Vincent wanted to laugh when he saw Aria getting so worked up.
Her hands were far too small, and even her feet couldnt reach the pedals below.
She was so short that her legs just kept fluttering in the air, and honestly… it looked somewhat cute.
‘Shes such a child.
Vincent thought with a smug look on his face.
“Come now, dont fool around with that organ.
Its not something that you can carelessly touch.”
It took three years for the famous craftsman, Picarro, to make that organ.
It was more than just an ordinary instrument, it was a masterpiece that he had made with his own hands.
‘Itd be too reckless to let an ignorant child touch such a priceless musical instrument,” Vincent thought as he walked over to Aria.
However, as Arias fingers started dancing across the keys, he immediately stopped in his tracks.
Her limber fingers coaxed one melody after another, producing notes that were weaved with such beauty that everything around him became a blur, a transcending experience.
‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
It was a masterpiece of the Baroque Era composed by none other than the famous Maestro Cortez.
Her dramatic slow movements at the start… Adagio.
Aria had taken complete control over the instrument.
The reverberation of every note was perfect, the tempo was magnificent, and the dynamics thoroughly conveyed her feelings.
Slowly, the music filled the room to the brim as the sources slender fingers danced sweetly on the keys.
Her legato approach seemed to add tension to the hand, which produced a heavier sound, making the absence of the pedal as nothing but an insignificant matter.
‘And she was able to do this… with such tiny hands.
Her head leaned towards the keys, hair falling past serenely shut eyes.
These keys, to her, were a touch to a lover.
Sometimes overwhelming, yet occasionally sweet.
‘The instrument of an angel that leads the soul to heaven… Vincent recalled the name of the organ.
Suddenly, his gaze darted to his forearm.
He had goosebumps.
“….Heroic Symphony,” Vincent muttered unknowingly.
Sinfonia Eroica, a piece that broke boundaries of form, length, harmony, and perceived emotional and possibly cultural content, but… it was never composed for the organs.
Nonetheless, Arias hands kept flying across the long ivory keys as she poured her heart and soul into the song.
Suddenly, the key changed.
Ben, the composer of the song, had a nickname for the organ.
‘The Emperor of Musical Instruments.
The angels performance instantly signaled the reign of an emperor.
She translated the music she heard into notes on an organ with incredible accuracy and even recreated complicated passages from classical music instantly.
It was truly astonishing.
“Hungarian Dance No.
This time, she played a violin piece.
The fluid motion of Arias cavorting fingers were punctuated by the sharp tap of a staccato note or a graceful leap as she jumped octaves.
There was something about its vibrations that felt so heavenly as if it were liquid energy seeping right through Vincents skin.
Somehow, the scent of the grasslands got infused with the beats, and it was as if he could see the dance of the barefooted nomads over the meadows.
She continued, creating impossibly soothing and amazing melodies from the organ.
The excitement of the nomadic people and the pain of wandering around without a place to settle passed one after another until it finally just… stopped.
At the end of the note, the resonance she created stirred wonders into his soul.
It was unlike anything he had ever heard before.
Vincent clenched his fists to hide his excitement, but what escaped from his lips was a burst of laughter.
Aria descended from the chair and stood before him.
She parted her lips.
—Now, please go away.
Get the hell out of here.
‘As expected from a soon-to-be-married couple.
Their choice of words was very similar.
Thus, he walked out of the library and, at the same time, Aria slammed the door shut.
‘She seems to be very angry, Vincent thought as he got kicked out.
Nevertheless, he didnt think that he would stop laughing anytime soon.
Vincent remembered the time when he first saw Aria.
Indeed, his predictions were correct.
His sister-in-law was a genius.
* * *
After breakfast, Aria tried to see the newly bloomed summer flowers in the garden, but an unwanted guest disrupted her plans.
“I am a genius,” Vincent proudly exclaimed.
She stared at him in disgust.
He suddenly declared that he was a genius before sipping his tea and slamming it down on the table afterward.
“I survived because Im a genius.
Therefore, I cannot tolerate other geniuses who hide their talents.”
“I understand now.
You keep visiting the library to practice playing the organ and avoid the eyes of other people.
Am I correct”
That was certainly not the case, but if he interpreted it that way, then she could take advantage of this misunderstanding.
