How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 65
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Astelle knew why her grandfather had said this.
Astelle’s mother gave birth to Fritz and her body weakened, so she could no longer have children.
But her father, the duke, ignored the doctor’s warning not to have children and had her mother give birth to Astelle.
He said, “Do your duty because I need a daughter to become the empress.”
It is said that after tormenting her mother every day, Astelle was born.
The marquis had advised her not to give birth, but she wanted to give birth to the baby in her womb.
However, she eventually gave birth to Astelle and died not long after from the aftereffects.
The duke always told Astelle that her mother died because of her, so in order not to let her mother’s death be in vain, she must work hard to become an empress.
Astelle followed her father’s instructions, feeling guilty about her mother’s death.
The maternal grandfather who lost his daughter did not hate Astelle at all.
Astelle, who was watching from the side, stopped her grandfather belatedly.
“Grandpa, don’t deal with him and go to Theor. Theor is waiting for me alone under the parlor table.”
Astelle was worried that Theor might come here while waiting for her.
The marquis understood the meaning of Astelle’s words and turned around quickly.
“Yeah. There’s no point in dealing with him.”
As the Marquis went out, the Duke of Reston frowned and he turned to Astelle.
“Who is Theor?”
“Did you just say this and that but you don’t even know his name? Sigmund’s son’s name is Theor.”
The Duke of Reston clicked his tongue offended.
“Why do I have to know the name of that lowly blooded child?”
“After you have said all you have to say, return the belongings of the late Empress Dowager and go back to the mansion. Before I call the attendants to take you out.”
It wasn’t a threat, Astelle was actually planning to chase him away.
The duke finally gave up and raised his hands, perhaps reading the seriousness on Astelle’s face.
“I brought the belongings here. What’s more, there’s nothing but trifles. I’ll leave them behind, so take them to the countryside or do as you please.”
Then he called the servants he brought.
Two servants went inside and brought large boxes.
“Are these all?”
“Do you think I’ve hidden a few?”
“But you’re such a person.”
The duke was stunned.
“You have changed a lot.”
Kaizen also said something like that.
After six years, did he think she would still be the same?
How can she go through such things and not change?
Astelle was about to open the box, but this time a maid working in this mansion came in.
“The gift has arrived for Lady Astelle.”
“Gift? Who sent it?”
Maybe Kaizen sent something again.
Astelle left all the dresses and jewelry that Kaizen gave her as they were in Dentsu Castle.
But the maid said a completely different name.
“It is a gift from Count Ecklen to Lady Astelle.”
“Ecklen? Count of Ecklen? Why is he sending you a gift?”
At the name of Ecklen, the duke suddenly became angry and asked.
‘Do you have a bad relationship with him?’
Indeed, Count Ecklen was trusted by Kaizen and became the minister of the military.
There’s no way he’ll be on good terms with her father, who lost his power while fighting against Kaizen.
Even apart from that background, it didn’t seem like the two of them would get along well because they were completely different types.
Astelle frowned at her father’s sharp reaction.
“I don’t know. I met him at the temple this morning, and I said I will leave tomorrow, so I guess he just sent me something as a favor.”
The Duke of Reston thought for a moment, then asked again, “Did he not say anything else?”
“What else can he say?”
‘I refused him to come and he must have sent me a gift.’
He was a very kind person. Even while Astelle was in Dentsu, she met his adopted son, Sir Seibel. He also treated Astelle kindly and politely.
But the Duke of Reston did not think so simply.
His pale green eyes—just like Astelle’s, shone with a distinctive look.
Astelle looked at her father and warned him.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I’m leaving here tomorrow. I have nothing to do with the Count of Ecklen or anyone else.”
“If you need money, I’ll give you more, so why not stay here for a while?”
“No, I don’t need it. Father too, just stop and go home. I’m busy packing my things from now on.”
The anger in the eyes of the Duke of Reston rose because he was told to go away openly.
But Astelle didn’t care.
“Yes, go somewhere in the countryside and have a good life with that dying old man!”
