The author published 16 new chapters the past couple of days after a month of inactivity https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0358dh/ Happy New Year
The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 82 Part 2
Aquasteed laughed after such a sudden change of topic.
Her request sounded rather bashful, but of course Aquasteed had not noticed that Tiararose had been planning to ask him for the ring.
“The Ring of the King of the Starry Sky can expand your voice.”
“Yes, I know.”
Nothing is more convenient when one wants to reach out to their people. There are newspaper and other media, but nothing that could be used to transmit information in real time like television or radio.
Aquasteed removed his ring from his finger and handed it to Tiararose. She was glad that he had not taken any precautions, but she wasn’t able to say that her reason for asking to see it was so that she could take it.
Seeing how smoothly that went, she would perhaps be able to take it secretly while he slept.
The Ring of the King of the Starry Sky was made out of opal, and it was clear and wide. Aquasteed usually wore it on his right thumb.
“I may have been relying on it too much, but the truth is that it has been a great help so far.”
Tiararose agrees with that kind of concern.
Humans should not needlessly be relying on more power than what they naturally have. Not unless they are sure it’s essential. That’s the responsibility of the one who owns such power.
–But I have no choice but to secretly borrow this ring.
She had no real intention in stealing the ring, but the story would not proceed otherwise. She had been able to get a taste of Aquasteed’s determimation, so there was no room for hestitation.
“Thank you, Prince Aqua. As one could expect, this Ring of the King of the Starry Sky is very pretty. Its transparency is second to none.”
She did not forget to feel Aquasteed’s finger to secretly confirm its size.
“Are you sleepy, Prince Aqua?”
“A little. I’ve been having a lot of work recently, and there’s so much in my mind.”
After seeing him almost dozing off, Tiararose said “Let’s sleep then” and lay down as well. She then hugged Aquasteed tightly, gently brushing his back.
She then rested her face on his chest and slowly began to feel drowsy. She was feeling tremendously tired, but not necessarily due to being burdened with her own problems.
–Don’t worry about the event not progressing! I will see to that!
She would go to the square where it all began and offer up a prayer there. She was confident that if anyone could do it, it was her, and didn’t want to hand that responsibility to anyone else.
She sang with a gently tone of voice, as if it was a lullaby.
Tiararose was like a cradle that was inviting Aquasteed to a comfortably sleep.
Of course, she was no exception. Before she had noticed, she had fallen asleep in his arms as well.
◇ ◇ ◇
After suddenly waking up feeling a numbness in her arms, she saw Aquasteed’s head in her arms. She was so surprised that she felt the the urge to say something, but restrained herself to an extent.
“Ah, I see… I fell asleep while hugging Prince Aqua, so my arms went all numb.”
Her left arm had been acting like a pillow for Aquasteed’s head. That was probably how it became numb, but she was also wondering why Aquasteed, who normally sleeps using his own arm as a pillow, looked so calm.
She gently pulled her arm away so as to not wake him up, and put a pillow under his head.
He seemed to be sleeping soundly and had no signs to be anywhere close to waking up. His daytime work, his father’s illness, the ring of light that had appeared in the sky, and the pressure he felt about his enthronement from the other noblemen…
Aquasteed had many burdens.
“You really deserve some rest, Prince Aqua.”
Tiararose’s mind was filled with thoughs of how much she wanted to pamper him tomorrow as she gently brushed his hair.
–Perhaps this could be a good moment for me to secretly take his ring?
Aquasteed was sleeping so soundly that it didn’t seem that even moving him a bit would wake him up, and she didn’t think that she could get a better chance later.
It was as if she was meant to have suddenly woken up in the middle of the night.
“…I’ll just borrow it for a while.”
Tiararose took the Ring of the King of the Starry Sky off Aquasteed’s finger and slipped it onto her own right thumb. As she thought it was a little too big, it adjusted its own size, becoming a perfect fit.
“Amazing! It changes so it fits its wearer’s finger!”
There was no fear of accidentally dropping the ring then.
Tiararose gently slipped out of the bed and headed for her own room. After choosing some clothes that would make it easier for her to move around from the wardrobe, she quietly changed into them.
She had to be doing this silently in order to avoid alerting the guards that were posted in front of the gate.
She tied up her hair into a lower bun so as to not allow it to get in her way.
White horseriding pants and a simple blouse. A deep blue jacket tied up with a lace, and her disguise was ready.
“All right, this is perfect! Now, how am I going to slip out of this room…?”
Tarmo would be strongly against her going out at such late hours. What’s more, he would most likely wake Aquasteed up in order to report my leave.
Since he had thrown himself into a fountain in order to help Liliarge before, she couldn’t count on Tarmo for this. His dependability was close to zero.
“Ah, that’s it. Lady Olivia’s guide has all the secret passages that are in the royal castle.”
There were such passages in Tiararose’s room as well.
It was quite a network that extended from a road leading directly outside, a passage into the sewage, and a secret corridor that connected every single bedroom in the royal castle.
Tiararose had memorized the secret passage that was connected to her own room, but Olivia’s guide detailed every single one of them.
For a moment, Olivia seemed to be a terrifyingly passionate person.