The Prince Brandishes a Discussion
“I come to see you for the first time in several days and find you in this state…………oi, Rachel. What is all this!?”
With the already commonplace scene of Prince Elliott roaring, Rachel flipped up her eye mask and peeked over at him.
“Nnn, Your Highness……..coming into a woman’s bedroom and wildly shouting, where were you raised?”
“I am the Prince of this country, and unlike some backwater regent my birthplace is well known! And you keep arguing how this is your bedroom, but if that is so then where is your living room!?”
“Well then please renovate the prison into a two room structure.”
While the Prince was arguing with Rachel, George poked his shoulder.
“Your Highness, the discussion has shifted.”
“That’s………Rachel, what I want to hear is not that! Where did all this stuff inside the prison come from!”
“Eh……..weren’t you here before? What’s so strange about it now? I, nnn, I’m really sleepy.”
“It’s not the same now! You, you’ve been opening your cell and coming in and out!”
“I haven’t left though.”
While saying she was sleepy once again, she pulled her eye mask back on and pulled her comforter back up to her neck.
Inside the prison a number of wooden crates had been thrown together in a large pile creating quite a mess, but the pile was rearranged now and re-stacked looking like how it was when she first moved in. It was good. Most likely Rachel had used up some of her free time and cleaned up a bit.
“You, haven’t you been sleeping on your cushion until now!? So then where did this canopy bed come from!?”
“Nnn……….it’s been here since before.”
“Well then what about the reclining sofa with a brushed carpet and ottoman!? The charcoal stove that can be used to boil!? And above all, what about the writing desk over by the window that looks like it wouldn’t be able to fit through the cell door in the first place!? How did you bring that all in!?”
“Nnn~……….noisy~………..it was here from the beginning.”
Feeling very sleepy Rachel rubbed her eyes from overtop her mask, and she pulled a string hanging off of her bed. The room filled with the sound of a pulley moving, and a curtain fell down on the inside of the iron bars.
On the sheet was a short message written on notebook paper.
《Outside Business Hours》
There were nearly ten men gathered in Elliott’s office.
They were all the sons of high nobles like Sykes and George, and while they did serve Elliott they also served as the elite guards for Margaret. While Elliott can be usually seen talking to Sykes and George, these other men gathered here also converse with the Prince on a nearly daily basis. All of these men were gathered in here today whether they had prior business right now or not.
An event where all of these men gather together was rare, especially since the noise from a ball wasn’t accompanying it.
Sitting at the head of the table, Elliott spoke while looking like he had just swallowed a bug in front of everyone.
“Even though she should have been convicted for her crimes, Rachel Ferguson has been doing whatever she wants until now. And she’s only getting worse. We’re here to discuss some way to manage her.”
There wasn’t a single person with common sense in this room to object to the Prince saying something so immoral.
Elliott turned a strict gaze on to his trusted retainer.
“In the first place George. Wasn’t it your job to hold down the Duke from providing any aid!? What’s with that stuff in the prison!?”
“T-that is…….inside our home, it doesn’t look like anything of the sort was prepared, Your Highness. And there were no strange individuals coming and going from our mansion either.”
The genius at the desk never considered the idea that the opponent had a base inside the city.
“What about the prison guard? If he missed this, isn’t that guy being negligent?”
Sykes, who wasn’t present at today’s confrontation, spoke up to George.
“About that……..that man has other responsibilities as well, so he can only check up on the prison during his patrols. He was as surprised to see how much the room had changed as we were.”
“Tch, stupid guy.”
The prison guard wouldn’t have wanted to be told something like that by such a muscle brain.
“That woman’s strong point is taking advantage of the gap in the rules. ……..Damn you, Rachel……….!”
Elliott looked like a demon striking the top of his desk.
“Usually, wouldn’t a noblewoman be beaten after being thrown in prison and want to go home!? Two, three days after being thrown in there and she should’ve been crying and apologizing in order to be let out………that timid woman who could only silently follow me around, where did she go!?”
“Certainly she changed too much……..”
Most people had only the previous impression of Rachel. This wasn’t on the level where you could just say she was hiding in horse legs¹, and there were some men in the room who had grown completely distrustful of women as a result.
“Even though I’ve done what I could to oppress that woman in order to save Margaret! Why is it that whether I am awake or asleep Rachel Rachel0………now I can’t even sleep at night because I’m worried about what she’s going to do next! Her face is clinging to my mind all day long!”
Towards a Prince who was coming down with an occupational disease, Sykes made a self-satisfied expression and winked while striking a funny pose with his finger in a ring. It was something that completely didn’t suit the unrefined him.
“Your Highness, that fellow…………you’re in love with her.”
