It was as Schuden said. The next day, the number of guests in the temple began to increase. The building where Valia was staying was not that noisy. This was because only certain guests were allowed to enter the building, but it could also be because of the fact that the number of priests that roamed around leisurely had been visibly cut by half.
Shaun went to the main building to respond to a sudden meeting. It was one such meeting that had requested Valia’s presence.
“You cannot take a walk today, Milady. What to do…”
“I’m fine, so don’t worry, Robin.”
Unlike Valia, Robin was rather anxious. Then again, taking a walk in the backyard was part of her regular routine, But she could not do so anymore. So it was only natural for him to be bothered. However, Valia did not really care. She just took walks because she had nothing to do.
‘Besides, somehow, I’m not looking forward to it.’
Maybe it was because she strolled the backyard with Schuden yesterday. But now that it was still such a long time before she could see him again, Valia’s walks in the backyard had to be taken alone. Until the very day before yesterday, she was fine with that. But now, she did not feel like walking anymore. She felt like someone who ate the most delicious part of the cake first.
“Maybe I should get armor and a helmet for you!”
“Armor and a helmet?”
“Yes. If you take a walk wearing the helmet, no one will be able to guess who you are.”
Valia laughed out loud. The young knight, who looked a couple of years younger than herself, said something that was like a joke quite seriously. Probably even now, Valia was sure it was from the bottom of his heart.
“If I need it later, please get one for me.”
Robin replied loudly. Valia smiled brightly. Contrary to Robin’s worries, she was not very bored. There was a library for the guests inside the building where the guest room was located. There were many books, and Valia had borrowed some of her favorite books there. Her plan for today was to spend the day reading books.
That was her original plan.
“Greetings to you, milady.”
Valia looked at the people in front of her. A middle-aged man who looked neat and tidy, a well-looking woman who looked sophisticated, and a group of young people holding large bags in both hands were standing in her room. The bags held by the young people were noticeably bulging. When Valia looked at them with her silvery-gray eyes, the middle-aged man politely greeted her.
“I am the general butler of the House of Garth.”
Valia’s eyes got a little bigger. She controlled her expressions and greeted him calmly.
“I came to see you in person today for the fitting of your wedding dress. I am here with a very talented boutique artisan for your dress.”
“It’s an honor for my family to meet you, Marchioness. I will do my best today for a perfect wedding dress.”
The designer said so with a flushed face. In fact, she was quite excited.
Knowing nothing about the Marquess’ genealogy, she only thought that Marquess Garth’s request was only to produce a wedding dress for an indirect family. So when she was informed that the date would be shifted ahead, she was honestly offended.
Even the one-month duration that was first suggested was very tight. No wonder the top designers in the capital flatly refused. If they had not refused one after another, the order would not even come to her. She was excellent, but it was not long since she debuted, so she lacked fame.
‘Isn’t this crazy? How can they expect me to make a wedding dress in a week?’
But the power and reputation of the House of Garth were great. No matter how great of a dress master one was, one would not be comfortable afterward if one dared to hold out to Garth. She tried to hide her poor feelings and rode the carriage. The general butler who rode the same carriage secretly dropped a word in her ear.
[She will be the Marchioness. Please be polite to her. If the Marchioness likes the wedding dress, wouldn’t it be greatly beneficial to your boutique?]
The moment she heard that, the designer’s jaws dropped. Actually, for an artisan of her level, it was only natural for her to wish that the wearer would also be a noble with elegance and dignity. Someone who was not an indirect family, but of an immediate family with a position of at least viscount to count. Who would have expected that she would actually be making a dress for the Marchioness? Let alone insufficient, it was actually an overflowing utopia.
“Hello, Marchioness. Although I am not good enough, I will try my best for the fitting of your wedding dress.”
“I will leave it in your hands.”
The designer looked at Valia with a polite and quick glance. Wedding dresses were commonly known to be white in color but became more complicated underneath their multiple layers. Wedding dresses could be made with a warm white with a hint of yellow, or a sophisticated white with a hint of pink, or just purely white. The bride’s hair color, eye color, skin color, body type, and also preference were all taken into consideration in making their ever-complicated dress.
‘Her skin is very fair.’
She had a healthy complexion and had clean skin, it was hard to find any blemishes. The designer quickly ran a simulation in her head to see which color should be applied to that cheek to make it look brightest. Not all pinks were the same as there were over twenty shades of pink.
‘Her hair is nice and the color of her eyes is clear.’
Her black hair with a hint of soft blue was as shiny as silk, but it fell straight without a curl. Hair that reached to the waist like that was very easy to trim from the designer’s point of view. It was also good that her eyes were a clean silvery gray.
‘She has a slender body and she is moderately tall.’
