[Huge thanks for the large amount of donations, Curufin! May you and readers find the joy in reading through the chapters! (1/10)]
The pattern is standardized when noble girls who have enough money in Velvice pay a visit to designer Jean Vezelle’s boutique.
They walked in and took a quick look around his boutique and said.
“How much is this all from here to there?”
“Give me the most valuable and expensive one here. Please give me everything and the rest in this place.Because I can’t stand the sight of other girls buying those as well.”
The price of his dresses has sky-rocketed at once, but it was no surprise. This place was none other than the Velvice Empire.
Moreover, the wealth in Velvice was equal to wealth owned by countries all over the world. No matter how rich the royal family of neighboring countries was, most of their wealth couldn’t even equate to Velvice’s.
Certainly, their hopes to be called ‘super rich’ vanished the moment they met Jean Vezelle.
They would take out a blank check, scribble down their signature and said to him while keeping their chin up high in the air with an arrogant look on their face.
“How much do you need?”
Then he would explain.
Thank you so much for liking his dresses, and it is always a pleasure for him to make a dress for them.
He could only make a single dress for one person.
And the dresses displayed here were his work portfolios and that he wouldn’t sell them.
And he convinced them.
That he would make one distinctive dress for them who were special enough to walk into here.
He was inspired from the extraordinary people he had met, he took pleasure in conveying it into a dress. He wouldn’t have been this famous if he was all about having fun for his own pleasure, but because he was even doing good at what he liked to do.
Luckily, he knew what people liked and his preference was luxury.
He was a genius needed in this era.
His dress never failed to satisfy the client’s demand and swept across the Velvice community like a storm. Then the ‘Jang Vezelle’ craze began and became the talk of the town, the beauty and extravagance eventually became more important than the function of the clothing itself.
Where did the lace come from, how many jewels they used, and how the fabric of the dress was cutted out!
The dresses that represented the luxury of the Velvice Empire were carrying out the level of extravagance as well as his pride.
His dress sketches were still being traded, praised, and became some sort of icon among the nobles in other countries. Therefore, some even called Jean Vezelle the ‘leading figure in the Clothing Renaissance.”
He had a strange customer who came up with that.
Which cornered him and wasn’t able to come up with an answer.
“…don’t you like it?”
When Princess Stella Ethelanche came to his boutique, he was full of confidence.
His design would certainly impress her.
But after looking at the sketch for a while, she just said,
“It’s definitely pretty.”
Jean Vezelle nodded as if waiting for her to say more.
She then said,
“But wouldn’t it be uncomfortable if made like this?”
“I think it would be difficult for me to move my arms, and my waist… it would be hard for me to breathe.”
He wondered if this was a ‘rational’ question or a ‘senseless’ question.
No one in high society has ever asked him such a question.
Up until now, clothes were worthwhile as long as they looked beautiful, so he was going to make such dresses in the future as well.
But it could appear as a defect in the beauty of the dress if she wanted it to be compromised around that area, so Jean Vezelle paused to dwell on what he was going to say.
Then he told Stella.
“So how would you like the design to be modified, Your Highness?”
She looked at the design and said,
“I have to tell you scrupulously since I’m not an expert in this, but I still want the dress to be comfortable enough when I wear it.”
“Is that it?”
“You don’t have a design that allows me to move my arms freely at all since I will not wear a corset under my dress… I want you to loosen the dress. I thought it would be better to have the dress definitely opened up or draped normally on the shoulder rather than having the dress barely draped on it.”
“Also, wouldn’t it be possible for me to trip over and fall if there were this many laces? And instead of tightened around the waist like this, why don’t you make a design that can trick people’s eyes so that your waist will look slender?”
Stella said to Jean Vezelle as he just blinked absentmindedly.
“I think luxury and extravagance are preferable. It represents nobility and nobles’ consumerism certainly helps the economic cycle. But it took away the basic function of clothes itself… I thought it was the part that needed to be reformed.”
Take out the lace, not wearing a corset, open the shoulders part but if not, make sure to conceal it!
If the shoulder parts were to be opened, it may not suit the tastes of some conservative nobles, which then might be considered as lecherous even at its slightest.
But if the shoulder was hidden too much, of course it would be too boring, isn’t it?
On top of that, not wearing a corset would be a talk that can turn the society upside down.
Is that all?
He couldn’t believe it when she demanded for the laces to be taken off as the many varieties of lace was currently a hot topic in the society.
Jean Vezelle was about to faint from all this.
“O-of course I can do that for you.”
He pulled himself together and spoke carefully.
“From what I’ve heard, this ball is said to be the Princess’ debutante. And usually, you have to follow the megatrend if you want to get approval from the majority. It’s true that I prefer this design, but I hope from the bottom of my heart that Your Highness will experience a successful debutante.”
“I understand how you feel about this.”
Stella expressed her polite gratitude to him.
“But this is not the dress that I wanted.”
“It may be a dress that the nobles of the Empire wanted, but not for me.”
She wondered for a bit and then said so.
