Chapter 4: Chapter 4. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part IV
Chapter 4. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part IV
At the time, she didn’t admit that she had been abandoned, and focused only on grooming her appearance, but now, having the chance to restart her life, she realized that she couldn’t afford to do that. Nothing was as stupid as treasuring a withering appearance as a lifelong asset.
“Nice to meet you, Miss Aria. I am Sarah, from Viscount Loren’s family.”
The new home tutor, who looked about seventeen years old, curtsied to greet her politely.
She was pretty, but she was an ordinary girl without any particularly unique features. There was only one reason for why she had chosen Sarah who had never taught anyone else before, as she rejected everyone else of their great skills.
That was because that humble, only daughter of the viscount would later captivate the heart of Marquis Vincent and become his wife. With the exception of the Duke of Frederick, who was part of the bloodline of the Royal Family, it was safe to say that Maquis Vincent’s family was at the pinnacle of power among the aristocrats, and Sarah would become the mistress of such a great family.
It was hard to forge relationships with those who held authority from the start. In that case, then wouldn’t it be ideal to become friends with someone who would later take hold of that authority?
After thinking of several key figures from a list she had made, she had decided to win Sarah over to her side, who was the most accessible among them, as her tutor. The innocent girl, who had not unstained yet, seemed as easy to handle as a lamb that would soon be taken to the bloodstained altar for sacrifice.
Aria, ignoring common etiquette, ran towards Sarah and hugged her waist. This was the most honorable welcome that Aria who had just become a noble from a commoner could provide. It was all very unexpected, which caused Sarah’s eyes to widen, but she didn’t show her surprise with exaggeration.
Aria hugged Sarah and raised her head to meet her eyes. “It’s so nice to meet you!” said Aria, who smiled like a child. Sarah smiled at the appearance of innocence, possibly due to the fact that Aria was a child on the outside, but inside, she wasn’t.
The countess, witnessing this scene, apologized as she separated Aria from her.
“She doesn’t know how to behave just yet, so please understand her, Lady Sarah.”
“It’s fine. Please, do not worry.”
“Please, take good care of Aria.”
Sarah liked a child. Unlike other aristocratic women who didn’t want to have any more pregnancy when a boy was born, she liked to give birth every year. Sarah believed that fertility was the duty of the nobility, and that all the children that were borne needed to be raised with love. Therefore, she did not reprimand Aria, who could not show any etiquette, but treated her warmly.
After the countess went out, the two sat face to face with the table between them and talked with the future classes.
“It is an honor to be able to teach Miss Aria. What would you like to learn the most?”
At Sarah’s question, Aria cocked her head, blinking her long, beautiful eyelashes. After pondering for a moment, she fiddled with her fingers as her cheeks reddened. The peach-like appearance caused Sarah’s cheeks to redden as well.
“The manners of sitting, walking, and eating… All of them! If I were to be asked why, I would say that I want to become a very elegant person like my sister, Mielle.”
Although she was depressed inside, she pretended to be very innocent and elegant on the outside. In order to deal with a wicked woman, she too had to become that way.
‘No, I must become a woman more wicked than the evil woman; a woman with a very thick mask to hide my true colors.’
That was how Aria had decided to live her new life. It was her vow to act just like Mielle, and she let her go through the miserable end she herself had faced in the past.
At Aria’s words, Sarah could think of Aria’s sister right away. Although Mielle was still young, she had a great reputation for her elegance and graceful gestures.
It was said that she began being instructed to be a model of aristocratic ladies from the moment she started to walk, because of the characteristics of the business of the count who frequently invited high-ranking foreign nobles to his mansion. It was possible because she was a quick learner when compared to her peers. So Sarah could understand Aria’s mind. There was a model of ladies within easy reach, so it was natural that she would want to become just like her sister.
It was clear that Aria, with her enchanting eyes, would have the advantage when it came to appearance, but not among the aristocrats. In the aristocratic world, reputation changed depending on how smart or noble one was.
‘She is just fourteen years old. How could she give off such a different atmosphere despite the same hair and eyes as her younger sister, Mielle?’
Even though Aria was only fourteen years old, Sarah was captivated by the magical, colorful atmosphere that surrounded her. It was an asset that could not be gained by effort alone. If Mielle and Aria stood side by side, it was quite certain that the eyes of the people would naturally shift toward Aria.
She was still young, and if she were to groom and perfect her manners and sophistication before her debut in the social world, it was certain that she would become a very influential figure, which would dominate the society.
Sarah began to feel that it was a great honor to be able to teach such a young girl, to the point that she felt grateful that Aria had chosen her. Both Aria and Sarah had similar thoughts.
“Though it may take a while, I will do my best.”
“If so, we will see each other for a long, long time. I’m so glad.”
‘I hope to see you for a long time, future marquise.’
Aria smiled naively. She felt that she had been given a generous assessment from seeing Sarah’s smile. It wasn’t a bad start.
Aria was able to quickly assimilate Sarah’s teachings. She had seen them hundreds or thousands of times already through various people in the past, so she had no trouble learning them. At one point, she had even tried to secretly imitate Mielle’s gestures, so it would’ve been even more strange if she hadn’t been able to fully learn something that she had seen and heard thousands of times.
However, that truth was known only to herself, so it seemed like she was a girl who was learning all of it in a very short time.
Sitting down gracefully, like a butterfly, Sarah gave Aria a relentless round of applause. If she could, she would like to compliment her immediately.
“If you continue to progress at this rate, I think you’ll be able to learn all of the basic precepts of etiquette by the end of the year.”
“That’s too much, teacher.”
Aria had begun to call Sarah by teacher. Although Aria didn’t have to call her that way since Sarah was of lower status and was lacking in teaching experience, Aria, hiding her innermost thoughts, had exclaimed that she would call her teacher because she was being taught by Sarah.
Her good-natured and kind personality was able to quickly win over Sarah’s heart. In fact, although she wasn’t a hard worker, she was able to learn the etiquette Sarah had taught her perfectly by the following class, and it made Sarah think of Aria as a hard worker.
‘Poor Miss Aria.’
To be honest, the rumors circulating around Aria were not so good. Before meeting Aria, she had also heard the rumors and thought lightly that the rumors might be true. But now, she felt ashamed for thinking like that.
The bad rumors were all based on the fact that she was the daughter of a prostitute. Sarah began to think that she wanted to at least help clean the slate to Aria first.
Although Aria lacked social skills and didn’t stand out compared to the other aristocratic ladies, Sarah wanted to do whatever she could to help out because the rumors were much too frightening and scary for a young girl to go through.
“Miss, since you have learned all of the basic precepts of etiquette, why don’t you try participating in a tea party?”
“A tea party?”
“Yes, it is an opportunity to expand your relationships and network with others while learning new things at the same time.”