“What are you on about?”
“I strongly object to the term “empress.” Do you get what I mean?”
After a brief moment of thought, the count narrowed his eyes and refuted his sister’s words.
“Whether you’re hesitant or not, the title of Empress has significance in and of itself!”
“It must be stated that she is an existence known as the Emperor.
I mean, no one will betray His Majesty’s love.
No one can be above me as long as His Majesty loves me.
Even the Duke of Despone tells me, “His Majesty cannot appoint you as Empress, but he adores you.”
“What kind of nonsense is that?” Lennox muttered in disbelief, but Diane only snorted.
“Love is icy, Diane,” he said, “It will cool down someday.”
Diane gave a sly grin.
“Love for a living person becomes icy.
However, love for a deceased person never fades.
As a result, death appears to be an immortal name.”
Diane sighed and removed the locket from around her neck.
When she opened the locket’s lid, there was a portrait of a familiar, slender woman who resembled Diane.
Her pale sky-blue eyes and curly blonde hair.
The woman in a locket portrait was Karl Ulrich’s late mother.
“Karl sees his mother in me.
The Empress is nowhere important to him.
Have you forgotten how strained the relationship was between the former Empress and the current Majesty?”
A concubine with both love and power is preferable to an empress with only a title.
Diane smiled as she closed her eyes and clasped the locket in her hands.
“How are you going to get along with the empress? Do you have any idea what kind of woman she is? I told you to get pregnant before the emperor’s wedding!”
Diane finally became enraged.
She then closed her eyes and swallowed her anger.
She opened her eyes and spoke in a controlled manner.
“It makes no difference.”
The count murmured and raised his brows.
“What are you on about?”
“Because she was born a princess, everyone must have bowed their heads in front of her and supported her.
Her people must have elevated her to the status of a princess.
The gaze and hospitality of those around them shape people.
I can make even the poorest beggar feel like a king.”
“All you have to do is get a lot of people to bow their heads in front of the beggars.
Those on the road will then bow their heads to beggars as well.”
Diane sighed and lifted the cloth again, her face irritated by Lennox’s words.
“In any case, it doesn’t matter who she is.
She won’t have anyone to push her to greatness.
What would a foreign country’s princess do? She’ll come and go across the sea to ask for help?”
* * *
About a month later, knights on horseback lined up in front of the capital’s gates, which boasted the Great Majesty.
They felt the fierce spirit while wearing the dignified black cloak.
It was the end of summer, the wide plain was ablaze with vibrant wildflowers and the sun shone brightly overhead.
The golden sunlight and the colorful wildflowers swaying in the wind were stunning.
Dozens of black-cloaked knights waited for someone to appear from beyond the beautiful plains.
How long has it been? The person standing in front and looking into the distance narrowed his eyes slightly.
Lionel Baldr, Minister of Defense Ehmont and commander of the Guards Division, sported dark hair and blue eyes.
He is a direct descendant of the venerable Prince Baldr.
As they would be welcoming the next Empress of Ehmont, he was selected as the representative.
Lionel fixed his gaze on the distant silhouette that appeared at the horizon’s edge.
“It appears that they’re on their way!”
Someone said to Lionel in a cheerful tone, possibly also to the other knights.
“Let’s get out there soon.”
When Lionel lightly waved the reins, the horse began cantering, and the knights behind him drove the horse in unison as a signal.
At the sound of thumping hooves, the birds resting under the trees were startled and flew away into the sky.
Adele, who had grown tired from riding in the carriage, stood up and looked out the window when she heard horseshoes shake the ground.
It was rather enjoyable to hear.
A group of knights happened to be running at the same time.
Her patience was about to run out after spending nearly two months on ships and wagons.
Adele asked the person who was leading the horses.
“How far do we have to go?”
“What you’re looking at now is the first gate.
We have to go through Gate two, which adds about an hour to our journey.”
She paused for a moment before closing the window that had been open the entire time and drew the curtains down.
Adele grinned as she pulled a pair of her own clothes from her box as her maid looked at it in amazement.
“I should change my clothes.”
The wagon’s speed gradually slowed as the sound of hoofbeats grew louder by the minute.
Adele stood up and looked at the door when the carriage came to a complete stop.
From outside the wagon, they could hear each other greeting each other, and then they felt someone approaching the wagon.
A low-pitched voice was heard at the same time as a polite knock.
“Do you mind if I open the door?”
It was a powerfully moving voice.
Adele opened the carriage door herself instead of responding.
The first thing she noticed when she opened the door was a mysterious blue light.
Adele paused for a moment, thinking, how strange, and beautiful.
Meanwhile, Lionel, who was standing outside the carriage, took a step back, surprised by the sudden opening of the door.
She drew the curtains tighter and stepped out of the carriage, her gaze fixed on him—with orbs a bright gold color that gleamed even in the carriage’s dim interior.
He didn’t realize he had been staring at Adele intently until she stepped out of the carriage.
Lionel extended his hand quickly and politely and Adele placed her hand lightly on his.
Adele had just taken his hand and was walking down the stairs when the wind blew.
Lionel’s jet-black hair fluttered in the wind and ran across his cheeks.
The weight on his hand vanished as he turned his gaze to follow her hair tickling his cheek.
The princess of another country stood on her ground, staring at him silently.
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