Luca proved to be 『No good and useless』at the tea party hosted at the resident of the Prince. Well, Elsa had somehow guessed that would happen so it was still tolerable. Or rather, it was good that it didn’t happen in front of people from the high society. Only her relatives were there at that time and they would look the other way at the blunder. Actually Elsa also made a blunder by not wearing her spectacles.
That Elsa was returning to the Lambordini household during the full-blown social season, in other words summer. She didn’t return last year and she only stayed for a short while the time before that. This year however, she was determined to stay at the Duke household for the whole season. Well, she would still be going back to the university.
However, Elsa who had lowered her bag, looked up at the Lombordini household in silence. She was clearly a suspicious person. Elsa was wearing a wide brim hat today, so they couldn’t see her face.
“…… This is the residence of Duke Lombardini. I’m sorry lady but I can’t let you inside.”
The gatekeeper who did indeed think that Elsa was suspicious for standing there for a long time, said. Elsa raised the brim of her hat and looked at the gatekeeper. He was a young man. Probably younger than Elsa. She assumed that he was hired recently.
“…… Lady, what business do you have here?”
He was being polite but it was bothersome. She could clearly see that he thought of her as a suspicious person. Elsa, who was aware that she didn’t normally come home so he wouldn’t have seen her before, said just in case.
“I’m just coming home.”
“Hah? Home? What are you saying?”
Elsa was wearing her usual straight-laced clothes. However, she wasn’t wearing a stand-up collar dress that she’d thought she didn’t have. She was wearing a showy dress somewhat close to that of a formal one that Alesia had chosen. The dress was cobalt blue. She’d chosen this colour since it was summer and she didn’t want to attract the heat.
No doubt, he didn’t think that a daughter of such a big house would return home by herself in a carriage. Elsa thought that she would have the same reaction as him.
“Fristo, what’s wrong?”
The young gatekeeper named Fristo looked at his superior, a middle-aged gatekeeper, with a bewildered look on his face.
“This lady insists that she’s from this household.”
Thomas raised the brim of Elsa’s hat and she looked up at him. Thomas, who looked at her face for several seconds, said absentmindedly.
“I’m not that age to be called ojou-sama anymore……”
Elsa was 28 years old. She was unmarried but she wasn’t at an age where she could still be called a “ojou-sama”. It was more natural to call her “gofujin”.
“Fristo, it’s fine. This is the 2nd daughter of Duke Lombardini, Elsa-sama. She’s a professor teaching at the University of Fillure.”
“It’s associate professor.”
Just to be sure, she corrected him. Fristo compared Elsa’s and Thomas’s faces.
“Eh?! Elsa-sama the stran…… The rumoured eccentric?”
He was hit on the head by Thomas.
“Don’t say rude things. But it is rare, for you to come back so early. You usually come back in the middle of summer.”
Thomas said as he instructed Fristo to tell the residences that Elsa had returned. Elsa said, “I’m planning to stay here for the season this year”.
“That is also…… Something rare.”
When Thomas said so with a troubled expression on his face, a woman came running out while calling, “Elsa!?” The woman looked to be in her 50s.
“Ah, it’s really Elsa. Have you been well?”
The lady with light brown hair narrowed her eyes and said, “Let’s go”, before taking Elsa’s hand and leading her into the mansion.
She is Elsa’s mother, the Duchess Lombondini, Palmyra. Alesia inherited her looks and aggressiveness. She will be 50 this year and that is why the beautiful Duchess is brimming with grace.
“I’ve been waiting for you. Good grief, I was so surprised when I heard you’ll be staying in the royal capital during the season.”
“There are circumstances.”
Elsa said as she entered the mansion. Elsa had sent her things to the mansion beforehand so she only had one suitcase. She also attached a letter with her things, stating that she would be staying over this year.
“No way! She’s really staying here this year!?”
Came the shrieks of the servants who saw her. Elsa’s feelings were hurt somewhat from that reaction.
“It’s because you rarely visit. Anyway, the things you sent are in the room you’re staying in so go unpack that later.”
“I don’t have enough things to unpack.”
Elsa only sent three dresses and the jewellery she had on hand. She also sent stuff to do her work with but she had brought the materials with her.
Therefore she didn’t have enough things in her suitcase to unpack.
“I was surprised you’d only brought a hand full of dresses with you so I ordered some extra. Just take the ones you like from the pile.”
Palmyra said as if it was nothing. No, Elsa knew the financial situations of a Duke house but that wasn’t it.
“No, I won’t have any occasion to wear them even if I take them…… Ordering things without telling me first……”
She wanted to rebuke her mother for various things but she wouldn’t be able to catch up. So for the time being she just rebuke her on an important point.
