Even by modern standards, the design looked quite…bold. To think I’d see something like that in this era… The dress used quite a number of different colored silks: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The design looked like it was meant to resemble a rainbow. Aside from the garish color combination, the shape of the dress itself was quite something to behold. The puffs on the shoulders were big enough to hide watermelons inside them, and the neckline had a massive amount of fur on the trim, enough to look like the mane of a lion. The designer said this was the dress was all the rage right now, but I think he just came here to get rid of his unsellable trash….
Miss Jeremie the responded, “This one seems good.”
What?! I almost burst into the room in a fit of rage. You’re actually thinking of making Blanche wear something that atrocious? If Blanche wears something as horrendous as that…! She’d still be lovely! Yes. Blanche was adorable no matter what she wore. Perhaps Miss Jeremie was aware of that and that’s the reason she purchased it? Or maybe Blanche is into rainbows? Tastes can vary wildly from person to person.
I took a look at Blanche’s reaction. Ah, her feet completely stopped moving. Her once happy face distorted into one of dread. She reminded me of a puppy I raised in the past. It used to make that face when I took it to the vet after telling it we were going for a walk… Blanche looked exactly like that puppy right now. That face… made my heart palpitate! Sob, Blanche, you really don’t like that dress, do you?!
Blanche stared blankly at the dress for a bit before saying, “U-um…. Miss Jeremie.”
“What’s wrong, Princess?” Miss Jeremie smiled. But her smile seemed rather strict, in a way.
Blanche flinched away after looking at Miss Jeremie’s face. “I-it’s nothing…”
Miss Jeremie gave Blanche another smile before talking with the designer again. Hmm… That was strange. Has Miss Jeremie really been that clueless this whole time? The woman started picking more and more dresses without a moment’s hesitation. Ugh… I want to pick dresses for Blanche, too! I wonder what kind of dresses would look good on Blanche? And what style of dress she likes?
….Hmm? Style? I felt something was off for a second. What style of dress did Blanche like?
She didn’t saying anything as Miss Jeremie continued selecting dresses. All she did was stare agape after looking at the rainbow dress. Was she leaving everything to Miss Jeremie because she didn’t feel like picking them out herself? No, that didn’t seem to be the case. She looked extremely shocked when she saw the rainbow dress, but periodically when the designer pulled out a new dress, her eyes lit up.
And then, the designer took out his last dress. I didn’t miss how much Blanche’s eyes sparkled at that moment. It was a bright pink dress, more cute than beautiful. And seeing the patterns of flowers embroidered all over it, it really fit the season. The designer smiled brightly, “This dress too, is very popular right now. What do you think, Miss Jeremie?”
Miss Jeremie took a short look at the dress, then waved it away in dismissal. “Such a dress would not suit the princess. We’ll go on with the dresses I selected earlier.”
“Understood. I’ll get to work on those dresses today, then.” The designer got to work organizing the dresses back into their boxes.
Blanche stared down at the floor looking depressed. N-no! My poor little Blanche! Her precious dresses are going to be…! I couldn’t just stand there and watch. If the designer got sent off now, Blanche would look like a clown all spring!
I knocked lightly a few times, then immediately stepped into the room. The people inside bowed down with a surprised look on their faces. “Welcome, Your Majesty.”
“W-welcome, Lady Abigail.” Blanche jumped off her seat to greet me. Her head was so small and round, so much like a cat that I almost started to pet her without even realizing.
Ugh, patience, patience. I tore my eyes off of the girl to look at Miss Jeremie. “I heard a designer was visiting. How fares the spring clothing selection for Blanche?”
“Yes. We just finished ordering everything, Your Majesty,” Miss Jeremie answered politely.
I snuck a glance at the Designer. He looked quite pale. I turned to look at myself in the reflection of the window next to me. Whoa, this is… a face worthy of an R rating. I looked so scary with these eyes, for real. “I’d love to see the dresses you selected.”
“Yes, of course, Your Majesty.” The designer brought someone in to take all the dresses he just packed back out again. There were tens of dresses in the box, but there weren’t any that Blanche actually seemed to want.
I looked at the dresses for a bit before turning my head to Blanche. The girl sat still like a little doll. “Blanche, do you have any dresses you’re particularly fond of out of these?” I tried to look as kind as possible.
Blanche clumsily responded to me, “Ah, um… I like all of them.”
“I see.” Hm. Blanche didn’t seem like she wanted to answer honestly in front of everyone. I walked over to a different box and opened it.
