The Baldr brothers entered the meeting room, their eyes widening at the sight that greeted them.
The Duke of Despone, standing at the front of the crowd, called out to the Empress with a pleasant laugh.

“Woman! It’s nice to see you here.”

Lionel and Theseus turned to look at Adele, wondering how she would react to the Duke’s disrespectful and inappropriate greeting.
The other nobles in the room also looked on with interest, as did the Duke himself.
However, instead of responding to the Duke’s greeting, Adele stared at him calmly and collectedly.
Her features were so cold and detached that she seemed almost robotic.

The room fell into a tense silence, the atmosphere thick with unease.
It was as if the stillness of the sea at night had descended upon the room, bringing with it a sense of unease and foreboding.
The Empress’s silence only added to the importance of anxiety, causing the air in the room to feel heavy and oppressive.
The coldness of thin ice, the loud ticking of the clock, and the sound of someone swallowing nervously were all that could be heard.
Adele’s gaze was fixed on the Duke, a smile less expression on her face.
Her red lips, pale skin, black hair cascading down her shoulders, and piercing golden eyes all contributed to the eerie atmosphere that seemed to emanate from her very being.
The nobles found themselves uncomfortable and uneasy, their skin crawling at the strange aura the Empress exuded.
Adele was well aware of the effect she was having, and she could sense the fear emanating from her opponent.
With a sudden, broad smile, she changed the room’s atmosphere in an instant, the sound of relieved sighs filling the air.

“I’m sorry, but I am unfamiliar with the Ehmont language? Could you please explain to me what ‘Woman” means, Duke of Despone?” Adele asked softly, her voice laced with poison.

The Duke of Despone, however, was not easily cowed.
He gave a sad smile and replied in a friendly tone.
“I apologize if I have offended you, Your Majesty.
I was simply trying to show my friendliness as an adult of the Ulrich family.
I had hoped that you would be more understanding… Please forgive me.”

Adele’s smile faded, her voice laced with ice.
“Friendliness should be shown with respect and decorum, not by disrespecting someone’s title and position.
Your actions were inappropriate, and you have apologized.
I expect you to be more mindful in the future.”

The tension in the room seemed to dissipate, and a voice spoke up from the back of the room.
“I don’t see what the problem is.
The Duke was just trying to be friendly.
The Empress is taking it too seriously.”

The room fell silent again as the noble cowered under the Empress’s gaze.
It was clear that Adele would not tolerate disrespect or insubordination, and the nobles present knew better than to test her patience.

The Empress stood up from her seat, her voice light and friendly as she addressed the Duke of Despone and the other nobles in the room.
“It is an honor to meet you all.”

Adele scanned the room, taking in the various superintendents that stood before her.
Many of them seemed to be meeting her for the first time, and Adele’s gaze lingered on the Baldr brothers for a moment.
Adele met Lionel’s eyes directly as she looked from Theseus to Lionel.
In the dim light of the room, her blue eyes appeared almost black, and Lionel found himself unable to look away.
Adele gave him a small, almost invisible smile before turning her attention to the pale Count Calvin.
It was clear that he had been involved in the argument with Lennox Poitiers, judging by his haggard appearance.

“Count Calvin,” Adele said, her voice cutting through the silence.
“Did you say that flying monsters would appear?”

Count Calvin, taken aback by the unexpected question, nodded quickly.
“Yes, Your Majesty.
That is correct.”

Adele raised an eyebrow.
“Is there not a wizard assigned to each region?”

Lennox Poitiers, standing beside Calvin, answered the question.
“Wizards are managed centrally, Your Majesty.
We are responsible for protecting the entire kingdom.”

Adele turned to Lennox, studying him closely.
“I see.
The safety of the kingdom and its people is of the utmost importance.
I hope you and your team are up to handling any flying monsters that may appear.

“Of course, Your Majesty.
We will do everything in our power to protect the kingdom.”

The Empress gave a faint smile, then walked past Lennox with a cold expression.
“I see.
Thank you for your explanation.”

Adele nodded, then turned to the attendant waiting at the door.
“I am ready now.
Please lead me to His Majesty the Emperor.”

The attendant nodded and opened the door, standing aside to allow Adele to pass.
The nobles in the room watched with respect and awe as the Empress walked past them, her poise and grace unmatched.
It was clear that Adele was a force to be reckoned with, and no one dared to cross her.
As she left the room, the nobles knew they had just witnessed something exceptional – the presence of a true leader.

Lennox and the other high-ranking officials watched as Adele entered the meeting room, their expressions ranging from confusion to frustration.
Lennox, in particular, was tilting his head in confusion, wondering what he had done wrong.
Theseus, who had been observing the scene, spoke up.
“Lionel, let’s go.”

Lionel turned around at Theseus’s urging, but he couldn’t help but overhear the whispers of the other nobles as they talked about the Empress.
He couldn’t understand why Duke Despone would call her such a disrespectful name or why Lennox had given such an insincere and evasive answer to her question.
It was clear that both men looked down on Adele and saw her as beneath them.
But Adele had not let their disrespect get to her.
Instead, she had maintained her poise and dignity, using her silence, her stern gaze, and her refined yet cold demeanor to assert her authority.
It was a presence that belonged to someone born to rule.
As they walked away, Lionel couldn’t help but glance back at the door through which Adele had disappeared, wondering what the future held for the powerful and commanding Empress.


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