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The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 84
Taking the Kings’ Base: Part 1
After being teleported by the magic circle, Tiararose and Akari appeared in a room of about 16 square meters.
The walls and ceiling were entirely made of crystal and were surrounded by transparent light. There seemed to be no other rooms or corridors connected to it, but there was a pedestal in the center of the room. Still, there was nothing placed on top of it.
“What is this place…?”
Tiararose looked around, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary besides that pedestal.
Akari touched the pedestal to check if there was something on it, but nothing happened.
“Hmm… I think that since you started the event, you should be the one touching the pedestal, don’t you think, Lady Tiara?”
Without any other choice but standing up, Tiararose stepped in front of the pedestal.
It was a round pedestal made of the same crystal as the rest of the room. It was shining with a faint light, so it was easy to see it as a key point for the event.
–I hope that by proceeding with the event, Prince Aqua’s worries will disappear.
With that thought in her mind, Tiararose nervously touched the pedestal.
That seemed to be the right way to do it. The rings started to emit light so bright that both Tiararose and Akari had to close their eyes.
To say that she wasn’t excited about what could happen next would be a lie. However, Tiararose lost her breath the moment she heard that voice.
“…What on earth, Tiara…?
“Ah… Prince Aqua?”
After the blinding light had subsided and Tiararose opened her eyes, she found none other than Aquasteed standing in front of her.
“We’re here as well.”
Tiararose heard Keith’s voice coming from behind her.
Hurriedly turning around, she found that Aquasteed, Keith, Crail, and Pheles were there as well.”
“That was a selfish thing you did there…”
Keith looked around him while grinning bitterly.
Shortly after that, Crail sighed.
“It’s been a while since the last time I’ve been here.”
“I never thought I’d end up coming here like this.”
–You all know what’s happening here?
Aquasteed tenderly embraced the confused Tiararose. However, she could see from his face that he was angry. There was no doubt he was angry at her for having acted on her own like that.
There was no reason why she would have to sneak out like that nor to bring Aquasteed and the others to that place against their will.
“I… I’m sorry. I couldn’t let anyone know what I was doing.”
“I was worried when I woke up and you weren’t there.”
After seeing Tiararose apologize with such frankness, Pheles, who had been silent up until that point, opened his mouth.
“Well, it’s been some time since we last played this game. The Fairy King of the Sea is still asleep, but I assume everyone understands the situation, right?
Everyone’s faces went serious after hearing what Pheles had said.
Tiararose felt Aquasteed tightening their embrace, so he probably knew what he was talking about. The only ones who were in the dark were Tiararose and Akari.
“Since Tiararose doesn’t seem to know, please allow me to explain. This is the starting point where we kings are to take our own bases.”
The event that resulted from Tiararose’s prayer was ‘Taking the Fairy King’s bases’. The first time this event took place was back when Marineforest was founded.
The Fairy Kings established their bases in a tactical battle to decide the boundaries of their dominions. There was an unspoken agreement where in case of any disputes, they should be settled by taking these bases. This was like this since if the Fairy Kings were to do actual battle, the entire land could be greatly damaged.
“When I founded Marineforest, I received the blessings of the other three Fairy Kings. But it soon became a matter of who would bless which part of Marineforest. They thought about how to get which portion of the land to bless.”
“So the Fairy Kings took up their bases in order to show their own power?”
“That’s right, Tiararose. And I too have fought over my bases in the same way in order to show that I was worthy of being the king of this country.”
Tiararose nodded, showing that she understood what Pheles had explained thus far.
–I see, so the purpose of this taking of the Fairy King’s bases this time is… Ah!
“Lord Pheles, this is…”
“You seem to have realized, huh?”
The first time this event happened was back when the nation was founded.
In other words, it was back when Pheles became the King of the Starry Sky.
So this time around, it might be happening again since Aquasteed will be becoming the next King of the Starry Sky.
Tiararose’s prayer had decreed that Aquasteed would be initiated in the taking of the Fairy King’s bases in order to become a true king.
“Prince Aqua, I…”
“It’s okay Tiara. I’ll be fine. No matter what I say, I know you will be by my side, right?”
Just like that, he said he’ll give it his best.
“Do you know the rules, Aquasteed?”
Aquasteed decidedly nodded at Pheles’s question.
