129 – Test Run
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“Fumu. That should do it, I guess.”
I left Mimi, Elma, and the sisters inside the dining room and proceeded to the cargo hold in order to organize the cargo with May. By the way, I only organized the power armor and weapons. Everything else was left for May to handle.
“Thanks for your help as always, May. I’m trying not to rely on you for everything though, but it looks like I’m not doing a good job.”
“Is that so. But I will be more than happy if you relied on me more, Master.”
May, whose hands were filled with cargo, moved in front of me with great momentum. The pressure she’s emitting was really great.
“I’m just thinking it would be bad to rely on you for everything. I don’t want to be too idle and become slovenly.”
May was handling almost everything on top of monitoring the sisters after all.
“Hm. By the way, May, how are those two? Anything going on?”
“They seem to be fine for the most part.”
May put the items she was carrying down and turned toward me once more.
“In addition, I do think the merits of letting those two aboard outweigh the risks and demerits as well. And Master has already approved of them as well, so I will just do my part and ensure nothing goes wrong.”
“I see. By the way, what risks and demerits were you referring to, exactly?”
“The first things to pay attention to is Tina’s hasty conduct and Whisker’s tendency to entertain outlandish ideas and the potential resulting problems from said behaviors. The possibility of an incident much like when Master first met with the two of them happening again in the future isn’t zero. I do think they have learned the consequences due to what happened this time though.”
“Y-Yeah. That’s right. What else?”
“There’s a risk of personal and confidential information regarding Krishna and its crew would be leaked to Space Dwerg because of those two. However, after looking up Space Dwerg’s track record and management policies, it seems they are not really fond of such underhanded dealings. Judging from their eagerness to obtain records of Master’s day to day life exploits as a mercenary, I believe there is a high probability they truly are interested in the entertainment value of those records apart from their interest in new technology.”
“Yes. Just like what Mimi-sama said, colony residents are highly starved for entertainment, and they find the life of so-called space drifters particularly interesting. They live a stable, if somewhat dull, everyday life, and thus hold a kind of admiration for the lives of those who travel freely among the stars just like Master.”
I don’t really get why they’d find my daily life entertaining in the least though. Instead of wholesome family entertainment, they’d probably get material that’s more suitable for viewing behind closed doors. But I don’t have the slightest intention of providing material for ‘that’ sort of program at all though.
“In conclusion, I will just abide by your wishes, Master. I will make sure those two will not have the opportunity to mess up, so Master doesn’t have to worry about anything.”
“I see…… Understood. Thanks, May.”
“Yes. Those words are enough of a reward for me, Master.”
After saying so, the corners of May’s lips lifted up ever so slightly.
And so, we found ourselves back inside the Krishna, but things won’t end with just sorting out the cargo.
“A-Are we really going, boss?”
“Yeah, we sure are.”
“I-I-It’ll be okay, right?”
“Sure it will. Hunting pirates is a piece of cake for Hiro-sama.”
After we completed the test run, we decided to have some live combat practice by going out to hunt pirates. I have already contacted Space Dwerg and have been given the go-ahead to take Tina and Whisker with us.
『Please don’t hesitate to take them.』
The face of Sara on the other side of the screen replied as such while displaying a really radiant smile. She must have felt satisfied after seeing Whisker and Tina’s blue faces due to all the trouble the pair have caused her.
It was a bit in poor taste, but I can’t exactly blame her since these two caused her to nearly fail the big contract she managed to close, and even had her offer a stream of apologies, not only to me but to her bosses too. In other words, she had a lot to be pissed about, so yeah. I’ll just pretend I didn’t see the darkness lurking behind her radiant smile.
The sisters sat down on the sub-seats they pulled out from a corner of the cockpit’s walls and fastened their seatbelts. After seeing them secure themselves, I proceeded with the preparations for launch.
The reason why they left their seats once earlier was probably to put ‘those’ on before departure. You know. That thing. It’s to prevent themselves from possibly making a mess later. Mimi’s already graduated from using them, but now I’m glad I didn’t throw away the ones left over. Yep.
“Generator is A-okay. Output is stable. Power transmission to all sections is good as well.”
“Is there anything different after the overhaul?”
“There’s none. But having a ship function the same as usual after taking it apart and putting it back together is proof of their skills, don’t you think?”
“I guess so. How about you, Mimi?”
“There’s no problem on my end as well. I’ve gotten departure clearance.”
“Ok, let’s get going then.”
I grabbed the control stick and flew the Krishna out of the maintenance workshop’s hangar. Once we get back, well park inside the public docks again.
“How is it?”
