Ch. 66 May We Enter? (2)
Blaise mansion found itself busy the next day, as there were two dresses to mend before the ball. The most passionate about it was Mirabelle.
“Stand here for a moment, sister.”
Mirabelle began to measure Elena by hand. The dresses Carlisle had sent were so beautiful it seemed to have reignited Mirabelle’s inspiration to create. Elena had never seen her sister’s eyes lit with such fervor, and Elena stared at her curiously.
“Would you like to study abroad in Freegrand?”
“What? Study abroad?”
Freegrand was most well-known on the continent for fashion. And unlike the Ruford Empire, which still balked at the economic advancement of women, Freegrand was a free kingdom with no discrimination whatsoever in that respect. As a result, it was also a place where many enterprising women gathered.
Mirabelle gave a surprised expression as if she never entertained the idea before, but soon she smiled softly and shook her head.
“Tuition is expensive there. And Father probably wouldn’t let me.”
“If you didn’t have to worry about tuition and if Father allows you to go, would you do it?”
She couldn’t be honest about her circumstances with Mirabelle now, but Elena would be able to pay the tuition as soon as she became crown princess. No matter what life her lovely sister may choose lead, Elena hoped Mirabelle would be free do what she loved as much as possible.
“Well…I haven’t thought about it before so I can’t say.”
“Think about it. I’ll do whatever it takes for you.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Mirabelle smiled in gratitude as she held a pin in her hand. Elena warmed at her sister’s expression.
Mary, the maid behind them who was working the sewing machine, turned to Mirabelle in haste.
“Young Lady, what do I do with this?”
Mirabelle headed straight over to inspect the jammed machine.
“Oh, this is…”
As Elena watched Mirabelle take charge in the mending of their dresses, it occurred to Elena that Mirabelle looked quite like their mother.
The rest of the day flew by as fast as light. Elena, Mirabelle and the maids in the mansion worked together to complete the dresses in time.
“It’s done, sister! Come and have a look.”
Elena followed Mirabelle into the dressing room in anticipation.
She couldn’t help but stare with her mouth open. Although she had seen the intermediate process, it was her first time to see final product of their labor.
“These are our dresses?”
Elena’s voice trembled and Mirabelle gave an enthusiastic nod.
“Yes! Aren’t they beautiful? We didn’t do much to the overall design, but simply made some adjustments to fit our shape. The originals were already perfect, but I thought it would be better to tailor them to suit ourselves.”
“Mirabelle, this is so perfect.”
Elena’s exclamation brought a blush to Mirabelle’s cheeks.
“We all worked hard together. The results turned out better than I expected.”
Mirabelle was being modest, but she had created a complete reinterpretation of the style. Mirabelle’s dress was an unusual black one, with a large ribbon around her neck and a luxurious gold pattern decorated at her skirt.
Elena’s dress was a lovely pink one. The shoulders were bare, emphasizing her feminine allure, and there was rich layered skirt, giving a floating and elegant feeling. She was sure the original dresses they weren’t as perfect as this. With Elena’s slim figure and Mirabelle’s petite one, more parts of the dress were newly created than expected.
“Your dress was made to showcase the red diamond necklace, especially given how priceless it is.”
Elena had temporarily forgotten about the necklace. She followed with a startled look on her face.
“Yes, the one you’ll wear at the ball. Then I’ll try it sometime, but not now! I’ll take care of it even if it’s on loan.”
Mirabelle’s wasn’t wrong, so Elena nodded awkwardly. In truth she didn’t have to go to the ball wearing the necklace, but she promised to accept whatever Carlisle sent without complaint. Since she would wear it only once anyway before returning it, she decided to accept his sincerity and not worry too much about it anymore. They would create a scene of love at first sight at the ball, and she had to look beautiful to make it convincing as possible.
“You’ve done a wonderful job on these dresses. Thank you for your efforts, Mirabelle.”
Mirabelle smiled happily and took her sister’s hand to pull her away.
“Now that we’ve finished the dresses, let’s get some skin care.”
“Of course! I want my sister to be crowned the Madonna of the ball.”
“I don’t think that’s possible…”
Despite Elena’s pessimism, Mirabelle only hurried her on.
“Come on, come on!”
“I get it.”
The two walked along smilingly.
The evening of the ball.
A great line of carriages streamed through the imperial palace’s gates. One of them was emblazoned with the seal of House Blaise.
The carriages entered in order, until at last the Blaise carriage arrived at the entrance. A herald announced the names in a booming voice.
“The children of Count Blaise.”
When the herald’s voice died away, a servant opened the door of the carriage. There was a red carpet from the carriage to the entrance of the palace.
Elena’s foot gently dipped out onto the carpet.
The man with the invitation did a double take at Elena then dropped the list he was holding. The crowd about them, thrilled by the excitement of the ball, ceased all action to look at the woman emerging.
Hair like molten gold and snow-white skin. An exquisite red diamond necklace twinned with red jewel-like eyes. The young woman emerged fully from the carriage, her motion as supple as water and wearing a dress so stunning it was enough to catch everyone’s breaths. It was like seeing an otherworldly beauty.
Elena, who got out first, held her hand out to Mirabelle.
“Be careful when getting off, Mirabelle.”
The emergence of a new girl took people’s breaths again. Elena turned towards the herald and found him staring at them.
“May we enter?”
“O-oh yes! Please come in.”
He appointed a servant to serve as their guide, and Elena and Mirabelle soon entered the palace, holding each other’s hands warmly.