Chapter 5: This place has no lack of strange folks
Updated: 28th May 2017
I climbed up from the bed immediately.
I had thought the room empty, but there was in fact a girl in maid get-up, grasping a cleaning rag and standing by the bedside with a nervous face.
Her age was close to mine with a head of thick red hair, and was a big-chested cute young girl.
What? Where had this girl come from?!?
Had I said anything that I should not? Nothing about leg-shaving, I hoped?
And, she even thought that I was lovers with Helmut!
She apologised to the horrified me, and then said.
“My name is Anneth and I work as maid here. I was cleaning the room when you suddenly returned and began talking to yourself while lying on the bed, so I had no chance to announce my presence. I truly have no ill-intentions.”
I blushed when I heard that.
“You… You heard me talking to myself?”
“Yes, I heard your tragic calls for ‘Helmut, Helmut’.”
“Watching you pining wholeheartedly for Lord Helmut, I can no longer remain silent.”
“Uwwah! T-t-this has got to be a misunderstanding! I am no lover of Helmut, just like camels and geese can’t possibly fall in love!”
Helmut after King Cecello? Why should there be so many rumours between me and other men? And it had to be THAT seedy fellow! Just the mere thought of him raised goose-bumps on my skin!
Hearing my determined answer, Anneth let out a sigh of relief.
“That is great ~ I have just been thinking: what should I do if you happened to be lovers with Lord Helmut. God, just the mere thought is making my stomach hurt and blood rushing into my head. Ohoohoo, that’s really great.~ ”
She repeated “that’s great” with a reddened face.
Was this girl in love with Helmut?
Wwwwwwhat? For such a cute girl to like that fellow?!?
“When Lord Helmut first came to Eren as a diplomat, every girl working in the palace was asking: ‘who could that gorgeous black-haired man be?’. I was also as if I was struck by a bolt of lightning. What a handsome man, with such elegant voice and smile, and holding even elite status… Superb!”
How disgusting, for a lovely girl like her with such large assets, positive and ordinary demeanour that completely fitted my type, to actually had interest in Helmut!
If you judged based on his appearance alone, Helmut was indeed a handsome elite diplomat, but his true face was that of a cold-blooded swindler who forced innocent young boys into cross-dress before selling them off to foreign countries!
Even if his conduct seemed gentle, he was actually a complete sadist with outrageous attitude, and his insides must definitely be as black as the ink of a squid. As a male myself, I guarantee!
Sigh, what a pity, for such a pretty girl, such an adorable young girl… slightly shorter than myself, with chest large enough to jiggle, eyes that shined with life and cheerful voice…
Helmut that b*****, I really wanted to bash him into a bloody pulp, and pull his pants down to reveal half his backside!
“That’s right, from the moment I first laid my eyes on him, I knew he would be a perfect match with His Majesty.”
This conversation seemed to be going in a strange direction?
“Who did you say is a good match with whom?”
“That is of course Lord Helmut and King Cecello! Just think about it, with His Majesty’s exceptional beauty and charisma, as well as high status, it is truly difficult to find a matching partner, right? And everyone surrounding Him is far too old. His Majesty’s close aide Lord Luther is younger than Him, and looks very cute too, but he is definitely a Bottom* (uke, for more info, please check P.S.) no matter how you look at him, so there’s no way to picture him pushing His Majesty over. In my opinion, His Majesty is absolutely, completely a Bottom, and not a Top* (same, see uke)! That is a point I will never concede!”
What was this girl talking about?
What were the meanings of Top and Bottom? And what was it all about pushing His Majesty over?
Anneth continued in breathless excitement:
“If Lord Helmut and His Majesty were to stand together, the picture becomes perfect, and they would certainly have millions of chances to interact and spar. The pairing of the monarch of a small kingdom and the diplomat of a large empire is also highly attractive, just take for example the other day when Lord Helmut arrived, the two of them immediately locked themselves into a small room. Using the might of Winstoria Empire, the black-hearted Lord Helmut exacted preposterous demands, while His Majesty, shamed and trembling, surrendered for the sake of his people… Magnifique! His Majesty rebuffed at first, but gave in at last to the charms of Lord Helmut after the heat of every steamy night, and is absolutely tortured because of it… Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can’t take it any more!”
If you asked me my impressions right then, that was probably how it was like.
Huh? Heat of every steamy night? The King already had the Queen! He so loved His wife that they had 6 kids in total, and the way He laid His eyes on her almost gave Him away as a resident of the Kingdom of Wife-Lovers. How would He ever do something like that with Helmut!
“His Majesty is an ABSOLUTE BOTTOM! You agree too, don’t you?”
Under her fascinating appeal, I could not help but felt forced to nod. Just what the peaches did Top and Bottom mean?
Hearing my reply, Anneth grasped my hands with joy all over her cheerful smiling face.
“Right! Right! So happy ~~~ You too support Lord Helmut x His Majesty King Cecello! Cece-Mut is completely heresy, Helmu-Llo is the divine path! Oh, I had just been holding onto the cleaning rag, so I am truly sorry. I had thought that geniuses like Glinda would be far too highbrow for commoners like us, but hey, looks like it isn’t really like that. Can I directly call you ‘Glinda’? You can also just call me ‘Anneth’.”
“Uh… Ok… Anneth…”
“I will focus on expounding on Helmu-Llo this year! I would bring you my next publication the next time I come.”
