How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 113
Astelle continued reading the document.
It was a report sent by the Ministry of the Interior to write down the budget for the imperial palace event.
After carefully reviewing the document, Astelle handed it to Hannah.
“I think the budget should be like this.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The imperial palace banquet came a few days later.
This banquet was Astelle’s first meeting with the nobles as an empress.
It was also the first imperial palace event she prepared as an empress.
The wedding was prepared by Kaizen himself, so there was not much for her to do, but this time, Empress Astelle took care of everything from start to finish.
As this is her first event as empress, she must prepare thoroughly and perfectly.
“Organize the remaining documents and send them to the Minister of Home Affairs.”
After giving instructions to Hannah, Astelle turned to Naen, who was standing nervously in the corner.
“Miss Naen, did you bring what I ordered?”
“Yes, yes, Your Majesty. I have it ready.”
Naen put the thick document down on the table carefully.
Naen had been working in the empress’ palace as per Astelle’s orders.
Even if it’s called work, it was a simple task to write down simple errands or memos.
Astelle had Naen write down what she currently knows about socialites or the ties of each noble family.
‘Because I need it to send invitations.’
She gave that reason, but in fact, it was because she didn’t know much about the current capital’s social circle.
Astelle had been away from the capital for the past six years, and her family in the capital was only her father and brother.
Most of her close friends left the capital because their families collapsed.
Although she memorized all the official information of each family, there is always unknown information where people gather.
‘Especially in social circles.’
As a result of asking a few questions, Naen surprisingly knew a lot about the ladies of the social world.
Whenever her mother, the marchioness, went to a social gathering, she grabbed Naen and told her what happened that day.
After looking through the long explanatory notes written by Naen, Astelle glanced at her.
Naen had an anxious expression on her face.
It seemed she was still afraid of Astelle.
She didn’t seem to understand why she was here.
‘Anyway, this is unexpected.’
If you know the relationship and power of the noble ladies, you will be able to take over the social world, and, at the very least, you will be able to perfectly prepare for this banquet.
Naen wasn’t bad at all, but she had a naive side, so she did what Astelle asked for without a single doubt.
“You organized it well. Good job.”
“T-thank you, Your Majesty.”
Pushing aside Naen’s report, Astelle said, “Make sure to send an invitation to Lady Florin for this event as well.”
Naen raised her head in surprise.
“To my older sister?”
“The Croychen family has withdrawn from the front line because of the Marchioness’ sin, but Lady Florin is innocent. If I leave it like this, the path of her marriage will be blocked, so I want to help. It is the duty of the empress to protect her people and provide a home for them,” Astelle explained with a friendly smile.
It was a reasonable explanation.
Originally, the empress was supposed to take care of and support noble ladies whose families had fallen or who had no guardians.
Naen seemed to understand but was still confused.
There was a bit of fear in her gentle-looking eyes.
Florin tried to hurt Empress Astelle, so why is she trying to help?
I guess it might be a conspiracy or something scary.
Maybe that’s what Naen was thinking.
‘Obviously, Florin had asked this naive little sister of hers to get information about the empress’ palace.’
The maid watching Naen said she saw Naen secretly meeting a maid.
When Florin hears about her marriage, maybe Florin will think Astelle is trying to get her revenge by forcing her to marry an unworthy person. Thus, she will plan a trifling plot again.
As Astelle was lost in thought, the maid rushed in and announced, “Your Majesty, His Majesty the Emperor has arrived.”
Before she could even respond, Kaizen came in.
Astelle rose from her seat.
Kaizen walked in and stopped when he saw Naen.
He cast an unpleasant look at Naen, who was bowing her head.
Astelle quickly let Naen go.
“Miss Naen, you can leave and rest now.”
“Yes, Your Majesty the Empress.”
Naen stepped back carefully and walked out.
Before the door could even close, Kaizen let out a sigh.
“Why are you letting that child by your side without giving any punishment?”
“She’s just a girl who is still underage, so I want to show some mercy.”
Of course, that wasn’t Astelle’s only reason.
Kaizen didn’t seem to believe much either.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking, but do whatever you want.”
Astelle planned to trap Florin.
Kaizen lightly clicked his tongue as he looked down at the papers on the table.
“Looks like you are having a hard time preparing for this event. If there’s anything I can help with, let me know. Or if this is too much, don’t overdo it and let Vellian do it.”
It was a low voice with friendly concern.
Kaizen comes to the empress’ palace every day but still returns to his palace at night.
When he met Astelle, he treated her as usual.
He has been doing this for over a month already.
‘What the hell are you thinking?’
He used to sleep here every night even though she didn’t like it.
Astelle was much more at ease now than before when Kaizen acted as he pleased.
However, it was obvious that others would misunderstand this.
