Chapter 3: The Ducal House and Automata
We finally arrived at Lönnrot dukedom after making 4 transits with a shared carriage ride.
As expected from a duchal household, they immediately activated numerous magical mechanisms upon our arrival. The two guards immediately returned home as soon as they received a contract as a proof of delivering me, 『the bride』, into the duchal household. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think they were running away.
Just like what the rumour said… There weren’t many people in this mansion. No, to be precise, there weren’t any humans in this mansion. Instead of people, there were magic automata working in this mansion.
I couldn’t help but to stare in wonder when the automaton spoke. He… No, she? She told me peremptorily to follow her. She ordered me unilaterally. After all, she was only following a series of actions that had been set to her beforehand. But, I was already used to being ordered around unilaterally. In fact, I was actually feeling more comfortable with her since I couldn’t sense any sarcasm from her. She didn’t even complain or tried to find any fault in my actions.
『Leave your belonging here. My lady, this will be your room from now on.』
Huh? In such a luxurious room…?!
The room I was shown into was very clean without a speck of dust to be seen. There was a bed, a desk, a chair…. And even a magical tool used for lighting and a fireplace. This room was bigger and more beautiful than my stepmother’s or stepsister’s room.
It was a far cry from the corner of a warehouse’s basement that used to be my room.
T-this shabby bag… Where should I put it…?
However, while I was still stuck in wonder, the automaton already told me to follow the next instruction she had been entrusted with.
『Please follow me after you’ve put your bag down.』
And so, I put my bag on the floor in the corner of the room… I carefully put my bag in a place where it had the least chance to dirty this room or get in anyone’s way. After I was finished, I quickly followed the automaton.
『Kneel here. Put your head down until the Master arrives. Do not speak or lift your head up until the Master addressed you first and instructed you to do so.』
In accordance with the automaton’s instructions, I quickly squatted on my spot.
A short while later, I heard the duke coming in. Along with the sound of his shoes clacking against the floor, I could also hear another mysterious squelching and rustling sound. It was as if something wet was being splattered around. And…
There was this faint smell of the sea.
I wonder what it is? Unlike my parent’s house, this place is supposedly far from the ocean…
“…. My lady, are you the daughter of the Count Lyran family?”
The tone of his voice was more polite than I had expected. I couldn’t believe the duke himself would be using polite speech with me. Maybe instead of the duke, this person might be the steward or a butler.
“……..Yes. My name is Miltia Lyran.”
That was all that I said and then, another moment passed again for a while.
“…… My lady, how long are you going to stay that way?”
But I couldn’t speak or move yet. He hadn’t told me that I could 『move』or 『step back』. Back in my parent’s house, if I were to do anything outside of what I had been ordered to, I’d be severely scolded. Although if I precisely followed the order as it was, people would also grumble, saying that I wasn’t flexible enough. If I were to choose between being severely scolded and being grumbled upon,of course I’d always choose the latter.
I felt a little worried when this man before me sighed. He was showing his displeasure openly but… I still knelt down obediently and kept my eyes on the floor.
“Haaah…. Bhadra, what did you order her to do?”
Apparently this automaton had a name. The man called the automaton 『Bhadra』.
“Yes, Master. Just like what you’ve ordered me to do, I told her『Kneel here. Put your head down until the Master arrives. Do not speak or lift your head up until the Master addressed you first and instructed you to do so.』』
“I see… And MIltia, you’re only following what has been instructed to you, aren’t you. You may answer my question.”
“……Yes. That’s right.”
While still keeping my gaze to the floor, I answered in a quiet voice.
“Hmph…So you’re pretending to be meek by faithfully following an automaton’s words? You know what the people in this world call me, don’t you? I’m the Cursed Duke.”
His voice was filled with both self-deprecating laughter at himself and disdain at me. However, it turned out the one who had been speaking in a polite speech to me was actually the duke himself.
“If despite that you still want to be my wife then lift your head and look at me.”
With those words, my body slightly flinched. Then I slowly raised my head, so I could see the man who had been standing in front of me.
T/N: Finally our MC meets the ML!! (≖⌣≖)
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