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The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 154

  1. Underground Elly Kingdom

The soil spirit Gnome is in a place called the Elly Kingdom.

Most of the civilians are dwarfs; the adults are midgets at around 80 centimetres tall and they live underground.

Dwarfs are thought to be imaginary creatures that exist in picture books, but in reality they do exist and lead quiet lives.

 

The Elly Kingdom is one which is built underground using the power of the spirit Gnome.

The place is directly located underground of Phylargia and extends as far to one third of the Lapis Lazuli kingdom’s underground area.

Even so, it doesn’t mean that there are a lot of residents.

Most of the areas are mining spots for minerals and such, and the resident areas only cover up to half of the surface area of Phylargia kingdom.

For food supplies, they have transactions with the Phylargia kingdom where they get enough for their livelihoods.

 

 

Also, right now, they are at the Dwarf castle of the Elly kingdom. The castle was made by digging a hole into a mineral ore and it’s very cooling.

 

“Fueee”

 

Luciarose, who was taken away suddenly, wailed loudly. Two dwarf maids were trying to comfort her desperately.

Their heights might be around seventy centimetres, but they were fully developed adult ladies.

 

“Ah, princess, please show us a cute expression.”

“Ah, please stop crying.”

“Fueeeeeeee”

 

However, Luciarose did not stop crying.

 

“Here’s some shaker toys, it sounds fun doesn’t it~?”

“Peekaboo~! Ah, why won’t you smile for us?”

“Fuee, fueeeee!”

 

They tried to please her with all their might, but it was futile. The maids were extremely troubled and looked at their master.

 

“Gnome, where did you get this kid from?”

“Isn’t it a human baby… it’s still young too.”

 

The maids had teary eyes as they have no experience taking care of human kids.

However, the Gnome only told them to bear with it.

 

“…This kid is our hope.”

 

 

The soil spirit Gnome spoke with a soft voice.

It has a small body like the other dwarfs with a height of sixty centimetres.

It has long fringe which covered the eyes. The dark brown hair was like a mushroom and there was a small mineral crown on top of its head.

Gnome has a thick mantle and waist-pouch which was filled with digging tools on.

 

The Gnome rubbed the crying Luciarose’s head… but she wouldn’t stop crying.

 

“Oh no… please stop crying…”

 

The maids were frantic and demanded an explanation from the troubled Gnome.

 

“…Actually, the fire source which we use for our blacksmithing – the fire spirit has started to diminish…”

“Ehhhhh!?”

“I should have informed you guys about it earlier… but I just couldn’t say it, sorry… however I was not able to resolve the issue with my own power…”

 

The Gnome was depressed and the maids looked at each other. Luciarose might have sensed the severity of the situation in the air as she stopped crying right then.

 

“Ah, you are a good kid, princess.”

“Please stay quiet like this for a while.”

“Au…”

 

Gnome was relieved when Luciarose has finally behaved well and continued on,

 

“We have created many legends with our blacksmith skills.”

“Yes.”

 

The maids nodded at the Gnome’s words.

The dwarfs and Gnome live together and they love blacksmithing. However, they are not really interested in fame and just continued to make weapons with their blacksmith skills quietly.

Actually, the legendary swords forged in this world were all made by the dwarfs.,

There are not many conflicts these days, so there’s not much demand for them… in place of that, they created items necessary for daily livelihood… and they are all of rather high quality.

 

“…Our items are all of high quality. The wonderful attributes are partly thanks to the skills we have accumulated over times- but it was also partly due to the power of the fire spirit, right?”

“Yes. The fire spirit is a holy flame that is used for blacksmithing. We are able to create wonderful products due to the fact that we forged the items with that flame.”

“To us, it’s something that’s needed for life, just like water.”

 

That’s right, to the Gnome and dwarfs, the fire spirit is an important fire.

It’s just unthinkable of what’s going to happen once that fire disappears. The maids thought that it’s not the time to take care of this baby right now.

 

“Gnome, the fire spirit is akin to life for us.”

“Is there a way to keep the fire burning on for eternity?”

“…”

 

The gnome kept quiet when the maids pleaded desperately.

 

“When I saw the fire diminishing, I thought that it’s the end…”

 

Right when that thought appeared—the Gnome found a huge fire.

 

“This child is Luciarose. She has the great fire power of the Salamander within her body and she’s our saviour.”

“What…!?”

 

Before the fire disappears, the Gnome kidnapped Luciarose out of desperation.

The maids stared at Luciarose and cried; that’s how important the fire spirit is to the dwarfs.

 

“I’m glad that we managed to keep the fire from ceasing.”

