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

Chapter 27 – Trump Card
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Chapter 27 - Trump Card

Translator: SFBaka

The Vereverem Federation military’s response was faster than expected. They most likely received crucial intel from the recon unit even before I managed to shoot them down.

I don’t know what exactly was recorded in those black boxes and data caches, so I don’t have a grasp on how much the Graccan Empire managed to glean regarding the Federations’ plans.

Thanks to that, I wasn’t able to formulate any concrete countermeasures on my end. I would’ve liked to have more intel just to be safe, but that’s just how it is. It’ll be troublesome if they did an on-the-spot inspection after all.

Anyway, because of the actions of the enemy forces, we were summoned to the military base for a briefing as part of the imperial mercenary squadron that was hastily organized.

It would be a face-to-face briefing instead of a remote conference this time, apparently. Is it a sort of countermeasure against spies? I don’t really get how the folks from the military think.

I was guided by an imperial soldier who kept giving us quick glances until we reached the briefing room.

It should be a briefing room specifically built to seat a large number of people. It was quite spacious. It might be because the furnishings in the room consisted of mostly chairs, but it did feel somewhat bland.

The bland-looking room already had a number of mercenaries waiting inside. Their gazes all turned towards us the moment we entered the briefing room.

“Oi, would ya just look at that guy?”

“He got women with him… And two cuties to boot…!?”

“Hey, ain’t that Elma? She’s a Silver Rank, right? Why’s she with him?”

“She got into an accident in the last pirate subjugation mission, remember? I’m guessin it has somethin to do with that.”

“Explode… Just f*cking explode……”

The mercenaries who got here before us started murmuring to themselves as soon as we entered. Hey, the guy who keeps muttering *explode over there. Could you stop that. It might come true y’know.

Looks like there wasn’t any particular seating arrangement so we just sat at the nearest vacant seats.

“Sit in the middle, Mimi.”

“Ah, okay.”

Elma should be fine, but I bet Mimi wouldn’t be able to settle down if she was sitting beside a grumpy-looking mercenary uncle. It seems Elma thought the same, so she didn’t make a fuss and let Mimi sit between us.

All the participating mercenaries eventually came and filled the seats before long, and the time for the briefing to begin came. Lieutenant Serena and several other military officers entered the briefing room exactly on the dot.


The atmosphere inside the briefing room tensed up after the military officers entered.

“Now then, let us start the briefing for the Termaine star system defense operations. I am Lieutenant Serena Holz. This newly organized provisional imperial army mercenary corps shall be assigned under my command. It may be temporary, but I shall be your direct commanding officer for the duration of this conflict. So address me as Lieutenant Serena from now on.”

“””Yes, ma’am!”””

“Very well. Let us start with an overview of the general situation. Georg.”


The officer named Georg operated the console installed on the wall and the lights of the room dimmed. A large holo screen turned on behind Lieutenant Serena. The entire star map of the Termaine star system was projected on the holo screen.

“Currently, the main fleet of the Vereverem Federation is on its way towards the Termaine star system. Their exact composition is currently unknown due to the fleet already in the middle of Hyperdrive. However, based on the intel we just obtained and the readings of the hyperspace sensor, they are most likely made up of eight battleships, twenty-four heavy cruisers, thirty-two light cruisers, sixty-four destroyers, and 128 corvettes.”

The mercenaries became restless after hearing the size of the enemy force. I was also a bit surprised. The number of enemies was greater than I expected. This wasn’t on a level of a regular skirmish anymore, but an out-and-out military campaign.

“Frankly speaking, the military might of the enemy fleet is greater than the current imperial forces garrisoned in the Termaine star system. Fortunately, a request for reinforcements has already been sent out due to us discovering their plans early. The reinforcements should arrive a day after the enemy warps out near the borders. In other words, as long as we hold out for a day, our reinforcements will arrive, and we will be able to mount a counteroffensive. Therefore, our overall strategy is to make sure to hold our ground for one day no matter what.”

That’s a solid plan, assuming that reinforcements really were coming. Looks like the data caches and black boxes we recovered really were useful. Their selling price was actually really high, so I already kinda expected it.

“Your mercenary corps’ mission is to lurk inside the asteroid belt and mount guerilla warfare against Federation ships attempting to breakthrough. Your main targets would be the destroyers and corvettes. There will be a hefty bonus waiting for those who will manage to take down cruisers and battleships.”

Lieutenant Serena gave us a daring smile. The mercenaries gave her bitter grins in response. Well, most mercenary ships are small and medium-sized models after all.

