The Bridal Party
After the case with Keith, the time Aquasteed spends with Tiararose overwhelmingly increased; to an extent where Keith can’t even find an opening to go and see her.
“It’s fine if you take care of the flowers but getting your hands dirty isn’t good.”
“P-Please do not worry. I will only be watering them……”
On a bench located in a small garden where plants beautifully bloom, the two were spending their time relaxing.
The bench was created with a motif of flowers as a sign of the forest fairies, and birds as a sign of the sky fairies. In the middle of the garden is an adorable fountain made out of corals.
This place is the garden that Tiararose had created.
Since it is blessed by the forest fairies, there are several new kinds of flowers blooming in the place. It is the most beautiful garden within the royal palace.
And it has been a daily activity of Aquasteed to dote on Tiararose in this place.
Right now, he is planting a kiss on Tiararose‘s hand and saying, “Don’t push yourself too much.” He finds it such a waste for her beautiful white hands to get dirty from taking care of the garden.
Tiararose doesn’t particularly mind it but it seems like her future husband is quite a worrier.
“I would like to say the same thing to you then. You have many calluses on your hands, Aqua.”
“This one’s okay. I got this from gripping my sword so it’s like a medal for me.”
“That would be the same for me too. You are aware that taking care of the plants is my medal, right?”
“Yes, I know. But, I don’t like it.”
He touched Tiararose’s hands, enveloping it with his and massaging it, as if enjoying the feeling. Her soft hands, different from his rugged ones, are indeed very pretty.
Even though Tiararose looks embarrassed, there’s no sign of her refusing because, just like him, she thinks that Aquasteed acting like that is adorable.
――And, a year of such sweet and mellow bridal training passed by quickly.
◇ ◇ ◇
Once the bridal training came to an end, the bride shall return to her home country and have a bridal party.
And so, following that practice, Tiararose has come to Lapis Lazuli together with Aquasteed.
Seeing her home for the first time after a year made Tiararose emotional. This huge warm-coloured mansion has always been watching over her.
However, this time, the one who is watching over her is no longer this mansion but Aquasteed.
――I am very happy.
Descending from the carriage, she gazes at Aquasteed who’s standing beside her. “What’s wrong?” he asked while smiling.
“It is nothing. Thank you, Prince Aqua.”
“I’m the one who’s supposed to be saying that. You took my hand. I have never been happier.”
He elegantly escorts Tiararose as they went inside the mansion.
And the ones who welcomed them were Tiararose’s parents. Tears were flowing down from their eyes, delighted by meeting their daughter again after a long time, but they still let out a smile, telling her, “You look really happy.”
That made Tiararose shed more tears of joy.
“Let me hear a lot of things that had happened to you in Marineforest.”
“Of course, Mother. Please, do tell me what happened through the year that I was gone too.”
“Why, I will. Let us talk for the whole night.”
Mother, daughter—— in between them was her father, Marquis Clementine who cannot enter the conversation. Holding on the handkerchief wet with tears tightly in frustration, Aquasteed decided to back him up.
“It is hard for a man to join a conversation between women. If you do not mind, I shall join you. We have brought some delicious wine as a souvenir.”
“Your Highness! Thank you very much. Even my daughter looks really happy to marry you.”
One wrong move and she would’ve been spending a horrible married life with Hartnights.
Marquis Clementine still hasn’t forgiven the fact that she was condemned during that graduation party. Though he is saying that it’s fine, deep down inside, he still hasn’t forgiven him completely.
At that moment, the mansion’s maid reported someone’s visit.
No one was particularly scheduled for a visit. Gaining a quizzical look from everyone, the maid— while feeling sorry for disturbing the family’s reunion— uttered Akari and Hartnights’ names.
It is only natural for the atmosphere to turn sour.
“Sent them back,” violent words were spat out immediately, words that Marquis Clementine doesn’t normally use showing how angry he is.
However, Tiararose stopped him from doing so.
“Father, I want to have a talk with Miss Akari.”
“―― What are you saying, Tiara? Have you forgotten what that woman did to you?”
Tiararose uttered nervously that she wanted to talk with Akari but her father is not the only one who is against it, so is Aquasteed.
