- The Name of the King who Inherits the Throne: Part 1
For generations, knowledge of the road to the Fairy King has been exclusively passed on through the royal family of the kingdom of Marineforest.
It was a light of hope which the king left to those he loved, his own descendants.
Crunch. As Aquasteed walked, the leaves that densely blanketed the ground would sound loudly under his feet. There was a tunnel. It was so green that it was beyond comparison with even the tree gate.
The flowers that blossomed here came in various colors and were of a variety that he had never before, seen even at the royal palace. It was unlikely that such flowers would ever be seen on the surface, not without an immense blessing by the fairies of the forest…
This was the pathway connecting the Queen’s private chamber to the Fairy King below.
“This is a magnificent pathway as well… The kind that fairies of the forest would take to.”
“Aye. I suppose that Keith, the King of the Fairies is up ahead.”
While it took some time, Aquasteed was finally able to pass through the hidden passage.
It was a most difficult magic, but Tiararose was up ahead.
A little forcefulness was needed.
The two of them, Aquasteed and Elliot made their way through.
Aquasteed had considered asking Elliot to wait, but had received a firm “I cannot do that” as a reply. Elliot did not want Aquasteed, his own master, to go down to the Fairy King alone.
For he had a tendency to become oblivious to all other things when it came to matters concerning the Princess Tiararose.
This would not be a problem for the usually collected Aquasteed, but things were just different when it came to this princess he doted on.
In the first place, it was quite unheard of for someone to allow an unmarried princess from a foreign country into their office.
Just how far would his doting escalate within the one year of the bridal training?
And besides, this behavior of neglecting the ladies of his own country was sure to have implications in the future. Aquasteed was the Crown Prince, but he would endanger his own ascendance if became hated by the powerful nobility.
That was one thing that he had to be careful of. In all of Marineforest, it was the King alone who was considered to have enough power to be able to prioritize a love match.
The rest of the royal family had a mode, though not publically known, to marry with their countries benefit at the forefront. Of course, many were able to fall in love and marry daughters of countries that brought gains to the country.
Elliot let out a sigh and squinted straight ahead. He could not see what was at the end, it was just a straight path.
“I can’t tell how far along this goes. I can’t see what’s ahead at all.”
“It is a magical path after all. …I’ve been trying to inspect it for a while, but it is not going well.”
“Is that so. If you cannot do it, it must be severe.”
Elliot was much more adept at searching magic compared to Aquasteed.
If he said that he’d ‘Given up,’ then there was no point in searching any further.
…For now, they had no choice but to continue onward.
Perhaps there was magic here that prevented them from ever reaching the end. Of course, there was also the possibility that no such special magic had been cast here at all.
If it was impossible to inspect this place with magic, then the fastest way would be to just walk through it.
But, in the next instant…!
Gaa! A sharp-edged sword flashed in front of Aquasteed’s eyes.
It had been thrust, furiously from the ceiling and into the ground. A most classic trap.
Aquasteed had dodged it by a hair’s breadth by stepping back, but he had no time to sigh in relief. A second and a third sword had dropped from the ceiling and came raining down towards Aquasteed.
Aquasteed unsheathed his sword and struck the raining blades away from him. It was incredibly sudden, but the habitually trained Aquasteed dealt with it without difficulty.
“Are you not hurt?”
“I am fine. But even so, I’m surprised that they went through the trouble of setting a trap.”
This passage had originally been used to connect the Fairy King with his favored Queen. And of course, such traps could not have existed then.
It was only reasonable to assume that Keith had set the traps here to harm Aquasteed.
“I will walk ahead of you.”
“No. I want to reach Tiara as soon as possible. We will continue as we were.”
Aquasteed stopped Elliot who had tried to pass in front of him to act as bodyguard, and continued to walk forward down the path.
He now knew that there were traps, and he held his sword as to quickly dispatch of any threat.
However, the laid traps were not necessarily the same. Aquasteed was prepared to deal with physical attacks, yet the next trap that they encountered was a pitfall.
This alone could not be blocked with a sword.
Aquasteed immediately shouted, ‘O’ sky!’ and raised his body with the power of the wind. It was only for a brief moment, but that was more than enough for Aquasteed.
His hand grasped the edge of the pit, and with the strength of his arms he lifted his body out and escaped. He brushed the dirt from his clothes and continued on as if nothing had happened.
By now, Elliot could only look on with an exasperated expression, but he was well aware that Aquasteed was in a hurry, and so he said nothing and followed from behind.
“We need to go faster, Elliot.”
Aquasteed would not allow these traps to take up their time, he increased their speed as they continued.
After that, swords shot out from the walls, leaves from trees attacked like sharp knives. But, Aquasteed merely struck them with his blade and kept moving on.
No one would know who of them was the servant. Elliot would murmur, but his words did not reach Aquasteed…
◇ ◇ ◇
“Ah, you’re awake, Tiara.”
“Let’s eat some fruits.”
