226 – To Our Next Goal
Editor: Thor’s Stone
The media staff have all disembarked and we’ve finished restocking our supplies as well. Black Lotus and Krishna were all set for departure. We’ve sold all of the captured ships, and the mechanic sisters were now enjoying their well-earned break. It seems the two of them drank till they dropped last night, and they showed no signs of coming out of their room even when it’s already noon. Mei said their vitals were stable, so they were simply just sleeping.
“Hm, it’s kind of a waste to leave port without even buying any souvenirs or trading goods.”
“It can’t be helped. Comatt Prime’s booming right now so everything’s more expensive than usual.”
“I guess we have no choice but to stop by some trading colonies along the way to look for some good items.”
It would have been nice to stock up on trading goods before departing to earn some small change, but just like Elma said, the prices of goods have steeply risen in the Comatt Prime colony, so it just wasn’t worth the trouble. You’d profit a lot more by bringing stuff from outside and selling them here though.
“Mei, have you finished setting the route to Refill system?”
『Yes. Everything went smoothly. We can depart any time.』
“Understood. We’re not in a rush, so we’ll try to drop by some trading colonies along the way. Let’s find some stuff that we can sell in the Refill system.”
『Understood. I shall include visits to all trading colonies we’ll pass by from here to the Neeparc system’s gate in our voyage schedule.』
“Please do. Okay then. Let’s get going.”
『Yes. I will begin the departure procedures.』
After saying so, Mei’s image disappeared from the holo-display. After a short while, Black Lotus started to move. Since there were no actual windows that would allow us to see the scenery outside within Black Lotus’ break room, we checked out the images captured by the external optical sensors through the holo-display instead.
Mei should be controlling the optical sensor. The image captured by the optical sensor displayed the figure of a certain person.
It was the figure of a woman in a white military uniform with a large sword strapped to her waist. At first glance, she seems to be sending the departing Black Lotus off with a smile, but…… her smile didn’t actually reach her eyes.
“Hiro, you didn’t inform Commander Serena we were leaving……?”
I see. So that’s why I felt I forgot something. I actually forgot to say goodbye to Commander Serena. Hahaha.
Perhaps she was aware we were looking at her through the optical sensor. She mouthed some words at the camera.
“Um…… You – owe – me – one – okay?”
“Isn’t that just too high-handed……?”
I couldn’t help but retort to the words Mimi interpreted from the movements of Commander Serena’s lips. If anything, wasn’t I the one who helped Commander Serena out this time around? Well, I do think it was thoughtless of me to forget saying goodbye, okay! Really, I do!
“……Well, I suppose it’s Hiro’s fault this time.”
“……Un, I can’t make excuses for him this time. Sorry, Hiro-sama.”
I protested the instant verdict given by the two of them, but my objection was overruled. Dammit. To think my crew would betray me here.
Black Lotus finally left the Comatt Prime colony, and Commander Serena’s figure disappeared from the monitor. Let’s just pray she won’t hold me accountable and make another unreasonable demand the next time we meet.
『The course has been set. FTL Drive, charging start. Countdown. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…… FTL Drive, activate.』
A booming sound rang out right after Mei’s announcement, and the stars on the holo-display turned into light streams that flowed backward.
“We’ll be passing through the Uerick, Ziegle, and Melkitt systems to the Neeparc system’s Gateway and then relaying through four more systems to the Refill system, right?”
“It looks like we’ll have a peaceful journey this time…… It’s going to be peaceful, right?”
“Maybe. Probably. No, surely.”
After checking the galaxy map, I saw that the Refill system was one that boasts one of the highest levels of public security within the Empire. In other words, the Imperial Military presence there was widespread, the trouble caused by pirates was minimal, and the threat of invasion from other countries or space monsters was also low.
However, this also meant that there were few job opportunities for mercenaries like us. It wasn’t an especially appealing star system for mercenaries.
“I hope it really would be okay……”
“What’s with that? Is there really something we need to be worried about?”
“Un…… Well, it’ll probably be okay.”
Elma was being all ambiguous. It was unusual for Elma, who was normally quite straightforward…… Well, she wasn’t all that straightforward when it comes to things related to nobles and her family though. In other words, there really might be something troublesome over there, and it’s likely related to her or her family.
“We won’t be meeting a siscon brother-in-law or cousin this time around, are we?”
“No, it’s nothing of the sort…… Well, it would be better to see it for yourselves once we get there.”
“No, just tell us what’s up right now, okay…..”
“It’s something really hard to explain through words.”
Elma smiled bitterly after saying so. Doesn’t it seem that we’ll encounter some really troublesome stuff again?
I guess it’s just like always, but I’d like to live out a more normal and stable mercenary life though.
I let out a resigned sigh, rested my back on the break room’s sofa, and looked up dazedly at the ceiling.