How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 125
The next day, Fritz visited the Empress Palace.
“You’ve been through a lot of hardship, brother.”
Astelle sat across from her older brother after a long time.
Fritz organized the Duke’s estate and dealt with the delayed estate business.
“It’s a bit too much to call it a hardship.”
Fritz looked a little tired, though he said so.
“Your Majesty praised you for doing a great job.”
Astelle said with a smile.
Fritz checked the other territories in the West and returned home.
There were so many nobles who lost their territory and fell after Kaizen ascended the throne that the work related to the territory was confusing.
It was a great achievement just to come back after organizing the lost lands.
Upon hearing that Fritz had returned, Kaizen also praised him in a slightly regretful tone.
He said he should have sent Fritz to West earlier.
In fact, it was a matter of course.
The western territory has long been controlled by the Duke of Reston.
The Duke’s successor, Fritz, was well aware of the affairs of the territory.
Of course, Fritz was the best person to solve the problems of each territory and organize the cluttered boundaries of the territory.
‘Kaizen must have known, but in the past, he couldn’t have entrusted such an important position to Fritz to keep the Duke in check.’
Astelle held up the teacup with that thought in mind.
Fritz was looking at Astelld with concern.
“I’ve heard bad things have happened in the meantime. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. It’s over now.”
Fritz also seems to have heard about the Croychen family.
He sighed with a confused expression.
“You haven’t been married for long……”
“That’s how it is to live here.”
If you want to live as an empress in the palace, you have to endure that much.
In the past, Astelle overcame small conspiracies and schemes surrounding her.
Although back then, she endured all the hardships to stay by Kaizen’s side, now it’s only because of Theor.
“Did you bring what I asked for?”
Astelle asked, lowering her voice. Fritz stared at her for a moment, then took out an envelope from his pocket.
These are the documents that Astelle had asked him to bring, which will be used to take down her father.
“Are you really going to force Father to step down?”
Fritz watched Astelle checking the documents and asked.
“It has already been decided.”
Before Fritz left for the West, the two promised to drive away their father, the Duke of Reston.
With their father stepping down from the duke and Fritz taking over.
But Fritz said hesitantly, “Still…… wouldn’t it be better to leave him alone for the time being? Until he calms down a little more.”
Astelle could see what Fritz was worried about.
If her father loses power, that means there will be fewer people to help her.
After all, not many are on Astelle’s side.
In an instant, Count Ecklen came to Astelle’s mind.
But Astelle shook her head.
She originally tried to bring him to her side because of his relationship with her maternal grandfather.
But after hearing about his past story with her mother, she became reluctant to ask him anything.
“I’m going to take this opportunity. Please help me as you promised.”
Astelle said, keeping the documents that Fritz had brought.
While they were having such a conversation, suddenly there was a quick knock on the door.
The maid opened the door and entered the room with an anxious look.
She is a young maid who looks after Theor.
“Your Majesty the Empress!”
Astelle felt ominous when she saw the maid’s desperate expression.
The maid reported in a trembling voice.
“The prince fell ill.”
Astelle got up in surprise.
“He was fine until a while ago…… but suddenly he has a fever.”
As soon as Astelle heard the maid’s explanation, she headed to Theor’s room.
Theor, who was leaning on the chair, found Fritz and waved his hand happily.
“Theor, are you okay?”
“Yes! I am fine.”
Theor’s happy that Fritz came even though he looks a little tired.
His face is paler than usual.
Astelle put a hand on Theor’s forehead.
“You have a bad fever.”
She suddenly remembered what happened last night.
Theor and Kaizen got rained last night.
“Call the doctor.”
“I already called him.”
Hannah, who ran after hearing the situation, calmly replied.
“Theor, let’s go to the bedroom.”
Astelle laid Theor down on the bed and put a cold towel on his forehead.
Theor looked up at Astelle, fiddling with his hands as if he felt stuffy under the blanket.
“It’s not night yet, should I lie here?”
“You should lie down and rest. Do you feel uncomfortable?”
“No, I am fine…… Can’t I play with Uncle Fritz?”
Theor was shaking with cold, but he wanted to play with Fritz, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time.
Fritz walked over to the bed and comforted Theor.
“Just lay down and rest, Prince, I will tell you the story of my visit to the West.”
“Yes…… tell me about the West.”
Fritz glanced back at Astelle, stroking Theor’s hair lightly.
