How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 1
It was ten years.
The time Astelle tried to die for him.
Astelle von Reston was rigorously educated to become the crown princess of the empire.
She has liberal arts classes in politics, history, military studies, as well as all kinds of arts and literature.
And even more difficult and esoteric court manners than mathematical formulas.
She couldn’t play or rest like other kids.
She only studied.
It was hard enough, but Astelle endured everything and tried not to die.
Everything was for the little boy she first met on her 10th birthday.
A boy with dark hair and red eyes, Kaizen, Prince of the Lastiel Empire.
On her 10th birthday, Kaizen gave Astelle a necklace with blue gems as a gift.
It was the “Blue Moonlight”, a treasure of the imperial family received by the Empress of the Lastiel Empire.
It was a sign of an engagement to the royal family.
On that day, Astelle officially became the prince’s fiancee.
How happy she was at that moment.
The moment he hung the blue jewel around her neck, Astelle gained her purpose in life.
Another 10 years passed like that.
Astelle, as the preliminary crown princess, continued to strive to become empress.
Since the empress had passed away early, she went to the imperial palace without the empress in her spare time to study.
She has also fulfilled her responsibilities as an empress.
Even visited His Majesty the Emperor and helped with the work of the imperial palace.
Everything was good until then.
As the seasons changed countless times, the relationship between the two also changed little by little.
One day, ominous rumors began to hover around the mansion, as the cold wind swept away the panoramic view of spring.
The story of the Crown Prince wanting to break up with Astelle spread slowly around like a damp fog.
Astelle’s father, Duke Reston, hastened their marriage to dispel rumors.
At the request of the Duke, who was the emperor’s closest aide and friend, the two finally officially became a married couple.
The first night she went to bed after the wedding.
The prince asked for the understanding that he did not want to have children right away.
And to Astelle, it felt like a kind consideration.
“We’re still young and the Emperor is still here, so we have plenty of time. I want to have a child slowly after you adjust to the imperial palace.”
Astelle was rather grateful to Kaizen.
It would have been more difficult to have children as soon as she became the Crown Princess.
However, as long as the wedding took place, the first night had to be held.
“I’m fine. Then, for the time being, I will take medicine.”
If they don’t spend the first night together, people will misunderstand.
So Astelle convinced Kaizen that she would take the pill.
Kaizen said after agonizing for a while.
“No. I don’t want to burden you.”
Kaizen asked Astelle for consent and took the pill himself.
Kaizen treated the nervous Astelle dearly, and courteously from beginning to end.
Astelle was happy.
Although it was only a political marriage, they will respect each other and live as a couple for a lifetime.
Astelle believed so.
However, the dream did not last long.
On the first morning of the honeymoon, which should have been like a dream, the news flew in.
The unbelievable news that His Majesty the Emperor had died suddenly.
That afternoon, Kaizen, who became emperor, told Astelle, who became his empress.
“This marriage was what my late father wanted. I didn’t want to marry you for a single moment. So you’d better clean up without further delay.”
It was an extremely concise and indifferent glance as if he was clearing up the remains of his deceased father.
“You never loved me anyway, right?”
At that moment, Astelle thought of the necklace that was hanging around her neck.
After meeting Kaizen for the first time at the age of 10, she never took off the necklace he gave her.
The formal letters were exchanged while waiting for him to come back from war. She remembers every word and sentence they exchanged lightly at banquets.
It was time to face the sad reality.
It was all memorable for her, but not for the man in front of her.
Now she can fully understand Kaizen’s intention to have the child slowly last night as if he were considerate of her.
From the beginning, he was thinking of abandoning Astelle.
It was the moment when everything she had believed in for 10 years broke.
Looking at his cold red eyes, which had not a speck of affection, Astelle decided to tell the lie that he wanted.
For the man who was the reason for her life until she was 20, but only a husband for a day.
“Yes, it is.”
I didn’t love you.
That’s how the one-day empress life of Astelle, made the record for being the shortest empress in history, ended.
