01: Beautiful Crossdresser
How one thought of themselves and how others perceived them might not always match.
No, it was said that it was only natural that there would be some degree of difference in how people perceived things.
The smaller the difference, the easier it was to achieve mutual understanding.
However, in contrast to this, mutual understanding would be impossible the bigger the difference, even if they exchanged hundreds of conversations.
“Look, it’s Julius-sama!”
“Julius-sama!? Where, where is he?!”
“He’s standing by the wall over there1’
“Ah, he’s as beautiful as ever!”
The young ladies of marriageable age, who were wearing colourful vivid dresses, made a commotion after they caught sight of the [young man] who was standing against the wall in the corner of the banquet hall, which was now holding a ball.
Their shrieks reached the ears of the person in question and the [young man] hand to his forehead and sighed.
However, even such a troubling gesture was like a painting to the girls and they made a bigger commotion instead of calming down.
“Ah! He put his hand on his forehead and sighed!”
“The way he hides his melancholy look is also beautiful!”
“I wonder what’s troubling him. If he discussed it with me, I’ll help him as much as I can!”
The [young man], who attracted the attention of the young ladies of marriage age and caused them to fuss, had extremely beautiful features.
Instead of being filled with manly appeal, it was more appropriate to say that his appearance was one of delicate androgynous beauty and his features were really well proportioned.
His face was currently narrowed with a melancholy look, but his blue eyes sparkled like sapphires.
His long blonde hair was flowing in loose waves and coupled with his looks, brought about an elegant aura.
His height was just above average, but he appeared taller because of his slender build.
His physique might appear frail at a glance, but if one observed closely, they would notice his well-trained hidden flexible muscles.
He was probably around 20 years old, judging from his outward appearance.
[His] name was Julius Rosenberg.
He was from a noble lineage of Aullène Kingdom, the eldest son of Earl Rosenberg.
However, hardly anyone in this kingdom recognised him as a man.
『Earl Rosenberg, who didn’t have any other heir, raised his new-born daughter as a man so that a direct descendant can succeed the line.』
It was an open secret that everyone knew.
This unfounded rumour spread amongst the noble society out of nowhere sometime after [his] birth into the Rosenberg Earldom.
At that time, it was only to the extent of being a popular conversational topic, a mere piece of gossip, and the rumour vanished before long. However, a problematic person showed up in the noble society and the rumour was revived. It quickly became more than a rumour, it became reality.
Before that, the [boy] who appeared was so dashing and beautiful, he hardly looked like a male.
[Beautiful crossdresser] ── everyone who knew [him] would agree that there were no words more suitable to describe him than these words.
[Beautiful crossdresser] was someone who had a body of a woman. Someone who tightly bound her abundant chest in a cloth and wore shirts and slacks instead of dresses. It referred to a woman that pretended to be a man.
However, even if she wore clothes meant for men, her femininity showed through her mannerism.
That would occasionally result in a dubious androgynous charm, one that fascinated people of all ages regardless of their gender.
In fact, there were a lot of people who yearned for Julius.
Julius’ popularity among younger ladies in particular was tremendous, and those who yearned for him secretly formed an organisation called the [Protection Squad].
Of course, Julius was a noble but he wasn’t royalty, so it didn’t adhere with the original meaning of being a protection squad. It was merely an unofficial, informal group of volunteers who imitated real bodyguards.
But it was impossible to treat them as a laughing matter when this group, which was comprised of volunteers, almost doubled the number of the Crown Prince’s own guards.
In addition, the [Protection Squad] didn’t possess any military power because it was mainly composed of young ladies. However, it was a frightening group composed of most of the noble young ladies of Aullène Kingdom, there was danger of incurring immediate destruction to oneself if they thoughtless antagonised the group.
In fact, when the second son of a certain Viscount behaved rudely towards Julius, he received backlash from ladies all over the kingdom. His fiancée annulled their engagement and on top of that, clients stopped dealing business with their House.
As such, although Julius Rosenberg’s [real gender] was recognised as an open secret, he was still people’s object of admiration as the [Beautiful Crossdresser].
However, he had another secret in addition to his open secret. One that only his relatives knew.
That is ──
── [He was actually a man].
“Huh……? This again?”
Julius, who was standing at the corner wall of the banquet hall, sighed while placing his hand on his forehead, in reaction to the shrieks of the young ladies in dresses.
“You’re as popular as ever, Julius.”
“Won’t you give me a break, Maxián?”
Julius’s friend, Maxián Evryac was standing next to him joked with admiration, but he only received a tired answer in return.
Maxián Evryac was the second son of a Marquis and Julius’s friend since childhood.
He was a young man with short, light brown hair. He was also good looking, but he still gave off a masculine charm unlike the androgynous Julius.
He was the same age as Julius but he was slightly taller and had a larger build.
“There’s no need to be shy, is there?”
“No, I’m not being shy or anything……”
As a man, Julius was also glad to be seen favourably by beautiful woman.
…… However, that was only if their gazes were for [Julius as a man].
The ladies’ admiration for him right now was for [beautiful crossdresser Julius] and it was different from one that was directed towards the real him. In other words, it was directed for a fictional character who didn’t exist.
Therefore, no matter how favourable the glances were, Julius felt intricate and couldn’t be happy about it.
Moreover, this wasn’t something that had started recently.
Julius realised that those around him thought that he was a woman when he became old enough to understand what was happening around him.
No, it was more accurate to say that they misunderstood that he was [a woman pretending to be a man].
Of course, he himself knew that he was a male and flatly denied such misunderstandings.
He denied them, but ──
“You all have some kind of misunderstanding, but I’m a man, you know?”
“Ah, poor you, Julius-sama. You’re saying such things because you have to become a sacrifice for the sake of your House.”
“U-uh, huh? Do you really get it? I’m saying that I’m a man……”
“Yes, of course I understand. I will see to it that other people know it too, so please be at ease.”
“…… You really don’t get it, do you?”
“? Is something wrong? You look as if there is. If there’s anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to tell me.”
“…… No, I give up.”
No matter how many times Julius personally declared that he was a man, the people around him interpreted it as [a strong woman who acted like a man and killed her true self in order to succeed their House] and he wasn’t taken seriously. On the contrary, it resulted in sympathy.
It was difficult to overturn an assumption once it had been made. Julius knew this too well.
His body was clearly male, and people’s misunderstanding would surely clear up if he took off his clothes and got naked.
But Julius, who had been strictly disciplined to constantly behave gracefully as a noble since childhood, couldn’t possibly undress in public.
For similar reasons, it was out of the question to make someone understand by getting them to touch his body. In the first place, it was impossible to solve the misunderstanding about his gender without letting them touch his fairly private parts.
However, in reality, the education he had received was tailored more towards a certain side compared to the education of other noble men because of special circumstances.
So it was impossible to solve the misunderstanding. In the end, only a small fraction of his relatives knew that Julius was a man, and a great majority of people saw him as a beautiful crossdresser.
“…… My goodness.”
Today as well, [beautiful crossdresser] Julius sighed as he was surrounded by shrieks.