Chapter 34: Much Ado About Dresses
“Prince Siegward and Liselotte Onee-sama… just the other day, you two were actually able to finally understand each other’s feelings… right?”
A few moments after Liselotte fled wildly from the parlour, slamming the door behind her, Finne asked me that question with a dubious look on her face.
“That’s what I thought, but who really knows?”
I grimaced a little as I responded to Liselotte’s little sister, who gave me a similar smile in return.
“Well, it’s definitely no lie that things have gotten a little… sweeter…? When it’s just the two of us, at least. But, when there’s someone else, it’s like nothing much has changed… Or rather, could she actually be getting worse…? Well, it’s not as if I’m going to stop trying to be close to her just because she gets so shy… besides, it’s really adorable, so isn’t it fine?”
Listening to my words, Finne nodded in agreement with a satisfied looking smile on her face.
“Yeah, an always calm and composed Onee-sama wouldn’t really be Onee-sama at all, would she? But… what exactly should we do about the dresses now?”
Today was Thanksgiving and, although there was still some time before the Autumn Ball, I had come to the Riefenstahl household to help Liselotte pick out her dress.
Although Liselotte had been with us in the parlour just moments ago, the moment Finne and I both suggested trying on dresses for the ball, Liselotte fled.
“Hmm… Well, if she won’t even let us prepare it, there’s no way she’s going to wear it… it’s kind of sad, huh…?”
Liselotte was adamant in insisting that, on the day of the ball, she wouldn’t wear a dress but instead wanted to wear something more athletic, after hearing the prophecy of the Gods that stated that the Ancient Witch would appear on that night.
Since this was the last time we would be able to participate together in the autumn ball as students, I pleaded with that I desperately wanted to see my cute fiancée in a dress, with Finne nodding right alongside me in agreement, but as we did Liselotte turned a deep shade of red and pushed past us to escape.
“Wouldn’t it be fine if she wore a dress that was easy to move around in? If we get rid of both the train and the petticoat and pull the hem of the dress slightly above the ankle… No, maybe even shorter than that?”
We would also need to make sure that the dress is loose fitting enough not to restrict her movement, as well as her footwork…?”
『Eh, now that I think about it, won’t fighting in high heels be really hard as well?』
『I don’t think Rize-tan would take it well if people see the hem of her dress get dirty because of a fight outdoors, either.』
As I discussed the dress with Finne, Coebayashay and Endow’s voice suddenly broke in between us.
If they’re here, does that mean Liselotte has returned as well?
Knock knock knock…
“Excuse my intrusion.”
With a final knock, it was Baldur who spoke at the same time he opened the door. He must have been the one who brought the Gods with him.
“Oh, Bard-senpai…? Ah, I get it. Onee-sama told you to come here because she didn’t want us two to be alone together, right?”
Baldur silently nodded at Finne’s question.
The estate of Marquis Riefenstahl and that of the Viscount from the branch family in the capital are adjacent to each other, but they are separate properties.
I’m sure that Liese must have rushed across the road and then sent Baldur running over here like that.
“Um, Lies-… Liselotte also asked me to ask Your Highness if she could be lent a uniform of a female royal guard?”
Baldur, who had been strictly banned from using Liselotte’s nickname, walked over to my side to relay her question.
『Royal guard…? Wait, what kind of clothes are those?』
As Endow asked that question with a puzzled tone of voice, Coebayashay suddenly sounded quite excited.
『It’s a military uniform! It’s a white uniform with gold on top! I remember that you sometimes saw those guards with the characters from the royal family, and the embroidery and buttons on their clothes looked really expensive!』
“They have long wide-legged pants, but the woman’s uniform also has longer sleeves than the men’s and has a parting in the back of the jacket… is that right?”
As Finne asked that, I nodded slightly, but noticed that Baldur did almost the exact same movement simultaneously. I felt a little awkward.
But, just as I urged him to go and sit down next to Finne, Coebayashay’s voice suddenly boomed.
『Let’s do that! I wanna see a uniformed Rize-tan!! Cross-dressing…! Well, not quite, but I absolutely have to see this cool rare version of Rize-tan!!』
This isn’t commentary, it’s just a demand, isn’t it…? Well, I’m not going to lie and say I’m not interested in seeing Liese in uniform. I will humbly follow the Goddess’ instructions.
“Well, I don’t see why not? It’s made to be easy to fight in and it shouldn’t be an issue to attend an event like a ball wearing something that finely made… I’ll have one lent to her, or at least tailored to Liese’s size.”
As I said that, Finne nodded happily whilst Baldur didn’t do a good job of hiding his sigh of relief. Just what exactly did my fiancee say to him?
