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The entrance ceremony ended, and the sheet containing the long list of pairs of all the students below the top ranks was put up.
The other students gathered around the paper. However, the seventh rank Chloe’s pair had already been set in stone. Having a lot of time in hand, she leisurely glanced at her partner, Soujiro Hino, whom she had gotten aquatinted with just a while back.
He had a small frame for a man. His height was around the same as Chloe’s, perhaps shorter.
On the back of his head was his charming long black hair tied up with a ribbon. His big black eyes were adorned with long eyelashes. His nose was a little short, but the small bridge made him look more handsome. His skin too was supple and smooth.
However, the first and foremost thing was: no matter how one looked at him, he seemed Asian.
He seemed to know his greetings well….but would he be able to understand her words?
“…Do you need me for something?”
“More importantly, you can understand my words? I’m a little curious.”
“It’s not a problem. As long as it’s everyday conversation and terminology regarding my specialty: tailoring.”
As he raised an eyebrow in doubt, words tumbled out of Soujirou’s tiny lips. His English was surprisingly smooth and sounded native.
“What about languages other than English?”
“Other than English, I also learned a little French from a tutor. I had heard that the language used here, in Atlantis, is quite similar to it.”
“Ah, then that’s great! I mainly speak French and English. Besides, I can speak some basic greetings and the like in Spanish and Italian. Hey, Soujirou is a foreign student, right? Where are you from?”
“Ah, I’m from Japan.”
…If she wasn’t mistaken, it was a place in the far east, beyond the silk route.
It was a nation of many mysteries, closed off to the outside world until a few decades ago.
In Europe, the fine arts of imperial Japan were prised as being exotic. They even influenced fashion trends.
But was it really fine…? As a country that had had no cultural exchange with the outside world until a few decades ago, they surely would have a unique Magic Dress of their own. However, their traditional cloth design was poles opposite from the styles they saw in Europe.
Could he properly create a Magic dress?
“You seem dissatisfied. It’s written on your face.”
“As I said, it’s written on your face.
Can an Asian create a normal dress?
Your expression is screaming that.”
Hearing Soujirou’s sarcasm, his lips curved up into a smile.
“…Ah…um…the dress…you’ll make it, right?”
“I learned the basics of dress-making. Nonetheless, Japan is still a ways away from Europe. I can’t get into the Europe-mode of dressmaking immediately. Though they might be amateur work that you cannot wear formally, I have created many Magic Dresses.”
There was a difference between your usual dress and the enchanted Magic Dress. I was the difference in raw materials and workmanship.
“An acquaintance of my father’s runs a spinning mill. So it was easy to arrange for raw materials required to craft a Magic Dress. The ones I would have in hand were mainly Mana Silk and Rainbow Thread, along with fairy wood brocade. Of course I only got scraps of the brocade.
Cloe opened her emerald eyes wide. All of them were hard to use. They weren’t raw materials any amateur could use.
“I leaned the Japanese traditional craft of putting enchantments in embroidery. I also ordered some books from Europe to learn fashion techniques and designs in the west by myself. That’s why there is a subtle difference in my recent designs.”
“Yeah, I think that’s more than enough….”
“Hmm, I see.”
Just at that moment, the voice of a female teacher resounded.
“Then, we shall be moving to the arena for the welcome program prepared by the senior students. Please try to stay together as pairs from here on as far as possible.”
Chloe and Soujirou gazed at one another. As their heights were almost the same, their lines of sight were nearly the same.
“Now, I don’t think there’s any reason to protest.”
The new students of Alstroemeria Academy left the hall where the entrance ceremony occurred in droves. Guided by the teachers, they headed to the so-called arena in the academy grounds.
At the end of September, the wind was cold. In the wind, the horse chestnut trees along the boulevard gently swayed.
Chloe noticed something white in the shade of the horse chestnuts.
I looked like a white ball at first glance. But it also seemed somewhat fluffy.
…It wasn’t a ball, but a living thing. To be precise, a cat.
It seemed oddly dignified. Perhaps it was a pet raised by one of the teachers in the academy.
In the arena.
The so-called arena seemed somewhat similar to the pictures of Roman ruins they had often seen hanging on the walls of their preparatory schools.
The decorations on the walls seemed identical to the pictures. Its shape was similarly circular, and it had bowl-shaped seating on the inside.
The new students all sat in the audience. Not long after, a shout of cheers was raised from where the senior students were seated in the audience.
The new students soon came to know of its reason.
Dressed in vivid Magic Dress designs, the female students took to the stage one after another,
It was a fashion show of Magic Dresses.
The moment they understood what it was, the new students let out a cheer of joy.
A blonde witch wore a luxurious blue, reminiscent of the sea during summer: Robe à la Française1. Her hair was pulled up and adorned with large bird winds that swayed just like the tails of tropical fish.
Made with nearly transparent muslin, white wings like an angel’s made up another witch’s Empire silhouette dress2. Her slender arms were covered in white gloves, while a while lace shawl gently wrapped around her.
The third witch was dressed up in a regal red dress, just like a portrait of a queen from the Renaissance era. She wore a stand-up lace collar: a Medici Collar.3 The pearl necklace around her slender neck further enhanced her beauty.
Looking at the Magic Dresses, Chloe muttered to no one in particular.
“I want to wear that dress.”
She heard someone beside her reply.
“I want to create a dress like that.”
Chloe subconsciously turned to look beside her.
There sat Soujirou, looking at the fashion show with rapt attention.
Maybe, just maybe.
He and I are made for each other.
Hopeful, Chloe once again fixed her eyes onto the fashion show.
Hasr: There will be a lot more descriptions of dresses in the upcoming chapters. Do you want just the pictures or a short backstory about the dresses (coz I learned a lot going down the google rabbit hole)? Tell me in the comments.
Next chapter gonna be here in a few hours