The Straw Millionaire, the Cat, and the Princess Volume 1 Chapter 6 part 1

“Chapter 6 [Entrepreneurship, Hime, and Attendance Rate]”
 

 
“Is this really okay with just bones?”
 
“Synthetic proteins make up the body, so it’s fine.”
 
It was the end of March, just before spring break was about to end. In what used to be our 1LDK warehouse room, there sat something resembling a huge tanning machine. Inside the machine was a prosthetic body of Hime from the neck up, her body from the neck down, and a mysterious liquid that covered them.
 
Yes, the regeneration environment for our princess’s body was complete. Thanks to being marked from the Self-Defense Forces, we couldn’t go to the dungeon for over a month, and during that time, with the help of the owner of the market skill introduced by Hime, we had been diligently acquiring these components.
 
To be honest, I was worried that the floor might give way due to its size… but according to Mars, it was a high-end model equipped with anti-gravity units, and it was indeed light enough for me to lift with ease.
 
“Now all we have to do is wait?”
 
“That’s what the instructions from the other party say, but yes.”
 
Mars waved a letter with unreadable characters at me, glanced inside the tanning machine, and closed the lid with a pat.
 
“But what do we do now?”
 
“Yeah, who would’ve thought there’d be size restrictions at the junkyard…”
 
“Considering that giant dragon got in without a problem, I never would’ve guessed.”
 
The most surprising thing lately had been the report from Hime’s companions that there were size restrictions at the junkyard.
 
“Are spaceships really that big?”
 
“Of course, they’re homes where people live while traveling. There are smaller ones like communication ships, but Tonbo don’t cross the sea on tiny boats, right?”
 
“True, you might have a chance with the tide on the sea, but in space…”
 
“There are military models that are small but have hyper-space navigation functions, but I have no idea how much they cost. And they’re definitely bigger than that dragon.”
 
We moved to the living room and lay down, discussing it while gazing up at the ceiling.
 
“We talked about this before, but is it really impossible to dismantle it and have it sent in pieces?”
 
“Like those magazines that come with a build-your-own model in each issue? You assemble it yourself and then go to space?”
 
I imagined myself assembling a spaceship with a welding machine. Yeah, definitely not something I’d want to ride.
 
“…Now that I think about it, that’s scary.”
 
“Scary? More like you’d end up dead.”
 
Mars got up from lying on the floor, stretched his arms towards the sky, and yawned.
 
“Well, there’s nothing we can do about what we can’t do. There’s no point in worrying about it.”
 
Mars brought back a bottle of Chilean wine and a cup from the kitchen, placed them on the kotatsu table after removing the futon, and poured himself a drink.
 
“One step at a time is all we need to do. We’ve settled the matter of Hime’s body today. That’s enough reason to celebrate.”
 
“Wait, I’ll drink too.”
 
I also went to the kitchen, grabbed a mug and some peanuts, and returned to the table.
 
“For now, to Hime.”
 
“No need for ‘for now.'”
 
“Then, to Hime.”
 
The sound of cups clinking. We drank until all the alcohol in the room was gone and fell asleep.
 
“Get up, Tonbo.”
 
“Huh…? Huh!? Who!?”
 
The next morning, the sweet voice of a mysterious beauty shook me awake.
 
“It’s Hime.”
 
“It’s Hime.”
 
“Oh, it’s you, Hime… Wait, seriously!?”
 
To be honest, since she originally had that matte black brain shell, I hadn’t imagined her as a human… So the current appearance of Hime was shocking. Slightly shorter than me, occasionally blinking in rainbow colors, long milk tea-colored ponytail, a high nose, and large eyes with a level of slant not often seen even in celebrities. There was a beauty I had never seen before right there.
 
Honestly, I’m not really good with women… or rather, I’m bad at it. Especially when faced with a beauty, I get nervous and can’t speak well unless I switch into business mode. But, however. I knew that the appearance of this princess could be set freely, like some sort of avatar. Even I’m not so childish as to be nervous around an avatar.
 
I was almost calm. Honestly, I wasn’t even a bit excited. Honestly, I was calm. Honestly, I was cool. Honestly, I should be able to greet her lightly as I always did with Hime. Well, maybe I felt a little thrill? Just a little?
 
“Umm, umm, umm, umm, Your Highness… right…?”
 
“Huh? Tonbo, why are you so flustered?”
 
“Oh, no, not flustered at all, of course, um, yes, absolutely. Just as always.”
 
“Totally different, isn’t it?”
 
I was so nervous that suddenly I became conscious of my own posture. Am I standing properly?
 
