How to Hide the Emperor’s Child - Chapter 45
The Marchioness tried to frame Theor as if he had broken pottery, but the emperor suddenly intervened, and all in vain.
The potteries in the pavilion were cherished by the previous emperor.
No matter how young a child breaks it, he cannot escape punishment.
Astelle seemed to love her nephew very much, so she tried to avenge her daughter, Marianne.
Astelle wasn’t stupid either.
There’s no way she wouldn’t know it was the work of the Marchioness.
‘Maybe……are you trying to poison me?’
The frightened Marchioness realized another possibility.
‘If not……maybe my daughter Florin……’
There was no one who didn’t know how devoted she was to the current emperor when she was still the crown princess.
The Marchioness had witnessed Astelle several times with Kaizen, the then Crown Prince.
Astelle’s eyes looking at Kaizen were the eyes of a girl in love.
There is no way that her feelings would have disappeared as the years passed.
Poor Marianne might have realized that she was up to something.
‘She was dethroned as empress and banished, and must have been jealous to see the young and pretty Marianne by His Majesty’s side.’
Now, I don’t know if she wants to get revenge on me by getting rid of Florin.
‘I wish I could look through her room. If I search it, I will surely find the poison.’
However, Astelle was now a guest invited by the Emperor.
The Marchioness wouldn’t be able to search Astelle’s room unless there was a clear reason.
The testimony of the maid is still not enough.
She said to the maid, “Tell him I’ll attend.”
‘It’s better for me to go to the tea party and watch what she’s doing.’
“It’s done, Lady Astelle,” Hannah said as she put down the comb.
Astelle was sitting in front of the dressing table.
In the mirror, the figure of herself with her white-blonde hair loosely was reflected.
Astelle wore a blue dress embroidered with white lilies and had a simple hairstyle.
A peony hairpin made by a round pearl was inserted.
“Thank you, Hannah. Good job.”
Faint memories of the past flashed across Hannah’s brown eyes.
Helping Astelle dress up like this, it seemed that her old memories came to mind.
Astelle felt a similar sentiment.
As she sat in front of the dressing table and helped by Hannah, it felt as if she had gone back six years ago.
Back in the days when she lived as the prince’s fiancee in the capital’s social circle.
Astelle went with Hannah to the tea room in the garden.
As they approached the tea room, a refreshing scent of white acacia blossoms wafted up.
Against the clear sky, the flower clusters with their petals drooping were dazzlingly white.
There were people who arrived first in the tea room.
Astelle walked in with a welcome smile.
“Marchioness, long time no see.”
The Marchioness of Croychen turned her gaze.
“So you were invited too. I’m glad there are other ladies besides me. I was worried that only gentlemen would come to the tea party hosted by the Count,” Astelle smiled casually and spoke softly.
The Marchioness was about to say something more, but a dark-haired girl rushed to speak.
“Nice to meet you Lady Astelle. This is Florin, the second daughter of the Croychen family.”
‘Oh, this lady is Florin.’
Florin is Marianne’s sister and the strongest candidate for the new empress.
Astelle thought she would be beautiful because she was Marianne’s younger sister, but she looked a little different from Marianne.
Unlike Marianne who has blonde hair and a bright appearance, Florin has a doll-like appearance with flowing soft black hair.
She looks younger than expected.
The amethyst-purple eyes looking at Astelle gleamed with curiosity.
She was very cute when she made a girlish expression.
“It is an honor to meet you, Lady Astelle.”
“Nice to meet you too, Lady Florin.”
This was her really first meeting with her.
Astelle had seen Marchioness and Marianne several times when she had previously lived in the capital but had never met the second daughter, Florin.
As if acknowledging Astelle’s thoughts, Florin smiled and spoke, “I was not feeling well when I was young and was recuperating on the Croychen’s estate. So, I never had the chance to see Lady Astelle, but it’s an honor to meet you now.”
“Oh…… were you not feeling well?”
“I was very ill when I was young. I am a lot better now.”
