073 – What the Heck is This!?
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“U-Um, why do Hiro-sama’s eyes look dead……?”
“I’m not too sure myself. After taking a sip of the drink he ordered from Miro, he cried out something like 『A flavor that’s like annin dofu… A faint medicinal smell… The hell!? Ain’t this thing D**tor Pepper!?』 and has been in that state ever since.”
Hi folks. This is Hiro speaking. The thing I expected to be cola turned out to be D**tor Pepper.
Well, it’s certainly a kind of carbonated beverage, okay. But what is this sense of utter disappointment?
I’m a firm adherent of the C*ke faction y’know! D*c Pep honestly ain’t that bad but C*ke is way, waay better in my opinion.
“It’s a type of drink I haven’t seen before……”
Chris softly muttered as she gazed at the box filled with D**tor Pepper bottles. Is C*ke really that unknown over here……? Uh, well, I guess it is huh. I understand that, okay. So I can’t blame Miro for this.
“Do you want to try some……? It’s a bit of an acquired taste though.”
“Is it alright?”
“Sure. I’ll open a new bottle for you.”
“Uh, um, I might not be able to finish a whole bottle, so……”
Chris glanced at the bottle of D**tor Pepper I took a sip from. Uh…… I don’t really mind, but is she really fine with this?
“Would something like that be proper for a noble’s daughter?”
“Please do not mind the details.”
Chris answered while flashing me one of her elegant smiles, so I relented and handed over the opened bottle of D**tor Pepper to her.
“Don’t drink it all at once, okay? You’re not used to the sensation of drinking a carbonated soft drink yet, so it’s better to drink it little by little first. It’ll go down smoother that way.”
“I understand…… Mmm!?”
The brand name of D*c Pep in this dimension is Mister Pepparoni, so it would be Mr. Pep if shortened huh. After drinking a sip of Mr. Pep, Chris’ eyes widened in surprise. This is her first experience drinking a carbonated drink, so I guess that reaction’s to be expected.
“It’s delicious… and it goes all tingly inside my mouth. But it has a faint taste of medicine though……?”
“According to what I know, this drink has a long and interesting history. Apparently, it was first advertised as an herbal drink with effects beneficial to one’s health. But since drinking herbal medicine wasn’t all that pleasant an experience, they added some tasty syrup and subjected the drink to a process called carbonation in order to produce that tingly mouthfeel.”
I don’t know how it is in this dimension, but that was how the rumors went back on Earth anyway.
“Yes. What is it, sir?”
“Can you get me a drink that’s similar…… No, it doesn’t have to be similar after all. Can you get me every type of carbonated drink you have available? The non-alcoholic kinds please.”
“Understood. We have four more kinds of carbonated beverages available.”
“Give me one can of those each then. I’ll decide if I’ll order more once I’ve tried all of them.”
After observing Chris drinking the stuff for a while, Mimi also asked for the bottle of Mr. Pep in Chris’ hands to take a sip. Mimi’s eyes also widened in surprise after taking a swig. These girls sure have cute reactions. But isn’t taking turns drinking from the bottle I’d taken a drink from kinda improper, you guys?
“It’s a curious drink.”
“Why does it tingle inside the mouth?”
Mimi gazed at me with eyes full of curiosity. After seeing Mimi like that, I tried hard to remember all I could about the subject and relayed what I knew to her.
“That effect is due to infusing carbon dioxide into the drink using a process called carbonation. But because it isn’t suitable out in space, it’s only available on residential planets.”
“So these tingly bubbles are a result of adding carbon dioxide?”
“I see… It really won’t be suitable in a colony that’s located in outer space then. There’s high pressure inside this container, correct?”
“Yup. It’s pressurized. If you shake those bottles strongly with the cap still on, the contents will spurt out once you open them.”
Chris seemed convinced by my explanation. So I was right then. Drinking carbonated stuff inside an outer space colony or starship isn’t advisable… But it should be fine to have them in an environment with gravity and air pressure applied properly though.
