Chapter 30 – Dress-Up Doll
It is one month after the party that invited the prince and the princess.
The Stuart count family and the royal concubine Rose frequently interact with each other.
The three siblings visiting Rose’s parents’ house, Marquis Valerie’s mansion, brought massive luggage.
“Even though Emma-chan is staying overnight, it’s a lot of luggage.
I wonder what did she bring?”
(T/N: –chan is an honorific for someone the speaker find endearing)
Rose was watching the three siblings enter the mansion from the second-floor window.
Not only the servants but also three siblings were carrying large luggage.
“Okaa-shama, has Emma-chan come?”
(T/N: [okaa- = mother] –shama is like the cutesy or the childish version of the respectful honorific –sama.
Young children who can’t speak well mispronounce –sama as –shama)
Princess Jadwiga asks happily while looking up to her mother.
At the tea party, the princess was shy and didn’t really talk, but in the past month, she plays dress-up with Emma, is piggybacked by George, is given a lot of sweets by William, and become totally attached to them.
Unlike her older brother Edward, the three siblings who go along with her childish play with all their might were the first people the princess can call friends.
“Yes, I wonder what Jadwiga will play today.”
Rose also answers happily.
She has a very gentle face as if those times where she is irritated every day are a lie.
She gets the words she wanted to hear every time she meets the three siblings, and there is no attitude of adoring the prince and the princess’s black hair.
The princess who timidly talked to her mother while peeking at her face has recently begun to act spoiled, and even their parent-child relationship has improved.
The calm and happy days have continued since that tea party.
However, a letter telling her to come back to the royal capital unexpectedly came.
As she was hurriedly preparing because she couldn’t disobey the King’s order, she also wrote to the Stuarts that she would return to the royal capital next week.
A letter from the three siblings that they would like to visit once before she leaves for the royal capital came.
Because it’s the last, she suggested them to stay overnight, and today is that day.
Because it took more than three hours by carriage to go back and forth between their mansions, their stay was short each time, and she always thinks it’s a pity, so both Rose and Jadwiga were looking forward to today.
*knock knock* …after a modest knock, the butler, along with a lot of luggage, lead the three siblings and enter the room.
Since the bedrooms of the three siblings are already prepared, it doesn’t seem to be their belongings.
George-sama, William-sama, Emma-sama of the Stuart Count House have arrived.”
Behind the butler, there are also several servants carrying luggage.
“Everyone, thank you for carrying these for me!”
At Emma’s words, George and William say their thanks at the same time.
Whether it is to the mansion’s servants, cooks, gardeners, or any other human being, these three siblings always say words of gratitude.
“It is not worth your mention.
This is our job.
Well then, we will prepare the drinks.”
(T/N: They use an extremely polite speech, but I don’t know how to translate it to English…)
Being thanked for the work they naturally do, the butler and the servants freeze for a moment, but the veteran butler tactfully replies and withdraws.
“Emma-chan and the others say thank you to everyone, don’t you?”
‘Why is that?’ the princess asks.
Maybe it’s unusual for her since it’s not something often seen in the royal castle.
If a nobleman becomes a count or its level, it’s natural to have servants in the mansion.
Just like the butler said, it is their job, so there is no need to say thank you.
“Princess, gratitude is something you have to say out loud, or else it won’t be conveyed to them, you know? Even if it is their job, if you feel happy that they do it for you, you can say thank you!”
Emma lowers her hips to match the princess’ eyes and talks.
Jadwiga utters a ‘Un un,’ to Emma’s words,
“Then, Emma-chan and the others! Thank you for staying today.
Jadwiga is super happy!”
William lets out a strange voice.
“Princess, I am also happy.
Thank you! Rose-sama too, thank you for the invitation today!”
Here, the three finally give a respectful bow.
At an early stage of getting to know each other, Rose said that they don’t have to give such a formal greeting, but she was begged to ‘Please let us express our respect to Rose-sama‘s beauty just once!’ and like that, the three siblings give a respectful bow every time.
“Now then, what should we play today?”
Even though it’s called ‘socializing,’ we’re basically just playing.
High society’s exchanging information, restraining and dominating between nobles, bullying the weak, etc.
These types of interaction in the royal capital, the three siblings have no such bearing to do it at all.
By playing, it is not the so-called aristocratic play, like riding a boat on the lakeside while enjoying tea elegantly, calling a jeweler to choose accessories, showing the collection they’re proud of, but hide-and-seek and tag that is Jadwiga’s main play.
