‘Just receiving love isn’t even enough…… How hard must it have been for you’
Ludmilla sorrowfully looked at the teary Renato and gently embraced him.
Suddenly held in Ludmilla’s arms, Renato took a deep breath.
It was the first time he was hugged by someone in this way except for his nanny and the Louis siblings.
‘It’s alright, everything’s alright.
You aren’t bad at all, Your Imperial Highness.’
Pat, pat. Her warm hand gently caressed the small, thin back, her tender words of comfort gently permeating his ears.
In front of the soft touch just like the warm spring sun, the child’s vigilance, which remained till now, disappeared like snow melting.
At the same time, the tears that had been welling up in his eyes began to flow down.
He couldn’t hold back his tears any longer.
As if to express all the sorrow that had piled up in his chest, a sad cry came out from his small lips.
Renato burst into tears in Ludmilla’s embrace.
His trembling hand tightly gripped the hem of Ludmilla’s clothes.
Ludmilla firmly hugged the trembling little body until Renato stopped crying.
Just like how a mother bird embraced her baby bird.
After that, Ludmilla often invited Renato to her palace.
Blanche was dissatisfied with their relationship, but he was forced to back down when Tristan gave Renato an imperial order to help Ludmilla adapt to the Imperial Palace.
As he spent time with Ludmilla, Renato smiled more often.
The kind and beautiful woman gave Renato a lot of things.
And one of them was his reconciliation with Tristan.
He didn’t know what kind of magic she had used, but Renato received a formal apology from Tristan.
A single word of apology couldn’t restore the father and son’s relationship where both of them were so distanced apart, but it was still much better than before.
‘Your Imperial Highness.
May I call you by your name’
One spring day, when Ludmilla’s belly was carrying a new life, she expressed her wish to become closer to Renato.
When an imperial family member allowed another person to call them by their name, it also meant that they had accepted that person as their family.
Because of that, Ludmilla had no choice but to be cautious.
Without hesitation, Renato gave Ludmilla permission to use his name.
Renato didn’t express it, but he also wanted her to call him by his first name.
As soon as the child granted his permission, Ludmilla smiled with the happiest expression in the world and spread her arms wide.
Renato was drawn to her arms just like a magnet.
‘Thank you as always, Renato.’
Ludmilla, who gladly gave her arms to the child, whispered her thanks.
Hearing her voice filled with affection, Renato instantly had a strange feeling.
He felt delighted and sad, happy but also an urge to cry.
Renato expressed his gratitude to Ludmilla, suppressing his complicated feelings.
She wasn’t the one that should have said thanks, rather, it should have been him.
Had he not met Ludmilla, he would not have known this kind of happiness until his death.
I wish you were my real mother.
Hearing the clear and warm voice calling his name, Renato had that wish.
His heart was filled with a hunger for affection and a desire to be Ludmilla’s real child.
‘Congratulations, Your Majesty! Her Highness has just given birth to a Prince!’
One morning when the weather was warm unlike winter, Ludmilla gave birth to Trudy after a difficult childbirth.
The birth of an Alpha Prince that everyone had been waiting for was congratulated with joy in all palaces, except for the Empress’ Palace.
The day after the childbirth, Renato went to visit Ludmilla with a nervous face.
Yesterday, when Blanche heard the news that Ludmilla’s child was an Alpha, he threw a teacup against the wall and made a fuss.
And then, perhaps because his anger could not be resolved, he began to lash out at Renato.
Renato’s face darkened when he remembered what had happened with Blanche.
He was worried that Ludmilla might not welcome him just like how she did before.
An Alpha baby was born, so maybe……
Renato struggled to suppress the anxiety that was rising over and over again.
His heart pounded as he got closer to Ludmilla’s palace.
‘Please greet him, Renato.
His name is Trudy.’
Fortunately, Ludmilla warmly welcomed Renato.
Then she introduced the sleeping Trudy in her arms to Renato.
‘Now Renato is going to be a hyung.
Here, please say hello to your younger brother.’
My younger brother.
