Chapter 4: The Cursed Duke and The Girl with Poor Eating Habits
The Duke who came into my sight looked like a blue-black octopus monster.
Furthermore, something resembling sea cucumbers and something resembling slimy, mollusk-tentacles were sprouting from his body. Beneath his grime and pus coated skin, there was some sort of mantis shrimps that resembled a beetle, wriggling around his skin. Sometimes, bits of his skin would crumble, dropping a lump of marine products onto the floor.
Ah… So the wet sound I heard was the sound of his skin peeling off and dropping onto the floor.
A strong smell of the sea spread around the room as the sea creature who had just dropped onto the floor, wriggled around vigorously. The lack of clothing on the upper-half of his body must be due to the fact that his skin kept on peeling off constantly, releasing something that resembled barnacles and octopuses. This terrible sight would certainly send any ordinary lady into a screaming fit as soon as they saw it.
His expression was a little hard to read but those deep wrinkles etched on the area slightly above his eyes… That must be his eyebrows… Yes, judging from those deep wrinkles etched slightly above his eyebrows, he must be feeling displeased.
Though it wasn’t much, there were traces of his human self. He was wearing glasses and still walking on two feet. Oh and, his eyes didn’t look like an octopus’ eyes, he still had a human’s eyes. I didn’t know if it was his last, remaining salvation or… Did it make him look even more ominous instead…
I heard he used to be a handsome man but… Those parts of him…. Was nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t even tell what was the colour of his hair nor his skin since they were all covered in wet and slimy secretion. Under normal circumstances, this slimy, blue-black body would certainly incite a feeling of revulsion from any women and children alike.
Truly. As expected from the infamous 『Cursed Duke』…. Even I couldn’t help but to stare with my mouth hanging open at the sight of this monster before me.
“How is it? Are you so frightened that you can’t even speak?”
“……No, my apologies…. ?!”
The duke suddenly grabbed my chin when I was about to bow in apology out of reflex. As soon as he did that, the leg of an octopus that had been sprouting out of his right hand, suddenly clung to my face. It wriggled and wriggled. Its cold, slimy and adhesive legs were crawling to me until all 8 legs of that octopus were now sticking on my face. I could feel its sucker pad clinging to my skin, leaving a bunch of squeaky sounds in its wake.
This sensation… This thing really resembles a fresh octopus.
………….. Or rather, this thing IS a fresh octopus.
An octopus had just grown out of the duke’s right hand.
“Do you know? These creatures are called demons that nest in the sea. My『curse』create a constitution that allows these strange beings to gush out throughout every part of my body.”
Is he smiling at me? Or is he upset at me?
He curled his lips upward, making a crescent moon shape and pulling the muscle of his cheeks upward, along with the wriggling creature beneath his skin.
“…. Ah, that’s right. Show me your determination to become my wife by eating this 『curse』. That’s fine by you, right? At any rate, if you were to become a monster’s wife, you will be embraced by a monster anyway!”
As the duke said that, he used his left hand to grab the octopus that had been growing on the back of his right hand. The octopus still had its sucker pads sticking to my face but the duke plucked the octopus off of his right hand and shoved it to my chest instead before he left the room.
Unconsciously, I just stood there blankly for a while but then, the octopus that was sticking to me began to slither under my clothes. Out of reflex, I immediately grabbed the middle part between the octopus’s head and leg…. Oh the octopus’s eyes were bulging a little because of how hard I gripped it. I then tightened my grip on this energetic curse(?)’s vital point.
I really wish I could have a small knife or a clinch knife.
The octopus was still trying to resist. It twisted its tentacles around my arm but despite it all, I was still able to easily pull it off my chest. Well… When I was still living in my parent’s house, my diet primarily consisted of this kind of bizarre food.
The previous head chef could not turn a blind eye to me and so, he taught me the basics of cooking and other correlated stuff so now I was able to cook anything into something edible. It was a skill unbecoming of a daughter from a count family but I never expected that very skill would actually come into play here…
Yeah… The more I look at it, the more it looks like a fresh octopus… He said he wanted to see me eating it so….
I called out to Bhadra, the automaton who was still standing next to me.
“Excuse me… Can I borrow the kitchen?”
“As per the duke’s order earlier, I’m thinking of cooking this curse(?).”
I couldn’t imagine an automaton would actually question our words… It seemed that some really great magic had been put into creating this automaton. As expected from a duchal household. The difference in our rank was far too great…
After a while, the automaton’s eyes began to glow red. Apparently now she(?) was able to answer my question.
『Acknowledged. I will guide you to the kitchen….. Please follow me.』
Then I followed her(?) while tightly gripping a very energetic octopus that was still coiling around my arm.
T/N: Our MC made the automaton malfunctions for a sec there (ʘᗩʘ’)
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