She was not quite as tall as the mannequins on display at the boutique, still, she was quite tall. Her frame also looked thin. As her wrists were white and slender, it would be very pretty with a bouquet flower bracelet.
With just a few glances, the designer found out all of Valia’s strong points. Then, she gave a sign. The assistants standing behind her quickly approached and opened the bags they were holding. The bags that Valia was curious about were packed with all kinds of fabrics, accessories, and dress patterns.
While the assistants were finishing setting up, the butler first opened his mouth.
“Milady, I’m very sorry, but I need to ask for your understanding in advance.”
No matter how expensive the jewelry and puffy the skirt would be, the wedding dress would not be specially made for Valia. The general butler spoke with a nervous heart.
“As the wedding date is extremely tight, I think it is impossible to make a tailored dress.”
In an instant, the designer, assistants, and even Robin read Valia’s face. This type of issue was a matter of pride. The higher the position of nobles, the likelier they were to fuss over every little thing. Moreover, she was not just any Marchioness, but Marchioness Garth. And in some cases, this issue could be taken as an insult.
Valia was also aware of the Gel Empire’s wedding dress customs. Wedding dresses for high-ranking nobles above the Marquess were by far the object of interest of the nobles. If a bride showed off a very unique and beautiful dress, it would be a hot topic for a while. It was also customary for the nobles below Count to wear the same type of wedding dress. It would be a lie to say that Valia had no fantasies about such dresses. But she was not offended at all. And there was only one reason.
“It’s okay. I’m a noble from another country. You don’t have to worry about that. This much is enough for me.”
There were no aggressive undertones, it was just a fact that she said calmly. Valia was well aware of her own identity. She was not from the Empire. She was just a lady from the Kingdom whose father was a knight. She had never been ashamed of that fact but she also knew well that it was not something that she could brag about.
“With all due respect, milady, please don’t think as such.”
The general butler had a determined look on his face.
“His Excellency has told me to do my best to prepare for the wedding. I will tell you on my honor as the general butler. Your wedding will never be held sloppily. Especially since His Excellency rented the road warp for the whole day to have all his retainers attend.
Valia’s eyes widened.
“Road warp… for the whole…day?”
The road warp operated by sorcerers was very expensive. It was practically nothing compared to Marquess Garth’s wealth, but that was the standard only for the Marquess. Valia and Schuden had a completely different concept of monetary value. To be honest, she was afraid to estimate the amount.
‘…But is it necessary to use a road warp?’
There was a long way to go before the wedding date. She did not know the exact time but no matter how quickly the date was set, it should be at least three months. Valia had no idea where the Marquisate of Garth was located. However, no matter how large the land of the Empire was, it was not large enough that it would need more than three months using a carriage.
‘I guess the Marquisate of Garth is set on a mountain instead of flat land.’
While she was convincing herself, the designer, who was aiming for the right time to intervene, naturally brought up the talk about the dress.
“I think you would look good in white with a hint of pink. I will only know when I measure your exact size, but your body shape has many advantages. In addition, Marchioness Joanne’s dress is in a basic shape, so it covers all body types beautifully.”
“Is the dress I’m going to wear based on Marchioness Joanne’s dress?”
It was a name she had heard of in the past.
“Yes, even if the shape is the same, the detailed decorations will be completely different. I will make sure to show your unique charm properly.”
And with the designer’s assurance, for over three hours Valia was prohibited from moving. She got her measurements taken, tested the fabric, and did the fitting. It was fortunate that Valia had better stamina than others, otherwise, she would have stumbled.
“Have some tea, milady.”
The general butler held out a teacup after Valia was let go by the designer.
“Thank you, general butler.”
Valia smiled and drank the tea. Contrary to her indifferent appearance, she was honestly shocked on the inside.
‘Does preparation for weddings need to be done so intensively like this a few months from the due date?’
If she needed to live like this every day, she would have to hold a funeral instead of a wedding. Valia could not say that, however, so she continued to sip the tea without saying anything. She was actually pretty thirsty.
“Milady, I have a question.”
“Go ahead, general butler.”
“I would like to invite Master Carl to the wedding. What do you think?”
Valia’s shoulders flinched at the unexpected mention of Carl. She thought no one would know about him, calling a commoner mercenary grandfather was something that could be gossipped about for a long time in high society. She wouldn’t be affected, but she did not want Carl’s name to be the talk of the town. Valia asked, thinking that this might be Schuden’s order.
“Is this His Excellency’s order?”
“No. However, I asked His Excellency because I thought you might want to invite him to the wedding. After all, Master Carl had a special relationship with you. His Excellency told me to ask you directly. The invitation will be issued according to your opinion.”
“That’s really thoughtful of you, general butler.”
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