The two men’s heads snapped to the source of the sound.
“Honey! It’s me, Chloen.”
At once, Edmund’s red eyes, which were facing the door, shook greatly.
Then, in disbelief, he muttered in a low voice.
Honey. It was a strange word he had never heard or even thought of hearing in his entire life. To hear such a word from Chloen was utterly astonishing.
What kind of prank was this? It left him utterly bewildered.
“Aren’t you inside? Duke Randolph? Edmund? It’s me!”
Chloen’s affectionate voice was heard once again.
“Your Grace, it seems your wife is looking for you…?”
Mars had been at a loss for words and now began to speak, but Edmund didn’t flinch.
“Should I come in? I’m coming in, alright? Don’t change your mind later.”
With a one-sided announcement, the doorknob made a clicking sound. However, the locked door showed no signs of opening.
“Why won’t this open? Hello? Edmund!”
Bang bang bang!
Edmund looked dazed as the voice continued to call for him.
“Can a person suddenly change when they lose their memory?”
“Honey! Are you in there?”
Continuing shouts filled the Duke’s face with amazement.
* * *
In front of the door to Duke Edmund’s study.
Sasha’s resistance did not last long. Thanks to this, the expressions of the two people standing at the door were dramatically different.
“Your Grace! Open the door! Your wife, Chloen, is here.”
Bang bang bang!
Despite the gentle voice, there was another thunderous noise as if she was going to break down the door. As the clamor continued, Sasha’s face turned pale.
“M-madam, what are you doing? His Grace told you to rest. If you keep this up, I’ll really die…!”
Sasha glanced at the closed door and whispered in a low voice.
“I just want to tell him that we should get along better from now on.”
“With all due respect, I think you’re going about it the wrong way. Right now, Your Grace looks like… you’re a debt collector coming to collect money. You look very threatening!”
“Hmm… I suppose it depends on how you look at it.”
Chloen replied innocently, nodding her head. As Sasha watched her, she frowned and muttered to herself.
“No, what’s the matter with her? She used to scowl even when just seeing His Grace’s face. Even if she lost her memory, this kind of sudden change is really ridiculous. How many years have I been serving her? She told me that her rule was to never change her mind after making a decision, and she never did…”
At that moment…
As if it were a machine gun, Sasha’s lips, which had been running continuously, suddenly shut tightly. Bright red pupils silently fixed on them.
“What’s going on?”
Edmund’s low voice echoed through the corridor.
He looked disheveled, and his eyes uncharacteristically quivered.
‘Something’s strange, but I don’t know what it is.’
Chloen quickly scanned the surroundings, but she couldn’t find any particular anomalies.
“If you’re in there, at least give me a sign. Why did you lock the door and keep me waiting for so long?”
With a brief tsk of annoyance, she walked past Edmund and into the study.
Inside, the middle-aged doctor who had been examining her hand just a while ago was there.
“Oh my! Dr. Mars, you’re still here? It looks like you’ve been having an interesting conversation with my husband, haven’t you?”
“Ahaha! Madam, it’s good to see you again. How are you feeling?”
“Well, thanks to that lump of scrap metal you brought, I’m still feeling a bit ticklish… but it’s fine. It was very refreshing.”
Who would have imagined encountering a lie detector in this world?
Mars’ face darkened as he realized what she meant.
They said that couples looked alike, and despite her obvious smile, a chill ran down his spine. Maybe he’ll be taken to the basement and lose his life? Just as Mars was wiping away the cold sweat, he heard a voice like a lifeline.
“That’s enough. You may go.”
“I-I will send medicines that may help with the Duchess’ symptoms through a servant. Then, Duke Randolph, I’ll take my leave now. Please have a pleasant conversation.”
Mars spoke quickly as he turned away.
“You’ve come a long way; why not have a meal before you leave? This is a chance to talk about my condition, too. After all, I don’t know about it.”
As she smiled brightly at him, Mars offered a forced smile.
“Hahaha… I’m fasting these days, Madam. I will also send the medical report via a servant. So, I should take my leave now.”
He hurriedly left the room with a bang.
Chloen looked at the closed door and muttered to herself.
“It seemed like he could have five meals in a day…”
“Well, then, I should also prepare lunch…”
Sasha had been cautiously glancing at them and now also got up and left. The two of them were left alone in the vast study, filled with an awkward silence.
After what seemed like an eternity, the two pairs of eyes met in the air.
“What’s going on?”
A pleasant, low, bass voice rang out.
Is this what it feels like to have honey in your ears?
“I’m inviting you to have lunch. Sasha said you haven’t eaten yet.”
She replied with the prettiest smile she could muster.
For a moment, Edmund’s eyebrow twitched. His fiery red eyes locked on hers in disbelief.
“Yes, lunch. What are you doing? Come on, let’s go downstairs.”
His steady stare continued for a while. Looking into those intense pupils made her feel oddly embarrassed.
‘Staring at someone like that for more than three seconds is cheating.’
Chloen shrugged her shoulders in the ensuing silence and smiled sheepishly. Still, the expression on his face didn’t improve.
Meanwhile, Edmund’s mind was more complicated than ever. What had really happened to her head? Or was this another strategy for an easy divorce?
“How amusing. Do I look so comical to you? It seems like feigning ignorance all this time has poisoned you.”
With a faint, scornful smile, he muttered in a low voice.
“What kind of prank is this now? Did you put some kind of sleeping pill in the food, or is it in the drink? What are you trying to do by putting me to sleep?”
“Oh no, it’s just, let’s have a meal together… to, to celebrate! It was our anniversary not long ago, you know?”
“The more I look at you, the more interesting you become.”
Edmund was so close that she felt her heart drop with a thud.
He bent down at the waist, locked eyes with her, and closed the distance with each step. The closer he got, the more she hesitated and backed away.
“For three years, we haven’t shared even a single meal, let alone make eye contact.”
“Now, should we feign affection?”
With his relentless tone, he approached her continuously. The cool wall behind her served as a reminder that there was nowhere to retreat.
‘Oh, this atmosphere… Could this be…?’
Without realizing it, she swallowed dryly, her mind entertaining rosy fantasies.
“In order to escape from me, what mischief is our noble Duchess planning this time?”
Edmund’s eyes flashed as if he’d spotted his prey. An angry breath touched above her forehead. The tension between them was palpable.
“It seems you still can’t trust me.”
With a soft murmur, her slender fingers lightly grasped the man’s collar. It didn’t take long before his shadow loomed over her body.
‘Taming the beast, indeed.’
“Was there ever any trust between us in the first place? You and I never wanted affection to begin with.”
His sharp words resonated in her ears. She leaned closer to Edmund, her thin lips almost touching his.
“I’m going to start building that trust from now on. And if possible, affection too, a lot.”
“I have no idea what’s going on in that small head of yours.”
“Really? Then, I’ll tell you one thing for sure.”
With those words, a gentle touch stroked his cheek for a moment, but it was enough to see him flinch.
Suppressing the rising adrenaline, she spoke.
“I have no intention of divorcing you, none at all.”
“You’ve always been good at hiding your true colors.”
“Sure, think what you want. Whether right or wrong, I’ll show you in the future. After all, actions speak louder than words, right?”
“Look forward to it. I’ll show you more than anything you’ve imagined.”