210 – Getting a Breather
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“So, after we’re done, we’re just gonna waltz back up into space?”
Fomalhaut Entertainment’s Zuia grumbled a bit the moment we broke through the atmosphere of Comatt III after we finished the clean-up job.
“Of course. We’re mercenaries, remember?”
“And we’re mainly experts in anti-ship combat too. We don’t really specialize in investigating shady conspiracies.”
“That would be like bringing a chainsaw to perform precision surgery.”
We wiped out the attacking harmful local(?) lifeforms and shot a round from Black Lotus’s EML straight into the estimated spawning point of said lifeforms to destroy it. By this time, the Imperial Military should be busy sending out battalions of heavily armed space marines in order to raid what seems to be the nest of the lifeforms.
“But are you guys not the least bit curious? Those things were clearly not natural lifeforms, right?”
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious, but something like that is already out of our jurisdiction. We’d probably be more useful when it comes to crushing the enemy’s main base of operations after the investigation results come in or something like that, but we’d be next to no use if we try and butt in on something that’s clearly not part of our expertise. Patrolling around and hunting down pirates would be better for us and for our employer.”
“In other words, we’d like to earn more money, Zuia-san!”
“And you guys are really fine with that……?”
After seeing me giving Mimi a thumbs up, Zuia let out a bewildered sigh. That’s just how we mercs are. I’m awesome, Krishna’s awesome, Black Lotus is awesome, and Mimi and Elma are both excellent crew members. But that doesn’t mean we can do anything and everything.
“Get the right person for the right job, as the saying goes. We’re simply just doing what we’re best at. It won’t do anybody any good if we kept poking our noses where they don’t belong.”
It looks like Zuia was finally convinced, I think. Actually, we were just afraid of poking our noses in and ending up getting involved in an increasing amount of troublesome stuff. Yeah. That’d definitely happen. We don’t need any more trouble. No thanks. We already have our hands full, so sorry.
“And besides, at times like this–”
『I have a report, Master.』
Mei’s voice echoed around the cockpit and interrupted my words.
“–What’s wrong? Oh, are you finally done decrypting the data caches?”
After the last boarding action we pulled off, we managed to capture two pirate ships almost completely intact. Perhaps we sent in the combat bots far too quickly, because they were unable to delete the data contained in the caches and black boxes. And so, I left the job of analyzing them to Mei.
『Yes. They contained data regarding the coordinates of the pirate main base and detailed transaction records.』
“I see. Alright then. Go ahead and sell the coordinates to the Imperial Military…… No, on second thought, just report it to Chris.”
『Certainly. I thought that would be best as well. Christina-sama will be able to have the Imperial forces mobilize quicker compared to us simply handing them the data. I’ve also managed to discover something by analyzing the transaction data of the pirates.』
“Huh? What is it?”
『It seems there really is a party that’s trying to get in the way of Earl Dareinwald’s project by providing the pirates funds and equipment. There’s an inflow of funds and supplies that cannot possibly be obtained by the pirates normally.』
“I see…… Send that info to Chris as well then. I’ll leave it to you.”
『Yes, Master. Please rest assured.』
The call from Black Lotus, where Mei and the rest of the media folks were on, was cut off. Krishna has also completely escaped from Comatt III’s atmosphere. For the time being, I glanced back to Zuia who was sitting on the sub-seat at the back of the cockpit.
“See. In situations like this, even if we don’t poke our noses around looking for trouble, trouble will come to us instead. It’s ridiculous, right?”
“Quite. I certainly don’t want to get burdened with that sort of bad luck.”
“Don’t say that. I mean, you’d have less trouble searching for scoops you know.”
I took a walk down the streets and met a beautiful girl being chased by villains. I headed out to outer space and unexpectedly picked up an SOS signal and saved a passenger cruiser being attacked by pirates. I docked inside a colony and immediately got into a scrap with mysterious mutant lifeforms. I hunted down pirates and ended picking up a beautiful girl. When I went for a vacation, the planet I was staying on was attacked by pirates. I worked with the Imperial Military and got attacked by a rogue force. I escorted a Noble fleet and got myself mixed up in a family succession conflict. And when I bought a new ship, a legal loli came flying at me.
