Looking at the orange-pink peaches piled up like a mountain in the cart, Anastasia was at a loss for words.
She moved closer to the cart carrying her peaches, looking embarrassed.
“What the hell is all this…”
It was at that moment that something popped out of the cart. Anastasia’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Your Majesty the Empress!”
Louis, who appeared from the pile of peaches, smiled brightly.
In the midst of a coveted peach forest, the innocent smile of a child with his cheeks dyed in peach color was loveliness itself.
He even had a large pink ribbon the size of his own head on his face, adding to his cuteness.
‘Oh my gosh, he’s so cute…!’
Anastasia licked her lips involuntarily and leaned closer to the child.
“Louis, what is all this?”
“Surprise! It’s a gift!”
Then Louis whimpered and tried to get out.
However, it was quite a large cart for Louis to get out of alone. There was enough space for Louis to lie down.
In the end, Anastasia grabbed Louis’ hand, who was staggering from her pile of peaches, and let him down.
“Come down, Louis.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Louis bowed his knees quite proudly and was polite to Anastasia.
Louis, who was originally more mature than her peers, tried to act even more maturely when he heard that he had a younger sibling.
‘It’s so cute I’m going to die.’
Whether he’s an older brother or not, he had to be mature so that the baby in her stomach would be less likely to worry his aunt.
“I brought a present for my aunt.”
“Did Louis prepare this?”
“No way. I’m not yet capable of getting summer peaches in winter.”
Anastasia tried to put on a surprised expression, but immediately she heard an unexpected answer.
“My grandfather prepared it.”
It was credited to the Duke of Barantes.
Louis’ official entry into the Barantes family was delayed as Anastasia’s escape play ended quickly.
However, as the Duke of Barantes interacted with Louis frequently, the relationship grew closer, and the way by which Louis addressed the Duke became more friendly.
Anastasia, meanwhile, was engulfed in her doubts with a surprised expression.
‘How the hell did my father know?’
Maybe Wilhelm told him?
However, even if she deduced that, there was still a part that was unclear.
Of course she did tell Wilhelm that she wanted to eat peaches.
‘But I didn’t say that it was an orange-pink peach.’
Besides, it was easier to get regular peaches.
It was because they can grow enough without the summer sun as long as the temperature was right. All he had to do was inquire about peach plantations in the southern part of the empire.
There was no need to make the job difficult because the breed was not clearly stated.
‘How the hell did you know about orange-pink peaches…’
“My grandfather suggested that it would be a cuter gift for me to deliver it to Your Majesty, and I said I’d be happy to.”
“It’s wonderful, Louis. Are you here to deliver a present for your aunt?”
“Yes! But when I grow up later.”
Louis ended his speech sternly.
“Then I will bring you orange-pink peaches for Your Majesty the Empress and her baby. Even in the middle of winter!”
“Ah… Thank you so much, Louis.”
It will be at least 10 years before Louis becomes an adult. Will she be able to have children in 10 years… ?
‘Well, I guess it’s not impossible since I’m in my mid-30s…’
Anyway, she didn’t want to disappoint his expectations, so Anastasia gave him a look of great anticipation.
“More than that, how did my father get all of this? He couldn’t have bought so many orange-pink peaches…”
An orange-pink peach developed by the king of a distant foreign country by borrowing the power of magic for the queen suffering from morning sickness.
Because it was popular with royalty and nobles, she heard that the quantity that a family could purchase in any country was very limited.
“My grandfather actually said he had a hard time getting it.”
“But how did you get this much?”
“There’s nothing you can’t do if you pour money into it.”
Anastasia looked at Louis, who responded to her bluntly, with a puzzled expression.
Okay. Louis was right… There really isn’t anything that can’t be done with money.
“It’s a deal that my grandfather got from different countries on the other side of the continent.”
She was just so grateful to have guessed the effort.
‘But I didn’t want to eat this much.’
Anastasia was startled, and remained silent for a moment, then a sound came from afar, growing louder and louder.
‘What is this sound?’
When she turned her head, it wasn’t difficult to guess the identity of the sound. A cart was rolling over there.
‘What else is that…’
Again, she had piles of orange-pink peaches.
Anastasia looked at the wagon that was approaching her with a bewildered look on her face.
“Who the hell sent this cart? … Oh!”
Anastasia, who had been holding her peaches without thinking, saw a human figure below, and she was startled and removed her fruit.
Then Wilhelm, who had been buried in her peach pile, appeared with a smile.
He shyly held a peach in his hand.
