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Published at 10th of February 2020 05:29:58 AM

Chapter 28

After work, Bernard went to the optician the clerk said before .


Rainbow Hall .
In the corner of the shopping district downtown, there was a shop that handled expensive glasses .
The building appearance was no different from other shops downtown . It didn’t give off the luxury vibe .
The signboard was still showing that they were open . When he peeked inside, there were a lot of glasses arranged there .
For the time being, he decided to enter and talked to them .

A good looking shopkeeper greeted him and asked what kind of product he was looking for .

“It’s for shortsightedness, but I’m not the one who will use it . ”
“I understood . ”

Various glasses were lined up in the shelves and glass cases in the store . The shopkeeper boasted that they were the same as the best ones you could find in the royal capital .

“Is the one who will be using it male, or female?”
“A woman . ”
“Is it for your wife?”
“Ha!?”
“Please wait for a moment . ”
“Wha, wai… . . ”

Without giving him time to deny, the shopkeeper said, “If it’s for a woman,”, and went to the back of the shop to look for some products . It seemed that the glasses stocks were not only what was displayed here .
The one that the shopkeeper brought back was a pair of glasses with a handle called a lorgnette .
The edges and handle were silver engraved with fine patterns such as flowers and vines . It was a gorgeous pair of glasses .

“This was made especially for watching the theater . It’s secretly popular within the noble ladies . ”
“There is such a thing?”
“Yes . ”

He held it up as the shopkeeper advised him and felt that it was quite heavy, it must be hard for women to hold it for a long time .
In the first place, glasses with handle like this was not something you used while working .
Bernard asked him to show different types .

“The ones relatively cheap are these pince-nez glasses . ”

Eyeglasses that were worn on top of the nose could be used normally if the user was sitting still, but if they moved around, it could fall, he explained .
The one lately purchased was the glasses with stems that could be hung on the ears, it was stable and rarely slipped .

“The glasses with stems are somewhat expensive, but it has a great reputation around the customers . ”

“Is that so . ”

He asked to show him one of those glasses .
It was lighter than the lorgnette before, but it was still heavy with the thick lenses and metal borders and arms .

“You might feel uncomfortable at first, but will get used to it soon . ”
“I see . ”

All the items on display were good . They didn’t look cheap .

He asked if they did door-to-door sales, but the shopkeeper shook his head .
There were so many variations and the customers’ had different eyes’ measurements . The best way to find suitable glasses was for the customers to come to the shop .

“ . . . . . Alright . I will come back later . ”
“Yes . We look forward to your next visit . ”

He left the store and sighed . He noticed the white breath forming out and fastened his cloak’s button .
The time for the carriage was short, so he walked quickly towards the stop .

***

After returning home, Bernard consulted Gigille . How to take Agnes to the city .

“It can only be by disguising her, right . ”
“Disguise… . . ”
“For example, Master dressed as a woman, and Agnes-san dressed as your maid . ”
“Why!”
“Isn’t it rare for a man to bring a female servant? That will make you stand out in the city . ”
“You’re right . ”

That’s why, Agnes’s figure couldn’t be disguised as a man .

“Master . ”
“What?”
“There is a way for a man and woman to walk together very naturally . ”
“Stop beating around the bush, just say it quickly . ”
“As a couple . ”

He thought he misheard it, so he asked her once again, but Gigille only replied, “Just pretend to be a married couple, and go to the store . ”

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“Agnes-san won’t stand out if she wore a wide-brimmed hat and tied her hair nicely . Her figure also looks different from how she appeared in social gatherings before . ”

Seeing a wrinkle formed on Bernard’s forehead, Gigille asked him a question .

“Are you dissatisfied with something?”
“No, it’s not like I’m dissatisfied, but is it really necessary to go that far?”
“It is . ”

Supposed the people looking for Agnes were present in Rainbow Hall .

“They might ask something like, ‘Did you see a slim young lady with pretty golden hair and blue eyes?’ . ”

There were many women in the royal capital with gold hair . Most of them dyed their hair . Blonde hair was one of the characteristics of a beautiful woman in society .

