Chapter 7: Chapter 7. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part VII
Chapter 7. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part VII
Sarah contemplated her words multiple times to ensure that she would not hurt Aria before carefully opening her mouth to ask, &quot;… Do you intend to give it to the duke?&quot;
&quot;Then… Sir Oscar?&quot;
Aria felt Sarah’s hand tremble faintly within her grasp.
She could guess that Sarah was probably afraid that Aria, who was pretending to be kind and pure, would be caught up in a struggle with a large number of competitors.
‘You don’t know that I’m the worst of them all.’
Though she was exploiting her knowledge of the past, it was true that she had committed a lot of misdeeds. If she had really been a kind girl, she would have refused or been discouraged from taking such actions.
Not only that, she had thought of only exacting revenge on Mielle, but had never once considered living a kind life.
That was why Aria had no choice but to mask her insidious inner thoughts and smile brightly to not foolishly reveal her hidden reasons or be caught in a trap like she had been before.
Aria shook her head and said, &quot;No. That family’s crest is so pretty that I really wanted to make it. I don’t even know who you’re talking about.&quot;
It was a lie.
In fact, she knew very well. At one point, she had tried to seduce Oscar. Though she had given up from fear after making eye contact with his cold, chilly eyes, it was true that they had met often but without any expectations.
Aria’s firm reply helped relieve Sarah, and her face lightened into a gentle, benevolent smile. It was true that the seal of the Duke of Frederick was beautiful, so Sarah convinced herself that that was the reason.
Sarah no longer doubted Aria’s pure heart, so she began to explain the details of the seal of the Duke of Frederick. She also began to carefully point out the places that needed extra attention during the embroidery process, as if she were used making it herself.
&quot;For the shape of a rose, you need advanced techniques. Even if the axis is slightly distorted, the shape will twist. So, you need to hold on to the central axis and inflate the petals as if they were surrounding it.&quot;
Like Sarah said, embedding a rose onto the handkerchief was a very exhausting and difficult procedure. If she were to take one stitch in the wrong direction, the rose would become very ugly. Since she had already spent more than half a day embroidering the crest of the Roscent Family, the rose seal would be continued in the following class.
That evening, the count returned to the mansion ahead of schedule, so the whole family was able to gather for dinner for the first time in a long time. Mielle chirped a skylark, babbling that she had studied so hard that she had to look exhausted, while Cain told them that he would be returning to the academy’s dormitory since his vacation had ended.
&quot;Has it already come to an end?&quot;
&quot;I am scheduled to leave on the weekend.&quot;
That was quite a good thing. Aria smiled, but she wasn’t caught doing so since no one paid attention to her.
Aria quietly watched over the harmonious family.
They had a good time without her, laughing and chuckling, and her mother was there, albeit a bit awkward. Mielle led the conversations by picking topics that Aria would not be aware of to personally exclude her.
‘You’re only thirteen.’
Seeing how well Mielle knew about her father’s business made Aria so grateful that she could cry.
&quot;Father, why don’t you invest in refined leather? Many fashionable noble ladies are already beginning to use leather in their dresses. It’s refreshing to wear a corset with leather around the waist area.&quot;
&quot;The leather trend was predicted last year. Though we are a bit late, as you say, I think it’s good that we acquire quality leather now,&quot; Count Roscent responded Mielle with a pleased expression.
It was cute to see such a little girl give her opinion. However, contrary to Mielle’s and the count’s expectations, that trend would be completely absent from fashion for the next few years; no, for eternity.
It was difficult to refine such heavy and stiff leather, and the material was starting to be gradually avoided by those who would wear it since it felt uncomfortable. Moreover, the shapes and colors weren’t as varied, and the unique smell of leather was contradictory to the preferences of fashionable noble ladies.
Aria, after listening to the friendly conversation between father and daughter, wiped her mouth with a napkin and slowly opened her mouth. It was time for her to speak about the future she knew.
&quot;Father, can I say something to you?&quot;
&quot;Aria, you? OK, let me hear what you want to say.&quot;
Everyone’s gazes focused on Aria, who joined the conversation after being quiet in her seat that whole time. Looks of ridicule, surprise and worry filled the gazes of the audience.
But, amidst that atmosphere, Aria remained unintimidated and said confidently, &quot;It is certain that leather has been trending amongst young noble ladies, and the material has been used by young noblemen over the years, so I agree with the thought that we need a continuous supply of it. However, do you really think we should invest so heavily on it?&quot;
Aria used to grumble and scream, so when she suddenly so spoke politely, the interest of the count was raised. It hadn’t been long since she had started her education, but that mature, articulate tone and confident expression were enough to attract the attention of the count.
Certainly, leather was trending among a few aristocratic ladies, but aside from that minority, there hadn’t been any widespread interest. The count had known about the shortcomings of leather, so he had not secured the material and had no intention of doing so. He had just agreed enthusiastically with his cute daughter’s words while thinking she had a limited view of things due to her young age.
But Aria seemed a little different. She was filled with some unknown confidence. As a pure businessman, the count began to anticipate the words that were to follow, setting Aria’s birth and background aside.
&quot;There are limitations to leather. Even if you dye it, the color drains from it easily, and it is difficult to dye leather to begin with. Therefore, for the last few years, the exchange of leather has been slow. Among nobles, trends spread easily and disappear easily as well.&quot;
&quot;Hmm, that certainly is true,&quot; the count agreed as he rubbed his chin.
&quot;And from what I have heard…&quot;
Aria turned her gaze away from the count and stared at Mielle, smiling brightly. Aria had not even addressed her main point, but Mielle, whose opinion had already been denied, bit her lip.
In the past, what Aria had personally experienced was that, after leather, another material had trended and become the leader in fashion. A person had started that trend, and everything she wore trended since she was a fashion icon. She knew that everything she put on became a trend, so she was cautious to make sure that nothing would be leaked out before she could wear it properly.
On the other hand, Aria, who had experienced the future once already, was different. She already knew everything. If the person had worn leather, it might’ve become popular, but thankfully, it wasn’t leather that she would wear.
&quot;I heard recently that the princess went to the North to buy a large quantity of fur.&quot;
&quot;Yes. There are rumors that several carriages carrying fur have entered the palace. Unlike leather, there is a variety of different colors that can be chosen from and dyed to. Fur is soft and doesn’t smell like anything if one employs the proper washing method.&quot;
In fact, no one had seen those carriages, so there were no rumors, but it was the truth. The princess had really returned from the North after purchasing a large supply of fur, and she would wear a different type of fur every time a party was held; it would increase rapidly as a trend.
Fur was difficult to process and supply so it would be no use if someone acquired it late, when the trend was already ongoing. Since good-quality fur was limited, it was clear that if the person was diligent, he would monopolize the industry.
If the princess were to wear fur, the trend would surely spread throughout the empire. If Aria’s words were true, he had to quickly acquire high-quality fur, and even if her words were false, he still had to check.