How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 122
“Yes, I’ll believe what you say.”
Vellian said so to Florin at the time.
From the poisoning attempt on the wedding day to the current case of the duke’s secret letter, he didn’t really believe Florin was innocent.
Anyway, he’ll believe her.
‘But what can I do just because I believe her?’
His Majesty the Emperor is obsessed with the Empress and does not even look at other women.
The maid, brought by the Minister of Home Affairs, was getting tired of the Emperor’s indifference every day.
In this situation, what power should he have to uncover the empress’ conspiracy?
Vellian thought so with a blank expression on his face.
“Please keep an eye on the empress and find the evidence.”
“Even if I look for evidence……”
“Look how evil the Empress is. Surely one day she will try to harm His Majesty and make her son emperor. Don’t you think so?”
Florin continued, “Maybe it was all planned from the start.”
The whispers in the darkness continued.
“The empress deliberately hid the prince at dangerous times. After the situation calmed down, she appeared before His Majesty’s eyes and caught his attention.”
The empress did not appear because she wanted to, but because of the will of the empress dowager, she was forced to come.
Vellian didn’t bother to point that out.
Of course, he did not completely agree with Florin’s ideas.
But it was true that he was feeling a little anxious.
No matter how much time passed, the relationship between the emperor and Astelle showed no sign of improving.
Now Astelle was taking care of her family, sending her brother down to the estate.
With the Croychen family becoming like that, now even the imperial nobles were trying to side with the Duke of Reston again.
Vellian had brought in a new girl to try to balance the situation, but the emperor blatantly ignored her without even giving her a glance.
Moreover, His Majesty the Emperor issued a new order as soon as the imperial banquet was over.
It was an order to prepare for Prince Theor to be officially crowned the Crown Prince.
What if the Emperor really goes wrong at this rate?
‘It certainly doesn’t bode well.’
As Vellian walked down the garden path, he glanced at the empress’ palace in the distance.
‘……maybe it’s worth taking a peek at the situation for a bit.’
He turned to Seibel, who was walking beside him with a worried expression.
Seibel seems to be still pondering why the emperor hates him.
“You go to the empress’ palace every day, right?”
Seibel was frequently in and out of the empress’ palace to educate the prince.
It was more like a play than an education.
Still, it was a very important advantage to be able to freely roam the empress’ palace every day.
Vellian smiled softly and asked him,
“Then can you help me?”
The next afternoon, a garden party was held in the Imperial Garden.
Astelle had to attend the event in person.
Starting with the Imperial Palace Banquet, Astelle continued to participate in the Imperial Palace events.
It is said that all these small events were omitted because there was no empress.
But now that Astelle herself has become the Empress, she had to prepare the event according to custom, even if it was bothersome.
The Imperial Garden Party was a casual social gathering held in the palace garden in broad daylight.
This time, Theor was also with her.
Although it’s still too early to attend events such as proms and banquets, Theor is able to attend outdoor garden parties.
The sun shines on the garden filled with the scent of fresh flowers.
Since it was an outdoor event, it was a little hot due to the sun.
“Theor, what are you doing?”
Surrounded by nobles, Astelle found Theor sitting at a chair next to a flowerbed.
Theor had a bunch of little dolls lined up on the table.
“Mom, these are my new soldiers.”
If you look closely, you can see that they are soldier dolls intricately made to look real.
“I brought them.”
The Duke of Reston, standing next to him, said proudly.
Even on a day like this, he tries to win a child’s heart by giving him gifts.
“Yes, grandfather gave them to me.”
Theor seems to have gotten used to his horrid maternal grandfather in his own way.
Theor was busy carrying the soldiers on a small military ship.
The duke, who was looking at him with a smile, held out his hand.
“Can this grandpa of yours help you?”
Theor avoided his hand and hid his dolls in his arms.
The duke’s smile hardened. I still don’t think they’re close.
“Theor, go and show it to your grandfather.”
Theor ran to Astelle’s maternal grandfather, the Marquis of Carlenberg.
The Duke of Reston, who was looking at Theor in disappointment, turned his gaze to Astelle.
“I brought you a present too.”
“I do not need it.”
“Do you refuse even before you see it?”
The duke grumbled at Astelle’s refusal.
However, as people were watching, he did not lose his smile.
He lowered his voice.
“It is a precious thing brought from beyond the mountains. The scent of an unmarried woman that attracts men.”
“Just use it for yourself.”
“What am I supposed to do with that?”
The Duke of Reston asked back in annoyance, still not losing his smile.
Astelle didn’t answer.
Then she heard a familiar voice behind her.
Kaizen, who was surrounded by nobles, approached this way.
Kaizen wears the emperor’s robe which is usually worn at court events.
Usually, that outfit looked good on Kaizen as if it were tailored to him, but it was even more wonderful in broad daylight.
It shows the dignity of the owner of the empire.
He approached Astelle at a quick pace.
“I greet you, Your Majesty the Emperor.”
Kaizen, who came closer, frowned.
