How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 158
“Where is the investigator now?” Astelle asked Fritz.
“For now, he is under my protection.”
“Did he tell you who ordered him?”
“He claimed that he saw me sneak out of the mansion and followed me and denied that he was monitoring Miss Gretel. If he was an ordinary spy, I would somehow be able to get information from him, but he is the emperor’s investigator, so what should I do… … .”
‘Did Velian do it?’
The emperor’s investigator was monitoring Gretel. There was no way Kaizen would have ordered such a thing.
Neither Lyndon nor anyone else could have watched over Gretel without Kaizen’s orders.
In the first place, while everyone was busy with this case, there were only a few people who would be interested in the empress’s pharmacist.
Of course, the first person that came to mind was Vellian, the emperor’s aide.
Vellian, who had been on the trip with her, knew that Astelle was very interested in herbal medicine.
There were several unforgettable incidents related to medicinal herbs during the trip.
He is also well aware that she has a close relationship with Gretel.
‘He must be investigating this case because he’s suspicious of me.’
This case ended with a small disturbance that occurred during the emperor’s illness, but there were many dubious aspects in the context of the situation.
Some of the officials would also be suspicious, but they wouldn’t dare to find out the truth about the case that the emperor himself was trying to cover up.
However, Vellian is the only person who dares to take risks to secretly investigate Astelle and the people around her.
‘Because that person always doubted me from the beginning.’
He has been like this since he secretly rummaged through Astelle’s luggage in the Maern castle.
Recently, he even asked Naen about Astelle.
It was only a few days ago that Astelle warned him.
But again, this happens.
‘Contrary to what is actually known, Kaizen poisoned. I can’t say that his suspicions are a completely unfounded delusion.’
Astelle sighed and said to Fritz. “We can’t touch the emperor’s investigator.”
“That means… … .”
“I will tell His Majesty about this matter.”
Kaizen happened to be here.
Hearing Astelle’s words, Fritz nodded his head.
“I think it would be better to leave it to His Majesty’s judgment.”
Fritz said he would send the investigator to the palace and went back.
Astelle said goodbye to him and went to where Kaizen is.
As she opened the door, Kaizen, who was reading a book, raised his head.
“What about your brother?”
“He went back to the mansion.”
Kaizen looked at Astelle with a slightly worried look.
Fritz suddenly came here in the middle of the night, of course he was worried.
“No, it’s not a big deal, but… … .”
Astelle drew closer to him and began to explain carefully.
From stories of someone breaking into Gretel’s house to stories of Fritz catching a suspicious person.
“My investigator did such a thing?”
Before Kaizen could even hear the full explanation, he was furious.
“Where is he now?”
“Brother Fritz said he would bring him to the palace.”
Kaizen looked at Astelle’s dubious expression and asked again, “You seem to be guessing something.”
“There is no evidence.”
Astelle hesitated a little before she said, “But I think Vellian is behind this.”
Astelle told Kaizen everything that had happened. From what happened during the trip to what happened to Naen recently.
Kaizen, who heard the full story, became furious again.
“Why didn’t you tell me this?”
There was anger in Kaizen’s red eyes. Astelle did not expect this kind of response from him.
She sighed and comforted him. “He’s Your Majesty’s aide. I thought it would be better to just warn him and move on.”
“But still… … !”
Kaizen could barely contain his anger.
“First of all, I need to investigate what happened, but if Vellian is really behind this, I’ll punish him properly at this point.”
Astelle looked into his eyes and asked carefully, “If it’s okay with you, please leave this to me.”
“To you? What are you going to do?”
“I don’t think it would be good to punish him too severely.”
Anyway, what Vellian did was for Kaizen.
This was done out of excessive loyalty to the emperor, it would be unreasonable to give him severe punishment.
Of course, not only because of loyalty, but also curiosity and hostility toward Astelle.
Astelle told Kaizen what she thought. Kaizen looked dissatisfied for a moment after hearing that, but in the end, he allowed it.