Renato gently stroked the soft cheek with a careful touch.
Then the baby twitched and softly smiled.
At that moment, Renato fell in love.
Trudy, who greatly resembled Ludmilla, followed Renato very obediently.
Renato also cherished Trudy like his real brother.
The two got along very well, unlike other half-brothers.
‘It’s all because of you! If you hadn’t been born as a Beta, there would have been no reason for that pointy-eared to become the Imperial Consort! You ruined everything!’
Since Trudy’s birth, Ludmilla’s position was greatly strengthened.
And accordingly, Blanche’s annoyance also increased.
He would call Renato from time to time to vent his anger.
Marquis Medus was not as angry with Renato as Blanche was.
Instead, he used Renato to dig up information about Tristan and Ludmilla.
Renato suffered from those two’s harassment on a daily basis.
Sometimes, Maximo also joined in and bullied him.
Still, it was the happiest time in Renato’s life.
‘Renato-nim! Something has happened! Her Highness the Imperial Consort has collapsed……!’
The misfortune came unannounced.
Ludmilla, who was nursing Tristan when he suffered from his injury’s aftereffects, suddenly vomited blood and collapsed.
Although she was thoroughly treated by several palace doctors, and even the imperial elixir, Fairy’s Tears, was used on her, Ludmilla hardly showed any improvement.
The palace doctors could not determine the exact cause of Ludmilla’s disease.
After long discussions, Ludmilla was diagnosed with a rare disease of unknown cause.
The reason why Fairy’s Tears didn’t work was that she was an elf who was a distant relative of fairies.
There were people that questioned their diagnosis and raised a poisoning conspiracy theory, but the investigation found nothing suspicious.
Whatever the truth was, it was clear that Ludmilla had an incurable disease.
When Tristan collapsed and even Ludmilla became bedridden, Blanche’s power naturally increased.
Marquis Medus did not miss the opportunity and expanded his power by converting the nobles to his side.
‘Now, stop caring about the Imperial Consort and the 2nd Prince.’
Blanche ordered Renato not to visit Ludmilla and Trudy anymore.
But Renato couldn’t stay still.
Once in a while, he went to visit Ludmilla while avoiding Blanche and Marquis Medus’ eyes.
It was Renato’s first rebellion.
When Blanche found out about it after a while, he became very angry and locked Renato in his palace.
Fortunately, with Tristan’s help, he was able to meet the two of them about twice a month, but more than that was impossible because of the confinement order from Blanche.
‘It has been two years since the Imperial Consort collapsed! Why doesn’t she die like this’
Please be quiet.
What if someone hears you Do you think it’s easy to poison slowly so that no poison is detected in the test’
‘I know that, but……’
‘I’ll take care of the Imperial Consort, so please just focus on increasing your influence in the Imperial Palace and the social circle, Your Majesty.’
It was a coincidence that Renato knew the truth behind Ludmilla’s illness.
When he went to the Empress’ Palace to ask for the release of the confinement order that had been extended for over a year, he overheard a secret conversation between Blanche and Marquis Medus.
When Renato came to know the terrible truth, he fled as if running away.
He was in deep despair.
Even if he didn’t like Blanche and Marquis Medus, nonetheless, they were his mother and maternal grandfather that gave birth to him.
He was even more shocked because he had once longed for their affection.
Who should he tell this to The Emperor The palace doctors Ludmilla Louis and Luna
Crushed by the weight of the truth beyond his control, Renato struggled alone for days.
He thought he should reveal the evil deeds of Blanche and Marquis Medus, but he didn’t know who to tell this to.
At first, he of course planned to talk to Tristan.
He was the most powerful person that Renato could rely on.
But when he planned to tell Tristan, he couldn’t find the courage.
He wasn’t sure if Tristan would accept him, who was also Blanche’s child, once the man knew the truth.
He was also reluctant to speak to Ludmilla’s palace doctors.
Her doctors and attendants were chosen by Tristan himself.
Nevertheless, the fact that she continued to be poisoned also meant that there was a traitor among them.