243 – Welcome Dinner and Trouble from an Unexpected Source

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Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


“How is it?”

“Well?”

“You guys look very cute.”

I unreservedly praised Mimi and the others, who were now sporting traditional elven clothing, and gave them a warm round of applause.

Mimi was wearing a blouse and a short skirt that reached just above her knees with a long cloth draped around her body…… Ah, I think I remember seeing such clothing somewhere. Oh, right. Doesn’t India have a similar-looking traditional dress?

The color of the cloth covering her body was quite vivid and seemed soft to the touch. I think it was also made from the silk produced by that alien silkworm as large as a medium-sized dog.

Tina and Whisker were wearing one-piece outfits that seemed to be made out of leather. They had a sort of Native American flavor to them. They were simple costumes that predominantly used brown and dark brown as base colors but avoided looking too plain through the liberal use of beads made out of smooth blue or white stones as highlights.

“……What?”

“Nothing. I just think you absolutely nailed it in that.”

Elma was wearing a dress that resembled a pure white qipao. It was the same type of dress as what Lilium was wearing. The dress really suited the slender Elma. Her smooth thighs that peeked right through the deep slits on her dress were absolutely dazzling.

“Yeah, that dress really suits you. Un. Absolutely wonderful.”

“Thank you. By the way, clothes of this color and style are only worn by those who are already married.”

“Seriously? They wear dresses with such deep slits even though they’re married already?”

“It seems most elven men here can be quite apathetic when it comes to stuff like that. I’m not that familiar regarding the matter though.”

“I see?”

So they wore dresses with such high slits to stimulate the animal instincts hiding deep within their male partners or something like that? Seriously? Man, the elves of this dimension really are weird huh.

“But geez. You really are big, Mimi.”

“Ahn! W-Wait, Tina-san!”

“Come to think of it, you two surprisingly aren’t lacking in that department at all.”

“We’re proper adult women after all.”

They normally wore thick work overalls so it wasn’t that obvious most of the time, but the mechanic sisters actually had some decent chest sizes. Actually, Tina sometimes walks around the break room right after taking a bath in light clothing, so I managed to get a good look at her chest a good couple of times already.

I looked on as the ladies frolicked with each other until an elven inn staff came to get us. It looks like the preparations for the welcome dinner were complete, and the representatives of the various elven clans have also arrived. We were arranged to appear at the venue last.

Eh? What about my clothes? I was wearing my usual get-up. I don’t really care about what clothes I wear, and we at least gotta have someone who looked like a proper mercenary in the group, right? And besides, this outfit will allow me to respond quicker just in case something happens.

By the way, Mei was wearing her usual maid uniform as well. Mei was a maidroid, so she basically didn’t change into anything other than maid uniforms. And besides, she’s hidden a lot of shady stuff underneath that maid uniform of hers. Yep. She had stuff like marbles and throwing darts made out of high-density metal alloys normally used in starship armor plating for example.

“Mercenary Captain Hiro and company have arrived.”

When we got to the banquet hall, the dinner host immediately announced our arrival. We instantly became the center of attention. They had generally favorable reactions, but a few of them opened their eyes wide in surprise…… What’s up with that? Was there something on my face?

In any case, those who had exaggerated reactions when they saw me were scattered all over the hall, so I couldn’t do anything about them for the time being. I followed the elven inn staff and was guided to the best seat, or in other words, the seat of honor, and made myself comfortable along with the rest of my crew. Mei stood behind me just like usual though.

And then, the host started introducing us to the rest of the guests.

I was introduced first. The host told them how I managed to capture the pirate ship that the system garrison regrettably failed to secure and rescued the captured elves within it, with the Grado clan leader’s daughter Tinia and the Minfa clan’s chief Nect among them. The host highly emphasized that I managed to avenge the elves who lost their lives during the attack and the damage done to the sacred tree by cutting down the pirates with my sword.

After that, the host moved on to introducing my crew members.

“This lady serves as Captain Hiro’s second-in-command and is also a descendant of the Willrose family, a sub-branch of the Rose clan.”

