Adele took a look around the Empress’s chambers slowly, if anything remained—even a small regret—but she felt nothing.
Her heart became surprisingly light when she thought about it.
Suddenly, she could hear urgent footsteps and the door slammed open with a bang.
Only one person had the ability to act in this manner. 

The man who appeared beyond the wooden door was insanely handsome, and his shiny blonde hair was disheveled as if he had run.
He glared at Adele with sharp, decadent purple eyes.
Karl Ulrich is the emperor of the Ehmont Empire and Adele’s ex-husband.
He narrowed his eyes at Adele’s attire and gritted his teeth. 

“What are you doing?” he asked.
His voice was dangerously low and his burning eyes seemed to devour her.
Adele shifted her gaze away from him and attempted to leave the room.
The emperor blocked her path and growled, “I asked you a question.”

Adele’s golden eyes flashed defiantly.
She had never had the courage to look him straight in the eye.
This was what he wanted.
She wanted to be brave for once—even if it was a farce.
Even if it meant being locked up and subjected to bondage.

She took a step back from him and maneuvered toward the door as if she didn’t want to answer his question, but before she could cross the threshold, he grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her around.
She utterly despised his behavior, but she knew she was powerless against him.

The two locked their blood-red gazes on each other.
Karl took a step closer and divulged the question he had been meaning to ask the entire time. 

“Are you going to see him?” he spat.
“Are you crawling to Lionel Baldr?”

The emperor yelled in despair, but Adele’s face grew even colder.
He was ignorant until the very end. 

“No,” she replied coldly, “That is unimportant to me.
It’s critical that I can no longer stand by your side.”

“Where would my Empress be if she couldn’t be with me?”

Adele burst out laughing at his preposterous question.

“Empress? You are attempting to dethrone me,” she scoffed.

Karl was stunned by her accusation.
Adele wiped away the sarcastic smile off of her face and looked at him blankly before whispering.

“That’s a lot better,” she said.
Karl froze.
He wanted to kneel in front of her and beg her to stop talking.
Adele, on the other hand, didn’t even give him a chance.
“If you didn’t,” she whispered, “I couldn’t have done this.”

“Stop,” Karl croaked.

Adele gave him the smile he craved, as seductive as a crescent moon as she uttered the wo

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