02: Hidden Story of Birth
「Young Noble of Crimson Rose」
That was the title of a book that was tremendously popular in Aullène Kingdom long ago.
It was a novel about a Viscount’s daughter who was brought up as a man from childhood to inherit her House. It depicted her earnestly living despite suffering because of her gender. The main character’s real name was Alice but since she was raised as a man, she was referred to as Alios.
There was no information about the author and it was a work that gave birth to various speculations.
This literary work, that steeped into the standards of gender differences, which have never been touched upon before because it was taboo, was very sensational. It was well liked by noble woman and their daughters and gained a lot of wildly enthusiastic fans.
These wildly enthusiastic fans called the main character [Alios-sama] and talked zealously with the other fans about [him]. Of course, it goes without saying that one would suffer a terrifying experience if they neglected to add [–sama] in front of those fans.
Elizabeth Rosenberg was also one of the wildly enthusiastic fan of [Young Noble of Crimson Rose].
She was an attractive woman born as the second daughter of a Marquis House, known for her blonde wavy hair, calm disposition and gentle smile.
Coupled with her small stature, she looked a lot younger than her age…… Or rather, she was often seen as a child. She was already a mother to one child, but people were still doubtful even if they were told that she was in her teens.
She was calm and somewhat of an airhead, so once she thought of something she would move in a straightforwardly and had often caused confusion to those around her.
She read the book for the first time in her teens, at the same time she’d gotten married to Earl Rosenberg, and became completely engrossed in it. She was so into it that she brought the book with her wherever she went.
When that woman gave birth to a boy from her husband, Ernesto Rosenberg, she thought ──
── Oh my, doesn’t this child resemble Alios-sama?
Of course, it was a hallucination. Or otherwise, a delusion.
His aura resembled Elizabeth’s and his looks would blossom in the future, so saying something like that to a new born baby was absurd.
In the first place, [Young Noble of Crimson Rose] was a novel and not a picture book, so there were no illustrations of the main character, Alios.
Her thinking that her child resembled Alios was the product of her delusion based on the novel’s descriptions.
However, Elizabeth insisted on believing that delusion and hallucination. Her unbending personality took a bad turn at a critical moment.
Yes, she decided to raise her new born child ── Julius, as a man.
If at that time, someone had took a peep into her mind, they would have retorted ──, “That child is a boy from the start”.
Of course, no one can peep into a person’s mind, so unfortunately no one could rebuke her. And even the person who could stop her……
The brilliant move made by Earl Rosenberg, who narrowly prevented Elizabeth’s scheme to name their child [Alios], should be given due praise.
Elizabeth tried to raise Julius, who was already male, as a man.
If she had tried to raise a female as a male or a male as a female then she would be reproached.
Earl Rosenberg would have stopped her if she had really tried to do this.
In addition to it being unethical, there was no merit in lying about one’s gender.
It was true that in this kingdom, the successor needed to be male except for some exceptions, and even if the family only had a daughter and no son, they could adopt a son-in-law which would also allow the family line to continue.
In addition, Julius was a man to begin with, so his father, the head of the house, declared him as successor. There was no need to do anything else.
There was no one who would approve of Elizabeth raising a child while falsifying their gender, even if it was an Earl or anyone else.
However in this case, she planned to raise a male as a male, so there wasn’t a problem with that. It was actually reasonable.
So how the hell did it lead to such a result?
Even the relatives who knew the truth, couldn’t help but be puzzled when they looked back, because they couldn’t see the connection between the cause and result.
It was indeed terrifying, the tenacity of an enthusiastic fan sublimating into the level of being a religious fanatic.
Elizabeth educated Julius on a range of topics: Swordsmanship, horse-riding, literature, history, arithmetic, art, music, mannerism and so on. He was given an extensive, special education in both academic and practical lesson.
Of course, Elizabeth was an ordinary noblewoman so she wasn’t familiar with all subjects and could not teach them to Julius, herself. In practice, the respective teachers for each subject were in charge of teaching Julius.
Nevertheless, Elizabeth made sure to always be present in Julius’s classes. This was unusual behaviour for an ordinary noblewoman. She also meddled with educational plans in order to move it towards the direction she wanted.
The subjects Julius studied were appropriate for a noble’s son, it wasn’t anything special. Even if he was born into a noble house, everyone learnt the same thing.
However, Elizabeth meddled with his education and his lessons advanced towards a slightly diagonal direction.
For example in swordsmanship……
“As a noble, you must always try to make each movement flow elegantly.”
“It’s immodest, so don’t open your legs any further than necessary.”
“Huh? Immodest? Hmm, I understand.”
Julius and the instructor were puzzled at the instructions that she’d mixed in, but as a noble it wasn’t wrong to demand elegance in basic stances.
Therefore, they couldn’t argue even if they were both doubtful.
But then, she would also make absurd demands that they couldn’t comprehend.
“Keep your sweat to a minimum.”
Julius broke into cold sweat at Elizabeth’s demand. The instructor also broke out into cold sweat, and he would smile ambiguously because he didn’t know what he should do.
“Don’t get too close to other people. Keep your interactions light. More importantly, be careful not to let others touch around your chest area.”
“Why are you emphasising the chest area so much?”
“It’s absurd to let men touch you there.”
“Well, I don’t think other men would want to touch it……”
And then in dance……
“Refined movements are born from flexibility. Draw an arc, not a straight move.”
“Practice the moves for the female side too. You will be a considerate escort to your partner if you also learn it.”
Elizabeth’s teachings didn’t cut any corners, neither in practical skills nor academics.
“Mm, mother? I understand that I would be tested on the character’s emotions, but why have all the questions leant towards the woman’s emotions until now?”
“…… If you can thoroughly read a woman’s emotions then you can behave like a true gentleman.”
“I, I see……”
As a result, Julius grew up as a young man brimming with androgynous charm, just like Elizabeth had planned.
When the person in question and the surrounding people noticed that something was strange, it was already too late.
It goes without saying that everyone except for Elizabeth were at their wit’s end.
Elizabeth’s schemes didn’t stop at education.
She had intentionally spread the rumour shortly after Julius was born.
However, she didn’t go around publicly announcing that she was raising a female as a male.
Immediately after he was born, she boasted about him using expressions usually used for girls such as ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ at social functions.
Afterwards, the woman and young ladies was already under the preconception that a girl had been born based on Elizabeth’s story when the formal announcement of Earl’s Rosenberg’s heir was made.
Of course, the woman, who had heard the announcement, asked Elizabeth about the child’s gender but she remained silent while looking down sadly.
The imaginative noble woman imagined various delusions when they saw her appearance and rumours spread in no time.
…… They were unaware that they were dancing in Elizabeth’s palm.
Earl Rosenberg, who knew of the rumours, denied them. It was an unfounded rumour from the start and would be sorted out in time so he neglected it.
No one had expected that the rumour was smouldering secretly and that it would revive several years later.
No one except for Elizabeth.