A form of propriety known as a “curtsy” exists.
[ED: The kana is read as “kaa-teh-she” but it’s clearly referring to curtsy]
Pull one leg inwards and back, now gently bend the other leg’s knee, and lightly raise the hem of your skirt. As a finale, one must bend their waist and deeply lower their head.
A truly formal greeting. However, this etiquette is only performed by women. Therefore, a high standard of grace and refinement must be met.
Currently, this “curtsy” is being beaten into me.
「Please note, a curtsy is both the beginning and an end within a formal setting. As such, the importance of understanding such etiquette is of the highest priority」
Mariywa’s classes were never lenient to begin with, but her incredibly high tension today left me stifled.
As for the reason for her unusual passion, it was quite simple: The Royal Palace is holding a ball in the near future. It was clearly Mariywa’s scheme to display the eminence of her tutoring abilities through my performance.
「Ojou-sama, when ladies of your age display an elegant curtsy and maintain an eloquent introduction, in the eyes of others, none would believe you to be other than a true daughter of the aristocracy」
A tutor’s status in society was directly correlated with their student’s grace. If my performance at the ball were to be splendid then rumors of an exceptional tutor, namely Mariywa, would arise and spread.
Well, regardless of Mariywa’s goals, I care for not. For I, Christina Noir, am a genius after all!
[ED: I’ve seen and defeated so many of you so-called genius sect disc.. wait, sorry, wrong genre]
To be recognized, to be valued, and to be the pinnacle of worship, such is my fate in high society. Mariywa’s prestige will surely grow as a result of my endeavors. I, as your student, shall allow you to bask in my brilliance when that day comes!
「Now then, Ojou-sama. Curtsy and introduce yourself as I have taught you」
At Mariywa’s urging, I curtsied and introduced myself in the most ladylike of manners.
「It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Toinette. I am Noir Household’s first daughter, Christina Noir. Speaking on behalf of my household, we wish for an enduring and felicitous relationship」
A curtsy along with a self-introduction. Expressed in a humble tone, I spoke, not as the 7-year old Christina, but as one befitting the Noir Household’s name. As I finished speaking, I did not forget to gracefully smile as I raised my head to meet Mariywa’s eyes.
Mariywa announced her satisfaction with my perfectly executed curtsy. It was perfect after all so this much was expected. Since I, a genius, evaluated it, perfection was expected!
「To be frank, I did not expect such impressive progress in just one day. We shall end the lessons for today then. Some light reviews from time to time should suffice for curtsies and introductions so let us proceed forward next lesson on」
「Yes, Miss Toinette」
「Very well… … However, Ojou-sama was unusually obedient today. Did the lines between your acting and the true you blend?」
Since she was in such a good mood, this stringent Mariywa actually jested with me!
Certainly as Mariywa stated, I became and maintained a quiet manner after today’s lesson on the curtsy. Having to maintain the appearance of a proper lady, I ended up obediently following Mariywa’s instruction and kept a polite tone.
「That is not the case, Miss Toinette. My attitude today is not something that should be praised. In fact, though slightly embarrassing, once I was taught the curtsy’s form, I was left in deep thought」
「Deep thought, you say?」
It must be that my polite speech was unexpected since the whip in Mariywa’s hand was kept tamed. We were actually speaking to each other as fellow human beings!
「Were you, perhaps, considering the origins of the curtsy? If it is something like that then I would have been happy to relieve you of your doubts」
「That is incorrect」
Something like that, I can come to an understanding just by seeing it. It was likely created and propagated to display a woman’s grace as well as their submission to the norms of societal standards.
Therefore, Mariywa’s thoughts would never parallel to mine.
[ED: Well… You’re not exactly a normal “girl” from that era/world XD]
「I could not help but notice that my feet looked exactly like something whenever I curtsy」
「Exactly like something?」
「What is that something?」
My meek and pure appearance today has produced results. I threw away my lady-like act and lightly smirked towards this curious and defenseless Mariywa.
Mariywa became speechless at my unexpected remark.
Her mouth continued to open and close, but no words could come out.
