“So you’ve come here so that Tiararose could recover, right? How many days will you be staying?”

“We’re planning to stay for two weeks.”

When Aquasteed answered his question, Pheles made a suggestion to Tiararose.

“I see. If it’s okay with you, can you teach Liliarge how to make these delicious meals? How about it, Tiararose?”

“Sure, I’d love to!”

『Really!? I’m so happy!』

After being able to move around in the shape of a little monster, Liliarge had gotten a weak spot for tasty stuff. Particularly, sweets are her favorite, and she really wished to be able to bake a cake for Pheles on her own and share it with him.

Her tail wagged vigorously, knowing that Tiararose, who was such a good cook, would be teaching her.

— With this, there will be sweets for everyone!

Her aim was to fill Marineforest with sweets.

From the next day onwards, Tiararose would spend her mornings at ease, and in the afternoon she would cook with Liliarge. At night, she would pass the time reading books in the library to help her sleep better later.

However, the happy times did not last long.

After a week of quiet days, a knight riding a fast horse brought urgent news to the villa. When asked what it was about, he reported that the king had fallen ill.

The current king of Marineforest was Sotiris Marineforest, Aquasteed’s father.

The knight, who was out of breath, re-hydrated himself and quickly began his preparations to return to the castle. He didn’t know the details concerning the king’s illness, and had to return to the castle at once.

“Poor His Majesty…”

『Tiara, Pheles and I will go with you too. …I hope he’s safe.』

Liliarge’s worries turned into tears that started running down her cheeks. To her, Sotiris was one of her own descendants. A person she deeply loves as her own child. Both Liliarge and Pheles look very concerned.

◇ ◇ ◇

Upon returning to the castle, nothing seemed to have changed.

In order to avoid any commotions, the king’s illness was kept off the record. The worried Tiararose headed to the king’s bedroom along with Aquasteed, Pheles, and Liliarge.

The knights on lookout were surprised to see Pheles and Liliarge, but they didn’t say anything in front of Aquasteed.

Sotiris was resting on a bed with black and white laces laid on top of each other, in a room with green and light-blue furnishings. Sitting beside him was the worried Queen Ravina.

“Aqua…!”

“I came as soon as I heard, Mother.”

He then looked to the bed and found a weakened but still firmly conscious Sotiris.

He was relieved to see that, but still needed to hear the details. Before coming into the room, a doctor had told him that the name of his father’s disease was unknown.

The good thing is that no one else seems to have the same medical condition. Because of this, the chances of them getting the disease from the King are so low that Aquasteed and the others have been granted permission to see him.

Ravina helped Sotiris sit on his bed, who in turn looked at Tiararose and the others.

“I’m sorry that you had to interrupt your journey to come all the way here.”

“It’s okay. We can still go traveling again later.”

“I’m glad His Majesty is safe. He seems to be much better now, so please take a moment to rest.”

Tiararose stared fixedly at Sotiris, wondering what kind of disease could be afflicting him. She thought of the possibility of this disease not being of this world, but from Japan instead.

His cheeks looked a bit thin. His complexion didn’t seem well, and there were dark circles under his eyes. When asked about how he felt, he said that while he hadn’t lost his appetite, he still felt heavy at night, and has had fever and dizziness too.

— I have absolutely no idea what kind of disease he’s got.

She has never heard of a disease where the symptoms would worsen at night.  Just as Tiararose was feeling discouraged about not being able to help, Liliarge’s voice came from behind her, saying “Could it be…?”

“This is… Tiararose’s friend, Lady Liliarge. They were part of the same team during the sweets competition at the Fairy Kingdom.”

『Sotiris. In addition to what you have explained to your doctor, do you perhaps wake up suddenly in the middle of the night at times? Feeling heavy as a stone, and unable to breathe too deeply?』

“…!”

Liliarge seemed to have hit the spot with her suspicions. Sotiris opened his eyes wide for a moment, and let out a weak gasp.

Those other symptoms are clear just by looking at Sotiris’ appearance, but the doctor didn’t tell Tiararose and the others about it. No, he might not have told them about those symptoms so as to not worry them.

It was a bit frustrating not to be told about such things, but Sotiris might have thought that doing so as to not burden Aquasteed with his own responsibilities.

“Do you know this disease, Lady Liliarge?”

『…Yes. It is a very scary disease. The initial symptoms cannot be determined by the afflicted person’s appearance. But they will gradually feel their movements as heavy as a boulder, and it will be more and more difficult to breathe without feeling that they are being crushed.』

“I see. But I haven’t seen anything like this before.”

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