Edmund groaned lowly, showing his exhaustion. Sasha, who was by his side, quickly added.
“Given what the madam has been through, she seems quite unstable. Maybe both of you should take a break today…”
“That sounds like a good idea,” Edmund replied, his forehead furrowed. He mumbled something under his breath and then left the room without hesitation.
“I’ll tidy up the bed for you. It’s best if the madam gets some rest,” Sasha said and began straightening up the area around the bed.
That night, I slept better than ever under the fluffy quilt.
I thought that my days of peace with the handsome man would continue. If only it wasn’t for the morning knock that disrupted my sleep.
* * *
The loud knocking woke me up early.
“Ugh, what is it…?”
I rubbed my eyes and sat up as the knocking continued.
“Madam, a guest has arrived.”
Sasha’s cheerful voice came from behind the closed door.
A guest? The only people I knew here were the chatty maid and Edmund. Why would anyone want to meet me, especially this early in the morning?
“I, uh, don’t feel well right now! Later, maybe later, Sasha.”
I thought for a moment and quickly responded.
My whole body stiffened at the sound of Edmund’s voice, and I swallowed hard.
‘No! This is not the right time for this. I just woke up.’
I snapped out of my daze and hurriedly fixed my face. I didn’t forget to straighten my disheveled clothes.
After struggling for a while, a relieved sigh finally escaped my lips.
I took a moment to catch my breath, then nervously turned the doorknob.
“A pleasure, Duchess Randolph.”
“Who… Who are you?”
“I am Doctor Mars. I’m here to examine the madam’s condition today.”
The voice that followed wasn’t Edmund’s, and I saw Sasha shuffling behind Doctor Mars as he introduced himself as a doctor.
“You could have warned me if someone was coming over.”
As I whispered to Sasha in frustration, reacting to the unexpected arrival…
“I heard you lost your memory, so I called the doctor.”
“It doesn’t seem like you’re being normal.”
Edmund’s handsome face came into view.
“What do you mean…?”
“I told you I needed confirmation.”
I felt like my whole body melted at the sight of Edmund smiling. Sasha, who had been watching the situation, also blushed.
Our eyes met, and we smiled, and on the surface, we probably looked like the sweetest of newlyweds.
“Oh, yes, come on in. If you need to have me do a check-up, it’s okay.”
I smiled and let them in easily. It would be a waste of time to put up a shield against that face. Meanwhile, the middle-aged man who introduced himself as a doctor walked into the room with Edmund.
While I was mesmerized by Edmund’s face, Dr. Mars prepared to examine me.
“Duchess, will you give me your hand for a moment?”
“Ah, my hand! Ah, here.”
In the meantime, Dr. Mars was examining my face and holding an object, presumably a stethoscope, to my body.
“Hmm, you have an unsteady pulse.”
‘Of course it is. There’s no way my heart would function properly when there’s prey in front of me.’
This early morning excitement was overwhelming. My heart was pounding, and I felt like it was going to burst when I saw a handsome man in 4D.
“Money is not an issue. Make sure you check her thoroughly.”
Edmund’s face displayed complete confidence. It was the confidence of someone who had everything. Doctor Mars hesitated briefly but eventually spoke.
“Well, if you’d like additional tests, it might take half a day…”
“I’ll pay double the agreed amount. I promise it on Randolph’s honor.”
As soon as the name Randolph was mentioned, Mars looked uncomfortable, his lips quivering.
“Do you not trust the word of a lowly murderer? Should I swear by my sword?”
“O-oh, no! Your words are more than enough, Duke Randolph.”
“I was just joking. I have no reason to carry my sword.”
“Y-yes, of course, the mighty Duke wouldn’t do that, haha.”
Mars scrutinized me carefully, nodding repeatedly. Despite trying to appear nonchalant and relaxed, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle vibrations in Edmund’s black gloves.
My expression turned stiff as I received my examination. The poor beast needed my help.
Edmund desired to ascend to the throne, and he, the overlooked hero, dreamed of revenge and sharpened his sword. To execute this plan, he required someone specific.
“Madam, may you please open your mouth? Just say ‘Ah,’ please.”
