“Ah! Thank you!”
Mia smiled brightly. The tailors diligently hung partitions, clothing racks filled with various dresses, and other dress-up items inside the bedroom.
The room quickly filled with dresses, making Mia feel a little overwhelmed.
“Do I have to try all of these on?”
In response to Mia’s question, a red-haired girl with freckles smiled kindly.
“Oh, it seems like you don’t enjoy changing clothes much?”
“It’s not that, but I haven’t really been to parties before…”
“Don’t worry. Just trust us. We’ll choose the most beautiful dress for you.”
Upon hearing her words, Mia was finally able to relax a bit.
“Alright, please do!”
In fact, it didn’t matter to her. Her purpose was to meet Serenity rather than attend the ball. As long as the dress could uphold Adillot’s dignity, it was fine.
However, amidst choosing dresses, Mia felt a slight uneasiness.
“Wow! This one is so adorable! How about this?”
When Mia lightly touched a pale yellow dress..
One of the tailors quickly grabbed the dress from Mia’s hand and frowned.
“You’ll look like a chick… plus it looks childish and tacky!”
“Yes! With your pink hair, you could easily look like a little kid. How about this green one instead?”
Mia examined the green dress the girl offered. It had a full ruffle on the shoulders, was made of thick satin, and had a design with long fabric trailing behind.
‘Is this what’s in fashion these days?’
Mia forced a hesitant smile.
‘It looks quite old-fashioned… but I guess I’d have to attend a ball to know.’
She had practiced etiquette since she had taken over Mia Celestial’s body. But she never actually went out. Naturally, she doesn’t know what dresses the other girls wear.
“After hearing that you’ve never been to a ball, you can trust us.”
“Yes! We’ll dress you up with the latest trends.”
The tailors were confident. In the end, Mia nodded her head.
“Okay, I got it. Let me try it first.”
She moved behind the partition to change her clothes.
‘It doesn’t really seem right, but they probably know better than me!’
That was when she heard a faint whisper from behind the screen.
“Is she an idiot, wearing that?”
Mia’s movements abruptly stopped. Before she could regain her composure, the next words followed.
“She said she lost her memory, but I guess it’s true. Sigh…”
“But seriously, that dress is a bit too much… Tsk tsk. It’s something our grandmothers would wear…”
Mia stood still, her expression as if she had just received a blow to the back of her head, blinking her eyes.
“Could it be?”
The voices of the tailors continued.
“But she’s the daughter of a traitor… Normally, the emperor would have killed anyone who defied him, so why spare her?”
“He claims to be the emperor, yet he falls for a woman…”
“To be honest, I can’t see what’s so pretty about her.”
“Yeah! Doesn’t she have an ordinary-looking face…?”
‘I can hear everything, you know.’
Mia sighed. She had no intention of going out there and causing a scene. She knew that it might attract attention from others.
Adillot was cruel and merciless. Until now, criminals and traitors of all ages and genders were subjected to severe punishment.
So Mia’s existence was unprecedented. It was bound to attract attention. She understood that there were unpleasant speculations about her, suggesting that she had seduced Adillot to gain favor.
However, the gossip among them crossed a line in the next moment.
“Have you heard the rumors about the emperor? He killed his own brother. If his personality is like that, his taste in women must be just as bad.”
“That’s not all, right? In fact, there were rumors that the current emperor may not even be a true descendant of the Schroder royal family! You know? His mother, Empress Leia…”
“I know. They say she had a child with her own bodyguard and passed it off as the prince.”
Mia held her breath.
‘Are they insane? Do they even know where they are?’
They were gossiping in none other than the emperor’s bedroom.
The bedroom of that tyrant.
Yet, they casually criticized him as if undertaking some great feat to slander the enemy from the deepest reaches of the enemy’s territory.
“Oh, now that I think about it, that’s true. I’m getting scared all of a sudden. Why is such a person still the emperor?”
“Well, he’s the last of his bloodline, so there’s nothing we can do, but…”
“Even if there were, he would have killed them all. That was how his mother died.”
“Ugh! He can do whatever he wants; I envy his leisure!”
Mia’s patience finally snapped. She tore down the partition.
The partition fell with a loud noise, and they stared at Mia in astonishment.
“I can’t wear this. I’ll just wear that yellow dress over there!”
Mia smiled broadly at them.
The annoyance rose in the faces of the momentarily confused tailors.
“Are you sure? What are you going to do with your poor taste?”
