“Did you think you could resolve everything by simply tossing a piece of paper like this? If you have something to say, speak to me!”
I couldn’t understand what the man in front of me was talking about. I wouldn’t understand it even if he explained slowly, so how much more could he expect me to understand if he cut it short?
‘But wait, what’s that in his hand?’
My gaze naturally went to the Duke’s hand. Or, more accurately, the contents of the paper he was holding.
Applicant: Chloen Randolph
The rest of it was unrecognizable, but those two lines stuck out like a sore thumb.
‘So, that’s why.’
Suddenly, I understood why the man in front of me was going crazy. There was no way he would be okay with those five words written so clearly. What’s more, that woman ran away while leaving behind such a huge thing!
Why in the world did this woman, Chloen, want to divorce such a handsome man? Even if she swam in good fortune, it couldn’t have been that much. I suppressed my bitter feelings and spoke slowly.
“I’m sorry to hear about your sudden divorce, and I hope you two can resolve it amicably. It’s a shame you’re married.”
“Are you planning to play dumb until the end?”
“No, this isn’t a matter for me to deal with. I’m really grateful for your help. If you talk to your wife, you may… overcome this crisis.”
I cautiously spoke while glancing at Duke Randolph. He let out an annoyed sigh.
A few minutes passed, and Duke Randolph raised his large hand to wipe his face, then spoke in a low voice.
“You can pretend you don’t know, but I don’t agree on this matter. I’ve always respected your opinions, but this is unacceptable.”
His pupils locked onto mine. It was a stunning coincidence that my current appearance was reflected in his eyes.
A dainty little nose, mysterious lavender eyes, and long, flowing platinum blonde curls.
‘Wait, purple eyes and platinum hair?!’
My lips parted in disbelief, and I lowered my gaze to look at my current self.
‘It can’t be.’
Before I could recover from the shock, the piece of paper that Duke Randolph held was torn in half without hesitation.
Then he said, “I won’t agree to the divorce.”
As I watched the paper being torn to shreds, I thought to myself.
They say good things come to those who do good, but this was a great one.
‘Yeah, it was a shame to die at a young age…’
To be fair, I’ve been lucky most of my life. I won a radio story I sent in as a prank, and I’ve beaten 100-to-1 odds to get tickets to my favorite concerts.
I also won a thousand won in a Yellow House cash draw called Extreme Odds. With things like two kelp in a packet of ramen noodles, it’s safe to say that the goddess of luck was always on my side.
Just like now.
The thin sheet of paper was torn in Duke Randolph’s hands, and immediately he scattered the ragged wad of paper through the air like a snowball.
‘So I’m the Chloen in question?’
I laughed out loud. It was a laugh of disbelief, but also one of joy.
It’s almost too good to be true. Is that all? Apparently, she also has a lot of money.
‘Oh my God…’
The falling clumps of paper were like a fireworks display. I had no doubt they were blessings for the handsome man in front of me and the beautiful future that lay ahead.
Apart from being just a little luckier than others, my life was unremarkably ordinary.
After work, I would vent my frustrations about my unreasonable boss, and as of yesterday, I was just another face in the crowd.
Being in the same space as such a handsome man was already a privilege, not to mention sharing a bed every night. This was undoubtedly a favor and a blessing from God.
‘Yeah, now that it’s come to this, it would be nice to have two sons and a daughter.’
I imagined the future. I could feel my cheeks turning red.
[You should have trusted me.]
At that moment, a scene from a webtoon flashed through my mind. A man with a sharp sword, looking straight ahead with empty eyes, said those words.
You should have trusted me.
I don’t know why this suddenly popped into my head, but my instincts whispered to me that something was wrong.
However, I sensed something off, as if I knew what it was but didn’t. It was an uncomfortable and odd sensation, like coming back from the bathroom and realizing you didn’t wipe properly.
My expression became serious, but not for long. Duke Randolph’s eyebrows twitched subtly at the changing expression.
