Adele locked herself in her room and began to contemplate her situation. How many individuals can I trust? She couldn’t trust anyone; even the maids in the palace seemed untrustworthy.
On the first day of her marriage, the ladies-in-waiting had not seemed surprised that the emperor had not shown up, as if they had already known he wouldn’t be coming.
Adele had no information on her new husband, Karl Ulrich Ehmont, as the two countries of Gottrov and Ehmont had not interacted with each other for a long time because the deep and turbulent sea separated the two countries.
There was no reason to cross the ocean and target each other’s territory, so the two nations did not go beyond recognizing each other’s existence.
Adele felt a heavy weight on her chest whenever she thought about the Emperor, who was now officially her husband.
She buried her face in her hands and tried to calm her mind by lying on the soft bed.
“I must first find out why Karl Ulrich selected the princess of Gottrov as his empress,” she muttered. Don’t expect too much. Adele clenched her fists and ground her teeth in response to the thought.
She dreaded that the aristocrats were already talking about her behind her back and spreading rumors.
Additional news of interest would be added tomorrow morning.
It was evident on the first day of the wedding how quickly word of the empress’s wedding would spread.
It didn’t matter if she was dismissed or refused the position; she would always be seen as the underdog in the rumors.
Suddenly, a feeling of foreboding entered her mind as she thought about Diane Poitiers and the possibility that she was trying to prove something by visiting her.
Adele’s expression darkened at the thought, and she let out a sigh, muttering a curse under her breath that she hadn’t uttered in a long time.
＊ ＊ ＊
Adele’s foreboding turned out to be accurate as the emperor rushed to Diane’s Ivory Palace after the wedding ceremony.
The ladies-in-waiting rushed out before the emperor and bowed their heads.
“Is she asleep?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Karl entered Diane’s bedroom with a frown, finding her lying on the bed, pale and sweating.
His own eyes were sunken as if he had been through a lot of stress.
He inhaled deeply as he heard a faint voice calling out to him.
Hearing the sorrowful voice that could not be heard, the emperor clenched his teeth and tightly shut his eyes.
He saw a massive bed with blonde hair on the pillows and a pale complexion.
Diane looked as though she was about to break out in a cold sweat, her hands drenched with sweat.
“Your Majesty?” Diane’s faint voice brought Karl back to reality.
When he opened his eyes, he saw Diane looking up at him with a hazy gaze as though she had just awoken.
Karl quickly walked up to her and saw that she was focused on his attire.
The fact that he was still wearing the same wedding dress made Diane purse her lips, as though she was stopping herself from smiling.
She assumed that since he saw her collapse, the wedding must have been a complete disaster.
“Are you okay?” Karl asked.
Diane nodded slowly and spoke to Karl in a condescending tone.
“Did you arrive immediately after the wedding? Then, what shall we do, Your Majesty?”
“I’m very sorry.
It always irritates me…” Diane hardly rose from her bed.
“You should go, the Empress will be waiting for you.”
“I said I wouldn’t go.”
Diane pursed her lips and sobbed at these words.
“I chose the wedding dress of the Empress, Your Majesty.
I also selected the ceremonial crown for Her Majesty,” she said, unaware that Adele had changed to a gold crown.
“As I selected all of the ceremony necessities and flowers, it felt as though my heart was being torn apart.”
Diane stood in front of the emperor, tears streaming down her face as she tried to stifle the tumultuous emotions roiling inside her.
She knew she shouldn’t let them out too much, shouldn’t make him worry.
But she couldn’t hold them in any longer.
As she cried, the emperor watched her, his expression one of concern but not agitation.
After a long period of sobbing, Diane’s tears finally began to subside.
She stood there, staring at the emperor’s face, feeling a sense of calm wash over her.
The few remaining tears evaporated without a trace.
“Nothing will differ from the past.”
“May I remain by the side of your Majesty?” Diane asked, begging sincerely while holding his sleeve with a pitiful hand.
“But I… whom should I present to Her Majesty? Because she is the empress, nobles will refer to me as her concubine.” It seems that Diane is concerned about her status in the palace and how she will be perceived by others, particularly the empress and the nobles.
As a concubine to the empress, she may not have the same level of respect or status as the empress.
A ripple appeared on the emperor’s previously calm face as he tilted his head and inquired, “Do you have a title in mind?”
“Lover,” Diane responded, her heart racing wildly.
She was short of breath and even began to perspire.
“Please inform the empress that I am your lover.”
The emperor stared at Diane for a long time with a confused expression, as if he did not know what she was thinking.
And after some time, he responded with an odd tone, “I understand.”
When Diane’s request was granted, she appeared astounded.
A wolf cannot be tamed, but it can be provoked by touching its weak spot.
Emperor Karl was a wolf-like man who concealed a raging fire.
And Diane was aware of his vulnerabilities.
She extended her hand to the emperor and he grasped it.
She reclined on her bed and shifted slightly to one side.
“Please embrace me,” Diane said with a longing expression.
Karl hesitated for a moment before finally yielding to Diane’s silent request.
He slipped off his shoes and climbed onto the bed, pulling Diane into his arms.
She nestled against his chest, feeling the gentle beating of his heart through the thick fabric of his robe.
A small smile played across her lips as she finally achieved her goal of spending the night with the emperor.
If I cannot become the empress, no one else can assume that role in its entirety.
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