There was even a publication of it! A book about the hot steamy nights of Lord Helmut x King Cecello!
“Oh no! I still have not completed my chores. See you again, Glinda, if there’s anything that you don’t understand in this castle, just ask me about it! But you must also trade me information of Lord Helmut, His Majesty and Their royal highness (Princes)!”
“What is it?”
“Would you happen to be another relative of His Majesty, or some daughter of the nobles?”
This, after all, was a country where even the Queen put on a maid’s garb and served guests, so it would not be surprising at all if some duke’s daughter was washing the socks.
Anneth gave a little shake, and smiled, saying.
“No way, my family owned a bakery in the city. My home has seven children, and there’s no room in the house, so I came to the palace to work.”
“Yes! The bread we baked with cherry and fig is the most delicious!”
Anneth displayed a smile as glorious as the sun, and then left in a hurry.
Prior to coming to Eren, Fleury, that girl who l I fell in love with but was rejected by, had also been working in a bakery…
Oh, so Anneth’s family opened a bakery.
This information made me strangely delighted, and my chest began to feel regular beats, but I immediately remembered Anneth’s speech earlier and felt a headache rising.
~~His Majesty is an absolute BOTTOM!
For such a pretty adorable young girl, with such ample assets, warm and cheerful character…
No matter how you looked at her, it was an absolute pity.
“… There seems to be no lack of crazies in this country.”
As Anneth left the room, I gave a shrug and went for a stroll around the courtyard.
“The Queen is a maid, and the King is an ageless cultural relic…”
My working hours were only in the mornings, so I had free time in the afternoons, and if we were to just discuss the working conditions, there could be no better. But the threat of being exposed at any time was about to give me stomach ulcers…
The reason for the stroll, therefore, was to familiarize myself with the escape routes in case I had to run for it.
Spring had almost come to an end, and the beginnings of summer had started to reveal itself in the lush greenery of the woods in the courtyard, where bright sunlight pierced through the canopy of leaves.
“Isn’t this palace a little too large?”
Ten minutes into the stroll, I let out a shout of dismay. Just the building proper would have occupied a huge area, and there was an immensely well-maintained and beautiful garden out front, followed by a forest in the outer circle!
The Queen had said that she nearly got in deep trouble while picking mushrooms out here and getting lost. She even warned me with a completely serious face that I had to be careful of the ground underfoot because there might be swamps and pools of water below. At that time, I had thought “Was the Queen just directionally-challenged?” Or maybe just prone to getting lost? But now when I actually entered this forest, I realised that I might even be lost in its depth myself!
There were several layers of walls outside of the forest, and a moat filled with water outside of them.
Until 10 years ago, the isolation faction and its counter were still fighting perpetually, so this castle was fortified into a fortress, so its current appearance was probably a left-over effect of that time.
But, as it was, there was no way for me to escape.
Muah, forget it. It should be easier to get out than to come in, so I should first map out my routes of escape.
As I quietly muttered while planning, a lonely sound flowed from within the forest.
The sad notes took root in my heart, commanding me to draw closer towards the direction of their source.
I had zilch talents with music, and the only instrument I could use was the tambourine.
But since I had grown up in the city known as the Capital of Music, Vienna, where you could hear music in just about anywhere, I had had the opportunity to listen to, and be moved to tears by all kinds of music, from the road-side basking violins to concerts of famed musicians.
If we were to talk just about music appreciation, I was pretty confident in my abilities.
Therefore I could declare that the handler of that violin possessed extraordinary talents.
This silver colour that shined with nobility and charm like jewels.
Despite that, felt so delicate, so sad, and so lonely.
Who was the one that was producing this music?
In rich green forest filled with straight boughs, stood a young girl with a violin in her hands.
I was speechless with surprise.
It was like a scene out of the fables.
Amongst the thin boles of the surrounding trees, an even slimmer and more delicate beauty was playing the violin.
A small hand held the glistening dark brown of beautiful instrument, a white cheek tilted to the side as support, pulling and drawing the bow of the violin. The long silver hair seemed to be absorbing the bright sunlight directly from above, and gave off a cold sparkle in its soft waver.
Princess Seira closed her eyes in deep concentration while pulling on the violin.
The sad transparent melody vibrated in the air.
Silver hair dreamily swayed.
These sounds… such notes… to think that they were produced at the hands of this juvenile Princess!
The melody stopped then.
Princess Seira lifted her head towards me.
As our eyes met, my heart almost leapt out in fear.
“Ohohoh, my apologies for disrupting your practice! You played the violin really well… Urh, no, I mean…”
At least give me a response!
Princess Seira continued to keep her face close to the violin, looking at me coldly without even moving a hair on her brows. I was obviously scared stiff in apprehension.
~~ Why does Teacher cross-dress?
The doubts that she had earlier this morning seemed to be about to pop out from her portrait-like beautiful lips at any moment, and I could hardly stop myself from sweating in fear.
“Uh, that, about what you asked yesterday, I am not really cross-dressing as a woman… Ooh! Is it because I made a mistake and said ‘your servant*’(Boku, a Jap pronoun see below)? That is just a habit, since I have always wanted to be a boy when I was young. Even now I still accidentally say that, so… even if your humble servant says ‘your servant’, it doesn’t mean that I am a male… Ah! I said it again!”
Obviously I was just digging myself deeper, and totally felt like dying already.
