The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 78

Talking with Pheles

After Tiararose left, Pheles suddenly got to his feet.

“Aquasteed. We should talk.”

“King Pheles…?”

He started to move to the living room, which suggested to Aquasteed that he had only said he wanted to drink as an excuse. But then Pheles went to the kitchen and picked up the wine and ham that Elliot had prepared for them.

—So he had wanted to drink after all.

It seemed like it had only been a short while ago that he was a ghost whose power was unstable. So Aquasteed could understand why he would want to drink and eat delicious food. And so he nodded and followed after Pheles.

“The stars are still so beautiful in this country.”

“Yes, they are.”

Pheles had moved to the roof of the villa.

They sat down on the gently slanted roof that was painted a dark red. Pheles put the plate down carefully so it would not fall off. Then Aquasteed accepted the glass of wine and they made a toast under the stars.

“…Cheers. I never thought I would be drinking with one of my descendants like this.”

“And I never thought I’d be drinking with the first king.”

The stars reflected in their glasses of white wine.

Aquasteed stared at it as he silently waited for Pheles to speak. A request? Consultation?  Or an order…

What was it that was so important for him to say that he had wanted Tiararose and Liliarge to leave?

Pheles must have realized that Aquasteed was nervous. He quickly drained his cup of wine and then laughed with amusement.

“Please don’t look so worried, Aquasteed. I’m not going to grab you and eat you.”

“…”

“Maybe I just want a little advice?”

“I doubt it.”

Pheles said teasingly. But Aquasteed denied the possibility rather bluntly.

“Damn it. Tiararose’s affection for you won’t last long if you’re so serious all of the time.”

“That’s my business…”

“Hehe. Well, the thing I wanted to talk about…is your future.”

Pheles’s voice changed suddenly. His voice went low and he looked up at the sky with a serious expression.

Aquasteed seemed surprised by those words. He then turned to Pheles with an equally serious expression. Their gold eyes looked like stars as they met each other.

—It did not seem like it would be something good.

Aquasteed thought as he drained his cup as well and then listened to Pheles.

“It’s almost time for the King of the Starry Sky to change.”

“Change?”

“Aye. …Me and you. It’s now your time.”

There was passion in Pheles’s words. It was as if they were slowly absorbed into his body. While it was something that he had an idea about it, he had not expected it to come so soon and be declared in such clear words.

Aquasteed’s hands were sweating. Perhaps due to nervousness.

Pheles looked at Aquasteed and said, ‘it’s all right.’

“You should be able to make better use of the power than I ever could.”

“I don’t think…”

“This great power that I wasn’t able to control by myself…it has slowly become a part of the people of Marineforest during the kingdom’s long, long history. It was much thicker in my blood than it is in yours, Aquasteed.”

It got thinner with Pheles’s son, the second king. And now one thousand and six hundred years had passed.

Even though Aquasteed had Pheles’s blood in his veins, it should not be so strong that he could not control it.

“King Pheles. What will happen when I become king?”

“…You’re very direct.”

“It’s not something I can escape, is it?”

Would he have to be separated from humanity and live forever?

What if he lost his human form, just as Liliarge did?

There was so much that he wanted to ask.

Pheles listened to Aquasteed’s words and pondered them as he held his chin between his fingers.

“To be honest, I do not know. …It is only my guess, but I think you and Tiararose should be able to master the power without any problems. But, perhaps you will no longer have a human lifespan.”

“Lifespan…”

“Because that would mean there won’t be a King of the Starry Sky.”

It would be fine if a new king appeared, but Pheles said it was unlikely.

Aquasteed would have no choice but to accept it. After all, it had taken one thousand and six hundred years for Aquasteed to appear in Marineforest.

–The Fairy Kings had helped them build Marineforest.

The Fairy King of the Forest, the Fairy Queen of the Sea, The Fairy King of the Sky—and the King of the Starry Sky. It was these four that had protected and supported the country since its birth.

And so the King of the Starry Sky could not leave during Aquasteed’s generation. He would have to continue to support the kingdom along with the Fairy Kings.

However—he had his worries.

“I don’t care about what happens to me. But, if it makes Tiara unhappy…”

“Aquasteed.”

As he tried to say this, Pheles thrust hist finger forward, right at Aquasteed’s eyes. The finger went down to his lips, closing them.

“Do not say anymore. You must not reject her resolve. Tiararose is strong. She made her decision as part of the royal family.”

“…”

Pheles felt proud that Tiararose was part of their family.

At the same time, just as he needed Liliarge by his side, he felt that Aquasteed needed Tiararose.

Aquasteed had not meant to deny Tiararose her choice. And yet, as she was his beloved wife—he wanted her to be happier than anyone.

“I am not oblivious to how you feel, Aquasteed. But surely, your bond is not something that can be broken so easily?”

“Of course.”

Tiararose would support Aquasteed when he became king and follow him wherever he went.  He wasn’t conceited, he really believed this, and it was in fact, true.

Aquasteed took in a deep breath in order to calm himself. And then he looked at Pheles again with a serious expression.

“Surely that wasn’t the only thing you wanted to talk about?”

“Aquasteed, you are too sharp for your own good.”

Pheles chuckled and then continued to talk.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tiararose and Philiane put Liliarge down in her bed.

It was a room that had been prepared for Pheles and Liliarge, and everything in it was a gentle, pale green color. The walls were made of wood and the vases were filled with spring and summer flowers.

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