How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 47
The Croychens, though wealthy, were not great noble with great territories. There was no long history to put forward.
It was a family that would not be called a prestigious family even if they built up a network in the capital for the next 100 years or so.
No one could have guessed that the second daughter of such a family would become a candidate for the empress.
No one could have imagined if the situation of the empire did not change after Kaizen became emperor and then expelled all the great nobles.
Florin confessed frankly, “From then on, I decided to be more careful. So after hearing about Lady Astelle, I wanted to see you with my own eyes.”
“You are thorough.”
How could a young woman who had just reached adulthood think like that?
Astelle agreed with Vellian.
As Florin gains more of her experience over time, she will become a really good empress.
Florin smiled as she looked at Astelle.
“Actually, I have heard many stories of Lady Astelle since I was very young. At that time, Lady Astelle was the noblest woman in the capital. Not just your status, but in your every way.”
For the first time, a human vitality appeared for a moment and then disappeared in her numb purple eyes.
“When I was young, I wanted to be a good lady like you, Lady Astelle. This is not a lie.”
“……you are exaggerating.”
Astelle was embarrassed for the first time.
“But you can rest assured that His Majesty has no affection for me.”
Florin asked with bright eyes, “Lady Astelle, do you know His Majesty well?”
“Yes, I know how he feels. It wasn’t love, just curiosity and guilt.”
It seems that people misinterpret Kaizen’s concern for Astelle as love.
That can’t be. Kaizen has never been in love with her.
‘He doesn’t know what love is,’ Astelle thought.
Like a rich merchant who bought grapes thinking it was Lintail fruit.
It was a story from a fairy tale Astelle read to Theor.
It is said that the rich merchant, who had never seen or eaten Lintail fruit, happily ate the grapes, thinking they were Lintail all his life.
If Astelle was a fool, maybe she would have lived her whole life thinking that Kaizen’s feeling was love.
But even if it was true love and not an illusion, she hated it now.
“Then I will believe Lady Astelle’s words.”
Hearing Astelle’s explanation, Florin laughed like a satisfied cat.
Astelle felt anxiety welling up from the depths of her heart.
Anxiety that this little girl would become a very concerned enemy if she found out about Theor’s existence.
The Marchioness was furious to the very end.
She wanted to go back to the pavilion where she stayed right away.
But the tea party wasn’t over yet and she couldn’t leave first.
Even this was a tea party attended by the emperor.
The host, Vellian, hadn’t come back yet, so she couldn’t even ask to leave the tea party.
‘I have no choice but to go back to the tea room.’
Still, it’s better to go to the tea room than to be in the same room with that disgusting woman.
The Marchioness walked through the garden and returned to the tea room.
It was just when she was about to enter the tea room. She saw someone already inside.
She was a young maid.
The brown-haired maid was touching the Marchioness’ teacup.
She was Astelle’s maid who had spilled tea a while ago.
There were two more maids in the tea room, but one did not pay attention to the side of the table because she was arranging the three-tiered tray near the wall. And the other was rearranging the vases by the window.
Neither of them could see what Astelle’s maid was doing.
The Marchioness carefully approached.
The brown-haired maid was putting something in the teacup with her back turned away from the other maids.
The Marchioness hid her body behind the door and watched.
The maid slightly turned the ring she was wearing on her middle finger.
Then, powder came out of it.
It was a light purple powder.
The Marchioness shouted,
“What are you doing now?”
Astelle was in the exhibition room.
The maid who came in with an urgent expression informed the commotion in the tea room.
“The Marchioness has asked Your Majesty to come back to the tea room.”
The maid was talking to Kaizen.
Kaizen asked with a tone that he didn’t care what the Marchioness did, “What’s going on?”
But the words that came out of the maid’s mouth were shocking.
“Lady Astelle’s maid was caught trying to put poison in Marchioness’ teacup.”
Kaizen and Florin looked back at Astelle with surprised eyes.
