Inside the Circry House’s estate in Arumsaas, I was eating my meal.
I usually eat Novem’s cooking, but only for today, a certain 【Toxic Automaton】 insisted she would do it, and she wouldn’t budge on the matter.
It seems she possesses a sense of rivalry against Novem, but it’s strange no matter how you look at it.
That scrap metal maid… the moment she came to the mansion, she directed an attack at the girl.
She had picked up the nearest broom, and tried to lower it on Novem’s head, but I stopped her…
“How is it? The taste of the food I put my all into making for a wimpy chicken dickwad?”
Chicken dickwad was likely referring to me.
It seems that since I didn’t have the high spirits of when we first met, she added a wimpy to it.
“No, it’s delicious. It’s much tastier than I imagined, but…”
“But? But what? A chicken dickwad has some complaints to voice against my cooking? Now out with it. Tomorrow, I’ll make use of those complaints to prepare the supreme dish.”
I looked at the other dishes lining the table.
The presentation was perfect.
There was no problem with the taste. In fact, it was delicious.
The fact that an automaton could do this much was truly a truth I hadn’t imagined.
“… Isn’t there a gap between my plate and the others?”
Only I had a larger portion.
The scrap metal looked at me, and let out a scornful laugh.
“That, of all things? I prepared a greater portion of food for my master, the chicken dickwad. I did not exceed the sum of money I was permitted, so there shouldn’t be a problem?”
There was a problem.
“Hey, you see, this is Miranda-san’s mansion. We’re just freeloaders!”
Miranda-san, who was eating alongside us, spoke.
“Ah, you don’t have to worry about that. How about it. Why not just become the master here?”
The pale green haired Miranda-san looked at me with her emerald eyes.
Her mischievous intentions were blatently visible.
She was definitely having fun.
I thought she was a cat-like person, but following the events of our previous dungeon expedition, more of her personality was showing than before.
I looked towards Novem, with her brown side ponytail.
Novem didn’t seem to be noticing my glance.
And she took a bite…
“For Lyle-sama’s preferences, the taste is a little light.”
And said that.
Hearing that, Aria let out a sigh.
The red-haired Aria directed her violet eyes at me.
“Make sure you don’t let them go too far.”
The reason Aria felt fed up was because of this piece of junk.
I mean, this pile of scraps…
“Mu! So this is the rumored 『Stepmother Bullying the Young Wife』 entry in my data! Are you perhaps unsatisfied with my cooking? Considering nutritional balance, I have surely created the finest of tastes.”
… Liked to compete with Novem.
I’m not even sure why, but only to Novem did she ever display an emotion like hostility.
Seeing the situation, feom the blue Jewel hung at my neck came a voice only I could hear.
The Fourth Generation Head of the Walt House, 【Max Walt】 had his long blue hair parted in a seven to three ration at the front, and glasses hanging on his face.
Within the Jewel, everyone had manifest in a form somewhere around their thirties.
This Fourth’s notable characteristic was… not just his glasses.
『Good grief, what a strange automaton. For her to pich a fight with Novem-chan, just what could she be thinking… now stop them already, Lyle.』
In regards to women, the Fourth was quite loud.
No, to be more specific, in regards to the treatment of women.
“Hah, scrap metal, isn’t that enough? Why are you always on at Novem?”
As the Fourth requested, I stopped the scrap metal.
But surprisingly, Novem…
“Lyle-sama, I think scrap metal is a little cruel. We’ve finally gotten ourselves a new comrade, so we’ll have to decide on a name.”
What a nice girl…
“For you to show mercy to the enemy… that naivety will cost you your life one day. Even if I look like this, I was manufactured as a top of the line model, and I’ve even been praised as his greatest masterpiece. I can’t be receiving mercy from…”
As she started into some incomprehensible words, Miranda-san spoke.
“Then isn’t scrap metal good enough?”
“… Chicken dickwad, I am pleading to you with upturned eyes, so please decide a worthy name for me, dammit.”
That isn’t the right attitude to ask a favor.
But only her mouth was bad, and pertaining to me, she did actually apply her all.
