“I know you were once the Crown Princess of Gottrov, and your eyes are truly fit for an emperor.
But you are now the Empress.
Do not forget that I am the emperor of this place.
I prefer a compliant and submissive woman.
Do not meddle in my work again.
Do you understand?”

After that, Karl quickly returned to his seat and spoke in a cold and formal tone.

“I have no plans for dinner, so go back to the Empress’s palace and have dinner there.
Remember my words and keep them in your heart.”

Adelaide’s powerful legs, which had withstood a catastrophic disaster from the sky, trembled with weakness at the humiliation that had hit her like a tsunami.
Her composure crumbled, and the feeling of dirtiness permeated every strand of her being.
Burning with anger, Adele rubbed the nape of her neck where the Emperor’s breath had touched her, as if trying to erase his scent.
She quickly left the room, striding down the endless hallway.
The moonlight pouring through the windows made her feel cold, and she rubbed her stretched neck as if a cold wind was blowing on her empty nape.
It felt like she was walking on air.

“Your Majesty the Empress?”

Adele, lost in thought as she walked, came to a sudden halt at the sound of the voice.

“Your Majesty the Empress?”

The voice belonged to Diane Poitier, a person Adelaide would least want to meet right now.
Dressed in a sky-high dress, Diane walked up to Adele with a caring tone and a subtle scent of perfume.
Adele tightened her chin and straightened her posture, trying to hide her humiliation.

‘How do I look right now?’ Adele wondered, closing her half-opened mouth.

Diane looked at Adele blankly and smiled knowingly.
Adele attempted to walk past her, avoiding her contemptuous gaze.

“Your Majesty, are you feeling cold?”

Adele didn’t answer, but Dian didn’t seem to want to let her go.

“Oh, you’re raising your arm.
Your shoulders are shaking too.”

Blocking the empress’ way, she examined the empress’s face and body with a worried expression.
Adele felt something rising within her and gritted her teeth.

“Get out of my way.”

She knew it was the best excuse she could come up with, but for Dian, this situation was something she had imagined countless times, relishing the thought of facing it.
So, at this moment, she had no intention of letting go of the empress.
No matter how wild a beast is, if it is wounded and bleeding, it can be easily subdued with weak force.
Dian whispered into the empress’ ear.

“Looks like you followed my advice.
But something must have gone wrong.
Is that why you’re running away?”


Adele growled with a ferocious face, but Diane smiled and said one more word.

“Cover your neck.
It’s red, Your Majesty.”

Diane gracefully took a step back, lightly bending her knees to greet her, and moved away as naturally as flowing water.
The attendants and maids’ sparkling eyes relentlessly examined the two.
Adele couldn’t catch Diane as she drifted away, and she couldn’t get angry with her.
If she turned her around now and made her angry, she would fall into her deeper pit.

‘So you’re running away?’

It felt like a huge bell was ringing in her ears.
As the headache set in, Adele put her hand on her head.
It was a blow of a kind she had never even imagined.
The moment she rushed down the stairs as if she was running away, her legs gave out, and her body leaned forward before the lady-in-waiting who followed her could catch her.
Adele gritted her teeth and involuntarily closed her eyes tightly.
However, as soon as she closed her eyes, she felt a firm force supporting her shoulders.

“Empress …”

The maid who had been shouting was also speechless.
Adele slowly opened her closed eyes.
Her sturdy power gently pushed back her body, which had been thrown forward out of balance.
As Adele regained her balance, she took the maid’s hand off her shoulder and stepped back behind her.

“Are you alright?”

A low, soothing voice whispered into Adele’s ear.
She stared blankly at him for a moment, then muttered his name as if in a daze.

“Lionel Baldr…”

Suddenly, she snapped out of it, straightening her shoulders and mustering all her composure.

“Thank you.
I just tripped.”

With a grateful nod, she quickly descended the stairs, not daring to look back.
Lionel followed her with his eyes, still feeling something off about her demeanor.
As she rushed down the stairs, she seemed almost wild, as if fleeing some unseen danger.
When she stumbled, Lionel’s reflexes kicked in, and he caught her by the shoulder to steady her.
As he gazed down at his hand, he noticed how delicate and slender her shoulders were, barely able to support her.
His palms tingled as if burned, and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her.

Lionel had been on his way to report something to the imperial palace, and he wondered what could have caused the empress to seem so frazzled.
He resolved to keep an eye on her in case she needed any further assistance.

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