How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 154
This young knight was in charge of guarding this abandoned palace.
The Duke of Reston asked as soon as he saw him. “Did you ask His Majesty how long he’ll keep me here?”
The young knight looked at him blankly and replied indifferently, “As I said in the morning, the order has not come yet.”
I think I’ve heard the same answer 100 times.
The other knight has been asked the same question countless times over the past few days. But no matter how many times the duke asked, he still got the same answer.
“Are they going to leave me here and starve to death?”
“If you don’t have enough food, I’ll bring you more.”
“That’s not what I mean!”
The duke could not contain his anger and threw the remaining bowl away.
The knight still just looked at him expressionlessly. He was not interested in whatever the duke said. In fact, even if he wanted to do something, he wouldn’t be able to since the order hadn’t come yet.
“I’ll call the servant and tell him to clean it up.”
The young knight turned as if he had nothing more to say.
The duke hastily shouted, “Tell this to the empress.”
“Her Majesty the Empress?”
The duke gritted his teeth. “Yes, my daughter, the empress.”
Even though her father was being held in a place like this, how disgusting that she didn’t even show her nose even once. When he thought of Astelle, he almost threw the vase even while sleeping.
‘Astelle seems to be quietly trying to get rid of me and bury this case.’
I don’t know why the emperor allowed it, but I won’t die so easily.
“Tell the empress this: I have something to tell you. It’s about our family.”
The duke took off the ring he was wearing on his finger and handed it to the knight standing far away.
“It’s important, so please do it.”
The knight stretched out his palm and glanced at the ring that had been handed to him. The ring with black gem seems to be quite expensive. It was in the hands of the duke, so it must have cost a lot of money.
But the knight doesn’t want to do what the imprisoned person asks in this way. If something goes wrong, he will be punished as well. The commander of the Guard Knights, Lyndon, is very strict about this.
“You don’t have to give me this.”
The young knight put the ring back on the table next to the duke.
As soon as the duke frowned, he continued, “I will pass on what you have said to the empress.”
At least that’s what the knight could tell the duke. Even though he doesn’t know what will happen to the duke, he can’t be too harsh since he is the empress’ father.
Astelle carefully turned over the old, discolored paper. It was an old herbal book from an underground library. It’s an old book, so every time she touched it, the dust scattered.
After carefully reading the last line on the last page, Astelle sighed and closed the book.
“It’s not here either.”
Gretel who was sitting across from her also put down the book she was reading.
“Here too… … it’s not much different.”
The two looked at each other with disappointed eyes.
Astelle and Gretel work together to find information about Kaizen’s poison. However, no matter how much they searched, they couldn’t find any information.
“I think it might be better to interrogate my father.”
Hearing Astelle’s grumbling, Gretel shook her head.
“It will be of no use unless the Duke is familiar with medicinal herbs.”
I’m sure it will.
She had already asked her father when Kaizen lost consciousness. She carefully asked how much he knew about the poison, but he didn’t seem to know much either.
He said he only heard that it was a poison that was hard to find in the South and that there was no antidote.
‘Is the only hope for now is to get more detoxifying herbs?’
Astelle pulled out a map of the empire from a pile of papers.
“Maybe there are more detoxifying herbs in other areas?”
She thought of going to another area and looking for herbs. But she’s an empress herself, so it’s impossible to do so.
“The young duke is also looking for it, so don’t worry too much.” Gretel comforted Astelle who frantically scans the map.
Astelle listened to her and nodded.
Fritz was personally sending people to find detoxifying herbs through local officials. It took a while, but for now, it was the best.
“Gretel suffered the most because of this. I think I gave you too much trouble.”
“Don’t say that.” Gretel smiled. “Of course I have to help His Majesty the Emperor.”
After a while, she whispered, as if telling a secret. “Moreover, he is Theor’s father, so I will work even harder. Oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that… … .”
Gretel apologized, covering her mouth with her hand.
Astelle looked at her and smiled.
“Just talk comfortably when it’s just the two of us”
Astelle turned her gaze to the window. It was almost midnight.
“I’ve been holding you up late every day without any shame. Go back and rest first today.”
Astelle reassured Gretel that she was fine and let her go. She went out to the back door of the Empress Palace to see her off.
The knight guarding the door was polite with slightly surprised eyes. Astelle ordered him, “Bring me a carriage.”
The carriage arrived shortly after.
