286 – Just Can’t Catch Them by the Tail




Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

“So we need to shut ourselves inside the ship again?”

“That’s how it is.”

“Um… Can you tell me what exactly did you find dangerous about that woman? Um, Marie-san, right?”

“Hm, let’s see…… It’s a bit difficult to give a definite explanation, Mimi.”

How should I explain that feeling? The sense of interest and the uncomfortable hint of sadism in her eyes the moment our gazes met, her unsettling smile, the overall atmosphere about here…… It’s akin to a predator trying to tease its prey or a child’s propensity for cruel acts against insects or small animals. When I described it to them with those allusions, Elma nodded in agreement.

“I also thought her grin was a bit creepy, but…… I was more surprised that Hiro actually responded coldly to a beautiful woman.”

“Was she really that beautiful, Elma-san?”

“She was a really flashy woman. Now that you mentioned it, her features were certainly quite striking, I guess. But my attention was completely taken up by that intensely unsettling feeling she gave off, so I didn’t even notice back then.”

She had a flashy hair color and strangely out-of-place clothing. Come to think of it, she was also wearing accessories, wasn’t she?

“Well, I can’t say anythin’ about your intuition Boss, but she didn’t really do anythin’ aside from greetin’ you, right? So we can’t exactly report her to the guild or Imperial Military just based on a hunch.”

“All we can do right now is to stay put inside the ship huh.”

“Doesn’t it seem like we’re hidin’ because we’re scared of her? It’s a bit uncool.”

“Even so, what if we went outside and someone ended up getting captured? If my worst assumption turns out to be right on the money, I don’t even dare to think of the consequences.”

“By worst assumption, are you implying… that woman really is connected to the Red Flag pirates? Isn’t that a bit of a long shot? That woman’s a Gold-ranker you know?”

Elma, who read my thoughts, wrinkled her eyebrows.

“About that, Elma. She’s nicknamed the Lucky Looter, right? I bet the reason she’s been given that nickname is either because she’s lucky enough to often encounter pirates who have loads of plundered goods stashed inside their ship’s cargo holds after a successful raid, or that she often finds places or coordinates where pirates have hidden their accumulated treasures.”

“Even if that’s the case, maybe she just has a knack for sniffing out treasure, or she simply is just that lucky. I think it’s a bit premature of you to judge that a person is connected to pirates just because of intuition.”

“That’s certainly true. What I’m spouting right now may just be baseless accusations. But that’s why I had Mei conduct an investigation on her.”

Mei, who had been waiting behind me without getting in the way of our conversation, was busy collecting and analyzing information related to Captain ‘Lucky Looter’ Marie by making use of her powerful processing speed and multitasking capability.

“The people managing the Mercenary Guild aren’t stupid. They always do a good job of analyzing the information of all the mercenaries affiliated with them, so I doubt they’d promote someone suspicious to Gold rank.”

“That’s why I’m waiting for Mei’s analysis before making any conclusions. Just call it insurance.”

However, Elma did have a point. As Elma said, the guys running the Mercenary Guild weren’t stupid. They should have evaluated one’s personality as well before promoting mercenaries, right? ……Uh, on second thought, maybe not. After all, I shot off from Bronze rank all the way to Platinum like a runaway starship without facing much scrutiny.

Well, my achievements against space pirates and crystal lifeforms were basically difficult to play down, especially with Commander Serena as the witness. There should be a record about my saving Chris in the Port Administration Bureau’s central database, and my overall conduct should have also been reported by the Dareinwald House to the relevant authorities. So maybe that’s why the Guild wasn’t that strict regarding my promotion. It was the Imperial Family that directly awarded the Gold Star to me as well. I even competed in a tournament directly sponsored by them and won.

“That’s just because you’re a special case you know?”

“Dammit, can you please stop reading my thoughts?”

“It’s because you’re just too easy to read, Hiro. So I can’t really help it.”

“That’s true.”


“I agree.”

“That’s harsh guys.”

The heck? Can you stop ganging up on me, ladies? Well, I guess I just appeared too worked up so they were joking around a bit to calm me down. I hope. That’s how it is right? Right?

As we continued to joke around, Mei finally opened her mouth to announce her findings.

“Master, I have completed my investigation on Captain Marie.”

“Well, that was fast. Give it to us then.”

“Yes. As Master correctly surmised, Captain Marie was given the nickname ‘Lucky Looter’ due to her often finding accumulated pirate loot and supplies hidden in deep space and asteroid belts. In fact, her Crimson Lance mercenaries have been known to bag more loot than average during pirate hunting operations compared to other mercenaries.”

“She should have at least been suspected of being connected to pirates, right?”

Mei silently nodded in response.