What’s wrong? He suddenly raised his hand. Without hesitation, his hand lightly touched Astelle’s cheek.
Astelle was startled.
“Are you hot? The sun is blazing.”
“Oh…… No, Your Majesty.”
In such a public place, he suddenly touched her face.
The nobles around them all pretended to be absorbed in the conversation and glanced over here.
“Your Majesty, I am fine.”
“It’s okay, don’t overdo it.”
It’s a little hot because of the sun, but it’s not that hot.
Kaizen pointed to the small pavilion on the other side of the garden.
“You better go over there and get some rest.”
She couldn’t even say no when the emperor himself recommended it.
Actually, she didn’t have time to say so.
Because Kaizen was already walking over there holding Astelle’s hand.
The pavilion here is also used as a tearoom or break room.
All the windows are open and a cool breeze is blowing in.
In the center is a table with light tea and desserts prepared.
Since it was a hot day, the refreshments prepared were sorbet and iced tea.
Kaizen smiled contentedly as he looked at the melon sorbet placed in front of Astelle.
He said, “I prepared what you like.”
Actually, Astelle doesn’t really like melon sorbet, but she didn’t bother pointing it out and just sat down.
She was just curious.
“Who said I like this?”
Kaizen turned to Astelle.
The Duke of Reston, who was beside her, answered instead.
“I told him.”
Kaizen, who had been her fiancé for about ten years, and even her father, who had seen her since she was a baby, didn’t know her taste at all.
‘It’s not surprising, though.’
Kaizen’s handsome face was filled with regret.
“You don’t like this.”
“It’s not that I don’t like it.”
She doesn’t really like or dislike this sweet dessert.
He said, “I should have asked Hannah. I prepared it in a hurry as soon as I saw you, so I didn’t have time to ask……”
“Your Majesty, I am really fine.”
Astelle scooped the sorbet out of the porcelain bowl.
The cold sorbet with a sweet melon taste melted gently on the tip of her tongue.
Then someone was seen running from far away. It was Vellian.
Vellian, who came running in a hurry, reported to Kaizen.
“The Minister of Military Affairs has urgently requested an audience.”
Vellian looked a little nervous.
For a moment, Astelle looked at him in surprise as well, wondering what was going on.
Count Ecklen is the Minister of Military Affairs and the adoptive father of Sir Seibel.
‘Is there something going on at the border?’
Kaizen turned to Astelle and stood up.
“I’ll be right back.”
After he left with Vellian, only Astelle and the duke were in the pavilion.
The Duke of Reston looked at Astelle and clicked his tongue.
“I have no idea why the emperor is so obsessed with you.”
“What happened to Count Ecklen?”
“Well, there must have been some disturbance in the North or something. It shouldn’t be a big deal.”
Astelle asked anxiously, but the Duke of Reston waved his hand as if nothing had happened.
“By the way, you did a good job with the Croychen family this time. Very well done.”
“I thought you’d be disappointed that you couldn’t kill him.”
“I don’t even need to kill him. The Marquis Croychen was a man of great influence among the emerging aristocracy. Killing him would have brought everyone’s big grudge. It’s a good thing he ended up expelled from the capital.”
Astelle did not expect to be praised for doing such a thing.
She wasn’t happy at all even though she was praised.
“Fritz will be back soon. Everything is going smoothly.”
Astelle listened to her father and thought about the things she had asked her brother to do.
She couldn’t wait to get rid of her father. It shouldn’t be difficult if Fritz did the job right.
After a while, Theor entered the pavilion with Astelle’s maternal grandfather.
The Duke of Reston smiled warmly at the Marquis of Carlenberg, but the Marquis ignored him and approached Astelle.
“Here you are.”
“I’m resting for a while because it’s so hot.”
Now it occurred to her that she should leave her father here and go somewhere else with her grandfather and Theor.
Astelle was about to get up from her seat, but just then, an attendant walked over.
As soon as the attendant greeted him, the quick-witted Duke of Reston rose from his seat.
“I have someone to meet for a while. Let’s talk again in the evening.”
Astelle didn’t even want to ask who he was going to meet.
It was certain that he took this opportunity to befriend the nobles.
The duke walked into the garden with his attendant.
The Marquis of Carlenberg looked at him displeasedly and murmured.
“Your father is really…… What curse did I receive? My daughter and granddaughter……”
The Marquis muttered sadly, blurring the end of his words.
Astelle could catch on to the next words.
Maybe it’s a curse because his daughter and granddaughter are all married to men they don’t like.
“You said my mother married father because she liked him.”
He said so when little Astelle asked about her mother’s marriage.
He said her mother wanted the marriage first, so he allowed it.
“Yes, your mother accepted the proposal.”
After the Marquis said that, there was a glimmer of sadness in his eyes.
Astelle just remembered and said, “His Majesty has left for a while because Count Ecklen asked for an audience.”
“Who asked for an audience?”
“Count Ecklen, the Minister of Military Affairs.”