Chapter 8: Chapter 8. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part VIII
Chapter 8. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part VIII
The count thought that her opinion was logical and called for a servant to check on whether those rumors were true or not. If the princess had truly purchased a large quantity of fur, he had to move immediately. He was a great merchant, but he still believed a low-born child like her.
Aria smiled brightly, content.
“Where did you hear that?”
“Hmm… Well? Who was it…? Uh? Where did I hear it from? I really did hear about it… I can’t remember it well…”
She thought of naming Sarah as the source, but if she did, the count might ask her directly, so she refrained from doing so. She decided to smile and act like a girl her age, saying “I can’t remember very well.”
The count asked for the source of the rumors repeatedly, but Aria continued to cock her head as if she was trying to remember.
She didn’t care about what he might think of her at that moment. If he followed her words and purchased the fur, he would reap a great profit, and if he didn’t, he would pound the ground in regret.
Which one he would choose? Aria would not lose anything either way, and would earn the trust of the count all the same. Therefore, to ensure that the count would regret ever dismissing her opinion, she put on an innocent face.
At that moment, the count realized what kind of child Aria was and hardened his expression.
Not long ago, she was a trifling girl that would only scream if she was not satisfied with something. So, it was somewhat embarrassing that he had listened attentively to a girl that didn’t even reach his waist. However, in case the rumors about the princess were true, he decided to check her tip. It wouldn’t take long, and if he was lucky, he would hit the jackpot.
After some silence, the conversation resumed once more, leaving no room for Aria to join in. No, Aria had no thought of joining the conversation when Mielle’s stupid answers reminded her of her own childhood memories, alienating even the countess. However, Aria put the last piece of cleanly cut meat into her mouth, completely unbothered by the situation.
In the end, it would be she who would have the last laugh.
The count, who had originally stated that he would stay in the capital for a few days, immediately prepared to go on a business trip as early as lunchtime the following day. Aria had a hunch of what had happened when she saw the servants packing several bags of thick clothes. She thought that he had believed what she had said.
As she had expected, the count had received the information that the princess had purchased fur. If he had asked “What did you buy in the North?,” it would have taken him a while to get the right answer, but it hadn’t been difficult to get a reply since he had simply started with “What did you buy?”
Unable even to have lunch, the count hurriedly prepared to depart, apologizing as he kissed the countess’ cheek. Sequentially, he stroked the heads of his son and daughter one by one, saying that he would come back safely, and finally, he looked at Aria. The gaze was a mixture of joy, satisfaction, and pride, establishing itself as a great favor.
Before the count stroke Aria’s hair, she reached out and grabbed his hand. The count was a bit surprised, but after hearing Aria’s bright voice saying goodbye and telling him to return safely, he smiled affectionately. It was a real father’s smile, which Aria was receiving for the first time.
Aria then took out a handkerchief she had hidden in her inner pocket. When she reached out with it, the count asked what it was.
“It’s a handkerchief. Although the embroidery is a bit sloppy, I thought that you’d need it since you’ll be heading to a faraway place. Have a healthy, safe trip.”
Mielle’s eyes, opposite of her, became so big that they couldn’t grow any bigger.
‘Tell her you won’t receive it.’ That was what her expression was saying. But contrary to her wish, the count happily accepted the handkerchief. There was no mistake that Aria must have seemed like an angel to the count at the present time.
In addition, the embroidery was very beautiful, so he would have accepted it even if he hadn’t been in a good mood. The embroidery was so great that it was unthinkable that it had come from a fourteen-year-old girl.
“Well, I bought her the fabric because she would start learning embroidery, but I never imagined that it would be so beautifully finished.”
The countess, who hid the whole affair, also showed Aria’s embroidery to Mielle and Cain. No one could dispute that the embroidery of the lily was really beautiful, and not because Aria was her own daughter.
Mielle stared blankly at the smooth handkerchief laid upon her hands. A beautiful lily, which looked as if it would give off the flower’s fragrance, was vividly displayed. It was more elegant and beautiful than any embroidery that she had ever seen.
‘Could I truly embroider something more beautiful and elegant than that?’
She felt like she would burst into tears.
Noticing Mielle in such a state, Aria with a very pure face, asked Mielle brightly. “I can make you a handkerchief like that, Mielle, if you need it. If my brother Cain asks for it, I will make one for you as well…”
“No, I don’t need it.”
Cain declined before Aria could finish uttering her question. Aria, who had expected that reaction, shrugged without losing her smile. “I see. Then, it seems that I only need to make one for Mielle.”
Mielle gave no answer as she was half out of her mind from the shock. Her father was going on a business trip to a faraway place, but she didn’t even wave her hand once, staring blankly at everything.
Aria didn’t think that Mielle would act viciously like she had done in the past, but she didn’t expect her to receive such a shock.
Well, it was very satisfying.
Aria, who had returned to her room, giggled. She was going to give Mielle the best embroidered gift. Because she had never said that she would be the one making it for her, Aria would get Sarah to do it.
Certainly, Mielle would despair every day looking at it. Since she was young, that would be even more noticeable. Once she came to her senses, she would learn to embroider with her own hands to somehow overcome Aria, and when she realized that she was quite bad at it, it would definitely come as a great shock to her.
‘It could be that you’ll never be able to embroider anything for the rest of your life, like me in the past.’
In the past, Aria had always suffered from an inferiority complex, falling behind Mielle in every way. She had not been as elegant, not as logical. She had been unsociable, self-absorbed, guilty of not being loved, all of which had contributed to her fall into the temptation of the maids, and led her to express those frustrations through evil deeds.
It had been a wall that she had never been able to overcome then. Therefore, she had become even more obsessed with taking care of her beauty. Thinking back, if she had stopped and thought for a bit, she would’ve realized that she would’ve been able to cross that wall with effort and time, but she had not been able to realize that because she had thought from the beginning that it was impossible.
‘So now, it will be OK if Mielle becomes the opposite.’
Before Mielle could try anything, Aria would take the first step and ensure that she wouldn’t be able to do it. By continuing to repeat that procedure, it was certain that Mielle would become a mess, like she had been in the past. Just thinking about it, a thrilling sense of euphoria spread throughout her whole body.
On the following day, Mielle did not attend lunch or dinner, staying in her room instead. Some ladies that Aria was seeing for the first time visited Mielle in her room, but all of them went back with puzzled faces. Although all of them were very good at embroidery, they all fell short of Mielle’s standards, so there was no future for them teaching her.