How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 139
Gripping the vail, the Duke of Reston thought, ‘There is no opportunity other than the harvest festival.’
It is almost impossible to poison the Emperor in normal times. The palace will be busy during the harvest festival, so he will be able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Even if it fails, the worst outcome can be avoided.
The Emperor will not be able to dig deep into this matter. Because the person he loves the most will be involved.
The Duke of Reston said to his henchman by his side. “Give my orders to the servant who takes care of the Crown Prince.”
Upon receiving his order, the man opened the passage leading to the back room and went out.
The Duke was left alone in the lavish bedroom.
A moment later, a knock was heard.
Fritz in formal wear entered the bedroom.
“How are you feeling?”
For the past few days, the Duke of Reston has been staying in his room saying he isn’t feeling well and hasn’t seen anyone but the doctor.
Fritz took a close look at his father.
After the Duke of Reston had decided to hand over his title, he had been strangely quiet. He even handed over all the family documents to Fritz and taught him the business of the family.
From a stranger’s point of view, he looked like a loving father who casually passed his title on to his son as if it was a natural thing.
But Fritz knew something was off about his father. He’s not the type of person who would generously pass down his title to his son.
“What’s going on? You don’t look well.”
Even now, the Duke was looking at Fritz with genuine concern.
Fritz slowly approached his father.
“I know you’re very disappointed in me.”
Until now, he had been watching carefully while being wary of his father, but now he wanted to be honest and find a compromise.
He wanted to apologize as a son.
“I’m sorry, father. But please understand the position of me and Astelle who have no choice but to do this.”
The Duke of Reston listened without answering.
“I don’t want to be an enemy of my father. Even if I take over the title, I will follow my father’s will in all matters of the family. As long……”
Fritz continued firmly, “As long as it doesn’t harm Astelle and the Crown Prince.”
“How can I harm the Empress and the Crown Prince?”
The Duke, who had been listening quietly, replied in annoyance as if Fritz’s words made no sense.
He let out a long sigh and continued, “As you said, I’m disappointed in you, but it can’t be helped. I think it would be better for me to do this too, so I’m just keeping quiet.”
There was a hint of resignation in his voice.
He seemed to accept and understand the situation.
“The harvest festival will begin shortly. I want to attend the event with you,” said Fritz.
There was no way he didn’t understand that his son wanted reconciliation.
Fritz then went out in relief.
The Duke of Reston was lost in thought as he stared at his son’s back.
He was contemplating what to do with his family after the successful poisoning plot.
Should I force Fritz to marry and have children?
Or is it better for me to have a new son now?
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Astelle was sitting in the tea room to rest for a while.
After Viscount Bürgen’s niece made a fuss in the Empress Palace’s garden, she bumped into Vellian.
After experiencing a series of nerve-racking events, fatigue came rushing in.
She recalled the conversation she had with Kaizen in the forest.
Kaizen who apologized for the divorce in the past had a sorrowful expression on his face.
Even as she looked into his eyes full of deep guilt, she couldn’t answer properly.
We’ve managed to have a comfortable relationship while living together, but I don’t know why he’s suddenly bringing up the past.
It’s not a good memory to bring up again.
Her head was throbbing, but she turned down Hannah’s offer to bring her some tea, and she was left alone in the tea room.
She wanted to rest for a while alone.
But there was no time to rest quietly.
After a while, Naen rushed to her.
“Naen? What’s going on?”
“I have something to tell you,” she said.
Panicked, Naen reported to Astelle about Vellian who had come to visit her a while ago, and questioned her about the last poisoning incident.
Astelle listened carefully to Naen’s long explanation.
“He must have come to see you when I was away on purpose.”
Maybe Florin told Vellian something?
Although it was not meant to harm the prince, bringing poison into the Imperial Palace is a grave sin.
She was not severely punished considering the Croychen family had contributed a lot to the Empire. If she had been an ordinary maid, she would have been executed simply for bringing poison in secretly.
“So, if you have something to say, he asked you to tell him?”
“Yes, he certainly said so.”