“It’s scary to think of how it’s going to be like if we could not blacksmith with the fire of the fire spirit.”

 

The dwarfs rubbed their chests in relief—

 

“W-Wait a minute, Gnome!”

“The parents of this child are not here?”

“U…um, once the flame of the fire spirit is restored, I’d return this child properly…”

 

The maids’ faces turned green as the Gnome spoke in broken sentences.

 

“Seriously, where did this princess come from~~?”

 

The shouts of the dwarfs echoed through the mineral castle.

 

 

***

 

 

“Tiara, Sir Saravia has sent his reply. It seems like Lucia’s fine.”

“Really!?”

 

 

To rescue Luciarose, Tiararose and the others were heading to Lapis Lazuli by horses. Right now, they were in a town in the middle of their path for a stay.

Tiararose, Aquasteed, Elliot, Tarmo and Keith rode horses to their destination of Phylargia kingdom. There were other knights along with them. Philiane’s not good at riding horses so she’s coming over by horse wagon and would rejoin them later.

 

Thinking that the Salamander might know something about the matter of Luciarose, she had Elliot send a letter to her, and she received a reply immediately.

Tiararose sat down on the bed and was relieved.

 

“However, Salamander’s not sure about her state or detailed location. She did not feel any disturbance in the fire power so it seems like she’s fine…”

“I’m glad just to hear that Lucia’s fine. I’m glad, Lucia… I’ll come over to rescue you soon so please wait for me…”

 

Tiararose started to tear up with hot tears.

Even though she’s fine, she must have been uncomfortable.

 

Tiararose was about to cry; Aquasteed sat down next to her and hugged her thin shoulders. Tiararose leaned onto him and continued.

 

“It’s the first time I’ve been this apart from Lucia for such a long time.”

 

Is she crying right now in the middle of the night? Is she eating properly? Is she being treated in a bad way now?

Tiararose started to feel uncertain.

 

“We were always together… I want to hug her as soon as possible.”

“…Yes.”

 

Tiararose and Aquasteed fell asleep with their hands held together.

 

 

***

 

 

It’s morning and Tiararose did some morning exercises to warm her body up; she’d be riding the horse for one whole day so she stretched her body just in case.

When Aquasteed and the others first saw her doing the morning exercises, they thought it was strange but they’re doing with her now.

 

“However, you’re really good at riding horses.”

 

Keith came over and said that when he saw how Tiararose rode the horse.

 

“Keith too. I never thought I’d see a fairy king riding a horse.”

 

Tiararose smiled wryly, trying to stop herself from saying that she thought he can’t ride a horse. Keith and the other fairy kings always use teleportation after all.

 

“Well, of course I’d ride horses sometimes. Or rather, wouldn’t it be stranger to think that I cannot ride a horse?”

“…I see.”

 

.—Keith’s really athletic.

 

It’s easy to think that he managed to ride a horse perfectly without practice; his athletic skills made her envious.

The sight of him controlling the horse was very refreshing and reliable.

 

Tiararose was talking to Keith when Aquasteed and Elliot came over.

 

“Before departing… Elliot”

“Yes. Lady Tiararose, you have a letter from Princess Emerald.”

“Really!? I’m glad that there’s a reply.”

 

She actually intended to visit after a few days to allow some time for preparations, but since it’s an emergency this time, she wrote a letter saying that she wishes to see her as soon as possible.

Tiararose checked the content and a reply of consent was written on it, telling her to come over anytime.

 

“I’m glad, with this we can go to the Phylargia kingdom and ask Princess Emerald.”

“It’d be good if we get some clues regarding the spirit…”

 

It seems to be a challenge to get the information from Phylargia.

Tiararose and Aquasteed were talking about that when Keith interrupted and said “in that case”

 

“Once we’re nearby, I’d try to sense Lucia’s magic power. Since it’s not Marineforest, it might be difficult to sense her precise position, but I think we’d get some clue from it.”

“Really!? Thank you, Keith!! That’d help a lot.”

 

If they could not sense Luciarose’s magic power in Phylargia, they’d have to search other places promptly.

They don’t want to waste time.

 

“However, Aqua would be able to do this, no?”

“Me? I have not really thought about doing that… I see, I think it’d worth a try.”

 

It might be difficult to learn about it immediately, but it’d be helpful in the future.

 

“In that case, I’ll teach you once we arrive at Phylargia.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that.”

 

Aquasteed thanked Keith and the preparations of their departure have finished at the same time. Tiararose wrote an immediate reply and have it sent to Phylargia.

 

“Well then, shall we go?”

“Yes.”

 

Tiararose and the others headed for Phylargia on their horses.

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