Military ships larger than cruisers would be equipped with correspondingly larger generators with considerably higher power output. The shields powered by such generators would sport defensive strength incomparable with your average pirate ship.

In other words, even if the firepower of the mercenaries are sufficient to engage small and medium-sized pirate warships, taking on military warships larger than cruisers would prove to be impossible because of the defensive strength of their energy shields.

But my Krishna could, though. I also have my handy trump card on hand.

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“If they have any other strategies under their sleeves, we shall endeavor to adopt corresponding countermeasures on the fly. We shall make use of every means available to us, no matter what they may be.”

Hou, any means necessary, huh. So that means that little something I prepared earlier could be officially approved as well…… Nah, on second thought, I don’t really think so. That thing is classified as a highly dangerous, illegal contraband after all. I’m glad I stashed it inside the scan-proof secret cargo compartment.

But well, un… I’ll just go for it anyway. I’ll make it a last resort if the situation gets nasty enough.

“Permission to speak, Lieutenant Serena.”

“You are… Yes, permission granted.”

I kinda felt like Lieutenant Serena’s gaze turned sharper after seeing Mimi and Elma with me though. I wonder why? Oh well. I’ll just ignore it.

“I sort of have a plan for giving the Federation fleet a heavy blow… Uh, it’s more like a scheme, actually. I would like to take this opportunity to get permission to execute said scheme.”

“A scheme, is it? Could I get the exact details?”

“Yes. It’s a pretty straightforward strategy. We’ll head straight for the heart of the enemy fleet as soon as they warp out, destroy the enemy flagship and withdraw immediately afterward.”

Lieutenant Serena’s expression froze after she heard my proposal. The other mercs made a huge fuss. Mimi gave me a worried look while Elma opened her mouth wide in surprise.

“Are you serious?”

Lieutenant Serena gave me a doubtful gaze. That expression she’s making has『I can’t think of that strategy as anything but a suicide mission, y’know?』written all over her face.

“Yeah, very serious. Just take it as just one stupid idiot dying if we fail. This strategy won’t pose any disadvantage to the imperial military as well.”

“You are an excellent individual who managed to make major contributions in the pirate subjugation mission. You have also effectively hunted lots of outlier pirate groups recently. I do not wish to lose such a talent due to such a reckless plan.”

“There’s no need to worry. We’ll definitely pull it off.”

I don’t have any intention of doing it the straightforward way after all. I’ll just keep that thought to myself though.

It looks like Lieutenant Serena noticed something in my expression, so it seemed she would eventually approve of the plan even if she was still holding some doubts.

Lieutenant Serena gave me a long, hard look for a while. She then shrugged her shoulders and audibly sighed. It’s like she was saying she won’t be taking responsibility for whatever happens.

“……Very well. If you insist on doing it that much, then I expect you to do it well. You will be rewarded greatly if you manage to succeed.”

“Thank you very much.”

After hearing the answer I was hoping for, I contentedly sat back down on my seat. I’m probably smiling from ear to ear right now.

I heard someone in the room mutter ‘He’s f*cking crazy.’ under their breath. Hey! Who’re you callin crazy? How rude. I’m just using every card in my hand to get the maximum benefits man.

“Stupid! Stupid! You’re totally, utterly stupid! You can’t actually be screwed in the head, can’t you!?”

“Mimi, Elma’s saying some really cruel things.”

“You’ve said too much, Elma-san. That’s a no-no.”

“Whaddya mean ‘no-no’!? He’s saying something stupid like charging into the Federation fleet alone y’know! Can’t you see that it’s the height of utter recklessness!?”

Elma raved like a madwoman. I’ve never seen her so angry before. Her voice echoed all throughout the cargo room.

Elma’s kept this state up ever since we left the briefing room. Well, I do understand where she’s coming from. If I was suddenly told we were going straight to the heart of an over 200-ship strong enemy fleet willy-nilly, I’d probably react the same.

“Calm down, will you. It’s not like I’m doing this without a proper plan. I have everything laid out already, so chill.”

“Let’s hear what this ‘plan’ of yours is then.”

I took out the military-grade duct tape from the toolbox and showed it to Elma. Stop glaring at me like that already. I’m gonna explain now, kay.

“The plan’s pretty simple. Once we detect the enemy fleet’s warp-out signature, we’re going to charge right through using the Hyperspeed Drive. We’re going to adjust it so we arrive at the enemy fleet’s warp-out coordinates at the exact same time as when the Hyperspeed Drive gets deactivated. We probably would be able to avoid being detected right away using this method.”

“Hm. I see the point so far. And then what?”

