“Oh, don’t move.”
Louis puffed up both cheeks with a disapproving face.
Anastasia, who was scratching her cheek, quickly lowered her hand with an embarrassed look. But he had already seen it all.
“It’s difficult if you keep moving.”
“I see. I’m sorry, Louis.”
Anastasia replied awkwardly.
Louis was painting a portrait of Anastasia that he was supposed to paint last time.
But this wasn’t as normal as she thought.
“How long do I have to stay still?”
“About another 10 minutes.”
Ten more minutes there…?
Anastasia was astonished to hear the answer, but when she saw Louis, who was absorbed in painting with a very serious face, she could not express it.
‘I’ve never seen such a serious face in my life…’
The way he moved his pencil around was quite like a little painter. Anastasia smirked unknowingly, and it was immediately pointed out.
“Oh, you can’t laugh.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Louis. This is very… difficult.”
“I’m still not good at it, so Your Majesty the Empress has to help out a lot…”
When Louis, who felt sorry for her, spoke in a somewhat sullen voice, Anastasia hurriedly waved her hand feeling as if she had become a criminal.
“Oh, no, Louis. That’s what models are good at. Now, I’m going to stay put.”
Anastasia sat with her eyes wide open and her back straight, and Louis laughed as he watched her.
It was around this time that only the sound of a pencil creaking could be heard in the quiet room again.
Anastasia quietly called out the child’s name.
Louis replied without taking his eyes off the paper.
“Do you want to go to the bathroom?”
“No. Not that.”
After Anastasia smiled awkwardly, she asked.
“Perhaps… … Haven’t you ever thought about having a Mom and Dad?”
At those words, the hand that was used to draw on the paper stopped.
Anastasia looked at Louis with her nervous face. Thinking he had the same cryptic face as his uncle.
“…I don’t know. Why?”
Anastasia answered cautiously.
“I’m curious what Louis thinks. I wondered what Louis would think if someone else wanted to be Louis’ mom and dad.”
“It’s just a family.”
Anastasia added quickly, but there was still no reply from Luis.
As the silence lengthened, Anastasia regretted it because she thought she had asked for nothing.
‘Was it too premature?’
Two months until Avelin shows up. It was true that it was rushed.
Louis’ attitude towards her had improved a lot these days.
So she secretly asked… … She suppose she was too hasty.
“I’m sorry. You don’t have to answer…”
“Is Your Majesty going to be it?”
In a hurry to retract the question, Louis asked an unexpected question.
Anastasia stared at him blankly.
“Your Majesty the Empress!”
It was then that Selene’s urgent voice rang throughout the room.
“Oh, it’s trouble!”
Soon Selene gasped and appeared in front of Anastasia.
This was her second time making such a fuss. Anastasia asked with a strained look.
“What’s up, Selene?”
“That’s… I heard it while I was passing by the conference hall.… What the heck!”
“Oh, my God, I’m a step late.”
Another voice intervened behind the gasping Selene.
When Selene saw Wilhelm behind me, she bent down in a hurry, and surprised Anastasia jumped up from her seat.
Wilhelm asked after a short breath.
“Can I talk to you for a second?”
It was the same situation as last time.
No, it was worse. Last time it was a paramour, but this time the demand was a concubine.
A concubine was the wife of the Emperor, who was officially recognized by the imperial family, if not by the court.
Unlike the paramours, even if they had children, they would not be illegitimate, but recognized as the legitimate successor of the emperor.
So Wilhelm became curious. Indeed, how would she react this time?
Maybe, if it’s her… This time again, as if nothing had happened, “Do as you please.” No, this time the issue would be that she would say ‘It would be better to put Lady Fontaine as a concubine.’
When he thought of it, he suddenly felt bad, and when he realized it, he was horrified.
‘…why am I in a bad mood?’
There were no reasons to be. Rather, this marriage was welcome for Wilhelm.
If Olivia Fontaine became his concubine, he would have taken all of her closest aides, from Barantes to the Fontaines.
There were plenty of ways to keep each other in check, and in many ways it was beneficial for him.
He therefore had to be rather anxious. Worrying that Anastasia would oppose this marriage.
It was when Wilhelm was confused by the opposite emotion.
“I don’t agree.”
The unexpected answer made him even more confused.
