How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 131
Astelle walked down the corridor leading to the Emperor Palace.
She could see the palace gardens on both sides of the long corridor.
Passing officials found her and bowed politely.
It’s been quite a while since she came to the Emperor Palace.
Astelle rarely went to see Kaizen.
Kaizen went to the Empress Palace every evening, so there was no need for her to go see him.
When she reached the Emperor Palace, the middle-aged servant ran out with a surprised face.
“I greet you, Your Majesty the Empress.”
He was extremely polite, but there was a hint of surprise in his eyes.
It seemed very surprising that Astelle visited the Emperor in person.
He asked Astelle for her understanding with a slightly perplexed expression.
“Please wait a moment. His Majesty is now receiving a report from Sir Lyndon.”
“I told him in advance that I would come at this time.”
Of course, she didn’t come without an appointment. Astelle told Kaizen in advance that she would visit him.
“Sir Lyndon has asked for an audience, saying there is something urgent to report. I ask for your understanding, Your Majesty.”
Something urgent? Is it about the last bombing accident?
Fortunately, she didn’t have to wait long. After a while, Lyndon came out. He found Astelle and greeted her in a friendly manner.
“Your Majesty the Empress.”
“Sir Lyndon, thank you for your hard work.”
At Astelle’s kind attitude, Lyndon bowed his head with a very sorry expression.
“Your Majesty, I want to apologize for what happened last time. It was all my fault. I apologize, Your Majesty.”
Lyndon was talking about the day she went to the theater.
“No, it’s all right.”
A bomb exploded while the imperial family was on their way back to the palace. As Commander of the Guards Knights, Sir Lyndon was negligent.
Still, she couldn’t conclude that it was all his fault.
It must have been hard to find a small bomb in the crevice of the railing.
Actually, it wasn’t that dangerous.
While having such a conversation, the door opened and Kaizen appeared.
Hearing Astelle’s voice, it seemed that he couldn’t wait any longer and came out.
“I don’t know if I have meddled in government affairs,” Astelle said politely.
“No, I’m done receiving reports.”
Kaizen went inside, asking her to follow.
Astelle walked into the office with him.
She can only guess what was going on here.
After closing the door, Astelle asked Kaizen, “Was it about the last accident?”
Kaizen continued with a dark yet calm expression. “We investigated the gunpowder and found the source.”
“You figured it out quickly.”
“There’s nothing difficult. There aren’t many people to suspect anyway.”
Indeed, the number of people who could become suspects could be counted on the fingers.
Still, it was a very quick job.
“Actually, I wanted to ask you for a favor.”
“Can I see the tax records?”
The records of government affairs are kept in the underground archives of the imperial palace.
Of course, there will also be tax records for each estate.
Such documents could not be read without the permission of the emperor.
“Yes, I told you I needed it for my father’s work. I couldn’t ask you properly then.”
Kaizen seemed to recall the last conversation.
He frowned. “I’ve looked through the records of the Reston’s estate and tax revenue several times already, but they are impeccable. Not a single penny has gone wrong for hundreds of years. But what are you going to do with it?”
Kaizen also secretly investigated the records of the western territories in the Imperial Palace archives in order to punish the Reston family.
The tax ledger can be slightly wrong by mistake, but the Reston family’s records are perfect.
The record is so perfect that it is admirable, and the administrative officials repeatedly exclaimed with admiration.
Astelle just smiled without answering his question.
“I will tell you later.”
“It must be a family secret.”
Astelle thought Kaizen would get angry, but fortunately, there was no sign of displeasure on his face.
If it was in the past, he would be sad that Astelle didn’t tell him beforehand.
Now it feels like there is trust between the two of them.
“It is not a family secret, it’s my father’s.”
Others don’t know.
Only her father, the Duke of Reston, knows this.
It was pure luck that Astelle found out about this secret.
Kaizen changed the topic without asking any further questions.
“How’s Theor doing?”
“He is studying now.”
Kaizen brought up a new topic as if he just remembered it. “Oh yeah, I think we should send Seibel to the North.”
“It’s not serious. You do need to be careful though. It would be better to find another teacher temporarily.”
For that reason, it couldn’t be helped.
Kaizen said regretfully, “Theor must be very sad because Seibel will leave and he won’t be able to go out for a while. I’ll have to call the puppet theater company to cheer him up.”
“Theor will be very happy.”
Astelle looked at Kaizen again with a slight smile on her face.