“Once the hyperspeed drive gets cut, we’ll immediately activate the rapid cooling system and enter the thermal stealth state. We’ll hide and pretend to be normal space debris.”

“Wouldn’t they suspect us? And what are we gonna do if they decided to get rid of the space debris in their way?”

“Even in the worst-case scenario, this ship’s energy shields and armoring would allow us to withstand their attacks, so no problems there. Once we get into range, we’ll let them eat two rounds of anti-ship reactive torpedoes. That’ll rock their socks off, and then some.”

“Anti-ship reactive torpedoes…… You really have those dangerous things? In this ship?”

“Yeah, I do. They’re hella expensive though, so I really don’t want to use them unless I really have to.”

“Um… What exactly are anti-ship reactive torpedoes?”

Mimi tilted her head in puzzlement after hearing Elma and my discussion. Ah, Elma’s familiar with them, but Mimi I guess wouldn’t have any idea huh.

“The anti-ship reactive torpedoes are weapons specially developed to give critical damage to large ships with strong energy shielding and thick armor plating. They’re equipped with special energy shield saturation warheads. Two shots of those things are enough to sink a Galaxy-class battleship.”

“That’s amazing… But, if they’re so effective, shouldn’t their use be widespread?”

“Because they’re crazy expensive. One of them costs around 500,000 Enel after all. If they’re not used on prey with equal or more value, you’d just end up with huge monetary losses. So you won’t find a lot of mercenaries using such things.”

“One torpedo costs 500,000 Enel!?”

Mimi got paralyzed from shock after hearing how expensive the torpedoes were. 500,000 Enel really was a huge amount after all. Well, it’s not like they cost more than the advanced missiles back on Earth anyway.

“Anyway, You’ve already explained how we’re going to bring down the flagship. It’s a bit of a gamble, but that’s just how we mercs do things, right? If you say you can pull it off, then we’ll just have to follow your lead. But what are we going to do after we destroy the flagship?”

“Un, well here’s the rest of it. Once we successfully pull off shooting down their flagship, the enemy fleet’s chain of command would probably be thrown into chaos for a time, but it’ll also leave Krishna completely surrounded. We’ll probably just be taken down from behind if we attempt a normal retreat.”

“That’s right. So you do understand that point huh.”

As long as we’re in the middle of the group, the Federation fleet’s ships wouldn’t be able to use their more powerful weapons, but once we take sufficient distance while attempting to escape, I bet they’ll immediately shoot us down with their high-output laser cannons from behind. Even Krishna wouldn’t be able to take so much laser cannon fire, especially from an entire fleet.

“And so, we’re going to stick this little thing on one of the torpedoes.”

I opened up the secret cargo compartment and took something out. You guessed it. I took out the super-dangerous (not to mention sorta illegal) contraband - the 『Singing Crystal』. It was enclosed in a transparent glass-like capsule and exuded a faint glow. Even in its sealed state, it was still able to emit a peculiar humming noise that was seemingly able to penetrate one’s mind.

The sound was akin to that of a song that had the ability to bewitch those who hear it.

Just who or what was it that created this mysterious item that, upon being destroyed, was able to get a great number of space monsters - aggressive crystal life-forms to be exact - that attacked all in their path? Nobody knew. It was a popular topic of research, however.

“Huh!? That!? Isn’t that-!?”

“Singing Crystal~?”

“Are you an idiot!? Just what are you thinking by carrying something so dangerous!? Wai- Don’t you dare drop that thing! Don’t drop it, okay!?”



I teasingly loosened my hold on it, which made Elma all panicky. Hahaha. How amusing.

“It’s such a beautiful crystal! And the sound coming from it is kind of……”

“That’s no good, Mimi! You can’t listen to the sound! If you listen to it for too long, there’s a chance you’d go crazy or even die!”

“Eeh!? Really!?”

Elma blocked her long ears with both hands. Mimi followed suit. They’re actually kinda cute; getting all flustered like that.

“Well, it does make one feel a little homesick… But its more of a hazardous material than anything else.”

I can’t even return home even if I wanted to right now. Mimi’s already lost her previous home to begin with. I don’t know about Elma, but she does sort of feel like an ojousan who escaped from her home or something, so I bet she isn’t really attached to the idea of homecoming all that much.

I ignored the sound coming from the singing crystal and moved it to the cargo hold’s ammunition depot.

The ammo depot was dark and cramped. The thing I was after was located far at the back. Yep, it’s the anti-ship reactive torpedoes.

“Round and round we go.”