In Elma’s case, the fact that she was related to the Rose clan was also announced. According to Elma, it was somewhat dubious if someone like her who ran away from home without her family’s consent can still be considered part of the Rose clan, but she just couldn’t be bothered to correct them. In any case, it was indeed true that she was related to them by blood.

“Praise and gratitude to Mother Nature and the visitors from afar.”

“””Praise and gratitude to Mother Nature and the visitors from afar!”””

After our introductions, the dinner banquet finally began with an unfamiliar toast by an elven higher up. I think the guy was the Grado clan’s leader. As for the dishes that were served…… Yep, nothing was particularly weird. Just that fact that we weren’t served insect dishes was a huge plus for me.

“They’re delicious!”

“Fumu, elven grub really is somethin’ huh.”

“Right. But I would have liked it better if they used just a bit more spices though.”

“I think they’re delicious enough.”

Just like Whisker said, the dishes were a little thin when it comes to spices, but the flavor of the dashi was quite tight regardless. Were they a bit similar to Japanese food in this aspect? Hmm, not exactly, I guess. Also, they had quite a number of stewed dishes.

“So this is their staple dish huh. Hmm?”

Their staple dish was something resembling a mochi wrapped in a leaf similar-looking to those of a kashiwa’s. They outwardly resembled kashiwa mochi[1], but can you actually eat the leaves as well? I looked around and saw that they weren’t eating the leaves after all.

“Hou, this is pretty good.”

The dish resembling kashiwa mochi was actually a rice cake filled with marinated minced meat. The springy dough was wrapped around a filling of salty-sweet flavored minced meat. It was quite delicious.

The other dishes included a root vegetable and potato-look alike stew, a soup with plenty of meat and other ingredients, roasted meat with fruit-based sauce, fried meat and veggie skewers, and so on.

“Well ain’t this quite a refined liquor?”

“It’s delicious.”

Before I knew it, the mechanic sisters already ended up enjoying liquor stored inside an earthenware pot. It had the aroma of grapes, so it was probably grape wine. Even though she looked like a cute girl, Tina drank like a seasoned old man. Whisker resembled an elegant little lady even when drinking liquor. They were twins, but what’s with their difference in demeanor……? Maybe it was brought about by the difference in the environment they were raised in.

Yeah. Due to certain circumstances, Tina and Whisker weren’t raised in the same household. It seems there was even a time when Tina hung out with a gang when she was living in a colony with poor public safety measures. But she did mostly get her act together when she got reunited with Whisker though.

After that, she went and worked together with Whisker at Space Dwerg until they eventually got involved with us when we came to the Brad system. I haven’t really asked them about their past much. Maybe I’ll try and open the topic if we get the chance later.

Elma seems like she was actively trying not to stand out too much. I was already briefed by Mei regarding the relationships between the various clans here on Theta earlier. So maybe Elma was trying not to stand out in order to avoid getting linked to the power struggle between the clans here on Theta. Well, there’s no use complaining now, but I was really grateful for her consideration.

And then, after we more or less finished having our meals, some elves stood up from their seats and approached us. The elves all looked like handsome young men and beautiful young women, so seeing them line up in front of me like this was quite a jarring experience. It would probably feel a bit more natural for me if the clan leaders were gruff bearded middle-aged men, but they looked like your typical pretty boys and girls instead.

“Please allow me to thank you once more for saving my dear daughter. I am the Grado clan’s current leader, Zesh.”

The Grado clan leader Zesh was a handsome man with light-brown hair similar in color to Tinia’s. He had a scar on one of his cheeks and had a sharp-eyed gaze. He was more well-built compared to your average male elf. He was a lithe guy but was still quite macho. He was wearing a leather outfit similar to the one Tina and Whisker were wearing.

“I am Miriam, the current leader of the Minfa clan. I would also like to thank you for saving Nect’s life. Truly, thank you very much. I was told that boy might have died without your treatment.”

The Minfa clan’s leader was a beautiful woman with lustrous blonde hair. She was wearing an outfit similar to Mimi’s instead. However, her dress had a lot more decorative ornaments compared to Mimi’s and looked quite extravagant.

