It’s like the sound of the wind.
I replied with a bewildered expression, not even realizing that the cookie in my hand had dropped to the floor.


“…Me?”

“Yeah, you haven’t made your debut in society yet because of your external duties.
How about debuting in society now?”

“But I’m not a noble.”

“Well… What’s the problem? Let’s just add your name to the family tree while we’re at it.”

My mother’s expression was unusually relaxed, which made me even more flustered.

“Add my name to the family tree? That’s not an easy task…”

“Siara, it’s something that needs to be corrected sooner or later.”

Corrected.
It seemed like to my mother, the fact that I wasn’t her and our family felt like something was wrong.

‘I also want to be part of the family…’

I wondered what my father and older brother would think.

Adding a name to a noble family’s genealogy wasn’t easy.
It required confirmation that you inherited the power of the family, as well as the permission of the direct relatives and the imperial palace and temples.

It meant it was not an easy task.

My mother must have noticed that I was lost in thought, as she quickly added.

“Social status is very important, Siara.
Especially for a talented healer like you.
You know that crimes against commoner healers are still ongoing.”

The determination in my mother’s eyes was firm.
Even if I were to refuse, she seemed determined to convince me by any means necessary.
Above all, I had no reason to refuse.

‘We are family, after all.’

If that was the case, was there any reason to nitpick? Even if it didn’t work out, I had nothing to lose.
So I nodded confidently.


“Alright.
Let’s do it.”

“Are you serious? Yes, that’s my daughter.”

My mother breathed a sigh of relief, seemingly relieved.
In her slightly faded smile, I could see the countless things she had gone through, and I responded even more brightly to that smile.

I didn’t know what the future held, but I hoped my mother would be happy.
Her enthusiasm, something she hadn’t shown in a long time, was also for my sake.
Regardless of the outcome, I was willing to accept her favor with pride.

* * *

We began packing our belongings to leave for the royal palace.
We only packed the essentials, yet two carriages were quickly filled.
If it had been another family, they would have needed at least five carriages.

My mother seemed delighted, but I secretly worried.

‘Last time, they subtly disregarded the Astita family during the festival.
I hope they won’t do the same this time.’

Huangdo was a place where trends changed rapidly on the continent, and society was no exception.

That’s why the boutiques of skilled madams had reservations booked years in advance.
Suddenly, I remembered what my childhood friend had told me.

‘Do you know why the madams in the capital sell clothes at a premium price and yet the reservations are sold out in no time?’

‘Why is that? Do they all have so much money?’

‘Siara, you don’t know anything, do you? It’s not just about the clothes.
It’s about showing their status through clothes and accessories.
By revealing their family’s status through those clothes and accessories.’

Then, like a child who doesn’t understand the world, she bought eight dozen fans with peacock feathers.
It was a completely impractical fan, but she said it was something she was in the capital, adding extra money to be able to purchase it from a renowned boutique.

The shining jewels that caught the sunlight and the feathers swaying with every movement, I wondered how captivating they must have been.
I vividly remembered the time when I cried and expressed my desire to visit Huangdo.

…Anyway.

The Astita family had only recently started making their mark in the capital.
Everyone would underestimate us, and it was obvious that we would be even more disregarded if we appeared in simple attire.

‘I can’t let them underestimate me like this.’


I had to embellish myself by any means necessary, even if it meant going beyond the average standards.
With renewed enthusiasm, I clenched my fist tightly.

‘Even if the famous places are fully booked, there should still be decent places available.
If it’s really difficult, I can alter my existing clothes.
I wonder how Dad and my older brother are doing.’

Throughout the carriage ride, my mind was preoccupied with thoughts of how to adorn my family.

* * *

Therid was diligently focused on his knight duties as usual.
He trained in the morning and carried out his assigned tasks, guarding the palace during the day.
However, one day, he was led by the hands of the maids and received an unexpected order.

“Therid, from now on, your duty is to groom.”

It was an order directly given by the radiant figure, Crown Prince Dianel.
Afterward, Therid heard from his father that his mission was to debut in the social circles of Huangdo.

Although he had participated in parties before and performed escort duties, he had never attended as a guest himself.
He trembled with vague fear.
The crystallization of his fear occurred when the order of “restricted access to the practice grounds” was issued.

