The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 46
- The Sequels Hidden Stage
The otome game ‘The Ring of Lapis Lazuli’ was very popular, and there was a wide range of events in the game–but there were also hidden events or stages in it as well.
Among them, there were some that were officially announced, and some that were not. Which made girls even more addicted to the game…
“Who would have thought that there would be a hidden stage in the sequel as well…”
The person who said this with a trembling voice was none other the one who had married the prince of a neighboring country, the villainous daughter from The Ring of Lapis Lazuli, who was now in the sequel.
As was obvious from her words, she had played this game in a past life. She had been surprised that she had been reincarnated into the world of a game at first, but she was now living very happily.
She was Tiararose Lapis Marineforest.
The villainous daughter who had received the name Lapis from her home country, and been blessed by the Fairy King of the forest and Fairy Queen of the sea.
“Oh, no. I better be quiet or Prince Aqua might wake up.”
The clock currently showed that it was midnight, and her husband Aquasteed, was sleeping next to her. He was tired from all of his daily duties, and Tiararose did not want to wake him up.
Their bedroom was made to be accessible from both of their private rooms. It was a well-fashioned room with a large canopied bed. The moon that could be seen from the window was beautiful.
She gently caressed Aquasteed’s’ dark blue hair, and his expression became soft and relaxed. His golden eyes were hidden now, but she just wanted him to sleep soundly.
It was currently midnight, but there was a reason that Tiararose was still awake…it was because she was too excited after finding out about the existence of a hidden stage.
Akari was the heroine of The Ring of Lapis Lazuli, and she was from Japan. She was a big fan of otome games, and she had played this game thoroughly as well.
And she had sent Tiararose a letter saying that there was a hidden stage that only those who had been blessed by the Fairy King could enter. Knowing this, was there any chance that Tiararose, who had been blessed by a Fairy King, would not want to go? No.
“I too was a big fan of this game. If I can go to this hidden stage, I would love to…!”
Was there some kind of secret item there? Or would it trigger an event? Regardless of which it was, it didn’t change the fact that it was exciting.
But there was one problem.
She had died in her past life before the release of the sequel, and so she had almost no knowledge of it. The only information she got was when Akari would tell her something about it.
–But Akari was likely to just tell me to play and enjoy it.
In other words, Tiararose would have to gather information on her own.
“But, I doubt it will be easy to find any information on this hidden stage… Perhaps I should start with researching some history and ask the fairies?”
She whispered to herself as she thought.
Normally, the person who should go to the hidden stage was the heroine–Aishira Pearland, the duke’s daughter.
She doubted the developers had ever dreamed of the idea that someone from the previous game would go there, especially not the villainous daughter. And so Tiararose decided that she would not make a big matter out of it. She would quietly go and see this hidden stage and then return.
It would have been much easier if she could just ask Keith, the Fairy King of the forest about it, but she was not confident that she could explain just why she even knew about this stage.
“Hmm…I think I will just check the library and ask the fairies for now…Ahh!”
Just as she had come to this conclusion, she felt something pull her arm. She blinked with surprise as the golden pupils met hers.
“What are you doing, Tiara?”
“Prince Aqua…I am sorry for waking you up…”
She had meant to be careful, but Aquasteed was sensitive to such things. He was the main love interest in the game’s sequel and had been blessed by the Fairy King of the sky and the Fairy Queen of the sea.
He was also loved by Aishira, the heroine, but Aquasteed had chosen Tiararise.
He was the crown prince of the kingdom of Marineforest, and while his daily duties kept him very busy–he deeply loved and doted on Tiararose.
“Ahh, your body has become cold.”
Aquasteed hugged her as if to share his own body heat. He scowled as he felt how cold she was. “You can’t sleep?” He asked as he stroked her hair.
“…No. I’m sorry, I was thinking about fairies.”
“The fairies and the fairy kings are so different from us. …I was wondering how they lived. In their world.”
She said vaguely, instead of telling him that she was very curious about a world that had a hidden stage prepared in it. If she had told a complete lie, Aquasteed would have likely seen through it.
Aquasteed heard her words and nodded with an ‘I see.’
“Indeed, we don’t know how the fairies are spending their time, and we do not involve ourselves in their affairs more than is necessary… Well, you might be an exception to that, Tiara.”
“Aren’t you? Normally, the fairies may bestow their blessings, but they don’t come all the way to that person to visit.”
