Chapter 2. Dress-up, Part I
Whatever she saw or felt, Julietta, who was recognized for her seemingly unprecedented calm and unflappability, had taken charge of the Prince's secret affairs at the recommendation of the chief maid, waging a war every day on hard work as her salary doubled.
For example, this was what it was; a bed with her tired body was wet.
Julietta, jumped up, kicked her foot on the bed, took off her thick cottony underwear and smelled it first. She put the damp part on her nose in the hope that wetting the bed would not be dirty water, as she had to wear it again tomorrow. Fortunately, it didn't smell.
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"Whew, I was scared to death. I was relaxed today. I can't believe I laid down right away without checking my bed. It hurts my pride to make this rudimentary mistake."
She carefully hung her thick inner dress by the window. She then laid down with a blanket on the floor, wearing only one sheet of thin underwear.
She also did not forget to take off the thick iron glasses covering half of her face. She removed all the eyebrow and skin makeup she had been wearing since she was five years old. As soon as she closed her eyes, she fell asleep.
"Yes, I'm going now. I'm going!"
Amelie, the head of the prop room at Eileen Theater, the best theater in the Austern Empire, glared at her when she saw Julietta walking in a leisurely way.
"Julie, did you hear me? I need these pants mended by today, or didn't you hear me?"
The seams of hunting pants worn by the male actor of the upcoming show "Lady Donatera" had exploded during a rehearsal yesterday. Julietta, who had forgotten to mend the clothes which would be worn at the show today, snatched the pants instantly with a puzzled look.
"I'll do it right now."
"We have less than an hour left before the show. What have you been doing so far? You have some new silly ideas because Lillian likes you a lot, right?
Lillian was the best prima donna in the Eileen Theatre. Amelie used to mutter that Julietta had become spoiled by the embrace of Lillian ever since she was a child. After that, Amelie had been constantly nagged her saying, "Don't overrate yourself," or "Wake up and listen!" throughout her stitching.
Showing the repaired pants, Julietta told her. "I'll bring the pants to them right now. And this simple mending would have been done if Amelia had mended it at the time you called."
Pouting her mouth and not saying a word, she picked up the pants and ran off.
"As you are growing up and get old, you don't even hear me anymore," Sophie smiled and said to Amelia, who clicked her tongue at the back of Julita's head.
"She's already a big girl. She's seventeen years old now."
"That's why I'm worried. The theater is a dangerous place for a seventeen-year-old girl. No matter how hard she hides her looks, there is no one who doesn't want to go after a blooming maiden. I'm worried that the male actors keep looking at Julietta."
Amelie wished Julietta could do her job quietly in the supply room behind the stage, but she was walking around the theater like a wild boar hit by a wildfire, and Amelie was worried about her doing her job properly.
"In case of the male actors, I am less worried, as they should consider the theater owner Maribel, and Lillian's so fond of her that they won't be able to do anything rash. I'm more worried that she'll be seen by aristocrats while she's just walking around." Sophie, who was working on Lillian's dress ruffle (a wave-like crease of lace or fabric on the edge of a garment or seam), said with a sigh.
Living in a theater from the age of five, Julietta was disguised by Maribel the theater owner. The juice of one of the dressing ingredients, the metum fruit, had been applied to her milky white skin, and her vibrant blonde hair had been hidden in brick-and-mortar wigs. Moreover, she wore clothes that were three times larger to hide her figure as much as possible, but her natural beauty was not completely overshadowed.
As a result, Amelia and Sophie, who had been taking care of Julietta since she was young, were always anxious.
"I think I'll have to do something about it sooner or later. I asked if she wanted to be on stage because she watched the actresses carefully, but she said no. I just want to find a nice young man and get her married."
Sophie shook her head at Amelia's worried remarks.
"Well, I'm also worried that her life would be flat when she gets married. To the common people, that look is like poison. I think it was Maribel's attempt to take advantage of the baby's beauty. It's the owner of the theater who connected Stella to Marquis Anais the first time. Well, since she was an actress, she wouldn't have been able to avoid that kind of life."
"Is she going to keep that kid hidden? It can't be," Sophie sighed, as if she could not believe it.
"That's even scarier. It's even more strange that Maribel took on a five-year-old with compassion. I'm even more worried that the owner of the theater made a very big plan and kept Julie hidden from the start."
"Why don't we tell the Marquis? She's a bastard, but she's his daughter. He would not pretend he doesn't know her," Amelie said as if it were better.
"Do you think so? Unlike in the past, these days, a lover and their illegitimate children are more likely to be treated with contempt. She can only be protected as a nobleman if she is officially registered in the family of the Marquis, but the Marquis can't do that. He knows Julie's growing up in the theater, but he's never been here and he's pretending not to know. I don't think he's going to get Julie now. If she attracts the Marquise's attention, she would be harassed or treated badly. You experienced how the scary Marquise was when Stella died." As Sophie shook her head and finished in a sad voice, a heavy stillness came to the prop room.
When Stella, who had left in splendor, was driven out empty-handed and came to the theater with her little daughter, the owner of the theater Maribel looked carefully at the bright golden-haired illegitimate child.
Amelie and Sophie were really surprised when Maribel, who had been silent for a while, let the mother and daughter stay in her quarters. The owner of the theater was a woman who showed no pity for no gain. At any rate, under Maribel's protection, whether it was capricious or sympathetic, the mother and daughter began living in the theater.
Even when Stella couldn't pick up her spirits due to the shock of being thrown out of her house suddenly, young Julietta used to run errands inside the theater to pay for her meals. However, not long after such a peaceful life, Maribel was visited by the Marquise.
Amelie and Sophie felt sorry for the poor mother and daughter, but Maribel did not take any action after Stella died. Only then did Julietta don a brick wig and spread the juice of the metum fruit on her face.
Shortly after the visit of Mrs. Anais, Stella, who had been suffering from a long-drawn-out illness, finally died.
After the sudden death of her mother, before the young daughter got herself together, though it was not known how they knew, the Marquise sent people who took Stella's body.
The sudden death of the mother leading to the collection of Stella's body by the people sent by the Marquise. After the sudden expulsion, Stella died, so both of them thought, the Marquise may feel a prick of conscience and will have a funeral for her.
Maribel let Julietta out of her living quarters to live in a small room next to the prop room, so Amelie and Sophie naturally took care of the young Julietta.
"Now that little thing is so big, time flies." After mentioning Stella's death, Sophie, who was lost in old thoughts, tapped her eyes that held tears with a cloth.
"You know what? Now that this year is the one of the coming-of-age ceremony… but I'm worried because she does not become mature and is always scatterbrained and reckless. I feel like I'm seeing a child put up at the water," Amelie sighed as she loaded the last repaired dress on the cart.