“Yes. There are indications that the Mercenary Guild was also suspecting her and had performed investigations on Captain Marie and her activities several times. However, it seems they just couldn’t get ahold of any incriminating evidence. Also, Captain Marie makes sure to properly hunt down space pirates regularly apart from plundering hidden stashes. As a result, she has a solid track record as a bounty hunter. The total pirate capture and kill records of the Crimson Lance mercenaries rivals or possibly even exceeds yours, Master. Furthermore, they have also managed to uncover the locations of many space pirate bases by interrogating captured pirates and analyzing their ship’s data storage. Their achievements on this front are also well above that of most mercenaries.”

“In other words, despite being really suspicious, the Crimson Lance mercenaries generally take the job of pirate hunting pretty seriously, so they seemed to be pretty upstanding mercenaries, all things considered, right?”

“Yes. The discovery rate of hidden accumulated pirate loot and hidden space pirate bases are both much higher than average for the Crimson Lance mercenaries. They have been constantly hitting numbers that can be said to be abnormal, so the Mercenary Guild had tried to ask if she had any tips or valuable know-how that led to such astonishing results. Captain Marie was recorded to have given the following reply: They’re not that hard to find once you get the hang of it.”

“Hmm…… That’s all?”

“Strangely, I can’t really outright dismiss her words as nonsense……”

There were also treasure hunting events in SOL where players competed to uncover hidden pirate stashes. Basically, the event had you analyzing the data storages of destroyed pirate ships to obtain the coordinates of those hidden treasures, but the probability of successfully getting the coordinates of those stashes was actually quite low. So purposely aiming for such a thing would be very difficult, to say the least.

“But that’s not something you can intentionally aim for, right?”

“Yeah. Well, it’s possible that there’s some secret to their resounding successes, like special equipment designed to aid them in their search…… But honestly, it’s far simpler and more believable to surmise that those guys are related to a space pirate group.”

“But doesn’t that seem strange? They’re connected to pirates but they still hunt down pirates.”

“Space pirates aren’t a monolithic lot, so it’s possible that they were just dealing with other pirate groups that were getting in the way of the Red Flags.”

“Ah, I see.”

Whisker gave her take on Mimi’s question. That’s certainly possible. Perhaps, the bit about finding hidden loot was simply a bare-faced lie, and in truth, they obtained those stashes by killing off rival space pirate groups. Or maybe they were just presenting the loot their pirate comrades have accumulated for them.

In other words, the Crimson Lance mercenaries might be running a racket of taking illegally plundered goods from civilian victims and presenting them as their ‘lucky finds’ to cash them out legally. Basically, it was money laundering.

“But we can’t just use these to pin somethin’ on them. In the end, all we found out was that the mercenary corps of that Marie woman was discoverin’ hidden loot and pirate bases at a rate that even made the Mercenary Guild suspect somethin’ else was goin’ on, right?”

“That’s true. After all, even the Mercenary Guild wasn’t able to catch the snake by its tail, so to speak…… But even so, I still want to bet on my intuition.”

How should I describe it……? This might sound like I’m spouting nonsense, but my intuition this time was kinda close to divine premonition. Err, something like that anyway. It felt like my entire body, heart, and soul were rejecting that woman with all their might. And I, for one, don’t think it’s exactly normal to have such an intense feeling that a person you’ve met for the first time was your enemy.

“You really are a bit too tense, aren’t you? Are you okay? You wanna fondle my chest to relax?”


After hearing Elma’s offer, I discarded all my other thoughts in seconds and decided to bury my face on her breasts. Well, they sure didn’t have the sheer volume of Mimi’s assets, but they still felt really nice. They smelled really good. Great, even. My heart was slowly being healed.

“Aren’t you too faithful to your desires, Big Brother?”

I can’t help it y’know. I’m a healthy young man after all.

Well, we discussed at length, but there wasn’t anything conclusive in the end. I hope my suspicions really turn out to be false.

Well, in any case, they won’t be able to chase after us once we’re back down on Theta. And even if they did come down to Theta themselves, they wouldn’t be able to make much of a mess while on the surface. If they did try to pull something big, there’s a good chance they’d be discovered. The surface of a planet was just too small compared to the huge expanse of outer space. As soon as a laser cannon set to anti-ship output gets fired on the surface, the Star System Garrison in charge of planetary defense would immediately mobilize.

In the end, we couldn’t get out of the ship, and we wouldn’t be able to leave the colony either before our descent application gets approved, so we just spent the entire time lounging around inside Black Lotus.




Novel Schedule

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

Schedule will be reduced when the goal is reached

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Comments (3)

  1. Seven

    Hiro did mention a while back after getting grilled by Mei on swordsmanship lesson that he somehow gained an ability akin to a “Spider-sense” in which he gets alerted due to instinct if something/someone dangerous is being directed to him.

    I didn’t take it much seriously then but he did detect Elma’s brother that time who has ill will towards him at that moment.

  2. aristocrat

    My guess is that it’s because he lost so many faction points with the pirate faction that his hated status activates on sight with them.

    1. Citizen27

      Honesrly given his bullet time ability i agree with you

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