That’s Chloen Elythern. She is the current Duchess Randolph and the only daughter of a prominent County.
The Elythern family was influential at the time, and Chloen was the perfect target for Edmund. Count Elythern had power and honor, and Edmund had a powerful army.
“All done now.”
Dr. Mars checked the inside of my mouth and smiled shakily.
“I think he must have had something.”
“What do you mean?”
Mars asked in astonishment, as he continued the examination.
“Oh, it’s nothing. I’m just talking to myself.”
But there was no way Count Elythern, who had been a nobleman all his life, would give his daughter to a knight of unknown birth.
Edmund knew this fact and exploited it. He spread false information that Count Elythern was plotting treason and threatening the throne, and the Emperor became furious.
It was also criticized by the readers.
[RomanceFanatic: The author seems to have personal issues and took it out in the work. The male lead is super annoying.]
[Expert: The male lead is trash. I’m out.]
[JunoFromTheFuture: I’m from the later chapters. Your money and time are valuable.]
Edmund requested that the Emperor order his marriage to Chloen under the pretense of monitoring and managing her.
Eventually, the once-mighty Elythern family had no choice but to hand over their daughter.
Moreover, at the time of Edmund’s oppression under the guise of a marriage proposal, she already had someone to whom she had promised her future.
The two had promised to spend their lives together when spring came, and their sweet promise shattered into pieces.
“Madam, how many fingers do you see now?”
“Your eyesight is normal, and…”
A family name, a fiancé, a future.
The original heroine had lost everything in an instant and cursed and resented Edmund. She wished for his death and sought to kill him.
As the chapters went by, it got harder to tell whether I was reading a romance or a thriller, but it was still fine. The male lead was, as always, handsome.
“Madam, please raise the hand you hear the sound coming from.”
However, the author’s wildness did not stop there. The relationship, tainted with doubt and misunderstanding, led to destruction. The heroine ran away, and the hero, consumed by madness, became increasingly evil.
When they met again, Edmund’s heart was threatened with a blade. The opponent was the original heroine, Chloen Randolph.
Thinking about the original content was surprisingly heartbreaking. Without realizing it, I found myself scrunching up my nose and frowning.
‘Putting a knife to that wide and splendid chest is unacceptable.’
Sensing my gaze, Edmund cleared his throat and coughed. In the meantime, Doctor Mars adjusted his round glasses and spoke.
“I’ve done a thorough examination, but I don’t see anything particularly wrong with you.”
“Is it over now?”
“Not quite, madam. We will now proceed with simple tests related to your memory.”
I looked at Edmund as if to ask what he meant.
“You said you couldn’t remember anything, not even your husband’s name.”
‘That’s because I didn’t really know until yesterday.’
I pursed my lips at the sound of Edmund’s low voice.
The one across from me was a powerful antagonist. He was running rampant, aiming to achieve his goals by capturing not only the Emperor but also the Emperor’s children.
‘Maybe one of the imperial family has joined forces with Edmund?’
But I knew. It wasn’t all about personal greed.
Furthermore, Edmund helped the original heroine, Chloen. Although it was a side story and the details were hazy, the fact remained that Edmund aided the original heroine.
‘Either way, he’s a madman. I have to be cautious until he’s completely dealt with.’
At this point, there was only one option. If I left the manor, I would be captured again.
More than anything, I had no intention of running away. If〈 The Tragedy of Duke Randolph〉was indeed a true story, he needed love. He needed people.
There was at least a glimmer of humanity in Edmund. He had been hurt and rejected by people, he wasn’t born a bad guy.
“In that case, we should definitely check whether there is something wrong with your memory, or not.”
Just like now!
I decided to lead a different life than the original heroine.
I am going to try to lead this poor human to the right path and remove his stigma of being a lunatic. I would also remove his wrong desire for the throne.
‘I’ll show them the true him!’
If I could show Edmund’s true colors, it wouldn’t be so hard to raise this fallen house.
“I can do it.”
I nodded and clenched my fists in anticipation. Edmund’s brow furrowed as he watched. He let out a low breath as if he’d given up trying to understand.