How to Hide the Emperor's Child - Chapter 88
Kaizen blinked a few times, not believing what he had just heard.
“I can give you anything you want. You don’t have to put any conditions on it.”
Can you give me anything I want?
It was amazing to be able to say such a thing even at a moment like this.
There was only one thing Astelle wanted.
To leave the capital and return to the East with Theor.
But Kaizen didn’t do the one thing she so desperately wanted.
“Let’s have a contract marriage. If you are willing to sign the contract, I will set the terms and conditions of the contract clearly.”
Astelle spoke calmly but clearly.
Kaizen clenched his fist at Astelle’s words.
He looked at her cold expression for a moment before he asked, “Okay. What is the condition?”
Astelle took a deep breath, then she looked him straight in the eye and said, “Before that, I have something to tell you. It’s about Theor.”
“I’ll bring Theo safely, so don’t worry too much.”
Kaizen replied before he even heard the explanation.
He knew how much Astelle loved Theor.
Even though he is not his son, Kaizen intends to raise Theor as his own.
However, what Astelle was trying to say was not what Kaizen thought.
“Theor is Your Majesty’s son.”
At her words, Kaizen opened his eyes wide.
Kaizen couldn’t easily understand what he just heard.
No, he did not understand what he just heard.
“What did you just say? Theor is my son?”
In fact, she never wanted to tell him.
But for Theor, Astelle could do anything.
“Yes, that’s right, Your Majesty.”
Kaizen was so confused that he could not speak for a moment.
Actually, Kaizen had also thought that Theor might be his son.
When he found out that Theor was Astelle’s child, the first thing that came to his mind was the memory of the first night of their marriage.
The memory of the first night of newlyweds when he formally slept with Astelle.
That night Kaizen took the contraceptive pill.
But he was told that the contraceptive pills sometimes fail.
Could it be that the child was born at that time?
For a while, he had such hope.
He wished Theor was his son.
Every time he imagined that Astelle was pregnant with another man’s child, it made his blood boil upside down.
However, Theor’s clear blue eyes were conclusive evidence that he was not his son.
Kaizen has been feeling endless pain and anger over the past few days.
But now, it turns out that Theor is his son.
“I happened to meet a good pharmacist and got a prescription for a potion that changes eye color. I change the color of his eyes every day with that potion.”
Astelle continued to explain while looking at the confused Kaizen.
A potion that changes eye color.
Kaizen had never heard of it.
Suddenly, something flashed through his mind.
The day he took Theor to the hunting lodge in the woods.
Astelle had run through the rain to the hunting lodge at sunset.
At that time, he had been worried about whether Theor had an illness.
“Was it because of that potion that you rushed to the hunting lodge from Maern Castle?”
Kaizen felt as if a fireball was rising in his chest when he saw Astelle standing calmly.
“Why did you hide it?”
Kaizen managed to endure the rising anger and approached Astelle.
“Why didn’t you tell me until now!”
It was understandable that Astelle hid Theor’s birth and said that he was her nephew, because he was an illegitimate child.
She wouldn’t have been able to reveal that she gave birth to an illegitimate child.
But if Theor is his son, Theor is a Prince.
He raised the prince as the son of a dead knight.
Kaizen gritted his teeth.
“If you had a child, you should have told me! I have rights as a father!”
Kaizen was furious.
That she deceived him.
He was also furious with himself for letting her go that way without knowing anything about her.
Astelle, who was hit by his anger, raised her head.
Light green eyes looked up at him.
“What would you have done if you had known then that I was pregnant?”
Memories of six years ago came to mind.
The day he ascended to the throne at the young age of twenty.
At that time, he was in a civil war with the great nobles.
He killed countless people, and he was at risk of countless assassinations.
What would he have done if he had found out that Astelle was pregnant during that bloody and cruel period?
Kaizen knew the answer to that question.
Had he known Astelle was pregnant, he would have tried to get rid of the child.
If it was hard to get rid of the child, he might have tried to kill Astelle.
Astelle said, “My father must have noticed Theor’s eyes and knew his identity.”
Hearing that, Kaizen immediately turned around and opened the door.
He couldn’t accept the current situation, but now there was something important.
“What is Lyndon doing? Send someone to the Duke! Tell Lyndon to bring Theor here. Right Now!”
Kaizen closed the door and entered the drawing-room where Astelle was again.
