My Husband Will Regret This - Chapter 4
After looking at the documents again, she was able to breathe a little.
She would be able to get out of this suffocating life soon.
Her husband had never brought up divorce to her. Perhaps it was because he felt responsible. Chloe was convinced that this was the only reason.
She believed he had a persistent sense of duty, which was why she had been able to endure until this long.
So if she was the one who brought out the divorce papers…
He might sign them right away.
And he might be happy that she raised the topic in the first place.
Or he could become angry. After all, how much money had he spent on Chloe so far?
Whatever his reaction would be, Chloe would accept it all. Because she was finally making her own decision.
She would be tenacious enough to see it through until the end.
He, who signed the marriage contract, fulfilled the barest minimum of his obligations as a husband—and she, who signed the same document, stubbornly wished to fulfill her obligations as a wife.
And so, the husband placed her wife as the Madam of the household and left her there.
And so, the wife loved her husband without her affections ever reciprocated.
Such a misguided relationship could only be proven by a single document.
It wasn’t enough to bind them together.
Chloe laughed at herself.
‘When I was in the academy… I don’t think I would have done this.’
She never spoke to Eric back then, but rumor went that he wasn’t such an unfeeling man. At the very least, he was known for defending the weak and fighting against the strong wrongdoers. That’s why he was so captivating to her eyes.
However, after their marriage, she found that he was far from how the rumors painted him out to be. He didn’t take care of Chloe, despite her being disadvantaged. Rather, only harsh spikes seemed to have jutted out towards her.
‘Is it my fault?’
Her mother’s words kept ringing behind her ears.
It’s the woman’s fault if her husband does not love her…
Chloe shook her head.
She was already set on getting a divorce. But she was still blaming herself.
At that moment, the locomotive slowed down.
The horse’s neighing could be heard several times, and soon the locomotive stopped.
“Madam, we’ve arrived.”
The horseman opened the door, and Chloe glanced at him before she stepped out slowly.
There was a man running frantically from a distance. It was Daniel, Eric’s aide.
His mouth was agape as he gawked at Chloe.
“Goodness, it’s really you, Madam. I saw the carriage coming from the north, so I wondered who was arriving. What brings you here, Madam? Ah, no no. It’s not the time for pleasantries. Please, come inside. It’s getting late as well.”
Daniel was a modest man. He was one of the few who talked to Chloe without clear malice.
However, Chloe felt awkward by the kindness he showed. The discomfort she felt was a product of a sense of vigilance that was learned by living in the harsh northern society.
At Daniel’s amiable smile, Chloe tucked in her chin and averted her gaze. Then, holding onto his hand for him to guide her, they slowly walked along the stone path.
The mansion in the capital was a simple one. There were no knights guarding the gate, the brick walls were low, and the bushes were narrow.
Chloe looked up at the three-story building that had worn-out exterior walls.
There’s no way. Then this meant he really had no money anymore. Was that why he was living in such a shabby place?
Chloe sighed, recalling the four million pounds that went to her family.
“I’m here to see my husband. Where is he?”
Daniel asked me in bewilderment, but he schooled his features and opened the front door.
“His Excellency is currently working on something. He’s in the lab, and he won’t be coming out for a while.”
Chloe closed her eyes for one prolonged moment, then slowly opened them again.
She arrived here without contacting her husband, and she thought that maybe she’d run into the lover he might have.
Her assumption might be right.
A part of her heart ached. It felt like her heart was being stabbed with endless needles, one at a time.
Her face crumpled, but she quickly composed herself. She took in a big breath and straightened her back.
“Take me there.”
Daniel’s gaze was quivering as he asked again, and at that, Chloe’s eyes narrowed.
If it were the usual, she would have said that she’d wait until he was done with his work. No. If it were the usual, she wouldn’t have come here in the first place.
But Chloe had changed from the past.
Now that she had been declared as good as dead, she was determined to pave her own future, however short it was. She didn’t want to live in silence any longer.
“I want you to take me to where my husband is right now.”
If he truly had a lover, Chloe wanted to see her with her own eyes.
‘That way, we can separate sooner.’
She buried her feelings for her husband, even as her heart became heavier and heavier.
“But Madam… It’s not a place fit for you to go.”
“Are you waiting for me to search every corner of this house myself?”
Grit. A distinct sound came from Daniel’s clenched teeth.
“…Please let me guide you there.”
Daniel started on his way and led her to her destination.
While following the aide, Chloe could feel her heart pounding inside her chest.
It was beating so erratically that it felt like it would burst through its cage and jump out of her throat.
