Sick Husband's Contract Wife - Chapter 58
Upon my return to the room, I immediately collapsed onto the bed. My entire body felt as though it had been pummeled.
When I rolled over while supine, I noticed a bag prominently set on the chair.
Since removing it from the dresser the previous time, I had examined it several times without putting it away.
It did not match the opulent fabric of the chair or the surrounding environment.
The only distinguishing feature was the luster that was the result of Rona wiping it earlier.
I stood up and grabbed the worn-out handle before returning to the dresser.
And, just as I did when I first moved into this mansion two years ago, I placed the leather bag in its original location.
I was about to depart when I turned around. I got on my knees and started to unlock the luggage.
Even with a great deal of force, the corroded old lock was difficult to open, so I had to struggle for some time.
Rust fell away, and the lock finally unlocked after a moment.
Compared to the exertion required to open it, the contents were minuscule.
A journal in which I occasionally scrawled, the outfit I wore when I arrived, a pocket watch with a broken chain, a bequest from my father, and thread and needles used by my mother.
That was it.
I was about to close the bag when I reached inside and extracted a flat document envelope from the bottom.
I thoroughly reviewed the contract.
‘Party A’ and ‘Party B’ appeared numerous times throughout the densely written paper.
It also detailed, by category, what ‘party B’ should and should not do.
Even the compensation to be received upon project completion.
At the end of each of these items was a large clause that was considered crucial.
The clause concerned confidentiality.
Throughout the duration of the contract, it was stipulated that my siblings would receive regular financial support.
As this was the most crucial point, I had repeatedly emphasized it.
As I turned the page, I discovered the reward if all of this was successful.
In addition, the expected compensation of 500,000 ducats must be paid promptly upon the birth of a child.
As soon as I saw the currency unit of 500,000 ducats, I massaged my eyes and double-checked the number.
Regardless of how meticulously I counted again, the number ‘0’ did not decrease.
It was evident that this number, both then and now, causes my heart to waver.
This is the maximum amount I can receive for completing the contract-specified mission.
<To have a child and become the mother of the heir, not just a duchess in name as you are now. If you desire such opulence, exert more effort. Do not engage in cheap tactics.>
I resumed reading the contract from where I had left off.
My eyes halted on the final item.
The reason I was unable to answer his ‘why?’ question was as follows:
What would occur if Amoide discovered this contract?
Until now, Camilla has likely been concerned about my reticence because she fears that the contract’s terms will become public.
Because it would imply that she paid a woman to bear her son’s offspring.
Nonetheless, if he becomes aware of this contract at this time…
Would he help me?
I couldn’t be positive. Rather, it was more likely that he would detest me even more.
If Camilla discovers this, she may demand an immediate sanction….
The more I contemplated, the more complex my mind became.
You want me to get lost? Me too.
Do you believe I want to be by your side when your proximity could cause me to suffocate?
However, I cannot say that.
Even as I was dying in agony, the thought of Amoide, who was still covered in thorns, caused me to exhale profoundly.
My mind began to clear as I spent the night by the fallen Amoide, took a siesta, and refrained from even using the restroom.
To clear myself of the encircling evidence implicating Selene as the perpetrator, I had to strengthen my relationship with Amoide.
Because the evaluation assigned to Selene by the ‘Lady Crown’ servants was the lowest.
<She eloped with another man.>
<They were originally a poor household. In reality, they were no different from beggars, despite their aristocratic appearance. The generous duchess even paid off their enormous debts.>
<She is deluded by her vast wealth.>
<So, didn’t the master comprehend this and maintain a safe distance? She likely feared being expelled by the master who discovered her evil intentions, so she most likely murdered him first.>
<The master felt sorry for her.>
A duchess who, in addition to desiring wealth and murdering her spouse, had an affair with another man.
Even if there were ten throats, it wouldn’t still be enough. (even if she labored hard, it wouldn’t be enough)
However, it is true that I utilized him for that purpose.