“Maybe some people would think that way as well?”
“Maybe there are people who want comfortable and beautiful clothes, but they just didn’t realize it until now?”
People are yearning for unexpected things, but at the same time they fear it, Your Highness.
He wanted to say that, but he couldn’t spat it out when he saw the glisten in the Princess’ eyes.
He spoke up after a long silence engulfed both of them.
“There’s something you should know, Your Highness. Well, there’s a ‘rule’ in the Empire’s society. And…”
The Princess laughed at his words. It was not a wicked laugh, but a refreshing one, as if the morning dew encompassing the leaves.
Stella said to Jean Vezelle who looked at her with a startled face.
“It reminded me of someone who told me the same thing.”
“…perhaps you didn’t understand the rules because it wasn’t long after you arrived at the palace.”
“So what did they tell you, Your Highness?”
The Princess just smiled at his question.
When he saw that smile, perhaps Jean Vezelle already knew how he would make the dress exclusive just for Princess Stella.
The Princess was a person who could not be measured with anything that she had in her hand.
In certain areas, the privilege of overlooking the lower part of the empire from the top was granted.
This meant overlooking the Empire with a different perspective unlike others from the higher places.
The judgment which was formed out of them, more acquaintances from various places and more information.
To have all three of them and win over the empire.
It would be like looking at a swarm of ants moving around from a human sight.
It was the way to read the flow of this huge society. In order to see what others couldn’t see.
And there were Jason Evanders in that position getting curious about the judgment of nobles in the Empire about Stella.
So he wanted to make Stella a muse so that all nobles would be envious and pay attention to her.
‘Evanders’ also wanted to make her the muse of his huge legacy.
The savior that was wanted and desired by the nobles.
He represented their interests, being wise at the same time, smart, and of noble descent.
They yearned for such a savior.
Since the current emperor is a mad tyrant who will go down in history, it is understandable.
The nobles wanted the Emperor to take pity on them after they got fed up with His Majesty’s reign of terror, and they wanted to speak their interests to him.
They needed an emperor who could listen to their voices.
Joseph, the Prince who symbolized the sun, wasn’t an attractive choice for them.
Alexander, the great-grandfather and ‘the Empire of the Sun’ of the Crown Prince was the heir as well as the emperor of the Sun who could wield an absolute amount of power.
Alexander led the golden era of the Velvice Empire, the majority of conquests wars also took place in his generations.
His widened territory was record-breaking and could not be challenged.
Back in those days, the people of the Empire were so patriotic that they were waving the Empire’s flag like crazy.
The nobles haven’t been able to speak out in those days.
How was ‘Blood and Iron Monarch’ going for Carlos, who was in fact, Alexander’s son?
Carlos II ‘the King of the Moon’, who invented the saying, ‘When the day passes by, the night falls’ settled numerous laws and policies to form a solid system for the Empire.
He reestablished the great estates that his father had left behind and stabilized the empire.
Among them, his best effort were the strengthening of Imperial power.
He made sure that the heads of the territories that his father had acquired could never rebel against them.
Perhaps that was the reason why nobles were as quiet as they were at this time.
The next emperor in line was the current emperor, a mad tyrant who wasn’t as capable as his father or grandfather, but longed for the same authority like both of them.
Of course, the nobles smelled the new emperor’s incompetence better than anyone else.
They tried desperately to build their strength around this time, but they were oppressed and their necks were blown away by the emperor’s madness.
Then they thought they would succeed in committing the treason, but the Imperial Palace managed to return.
Because of the crazy duke of Clyde Darrenhill who jumped into the game when they almost won.
He alone made people drive people crazy and jumped around, but commoners didn’t call such a duke as ‘the Guardian of Heaven’ or even praise him as a ‘hero’.
The nobles have been fed up enough.
Now all they wanted was a friendly and communicative Emperor.
A good and wise king.
Due to that, the nobles held high expectations for Stella.
The miraculous star of the Princess which moved and fled to the sky when the empire was at stake.
Hundreds of stars in the sky appeared when she finally returned a decade later.
They would listen to the words of those who were suffering and getting worn out.
Not only the commoners who managed to find comfort when they looked to the stars.
Nobles who were terribly tired were also comforted by the stars.
The mythical and transcendent return of Stella was their only hope.
In such a situation, how grateful they must have been when she helped the nobles who were in crisis by creating a foundation.
With very limited information about her and only her debut which was just around the corner, the nobles’ expectations skyrocketed even more.
So Jason needed Stella.
He wanted Stella to be Evanders’ face before she was becoming anyone’s.
Gaining Stella’s favor was thus, the biggest and greatest goal in Jason’s life these days.
But it wasn’t easy.
First, Stella wasn’t stupid enough to do as he wanted.
Stella was far from stupid and quite clever for Jason to be able to read through her.
He felt she was ‘reading through’ him when he was with her.
It was shocking for him who had been ‘reading’ through people all his life.
And second, she also raised a faithful wolf.
“My Lord, Duke Clyde Darrenhill is here to see you…”
This one was also very annoying.