- Showdown with the Sequel’s Heroine
With the unveiling ceremony finally over, Tiararose and Aquasteed returned to Marineforest together.
The official wedding was to be held at the grand cathedral in one months time.
Many people were to gather as guests from surrounding countries. It was likely that the coming days would be busy with preparations being made.
“…ahhh. I think I memorized all of it now.”
“Are you alright? You seem to be working hard, Tiararose.”
As Aquasteed worked at his desk, Tiararose was frantically trying to memorize the wedding guest list. Kings, queens, and princes from other countries would come to bless them.
And as the bride, she would never now allow herself to be ignorant of their names.
She took a sip of tea and looked over to Aquasteed who sat next to her.
There was a hint of tiredness in his beautifully shaped face, she could tell that he too, was overworked.
“Oh, what I am doing is really not hard. After all, I was already aware of the leading figures of these countries to begin with.”
“I knew you would.”
Tiararose had been subjected to a most strict queen’s education since she was very young.
Her private teacher had hammered knowledge of countries, of history and the connections of current nobles and offices into her head. In fact, it was probably more accurate to say that she was inspecting the list, and not memorizing it.
Aquasteed was much the same in that way. He would look through the list once and would not have to again. All the information would have been stored in his head. Tiararose would often be left in awe by him and wonder if there was anything he was not capable of.
Aquasteed leaned against Tiararose.
She wondered what had happened for an instant, then realized that he was fawning on her. If he wished to rest on her shoulder, she would gladly offer it to him.
His lowered eyelashes were long and thick, most women in the world would have been jealous of them. Well, Tiararose would be among their number. But Aquasteed was not likely to notice.
–He was adorable, her Prince Aqua.
A giddy, little chuckle escaped from Tiararose’s lips.
Aquasteed’s half-closed eyes caught her laugh, and he smiled contentedly.
–Tiararose was as adorable as ever.
Who in the room would have been able to guess that these two were thinking the same thing?
The atmosphere in the room was light and soft, and somehow sweet.
And so no one answered when Elliot, who was organizing some documents, mumbled, “I want a lover too…”
◇ ◇ ◇
Before they knew it, the hectic days had swiftly passed and the day before the wedding ceremony had arrived.
The king, Prince Sirius and Tiararose’s parents had come from her home country to attend her wedding. She wished that she could free herself and go meet them immediately, but the preparations for the ceremony did allow her to leave.
It was also Tiararose’s job to maintain her beauty on a daily basis. She had been given another massage this morning and then spent some time thoroughly polishing her nails.
–This was one aspect that was not all that different from Japan.
Well, this was originally a Japanese otome game, after all. In terms of the actual wedding, there were no special customs, which was a great relief for Tiararose.
She looked down at her beautifully treated nails and a warm feeling filled her breast.
After finishing a year of bridal training, she would become Aquasteed’s wife tomorrow. It was deeply moving and also exciting.
“You look so beautiful, Princess Tiararose. Oh, I am so happy that you will finally marry Prince Aquasteed.”
“Oh, stop it, Philliane. What are you going to do if you are crying like this already? The wedding is not until tomorrow…”
“That is true. Look at me, I’m just so excited…!”
Tiararose prepared a tea set to help calm Philliane down, and they took a late lunch together. In the afternoon, she would have had her hair treated and then inspect the wedding’s program. After that, she would take a bath and immediately go to bed.
Preparations tomorrow would have to begin very early in the morning, so she would have to get up much earlier than usual.
As she was thinking this, there was knock on the door.
“Who could it be? I don’t believe there were any appointments?”
“Yes. I will go and see who it is. You stay here and wait, princess.”
Tiararose nodded and decided to let Philliane handle it.
There were still many things left to do today–but Tiararose had a bad feeling as she looked towards the door.
–This pattern, had something like this not happened before?
When was that? That was it, it was the day of the graduation party. …And, she recalled that much before deciding to shut off that memory.
She could not trigger any flags that would cause the heroine, Aishira to visit. However, there was almost nothing more likely to come true than a bad feeling about something.
Philiane was now saying, ‘Princess Aishira has come to see you…’
“Oh, Princess Aishira? Well, let her through then.”
“As you wish.”