Princess Seria’s pair of amethyst eyes continued to observe me in silence.
Peach-pink coloured lips gradually opened…
“Heheh! So that’s where you are! Ms Glinda!”
The pot-bellied uncle appeared with pomp while leading a troop of officials behind him.
The edgy atmosphere vanished without a trace in an instant.
What was with this uncle? What’s going on?
Uhoh, this old uncle who kept glaring at me previously in the welcoming ceremony had caused me much discomfort, but he seemed extraordinarily polite today.
“We have been trying to locate you for a long time now, in order to seek the wisdom of the all-powerful genius Ms Glinda.”
He said in a flattering voice.
“I am the Chief Minister Gaston. Ara, to have a girl-genius such as Ms Glinda visit Eren makes us all feel so privileged and thankful! Heard that Lady Glinda is an unrivalled genius who will not be stumbled by anything in the world!”
“I-I am not really that smart…”
That’s right, the smart one was Glinda, while I was just a NEET who failed college-preparatory exams.
“Hahaha, that’s too humble of you. With the great wisdom of a genius like Ms Glinda, all our troubles will soon disappear. Alright then, please come with us.”
“Oh, w-wait …”
That uncle tugged my hand tightly while the top officials of Eren surrounded me all over as if to examine a divine bird out of a legend, looking at me worshipfully. Their expressions said, “Genius Ms Glinda would definitely have a way.”
Where were they taking me to? What were they planning to do to me?
I was different from Glinda! I was no genius! Just a poor commoner suffering from some deficiency in testosterone that made my skin smoother than the usual! And a resident from the Kingdom of a Million Heartbreaks that could not write a love letter to save his skin!
Princess Seira nonchalantly stared at my gaping and closing mouth while I was dragged away by Chief Minister Gaston.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh! God help me ~~~!
“That, I still have to prepare for tomorrow’s lessons…”
“Ms Glinda is a genius, what do those things matter.”
“No, no, no such thing, I am just an ordinary person…”
“Hahaha, Ms Glinda sure knows how to joke around.”
Please let go of my hand! Fat uncle! The grease was about to make me puke!
Teary-eyed, I was brought to some research facility inside some corner of the palace.
The air was thick with a murderous aura in this research facility, with occasional grunts of anger sounding.
“E-everyone seems so busy here, I guess I shouldn’t be disturbing…”
But when that bunch of people noticed my presence…
“Why it’s the person herself!”
Everyone rushed over gleefully towards me.
Ooooohhhhh! Even if I were to be greeted by such a huge crowd of men, I would not be pleased. In fact, my face was turning red.
An architect called Satchel reverently said to the petrified me “Lady Glinda must definitely offer us her wisdom”, then spread out an immense blueprint.
“The Ionie River outside of the city often overflows, and we are preparing to build a dyke around it.”
He continued to pour out a flood of technical terms for well over twenty minutes, before asking me: “Well, what do you think?” while everyone looked on with eyes full of hopeful expectations.
T-those eyes were obviously awaiting me to provide some ingenious pointers!
I felt cold all over.
If it was Glinda, she would just elegantly resolve the problem, winning glamour and praises from everyone all over. But I was just an ordinary boy! How could I possibly know anything about aqua-engineering, or bridge-building and such? My level of skill was just sufficient to build some bird’s house or fix the fence around our home, and even this blueprint was giving me a headache just from looking at it.
Minister Gaston glared at me, sneering.
“Oh? What’s wrong, Ms Glinda? Your face doesn’t look too good, Could-It-Be, the widely-acclaimed invincible scholar, the so-called gem of wisdom from the Winstoria Empire – Girl-genius Lady Glinda, could not even solve a problem of this level?”
This guy was definitely one of those fellows who abused their wives!
Uwwwuuuuuu… Oh no, my eyes were blurring over. This time they would definitely discover that I was an imposter, and I would soon be dragged off as a cross-dressing criminal of the state to be imprisoned or executed…
“Uww… T-that, this place here… maybe should be ‘slightly’… “
Imagining the noose around my neck, I randomly pointed at the blueprint.
“I am sorry? Would you mind elaborating a little?”
If there was anyway to elaborate, would I still be sweating like this? Please read the mood a little, Satchel~~
It was just then –
“Huh? That is!”
Satchel suddenly glued his face atop of the blueprints, carefully examining it.
“Huhuhu… So that’s what it is…”
The surrounding crowd also began to let out “Huhu” or gasps of “Ah”.
Then, everyone began whispering with Satchel in the centre, and then suddenly all looked towards me with looks teeming in respect.
“You have our utmost gratitude, Lady Glinda. But for your help in pointing out this severe issue, we would still be lost. To be capable of going straight at the heart of the problem, as expected of the acclaimed genius!”
Satchel grasped my hand tightly, the surrounding people heaping words like “Truly genius”, “To be able to see the answer right away”, “Lady Glinda saved our lives” or “Lady Glinda is truly our lives’ saviour”.
“Urg… Humph, such small problems are of course trivial to geniuses.”
Only Minister Gaston had a sour face as he threw out those words.
Even though I still had no idea what was going on, it seemed like it had been resolved.
“We’ve heard that Ms Glinda is also well-versed in the study of economics. Please grant us your wisdom.”
Minister Gaston dragged me somewhere else.
