How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 76
Fritz took her hand.
Astelle turned to her brother.
She could feel he was trying to comfort her.
On the other hand, Kaizen, who was surrounded by his men, approached this way.
People’s attention was more focused on them.
Astelle grabbed the hem of her skirt and bowed her waist.
“Greetings, Your Majesty the Emperor, Lord of the Empire.”
There was no reply.
When she lifted her head, red eyes full of complex emotions were staring at her.
‘Is meeting me so unpleasant?’
Although she was divorced, she was Kaizen’s fiancee from an early age, and she was briefly the empress’ seat.
Such a woman disappeared suddenly, and gave birth to and raised an illegitimate child in the countryside.
Astelle had never thought from Kaizen’s point of view, and she thought it might be offensive to him.
‘Why did you hold a ball and force me to attend if you hate to see me?’
I can understand his feelings, but his actions are completely incomprehensible.
If he simply wanted to harass Astelle himself, he would not have had to hold a ball at the Imperial Palace and force her to attend like this.
Fritz, who was next to her, also bowed.
“Greetings, Your Majesty, it is an infinite honor for us to hold our family’s charity ball at the Imperial Palace.”
Kaizen didn’t answer but looked at Astelle.
“After the ball, I have something to tell you.”
“Is that something Your Majesty can’t tell now?”
“No. Not now.”
He looked like he was angry, but his tone was surprisingly calm.
Red eyes filled with unknown emotions.
“I’ll tell you formally when it’s over.”
What are you going to talk about?
There was no way that Kaizen had anything serious to say to Astelle at this time.
‘It must be about Theor.’
Bewildered, Fritz looked at Astelle worriedly.
Astelle had a bad premonition, but did not show it, and showed a hospitality smile instead.
She bowed her head lightly with a smile on her face.
“I will take your orders, Your Majesty.”
Kaizen was watching Astelle as she left.
Astelle went upstairs with Fritz.
Guests stayed in the banquet hall until the ball started, or spent time in the parlor or balcony near the banquet hall.
There was still time until the ball started, so Kaizen wanted to spend some time in a quiet place for a while.
Now, at the ballroom, Astelle was only a subject of curiosity and was not welcomed.
The moment Kaizen met Astelle, complex emotions were mixed into one.
He hated Astelle and resented her.
‘She was raising a child by herself.’
On the day of the reunion after six years, it was ridiculous to think of Astelle, who introduced Theor as her nephew with such a shameless face.
Who is the child’s father?
According to what he found out when researching Astelle’s whereabouts, there was no man by Astelle’s side for the past six years.
Judging from that, it seems that she did not have a deep relationship with the child’s father.
Seeing that he left behind a woman who had given birth to his own child, he must not have been a proper human being.
And Astelle gave birth to such a man’s child.
The more he thought about it, the more he was furious.
On the other hand, he felt sorry for Astelle.
After being abandoned by her family, the duke’s daughter, the princess of the empire, gave birth to a child without a father.
Kaizen could not have imagined how difficult it must have been for her to give birth and raise a child because she was not well-off.
Astelle couldn’t even tell that he was her own child.
Conflicting emotions confused his mind.
However, in the midst of confusion, one thing was certain.
Kaizen didn’t want Astelle to suffer because of this.
Kaizen looked back at the Marquis and Marchioness Croychen, who were sitting on the other side of the ballroom.
He was thinking of getting rid of them to prevent this fact from being revealed.
But anyway, it was impossible to hide the child’s origin forever.
Astelle and the Marquis of Carlenberg did not handle the birth of the child perfectly.
They did not take care of the maid who was registered as the child’s biological mother, nor did they get rid of the midwife who helped with the delivery.
The maid was found by the Croychen family before Kaizen.
According to the investigation, this fact is already secretly shared among the nobles.
If this is revealed, Astelle will be humiliated and shamed as the woman who bore an illegitimate child.
Kaizen couldn’t stand to watch Astelle suffer humiliation.
“What happened to what I told you to prepare?”
Vellian approached with hesitation at Kaizen’s question.
