I normally say that I like Past Life Returner but I have not read it at all, not even the manhwa(comic). But this story is different, I love it. I...


The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 157

  1. Intrusion Survey into Elly Kingdom

Slyph, who has never seen someone who’s harsh towards her before, fell in love with Keith instantly.

It’s an unexpected development that caused everyone to be speechless.

 

“I’m acquainted with Gnome since the past and they wouldn’t be able to get food supplies if I’m not here! They were only concerned about blacksmith… I don’t know the reason why Lady Luciarose was taken away though.”

 

In the first place, Slyph did not know that Gnome did something like that.

 

“Or rather, I cannot believe that Gnome would do something like that… I wonder what happened”

 

Slyph thought that there’s a need to find out about that.

 

“For the time being, let’s go there first. It’s already night time though, what shall we do? I’m fine anytime.”

 

She said that they could head now immediately or leave tomorrow.

To be honest, they thought that it might be dangerous to visit in the dark, but rather than that they prioritize on heading towards Luciarose.

 

“I want to go immediately! Please, Slyph.”

“…I got it, I’ll prepare.”

 

Tiararose replied forcefully and Slyph nodded.

 

 

***

 

 

“Here, Keith.”

“Don’t stick to me, stay a distance away from me”

“Ah”

 

Slyph was guiding him with a smile, but Keith was perturbed by it.

Tiararose and the others looked at them from the back and looked at each other with wry smiles. Behind them were Elliot and Tarmo.

 

“Even so, to think that there’s the path to the country of Gnome… Elly kingdom.”

“…yes. But please keep it a secret, they are only concerned with blacksmith and lead quiet lives after all.”

“Of course.”

 

Right now, they are at the foot of a mountain near the capital of Phylargia. It takes less than thirty minutes by horse and was quite close.

There’s an entrance to Elly kingdom at the back of the cave in the mountain.

 

They checked their footings carefully as they walked for about an hour.

There’s a huge door and two knights who were on guard. It seems like the Elly kingdom is beyond this door.

 

The knights noticed the presence of Tiararose and the others and immediately raised their voice saying “who’s there” while drawing their swords out. However, Emerald stood out in front to stop them.

 

“It’s me.”

“Lady Emerald!?”

“What are you doing in the middle of the night…”

 

The knights immediately sheathed their swords with confused looks.

However, that’s not strange; other than Emerald, the others are unfamiliar faces to them and it is midnight right now. It’s not strange for them to think that there’s something suspicious going on.

 

Emerald smiled to reassure the knights.

 

“There’s something we have to confirm immediately. These people are important guests of mine.”

“Excuse us for our rudeness.”

“I’ll open the door.”

 

The knights placed their hands on the door and were about to open it- but it wouldn’t budge.

 

“…Hm?”

“What’s going on? It’d open normally.”

 

The knights could not hide their confusion and Emerald asked them if anything’s wrong..

 

“We’re sorry. We don’t know the reason but the door wouldn’t open. It’d usually open even at night.”

“We don’t receive any information from the dwarfs about it.”

 

The knights were completely clueless.

 

“Is that even possible?”

“I’ll try opening it.”

 

Keith was suspicious and Slyph immediately placed her hand on the door. Even if it cannot be opened by humans, it might be possible for a spirit.

 

“Ughh”

 

However, when she tried to open the door with all her might, it just wouldn’t budge. She also tried to push it but it didn’t work.

Slyph desperately tried to open the door but it seems to be impossible.

 

“It doesn’t work, it wouldn’t budge at all! Gnome is good at defence magic so it’d be difficult to break through it.”

“No way…”

 

Tiararose’s face turned pale when Slyph said that.

The entrance’s normally open but the door wouldn’t budge at this timing- it seems to imply that something is going on.

 

“Slyph, is there no other way to go to the Elly kingdom?”

“…well, there’s other available option, but we’d have to go to the cave deep in this mountain and it’s going to be tough.”

“Deep in this mountain…”

 

Tiararose looked up and the wind blew.

Cliffs were protruding out from the mountain and there were relatively fewer trees. Tiararose has little experience in hiking and she knows instantly that it’d be quite difficult for her to go deep into the mountain.

 

-Or rather, I know I’m going to be a burden to others.

 

Tiararose hung her head, thinking that it’s important for mothers to have physical strength.

However, it’s not the time to be voicing out such concerns if it’s for the sake of her daughter. While thinking about that, Aquasteed placed his hand on her.

It seems like he has looked through what Tiararose’s thinking about and was smiling at her.

 

“I’ll go with Keith so Tiara and Princess Emerald should wait here together.”

“But… I… Lucia…”

 

Tiararose knows that she’d end up being a burden.

Even so, she wants to go along and Aquasteed hugged her gently.

 

“I know Tiara’s feelings perfectly well. However, leave it to me, the father now. Tiara has always been doing your best, so give me a chance to put on a show now.”

“Aqua…”

“I’ll definitely bring her back.”

 

Aquasteed rubbed Tiararose’s back; Keith also came over and rubbed Tiararose’s head.

 

“I’ll protect Aqua and Lucia. You don’t have to worry and just wait for our return.”

“Once I’m back, I want to eat Tiara’s desserts.”

“That’s great.”