Gretel poked her head out of the carriage window and waved her hand.
“Go straight to bed after this. I will be back tomorrow.”
“Yes, I’ll wait.”
Astelle returned to her study after seeing Gretel off.
The light from the candles and the fire from the fireplace lit up the dark room.
Theor is asleep and Kaizen said he would sleep in his palace tonight. She thought Hannah would be tired too, so she sent her to go to bed early today.
Astelle is the only one left in the study.
‘I’m going to sleep after looking for some information about medicinal herbs.’
There are still many books to look at.
Astelle stood in front of the desk, slowly flipping through the papers with pictures of medicinal herbs.
At that time, something touched her hand that was flipping through the dry sheet of paper. Astelle turned around, startled.
Kaizen was smiling at her.
“Oh, no. I think I startled you.”
He took a step back and grabbed Astelle’s wrist.
Astelle was startled and calmed her pounding chest.
“When did you come?”
“I just came in.”
He must have been in the study while she was going out to see Gretel off. He seems to have been hiding for a while to tease her on purpose.
“What kind of joke are you doing… … .”
Even though Astelle scolded him, he just smiled without saying a word.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t hiding. I went to the next room for a while and was looking at the books there.”
Astelle kept her mouth shut. The study room has a small cupboard. Astelle hid the medicinal herb books in it. Because she thought Kaizen would be worried if he saw it.
Kaizen sighed low, as expected, and closed the book Astelle was looking at.
“You’ve been reading this late into the night.”
“I’m doing it as a hobby because I have nothing to do.”
Astelle made an excuse in a low voice, as if not confident.
“You don’t have to push yourself like this. Because the Imperial Palace doctors are also looking for it. The doctor also said that I would be fine for the next 10 years.”
That doesn’t sound very believable. The doctor doesn’t even know what kind of poison it is.
“You never know what will happen in 10 years,” Astelle muttered under her breath instead of refusing.
After 10 years have passed, he may be sick again. In the present situation, nothing is certain.
“10 to 15 years is enough,” Kaizen said nonchalantly. “I just need to live until Theor grows up.”
Astelle raised her head at those words and looked straight at him.
“Why are you saying that?”
His life ends after ruling the empire and passing it down to his successor. Isn’t that too harsh?
Astelle’s heartbroken to think that Kaizen will die earlier than his original lifespan. Even more so since she’s responsible for all of that.
Astelle lowered her gaze and suppressed her rising emotions.
Kaizen took a step closer to her as if trying to comfort her.
“It’s not your fault.”
A warm hand rested on the back of her trembling hand.
Astelle slowly raised her head. In front of her is Kaizen, close enough that she can feel his breath.
The flames of the fireplace cast a precarious shadow on his handsome face.
The two eyes met in a quiet atmosphere.
Kaizen carefully grabbed her by the shoulder. His red eyes grew closer and closer. Just before their lips barely touched, Astelle closed her eyes.
But that heart-pounding moment was quickly ended by the sound of a knock from outside.
Astelle hurriedly backed away.
“Your Majesty the Empress.”
The maid opened the door and came in, and when she found Kaizen, she bowed in surprise.
“Your Majesty… … .”
“What’s going on?”
“A knight has come from the abandoned palace.”
The abandoned palace is a place where her father, Duke Reston, is imprisoned.
Astelle has not heard of him for the past few days.
The maid looked at the two and said, “He has something to tell the empress.”
Kaizen’s eyes turned to her.
“Tell him to go back.”
Astelle also refused without a moment’s hesitation.
“I don’t want to hear it.”
Astelle can’t forgive her father.
Gretel got out of the palace in a carriage given to her.
The dark streets are full of bright lights. The streets are still crowded with people. Because the harvest festival, which had been temporarily suspended, is still continuing.
The emperor’s illness was well known to the capital, but most did not take it seriously since he recovered in a few days.
‘Few know what really happened.’
Gretel herself is one of those who knows the secret.
‘In the past, I would have avoided getting involved in such a huge thing.’
It was Astelle’s request, so I had to do my best to help.
When I found out about Theor’s birth, I felt sorry for Astelle, but fortunately, she seems to be doing well now.
The carriage stopped in front of a hostel where she was staying.
“Thank you for taking me.”
After thanking the coachman, Gretel opened the door and went inside.
As she walked inside to take a quick bath and rest, she saw a pile of books on the desk.