Chapter 64 – Side Story: Commander Iris Conrad Part 2


Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


“All personnel, abandon ship! Start evacuating everyone to the other fleet ships at once.”

“Captain!?”

“That’s an order, XO.”

“But–!”

“I’m going to buy us some time. Please, Sarah. Listen to me.”

“………I understand, Iris. All hands! Abandon ship!”

The bridge crew gave me one final salute and started to evacuate. I also gave them a crisp salute in return.

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I’m going to have you come with me, Teo.”

『It’s fine. I’ll accompany you till the end, Captain.』

“Declare a first-class state of emergency. Teo, ignore normal regulations and release the limiters of all the systems of the ship.”

『Limiters are off, Captain.』

With this, I should be able to put up a decent fight even by my lonesome.

Before long, all of the ship’s crew have managed to escape via the landing crafts and started heading for our allied ships. However, I had them leave the combat bots usually assigned to the landing crafts behind.

“Now then, let’s head for that Bug fleet. Maximum combat speed. I’ll leave the system controls to you.”

『Roger.』

The Bug fleet was acting warily. They were slower than usual. Well, that’s convenient.

We will soon have them within firing range.

“Tactical Maneuver Sigma 1, commence.”

『Roger.』

We started circling around the Bug fleet at maximum speed and attacked them from medium range. As expected, BG-IIIs really are different from BG-Is. This won’t be easy at all.

『One ship, down. The attack trajectories of the Bug ships seem odd. They seem to be recalibrating their aim constantly and are trying to disable us.』

As I thought! It’s just as I predicted. I banked on the possibility that they will act like this when faced with just a lone ship. The Bugs greatly desired humanity’s tech after all. They are probably thinking of acquiring this ship so they are trying not to overly damage it. Of course, even if this ship gets shot down, the Bugs still won’t get their filthy hands on it. The moment we get incapacitated, Teo will activate the self-destruct sequence according to protocol.

If I can just shave off a couple more from their number…

When I managed to shoot down an additional five ships, their attack patterns finally changed. It looks like they won’t be permitting any more losses. I guess this is how far we can go with this strategy.

“Prioritize evading their attacks while exchanging fire.”

『Roger.』

“How much time left before the evacuation is finished?”

『The shuttles have reached orbit and the transfer of passengers has started. I estimate that it will take approximately 36 minutes until they can escape via hyperspace navigation.』

So there are still 36 minutes left. We’ve ended up coming pretty close to the colony planet. Just how long will we be able to last at this rate?

Even when we prioritized evasive maneuvers, we still managed to shoot down one more enemy ship. There were nine ships left. At this rate, we’ll be pushed back near the orbit of colony planet Athena, and it will end up within enemy range. But there’s still 25 minutes to go before they can make their escape.

“Can you cause a localized explosion near the engine remotely?”

『It’s possible.』

“Okay. Try to make it appear as if we got hit by one of their attacks and detonate an explosion. Bring down the shield as well.”

『Are you sure, Captain?』

“There’s no other way to get their attention.”

『Understood. I will execute it now.』

This is a very risky bet. I couldn’t think of any other way but this.

We evaded a couple more attacks from the Bug fleet and made a sudden sharp turn at maximum combat speed. After gaining some distance, vibrations rocked the ship. Teo must have already set off a localized explosion. What is the reaction of those damned Bugs?

Yes! They bit the bait! All nine ships turned back to encircle Teo. Yes, this is fine. I was worried they would end up splitting their forces in half. It looks like they really want human tech for themselves.

“Activate all combat and general-purpose bots. Have them defend all passageways leading to the bridge.”

『Roger.』

They would probably have a hard time eliminating the bots while trying not to cause too much damage to the ship.

“If the Bugs try anything funny and attempt to access the main system, immediately activate the self-destruct protocol.”

『Understood.』

“You can jam the communication systems of the Bugs, right? Make sure no information leaks out. Activate the self-destruct protocol at your discretion.”