After Sykes had been shut up with a vase to the face, Elliott turned to his other minions.
“Anything is fine, but does anyone have an idea to leave that woman speechless?”
At the words of the Prince which implied that failure was a foregone conclusion, all of the boys looked away.
“What if we try to smoke her out?”
“Then, we should bring in something smelly.”
“Well, let’s get others involved and just try to harass her.”
“Should we try spreading bad rumors about her from here?”
Elliott’s staring was making the other boys feel embarrassed.
“You guys……are you here today to just make me feel like an idiot!?”
“Ye, Ehhhhh!? But no matter what I involuntarily think it’ll fail…….”
The men hadn’t noticed they were all shaking their heads as each new idea came out. All of their negative words were wearing away on Elliott.
But of them there was one man who’d make up for it.
“It’s fine you guys, His Highness isn’t a failure.”
George stood next to the Prince to protect him from his sorrow, and he denied the others’ feelings.
“He just failed with this.”
“Every single one of you correct me!”
George plunged down to the floor face first after having his butt kicked and rolled away.
“However, about that first thing.”
One boy sitting to Elliott’s right slowly raised his hand after taking a deep breath.
“Ms. Ferguson, after she went to prison and her personality changed. I never would’ve been able to predict something like that.”
“Ah, you can say that again.”
She was a fiancee similar to a doll always standing silently diagonally behind the prince, but now that she was in prison, she was such an overwhelming woman that you might start to call her crazy.
The air of the meeting started to change, and the once silent men became bustling. They all started analyzing the point.
“Perhaps she is a substitute, and the real one has already been killed by the Prince.”
“If I had, then why would we be having this meeting in the first place!?”
“Perhaps that’s just a body-double, and the real one has already escaped.”
“Then this fake person is quite dark and has a crazy personality………”
In this way the purpose of the strategy meeting shifted to discerning the noblewoman’s authenticity, and the heir to a viscount raised his hand.
“Whether she is real or not. There is something more pressing…….I mean, Ms. Rachel is……..somehow from before, isn’t she sexier?”
“He said it!”
All of the underlings nodded their heads together.
Elliott continued to watch as his meeting got derailed, but he had the same thoughts as them.
The hairstyle was the same, and there was no major change to any of the make-up she was wearing……but her expression often changed, and she was able to give off a bewitching atmosphere despite how she was always wearing some rough clothes now.
The boys continued to excitedly discuss amongst themselves.
“What I mean, it seems like sexiness is blurred together in the little gestures……..”
“Right right! Is it because she’s become rich in facial expressions? Like this, it’s like comparing a black and white sketch to a vibrantly colorful picture…….”
The conversation between adolescent boys continued……..but
“However, she changed so much………perhaps it was hard for her being engaged to His Highness.”
“Ah……….she became bright as soon as the engagement was destroyed……..”
“The reason she’s become so lively is because the burden of marriage isn’t weighing her down……..”
The conversation started to take a turn into a strange direction again. They all started feeling sorry for her, and the underlings all threw a quick glance over towards their boss.
“You guys, whose side are you on!?”
Elliott began shouting with a blood vessel pulsing on his forehead and shrugged off all their words.
“The change in behavior isn’t at the level where we would call her brighter! In fact we should be seeing her as a snake who has been hiding her true colors this whole time!”
Elliott looked around to his left and right.
“Really you guys, being tricked² by Rachel this late in the game.”
“It doesn’t matter how bright that woman has become! Haven’t you all noticed anything about Rachel?”
You are the one who has been in contact with her the most, was what none of them could reply to the Prince’s question. Then while everyone was thinking on their own, the son of a marquis raised his hand.
“I did notice one thing.”
“What is it? Tell us!”
Everyone’s faces turned towards the boy curiously.
“Ms. Rachel………actually, doesn’t she have good style³?”
The group of boys kept quiet for a while. However it wasn’t long before the atmosphere for this countermeasure meeting became something similar to one you’d fine on a school trip.
“………No but…….didn’t Ms. Ferguson always have proportions like that?”
Unable to stand the silence that had descended one person responded in a hushed voice as the marquis’s son shook his head at the answer he received to the raised question.
“When a young woman comes out in public, they do so usually wearing a corset. Naturally Ms. Rachel did as well, but right now she is only wearing her indoor clothes since she’s thinking of the jail as her own private space. In other words, Rachel’s corset right now………there is none.”
The Marquis’s son spoke with a soft voice, but his words still echoed in the room like the beating of a drum, providing the greatest impact to his audience despite his quiet tone. The circumstances for the underwear of a beautiful woman whose face you’ve personally seen………it was the largest eros that an adolescent boy could think of.
The son of an earl started breathing heavily through his nose.