“But when they see blue eyes, won’t it leave some impressions?”
“Nobody will stare at a woman’s face right . That’s rude . ”
“Even for an optician?”
“I think so . When the shopkeeper wants to check the glasses have been put on, just close your eyes . ”

If they took care of that, Agnes would look just like any other noble lady who went to buy glasses . There wouldn’t be any special feature remaining, Gigille said .

“Master too, let’s arrange your hair and put the best clothes on you . ”
“Why do I even need to… . . ”
“Master too needs to look like a different person . It will be troublesome if you meet an acquaintance, right?”
“Ah, right . ”

Since he had no other idea, he decided to go with Gigille’s plan .

“--But, before that, there is something that you need to put on . ”

When he asked about it, the reply was not something he expected .

“It is the natural atmosphere of a married couple . ”
“Is that really needed?”
“It’s absolutely necessary . ”

If they looked awkward, they would look suspicious .

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But he pointed out that it was normal for a newlywed couple to be awkward . However Gigille said that’s not true .

“Even for a newlywed, after they spent the night together, they can break the awkwardness . ”
“I don’t understand that logic . ”
“You will when you get married . ”
“Is that so . ”

Bernard didn’t look convinced . Gigille once again pleaded .

“It’s not like I told you to spend night together, but please--”
“I know . I know it already, so don’t say anymore than that . ”

She told him to not be lovey dovey, but at least they wouldn’t look uncomfortable when standing side by side .

“Won’t it be difficult to act like that . ”
“Yes, but it’s for Agnes-san’s sake . Think of it as thanking her for nursing you back then, please put some effort on it . ”
“ . . . . . ”

Bernard agreed albeit reluctantly .

“Then, what should I do?”
“Let’s try to make Agnes-san play the role of your wife for one week . ”
“That’s why I said, there’s no need--”
“There is . Besides, if she can’t see well, she can’t do her job as a servant properly . ”
“Well, that’s true . ”
“Yes . Let’s continue to take care of Miel . ”

In the first place, she was only told to take care of the kitten when she was brought here .
He initially thought that she didn’t need to do anything else because she couldn’t do it anyway, but unexpectedly Agnes was a hard worker .

To put it in words, Agnes had been refraining herself to be a burden . However, Gigille persuaded him forcefully and somehow managed to go with her plan .

***

In the morning, after Bernard dressed himself up, he went to the dining room .
It was raining outside . If he didn’t leave early today, the carriage would be crowded, he thought as he walked through the corridor .

As he entered the dining room, his eyes met with Agnes’s, who was already sitting there .
She got up in a hurry and greeted him .

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“ . . . . . You’re early . ”
“Yes . Good morning, Master . ”

Gigille watched the situation . The two of them stood blankly .

“Master . ‘You’re early’ is not a proper greeting . ”
“ . . . . . Whatever is fine, right . ”
“It is not!”

Agnes was flustered, she thought it was her fault he got blamed .
The attention turned to her because of that .

“Agnes-san too . ”
“Ye, yes . ”
“You don’t need to raise from your seat when you meet your husband . And then, you must not call him Master, please call him by his name . ”
“I understand . ”

When he thought she was done with her review, Gigille suggested that they did it once more .

“Well, no, we can do this properly from tomorrow--”
“That’s not good!”
“Ok, ok, I get it . --Morning . ”

He asked if that’s alright with his eyes towards Gigille .

“Well, that’s fine . Now it’s Agnes-san’ turn . ”
“Yes . Good morning… . . Be, Bernard-sama . ”

Her cheeks blushed just by calling his name . This was no good, Gigille thought .

“You need to practice calling his name . ”
“ . . . . . Yes . ”
“Master too, please accompany her . ”
“If I have the time . ”

The atmosphere during breakfast was perfect . But, there were a lot of problems .
Gigille alone was determined on how to make a married couple atmosphere between them .

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