She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner 18

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Toward the Founder’s Festival

“The… Founder’s Festival?”
“That’s right.”

When the commoner repeated Commander Lorec’s words, he nodded.
As usual, we were in the Order’s hall.
Commander Lorec gathered everyone to inform us of the upcoming annual Founder’s Festival.

During the Founder’s Festival, various parties both related and unrelated to the academy were invited.
The festival was intended as a stage to display the academy’s recent accomplishments, but in truth, it was a big chance for the academy’s students to host and partake in festivities.
Showing off accomplishments was ultimately just a pretense.
With each class organizing their own functions, it should go without saying that the Order of the Academy would be busy.

“Very soon we’ll need to approve applications for the various student lead events as well as equipment and location rentals.
Things will get really busy as we gear up for the festival.
I’ll be assigning roles to divide the work, so if there’s anything that you don’t understand just ask.”
“Hey, Commander.
As the Order of the Academy, we’ll be hosting something ourselves, yeah?”

Rodd-sama, who had been sitting arrogantly, asked that question while everyone’s attention remained on Commander Lorec.

“That’s right.
Traditionally we host a café.”
“Just running a normal café is so boring.
Let’s make it something special!”

Rodd-sama’s mischievous expression made it clear that he was plotting something.

“That sounds great, Rodd-niisan, but is there something specific you’d like to do?”
“… I think normal is fine.”

While Yuu-sama had taken interest, Sein-sama did not show the same enthusiasm.
As Sein-sama values the practical, it was possible that he didn’t even understand the appeal of festivities.

“I heard that gender reversal cafés are all the rage back in the capital.
What if we do something like that?”
“What exactly is a gender reversal café?”

Perhaps unsettled by Rodd-sama’s peculiar string of words, Misha asked for clarification.

“It’s simple.
The men dress as women, the women dress as men, we serve customers.
All that changes is our attire, but don’t you think that makes it so much more interesting?”

“Come on, what do you think?” Rodd-sama asked us as his eyes shone brightly.

“You seem very excited, Rodd-sama, but you’ll have to cross dress too, you know? Erm… Are you allowed to do that? As royalty?”

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The kingdom’s royalty must set the example for its people, that should go without saying.

“It’ll be fine so long as no one finds out, no sweat.”

With an energetic cackle, Rodd-sama’s face was clearly that of a prankster.
Why were men… No, I understood that Rodd-sama was uniquely so, but why was it that no matter how much some men aged, they retained a childish part of themselves.

“Putting ladies in men’s wear aside, I wouldn’t think anyone wants to bear the sight of the men… in… ladies…?”

I tried voicing my concerns, but when I looked around at the faces of the men in the room, that thought was forced to a halt.
The three princes were all quite beautiful and they each had charming facial features.

“… I take that back.
Surprisingly, this could actually… work?”
“Don’t forget about us though… Right, Lambe…rt?”

Commander Lorec tried to voice the same concern that I had, but froze when he looked at Lambert.
While he wasn’t on quite the same level as the princes, he too had a slender build that would allow him to crossdress without seeming out of place.

“How could it be… the only laughingstock here… will be me.”

Commander Lorec trembled in his anguish.
That wasn’t to say that his looks were inferior.
He too held plenty of charm as a nobleman of the Bauer Kingdom.
However, good looks came in many forms and while his rugged exterior did have its own charm… It simply wasn’t suited for crossdressing.

“Well, I take it no one else has any complaints?”

Completely ignoring Commander Lorec’s agony, Rodd-sama proceeded to try and finalize the matter.
It was just like Rodd-sama to be pushy in these kinds of situations, but I felt a little bad for Commander Lorec.

“No complaints here!”
“… If the others are fine with it, I don’t mind.”

Yuu-sama approved.
Sein-sama’s response was unmotivated but he still expressed approval.

“I don’t particularly have any reason to disagree.”

Now that Yuu-sama had approved, Misha certainly wasn’t going to disagree.

“I don’t mind eith―”
“Claire-sama in drag… how precious…!”
“… I’ve changed my mind, I’ll vote against.”

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Just as I was about to express my own approval, the commoner’s outlandish statement forced me to change my vote.
That said, I was heavily in the minority.

“Well… I disapprove too… but…”
“Sorry Commander, it looks like you’ll have to give up.”

Commander Lorec resisted to the very end, but his efforts were to no avail.
Lambert gave the commander a firm pat on the shoulder.

“Alright, it’s decided.
This year, the Order of the Academy will hold the Gender Reversal Café, Cavalier!”
“It’s the official name of the Order of the Academy.
The word cavalier also means knight.”

It seemed the commoner wasn’t familiar with the word, so she repeated it inquisitively.
Lambert was the one to answer her question.
The title wasn’t often used in the modern day, so it was quite impressive that Rodd-sama had known about it.

“While remaining elegant, they’re reckless and carefree.
Did it mean something like that?”
“You’re not strictly wrong, but it would be preferred if you could say, even while reckless and carefree, they remain elegant.”

Just as Lambert pointed out, the order the words were presented largely affected how the phrase would be interpreted.
Understanding that sort of nuance was foundational to the use of language in poetry, but I suppose I couldn’t expect such finesse from this commoner.