“Not bad. I really feel more in my element when piloting Krishna.”
There’s a huge difference between the response times of my partner and the prototype ship I piloted last time. The feeling of the ship resonating with my every whim was truly exhilarating. Now, this is what you call a combat ship.
“Wow, it sure flies smoothly.”
“The inertial control system installed is really top-notch. It doesn’t shake at all, and you can hardly feel the ship accelerating and decelerating.”
“But if you push this thing according to its intended specs, even this inertial control system wouldn’t be able to keep up, right? What are we gonna do when that happens, boss?”
“That’s right…… Once we start doing combat maneuvers, we’d be hit with quite a bit of Gs, right Hiro-sama?”
“Yep. It would be disastrous if we entered a fight with a full stomach.”
“Please don’t. I won’t be able to stand going into combat with a cockpit filled with floating vomit.”
Elma, who was sitting on the sub-pilot seat, complained while sporting a disgusted expression on her face. Even I don’t want to experience something like that y’know.
“A-Ahaha…… I-It’s okay. We just had tea earlier anyway, right Whisker?”
The faces of the sisters turned blue with fear again, perhaps because all the talk about combat maneuvers reminded them we were about to engage pirates in battle soon. Since they were momentarily able to forget their fear when we started talking about technical stuff, I guess I’ll go for a short test flight around the colony first to help get rid of their nervousness.
“Hm? We’re not gonna use the FTL Drive yet?”
“We’re going for a test flight first.”
“We piloted a completely different ship from Krishna for a few days after all, Mimi. It’s important to regain our feel for this ship again before we engage in combat activities.”
I gradually raised the throttle to accelerate Krishna as I listened to Mimi and Elma’s exchange.
Yeah, the reaction between the throttle and the ship’s thrusters isn’t bad either. As expected of dwarves. They’re very thorough.
“W-Whoah…… This thing is fast.”
“It’s a small ship so it’s supposed to be fast, but I guess you feel it’s faster than expected huh.”
Once we reached top speed, I cut the flight assist and switched to manual mode. I then started to perform several combat maneuvers.
I tried all sorts of different maneuvers like using the afterburners for making sharp and sudden turns, drifting using the resulting counterforce, reverse flight, barrel rolls, and so on.
“Looks like there’s no problem. Let’s go guys.”
“Yes. Activating the FTL Drive.”
“Charging start. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…… FTL Drive, activate.”
With a loud boom, the Krishna sped off beyond lightspeed. The eyes of the sisters were spinning, but I figured it would turn out that way, so I wasn’t really bothered about it.
“A-Are you guys usually like this?”
“Yes… This is usually how it is for us.”
“I kinda feel I now understand why you have nerves of steel despite your looks, Mimi-san.”
Mimi has nerves of steel? That’s just…… No, maybe she actually does. Recently, she doesn’t act all panicky that often anymore and is a lot more composed compared to when we first met her. Maybe she built up her so-called nerves of steel after spending time with crazy folk like us.
“Now then, where are those pesky pirates hiding, I wonder–”
I opened the system map and picked out all the sectors where pirates were likely to appear.
Their targets would either be the trade goods manufactured in Brad Prime, or the various rare metals mined and refined from the surrounding resource-rich asteroid belt. Mm, in this system, dealing with rare metals would be easier. It would be a simple matter to sell the stolen metals off to a ‘clean’ mining ship and make a quick buck.
“Yosh, let’s head for the asteroid belt.”
“Understood. I’ll mark the coordinates on the map.”
Just like Mimi said, several markers appeared on the map displayed on the HUD. We’ll just have to head for those markers one by one.
“W-We’re finally starting huh……”
“I-I’m feeling nervous.”
The sisters froze up due to nervousness.
“Don’t worry so much, you two. It’s not like we’ll enter combat the moment we arrive at the asteroid belt.”
“That’s right. We’ll have to scout out the points first and check if there are pirates in those areas. You’ll just tire yourselves out if you keep being that nervous.”
“Ahaha, this sure reminds me of the time I first boarded Krishna.”
Mimi looked at the shaking Tina and Whisker and displayed a wry grin. Yeah, Mimi was also a nervous wreck when she first boarded Krishna. It’s a bit nostalgic.
“Y-You’re telling the truth, right? If you guys are lying, I’m really gonna cry y’know.”
“We’re gonna believe you all, okay?”
“Hahaha, it’s fine guys.”
It’s rare to find prey as soon as you enter the hunting grounds. There’s no problem. I did some prior research as well, so I think this trip will turn out to be mostly sightseeing in the asteroid belt. It’s all good.