Unwanted Galactic Uprising Volume 1 Chapter 33

PART 3: My Ship Became a Tempura Ship
 

 
Reuniting with Big Sister Maki
 

 
I was puzzled by the Princess’s words to me.
 
What did she mean?
 
No matter how much I thought about it, the meaning completely escaped me
 
Even if it was just polite small talk, it seemed odd.
 
As I stood frozen in place, Maria approached me.
 
“Captain…ah no, my mistake – Acting Captain.”
 
“What is it, Maria?”
 
“Calling me ‘what is it’ is rather rude, isn’t it? Well, never mind. Anyway, we’re supposed to return to headquarters to receive our new orders. What about you, Acting Captain?”
 
“What about me? No matter what, I need to go back to headquarters first and get the full details. More importantly, that ship didn’t seem to have any crew aboard. How am I supposed to handle it alone? I’ll have to ask the Director of General Affairs about that too. So I’ll just go with you all to headquarters.”
 
“I see. More importantly, didn’t you find the ‘Acting Captain’ title strange? The name of the ship we received is pretty weird too, right?”
 
“If you’re asking if ‘shun’ min” is a strange name, yeah it does seem like a silly moniker for a warship. A name with the same meaning as ‘afternoon nap’ definitely gives off a malicious vibe.”
 
“Eh? I don’t think it’s that weird, Acting Captain.”
 
The warship fanatic Kasumi had overheard our conversation and chimed in.
 
“What’s not weird about it?”
 
“While the aerospace destroyer classification is long obsolete, ships of that type used to incorporate seasonal words into their names back when they were in service. Like ‘Shunrai’ for spring, or ‘Sunpuu’ which I also recall existing.”
 
“Sure, ‘Shunrai’ and ‘Sunpuu’ have a nice, valiant ring for a warship name. But how about ‘Shunmin’? That clearly sounds like they’re calling us lazy, doesn’t it?”
 
“Who cares about the name? Nobody pays attention to stuff like that. I’m more concerned about the hull number.”
 
“The hull number? Why’s that?”
 
“Well, you see, the kingdom has specific rules for assigning hull numbers. Since we use military hand-me-downs, we just keep the names and numbers they had. But did you know there are conventions for those hull numbers?”
 
“Oh, let me guess – battleships get the 1000 series numbers, that sort of thing?”
 
“Exactly. While civilian spacecraft use alphanumeric combinations, military ships only use numbers.”
 
Ah yes, our nation does have rules governing hull numbers.
 
While civilian ships follow all sorts of detailed regulations, military vessels only use numbers. And even those numbers follow a systematic convention.
 
For instance, battleships get the 1000 series, with the super dreadnought-class being assigned in the 1100s sequentially. Cruisers come next in the 2000s, with missile cruisers in the 3000s. Frigates are in the 4000s, while aircraft carriers and supply ships get the 6000 series after that. Kasumi’s assertion that the 9000 series is inconceivable makes total sense.
 
“But the 9000 series is absolutely unheard of. If anything, the currently vacant 5000 series is the more likely candidate. And that 9999 number – doesn’t that seem like the number they’d use when they’ve run out of others to assign? Definitely gives off that ‘we never intended to actually use this’ placeholder vibe. I can’t help but feel some malice there.”
 
“I couldn’t care less about the number myself. I guess people just pick up on different things.”
 
Well, taking Kasumi’s perspective into account, that ship does seem to reek of ill intent.
 
Strangely, I was actually pleased by this ominous combination.
 
I had a sneaking feeling that my martyrdom might involve the luxury of ordering the abandon ship before going down with it myself – a privilege only granted to captains.
 
Granted, I had never really considered a dramatic parting line back in school.
 
This is something I’ll have to think about going forward.
 
Lost in such thoughts, we eventually arrived at headquarters.
 
Ms. Sasha was waiting for us at the reception desk again to show us the way.
 
“Everyone else is being guided to Conference Room C on the 11th floor as before. Please head there. Ah, but Lieutenant Commander Bruce, you’ll be taken elsewhere per my instructions. This way, please.”
 
“Captain…well, I guess it’s farewell for now, albeit brief.”
 
“Yeah, take care wherever you’re assigned.”
 
“Sister Meyrica, why are you saying goodbye to the Captain?”
 