“Then…! Claire-sama is a lady cavalier! Or in short, a Cabaret Girl!”

The commer said something strange.
I didn’t know what a Cabaret Girl was, but from the commoner’s amused expression it did not appear to be a compliment.
She would later explain to me that a Cabaret Girl described a particular entertainer that offered their services at night, and I would promptly respond with a firm scolding.
I did not scold her because she had compared me to them, but because she had used the word as a derogatory term.

Perhaps the commoner was unaware, but the kingdom too had women who made their living by that trade.
Many looked down upon those women, but there were also many noblemen who relied on their services.
You could say that they were interpersonal professionals.
They read newspapers that commoners did not, polished their looks, and trained themselves to offer artistic performances, all to serve their clients.
Even in something as simple as conversation, the foundation of their trade, these women brandished their expertise to impart as much entertainment as they could.

Of course, I didn’t believe that all of the women in the trade were there by choice, but they were all making an earnest effort to live.
It was unthinkable to ridicule them in such a manner.
That said, at that time, I was completely unaware as to what the word meant.

“I’m not sure what it is that you’re trying to say, but that’s not a compliment, is it?”
“It’s a huge compliment! I’d personally designate you every single day!”
“And have me do what!?”

So I was at her mercy.

“Claire-sama, we should totally put your hair in an updo and give it some flair!”
“What exactly do you mean by updo… Flair?”

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“It’s a very special way to arrange one’s hair that’s exclusive to Cabaret Girls!”

As I found out later, an updo was a styling that women from the commoner’s world had painstakingly invented and served as something of a trademark.
According to the commoner, it was a very difficult hairstyle to keep, to the point where some women would have to see a stylist everyday to set and maintain it.
Of course, all at their own expense.

“Special…? H-Hmph! Very well, I’ll give you my permission.”

Entirely ignorant to that context, I was drawn to the appeal of having a special hairstyle and fell prey to the commoner’s sweet talk.
With the meeting now over, we left the meeting hall and returned to my room where Lene had been waiting.
As I expected, Catherine had already concealed herself.

“What are you doing, Rei-chan?”
“I’m just turning Claire-sama into a Cabaret Girl.”
“Alright Claire-sama, if you’ll excuse me…”

Once I sat down in front of my dresser, the commoner began working with my hair.

“Ohh, so their hair is done up like this?”
About half of the hair is used as a base, and then we use pins to build up on top of that.”

I wasn’t able to get a clear view of it, but the commoner had not tugged on my hair in the process, so she seemed to have the required skills.

“Claire-sama, it really helps that your hair is normally set in drills.
Getting the hair to naturally curl is what usually takes the most time.”
“That would be thanks to Lene.”
“I’m honored.”

The commoner claimed that my hair was well suited for this sort of hair style.
So, within a half an hour she was finished.

“It’s done.”
“Wow, Claire-sama you look lovely.”
“Ooh… This really isn’t all that bad.”

Turning my neck left and right, I checked my new hairstyle.
Truly done upward, my hair had become quite extravagant.
I had never seen hair fashioned this way anywhere in the kingdom.

“It’s incredible, Claire-sama! No matter how I look at you, you’re a Cabaret Girl!”

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“I-Is that so…?”

Regardless of what the commoner intended with those words, the way she said it would have made anyone scowl, should they have the context.
I, of course, only came to understand this after she explained it to me later.

“Claire-sama, would you like to maintain this hairstyle for the time being?”

Lene made the suggestion with a smile, but the intent behind her words did not escape me.
In her own way, she was encouraging me to grow and move on.

“… No, I’d prefer my usual hairstyle.
Lene, could I ask you to take care of it?”

My distinctive hairstyle was the same as my late mother’s.
In many ways, this hairstyle represented my bond with her.

Right away.”

Lene sounded just a little disappointed.
From her perspective, I’m sure she wished that I would overcome my trauma as soon as possible… But it did not seem that I would be able to live up to her expectations any time soon.

“I love that part of you as well!”
“… Just what are you saying so suddenly…?”
“Nothing, I’m sorry it looks like my love just overflowed.”
“… That’s enough, you’re dismissed for the day.”

As per usual, I couldn’t get a good grasp on what the commoner was trying to say.
When I drove her away, she uncharacteristically obeyed and retreated toward the door.

“Ah, Claire-sama.”
“What is it?”

Before she could reach the door, she turned and called my name.

“I look forward to seeing you in drag!”
“Hurry up and leave!”

In the end, the commoner found it within her to make such a remark before she left.
The absolute nerve.

Translation Note: Cavalier is キャバリアー romanized as “kyabariaa”.
Cabaret is キャバレー romanized to “kyabaree”.
In the original text, Rei shortens キャバリアーのお嬢様 romanized as “kyabariaa no ojousama”, which I translated to femme cavalier, to キャバ嬢 romanized as “kyabajou”, which means Cabaret Girl.
She’s making a play on words using the shared “kyaba” part, which is a bit difficult to translate into English.

Translator Comment: Something that’s been really interesting to see in SSCC is how a lot of the scenes that were comedic in ILTV now come off as sentimental from Claire’s point of view.
It’s kind of touching to see that Rei’s actions and words even from this point had an affect on Claire, even though Claire’s outward reaction was obviously tsuntsun, lol.

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