Chapter 328. McKenna Is Not Prejudiced (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
As Sovieshu awaited the knight’s return, he was so nervous that his lips were dry. Unable to sit up, he wandered between the drawing room and the baby’s room, occasionally checking the princess’s face.
Time passed very slowly. But unlike the impatient Sovieshu, the baby slept comfortably.
Finally, he heard a heavy voice call out to him.
Moments later, the knight entered with a man holding a small child in his arms.
Although the man the knight brought was not Viscount Roteschu, neither was he a completely unfamiliar face.
“You must be…”
Sovieshu remembered the man who came to the audience chamber to ask for the child to be blessed. Yes. It was the same man who had held Rashta’s first child in his arms.
“Alan Rimwell, Your Majesty. Viscount Roteschu’s son.”
But it wasn’t this man he wanted to see.
“Did I send for you?”
Alan responded in a fearful voice to Sovieshu’s words.
“My sister has not returned for several weeks… my father is away because of it.”
“Sister? Ah. Yes, your sister.”
Sovieshu, who was about to reprimand Alan, softened at his explanation. Certainly, Viscount Roteschu must be very busy now.
‘It’s okay. Anyway, it didn’t make much difference whether Viscount Roteschu or Alan came.’
After some reflection, Sovieshu ordered,
“Come closer with the child.”
Alan looked at Sovieshu in terror and took two steps back, startled at the sudden order.
Hugging the child firmly, Alan asked,
“What for, what for…”
He had found it strange that Emperor Sovieshu suddenly asked him to bring the child. But he found this even stranger.
“I have something to check.”
When Alan took another step back, Sovieshu’s eyebrows rose accordingly.
He didn’t intend to hurt the baby, he just wanted to look at him closely for a moment.
‘Why was he running away?’
Viscount Roteschu had told him that he didn’t know who the child’s father was, so he had no idea it was Alan. Both Alan and Viscount Roteschu only cared for Rashta’s child.
But that protective attitude seemed strange enough to raise suspicions.
“I ordered you to come closer.”
Sovieshu repeated the order slowly and clearly.
Only then did Alan realize that he could not oppose the emperor, so he went over and handed the baby to him.
‘What a strange young man.’
Sovieshu accepted the baby, disgusted with Alan for how he treated him.
But as soon as Sovieshu saw the baby, his thoughts about Alan disappeared. His face turned darker. The baby looked more like Glorym than he remembered. Then a slight suspicion arose.
‘How can they be so similar? Is this child’s father the same as Glorym’s…?’
Sovieshu inwardly denied it.
‘It is absurd. Glorym and this child only look like Rashta. No wonder Glorym doesn’t look like me. Due to the dates, it is impossible for the first child of Rashta and the princess to be from the same father.’
Sovieshu tried his best to think positively.
He had no other choice. In fact, the only way to dispel this doubt would be to go to the temple to take a paternity test. To take a paternity test was embarrassing, even for nobles who considered it natural to have concubines.
Moreover, he would have to go in person to take a paternity test. If the emperor went to the temple with his daughter to take a paternity test, the image of the imperial family would be completely destroyed.
He would if there was a situation where he had to prove it, but it would be shameful to do so when no one distrusted.
Sovieshu was horrified to see his daughter reflected in a strange child, so he hurried to return him to Alan.
Ordering Alan to wait a moment, Sovieshu entered the baby’s room and held the princess lying in the crib. When Sovieshu brought the princess, Alan’s eyes widened.
His eyes, which wandered over the lavish decorations of the Imperial Palace, now fixed on the face of the princess.
However, Alan’s eyes soon stopped on the princess’ clothes. A comfortable baby dress made from the highest quality fabrics, which were only produced a few per year, and soft socks on her pretty feet. The socks were adorned with small pearls.
Alan compared the princess to his son. He made an effort to dress him well, but there was a distinct difference from the princess’ clothes.
Even a child from an ordinary noble family could compare better with the princess. Since Viscount Roteschu, who managed the economic part of the family, did not want his grandson, Alan could not even raise his son like those of other nobles.
Besides, he had raised his son alone, isolated in a mansion. Two identical babies, with completely different lives… he couldn’t stop comparing them as a fire slowly grew inside him.
But his disturbed mind crumbled at Sovieshu’s question.
“That child. Who is his father?”
Alan looked at Sovieshu in surprise.
“I asked who the father of that child is.”
Alan lowered his head at Sovieshu’s fierce stare. His father had told him that the emperor didn’t know who Ahn’s real father was.
‘Was the Emperor asking that question because he had found out something? Or was he just curious because Ahn looked so much like the princess?’
Although he felt uneasy, Alan soon spoke exactly as Viscount Roteschu had told him.
“That I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“That’s right. I, I just…”
“If you went to the audience chamber to ask for this child to be blessed, you must have a genuine bond. But don’t you know that?”
“I grew attached to him as I raised him. He’s such a lovely little boy…”
“Did you grow attached to him?”
“Yes. Yes, Your Majesty.”
Unable to overcome the pressure exerted by the emperor, Alan lowered his head again. His hands, with which he held his son, did not stop shaking.
Fortunately, Sovieshu let him go.
“It’s okay. You can go.”
“Thank you. Thank you.”
Alan bowed and hurried out of the room, not knowing what he was thankful for.
As soon as Alan closed the door, he lost the strength in his legs and almost collapsed. He felt suffocated in that room. Once he stepped out into the corridor, he finally caught his breath.
But Alan would not have been relieved if he had seen the fierce expression with which Sovieshu looked at his back as he walked away. He had begun to suspect that Ahn’s real father might be Alan.
From the moment Alan left the room where he found it difficult to breathe, his thoughts of Sovieshu faded with every step he took.
Instead, his mind was filled with thoughts of Rashta and Ahn.
Alan went straight to the Western Palace and told the knight at the front of the palace that he wanted to meet with the Empress.