Chapter 11: Crossdressing (4/5)

He was better a woman than a man? Was that a compliment? Elric didn’t know. But what he did know was that he really wanted to beat the crap out of the middle-aged man in front of him. That probably wouldn’t end for him, though. He’d probably end up on the receiving end if he tried to fight that old fox. 

He could also see Jerry and Kite minutely nodding their heads in agreement to what Charle said. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to be angry. These were his best friends? Did best friends really laugh at another’s misfortune like this? 

There was another problem. Was he really a disappointment as a man? He was quite the weak fellow—the fact that he so readily submitted himself to Monster back in Nadirheim was just an example of how he was weak in a different sense. Him becoming a slave to Crazy was just another example of him being weak-willed. And now the princess forcing him to crossdress as a girl? 

There was no salvation.

Everyone was starting to feel a little guilty about the situation. It was all supposed to be a joke, but the results were far better than expected! Who knew Elric would’ve been so pretty a girl? Now that he was crossdressing, Elric looked more natural as a girl. In fact, he could shame several of the other aristocratic women!

“It’s beautiful. Perfect even! Ye should consider pretending being a woman from today onward! It suits you perfectly.” Charle continued.

“Yes yes, you should think it over, Elric.” Kebrilio agreed.

“Mhm, you’re quite pretty, Elric. Staying a male would be a shame, you should reconsider it.” 

Elric’s head snapped to Belladonna. If Belladonna of all people was laughing at him, then he definitely felt like a failure.

“Well well, we shall consider this matter concluded. Sir Kebrilio, thank you for your troubles. Please see Elri—ah, I misspoke. Please see miss Fantasia to Countess Merlise.” The princess spoke.

It amazed Elric that the princess could take a joke like this and turn it into an official matter so easily. It was only a shame that it was him in the joke. He had to blame his bad luck and misfortune for getting on the princess’ bad side. Truly, this woman was far more cruel a person than Crazy.

“Yes I agree. Official matters come first.” Kebrilio laughed. He whirled back to Elric. 

“My dear niece—Fantasia, come with me.”

Kebrilio left the room with a curt nod to everyone else. Pained and reluctant, Elric followed suit and chased after him.

Elric was just about past the door when the princess called out to him one last time. Hoping that this was all just a cruel joke and that the princess was going to end it now, he turned around to listen.

“Take mind of your voice, Elric. Your disguise is perfect aside from that. Don’t disappoint me further or your life will truly be forfeit. Do your best.”

Elric hung his head. Turning away, he slowly walked out from the room. Never in his entire life had Elric ever felt so worthless as a human. His life felt bleak right now.

Laughter broke out in the princess’ room once Elric was gone. Even the two acolytes being punished could hardly prevent themselves from snickering just a little bit.

The one who was laughing the loudest was Charle since it was him that made the entire plan to begin with. Anyone whose plan worked far beyond what was expected would naturally feel the same.

“I wonder what kind of jestery he’ll accomplish next.” The princess laughed behind her hand.

“Hahaha, he is a great jester. If being a male was too hard, why not make the swap? I just never thought he’d have a talent like this. Haha! A crossdresser, how interesting!” Charle laughed.

“Lessons won’t be necessary anymore. He’ll learn court etiquette soon enough.” Said Hamon.

“I care not for etiquette. Don’t ye think this prank is interesting?” Charle scratched his chin.

The happy grin on his face transformed into an uncharacteristically stern thin line. “A jester does his best work out in the open. He’ll serve us well if he makes a fool of himself more. We should aim to hasten our peace talks with him serving as a distraction. Rather than confine him, let him walk freely. Who knows what unexpected gains we may receive?”

It was a plan that had everyone staring at him in surprise. Who would’ve thought this man would have an entire strategy lined out for a joke of his own making? The man had more depth to him than expected.

As excellent as the plan was, every single person held a moment of silence for the sacrificial pawn that was Elric. They would, everyone thought, keep a more closeful eye on Charle. The man was dangerous! No one knew if they’d be the next pawn to be used. What would they have to sacrifice if they were next on the chopping block? Their life wasn’t much of an issue. For knights like Kite, sacrificing their lives for their country was ideal. Their life for the greater good! 

But their life wouldn’t be sacrificed if Charle had anything to do with it. Anyone Charle decided to sacrifice would suffer a fate far worse than death, or at least, that’s what Kite and the others figured. 

Well, Hamon didn’t have to worry. Forcing a burly man like him into crossdressing was an impossible task, something only a god could accomplish.

As friends of Elric, Belladonna, Kite, and Jerry could only pray for the best for him.

In his carriage, Elric was praying to every deity out there. Praying that no one would see through his disguise. Praying that he wouldn’t slip up anymore. Praying that all would be well.

In the carriage, Kebrilio was leisurely enjoying the scenery. The two didn’t speak for the longest of times, though that was more of a lack of effort on Elric’s part.

Then, at last, Elric broke the silence. “Hey, I’m begging you, could you please let me go?”

The man merely responded, “Why, Elric, you should be more careful. Your voice was quite deep just now. We wouldn’t want people to know the game is afoot, do we?”

“The game is afoot? Can’t you let me run away by foot then?” 

“Do I look like one who goes back on their word?” Kebrilio replied.

“What word, your fat ass just wants to see me suffer.”

Elric, of course, didn’t dare voice such words out loud. This fat ass was his cover story, after all.

He had nothing. He was alone in this situation. Leaning back against his seat, Elric began to pray for some kind of miracle to take him out from this embarrassing situation.

Pious was he in his prayers to every deity he knew. Unheard were hise prayers to those deities. Only Monster heard and was summoned by them.

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