A while later, Diane entered the meeting room and called the emperor with a warm and fresh voice, like a spring breeze.
“Your majesty!”

The emperor, Karl, who had been deep in thought with narrowed eyebrows, raised his head at the sound of the voice.
Diane was small and fairy-like with wavy golden hair, a smooth face, and pale sky-blue eyes.
Even her taste resembled that of the emperor’s biological mother.
The light blue dress swayed as she approached.
When Diane saw the emperor’s hardened face, she smiled even brighter.

“Why did you call me?”

“Did you bring the imperial budget?”

The emperor asked for it right away.
The emperor was not a friendly person.
Seeing a smile or a warm look from him was hard.
So, how great was it to win his wedding, the first night, and the banquet?  Diane politely laid the budget down before the emperor and sat down.
The person who had played the role of empress for the past three years was Diane herself.
She enjoyed virtually all the powers of an empress.
Karl picked up the budget bill that Diane had brought and quickly glanced over it.
As Adele had said, the empress’ palace had yet to be budgeted.

“Why wasn’t there an emergency supplementary budget for the empress’ palace budget? This should have also been included in the preparations for the empress.”

Diane’s eyes widened in surprise at the emperor’s low questioning.

“Oh my God, didn’t I?!”

Karl silently pointed to one part of the budget and handed the document to Diane.
As she confirmed the issue, she jumped up and shook her feet.

“What should I do, Your Majesty? Oh god, I’m sorry… I thought I had done it and forgot.”

In an instant, both eyes were stained red, and she was confused, not knowing what to do.

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty.


As something transparent suddenly fell from her eyes, Karl sighed and took out his handkerchief, and handed it to her.

“Stop crying.
You have too many tears.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.
I was immature.
The empress must be displeased.
How can I fix this, Your Majesty?”

“It’s something that needs to be done.”

“Nevertheless… ”

Karl stared blankly at the woman who lowered her shoulders, trembled, and wiped away her tears for a long time.
It seemed like he was thinking about something.
Sensing the emperor’s strange gaze, Diane faced him with watery eyes.

“I… Your Majesty, is there anything you want to say?”

“… ”

As the silence continued, Diane’s heart began to race.
Her eyes were wet and lips were dry.
Without realizing it, she blinked several times in succession.
Suddenly, the emperor spoke.

“The empress’ original authority has already been transferred to the empress’ palace.
In addition, I will take back the authority of the palace ministry that I entrusted to you.
I will delegate it to the empress later.”

The sound of her heartbeats seemed to be coming from far away.
Diane squeezed her fingertip hard under the desk with her hidden hand.
It was something that she had always known would happen someday.
Karl had always been the man who would eventually say these words.
Despite preparing for it herself, she couldn’t help but tremble.
But she couldn’t show it to him.
Diane raised her lips in a smile and nodded, as she had practiced countless times before.

“Anyway, I was actually preparing myself.
It’s absurd for me to dare to inform the empress, but… Still, you’ll always be curious about the previous year’s data.
I was preparing for those things.”


“Yes, of course.
However, the emergency supplementary budget is a part that needs to be done right away, so why don’t I take care of only this part?”

The emperor nodded slowly at her words.

“Let it be.”

“I understand, Your Majesty.”

She replied with a mischievous smile.
Karl would never let go if she answered with a smile like this.

“Why would you laugh when you are told to give up what you have?”

Diane spoke to the emperor in a sorrowful tone.

“Your majesty.”


“I only need one person, Your Majesty.
So it’s not like I’m giving away what I have.”

Diane closed her eyes, laughed, got up from her seat, and approached him.
She then boldly placed her hand on the emperor’s cheek and stroked it slowly.
Karl was like a sensitive wolf, so she had to be very careful.
When he didn’t move his hand, Diane touched his lips.
Then she lowered her head and pressed her lips against the emperor’s lips.

“I just need Your Majesty.”

Diane, who whispered like a spell and caressed the emperor’s hair, stood up at the right moment.
She then tidied up his disheveled clothes and looked at the emperor as if she had just had an idea.

“Oh! Your majesty… they say the empress called in Mrs.

However, unlike the expectation that the displeased look would return, the emperor’s expression did not change.

“I know.”


This was something that Diane had not expected.


As Adele sat in the empress’ palace, sipping her lemon tea, Mrs.
Giggs sat across from her, observing her closely.
The seasoned old lady could sense the tension in the air and quickly poured Adele a hot tea, hoping to relax her muscles.

“Have you paid for the dress?” Mrs.
Giggs asked, noticing the luxurious red silk dress adorned with ornate gold threads that Adele was wearing.

“Yes, I have.
But there is something I need to discuss with you,” Adele replied, setting down her cup of cold water.

“What is it? Is there not enough money?” Mrs.
Giggs asked with concern.

“No, it’s not that.
It’s just that…did you see the design of the dress that I ordered?” Adele asked hesitantly.

“Yes, I did.
But it seems that you are wearing a different dress.
Did you choose this one instead?” Mrs.
Giggs inquired.

“Well, I didn’t exactly choose it.
The ladies-in-waiting asked if I would wear this dress, and I just said it was fine,” Adele admitted, frowning.

“I see.
So, rather than making your own choice, you just went along with what was offered to you,” Mrs.
Giggs concluded, understanding the situation.

“Yes, that’s right.

“That, too, must have been granted rather than chosen individually.”

Adele frowned and nodded, feeling a sense of frustration at not being able to make her own choices.

“Ehmont-style clothing is unfamiliar, and I didn’t pay much attention to the design of the clothing even when I was in my home country.”

Giggs nodded sympathetically, understanding Adele’s unfamiliarity with the customs of the palace.

“I will return the finished dress and order again.
Please wear ready-made clothes for the time being.”

“Is this design out of formality?”

At Adele’s question, Mrs.
Giggs shook her head.

“No, it is not a matter of formality.
It is a design that looks very much like Her Majesty.”

“But why?”

“It’s because the dress closely resembles Her Majesty’s own style.
It’s as if you’ve inherited the clothes of Her Majesty the previous empress.”

It was natural that Adele did not readily understand that.

“What do you mean?”

Yes, perhaps that was the issue.
While the crowns of previous empresses were also inherited, Adele hadn’t considered the design of the clothes to be of much importance.

“His Majesty the Emperor will be thrilled by a dress that reminds him of the late Empress.”


“Don’t wear it as much as possible, Her Majesty.
There is no benefit in doing so.”

“No benefit?”

That’s right.
Her Majesty the former Empress and the present Emperor did not get along very well.”

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