How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 167
The scenery outside the carriage window was covered in snow.
If the guards and servants hadn’t cleared the snow early on, the carriage would have been unable to move.
Upon arriving at the mansion, the marquis rushed out to greet the three.
Before Astelle and Kaizen could even approach him, Theor energetically ran to his arms.
The marquis looked at the two of them while hugging Theor. Seeing that all three were safe, he heaved a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness you three are okay. I was worried all night waiting for news.”
“I’m sorry. The snow was so bad that I couldn’t reach you.”
Sending out a courier when it’s snowing and getting lost can be life-threatening
“Fortunately there was a farmer’s house nearby. Otherwise, we would have stayed up all night on the street.”
Astelle also nodded at Kaizen’s words.
Before leaving, she thanked the owner of the house several times.
The marquis looked at Astelle and said worriedly, “Your Majesty, you look tired. I have prepared meals and bath water, so take a rest today.”
Astelle was a little embarrassed to hear that she looked tired.
In the eyes of her grandfather, she may seem tired of suffering from the snow.
Astelle glanced at Kaizen.
There was not the slightest hint of tiredness on Kaizen’s calm face. Astelle seemed to be the only one who was tired.
As she recalled last night’s events, her ears spontaneously burned red. Astelle shifted her gaze to forget last night’s memories.
Still in the marquis’ arms, Theor raised his head and asked with a lively face, “It was fun going home. Can’t we go again today?”
The marquis asked, “Wasn’t the snow scary?”
“Theor was asleep and didn’t see it,” Astelle replied.
“Can I go again? I want to go and play again.”
“Not today. Let’s wait for the snow to subside a bit.”
Kaizen took Theor from the marquis’ embrace with both hands.
The marquis smiled calmly at Theor. He asked, “Shall we go to the pond behind the mansion instead? Let me show you ice fishing. Or you can go sledding nearby.”
“I want to go sledding!”
The marquis took Theor back, held him in his arms, and spoke quietly to the two of them. “Today I will take care of His Highness, so you two can rest in peace.”
“Thank you, grandfather.”
After returning to the mansion, as her grandfather said, she felt at ease.
Astelle took a bath and had breakfast with the help of the maids. Kaizen also seemed to want to rest while chatting with the knights.
While visiting her old house, her grandfather prepared separate bedrooms for Astelle and Kaizen.
They stayed together the first night they arrived at the mansion, but now they can each stay in separate rooms.
Theor went out as soon as he ate breakfast. It was impossible to go far because of the snow, so she planned to spend the day leisurely in the mansion.
Astelle was staying in the bedroom of her maternal grandmother, the marchioness. It was, of course, the most splendid room in the mansion. The dazzlingly beautiful furniture continued from the break room to the bedroom.
Astelle changed into comfortable indoor clothes and looked around the bedroom before she approached the window.
Through the window, she could see the snow-covered yard and the knights.
Kaizen was also seen instructing the knights to do something.
Seeing him wearing different clothes, it seemed that he had also taken a bath.
Suddenly, the memory of last night flashed back.
Astelle did not regret it.
It was an impulsive but happy moment.
It was like the sweet first night of a honeymoon that you only see in novels.
‘It’s funny that I feel like this when I already have a child.’
As soon as Theor woke up, they immediately returned to the marquis’ mansion, so they didn’t have time to talk any longer.
Kaizen said he would come here when his work was done. For some reason, I feel embarrassed to face him.
‘It would be nice if there was something I could do to distract myself.’
Unlike Kaizen, who was looking at this and that, there wasn’t much for Astelle to do.
Her body felt weak, maybe because of the accumulated fatigue. Thinking about resting in the bedroom, she turned around and saw a small book on the dresser.
The maid waiting in the room replied, “I moved it from the Crown Prince’s bedroom.”
It was a diary that Theor found in Astelle’s mother’s bedroom.
‘Can I read it?’
She felt it was inappropriate to peek into another person’s diary, even if it was her own mother’s.
But I’m curious.
Astelle herself knows little about her mother.
‘This must have been before she married.’
Her mother left here after marriage. This diary may be a record of her days as a young lady of the marquis.
There won’t be anything very secretive about it.
If she really had a secret to hide, she would have burned the diary. No, if there really was, she wouldn’t have written it in her diary in the first place.
Astelle pondered for a while and turned to the first page. She then checked the other pages but found nothing special.
Buying a dress, going to tea parties, ordering jewelry or household items from the capital, and visiting someone for dinner…… were repeated endlessly.
Reading it makes Astelle sympathize with her mother.