My knowledge of economics was just limited to weekly discounts offered by shopping malls in the Winstoria Empire…
In a beat, we had arrived at the Finance Ministry headquarters.
“Hoho! It’s Lady Glinda!”
“We have been awaiting your arrival! Regarding this problem in our accounts, we wish to discuss something with you.”
The crowd brought over a stack of numbers-covered documents that seemed thick enough to serve as a murder weapon. I was dazzled by the sight alone. The end. This was surely the end of me. I trembled as I pretended to peruse the books…
I muttered with a frozen gaze.
“Hoho, any comments?”
The surrounding financial department officials peered over from my two sides.
Everyone focused their lines of sight suspiciously on the page I was looking at, and suddenly exclaimed: ”Eureka! All that we had to do is to bring the remaining sums from this side to the other side for manipulation!”, “Hoho, then there will be not need to raise the taxes! As expected of Lady Glinda!”
Despite not understanding what ‘this side’ and ‘that side’ meant, I dully nodded to accept their praises.
Again Lord Gaston grunted in displeasure.
“Humph~~~ There’s something else!”
Lord Gaston dragged me away while gnashing his teeth.
No matter where I got dragged over to, however, all that I managed to do was to take a glance and mutter something unintelligible, before everyone else said in reverence.
“So that is it! It is just like that!”
“As expected of the ingenious Lady Glinda!”
There was even this bent rheumatic old secretary with sore back who skipped lightly while holding my hand.
“My backache disappeared! It’s a miracle!”
“Do you see that? Even just one small touch is sufficient to cure! As expected of Ms Glinda!”
“It’s like the legends coming alive!”
Were the people of Eren Kingdom always this gullible…
Was it really so easy to succeed? Was the title of being a genius really so potent?
No, there had got to be some trick awaiting me…
I sensed an air of killing intent. Glancing over, I saw Chief Minister scowling furiously at me like an unfed baited gorilla.
“T-that… It is about time for me to go for my marathon practice…”
The disquiet in my heart warned me to run away as quickly as possible, but a claw-like hand stopped me.
Lord Gaston showed a little smile to my cowering body.
“I have heard that Lady Glinda is capable of defeating 10000 men alone. If that’s really the case, your skills in martial arts must be exemplary.”
My challenger was a young man named Jerome who shouldered a humongous broad sword.
He was a blue-eyed blond pretty-boy with exquisite five features who held the commanding seat of the knight company. With only one of his arm, he could swing a large sword that was almost as high as my body.
“Ha, you’re asking someone as handsome and strong as me to fight with a girl in lacy dress? Spare me please; if it gets out that I hit girls, my reputation’s gonna get tarnished.”
“You must give no quarter! Jerome! The opponent is a genius, so you must give your all! Spare no effort to beat her down! If you lose, I am going to deduct your wages!”
Chief Minister Gaston shouted.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jeez. Uncle, why do you always force me into such pointless stuff?”
The pretty-boy knight sulked.
On the training grounds of the castle, crowds of knights and soldiers waited to watch our duel.
“Hey, who do you think will win?”
“Most likely it’s gonna be Jerome. Even though he likes to boast around, his skill is top notch. No matter how wise the genius is, she’s no match for a man’s muscle strength.”
“No, but since it’s Lady Glinda, maybe she can actually win.”
“Today’s definitely going to be an exciting match. I must go boast to those dudes who aren’t on duty!”
Ohohoho, such heavy expectations… huge pressure…
I was just a scrawny boy! I had never lifted anything heavier than a spade, and was a pacifist who even released the fishes I fished up!
Besides, this… this huge sword… the edge seemed to be gleaming brightly… was it actually real?
“Hey, who would bring this lady a set of armour?”
The pretty-boy knight yelled towards the watching crowd.
Was this duel so deadly as to require the need of armour?
“There’s no need.”
A calm voice sounded on the training grounds.
Huah! It was Princess Seira! Why was she here?
The eldest Princess Seira was just 9 years of age, but emitted a stern air of impenetrability all over. She coldly commanded.
“Teacher Glinda does not require any armour.”
Huh? What did that mean? Was she setting me up?
Alarm filled all who were present.
“Oh, since Lady Glinda is a genius, she has no need for armour?”
“As expected of Lady Glinda!”
Wait a second! It was not I who said anything! It was obviously Princess Seira who…
“Ha! Interesting! Alright, then let’s begin! I shall teach you, that women should not tread lightly into the battles of men, and just follow obediently!”
A vein seemed to have popped on the head of the handsome knight as he screamed, probably mistaking my refusal (not mine exactly, it was Princess Seira) of armour as a challenge to his ego.
Wah! Help! If Glinda was here, she would definitely have a way of defusing this crisis, such as by hypnotising the opponent into believing himself as a pigeon; or, having completely researched into the weaknesses of the opponent even before the battle began, just whisper a word that completely shatter the opponent’s morale as soon as the battle began.
But, I could not possibly do any of those things!
“You have best surrender! Ms Genius! Or you may really get hurt!”
The knight pompously flicked his golden hair and pointed his huge sword towards me, its edges gleaming in a dangerous light.
Uwwaaaaah! If that thing was to slice at me, even my bones would be sliced apart!
I could care less about impressions at this stage! Only by pleading surrender and ending this farce of a duel would a commoner like I be able to survive!
The sword was about to fall.
I kneeled forward with my sword.
The handsome knight gave a shocked scream.
