|Author: Shizuku||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2247 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 996 words|
After eating lunch I head to the research campus. There are many lecture halls and training facilities here, as well as personal laboratories for the teachers. I head to Annabelle’s laboratory and knock on the door.
“The door’s unlocked.”
I guess that means I should go in. I open the door, and see Annabelle doing something further inside the laboratory. She stops and turns to look at me, smiling creepily.
“Welcome. Feel free to sit wherever you find comfortable.”
Well, I’ll do just that then. I go inside and start looking for a place to sit…and give up. There’s nowhere to sit here!
I remember Ophelia’s room being full of stuff too, but at least it was all tidy and organized. But here there’s equipment and books scattered all over the place, and even the floor is like a minefield.
Even the chairs and couches are covered in stuff.
“Umm, may I move these things here?”
“Sure, I don’t mind.”
I pick up a book from a chair and sit down.
“Anyway, I heard you’re interested in magic devices and alchemy?”
“Yes, when my Mistress passed away I-”
I quickly stop myself from saying anything further.
When Ophelia knew her death was near she made sure to notify the people she worked with and the guild, but no one else. Olivia had sent letters to old friends, but they were all people like Amy’s parents. Considering Olivia’s reaction in the hallway earlier, I feel like she didn’t know about Annabelle.
I feel like it might be a bit insensitive to tell her that her master had passed away without warning.
“Ah, don’t worry. I knew she didn’t have long left. Though I was hoping it wouldn’t be this soon.”
She notices my worries and speaks with a rather indifferent voice.
“We always wrote letters to each other, and around three years back she said something like: I’ll probably die within this decade, so I want to build a magic automaton who will take care of my daughter. I want to hear your feedback once the blueprints are complete.”
Shuma had passed away around four years ago, so I guess Ophelia did that when she finished mourning him and her wounds had healed.
“And then I actually pointed out a few details to her when I received the blueprints, but what do you know, she took my suggestions and improved further on them. It makes me proud as her pupil, but a bit frustrated as an expert myself. I guess I never got to surpass my master after all.”
Her expression hasn’t changed at all since I got here, but I can feel some sorrow in her voice…I think? I’m having a really hard time getting a read on her emotions.
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“Anyway, let’s get back on track. How much do you know about alchemy?”
“Umm…I can make regular potions. And I guess I can purify metals and minerals, and also make composite materials.”
I’m still practicing alchemy, though not necessarily every day. At least I can make the healing potions I was first taught with no issues now, as well as mana recovery potions, antidotes, paralysis medicine, and even some painkillers or joint pain medicine.
I can also mix metals with each other, though that still takes me a lot longer than when I make medicine. And shaping metals without changing their properties doesn’t give me much trouble either..
“Okay, and how long have you been active?”
“I believe it’s been a year and three months since my creation.”
Annabelle walks up to me and hunches down, peering straight into my eyes. Her jet black eyes are a bit creepy and made me uncomfortable. I end up having to avert my gaze.
“Huh, I thought she said she’d create a semi-autonomous one, but there’s the soul of a dead person in you.”
She could tell just by looking at me?!
“H-how…do you know that..?”
“Magic automatons are the pinnacle of magic devices, a very specific craft…of which I happen to be a specialist of.”
Oh right, Ophelia was able to tell after seeing me perform household chores. Anabelle was her pupil, and specialized in this craft even more than her, so it makes sense she can tell faster.
Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to keep this secret. But this means I have to say something now.
Even if it was by chance, I only got to reincarnate because Ophelia built this body for me. I’m only able to live here thanks to all the knowledge she gave me, and the skills she taught me. Ophelia had made this body to take care of her daughter, but then I took over it, and she still accepted me.
That’s a favor I’ll never forget.
And so I can’t allow myself to ever bring shame to her name either.
“It is true that I died once, and now I live in this body. But my death was not related to my Mistress at all. She didn’t kill me to put me in this body, so please don’t even think of getting that idea.”
Annabelle straightens her back and narrows her eyes a little, but she soon starts grinning like earlier.
“Don’t worry. I know she would never do something like that.”
She says that, not really bothered by anything I said.
“Usually it takes five years for a semi-autonomous model to grow into being fully autonomous, but you’ve been active for only a year and a bit. The only explanation is that there’s a dead soul inside of you. Such occurrences are rare and a rather modern topic of research though, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you whether my master knew about it or not.”
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Annabelle had noticed in a different way from Ophelia. That’s not what I’m worried about though.
“My Mistress was aware of my identity. Would you mind keeping that a secret though? I’d like to maintain my current relationship with Olivia.”