As soon as the new emperor was crowned, the empress was expelled.
It was something that caused a great stir in the empire.
Originally, the royal family could not divorce easily.
If one side opposes the divorce, they will be taken to court and face a lengthy legal battle.
Even so, most divorces do not happen.
Once they’ve exchanged their wedding vows, even an emperor cannot break a sacred marriage without the consent of both parties.
But Astelle’s divorce ended unexpectedly and simply.
This is because Astelle, the party concerned, agreed to divorce without a hitch.
“Yes, I want a divorce too.”
The new emperor wanted a divorce as soon as he ascended to the throne, but the empress agreed, so there was no justification to oppose it.
Her father and other great noblemen were stunned, but Astelle took off the empress’ crown without any hesitation.
After becoming the empress, everything would’ve been easy.
She worked hard, practiced, and prepared for such a long time to become the empress.
When she left the empress position, all she had left was comfort and relief.
“For throwing away the empress’ seat without even fighting, something like you is no longer my daughter. Get out of my house right now.”
Astelle was disowned at the door for allowing such an easy divorce.
An attendant from the imperial palace came to send money for living, but Astelle refused.
And she left the capital.
She bought a small house near a forest by using the money she had collected and selling the jewelry she had since she was young.
She was thinking of spending the rest of her life quietly there.
She thought that if she could sell embroidery or paintings, she would be able to make enough money for living expenses.
Her time passed quietly and peacefully.
A few days later, she heard shocking words from a nearby pharmacist.
“Well…… I think you’re pregnant?”
The sound of footsteps came downstairs.
The ominous sound of stepping on the cold stone floor was approaching quickly.
Astelle rushed to the closet and found a wooden closet that was roughly attached to a damp stone wall.
Except for the bed, it was the only piece of furniture in the room.
She opened the door and ran through the roughly packed parcels to find a small bottle of medicine.
It’s been two months since she’s been on the run.
For the past week, Astelle has been on the second floor of the small bakery.
During the day, she made bread or helped with chores at the store downstairs, and at night she slept with her child in a small room on the second floor.
It was a difficult life, but she couldn’t do anything about it running on a tight budget.
Still, this place wasn’t bad compared to other places.
The owner of the store was good, and because it was a small rural village, there were not many people.
Astelle went to bed and shook the child buried under the old quilt to wake him up.
The dark-haired child lying in the bed slowly got up and opened his eyes.
Dark red pupils were revealed in the delicate eyes.
‘Please, I prayed you didn’t have his eyes.’
However, the child was born to resemble his father’s dark hair and red eyes.
Still, Theor was a lovely child.
The little face was cute like a doll. After waking up, the child rubbed his eyes with a small hand.
Astelle held the child’s soft white cheeks affectionately in both hands and said, looking at his eyes.
“Theor, do you remember what mom said?”
The child tilted his head and blinked his sleepy eyes.
“Ooh… a play?”
Fortunately, Astelle’s child, Theor, was smart for his age and understood well.
Ever since the child learned to speak, and was able to understand the wordplay, Astelle has been practicing with the child for things like this.
Astelle raised the child’s head and opened the medicine bottle she found in the closet.
Then, she dropped each drop into the eyes of the child who she gently lifted the face of.
As Theor blinked, his blood-red eyes gradually turned blue as if the paint was spreading.
“Thank you for your patience.”
Looking at his blue eyes, Astelle hugged the child and kissed his forehead.
The skin that touched her lips smelled like soft milk.
At that moment, there was a knock outside as if to break the door.
Astelle hurriedly hid the medicine bottle in her arms.
The door was ripped off with a bang before she could even go out and open it.
Knights dressed in military uniforms of the imperial army entered through the ragged door.
The man who seemed to have the highest position among the knights approached Astelle.
And spoke in a concise manner to Astelle, who was standing by the bedside and held the child in her arms.
“Your Majesty the Emperor is looking for you.”