Strange? I looked up just to see him trip and barrel-rolled violently.
The gigantic sword was swung into the sky before dropping and stabbing into the ground beside me.
Much further away, the head-over-heels knight fell keeled over.
The crowds around us fell as silent as a cemetery.
Princess Seira watched on coldly.
A minute later, cheers resounded throughout the training grounds.
“Absolute genius! To be able to avoid Jerome’s attack just at the right instant, and even throw him aside by borrowing his momentum!”
“I had thought that she would use her sword, but to win just by her hand-to-hand skills alone! Just how calculated is her application of skills?”
“That calm and easy manner with which she won is unbelievable! This is the mark of a genius!”
I had just wanted kneel down and surrender, but that seemed to have made handsome-knight Jerome miss his target and fall over by himself.
The pretty-boy knight crawled over in pain, moaning.
“Uwwwuu~~~ For me to lose to a woman! Why can’t I read any of your moves! How the hell did those thin arms manage to throw me aside? Is that witchcraft?!?”
You just fell by yourself…
“Fool! I have told you not to be careless! I will deduct your pay! And demote you!”
Lord Gaston shouted.
“That, I really should be returning to my room… See, even the sun is setting…”
The sunset washed over the buildings in a red glow and crows cawed mournfully in the sky.
Chief Minister Gaston’s face became so swollen that steam almost escaped from it, muttering, and then said while glaring.
“Even this is not enough to proof that Ms Glinda is a talent suitable for our country! The real test lies in next month’s marathon competition!”
What marathon competition?
That night, Anneth visited me after her shift ended and cleared my doubts.
“There is a marathon competition next month organized personally by His Majesty, and it has been divided into two competitive groups, one for men and the other for women and children. The top runner of this competition would be awarded a luxurious gift. All members of the royal family will be participating in it.”
“Huh, huh? The King, the Queen and even all the Princes and Princesses would be participating?”
What was the big deal that even the royal family would be taking part?
But Anneth replied without any surprise.
“That is right. You see, this idea actually came from Her Majesty. The Queen actually loved marathons, and won the 2nd prize in a competition when she was in elementary school. This is so memorable for Her that His Majesty, who dotes on the Queen so much, decided to organize a marathon competition open to the public.”
Wow, were all affairs of royalty so easily decided? It reminded me of Sultan Harihasan who outlawed causing any injury to cats because of his favourite cat-loving concubine. This ruler who ruled over a desert country a thousand years ago even built monuments and palaces everywhere for the sake of his favourite concubine. I guessed he must have been the neighbour of King Cecello in the Kingdom of Wife-Lovers.
“Any foreigners who wish to participate in it must first pass an initial round and be judged fit. The ministers felt that this could cause excessive burden on the issue of security, and so requested that only the people within the capital be allowed to take part. But His Majesty overrode them, saying that only a non-discriminatory competition would have any meaning in it.”
“Hoho, so that’s how it comes to be.”
“Besides, this will serve to show other countries that Eren is safe and peaceful, as well as increase the common-folk’s trust in the royal family.”
So it was not held only for the sake of the Queen. King Cecello’s legendary wisdom was no mere rumour.
As I pondered over such things…
“Glinda really notices things that commoners like us can never even imagine! So cool!”
Anneth looked at me with eyes filled with respect.
Then she smiled adorably towards me, causing me much embarrassment.
Nah, I was just an armchair political commentator who enjoyed picking at the reports of newspaper and the tabloids for their shallow analysis. This much was truly nothing… Haha…
Anneth was really cute… I wish I could go on a date with her. We could go on a picnic in the fields… while I cross-dressed?
While I lamented, Anneth exclaimed with stars in her eyes:
“But, to prepare for this marathon run, they must begin repairing the roads and paths even in the face of insufficient manpower. Oh, the hardship it causes would become the trigger for deeper camaraderie between men of all rank and files!”
Huh? Somehow the topic became a little distant…
“Situations such as when the gorgeous senior passes out from pure fatigue! The normally stern and guarded senior collapses on the shoulder of his underling! The long-enduring underling is also fabulous~~~ Of course, the senior is the Bottom, while the junior is the Top!”
Here it comes! Top and Bottom again!
“Satchel, that architect in charge of aqua-engineering, and his immediate subordinate Luka give off a hot atmosphere. Luka seems to enjoy touching Satchel, and Satchel doesn’t seem to mind either, even secretly passing his manual to him. Ooooohhhh! My nose bleeds just from the thought of it! Fred and Guy from the Labour Department also look suspicious! Lyon and Alec from the Finance even share their clothes! Those two must definitely be in a relationship!”
“That… Is that so…”
“Definitely! A 100 percent!”
Anneth shot me a thumbs-up while winking to assure me. The topic had totally gone on a cruise…
“Hu… I thought we were talking about the marathon run competition…”
“Ah, that’s right. That’s why I say that marathons are the best! Gleaming muscles and flying sweat drops are matchless combinations! The painfully panting Bottom and the Top who embraces him at the finishing line! Marvellous!”
My head was starting to spin from the ache… She was so adorable… Why…
“That is why I would be watching romantic competition of the men’s group, but I would also cheer for you, so you must fight!”
“Aren’t you also participating in the competitions? Chief Minister Gaston has already announced to everyone, he said that ‘Because Lady Glinda is a genius, she would be taking part in the men’s group. She can definitely defeat the weak men of Eren Kingdom and win the top prize.’”