It looks like the Rose clan leader wasn’t present. Well, the relationship between the three major clans has soured after all. It would be bad if all three of them attended only to get into an argument in front of me. But I guess they’ve considered that already.

“Even though it was merely by chance, I’m still glad we were able to help the people of Theta. Thank you for setting up such a wonderful welcome dinner for us.”

“Umu…… By the way, there is something I want to ask you.”

“Yes?”

I have no idea what he wanted to ask, but I tilted my head curiously toward Mr. Zesh. He had a serious expression on. I wonder what this is all about.

“Just what are you? The power overflowing from you is equal to that of a high-ranking spirit…… No, it’s even greater. You do look like a human, at least in physical appearance. But still…”

“Yes?”

I tilted my head to the side again and repeated my earlier response. Overflowing power? Equal or greater than that of a high-ranking spirit? Just what are you saying, man?

“People like us who have an affinity with the spirits can sense an enormous amount of power coming from your person. It is as if Refill that’s shining brightly upon the firmament has descended unto the world, and it feels very pleasant.”

I have absolutely no idea what this guy was talking about, so I turned to Elma for help. However, Elma shut her eyes and shook her head.

“I can’t really tell because I don’t have the ability to sense such things. I only learned the very basics when it comes to magic after all.”

“This young lady is of the Rose clan, correct? If so, then it can’t be helped. The Rose clan is not so keen on communing with the spirits. It is quite rare for them to achieve spiritual sight, so it is no wonder that this young lady wasn’t able to notice your power.”

“But no one has ever told me about something like that before we came here. I’ve also undergone a thorough medical check-up before, and nothing like that came up.”

“The Graccan empire is very much into materialism after all. Spirit communication and magic, or what they call psionic technology, is one of their weak points.”

The Minfa clan’s leader Miriam explained as she looked at me with a passionate gaze. I see? It’s true that I was able to get in touch with stuff like advanced AI, cybernetics, and biotechnology in the empire, but I had almost no chance of encountering stuff related to magic even in the imperial capital. The imperial nobles did kinda resemble J*di, but they achieved their abilities through highly advanced cybernetics and genetic engineering rather than mystical powers.

“Um, so, what does this mean for me, exactly?”

“It’s hard for us to say as well. In the first place, just where do you hail from? We have to know at least that in order to make any plausible guesses.”

“My place of origin huh. Yeah, about that……”

It would definitely cause an uproar if I told them I came from a different world here huh. I have no intention of doing so anyway. Absolutely not.

“I’m actually suffering from amnesia you see. When I came to, I was already drifting in outer space with my favorite starship. I think it was caused by a hyperdrive accident or something, but my memory from before I got stranded in space is very spotty y’see– Ah, pardon me if I sounded rude just then.”

“Do not worry. You are our benefactor and our guest. It is alright as long as we give each other the minimum amount of respect. However, I see…… A hyperdrive accident, is it?”

“That doesn’t give us a lot to work with. However, do you not pass through a different realm from our own during interstellar travel? Perhaps he got in contact with the spirit world through that?”

“If that’s all that it takes, then this world should be filled with people like him already. However, that is evidently not the case. But we cannot discount the possibility that it’s related in some way. The key is his amnesia. If he really managed to reach the spirit world through a hyperdrive accident, perhaps he did something over there. And when he reemerged to the physical world, most of his memories, including his time over there, may have been left behind in the spirit world.”

“If so, then you’re saying when he reached the spirit world, his physical body broke down and his being transformed into something more akin to that of a spirit, and when he reemerged, his physical body was reconstructed, but it still held the characteristics of a spirit?”

“That might be the case. Or it could be a completely different thing altogether. Either way, his current state is still highly unusual.”

Uwah, these guys are seriously engaging in a discussion while using fantasy mumbo-jumbo I could barely understand.

Anyway, the only thing I’m sure of is that I managed to trigger another majorly troublesome incident. Damn. Maybe we really should high-tail outta here once this dinner is over. Yeah, let’s do that. I’m getting a really, really bad feeling about this.

