The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country
55 – The awakening of the king’s beloved princess
“Grail, give it to me so I can return it to Tiara.”
Having retrieved the Fairy King of the Sea’s Ring from Levy, they hurried back to Tiararose’s and Aquasteed’s bedroom. Grail, however, had his eyes fixed on the ring as if it was awfully difficult not to.
After confirming that there was no change in Tiararose’s sleep, he said: “I’m home”.
Grail had made sure that the ring that they got back from Levy was genuine.
Of course, one can feel its immense magical power the moment you touch it. However, that in itself is not enough to determine its quality. There is a possibility that that otherworldly butler has something up his sleeve.
“… After all the trouble we went through to get Pearl’s ring back to my hands, I have to hand it over.”
Reluctantly, Grail gave the ring to Aquasteed.
“It should be fine. After all, you will always be in the genuine palace of Lady Pearl.”
“You don’t say, Aquasteed…”
“I cannot afford to.”
He just wants to slip the ring on Tiararose’s finger and wake her up from her slumber as soon as possible. He can’t waste time on idle chat with Grail — he would feel anxious should he not do it soon.
— Truly, Aquasteed likes Tiararose, huh?
Grail laughs as he looks at the sight of the troubled Aquasteed.
After receiving the ring, Aquasteed immediately took Tiararose’s hand. With that gallant appearance, he sweetly thought of her as if he had been subjected to some kind of blessing.
In Aquasteed’s finger, Grail’s ring.
In Tiararose’s finger, Pearl’s ring.
The fact that those two, who shared a mutual love, had a pair of rings — even if one of those was Pearl’s ring — in a way gave Grail a pleasant feeling.
There is reciprocity in rings.
And yet, would it be good if he too would get used to mutual love, having rings to share with someone like those two before him?
With a seemingly lonely smile, Grail looked upon the two of them.
“Tiara… Please wake up soon, and let me see that smile of yours.”
Aquasteed slipped the ring, which was adorned with a beautiful pearl, onto Tiararose’s left hand’s little finger. He then fixed his eyes on her, praying for her to wake up.
After kissing her warm fingertip, he did nothing but wait for Tiararose to wake up. Seeing but a soft tremble in her eyelashes was enough to take his breath away.
Tightly grasping your hand, I call your name many times.
Please answer soon.
Call me Aqua, like you used to do.
And if you do, I’ll reply by calling you Tiara.
The beautiful blue eyes appeared as a reflection in Aquasteeds own eyes.
Before he could express his relief, Tiararose had immediately closed her eyes. After giving her a gentle shake, there were no signs of change in her regular sleeper’s breathing.
Aquasteed felt Tiararose’s cheek and called her out many times — but her eyes remained tightly shut.
“I gave her the ring, so why…?”
“She’s not used to it.”
“Huh? Ah, it takes one full day to get used to the ring, right?”
Grail answered Aquasteed’s question without delay. ‘No matter how soon you wish for Tiararose to wake up, you must wait for one day…’ Then he bit his lips.
“I wish I had been stronger.”
“You are strong enough, Aquasteed. You should rest until Tiararose wakes up. You might not realize it, but your body is also very tired, so it would be a good idea to rest for a while.”
That way, the ring will adapt quickly to her body, too. Having heard that, Aquasteed had no choice but to nod.
“… I see.”
Grail encouraged Aquasteed to rest with a gentle slap on the back.
And after nodding, Aquasteed fell asleep on the spot, still tightly holding Tiararose’s hand.
◇ ◇ ◇
Like a flickering wave in the sea, Tiararose awakens from her calm sleep.
Since she had been sleeping for too long, her body was stiff and could not move it well.
After blinking several times, the bed’s canopy came into view. Looking at the beautiful bed ornaments, she wondered if her bed had ever been so extravagant.
— First of all, I should get up.
It’s no use, my throat is dry. I need water.
While trying to get up while having those thoughts, a sweet, kind, and seriously worried voice reached Tiararose’s ears.
“Oh, I’m glad… Tiara. Are you hurt? Does it hurt somewhere?”
“Hmm? Umm… yes. I’m a bit thirsty…”
“I’ll get you some water now.”
He told her to lie back down for a while.
Blinking repeteadly, Tiararose looked at the man who was now preparing a water jug. If she had asked him who he was, he would have answered.
It was Aquasteed Marineforest.
The main capture target from the sequel game, and her favorite character. They had known each other since she first got transferred to the academy, but there should have been no contact with this character.
— Why is His Highness Aquasteed here?
Moreover, he seems to be taking care of me.
“… Where am I?”
After a quick look around the room, she soon realized that it was far more elegant than her own room. Since there were so many decorations made out of coral, she imagined that it must be the room someone related to the Marineforest.
So would this be Aquasteed’s room?
— No, that can’t be.
“Tiara, here’s some water. Do you think you could drink it?”
“Oh, uh… sure.”
“Just do it slowly.”
“… Uh, thank you.”
Supporting Tiararose’s back with his hand to help her sit straight, Aquasteed offered her a glass of water. As Aquasteed placed his hand on her back, Tiararose smiled nervously thinking that it would be no good to tremble and drop the glass.
She drank the water he had given her, but Aquasteed noticed that there was something not quite right with Tiararose. He had thought that she would have been in pain due to having been asleep for so long, but something was different.