“With all due respect, today…”
She carefully says in a roundabout and stiff way.
“Emma-chan? After you did your bow you should?”
“Pardon me! It was to use casual speech! for friends!”
Because of the count family’s habits, the three siblings are bad with honorifics.
As it seems they are also self-conscious, they always do it exaggeratedly, so Rose told them to speak normally just like last time.
“Ro-chan*, let’s play dress-up doll today!”
(*T/N: It’s the nickname for Rose from the siblings)
Maybe her tension is relieved when she uses ruder words, and she becomes really lively.
“Well then, I will ask for the dolls to be brought here.”
“That is not necessary!”
William answers while handing a caramel to Jadwiga from his pocket.
He hasn’t fixed his formal speech…
“Ro-chan will be the doll.”
George continues answering while putting Jadwiga on his lap.
His formal speech is really not good.
When Rose is making a blank look, the three siblings exchange glances and open the luggage they brought.
“Dress! So many! Pretty!”
Jadwiga lets out a sound of astonishment.
There are a variety of dresses.
“Actually, we want to make even more, but we heard that you are going back to the royal capital, so we only bring the finished ones.”
Emma shows Rose the first outfit, then she stands on the luggage box she brought (because Rose is taller) and matches it on Rose’s shoulder’s tip.
“Okaa-shama so pretty!”
Jadwiga becomes merrier.
When Rose touches the dress matched to her, she is surprised at the unbelievable smooth touch.
Compared to the dress Rose usually wears, it’s a simple dark blue dress with few exposed parts, but the fabric is on another level of softness compared to the usual silk.
“This… fabric is?”
“It is our Emma Silk.”
George answers like it’s nothing.
The silk named after the Count’s beloved daughter that is said to bear a price the same weight as its name, which is more expensive than gold, that?
Rare to see in the market, it’s even impossible to catch sight of it without having a connection to the sole company that handles all Palace’s silk products, that?
With such a price, it is only used for ribbons, accessories, and a small part of a dress, that Emma Silk?
“Just as I thought, Ro-chan suits dark blue! The intellectual beauty vibe is amazing~.”
Even though Rose’s finger touching the cloth is shaking, Emma carefreely holds onto the dress and praises her.
*Un un* While nodding in assent, George and William unpack the luggage saying, ‘there is still more.’
Rose’s mouth opens and closes, yet no sound comes out.
When she looks closely, this dress… it’s not just one part of it, but the whole dress is made of Emma Silk.
You can buy a castle with this one dress, can’t you?
Emma calls William and carelessly throws the dark blue dress she is holding.
Is this girl? crazy?!
“Then Emma, next is my pick!”
Saying that, George carelessly throws a red dress to Emma.
The red dress is splendidly caught by Emma and is matched again to Rose.
This smooth touch is the same as the previous dress.
…the thing they just threw? Emma Silk? Are they crazy? These siblings…
From the edge of Rose’s eye, she sees that William received the dark blue dross, roll it up, and put it inside the luggage.
“William-kun! The dress will be damaged!”
Rose shouts reflexively.
The moment she shouted, the red dress hits right on, and her heart squeezes.
“Ro-chan, Emma Silk won’t crease, and each thread is strong, so even if we handle it roughly, it’s okay, you know?”
Emma says grinningly.
“Okaa-shama! Red is also pretty!”
Jadwiga, who doesn’t know the value of Emma silk, is excited.
The red dress has finely embroidered flowers with black thread, and just like the dark blue dress, it doesn’t expose much as expected, but there is a long slit from near the hips to the ankle, and it has a design where glimpses of the legs can be seen every time you walk.
“Nee-sama! Next is my number one favorite!”
William passes a lemon-color dress to Emma.
Vibrant green beads are sewn on the lemon-color fabric, making a pattern that looks like ivy entwining.
The dress has an innocent and pure design when viewed from the front, but the back is boldly open with connected beads at the part without fabric to vaguely hide the bare skin.
The fabric of this dress, which has an entirely different impression from the front and the back, is also Emma Silk.
“This dress is also pretty~.”
Jadwiga is staring at the dress with sparkling beads in a trance.
“Try on these three dresses!”
Emma gives Rose’s personal maid the dresses.
The prince is in the library, and they need to greet him, so while Rose is changing, George and William leave their seats.
The poor one is the maid who is handed the dresses.
She is trembling to hold those too expensive dresses.
“Ro-rose-sama! I am scared of touching such valuable dresses!”
