168 – Crystal Campaign



Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

Let’s see. Ever wonder why nobles are still swinging swords around in a super high-tech SF dimension with big laser beams available? And why the heck do you need to be so wary of them? Well, there are some really complicated and deep reasons (at least for me) behind it.

First, let’s talk about swords. Since its inception, the Graccan Empire has always regarded swords as a symbol of power and authority. Something like that isn’t particularly rare though. That’s also the case on Earth, especially for the knights in the European Middle Ages and the samurai of Edo-period Japan, among other examples. Swords like European broadswords and Japanese katanas were symbols of authority to varying degrees and had long and storied histories. If so, then it’s not so farfetched for the nobles of the Empire, who still maintain a form of the feudal system, to maintain such traditions as well.

Well, there was no denying that guns were more effective than swords in many aspects, so for a time, swords really were regarded as nothing more than status symbols. A few hundred years ago, Nobles also had guns strapped to their waists in addition to their swords.

However, with the rapid advancement of biotechnology, the situation changed. The Nobles made use of highly advanced biotechnology to remodel their bodies at the genetic level and get cybernetic implants and such in order to cope with the ever-increasing workload stemming from their position as the ruling class. So strengthening their bodies far beyond the theoretical limits was an inevitable development. At first, they only dabbled in strengthening treatments aimed at increasing lifespan and stimulating brain activity, but it led to the development of techniques suited to enhance physical prowess and the brain’s information processing capability to extremely high levels.

It resulted in absolutely dramatic improvements in the overall abilities of the Nobles. And with the development of material engineering technologies, the swords that were once relegated as mere symbols underwent a period of rapid improvement as well. The Nobles then combined the sword techniques passed down from their ancestors with their newfound abilities and brought about a revival of swordsmanship.

If one was a swordmaster who has attained the absolute pinnacle of swordsmanship, it might be possible to perform the feat of cutting down bullets in mid-air. But for the Nobles with powered-up abilities, cutting down bullets became nothing but child’s play.

The brain and body strengthening technologies still continue to develop to this day alongside Noble sword techniques and swordsmanship styles. Weapons that shot physical alloy projectiles were turned obsolete, and laser weapons with powerful miniaturized internal oscillators replaced them. But these days, even laser projectiles flying at lightspeed can be easily deflected by the Nobles. In some cases, they even reflect them back at the shooter as a form of counterattack.

I couldn’t help but ask ‘Are those guys freaking Je*is!?’ when I first learned of this fact.

And so, that brings us to my current situation.

“No, no, no, no, no! I can’t do it! I can’t– Gyaaaaa!?”

“Y’know, it’s actually amazing how Boss is doing so well even if he complains like that.”

“It really is amazing.”

I was currently crossing swords with Mei without my power armor on. Uh, Mei’s weapon was actually her baton made of ultra-compressed alloy, so I can’t exactly call it ‘crossing swords’ after all. But that’s not important right now.

The heavy metallic baton held in Mei’s left hand was swung at me with terrific force. I first tried to desperately avoid it, but quickly realized I wouldn’t make it in time. So I held up the sword in my right hand to try and receive it. However, I’ve already learned that if I merely tried to block, my sword will simply just be repelled due to the great difference in strength.

I held my breath. Time slowed to a crawl, and Mei’s baton, which was originally coming at me at a terrifying speed, turned super slow. It was as if we were suddenly submerged underwater and it faced tremendous resistance due to that.

If I simply put up my sword to receive the strike, I would definitely lose out due to her weapon’s weight in addition to the force of her swing. There’s only one thing I could do. I had to aim at the weakest point of the strike and disrupt it. I rapidly closed the distance and aimed to strike Mei’s fingers that were holding the baton.


The trajectory of the baton that was swinging toward me at high speed suddenly changed. It now aimed straight for my face. I managed to avoid it with a slight movement of my neck, and I took advantage of the opening created after Mei’s full swing missed in order to strike at her torso– But Mei suddenly used her right hand to unleash a knife-hand strike to deflect my slash. The force of her knife-hand strike was tremendous, and it resulted in my sword flinging out from my grip.


Her right hand then went straight for my neck and gripped it tightly. It was a splendid Neck Hanging Tree move.

“I don’t think I can ever win against you, Mei……”

The difference between our specs was just too large.

“There’s actually no need for you to win though…… Master, this is your first time handling a sword, right?”

“I used to play with wooden swords when I was a kid, but that’s about it.”

I was surprised when she declared she wanted to ascertain my sword skills before we begin the lesson and suddenly swung her baton at me, but she did control her strength so her strikes only caused some minor bruising. If I ever ate a full-powered strike from Mei, I don’t think I’d survive it. But anyway, dang it sure hurts.

“Perhaps I have a natural talent for the sword or something?”

“No, I don’t think that’s the case, Master.”

“I-I see……”

Well, that sucks. I even got my hopes up a bit.

“Your footwork, body usage, and way of gripping the sword are all decidedly amateurish. However, your reflexes and overall sword handling skills are far beyond normal. Did you really never undergo body strengthening treatments, Master?”

“I don’t have any memory of ever receiving them, yeah.”

I can’t say for sure if I really didn’t undergo one since how I came to this dimension was still a complete mystery to me, but if I actually did, then I think Dr. Shouko would have told me when I got my check-up. That’s why it probably isn’t the case after all.

“At any rate, the fact that your reaction speed and reflexes are already on par with Nobles who have undergone body strengthening treatments is a wonderful thing, Master. In terms of overall physical abilities, you are only at the level of an ordinary well-trained human, but your reaction speed is a different story. With it, you should be able to put up a fight even against Nobles from the Drawn Sword faction.”

“I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no intention of crossing swords with those monsters.”