The land of Marineforest is brimming with blessings of fairies that are invisible to people.
They have taken the shape of gems, coral, flowers, and so on. Should you obtain one of those, that domain becomes yours.
That’s what ‘Taking the bases’ is all about.
The bases themselves are square sections within the territory of Marineforest. Inside each of these sections, there is a blessing. Therefore, participants need to take each base one at a time.
However, it is possible to lose one’s base.
For example, let’s say Keith takes one base.
If Crail were to obtain the bases at both ends of Keith’s, his base would get sandwiched between Crail’s and he would lose that base to Crail.
It may be easier to understand the game by thinking of Marineforest as a board, and the game itself as some kind of reversi.
After having finished his explanation, Pheles continues by saying ‘Well then’.
“Shall we start, with the opening pledge, Tiararose?”
“Of course. Originally, the would-be king would have his own ring to do it himself. However, all rings are needed in order to force a third party to start.”
Having learned that fact took Tiararose’s breath away.
She had really gone too far this time. Pheles, Aquasteed, and the Fairy Kings all knew how to start the event on their own already.
“I messed up big time, haven’t I…?”
“No, don’t say that. You did a good thing. Sometimes it’s better to have someone force these kinds of events rather than just idly pass the time with not much really happening. Tiararose, please put your hand on the pedestal and let us start.”
Tiararose put her hand on the pedestal after being asked to do so by Pheles.
She was trembling a bit, perhaps due to the tension of the whole situation or because she was anxious about not knowing what would happen next. Still, Aquasteed was right next to her, and was smiling kindly as if saying ‘It’s okay’.
–Prince Aqua told me that he would become the King of the Starry Sky.
That must have been the reply of a nervous Aquasteed.
“Prince Aqua. I’m praying for you. I’m sorry for being so selfish.”
“Now that you mention that, I’m the same. I’m sorry for making you worry so much.”
The two found it funny that they were apologizing to each other like that, and found themselves laughing it off.
“Then, the pledge…!?”
『By combining three rings into one, this land can be brought to order. The time limit is three hours.』
“Did you hear that voice just now?”
Neither Aquasteed, nor Akari, nor Pheles or the others could hear the voice that Tiararose was talking about.
However, she had heard it clearly. It had been so powerful that it echoed through the entire room.
『–Going beyond that limit may bring about a tremendous force that could end up consuming one’s body.”』
The voice spoke again, and Tiararose opened her eyes wide open in surprise.
That ‘tremendous force’ could be very well what had caused Pheles to lose his life and Liliarge to become a monster. So no matter what happened next, Aquasteed could not allow that power to consume him as well.
In that case, there was really only one choice for Tiararose.
To create a Marineforest where no one could be brought any pain by combining the power of the rings.
Soon enough, all of the information flowed through the clueless Tiararose.
“–Hear my pledge! I hereby declare the start of the Taking of the Fairy Kings’ Bases!”
Tiararose spoke with decision, but then immediately left the pedestal. Since she had acted so suddenly, she had to check if something had happened to Aquasteed.
“Prince Aqua, I’m sorry. I… I’ll do what I can!”
Tiararose headed towards one of the room’s walls, and held the rings above her head.
As a response, a door suddenly appeared on that wall. The first one to react to that was Crail. He didn’t know what Tiararose was planning to do, but he did know what was on the other side of that door.
“…! What are you planning to do, Tiararose?”
He was trying to tell her that she could not go without telling them her reasons.
“It’s okay, Lord Crail. I’ll do my best to help Prince Aqua…!”
“What do you mean– ah, wait!”
Tiararose then disappeared into the door, and Crail ran after her.
The only ones left in that room were Aquasteed, Pheles, Keith, and Akari.
Pheles laughed as he saw those two leave, saying ‘Energetic, aren’t we?’. Then he turned to Aquasteed, who was standing next to the pedestal, and asked:
“Are you okay not chasing after them as well?”
“Tiara said she would do whatever she can. So I’ll just believe in her and let her do exactly that.”
The truth was that he really wanted to chase after Tiararose.
The fact that Crail had ran after her had him worried, too, but he wanted to confess what he was thinking about.
“I’ll… become the King of the Starry Sky.”
Pheles smiled tenderly at Aquasteed’s strong determination.