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Published at 23rd of June 2022 11:34:38 AM


Chapter 109

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“What do you mean?”




The Marquis of Carlenberg asked in bewilderment.

Theor put down the brush and looked up at the marquis with clear eyes, and asked, “Marriage is for people who love each other, right? So, did my mom also love His Majesty in the past?”

“……”

The marquis could not find the answer to the young Theor’s logical question.

‘What should I answer?’

He will know the truth someday, but the marquis couldn’t tell him everything right now.

The marquis also couldn’t say that Astelle didn’t love the emperor in the past, or Theor would ask why his mother married someone she didn’t love.

Actually, there is no answer to that question.

The marquis sighed and spoke frankly, “Yes, Astelle used to love His Majesty.”

As a young girl, Astelle was very fond of Kaizen.

The letters sent by his granddaughter in cute handwriting always contained Kaizen’s stories.

What did the crown prince say and what gift did he give.

There were many other stories similar to those.

Even then, the Marquis of Carlenberg did not like Kaizen very much.

He had been deeply displeased that cute Astelle had married the grandson of the emperor he had served–Emperor Gilbert–who had dishonorably kicked him out.

And although he had only seen him a few times when he was young, he found that Kaizen’s appearance was very similar to that of his grandfather.

The marquis, who knew the character of the former emperor well, had a slightly ominous feeling since then.

Still, looking at Astelle’s letter, they seemed to get along well, so he thought it would be different from what he was worried about.

In the end, it turned out like this.

‘……I should have stopped the engagement first.’

But he couldn’t break the engagement that had already been set.

At the time, Astelle was the most precious, honorable young noble lady in the empire.

Everyone thought it was reasonable for Astelle to be the crown prince’s fiancée.

The marquis shook off old memories and concluded the story.

“That’s why the two of them married a long time ago and then you were born.”

“I see……”

Fortunately, Theor seemed to believe his story.

Theor looked down at his painting for a moment, then tilted his head.

“But why my mom hates His Majesty now?”

“That’s not true.”

The marquis hurriedly denied it, “Your mother doesn’t like him very much, but she doesn’t hate him.”





“Really? Did my mom say that?”

“Yes.”

Of course, Astelle hated Kaizen very much now, but he couldn’t be so honest with the young Theor.

The marquis managed to convince Theor this time as well.

He felt very fortunate that Theor was still young.

He was just worried about how he would answer this child’s question in the next year or two.

After fiddling with the tip of the brush, Theor raised his head again and asked innocently, “Then why do you hate His Majesty, Grandpa?”

“……”

The marquis sat blankly with his mouth slightly open.

He got through all the difficult questions that kept coming up, but this one left him speechless.

“Why…… why do you think I hate His Majesty?”

Theor looked up at his grandfather, blinking his clear eyes as if he was thinking about why his grandfather was asking something so obvious.

“Don’t you hate him?”

“……”

knock knock.

At that moment, like a miracle, someone knocked on the door.

The person who saved him was the maid who looked after Theor.

“Prince, His Majesty the Emperor has come.”

The maid stepped aside and Kaizen entered.

For the first time in his life, the Marquis of Carlenberg welcomed Kaizen.

“Your Majesty!”

Theor put down the brush and ran to him and hugged him.

The marquis also stood up and bowed to him.

The appearance of Kaizen holding Theor in his arms was the appearance of a harmonious father and son.

“What were you doing?”

“I drew with my grandfather.”

Kaizen glanced at the painting on the table.

In the painting, Astelle, Theor, and the marquis were standing side by side, and Kaizen was standing in a corner.

He smiled a little when he saw a picture of himself painted in a corner.

“Your grandfather must be tired. Now I will play with you.”

The marquis hated Kaizen for a long time, but these days, whenever he saw this young emperor, he sometimes felt a little strange.


As far as he knew, no emperor loved his son this much.

There was also no emperor who was so devoted to the empress.

However, Astelle was still cold to Kaizen, and Theor did not call him father.

‘It’s a little sad.’

It would have been nice if Kaizen showed this side of him from the beginning.

Still, at least Kaizen wasn’t a playboy like his grandfather. Even after he divorced Astelle, he remained alone for six years without mistresses or concubines.

The marquis suddenly wondered what the past Kaizen thought of Astelle.