The Duke repeated the name, each syllable enunciated carefully.
His intense gaze seemed to focus on a single point as if he couldn’t tolerate even scattered glances.
“Listen carefully. If you pull something like this again, I won’t guarantee the consequences.”
I quietly bit my lower lip in response to his stern warning. Randolph, the Duke, let out a low growl and quickly exited the room.
The door closed.
‘Wow, he’s really fierce. That makes him even more attractive.’
As the tension dissipated, my thoughts flowed freely. I stared at the closed door for a while. It seemed everyone had left.
I exhaled dryly and approached the full-length mirror in the corner of the room.
Abundant platinum blonde curls, large eyes with sparkling mysterious lavender-colored irises, a petite but distinct nose, and lips with a tantalizing allure.
It was a ridiculously pretty face for the wife of that handsome man. Although there were various bandages because of the accident, there was no way to hide the exceptional beauty.
I slapped my cheeks in disbelief and pinched them, which surprisingly hurt.
So, it wasn’t a dream.
“But seriously, what kind of accident did this woman get into? I need to know to handle this.”
I ran my fingers through my disheveled hair.
‘Although I became the wife of a very handsome man…’
I only knew his last name, Randolph. I didn’t even know his first name, let alone where I was. Literally, it was a total mess.
‘But, no matter how I look at it, something’s strange. It doesn’t feel unfamiliar.’
I had a strange sense of foreboding and was wrapping my head around what to do next—
The sound of a knock signaling someone’s arrival echoed.
“A-are you alright, Madam? The Duke asked me to bring you something to eat.”
The maid had silently come to my side and spoke hesitantly. When I looked at her face, I realized it was the same girl who had been guarding me beside the bed earlier.
When our eyes met, the maid flinched, revealing her unease.
“Um… You’ve been working here for a long time, right? What’s your name?”
“Yes?! It’s Sa-Sasha! I’ve been with you since you joined the Randolph family…”
In an instant, my eyes automatically lit up.
Know yourself, know your enemy, and you shall prevail.
Knowing myself and my opponent can turn a crisis into an opportunity. Is there a more suitable phrase for the current situation?
I sighed involuntarily, but there were ways to handle things. For instance, the maid in front of me, Sasha?
“Why, why are you looking at me like that…?”
The maid backed away as I smiled at her. To avoid suspicion, I quickly feigned a wistful expression and teared up, pretending to wipe away my tears.
“Could it be that the Duke did something to Madam?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“No wonder your cheeks were red from the moment I came in! The Duke must have been really angry, but how could he…”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Then why did you do such a thing? On the anniversary of your marriage, of all days, to file for divorce. The Duke cherishes you, but how terrifying must he be…”
“Oops! I’m sorry, I’m blabbering. I warned myself not to be too loud. But the Duke is indeed a fearsome man. Even this time when Madam ran away, why did he catch us, the innocent servants? My previous lord used to do the same. He always found fault with the servants… the nobles are all the same.”
“Oops! I said too much again, haha. I’ll get the medicine for you, Madam.”
Sasha finished speaking and quickly turned toward the door.
“No! Listen to what I have to say!”
I shouted in frustration while staring at the closed door.
* * *
Sasha returned with something else, looking extremely uneasy.
Of course, I wasn’t interested in Sasha’s fidgeting. My gaze was solely fixed on the man in front of me.
‘He’s handsome even after a second look.’
I smiled contentedly and cast a sidelong glance at Duke Randolph.
“So, you still have no memories whatsoever?”
Duke Randolph sat halfway, asking with a monotone voice. He had asked me the same question several times, and I was getting bored out of my mind.
“Unfortunately, I remember absolutely nothing.”
Duke Randolph gave a small snort and continued.
“How am I supposed to believe that?”
I paused, hesitating at the sharp question.
‘I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m in someone else’s body, but I don’t know where I am.’
Since I couldn’t recall anything, I was cautious about making any claims. At times like this, my mom’s old saying came to mind.
When in doubt, play dumb.