The housework that was hard for Novem alone had become much easier because of her, or so I’ve heard.
“… Looking at the movement of those twin tails, something’s come to mind.”
As I voiced that, scrap metal took the bait.
“Oh! For you to lust after these twin tails, you’ve got good eyes there. My makers even got into a fist fight over deciding between black bobbed hair, and these blond twin tails. As I thought, twin tails truly are the greatest.”
“I kinda get a poyo poyo feeling as the move back and forth, so 【Poyopoyo】 is…”1
The scrap metal’s refreshing expression suddenly turned expressionless.
The one who was holding her stomach in laughter… was Shannon.
In the past, she was a sightless, frail noble lady, but with her sister being something like that, the younger sister was quite a villain in her own regard.
“You’ve got no naming sense.”
The one who extended her hand towards the giggling Shannon was Miranda-san.
She used her left hand to grab the top of her head, squeezed, and lifted her up like that.
I’m starting to hear a creaking sound.
“O-onee-sama, it hurts! It really, really hurts!”
“There’s no point in giving me that cute tone. You’re being rude to Poyopoyo, who finally received her long-awaited name.”
As she said that, Aria covered her mouth.
Only Novem continued eating while she seemed to be thinking of various things with a serious expression on her face.
“… Chicken bastard. If it’s now, I will accept a revision.”
Poyopoyo said that, so I shook my head.
“No alterations, Poyopoyo.”
The Fourth raised an angered voice from within the Jewel…
『No matter how you look at it, that’s going too far! You have to be nice to girls!』
And said something like that.
(There’s no doubt this guy’s wife subjected him to something.)
From the other’s ancestors’ conduct, I can guess he was quite a submissive husband.
This man acting up about women, was the head with the longest term of service in the Walt family’s history.
The Third fell in battle in his thirties, and so he took over the title in his teens.
From there on, I heard he mostly contributed in domestic affairs, but…
『And wait, is there really no maintenance costs on that girl? She just sucks Lyle’s Mana, right? If there’s a service fee, wouldn’t that be a pain? Perhaps even a normal servant maid would be better.』
He was also loud about money.
I heard he handles things on the financial front as well, but when I’m actually here conversing with him, he just keeps prattling on about money.
It seemed he was the sort of man who would choose money over women.
That was the Fourth Generation, but only concerning his wife did he ever turn frail.
His son, the Fifth spoke.
『Oy, weren’t you saying something about being nice to girls? No wait, while her outside is female, her insides are iron, or something, right?』
『Oh, right… but Poyopoyo is cruel.』
But yeah, perhaps Poyopoyo was a bit much.
Expressionlessly, Poyopoyo (temp) continued to grumble on about demanding a change.
“Master, won’ you consider it a bit longer? Please use that meaningless godforsaken brain of yours to think of a name for my sake. I’ll be sure to treasure it. If it’s a proper name, I’ll be sure to treasure it, so…”
Scary. This automaton is scary.
“Oy, that’s a little scary, so please stop. I get it. I’ll think. I’ll think about it, so please give me some more time”
As I said that, the troublesome pile of scrap metal returned a smile.
“As expected, the chicken dickwad is weak to a woman’s pressure!”
I also shot back a smile.
“Only your skin’s a woman, and your insides are black, right? How about we stop denying reality here.”
An angered scrap pile told me.
“What are you saying? As a special model of the highest grade, there is nothing impossible for me. If I was in the mood, then even a gentleman’s lustful urges are…”
After she said that much, Novem spoke.
“We’re in the middle of a meal, Poyopoyo-san.”
The scrap metal bit down on her hankerchief mortifyingly.
Dinner at the Circry House has become lively all of a sudden, but it’s gotten quite enervating.
“And so, that’s why you’ve come here, is what you’re saying?”
It was a place meant for one to drop by and store up knowledge, but today, I was reading alongside Clara.
While we read our books, we exchanged various conversations.
A while ago, I accepted the request of Damien, a famous professor of Arumsaas, the City of Scholars, and we ended up working together.