I know I saw the designer put the pink dress in here just a moment ago. I could feel Miss Jeremie being quite troubled by my actions, but I had no choice. She might be Blanche’s nanny, but I’m her stepmother. I have a right to interfere. “I must say, this one looks much prettier to me. What are your thoughts, Princess Blanche?” I picked up the pink dress and held it in front of Blanche.
The girl seemed a little shocked, but after a moment, she managed to nod a few times at me. “Yes, yes! It’s pretty…!”
“Then let’s go with this one.” I also remembered she looked happy when she saw that sky blue dress earlier. I dug through a different box to find the it. “And this one, Blanche?”
“Yes, it’s pretty…!” Life returned to Blanche’s blue eyes, and they sparkled like a pond in the morning light.
Good, good. Let’s find a few more like these that Blanche adores. I’m pretty sure there were more than just these she liked. The problem was, I didn’t remember the others at all… But that’s no problem at all, for you see, I’m the queen of this country! “Excellent. A good princess who answers honestly should be awarded.”
Just like the story of the honest woodcutter, people who answer honestly get rewarded. I turned to the designer. “Bring me all the dresses here, fitted for Blanche. I will pay for it.” The moment I said this, the entire room completely froze. No one seemed to believe what I was saying.
Even the maids were surprised. Only the designer looked extremely happy here, seriously.
The one who broke the silence was Miss Jeremie. She spoke to me with a smile on her face. “Your Majesty, I may be overstepping my bounds here, but the princess’ budget doesn’t allow us to buy all the dresses here.”
“And that would be why I said I’d pay for it. Meaning using my budget, so there shouldn’t be any issue whatsoever.” I can just skip out on my own spring dresses for this year. It’s not like I needed any more of them anyway. Abigail was a big believer in wasting money, so her cabinets were filled to the brim with shoes and clothes.
Miss Jeremie didn’t say anything further, though she didn’t look well. And then I felt someone lightly tug on my dress. When I looked down, I saw Blanche right next to me. The girl was looking at me with desperation on her face. “U-um…. Lady Abigail… I’m fine. I don’t want you to miss out on buying clothes just because of me…”
Was this out of fear of Abigail? Looking into her eyes, that didn’t seem to be the case. The girl genuinely felt sorry for me, I felt it in her gaze. My nose began to sting a little. Is this kid an angel?
I crouched down, trying my best not to smile, and got to Blanche’s eye level. “It’s fine, Blanche. I didn’t plan on buying anything since I already have so much to wear.”
“B-but…” Blanche became rather sad. She didn’t have to feel so sorry for me….
I tried to speak as kindly as I could, “Could you grant me one request, though?”
“Yes? Yes!” This kid looked ready to do anything. She even had her hands all bunched up into fists and everything.
“When the dresses arrive, pick out one the you really like and show it to me. I want you to show off your favorite dress for me.” Then I would be able to see which dresses Blanche prefers.
She seemed pretty confused by my request, though. “Is that… all?”
“Yes. That’s enough.” It was more than enough, really. Thinking of the girl wearing pretty clothes already got my blood pumping. “I’ll be going, then. Oh, Blanche, it almost slipped my mind, I came here to give you this gift.” I put forth the two shoeboxes.
When I saw Blanche hesitating to accept the gift, I whispered to her in her ear, “Show me your dress while wearing these shoes. I can take that as a repayment.” I put the shoes on the table, and looked around at the people in the room. Miss Jeremie seemed like she had just seen a ghost. “Now I’ll be going. See you all next time.”
I left the room, leaving behind the confused Blanche. The moment I left, I let out a large sigh. Ah, I thought my heart was going to explode. I’ve never done anything like this before… My hands are shaking. But I managed to help Blanche, so all’s well that ends well! I calmed my heart for a moment in the hallway, but then, I heard an urgent voice from behind.
“W-wait, Lady Abigail…!” The moment I turned back, I saw Blanche. Was she running? Her shoulders were rising up and down.
“Yes, Blanche? Is there something wrong?”
“U-um…” Blanche paused for a moment before poking out her foot out from under her skirt for me. Her shoes were shining in the sunlight. The laced socks and mary jane shoes complemented each other perfectly. She was already wearing the shoes I gave her. Her feet were so tiny, making the shoes look like they were actually made for a doll. I did think they would look good, but this was almost cheating…
“You said… You wanted to see me wearing these, so…” The girl fumbled over her words a bit, and her face was completely red from being so nervous, but she still managed to smile as she looked at me. “I really love them. Thank you very very much…”
TL: Soju Jimmy
Editor/QC: Solistia Cosmopolitan