190 – The Tournament: Space Battle Part




Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

As expected, it seems Chris couldn’t pay a visit to the Imperial Palace every day after all. She couldn’t, but Her Highness, the Princess, still made an effort to get in touch with her as often as she could. She’s, uh, she was kinda a little too into the story of my apparent love affairs or something.

“Now then, let me hear about the person called Dr. Shouko today.”

“Please give me a break already.”

Nothing happened between me and Doc Shouko, okay! We did kinda hit it off a bit, but because of the medical check-up, I had to– Ah, my repressed memories are bubbling back up again! But in the end, I lost to the Princess’ enthusiasm and told her about my meeting with her anyway. Ugh. I don’t care anymore.

I gave up and spilled everything. And finally, the day of the space combat phase of the tournament came.

The space combat phase will be comprised of mock battles using real starships. The output of laser cannons and shields will be dropped, and live ballistic ammo will be replaced with training rounds, though they’re still powerful enough to turn a human body into mush. On top of those, the ships will run a damage management program specially used for mock combat scenarios, and a number of ships installed with a referee evaluation program will be deployed all over the event field. The ships that will serve as referees will be composed of members of the Imperial Military who opted to not participate as combatants this time around. The competition venue will also be another military training facility.

“Hiro-sama, I wonder what kind of people are going to participate this time apart from mercenaries?”

“I can only think of carrier-based spacecraft pilots, but there might be some other pros as well. What do you think, Elma?”

“I think some Mobile Knight pilots will participate as well.”

“Mobile Knights…”

What the heck is up with that cool-sounding job title? Are you telling me they ride humanoid mobile weapons or something? There weren’t any humanoid mobile weapons implemented in SOL, but if you have ’em here, can I get one too?

“They originated from the practice of skilled mercenaries swearing their fealty and service to an Imperial Noble and getting formally Knighted. Their descendants serve the main family of the Noble House they swore fealty to as Mobile Knights for generations. There are quite a few of them serving in Imperial Military Carriers, you know.”

“Do they also ride humanoid mobile weapons or something?”

“In any case, there doesn’t seem to be any of those present in the Empire. Apparently, the Drawn Sword faction submitted a proposal for deploying a number of them here that were equipped with anti-ship blades, but I heard the proposal was indefinitely postponed due to problems with cost-effectiveness and maintenance.”

“So there really are humanoid weapons huh.”

Man, I got kinda fired up after hearing that. So their problem was not being easy to maintain to the point that the military held off on adopting them for widespread deployment huh. Well, there might be other reasons as well though.

“Are those Mobile Knights strong, Elma-sama?”


“You sound stupid when you imitate Mimi, so stop that. Well, they greatly vary in strength. There are Mobile Knights who still actively make use of old-model ancestral starships that were passed down from generation to generation after all.”

“In other words, some of them are pretty strong huh.”

“Yes, of course. There are actually a lot of Mobile Knights who are on par with Gold-ranked mercenaries you know. Mobile Knights often square off with pirates whose main spheres of activity are within territories held by the Noble House they serve. Most, if not all of them, serve as the main commanding officers of their Noble House’s private forces. A few only serve as commanders in-name though.”

“So they have a wealth of live combat experience huh.”

“In some cases, they’re actually more experienced than a majority of Imperial Military Commanders.”

I see. So, in other words, you can’t underestimate Mobile Knights huh. If they have a Noble House backing them up, they shouldn’t be strapped for cash and have some of the best equipment money can buy. I think I’d have no problem with those old-fashioned types using ancestral starships though.

After all, no matter how good you are, it’s still pretty difficult to bridge the gap in ship performance with skills alone. On the flip side, even if you had the best ship in the galaxy, if you have no skills to speak of, the ship will only be going to waste without even exhibiting a fraction of its potential.

“Of course there are also people in the Empire who’ve earned the title of Ace Pilot. People like those have a wealth of combat experience and skills to match as well, so they might be able to best you if you underestimate them.”

“I see. And then, there are the full-time mercenaries as well huh.”

“They’re the enemies you should be most wary of in my opinion. The Gold rankers and above have combat experience in spades, exemplary skills, and powerful customized ships.”


However, pirate activity in the surrounding sectors of the Imperial Capital is next to nonexistent. That’s why there aren’t that many mercs active here in the first place. Most of those that were here were mercenary corps that were contracted to escort mercantile fleets that came to buy and sell goods in the Imperial Capital. They aren’t lone wolf-types like me and were more specialized in group combat.

