* * *
“We are here!”
Maynard, who had gone to the dress shop, came back late afternoon. He really moved the entire dress shop.
Leaning obliquely against the railing, I smiled broadly and waved at the incoming staff.
‘Wow, there’s a lot.’
Behind the staff, hundreds of boxes of clothes were being carried.
There was really no end like ants carrying today’s food to the warehouse.
‘Well, it’s only natural. The dresses here are placed separately inside one box each.’
I have to say that I felt amazed again by how many things I bought.
“You’re going to a tea party with the princess?!”
“And you’re going to wear our store’s dress!”
“Oh my god! I feel like I’m going to pass out!”
Staff and assistants took turns shouting and screaming.
They looked so excited, almost as if they were about to jump away from their spot at any moment.
“Yeah, that’s right. Let’s go to the drawing room first.”
“Gasp, we can go into the drawing room!?”
“Of course, or where would you prefer to talk?”
I don’t know about the Madame, but the staff were commoners.
Even if they went on a business trip to tailor someone’s clothes, they never set foot in reception rooms used to receive guests.
So everyone paced back and forth on the drawing room floor with their heads stuck looking up the ceiling.
An antique-patterned wallpaper and carpet woven with golden thread.
A huge painting of a ship occupied one side of the wall and a vase the size of a person was placed below it.
Actually, I almost fainted when I first saw it.
In particular, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the 18K gold decorations on the side of the fireplace.
I laughed heartily at the employees who felt the same emotions I felt.
“All right, have a seat.”
“Madame, sit here.”
“Thank you, Miss Nia.”
The title they used to address me was ‘Miss Nia’. That part was nice to hear. We haven’t had a wedding yet, so calling me ‘Madam’ is a bit too much.
After asking the butler to bring some delicious and expensive tea and pastries that Maynard makes these days, I settled down at the head of the table.
In fact, I invited so many people to the mansion because I wanted to share these delicious breads.
I was so happy to have secret friends I can share these breads with.
“Now, let me explain the rules first.”
Everyone pricked up their ears as I opened my mouth and spoke with a meaningful tone.
“First, do not steal Lacius’ underwear.”
“Second, do not pick up Lacius’ hair and sell it.”
Every time I said a word, everyone’s expression slowly worsened with looks of utter disbelief as if questioning who would do such bizarre things.
But I didn’t stop talking while lifting my index finger.
“Third, never say anything about what will happen here.”
“We’re more than grateful for complying with your requests!”
Then, that’s a relief.
I handed out quills to the people sitting around the sofa in turn. And while waiting for them, I took out the contract I had written in advance.
“Lastly, do not fall in love with Lacius, cling to Lasius, or even come at him. Can you promise me that?”
My words will surely sound like I’m guarding my mate with my hair upright and alert.
I was aware of that, but I had no choice but to do this. I’m doing everything I can to protect him and keep him away from stress—
Then, one of the assistants opened her mouth with a trembling voice.
You don’t trust us or are you doubting us? I’m sure that kind of dialogue will come out.
But the next moment, I felt like I had been hit in the back of my head.
“You really love Archduke Schweiden!”
No, why is this happening?
I couldn’t keep up with the flow of their conversation for a while. In the meantime, assistant 1 and assistant 2 looked at each other and acted out an impromptu skit.
“I’ll protect my man! Just trust me and follow me!”
“Yes, wife. Please treat me well.”
“Haha, this body will protect you from the evil female wolves!”
“Ah, the rays of light behind my wife…! So blinding…!”
Assistant 1 placed her hand on her waist and lowered her voice. While assistant 2 clasped her hands together; her eyes twinkled fiercely.
Uh, am… I supposed to like this?
“This is what true love is! I will protect my man!”
“That’s right. This appears in popular novels these days. It’s a story about a young, handsome, well-mannered man and a strong knight!”
That was also a popular trope here…?
‘Um, well… Just looking at the fact that everyone thinks that the princess will become the next great emperor, it seems like an equal society.’
I applauded the assistants for their wonderful performance. Then without any word, I pushed the contract forward.
Well, it is unlikely that such energetic people will commit any dreary acts against Lacius, not everyone behaves like a stalker. Still, getting their signatures was needed for another thing.
I grabbed the contracts signed by everyone and placed my hand on the paper overlapping them.
“Then, this contract has been signed, and anyone who breaks the terms will have horns growing on their butts*.”
*(A childish way to say one will be punished severely.)
I gathered the contracts with a solemn cry. Then I lowered my hand under the tablecloth and shook them (the contracts) gently.
The kitten I had drawn on the back of each contract poured out. The cats, who had different appearances, waddled up to each contractor and jumped over their shoulders.
“Oh my gosh, what is this?”
“Hey, look at their fur! Are these your cats, Miss?”
Assistants 1 and 2 screamed and made a fuss. Madame and staff 1, 2, and 3 who followed them also patted their own cat’s forehead, curiously.
Absolutely say nothing about what will happen here.
They won’t be able to say anything even if they wanted to. Having elaborated that in the clause, I was able to give them the details without hesitation.
“Yeah, they’re contract cats I bought from a wizard. Usually, they will follow you around and act cute, but if you break even a single line of the contract…”
I put my fingers together like a knife and then acted as if I slashed my neck.
“It will turn into a monster and bite your butt.”
Contract cats drawn meticulously can last for about a month even if they were drawn on a small paper. They will be able to catch any traitor.
“We will never break it!”
“That’s right! These cats are so cute. I can’t believe…!”
A picture wizard’s abilities were largely determined by the wizard’s creativity.
Fortunately, when I was young my mother enrolled me in Think Big instead of Kumon*, so my creativity ranked a bit high and I was able to make full use of my ability.
*(Education companies for young children.)
White, black, spotted, and calico. A kitten with almost a fully black chin, one with a stamp on its forehead and even one with socks on all four paws.
I smiled happily looking at my work.