I continued to act as if my hand, which had been cured, was still injured.
I even made a fraudulent confession in the end.
It was odd that, despite recalling one sin after another, he hadn’t choked me yet.
He does not have complete knowledge of the contract I made with Camilla.
Specifically regarding that final clause.
Amoide is still under the impression that I desire his child.
If only he knew that I couldn’t have a child anyway and that, if he recovers, he’ll be free of me, whom he despised so much, he’d be able to escape me.
He wouldn’t despise me like this. I would simply be present, prepared to vanish from his view.
The issue was that I would perish before that could occur. Despite my efforts to alter his sickly self, he collapsed.
Even though his diet and treatment were impeccable, I was unable to prevent his seizure.
Not knowing how or why something would occur in the future was also aggravating.
I required a collaborator therefore more than ever.
The only way to terminate the contract swiftly and escape this mansion safely.
It was unthinkable without Amoide’s help.
* * *
The clothing I ordered from Paula arrived a week later.
“Come and see, my lady.”
Rona was more ecstatic upon observing the stacks of clothing cartons. She was unable to seal her mouth as she opened each box individually.
“In fact, dresses from the finest couture house in the capital are unique. Fabric, stitching, finishing, and accoutrements are all of the highest quality!”
“That’s because we spent so much money.”
I responded negatively. Materials and capital are proportional.
If you have a lot of money, you can purchase items that are more attractive and of higher quality.
Indeed, costly clothing is distinctively unique.
Obviously, they are distinct.
As I nodded and spoke, the cost of ordering dozens of gowns caused me to feel dizzy.
I felt this way because I feared Camilla, who held the bill and payment, might grasp the back of my neck.
She wouldn’t also charge that much, would she?
No way, definitely not. Ifrit, a family envied by the royal family for its fortune, would not care about the price of a few dozen dresses.
Despite knowing this, I still felt apprehensive. Even though Camilla was not especially frugal towards me.
Perhaps this is due to Selene’s lingering recollections of being degraded and suffering from feelings of inadequacy as a result of the ‘fake wife’ title imposed by the contract.
There was no need for her to do so because no one knew the contract’s terms.
I exhaled profoundly, suddenly feeling useless.
Due to my lack of self-respect, Amoide, Camilla, and even the women and servants would have disregarded me.
When I first arrived at the Ducal House and began tailoring my clothing, I wasn’t concerned about money.
I merely instructed the maid to locate a tailor who could make clothes as quickly as possible, and gave her my measurements.
The maid, who looked down on the duchess who had never even held a wedding, took my measurements carelessly, resulting in clothing with incorrect lengths and fits.
Possibly if I had confronted her at the time.
If I had demanded a refund because I was unable to wear the messed-up clothing or held the maid accountable for not doing her job properly, I could have gotten my money back.
Would circumstances have differed? At least, I would not have been falsely accused of murdering my spouse and hanged to death in agony.
Therefore, I needed to recruit at least one more person to my side.
Believe in me. Respect which does not demean me. I required all of it.
Each of these garments has been meticulously crafted.
Rona was in the process of unloading and organizing each box’s contents of clothing.
Every time she opened one, she exclaimed as though she were unwrapping a gift box.
“The dresses were not formal…”
Rona wept as if unable to let go of her regret.
However, the newly tailored garments were acceptable, even if they were not formal gowns.
I could tell that Paula had meticulously selected the fabric and embellishments.
“How do you feel about this dress for today?”
Rona unfolded and displayed the dress she took from the final opened box.
I gave a slight assent, and Rona helped me in changing into the new dress.
“See, it’s different.”
As I stood before the mirror in my new attire, I felt like a completely different person.
“Since you’re dressed so elegantly and it’s been a while, why don’t you go see the master?”
“It would be a shame not to show him how beautiful you look.”
Is it somewhat attractive, if so?
“Look. The dress is stunning and complements the color of your eyes.”
The pink dress that Rona chose exuded a pleasant aura.