Consequently, most of them aren’t that good in one-on-one dogfights. So I surmise that most of the mercenaries around the Imperial Capital won’t be my opponent. But, of course, I can’t discount the possibility of some truly skilled ones coming to the Imperial Capital at this time as well.

“Oh well. Let’s just chill. It would be fine if we do the usual, I think.”

“That’s right!”

“Yeah. I’m not really that worried though.”

“It’s finally here, everyone! It’s the last event of this tournament! A mock space battle between combat starships! Since they will be mock battles, the output of their laser cannons and shields will be reduced, and training rounds will be used instead of live ones. But exactly what do these imply for our participants?”

“Even though their outputs are reduced, their weapons still have enough firepower to directly vaporize a person, so some danger is still present. And since their shield outputs are also reduced, direct collisions may cause serious accidents. In preparation for those, our Imperial Military has deployed a great number of rescue ships, so there is no need to worry. Please enjoy live mock ship combat that’s very close to the real thing to your heart’s content, everyone.”

The guest commentator today was a woman huh. Don’t tell me it’s Lieutenant Commander Serena– Uh, she should be a Commander now huh? Anyway, I thought it was Commander Serena, but it wasn’t. But judging from her outfit, she should also be from the Imperial Military huh.

“As expected, will Captain Hiro be the focus for today’s event as well?”

“But of course. He gave us a strong showing in both the swordsmanship duel and melee combat phases of the tournament after all. According to our info, space combat is actually his specialty. I’m looking forward to what kind of battle he’s going to show us today.”

Un, I can feel her burning passion from her words. Well, I probably won’t disappoint.

“Well then, it’s time for the first match of this competition. The first match will be between Captain Rex, a Gold ranker belonging to the mercenary corps 『Arrow of Light』, and Ensign Nielsen, belonging to the 28th Defense Fleet of the Imperial Space Navy.”

“The mercenary corps 『Arrow of Light』 is–”

The female commentator began to tell the audience about the contestants. The mercenary corps 『Arrow of Light』 is a corps that usually acts as escorts for mercantile fleets, and the pilot named Captain Rex seems to be the one with the highest number of recorded ship kills among them. Ensign Nielsen, on the other hand, is an Imperial Military carrier-based fighter pilot and ace who had shot down a large number of enemy carrier-based spacecraft in battles with the neighboring Vereverem Federation.

“What do you think, Hiro-sama?”

“Hm, I can’t make an accurate judgment before the fight actually starts, but judging from the ships, Rex seems to have an edge.”

The ship the mercenary called Rex is flying can be classified as a high-speed missile platform. It’s a ship that throws off enemies with quick maneuvers and overwhelms them with swarms of seeker missiles. If there’s enough leeway, the pilot can also allocate a larger part of the energy generator output to combat functions, and doing so will allow the ship to perform well in close combat. It’s a ship you can’t let your guard down against.

On the other hand, Ensign Nielsen was piloting your standard Imperial carrier-based fighter. It’s a unit that’s a testament to masterful design and ease of use, but it has no notable quirks at all. It’s an agile multi-role fighter equipped with lasers, multi-cannons, and seeker missiles. It was quite a plain craft, but the unit Ensign Nielsen is flying seems to be heavily tailored for military use. Since the performance of each of the parts and weapon systems of military ships are generally one or more times better than your average mercenary ship, it would still serve as a troublesome opponent depending on Ensign Nielsen’s piloting skills.

“It’s going to depend on Ensign Nielsen’s skills.”

“Yeah. In my case, I find it easier with someone like Ensign Nielsen though.”

“It’s a pain to deal with enemies who unload swarms of seeker missiles at you freely after all.”

“That’s it.”

Saturation attacks from packs of seeker missiles are quite terrifying after all. Krishna can probably shake them off with its mobility, but that particular enemy ship would probably move in to restrict our maneuvers as well if we fought it, so fighting it would be quite annoying. We can use flares and chaff to deal with some of the missiles, but the pilot of the enemy ship should have accounted for that happening as well. He must have cooked up a strategy to deal with that.

“Huh, as expected of a Gold ranker, I guess. He’s good.”


The match proceeded with the Gold-rank mercenary Rex dominating. He kept hunting down his opponent with saturation attacks from seeker missiles at long range. The opponent was firmly at his mercy and couldn’t do anything to retaliate. Ensign Nielsen was hanging on so far with the use of flares and other equipment, but he couldn’t mount a counterattack at all.

