How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 82
I did request an audience.
I requested over thirty times to ask to meet you just once, but only now I’ve been able to meet you.
Astelle asked frankly”Your Majesty, how long do I have to be here?”
“Are there any inconveniences about staying here?”
Astelle was speechless for a moment.
Is there any convenience felt by the person who is in confinement?
“There is no inconvenience except that I can’t go out.”
There was no inconvenience in the mansion.
In the dazzlingly splendid bedroom, meals comparable to palace meals were served, and the maids served with care all day long.
“But I do not want to stay in this mansion. I have to go back to the East now.”
“Stay here for a while.”
Kaizen gave orders as if he was saying the most obvious thing.
Astelle was stunned.
“Your Majesty, but I have family waiting for me at home.”
“I have sent knights to bring your grandfather and Theor back to the capital.”
“I beg your pardon?”
‘What did you do?’
I painstakingly made Theor leave the capital, but you’re going to bring him back here?
‘How could this be?’
If I could, I wanted to push Kaizen in front of me and get angry.
“Isn’t it enough for you to keep me in this mansion?”
Kaizen looked at Astelle’s resentful eyes and said pitifully,
“The child should be with you. Do you think making him leave the capital will solve your problem?”
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. What problem do you mean?”
Astelle asked, barely managing to contain the rising anger.
Now her biggest problem is Kaizen locking her up here and not letting her go home.
Kaizen bit his lip as he was about to say something.
Astelle knew what he was trying to say.
‘You, a princess, gave birth to an illegitimate child. Do you know what people are talking about right now?’
Maybe that’s what he wanted to say.
Astelle didn’t care what the world said about her.
As long as there were no rumors of Theor’s birth, she didn’t have to worry about what people were talking about.
After a while, Kaizen said carefully,
“I sent a proposal to your father.”
Now I’m tired of being surprised.
“The imperial court started preparing for the national wedding. At the earliest, in two months, we will get married.”
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. What part of the word ‘refuse’ did you not understand?”
Kaizen’s expression hardened at the cold response.
How dare she say this in front of the emperor.
However, Kaizen wasn’t mad at her at all.
He looked at Astelle with the light of his eyes that showed painful anguish.
“I can’t let you be insulted. This time, I will make sure you never suffer.”
It was a calm voice, but it contained a deep sincerity and regret.
He seemed to regret the past.
He foolishly divorced Astelle, who had been his fiancee for half her life, after their first night.
As a result, Astelle was expelled from her family and gave birth to a child alone, making her a single mother.
Kaizen blamed himself for all this because of his selfish behavior.
Kaizen took one step closer to Astelle, who was standing there without a word.
“It must be all my fault that this happened. Give me a chance to take responsibility and make things right.”
“Is that why you proposed to me?”
“It’s just a formal marriage. I will not force anything on you. You just have to get empress status and to become the hostess of the empire again.”
There is no way to undo the past.
Astelle thought so, but Kaizen was offering her the position of Empress as a reward for what had passed.
“If you allow me, I will make Theor my son and raise him as a prince.”
At this point, Astelle felt her heart pounding.
Astelle said in a low voice, “You don’t have to do that.”
She tried to speak as calmly as possible.
“What is important to you is also important to me.”
As she lifted her head, his deep red eyes stared at her.
He looked at her and asked earnestly,
“Give me one chance. A chance to protect you.”
Hearing Kaizen’s words, Astelle thought she had done something useless by hiding Theor from his biological father.
Astelle called him impulsively, “Your Majesty……”
Her voice trembled.
Astelle began to speak with difficulty as if to let out all the emotions she had been holding back.
“I have something to tell you.”
If not now, she thought she wouldn’t be able to say it forever.
Astelle instinctively felt that this was her last chance to tell the truth.
Astelle calmed her mind for a moment.
She was almost ready to say it, but when she saw Kaizen’s eyes staring at her, she was speechless again.