She immediately granted permission and Aishira, along with her handmaiden, entered into the room.
They greeted each other and Tiararose asked them to take a seat.
“You must forgive me for bothering you while you are so busy.”
“Oh, no. I am so pleased that you have come to see me.”
They smiled and began to make small talk while Philiane prepared tea right next to them.
Tiararose was very curious as to why her visitor had come, but she suspected that as the heroine, she wanted to stop Tiararose’s wedding.
“Princess Tiararose. Allow me to congratulate you on this marriage. I just had to extend to you my blessing in person.”
“Oh… Thank you so much.”
Aishira did not only seem genuine in her words, but she had the kind of smile that suggested that she meant it from the bottom of her heart. She looked happy as she added, ‘I won’t bother you for long.’
This made even Tiararose narrow her eyebrows.
While she may have been making a show of giving them her blessing, Tiararose still felt that deep in her heart, Aishira still loved Aquasteed.
And so Tiararose looked at Aishira and wondered.
–Had she truly, never had any affection towards Aquasteed?
When they had talked before, she had said that she was leaving all matters regarding marriage to her father. She had said that this was because there were no men that she fancied and that it would be best to have her father make the best match possible.
“…Did you think that I had any affection towards prince Aquasteed?”
Aishira smiled wryly but spoke clearly to Tiararose.
Tiararose had not expected to be asked such a thing so bluntly, she could not even think of how to reply.
“I do not really understand this thing called love. But I believe that father will find someone that is good for me…”
–Do not understand love?
Perhaps, could this be due to her own existence? She wondered.
Aishira was the sequel’s heroine. She was supposed to fall in love with the love interest in the game. In this case, it would have been without a doubt, Aquasteed’s route.
But Tiararose’s existence had prevented this. If this irregular being known as Tiararose had not been there, then Aishira and Aquasteed would have surely been united.
Loved by the fairies of the sea, the daughter of the Duke of Marineforest.
Tiararose could not think of any other word but ‘fitting.’
However, it was Tiararose who had been doted on by Aquasteed.
It would be wrong for Tiararose to apologize to Aishira here. But yet, she could not help but feel a sense of responsibility.
“That is enough!”
Just as Tiararose had called her name and Aishira had turned her head –a third voice boomed in the room, telling them to stop.
All heads turned to look towards the place where the voice had come from. And there before them stood Akari, her black hair waving.
“Allow me to congratulate you once again, lady Tiara. …It is an honor to make your acquaintance, lady Aishira. I am known as Akari.”
“I am happy to meet you, Akari. I am Aishira Pearland.”
Akari was standing in the window.
It seemed that Akari herself knew that she would have been rejected without a doubt had she attempted to come through the main entrance.
“The sequel’s heroine…hmm. It’s just like the game! You should be a little more happy as someone who was able to become the heroine.”
“Lady Akari. Please stop saying such rude things to Princess Aishira.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Please forgive me if I’ve upset you.”
“No, it does not bother me at all.”
Tiararose sighed as she stopped Philiane and a court lady who was about to go and make a report to Aquasteed. Had Aishira not been a sweet young lady, this meeting might have caused quite the stir.
Tiararose discreetly whispered into Akari’s ear and asked her what she meant by coming here out of the blue.
“Well, I just wanted to see this lucky girl, the sequel’s heroine. …Life should be enjoyed more. Aishira is the heroine, and yet she does not seem to be enjoying herself at all. Well, I suppose it’s better than having her take Prince Aqua from you.”
She really did like her otome games. Tiararose thought with exasperation.
Could Akari’s sudden presence here be because she was now allowed to participate in the wedding ceremony? Or had she just decided on her own to come to Marineforest?
Akari spun around to look at Aishira.
She was probably curious at just what kind of person this fellow heroine was. Either that, or she wanted to confirm that she indeed was, a similar being to herself.
However, Tiararose had already made up her mind on that account.
Aishira was no reincarnated or transmigrated being. She would never react to talk of modern pastries or other such girls talk. As far as transmigration went, she did not appear to be Japanese no matter how close you looked.
And so, Aishira was definitely an ordinary person who lived in this land.
“It looks like you two get along quite well together.”
Aishira’s voice had sounded like a bell, and both Tiararose and Akari answered in surprised.
