Cardien was the head of the most prestigious aristocratic family that supported the empire.
He was not someone who could be met by a fallen aristocrat like Livia.
On top of that, Cardien tended not to trust people, so he preferred to avoid having people around him.
Livia recalled reading that he always suffered from a heavy workload because he had a perfectionist personality that compelled him to take care of even the smallest things to be satisfied.
Getting close to him wasn’t as easy as Livia had thought.
‘Wait, come to think of it…’
A piece of information passed quickly through Livia’s preoccupied mind.
She paused, vaguely remembering that she had heard news that the Duke of Mercedes was seeking out a live-in tutor.
A few days before her father’s death, an offer had come to her, too.
Scouting offers came from countless families, including the Duke of Mercedes, but Livia had refused all of them.
Because private tutors didn’t make enough money compared to the upper class.
It was a great honor to be the one who had guided a young lord who would lead the empire in the future, but what mattered to Livia was not honor, but money.
Anyway, the important thing was that the Duke of Mercedes was looking for a tutor to move into their residence.
The problem was….
That offer was already two weeks old.
Livia had no more options.
She didn’t spend very long agonizing over a decision.
She immediately took a carriage, shouting to the coachman on her way inside, “Please go to the Duke of Mercedes!”
The carriage set off quickly.
She engraved the information of the villain in her head while capturing the scenery passing by her eyes.
‘Hold on, villain.
Winston, an old butler of the Duke of Mercedes, was lost in thought as he looked up at the sky full of dark clouds.
His mind that would have been disturbed had it been before, was a little different today.
‘I’m glad I got a tutor.’
It was because he had been troubled for a while, searching for a candidate, before he finally found a suitable live-in tutor.
And this time, the tutor seemed especially enthusiastic.
A smile crept across Winston’s lips, then curled downward at the thought of a specific person.
‘How long will you refuse to go to school, young master?’
Vincent Mercedes, who was ten years old this year, was originally in the middle of attending the academy.
However, for some reason, Vincent suddenly refused to go to the academy, and Winston, who could not let go of his education, recruited home teachers.
Since Cardien, Vincent’s adoptive father, handed over all educational authority to Winston, Winston immediately brought in prominent elites.
Even then, Winston did not take Vincent’s refusal to attend the academy too seriously.
Rather, he thought it was more efficient because he could organize classes with carefully selected elites.
That was, until Vincent kicked out the first tutor.
Following the first tutor who ran out after saying that he couldn’t handle the little prince, the second tutor ran out in less than four days.
“I can’t teach you because of my lack of ability!”
From that time on, every time Winston hired a new tutor, all of them ran out of the duke’s residence in tears, unable to even last the month.
At that point, even Winston had to admit it.
The young master was kicking out the tutors!
He caught only one of the tutors after they quit, and heard from them that the refusal of classes was standard, and that the private tutor was kicked out with all sorts of vicious methods.
Born into a so-called prestigious family and raised only on a stable path, the tutors of nobility were like fragile plants growing in a greenhouse, and therefore they could not stand Vincent’s bullying.
To make matters worse, rumors spread about the “Little Devil Prince of the Mercedes Dukedom”, and no more applicants came.
Meanwhile, Vincent was still taking a leave of absence from the academy, and it was clear that he would fall behind his peers if home classes were also suspended.
Winston was disturbed by the fact that the only heir to the next generation of the Duke of Mercedes was not receiving any education, and so his days of sleepless nights increased.
Fortunately, a new tutor had appeared.
She was a talented person who graduated from the Imperial Academy with good grades.
Winston was just happy to see her, who came to teach the “Little Devil Prince”, whom everyone else avoided, although the specification must be a little disappointing compared to the elite she had served so far.
He didn’t know how long the tutor would last this time, but he hoped it would be a long time.
It was the moment that Winston was about to turn away.
An attendant hurriedly ran to him.
“What’s the matter?” Winston asked coldly, frowning at his frivolous behavior.
“ Well, that’s–”
The stuttering attendant noticed Winston’s cold eyes and immediately lowered his head and said, “A, a guest has come.”
Winston tried to remember whether there were any guests who were supposed to come today.
But there was no such person.
In other words, it was not a scheduled guest.
“It’s time for the master to come back soon, and you’re making a fuss about something like that!”
When Winston spoke sternly, the servant answered with an unfair face.
“Haaa, but I heard that she came to apply as the live-in tutor…….”
