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We didn’t hear anything. Okay?

“Just to make sure I understand, the target can be dead or alive, right?”

[Of course that’s fine. What’s the current status?]

I heard Hartmut’s puzzled voice over Krishna’s speakers. Of course, he would be puzzled. I mean, I was in the middle of chasing a target, and suddenly he gets a call from me asking him something like this. Well, there’s no point going in circles with this, so I simply informed him of the current situation.

“As soon as we caught up with them, they locked themselves in a minefield… If they move the ship even a little bit, boom. That’s the current situation.”

[Capturing them would be best, but we’re fine with the results as long as you make sure they’re taken care of.]

“Thanks. Then we’ll blow the whole minefield.”

With that said, I cut the comms and activated the weapon system. The target ship tried to communicate with us, but I ignored it. I fired four heavy laser cannons at the target ship, which was unable to move, and blew up the ship, mines and all.

Ah, a lot of mines exploded, and it looked like a filthy firework. Not a single one of them could be saved.

“Um…I saw some transmissions coming in… was that okay?”

“I don’t see any reason for us to be stalling for time. I know that if I were to listen to them beg for their lives or tell their sob stories, I would not be able to sleep well tonight. And there’s a good chance that it’s all just a made up story.”

“That’s kind of a… trick, or they may promise something, right?”

“I don’t think such promises can be trusted though.”

Well, in anime and dramas, villains might say something like they regret their actions and would promise that they would reform. However, it might also be just a lie to make the killer feel guilty while killing them, or might cause the situation to be reversed in the worst case scenario. I refused to let even a probability of that happening to me, so I had to be relentless. It was best to kill the enemy whenever you could. Licking your tongue as you watch and listen to your prey would be an act of a third-rate soldier, as said by a certain Master Sergeant.

“By the way, My Lord, who was it that set up these people to be hunted?”

“Ah…well, I don’t know. I thought it might be gang related at this time, but then I thought about it, it’s strange that they still have a ship, right?”

Even with the space pirate connection, it seemed odd that they own a proper high-speed reconnaissance ship, although not a military ship. Given their financial resources, it was not impossible to conclude that they could afford it, but it takes a certain amount of formalities for ordinary subjects, who were not mercenaries, to buy a ship. It would be a bit too much for outlaws.

Besides, a scout ship could only accommodate a few people at most. It seems a little too small for an organization to use as a means of escape.

“Maybe they wanted to kill the troublesome ones…?”

“You think so?”

“There’s a non-zero chance that Hartmut set me up, but we’ll see what happens.”

There were many ways to do this. I doubt Hartmut would be the kind of guy who would do something like that.

“Let’s clear the rest of the mines. I don’t think anyone would get caught in this void of space, but the odds of that happening won’t be zero. Let’s call it after-sales service.”

“Yes!”

☆★☆

“Do you know how I felt when I tried so hard to catch up with you, but it was all for nothing?”

“I’m sorry… but it’s not my fault, you know?”

“Yes, but you know that I won’t be satisfied, right?”

“Yes, I do.”

After cleaning up, I returned to Reemay Prime Colony with Elma’s Antlion, who later joined us, and while we were taking a break at the Black Lotus, Elma came back from Antlion and complained to me. It wasn’t my fault, but I understand how she felt, so I would make it up to her later.

“So, have you reported back to our client yet?”

“No, I was just taking a breather. Let’s report right now.”