The freckled woman, who seemed to be the leader of the group, stepped forward.
There was no respect for Mia in her condescending gaze.
“I was going to say that’s your responsibility too.”
Mia dropped the green dress she wasn’t wearing onto the floor.
Her shoe forcefully stomped on it, crushing it.
Mia put her hair behind her ear and smiled playfully.
“I think my taste is higher than that of those who are busy tearing others apart without knowing the full story!”
The freckled woman, who seemed to be their leader, snorted contemptuously.
“Is that so? Are you trying to act high and mighty when you’ve only survived by shamelessly clinging to the emperor like a parasite?”
Mia sighed nonchalantly in response to those words.
“It’s not that I’m arrogant; it’s just that I find myself cute, you know? Your thoughts about me are just so low-quality! Can’t we have a more sophisticated argument, even if it’s a verbal fight?”
“Well, well? Didn’t I just adjust to your level?” the freckled woman replied.
“It’s not my level that’s the problem, is it?” Mia remarked, “It’s your level, isn’t it? Why don’t you try speaking at your level for once?”
“You don’t think I can do it, do you?” The freckled woman raised her voice, visibly irritated.
At that moment, her eyes caught sight of the front page of a newspaper haphazardly placed nearby. She cleared her throat as if to compose herself.
“Then, can you discuss how our country’s economy is performing and the impact of the recently started iron mine? Don’t you lack knowledge about that?”
“Huh? Mia blinked and then burst into laughter, dismissing the green dress she was wearing.
“Wait a minute. Is that all? Ah… no, surely not…?”
“What do you mean… ‘all’?” The freckled woman’s face flushed with confusion.
“Yeah, is there nothing else? Is that really all? It seems like you’ve only read one newspaper commentary…” Mia’s mocking murmur was evident, causing the freckled woman’s face to turn bright red.
“You’re just saying things…!”
“Alright! Shall we do a question and answer session? I’ll ask!” Mia interrupted the woman and clapped her hands.
“Um, it must be about the Etrunia mine that was mentioned in the recent newspaper? Why is it so remarkable? Because of the import and export…?”
Though she had asked the question first, the woman couldn’t continue her sentence. In truth, Mia’s guess was accurate. She had loosely read something a commentator had said in the newspaper, but she didn’t really know the details.
Perhaps sensing the gazes of the other tailors standing behind her, the woman’s face turned scarlet.
“Aren’t you going to answer?”
Mia, who had been tilting her head in genuine confusion, clapped her hands again, smiling broadly. “Oh! Is it because you think I might ignore your opinion?”
“You… do you know or not?” the woman asked.
“Huh? Isn’t that obvious?” Mia replied naturally and then approached the woman, extending her hand.
The woman flinched, but Mia only lifted the yellow dress that was behind her.
“Right now, the reason the economy is fluctuating is because of the Etrunia mine and the high-quality iron being extracted it.”
“Yeah! It’s different from usual wrought iron or cast iron. The iron we commonly use in our daily lives is wrought iron, but with the recent development of a new method to extract steel, iron mining technology has made a tremendous leap. Thanks to that, the region has been designated as a special district for the steel industry, leading to fierce competition…”
The woman’s face was now a deep shade of red. She gnawed her lips and glared at Mia.
“Why? Do you also know about it? Are you upset because I know something you don’t?” Mia lifted her shoulders, feigning ignorance.
“Or is it that you really just don’t know what you simply spouted? Hm, isn’t it strange for someone who doesn’t know to pretend to know so much? Well, it’s surely not the case, right…?”
“You’re just memorizing knowledge you picked up somewhere!” the woman retorted.
“Do you think so? I’m disappointed!” Mia replied.
“If not, how do you know all these details…!”
“Well, I was the one who gave the order to develop that mine,” Mia said casually. “I was the first to realize the enormous value of the iron ore in the Etrunia mine.”
Of course, Mia had obtained that information from ‘Serenity of the Rose Garden.’ But there was no need to mention that.
“Why would I lie about something like this? Haha, are you foolish? No, you’re an idiot, aren’t you?”
With a mischievous grin, Mia spoke up, “The guild that was developing that mine was operated by none other than Count Celestial himself. And at the time, its provisional value was… around 346 trillion, I believe?”
The tailor’s mouths gradually widened in surprise. Mia shrugged her shoulders.
“But seriously, did you not know that the mine was owned by Count Celestial? And yet you brought up such a story?”
Upon hearing Mia’s words, the woman was visibly startled.
Read ahead here.