“If I leave you alone, you’ll always be wearing the same dresses. You’re going to appear in front of the high society this year so it’s not good if you don’t have at least that much.”
“No, they haven’t even seen me yet so how can they judge me.”
Elsa rebuked as calm as possible. Palmyra continued talking happily, ignoring Elsa’s rebuke.
“You’re finally motivated so I have to support you, you know. Your father is also pleased.”
“Ah, is that so.”
She finally stopped rebuking.
The room that Elsa was staying in at the Lombardini household had completely changed. Elsa was standing in front of the open door in shock.
“…… What is this?”
“The dresses the Ma’am ordered. All that’s left is to adjust them to Elsa-sama’s size.”
There were colourful dresses cramped inside the closet left open for ventilation. The dresses were a little long so Elsa guessed that they were for her.
Furthermore, there were shoes, shawls, gloves, accessories, cosmetics tools and so on, placed on top of the desk and sofa. What was she supposed to do with it?
“Isn’t this a bit too much?”
“It may appear so, but it isn’t much.”
Ashia, the head maid of the Lombardini household, calmly retorted. She was in her mid-thirties, a bit young to be a head maid but she was excellent woman who had served the household since Elsa was a child. She was like an older sister to Elsa and someone she couldn’t oppose.
“Elsa-sama, you would look a lot better if you took a little more care towards your appearance.”
“Well, that’s probably true. I’m aware that I’m slacking in that department.”
She tried to reply. It’s true that most people would look better if they took more care towards their appearances.
“Leaving the flashy clothes aside, let’s look for sensible…… See, this one would probably be fine even if you wear it to the academic conference.”
Ashia showed her a lapis blue dress. Elsa suddenly recalled the Lapis Lazuli necklace that she’d gotten from Luca.
“Yes…… That’s true. Nevertheless, she brought too much.”
“It may seem so, but it’s not much.”
Ashia retorted. Elsa felt a sense of impeding crisis thinking that her common sense as an aristocrat was probably horrible.
“When is the first evening party?”
“In 10 days.”
Elsa immediately replied to Ashia’s question. The social season had already began but the evening party that Luca was taking Elsa to was in 10 days. Not all of the aristocrats had returned so there haven’t been that many evening parties.
“Okay. We will adjust the dresses by then. And you should also brush up on your mannerism. You should also check which aristocrats are the most influential.”
“That’s right…… I’ll do that.”
Elsa nodded at Ashia’s words and leaned back onto the sofa.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve taken care of you, Elsa-sama. I’m looking forward to it.”
That’s kind of scary.
“Huh, Elsa’s here.”
“Oh, welcome home.”
Elsa, who was drinking tea while listening to her mother’s lecture about the aristocrat world, briefly greeted her younger brother who had just shown up.
Her brother, Daniele, is the youngest child. He is 18 years old, exactly 10 years younger than Elsa. He had just graduated from boarding school. Elsa had heard that he had entered the University of Fillure but he was studying economics so she didn’t see him much.
He had light brown hair and blue eyes and he probably had the most beautiful face out of all of her siblings. Incidentally, Elsa had six siblings but apart from Daniele, they were all females. However, it is said that Elsa is the most masculine of the bunch.
“You’ve already returned. How rare.”
“Well, because of various reasons I’ll be staying for the whole season.”
Elsa said frankly. Daniele’s eyes sparkled.
“Really? Then teach me some foreign languages.”
“Depends on the language.”
There were books from foreign countries that she wanted to read when she became a university student but she couldn’t study with them unless she knew the language. Aristocrats were usually trained in greetings but reading and writing was a whole different story.
“Daniele, don’t monopolise Elsa too much. She has evening parties to attend after all.”
“Eh, what’s with the turn of events?”
Daniele was surprised at his mother’s serious words. Well, Elsa understood his feeling but it was still rude.
“There are various circumstances.”
“She’s going out with Duke Inglacia now, right?”
Palmyra said amusingly in front of the person herself. Elsa inadvertently glared at Palmyra.
“Well…… That’s true.”
Elsa replied, she couldn’t tell her that it wasn’t like that. So what else could she do?
“Eh!? Duke Inglacia?! The top ranking bachelor that young ladies want to marry in high society?!”
“Alesia was one thing but where do you get your information?”
Elsa calmly rebuked at Daniele’s shrieks. Where are Daniele and Alesia getting their statistics from? Elsa decided to investigate on that next time.
“What?! Elsa, you can use seductive techniques?”
“Daniele, come over here. I want to hit you.”
It was lively. Last year, the 5th daughter got married, so Daniele might have been lonely.