“Don’t worry. Because I am much happier than living here with my father.”
The duke stared at Astelle, then spurred his seat and walked away.
‘I don’t want to see you again.’
Astelle, who was left alone, opened the box containing the belongings of the late Empress Dowager.
The first thing she saw was a picture frame.
It was a picture of a pure white acacia flower that Astelle drew and gave as a gift.
‘You still keep it.’
I drew it when I was about 17 years old.
It’s not that great.
The girls of noble families only studied art as a condition of being accepted into society. They did not acquire professional skills like a court painter. The same goes for Astelle.
But Empress Dowager liked this painting so much that she always hung it in her room.
Astelle’s paintings are delicate and beautiful, which she always praised.
Astelle didn’t know she still had it even after she left the capital.
Astelle took out the painting and put it on the table.
When she turned her head to the sound of a knock from behind, a young man with silver hair was standing by the door.
Astelle stood up in surprise.
It was Seibel whom she met at Dentsu’s ball.
He is the leader of the Lanberg Knights. And he is the son of Count Ecklen, whom she met this morning.
Seibel greeted her politely.
“It is an honor to see you again, Lady Astelle.”
“What did you come here for?”
“I came to deliver a gift at the order of my father.”
‘Ah. It was Sir Seibel who brought the gift.’
“I thought you went north.”
“Ah……yes, I did.”
Seibel smiled shyly as he touched the tip of his chin.
“The order suddenly changed in the middle and I came back to the capital again.”
It seems that something happened.
The gift Seibel brought was a book.
It was a book of Eastern history, with a soft leather cover covered with gold leaf and small jewels embedded between the back and the cover.
“My father said he wanted to deliver this book to you as you returned to the East.”
Astelle thought it was a pretty thoughtful gift.
‘It seems that he knew the situation was difficult and wanted to help.’
If the Count of Ecklen had sent money or jewels openly, she would have returned it without receiving it.
You can’t get jewels or gold from a nobleman you met for the first time today.
However, if he sends a book like this, it will be ruder not to receive it.
It’s good to take it on a trip.
The jewels on the cover of the book were small in size, but they were quite valuable.
Astelle thought she could keep it as an emergency fund and sell it if needed.
“My adoptive father asked to deliver this gift to Lady Astelle.”
“Please convey my thanks.”
“I’m happy to have done my job.”
Seibel smiled pleasantly.
Astelle admired inwardly.
Even compared to her brother, Fritz, he is more handsome.
Seibel, who was about to go back with his head bowed, stopped when he saw the picture on the table.
“Ah……this is a picture I drew a long time ago.”
“Yeah, I knew that.”
“Did you know?”
‘Did you know that I drew the temple’s acacia and gave it to the late Empress Dowager?’
Was it that famous?
It was no secret that Astelle painted this picture for the late Empress Dowager, but it was also not a widely spread story that everyone knew.
It wasn’t even a great story to spread like that.
Seibel laughed and talked about what happened.
“About seven years ago, I was in charge of protecting the temple as a cadet for the Knights Templar.”
He was a cadet candidate.
Children of prestigious families do not go through such a process and are simply appointed as knights.
‘It’s because he doesn’t come from a prestigious family.’
Count Ecklen is from a foreign country, so it must have been difficult for this adopted son to get into a good position.
Seibel said in a calm voice as if recalling old memories, “At that time, I saw Lady Astelle painting this picture in the temple.”
“Ah……is that so?”
‘It is a strange relationship.’
At the time, Astelle was so focused on her paintings that she didn’t even know who was watching her.
The people of the Holy Knights roam the temple, so they might have seen her.
She was going to say it was a strange relationship, but the sound of footsteps approached through the door.
Through the open door, the owner of the voice appeared.
It was Kaizen.
For a moment, Astelle almost did not recognize him.
He has been wearing plain clothes since the trip. But now, Kaizen wore a splendid court robe with gold thread embroidery on the collar and sleeves on a black background.