Chapter 19 – Doing Errands

Benedetta had actually had Carson waiting outside already, so he entered as soon as she left.

Firgolmir and Drusella got to work right away.

“Right,” he declared, “First, I heard you already found the cuirass tight when you first received it, which means you probably stripped the padding out from the breast area by now, right?”

“Mr. Firgolmir!” Genette protested, but the smith shook his head.

“What would you suggest I call it? Anyway, we’re getting better measurements so you can go longer before needing to adjust the armor this time. Drusella?”

The dwarven girl told her, “Please remove her outer clothing.”

Reluctantly, Genette removed my tea gown and my shoes. The two smiths immediately began measuring everything imaginable as I stood there in a thin tunic, panties and an extreme blush. Some measurements were obvious, like the girth around my chest above, below and over the bosom, around the waist or around the hips. Or the width rather than girth of my ribcage, waist and hips, which he took with the largest set of slide calipers I have ever seen. Others were a bit less clear, like three different ways to measure the length of my arms.

The most obvious was when he had me materialize my wings in order to measure the open area that would be needed in the armor. He had seen the flap on my tea gown, and said he would see if he could come up with something similar to cover the exposed area.

But then there was…

… as Firgolmir eyed from the side to verify accuracy, Drusella measuring the vertical distance from the top of my shoulder to the tips of my breasts, while me supported them slightly with my hands.

Only allowed on

— caliper measurements of the same breasts, for width, distance from bottom to tip, and horizontally, both breast to breast and tip to tip. Drusella pulled the fabric slightly tight as he measured to insure that he got the points accurately, causing them to poke through…

— distance from my back to breast tips… WHY IS THIS MAN SO OBSESSED WITH MY CHEST?

Carson raised the same objection out loud, a bit more diplomatically, but Drusella is the one who spoke up, as Firgolmir ignored the butler and began concentrating on my legs.

“Mr. Carson, do you know what lies directly behind her bosom?”

The butler scowled and said, “Her ribs?”

“No. It’s some of the most important muscles for the arms. If her cuirass is badly fitting, it can degrade her sword swing. Armor cups that are too small in some dimension, or badly located, will compress the flesh unevenly and interfere with movement. It is also vital to insure the bust is evenly supported, to avoid discomfort during rapid movement.”

I personally felt like I was hearing a very clever excuse for sexual harassment, but Carson accepted it.

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Fortunately, my armor uses a sea-serpent skin surcoat that turns into a skirt at the bottom and with ‘greaves’ made of wyvern hide, rather than having plate components all the way up to the hips. So Mr. Firgolmir had no excuse to get so personal with my thighs. Still, I felt just a little bit soiled by the time they left.

I borrowed the second carriage and the apprentice driver, and headed out after that. I dropped by the Knights Barracks to report in, the Royal Paymaster to collect my back pay, and Mother’s preferred dressmaker to make an appointment. The last was to take measurements for an appropriate dress for the Engagement Announcement. The dressmaker could have waited to see me until she showed up at the mansion in a few days, but Mother wanted her to see me with my wings out, for an early start on brainstorming designs.

That left only one more stop… the Velvet Retreat, in a slightly questionable section of the upscale end of the commercial district known by the euphimism, the ‘Entertainment District.’

We were using the second carriage, which has no livery markings, so technically it would have been fine to drop me off in front, but the establishment had a garage that could fit several carriages. It was only mid-afternoon, when the business had only just opened, so we were the first carriage in.

I hesitated getting out of the carriage. This place was much more intimidating that an ordinary house with three or four girls working. I glanced at the driver.

He smiled and pointed. “I don’t know this place, but I would guess you go to that door, Young Mistress.”

Now that he had misunderstood my hesitation as not being able to see where to go, and answered that way, I had no choice. I walked to the door, which had a bell pull.

Shortly after that, a window on the door opened and a butler-like face peered out. I asked, “Is your establishment open for business?”

He raised his eyebrows, nodded, and swung the door open for me.

Once I was inside a small space, he said, “Honored Guest, I must apologize for my rudeness, but before I let a female visitor go further, I must clarify what you are here to do.”

Two alternatives to the obvious came to my mind: girlfriend/wife chasing down her man, or job-seeker. Understandable that he needed to ask.

I blushed slightly, but replied in my best noble fashion, “I require some blood for my sustenance.”

I smiled as sweetly as possible after making such an outrageous statement. But the man simply nodded and opened the inner door, waving me in.

“The salon is at the end of this hall.”

It looked absolutely everything like how I suspected it would, complete with luxurious furniture, rich carpets, and fancy wall treatments such as fairly stimulating paintings of nudes. Did I say ‘stimulating’? I would be willing to revise to ‘pornographic’ for two of them.

But the women in the room looked exactly like the women of high society, in dress and frankly, how they cared for themselves. They even carried themselves like noble girls. Of course, Mother has high standards, so it wasn’t that strange.

Neither they nor the establishment looked anything like what Tiana had seen on the road. I let out a sigh, and wondered how to begin.

“Oh, my,” said a young lady nearby, who was not much older than me. “This is an intriguing sight.”

She rose from the couch she had been reclining upon and approached me. Leaning forward as she arrived, she asked, “Honored Guest, you’re quite young, aren’t you? I wonder what delightful mischief a pretty girl like you could possibly have in mind?”

Her fingers touched my forearm, making it a caress. Her posture was exaggerating an already lascivious bust line. Actually, there was a hint of areole peeking out down there…

Inside my head I firmly marched Robert Steward to the corner for another timeout and put Tiana Full Battle Mode in charge.

Giving her a coquettish smile, I reached out, caressed the side of her neck, and responded, “No need for you to wonder. I thought perhaps I might partake of a few sips of your lovely wine.”

WHAAAAAT?! Who is this silver-tongued demoness, and what have you done with my innocent Tianaaaa???

FBM almost fell apart right there, due to my shock at myself. Was I really able to say something like that? Was that Robert or Tiana? It was neither, right? Right?

The girl’s eyes were wide and her mouth was open. Did I break her?

- my thoughts:
Heh. I'm just going to leave this one without further comment.
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