He looked at Anastasia with an expression on his face to see if he had misheard.
Anastasia replied resolutely, as if she would say again and again.
“I said no.”
Wilhelm asked calmly.
“To put Lady Fontaine as a concubine… Does that mean you’re against it?”
…He didn’t mishear.
As he looked at Anastasia with a blank face, Anastasia murmured with a panicked look.
“Oh… that wasn’t the answer you wanted.”
Okay. That’s the way it was. But why…
“I’m sorry. However, my answers remains the same.”
Why… Was it good?
“Are you interested in me now?”
Anastasia looked at Wilhelm with a look on her face as if it were some kind of idiotic notion.
Wilhelm continued to speak, trying to suppress the corners of his lips that were trying to rise somehow.
“To oppose Lady Fontaine’s establishment as a concubine.”
Only then did Anastasia realize that her answer was misleading and quickly opened her mouth.
Then she realized. There was no excuse for it, for God’s sake.
‘Olivia Fontaine is a very insidious woman. You can’t keep her near you.’
… Her answer was enough to instill the question of ‘why?’.
But if she kept her mouth shut…
“I think you’ve changed your mind a lot since last time.”
“…Your Majesty, I.”
Anastasia confessed honestly while thinking about what to say with a troubled expression on her face due to the continued misunderstanding.
“I don’t like her.”
At the words, Wilhelm stared at Anastasia. Anastasia then went on to answer without hesitation.
“If you had chosen someone else as your concubine, I would have followed your will without a word.”
“But she can’t be. She is…”
Anastasia slightly bit her lip and finished her words.
“She wouldn’t be a good mother for Louis either.”
Wilhelm opened his mouth with a slightly disappointed expression.
“The reason you don’t want Fontaine to be a concubine is because of Louis…”
“Yes. You can see it that way.”
Hearing Anastasia’s answer, Wilhelm bit his lips. He looked a little shocked.
Anastasia was relieved to think that she had achieved the desired results, although it was a bit of a journey.
She shouldn’t instill strange expectations in him for no reason.
“… I was wrong. You haven’t changed a bit from last time.”
“People don’t change well.”
Wilhelm heard those words and remained silent for a long time. Anastasia continued her words on his behalf.
“And about the adoption of Louis… … I am against it.”
That, too, was a result completely contrary to his expectations, and Wilhelm was perplexed.
“… Why? I thought you would approve of this.”
He thought she would welcome Louis because she cared a lot.
Enough to think maybe she’ll take him as her own child.
Wilhelm was right as a result, but not now.
“I think it’s too early to discuss adoption. I think we should give the child a choice.”
“What does that mean?”
“We haven’t… Your Majesty isn’t close enough to Louis to have a father-son relationship.”
Wilhelm’s expression blanked out as if he had been beaten in the back by Anastasia’s careful words.
“I want both of us to get close and decide on the adoption.”
“Is it too much to ask?”
“No, you’re right.”
Wilhelm laughed bitterly.
“To the point where I’m embarrassed.”
Unlike her, he had never considered Louis’ position from the time he came here from the conference hall.
He just thought that it would be a good thing to have a parent to depend on from the child’s point of view. Unexpectedly.
What a disgustingly sarcastic idea this is.
“No, Your Majesty…”
Anastasia looked at Wilhelm’s hardened expression and carefully opened her mouth.
“I have heard of the posters incident.”
“I’m sorry for not being able to ease your worries.”
“No, you are alright.”
Wilhelm replied with a smile.
“Adoption is not a matter to be decided that way. I’d like you to make your decision carefully.”
“In the case of the Empress.”
Wilhelm spoke quickly.
“I felt the same way as you, from the beginning.”
“I mean, I don’t want to accept Lady Fontaine as a concubine, either.”
“In the first place, Marquis Fontaine intended to sell her with Louis. He’s just pretending to think of Louis on the outside.”
Wilhelm continued with an expression that he was not even funny.
“I think it’s all the more unnecessary if you’re thinking about adopting Louis.”
“Yes, I want to adopt Louis and raise him as my child if he agrees.”
“Yes, that’s good.”
At that rate, he thought he knew what she meant.
“Then I’ll go.”
It was when Wilhelm was about to get up from his seat after hearing a satisfactory answer.
“Are you just going to leave?”
An unexpected question caught him.