It seemed that the two of them looked rather close from an outside point of view.
Though she was taken aback, Akari proudly agreed with a ‘We are!’ Tiararose looked exasperated as she wondered what Aishira was saying. but then Akari continued with even more unexpected words.
“Yes. I am Tiararose’s good friend, just as you say. …And so, I am so very worried about her.”
“Worried, you say?”
Aishira cocked her head to the side and wondered what Akari meant by these words of friendly concern.
“Indeed. Aishira, are you not always by the side of Prince Aqua? I would ask you to please stay away from my friend’s husband!”
Akari thrust a finger out and pointed into Aishira’s direction. Don’t try to think you can cozy up to somebody else’s lover! Is what she wanted to say.
It was Aishira who was the most shocked by this display. She truly did not have any romantic inclinations towards Aquasteed in the least.
–I, it might seem that way to others, that I have affection towards Aquasteed…
Aishira felt a stab of pain in her breast.
“You must forgive me, Tiararose. I really should have been more considerate.”
“Please, do not say that, Aishira. You should not worry about such things. …You too, Akari. Do not speak of such things.”
Aishira was only fourteen years old.
And yet, she moved capably within society as a duke’s daughter and even took care of the sea. If she had become attached to Aquasteed like a younger sister, then no one could blame her.
“I am sorry, I have made you uncomfortable…”
She apologized again as she cast her eyes downward upon hearing Tiararose’s words.
And at that moment, Tiararose understood that she was not Japanese, she was just a very sweet young girl.
–As one would expect for the sequel’s heroine.
Aishira was good-natured and cute. But that in itself was most frightening for Akari.
It was the pure ones that were unpredictable, she thought.
This game was a sequel to ‘The Ring of Lapis Lazuli.’
Tiararose did not know it, but Akari had played this game thoroughly.
The love interests in the game were the crown prince Aquasteed, his servant Elliot, the fairy king of the forest Keith, and the young and talented butler who worked at the heroine’s mansion.
Aside from these four, there was also a hidden route that involved the fairy king of the sky.
–She was definitely in Aquasteed’s route.
It was the dress that Aishira was wearing that made Akari sure of this. There was no real meaning for this in terms of events, but the color of the ribbon on her back was designed to show which route you were on.
And on Aishira’s back was a pretty, dark blue ribbon. It was without a doubt, Aquasteed’s color.
“…Princess Tiararose. Prince Aquasteed will be arriving soon.”
“Ah, that is right. We have some final inspections to make.”
Philiane announced timidly, but Tiararose was most grateful for the interruption.
Aishira immediately apologized for staying so long and then made her exit along with her handmaiden. Akari was apparently going to leave through the window, as she now sat in its frame.
“…Lady Akari. Why did you come here today? Isn’t Prince Hartnight with you?”
“No. I came here alone.”
Akari shook her head as she was about to leave.
Tiararose had assumed that she was here with Hartnight as part of their public duties. She would have never thought Akari would come here alone.
“Nothing really. I suppose I just wanted to see how the sequel ends.”
“You really do like otome games.”
Oh, dear. Tiararose thought as Akari stood up in the window before vanishing. It did not take her long to realize that she had used magic.
Akari landed heavily in a room inside of an inn that was not too far from the castle. This inn was on the more expensive side, with wide open rooms and furniture.
Akari mumbled to herself in the midst of that open space.
“I, do not care about the past. –But, right now, I like Princess Tiara. I think of her as a friend.”
–And so, I will not allow Aishira to ruin her wedding.
Thank you for your feedback and for pointing out errors.
It makes me very happy…!
Now, we are finally on the 14th chapter of part 2. It is structured to have 15 chapters, so the next chapter will be the last one. Wow, things are moving quickly.
And thank you all for tagging along. I’m happy!
I have also received many ratings, I’m pretty close to 30,000…!?
It is very exciting.
The second part will be complete with the next chapter, but I will continue after that with a part three.
I may not be able to make updates as regularly, but I would be happy if you all stuck with me.
I will be writing the plot in the near future, so I cannot say anything about it yet. But everyone really loves Keith, so I am not sure what to do. Lol
Well then, next update will be the day after tomorrow at 7 pm as usual!