Chapter 23 – A yellow puppy adores me (3)
His crimson eyes shook fiercely. It wasn’t uncommon for little kids to hate being called a child.
“My little husband. Go to sleep.”
“I’m not a kid!”
Blake was even more enraged although I corrected it for him in consideration.
However, it was common for a kid to hate being called a child or a baby. I had a rough idea of what he wanted to hear, but I thought I shouldn’t spoil him too much.
“You’re a kid.”
Blake widened his eyes wide as though he was surprised.
Was this really that much of a surprise?
It must have really been a surprise.
Blake had been sighing ever since. Now he was standing still under the largest tree in the Palace.
The beautiful tree had Blake’s, Diana’s, and my height marked on it. We measured it last year and early this year. I was the tallest, followed by Diana and Blake.
“Your Highness, please eat first.”
“I don’t have an appetite…”
He said morosely.
“Why? Do you feel sick?”
“I won’t grow tall even if I eat it…”
“You’ll be taller when you eat.”
“I’m not taller than you, even though I eat a lot…”
“It’s okay. You’re just growing up late.”
There was no specific portrayal of Blake being short in the original story. Richard was about 185cm, and the author said Blake was a little shorter than him, so he’d be over 170cm later.
“I cooked today. Aren’t you going to eat it?”
“Ancia made it?”
Blake’s eyes glistened. I liked cooking, and it was nice to see Blake enjoying my food.
“Yes, please have a taste!”
He ran straight to the dining room.
“Come on, try it.”
“Huh, what is this?”
Blake halted when he saw the soup in front of him.
“It’s bean sprout soup.”
Blake usually ate everything I made, but now he hesitated and stared at the bean sprout soup.
“This is like a ‘Macul’….”
‘Macul’ was a one-eyed demon that lived in the Valley of Chaos.
Tenstheon brought the bean sprout from the ‘Chang’ Empire in the East, planted it in the field, and I harvested it a while ago. I didn’t notice at all before but listening to Blake’s words. I realized that it did indeed look similar to that ‘Macul.’
But if he was saying so, that meant he wouldn’t eat it.
“What do you mean like a ‘Macul’? This is made from the beans we harvested.”
“Yes. The beans are this long. If you eat this, you’ll grow tall like a bean sprout.”
“Yes. It’s true.”
Blake carefully picked up a bean sprout with his chopsticks. He had become good at using chopsticks now.
Blake looked unwell, as if Macul’s image was still in his head. He closed his eyes and put bean sprouts in his mouth quickly.
“What do you think?”
“It, it’s like a hair. Tickling my tongue…”
His face turned pale. I didn’t think that he wouldn’t like it because he even enjoyed the strong taste of soybean paste soup.
But Blake didn’t spit it out and chewed it until the end.
“How is it?”
“Ummm… I don’t know what it tastes like. It’s not sweet, and it’s not salty, but it’s also not sour.”
“The charm of bean sprouts is that they tasted unique.”
Blake nodded, but I didn’t think he understood me exactly.
He carefully scooped up a spoonful of soup. From the look on his face, it was clear that he was reminded of the high ground where the ‘Macul’ lived.
Blake closed his eyes and drank the transparent soup again. His eyes widened right after.
Blake once again took a sip of the bean sprout soup.
“You can’t just drink the soup. Bean sprouts are nutritious, so eat it together.”
Blake ate the bean sprouts too as I said. At first, he seemed reluctant, but once he tried the soup, he began to eat it without hesitation.
My stomach was full because of the meal. Then, I saw Diana running towards me.
“You’re early today.”
“Because I missed you! Hey, who made the clothes you’re wearing now?”
“Huh? Why? Do you want it?”
“No, that’s not it, I’m going to say thank you to the designer that made this dress! Peridot color! It’s perfect for my sister!”
There she goes again.
“My wife looks pretty no matter what she wears!”
Even Blake, who was eating quietly, joined the wagon of praise. I didn’t dislike hearing it, but I was a little embarrassed. I quickly changed the subject.