Actually, she had a different purpose for coming here. “I missed the most important thing. I’m here to thank you for the jewels you sent me.”
She received the Emperor’s gift, so it was polite to come over to say thank you.
Before, she didn’t do this courtesy and just sent a maid to convey her thanks.
Kaizen widened his eyes, surprised by Astelle’s words. Then he came one step closer to her.
“Did you like it?”
“It was more than enough for me.”
“There is nothing in this world that is enough for you.”
It was a calm voice, but it was full of affection.
Astelle looked at Kaizen with a slightly surprised look.
How could he say such an embarrassing line so proudly?
Kaizen seemed to notice it too. With a slightly puzzled expression, he turned his gaze to the side a little. He looks embarrassed.
Astelle held back her laughter.
Suddenly, she remembered her father saying it was a waste to give various jewels to the only empress.
In fact, it was an objective assessment.
They say affection blinds people. Is that true?
Astelle turned. “I have to go back. Thor will be waiting after class.”
Kaizen said a little regretfully, “Okay. I’ll see you in the evening.”
Then Astelle came out.
She didn’t hate this comfortable atmosphere.
But it was a little scary to get used to a comfortable relationship with Kaizen.
She returned with Theor’s excuse, but when she reached the Empress Palace, Theor was playing in the garden.
“He went to the east garden with the maid.”
Astelle was slightly surprised to hear Hannah’s report.
The east garden is at the end of the Empress Palace.
“I think he’s familiar with the gardens nearby and wants to go somewhere new.”
Well, that’s understandable since he’s always been stuck in the Imperial Palace.
Theor is only five years old, but he has a lively and inquisitive personality.
Apparently, he seemed to be feeling even more frustrated since she brought him to the theater a while ago.
No matter how far he is now, he is still in the Empress Palace, so there is no danger.
“Then, I have to go to the east garden too.”
Astelle went out after organizing the rest of her work.
Hannah said she would go with her, but she didn’t need a guide.
Astelle walked east along a beautiful flowerbed.
After passing through familiar nearby gardens, she saw an unfamiliar landscape.
She once again realized how vast the Empress Palace is.
It’s been a few months since I’ve been here, and I’m still unfamiliar with this place.
As she was passing by the pond she saw for the first time, she heard a familiar voice behind the bushes.
Astelle stopped walking at the sharp tone.
A familiar voice came from the flowerbed behind the bushes.
It was Naen’s.
Another voice replied with a sneer.
“What do you mean no? You’re already on the side of the Empress.”
It was the voice of a young woman.
Who is she? It’s the first time I hear her voice.
“What do you want me to do?”
Naen sounds like she’s about to cry.
“You can do it because you serve the Empress by her side. Let me be your maid.”
It is the Empress’ authority to divide the duties of the maids.
Why is she asking Naen for that?
“How can I……”
As Naen hesitated, the unfamiliar voice roared in annoyance.
“Do something! There is no chance for me to see His Majesty the Emperor in his palace.”
She couldn’t see the Emperor in his palace so she came to the Empress Palace?
Astelle was also perplexed.
Of course, lately, Kaizen has been in the Empress Palace more often than in his own palace.
Still looking at the bushes, Astelle asked calmly, “Miss Naen, what’s going on?”
After that, the conversation between the two was cut off.
With an urgent rustling sound, Naen appeared.
Naen, who came out from behind the bushes, stiffened with a deathly pale face.
Behind her is a red-haired young maid.
The maid also found Astelle and was stunned.
“Who is that over there?”
“Oh…… that…… that……”
Naen couldn’t answer and bit her lip.
Astelle approached the red-haired maid.
“I don’t think you are a maid here. Where are you from?”
“I serve His Majesty the Emperor.”
You are serving the Emperor?
Most of the maids said they worked in a certain palace, but this girl was a bit unusual.
The red-haired maid looks similar to Marianne, with slightly raised eyebrows, and a small face.
Even though she looks a little cold, she is beautiful.
She looked very arrogant even while greeting the Empress.
In an instant, Astelle recognized this maid’s identity.
Is she the woman the nobles brought into the Imperial Palace as a maid to serve the Emperor?
Astelle looked at her with a calm gaze.
It doesn’t matter what she does in the Imperial Palace, but it’s unacceptable for her to come to the Empress Palace and be noisy.
“Seeing you, a maid who serves the Emperor, entering the Empress Palace at this hour without permission, you must have a lot of free time.”