Eugène, guided by him, walked towards the long chair he had just been sitting on.
As they took their seats, Marquise Merlin turned her back and began to dress up again.
He was now facing her spotless white back.
She still wore only panniers and no robe, revealing her back, shoulders, and white arms.
Her face was reflected in the large mirror in front of her.
The half-exposed, voluptuous chest line, the waist that became narrower as one looked down, and the slender and beautiful legs attracted Eugène’s gaze, who couldn’t help his instincts.
“I’m not sure if you know this, but Count d’Estuaire is quite famous for his big reach in the social world.
He is especially close to the ladies, so it will be of great help to the Baron.”
The lady-in-waiting, in charge of makeup, applied white powder to her soft cheeks.
Marquise Merlin quietly closed her eyes to make it easier to put on the makeup, and spoke to Eugène, only moving her lips slightly.
The playful voice was mischievous but cheerful.
Count d’Estuaire received the words of the Marquise with an air of dismay.
“Won’t the Baron misunderstand, Marquise If you say that, don’t you think the Baron would think of me as a womanizer”
“Oh my, you dare say otherwise Even if the Baron is unfamiliar with the court, there’s no way he’s unaware of this.
The fact that you’re a womanizer is as clear as the fact that the sun rises in the east.”
She continued to talk nonchalantly while the powder flew everywhere.
The powder was tapped not only on her face but her long neck and shoulders, down to her plump chest line, making her beautiful skin look even whiter.
To be honest, it was such a fascinating sight that he couldn’t take his eyes off it.
Looking at the scene, Eugène realized why the invitation of Toilette Officielle was a kind of seduction.
A peal of low-pitched laughter and a muffled voice could be heard next to him.
Eugène shifted his gaze and looked back at the relative looking at him.
A relative was a relative, even if he was his third cousin from his maternal lineage.
Count d’Estuaire handed Eugène a glass of champagne.
Eugène accepted the glass and leaned back on the long chair.
“His Majesty has many pieces of luck.
One of them, I think, is a woman’s blessing.”
“I understand what you mean.
Though I’ve heard that Marquise is a beautiful woman, after meeting her in person, I feel that the rumors I heard were rather insufficient.
This is the imperial court after all.
There’s not only one beauty like that but three.”
Eugène readily acknowledged the Count’s words.
Before seeing the Emperor’s three concubines in person, Eugène thought that the Emperor had taken them purely out of political necessity.
That was the only way to think about it when he saw the power map of the aristocratic faction that was completely reorganized as the concubines entered the palace.
But now that he saw them in person, his thoughts changed.
Clearly, the Emperor selected his concubines by considering not only a political point of view but also an aesthetic point of view.
Otherwise, it would not have been possible for all of them to be such incomparable beauties.
Countess Patrí, the most beautiful woman in the empire, praised as the noble ‘Lady of Ivory’, was marvelous, but the other concubines also had appearances that could match her with only a different type of beauty.
“It’s good that the Baron didn’t lie.
All the other nobles say I’m the best.
Of course, it’s only in front of me.
Because in front of Countess Patrí, she’s the best, and the story changes again in front of Marquise Lamott.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Ktf Zjgdelrf gfqilfv klat j rwlif.
Ktf abcf kjr qlaloei gjatfg atjc tjgrt, yea la rbecvfv fnfc ybivfg yfmjerf bo tfg ygluta nblmf.
Jbeca v’Sraejlgf yegra lcab ijeutafg ja tfg kbgvr.
Ktf Zjgdelrf uijcmfv ja atf Jbeca.
“Qts jgf sbe ijeutlcu ilxf atja Qtfgf jw P kgbcu P tjnf fjgr, abb.
P xcbk tbk sbe jii jgf.”
“Oh, my lady.
I’m not laughing because you said something wrong.
It’s just that our men’s shallow nature is quite amusing.”
“The shallow nature of men”
Their superficiality is truly limitless.
It is in the nature of men to think that the beauty in front of them at that moment is bound to be the best.