“The possibility of Master facing situations like that can’t be said to be zero, regardless of your intent. Of course, as long as I am by your side, I will never let anyone lay even one finger on you Master, regardless of how many opponents there are. But you should still train just in case.”

“Well, I guess you’re right……”

Judging from how many close scrapes and dangerous escapades I found myself in until now, it was just as Mei said. There really was no guarantee that I won’t find myself in another troublesome matter. Yeah. Sometimes, I even feel like it’s actually inevitable. Ah, I’m definitely gonna get picked on, huh. I can’t help but have such a premonition.

“It’s alright, Master. My pre-installed assets include a detailed advanced course for swordsmanship training. There’s no need to worry on that end.”


“With that said, let’s try to raise Master to the level of an expert swordsman in 72 hours.”


“Well then, let us begin. I have anticipated this matter, so I have also prepared a VR device for training purposes. First, let us start with the basics such as how to hold the sword correctly, how to swing it, how to find your center of gravity and some basic footwork. I’ll drill them to you thoroughly.”

After saying so, Mei put away her metal baton and suddenly brought out a whip-like object from somewhere. Gosh. That looks pretty painful.

Today’s Izrooks sector is very prosperous and bustling with activity. But in the past, it, along with the Izrooks system, which is the sector’s main system, was only an unassuming backwater frontier sector with an outpost to counter incursions from crystal lifeforms. Even the Jerom system, with its large deposits of rare crystal ores, was only one of the many unexplored remote areas.

The main cause of this situation was the aforementioned crystal lifeforms. Back then, people had not yet obtained a clear picture of the crystal lifeform’s ecology, and they also posed a great threat against the Imperial Military. Furthermore, the Empire already had tense relationships with neighboring powers such as the Vereverem Federation and had many other underdeveloped star systems and sectors under its rule. That’s why the Empire’s higher-ups were quite reluctant to put any effort into surveying and reclaiming places already infested by crystal lifeforms.

The key to the decision of the Graccan Empire to push for the development of the Izrooks sector with such zeal was a battle that is now famously known as the 『Crystal Campaign』, in which a combined fleet composed of the Imperial Military and contracted mercenaries set out for a crystal lifeform extermination operation.

Back then, information regarding the crystal lifeforms was quite scarce. At most, they only knew that the crystal lifeforms expanded their territory gradually at regular intervals.

The Imperial Military in those days gathered enough forces in the Izrooks system in order to repel such an invasion and was quite successful in the endeavor.

And there was a particular mercenary captain that jumped to the forefront of history during this particular campaign. That’s right, everyone. As you may have already guessed, it’s the famed Captain Hiro. Captain Hiro’s various feats during that battle have been officially recorded in the Imperial database.

By the time he arrived at the military outpost located in the Izrooks system, the combined military and mercenary forces were already engaged in repelling the crystal lifeforms assaulting the base.

Captain Hiro, who just arrived at the battlefield, immediately rushed in singlehandedly toward the swarm of innumerable crystal lifeforms with only a single ship. He ended up causing great damage to the enemies and successfully lured a significant portion of the crystal lifeforms attacking the base away. That gave enough time for the embattled Imperial Fleet to get a second wind and successfully repel the attack.

And furthermore, his favorite ship managed to return virtually unscathed from such an ordeal. He was awarded the prestigious Silver Sword Wings Assault medal for his heroics.

Back then, it was standard procedure for the Imperial Military to send a small number of recon fleets in order to scout out the surrounding areas after a crystal lifeform incursion. The then-commander of the frontline base also followed the procedure to the letter and promptly sent out recon fleets.

Normally, scouting operations like that would end after a certain amount of time was spent surveying the surrounding systems, but that particular operation was graced with two unusual factors. Needless to say, one of them was the presence of Captain Hiro, but the other was on the Imperial Military’s side. When the Imperial Military and Captain Hiro are mentioned together, there’s only one other name that comes to mind. And surely, the combined Imperial Recon Fleet did include the presence of the famous Princess Admiral (who was still a Lieutenant Commander back then) Serena Holz, and her Independent Anti-Pirate Mobile Fleet.

Although the recon fleets suffered major losses, they successfully discovered the location of the Mother Crystal, which was the nucleus of the crystal lifeform presence in the sector. It was located at the Jerom system. They brought back the information, and the Princess Admiral quickly formulated a plan to annihilate the crystal lifeforms. The commander of the frontline base quickly approved the operation, and a large combined fleet was sent out the same day.

The dispatched combined fleet fought an intense battle in the Jerom system and succeeded in defeating the Mother Crystal, but Captain Hiro played a large part in its eventual demise. He once again charged straight toward the Mother Crystal in a lone ship and hit its core with anti-ship reactive torpedoes from extremely close range.

It was around this time that Captain Hiro’s mercenary colleagues began addressing him with the nickname ‘Crazy’. Thus, the moniker Captain ‘Crazy’ Hiro was coined.

In addition, the inert corpse of the Mother Crystal, which boasts a size comparable to a large planet, still remains at the Jerom system to this day. And ever since the Graccan Empire formally took the Jerom system under its wing, the Mother Crystal’s body continues to supply the Empire with abundant amounts of rare crystal ores.



Novel Schedule

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

Schedule will be reduced when the goal is reached

Balance: 0

Comments (2)

  1. RPGsus

    Captain ‘Crazy’ Hiro…? I like ‘Gold Star Lunatic’ better.
    “Large” planet? Didn’t they compare it to a “minor” planet before? Or is it embellishment for the history books?

    1. 88898

      They didn’t even admitted that the defensive battle before Hiro joined in are quite precarious state. They might win even if he didn’t help, sure, but they also might lose. I think it’s embellished for history record too.

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