‘Th, this is……!’
Winston doubted his eyes.
However, no matter how much he rubbed his eyes, what Livia Pellington dropped was without a doubt a Ruby Certificate, an honor given only to the best students among the graduates of the Imperial Academy.
The super elite among the elite.
A genius among the prodigies.
What the Ruby Certificate meant was clear.
That was what fell out of Livia Pellington’s bag.
‘Is it a fake?’ Winston wondered doubtfully.
But it was undoubtedly the academy’s seal that was stamped on the specially crafted Ruby Certificate.
The seal had a special power, so it could never be copied.
There was no doubt cast that it might belong to someone else, as the name “Livia Pellington” written at the bottom of the certificate was extremely clear.
It was the first time Winston had seen one in person. He had chosen only the elite to become the Mercedes family’s residential tutor, but he had never seen a Ruby Certificate before.
All those who had received Ruby Certificates in the past had either become professors or had been scouted by the imperial family.
Something was wrong.
Winston, who had barely picked up the certificate, handed it to Livia and asked with a smile.
“Ho, if you don’t mind my rudeness, may I ask what your plans for the future are?”
Livia answered his question with a slightly regretful expression.
“I was thinking of going to the palace.”
“……! You’re talking about the imperial palace?”
Livia covered her lips as if she was a little shy and continued.
“Actually, before I came here, I was asked if I could be a teacher for His Highness.”
“His Highness, the prince….!!”
Winston was out of breath.
Winston suddenly seemed to see a halo behind Livia’s back.
“Now that it has turned out like this, I should go to the imperial palace before it’s too late,” Livia said as she left the drawing room, before the halo disappeared.
Having said that, Livia left the drawing room without any regrets.
The sound of her shoes gradually receded.
Winston’s body, which belatedly came to its senses, shot out like an arrow. Winston, who ran out at once, blocked Livia’s way with his body.
Livia looked at Winston with a surprised expression.
The neatness, which had always been sticking to him, disappeared somewhere, and he gasped for breath with a reddened face.
It was more important not to miss the opportunity to hire Livia than to save his face.
“Now, hold on a second….”
Winston barely spoke to Livia, whose eyes were wide open.
After a moment of catching his breath, Winston went straight to the point.
“If it’s okay with Livia Pellington, I’d like to have Miss Pellington as a tutor.”
Winston thought Livia would accept the offer right away.
But instead of accepting the offer, Livia tilted her head and asked a question.
“Didn’t you say you’ve already found a new tutor?”
Worried that Livia’s mind changed in the meantime, he spoke in a cold sweat.
“Well, that’s what I had said, but with the authority to take charge of Master Vincent’s education, I think we can have one more person.”
It was like an excuse, but Livia gently nodded as if she understood.
Then she smiled and responded, “You made a decision in a very brief moment.”
The bone-chilling words made Winston break out in a cold sweat. It was because he had no shame even when thinking about it.
For a moment, Livia appeared to be thinking.
Winston quickly bowed his head, realizing that this was his last chance.
“If you felt offended by my attitude, I’ll apologize right here.”
Livia’s eyes widened at Winston’s sudden action.
Even if Livia refused the offer as it was, it could not be helped.
It was obvious that his attitude changed after seeing the certificate.
Before long, Livia’s calm voice was overhead.
“I can’t help it if you say that.”
Winston raised his head quietly.
Livia was looking at him with a soft smile.
In an instant, Winston saw the halo reappear behind Livia.
“The suggestion, I accept it,” she answered in an equally soft and understanding voice.
At that moment regret flooded into Winston’s heart.
Why didn’t he recognize this person before?
Despite his rudeness, Livia overlooked his mistake with broad generosity.
Winston shouted loudly, feeling the rush of emotion, “Your contract! I’ll prepare it right away!”
Winston brought the contract at a rate faster than light.
As Livia sipped at her freshly brewed tea, she glanced over the contract he had handed her.
And she burst into exclamations of admiration in her heart.
Perfect. It was perfect.
If there was a standard of contracts, this one was so perfect that she wondered if it would be this contract that set the standard.
“Here’s Article 3, Paragraph 1. ‘If the employee causes harm to the subject of education and the family concerned, the contract is immediately terminated along with legal action and compensation’.”
Livia pointed out an area of concern to Winston.
“I think the categories for determining harm are ambiguous.”
Wouldn’t the job be over if Vincent just shouted “I’ve been victimized”?
Winston replied with a smile as if telling her not to worry.
“This applies when the honor of the young master or the duke is tarnished or damaged from an objective perspective. It’s a provision to protect the young master and the duke family, so nothing that you worry about will happen.”