‘She must have been really bored.’
The life of a rural noble lady is boring. Well, the ladies really have nothing to do in the countryside like this. If it were a nobleman, he would have wandered around the forest.
Fortunately, such a boring life changed when she left the country estate and went to the capital.
After going to the capital, events such as balls and social events were recorded in her diary.
The main characters of her mother’s stories are people Astelle doesn’t know, but most of them are interesting stories of love, duels, and affairs. And from time to time new names appear.
“Were they not that close…….”
Astelle thought they were lovers before her mother married, but Count Ecklen wasn’t mentioned much.
‘Looks like they weren’t as close as I thought.’
But Astelle soon found out that her thoughts were wrong.
[He left the capital.]
The next page only has that one sentence written. And no record for days in a row.
In the meantime, she wrote at least one line in her diary every day. Nothing else was written after that sentence.
The confusion and sadness felt greater in the lonely blank than in the long writing.
‘She didn’t deliberately write down her relationship with him in detail in her diary.’
My mother must have thought that someone might see this diary.
Actually, Astelle is reading it right now.
It can be said that her mother was right.
About a month later, there was a new note.
The following sentence is very confusing, unlike the previous one.
[I don’t know what to do……. What should I do? How can I protect everyone?]
It was a scribbled sentence that left a feeling of bewilderment.
Fortunately, after that, the contents of her diary returned to normal.
Did she pull herself together and make it back to her everyday life?
Astelle slowly turned another page hesitantly.
A few chapters later, a familiar name appeared.
[Esteban told me. He knows that I stole the headquarters records.]
(T/N: Esteban von Reston is Astelle’s father)
What did she steal?
Oh, Count Ecklen was exiled after being framed for problems during the battle.
It seems that my mother stole the records to prove his innocence.
A short sentence followed along.
[He proposed to me.]
……what did he do?
[I agreed to marry him. My father is against it, but he will eventually allow it.]
It felt like facing a truth I didn’t really want to know.
To sum it up, did my mother steal headquarters records for Count Ecklen?
But my father threatened my mother with that, and she had no choice but to marry him.
‘But did she have to get married?’
Such a question arose, but Astelle soon understood.
My mother must have been worried.
People would most likely point their fingers at her. She must have been worried about her father too.
Moreover, the opponent was a young duke, the son of the prime minister.
It must have been difficult for the young marquis’ daughter to deal with.
‘It was a pity.’
I feel sorry for my mother who made this choice.
On the next page, wedding preparations were written. Nothing special about it.
Like how hard Astelle’s father tried to impress her grandfather, the marquis. Something like that.
Astelle hesitated while reading the last part.
[I think it’s a good thing. Because that person also has light green eyes.]
The diary ended there.
‘What does this mean?’
Astelle read the last sentence again.
That person also has light green eyes?
At first glance, it seems to mean that she has a feeling of affection for that person because he is similar to her ex-lover.
‘There’s no way she would feel affection for someone who threatens and forces her into marriage just because he has the same eye color as someone, right?’
It’s a little weird.
Astelle slowly flipped through the pages of her mother’s diary again.
Suddenly, the record on the previous page caught her eye.
And the confusing sentence that follows.
[I don’t know what to do……. What should I do? How can I protect everyone?]
Astelle thought it was simply because her mother’s lover was kicked out, but when she read it again, it felt a little strange.
‘It’s like…… she is pregnant.’
However, both Astelle and her older brother Fritz are clearly her father’s children. Above all, Fritz was clearly the son born after marriage.
Astelle raised her head in surprise at the familiar voice.
Kaizen was looking at her.
Kaizen smiled. “What are you looking at so intently? You couldn’t even hear me knocking.”
It seems that she was too immersed in her mother’s diary.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Astelle closed the diary and put it in the drawer of the dresser.
‘To find a weakness and force marriage.’
It was something my father could really do.
I even thought that it was rather fortunate that my father died like that.
“Are you okay? You look tired.”
At Kaizen’s worried voice, Astelle turned her gaze back to him.
“I am okay.”
Astelle smiled affectionately and asked, “Are you okay, Your Majesty? Maybe the poison…….”
Kaizen laughed, as if it were useless worries. “I feel like I’ve answered tens of thousands of times, but I am fine.”
Well, nothing happened all the way here.
The plantation in the southern mountain range was still being prepared. Soon you will be able to grow herbs.
So far, Kaizen has been fine and always looks healthy.
Still, Astelle’s worries didn’t just go away.
After a moment’s hesitation, Kaizen moved closer to her.