The maid appeals to Rose with teary eyes.
Rose is also honestly scared to wear it.
It’s a wonderful dress, but she is scared by just thinking of the compensation money if anything happens to it.
“Emma-chan… To wear this, it’s a little…”
“Do you not like it?”
Emma anxiously asks.
“Those are very beautiful dresses, but I cannot afford to compensate you if I dirty or damage it.”
It’s a pathetic thing for this country’s royal concubine to say, but Emma Silk is just that much of a valuable.
However, Emma tilts her head blankly and thinks.
“Ah! All of these dresses are Rose-sama‘s, you know? It’s a present from us! Even if you dirty or damage it, there is no need for compensation whatsoever.
Besides, Emma Silk is more durable than ordinary silk, so it is an easy to handle material.”
There are still around 20 dresses I haven’t try… All of them?
“That! I could not possibly accept such an expensive gift.”
Even if she is called the extravagant concubine, she still has some common sense.
There is nothing she can gift back if she accepts the present.
“It’s alright, I am the one who did all the dress design.
Older brother drew the patterns, and our family did the sewing together, so there wasn’t any labor cost.
Because members of the Stuart family help out with the business since we were old enough to understand things, we can do more or less everything.”
It’s not just a matter of making more than 20 dresses in a short time, but it’s the fact that the whole family was inspired by Rose’s beauty, plus in high tension, they went “Like this!” “Like that!” and completed all of it.
During the family happy gathering time, they always talk about Rose, only the hands moved at high speed and finished the dresses.
“Besides, we made the size Rose-sama‘s exclusive use, so even if other people wear it, it won’t fit.”
“My exclusive use?”
One of the reasons why Rose is called “the extravagant concubine” is that if she wears ready-made products, the size won’t fit as the chest area is tight and the waist area is loose.
She always has to make custom-order which is more expensive.
It is one of the disadvantages of having an extraordinary figure.
But, she never got her size measured by Emma.
“Since I was little, observing insects and making clothes are all I’ve ever done, so things like size, I can tell by looking!”
It’s her special talent that resulted from the combination of Stuarts’ family business and her hobbies and is often useful when she gifts clothes as a surprise present on a mansion’s servant’s birthday.
This child… contrary to her appearance, she is capable.
Rose is surprised at the talent of the young lady in front of her.
The dresses’ design and sewing look like a work that even put the pros in shame.
Above all, she didn’t need to take the measurements when making the dress.
It’s impossible to tell just by looking.
“But you see, Emma-chan.
This fabric is very expensive, isn’t it?”
What Rose’s curious about is Emma Silk’s preciousness.
“Emma Silk? This is the improved product that my insect-loving self made based on my uncle’s research, so there are many at home.
It just keeps piling up because the merchant company doesn’t readily buy it.
It would be great if Rose-sama could wear it so it won’t be wasted…”
“Emma-chan made it?”
Jadwiga, who was silent until now, suddenly talks.
“That’s right, silk can be made from the cocoon of an insect called silkworm.
As I love insects since I was little and I only think about insects, I don’t know how others would have seen me if I hadn’t been born in the Stuart family…”
Now, Emma is still mostly seen with strange eyes.
But thanks to the family business, she can be useful.
It would have been difficult to raise her like an ordinary noble daughter.
To be part of this house, and to be one’s child.
Just how Emma is supposed to grow up, she is raised.
Rose feels a sense of respect towards the Stuart couple who can develop their child’s talent to this extent.
“And so, it would be helpful if you can keep this a secret.
We will live in the royal capital next year, and we want to live normally as much as we can.
The company already said that they won’t complain about how Rose-sama is the only one to wear Emma Silk dresses, so I would be happy if you could wear it.”
“Meg… Help me put the dress on.”
Rose makes up her mind and order the still trembling maid.
‘I couldn’t possibly not wear it if they have already done this much for me.
Later I have to remind Meg and Jadwiga to keep this a secret.’
On this day, Rose’s solo fashion show, with all the dresses worn, ends with high reviews and compliments from the three siblings.
The dresses look so good on Rose that even the Marquis household, who should have been used to Rose’s beauty, forgot about the prince and the princess for a moment.
The valuable and high-grade fabric complements Rose perfectly.
The design that hides the chest is contrarily sexy.
The boldly open dress emphasizes the beauty of her bare skin.
Rose’s dress that is made according to Rose and only for Rose is sophisticatedly brilliant.
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