Sick Husband's Contract Wife - Chapter 37
I want to take this moment to thank my editor, Snoop, for always doing a fantastic job in editing >.<
“Aren’t you sick and tired of this charade?”
As soon as I walked into Amoide’s room, his snarky voice rang out.
“Sick and tired?” I came to a halt and glanced at him.
He was sitting on the window sill, as he often did. Because of the sinking light behind him, his face and torso were veiled in shadows. This enhanced his looks while also making him appear incredibly… desolate.
It’s the age of the dog and the wolf. When I can’t tell if the man sitting by the window is a puppy resting at my feet or a wolf preparing to tear at my throat.
It seems he was lonely today.
Don’t tell me…
‘Because I wasn’t here?’
Really? Truly? Have my blood, sweat and tears really paid off?
I wanted to break out into laughter, but I restrained myself.
“Were you bored without me?” I summed up the confidence to ask.
He looked displeased, but did not deny it directly.
Seeing his reaction hit me like a ton of bricks. The smile, which had involuntarily developed at the corners of my mouth, vanished in an instant.
‘He must be really lonely,’ I thought to myself.
If there was anyone in this large mansion that was alone, it would be him.
It was something obvious to anyone who cared to look. After all, I was like some alien substance stubbornly sticking to the walls of the illustrious halls of the Ifrit Duchy. But it was someone else who was the most secluded of all.
The forsaken ruler of this great house.
He spent his time staring out the window into the sunshine, since his body was weak.
“What exactly are you looking at?” His beautiful blue eyes penetrated me at once.
“I told you not to gawp at me like that.” He snapped angrily.
‘Oh my God.’
For a brief moment, I was flabbergasted and took a step back. Why should I get this kind of treatment as soon as I walk in?
‘His eyes could murder a person.’
To sate my curiosity, I couldn’t help but ask.
“…How am I looking at you?”
His words cut like a dagger.
I was at a loss for words, so I simply continued to stare.
“And yet you’re doing it all over again.”
“I looked just because I looked, so what?”
I tried hard to respond.
“Your face is certainly a sight to behold, though your personality is rotten.”
The words came out quickly. This was something I had believed for a long time, so there was no hesitation getting it off my chest.
He was deafeningly quiet this time.
No one would spit at a compliment on their appearance, surely?
Why would he even ask such a thing?
He gave me an incomprehensible look, as if he considered my words both ludicrous and appealing.
Then he turned his head and stared out the window again. That appeared to be something he did when he was ashamed or shy.
I thought he must have received similar comments numerous times, yet his disconcerted response piqued my interest even more.
“Have you never heard such words before?” I questioned him curiously.
The Empire’s youngest knight commander. That title alone would have been enough to flood his side with women. In addition, he was the head of a duke’s family connected to the royal family, and his body and face were stunning.
He would have married a gorgeous aristocratic lady of good ancestry and high rank if he hadn’t been ill. Not someone like me, a fallen noble, swimming in debt, who barely kept her position on the roster of nobility.
Obviously, the nobility is inherently hierarchical. A family like mine were not permitted to access the royal palace and, as a result, we were unable to mingle with high-ranking aristocratic families.
One of Camilla’s favorite and most frequent exclamations of, ‘How could you!’ was logical enough in the context. Her emphasis was more on the fact that a bottom feeder like myself was kicking up a fuss, rather than something I’d done wrong. Of course, someone as cultured as Camilla could never utter such abhorrent words explicitly.
Anyway, even if my family hadn’t gone bankrupt, it’s true that I never would have met a person like Amoide at a social function.
“Does it really matter?”
“I’m just genuinely curious.”
“Why would you be curious about that?”
“I’m curious about everything related to you.”
‘That’s the only way I’ll be able to save you.’
Who is attempting to assassinate this man?
Why did a completely healthy man suddenly get unwell with an unknown disease?
Or will there be a future episode in which I would murder you? Will such a heinous tragedy take place?
If that’s the case, why did Selene attempt to murder him in the original story?
I couldn’t begin to grasp the answers to my questions, even though I am Selene and Selene is me.
“There must have been a slew of ladies throwing themselves at you. Please, tell me.”
“Is there anyone in the world as forward as you are?”
The ladies surrounding him would have complimented him, but they probably would have been more subtle.
‘Did I come on a little too strong?’
However, it is said that flattery can make even a whale dance – in other words, flattery will get you everywhere.
“But, like you, I’m not good at beating around the bush.”
“What on Earth are you on about?”
“You don’t mince your words, either. Have you already forgotten?”
“What are you referring to, exactly?”
