Selling the Main Character’s Shares - Chapter 1
The year of 812 in the Cecillica Empire.
Duke Periot Chambers, who was ruling the northern part of Cecilica, was known for his coldness and cruelty.
He was so famous that there was no one who didn’t know the rumours of how it was possible for just his gaze to cut them and that their necks could disappear just from meeting his eyes.
Then, he earned another nickname two years ago, namely, ‘the groom who fled to the battlefield as soon as the wedding was consummated’.
Then, after the long war was finally over, the news of Duke Periot Chambers returning triumphantly and loaded with honours shook the northern estates that were but bare forests and frozen lakes like never before.
And it was an even happier event for me.
I had married him the very next day after taking possession of this body, and with nowhere to escape to, was left to rot in this prison without bars for two years after that.
And that was at the promising age of twenty-one as well!
Two years was really; excessively long and passed by extremely slow.
However, the time to put an end to this has come.
That is to say, with a divorce, of course.
[ / / / ]
— Exactly 24 hours before the Northern Duke arrives at the mansion —
“Duchess, the madam is calling for you.”
I stood up without saying a word once I heard the news that I had been waiting for.
Because I had expected that ‘she’ would call for me around this time.
As I followed the servant into the study, it was just as I had expected. Emma Chambers, Duke Periot’s mother, was already there waiting for me.
“Mother, I heard you were looking for me.”
I examined the look in her eyes as I gave her a polite greeting.
The old lady with white hair put down the teacup she was holding in her hand with a cold expression as soon as she heard me speak.
Then, without even responding with a yes or a no, she took out a sack that was about the size of a baby’s head.
A fairly heavy sound resounded the moment it was set down onto the table.
“Lorella, I’ll speak bluntly. Divorce my son as soon as he gets back.”
As expected! I was waiting for this moment!
I opened my eyes wide and quickly raised my head to stare at the blue sky outside of the window, biting my lip.
The tears would come out soon if I did this.
After doing this for a while, my eyes quickly started to ache.
I opened my mouth quickly in order not to miss the opportunity. My voice was already trembling slightly without even having to try due to the tingling pain in my eyes.
“J-Just, what in the world…what are you talking about…?”
“He is now the hero who has saved the Empire. He is also a person who was promised a sizeable reward by the Imperial Family due to his meritorious deeds! There’s going to be a bright future ahead of him, are you really going to block him from that?”
She continued to speak, completely ignoring me.
“I would appreciate it if you could stop dragging my son down and leave now. Think of this as your payment.”
A golden light flickered through the cracks of the slightly loosened sack. No doubt it was gold. My heart started to race as soon as I saw it.
I bit my lip as hard as I could while trying to suppress my emotions that were overwhelming me.
Because otherwise, it was very likely for me to involuntarily shout out, ‘Even if you didn’t, I would have definitely still asked for a divorce, but thank you!’
“You were always a very obedient and docile child. That’s why I believe that you’ll listen to me this time too.”
“Should I be even more honest? You didn’t even fit into our family in the first place.”
I quickly covered my face with both hands when I heard the cold words she had said.
I tried to squeeze out more tears, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
It was because I was pissed.
‘Oi, this old hag really has no conscience!’
The reason she didn’t kick me out, even whilst finding me unsatisfactory was because she was worried that if by some chance, her son died on the battlefield, she would lose her means of living.
But now that her son is back, she doesn’t need me anymore, right?
But, Grandma. It seems like you aren’t aware of it, but the Northern Duke clearly wasn’t someone who would die that easily?
Because coming back alive, even if it’s from hell, is one of the prerequisites of being the Northern Duke!
Even though I’m angry enough to want to shoot her dead, I’ll still have to put up with her for now.
Emma clicked her tongue as I covered my face and shook my shoulders to make it seem as if I was crying.
I secretly looked between the cracks of my fingers to see her slowly turning her head away from me.
“I’ll leave it to you to talk to him. It would be better for you to clean this up neatly.”
I bent my waist in a deep bow.
“Thank you…for everything so far, really.”
And then I surged backwards quickly.
Quickly reaching out to grab the bag of gold coins and holding it tightly in my arms.
[ / / / ]
— Twelve hours before the Northern Duke arrives at the mansion —
Inside a dimly lit room, I grinned to myself like a madman.