“What’s wrong, Glinda? Your face doesn’t look too good.”
“… I want to go run 100 rounds around the castle right now…”
“There’s definitely no problem for you! That’s because you are a genius! You even easily defeated Jerome of the Knights Brigade. Jerome may look handsome, but is actually a narcissistic and irritating fool, so everyone is elated. Glinda is awesome! You would definitely finish first in the race!”
At the sight of Anneth’s sparkling eyes while saying such things, I could hardly say that I was no good at running.
Another person who was equally frustrated with the marathon race was none other than its instigator – Her Majesty, the Queen.
“What to do, Teacher? In an entire year, there is only a single half-day when I actually enjoy a marathon race, and that is during its closing ceremony. For the rest of the 364.5 days, I hate it and would even pray fervently at the ‘teru teru bozu’ dolls every day before the race that there would be rain on the day of the competition.
When I was in the 4th year of elementary school, I was the second place for the girl’s competition in my class of 12, and that was only because the ten in front of me all got lost. But Mother felt that I would most likely never again win any prizes involving exercises, so she baked a cake to celebrate it with me. You should understand now that I run as fast as a tortoise? Boohoo, what should I do? Everyone knows that I would be participating in the marathon run, so there’s no way I can shirk from it now. All I said was that I can still remember the pain of running the marathons… I never said that I wanted to run…”
Her eyes began to glaze over with tears as if throwing accusation at the King.
Muah, if that was really the case, She should have made clear Her thoughts to His Majesty earlier. Then King Cecello who so adored His wife would never have organized a race to torture His most beloved.
In the end, the King was telling everyone all over:
“The one who suggested the marathon race is Her Majesty, everyone should participate. That way, the Queen would be overjoyed.”
As it was, there was no way for the Queen now to shun the race. And that went for me as well.
“Ms Glinda is a genius, so she will win easily! If she lost, she will have to do a head-stand while wearing a skirt!”
Chief Minister Gaston was announcing such to everyone.
Sir Jerome who had been sent flying by me (?) also said.
“I will never lose this marathon competition! If I win, I will make her put on this pair of dog ears while barking, ‘Arf! Woof!’. Of course, I would do the same if I were to lose!”
He twirled a headband decorated with dog’s ears in his finger as he announced it.
If I were to say that I did not want to participate in the marathon race now, nobody would accent to it.
Not only that, I was apparently listed among the prospective top winners already.
“The top prize would definitely go to Ms Glinda! That’s because she’s a genius!”
“I would also cheer for Ms Glinda!”
Hearing that bunch of people who arbitrarily decided to form my cheer-leading team, I could feel my ulcer reacting.
Besides that, another group within the army said:
“Even if she is a genius, it is an utter disgrace to lose to a girl! We must steal all three top places, and all who do not make the top 100 places will have their pay deducted!”
They began to train every morning in high spirit.
Even people from the clerical departments staked their honour and said:
“We must not be looked down upon by the soldiers!”
According to the news, the atmosphere outside of the palace was even more intense.
“The winner would be awarded a great prize!”
“We can see the royal family!”
It was a complete festive mood.
From the successfully completed roadwork, tightening of security, and furore of improved moods, it could be said that His Majesty’s decision to organize a marathon competition had already borne fruits.
But, the colour of my complexion paled with each closing day, as did the pain in my stomach worsened.
“Uwuuwuu… Teacher Glinda, we must keep fighting…”
The Queen gripped my two hands with her eyes clouded over in tears, but the only thing I could do was to help Her Majesty with her manufacture of ‘teru teru bozu’ dolls.
It was at this time that, Helmut, who had departed for nearly half a month, returned to Eren Kingdom.
“What’s this? What a funny-looking accessory.”
Helmut looked at the window hung full with ‘teru teru bozu’ and asked in apprehension.
In the hometown of Her Majesty, apparently people believed that by crafting a doll from a piece of white cloth wrapped around some cotton, then drawing on it the eyes and the mouth, they could summon forth sun-shine by hanging those dolls upright, and call forth rain by hanging them upside-down.
“Let’s pray that it would summon a great flood like that in the legendary Genesis.”
I mumbled in despair and Helmut seemed to have caught on. He displayed that unbelievably cheerful smile of his.
“Countries everywhere are all abuzz with news of Lady Glinda’s registry for the King’s marathon run competition, even saying that if she cannot win the 1st prize, she would put on a dog-ears headband and do headstands while wearing a skirt and barking: ‘Woof! Arf!’”
“The tabloids have done it now! Uwwuuuwuu… I promised no such things; it is Chief Minister Gaston who went all by himself to spread all those rumours. That old uncle has been glaring and marking me since day 1, and even now looks for all kinds of means to bully me.”
“Hoho, that’s because Gaston belongs to the Orlando faction.”
The Orlando Kingdom was my father’s hometown, and was also known as the Kingdom of Chivalry that prided itself in its martial prowess. When our parents passed away from an accident, Glinda and I continued to stay on in Orlando until we were 5 years old.
“Despite its small size, Eren Kingdom has temperate environmental conditions and still much undeveloped lands and resources. Until 10 years ago, this country is still known as the ‘isolated kingdom’, but after opening up to the outside world, it has vigorously absorbed culture and technology from outside and been developing non-stop.
