22: Preparing for the Ball
“Ah, I’m so tired.”
I tossed aside the dress I was embroidering and slipped into bed.
I became tired as the day of the ball held by the Emperor approached.
Despite the fact that my work hours had decreased, I still had special dance practice, I still had to embroider my sisters’ new dresses and make adjustments to my own dress, so I was exhausted.
I embroidered my sisters’ initials intertwined in a rose, like I had on the handkerchief they’d given away as a present, on the tip of the waist ribbons on their new dresses. The rose for older sister Catherine was deep crimson and older sister Rosalie had dark pink. They wanted the high ranking nobles, who they’d given their handkerchiefs to, to remember them.
I used my sisters’ latest fashion dresses to adjust my own dress… Hmm, should I adjust the faded hand-me-down ball dresses? Or the milk tea dress?
The milk tea dress was definitely newer than the others. However, that dress was easy to move in, so it might have been a bit too short for balls, and the dress didn’t puff out much. I thought of using this dress for special occasions when I become a commoner, so I didn’t want to adjust it too much.
“If I wear a pannier underneath this, then it’ll be shorter, wouldn’t it? I wonder if I could adjust the less puffy pannier.”
I pulled out some cloth, organdie and lace and pondered. Hmm. How do I make myself not stand out for better or for worse?
“How about doing this? Would this do?”
I decided to make adjustments to the faded ball dress.
I overlaid light blue organdie over the faded light purple dress to hide the fade. I didn’t have that much organdie, so I only put it over some places.
I made the tight chest area a little wider, and put some organdie over it so that it wouldn’t show too much skin. I arranged the organdie into a small pop-out rose. I nipped the waist in because it was too wide. I wasn’t boasting but my body was curvier than my sisters’.
The latest fashion was not to have the sleeves too bulge too much, so I tuck the sleeves to make them look smaller.
I wonder if this looks more stylish now. Now all I had to do was try my hardest to adjust the dress. I was also good at sewing.
“Yup. This will do, it looks good.”
My mother passed away and I had no one to talk to.
Because of that, I started talking to myself whenever I was thinking. I started to have monologues with myself.
Ms. Dolcie’s special dance lessons were outstanding. I spent more time practicing than my older brothers and sisters, since they were busy. I could move my body more compared to nobles who spent all their time indoors. If I must say so myself, I danced quite well.
I also learnt all the latest fashion trends. I tried my hardest with practice because I wanted to show Ms. Dolcie how well I could dance as a farewell present.
… Even so, Ms. Dolcie thought that it was strange that I was able to dance so well. Her words, “You can dance so well,” became a charm for me. Even though I didn’t need any charms, I thought that it might come in handy as a special skill.
I told Ms. Dolcie that I was going to become a commoner when we were finally alone together.
“You’ve learnt mannerism and education that won’t be embarrassing for a noble. It’s such a shame that you’re going to become a commoner. I want you to firmly take my lessons while you’re still a noble.
“It would be my privilege. I’m proud to be your student, Ms. Dolcie. Please teach me until the end.”
Ah, Ms. Dolcie thought it was a shame that I wasn’t going to be here anymore… Her expression didn’t change, but her voice changed a bit. She might have been polite, but I was grateful for her words. That one sentence of regret seeped through my heart.
I wasn’t one to give thanks while becoming emotional, so I thanked her politely.
Incidentally, I wanted to give Ms. Dolcie something as thanks when I left the estate.
I know. Let’s give Ms. Dolcie and my family an embroidered handkerchief as a farewell present.
They didn’t have to use it, it was for my self-satisfaction.
After that, I had to embroider more handkerchiefs, so my fatigue piled up.
“Argh, if the ball wasn’t a week away then I wouldn’t be suffering like this. I haven’t prepared for when I become a commoner.”
I said those words a lot whenever I was alone.
I only saw him from afar at my high society debut, and I only knew what’s written about him in the noble almanac, but I started to resent the Emperor.
I could only deal with it by rubbing my stiff calves and rotating my shoulders around.