“Good, very good.”
Exactly 10 towers of gold coins had filled up the top of the table.
Whilst looking at the blanket of shining golden light, I somewhat understood what the saying of being full without even eating meant.
I had imagined this sort of scene to some extent in my head, but I had not expected for it to move me this much.
A mother-in-law who asks her son’s wife to divorce him once he returns after making a big contribution. A kind wife who returns in tears without even being able to say a thing.
How many comics, books, and games with this sort of scene did I buy before I possessed this body? There would have been at least dozens, no, hundreds.
But no matter how many times I had indirectly experienced it, experiencing that sort of scene directly yourself, was a completely different feeling, as expected.
So thrilling! It’s the best!
Looking at the mountain of gold coins, I would not have felt wronged if I had died quietly in this cold and old mansion during this time.
Of course, it wasn’t as if I had never thought of running away at night during these two years when he had been gone.
However, the surveillance of Emma Chambers and her hired servants was indeed brutal.
It was no exaggeration to say that she was no different to a prison guard.
However, this time, my mother-in-law just gave me money for a divorce. How can I not be excited?
Thank you, mother. I’ll put this money to good use.
After saluting sincerely in the direction of her room, I unfolded the piece of paper I had placed on the table with the gold coins.
It was full of the research I had done in advance, when I had dreamed of the freedom that would come someday.
“As expected, it would be better to go to Hotel Delphino first. For long-term guests, they offer a 30% discount on lodging rates. They also have the Gerard restaurant next to them which makes regular meals that renew every three months.”
At this rate, it would be sufficient for two and a half years, no, even three years would be fine.
It would be the best if this amount of money could last for three years, even whilst playing and eating like it’s a vacation everyday!
…Of course, I had no intention of spending so heavily like that.
“I can’t just play and eat comfortably without doing anything.”
In contrast to my red hair and red eyes now, I was originally an ordinary Korean before I took possession of this body. So even if I’m in a game, I’ll become anxious if I don’t do any work…!
I’ll use these gold coins as the starting amount to increase my wealth after enjoying my freedom for a while. I’ll make it happen at any cost.
I laid down on the bed with a light heart after putting the money back into the pouch, one by one.
“It’ll finally be tomorrow.”
After I sleep and wake up, I’ll be able to escape from this damn mansion.
Just thinking about it brought a smile to my lips. As soon as my mind had calmed down, my eyes also started to close by themselves.
[ / / / ]
— Ten seconds before the arrival of the Northern Duke Periot —
As the large carriage stopped in front of the mansion, the countless faces of the servants that were waiting stiffened with tension.
And it was the same with me.
Perhaps there was some kind of tension since it was the first time in two years we had seen each other since the wedding.
When the carriage had come to a complete stop, one of the escorting knights approached to open the door in a disciplined manner. I caught a glimpse of seat wrapped in a lavish purple velvet through the cracks in the door.
Then, someone immediately came out from within the carriage.
He was an attractive and tall man with pale skin, and soft looking black hair that neatly spilled over his forehead.
‘You’d immediately know he was the Northern Duke, even if you saw him whilst passing by on a jet.’
Watching him walk down the path as the escort knights stood on either side of it made me realise how the formula of ‘the Northern Duke = black hair’ had come about.
Because it matched extremely well with the cold atmosphere around him.
On top of that, with such a sculpted appearance, I wondered how that face had never popped up in my head during these two years. Had it not been for this sort of situation, my jaw would have dropped.
Just by the way he walked, exactly like the Northern Grand Duke, gave off a strange feeling of danger.
Perhaps because of the chilly gaze in his eyes, the servants gradually lowered their heads toward the ground, as if they had committed a crime.
I bit my lip hard.
The thought of having to talk about divorce in front of a man like that made me even more nervous.
“Quickly, come in. My son that I’m so proud of…!”
It was his mother, Emma, who broke the suffocating atmosphere. She suddenly took a step forward and hugged the Duke’s shoulder.
He merely bowed to his mother, who was crying profusely, with an expressionless face.
And then, he took a step towards me.
The clanking sound of the long sword that was wrapped around his waist was gradually getting closer and closer.
“…You’ve come back.”
First off, I gave my ‘husband’ a polite greeting. I must have seemed like an even weaker and more introverted wife to him, even if my voice was quite dull.
‘Now, you’ll look at me like I’m just a stone you found by the road, right?’
Unsurprisingly, a cold gaze scanned my face indifferently.
“I’m glad you came back safely.”
Although I already knew what his reaction would be, I still added one more sentence, conscious of the gazes of the people surrounding us.
‘But of course you won’t reply whatsoever.’
Again, as expected, his mouth that was tightly closed did not open.
Our indifferent gazes intertwined for a moment.
The heavy tension between the couple was unimaginable. The servants, of course, and even Emma, were not able to speak rashly.
Periot, who finally took his gaze away from me, passed by without saying a word.
I untied the scarf’s knot and finally let out a sigh.
“Well, there’s no character that’s as easy to understand as the Northern Duke.”
“Pardon? Duchess, what did you just say?”
One of the maid’s ears perked up upon hearing me talking to myself. However, I just pretended not to know and shook my head.
“It was nothing.”
Although it didn’t feel good to be ignored by someone like this, it was still nice for me to know that he hated me as much as he did now.
Wouldn’t the story start from here if this was a novel that actually existed somewhere?
A husband who regards his wife who is linked to him by an arranged marriage as less than a rock, and a mother-in-law who regards her daughter-in-law who puts up with her until the end despite her request for a divorce as a pain in the eye.
And a kind and gentle female lead who foolishly endures it all.
But in the end, she is exhausted, and leaves without a word one day, and only then will the man regret it.
Unable to accept the fact that the existence that has always been silently staying by his side has disappeared, he will gradually become stained with obsession and madness.
That’s right, as expected, an obsessive and regretful man in the Rofan 1 genre is the best.
The things I had seen in the past and put in my cart just by seeing the keyword, ‘regretful man’ were still vivid in my mind.
But apart from that, I absolutely refused to become the victim of that sort of trope.
“Those things are only amusing when you read them in novels.”
It’s not like I can live relying on my face for my whole life.
Although the maid cast a suspicious gaze at me, who continued to mumble to myself, I hurriedly followed Duke Periot’s heavy footsteps without any hesitation.
[ / / / ]
The inside of the Duke’s mansion, which was always quiet enough to be desolate was full of energy and life.
This was because a banquet was being held in order welcome Duke Periot, who returned from making big achievements in the war.
The banquet hall was decorated in a luxurious way like never before, and the tables were full of delicious food.
Although countless amounts of nobles came to see him with all sorts of gifts in order to be seen in a good light by him, today’s protagonist didn’t seem to have any interest in the party.
Even after his mother, Emma, had caught him several times, he only bluntly greeted the crowd before going straight to the study.
Because of that, people flocked to Emma and I.
They all seemed to want to curry favour, even if it was with a chicken instead of a pheasant.
I adequately dealt with the people around me before taking a break and sneaking out of the banquet. Then I passed the quiet hallway and climbed up the staircase.
The gorgeous dress that I was wearing, which Emma had chosen herself, saying that we had to keep up appearances before getting divorced, was only uncomfortable because it was tightly squeezing my whole body.
The second floor was extremely tranquil.
There was only the sound of my footsteps echoing through the hallway.
At the end of the hallway was a large, heavy wooden door.
Don’t be nervous.
I took a deep breath before knocking on the door.
The sound of the door creaking open broke the tranquil silence.
As soon as I entered the room, I saw a man sitting upright, like a painting leaning over the desk.
He had such a neat and scholarly appearance that it was hard to believe that he was a person that had wielded a sword on the rough battlefield not too long ago.
A face without a single thing out of place suited the neat study where nothing was placed carelessly extremely well.
Of course, apart from that, the eyes that looked at me had not changed and were still cold.
The look that glanced at my face to check who I was as soon as I entered the study went straight back to the paperwork.
And then I heard his voice, which was as cold as the look in his eyes.
“What’s the matter?”
“There’s no way you came here just because you wanted to see me.”
Wow, a voice full of chills that was cold like the Siberian wind, and an aggressive attitude that was thrown at me without any context.
It was the Northern Duke, perfect to the bone.
Although I had a desire to savour this very much of a cliche textbook character a little more, unfortunately, I didn’t come here to do that.
“I have something to tell you.”
I deliberately made my hand tremble slightly and held the paper out in front of him.
Although I wanted to do as my heart said and fiercely throw it all away and just run, I knew that if I did so, I wouldn’t be able to secure true freedom.
After I took a few deep breaths…
“Please give me a divorce.”
I finally said it.
Periot looked at me while slowly setting down the paperwork he was holding in his hand.
Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t read any emotion in his gaze.
I didn’t give up and continued to speak.
“Yes, I want a divorce.”
“Because I don’t love the Duke, and the Duke doesn’t love me either.”
Silence flowed between us for a while.
I swallowed the dry saliva that was stuck at the back of my throat amidst the subtle tension.
Then, a voice so cold that it gave me goosebumps from just hearing it leaked out from between his lips.
Eyes as sharp as his jawline were staring at me.
“Your household, Count Mayred…”
He slowly got up and sighed as he continued to speak.
“Amongst the thirty two households that supported the military in the war this time, you won’t be able to find their name anywhere.”
His pitch black hair swayed gently, following Periot’s movements.
“They won’t have any chance at getting a seat amongst the 100 seats of the chamber room either next year, since the taxes that they pay to the Imperial Family are in those of the lower ranks.”
There was still no warmth in the eyes that ran down my face.
“Nevertheless, do you know why you’re still in the position of this mansion’s mistress?”
“It’s because I allowed it.”
He raised his head with a brazenly arrogant expression on his face.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear the bullshit you just said.”
I was speechless for a moment, stunned by the overbearing attitude that seemed to look down on me, as if I was inferior to him.
I calmly opened my mouth again.
“What I mean is… I hope you’ll be able to match with a family that will be of more help to you.”
Don’t you hate me anyways?
To the extent that I can’t even find any trace of you asking about how I am in any of the letters that were sent to the Duke’s residence during the two years you were on the battlefield.
“Now that you have become the hero of the empire, there will definitely be a good marriage partner, one that will be incomparable to the Mayred family.”
As soon as I finished speaking, he hurriedly approached me and took the divorce papers without saying a word.
His eyes that were black like obsidian, slowly scanned the paper.
His expression gradually grew darker and darker as time went on.
It was then, when I had unconsciously taken a step back in response to the somewhat threatening atmosphere.
The sound of his teeth grinding together came from inside his rightly clenched jaw.
Then immediately, with a crackling sound, torn pieces of paper were scattered in the air.
Things that seemed like snow-white butterfly wings fell flutteringly in front of my eyes.
At the same time, the sound of a low voice sneering struck my ears.
“I have no intention of getting a divorce. Of course, you’ll never be able to escape from here either.”
I could feel the heat rush all the way to the tip of my head the moment one corner of his mouth curled up, as if he was ignoring me.
It had been an exciting scene when I had only read it in a novel, but when I had directly experienced it myself, I was so angry that my whole body was shaking in anger.
“What do you think you’re doing right now…!”
It was at that time when I was about to step forward to question him again.
The sound of a loud bell from who knows where rang in my ears, and a dazzling window that I had never seen before, only the size of a palm, suddenly appeared before my eyes.
Behind it, the face of my husband who had hardened his expression into a cold one again, was clearly reflected.
I screamed unconsciously and took a step back.
At the same time, unfamiliar letters began to appear quickly in the transparent window that was in the shape of a rectangle.
「Sir ‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right?’ has opened your shares account.」
「50 shares, 100 shares, 200 shares… In an instant, it breaks through 300 shares!」
“W-What is this!?”
I stopped screaming in surprise and flopped down on the sofa in the study.
No matter how hard I blinked or rubbed my eyes, even enough for it to hurt, the window still didn’t disappear.
“Now you’re even pretending to be crazy. There’s no point in acting. It won’t happen, no matter what you do, even if you die.”
Periot grabbed my arm and forced me to stand up before roaring out in a grim voice.
“So go back to your room obediently.”
「Sir ‘That bastard isn’t the male lead, right?’ is enraged and starts to swear.」
The window which moved according to my gaze, launched a short and concise message whilst covering Periot’s face completely.
「Don’t be so mean, you rotten bastard!」
 로판: a word used to describe the genres that intersect both romance and fantasy in webnovels and manhwas. works usually include aristocratic settings with mentions of magic, transmigration or regression and include a few prevalent tropes such as obsessive and regretful male lead after the transmigration of the female lead.