Astelle tried to hide her anxiety and smiled at Theor.
“Alright, listen to Uncle Fritz here.”
After a while, the doctor who received the call entered the room.
He is the emperor’s doctor who has seen her several times.
The doctor looked closely at Theor and reported to Astelle.
“It’s just a common cold. He got rained on, so the fever must have risen due to the aftereffects.”
“It’s not a serious illness, isn’t it?”
“If he rests well and takes medicine, he will recover. There is no need to worry too much.”
Astelle was relieved to hear that.
“Theor, you should get a good rest today and go to bed early. Then you will feel better tomorrow.”
Then the door swung open.
“Is Theor sick?”
It was Kaizen who opened the door and entered.
“It’s just a cold. The doctor said not to worry too much.”
Astelle explained the situation to him. Kaizen approached Theor lying on the bed.
“Theor, how do you feel?”
“I am fine.”
Theor said he was fine, but he looked pale.
With every breath he exhaled, the wheezing sound continued.
Kaizen touched his child’s head with a hardened face.
“Your forehead is very hot.”
He looked down at Theor with concern, ignoring Fritz’s greeting.
Astelle lowered her voice and spoke to Fritz.
“Brother, you can go home now. Let’s talk about today’s business again later.”
“……yes, I see.”
Fritz said goodbye to Theor and went out.
Theor had a bad fever all night, contrary to the doctor’s words that he would be fine.
Faint breaths continued to sound on the bed.
Theor was asleep, half unconscious.
Astelle wiped his sweat-drenched hair with a cold towel.
She stayed by Theor’s side all night.
She’s been like this a few times before.
When Theor had a minor cold or fever in the countryside.
Even when he had a fever from eating Lintail fruit before, Astelle stayed at Theor’s side all night.
But this time is different.
Because Kaizen is with her.
He stayed up all night with worried Astelle.
“You look tired, get some rest.”
“Your Majesty should sleep too.”
As the Emperor, he must have a lot of work to do tomorrow.
Astelle told him to go to bed several times, but he didn’t listen and didn’t leave his seat.
It was a hot summer night, but the firewood was burning in the fireplace for the patient in the room.
The dim light shone on the face of Kaizen sitting across from her.
Painful emotions flashed in his red eyes.
“It’s my fault.”
A low voice was heard.
“I took him out to the garden for no reason yesterday, and now he’s sick.”
He didn’t do it on purpose, and it wasn’t like he could predict that it would rain.
That’s not his fault.
‘He was okay when he got rained on in the past.’
Astelle comforted him.
“It’s not your fault. You don’t have to blame yourself.”
Kaizen looked at her and confessed.
“I just want to compensate you both for what happened over the previous years. Seems like I’m just messing around every time.”
Seeing Astelle sitting next to Theor made him even more heartbroken.
Astelle must have spent several nights alone like this.
She must have been nervous and anxious all night taking care of him.
It bothered him even more that he couldn’t be with her through those hard times.
He can’t turn back time, it makes him suffer even more because he can’t.
“Don’t say that.”
Astelle said, looking at Theor with calm eyes.
“You don’t have to blame yourself. Theor likes you very much.”
Theor is very fond of Kaizen.
He just doesn’t call him father yet.
But he already believed and followed him as his biological father.
The same goes for Kaizen.
During their time together, Astelle admitted that Kaizen truly cares and loves Theor.
Kaizen will love and cherishes Theor even if Astelle leaves.
She didn’t believe in Kaizen before, but now she can be so sure.
“Your Majesty is a good enough father for Theor. There is no need to blame yourself too much.”
Kaizen looked at her with astonishment.
Astelle silently avoided his gaze.
Her feelings towards Kaizen are the same as before, but it’s undeniable that being in a situation like this can arouse human desires.
The two spent the night together.
Fortunately, around dawn, the fever started to drop gradually.
The sound of breathing, which sounded difficult, became calmer, and the pale skin returned to its glow.
Astelle put her hand on the forehead of Theor who was sleeping soundly.
Now the fever is almost gone.
“He is fine.”
The doctor examined Theor and reassured the two of them.
“Just be careful for a day or two and he will recover quickly.”
Kaizen’s also relieved to hear that.
“That’s a relief.”
Astelle went out for a while, leaving Kaizen and Theor.
A maid waiting in the hallway found Astelle and approached her.
“The Duke of Reston has come in a hurry.”