge medical facilities there. It’s something important, so I had to stress it twice.


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I Woke Up Piloting the Strongest Starship, so I Became a Space Mercenary

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