It is within expectations that the Eren Kingdom would become even more prosperous, more affluent, and more powerful in the future. Therefore, every country has been fighting to create diplomatic ties with Eren under terms that are most beneficial to themselves. And for that purpose, every country offered up the best things in their possession as gifts to seal those pacts. The Kingdom of Chivalry Orlando offered strength of might, while the Economic Superpower Rubinia offered money and labour.”
In the midst of all these offers, King Cecello chose the Empire of Knowledge and Arts which offered the promise of sending over the omnipotent-genius Glinda as the royal tutor – the Winstoria Empire.
“The King of Eren Kingdom made a very wise decision. Orlando’s military aid and Rubinia’s wealth are both very tempting offers, but that would also chain down the kingdom into relying on them. Our Imperial Highness could see through this point, and just offered Winstoria Empire’s gem: girl-genius Glinda. It spoke of His wisdom.”
“Chief Minister Gaston wanted to forge the alliance with Orlando Kingdom?”
“That’s right. That’s why he sees you as a thorn in his side.”
No wonder, then, that he kept bullying me, looking as if he wanted to chase me away! The intricacies of politics had reached the point of domestic uproar! My shoulders sunk in complete enervation.
“… If I could not achieve top in this race, would I have to do headstands wearing a skirt?”
“That won’t do, if you display any unladylike character, it would disgrace the reputation of the Winstoria Empire. His Imperial Highness would also be displeased, and it may jeopardise the relationship of our two countries. You must never do that.”
Helmut said as-a-matter-of-factly.
“Then, how am I supposed to win in this contest?”
“If it had been Glinda, she would never have allowed things to proceed on to this current situation. Sigh, Sher-chan is so useless.”
My temper shot up by a mile. How dare you take this attitude towards me when you were the one who abandoned me to my fate for well-nigh half a month! What did you imagine I felt when I strung on the corset every morning! Even though my skills with the brow-trimmer and walking while in a long-dress had greatly improved, I could feel no pride!
“Then hurry and bring the real Glinda over! Isn’t the Intelligence Agency of Winstoria Empire the best in the world?”
“Our Intel Agency is truly the best in the world. Despite sending out our best agents on the trails of Glinda, we could find no trace of her, but obtained information about a young girl who single-handedly ended the tribal feud in the Oter Desert to the south, and news of a mysterious scientist who discovered a new strain of potatoes in the Etonia Kingdom to the north, as well as a few other similar intelligence.”
“Apparently they are all so highly skilled! So why haven’t they caught her yet? Just give them all the sack!”
“That’s because Glinda is just that good. As expected of our country’s national treasure.”
“Stop trivialising me! And stop smiling like that when you say it!”
“Ara, it has just been half a month of not seeing you, Sher-chan, how did you manage to become so spiteful? When we first met, you were just shivering like a little rabbit, not even capable of proper speech. Just look how you’ve grown.”
Just the sound of him imitating the warm speech of a senior was enough to make me faint. This fellow was totally unmoved.
“… How about you run this race for me then.”
“That won’t do. The entry of Ms Glinda has already become the focus of this competition.”
“But, my stamina at running has always been at rock-bottom. And if I were to do headstands while wearing a skirt, Winstoria Empire’s reputation would be damaged. As a man, I am not too offended by people seeing my underwear, but I certainly don’t want anyone to see me in a lady’s undies.”
I insisted in a huff, and even Helmut gave a serious sigh.
“It can’t be helped. Although this would be breaking the rules a little…”
Helmut placed some stuff on the table.
“These are tripod spikes laced with anaesthetics. These are some very potent laxatives. The test-tube contains many live wasps. In addition, this here is a voodoo doll, which despite its frivolous appearance, is apparently quite effective. It was said that when the renowned idol-queen Emily broke her legs in an accident and lost her crown to the runner-up newcomer Hilda, she claimed that Hilda had placed a hex on her with this doll.”
“I have no wish to hear such dangerous topics about women.”
“Is that so? Then just use these things to settle the issue.”
“Tripod spikes and laxatives are hardly <breaking the rules a little>! It is totally disregarding the rules! How is it that you carry around such diabolical things around?”
“Being a diplomat is in fact a demanding job that put your life in constant danger. Ara, It is about time for me to get to work. Sher-chan, for the sake of the alliance between the Winstoria Empire and Eren Kingom, you must definitely win this race.”
“Oh, and there’s still these pads. I’m sure those from before are insufficient, right? I have specially ordered for you some of those that are softer, more comfy, and less prone to slipping off. Also, here are some model answers to the Imperial College examinations that Glinda scored full marks for when she was just 7. Sher-chan should work hard too, so as not to expose yourself.”
Saying this, Helmut left after handing me a dozen of pads and a thick book of model exam answers.
After his departure, Anneth came in immediately and bombarded me like a battery of cannonfire:
“Hey, tell me please, how long would Lord Helmut be staying? Did he say anything about His Majesty being so handsome and lovely that he wants to push him down and do those kinds of things?”
My mood sunk even deeper.
Be it Mr Voodoo Doll, or Ms ‘teru teru bozu’, please just deliver me from this marathon run.
Even as I continued to be trapped in my helplessness, it was now the day before the marathon run.
I hugged the thick book of model answers close while continued to practice barking like a dog as I went for a little afternoon stroll in the courtyard. Just then, I bumped into Prince Ryuuju who was training in short sleeves and shorts.