He said, “Your Majesty, the preparations are done……”
Vellian spoke his words helplessly.
He felt like his head was going to explode since yesterday.
He wished that the emperor would come to his senses and make a normal judgment even now, but Kaizen had no intention of changing his mind.
“Prepare thoroughly, we’ll carry out as planned.”
“Are you okay?”
As soon as she left the banquet hall and came out into the hallway, Fritz asked worriedly.
“It’s okay. Nothing will happen.”
She just had to meet Kaizen.
He asked her to wait because he had something to say.
She didn’t know what he was going to talk about, but she was sure it was related to Theor.
“I’ll go to the balcony and rest for a while.”
“Yes, that would be great.”
She will meet her father if she stays here.
Fritz took the lead and headed for the stairs.
This is the outer palace of the imperial palace used as a banquet hall, so the balcony was on the upper floor.
As they were heading up the stairs to the balcony upstairs, someone called Fritz.
Looking back, he was one of Fritz’s old friends.
“Princess Astelle. It’s been a long time. I heard that you have returned to the capital, but……”
Fritz’s friend blurred the end of his words as if embarrassed.
Even after hearing that Astelle came to the capital, he couldn’t come and say hello, probably afraid of what others might say.
Like Fritz, his friend was also treated coldly in society.
In the past, a small number of prestigious nobles, so-called great nobles, occupied the social world.
The ladies who reigned as queens of the social world were always the mistresses of the prestigious dukes.
But now the great nobles lost their power, and the remaining families barely survived.
Of course, he must have been a cold meal in the social world. [T/N: cold meal refers to something that has been abandoned]
“I’ll be upstairs.”
Astelle walked away so the two of them could have a conversation.
She was going up the stairs and there was someone coming down from above.
She was a maid holding a bowl.
It seems she is carrying food.
Astelle grabbed her skirt and went up the stairs without a second thought.
It was about halfway down the stairs when the maid stopped to make way for Astelle,
The maid with the bowl lost balance, stumbled, and fell on the stairs.
As the bowl tipped over, the soup in it splashed in all directions.
The maid fell on the floor and begged for forgiveness.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
The hem of Astelle’s dress was wet from the splash of soup.
The worst thing was her shoes.
Because she was holding her skirt up while going up the stairs.
As the bowl tipped over, a lot of soup broth splashed on the front of her shoes.
‘Oh my…… I can’t go back to the ballroom like this.’
“Lady Astelle, are you okay?”
Hannah stared at the kneeling maid.
The maid lifted her head, and then she looked at Hannah’s piercing gaze and banged her head to the floor again.
Astelle asked, “Do you know each other?”
“Yes, she is the maid of the empty empress palace.”
The Empress Palace.
For the past 6 years, the Empress Palace had no owner.
However, even if it is a palace without an owner, the Empress Palace cannot be left unattended.
The maids in charge of the palace must have remained in it.
“How did you make such a mistake?” asked Hannah.
Her cold voice contained a stinging rebuke.
The maid was startled for a moment.
“Sorry, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, Hannah.”
Astelle, who was examining her skirt, soothed Hannah.
Interrogating the maid won’t change anything.
She didn’t even want to deal with such a reckless mistake.
“You need to change your dress. Shall we go back to the mansion?”
Seeing Hannah’s worried expression on her face, Astelle looked back to the ballroom door under the stairs.
She had some time before the ball started, but she thought it would take her enough time to go to the mansion.
The maid, who was still kneeling on the floor, raised her head.
She said, “The princess’ dress and shoes remain at the Empress Palace.”
“Don’t lie. All of Lady Astelle’s belongings are in the chamber of the Crown Princess palace.”
It was in the Crown Princess palace where Astelle spent her first night after marrying Kaizen.
At that time, Kaizen was the Crown Prince.
The next day, he became emperor, but Astelle could not cross the threshold of the Empress Palace.
As soon as she gained the status of Empress, she divorced and left the Imperial Palace.
To Hannah’s disbelief, the maid refuted as if it was unfair.
She said, “His Majesty has given the order to move them to the Empress Palace.”
‘Why did he give such an order?’