10-13 The Blue-haired Automata
“An Automata you’d like me to repair?”
“That’s right. It’s shameful, but my Cline Kingdom doesn’t have a satisfactory Magi Craftsman. Everyone gave up.”
Princess Lieschen said regretfully.
“I heard talk that some distant village had an excellent Magi Craftsman, but thanks to a certain idiot called Earl Walter they ran away.”
It was a familiar story.
“Hm? So you’ve heard of it too. …Really, all those old nobles, they’re just absorbed in protecting their own interests and don’t think of the country’s or the people’s benefits at all.”
While talking the princess looked over at Jessica next to her and continued,
“Jessica’s also a new noble. Good grief, there are sometimes times I think the whole lot of the nobles should be replaced.”
“Your Highness, that’s a little…”
Jessica softly interrupted her.
“Mhm, you’re right. I shouldn’t have the guests from another country listen to my grumblings. …And so, Jin, I would like you to accompany us to the royal palace.”
Refusal no longer seemed to be an option. Jin gave up and accepted. However,
“If there’s no materials then I can’t repair whatever it is I need to repair though.”
He told the princess before he forgot. She then replied with a serious look on her face,
“Mh-hm… Is there anything you need?”
“It depends on what’s broken. I won’t know before I examine it.”
At any rate first came the examination so the carriage the group had got onto moved. On both sides of it four Imperial Guard knights followed.
The princess, Jessica, Jin, Elsa, Hannah, and Reiko were on board yet there was extra room.
That was only natural as the carriage was drawn by four horses. However, the ride wasn’t very comfortable. But the road being paved was a big help. Mostly to Jin.
The carriage headed to the building all the way at the end of the main road, the royal palace.
“Is it fine to just take us along?”
Jin asked and Jessica answered,
“Although we’re heading towards the royal palace, despite it being part of it where we’re going is more like an imperial villa, so the security and management is loose compared to the main palace. Not to mention that the check will be simple since this carriage is exclusively for the royalty.”
Princess Lieschen then gave additional explanation.
“I am the third princess. I have two elder brothers and two elder sisters. Moreover, a princess who isn’t an adult has no authority to inherit the throne. So even though I’m royalty I’m not treated so seriously.”
Even Prince Ernest was born to a mistress, Jin remembered. Somehow it seemed like royalty like this felt like they were of better quality, Jin thought but of course didn’t say it.
The so-called imperial villa was to the left of the royal castle when facing it from the front, that is to say it was a building on the western side. It was different from how Jin imagined an imperial villa being like, but thinking that just might be a difference between worlds, Jin accepted it.
Since this was Hannah’s first time on a carriage she was engrossed in looking out from the window. Elsa was watching out from the window too with a slightly interested look on her face.
“This is it, we’ve arrived.”
The carriage’s door was opened from the outside and a stool for getting down from the carriage was prepared.
First Reiko got down while being cautious. Of course, nothing was there.
Jin took Hannah by the hand and got down, then Elsa got down while feeling a little bit jealous of that.
“Thank you Jessica, you may go now.”
The princess said but Jessica shook her head.
“No, I shall attend you until the end of the day.”
“Well aren’t you diligent, if only you were like this when using magic… Oh well.”
While the princess spoke, they passed through entrance that was quite huge for an imperial villa.
Jin’s group kept following after Jessica. She was a slightly dejected from the princess’s comment.
There were less people around than expected. It seemed that the labor shortage affected this place too.
An Automata caught Jin’s eye. She was wearing a maid’s clothing and Jin could tell she was compensating for the labor shortage. However,
“Hmm, why is so rickety like that?”
Jin voiced his impression of the maid Automata. Even Elsa said,
“Jin-nii, the Automata here seem to be moving strangely. Awkwardly.”
Having become used to seeing golems made by Jin on Kunlun Island and Hourai Island, apparently she had become able to tell the difference between their movements.
Whether the princess heard their exchange or not, she kept on walking silently until she came to a stop in front of a room.
She placed her hand on the door, looked over her shoulder and spoke with a sad tone.
“Jin, please, I want you to repair her.”
She then personally opened the door.
Tapestry with flowers and butterflies on them had been hung on the walls of the room, and there was a soft bright green carpet on the floor. Judging from the feel it was a child’s room.
“Woah, cute room~”
Hannah said; she must’ve got the same impression.
“Yes, this was my room as a child.”
The princess said, her eyes slightly moist.
“Take off your shoes and come in please.”
The princess said, neatly took off and put away her dark brown shoes, then stepped on the carpet. Jin’s group followed. Just Jessica kept standing as if protecting the entrance.
They looked around the room while feeling the soft sensation of the carpet under their feet. In the corner there was a crib, and beside it sat a silhouette.