Hmm. But maybe they still haven’t invented the artificial gravity generators during the age of moving into outer space. So the carbonation process may have become obsolete out in space as a result… But the tradition continued on residential planets. There’s also the possibility of an event that resulted in the abandonment of carbonation technology all at once too. There’s very little records about the subject, so I really can’t say for sure… How mysterious.
“Ugh. Enough about that weird drink already. What about lunch? I also want to check out the boutique later.”
“Oh? So you’re planning to change out of your usual mercenary clothes and dress yourself up, Elma?”
I’m a little miffed about her calling carbonated drinks weird, but I’m quite interested in Elma wearing stylish clothes instead of her usual rugged mercenary get up. Mimi had the gothic lolita clothes with a mature air about them that I’d purchased for her as well as the casual wear she bought herself, but Elma only ever wears those mercenary-style clothes of hers except for very few instances. It’s not like she doesn’t have any cash on hand, so I guess it’s just that she’s very picky when it comes to clothes.
“Dress myself up…? Oh c’mon. I normally choose my clothes while considering TPO you know.”
“You’ve got some strange concept of TPO lady. You can change out of your mercenary get up when we’re relaxing back on the ship y’know. I mean, c’mon Elma.”
“Well, um… if you’re that insistent, then I’ll think about it. Maybe.”
She talked like she was annoyed, but her face was bright red, so it looks like she’s not against it all that much anyway. This’ll be great. I’m looking forward to seeing her don different outfits now.
“Well, since we’re going to the boutique anyway, why don’t we buy some more clothes for each of us as well as some daily necessities? I’ll pay for them all, so don’t worry and just buy whatever strikes your fancy.”
“Y-You don’t have to go that far for me.”
“Nah, don’t mind me. It’s something necessary after all.”
Since Mimi, Elma, and me were all in agreement, Chris ended up relenting as well.
“It’s fine you know. I’ll just charge it to your grandfather like usual.”
“B-But isn’t that……”
“Like I said, don’t mind it too much. You’ve built up plenty of stress right? Though it may be a bit difficult for you considering all that’s happened, try to take this opportunity to relax, okay?”
She looks fine now for the most part, but Chris did go through the traumatic experience of losing both her parents after all. She might have taken her mind off of those matters temporarily during her two days of staying with us, but now that we’re about to spend two weeks at this resort, she’ll eventually think about them and her bundled up nerves might snap at any moment.
It’ll lighten Chris’ load a bit if she’s able to deal with some of the pent up stress somehow…… At least, that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. Honestly, this is about all I can do for the poor girl right now. Since our social positions are too far apart, I can’t really get too close to her. And when it comes to the experience of losing parents, Mimi will be able to relate to her better since she’d undergone something similar.
“Yes, Captain Hiro.”
“Can we swim in the sea later?”
“Yes. The sea water components have been optimized for swimming. We also have rescue bots on standby in the sea, so if an incident were to happen, we’ll be able to respond immediately. We also have well equipped medical facilities on the island, so the health and safety of our guests is guaranteed.”
“I see. I didn’t bring any swimwear with me, so I guess I’ll have to buy them at the boutique as well. Can we also do some fishing?”
“Yes. We have released and bred many aquatic species suitable for leisure fishing in the planet’s oceans. There are also species unique to this planet as well. We have several recommended fishing spots all around the island and the surrounding waters, so if you would like to proceed with the activity, I can guide you to those spots.”
“Sounds good. It looks like we can enjoy a lot of different activities here huh.”
I felt the girl’s gazes focused on me, so I turned around, only to find them staring at me vacantly with open mouths. What’s wrong, you guys?
“You…… Are you sure you’re not some rich kid who ran away from home?”
“H-Hiro-sama seems to be really used to all this, isn’t he?”
Elma looked at me suspiciously while Mimi seemed like she was somehow impressed. Just why? Por qué? When I turned to Chris, I found her making an impressed look as well.
“Well, you see, it really seems like you’re pretty used to things like swimming in the sea and fishing, Hiro-sama.”
“Well, of course I……”
I finally noticed it. A person born and raised in a colony would normally not be used to things like swimming and fishing. This is because water is a very precious resource in colonies. It’s something essential to survival out in space, so regulations for its distribution and use are strictly enforced. Thus, there’s no way you can get enough water to use for things like swimming in colonies. In any case, it’s a fact that I’ve never seen any sort of pool present in all the colonies we’ve visited so far.
