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As we approached the village, the number of humanoid golems seemed to increase.
The elbows, knees, and other joints of those golems were spherical like those of a doll, but upon closer inspection, their fingertips appeared as elaborate as those of humans.
Their facial expressions and gestures were crafted in such fine detail that the intense passion of the creator of these golems could be felt clearly.
It was the work of an alchemist who chose curiosity over ethics, and what his heart desired over righteousness.
“It has been a long time, Master. I see the Young Lady is also the same as ever.”
“Master, we had a bountiful harvest of wheat this year.”
“Wow, wow, Master is back!”
Each of those golems in the guise of villagers smiled at us.
It was an exquisite smile of highest degree, one you would give to someone you respect, someone you trust, someone you adore.
“Oniisama, could it be that these golems are misidentifying us as our mother and uncle?”
“Certainly you resemble our mother, Erica. But I am supposed to resemble our father quite a bit in appearance, so perhaps it is because of my demeanor?”
My brother’s smile was unusually awkward.
It would certainly be troubling to look like Oswald Bort, wouldn’t it?
We walked through the wheat field and entered the village.
At the entrance to the village, a middle-aged golem, who appeared to be the village chief, was awaiting us.
“Welcome back, Master. The house is being taken care of according to your instructions.”
Could it be that he asked the golems he created as villagers to take care of his mansion?
Guided by the elder golem, we were led to the mansion.
The inside of the village appeared so natural that it was overwhelmingly unnatural.
A wrinkled old woman was dozing off while knitting in the sun.
A few boys were running around with their round, brown puppies.
A mother was nursing her small baby.
The baby’s hands were so plump that they could pass for the real thing.
Everyone was too beautiful to behold, and the village was too orderly, which was abnormal.
“Isn’t it absolutely amazing? I wonder just how long it took him to build all this!”
Harold exclaimed in a whisper.
It certainly is not something you can do in just a year or two.
“I mean, just what did he use to make such emotional golems? Can I disassemble one here and now to find out?”
“Please don’t do that.”
Don’t disassemble the villagers of this idyllic village, even if they are golems.
They are living their lives in their own way.
“Right? Well, if they had attacked us and were taken down, I could have dismantled them while repairing them.”
“Oniisama … ”
Was that the smile he flashed Chloe earlier meant?
As expected, I am the only one who must act rationally.
“… Hey Erica-san, I don’t mean to be rude when I say this, but … ”
Chloe looked at me and my brother alternatingly before opening her mouth.
“Everyone here seems to look somewhat like the two of you. They look like they could be your relatives.”
“They certainly do look alike. Is that why I feel so familiar with them?”
My brother clapped his hands.
It is true that all of them seem to share strong traits of western blood, especially the blood of the Aurelia family.
The depths of their sculpting, the size of the eyes, the height and shape of the nose, the shape of ears and nails.
The only difference was their hair.
Theirs were of a browner hue than that of my brother and I, and had finer curls.
Well, that must have been done intentionally.
If an outsider were to look at them, they would probably find it very unsettling because their faces look so similar, almost identical to each other, as if they were cast in the same mold.
Perhaps that is the reason why Beatrice was hiding behind Chloe.
Ah, speaking of Beatrice.
“Hey, Beatrice. Has there been any interference from the past here?”
“ … I found three letters in a bottle buried in the beach earlier. Here are the contents.”
Wow, they were interfering as usual?
The Wynt family is considerably talented to have been able to interfere in a place devoid of humans like this.
I looked at the three pieces of paper that Beatrice held out to me.
They all had some kind of writing on them, but they were crudely overwritten as if to erase them, making the instructions illegible.
“It’s kind of ominous.”
“This is a sign that the instructions have been revised many times over.”
“I was taught that these kind of things come from people or places where causal effects are so chaotic that no one can interfere.”
Beatrice cast down her eyes apologetically.
A zone where causal effects are so chaotic that no one can interfere …
Was it truly a good thing that we inadvertently came to such a place?
I felt uneasy.
In the meantime, we arrived at a mansion on the outskirts of the golem village.
It was a luxurious mansion that stood in contrast to the rustic village.
“Indeed, it has been well taken care of. Thank you.”
“Such words are wasted on someone like me, Master … ! Come, come, please come this way.”
At my brother’s words, the village chief displayed a happy expression.
Upon entering the mansion, we were greeted by a pair of well-dressed middle-aged man and woman.
Judging by their attire, these golems were fashioned as a butler and maid of the mansion.
“Welcome back, Master Oswald, Madam Frederica. It has been quite a long journey.”
So, they finally called us by our name … nope!
I knew it, they mistook us for our mother and uncle.
“Indeed, even I did not expect it to take this long.”
My brother smiled at our loyal servants.
I suppose there is no need to put them on the spot by denying it.
“I am certain you must be quite exhausted. Would you like to have lunch, or…”
“Could you show me to my room?”
“Certainly, Master Oswald.”
The butler removed his wrist and pulled out a small box from the cavity.
“Here you go, Master Oswald.”
My brother received the box and opened it.
Inside was a key with elaborate decorations.
“I see … his workshop, huh. It is getting kind of exciting, isn’t it, Erica?”
Brother inserted the key into the keyhole of a door nearby.
After nearly thirty years, the wunderkammer of Oswald Bort was opened.
It was an well-organized large workshop.
The storage space was probably thrice the size of my brother’s workshop.
Yet, it was very neatly organized.
The materials lined up on the shelves were carefully categorized and labeled, and kept in excellent storage condition.
Countless books with blue and gold spines filled the bookshelves to the back.
An equal number of envelops were lined up in stacks.
In a corner of the room, seven large clothing boxes were stacked neatly together.
He has quite the wardrobe.
“This workshop is absurdly beautiful … You can just by looking that there are priceless materials stored here … ”
The fascinated Harold heaved a sigh.
Come to think of it, among us three alchemists, Harold has the messiest workshop.
If it were a ranking of neatness, the order would probably start with my uncle, then my brother, me, and then Harold.
Come to think of it, despite the huge collections of materials, there aren’t many boxes with wands in them.
Perhaps my uncle also had similar inhibition value as my mother and I.
“Hmm, we have made it this far with everything going smoothly, but I wonder if this room would have remained sealed forever had it not been for Erica and me.”
“I feel sorry for both the golems and this wunderkammer.”
My brother showed a puzzled expression when I said so, and then he gently stroked my head.
“I really like this about you, Erika.”
『 I agree! 』
At my feet, Tirnanog also raise his hand in agreement.
What do they mean?
Isn’t it sad and pitiful to be neglected and left alone?
“Well then, shall we behave badly from here on out? The golem is no longer watching us!”
My brother winked as he said that.
“Let’s turn everything upside down and pitch a camp in this room!”
At my brother’s command, Harold shouted with delight.
This time around, the most qualified member of the group is Harold.
After all since entering the village, Chloe and Beatrice have been like fishes out of water.
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