Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
「Please pardon the intrusion. The time has come for you to change your clothes, Your Highness.」
Was it really that time already? While we were talking, we must have lost the track of time, because apparently the time of the feast was drawing near. Of course, the one who entered the room was one of the maids, holding in her hands the Princess’s change of clothes. It was then that the Princess announced that ‘That will be all for now.’, and so each one of us decided to go and prepare for the upcoming festivities.
Even though I was still skeptical about what my role would exactly need to be in the upcoming events, I had no time to really worry about things like that right now. The only thing I could do right now was to make sure that I would not get in the Princess’s way and that I would give it my all in order to support her properly.
* * *
Instead of the standing style banquet that we were all used to from the capital city, the feast here was held in a sitting style instead. So instead of standing up, we were all sitting on the floor that was covered in a thick and intricately woven rug, with lots of comfy and fluffy cushions on it.
The food that was served to us consisted of local gourmet cuisine, and it was so much different from what we were used to eating in the capital city. There was even a provisional stage right next to the place of festivities, with female dancers dancing on top of it while wearing colorful costumes and ringing the bells that were placed on their wrists and ankles. We were placed right next to the person who I presumed to be the mayor of the town, who was holding a huge goblet and was drinking from it in large quantities on a regular basis.
The Princess, who was made to be the star of the evening, was sitting right next to the young Medium, wearing a cute and magnificent dress brought with her all the way from the capital city. The dress was a really tight fit, accentuating the Princess’s slim figure, made out of crimson fabric and accentuated with silver thread, making it look as if the Princess was wearing the dancing flames themselves. The dress was making a nice contrast with the Princess’s silver hair, making her look even more beautiful than ever before.
Yes, when it comes to dresses, there could not have been a better choice for the Princess for this occasion. You would hear not a single word of complaint from me on the subject. Even when gazing at the Princess from afar, I could not feel anything else but happy for her for the occasion. However, the problem was laying somewhere else. Namely: in my own dress for the evening. I mean, I had something that I have brought together with me for the occasion, but how could I ever know that I would be taken together with the Princess and dress up by her personal maids?
For some reason or another, shortly before the banquet began I was invited by one of the Princess’s maids to come into the dressing room together with the Princess in order for them to find a dress that would be appropriate for me. So much to my surprise and opposition, it seems that I would also be the one who would get to be all dressed up alongside the Princess this evening.
Apparently the fact that we were dressing ourselves up was to show our good will and willingness to assimilate with the women of this town –––– It was also the reason why I was prevented from dressing in anything that would be of dark or straight up black color. With that being said, the grand fitting took place, and it took around five or six or even seven dresses before we could find the one that would suit me perfectly. But even so, these clothes were not something that an ordinary woman from the capital city was accustomed to wearing, so not only were they hot but they were also a little bit problematic to move in.
Speaking of my current dress, you would certainly be able to understand why I am feeling uncomfortable in it if you were to wear it yourselves. But aside from that it is quite easy to imagine the reason.
The dress contained very little fabric that left pretty much most of my skin exposed unobstructed to view. The cloth around the chest and waist area was additionally decorated with bells and golden ornaments that made a lot of noise with even the smallest of movements. Needless to say, the fact that everyone around could see my stomach and navel was making me feel really uncomfortable. As for the lower parts of my body, the dress consisted of tightly fitting shorts and the skirt that loosely flattered around. It looked as if its main job was to emphasize the legs and underline the waistline of the wearer. What’s more, the dress was brightly colored as well, all so that the Princess’s outfit could stand out even more amongst her people. And for someone like me, who would always prefer to wear clothes in plain and simple colors, wearing something so attention-turning was not comfortable in the slightest. No, let me be honest with you all since this is a rare opportunity. This whole situation right now was pretty much unbearable to me and I hated it.
No, even though I keep thinking that, I should be feeling grateful that the Princess readied some dresses to me and that one of them happened to fit me so perfectly. It was already more than I could have possibly asked for. I should also be thankful that this outfit was not any more revealing and that my body was not of the kind I would have to be ashamed of showing. There was also another thing to consider. Because of the dress’s color and the way that it was arranged on me, none of my few scars and marks were actually visible to anyone. So if it was not for me knowing that they were there in the first place, you would think they were non-existent. All thanks to the maid’s skills in dressing people up. The problem was somewhere else.
The mental hardship of it all was starting to take its toll on me. Plus, the dress was a really tight fit in SOME places, making me all the more self-conscious. My physical age was still young in this world, but when it comes to my actual, mental age, wearing clothes like that was something that was lighting up a red warning sign inside of me. I felt as if I was doing something that I absolutely should not be doing. Of course, no one else was aware of my circumstances, so it would not be as though someone would suddenly walk up to me and start criticizing me over my choice of clothes right now. What’s more, it appears that this kind of clothing is rather common around these parts. So no one should really be paying that much attention to me, since I was not really standing out from amongst the crowd all that much. In fact, everyone in here was wearing clothes like that, looking all colorful and beautiful beyond every measure, no matter the natives or the ones who came from the capital city, or no matter old or young.
But, but still. Other people sure look lovely in those clothes, but it’s a whole different matter when you praise someone for their outfit and when you end up wearing it yourself. Please, just give me a break here and let me change back into my own clothes. Every time the bells and the ornaments on my wrists and ankles shake and sway I start feeling anxious and I can’t relax at all, no matter how hard I try to do just that. The only salvation here was the thin veil that I was currently wearing around my face, which was effectively preventing anyone else from seeing just how red from embarrassment my cheeks currently were.
For me, it felt as though people might as well start attending this banquet in their undergarments if they were okay with wearing clothes like these on the daily basis. Maybe it was my own selfishness, maybe it was my own precognition that normal dresses were so much better. Maybe it was a mere embarrassment speaking through me or maybe it was a simple culture shock. Even the maids seemed to be embarrassed at first, right about now they managed to fight off their shame and were now carrying out their duties with as much excellence as usual. Talk about professionalism. It seems that I had a long way ahead of me to reach that level of adaptability.
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