And a hobby like fishing is even more unthinkable for colony born and bred people. There may be people who are familiar with the activity on residential planets, but probably next to none in colonies.
“Well, let’s just say there’s a lot of circumstances for this. Complicated circumstances. Yep. Anyway, I’ve simply had the fortune of experiencing a lot of activities that we can’t do in colonies on my home planet. That’s all.”
“A lot, is it?”
I haven’t told Chris about my possibly being from another dimension, so I’ll just have to dodge the issue with this. She might still get suspicious because my way of dodging the issue was sloppy at best, but it still beats having to explain the fact that I’m from another dimension. That one sounds more crazy after all.
“I have finished preparing your lunch. Please come to the dining area.”
“H-Hey, it’s time for lunch. C’mon girls. Let’s eat. I’m excited about the kind of food here.”
“You’re a bit too obvious you know.”
I ignored Elma’s remark and headed straight for the dining area and sat on the table. But I wonder what kind of food will be served? There wasn’t any dish on the table yet. Don’t tell me they’d be delivered just like that box of Mr. Pep?
Oh, by the way, a drone was the one that actually delivered that box of Mr. Pep earlier.
I tried asking Miro about what kind of system it was, and it told me that there’s a central supply depot that’s based on the planet’s equator. It utilizes a mass driver to send out drone containers filled with goods out into the upper atmosphere. By accurately calculating the container’s trajectory, the driver can send goods directly above the coordinates specified with pinpoint accuracy, and the drones will then descend to the surface once more to deliver the goods with peak efficiency.
What can I say? That’s quite a crude approach huh…? But due to the surface of this planet being predominantly covered by oceans, trying to install a material delivery system directly on its surface would probably not be worth the cost, so that’s why they went with the present system instead.
At first I thought it was simply just drones flying around the planet in order to deliver goods, but that would probably cause too much delay, so they worked on trying to reduce delivery time as much as they can. What a ridiculous system.
To think they’d come up with a system using a mass driver. To sum it up, drone containers containing goods get sent up to the upper atmosphere, and by using accurate trajectory calculations, they can be placed directly on top of the delivery coordinates in order to accomplish goods delivery in record time. As for returning, the drones make use of sunlight to recharge their energy cells and then fly back to the equator base; ready to perform another round of deliveries.
It seems like a real crazy idea if I used my Earthling common sense to judge it, but, judging from the things I’ve witnessed so far, it sure seems damn effective. This is the power of science.
As I was thinking about such things, the door of the lodge opened, and something entered.
It was a maid. It had mechanical parts for ears, but it was unmistakably a maid. A maid robot. It can’t be!? Has technology advanced so far……!? And it looks like there wasn’t just one maid robot. There were five maid robots that entered the lodge while pushing a large wagon. They all had exactly identical faces.
“We have brought you all your lunch.”
The maid robots made elegant bows and briskly began setting up the table and bringing out the dishes. Their coordination was nothing short of perfect, and their movements were fluid and filled with grace. These are some impressive maid robots. I kinda want one too, I think.
“Uwah. That sure looks like an ‘I want one too’ face.”
“Hiro-sama! You don’t have to buy a maidroid, okay! I’ll be the one to take care of you!”
Elma perfectly read what was on my mind, while Mimi stood up from her seat in agitation for some reason. Her breathing even turned rough. So they weren’t called maid robots but maidroids huh.
“But maid robots are a man’s romance y’know?”
“I’m sorry, but Unit S-048 is not for sale. And they are not robots but androids.”
So that’s why they’re called maidroids huh. How amazing.
“However, I can help you get in touch with the manufacturer, Orient Corporation, if you want one custom made. I shall be needing your portable terminal for that.”
“If you please.”
Hahaha. How cute. I probably won’t order one anyway. I think. It looks like Mimi has something against the maidroids. I’ll try asking her about it later.
Now then, let’s leave the maidroids for later. For now, let’s eat.