Greetings, Automata Maid
CHAPTER 36: THE RETURN OF ORDINARY DAYS
I dodge the incoming threads of steel through the darkness, and swing my magic blade.
A high pitched sound comes from steel and magic colliding, and the Steel Spider that jumped at me gets flung away and rolls on the ground.
But that was just one of them.
I fling my left arm forward, dodging through the Steel Silk strands stretching through the cave, and grab the Steel Spider before I shake it around hitting the other Steel Spiders nearby.
When I start pulling my arm back, I feel a strong impact on my back, which makes me stagger.
I look behind me and see many threads at the rear.
It was more than a single Steel Spider could produce.
I follow the threads to find their source, and see ten Steel Spiders.
I reaffirm my footing and try to pull my arm back again.
But my movements became erratic.
I look forward again, and see my nerve threads touching a purple thread.
This is bad.
But it’s also too late to do anything about it.
Steel Silk gets shot and attached to all my limbs, and my body is hoisted into the air.
“Okayy, the match is over~”
A voice came from the ceiling, and the threads holding me up detach.
After I land on the ground, Aria comes down, holding onto a thread.
“You’ve gotten better at moving in the dark, but your control of threads could use some work.
You can’t lose your focus just because you touched mine.”
“You’re right, I still need to train more.”
“I’ll be here whenever you want~ If you bring me a suitable gift, that is.”
It was her Steel Spider children doing all the work, but I think I better don’t mention that.
“Well, this is it for today.”
I take out a bottle of wine and some meat chunks from my magic storage.
Aria was delighted seeing that, as she started rubbing her cheeks happily.
I don’t have much experience taking care of a family, but I question what kind of effect that has on her children’s growth.
“Thank you all too.”
The Steel Spiders gather around me as I give them the meat chunks, and rather than eating them right away, they carry the food to their siblings on the ceiling.
One of them stops halfway up, turns to me and bobs its small head.
Their mother was already drinking wine straight from the bottle behind me, but at least her children had good manners.
I left Aria’s cave and went to Bamel, heading straight towards Mir’s house.
We had succeeded in gathering the materials they needed, and Mir’s family was able to fulfill the noble’s order.
Her entire family was very thankful to me.
Some months passed before Jace, Mir’s father, hurt his back, so Mir had to learn blacksmithing earnestly to be able to take over the shop.
Our party had to disband.
We had only joined hands to help Mir find the materials she needed, so I knew things would inevitably end this way, but I still had some regrets.
Mir was the first person that went on an adventure with me, not counting Ophelia, so I had gotten slightly attached, to put it somehow.
“Ah, Natalia! Welcome!”
I enter the shop and hear her usual cheerful voice.
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It seems business is going well here.”
“Yes, it’s all thanks to you and Ophelia.”
Jace’s rival, Grog, had died, and when his crimes were revealed the Blacksmith’s Guild had to restructure.
With him gone, all the disturbances he caused in the material distribution pipeline were gone, blacksmiths were able to work with each other normally again, and Mir’s shop started gaining more customers.
Meeting the noble’s expectations had given their reputation a nice boost.
There are many customers with me right now too, looking at the different items for sale.
“Oh yeah, I’m done making the armor you requested.”
Mir goes back and brings me some light armor made with Tyrannoghavial leather.
I had ordered something similar to Mir’s plate armor with scales I saw before.
I could’ve ordered something with way better materials, but then I’d feel like my equipment was carrying me rather than me becoming stronger.
I wanted my equipment to suit my actual skill level.
Why do I use the magic gun then?
I-I just use it because I’m already good at shooting!
“The gauntlets will take a bit longer than expected to be finished though.”
The armor used common materials and techniques, but I had requested some modifications to the gauntlets to fit my needs better.
Apparently that had made things more complex than I anticipated.
I’m in no particular hurry, so you can take your time with that.”
Do you want to try out the armor now?”
Just give me- Wait no, I won’t!”
That was probably a common phrase in the shop, but it was unthinkable in this situation.
And don’t turn to look at me you stupid customers! I’m not changing here! I plan on wearing it on top of my maid uniform anyway!
“Heheh, I’m sorry.”
After knowing each other for so many months, Mir had become less reserved around me, and sometimes joked around like that too.
It feels nice having friends like that.
“Oh right, before I forget, I brought this for your father as well.”
I take out a bottle of medicine together with the payment from my magic storage.
“I made it with the herbs growing in our property, it should help his back.”