“I guess the merc will get the win huh?”

“As long as he doesn’t let up on the attacks.”

Rex is making excellent use of the seeker missiles. In addition to direct attacks, he’s launching them in directions where his enemy could possibly escape while implementing a time lag in their tracking functions. That’s how he’s steadily cornering Ensign Nielsen’s ship. However, seekers missiles have a main weakness you can take advantage of.

“It looks like he made it through.”


Rex had been hunting down Ensign Nielsen for a good while now, and it looks like his missiles have finally run out. Ensign Nielsen’s ship didn’t come out of that onslaught unscathed though, so I guess Rex is banking on finishing him off with laser cannons. Ensign Nielsen also finally moved in to launch an offensive. The two ships ran rings around each other at a dizzying pace, and light rays illuminated the void of space.

“What do you think?”

“If it were me, I would have closed in before I completely ran out of ammo. Maybe he still has missiles he’s hiding in reserve?”

“Yeah, I think so too.”

It happened as Elma and I just finished our short exchange. The moment the two ships intersected once more, an explosion occurred. It looks like Rex really did have some missiles in reserve, just as we thought. He probably launched his remaining missiles at Ensign Nielsen’s craft at close range coupled with the momentum of his approach.

But it looks like the battle was still on.

“Man. Those military ships really are tough. So it hasn’t been shot down yet huh.”

“It certainly is.”

Another intense dogfight started, but this time, Rex, who now really had run out of missiles, was gradually cornered by Ensign Nielsen and was finally shot down.

“The fact that he failed to deal enough damage in the first heavy offensive is the cause of his defeat huh.”

“Ensign Nielsen’s calm judgment when he weathered the first wave of attacks and when he got baited in the final moments of the match was key as well.”

“I see…… How would you have fought them, Hiro-sama?”

“If I were fighting against Rex, I’d spread flares and chaff and use the shot-cannons to deal with the missiles, break through the field in one go, and perform a blitz attack to take him down. I don’t feel like I’ll lose to Ensign Nielsen in a straight-up dogfight as well, so I’ll just go after him directly and shoot him down with the laser cannons.”

We waited for our turn while listening to the post-match commentary. This time, our match was slated pretty late. Or rather, we weren’t even listed as seeded participants. ‘It’s your own field of expertise, so you should be fine without special treatment, right?’ The face of that f**cking Emperor suddenly popped in my head. Hahaha. Nah, that can’t be it.

“Now then, folks! It’s time for the entrance of the main man of this event, Captain Hiro!”

“I also took a look at his combat data records myself, and I saw some pretty unbelievable combat maneuvers. I’m certainly looking forward to what kind of fight he’ll show us all this time.”

The voices of the announcer and the lady guest commentator were broadcasted from the wide-area comm channel.

“Hiro-sama, she says she’s looking forward to our performance.”

“That’s kinda troublesome. I’m not planning on intentionally performing out-of-place acrobatic maneuvers y’know.”

“It’s fine if you just pilot like usual. You’re flashy enough as it is.”

Elma commented nonchalantly and shrugged. Well, I guess she has a point. In that case, I’ll just do as usual then.

“His opponent is Sir Weisel, who serves actively as a Mobile Knight of the House of Earl Redran! He usually keeps the peace within Earl Redran’s territories, and has a lot of experience under his belt fighting pirates.”

“Captain Hiro’s ship is quite an unfamiliar model, but the ship used by Sir Weisel is a small-class combat starship widely used by the Imperial Military as well. It’s larger than carrier-based combat ships and has a more powerful generator as well. It’s a ship very similar in nature to those piloted by mercenaries.”

“I see. Which one has the advantage in terms of unit performance though?”

“Krishna, piloted by Captain Hiro, is a completely unknown never-before-seen ship model, so it’s difficult to evaluate it. However, according to the data handed out, it seems to be a very aggressive ship with both high mobility and firepower. On the other hand, Sir Weisel’s craft – the Saber IV – is also a high-performance ship known for its mobility and firepower. On that note, the pilot’s skills as well as their combat awareness will be the keys to this match.”

“I see. It looks like we can look forward to some fierce combat. Well then, the countdown for the match will start now!”

The match countdown timer started ticking. I then promptly activated the weapon systems and deployed the four high-caliber laser cannons and two shot-cannons.

“What’s the plan?”

“What plan? We’ll blow him away head-on.”

The moment the countdown reached zero, I pushed Krishna’s thrusters to maximum output.




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

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