Even nobles who inherited noble blood cannot escape the fate of a man as long as he is born a male.
I think they’re telling the truth of the moment, instead of saying two things with one mouth.
It’s your irresistible charm, not their conscience, that makes them talk.”
Count d’Estuaire slyly defended the noblemen who flattered her.
The Marquise’s eyes narrowed slightly, perhaps due to being dumbfounded by the absurd remarks.
“My goodness gracious, these men! Just why in the world are they all like that Women are to blame for everything, even the men’s own faults.
Am I to blame for their poor sincerity and shallow memory Is it really my fault that they are the least bit ashamed to say two words with one mouth”
Your fault lies in your dazzling beauty.
You can’t blame the poor eyes for being blinded by the sun now, can you”
The conversation, like a ball bouncing back and forth on a tennis court, took place rather swiftly.
The whole scenario seemed pleasant as Count d’Estuaire continued to speak mischievously to pull her leg while the Marquise raised her chin, pretending to be angry.
While observing the scene, Eugène noticed that Count d’Estuaire was a fairly skilled flatterer.
In the front, he pretended to defend the nobles who lied to the Marquise, but behind the scenes, he secretly praised the lady by exclaiming how beautiful she is, which was to say, a truly clever scheme.
As they talked, the Marquise continued to dress up.
To make her complexion stand out, a touch of red was dabbed on both cheeks, and the eyebrows were delicately outlined with a soft eyebrow pencil.
She was a beautiful woman from the beginning, but as the makeup was applied, her beauty became as bright as a blooming flower.
One of her ladies-in-waiting rubbed her nails hard with a velvet cloth to polish them.
The other lady-in-waiting, in charge of her hairdo, tied her flowing hair into the latest trending style and waited for her choice as she held out a jewelry box full of adornments to put on her hair.
The Marquise blinked as she looked into the jewelry box and tilted her head.
It seemed that it was hard to decide what to choose.
After hesitating, she gestured for the jewelry box to be taken to Count d’Estuaire and Eugène.
Since she can’t choose by herself, she’ll leave it up to them to choose.
“The jewel that goes well with your beautiful eyes is definitely onyx.
I will choose this onyx comb.”
Count d’Estuaire briefly looked at the splendid accessories and quickly picked up a hair comb.
What he chose was a beautiful comb adorned with the finest onyx on a black background with exquisite white marbling.
The young girl, Viscountess Carbo, placed the selected comb on the velvet towel and handed it to the Marquise.
The Marquise nodded contentedly and then put the comb into her hair.
When the Count’s selection was over, it was Eugène’s turn.
The lady-in-waiting held out the hair adornments in front of him and waited for his choice.
Unfortunately, the first thing that came to mind when he saw the jewels was his Silver Ferry and the new artillery it needed.
If he had been the owner of these jewels, he would have sold them all and used the money to rearm the ship with a 50-pound main battery instead of the 35-pound one.
Eugène briefly recalled that thought from an extremely professional point of view but soon shook off the idea as it did not fit into the current situation, and began to look at the accessories.
Now that he has come to the court, he had to act courtly.
If aristocrats wanted to indulge in a pastime pleasure, Eugène would simply have to go along with it.
One does not ride against, but rather, ride up the strong waves.
“Your hair reminds me of a beautiful night sky.
Stars are what suit the night sky the best, don’t they I would like to recommend these hairpins.
These hairpins will shine like stars in your black hair.”
What he chose was a set of small hairpins with achromatic diamonds that shone brightly.
It wasn’t as large and glamorous as the other jewels, but it would look quite beautiful if several pairs of small diamonds were shining through the gaps in the lady’s black hair.
The young girl, Viscountess Carbo, handed the Marquise the five pairs of diamond hairpins chosen by Eugène.
The woman delicately placed the hairpin between her braids, smiled adoringly, and turned to Eugène.
“You have a great eye, Baron.
I really like it.”
It didn’t seem like the lady said those words merely out of courtesy.
She instructed the lady-in-waiting to place the rest of the hairpins in her hair.