 

Looking at their smiles, Tiararose also smiled.

 

“…Yes. Please save Lucia, Aqua and Keith.”

 

 

***

 

 

Without even preparing for their attires, Aquasteed, Keith and Slyph started climbing the mountain.

 

Aquasteed thought that it’s going to be quite a distance when Keith grabbed his arm- and the next moment, they’re deep in the mountain.

 

“…that’s of great help.”

“Yeah.”

 

Keith also thought that it’s kind of unfair, but he just looked around the surroundings.

The rocky mountain has little vegetation. There were many cliffs and it’d be quite tough for Tiararose to climb.

 

“Hey, don’t leave me alone!”

“You’re slow, Slyph. Guide us to the entrance quickly.”

“It cannot be helped…”

 

Slyph transported over later and started walking reluctantly.

 

“This entrance is covered with magic so normal people cannot pass through it. The only person other than me who knows about it is probably Gnome.”

 

Slyph stopped walking after around five minutes.

There’s a huge rock there and it does not look like it has a cave.

 

“…it’s quite a wonderful magic; if I’m alone, I’d probably not noticed it.”

 

Aquasteed said that and Slyph appeared to be rather proud.

 

“That’s right, Gnome’s amazing after all!”

“That amazing Gnome kidnapped someone, you know?”

“Ah, that’s… let’s head over and confirm with Gnome immediately!”

 

Slyph used magic and the entrance of the cave gradually appeared.

 

“Well then, let’s enter.”

 

Aquasteed and the others stepped into the dark cave.

They have finally arrived at the country of Gnome – Elly kingdom.

 

 

Elly kingdom is very active.

It might be night time but the sounds of mineral ores being struck echoed and they’re still working.

 

Upon seeing the dwarfs, Keith was surprised at how they’ve been living.

 

“The dwarfs totally look different from us… would it be fine?”

“It’s fine. The dwarfs are used to seeing humans from Phylargia so they would not be on their guards.”

 

Aquasteed thought that they should at least wear an overcoat, but it seems like that’s not a problem.

 

“Rather than that, let’s visit the Gnome who should be in the castle.”

“Yes, please guide us.”

“Leave it to me, Keith. I’m very useful, aren’t I?”

 

Slyph approached Keith while walking through the huge main road without a care. After walking straight, they have arrived at the Gnome’s residence of mineral ore castle.

Aquasteed thought that they’d be using another route and wondered if it’d really be fine… but it’s true that this is the fastest way.

 

While heading to the mineral ore castle, he saw the swords on sales and display.

Aquasteed could not hide his surprise at how they were for agricultural use. Marineforest would have treated them as national treasures.

 

Rather than that, there were several agricultural and cooking equipments on display.

Aquasteed thought that if Tiararose’s here, her tension would definitely rise.

 

“It was as Slyph has said, the dwarfs does not seem to be bothered about us.”

“Well yeah, they are not really concerned about things other than blacksmithing…”

“I see… Hm?”

 

He overhears what the dwarfs were talking about.

 

“The fire in my workshop has become weak, how about your place?”

“What, so it’s the same for you too?! Me too, with this I cannot work!”

 

-Fire?

 

Aquasteed and Keith immediately realized the reason why Luciarose was taken away.

There’s no one other than Luciarose who holds great fire magic power.

 

“It seems like we better investigate about this.”

“Yes. Or rather, does Slyph know about it?”

“Eh!? The fire used by the dwarfs was probably the fire spirit… Gnomes and the dwarfs use the fire as the source and their blacksmith works depend on it.”

 

After hearing Slyph’s explanation, Aquasteed nodded.

 

“In that case, there’s a huge possibility that they were trying to use Lucia’s power to revive the fire which seems to be weakening for some reason.”

“That’s most probably the case. There is no fire that’s perfect for blacksmith than the flames of Salamander.”

“Eh, Lady Luciarose is Lady Salamander!?”

“Well, it’s something like that. For now, let’s hurry!”

 

Keith replied roughly and rushed Slyph; she now knows that something huge is happening and dashed towards the mineral ore castle.

 

 

There were dwarfs knights guarding the door to the mineral ore castle. However, it’s not the time to care about that.

 

“W-What are you guys doing!!”

“Stop, this is Gnome’s–”

 

Keith took the fan from his waist and blew them away.

The guards immediately fainted and the door would be destroyed by the magic if this goes on; Keith is going out of control, but Aquasteed has no intention to stop him.

Or rather, if Keith did not do that, Aquasteed would have done that himself.

 

“Lucia’s presence could be sensed above.”

“Let’s get her back immediately!”

 

After stepping into the mineral ore castle, there were many dwarf maids and attendant around; they were all surprised, but they did not care about it and dashed up the stairs.

 

“Slyph, I’ll leave them to you!”

“E-Eh, to me!?”

 

The dwarfs were gathering towards her and asked her what’s going on. She’ll probably explain about the situation.

Right then, Aquasteed and Keith found the room where Luciarose’s magic power presence could be felt and opened the door.

 

“Lucia!!”

 

Aquasteed called out her name and she immediately laughed happily in response.

 

“A-u, kya~!”

“You’re fine…”

 

Walking towards Luciarose who stretched her hands with a smile, Aquasteed hugged his little treasure.

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