He’s pretending not to know.
I did my best to imitate his tone and expression.
Watching his face morph when he heard my mimicry gave me indescribable joy.
“That’s exactly how you sounded. Don’t act as if you don’t know.”
He opened and closed his mouth repeatedly, dumbstruck. He most likely wanted to retort but couldn’t.
“I wish you’d learn not to be so curt sometimes, but then again, I probably wouldn’t understand you if you were, so I’m fine as is.”
“So don’t avoid the topic.”
I gave him another grin and made eye contact.
“So, what’s your answer then. Were you bored without me?”
“… Stop with the nonsense.”
“Can’t you hear how long it took for you to deny it?”
“I told you not to make up such nonsense.”
“Is it really that difficult to admit that you were bored without me?”
I approached him and sat down. He sidled over a little to avoid me, but he didn’t get up to leave.
That was already a significant improvement.
His features appeared even more amazing when viewed up close. What difference does it make if he’s a puppy or a wolf? The most essential thing was that he was attractive.
“Did you not get to go for a walk today? I’d like to go out now and talk while watching the sunset?”
As I spoke, I looked out the window to the garden. They were still putting together the nets to trap the snakes.
“I don’t think that’s necessary.”
He whispered, leaning against the glass.
“You think so? With that pale face that looks like it’s never seen the light of day?”
“… What did you just say?”
He broke his gaze out the window and locked it on me.
“Oh, it must be due to the sunset. I was mistaken.”
With a smile, I swiftly moved on.
“You can’t walk today, so I’m leaving.”
I pushed him back into his seat as he attempted to stand.
“Then let’s just chat here today?”
I added a mischievous grin in response to his astonishment.
“Have you ever heard how much human conversation benefits the body? People who live alone are at a higher risk of developing dementia.”
It looked like he was about to say something, before stopping himself. He seemed to have grasped that getting me to leave while I was seated so comfortably by his side would be difficult.
“Do we have anything to talk about?”
When he asked, I felt strangely compelled to answer with something spectacular.
What could that something be? Something he was interested in, something he would value highly.
The cogs were turning, but as expected, nothing came to mind. Everything I knew about Amoide was post my arrival at this home. I couldn’t possibly know much about him because we’d never had a genuine chat or done anything together.
Because I didn’t know much about Amoide’s personal life, my options were restricted.
I did know he was from “The Knights of the Sun.”
“Please tell me about your time as a knight. When you caught the snake the other day; you were really phenomenal.”
In fact, the first time I ever laid eyes on him, he was laying in bed, feverish. So it was natural I had never even seen him wield a sword. I more often worried if he would ever wield a sword again.
“I’d lived on the battlefield since I was a kid.”
He said it as if that was totally normal.
“What about during peacetime?”
“I mostly stayed at the knight’s residence. It’s on the eastern side of the palace.”
Because the Knights of the Sun were responsible for the lives of the royal family and the defense of the kingdom, they lived within the palace grounds. I’d heard that the knights have a training facility on the palace’s biggest plot of land, on the eastern side where the sun rises.
The thought of him exercising on an open field, in the dazzling light of the morning sun, made the man in front of me look even more pitiful. Is this what a beast looks like after having all of its claws and fangs plucked?
“You really are a remarkable person.”
My murmur of admiration seemed to have surprised him, as he looked at me blankly for a time.
“Aren’t the Knights of the Sun the Empire’s most elite knight order? And the rank of knight commander is the most prestigious of them all.”
That is why every noble family would die to get their children into the order. Amoide, too, joined the knights when he was twelve years old, went through the training to become a regular knight, and finally ascended to the post of commander.
“I’ve heard that His Majesty the Emperor… had a great deal of faith in you.”
His complexion darkened rapidly. I thought I was complimenting him, but the expression on the face of the receiving end of my compliment suggested otherwise.
“I don’t have anything to say about what’s going on in the palace, if that’s what you’re curious about. I’ve been gone for a long time. I suppose the royal family has forgotten about me. Perhaps they’ll remember for a brief time when they learn of my death.”
His lips were set in a frigid line. The chamber, which had been pleasantly tinged with the warm colors of the sunset, immediately plunged into ice.
I made a massive conversational oversight. Perhaps talking about specific matters within the order with someone who had to take a leave of absence in order to recover at home was a little insensitive.
I brought up the subject in the hopes to make pleasant conversation and only ended up rubbing salt in his wounds.
“Oh… I apologise, I really didn’t mean….”
I bowed my head in embarrassment.
‘You’re an idiot. A fool!’ I wanted to rip my hair out.
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