“…Finne, will you be wearing the same?”
Suddenly, Baldur asked his sweetheart Finne that question. Come to think of it, we hadn’t talked at all about what Finne would wear, since both she and I were so focused on how Liselotte would be dressed.
“No… Unlike Onee-sama, long pants like that wouldn’t really fit me at all… And, I mean, if I stand next to Onee-sama wearing the same uniform, I’d look silly compared to her… More importantly, white and gold are Your Highness’ colours, so I definitely won’t!”
For some reason, Finne suddenly looked flustered.
『To think that Liselotte’s dere side would come out in such a waaaaay!?』
『So it wasn’t just about wearing the same sort of uniform that Rizepapa and Baldur would, naturally she was conscious about Sieg as well.』
The Gods quickly realized what Finne meant as they praised Liselotte’s cuteness in my ear.
Was I thinking the same way? Of course.
“Ah… Well, Miss Finne, did you want to wear the kind of dress I mentioned earlier?”
I forced myself to keep the conversation going with a light smile, as I felt my face twisting into something strange the longer that silence dragged on, whilst Finne turned around at my voice. Looking like she was pondering for a moment, she finally began to speak.
“Hmm… No, I think I need to wear something that’s more comfortable for my fighting style, but… What should I do… Maybe a looser pair of pants, but are maybe much shorter than Onee-sama’s… something like that…?”
『Like a young noble boy’s pants…? Arabian style…? Like a pirate, even…? Actually, if they were puffier, maybe like a magical girl’s…?』
Coebayashay ruminated over Finne’s words, muttering phrases I couldn’t even begin to understand the meaning of with a deadly serious voice.
I wonder if she’s just thinking aloud? Or are these a new series of requests from the Goddess to see Finne try on certain styles of clothing?
『But, in the same, didn’t she wear a below knee-length dress with boots? That should be fine, right?』
『Ah, yeah, that was cute too, huh?』
Coebayashay didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about it compared to before, but nonetheless she still agreed with Endow’s words.
“Then, let’s go with that. A commoner’s dress with magical hand-to-hand fighting adjustments… something like that!”
Finne seemed happy with that idea. That being said, I had absolutely no idea what she meant.
Well, it’s not as if I have any say in the design of her dress. Finne had made a request for the Riefenstahl family’s personal tailor to come to their home today for Liselotte’s sake, but now… Well, I wish you good luck, Mister Tailor.
“Even though it is supposed to be a formal wear ball, only students, faculty and assigned staff can actually attend the ball, no? I think it should be fine if the dress is slightly casual.”
Finne looked relieved at my words.
That being said, I don’t think there’s a single person who would dare talk badly about Finne behind her back now.
At the beginning of the semester, there were quite a few people who, angry about a commoner attending school with them, spread vulgar rumours about Finne’s background, but a lot of that stopped after I made it clear we were friends and Liselotte also decided to do something about it herself. Liselotte’s efforts bore fruit after the summer vacation when the fact that the two of them had become sisters became known to everyone.
What’s more, Finne began to gather a lot of friends of her own because of her ability and how approachable she was, and of course, the fact that she was now daughter to a Marquis helped. So, maybe she could become a trendsetter… Maybe that commoner’s dress with magical hand-to-hand fighting adjustments of hers could become popular? Even if I have no idea what that is.
“Well, I suppose if the style has already been settled on, all that’s left is for the both of you to discuss what colours you’ll be wearing. As for me, I think I’m going to go and check on Liselotte.”
As I stood up and turned to leave, I caught a glimpse of those two looking into each other’s eyes with awkward smiles.
『Liselotte is… Ah, that was easy, she’s sulking in her room as you’d expect.』
As I heard the words of Endow, who must be able to see where she was, a wry smile spread across my face. Let’s hurry up and see her, then.
『Seeing Rize-tan and cheering her up is more important than watching Baru and Finne get all lovey-dovey. Please hurry over to her room.』
“W-We aren’t being lovey-dovey at all!”
Hearing Coebayashay’s words, Finne suddenly shouted as her face turned a bright shade of red, but Baldur who couldn’t hear the words of the Goddess had a deeply sad expression on his face.
“Just what happened…? Are you turning into… Liselotte…?”
As Baldur slowly asked that question, Finne’s blush somehow intensified and her mouth hung agape.
Certainly, taken at face value it would seem like she doesn’t want to act lovey-dovey with him at all, but if we apply the same Soon d’Rey lens that I use for Liselotte, then isn’t she just saying that she doesn’t want to act lovey-dovey in front of others?
If that’s the case, as the one intruding I should make myself scarce and leave quickly.
I left that parlour as quickly as I could.