“Therid, His Highness the Crown Prince has prohibited access to the practice grounds.”

“Restricted access to the practice grounds? What’s the reason?”

“Well… It seems… he doesn’t want anyone to get sunburned.
Instead, he requests everyone to receive a massage.”

A massage? It was so absurd that he couldn’t even speak, but it was an order from the Crown Prince himself, so he couldn’t resist. 

Later, he learned that the reason the Crown Prince instructed him to “groom” himself was for his social debut. 

Although he didn’t know why the Crown Prince was so enthusiastic about his social debut, Therid had no choice but to comply if it was what he was ordered to do.

Thus, the operation to transform Therid began, leaving no room for his original self.
Every time he received grooming, he would squirm at the strangeness of a story he had never heard, not even from his family.

“How is your skin so flawless? It’s hard to believe you’re a knight.”

“You’ll be popular once you make your debut!”

“You might find a fiancée this year.
I envy you, even though I don’t know who she is.”


Engaging in sweaty conversations with men all day long and being surrounded by family members, Therid found everything unfamiliar.
It felt as if someone was gently tickling his ear with a feather.
But strangely, he didn’t feel bad about it.
He was unsettled. 

After that, a Madame sent by Izbe ladies visited him.
She tortured Therid by laying out twenty sets of clothes, over a hundred design samples, and various accessories.

“With fair skin and blonde hair, you’ll look like a noble prince when you dress up.”

“Bright colors with gold accents would be great.”

“Pearls for the buttons? No, pearls are too mundane.”

As she adjusted and pinned his clothes, altering their sizes, the Madame’s mouth curled up into a satisfied smile.

“Hmm, it’s better to have a tight fit than loose-fitting garments.”

Her smirk made it seem like she had won a victory.
Therid, who had been tense all along, took advantage of the Madame’s momentary distraction while she hummed a tune.

“…This seems enjoyable, even though I’m not a woman.”

However, Therid’s statement was immediately met with the Madame’s outcry.

“Oh my, making such archaic remarks!”

“I-I see.”

“Nowadays, it’s considered proper for men to groom themselves.
Moreover, Therid, you have a slender and delicate figure, so emphasizing that aspect will make you look much more beautiful.”

“…Would women really like that?”

“Of course.
Therid, you haven’t met the young ladies from the central noble families yet.”

As the Madame raised her glasses with her index finger, she spoke with self-assuredness.
At first glance, her attitude could be seen as unpleasant.
After all, Therid was a noble, and the Madame was a commoner.

However, the Madame, who had connections to the central noble families, exuded confidence, while Therid found himself trusting her.


In truth, Therid was confused by his sudden debut in high society.
He had no idea what he should prepare or how to go about it.
And there the Madame appeared before him as if she had rolled through multiple battlefields, exhibiting a dignified demeanor.

Moreover, the Madame was well-informed about high society’s affairs.
Naturally, she was even more knowledgeable than Therid.
So he nodded his head without hesitating, not wanting to hurt her pride.

Showing a compliant attitude, the Madame nodded with a smile.

“That’s it! That’s how you should approach it.”

“…Approach what?”

“Therid, you’re a knight affiliated with the royal palace.
It’s assumed that everyone in high society who attends social gatherings is already aware of that fact.
So, emphasizing it would be redundant.”

They said high society was quick to spread information, and it seemed to be true.
Unknowingly, Therid nodded his head.
In response, the Madame folded her fan and covered Therid’s eyes.

“Those deer-like eyes!”

“…What?”

“That’s what’s important!”

“….”

“Well, it seems you don’t understand.
Let me explain step by step.”

With a sigh, the Madame began explaining, pointing out one thing at a time, as if teaching a child.

“It’s well-known that it’s difficult to become a knight of the royal family.
Knights

 are objects of admiration for the young ladies as well.
However, it’s different for the central nobles.
Their gaze reaches the heavens.
Fortunately, in this age where love and marriage are in vogue, even young ladies no longer choose their husbands based solely on family background.
Especially the young ladies from the noble families in the capital, they pay quite a bit of attention to appearance.”

“So, you think my appearance will make a difference?”

“We need to assess their preferences.
That’s why I’m emphasizing this point.
From now on, Therid, your concept will be a charming, yet masculine appearance.”

“A deer can be muscular, I suppose.”

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