However, the one who clearly expressed her anger was Philliane.
“What in the world are you thinking Miss Tiararose?! I would definitely not allow that to happen!”
“Also, the bridal party is the day after tomorrow. You should take a rest.”
“Even His Highness says so.”
――Hmm, what should I do?
Honestly, she doesn’t have anything to talk with Hartnights but she does want to have a talk with Akari who gave her a letter at the very last moment.
She told her not to lose to the sequel’s Heroine, Aishira.
Tiararose was wondering how she has been doing for the past year. Since she has come together with Hartnights, they must have been doing their best together like she has declared.
“It is fine even if it’s only Miss Akari, please.”
“…… Sigh. Tiara, you really do have a stubborn side, I wonder whom you take after.”
――No doubt that it’s you, Father.
Is what she thought but will never say out loud. And so, Marquis Clementine, who is weak against his daughter, reluctantly granted the meeting of Tiararose with Akari.
But, as a condition, she was told that Aquasteed shall accompany her.
“I’m very happy that you are worried about my daughter but we cannot do anything if the person herself wishes for it. Someone, show His Highness to a different room where he can wait.”
“…… I understand. Then I shall do the honours.”
Philliane turned around and immediately left the room in order to guide Hartnights.
Everyone in the room had a bad feeling about it but no one dared to voice it out. Tiararose is precious to everyone; it couldn’t be helped.
“Oh dear…… Well then, shall we go?”
“Yes. I’m sorry for asking something selfish, Prince Aqua.”
“No. I love listening to your selfish requests so it’s fine.”
Feeling guilty, she apologized only to get laughed at by Aquasteed, telling her that she’s always welcome to do so. This made Tiararose look down with a flushed face, feeling embarrassed.
In the drawing room that she was escorted in, Akari was waiting alone just like planned.
“Miss Tiara! Long time no see!”
――She is being super friendly!!
As soon as she saw Tiararose, Akari let out a bright smile. She, who’s the heroine of The Ring Of Lapis Lazuli, is a Japanese.
A pair of black eyes with smooth black hair that is well-taken care off. Her body was wrapped in a pink–coloured dress as she gracefully bowed down.
“It has been a while. I am glad to see that you are well, Miss Akari.”
“Indeed. I am doing my best together with Hartnights. Since the ending has already passed, it feels like I am playing a new game!”
Once they sat in front of her, Akari talked happily about it.
――To think that she would treat the happenings after the game’s ending as a new Otome game, what a dreadful child……!
As expected of someone who claims that she loves otome games herself. Tiararose went from being shocked to being impressed.
Letting out a wry smile, all she could say was “Do your best.”
In other words, Hartnights became Akari’s target as a conquerable target.
“Oops. Pardon me. Miss Tiara, Prince Aqua, congratulations on your bridal party. The ceremony is in a month, am I right? Please be happy soon.”
“Thank you very much, Miss Akari.”
There was a fire in Akari’s eyes as if saying ’congratulations! Well done for beating the heroine!’. She must have really hated for the heroine to take Aquasteed away.
“Did something happen within that one year? Did you get bullied? By the Sea Fairies in particular!”
“…… They hated me.”
“I knew it. That’s what I thought. That why I brought this as a gift for your wedding.”
She said this as she brought out a beautiful piercing.
Currently, Akari is announced to be a “Princess who performs a holy prayer with her powers.”
And she is the first one to come up with the idea of piercings in this world. She had brought a new culture in a world where only earrings are present.
No matter how you looked at it, the piercings that are made of pink and dark blue shows the colour of Tiararose and Aquasteed.
These piercings are an amulet that is to be worn one per each person. Since Akari is putting a holy prayer in it, a mass production can’t be done but it has become a product that many people desire.
“That is why I also……”
Akari showed her ear as she said so. She has a yellow piercing on. It didn’t take them long to realize that it shows Hartnights’ colour.
“Well, our relationship is still a bit strained but, recently, Prince Hartnights is being really adorable.”
She is probably thinking of Hartnights as she giggles. Tiararose felt delighted to see her having fun and looking really happy.
Thankfully accepting the piercings, Tiararose told Aquasteed that she wants them to wear it.