I then took requests to be a test pilot and deliver goods only to be caught up in a battle between Imperial forces and Crystal lifeforms. And when I went to the Imperial Capital to pick up an award, I suddenly got thrown into a stupid tournament.
Goddammit! This dumb shitty luck!
“I’m just an ordinary civilian you know. If I got myself into the sorts of trouble you often find yourselves in, it probably won’t be enough even if I had multiple lives.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“That would definitely be the case huh.”
The three of us nodded at Zuia’s words and sincerely agreed with him. I’ve probably long stopped being just an ordinary person, but I still had the mindset of one.
Chris was quick to make a decision after being contacted by Mei. She swiftly but secretly convened with the Imperial Military and assembled a force consisting of Earl Dareinwald’s best men coupled with elites from the Space Navy in order to deal with the pirate base.
It’s a common practice to keep your movements secret whenever organizing a large-scale pirate subjugation mission. That’s because the pirates will likely escape if they get wind of a subjugation force coming their way in advance. You had to be wary of the eyes and ears of the pirates scattered inside colonies after all. These people provide all sorts of info to the pirates in exchange for cash.
“That’s why we have to be extremely careful whenever we participate in a large-scale pirate subjugation mission like this one.”
“And that’s why we’re not allowed to get off the ship at this time, correct?”
“That’s how it is. There’s a risk of an information leak after all.”
“Don’t you trust us to keep our mouths shut?”
“There are ways to get information out of people even if they don’t intend to give anything away. Well, just be patient, alright? This would just be for two days.”
I and Elma explained the situation to Allen and Nia.
Krishna and Black Lotus were both on stand-by inside the Comatt Prime colony until sortie orders get handed down. Well, it’ll take some time to modify and sell off the pirate ships we captured, so this arrangement is just perfect for us.
『Cleanin the ship’s interior is far more troublesome than repairin and modifyin them after all.』
『They’re really filthy…… Really, really filthy.』
When I talked to the two sisters last night, Whisker’s eyes looked like those of a dead fish. She really liked to keep herself neat and tidy if she could help it after all. Just like what they said, the interior of the pirate ships was really an absolute mess. Seeing as they were so impossibly dirty, it would actually be faster to completely replace their interiors.
『Compared to these junk heaps, Boss’s ships are far tidier. They’re great.』
『They have lots of space, have bright lighting, look pretty, and the food’s absolutely delicious……』
I reminded them not to overdo it, but it seems they completely busied themselves with repairing and remodeling the two captured medium-class ships. So they left to tend to the ships early in the morning and went to bed pretty late at night after taking a shower. That was how they were spending these past few days.
Since the combat bots would be able to help out with the work as well, I had Tina and Whisker take them along coupled with the maintenance bots. They would also serve as the sister’s escorts.
By the way, both of them were out right now, but I didn’t tell them about the pirate subjugation mission in the first place, so there’s no danger of any information leaks. I merely told them we’d be resting up for a few days and wait for them to finish their work. I have a feeling they’ve been working themselves hard due to that. I’ll tell Elma to prepare some tasty alcohol for the two of them next time.
“Being mercenaries sure isn’t an easy job huh. There are many things to consider.”
“That’s right. But I had more of an image of them beating up pirates like crazy and then spending their rewards like crazy too.”
“That’s what you’d normally think, right? I understand.”
“I get it as well. That’s how it is usually, right?”
“But this is our standard though.”
“I think Master’s way of doing things is very wonderful.”
Space Dwerg’s Wamdo and Fomalhaut Entertainment’s Zuia looked impressed but a little disappointed at the same time, but I’m not sure. And for some reason, Mimi and Elma agree with them. The heck? I’m usually doing whatever I please, but somehow, they say I’m stoic or something. Just what kind of lives were the mercenaries in this dimension living any way? I’m getting really curious here.
While everyone else picked on me, only Mei took my side. As expected of my Mei. I’ll have Mei heal my wounded heart today. I’m gonna borrow Mei’s chest and cry my heart out!
I might be playing right into Mei’s hands though. Or rather, I was falling for the wiles of the autonomous AI. But as long as I keep that in mind and prevent myself from falling too far, I’m sure I’d be just fine. Probably.
And so, we spent a few days chilling inside Black Lotus until Chris and the Imperial Forces were ready, recharging our spirits for the eventual attack on the pirate base.