Baby Hostage's So Cute - Chapter 4
In the Emperor’s office, dozens of times a day, his subjects came and went.
Most of the time, it was to deliver important information and issues or approve documents that needed confirmation from the Emperor. But today, a bunch of people were crowded around the doors of the office.
And they all looked unhappy.
This was because, even after the information had been delivered, their subordinates were still in the room for a very long time.
“Why aren’t they going out?”
“I’m already in a hurry. Aren’t they from the Intelligence Department? Are they trying to waste our time?”
The department’s Lieutenants, along with the rest of the crowd, were furious.
It was absolutely unacceptable to take up people’s time like this, especially when time was such a valuable part of their lives.
Instead of focusing on the people who were badmouthing the Intelligence Department, the Intelligence Minister was looking at the presence in front of him with his mouth wide open.
“Huh. I can’t believe it’s true…”
It was not long ago that a rumor surfaced about a four-year-old, hostage from the Kingdom of Astor that seemed to have captured the heart of the Emperor.
Hence, when he was called by the Emperor, he had rushed all the way here to find out if such a rumor was indeed true.
But there was something even more surprising.
The Information Minister, who had been absentmindedly joking about the rumor, anxiously asked, “Wait a minute. Excuse me? Could you repeat that, Princess?”
“I said, I’m planning on building a warehouse to hide in after the war is over. It will be hidden and reinforced with magic.”
Next to the Emperor, Elaine was seated on a stack of fine cushions piled on top of a chair identical to the Emperor’s. She spoke those words while eating some chocolate that the Intelligence Minister had offered her.
The presence of a child in the Emperor’s office itself was surprising enough, but the words coming from the child’s mouth could not be taken lightly.
“A safehouse that can be used as a fortress during the war, hidden by magic. That sounds like a good idea…”
“In the meantime, if we face defeat after the war, we can conceal the warehouse with magic. Other than that, this smells really good.*”
*TL/N: Referring to the chocolate.
“Smell? Oh! Well, this is also a secret, but my father suffers after eating it!”
“Hehe, I see. You’re saying that he will get sick? Princess’s father made a very big mistake with eating it, so he must suffer!”
“Oh, huh? Right. If you eat someone else’s food, you must be punished.”
“Is that so? Doesn’t the Princess agree?”
In that moment, the child drew a distinct line between her father and King Astor as she gave up information, laughing as if she didn’t know anything.
In this way, Elaine solidified her position by telling the people of the Imperial Palace what she knew.
If I cooperate, maybe I’ll become more than just an ordinary stone on the side of the road.
Elaine stopped playing with the chocolate and looked to the side.
No matter how good you are to the people around you, the moment you make a mistake in front of the Emperor, it’s over.
“What do you think? Aren’t I good at this?”
With that, Elaine looked at the Emperor with sparkling eyes. The Emperor, who was watching her sheepish grin with one of his long legs casually crossed over the room.
“What is it?”
The Emperor noticed me!
Elaine looked at him with a full-fledged smile, but then turned away.
Tilting his head, the Emperor asked her, “Why are you doing that all of a sudden?”
“Hehe! It seems that the Princess likes His Majesty very much!”
“Really? Does it look like that to you?”
The Intelligence Minister responded to the Emperor’s skeptical question, looking at the two of them happily.
“Of course. Likewise, I keep looking at your Majesty’s face. I thought you had hated four-year-olds, but it turns out your Majesty is very gentle and lovely.”
“”Well, I guess she’s okay, for someone of Astor’s blood.”
Can we please stop talking about Astor’s blood?
Elain pouted, staring at the Emperor who seemed elated for some reason.
Obviously that guy doesn’t even know my name.
With that in mind, it was clear that she was no more than an ordinary rock on the side of the road in the Emperor’s eyes.
Maybe he’ll see me as a rock that spits out useful information?
“Haha. My son was very troublesome at that age. Is it true that maybe the children of other families are also the same?”
When he nudged the man standing next to him, the man quickly replied.
“Of course. How nasty our daughter, Naemi, is. She ripped the hem of her clothes, saying she doesn’t like the dress I gave her for her birthday. This is how children act. Hey, isn’t your child the same?”
“Ah, I suppose not. My kid doesn’t make a fuss and is very cute.”
An awkward silence arose.
Suha, who didn’t even grasp the situation, saw her boss staring at her angrily and added a belated statement.
“Ah, of course, the Princess is much more precious, even her actions are lovely!”
The cold atmosphere disappeared and the Emperor, whose eyes had softened, nodded in satisfaction.
Only then did the people from the intelligence department exhale a sigh of relief.
The Emperor waved his hand at the people from the Intelligence Department after he saw Elaine’s worried expression.
“Go back now. Everyone looks pretty tired.”
“Also, tell those people waiting outside to go back. I will not receive any more visitors today.”
“Really? But some of those people must have been waiting outside before us.”
“Don’t make me repeat myself.”
“Ah! I see.”
The Minister of Intelligence and his officers quickly bowed after seeing the Emperor’s frustrated expression.
A few seconds after they filed out, a scream of frustration and anger erupted outside the office, but it only lasted for a while.
‘These people must’ve suffered a lot.’