“This? I don’t mind if you want to but—— I’m surprised to see you getting along with Lady Akari.”
“Well…… Indeed, you are right. She did attack me in the past.”
“Now that I think about it, that did happen! But well, we are now kind of like a comrade in overthrowing the sequel’s heroine.”
While nodding, Akari— who is the type of person who doesn’t care about the past— told Aquasteed that she and Tiararose now get along.
However, Aquasteed couldn’t just accept that right away—— but those feelings vanished after seeing Tiararose’s shoulders shake as she laughed beside him.
“I-I’m sorry. Prince Aqua……Miss Akari did do something mean to me in the past. However, you had saved me.”
It didn’t answer the question but it was all Tiararose could say.
And then what she remembered was the letter she received from Akari before they departed to Marineforest; the exclaiming words that were written at the last part, saying don’t lose to the sequel’s heroine.
That was kind of encouraging for her. The adorable Aishira is often around Aquasteed. Of course, not more than Tiararose.
She would feel ashamed of herself if she had lost. Aquasteed, who Akari loved, chose Tiararose over her.
That is why, this had made Tiararose think that she will definitely continue choosing Aquasteed until the very end. In order for her not to lose to Aishira.
“Really…—— Remember to tell me everything someday, got it?”
“I know that you have something that you can’t tell me. But, if you kept quiet about it for too long—— prepare yourself, okay?”
Aquasteed’s finger lightly touched Tiararose’s lips.
His eyes tell her to reveal all her worries to him. While feeling afraid of how far Aquasteed had made his deduction, Tiararose was sure that he will make her spill it out to him soon.
“Seriously, it is fine for you guys to be lovey-dovey but please do it out of my presence!”
Tiararose blushed as she apologized to Akari. She probably didn’t want to see the person she likes getting intimate with another woman.
“But well, it’s not like I mind it,” taking a sip of her tea, Akari laughs. Tiararose was then asked if she wants to put in the piercing now and she agreed with a smile on her face.
On Tiararose’s ear is a dark blue piercing, while a honey pink one is on Aquasteed’s.
“It’s so cute. Thank you, Miss Akari.”
“It feels strange, the piercing that is.”
“Fufu! That’s because that is the first accessory that I have made in this world!”
The currently proud Akari had improved within this one year. It seems like she’s being enthusiastic, declaring that she will enjoy this otome game world until she dies.
Lastly, she handed Tiararose a letter before she went home.
―― You better make sure to be happy! Are the words that she left.
◇ ◇ ◇
The bridal party was held at Tiararose’s place
The royal family, and nobles; many people gathered to give the two, who’s about to get married in another country, their blessings.
By the time the pale light from the late morning sun shines, Aquasteed and Tiararose made their entrance in front of the guests. At this time, the guests will give them a flower shower while giving grand congratulatory words.
Even though she’s feeling embarrassed, Tiararose happily laughs as she is escorted by Aquasteed.
Marquis Clementine watched over them carefully with tears in his eyes, feeling glad that his daughter became happy. Because, after all, the happiness of a father is in their daughter’s happiness.
And the one who is watching over them at another place was Philliane who is shedding tears of joy, to the point that she couldn’t see what is in front of her, and Elliot who is looking at her with a worried expression.
Although she did feel sorry for showing this kind of appearance to Elliot, her tears wouldn’t stop so it couldn’t be helped.
From the bottom of her heart, she was really relieved that Tiararose didn’t get married to Hartnights. To the point that she’s willing to shed more tears.
In the bridal party, the bride would give an oath to her parents.
Tiararose would go to her parents and tell them how grateful she is to them for raising her, and tell them that she is now happy to be married.
“Father, Mother, I am very happy. Father’s strictness as he raised me, and the different kinds of experiences Mother has given me. All of this has now become my strength.”
“Aye. I’m really glad to see you laughing so happily like this, Tiara”
“You must live your life well even if it’s in the neighbouring country.”
Still wearing a dress, Tiararose gave her parents a tight hug. Feeling their warmth, she also wishes for these people who raised her, to be happy.
A warm round of applause echoed through the mansion and thus, the grand celebration of the bridal party ended without any problems.