Then, she looked at the image repeatedly in the mirror, carefully examining how it looked from different angles.
As mentioned before, Eugène had never seen a lady dress up so closely.
Owing to the fact that his family collapsed, his mother couldn’t afford to dress up in such a grandiose manner, and Louise was reluctant to invite him to the toilette despite him being her husband.
So, even though he was a grown-up aristocrat, Eugène did not know exactly how this time passed.
All Eugène knew about the Toilette Officielle was the experiences of other naval officers, and none of them were decent stories but were instead plain obscenities.
Fortunately, Eugène’s first experience was quite different from those dirty stories.
He was quite pleased about that.
To most, it wouldn’t be what they fancied but to him, it was.
Eugène was genuinely relieved that his first time at a toilette did not turn out to be like what the stories of his friends entailed.
This was the Toilette Officielle he was invited to by the Emperor’s concubine of all people.
If anything scandalous had happened, he would have had his head cut off this time around.
The Marquise’s ladies-in-waiting were very quiet, and they would not open their mouths unless the Marquise spoke to them first.
Count d’Estuaire and Marquise Merlin seemed close to each other, but they never crossed the line.
They, naturally and skillfully, created an atmosphere in which even Eugène, who was present at the event in an uncomfortable mood, managed to adapt.
Thanks to Count d’Estuaire, who was a good talker, he was able to laugh at times.
But most of all, what he liked was that the Marquise did not speak of the topic he had expected, something which was on his mind.
He had no choice but to come after she sent a letter out of the blue, in which she addressed herself as ‘your little sister’ and pretended to be on close terms, but when they actually met, she acted like someone who completely forgot what she had written on the invitation, which made him feel quite relieved.
Thanks to this, Eugène was surprisingly able to spend an hour comfortably and even enjoyed it a little.
The time spent in Toilette Officielle was quite long.
The beautification, which started at ten in the morning, finished at noon, so it took a complete two hours.
During that time, Count d’Estuaire and Eugène acted as companions to the Marquise, observing the entire process of her dressing up.
At long last, her adornment was done, and she looked back at them, clad in a beautiful pink blossom robe, with a fan of feathers around her wrist.
The originally beautiful flowers seemed to have retained their scent even after they were used as decoration.
Eugène once again thought the Emperor was a very lucky man.
“Thank you for spending this boring time of the day with us, gentlemen.
Thanks to you both, I was able to finish dressing happily.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to treat you both to lunch in return.
My cook is fairly good.”
She spoke joyfully after getting up.
Eugène and Count d’Estuaire, having no reason to refuse, accepted her request.
The Marquise retreated to the next room to oversee the luncheon.
When she left the room, Count d’Estuaire turned and looked at Eugène.
He looked like a freshly turned thirty-year-old.
Seeing that he was good at making jokes and witty, he suspected that he was a real playboy, but he abandoned his sly attitude and looked at Eugène with slight shyness.
Unexpectedly, there was even a sign of caution in his gaze, so Eugène paid attention to him with an unusual look.
“I’m well aware that you think this is shameless, Baron.
I came here at the behest of the Marquise, but I’m also embarrassed.
You must have been dumbfounded when I suddenly appeared as a relative after all these years of no contact.
Let me introduce you again.
My name is Oscar Valentiée, Count d’Estuaire.”
Oscar swung his second greeting with a shy attitude.
Eugène smiled warmly at the attitude that showed sincerity and accepted his greeting.
This is because he was unexpectedly fascinated by him.
“I’m Eugène Lothair.
My mother passed away early, so I don’t know much about the situation of my maternal lineage.
It’s nice to meet you, belatedly so.”
Eugène greeted his younger third cousin again.
Oscar smiled softly and held out his hand.
Eugène took his hand and held it in silence.
T/N: FINALLY BACK! once again, i apologize for the long break.
rest assured as i won’t be taking another one for quite a while.
thank you so so much for your patience, lovely readers.
love you all :”] p.s volume one is set to finish in 8 chapters and then we’ll finally be able to enjoy some fruity content ;p