Can I tell you this?
What Astelle is concerned about is losing Theor to the Imperial Palace, and Theor will be used as a scapegoat in the strife.
To prevent these two things, Astelle has been working hard for a long time by any means.
Can she get help if she confesses the truth to Kaizen?
He was a man who promised to raise an illegitimate child as a prince.
When he finds out that Theor is his son, he might do everything he can to protect him.
Kaizen would be able to stop Astelle’s father, the Duke, before he commits another dangerous attempt.
But on the other hand, Astelle still couldn’t trust Kaizen.
Now, he said that because he thought he loved her.
As time passes and the shallow feelings of love disappear, Kaizen will become indifferent to Astelle again.
When the emperor loses affection, Astelle and Theor will be abandoned.
Kaizen looked at Astelle with a questioning look.
Astelle turned around and avoided his gaze.
For a moment, the urge to tell Kaizen the whole truth arose, but Astelle chose to keep her mouth shut.
“Astelle…… If there’s anything I can do to help……”
He came one step closer to Astelle.
It was close enough that he could touch her face with his hand if he wanted to.
Astelle avoided him without answering.
Kaizen stopped walking.
Then Lyndon opened the closed door and entered the living room.
Embarrassment flashed across Lyndon’s face as he saw Astelle trapped between the wall and Kaizen.
Astelle was a little relieved.
This is because the uncomfortable atmosphere disappeared thanks to Lyndon.
Lyndon greeted both of them.
“Your Majesty, Lady Astelle.”
“What’s going on?”
Kaizen asked with a nervous look.
“Your Majesty, I have something to report to you.”
Astelle didn’t miss the opportunity and was about to leave.
“Then, I will take my leave.”
After she slightly bent her knees, she quickly rushed out into the hallway before Kaizen caught her.
Kaizen’s regretful gaze followed Astelle’s back as she walked towards the hallway.
When he confessed his sincerity, traces of agitation appeared on her indifferent face.
It was proof that Astelle’s heart was changing little by little.
Kaizen turned to Lyndon.
“Tell me what’s going on.”
Lyndon looked at the hallway where Astelle had left with a worried look and reported,
“Young Master Theor has disappeared.”
It was unexpected.
“What does that mean?”
Lyndon explained in a regretful voice.
The knights he sent went after the Marquis and Theor.
However, when they arrived at the inn where they were staying, Theor had already disappeared.
The Marquis who was with him was found unconscious with small wounds. And Theor is nowhere to be found.
Someone had attacked the marquis and kidnapped the child.
“How’s the condition of the Marquis?”
“He is receiving treatment at the official residence there. He was injured, but not to the point of being life-threatening.”
It was fortunate.
If that old man dies, Astelle will be very sad.
“Do you have any clue who kidnapped the child?”
Many nobles were dissatisfied with the decision to make Astelle an empress.
However, no matter how dissatisfied, no one would dare to kidnap Astelle’s child as long as the emperor declared that he would make Astelle the empress.
Lyndon reported in a cautious voice,
“After investigating the surroundings, it appears that the Duke of Reston’s men were nearby.”
However, there was a person who could do that.
Still, Kaizen felt a little relieved.
If the Duke kidnapped Theor, he would be safe.
‘Obviously, you kidnapped him to blackmail Astelle.’
The Duke must have been overjoyed to hear that Astelle would become Empress again.
But Astelle refused to marry Kaizen.
The Duke probably intended to use Theor to force Astelle to accept the emperor’s marriage proposal.
‘That disgusting man.’
How could you kidnap your only grandson to threaten your daughter?
It was just like the Duke of Reston.
Kaizen hated him.
He tried to get rid of him whenever he had the chance. The only reason he’s still alive is that he’s Astelle’s father.
“Go to the Duke’s mansion and find the child.”
He turned to Lyndon and ordered coldly,
“If there’s anyone who interferes, get rid of him.”