Did he just think of her as an annoying fiancée?

Or did he have any other thoughts?

‘Well, whatever he had thought in the past, it was all useless now.’

Pulling Kaizen’s hem with his small hand, Theor asked, “Can’t we play chess in my mom’s room tonight too?”

“Tonight……?”

Kaizen was at a loss for words at Theor’s naive question.

For a moment, there was a shadow over his handsome face.

Still holding Theor, Kaizen glanced at the marquis, and said, “Let’s do it together here today.”

***

Naen was walking down the corridor of the empress’ palace.

The empress’ palace was not as grandiose as the emperor’s palace, but it looked more splendid.

Naen blankly followed the maid. She didn’t know where she was going.

She was ordered to follow the maid without explanation.

“This is it.”

The maid opened the door at the end of the hallway.

A small but neatly decorated guest bedroom could be seen.

“You can stay here for a while.”

“Here?”

Naen looked around the bedroom again.

Although small, it was neat and stylish.

No matter how she looked at it, it didn’t look like a room given to a sinner.

The maid politely bowed.

“This is an order from Her Majesty the Empress. If you ever need anything, just let me know.”

The maid left after saying those words.


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“……”

Actually, Naen couldn’t understand the situation she was going through.

Ever since she entered the imperial palace, everything has flowed uncontrollably.

When the empress said she herself would punish her, Naen thought she would suffer terrible things.

But the maid led her here with a polite manner.

‘What is going on?’

Her father and second sister passed the responsibility for the duke’s work to Naen.

They ordered Naen to go to the imperial palace, admit her guilt, and be punished.

But she had already failed the first mission.

Naen’s lies were easily revealed by the empress’s sudden question.

So she thought she would be punished more severely.

‘But why did the empress send me to this place when she said she would punish me?’

Everything was full of things she couldn’t understand.

Had her mother or eldest sister been here, she could have just asked.

But Naen was alone in an empty room in the empress’ palace, and there was no one to help her.

***

After receiving the report from the maid, Hannah came over to Astelle.

“The maid has escorted Miss Naen to the bedroom.”

“Okay. Take care of her.”

Astelle said she would punish Naen herself, but in fact, she had no intention of doing so.

‘I think she’s treated badly by her family.’

So she was pushed out of the mansion instead of Florin.

The little girl was just a scapegoat.

Punishing her would only make Astelle the object of reproach for being vicious.

Rather, it was better to let her stay in the empress’ palace and watch over her.

Of course, it wasn’t just out of sympathy.

If Florin finds out that Naen is here, she will try to use her to do something again.

Her younger sister is in the empress’ palace, and she won’t be able to sit still, even if she’s not worried.

Hannah also got the point and nodded her head.

“I’ll tell the maid to keep an eye on her.”

Astelle put down the document she was reading.


She was tired from going through a lot today.

Hannah brought her tea with a worried look on her face.

“Lady Astelle, please rest early today.”

“……yes.”

Astelle stood up. Before she knew it, it was already evening.

“Where is Theor?”

“The Prince is in the study with His Majesty.”

“……”

Kaizen is here already.

He must have had a lot of work to do. But he’s already here?

Kaizen would normally come here, and he would wait and look after Theor until Astelle finished her work.

But today, it was unlikely that he would see Astelle.

Astelle herself didn’t have time to meet him after they had argued before.

The debate between the two was interrupted without an end.

Kaizen is still angry.

Tonight’s dinner seemed to be even more uncomfortable–though usually not a comfortable one either.

Astelle sighed. Just as she was about to order to prepare dinner, a maid rushed over to her.

She was the maid who looked after Theor.

“Your Majesty.”

“What’s going on? Where’s Theor”

There was a look of perplexity on the maid’s polite face.

She wondered if something had happened to Theor.

“The Prince went with His Majesty to his palace.”

“Your Majesty took Theor to his palace?”

It’s already time for dinner and a bath, but why did Kaizen suddenly take Theor to the emperor’s palace? Did he want to take him around?

“When did he say he would come back?”

“That……”

When Astelle asked, the maid bowed her head with an even more perplexed look.

“His Majesty said that he will be staying with the Prince in his palace today.”

“……”

Astelle looked at the maid in disbelief.

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