The head maid, Bridget Dee, was in a hurry.
As she opened the door to the dressing room to choose the Queen’s dress for the evening… it was covered in something looking like sesame seeds. It was at least some sort of seed.
“Eek! What is this!? The perpetrator will receive a hundred spankings as punishment! With a whip!!!”
While screaming unfitting of a head maid, she attempted to clean up the room. Then, she noticed it.
The seeds weren’t only on the floor. Or more precisely, it was falling down from something. It was most likely… yeah. From the dress. A beautiful, jewel-adorned dress.
“THIS IS THE WORST! Hey! Not the one the queen will wear at the evening party tonight!! What do I do now!?”
Seeing her shout like that was shocking. These sesame-like seeds… No, the plant seeds sticking to the clothes… she had to remove all the bur in 3 hours!? That was simply unreasonable. She had to prepare another dress. After hurrying to the second dressing room, she shouted once again.
The dressing room that had a sturdy lock was covered in the bur! This was unbelievable!
The way of harassment, similar to a grudge from hitting one’s pinky on the corner of drawers, being multiplied by 100, gave Bridget Dee a headache.
Well, no matter the smallminded harassment, it was difficult to clean up perfectly in 3 hours. The queen’s dress for the evening party tonight was gone.
How was she supposed to report that? She tottered toward the queen’s room.
The queen said,
“Hmm, I see. Then I won’t wear it tonight.”
“Will you not make an appearance at the evening party, your highness?”
The queen showed the proudest smile in the world.
“I said the dress was unnecessary.”
At the time of the evening party. Delphine Bougée triumphed like a large flower.
With all her dresses being ruined, rumors circulated in high society that the Queen had given up on wearing a dress.
She unfolded a purple folding fan and snickered. it was the right decision to put on black clothing and spread the bur herself after having despaired that Sarah Magne escaped.
Well, if anyone had witnessed her putting on black clothing and rubbing seeds on the dresses, her life would probably be over…
(Hehe, well, it’s fine… With this, I will be the one to shine tonight. High society will be mine.
Compared to me, who holds the power over high society tonight, and the Queen who fled from showing her face at the party for the first time, the flow of the factions would definitely lean toward me.
The former king belongs to me, and the current king also cares about me… I can’t afford to lose this position…! That’s right, this high society… is like a field I’ve cultivated myself…! The nobles are all like my potatoes…)
She used an expression of a farmer.
Despite her beauty, Delphine’s way of thinking was pretty much like a farmer's.
She was originally a daughter of an agriculture-oriented barony and became like this in the end. She played outside a lot by making flower wreaths, and as a child, she used to pick flowers and brush off ants before sucking the nectar. Since you can’t see it at all based on her appearance, she was often mistaken as a dancer.
In spite of her perfect etiquette, she would display a strange amount of knowledge about farming, which made the former king love her, but she didn’t realize this herself.
Which was why the official mistress of the farming family was triumphant.
That the Queen wouldn’t come would mean that high society would whisper that Delphine was more favorable. On top of being a woman in an aristocratic society, scheming and succeeding was, in a sense, the meaning of their existence.
“Lady Delphine, you have a lovely attire today, too.”
“Lady Delphine… You are so beautiful today…”
The way everyone was swarming to her like this gave her such a good feeling. Was this what ‘drunk with victory’ meant?
However, this dream only lasted for an instant.
In the back of the party hall, where splendid stairs led up to a large balcony, the soldiers removed their hands and her temporary triumph was over.
“The King and Queen are entering!”
Delphine stared at the balcony.
There, the King and Queen stood.
The King had the usual beautifully adorned mantle on. The Queen was… dressed in male clothing.
In one beat, everyone started whispering in chaos. There were tons of ladies erupting in screams. She was too handsome. She was the Sunshine Queen, Victoria.
“Wh-wha…! To think the Queen would come in male clothing to the royal ball! If she thinks such rude imitation would–”
“Well, how rude how rude! But, for some reason, she is like a carrot with a split tip so it cannot be sold!!”
That example was slightly uncalled for.
“Listen, Lady Bougée. I am the rule.”
Everyone saw a halo overflowing from behind Victoria. She was crazily proud.
King Frederick next to her thought, “No, I am the rule…”, but didn’t want to fan the flames and kept silent. Afterward, when it was only the two of them, he would caution her to not say those things.
Dressed as a man, the Queen descended the stairs with a smile.
Her golden hair was loosely tied, and even just her backside was beautiful. The dazzling hair held together by a black silk ribbon was like the light itself. A deep red embroidery adorned her jacket. Her beautiful eyes had a strong and direct gaze. Finally, her entire being radiated royalty. Whatever the case, she couldn’t look like a refreshingly handsome man.