“Woah, thank you so much.
Hopefully it makes him feel better.”
“Don’t mention it.”
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It was just something I made while practicing alchemy, though Ophelia gave it her seal of approval, so it should have some effect at least.
“Well, it was nice seeing you, but I’ll take my leave now.”
“Okay, tell Ophelia I said hi too.”
I leave Mir’s shop and head to the Adventurer’s Guild next.
Apparently I’ve been coming here often enough that no one gets surprised seeing someone wearing a maid uniform anymore.
How’re you doing?”
“Hello, I’ve been healthy and distanced from illness.”
“That’s good to hear.”
After the golem incident I hadn’t seen Danny for a while, but now we were on friendly enough terms to talk like that.
I was slightly disappointed he didn’t say anything about magic automatons not being able to get ill in the first place though.
“What did you come for today?”
“Just selling materials like always.”
Feel free to tell me if you ever need help with anything though.”
“I’ll have to pass on that.”
“Ahahaha! Glad to see you’re still the same!”
I leave Danny and head to the material trading counter.
I also knew most of the guild staff pretty well by now.
Do you have something to trade again?”
“Yes, all this right here.”
I take out the materials I gathered from monsters and potions I made with alchemy from my bag.
The materials all sat at around D rank, and my potions and antidotes were only as effective as common ones.
There was no outlandishly high ranking material, but apparently I was known for bringing in quality stuff.
I made the potions myself, so hearing that made me proud.
“Alright, here’s your payment.
Also there’s some mail for you.”
She hands me an envelope together with the money.
It was addressed to me and Ophelia, and the sender was none other than Olivia.
I’ll have to go back home quickly and give it to Ophelia.
I leave the guild and head straight for the town’s gates, and walk through the forest.
I’ve walked these paths many times already, so I know my way around.
I cross the concealing barrier, and arrive home just when the sun was starting to turn red.
I go knock on Ophelia’s room to give her the letter before I start making dinner.
“Did something happen? It’s still a bit early for dinner.”
Ophelia opens the door in a bad mood.
Lately Ophelia has been spending more time than usual in her room.
Apparently she’s in the final stages of some experiment, or something like that.
“Mistress, a letter arrived from your daughter.”
Her mood instantly gets better when I hand her the letter.
She opens the seal with a paper-knife and checks the contents, giving me one sheet of paper.
“That’s for you.”
Ah, Mistress, I know you’re doing important research, but you should take care of your health as well.”
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I desperately try to advise her as she tries closing the door, but Ophelia just waves it away like always, shutting herself in her room.
She really can be a bit of a handful sometimes.
I really want to read Olivia’s letter, but dinner comes first.
I go to the kitchen as I think of what to make.
I have to choose something rich in nutrients to make sure Ophelia doesn’t just collapse.
I can’t just serve a pile of meat or fish either, so I decide to cut a lot of stuff up to make risotto, and I use some fresh veggies I left in an ice bath for salad.
I also make some pudding for dessert.
I finish the main preparations for dinner, and go to my room to read Olivia’s letter.
Hello, how’ve you been?
I’ve been doing well.
Thanks to your help studying, my grades have improved a bit, and my teachers praised me.
The school year is going to end soon, and I’ll be back home as soon as I can.
I’ll be staying home until it’s time for the Magic Academy’s entrance exams, so I’m looking forward to spending time with you.
I really want to see you again soon.
It seems she’s doing pretty well.
Still, her writing felt a bit too messy for a letter.
If the letter she sent Ophelia is anything like this too, she’s definitely going to get lectured again when she comes back.
I guess I’ll have to give her some tips when that happens.
Either way, it seems she’s planning on going to the Magic Academy.
She really wants to pursue her dreams, so I’ll have to train hard so I can go along with her too.
Going on adventures with her and Ophelia one day sounds fun.
I store the letter on my desk and return to the kitchen to finish making dinner.
Mm, it came out well.
It’s also a good time for dinner, so I’ll go call Ophelia.
I go upstairs and knock on her room.
That’s weird, she’s not answering.
I knock again, but there’s still no reaction.
I call her while I knock again, but she’s still silent.
Maybe she fell asleep.
I don’t believe Ophelia is researching any type of magic that would be dangerous for her.
“Mistress, I’m coming in.”
I still remember what happened with the storage room before, so I opened the door very hesitantly.
But I regret doing that almost instantly.
I should’ve entered right away.
Ophelia was lying on the floor in the center of the room.
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