I used the military-grade duct tape to stick the singing crystal onto one of the torpedoes. I wrapped it with several layers just to be sure.

“And that should do it.”

“‘And that should do it’, my foot!”

After I came out of the ammunition depot and wiped the sweat that accumulated on my brows, I suddenly found Elma giving my head a good whack. Ouch. Mimi gently caressed the place I was hit on. You’re seriously an angel, Mimi.

“Violence is no good, Elma-san.”

“Whaddya mean ‘no good’!? You have no idea Mimi, but that item is classified as ultra-dangerous illegal contraband! It’s a dangerous item that will release countless crystal space monsters that will attack on-sight!”

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“Is that really the case, Hiro-sama?”

“More or less.”

“Whaddya mean ‘more or less’!? You didn’t even tell us you were carrying such a dangerous item on this ship!”

“Ok, ok. It’s my fault, alright. So calm down a bit. Don’t shout in such a loud voice.”

I raised my hands in surrender in front of the red-faced Elma-san.

“Anyway, that’s sort of like my trump card. If we release that thing in the middle of the Federation fleet, they’ll be overrun by crystal monsters in no time. We’re going to take advantage of that to escape.”

“Well, that thing’s certainly going to raise hell…… But it’s still far too reckless a plan.”

Can’t argue with that. I dunno about this world, but in the game, those crystal monsters were set to be the enemy of all organic lifeforms. They would immediately attack and attempt to assimilate any organic life they encounter. In other words, the Singing Crystal posed many problems if one intends to use it as a sort of weapon. It was a full-on biological(?) weapon of mass destruction after all.

“It’s all fine as long as we win!”

For that, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it. I place more importance on our survival than the lives of soldiers I don’t even know.

But isn’t it better to use normal delaying tactics within the asteroid belt, you ask? Don’t make me laugh. The enemy force has more than sixty ships larger than cruisers at their disposal. We’ll just be bombarded to bits by their large-caliber laser cannons and ship-to-ship missiles even if we did hole up in the asteroid field.

“Well, aren’t you confident… I do agree about the ‘as long as we win’ part though.”

“Let’s put that aside for now. The problem’s what to do from this point on.”

I gave a serious-looking gaze towards Elma, who had a peculiar expression on, and Mimi, who was still a bit stiff from shock.

“This plan definitely carries a high risk and is extremely dangerous. We’ll probably die if we make just one mistake. So, if you want to, you two could just- ”

Elma put up a hand to stop me before I could say ‘get off the ship’.

“I won’t get off the ship. I did join your crew knowing full well how dangerous being a mercenary truly is. Or rather, both I and Mimi owe our lives to you, more or less, y’know.”

“I don’t have anywhere I can go to if I did get off the ship anyway. I’ll go wherever Hiro-sama decides to go.”

“I can’t really promise that much… But, well, the plan does have some prospects of success, so I’ll tag along. You can’t board a mercenary ship without at least that much resolve anyway.”

“……I see. Understood.”

Looks like I was worried for nothing. I’m… a bit scared though. There’s a good chance of success. But there’s no absolutes. There’s a good chance of dying from just a tiny mistake. Moreover, I’ll cause the both of them to die as well if I ever screwed up. That thought scares me. I won’t think much about it if I were to die alone… Well, maybe not. I won’t be able to accept my death all that calmly.

“Well, let’s leave that for later.”


I tilted my head in puzzlement at Elma’s change of tone.

“Don’t you think it’s unfair to the rest of this ships’ crew that you kept quiet about keeping such a dangerous item inside the ship without a word of explanation?”


I can’t really refute that. I did keep mum because I didn’t want them to worry too much, but a part of it was just because of me fooling around. My crew placed their lives on my hands, so it was only right to disclose such a thing to them, especially because it was a pretty dangerous item.

“……I’m truly sorry.”

“That’s a good boy. Be sure to tell the crew the next time you get your hands on such illegal stuff in the future, okay. You’re fine with that, right?”

“I gotcha.”

“Fufu…… You really seem like Hiro-sama’s big sister, Elma-san.”

Mimi let out an amused giggle after seeing Elma and my exchange.

“Well, of course. I’m older after all. I’m also an experienced veteran.”

“A veteran who doesn’t even know the kinks of her own ship (trolling grin).”

“What did you just say?”

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me, big sis.”

I did another splendid dogeza in front of Elma, who looked like she was about to snap, even with a smiling face. I have some confidence when it comes to a firefight, but I’ll definitely lose in hand-to-hand combat y’know.

“Okay then. Shall we?”


“Alright, let’s depart.”