Tiararose awakened on top of a fluffy, comfortable bed.
She was surrounded by fairies of the forest. They were all gazing at her with pleasant expressions.
The adorable green children who frolicked loudly were enough to restore one’s tired heart, making you feel warm.
“…Oh. That’s right, Keith had brought me here by force.”
“The King is not here now.”
“Tiara, play with me.”
“Huh? I don’t mind playing with you, but… -mmm.”
As Tiararose was about to express her desire to return to the castle first, a forest fairy suddenly filled her mouth with a juicy fruit. “Eat, eat.” They said happily, and so she allowed herself the strawberry that was offered to her.
As she chewed and ate, the fairies continuously brought more fruits to Tiararose. Strawberries, apples, mandarins… A yellow, roundish fruit that Tiararose had never seen before.
It was a fruit well-suited to being called a blessing of the forest.
“Eat lots and lots!”
The fairies of the forest beamed and handed the fruits to Tiararose. She accepted them and tried to eat them all, but the pace at which the fairies brought more was incredibly fast.
When she shook her head and said, “I cannot eat so much” with a small smile, the fairies laughed loudly.
“Thank you. But I’m quite full now.”
“Did you like it?”
“Yes. Very much so. The blessings of the forest are most delicious.”
Once she was satiated, Tiararose inspected the room that she was in.
It was a cozy room that felt like it was surrounded by the forest, and had a relaxing and safe atmosphere. It felt like you were being held as a precious thing in silk. That was the kind of illusion it gave.
“Oh, that is not what I should be thinking. Dear fairies, I wish to return to the castle. What do you think I should do?”
“To the castle?”
“You’re leaving already? We’ll be lonely!”
The fairies made exclamations of “Let’s play some more,” to Tiararose. But at the same time, they said, “Over here,” as they pointed towards the door in the room.
Tiararose felt a pang of guilt for the kind fairies as she slowly put her hand on the door. The sounds of the flowers decorating the door announced that it had been opened.
Beyond the door was a pathway, connecting to somewhere beyond.
“Over here. Come.”
The fairies took Tiararose’s hand and guided her towards the Fairy King’s castle. Everywhere you looked there was luscious greenery, it was a place incomparable to any human country.
As they walked through the long path, they eventually reached a large room.
…What could this room be?
She did not know where the exit was. As she wondered about this, something caught Tiararose’s eye. In the upper part of the rooms, was the King’s throne.
However, Keith was nowhere to be seen now.
It was no surprise, as the fairies had said that he had departed, but the empty, kingless throne looked very sad to Tiararose.
“I need to go back now. Aqua must be worried about me.”
Previously, he had witnessed her together with Keith and become horribly jealous. She herself could not say she would be happy to see Aquasteed with another woman.
The must not allow any further misunderstandings.
“Who is Aqua?”
“He is my betrothed.”
“Do you like him?”
“Yes. I like him very much.”
The fairies loudly asked Tiararose, and while embarrassed, she nodded sincerely.
The only factor that could make her feel apprehensive was the otome game. Aside from that, for instance, in regards to Aquasteed’s feelings, she could believe in that.
If anything, she was so spoilt that she had no choice but to believe it. There was nothing to fear outside of the forceful power of the otome game.
Though, that only showed just how incredibly fearsome the power of it was really was.
“…Really, I don’t understand humans at all.”
Just like that, Keith appeared behind Tiararose with the use of teleportation magic. He immediately fell forward and embraced her.
Ignoring her admonishing words, he picked her up and carried her to his throne.
Keith sat her on his lap and ignored her loud protestations of “Please stop this.” Uncomprehending, she looked into Keith’s eyes, but could not read his expression.
“…Did, something happen?”
“No? Tiara, do you want to return to the castle?”
“Of course I do. I don’t want to inconvenience Aqua any further and…”
With a drooping head, she declared that she did not want to become a burden for Aquasteed.
Tiararose, who was blessed by the fairies of the forests and was favored by the Fairy King of the forest. If anything, she was doing much for the country and hardly a burden…but being as that she was born in another country, she did not seem to realize the significance.
No, it would probably be more accurate to say that her head was so full of the otome game, that she could not think of anything else.
“Really, humans are most tiresome.”
Keith stifled back laughter and gently began to pet Tiararose’s hair. “Princess’s should wait,” he said in a blunt voice and sighed.
Tiararose furrowed her eyebrows and looked quizzically at the Fairy King who appeared to be hiding something. At the same time, she could predict that the Fairy King would not be answering her question.
Just as she was considering her next move, the large doors of the throne room swung open with a loud bang.
A deep blue filled the entirety of Tiararose’s vision. It was her most cherished and beloved Prince…
Don’t worry, from here on out it is Aquasteed’s turn!! (emphasis)
I looked at the reactions and I’m surprised at how popular Keith is. Lol.
It is always a pleasure to read your comments.
Unfortunately, I must allot my time towards writing instead of replying to your comments. I am very sorry that I cannot reply…