125 – Discussion on the Way Back
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“We’ll see you later, boss.”
“Thank you for the treat.”
Tina was all-smiles as she energetically waved goodbye and Whisker bowed politely and followed after her sister. We waved goodbye to the sisters as well and started heading back to the hotel.
“The dwarf-yaki was really delicious, wasn’t it? And it was really fun to cook your own food.”
“I think most people who don’t usually cook would find it novel as well. I did buy a portable cooking kit, remember? Do you want to have Tetsujin make the ingredients so we can try cooking again next time?”
“Yes. I’ll help out as well.”
It looks like Mimi has taken a shine to cooking because of the dwarf-yaki. Well, just baking, boiling, or frying stuff isn’t all that complicated, so I guess I can teach Mimi what I know once we get the opportunity. Back on Earth, the first dish I ever learned to cook was just your average scrambled eggs. However, I’ve never seen any real eggs in this dimension ever since I got here. Guess I’ll check Tetsujin out first to see what types of ingredients it can actually produce.
“From what we’ve seen, they don’t really seem like bad people. They do get carried away sometimes, so that’s somewhat of a fault. But their skills as mechanics and engineers are mostly stellar, no?”
“That’s right. I inquired with Space Dwerg and found that Tina’s engineer rank evaluation is A and Whisker’s is S.”
“So Whisker was actually the more talented of the two?”
Elma sounded surprised as she gave a questioning look at May, who subtly shook her head.
“No, they are about equal. According to Space Dwerg’s evaluation criteria, in addition to an excellent service record, one would also have to render a significant technical contribution to the company in order to be ranked S. I did not go so far as finding out what exactly her contribution was, however.”
So, judging from her tone, it looks like May would be able to find out that particular piece of info even if Space Dwerg didn’t specifically disclose it to her. If I ask her, I wonder if she really can? No, I bet she definitely could….. It was a bit unsettling, so I better not bring it up.
“But basically, they are both really excellent in what they do, right? So what do you think, guys? I’m leaning on letting them come aboard.”
“Can I ask the reasons why you’re thinking about letting them join?”
“To put it simply, it’s to reap the benefits even with the accompanying bit of risk. There’s a risk of having some info about us leak out by having Space Dwerg employees board our ship, but I think we can basically ignore that to a certain extent. The merits of having qualified engineers and mechanics aboard trumps that risk. And according to May, there’s no doubt those two are fairly skilled, so that’s all the more reason to let them join.”
“I see. What do you think, Mimi?”
After hearing my thoughts, Elma turned to Mimi to ask her opinion. It looks like Mimi’s already formed her views on the matter, and she gave her answer without any pause.
“I did manage to get along with Whisker-san and Tina-san today, so I think it’s okay as well. But if you want to completely eliminate the risk, wouldn’t it be better to decline? We could just look for other skilled engineers not affiliated with Space Dwerg.”
“That would be really difficult, I think. Technology is advancing day by day. The engineers who have experience with the latest techniques and innovations are basically all working for certain established companies. So skilled engineers that are not affiliated with said companies can only be found in academic institutions focused on technology and engineering or certain research labs.”
“Okay. Well, there’s also the option of increasing the maidroids like May-san and maintenance droids, right?”
“That’s also one method, but the costs of increasing the number of maidroids on par with my specs will be quite high. And also, it will be difficult for multiple AIs to serve the same master as well.”
“We also have our own circumstances. It could work if it was only a temporary thing, but there would be some complications if you want something more permanent.”
After saying so, May quieted down. It looks like she doesn’t really want to talk about the situation of the AIs all that much. I could order her to continue disclosing the details here, but seeing as she looks uncomfortable with it, I don’t really feel like doing that right now.
But I was still a bit curious, so I’ll try to talk about it with her when we’re alone together. Yep.
“In other words, it’s difficult to find skilled engineers who aren’t tied up one way or another, right? Well, if I was a skilled engineer myself, I would definitely want to work for a reputable company too.”
“Yes. Those who claim to be skilled freelance engineers are mostly quacks or people who’ve been dismissed from work due to causing some sort of mishap.”
“Tina and Whisker would have been fired after causing an incident as well, if not for Hiro asking to go easy on them.”