While she specialized in support, she was a skilled adventurer.
Her deep blue hair was cut around her shoulders, but perhaps she had done that herself, as the edges were quite ruffled.
It seems she liked reading books here, as whenever I came, I had quite a high probability of finding her.
I usually ask her about what books are interesting, but we would occasionally exchange such gossip.
“That’s right. That scrap metal keeps insisting I decide a name, and she competes with Novem.”
“How strange. Could her rivalry with Novem be on her job as a maid?”
I don’t know that one either.
I mean, that piece of junk… is broken.
There’s how she doesn’t remember some important things, but her tone towards me is generally terrible.
“The individual herself said her sensors labelled her as an enemy or something.”
“Well, she’s an ancient automaton, so it’s amazing enough that she can even move. Ah, come to think of it…”
Clara remembered something, and conveyed it to me.
“At the academy, Damien is moving around more automatons. He’s gotten three of them operational, and he’s confirming the situation.”
Right now Damien was the talk of the town.
Just being able to move an ancient automaton and control it was amazing in itself.
Hearing that, I thought…
“Why is it that my scrap metal is like that… should I swap it in?”
“She’s properly doing her job, right? Is there some sort of problem?”
“Her choice of words, I guess? Everything else is perfect. Cleaning, laundry, and cooking, she’ll do it all.”
She really was quite perfect, but I’d like to do something about that mouth.
“Well, I think you should give up on that. I did hear it was a form of contract, and the means to sever it are as of yet unknown, so you’ll be like that all your life.”
“Please don’t make me remember those things…”
For the contract to the automaton, my own blood was needed as a catalyst.
But having just gone through a Growth, my spirits were high, and I went ahead to kiss the Automaton to activate it.
(Was that where it went wrong? No, she said she got broken of her own accord.)
Clara looked at me.
“You sure do some troublesome things. Restricting your own Skills, and aiming for the labyrinth’s thirtieth floor?”
Last time when we challenged the labyrinth, we made it past the fortieth floor’s boss with but a party of six.
Apparently, it was an enemy that would usually require fifty.
And it’s good that we achieved results and all, but seeing that, the ancestors imposed a restriction of my Skills until I defeated the thirtieth floor’s boss.
Under the banner that my own abilities were overwhelmingly lacking, they forbid any such usage of any Skills in my possession.
Because of that, I somehow have to use my own strength to break through the chappence.
While it may sound easy in words, the challenge was on a scale where it required from twenty to thirty adventurers.
“It’s a personal matter. If I remain too reliant on my Skills, then it will be dangerous once my Mana runs out.”
As I expressed the ancestors’ reasoning, Clara made a slight surprised face.
“… I was sure you hadn’t noticed it, and that you were going to make a huge mistake one day. It seems I’ll have to reassess m evaluation of you, Lyle-san.”
As I said that, I get the feeling she was smiling a little.
“If anything happens, call out to me. With your ample funds, I don’t think I would be at a loss to hear you out.”
So it’s a matter of money, I thought… but in truth, to adventurers like us, money was essential.
In order to live, we threw ourselves into life threatening situations.
And if the money we obtained was what we used to get by, we had to be firm in that regard.
Of course, I’ve taken various things onto myself, and I’m in a standing where I have to earn enough to support two women, and one automaton.
(But really, what is it that I should to)
If we simply raised greater numbers to challenge it, then it really would be easy.
But during Damien’s request, I displayed quite a sorry sight.
(Because I returned to the guild carried by Novem, my reputation… is quite low.)
At the end of the end, I became unable to move my body, and I showed off quite a terrible state to the other adventurers.
For that reason, my own personable credibility is low.
While I want to gather the numbers, my questionable standing in Arumsaas is dragging my feet.
(As I thought, there’s no choice but for me to steadily build up my own strength.)
My sudden Growth, and the fact that I produced results was all because of the Heads of History’s Skills recorded in the Jewel.
If I become unable to use them, it’s exceedingly troublesome.
(I’ll have to think of a way to overcome the thirtieth floor.)
As I thought that, I continued to pile up the knowledge of the library.