It was a sight that she could never have imagined, despite having had Louis before. Anastasia asked Wilhelm with a puzzled look on her face.
“Will…? What are you doing here?”
“My gift has been delivered.”
He then added an orange-pink ribbon tied around his wrist, waving it from side to side.
“Of course, I am a gift. Do you like it?”
“Your Majesty, that is the body of the Imperial Emperor…!”
Anastasia was startled and hurried to raise Wilhelm.
‘In the midst of all this, it fits you so well.…!’
It was reminiscent of a photo shoot with peaches as the theme.
Wilhelm’s cheeks, which had turned peachy in the cold, further embarrassed Anastasia.
Where the hell did he come from? Maybe from the Central Palace?
“Get up now. Others might think that Your Majesty is crazy.”
“They’re not wrong.”
And Wilhelm uttered the following words without blinking an eye.
“I’m crazy about you.”
She didn’t expect him to recite those lines himself.
Anastasia was taken aback for a moment, but it wasn’t because her hands and feet were going to shrivel.
‘… What am I going to do when you say things like that with a straight face?’
Because her heart was uncontrollably fluttering and pounding. The fact that this dazzlingly handsome man was completely crazy about her.
Others would probably have the same reaction as her.
“Don’t worry. There is no one in Rosenberg who does not know that.”
It was absurd to say so proudly. But it wasn’t a lie either.
There have been quite a few people in Rosenberg who thought Wilhelm could do more for the Empress. Even if she didn’t quite believe it.
“So this much won’t even make him lose face. Don’t worry, Your Majesty.”
… Seeing Louis calmly saying it, Anastasia was disturbed.
The rumors that Wilhelm’s flirting had spread to that extent…? Was that possible?
‘It’s not the first time something like this has happened…’
Where did you learn how to proudly describe it as a gift?
Anastasia stared at Wilhelm, a picture-perfect figure, still standing in the peach cart, and held out her hand.
Wilhelm grinned and gave Anastasia his hand with a red ribbon tied around his wrist.
And looking at him holding her hand and coming down, Anastasia thought seriously.
‘Why was even the appearance of getting off this cart as elegant as getting off a golden chariot?
‘It seems that this person isn’t the only one who’s crazy.’
It’s not like we haven’t been seeing each other everyday, but how cool he was every time she saw him and how excited she was every time she saw him.
In the end, Wilhelm asked Anastasia after a grin.
“Do you like the present?”
Anastasia gently grabbed Wilhelm’s wrist and added.
“Although I like this gift more.”
“I knew it.”
“Thanks for the gift, Will. I will eat well.”
… It’s a bit excessive though. How can she eat both carts? Won’t it rot?
“But I guess I’m one step late?”
Wilhelm asked, glancing at the peach cart that Louis was riding in.
“What, Louis?… The ribbon is bigger than me.”
“Oh, my father sent it.”
“Why do you look like that? Didn’t Will tell my father?”
Wilhelm shook his head from side to side. Anastasia asked with a puzzled expression.
“Then how did he know? No, rather than that, how did you know that I wanted orange-pink peaches? I told you that I wanted a peach, but I never said it was orange-pink…”
“Shouldn’t a couple be able to know that much?”
“You just guessed it? how?”
“Somehow I thought you would want to eat this.”
Anastasia looked at Wilhelm with suspicious eyes, but he insisted that it to the end.
“Really. Do you think I don’t understand even one of your feelings?”
‘… In fact, I got some help from Mrs. Rochester.’
At first, when she said she wanted to eat peaches, he was trying to wipe out the peaches in the southern part of the empire, but suddenly he remembered the existence of orange-pink peaches developed for a pregnant queen in a foreign country.
And after he checked with Mrs. Rochester what she usually wanted to eat, he knew he was right.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Rochester, who contributed to this situation, was forced to panic when she encountered the unexpected scale.
‘No, no matter how much Her Majesty the Empress wanted to eat it. I didn’t think you’d be able to get so many orange-pink peaches this winter…’
Shortly after she answered Duke Barantes’ question if his daughter wanted anything to eat, Wilhelm asked if Anastasia wanted to eat orange-pink peaches, so she thought she’d get a decent amount…
‘But they sent that huge wagon full of peaches!’
Looking at the amount of peaches that seemed to hold up enough until summer came, she was lost for a while.
Mrs. Rochester finally gave her a happy smile.
How much they loved her master, how much more love the baby about to be born will receive.
Because the peaches on those two carts explained it perfectly.