『Understood.』

The Bugs had three of their ships approach Teo and extended something that looked like a boarding passageway to infiltrate the ship. They broke through the ship’s hull and started infiltrating. They seemed pretty efficient for mere insects. They probably planned all this in advance the moment we engaged them with just one ship.

They immediately entered combat with the combat and general-purpose bots guarding the main passages. Only 15 more minutes to go.

Unexpectedly, the Bugs didn’t seem afraid of causing damage to the ship. They sent wave after wave of armored insect soldiers to engage the defending robots. The combat bots were already beginning to suffer large losses. Ten minutes more.

The Bugs finally made it in front of the bridge. They immediately destroyed the reinforced sliding door by tearing it with their claws. So these are the enemies of humanity – the Bugs. It’s my first time seeing them alive like this. All I saw before were dead specimens sent back for research. Six minutes more.

The ones that entered were basic Beetle Type IIs. They had a horrifying figure covered in messy hair filaments and rugged carapace. Their entire body looked slimy and greasy. And the smell! It made me want to throw up a thousand times over.

They invaded the bridge en masse. They looked like they were talking with each other, but all I could hear were bizarre clicking noises. Then one of them started fiddling with a tiny box-like device.

“System, hand over.”

A Bug spoke!? Precisely speaking, the voice was from the tiny device, but still…

(What’s going on!? How did these Bugs get a hold of our language?)

『This is just my conjecture, but this may be proof that a certain unsavory rumor was true.』

Rumor? Oh, that rumor huh… There was a claim saying that the Bugs might have captured a great number of humans and brought them back to their home-world.

It stemmed from the fact that the number of those reported missing after attacks on colony planets did not match the number of corpses recovered to a significant degree. According to that rumor, the Bugs apparently raised humans akin to livestock and were treated as gourmet foodstuffs back in their home-world. To think there was a possibility of that being true…

I definitely don’t want to end up like that though…

“System, hand over.”

So that little box is some sort of translator device? They seem to want me to hand over the systems of the ship.

They seem to be getting impatient.

“No!”

“System, hand over. Otherwise, kill.”

“Go ahead and kill me then.”

It seems the Bugs were confused when I told them to kill me without hesitation. The frantic clicking noises they make is getting on my nerves.

“System, hand over. If you don’t, I, eat your hand.”

Eat my what now? Oh, was it threatening me? Did it think the reason I’m not self-destructing immediately was that I wished to live? Ah, the foolishness of these Bugs is one of the saving graces for the human race. It would be terrible for humanity if they were even just a bit smarter.

“No, don’t eat me!”

I don’t know if the Bugs actually understood human emotions, but I pretended to shake uncontrollably to signify fear. I’m sure these bastards are having a blast watching me.

“No, will eat. System, hand over.”

“I won’t hand over the system, but please don’t eat me.”

“Will eat. System, hand over.”

“I won’t hand over the system, but please don’t eat me.”

It looks like it finally realized I was making a fool out of it. It grabbed one of my arms and chewed it up starting from the fingers. I screamed as loud as I could. One minute more.

…4, 3, 2, 1. I stopped screaming immediately. I had my nanoms cut off my sense of pain earlier, so I naturally didn’t feel a thing.

(How long before the reactor goes critical?)

『We can go out right now if you like, Captain. But for maximum effect, three minutes more would be ideal.』

I see. Alright then. I guess there’s enough time for me to finish handing over command.

『Captain Kurz.』

The image of Captain Kurz, who was currently sitting on the captain’s chair of the destroyer under his command, went up on the screen. My former XO, Sarah, was standing by his side. She was crying profusely. My current appearance might be a bit too much for her.

The situation on my ship was monitored by all of my former subordinates, so they must have seen the entire thing.

The Bugs got surprised when the screen suddenly turned on and were making a racket. Ugh, so noisy. The scum that was happily munching on my arm finally released me.

“Captain Kurz, I now fully relinquish command of the fleet to you.”

『…Understood, ma’am.』

“Stay safe, Sarah.”

