How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 56
TL: Lilac | PR: Faith
But Astelle, without looking at him, handed the sandwich to her grandfather who was sitting on the other side.
“Have something to eat, Grandpa.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
Kaizen slowly lowered his hand.
It was a very sad and embarrassing scene.
Vellian, who watched his master’s pitiful appearance, truly sympathized with him.
He carefully offered the meat pie to Kaizen.
“……Your Majesty, please eat this.”
Kaizen didn’t even touch the food and drank only the wine that Vellian poured in.
The four adults gathered at the picnic and silently ate their food.
They just felt uncomfortable around each other.
Kaizen and Vellian were still awkward with the Marquis of Carlenberg, Astelle and Kaizen were a divorced couple, and Vellian and Astelle were……
Astelle didn’t want to deal with Vellian for as long as she could after he threw her into the public bath and looked through her clothes and belongings.
They were uncomfortable with each other, and there was no common topic of discussion.
Naturally, there was only an uncomfortable and heavy silence in the tent.
“This is really delicious. Can I have another one?”
Amidst the silence, only Theor was eating happily.
“Yes. You can eat as much as you like.”
Theor ate the whole sandwich and the meat pie that Vellian gave to him.
A sweet pie filled with savory juices melted in his mouth.
“Oh right. Have you met Sir Seibel at the ball, Lady Astelle?”
It was Vellian who broke the uncomfortable silence.
“Do you mean the commander of the Lanberg Knights?”
“Yes, he is a friend of mine. We have been best friends since childhood.”
“Is that so?”
A young man with silver hair and light blue eyes came to mind.
He was polite and had a good impression, but when Astelle heard that he and Vellian were friends, her liking was reduced to half.
The Marquis, who had been listening quietly, intervened in curiosity.
“If he is the same age as you, then he must be young. Is he already a knight commander?”
“Yes, he is very talented.”
Vellian said proudly and added a small addition at the end.
“Well……it does make sense since his father is the minister of the military, Count Ecklen.”
“Count Gerald von Ecklen. He is Sir Seibel’s adoptive father.”
When Astelle heard the name, something came to mind.
“Oh, yes. Sir Seibel’s father asked him to send regards to Grandpa. I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you.”
There were so many things that happened after the ball that Astelle had completely forgotten about it.
Astelle was a little startled to see her grandfather sitting there with a bemused look.
“Gerald Ecklen became the minister of the military?”
“Yes, do you know him?”
After hearing Vellian’s question, he regained his senses with a little startling.
“Ah, well… we used to know each other. He used to be my lieutenant.”
“Is that true? That’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
The Marquis still seemed to be thinking of something.
Astelle was struck by her grandfather’s strange reaction.
She decided to ask him about it later.
“The rain has subsided.”
Astelle, who was organizing the baskets, said while looking at the dimly bright sky.
Vellian, sitting next to Theor and watching him draw on the floor, raised his head.
It really stopped raining little by little, and the sky was gradually clearing.
Theor asked as he looked out of the tent.
“Can I go out and play?”
Excited, Theor ran outside.
The grass-covered with rainwater was moist and wet.
“I’m going to go get some herbs. Please take care of Theor.”
“Okay. Be careful.”
Astelle listened to her grandfather’s worrisome remarks, grabbed a basket, and went outside.
Perhaps because the rain had stopped, a cool breeze was pleasantly blowing.
Astelle took the basket and disappeared deep into the forest.
As soon as she left, Kaizen also stood up.
“Your Majesty? Where are you going?”
Vellian asked, but Kaizen did not answer and walked towards Astelle’s direction.
Theor asked as he looked into the forest where the two had disappeared.
“Where did His Majesty go?”
“Hmm…… His Majesty seems to have something to say to Lady Astelle.”
Vellian let out a low sigh as if he was a little sad.
After watching them, he felt a little ominous.