Now that Astelle saw her, there was a slight pale tinge on her pearly white skin.
“By the way, the Count……”
Why is Vellian, as the host of the tea party, not present yet?
Astelle looked around and was about to ask.
But a new attendee entered the tea room.
Florin, who was examining the table, and the Marchioness, who stood with a grin on her face, hurriedly bent her knees and bowed her head.
“Greetings, the Lord of the Empire.”
The person who came in was Kaizen.
Astelle, who was confused, also hurried to greet him.
Vellian followed behind him and came in.
“Oh, everyone is here.”
Astelle gave him a look that asked how this happened.
Vellian blatantly ignored Astelle’s gaze.
Satisfied with Astelle’s hardened expression, Vellian politely thanked Kaizen.
“It is an infinite honor for Your Majesty to attend my first tea party.”
Participants sit around the center table.
The Marchioness and Florin sat next to each other, and Astelle sat next to Vellian.
Of course, Kaizen took the top seat.
Handmaidens poured fragrant tea into white teacups on the table.
The inside of the tea room was beautiful in its own way.
The whole wall was light green jade, and the floor was blue marble.
The windows were beautifully draped in mint-colored silk curtains.
The tea party was a casual social gathering. All the invited ladies sat down, drank tea, and chatted for a while.
When the weather is nice, there are occasions where you can take a walk in the garden or listen to music to refresh the atmosphere.
It was a short event that lasted about an hour or two.
Most of them invite close people, so they chat in a simple and friendly atmosphere.
However, instead of a friendly atmosphere, there was only an uncomfortable silence at this table.
Kaizen and Astelle were divorced, and Florin was the young girl mentioned as Kaizen’s future wife.
Florin’s mother, the Marchioness, saw Astelle as an enemy.
Even Vellian didn’t seem to intend to set the mood as he was trying to figure out Astelle’s true intentions and keep her from doing anything stupid.
In this situation, the atmosphere was not good.
After a moment of silence, a lively voice lifted the heavy stillness.
“I brought tea and dessert for today’s tea party. It’s a dessert made with ingredients brought from the capital. Very tasty.”
Florin was still cute.
She also smiled kindly at Astelle.
“I am looking forward to what it will be like,” Astelle said.
“If it’s okay with you, I’ll bring the dessert I brought.”
At Florin’s orders, the maids brought the plates from the tray to the table.
The dessert Florin brought was a tart made from regenerated fruits.
Astelle saw the fruit in the tart and stopped her hand.
On top of the tart, white fruits were wrapped in smooth syrup.
It was Lintail.
Lintail was a fruit that only grew near the capital.
Since it is a special fruit that can only be tasted in the capital, there was no opportunity to see it in the east.
It was the first time Astelle had seen it since she left the capital six years ago.
The juicy flesh gave off a sweet and fragrant smell. It looked delicious, but Astelle drank only tea without touching the dessert plate.
“Do you not like the dessert?” at Florin’s careful question, Astelle responded with a smile.
“I don’t like this fruit very much.”
“Ah……sorry. I should have asked beforehand.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”
In fact, it wasn’t just that she didn’t like it, it was that she couldn’t eat it. Astelle had a peculiar constitution in which she had a fever when she ate Lintail fruit.
‘Without knowing it, I ate this when I was young and got very sick.’
And after eating the whole plate, she had to lie in bed for several days.
Hannah came to Astelle with a teapot.
Then her hand slipped and she dropped the teapot.
Vellian, who was sitting next to Astelle, put down his teacup and shouted.
Tea water poured on the table, in an instant, ran down the table. The white ceramic teapot fell to the floor and shattered. Hot tea splashed all over the place.
“Sorry, Count. I’m sorry.”
Hannah knelt on the floor and begged for forgiveness.
Astelle also stood up.
“Count, I’m sorry. How could my maid make such a mistake……”
Fortunately, Vellian was not seriously injured and only his clothes were wet.
Astelle couldn’t drink hot tea, so she always prepared the tea a little lukewarm.