It was quite impolite, but Adele did not care.
She was the first to insult her, and she was the one who would become empress, after all.
A smirk played on her lips as she surveyed Diane with a cool, calculating gaze.
The other woman shifted uneasily under her scrutiny, but Adele paid her no mind.


Adele grinned before releasing Diane’s hair.
She then turned and walked towards her armchair, where she sat down.
She closed and reopened her eyes with a drowsy expression, but she did not offer Diane her seat.
Adele cocked her head to one side and crossed her legs.

“Why are you giving me this recommendation? Not even reluctant to offer unsolicited advice.”

Her tone was dry, but the implied meaning was thorny.
Diane raised her crimson lips and rolled her eyes in response to her question.

“You do not know His Majesty’s preferences, therefore I will inform you.”

“I’m asking you why? Are you the type of person who tells everyone about their preferences?”

Adele chuckled after stating this.
The eerie sound of laughter resonated throughout the dim bedroom, creating a disturbing atmosphere.
Adele whispered to her maid, who was observing her.

“From what I’ve heard, Ehmont’s milkshake is extremely popular.
I’m curious.
Deliver me a glass of moonshine.”


“Bring a drink, I mean.
I believe I’ll feel invigorated after I drink a cup and get a good night’s sleep.”

“Ah, absolutely.”

Adele closed her eyes and buried herself in the sofa as the maid abruptly turned around and departed.

“Didn’t you say you would dry my hair? Quick, dry it!”

Diane held her breath and exhaled as she picked up the towel in Adele’s direction.
Adele’s hair was difficult to dry because she was entirely reclined on the couch.
Adele, who had her eyes closed and was vigorously wiping the moisture from the ends of her hair, suddenly said, “Would you like to inform His Majesty the Emperor of my preferences?”

Diane’s hands stilled in her hair.

“I appreciate a man who can speak candidly about private matters,” she murmured.

Diane remained silent for a moment, her expression stony.
“Yes, I understand,” she said at last.

Adele’s golden eyes slowly opened, her long lashes fluttering as she fixed her gaze on Diane.
She whispered, “And one final point.”

Diane tensed, her gentle smile faltering as Adele continued.
“When I was born, I never considered conforming to someone else’s preferences.
So, you are not required to share your Majesty’s preferences with me.
It’s difficult for me to understand my own taste, but I have little interest in other people’s.”

Diane’s expression crumbled, but Adele only grinned and tilted her head, saying “You can go.”

Diane took a step back, her mind racing as she struggled to regain her composure.
She took a deep breath and forced a friendly smile.
“Sorry for being disrespectful.
I just wanted to see the princess.
Forgive me.”

“Forgive me as well,” Adele replied coolly.

Diane’s smile faltered, but she quickly regained it and said, “Then I hope you have a restful night’s sleep.
Please contact me at any moment if you have a problem.
I warned them against shirking their responsibilities to you.”

With a courteous bow, Diane left the room, but Adele’s gaze remained fierce as she watched her go.
She mumbled to herself, “The emperor’s mistress greets you as soon as you arrive? Wonderful.”

Adele began to be concerned about her future husband, the emperor she had never seen before.
She mumbled in a bitter voice, “Karl Ulrich Ehmont.”

* * *

As soon as Adele, the future empress, arrived in the capital of Ehmont, the preparations for her wedding ceremony began in earnest.
Adele spent the entire day being attended to by her ladies-in-waiting, undergoing an exhaustive range of treatments, from massages to relax her muscles, to skincare and hair care.
It felt so indulgent that Adele couldn’t help but luxuriate in the pampering, giving herself over to the ministrations of her attendants.

Next on the agenda was nail care.
“Do whatever pleases you,” Adele said, as her ladies set to work on her hands and feet.
The pedicure was especially relaxing, and Adele closed her eyes and let out a contented sigh.

“How long did you say the wedding would be?” Adele asked, as she lay back in her chair.

“One week,” came the reply.

“Hmm… A week is enough,” Adele murmured, her mind already turning to the next task at hand.
“What type of cuisine is served during lunch?”

“We are making a well-cooked pork meal per your request,” her lady-in-waiting informed her.

“Good,” Adele said, her stomach rumbling.
“Finish it a little quicker.
I must consume something.”

* * *

The week flew by in a whirlwind of preparations and celebrations.
A week had passed since the last time the emperor had seen the future empress, and whispers of her beauty and elegance had already begun to circulate throughout the imperial court.

Adele had also become aware of the extent of Diane Poitier’s influence and power within the palace.
Before earning the title of Empress, Adele had only had a cursory knowledge of the inner workings of the court.

As she examined the exquisite sleeves of her bridal gown, a pristine white creation intricately embroidered with gold thread, Adele murmured to herself, “This is the stone I rolled.”

Just then, her maid entered, bearing a crown for Adele to wear on her wedding day.
“You will enter while wearing this,” the maid said as she opened the box to reveal a crown made of silvery-white gold.

Adele examined herself disinterestedly in the mirror as the maid placed the crown on her head with care.
But as she looked at herself, a faint frown creased her forehead.
“Don’t you like it?” the maid asked tentatively.

“Do you have any crowns of gold? I prefer gold over silver,” Adele said without hesitation.
“As there is still time until the wedding, I would like to replace the crown.
Go obtain a golden crown.”

The maid hesitated for a moment, but ultimately returned the crown chosen by Diane and hurried to the imperial treasury to retrieve a golden crown for Adele.

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