If people misunderstand something, useless things can happen.
But no matter what happens, it doesn’t matter as long as Theor is not in danger.
“Where is Theor?”
“He is still in class. It will be over soon.”
Theor officially started studying a few days ago.
The tutor was Sir Seibel, as Astelle wanted.
He taught simple basic lessons for about two or three hours every day, and it was only about learning a little swordsmanship posture.
As soon as the class was mentioned, Kaizen frowned.
“Isn’t it too much for him to have a class every day? Theor is only five years old.”
“Your Majesty has been learning from teachers since the age of four.”
Astelle smiled softly and reassured him.
Theor enjoyed the new experience of the class.
There was no sign of him having a hard time.
Astelle did not miss the opportunity and brought up the topic she had been thinking about.
“Though it was only natural since you became the crown prince at the age of four.”
He was lost in thought for a moment and then turned to Astelle.
“After this event, I will choose Theor as the crown prince.”
“Your Majesty, Theor is not yet…… wouldn’t it be too early for him?”
“As you said, I myself became crown prince at the age of four. And the more we delay it, the more people gossip.”
Kaizen continued to speak, slightly frustrated.
“Theor, of course, is my successor.”
He had already said that before they got married, but after that, a lot of things happened, so the awarding of the title of the crown prince to Theor was also delayed.
Astelle didn’t think the crown prince position was urgent either.
But now that her relationship with Kaizen was already like this, she wanted to make Theor the crown prince as soon as possible.
Astelle bowed her head, hiding her feelings.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
There was no answer.
When she raised her head, she saw red eyes sinking into the darkness.
“I know what you are worried about. Don’t worry. I will protect you and Theor no matter what.”
The Duke of Reston entered the palace through the entrance to the palace.
The servants, accustomed to his visit, bowed politely and opened the door.
With the fall of the Croychen family, the number of visitors to the duke’s mansion increased significantly.
The Croychen family, who was the emperor’s henchman, fell, and the Duke of Reston’s daughter became the empress and brought a young prince with her.
The emperor even appointed Fritz to be the Lord of the West and sent him down to the West territory.
The nobles competed to impress the duke.
Even the nobles, who had been hostile towards him, came to him and tried to look good in front of him, flattering him and offering gifts.
Everything is working perfectly like the cogs of a clock.
The old butler of the duke’s mansion was moved and wept every day that the duke had regained his prestige.
But the Duke of Reston knew that things were not as easy as they seemed.
‘It all depends on the emperor’s heart.’
This happy reality was possible because Kaizen was obsessed with Astelle now.
If Astelle loses the emperor’s love, the situation will go downhill again.
The duke wanted to get rid of the emperor before such a future came, but he needed time to seize the opportunity.
‘Astelle must hold onto the emperor’s heart until the perfect opportunity comes.’
However, ominous news was constantly heard from the empress’ palace.
Rumor has it that they use separate beds.
‘tsk tsk. It hasn’t been long since they got married.’
The emperor’s side did not miss this opportunity and worked together to bring a new woman to the emperor.
It is said that they had already found a suitable woman and sent her to the imperial palace.
One of the nobles involved in the plan rushed to tell him.
When the duke heard this, he left the mansion thinking that he could not stay still.
As he entered the prince’s playroom, he saw Theor and the Marquis of Carlenberg.
Theor was sitting and writing something on the table.
“This is how I write it.”
“You learned well.”
The marquis gently stroked Theor’s hair and stopped when he saw the duke entering the room.
Theor also stared silently at the duke.
Both of them were wondering why he was here.
Even though he was being treated as an uninvited guest, the duke approached Theor with a smile.
“Our prince, what are you doing?”
“……I am writing what I learned today.”
As Theor began to learn court manners, he began to speak politely to his bad maternal grandfather.
There were a few sentences on the paper.
It seemed that Seibel, who had been appointed as a teacher, was teaching grammar so that he could write long sentences.
‘Why did Astelle choose Count Ecklen’s adoptive son as the prince’s teacher?’
It made sense in my head, but I still didn’t like it, the duke thought.
“You are doing well. Indeed, our prince is as intelligent as Her Majesty the Empress.”
As he tried to stroke his hair, Theor got up and avoided him in an instant.
He then ran away into the arms of the marquis, hugging his teddy bear that had been lying on the table.
The marquis asked the duke with a dissatisfied expression on his face, “What brought you here today?”
It has another meaning: ‘If you don’t have a business, then go.’
“I’m here to see our prince.”
“I don’t like my maternal grandfather.”
Theor hugged the teddy bear, still hiding in the marquis’ arms.
The Duke of Reston asked with a smile as if his grandson was cute, “Prince, wouldn’t you rather have a younger brother than a teddy bear?”