Chapter 5: Chapter 5. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part V
Chapter 5. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part V
“But, I don’t know too many people. I am a bit young…”
“Do not worry. I’m sure that all of my acquaintances will like Miss Aria. It would also be of great help to you, miss.”
Aria, who didn’t finish her speech, suddenly hugged Sarah’s waist. Since she was still short, her face was buried into Sarah’s belly as she sniffed back her runny nose, making Sarah slowly pat her back due to how pitiful she looked.
‘What sins could a child who hasn’t even blossomed yet ever commit?’
It hadn’t been long since the lectures had started, but the constant worry and continued comparison between Mielle and Aria had subconsciously brought some anger to Sarah.
It wasn’t like Aria had wanted to be born out of low status. It was pitiable that the judgement could be following her like a tail. It was too much pain for such a nice little girl to endure. That was why Sarah had brought up the subject, to please Aria.
“How is mealtime these days? Are you doing as I have taught you?”
“Of course! It’s all thanks to Teacher Sarah!” Aria raised her head as if she did not sniff, and replied with a bright smile.
Looking down at Aria, who was excitedly anticipating for dinner, caused Sarah to burst into laughter.
Thinking about the previous night’s dinner, Aria smiled.
What Aria hated most were vegetables. She didn’t find the texture pleasing because they were soggy when cooked, but even uncooked vegetables weren’t good. Vegetables were a staple for commoners, so she had eaten them every day to the point of nausea before she entered the count’s family. So, every time a salad or varied vegetables were presented to her, she wouldn’t eat them. Instead, she would make an incredible mess on her plate, turning everything inedible.
Initially, maids would take out new vegetables again, but every time, she screamed that she didn’t want to eat, and they didn’t touch her plate any more.
As a result, she had always been an unwelcome guest at the dinner table, which was set up to improve family harmony and relationships. Therefore, everyone gave up her table manners and mocked her, including her mother.
However, such Aria began to quietly eat her salad. It was not bad to eat a salad with dressing. Although it wasn’t tasty, she felt no need to cause a ruckus because of it.
At first, no one noticed. The food in front of Aria had always been so messy that nobody wanted to look at her.
The first to notice the change in her table manners were the maids, who were the ones who cleaned up Aria’s tableware, then the count, and finally, her mother.
“Oh! When did you learn these table manners, Aria?”
“Teacher Sarah taught me.”
“Oh, my God!”
What followed after were pity and an apology for not properly assigning her the right teacher after witnessing how her manners and behavior had changed.
Of course, when she had first entered the family of the count, she had been assigned a personal tutor, but she hadn’t been able to learn basic etiquette then, because it was too difficult and boring of a study for a girl who had run around and played in the street all her life. Thinking back, the count and his wife began to blame all of that on the talentless tutor.
And that was precisely what Aria was after. It was not only to display that her background wasn’t the reason for why she hadn’t been able to learn, but to show that as long as she learned properly, she was able to keep up with them.
‘The fact that Mielle was more outstanding than her peers was because she had learned early. I’m certain that I can do that as well.’
Aria’s change in behavior had brought great joy to the count, and he declared that he would actively help her learn whatever she wanted. What was more relieving was that even Mielle had sarcastically complained about it as well.
“I used to think that they had purposefully made the food of Sister Aria dirty.”
“Mielle… don’t tell me someone would hate me so much as to think that they would play tricks with my own food? Although I have been arrogant… I didn’t expect that I would be hated.’
Contrary to what she thought, Mielle reached out her hand to Aria, who asked her in tears. It was very enjoyable to see her who denied that it was not. ‘How much would Mielle be swearing to me at this moment?’
Enduring the desire to laugh, Aria said with a sorry face. “If so, that’s truly a relief. But if you were to think for a bit, you would understand that unless I were a magician, it would be impossible to make perfectly fine food into a mess, wouldn’t it? It was because you were too young that you couldn’t think that far ahead.”
“… It.. it was a joke, sister.”
“Oh, I see…! I’m sorry, Mielle, for getting upset and not noticing it was a light joke.”
Seeing Aria smile awkwardly was enough to arouse the pity of others. It must have hurt her feelings, but her apology was sufficient to move the count’s iron heart.
The count, who slowly laid down his fork on the dining table, displayed a hardened expression to Mielle, which he had never shown before. It was the expression that had always been directed at Aria. In the past, it had always been the work of Mielle, the great writer, who had received her father’s affection, while Aria, who had always been treated like a visitor, remained pitifully alone.
“Mielle, make sure to think once more before you speak. Can’t you see that you’ve hurt your sister? I’d be ashamed if someone were to see this.”
“I’m sorry… father. And sister Aria…”
As she recalled Mielle’s contorted face, it brought a smile to Aria.
To begin with, for Aria, who had lived for more than twenty years, it was easy enough to deal with the thirteen-year-old Mielle. She wasn’t sure if it would’ve been the case if they had been of similar ages, but she found Mielle in her current young age to be nothing special. She had thought Mielle to be a genius, but she was just a noble girl that had received her education a bit earlier.
‘Of course, moving forward, much will change.’
It was okay now because Mielle was still young, but it was certain that she would soon start tormenting Aria without any hesitation when she got older. There was already quite a large gap between Mielle and Aria, who was born of a father she didn’t know and a prostitute mother. So, it was crucial that she had to prepare meticulously for that, lest her doomed fate repeated.
Those were steps that were set for the future that even Aria did not doubt. No matter how much she struggled, she couldn’t overcome the count’s biological daughter.
‘But, I have the special power that was gifted upon me by God.’
It was that she knew the future; which bourgeois would seize power in the future; what would happen to the trading business of her father; even beyond that, which business would be prosperous. And there was nobody who could beat Aria, who knew everything.
Therefore, in order to achieve that great goal, she needed to take it one step at a time. No matter how much she knew about the future, there was no way that the position of a daughter of a prostitute, who had sought to raise her status, would suddenly rise. For that reason, Aria decided to take the smallest thing at first.
“Teacher, I have something that I want to learn from you.”
“What would that be?”
“I want to learn about embroidery.”
Embroidery was something very trivial.
Sarah was very famous for creating very beautiful embroidery that looked almost as if it were a real thing. No, it was something that she would become famous for in the future. The reason why she had garnered the interest of Marquis Vincent had been precisely her beautiful embroidered handkerchief.
Aria herself was inherently beautiful, so it wasn’t like she was trying to capture the heart of a man like how Sarah did with her embroidery. It was because she thought of gifting the count something she had made once he returned from a trip. The act might look trivial, but it held a deeper meaning. So much that it would cause Mielle to fume with anger and squeeze tears out of her eyes.