“Yeah, do what you want.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Kaizen sighed as if he had no choice and put down the book he was reading.
“I’ll call Miss Gretel to the Imperial Palace tomorrow.”
Astelle looked at him in surprise at the sudden remark.
“I want to call her and reward her for what she had done and apologize in person.”
It was an answer she hadn’t thought of.
Astelle stared blankly at him for a moment, then smiled.
“Yes, if Your Majesty does so, Gretel will be very grateful.”
Kaizen seems to have become more friendly. In the past, he would not have thought this carefully.
He would certainly have called and rewarded the benefactor who saved his life, but would not have apologized directly for being monitored by his investigator.
That would have ended by sending someone to compensate for it.
Just as Astelle herself changed over the years, Kaizen also began to change after experiencing various things.
The next morning Astelle went out to the greenhouse for tea. It was a break time while organizing what to do for today’s official work.
After breakfast, Theor came to her.
Astelle looked at Theor in surprise.
“Why are you calling me ‘Mother’?”
Theor answered, raising the tip of his chin, “From now on, I’ll call you ‘Mother’ when others are around. That’s the etiquette.”
Astelle smiled bitterly and hugged Theor.
“Then you won’t call me ‘Mom’ anymore?”
“Uh… … .” Theor pondered for a moment.
The bright red eyes lit up in the morning sun shining through the window.
“I’ll call you ‘Mom’ when it’s just the two of us.”
Astelle smiled and kissed Theor on the forehead.
The door to the greenhouse opened and a maid came in.
“Your Majesty the Empress, Sir Vellian has requested an audience.”
The maid asked in a perplexed tone, “Should I ask him to wait for the audience time?”
“No, I’ll see him for a moment. Tell him to come in.”
I wonder what brought him here, who should be in the Imperial Palace now.
After a while, Vellian came into the greenhouse, panting.
“Your Majesty the Empress… … .!”
“Sir Vellian? What’s going on?” Astelle asked with a puzzled look, still hugging Theor.
“That, that… … .”
Vellian couldn’t answer and swallowed dry saliva.
He himself didn’t know why he was here, so he had nothing to say. As soon as he entered the palace this morning, he was told that things had gone wrong.
‘The investigator who was monitoring the pharmacist was arrested.’
Also, the Emperor himself is investigating this matter.
Only in a matter of time, it will be revealed that it’s Vellian’s own fault.
As soon as he heard that the investigator had been arrested, Vellian ran to Astelle.
It was almost an instinctive act.
Because the only person who can help him right now is Astelle.
Theor was happy to see Velian in a long time and waved to him.
“… … greetings to Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
“Theor, can you go and tell Hannah to bring some tea?
Theor looked at Astell and Vellian, and then stood up obediently.
Until recently, he used to call his mother ‘Mom’, with or without anyone. Seeing him being polite because there is Vellian, it’s bittersweet.
Astelle turned her gaze away from Theor and turned to Vellian.
“So, Sir Velian. What’s going on?”
Instead of answering, Vellian asked pitifully, “Your Majesty, do you know what is going on?”
Of course she does.
“I do, but I don’t know why you are here.”
“Your Majesty, do you not have any sympathy for me, knowing my current situation?”
Astelle stared at him, clueless.
“Why should I have sympathy for you?”
“That, that… … .”
Vellian tried to say something, but desperately shut his mouth in the end.
Actually, there’s nothing to talk about. Because Astelle has no reason to sympathize with him.
“I am sorry, Your Majesty. I have been so rude to you.”
Vellian apologized for what he had done, then raised his head again.
“But in the meantime, I… … .”
Vellian, who had been talking up to that point, was silent again.
‘However, I’ve worked so hard for the sake of the Your Majesty… … !’
Astelle looked at him and said coldly, “Regardless of any intentions, you are wrong to keep an eye on the innocent Gretel.”