“Apply as the live-in tutor?”
He was so angry that he was frightened.
Winston belatedly remembered that he had not yet issued a notice.
‘Oh my god.’
This was clearly a mistake by him.
And he had promised the master to hire only one tutor.
After Vincent kicked out so many tutors, Vincent had promised not to bother them anymore in exchange for letting only just one in.
It was obviously his fault for making this applicant take unnecessary steps, so it was right to respond directly.
“Take the guest to the drawing room and prepare warm tea.”
The attendant turned back quickly.
Winston stepped into the drawing room, thinking about what to say to send back the uninvited guest.
The drawing room at which Livia arrived – with the guidance of the attendant – was truly the pinnacle of splendor.
Everything that touched her eyes was ultra-luxurious, as if trying to overpower the guest with their affluence.
In addition, the maintenance was so thorough that it was difficult to find even the slightest speck of dust on the snow-white marble floor.
‘So this is the Dukedom of Mercedes.’
Even before Livia’s memory came back, the majesty of the Dukedom of Mercedes was great.
As a joke, it was even said that the current empire was supported by the imperial family, the temple, and the Duke of Mercedes.
The only family that dared to challenge the imperial and divine powers.
That is what the Dukedom of Mercedes was.
Even though Livia thought she had quite a grasp of the duke’s level, seeing the estate in person was on a different level.
A sudden surge of bitterness rose up in her chest.
If she had this much wealth, her father would still be alive.
But soon after, she shook her head and brushed those thoughts away.
Because nothing was as meaningless as making meaningless assumptions and looking back on the past.
‘I’m not dying,’ she resolved.
She clenched her fists.
Shortly after the tea came out, someone entered the drawing room.
The grayish-white hair, brown eyes that were wrinkled with the depth of time, and a black butler uniform with a thoroughly pressed and angular appearance, in contrast to the soft impression of his face.
It was the butler, Winston Gregory.
Livia recognized him at once.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.
I’m Winston Gregory, the head butler of the Duke of Mercedes.”
He greeted her with perfect manners.
She stared blankly at him for a moment.
Winston Gregory, the butler.
In the original work, he was one of Cardien’s closest aides, and the main person who managed the duke’s family.
Livia expected that this man would be the one to greet her.
She was nervous, but greeted him with a naturally pleasant smile.
“My name is Livia Pellington.
It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Winston’s expression became strange at that moment.
In fact, not only Winston, but also wherever Livia went in the capital recently, people had a similar reaction.
When she said her name, everyone made a similar expression.
There were also people who were openly embarrassed.
This was the natural result of the obnoxiously big article that was printed about her personal tragedy.
[Count Pellington took his own life.
The first one to discover him was his only daughter.]
The article, written as headlines and embellished on the front page, was scattered throughout the empire.
Still, since Winston was the person Cardien kept by his side, he thoroughly managed his facial expressions.
Livia was a bit relieved at the change from being looked at with pitiful or suspicious eyes.
Winston got right to the point without any hint of that.
“I have heard the purpose of Miss Pellington’s visit.”
For a moment Winston had a troubled look on his face.
“I’m sorry, but we already have a new tutor.
It is obviously my negligence for not giving a public notice in advance that made you take useless steps.”
He got up from his seat and bent down to me.
“I will definitely compensate you for traveling here in vain.”
He had a very apologetic attitude.
In other words, it meant that there was no willingness to negotiate.
‘I was worried, but it ended up like this,’ Livia thought resignedly.
She looked down at the bent Winston and slowly stood up from her seat.
Then she smiled softly and shook her head.
“I should have come sooner, but the timing just wasn’t right.
Compensation is fine.”
A brief moment of surprise flashed through Winston’s eyes as Livia obediently agreed.
Why? Did he think she was going to hold on somehow?
He looked at her with a look of regret.
Winston, who paused for a moment, bowed his head and said.
“Thank you for your understanding.
I will guide you to the door.”
“Would you do that for me please?”
Livia walked past Winston with a light step.
And the moment she was about to leave through the door.
Something fell out of her bag.
Winston bent down in a hurry.
“Let me pick it up for you……”
But when Winston discovered what she had dropped, he became speechless.
Livia smiled as she looked at Winston’s wide eyes, which looked like they were about to burst.
What she had dropped was a Ruby Certificate, given only to the single top graduate of one’s class per the standard from the Imperial Academy.
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