Sick Husband's Contract Wife - Chapter 50
I hesitantly squinted out of my firmly shut eyelid.
His expression was completely blank. It seems I may have broken him a little.
“What kind of nonsense are you spouting now?”
Come on. Really now? Is it nonsense, even if it is a sudden development?
“Are you telling me I have to believe what you just said?”
‘No – but at least give me the benefit of the doubt,’ I screamed internally with anger.
“If I didn’t love you, why do you think I’d do all this crazy stuff?”
I was at a loss for words. How many people can easily respond to the question, ‘Why do you love someone?’
He was glaring at me with a ‘so-explain-in-detail’ expression on his face.
“You’re my husband…”
“So you love me because of that?”
“…I realized it quite recently. Amoide.”
I knew my voice sounded like a stage play actress’, but I chose to disregard that part – isn’t life just an unscripted play being performed on a stage?
“Why would you question love’s logic? Love just happened to find me, and that love happens to be you.”
Ugh. This time, I felt like I was going to puke.
“Since when, exactly?”
“Since the beginning…”
“I’ll wring your neck if you say anything about love at first sight.”
Oh, my hubby. So callous. To say such a harsh comment in the middle of a sweet talk about love.
…That’s exactly what I was going to say. It was true love at first sight – that I fell in love with you the instant you sat on the bed and stared viciously at me on our first night.
‘It was always because I was too shy to talk.’ Something like that…
But him making such a preemptive comment threw a spanner in the works.
“It was back when you…”
While setting my brain into overdrive, I dragged out my words as much as possible. Even still, his patience seemed to have run out as the air around him got increasingly severe.
‘Oh, I should hurry up.’
Isn’t there any plausible explanation? I began anxiously searching my mind.
So, since when? When should I claim it began, to give this rat-sized possibility some appearance of naturalness? I tortured my brain for what felt like hours. Then, as if a lightbulb had gone out, a snake dropped from the sky with a thud.
“…Since the time you caught that snake for me.”
The snake, that’s it. Why hadn’t I thought of that earlier?
“Yes, that terrible snake from the garden.”
It truly was a terrifying incident. Isn’t it true that when humans encounter a crisis, their affection for others grows?
“You fell in love with me because I caught a little snake?”
In shock, I almost blurted it out.
“That’s just how love is, Amoide.”
Because I had already begun, I was determined to make it as convincing as possible.
“It comes to you one day as if from the sky.”
Amoide’s expressions warped multiple times as I continued to babble.
“I’ve felt it since you saved me from that snake,” I murmured, gripping his hand with my palm pinned against the wall.
“I’m talking about true love that surged within me.”
The hand that had been pinning me on the wall collapsed.
‘Was it successful?’
As Amoide’s hand slipped, I examined his countenance carefully.
What more was I supposed to say? There was an expression on his face that couldn’t be described in a single phrase, like a twisted web; shock, relief, delight, and scorn – words that should be unable to coexist.
I gently called out his name.
He, however, did not respond. My eyes were reflected in his, which seemed to be out of focus.
I called him again.
“Are you okay?”
Amoide’s unfocused eyes regained a flicker of brightness.
I inquired carefully, but received no response.
“Get the hell out.”
His voice was not particularly chilly. It sounded like the voice of someone who had gone insane. Did he go insane because I confessed?
He pulled himself away from the wall.
His voice was filled with unspeakable agony and uncertainty.
‘Why is he acting like this now?’
I wanted to ask him the same question he usually asked me.
“Uh… alright. I’m going, I’m going.”
I hastily exited the room, clutching the books that had fallen on the floor in my arms.
* * *
“Didn’t the master help you?”
Rona inquired when she saw me return, this time laden with books.
“I decided to do it all by myself.”
I remained silent and returned the books to the desk.
“I’m not Selene if someone asks for me. I’m Valene, my name is Valene.”
Rona cast a quizzical glance my way as I shook my head, but I had no plans to tell her.
“Your face is flushed, My Lady, are you feeling hot?”
I responded unnaturally fast. My face felt blazing hot for some reason, like my body was having a delayed physiological reaction.
‘I must be insane, completely insane.’
I felt like dying with shame the more I thought about it.
<I love you.>
How could I have said such a thing so casually? I must be insane. Even if it was for the sake of escaping a situation, I should’ve used my brain!
I yanked on my hair and smacked my head on the table.
I confessed! Confessed!
A sea of belated remorse washed over me.
“My Lady! Are you alright?”
Rona swiftly placed her palm on the table to prevent me from hitting my head on the hard surface any longer.
I sighed deeply and lifted my face glumly.
“Rona, please go to the mansion’s library and fetch me a dictionary.”
“Yes, a Ludes language dictionary.”
“Yes, yes, yes. Please don’t hit your head on the wood, okay?”
After a short while, on the desk was a dictionary three times the size of the cookbook next to it.
“Are you doing it on your own?”
“It’s going to take a very long time.”
“That’s exactly the point.”
I wanted something that would take even longer, be more complex, and bother me even more than sorting through the ledgers. I studiously began translating the cookbook, checking up each word in the Ludes language one by one.
Unfamiliar vocabulary, syntax, and homonyms swamped me, testing my patience on several occasions, yet even that was appreciated.
<I love you.>
If only I could get rid of the words that kept circulating in my mind. I needed something to take my mind off that situation. Right now, I could interpret ancient letters no matter how difficult it was, if only those words would stop coming back to me.
“Um, my lady.”
“Emma is here.”
“Oh? Let her come in.”
Now, what would be Emma’s motivation for coming here?
Emma held a tiny book in her arms. It appeared to be a cookbook that I had forgotten to bring earlier.
“You left this behind.”
“Ah, okay, thank you.”
I quickly grabbed the book.
“Were you… studying?”
Emma inquired, her gaze drawn to the quill in my palm.
Why is Emma suddenly interested in me? She gave me a long look before nodding and turning away.
“Why is Emma acting like that?”
Rona inquired, intrigued.
I pondered for a moment, but my mind was already far too jumbled for profound contemplation.
“I honestly don’t know.”
I dropped the cookbook, the dictionary, and everything else, and collapsed with a crash.
* * *
Many days had passed since that ludicrous confession.
It troubled me greatly the next day, but as time went on, I evolved into a somewhat less humiliating state. After a few more days, I realized it wasn’t such a huge problem.
Finally, it culminated into the phrase, ‘So what?’
Humans are, indeed, adaptable creatures.
When I met him again, I expected it to be awkward or unpleasant, but I’d become shameless once more.
“Amoide, the weather is really nice today.”
I took a flower and smelled its aroma deeply.
“Would you like to smell it?”
He appeared to be deep in contemplation though.
‘Is that confession still bothering him?’
It would be an odd question to ask. We seemed to have made an implicit agreement to forget about it, as neither of us addressed the happenings of that day. It was a huge weight off the shoulders.
The slight discomfort between us, however, was not fully removed.
Was there no way for things to return to normal? Unconsciously, my attention shifted to my hand, which still had a bandage on it.
I think that removing the bandage altogether would be safe.
‘I need to stop lying to him.’
It was pricking my conscience and hurting me, and I couldn’t take it any longer. Because every time he glanced at my hand, he made the expression of someone who had done something wrong…
But, allow me to take advantage of it one last time.