They say that when one works under an unreasonable boss, the people under him suffer, and that’s what exactly happened. Elaine turned her head, thinking that she must find a way to get the emperor to open up his heart.
And damn it.
“What. Have you been looking at me all this time?”
The emperor was staring at Elaine with his distinctive, cold eyes.
Elaine, who was about to die from a heart attack, swallowed nervously, ro wetten her dry mouth.
Despite it being a valid question, the Emperor did not stop looking at Elaine’s face for a while.
He pulled out a white box outlined with an impressive gold border.
What was that? Elaine thought about it for a moment.
Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open at the incredible sight.
“Do you know what this is?”
“It’s too far away…”
Okay. I don’t know what that is, but it certainly looks good.
Elaine’s eyes sparkled as she saw twenty-four colorful cookies neatly aligned in rows.
“This is macaron,” the Emperor said, handing a pink macaron to Elaine.
She was well aware that he didn’t give anything away for free, but she took the macaron as if she was possessed by the bright pink color.
Elaine clutched her cheek, feeling the chewy texture and the outer layer that melted as soon as she placed it on her tongue.
This is the best dessert I’ve ever tasted since returning from the past!
Elaine, who had put the Intelligence Minister’s chocolate on the table, began to indulge in another macaron.
“Is it that delicious?”
The Emperor, who Elaine had completely forgotten about, suddenly spoke to her.
He turned his head with a smile as his cold eyes arched playfully.
Was it because she had eaten it so hastily?
The macaron had already melted in Elaine’ hand.
As she stared at her empty hands with a sad face, the Emperor held a purple macaron in front of her nose.
“Do you want to eat it?”
“Yes, mine have all disappeared!”
“Then give me all the information you know. One macaron per a piece of information.”
Her head was throbbing as if she had been hit by the emperor’s words.
Elaine’s face flushed red because she had thought there would be no consequences, but she was desperate to eat more of those delicious macarons.
But there was a problem.
“Impossible. I already gave all the information I have to the Intelligence Officers!”
Was she drunk on sweetness?
If she concentrated too hard, information about the future would come to her mind like bamboo shoots growing from the ground.
Her heart thumped quicker as she cleared her head, like a white canvas.
The Emperor’s expression changed as her silence continued.
“You talked well to them before. Are you saying you don’t want to tell me?”
“Oh no, it’s not like that…!”
Embarrassed, Elaine quickly denied the accusation, but the Emperor’s face remained unchanged.
Even around him, an energy that a baby’s body could not endure was rising.
The energy forced the fear deep inside her mind to resurface.
Because of this, the Emperor was the person she feared the most.
The thought that she would be thrown out if she was useless began to surface in her mind, filling up the formerly white canvas.
‘You’re throwing me away like this? I thought I had worked hard, but was it all just my own misunderstanding?’
Elaine had thought it would be fortunate if she could only look down at the rocks along the side of the road with disgust.
I was only praised seldomly, but I thought I was recognized by the Emperor. I thought I had proved my worth.
However, the elaborate tower of confidence she had formed collapsed like a sand castle at this moment.
Elaine shed a tear while looking at the intimidating Emperor.
The Emperor seemed a little flustered, but the child’s eyes, filled with sorrow, did not catch it.
“Bad. Mister Arnold is bad.”
“I am bad?”
“Mister Arnold, I’m going to throw you away and go with Erey. Erey tells me everything he knows, and he told me that you lie! I hate you!”
Was she blessed with the ability to feel sad while she was talking?
In the end, as she cried out loudly, the Emperor’s large hands flapped in the air, unable to do anything.
The cries that were spewing out of her mouth had not stopped for a long time.
The Emperor sighed and said with difficulty, “Stop. Cease your crying. And I never lied to you.”
“But Mister Arnold, I feel scared and uncomfortable!”
“This is how I always look…Haa, what am I even talking about…”
The emperor, who realized that he was going to be the bad guy even if he had an excuse, pursed his lips.
He was thinking about going out for a moment and said, holding a macaron, “It was a joke. Do people of Astor’s blood always take jokes so seriously?”
His joke was too absurd.
Elaine looked up at him with an angry face.
Luckily, he had turned away.
“Bad guy. Who makes such jokes to a child?!”
He’s a really bad guy.
Elaine thought so, but didn’t let go of the macaron the Emperor had handed her.
And this time the emperor acted absurd.
It was very funny to stuff a macaron into her mouth with swollen cheeks like a squirrel.
“Here. Take it.”
Should she eat it now, or return to her room and indulge in it? Elaine saw the box raised above her lap and blinked her eyes.
“Is this… you’re giving all this to me?”
“Why, is this not enough?”
“No. That’s not it.”
Shaking her head, Elaine seemed to make up her mind. Holding the macarons in her hands, she began to pop them into her mouth.
While eating them, the delicious taste brought tears to her eyes.
The Emperor looked amused as he watched Elaine eat the macarons with tears staining the corners of her eyes, as if someone was going to take the macarons away.
What’s with that gaze?
Elaine thought that she should give something in return after receiving a gift. Rubbing her runny nose, she shouted, “Benetti!”
“Benetti? Are you going to call me that?”
“Benetti is pretty!”
“…do whatever you want.”