“Diana, did you eat? If you didn’t, let’s eat together.”
Diana, who had been constantly making silly comments, glanced at the table.
“What’s that? Is that Macul?”
Blake, who had forgotten the existence of the monster as he at it deliciously, shuddered.
Diana wielded her sword with all her might and practiced the moves she had learned from Edon today.
Count Bellacian had taught her many things. However, etiquette, social dance, ballet, piano, embroidery, and so on, were all aimed at enhancing her value in the marriage trade, and it was not something Diana wanted.
Thanks to Ancia, she got to learn swordsmanship.
She felt great happiness when she swung a sword like this.
The slice from left to right did not go smoothly.
Diana clenched the wooden sword again.
Then, the door opened and Gilbert, her father, came in. Diana was startled and reflexively hid her sword behind her.
“What are you hiding?”
Gilbert glared at her.
Diana shook her head in a hurry. But Gilbert pulled her hand violently.
Diana screamed in pain, but he didn’t care. The Gilbert of the past wouldn’t have acted this way.
But in two years, Gilbert’s mind had changed.
He was ashamed of his first marriage. He wanted to erase the fact that he married a Baroness for money.
Whenever he saw Ancia, he was distressed because he was reminded of his shameful past, and he sincerely hoped that she would rather die.
He was proud of his second wife, a Countess like him, and loved Diana, the fruit of their marriage.
But after the Emperor favored Ancia, his feelings changed little by little.
Maybe his real treasure was Ancia.
Although she was only twelve years old, Ancia’s reputation was well known throughout the Empire. Diana’s reputation was excellent too, but she was no match for Ancia.
He thought Diana had a noble bloodline similar to him, but the more he looked at her, the more he thought Ancia resembled him more.
It was not just appearance.
Ancia became a socialite with an unbelievable powerful and gentle charisma even though she was only 12 years old. She also invented the “Sapoje” farming method, which alternated between human crops and livestock feed.
The Emperor tested this method in the south, referring to her invention, and as a result, he saw the effect of increasing yields and increasing livestock.
The use of Sapoje method spread throughout the country, and this year the Empire had an unprecedented increase in harvest. The popularity of the Crown Princess among the people of the Empire soared into the sky.
The nobles were not much different either.
Those people who were reluctant to be the companion of the cursed Crown Prince, and who could not understand the Emperor for pampering such a girl, gradually disappeared. Now everyone was busy praising Ancia for being a true blessing for the Empire.
At first, the nobility doubted the innermost thoughts of the Emperor who cared for the Crown Prince and feared that he might be trying to empower the Crown Prince under the pretext of caring for Ancia.
But when Ancia revealed her capabilities in many ways, such doubts faded away naturally.
Tenstheon was a monarch who valued ability over status and background. It was only natural to care for such a talented girl like Ancia.
As Ancia’s position became stronger, so did her father Gilbert’s popularity. Everyone, whether they were a noble or a merchant, were working hard to impress him. But it didn’t last long.
People soon noticed that Ancia and Gilbert had a bad relationship. Gilbert’s status in society plummeted in a short period of time and the Emperor Tenstheon did not honor him as his in-law either.
Gilbert hurriedly sent a present to Ancia and tried to win her heart, but Ancia didn’t even look at it.
Gilbert clenched his teeth. He vowed to take revenge on Ancia and the people who dared to ignore him.
If Diana married the eldest son of Duke Cassil and became a real Empress, he would be able to wash all this disgrace away at once.
He sent Diana to the Crown Prince’s Palace. Ancia ungratefully turned away from her birth father, who raised her, but she often looked for her younger sister.
Gilbert ordered Diana to do what the Duke of Cassil had secretly ordered.
“Ask Ancia to pick the maid named Beth.”
“Tell me what happened at the Crown Prince’s Palace today.”
If Diana did well, she could firmly secure her position with the Duke of Cassil. In the long run, it was a hundred times better than being the monstrous prince’s companion.
But things didn’t go as Gilbert wanted.
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