How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 2
6 years ago, when Astelle found out she was pregnant, her first feeling was tremendous fear.
“Am I pregnant?”
She couldn’t believe it at first.
How? She’s sure Kaizen took birth control pills.
“There is a chance that such a drug will fail.”
The pharmacist explained that it was possible.
Even if they both take medicine, she still could become pregnant.
Astelle listened to the explanation in fascination.
It was about two months after her divorce.
She set up a new home in a quiet place and lived alone, but she still couldn’t block news from the rest of the world.
Astelle learned that with the death of the emperor, the peace of the empire had disappeared.
The previous gloomy and good emperor did not try to suppress the power of the great nobility.
In fact, he had no ambition or ability to do so.
But Kaizen was different.
It was only after he became the emperor that everyone learned this young emperor was different from the previous emperor.
A month after he became emperor, Kaizen discovered the corruption of Duke Milstad, the weakest of the strongest nobles, and destroyed his family.
After that, he continued to purge the powerful nobles one after another.
Kaizen wanted to get rid of all the great nobles who threatened the emperor to gain power.
He also proved that he was capable.
The high lord of the north caused a revolt but was then suppressed by the emperor’s army, and his entire family was then annihilated.
All those who watched while holding their breaths would know.
The days of the former emperor and some powerful houses being balanced in power were over without any major problems.
From that time on, imperial politics were divided into two factions. The emperor’s group, made up of new bureaucrats who supported the emperor, and the aristocratic group of great nobility. The two fractions fought fiercely.
Astelle’s father, Duke Reston, naturally became the head of the great nobles.
‘If I tell you that I’m pregnant…’
What will happen to this child?
She was no longer the empress.
However, the child was the emperor’s child and was the only heir to the present day.
Astelle quickly determined the situation.
Knowing that she had a child, her father would make this child emperor and become a regent.
And if Kaizen finds out that the child in her stomach is a threat to him, Kaizen will try to get rid of this child.
She couldn’t expect either side to care or protect the child.
Astelle couldn’t let her child be used in political battles.
She did not desire to leave her child’s life to men crazy about power, and only watch in fear.
She was abandoned by both the emperor and her father.
The child was all she had left.
‘It’s not the emperor’s child, it’s my child. I will protect this child and raise it with my own hands.’
When she found out she was pregnant, she thought about it over and over again and made that decision.
She’s going to hide the kid and raise him alone.
Astelle walked helplessly, hugging Theor.
With each step, dry soil and stone debris were stepped on.
The soles of her feet were sore and hurt.
It was because she was dragged out of her room wearing thin slippers without changing her shoes.
The cold air that permeated her skin cleared her mind.
Astelle wrapped Theor with the hem of an old coat over her shoulder.
The rose bushes on the stone wall filled the chilly dawn air with the smell of light floral scent.
The northeastern part of the continent was a place where frost fell on the dry land every morning until April.
Even though it is now May, the land is still experiencing cold winds from the mountains in the morning and evening.
A few steps ahead, an old castle used as a permanent residence stood against the backdrop of the bluish dawn sky.
The hat was dragged onto it.
The place guided by the knights was the reception room in the center of the castle.
In the room, there was a man in front of a fireplace with firewood burning.
Seeing that appearance, Astelle felt like her heart stopped.
She made up her mind and went inside.
It has been six years since they broke up when she was 20.
Kaizen did not change much from that time.
Black hair like the night sky and dark red eyes.
His appearance, which is more stunning than the torch that decorates the temple, has always been praised by aristocrats.
His appearance remained the same, but the current Kaizen had an atmosphere that looked more confident and stronger than when he was 20 years old.
Like a man who has lived as an emperor for the past 6 years, even though he is still young, in his late 20s, his whole body was imbued with natural dignity and honourability.
‘You’ve become such a wonderful man when I didn’t see you.’
Bitter thoughts filled the depth of her heart.
There was a time when she felt a heart-fluttering affection for him.