Jin and Elsa both spoke nearly simultaneously.
The one sitting there was a blue-haired Automata. At a glance you could tell it was the same model as Ann.
The princess found some fault with what they said.
“That’s not her name. She’s ‘Tia’. My only… nanny.”
Jin didn’t miss the sadness in her voice. He then went to take a closer look at ‘Tia’.
It was unmistakably the same model of Automata as Ann. Her condition was many times better than Ann’s at the time of her discovery.
But, she wasn’t running. Before ascertaining the cause Jin threw a question at the princess.
“Your Highness Princess Lieschen, how did you come into possession of this Tia?”
Hearing him, the princess reacted with a twitch.
“Jin you’re asking not from who, but how? I see, you must know, right? Indeed, Tia isn’t something that was recently made. It seems she was found from some ruins.”
As I thought, Jin thought.
“Tia is an automata, but she was also my nanny. I’ve heard that when I was very young she even breastfed me.”
Indeed, if she was the same model as Ann then she probably also had nipples installed. The breastfeeding function may have been something custom.
“By the time I could understand what was going on, Tia could only talk and had become unable to move. Even so, she let me hear many stories and songs. But…”
The princess hung her head down.
“Three years ago, Tia suddenly stopped working. I tried showing her to the Magi Craftsmen of my country, but they told me that because her construction differs from the one current Automata use she can’t be repaired.”
Tears were glittering in her eyes.
“My country is undeveloped with regards to Automata and Golems. I’ve heard that Egelia Kingdom makes more use of Golems and Automata. Most of the Automata working here right now have been bought from Egelia Kingdom.”
While talking the princess softly touched the cheek of the unmoving Tia.
“I remember it. Tia was, Tia’s body was warm. The bodies of other automata aren’t cold, but they aren’t warm either.”
The princess then fixed her eyes on Jin, took his hand and said,
“I know that Tia is a special Automata. But, whatever it takes, I want to hear her voice again. Please, Jin! Please repair Tia!”
Seeing her desperation, Jin could tell just how serious the once-lively Princess Lieschen was.
“Onii-chan, listen to the princess’s request. Onii-chan, you can do it, right?”
Even Hannah said so and looked at Jin. Elsa said nothing, but just looking at her face was enough to tell what she wanted to say.
It made no difference as Jin himself wanted to repair her too.
“I got it, I’ll do what I can.”
Jin said and began examining Tia.
Although her condition was better than Ann’s had been, her Magical Skin had deteriorated and its elasticity had fallen and her Magical Muscles were torn to pieces in some places.
Her skeleton had deformations and her joints were also rattling quite a lot.
But the main cause of her becoming inoperable was the Ether Converter.
Jin’s diagnosis was that the Magi Crystal used as the Ether Converter had degraded, and with this era’s Ether concentration being too low, it had become unable to refine Mana.
That’s why there was no way that this country’s, or rather most of the current era’s Magi Craftsmen could repair it.
“H–how is it? Can you repair her?”
The princess asked worriedly, then Jin told her with a smile,
“It’s fine, I can repair her. But I need an all-attribute Magi Crystal though.”
Hearing that the princess began to smile.
“Got it! An all-attribute Magi Crystal! I’ll have one provided at once!”
She said, then gave some kind of an order to Jessica who was standing at the entrance. Jessica went down the corridor and soon came back.
She must’ve given orders to other servants or Automata.
While waiting for the Magi Crystal to be delivered, Jin began simple maintenance and had Reiko lay Tia down on the floor.
“Your Highness, to repair Tia I have to take off her clothes, is this alright?”
Jin tentatively asked for courtesy’s sake. Of course the princess agreed.
“Elsa, could you come here and take her clothes off?”
Sensing the cold gaze of Elsa who was watching, Jin decided to ask her.
With a short reply Elsa began taking off Tia’s clothes. The clothes looked to be recently made as they weren’t worn out.
She took off the apron, the one-piece dress, and the slip-style underwear. As was usual in this world, there was no bra. The Automata was also wearing outdoor shoes tied with a string and bloomers.
“You can leave the bloomers for now.”
After having Elsa take off the slip Jin stopped her. If she was the same as Ann then that would be all sorts of perilous.
Then when Jin was about to tear off the chest’s Magical Skin his hand stopped.
“Your Highness, I’ll now be dissecting a part of Tia. I don’t know whether or not I want to show it to you. Your Highness, please decide it for yourself.”
Princess Lieschen looked down and thought about it for a while, but before long raised her face in determination and said,
“Please show me. It’s what I asked for, and more importantly, no matter how she looks Tia is Tia. I’ll see it with my own eyes.”