“Isn’t it obvious? Everyone’s being promoted in rank. Especially you and Kate – you’re becoming officers now. Think you can handle it?”
 
“Eh? Me and Maria are becoming officers together?”
 
“Kate, weren’t you listening at all? Your rank is only going up to the highest non-commissioned officer level. After that is ensign, which is the same rank I currently hold. Ensigns and above are considered officers. You two will probably receive some training right after this.”
 
“Eh? Why do we need training now of all times?”
 
“It’s only natural since you’re being promoted from non-commissioned to commissioned officers. I went through it too, but it was just a brief two or three days. It’s training conducted at a military academy, but entirely meaningless whether you attend or not. They’ll just lecture you on the basics of being an officer, so don’t worry. Apparently battlefield promotions happen in the military, with just a simple on-site appointment ceremony. So this training may not actually serve much purpose, but you’ll have to go through it regardless.”
 
“Sister Meyrica, I don’t want to take some dumb training like that.”
 
“You’ll find out once we get to the conference room.”
 
“Sister Meyrica, speaking of which, why are we parting ways with the Captain? Can’t we all just get promoted together?”
 
“That’s exactly why. What kind of squad has four officers, let alone all the non-commissioned officers piled on top of that? Up until now, even the space troopers were all non-coms. Can you imagine how many we’d have? So our squad is being dissolved here and now. Plus, the Captain’s becoming an acting ship captain.”
 
“If I could stay with the Captain, I wouldn’t mind being assigned to that decrepit old destroyer.”
 
“Ah, I hope it works out that way for you. Well, we should get going. Take care, Captain.”
 
“You too, Sister Meyrica.”
 
We parted ways with them at the elevator hall.
 

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“They seemed like a lively bunch.”
 
“Yeah, never a dull moment at least.”
 
“I see. But they sound like good people, so parting ways must feel rather lonely…Oh, but I’m rambling needlessly. My apologies. Lieutenant Commander, you’ll be taking this other elevator. Allow me to guide you.”
 
Unlike previous visits – granted, I had only been here a few times so far – instead of just being told a location at the front desk, this time Ms. Sasha escorted me up to the 9th floor General Affairs Department herself.
 
We passed through an area filled with rows of office desks before arriving at what looked like a meeting room with a conference table.
 
To be honest, I’m confident I wouldn’t have found this place without an escort.
 
“Please wait here, Lieutenant Commander. Your liaison will arrive shortly.” With those words, Ms. Sasha departed.
 
After sitting for a while, a woman in a prim suit arrived with some subordinates in tow, carrying data terminals.
 
The newcomers busily connected their terminals to the room’s displays.
 
“My apologies for the wait, Lieutenant Commander…Wait, could it be – Nao?”
 
At that moment,
 
I got my first good look at the woman who had addressed me.
 
“Ah! Big Sister Maki?”
 
My clearly out-of-place reaction caused everyone present to pause and turn toward us.
 
Though the bespectacled beauty initially gave off an aura of elite, professional poise, upon closer inspection I recognized traces of a familiar face.
 
It was none other than Maki Bruce, five years my senior from the same orphanage we grew up in – Big Sister Maki.
 
She tended to be just as quiet and reserved as me back then, often tutoring us in our studies.
 
I was probably the one she doted on the most.
 
Big Sister Maki had left the orphanage a full five years ahead of me.
 
We hadn’t seen each other since.
 
“I couldn’t believe it, but it’s you, Nao-kun. I’m so surprised!”
 
“Me too, I’m surprised. I never expected to run into you, Maki-neechan, in a place like this.”
 
“This place isn’t so bad. This is my workplace, after all.”
 
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm. But what are you doing here?”
 
“It’s work, of course. Oh, it looks like the preparations are ready, let me introduce you first. These are my subordinates. They’ve just graduated from school, so there are still a lot of things they don’t understand, but please be lenient with them.”
 
“Ah, but I don’t understand what you mean.”
 
“Eh? Don’t tell me you haven’t been told anything yet?”
 
“What do you mean? I just received my assignment orders and my first job, which seems to be maintaining that old ship.”
 
“So, that’s all you know?”
 
“Yeah, just this piece of paper and maybe this medal as well.”
 
“Hey, what are you doing? That’s an important thing, you know. Put it away properly before you lose it!”
 
At that, she suddenly reverted to her old big sister self, and I was firmly scolded.


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