She was too irritated to think of another excuse.
“Do you cover your face with a mask because you have the face of a genius”
“Sigh, why are you hiding your beauty in plain sight As a genius myself, I can hardly understand,” Vincent said as he flipped his shoulder-length-blond hair to the back of his shoulder.
Aria stared at him as he fell deep into his thoughts.
His blue eyes were as deep as the sea, and it certainly complemented his golden hair.
‘…Ive lost my appetite, Aria thought after staring at Vincents face.
Theres a saying that a genius can be a complete idiot at the same time.
‘I guess thats him.
Aria took a strawberry macaron and put it in her mouth, ignoring the blonde boy who was still pondering.
Then, Arias gaze suddenly shifted to the book Vincent had laid down on the table.
It looked thick and sturdy enough to be used as a weapon.
“Oh, this is a codification manuscript that has yet to be revised.
I have read all of the proposed legislation thats been revised, though.”
Come to think of it, even when she ran into him at the library, the only book he read was the exact same book that she saw now.
‘Does he carry that everywhere so that he can read it anytime
He must really be passionate about it.
The code of law varies from each territory, but Aria knew that it usually ranged from a few dozen to hundreds of books.
‘If a new law code is going to come out, then why is he reading the old ones from before the amendment
Was he trying to be a judge
“Anyway, dont change the subject,” Vincent said.
He continued to discuss the topic from before.
“No one in this world hates young geniuses.
People would actually trick others into thinking that they are young so that they can appeal to other people as a genius, on the other hand… isnt sister-in-law really young”
Aria knew she was a genius.
Count Cortez had always told it to her loud and clear.
“Youre a genius! You have a ridiculous vocal range, and you have perfect pitch.
Your mother is no match for you.”
He praised her talent as if it was a gift from heaven.
“Thats what you call a song!”
He suddenly cursed at her, saying that her singing was terrible.
“Dammit! How dare you steal Cortezs talent.
Its mine! I was supposed to be the one to inherit that!”
His true feelings were revealed once he got drunk.
Aria was convinced that she had a divine talent as she watched her fathers inferiority complex towards her.
She inherited her musical talent from her grandfather, Maestro Cortez, while her perfect pitch and enticing vocal cords were inherited from her mother, Sophia.
It was only natural that people would be eager to covet her gift.
That was why she understood Vincents frustration.
However, Aria had never been happy even if she was bestowed with such an extraordinary talent.
She was exploited by many nobles and had to suffer because she was a natural genius that would never exist again in this world.
“If you just talk, the House of Valentine will give you their full support.
They love art more than any of the other houses in the empire.”
“Think about it.
People will praise you as a child prodigy.”
Aria had already been through that.
She was even called agoddess by the emperor.
What Aria eventually realized after that was the fact that humans cannot become gods.
Aria wrote his name on the card for the first time.
[If you survived because you are a genius, then youll also die from the same cause by the people who considered you a genius.]
“What” Vincent asked with a puzzled look.
Aria said those things because she knew that he would be framed and expelled in the future, but he would never be able to understand at the moment.
She silently wrote the following.
[Your prime of life is probably less than ten years.]
[You dont have to be desperate to be recognized.
You dont have to prove that youre a genius.
If you are doing your job well, recognition will naturally follow.]
“Well, thats obvious.”
Vincent was surprised to hear such mature words from a child younger than himself.
For the first time in his life, Vincent actually stuttered and blushed in embarrassment.
He was finally acting like a boy his age.
“You surprise me every time.
I have no idea that you wouldve thought of it that way… by the way, Im amazed that you can talk to me without using honorifics.”
Aria was emotionless.
She simply didnt care.
Then, Vincent just smiled and shrugged it off, saying, “Well, youre right anyway.
I mean, I shine brighter than the sun just by breathing! I dont really need to prove myself.”
‘Thats not what I meant.
Since he completely misunderstood her words, Aria wrote another card so that he could face reality.
[I meant that if you keep behaving like a jerk, then you will be stoned to death.]
[So do your job properly.]
It was a serious advice.
Vincent awkwardly laughed.
“Hahaha, you must be joking!”
[Im dead serious.]
[You can get lost now.]
A heavy silence fell.
Aria sipped her tea, rejoicing that the atmosphere was finally quiet.