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The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 77
A Leisurely Journey
While Tiararose had been unwell, it turned out that it really was just a light cold. And she was completely healed by the time that they set off for their journey.
Of course, that meant that the purpose of the journey had changed a little.
The villa that Olivia had prepared for them was to the west of the city of Marineforest. It took them two days to reach it by carriage.
They gazed at the fields and country road until they reached a village that grew strawberries, which Marineforest was known for. Just outside of this village, was a small hill, and on that hill was the villa.
“It’s a nice place, Prince Aqua. Now that my cold is all better, I would like to visit the village as well.”
“You must be careful, Tiara.”
Tiararose looked well as she stuck her head out of the carriage and watched the fields of strawberries. But Aquasteed was still worried and wanted her to take it easy at the villa.
He could be so overprotective at times, Tiararose thought with a chuckle. And then she looked deep into his eyes and said, ‘I want to go.’
“…Very well. You can rest today. If you are still feeling up to it tomorrow, we can go and see the strawberries.”
◇ ◇ ◇
Many villages in Marineforest grew strawberries.
And this village they were visiting was one of them. It was a small village with a population of about five hundred people, but it was a cheerful place and everyone looked happy as they worked. There were many children as well, and it seemed that you could hear laughter wherever you went.
They stayed the night at the villa, and since Tiararose felt fine the next day, they came down to the village. Aside from Tiararose and Aquasteed, Elliot, Philliane and Tarmo were also there.
Once they reached the village by carriage, the village chief and several villagers came out to give them a warm welcome.
The chief immediately knelt before them and both Aquasteed and Tiararose spoke to him.
“We are grateful for your welcome, in spite of this being a sudden visit.”
“Thank you for having us.”
“Not at all. It is a tremendous honor that the royal family has come to our village.”
As something like this rarely happened, the chief smiled happily. As he was a farmer, he had a strong-looking body and the white that was starting to appear in his hair was the only thing signaling his entering into old age.
The chief himself guided them through the fields of strawberries.
“Wow, it’s amazing…”
Tiararose saw the fields of strawberries and let out a cry of amazement. Each strawberry shone like a jewel, and you could tell at a glance that they were taken care of very well.
As she thought about how much she would like to use them in her sweets, a forest fairy popped out from between the leaves.
“Oh, it’s Tiara!”
“Do you want a strawberry?”
“Uh, thank you… But you can’t take them without permission, you know?”
The forest fairy laughed with delight as it offered the strawberry to Tiararose. When she told the fairy to get permission, the chief quickly replied with a, ‘don’t be ridiculous! You can eat as much as you like!’
In that case… She put the strawberry in her mouth and enjoyed the sweetness that spread across her tongue. There was just the right amount of sourness as well, which made it even more delicious.
“Then have some more!”
“This one too!”
“I made this one!”
Once the forest fairies had seen how much Tiararose enjoyed it, they kept picking more strawberries for her to eat. Eventually, Tiararose had over thirty strawberries brought to her.
Tiararose became a little frantic when she realized that it was too much for her to eat, but Aquasteed saw her and laughed.
“The fairies of the forest really do love you.”
“But the villagers worked so hard to grow these…”
Tiararose decided that she would pay for them later.
And so Philliane gathered the strawberries so they could eat them later at the villa.
“Still, it’s quite rare to see so many forest fairies like this. Maybe they are really fond of this place?”
“It’s rare for humans to see the forest fairies… but it’s been happening more often recently.”
“Is that true?”
“It’s because of you, Tiara. They’re becoming more lively.”
Tiararose heard Aquasteed’s words and nodded.
Indeed, once Tiararose’s flower had become the national flower, many forest fairies had come out in order to take care of them.
And this wouldn’t have happened had she not been there.
She asked the chief to confirm, but his answer was most surprising.
“Oh, no. The forest fairies only came within these past few days. …I think they are very fond of the guests who visited us.”
Everyone believed that Tiararose was the only one who had been blessed by them.
So this was a great surprise.
Of course, if the forest fairies started blessing more and more people, that would be a good thing.
—However, she did feel a little sad.