“Tonbo, is it because Hime is a beautiful race among the ape types that you’re nervous?”
 
“Wow, Tonbo, are you smitten with Hime?”
 
“Um, not like smitten or anything, uh… sorry…”
 
“A beautiful, strong-willed, narrow-eyed woman with long hair seems like the type of girl Tonbo always chooses in games. It feels like all of Tonbo’s weaknesses are showing.”
 
I can’t help it! I’ve never met such a beauty before!

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“Well, it’s natural for men to bow before Hime… but let’s get used to it quickly since we’re not making progress!”
 
“Yes!”
 
Hime, the person inside, was like this. Isn’t she different from before, different?
 
“Actually, I was really surprised. You’re really a princess, huh?”
 
“Of course.”
 
“Huh? Really, what’s this about a princess? Didn’t you say you’re not royalty?”
 
“Oh, that thing, that thing. Tonbo also has a holosign, Hime was Yuri-Valak-Yuri.”
 
“Huh? Oh, the one you kept because it’s valuable?”
 
Wasn’t she an amazing idol who disappeared suddenly at the height of her popularity? I thought Hime was a child… Mars nudges me with his paw, urging me to hand over the holosign.
 
“This, this, the body and features are a bit different, but the face is the same. Didn’t you notice?”
 
“Uh, I haven’t really looked at the signature…”
 
“Hey, what’s this, Ma chan?”
 
“Huh? Isn’t it Hime’s autograph?”
 
“Hime, wouldn’t sign something like this. Is it fake?”
 
“Huh!?”
 
Taking the holosign from Mars’s disappointed hands, I see that it does resemble Hime in some way. Of course, the real one has a much more sparkling aura.
 
“So, we know Hime’s name is Yuri, but what’s the real deal?”
 
“Oh… oh yeah, Yuri was the deceased princess of the Parrot royal family in her past life. When that was discovered, she was recognized as a non-heir royal by the Parrot royal family.”
 
“Wow.”
 
“And separately, in this life, she’s the eldest daughter of the Valak conglomerate, a military company, so she’s an aristocrat there too. She was also selling herself as an idol, and since she referred to herself as a princess, well, in many ways, she’s a princess.”
 
It’s kind of complicated. I guess it’s okay to call her a legitimate princess rather than a self-proclaimed one.
 
“Didn’t this person disappear before?”
 
“Yeah, she suddenly disappeared at the height of her popularity.”
 
“So, that means, to the Red Guild… uh…”
 
Hime suddenly crouched down on the floor and curled up small.
 
“What’s wrong!?”
 
“Hold, hold my hand… I’m scared…”
 
When I hold Hime’s hand, she grips it back so tightly it hurts.
 
///
 


 
scene transition
 
 


 
///
 
” …… What’s going on? Was there a defect in the prosthesis or something?
 
“…… Maybe, because the heart is connected and the brain shell has started to move in earnest, I think the trauma from before is flashing back. The kidnapping incident happened about five years before I was frozen…”
 
“At least for several years, it seems like she was placed inside someone’s skill without being able to move… Hime’s trembling back, which had been standing firm until a moment ago, seemed much smaller than before, and I felt like she resembled the matte black brain shell she had until yesterday.
 
My feelings of excitement over her beauty had subsided considerably, and I gently rubbed Hime’s back with my palm as I used to do with my little sister when she was small. Somehow, I felt like the trembling had lessened a bit.
 
“Trauma like that… can’t it be dealt with using medicine in space?”
 
“Well, if you’re just a brain, medication isn’t really an option… It’s delicate, so drug therapy would be difficult. If you put in the wrong drugs, you could get fried.”
 
“Eek…”
 
“But on the other hand, I think you’ve received adjustments through the brain shell to prevent further deterioration.”
 
“Being a cyborg seems convenient yet inconvenient…”
 
“Well, if cyborgs were perfect, everyone would be cyborgs. Apparently, in the past, cyborgs couldn’t even eat, and people would go mad from the hunger signals frying their brains.”
 
“Hunger!? Even though they’re machines?”
 
This isn’t what I thought a prosthetic body would be like.
 
“Well, they’re not machines. In the end, even if it’s just the brain, people can’t escape their desires. Sex varies from person to person, but skipping meals and sleep would drive you insane and kill you.”
 
“It seems… so mundane…”
 
“Electronic conversion of the brain has been attempted, but apparently, that would transfer the soul to the next life.”
 
So, will AI ever have souls in the future? I feel like I’ve stumbled upon something I didn’t want to know. As I slowly rubbed the trembling princess’s back, I looked up at the ceiling with an indescribable feeling.


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