「Ku, KuKu, FuFuFuFu, FuFuFuFu……!」
Seeing such a rare expression on Mariywa’s face, the smile I was holding back the entire time sprang up. I was bursting with waves upon waves of laughter.
I held back during the entire curtsy lesson, but now I have no need to be restrained. I puffed my chest out with pride and placed my hands on my waist, struck a daunting pose and bent my head back.
「FuFu, Fuhahahaha, Fuwa—Ha Ha Ha Ha! Hey, Mariywa.
The shape of the legs during curtsy is that. It’s absolutely the form of a frog standing up on two legs. In other words, all the ladies in the world, in their swelling skirts make the legs of a frog! On top of that, now that I realized it, it will be extremely hard not to laugh. Thanks to you, the entire time during today’s lesson I was desperately struggling not to laugh——」Piyang!
Because my joke was the largest one yet, the wrath of the whip was also the worst yet.
Well, if my repentance only amounts to just this then I shall relent. However, as I was tenderly stroking the lash I received, something unbelievable flowed into my ears.
「Ojou-sama. You surely don’t think it will end with just one right?」
「… … Eh?」
Glaring down at the befuddled me who forgot about the pain, was the man eating old maid, Mariywa Toinette. Her expression was filled with silent rage.
Foregoing all forms of formality, a chilling voice resounded out of her mouth.
Mariywa always had a stern look, but her lips drew into a straight line and began to quiver. With the whip in her hand, and the snapping sound of the wind, I finally realized I went too far.
However, it was already too late.
「It’s Miss Toinette」
My timid and pleading voice was cruelly cut down.
「Expressing such foolish thoughts, laughing so loudly and ungracefully, and even trampling upon the basics of a lady’s etiquette. The price for such acts, PREPARE YOURSELF!」
With the “Etiquette Lesson” finished, I was left with some free time with Mariywa’s departure until dinner. I “optimally” used it by embracing my lovely Mishuly.
Since Mishuly was two years younger and had a smaller build, she fitted perfectly on my lap. Taking full advantage of that, I held Mishuly tightly.
Mishuly, who was in my lap, tilted her head in confusion.
It couldn’t be helped that Mishuly would be curious about my odd behavior today. Immediately after Mariywa left, I dove straight into Mishuly’s room and kept her in my embrace since. I may overly dote Mishuly regularly, but today was definitely excessive.
But it couldn’t be helped.
To heal my emotional wounds from today’s etiquette lessons, I had to stick to Mishuly like this. It was necessary to bask in the healing warmth that flowed out of my sister.
I think Mishuly also doesn’t find this pose unpleasant. She had a curious expression on her face, but I thought it was fine so we began to chat.
「What is it Mishuly」
「What did you do for today’s etiquette lesson?」
Oh my dear younger sister, your choice of topic is simply too precise…
When I recalled my meeting with death from today’s child abuse, my smile immediately stiffened.
「Fu, Fufu, it was normal, Mishuly, not much happened. Hmm, let’s see… … If I must explain then today’s lesson would be helpful in understanding a horse’s feeling」
「Mr. horsie’s feelings? What feeling was it?」
Mishuly who has yet to understand what etiquette is, innocently questioned me.
Being asked what kind of feeling it was, I ended up recalling the earlier horrors and stared off into the distance.
「……I learned about a horse’s pain. In the future when I learn how to ride a horse, I decided to never recklessly use the whip」
「Yes. To swing that flexible object at something, I could NEVER get myself to do such a terrible thing… … That’s because it hurts, it really hurt」
My younger sister who has never been hit by a whip tilted her head in confusion.
That’s fine. I earnestly wish that Mishuly would live a life where she would never be hit by a whip during training and understand a horse’s feelings. Getting hit by the whip on the butt a hundred times or wallowing in illusions to abate the pain is something that should be unrelated to her life.
「I don’t really understand…… Thing’s like Mr. horsie’s feelings and a whip, etiquette is really mysterious」
Just as Mishuly said, etiquette class is full of mysteries. To have the same thoughts as myself, as expected of my younger sister.
「As expected of my Mishuly, you are truly smart」
As I tenderly stroked Mishuly’s head, my lovely younger sister giggled in a tickled fashion.