How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 14
Most of the traps set by the nobles were taken care of by her father, the Duke, but sometimes Astelle took care of it herself.
After such a few bad experiences, she lived being careful about her actions and always looking around anywhere and anytime.
Looking back, it was a life that seemed to be walking on a thin slab of ice.
“Fine. It’s not a big deal.”
Astelle thought it was fortunate to get out of such a life even now.
If the empress dowager’s will was resolved quickly, she would be able to return to a quiet and peaceful life with Theor in her maternal grandfather’s house.
“It won’t happen anymore. Get some knights to protect you.”
“No, Your Majesty. It’s okay. I—”
“Don’t be stubborn.”
Kaizen cut Astelle’s words resolutely.
Astelle repressed her irritation and bowed her head calmly and politely.
“People will think strangely if Your Majesty’s knights escort me, the former empress. Rather, I think there will be a greater risk if people’s attention focused on me for nothing.”
Astelle hoped this man would do nothing.
Now, the most dangerous person to Astelle was Kaizen.
In fact, this happened also because Kaizen sent something like a gift and called her to dinner.
If he didn’t do that, Marianne wouldn’t be making such a useless fuss.
‘So why did you do something useless……’
Astelle was pointing out that fact to Kaizen now.
‘This happened because of you.’
Kaizen wasn’t stupid enough to not understand it either.
“Yes, do whatever you want.”
His crimson eyes looked straight at her.
His gaze was a mixture of ridicule and irritation.
Astelle smiled satisfactorily, ignoring Kaizen’s displeasure. She bent her knees slightly and said,
“Thank you for understanding, Your Majesty.”
“You better be careful.”
Astelle closed the door and tried to go to the hallway, but Vellian came out from the office.
She didn’t care much and tried to go back to the bedroom.
Then he came up with an unquestioned story.
“The Marquis of Croychen has three daughters. The first daughter…… Lady Marianne……as you can see, she looks like that, but the second daughter is completely different from her.”
“If she is the second daughter……”
Who is she?
Astelle didn’t remember well.
The Croychen family was not a great family in the past, so they did not come to the place where influential nobles gathered often.
So Astelle didn’t have a chance to look at the daughters in the Croychen family.
She remembered that the Croychens had several daughters, but she could not remember their names.
Seeing Astelle couldn’t remember, Vellian said her name.
“The second daughter is Lady Florin. She has celebrated her coming of age a while ago. She is currently the most promising empress candidate.”
Even after hearing her name, Astelle still couldn’t remember her face.
It seems like there was a quiet young lady with that kind of name.
Vellian continued his explanation, looking closely at Astelle.
“The Croychen family waited a little longer for the second daughter to become an adult. It said that Marquis Croychen worked hard from the past to make his second daughter as an empress.”
It was a familiar story.
Astelle muttered bitterly, “It was the same everywhere.”
For the power of the family, he raises his daughter into a doll and throws her into the imperial palace, like throwing a gambling ball.
The whole family rejoiced if they profited from his daughter, but if she failed, the worn-out daughter was cruelly abandoned.
It was the same in any family.
Even if the game of imperial power changed, nothing much changed.
Just the name of the family with power has changed.
“Anyway, I just want you to be careful because Lady Florin is a girl who doesn’t act like her older sister, Lady Marianne.”
‘Well, although Lady Astelle is smart too.’
He didn’t know her very well, but the former empress was smart in many ways.
He expected that the former empress have a timid and passive personality when he heard that she packed up and went out a day after she became the empress.
It was completely wrong.
But why did she retreat from the empress’ seat so easily?
‘Did this person have any feelings toward His Majesty the Emperor?’
As far as Vellian knows, Kaizen had long thought of purging Duke Reston as soon as he became emperor.
Astelle, who was standing silently, said with a slight smile, “The second daughter of the Croychen family seems to love her older sister very much.”
“Doesn’t that mean Lady Florin will feel bad for what her sister did? Otherwise, why should I be careful?”
Astelle understood what Vellian’s meant, but Astelle laughed as if she had not understood anything.
She spoke firmly to Vellian in a confused tone, “I will leave the capital as soon as the matter of the will of Her Majesty the Empress Dowager is resolved. She will be the new Empress, and she has nothing to do with me. I don’t want to be involved.”
Astelle sat by the window and looked out at the garden. The rain still hasn’t let up.
Lilac leaves were scattered right outside the window.
Light purple petals scattered here and there in the rain and wind.
The glass windows look like gray watercolors painted against a foggy sky background.
Astelle looked at the serene and beautiful sight and thought, ‘How long will this rain last?’
The gray sky in the distance was so dark that even a joke couldn’t say it was clear.
She came to this castle and thought that too much had happened in the past few days.
When can I leave this place?
Did my grandfather receive my letter?
While thinking about that, Theor who was playing in the room was crying as he carried the teddy bear.
“Levin is hurt……”
The bear’s shoulder was torn off.
White cotton sprung out and tattered through the torn fabric.
It was like this again when it was dipped in water for washing.
“It’s okay, I’ll fix it soon.”
Astelle took the brown thread and needle from the maids and fixed the doll.
Theor remained in the greenhouse while watching Astelle fix the doll carefully.
“Oops, is the doll broken?”
Vellian, the emperor’s aide, came to meet with them.
Astelle sat face to face with him at the tea table and place a cup of tea in front of him.
Vellian, who was drinking tea, opened his mouth while observing Astelle, who was sewing hard.
“Why not leave it to the maids?”
“This doll is so old that no one can fix it except me.”
The doll itself is not very old, but in the first place the doll was made from an old curtain cloth, so it kept tattering like this.
If she had known Theor would like this doll, she would have made it out of a nicer kind of cloth.
Astelle put a needle at the doll’s belly.
Normally, it didn’t matter whether this man was here or not, but now Theor is here, so she felt anxious.
‘People who are quick to notice are made me anxious.’
This man was the emperor’s closest aide.
For some reason, this man kept watching Astelle.
He visited her often, talked to her, and observed her.
This man is easy to get along with after only talking a few times.
But astelle knew he wasn’t as nave as he seemed.
This person was the closest to the emperor, so he knew very well about Kaizen.
Did this man realize that Theor looked like him?
Theor was still concentrating on the appearance of his doll being sewn up bit by bit.
Until Astelle fixed the doll, Theor wasn’t in the mood to play outside even though he was told to go to the greenhouse.
Astelle said with an apologetic expression as soon as Vellian put the teacup.
“You must be busy, I must be taking up too much of your time, Count.”
But Vellian only laughed while listening to Astelle.
“No, I’m fine, His Majesty said he was going hunting because he couldn’t stand to hear all of Lady Marianne’s complaints.”
“Did His Majesty go hunting?”
“Yes. Everything is prepared. But it’s raining today. He must be frustrated.”
Astelle herself was confined in this castle because of the rain, but suddenly the emperor went hunting when the weather was not good.
Astelle had a great idea.
She turned to Theor and asked, “Theor, will you go take a look at the castle while I sew Levin?”
“Really? Can I see the castle?”
Theor likes to play.
But Astelle only allowed him to play in the garden or the greenhouse and prevented him from going around the castle often.
Theor couldn’t roam around the castle where the emperor was. And Astelle wanted to prevent Kaizen from meeting Theor as much as possible.