It was the first time she said anything firmly to another person, and the anxiety of seeing her husband’s lover was endlessly nerve-wracking.
She took out a handkerchief with a gloved hand and wiped off her sweat.
The lab was in the annex, which was connected to the main building by way of a short hallway.
They arrived before long, without having to walk far.
Daniel had sneaked glances at her on the way, still confused by her behavior, but now he turned to her fully. He held the knob of the door leading to the annex tightly.
“It’s going to be a little hot.”
Then, he opened the door before she could say anything. At the same time, a strong heat fanned into her face.
Cough. Chloe coughed slightly. Her cheeks were burning.
“The heat of the coal is quite strong. Milord is developing something like a portable stove. Goodness, His Excellency is just… It’s a mess here again.”
Daniel continued walking forward once more, saying things that Chloe couldn’t understand, and she faltered behind him.
The mansion she saw outside was simple and it seemed as though there was nothing special about it. But it was different inside.
This place was really strange.
The walls were blackened and the floor was covered with spots of mold and moss.
Chloe’s chin trembled as she recalled her husband’s usually neat exterior.
Then, at that moment—
She heard a thump from the other side.
Chloe was convinced that this sound couldn’t have possibly come from her husband. Her husband always walked slowly and carefully.
“Daniel, you f*cking bastard! Why are you so late?!”
It was Eric, her husband who appeared out of nowhere.
And yet Chloe couldn’t recognize him right away.
Because he looked nothing like how he usually appeared.
Eric was always neat, with his hair combed back. But now, his hair was all over the place, tangled and shooting out in all directions.
He usually wore clean shirts and coats. But right now, he was wearing an old shirt that had some buttons missing. His shoes were so worn out that there were large holes in front that revealed his socks.
Chloe stared blankly at Eric, not understanding the sight presented to her.
“How many times do I have to call you for you to… Wife?”
Only then did Eric’s eyes turn to her.
“…Why are you here?”
His eyes behind those glasses were full of perplexity, mirroring exactly what Chloe was feeling as well.
“What are you doing here, Wife?”
Eric’s tone from when he was shouting disappeared in an instant, and what returned was the usual cold front that he would show Chloe all the time.
The glasses over his eyes did not hinder the intensity behind his glare. After being so speechless for a moment, Chloe quickly regained her senses.
“…I’m here to tell you something.”
Chloe’s gaze dropped to the ground. She wasn’t confident enough to see Eric’s heartless expression.
She had already expected him to look at her like that. She had come here alone for the first time in their five years of marriage, so she was hoping that he would allow her at least this.
Apart from that, she didn’t want to succumb to futile hope once more. She had already decided to divorce him, but sometimes, it would spring back up, seeming as though she had yet to fully let go of the string that tied her to hope.
And so, she had drowned in sorrow. Yes, just as she did now.
“Surely it’s a trivial matter.”
His cold murmur chilled her to her core.
Why was she still clinging onto hope.
She already knew that he would answer like this.
Eric had always been heartless. And she was always left in misery like this.
Taking off her gloves, she let out a low breath and clasped her hands together.
“You won’t know if it’s trivial… until you hear it. I’ll be waiting. I need to talk to you.”
Eric raised an eyebrow.
He took off his glasses roughly and pushed back his hair with one hand. Then, he looked down at her with a questioning look.
Chloe hesitantly lifted her gaze and made eye contact with him.
He was in a different outfit than usual.
Even so, he remained the same.
Chloe grew calm again.
“There’s soot on your face.”
She reached out to Eric unconsciously. Her handkerchief had been dirtied on the way here, so she used a glove instead.
But Eric stepped back. Chloe’s hand was left hanging in the air.
“Your glove will get dirty.”
“No, it’s not.”
He furrowed his brows, ignoring Chloe’s falling hand.
Chloe pursed her lips and bowed her head.
He didn’t even want her to touch him in any way. Or was it that he loathed to have these expensive gloves smeared?
She thought it would be better if it was the latter. It was awful to think that her kindness was cheaper than gloves.
fun fact— cars weren’t really commonplace back in the victorian era yet, but what chloe rode on the way to eric’s place was a carriage/locomotive hybrid that’s being pulled by horses and being powered by a machine at the same time. i’ll be using ‘locomotive’ and ‘carriage’ interchangeably throughout the series, so i hope it won’t be confusing for you guys.
(another fun fact — towards eric, chloe speaks formally with the -요 ending, but eric uses the -습니다 ending with her, which is a loooot more formal than how chloe speaks. Well, anyway, he’s still… a piece of trash~ )
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