Tiararose loved the forest fairies who had blessed her after she had come here from the kingdom of Lapis Lazuli. She had assumed that she would always be the only one who was blessed…and so she felt just a little bit sad.
“As for me, I’m glad that the forest fairies will no longer fixate on Tiara all of the time.”
It was just the thing to cheer her up. Tiararose smiled. Of course, it was how Aquasteed actually felt, but Tiararose felt like he was consoling her.
Aquasteed then wrapped his arm around her waist and suggested that they leave the fields and return to the village. It would be terrible if she caught a cold again.
“Princess Tiararose. Please come this way.”
“Thank you, Philliane.”
Philliane put a large stole over Tiararose’s shoulders. The fairies saw this and said, ‘it’s so pretty’ and smiled.
“Thank you. We’ll be going back to the village now.”
“Huh? You’re not going to meet them?”
“Oh, do you mean the guests that the chief was talking about?”
Tiararose tilted her head, but Aquasteed had an idea. And he was apparently right, because the fairies said, ‘that’s right!’ and they pointed to a tree that was about thirty meters away.
When Tiararose looked, she saw Pheles and Lilliarge napping comfortably underneath a very large tree.
It all made sense now. Those two would definitely be loved by the fairies of the forest.
Pheles Marineforest and his wife, Liliarge Marineforest.
The first king and queen of this country.
They had immense power, and along with the three fairy rulers, they had build the kingdom of Marineforest.
“Ah, those two. It’s no wonder they were blessed.”
“Yes. They said they were going to travel, but I didn’t know they would come here.”
Elliot and Aquasteed also chuckled. But as the only one who didn’t know what was happening, the chief just looked puzzled.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Ah, I did not expect you all to come to this village as well.”
Pheles said with a laugh. He carried the fluffy and adorable Liliarge in his arms.
His face was much like Aquasteed, but his hair was lighter. As she had inherited the power of the king of the starry sky, Liliarge was in the form of a monster. As the power had settled down now, they were both traveling through Marineforest to enjoy the sights.
After seeing them in the strawberry fields, Tiararose called them and invited them to the villa.
In the large living room, Tiararose and Aquasteed sat next to each other on a couch. Pheles held Liliarge and sat on a couch on the opposite side.
Olivia was very proud of this villa. It was made of wood and had a relaxing atmosphere. The smell of nature and trees filled the air. Outside of the window, there was a wooden porch that gave you a great view of the mountains. It was a perfect place to have tea.
“Princess Tiararose. The strawberries are ready.”
“Thank you, Philliane.”
“Oh, they look delicious!”
The forest fairies had selected the best strawberries for them.
They were served along with hot tea. Tiararose and Liliarge were incredibly excited.
Just then, Tiararose wondered if Pheles was capable of eating food like them? Pheles was a ghost and perhaps he was no longer able to eat.
And so Tiararose addressed him hesitantly.
“Uh… King Pheles. Will you eat with us?”
“Yes, I will. Thank you, Tiararose.”
“He can eat just fine. It is most odd, since he is a ghost. He did die… But perhaps he is really more like a fairy. Keith and the others can eat, can they not?”
Pheles said that he could eat, and Liliarge explained it further. Tiararose was relieved by this, and they enjoyed the strawberries.
“Hahhh… I’m stuffed.”
“Are you all right? Queen Liliarge?”
Liliarge started to become drowsy as soon as she was finished eating. Though, it might have had something to do with the fact that Pheles was gently petting her.
“We should take King Pheles and Queen Liliarge to their room.”
Aquasteed said as he stood up, but Pheles slowly shook his head.
“Tiararose, would you mind putting Lilia to bed? I would like to drink a little.”
“Yes, of course.”
Apparently, the tea had not been enough. Tiararose thought with amusement. Next time, she would have wine and champagne brought to them as well.
Aquasteed decided to keep Pheles company, and so he sat back down on the sofa.
“I’m sure you’re tired Tiara. You should get some rest as well.”
“Yes. Excuse me, Prince Aqua, King Pheles.”
“Thank you for taking Lilia.”
Tiararose took Liliarge from Pheles and held her carefully.
As Philliane would go with Tiararose, Elliot prepared the drinks. And with that settled, Tiararose left the living room.