As Tiararose wondered what to do, Aquasteed noticed her plight and opened his mouth.
“Lady Olivia, don’t you think that is enough? Lady Aishira is uncomfortable now.”
“Well… Prince Aquasteed, you are after all…very close with Aishira…”
Olivia shot a glance towards Aishira and said simply. “Pardon me.”
“Hmph, this is how you do it, Tiara… No, you should be bullying me even harder!”
“Akari… I would never do such a thing.”
She answered with exasperation as Akari whispered to her. Then she thought back on that time.
Tiararose had always been with Hartnight, who was her fiance. And it was the heroine Akari, who worked from the shadows to trap Tiararose.
…It was according to the game’s scenario.
However, since Tiararose had not done anything, it put Akari in the position of the villain. Thinking of it like that, she wondered what Akari was even saying now.
Seeing this, Grail and Keith opened their mouths.
“…Tiararose and Akari sure are close.”
“There aren’t many ladies who get along with Tiara.”
Tiararose’s status as the princess made it difficult for most to talk to her lightly.
Within Marineforest, it was Aishira who she was the closest with…but they were still not very close. Of course, Tiararose did wish that they could become closer friends.
“That’s exactly right. Tiara and I are best friends!”
Akari declared proudly.
“I am always on Tiara’s side. I will let you all know this now, but I won’t forgive you if you go against her! Especially you, Prince Aqua!”
Aquasteed looked at her with tired eyes, as if to say that there was no way he would ever do that. He touched Tiararose’s hair and said, ‘I will never let her go.’
“That is fine then. But if you decided to discard her over her lost memories…I will destroy all of Marineforest!”
Her sudden declaration of utter destruction caused Tiararose to remonstrate her in a panic.
Akari was the heroine and therefore had strong power. In fact, it was actually possible for her to carry out this threat, and no one thought that this was funny.
But—there was one exception.
“Hahaha. You’re very amusing.”
“Keith! This is not a laughing matter… Akari, please don’t joke about that.”
“But I’m not joking?”
Akari was not the least bit moved by Tiararose’s berating. Tiararose sighed as she realized that there was no persuading her, and she decided to focus on her cake instead.
–Ahh, it really was delicious.
◇ ◇ ◇
They had brought everyone important to the tea party, and yet no memories returned to Tiararose.
And while this was unfortunate, Tiararose looked to have enjoyed it…and so Aquasteed decided to not be too disappointed about it.
Tiararose looked happy as she slept, and he wished that he could watch her like this forever.
“I was surprised that she wanted to sleep in the same room…but maybe I’m just that dashing.”
Aquasteed had told her that they would sleep separately, but Tiararose rejected this. Of course, there must have been an internal struggle with that decision.
Still, Tiararose had told him that she wanted things to be as they always were.
He stroked her hair and felt the love well up in his chest.
Now, it was time for him to sleep as well. Just as he thought this, he felt that something was wrong—and he turned around.
The door was closed.
The door, windows, there was no place that someone could have entered from.
And yet, she was there.
With the moon shining behind her, she stood in front of the window and laughed.
“Lady Akari…how did you get in?”
Aquasteed narrowed his eyes, wondering what her purpose was.
Akari almost looked puzzled by this as she laughed loudly. She assured him that she meant to do nothing that was tedious and slowly walked towards them.
“I am Tiara’s friend after all! Why wouldn’t I come to see how she is doing?”
“This late at night?”
“Yes. If there was any time to talk about something relating to memories of you and Tiara, it is now.”
He looked at her with suspicion.
She had once used the power of Holy Prayer to look at Tiararose. But Akari had said that it was no use. He had been quite disappointed then.
“…The sea for Tiara, the sky for Prince Aqua. You have rings of the Fairy Kings. That is amazing.”
Her dark eyes went down to the ring that Aquasteed was wearing.
Aquasteed could never quite understand what it was that Akari was. Even now.
–Why does someone from a foreign country know about the ring.
Her attitude and nerve did not change even when in front of the Fairy Kings.
And this personality that allowed her to enter the crown prince’s bedchambers as if it were nothing. He sighed…this was not someone you would want to make into your enemy.
“So? You used the power of Holy Prayer to teleport into my bedroom. Is it because you found a way to get her memories back?”
“Found a way…well, yes. I do know a way to get them back.”
Just as she said it–the air in the room changed.
He felt the chill on his skin. Akari chuckled and said that Tiararose really was a handful.
Aquasteed was about to leave the room to put on a jacket, but paused.
While Tiararose was there, he didn’t like having another woman in his bedroom. Akari did not care about the location, but that was how important Tiararose was to him.
“Even when the power of Holy Prayer is not enough…?”
Aquasteed asked doubtfully, but she nodded.
It was not as if Holy Prayer could do anything. Of course, it was very powerful—but it was mainly things that you needed to do in order to make progress in the game. And so there were not many things that allowed you to change things in the sequel.
“I cannot do it. It is you, Prince Aqua, who can.”
“Exactly. Only you can do it. Not even my Holy Prayer can help her. …As sad as it makes me, since I am her friend.”
She added and laughed sadly.
“Prince Aqua, why don’t you make a king’s ring?”
“A ring? Me?”
The rings made by kings were able to add one special effect.
The ring of the sea had poison nullification. The ring of the sea amplified your voice. The forest rings made the land fertile.
–What ring would Prince Aqua make?
Aquasteed said that there was no way he could make a ring. She laughed and answered.
“The main hero that I like is strong.”
And so you can. She insisted.
The ring of Lapis Lazuli…the sequel…the Aquasteed Route Expansion disc.
She had only told Tiararose of the hidden stage, and yet she had entered the expansion episode somehow. Akari was impressed.
Of course, as Tiararose had died before its release, she did not know about this disc.
–This expansion had cost over ten thousand yen, after all.
If it all played out, Akari was sure that it would be a wonderful story. Of course, with only one foot in…she didn’t know if it would finish as a complete story.
“But I’m happy that it was Tiara who discovered that possibility.”
And not Aishira.
She whispered to herself. And with that, Akari left Aquasteed and Tiararose’s room by teleporting away, just as she had come.