Certainly, it was a necessary provision. Even if it was just a tutor, you don’t know what kind of person they are.
The rest of the clause was impeccably perfect.
‘Normally, I would have signed a contract here.’
“One more thing, can I put in a special contract?”
“What? You mean a special contract?”
Winston’s eyes widened.
It seemed that no one else had ever made such a request.
That was understandable.
Who would try to negotiate against the Duke of Mercedes?
When it was even enough of an honor to be a tutor here.
Livia looked at him with a confident look.
Winston was slightly startled when their eyes met.
Winston, who was already indebted to her, would find it difficult to refuse her request easily.
“My condition is……”
Upon hearing her condition, Winston’s expression became strange.
She continued to face Winston confidently.
After the contract business was finished, Winston showed Livia to her room.
Walking along with Winston, she asked about what suddenly came to mind.
“Come to think of it, what kind of person is the other tutor?”
Winston answered her question in a soft tone.
“Miss Pellington – oh, I should call you teacher now. Just like Miss Pellington, she graduated from the Imperial Academy with excellent grades. You’re both women, and I think you’re the same age as her. Maybe you are close friends.”
Livia smiled bitterly at his lightly added words.
“…..I know, right.”
She was afraid that wouldn’t happen.
In her past life and in this one, she didn’t have anyone to call her friend.
By the way-
‘She is a tutor, huh?’
Livia stroked the tip of her chin, lost in thought.
There was also a “tutor” in the original.
With memory of the tutor, thoughts of Cardien’s adopted son, Vincent Mercedes rose to the surface.
‘And since that time, Vincent said that he has closed his heart to Cardien in earnest.’
Livia remembered what Vincent said to Cardien in the original.
“She said you don’t think of me as a son. The only one who thinks of me is…..”
There were many reasons for the estranged relationship between Cardien and Vincent, but the tutor also had a profound impact on their relationship.
Her purpose was to leave one day, but…
To do that, she first needed to approach Cardien.
Currently, the only bridge to get close to Cardien was Vincent.
Livia arrived at the room while she was thinking.
“This is the room where Miss Pellington will be staying in from now on,” Winston said as he opened the door.
She opened her mouth wide at the scenery in the exposed room.
This was a tutor’s room?
It was common to provide residential tutors with a guest room.
That meant that this colorful, shiny room in front of her was one of the numerous guest rooms.
This mansion never ceased to surprise her.
“Unpack your luggage first. Bath water is also provided, so you can use it comfortably. If you need anything, please pull the rope. Is there anything else that you need?”
Livia had never seen such a gorgeous room in her life.
She shook her head, trying to be calm and smiled as she said, “No, thank you for your concern.”
“See you tomorrow then.”
After Winston left, Livia looked around the room and remembered that she hadn’t washed properly for a few days, so she went to the bathroom.
As soon as she took off her clothes and went inside, a warm steam greeted her.
“The bathroom is as big as the room I used.”
Laughing at the bathtub that was too big for her to use alone, she put her toes into the warm water.
The hot warmth melted her tired body like a marshmallow on cocoa.
“Now I’m going to live….”
She buried herself in hot water just below her nose and tilted her torso back.
She looked up at the ceiling of the bathroom, which was filled with thick steam.
She had made it all the way here.
At least she successfully followed after the villain.
She shoved her chin into the bathtub and murmured, “A magical flower disease…….”
A disease in which black flowers appeared on the body, and when they bloomed the patient died.
It was uselessly romantic for an incurable disease.
But death was only death, after all. There was no such thing as a romantic death in the world.
“I can’t die again,” Livia said with conviction.
She absolutely did not want to die a lonely death like in her previous life.
For that, she had to –
Livia really needed him.
After a long shower, she roughly dried her hair with a towel and changed into new clothes she had brought with her.
It was when she just sat in front of the desk to organize her future plans.
She got up from her seat and headed to the window at the sudden noise.
When she opened the curtains and looked outside, the rain was pouring down.
It must have been raining for a while, and it didn’t look like it would end anytime soon.
It had been cloudy all day, and then it started raining.
Livia didn’t particularly like or hate rain, but it was her first rain at the Duchy of Mercedes, so she was enjoying it for a while.
“Wait a minute.”
A passage flashed across her mind.
[On rainy days, Vincent climbed up the western hill.
With his back leaning against a beautiful tree, he longed for a person who would never come.
And on those nights, he always suffered from a terrible fever.
Alone without telling anyone.
It was when Vincent was 12 years old that the long wait ended.]