Astelle was still looking at him.
“So you meant you’d marry me because of Theor, huh?”
It was ridiculous that he was happy for a while to hear that she accepted his proposal.
“Don’t you know that I can only take Theor and punish you?”
Kaizen couldn’t calm himself down, so he spoke coldly.
But when he spoke like that, his heart ached.
“If you want it, just do it.”
Astelle replied calmly without any hesitation.
Kaizen laughed helplessly.
He was free to punish Astelle at will.
She might even be imprisoned for hiding a prince.
If it was a few months ago before he met her again, he would definitely have punished her.
But Kaizen himself knew better that he couldn’t do that now.
“So, what is that condition?”
Kaizen gritted his teeth and asked.
“Please appoint my brother as the Lord of the West.”
“The position has been inherited from the Duke of Reston from generation to generation.”
The empire ruled the entire continent.
In the old days when the emperor’s authority was weak because the territory was too wide, the emperor’s authority did not work in areas far from the capital.
In order to effectively rule the empire, the old emperors divided the land into north, south, east, and west except for the central part where the capital is located.
In addition, the authority to manage the area was delegated to the nobleman with the largest territory in each area.
As the times changed and the emperor’s power became stronger, the families that were the Lords of the North, South, and East walked the path of destruction one after another.
However, the Reston family still held the title.
Although the current Duke of Reston lost his post as prime minister, he was still the Lord of the West.
“I am not asking for it forever. Please let Fritz hold the position for three years, no, two years.”
Kaizen noticed why Astelle asked him to give the position to Fritz.
“If my brother receives the title, there will be no difficulty for him to succeed the Duke in the future.”
“Is that even possible? The Duke won’t back down so easily.”
In fact, Kaizen could get rid of the Duke if he wanted to.
If he investigated the attempted assassination, the Duke would be a traitor.
But he didn’t or else Astelle would be the daughter of a traitor.
Moreover, if the Duke dies as a traitor, Theor will become the prince of a descendant of a traitorous family.
Such a disgraceful mark will follow him like a label for the rest of his life, even if he becomes emperor.
“Don’t worry. I will convince him.”
Astelle had the confidence to convince her father.
To be more precise, she will intimidate him, not convince him.
The best intimidation is about the attempted assassination masterminded by the Duke.
But Astelle can never use that card.
If that happens, it will be fatal to her and Theor as well.
But Astelle had another way.
How to threaten his father to hand over the title to her brother, Fritz.
“……okay. I accept that condition. Do as you please.”
As long as the Reston family could be defended and only the Duke of Reston quietly retreated, it would be an advantage for Kaizen as well.
Astelle looked at him for a moment and said,
“……and there is one more condition. I would like to set the contract period to be five years. After that, if I ask for a divorce, please accept it any time.”
Kaizen, whose mouth was slightly open, looked at her in disbelief.
He looked like he never imagined that such words would be spoken by Astelle.
“Theor is my son, he will be the Crown Prince.”
Kaizen’s voice trembled with anger.
“Still, you’re going to get a divorce?”
“Yes, I want you to promise that you will divorce me at any time.”
In order to protect Theor’s position, Astelle had to maintain the position of empress in the imperial palace.
Still, Astelle wanted to hold the last key to finding freedom.
She would be able to endure the life of the imperial palace only if she had the key in her hand to untie the shackle.
But Kaizen did not understand her heart.
Instantly, sparks lit up in his red eyes.
Kaizen was more furious than when he heard about Theor’s birth.
Astelle intends to live as an empress for several years and leave after establishing Theor’s position.
“What are you going to do if I don’t promise you?”
Light green eyes of unknown depth looked at him again.
“If you do not comply with the conditions, I will refuse the marriage proposal.”
“Are you going to leave Theor in the imperial palace?”
Kaizen thought Astelle couldn’t do that.
But Astelle answered firmly,
“If you don’t comply with my conditions, it can’t be helped.”
Kaizen clenched his fists tightly.
Her attitude that pushed him away made him suffocate.
But all of this was caused by himself.
It would not have happened if he hadn’t abandoned Astelle six years ago.
He knew it was all his own fault.
However, Kaizen did not want to let Astelle go.
Astelle might give up on the two of them and leave, but Kaizen couldn’t give up on Astelle.
He closed his eyes tightly.
“……okay. I promise.”