Astelle also looked surprised.
“Let’s go back now.”
When Astelle returned to the tea room, it was a mess.
The Marchioness called out to the soldiers, and Hannah stood quietly in the center of the tea room waiting for Astelle.
The other maids had gathered to one side, looking terrified and not knowing what to do.
As soon as Kaizen stepped inside, the Marchioness quickly lowered her head and screamed.
“That maid poisoned my teacup!”
Everyone’s eyes turned to Hannah.
Kaizen asked Hannah, “Did you?”
Hannah stood with a bewildered look, then bent her knees and bowed her back.
“Your Majesty, Lord of the Empire……”
Hannah raised her head and answered calmly, “I did not, Your Majesty.”
“She has lied. I’ve clearly seen—!”
When the Marchioness tried to scream again, Kaizen cut her off in an annoyed tone.
But she did not give up and repeated her argument again.
“Your Majesty, when I returned to the tea room, this maid was poisoning my teacup. I saw with my own eyes that the purple powder out of her ring.”
Then Vellian, who had gone to change his clothes, returned to the tea room.
Vellian was surprised to see the situation in the tea room, but as he listened to the Marchioness’ words, he looked back at Astelle as if he had grasped the situation.
Astelle silently ignored his gaze.
Hannah pulled out the ring from her own finger.
“This is an ordinary ring. Nothing can be hidden here.”
Kaizen glanced at the other maid, ordered her to check it out.
Hannah’s ring was a simple ring with a small ruby embedded in a thin ring.
The maid took her ring and examined it carefully. After that, the maid handed the ring to Vellian.
But no matter how he looked, the result was the same.
“Your Majesty, this is just an ordinary ring.”
The Marchioness snatched the ring from Vellian, and she took a closer look at it herself.
But she couldn’t reveal a secret space in the ring as she hoped.
“That maid tried to poison me! She put the purple powder in my teacup.”
Hannah, who was standing idly, later defended her own actions.
“I was just trying to pick up a petal that fell off into the teacup. But suddenly the Marchioness got angry and……”
“Do not lie!”
“Have you checked the teacup?”
Astelle, who was watching quietly, asked in a calm voice.
For a moment, everyone’s eyes turned to Astelle.
“Call the doctor and see if the tea really poisonous.”
The Emperor thought that Astelle had a point and ordered another maid.
“Call the doctor!”
After a while, a middle-aged doctor was called into the tea room.
He was the doctor Astelle had met once when she was ill with a fever at the inn in the country town.
“Check the teacup for poison.”
The doctor listened to the situation and carefully examined the teacup.
In the imperial palace, there was always a gem used to test for toxic substances.
The doctor placed the thin needle of the jewel into the teacup and observed the reaction.
He checked twice more, but nothing came up.
“Your Majesty, there is no poison in the teacup.”
“It can’t be!”
The Marchioness did not give up and continued to argue.
If it was not poison, it must be a suspicious drug.
“Whatever it was, she was trying to hurt me.”
“Why are you so sure, Marchioness? Maybe you got it wrong? Does my maid have any reason to hurt you?”
Astelle’s calm rebuttal left the Marchioness speechless.
If Astelle’s handmaiden tried to harm her, of course, it was because of Theor.
‘That sly woman must want revenge on me.’
But she couldn’t say it with her own mouth.
She had solid reasons, but she couldn’t speak, so she was frustrated.
Astelle demanded of her with her light sneer.
“Since you framed my maid with unfounded words, please apologize properly.”
The Marchioness cried out in anger.
“I’m not saying it’s unfounded. I saw that maid sneak out of the castle and come back. Then she apparently dropped a glass bottle of poison—”
Florin shouted low to her mother to shut her mouth.
The Marchioness belatedly realized her own mistake and bit her lip.
She had now spit it out with her own mouth that she was watching Astelle’s handmaiden.
Kaizen looked back at Hannah and asked, “Is that true?”