There was no way Vellian had come to Naen just to reveal Florin’s injustice. He must be suspicious of Astelle and want to investigate her. Or he’s trying to find something that could be her weakness.
‘Because he doubted me from the beginning.’
There was also a time when he tried to find out Astelle’s secret during the journey to the capital.
She knew he was doing it for Kaizen, but he was a needlessly annoying person.
‘What should I do?’
The two ministers had been expelled due to issues related to Astelle herself.
However, if Astelle traps the emperor’s aide and drives him out, the opposition among the nobles will intensify.
But I can’t just let it go.
“Thanks for letting me know, Miss Naen.”
Astelle expressed her sincere gratitude.
“No, Your Majesty.” Naen looked into Astelle’s eyes and asked, “Well, what should I tell him?”
Astelle pondered for a moment. Then she replied, “Next time you two meet, just say you don’t want to talk about it anymore. I’ll call him and talk to him so he won’t bother you again.”
It would be better to be clear than to beat around the bush and dig a trap.
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Meanwhile, Vellian faithfully did as Astelle asked.
Astelle was able to get a vacant building in the capital the next day. She was also given permission to convert it into a herbal pharmacy and laboratory.
Astelle broke the news to Gretel after all the work had been decided while Gretel listened with a bewildered face.
“I wanted to build a herbal pharmacy, but I never imagined it would be built in the center of the capital in such a huge building.”
In the past, she often talked about building a pharmacy that teaches and researches herbs. But she meant to build a small care center in the countryside.
Back then, she couldn’t even dream of building a huge building in the capital.
“There are good things about being the Empress.”
Astelle spoke calmly while looking at the drawing of the building’s structure.
Even though her empress life was a series of grueling jobs, being able to help someone like this is an advantage.
As the two were looking at the drawing of the building together and thinking about how to divide the area, the maid announced the arrival of a guest.
After a while, Fritz came inside.
As Fritz entered, he found Gretel and paused.
Gretel, who looked at him with surprised eyes, got up hastily.
“This woman is……”
“She is Gretel, as I told you before, she is the pharmacist who made Theor’s medicine.”
“It is an honor to meet you, Duke.”
Gretel bowed to Fritz in bewilderment.
Fritz bowed his head in a respectful manner, while Gretel stared blankly at him.
‘What’s wrong with you?’
Astelle, who looked at the scene in wonder, belatedly realized that Fritz was a pretty good-looking man.
‘Come to think of it, my brother should get married, too.’
After officially becoming a duke, he should welcome a new duchess.
There were no other families of the same level as the Reston family left, so I was worried whether there would be a suitable bride for him.
Does he have someone he likes?
“Oh, then I…… I will go to Theo- no, the Crown Prince.”
Gretel left the brother and sister behind and walked out quickly.
After Gretel left, Astelle sat down with Fritz.
“Is everything alright in the mansion?”
Fritz, who gave a light answer, was silent for a while when the story of his father came up.
“He’s still quiet.”
“Is there anything suspicious?”
“No, but……” Fritz told Astelle about the conversation he had with his father at the mansion.
“I don’t really believe it.”
How could my father just give up and accept reality?
It was really hard to believe.
“So do I.”
Fritz also agreed with her.
“But from what I’ve seen so far, there’s nothing suspicious.”
That’s really weird. How can Father be so quiet?
“So Father will also attend the harvest festival?”
Seeing Astelle’s anxious expression, Fritz asked worriedly, “Why? Is there anything suspicious about that?”
“I don’t know. But I have a bad feeling.”
The Duke’s unusual behavior and the approaching harvest festival.
‘If he’s up to something, the bustling harvest festival would be the best opportunity.’
But it’s frustrating because I don’t know what he’s up to.
“Your Majesty, an attendant from the Emperor Palace has come.”
The maid suddenly announced the arrival of another guest while Astelle was thinking about her father.
‘What’s going on?’
Kaizen did not come to the Empress Palace on the day of the picnic. Astelle had not seen him since that day.
The young attendant entered politely.
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