Tiararose was about to object to this, but she stopped when she heard his words.
Now that she thought about it, it really was just her that the fairies and Fairy Kings came to. Aquasteed had also been blessed by Grail, but she had never seen him visit Aquasteed directly.
“Well, I suppose it is true that they always come to me…”
“Really, you are not so sharp when it comes to yourself. It makes me so worried.”
Aquasteed was worried that she would be taken from him one day, and he expressed it with how tight he hugged her. But Tiararose felt the same way about him, and so she squeezed him back in retaliation.
“…You are so warm.”
Tiararose slowly closed her eyes, and since it was midnight, became sleepy. Aquasteed watched her and gently caressed her back. “Let’s sleep then.” He said as he kissed her forehead.
She nodded and gave in to the comfortable warmth of his body.
“Good night, Prince Aqua…”
“Good night, Tiara.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The next day, after finishing all of her morning work, Tiararose decided to head for the library. She would look for information about this hidden stage of the Fairy King.
“Princess Tiararose, you are as passionate as ever…”
It was her handmaiden, Philiane who came and suggested that she rest a little. She had been Tiararose’s handmaiden since before she married, and she was always strong and reliable.
In fact, she still held a deep-rooted grudge for Tiararose’s former fiance, Hartnight, for canceling their engagement.
“I want to know more about the fairies.”
“I see. There were no fairies in our country, after all.”
Fairies only lived in Marineforest. And since Tiararose had lived in a neighboring country, she had had no connections to fairies up until now.
And so she had no knowledge of them.
“But Princess Tiararose… Didn’t you read many books and documents about fairies before? I do not think there are any more books that you haven’t read.”
“Oh, that might be true…”
She looked at the bookshelf and saw that they were all books that she had read before. There was no chance that she had missed any information about a hidden stage. And so she had to admit with a sigh, that there was likely no helpful information here.
“Maybe I’ll just check a map of Marineforest.”
Philiane wondered why she needed a map when she was interested in Fairies, but she brought over a book with maps and handed it to Tiararose.
It had detailed renderings of Marineforest’s buildings and mountains and was easy to look at, but there was nothing that was connected to a hidden stage. She checked the publication date and saw that the book was quite recent.
–But I don’t think that anyone knows about the Fairy King’s hidden stage.
It wouldn’t be a hidden stage otherwise. It’s a place that the heroine is the first ever to enter. That is why it is hidden.
“In that case…maybe an old map would be better than a recent one.”
“An old map…? But all of the books here are quite new.”
Tiararose’s shoulders slumped with disappointment at this.
“But I doubt that the older maps have been destroyed. It is related to the kingdom’s history after all… I know, I will ask Tarmo about it.”
Tarmo was a knight who guarded Tiararose from a short distance away. This accomplished man used to work for Aquasteed, but was assigned to exclusively protect Tiararose after it was decided that she would come to Marineforest to be engaged.
When she asked Tarmo about this, he quickly replied, ‘We do have them.’
“The older maps are kept by the Order of Knights.”
“Is that so.”
Apparently, they were kept separately from the library, and Tiararose could only laugh at the time they had wasted looking at the shelves.
She wanted to go and get the books immediately, but the Order of Knights was no place for the princess to go. But at the same time, Tarmo was her guard, and so he could not leave her to go and get them.
“I will bring them to you tomorrow.”
“Really? Thank you, that would be splendid!”
“But it is quite unusual for you to be interested in old maps. It is not something that women tend to be interested in.”
Hearing this, Tiararose nodded with agreement.
“Yes, I do think that the current Marineforest is nice. But I believe that I will be able to find out more about the fairies if I see the older maps. Such as the places where forests were once larger. Places that are now towns and have no fairies, they might have been different a long time ago… Those are the things that I want to know.”
You didn’t see fairies all that much now, but she felt that it may have been different back when there were more trees.
–Though, there was still a lot of natural scenery here compared to modern Japan.
She was only thinking in terms of the past and present in this world, and regardless, people took good care of the forest here. It was a world filled with magic, and so the air was clean.
“Princess Tiararose, if you are going to be looking at maps tomorrow…maybe you can do today what you planned for tomorrow instead?”
“Yes, I think I shall.”
Tiararose nodded at the words of her faithful handmaiden and left the library behind her.