『Uu… Captain!』

Sarah was a friend who’s been with me since I was first assigned as the captain of an imperial destroyer.

“I’m sorry Captain Kurz, but can you help me send a video message?”

『Of course ma’am. We can depart via hyperspace drive anytime so there’s absolutely no problem.』

“I’ll send it to you later then.”

I cut the comms. The Bugs were still clicking and clacking in confusion.

“Teo, my appearance is a bit unsightly, so can you edit the video so I’d look like I was inside the captain’s quarters in civilian clothes? Edit out the clicking sounds too of course.”

My left arm ended up getting eaten right up to the elbow. I can’t show such a thing to my family.

『Understood. Go ahead, Captain.』

“Selena, Sharon. Are you doing fine, girls!? I got the sketch you sent me! You drew it very well! Mama was really surprised! But Mama’s busy with work, so I won’t be able to come home for a while. I’m really sorry. Be good girls and listen to Papa always. I’ll leave them both to you, okay, Aaron? I love you……… And cut.”

The Bugs seemed taken aback by my sudden actions. They looked pretty confused when I made my best smile and waved goodbye cheerfully.

I didn’t think I would actually record a holo-video for my family under the eyes of dozens of Bugs… You really never know what life will throw at you next, huh.

『The reactor has reached critical mass.』

“I see. I’ve been in your care, Teo.”

『No. It was my pleasure to serve under you, Captain.』

I ran my gaze to the surrounding Bugs. They still looked absolutely bewildered. Oh, and I suppose I should thank them for allowing me to shoot a holo-video without any disturbance.

“Okay then, you lot! I’ll see you all in hell! ……Detonate!

Five of the nine Bug ships got caught up directly in the explosion and got thoroughly destroyed. The other four heavily damaged ships were brought down by the three destroyers with a vengeance.


The Imperial Military High Command praised Lt. Col. Iris Conrad for her heroic actions and gave her a posthumous promotion to Brigadier General.

And when the last video message of the Brigadier General got mysteriously leaked from the imperial military database, which never allowed any sort of data leak until that point, it immediately spread throughout the known galaxy and caused a massive commotion. It was then decided that the Brigadier General would be given the highest-ranked imperial military medal; the Great Galactic Cross.

After this, it was also decided that the next-gen Galaxy-class dreadnought being constructed at the time will be christened as the Iris Conrad, in commemoration of the fallen hero.



12 Comments

  1. didnt expect to tear up with this since ive read it before… from the manga? i think? … didnt feel much with the manga… but this…

  2. fuck this flashback, how long is this gonna be?

    • It was just one chapter, so it’s over.

      It’s only one Chapter in the original Japanese, not the Author’s fault the translator broke it up into two parts, and not the translator’s fault that instant gratification has become the expected default when it comes to people who read translated versions of Japanese WN/LNs.

      Plus it looks like the Author took this type of criticism to heart– if the manga is accurately based on the LN, this sequence takes place earlier and is abridged.

      Anyhoo, thanks for the chapter.

    • It was a necessary drama and tragedy to build up the reputation of the name Iris.
      Since it was an average length chapter it took two parts, thus two days.

    • Jesus, dude, 0 patience huh

  3. Well, I did feel the cold weather was drying my eyes, so this helps, but the feels aren’t helping. I knew this was coming, but still can’t help it.
    Thanks for the update! Awesome translation! God bless you!

  4. Read the manga ver. but still this was beautiful.

    TY TL samas

  5. The message to her family at the end… damn i thought i was more emotionally jaded than this! Sending her love to her kids while a bug munches on her arm is hard core! No wonder she got a ship named after her!

  6. I get the feeling that the Japanese author has read some of David Weber’s Honor Harrington books.

    • And not the later ones too. His standards really dropped after the first Arc. Duplicating 1/3 of the contents of previous books as “new” content probably did not help his cause even more.

  7. I was doing fine until I realized the AI named the clones of Iris after the real Iris’ daughters… then someone started cutting onions.

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