Prince Ryuuju was nothing like his twin sisters Princesses Sarasa and Orie who complained, “What marathon run competition? How unbelievably tiresome!” Instead, he trained diligently every morning and afternoon for long periods.
For all his tough talks, he was also a diligent worker. Muah, what an excellent child.
In comparison, I should really reflect on myself.
Just then, he noticed me.
He instantly widened his eyes, frowned and stiffened his face.
To this day he was still keeping me at arm’s length, thinking probably that I was a female vixen who peeped on his bath and even pushed him over.
“Training for the marathon? Your Highness Prince Ryuuju is so hard-working.”
I said in the tone of a kind big sister archetype, but he just tightened his lips, backed away slowly, and then shouted with a blushing face.
“I… I have not been looking at your chest! And don’t care about women who peep on baths like you!”
He fled after throwing those words out.
He probably was still mindful of his little sisters’ teasing words, but seeing his obvious display of hostility still hurt my feelings. UWuuWuu…
I walked towards a fountain in the courtyard and collapse-sat on its edge while stretching out my legs.
“… Don’t mind it.”
Came a sudden voice. I closed my legs in a panic.
Looking upwards, a pair of amethyst transparent eyes had been staring directly at me.
Kya! Here it comes again! Why was this Princess always appearing from nowhere, coldly staring at me?
Was she threatening me with “I know your secret”? But, it seemed that she had not yet told anyone else that I was a man. What really was her purpose? So puzzling.
Then again, why was I getting so worked up over a 9 year old kid…
“… Elder Brother Ryuuju may sometimes say some inappropriate words when he is shy. That is not his true intentions.”
Huh? Was she consoling me?
But, both her words and expression were as monotonous as usual.
“Eh… Princess Seira, don’t you detest me?”
Princess Seira had an expression of shock when she heard those words.
“Because, when I was duelling with Jerome, you said there was no need for me to have armour…”
I could still remember it because I was still somewhat bitter about it.
But, Princess Seira calmly replied.
“… That’s because armour is too heavy, and I think that Teacher won’t be able to move well in it.”
So she had not been setting me up, but was actually helping me.
“Is that so! Sorry! I had been mistaken about Your Highness, Princess Seira…”
I stood in a rush, and the thick book of exam solutions fell from my laps in my hurry. Princess Seira picked it up.
“Winstoria Imperial College’s … past entry exam papers?”
“Wha! That’s not really mine! Why would a genius like me need to refer to something like that!”
“… This answer is wrong.”
“Is there a pen anywhere?”
“Oh? Uh… here.”
I handed her the pen that I always carried around. She took it and breezily began to solve the problems.
She completed them one after another with the proficiency of an expert, almost as if she knew the answers like the back of her hands.
What was she? Was I just seeing things? Was this child some sage from somewhere? Oh right, now that I thought about it, she also completed my exam in a couple of minutes the other day…
I was just about to think that I might actually be able to get along with her, but seeing this monstrous ability shocked me so much that I took hold of her slim shoulders.
Princess Seira looked up in surprise and silver hair brushed against the back of my hand.
“I have been wanting to tell you this… That, maybe you have thought I am a cross-dressing pervert, but that is not the case at all! If I do not cross-dress, there may be great trouble between the Winstoria Empire and Eren Kingdom! So, I mean, please, don’t tell others that I am not Glinda!”
I said while bowing my head.
After a moment of silence, a calm voice said.
“… Teacher is saying that, it is not that Ms Glinda is actually a man, but rather Teacher is not even Ms Glinda in the first place?”
Noooooooooo! I had dug myself deeper again!
I dumbly looked up with a gaping mouth, but there began an eerie silence.
Princess Seira stared at me with an empty gaze that I had never seen before.
So hollow and devoid of emotions that a chill raised through my spine, it was almost like being bewitched.
“… So, you could not ‘see that’?”
“W-what do you mean?”
Could not see what?
Princess Seira ignored my question and displayed an expression of disappointment, then returned to her western-doll like poker-face.
“… If you are ‘not Ms Glinda’, tomorrow in the race, you have best not get too close to Elder Brother Ryuuju.”
She flatly said, as if prophesising or maybe it was a warning.
A chilling sensation ran over the top of my back.
Princess Seira elegantly retreated. My hands, which had been on her slim shoulders, held only thin air.
“Hey! What is that supposed to mean?”
She ignored my shout, and left on her own. I was dumbfounded as I stood rooted to the ground.
Returning to my own room, I checked through the model answers book that Princess Seira worked on. She had gotten every questions correct.
1. Uke is the Bottom in a yaoi relationship (i.e. the one on the receiving end)
2. Same is the Top in a yaoi relationship
3. Boku is a pronoun of how young boys address themselves.
4. teru teru bozu is a Japanese traditional doll/wind-chime that is made simply by wrapping a piece of white cloth around a ball of cotton and tying it up to form something like a ghost. It is hung right-side up to beseech sun and upside-down to plea for rain in farming communities.
(© SKP2017 and girlyboysalliance.mozello.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.)
Dress Boku Vol. 1
© SKP2017 and girlyboysalliance.mozello.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's authorand/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SKP2017 and girlyboyalliance.mozello.com with appropriate and specific direction to original content.
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© SKP2017 and girlyboysalliance.mozello.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SKP2017 and girlyboysalliance.mozello.com with appropriate and specific direction to original content.