But now all those warm feelings have withered.
Love disappeared without a trace, and only a dry and desolate emptiness remained like a dry branch.
Astelle suppressed her bitter feelings and knelt before him with the child.
“I see your Majesty the Emperor, the Lord of the Empire.”
Now, this man has become the emperor, best suited for the title ‘Lord of the Empire’.
The political dispute between the emperor and the nobility ended with the emperor’s victory.
Almost all the great nobles who opposed the emperor for the past six years have disappeared.
Kaizen became the most powerful emperor who fully ruled the empire.
He has become a real leader with power so strong that no one can blame him for killing someone he doesn’t like.
“It’s been six years.”
His voice was not that different from before.
Astelle stood up and faced him.
Familiar red eyes glanced at Astelle.
His gaze shifted to Astelle’s monotonous gray cotton dress, with no patterns or decorations, and the rough pelerine laid on top.
And finally, when the gaze fell to the old indoor shoes made of weaving of the leftover fabric, a wrinkle was briefly formed in the good-looking brows.
Kaizen’s face was filled with surprise and displeasure.
It seemed that he was shocked by Astelle’s poor appearance.
“I guess things weren’t good.”
What did he expect after dragging her here before it’s even dawn?
Well, Astelle always looked her best in front of this man.
All they had to do was stand face to face for a few minutes, but she put on make-up and groomed her hair for several hours.
Then, she tightened her body with a corset, and she picked out the most beautiful dresses and jewelry.
It was tiring, hard, and sometimes even painful.
But for a while, she would endure everything to look beautiful to this man.
It was a foolish effort.
Those days are now over.
Now Astelle didn’t care about how this man looked at her.
“I didn’t have time to change clothes. It’s too early.”
Well, there’s nothing better to change than this.
Astelle raised Theor in the old mansion of her maternal grandfather located at the eastern edge.
Because it was a poor household without any servants, Astelle planted, cultivated, made, and cooked food from the garden herself.
She was not a noble lady now, but a commoner.
All her beautiful and colorful dresses were disposed of a long time ago.
“Why did you keep running away?”
Kaizen looked at Astel as if he couldn’t understand her.
He has been trying to find Astelle for the past two months.
If Astelle hadn’t run away so cautiously, she would have been caught long ago.
After holding out for two months, she ended up being caught like this.
Well, she couldn’t run away forever.
Where was she going to go? The entire continent was part of the empire, all of which belonged to this man.
When Astelle couldn’t answer, he laughed.
“Did you think I would catch and kill you?”
Until two months ago, Astelle didn’t run away.
At the house of her maternal grandfather, it was tiring for her body, but her heart was still at ease. One day, she was surprised by the news that the emperor’s knights were looking for her, so she ran away.
She couldn’t figure out what was going on, so she had no choice but to run away first.
Just in case.
She couldn’t meet this man until she knew for sure whether it was related to the child or not.
Still, after running away for the past two months, she found out that it wasn’t related to this child.
It would’ve been upsetting if they were looking for the hidden prince.
Even so, she still couldn’t guess what was going on.
‘Why are you looking for me now?’
Astelle asked Kaizen, hiding her anxious and trembling heart.
“Why did you try to find me?”
“You made me look for you for two months, but you want an answer so quickly.”
Kaizen replied irritably.
Theor was surprised by the sharp gaze of a strange man he saw for the first time and grabbed Astelle’s skirt with his small hand.
At that moment, Kaizen’s gaze turned to the child.
“Who’s that kid?”
Astelle gulped nervously.
She had imagined and prepared countless times in case this moment would come.
However, simply preparing in the mind did not help much when it came to reality.
Her heart pounded endlessly.
Astelle forced herself to face Kaizen with the calmest expression.
She could see a questioning filled in the familiar red eyes.
She remembers the last time she lied to him and left.
Astelle still did not regret that moment.
And now she was confident that she would never regret this lie either.
“This is my nephew.”