As well as the fact that they had been together up to this day, the emperor paid so much attention to Astelle that it felt a little strange.
Astelle said that the Emperor was only feeling guilty, but it wasn’t like him to do something simply out of remorse.
Because of the emperor’s useless interest, Astelle has already suffered several bad experiences.
Last time, even Theor was put in danger.
After thinking about all that happened, Vellian lost more weight.
‘What kind of enemies did the Emperor and Lady Astelle have…’
Vellian let out a deep sigh.
As Astelle was walking through the forest looking for herbs, she heard footsteps behind her.
The person who was following her was Kaizen.
“What are you doing here?”, Astelle asked.
Complex emotions flashed in Kaizen’s red eyes.
As he approached her, he confessed calmly.
“I’m sorry about last time.”
Astelle seemed surprised by the sudden apology.
“I wanted to apologize about what happened at the ball. I’m sorry I tried to hold Theor down for my greed. You’re right, I was selfish.”
He was worried that she would get angry, but Astelle listened quietly until Kaizen finished.
“You have nothing to apologize for.”
After hearing him out, Astelle answered dryly.
“Your Majesty is the lord of the empire, so you must always do what Your Majesty wants to do.”
“I don’t want to listen to your flattery.”
Kaizen suppressed the rising anger. Talking to Astelle always made him angry. How can so many emotions soar with a single word?
Astelle looked at him with an expressionless face.
“Then will you allow Theor and grandfather to return home?”
Kaizen could not say no in this situation.
“Okay. They can go back home.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Joy spread across Astelle’s pale face.
Seeing Astelle’s happy face gave Kaizen a bitter feeling.
He forced his gaze away.
“I should have given you permission earlier, but I needlessly insisted .”
“Don’t worry about it, I do not resent Your Majesty. I’m going to go home with Theor and my grandfather anyway.”
Astelle’s voice was extremely soft.
It sounded like she had nothing to worry about anymore, as Kaizen had granted her wish.
‘Are you going to return after your work in the capital is over?’
Kaizen wanted to ask that question.
However, it was such a stupid question that he could not speak out.
‘Of course, you will return.’
Without Theor and the Marquis, Astelle had no reason to stay in the capital.
As soon as the work of the Empress Dowager’s will is finished, she will return without hesitation.
Kaizen had no reason to be with Astelle. He felt sadness at that bitter reality.
She turned around again, ignoring him, and started looking for herbs.
Kaizen, who was watching her, slowly approached.
“I’ll help you find the herbs too.”
It was then that he heard a strange noise.
There was a very faint rustling of footsteps.
The sound was coming from behind Astelle.
Over her shoulders, birch trees were towering high in the sky.
It was dark because the leaves blocked the light.
No one can see who was hiding a few steps behind.
No one was allowed to enter this forest without permission in the first place.
The knights who came with them were waiting outside the entrance to the forest.
‘Is it Vellian or the Marquis?’
Kaizen listened attentively to the quiet footsteps.
The rustling was getting closer and closer.
‘It’s not just one or two people. It can’t be Vellian or the Marquis.’
Kaizen walked forward without hesitation as if approaching Astelle.
Behind her, who was looking at herbs, there were thick bushes.
Kaizen took one or two steps closer and said quietly,
“Astelle, bow your head.”
Astelle, who was about to find the medicinal herbs, read the danger and tension hidden in Kaizen’s voice.
She instinctively bent over quickly.
As soon as Astelle bent over, Kaizen quickly pulled out a dagger and flew it towards the bush.
A desperate scream erupted from among the shady blades of grass.
With that sound, assassins who covered their faces with masks ran out from their hiding places.
They all drew their swords.
‘Is this an assassination attempt?’
No raids of this kind had been seen since the end of the war in the North.
Kaizen drew his sword.
The odds were good enough.
Except for one important variable.
Kaizen held up a sword and turned to Astelle.
He should protect her, she was defenseless.
“Stick close behind me.”