“We’ve managed to have our fill and enjoyed the hospitality of the elves, so would it be alright if we excused ourselves now?”

“That will not do. We still haven’t properly managed to express our gratitude.”

“Yes, that simply will not do. You cannot continue to wastefully let your power leak out like that. I’m sure even a little bit of training will serve you quite well.”

Mr. Zesh and Ms. Miriam both voiced their disagreement. Yeah, I thought so. This is why we should have left earlier dammit!

Or rather, my attributes are seriously getting out of hand. Ever since the tournament in the imperial capital, my overall combat ability has risen so much compared to before, but now I’m actually going to train to use something resembling The F*rce and really become a damn J*di!?

I’m totally content with duking it out with other starships with my Krishna, thank you very much. There’s something strange about strengthening myself directly I tell ya! A development where I’ll be able to strengthen Krishna with new equipment and performance upgrades would be way, waaay better.

“That’s amazing, Hiro-sama! If you train, wouldn’t it be like you turning into a real-life superhero?”

“Uh, I don’t really think a development just like in American comics would really happen. No, maybe it actually will……?”

Come to think of it, ain’t I kinda like that guy with a special gun grafted to his left hand which shoots psychic power[2]? There’s also that guy riding a paper-thin armored bipedal robot who just won’t die[3]. Yeah, I might actually turn out just like them. Or rather, if things continue in this direction, I’m actually gonna turn into some sort of J*di knock-off, won’t I? It’s the same, ain’t it?

“Given your high potential Master, it might be a good idea to try it.”

Mei actually gave me a push to go through with it, which was pretty rare. It was unusual for Mei because she normally doesn’t voice her opinion like this unless asked.

“In the first place, it’s already very strange that you were able to go up against expert Drawn Sword faction swordsmen in the span of mere months you know. That’s especially since you haven’t undergone any physical enhancements.”

“That’s right, Boss. You’ve already made it this far, so why don’t ya just go all the way?”

Whisker, who was standing right next to the currently red-faced Tina, nodded in agreement. And her eyes were shining for some reason. Come to think of it, she was quite into those sorts of stuff huh. She and Mimi discuss things like that from time to time as well.

“Oh, fine. I guess I can do it if there’s time.”

“That would be for the best. If you contact us, we’ll prepare the best training environment for you.”

Chief Miriam nodded heavily after hearing my reply.

I heard that the Grado clan was the one that placed more importance on magic compared to the Minfa clan. But why was Ms. Miriam, who was the leader of the Minfa clan, acting more enthusiastic compared to the Grado clan guys? No, maybe the marriage between each leader’s children pushed through exactly because the Minfa clan’s leader was like this.

Well, in any case, we’ll talk about it next time. Next time, okay. We’re gonna be busy sightseeing and looking for cola tomorrow after all!


[1] Kashiwa Mochi: A Japanese confection consisting of white mochi (rice cake) surrounding a sweet anko (red bean paste) filling with a Kashiwa (Japanese emperor oak) leaf wrapped around it. (Source – Wikipedia)

[2] A reference to Cobra, the titular character of the manga Cobra, and the animated movie Space Adventure Cobra.

[3] A reference to Chirico Cuvie, the protagonist of Armored Trooper VOTOMS.


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Comments (4)

  1. GoingAway

    Wait, I definitely remember there was a scene where Tina put his hand on her chest and it was flat. Apparently the author changed his mind about making them flat on the fly.
    And it’s a shame he’s not dressing up Mei.

    1. G0emi

      Yep. He clearly called them “washboards” in his mind.
      Well, Author has proven multiple times already how he is not consistent of important details, just like with the Cola stuff.
      Sad itching inconsistencies, but story is otherwise nice.

  2. StealthGod

    Yeah… no, i feel they spoke bad about Elma i don’t like them

    1. RPGsus

      There wasn’t any notation about them looking at her poorly. Just stating the fact that since her people started musing over space, they lost most of their magic prowess. If it were intended maliciously, I’m sure author(and mc) would have said something about it. Especially since he wanted an excuse to leave so he wouldn’t get caught up in some political power struggle.

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