The elder aristocrats recognized the clothing to be King Frederick’s clothes when he was younger. She was wearing his clothes so nonchalantly.
Delphine cleared her throat and covered her mouth with the folding fan.
“To say that you are the rule in front of His Majesty and the nobles… A Queen is quite an important person, huh.”
“Even if you call them nobles, they are all of the Gloria Family. Well, a Queen is important.”
The Queen said it all in one beat.
“However, I should also follow the etiquette to some extent.”
“...Oh my, I did not know that. There are rumors of the Queen being a strong and brave woman everyone bowed down to.”
“I see. Is that so? Will you be my partner for one song?”
“Were you not listening to me?”
Hearing the Queen’s absurd reply, Delphine snapped, but when the Queen extended a hand to her, she took it defiantly. The current song was a fast-paced waltz. She planned to ruin the male partner’s dance since she wasn’t used to it to make her trip and fall.
Curious about the sudden duel between the current queen and the king’s former mistress, the surrounding aristocrats gathered around them. Someone whispered, “Monster VS Monster”, excitedly. Who are you calling a monster?
The waltz resounded. The two of them started dancing.
The corners of Delphine’s mouth tugged upwards into a smirk. Falling while dancing was a disgrace for a woman. Even though she had given her an indirect warning… Even though she had told her not to come to the ball.
She would make the Queen who came anyway lose so much face she won’t be able to go out anymore.
It was supposed to go that way.
(What… What is this… Amazing!)
The moment she took her hand, and they started moving, the Queen was too skilled at dancing, at leading, and Delphine wasn’t able to do anything but follow.
When Delphine moved to the right, the Queen would casually support her weight with her arm. The strength in her arm, when she turned her, was exquisite.
(Amazing… It’s so easy to dance… This is the first time…!”
Her body was as light as a feather. She hadn’t even been able to lose the squishy fat despite going on a diet every day. Even when she did as originally planned and tried catching her foot, she easily dodged it and incorporated it into a dance move.
When Delphine turned, the surrounding nobles applauded. How strange, they didn’t have that much interest in their dangerous battle before.
“...What is it?”
“Did you ask me for a dance because you wanted an opportunity to speak one-on-one with me?”
Indeed, if they spoke quietly while dancing, the surrounding nobles wouldn’t heat them, the concubine thought.
“You probably do not like me.”
“No way… To dislike the Queen…”
“I will not ask you what you did. A bur is stuck in your hair, but I will not ask if it relates to my dresses.”
She exposed her in a composed manner.
“Lady Delphine, I do not particularly mind that you dislike me. Live as you like and enjoy your life.”
It was the first time Delphine had been told to enjoy her life. It was the words of a supreme ruler.
“However… you better stop stringing your followers along your treason.”
“...You mean Sarah.”
“Yes. I will permit it once, but there is no second time. I will not allow it, the law will not allow it. You would not like that girl to die, would you?”
Sarah was like a pink puppy. Having missed her, Sarah smiled and let out a small sigh. Delphine Bougée was not good at ruthlessly dismissing her. Having lost her temper after they mentioned her age, she sent the soldiers and butler away to the farmland. The crops improved after that.
If Sarah died… just thinking about it caused a faint pain in her chest to erupt.
The Queen spoke as she lead Delphine.
“I can tell when we are speaking this close. You are an affectionate lady who will not discard what you long for. Even when you could have thrown away Lady Sarah, you did not. I like that about you. Rumors have it you are a dancer, but in reality, you are the daughter of a barony on the frontiers with a bewitching appearance and impeccable manners. You must have worked hard to become a concubine. If you were not the former King’s concubine, I would have told you, I like you no matter what you are!”
“Engrave it into your heart…”
She was confessed to.
Not only that, in the interval between the dancing steps, they made close contact, and the Queen whispered the last part close to her ear. In a low, husky voice. It had an outrageous destructive power, like a king in a dating sim.
Delphine barely endured it with the wisdom of her age.
But her heart couldn’t bear it. Let alone her waist, her whole body throbbed from the force of a fracture. Did she use enchantment magic? She was falling down from the force. What was this?
The song ended.
“Your dance was great,” the Queen said with a smile and bowed.
Delphine raised the hem of her beautiful dress and curtsied.
The dazzling dance caused the royal court to become cheerful and applause echoed around them. Lately, the nobles had been clapping their hands without really knowing what was going on, but now they clapped loudly, confident it was the right time.
The encounter between Delphine Bougée, the hydrangea of the royal palace, and the dazzling queen, Victoria Winner Ostwen, occurred.
Delphine left the Queen in a composed manner. After that, she lived her life normally, though it was said that a fan club wanting the Queen to dress up as a man again was secretly started in the royal palace.
The founder seemed to be a “lady who likes carrots”, but it was unknown who it was.