“What are you saying about this, the problem is from there! Ms. Rachel now, in a private room she’d be dressed with the utmost care. That’s a given………right?”
Even if they were the only ones in the room the boys gathered close, and after seeing each other’s faces, they continued.
“In other words without any accesories, that’s her style! Understand!? There’s no tightened corset around her waist, so there’s nothing to push up her chest. That hateful camouflage is no longer there allowing us a sight people weren’t meant to see! A woman with a natural hourglass figure that can keep that ‘S’ character line!”
“What the hell!?”
A roar rose from everyone around the table. The boys all lost their complexions at this, the discovery of the century. The facts they had found left them shocked, but they each quickly returned to themselves and began whispering among one another again.
Even Prince Elliott who had been drawn in a while ago broke down.
“What clear reasoning……..as expected of the Boyinski heir which has produced scholars for generations!”
“Your Highness, my family name is Bolanski.”
“No, no no wait wait!”
There was one man who couldn’t get wrapped up in this topic, and George Ferguson poured cold water on the other’s vortex of excitement.
“No way you guys, do you intend to switch from Margaret over to my sister just because she has good style!?”
Elliott and the others were instantly brought back down to reality, vehemently denying the idea.
“No wait, that’s something else. Margaret has a different style, and I’m not switching! It’s more like, a spiritual connection, it heals…….”
“Right, it’s as His Highness says. Rachel has a different style. Her straight, or rather, I mean, that, what, slender………well not……….well, I think she has a realistic figure.”
“No, it’s a problem with my body rather than my heart………”
Somewhere after Syke’s point the story changed, and “That’s right huh,” became the reaction to his theory as Elliott continued to make denials under his breath……..
“Ferguson. Certainly Margaret who I love is inferior to your sister in terms of the ideal body figure. However”
“Hmph, spit it out Boyinski!
After having done nothing but praise Rachel’s body since before, Bolanski rose out of his seat.
He emphasized his next words with a tight fist.
“Margaret’s body is something that was ‘made’ after living the lifestyle of a more common person. She has a deep neckline that can be seen from above, breasts that aren’t too big yet still noticeable, and hands and feet that aren’t too thick and can even be called petite.”
“Eh? Aren’t you talking ill of her?”
“S, shut up Sykes!”
With Elliott forcing Sykes to grip his butt after his previous comment, Bolanski’s explanation started heating up.
“However! That’s good! That’s good! When some nobles are born aren’t they forced to squeeze parts of their body to make them grow smaller, and don’t they sometimes add accessories⁴ to fake that appearance? This is what I want to say. So it’s fine, right!?”
The Earl’s son gave a rough objection.
“However, you were the one who was singing Ms. Rachel’s praises!”
The Marquis’s son’s response was a nod as if to say, “That’s just what I thought.”
“What is the common point between Ms. Rachel and Margaret?”
One is a member of a high-ranking noble family who would naturally be considered for the role of being the Prince’s wife, and while her personality leaves something to be desired, she is a beauty with great proportions.
The other used to be a commoner who managed to become a lower noble, and with an innocent and natural charm, she also has a pretty yet somewhat infantile body type.
When the personality and appearance of the two were compared, those who looked couldn’t find anything that was similar. It was here that Bolanski made a proclamation as if he were an oracle.
“Everything about those two is completely natural. Even if you were to take everything away from them, their styles would not change. The human body given to them by God, it’s not a thing that was forcefully tightened or is cheated with accessories! So, I declare. A woman’s beauty is being natural!”
After finishing his speech Bolanski struck a pose as if he were looking up to the heavens, and the impressed boys gathered around him began to shout. The boys talk ended in an impressive finale.
Elliott’s countermeasure conference adopted Bolanski’s “Naturalist Declaration” and closed the curtain looking forward to future prosperity.
The people who participated, “We should work on an abolition of corsets,” “Let’s ban the scam,” left Elliott’s office excitedly making plans for the future.
Elliott’s heart was also on high as he organized some documents in a good mood.
“Un, today’s meeting sure was productive. This should solve our problem……..problem?”
Elliott put his hand to his forehead and began thinking.
“……..Today’s meeting, what was on the agenda?”
1. The saying means hiding your true personality as you might have guessed, and it is referring to actors who act as the rear end of a horse in those two person costumes.
0. He repeated Rachel’s name twice in the raws, so this isn’t a mistake. The screwed up footnotes however, are.
2. I felt it was important to note here that this word can mean both trick and seduce given their previous conversation.
3. Where I come from we call this ‘plot’ but it’s ecchi either way.
4. They actually use the word makeup here, but since I’m pretty sure that makeup only refers to cosmetics in English, I changed it to accessories. If I am wrong about the makeup thing, please let me know though of course.