That’s certainly true. They did injure a customer after all. I’d say they barely hung on by the skin of their teeth.
“That’s true. But I’m not sure if we can get along with another set of people if we have them replaced now. I personally wouldn’t want a bearded old man tagging along with us.”
Instead of that, cute twin sisters were way better, even if they were a bit problematic. They were definitely easier on the eyes, disregarding whether or not I would actually lay my hands on them.
“You’re really adamant about them huh? Did you really take a liking to them?”
“……It’s not really like that. It’s just that if we were to reject them now, I can’t imagine it ending well for them. It would kinda leave a bad taste in my mouth.”
“Hmmm…? Well, if you say so Hiro, then I don’t particularly have anything against it either. It would be no problem if May looked after those two anyway.”
“Yes. I will constantly monitor them with a mobile terminal to prevent them from doing anything suspicious.”
“Yes. The same one Miro used back on Sierra III. Though the functions are more limited, they are smaller and more mobile.”
“Hee, so there’s something like that as well.”
We did interact with a volleyball-sized floating terminal that Miro used as its interface back on Sierra III. So it looks like May is able to use something like it as well.
“There would be limits if I were to control multiple terminals, but controlling just two would pose no problems.”
“I see…… I did offer some options, but if Hiro-sama is okay with letting them board, then I’m fine with it as well. Like I said earlier, I did manage to get along well with them today.”
“So it’s decided then. It would be fine for those two to room up in the mothership, right?”
“That would be ideal. It would be best if they secure rooms near the hangar.”
“So they’ll be pretty close by huh. Let’s try to get along with them well then.”
“Yeah. If nothing else crops up, we’ll go through with it.”
And so, it was decided to let those sisters onboard as we discussed while walking back to the hotel.
『I see. Well then, I’ll tell the two of them the good news and have them prepare accordingly.』
The next day. I contacted Sara and told her the decision to let the twins on board.
“Yeah, please do. I’ll leave the interior of their rooms up to you guys, but I have some requests regarding the interior of the rest of the mothership. I’ll send you the data later, so please use it as a reference. Basically, it’ll go up by a grade or two.”
『Understood. We will be waiting for the data then.』
I turned my data terminal off after cutting the call with Sara. Alright then, what should I do today…? As I was lost in thought, someone hugged me from behind. It wasn’t all that soft, so……! It’s probably Elma, huh.
“You’re thinking of something rude again, aren’t you?”
I tapped on the arm that was wrapping around my neck in surrender. She was able to read my thoughts even if she didn’t see my expression huh. Or rather, I’m gonna fall. I’m gonna fall, so stop clinging onto me like that. But just where was she getting all this power even though she had really delicate-looking arms?
“Haa…… haa….. Man. You’re so enthusiastic even this early in the morning, aren’t you?”
“I’m just passionate. So, are you planning on going somewhere today?”
“I was thinking about it. Why?”
“You’re restless as always, huh…… We’re finally staying in such a ritzy hotel, so why don’t you take this opportunity to relax more? Honestly.”
Elma sighed in exasperation and sat down next to me. Then she forcibly pulled my head down on her lap. A forced lap pillow huh.
“We’re finally on a break after so long, so stop being a busybody and just relax. Isn’t deepening the bond with his crew members also a captain’s responsibility?”
“Now there’s an opinion I don’t hear much about. But if Elma says so, then I guess I’ll just comply obediently.”
I found it kind of a luxury spending time leisurely like this without doing anything. Maybe it’s a habit from back when I was just your typical poor salaryman, but I still felt it would be my loss if I didn’t do something productive in my free time.
“What about Mimi?”
“Oh c’mon you. I’m giving you a lap pillow and yet… Well, I guess it’s fine. It looks like she’s holed up in her room and is busy with her data terminal. It looks like the dwarf-yaki yesterday really made an impression on her. She’s researching the various gourmet spots in the colony.”
But it’s not like she needed to stay inside her room to do that, right? It would be fine even if she joined us in the living area to do her research.
“……It looks like it’s my turn to have you all to myself today, so she went out of her way to give us some space.”
Elma lightly hit my head when I started to rub my cheek on her lap. But she didn’t really look angry. Rather, she was actually smiling happily. Anyway, it’s decided I would spend my time relaxing today, so that’s that folks.