The two looked to Kebrilio. The smile on his big face could be seen for miles. Clearly, the man was enjoying this exchange a little too much.
It was a massive mental whiplash to hear the princess offer the alternative and see Kebrilio so willing to back her up on it. For a second, the two knelt there, unsure of how to respond. Then, Jerry, the quicker-minded of the two, quickly snatched up his kettle and ran off to refill it with hot water. Once full, he ran back to his original spot next to the wall and placed the kettle back on top of his head.
Who cared about how hot the water was? Having burnt skin was a much better alternative than staying with Elric!
Quick to pick up on the mood, Kite ran off to the water bucket and refilled his kettle as well.
Recently, it felt like Kite was becoming less and less of an honorable knight.
With Kite and Jerry dealt with, the princess focused her attention on Elric. “You have one more task to complete. Sir Kebrilio will take you to Countess Merlise afterward.”
She nodded at Charle and Hamon, “You two may continue.”
An evil smile was visible on Charle’s face as he picked up one of the earring. Chuckling, he turned around to face Elric.
Elric started. He just remembered something—all women who wanted to wear earrings like those had to have their ears pierced! That sadistic Charle was planning to pierce his ear!
Realizing that, Elric’s legs pushed off against the ground to stand up, only to find himself firmly rooted to the ground. A single hand was preventing him from moving! It was that damnable bear of a magus, Kebrilio! Why in the world was he of all people doing this to him?!
By now, Charle and Hamon was at his left and right. Charle had the same evil grin on his face while Hamon looked at him without the same gentlemanly expression as usual. Hamon, at the very least, was being nice and had in his hand the golden needle generally used to make the ear hole. But Charle, what was he holding?
Not a needle.
A dagger. The very same one he wore at his side usually.
Elric deeply regretted not asking His Majesty, the emperor, for asylum earlier now. To have fallen so low by this princess’ hand and the rest of her terrible accomplices…
He lamented to himself deep in his heart. It would appear that he’d be forced to play the part as miss Fantasia, Kebrilio’s niece or whatever.
He was also unsatisfied with the rough treatment of the three men around him. His first complaint was with Kebrilio.
What kind of master did he have? What master would choose such a meaty person as a magus of all people? Kebrilio looked more suited to being a warrior, if anything. His master must’ve been a freak of some kind! Kebrilio’s grip on his head was starting to hurt so much he felt like his head was going to pop!
But even though the pain Kebrilio felt lethal, it paled in comparison to the pain he was feeling at Charle’s hand. The man was ruthless in his treatment. Holding his knife as he would a steel dart, Charle pinched Elric’s ear with his other hand and stretched it out. Then he stabbed the dagger into his earlobe. Pain seared through Elric’s ear and body like a bolt of lightning. Soon, Elric felt numb in the head—the point of the dagger wasn’t nearly as sharp as expected!
At least Hamon was far more reserved. Gingerly holding Elric’s other ear, he gently pierced it with the needle in his hand. The pain was a little sharp, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much or as long as when Charle did it.
The deed was done. Holding both ears, Elric compared the sizes and realized that they were uneven by just a little bit. He also grumbled inwardly to himself that one of his ears felt much longer than before. Hamon was gentle in the piercing, but Elric could swear that Hamon permanently stretched his ear out when he pulled it.
His quiet grumblings weren’t even finished yet when the princess called Belladonna in to heal the bleeding.
Inspecting his ear wounds, Belladonna figured it wouldn’t kill Elric if she treated them with holy magic. She had Kebrilio hold him down, just to be sure, and casted her spell.
That was when Elric knew what true pain was. Casting holy magic onto a person who had sold their soul to a demon—now that was the epitome of punishment! He’d have screamed a long time ago if not for the abnormally strong magus forcing his jaw closed.
Luckily Belladonna predicted such an outcome and managed to heal him without killing him. Elric would live to see another day.
And with Charle, Hamon, and Kebrilio’s continued assistance, the princess was able to smoothly get Elric into the dress. With someone like Kebrilio helping, Elric complained to himself, even an elephant could be forced into the dress.
The banquet dress he wore nearly broke one or two of his ribs, but the effort it took just now to fit him into this newest dress definitely caused a hairline fracture in three of his ribs. But it was done. He was in the dress and the princess now had full control over him.
By her command, several of the maids quickly began to dress Elric’s face up with makeup and his hair with a wig while the rest of the middle-aged men stood off to the side and admired the transformation. By the reflection of the mirror in front of him, Elric could see Jerry and Kite both craning their necks to look at Elric. The pain of the boiling water within the kettles on top of their heads had been completely forgotten.
The ‘process’ of being dressed up was always a point of contention for Elric. He always thought it to be a cumbersome and annoying process, but not even his past experiences could compare to today’s. It took a simple matter like putting on those eyelash extensions an entire hour. And that hair stylist…Elric wanted to tear his own hair out almost. The amount of steps and actions the stylist did boggled his mind. For the sake of finding the best hairstyle for him, the stylist washed his hair over and over again, curling, steaming, and tying it in a bun to see what would work. She even combed his hair enough until there wasn’t a single knot in it left!
If not for the fact that the stylist was working on his hair, Elric would’ve congratulated them for having such a masterful hand and observant eye for details.
These ‘beauticians’ were skillful, there was no denying that. Elric could hardly believe the person in the mirror was himself after several hours. The others were just as surprised as he was. In the mirror reflected an elegant and cultured beauty, a person that was completely unlike Elric. As a male, Elric didn’t really have any features that could really be labeled ‘handsome’. His eyes were a little slanted and thin, the bridge of his nose stuck out just a little bit, his nose comparatively a little small on his face, and not even his eyebrows were even.
But dressed as a woman? Every lacking attribute Elric had as a male served as a way to enhance his feminine features. His thin and slanted eyes were fixed up to look genteel and calm and paired nicely with his petite nose. Given his normally quiet personality, Elric was looking far more demure like an actual woman now. He wasn’t an intimidating person to begin with, so the new air and temperament of him as a woman surprised even the princess.
What Charle said next had everyone silently agreeing with him.
“Elric. Yer far more successful a woman than ye are a man.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter