“Web novels? You mean stories posted on the internet?” he said.
It felt a bit strange to talk about distant things from the past such as the internet. I nodded. The Grand Duke looked just as dumbfounded as I did hearing this story. He pondered deeply for a moment, rubbing his chin.
“I’ve seen webtoons but, webnovels… I’ve only heard about them, but haven’t ever read them. Although, I had to do something with them in the digital department; young people have recommended some webtoons to me, so I’ve read them, but webnovels have a lot of text and my eyes get tired… At that time, I was at that age when your eyes get tired easily.”
The Grand Duke laughed slightly. His smile reminded me of the old times. But then he changed his expression to the present and looked at me. “But what about them?” he asked.
“I’ve heard that we’re inside a webnovel right now,” I answered directly.
The Grand Duke didn’t respond. He just looked at me as if I had said a bad joke. I just shrugged my shoulders.
“Who said that?” he said, an incredulous look on his face.
“Penelope Bronson. She’s the older sister of Lord Hugo Duplo.”
He didn’t ask why I met with Penelope Bronson, but merely stayed silent as if telling me to continue. I told him about Penelope’s visit. About reincarnation, the web novel, and how at the party the Princess had hinted about ‘another future’. I didn’t wholly understand her story, so I was unsure if I was conveying it properly. I tried to narrate exactly how I remembered our encounter.
As I finished talking, the silence flowed for some time. I heard voices from the outside, as if Amy had turned someone away, but fortunately no one entered the room.
“She said that we’re in a webnovel…? We’re inside a fantasy webnovel, but we’re not the main characters? Fantasy… with romance?”
He repeated my words, as if trying to make sense of it. I merely shrugged again. I was all the more ignorant to it, so I had no answer. He also looked as if he was lost, but he seemed to be trying to understand it.
“We came from another world – reincarnated – she used that word, right?”
“From her reputation, is Mrs. Bronson someone to be trusted?”
“I guess she must be. My mother told me she’s a nice person. I haven’t heard about her being a lunatic.”
As I answered his queries frankly, his lips lifted and lowered slightly, as if frowning. He straightened his back and shook his head.
“Then how about going and talking to her once?” he proposed.
“For what? I don’t understand a thing she says,” I said.
“Talk to her truthfully. Tell her that you were so busy in your past life, you didn’t have time to notice such things, but it’s true that you’ve lived a different life. Couldn’t you do that?”
To tell her everything as it is… And what if she uses my words against me?
I shook the negative thoughts away. Penelope didn’t seem like a deceitful person. She was like Hugo; she treated everyone she met with kindness. They’re different from this man and I, who didn’t see or believe anything from anyone.
I let out a breath. “Okay. Let’s do that,” I nodded. “She seems like a decent person. I don’t know if her words are true, but I believe talking to her will be interesting.”
“You think she’ll be a good sister-in-law?”
I rolled my eyes at his question. “You’re exactly like my mother. How would I know that? I’m not experienced in such things.”
“I don’t have any family to worry about me. Isn’t that a big advantage?” he suddenly said, chukling. I looked at him with a stunned expression.
“Did you forget about your brother and niece? They’re the biggest nuisances. In every way,” I answered back.
“I don’t consider them my family. So, I don’t also have to worry about pleasing them.”
I frowned. “Why would you worry about pleasing others? Why should you please them?”
“When you marry, your husband’s family will become yours. The current Duke of Ayble is the one who holds the title in the Duplo family, right? He’s the one who possesses all the money. So… shouldn’t you please your husband’s father? Only then will your life become so much more comfortable.”
I didn’t know if he was saying these for my sake, or just trying to get on my nerves.
“I don’t know why you’re talking about me marrying Hugo. Anyhow, I won’t do anything above my capabilities. I’ll treat him the way you should treat a duke, but I don’t try to please others. I don’t see why my life would become easier if I did,” I answered truthfully.
“What if Hugo was nervous because the Duke gave him less money…”
I looked him straight in the eye. “Then I could just kill him.”
The Grand Duke didn’t respond. Then he let out a big laugh. I sighed. I don’t hate it when he laughs, but I don’t understand his humour. How is this funny? The grand duke had tears coming out of his eyes before he finally said, “Why would you say that when there’s an easier solution.”
Of course, other people won’t use that solution. I know that too. But it’s the most suitable solution for someone like me.