The author published 16 new chapters the past couple of days after a month of inactivity https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0358dh/ Happy New Year
The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 64
- Adorable Guest
Its fluffy black coat and small horns were very cute. It also seemed to have an accessory around its neck, which was somewhat fancy.
Tiararose and Aquasteed were not sure if they could safely label it an animal, but regardless, they could not take their eyes off of it.
Was it a fairy? But maybe the horns suggested it was a much more frightening creature? But then they saw how cute it was and were sure that it was not possible.
“Is that…the animal that you saved?”
“It is. I’m so glad that it seems to be fine.”
She had been worried that it would be weak from the water, and so she was quite relieved.
Tiararose rushed to the window and was about to open it–when Aquasteed stopped her.
“Tiara, you mustn’t do things like that when there is no guarantee that it’s not dangerous.”
Aquasteed said as he worriedly pulled her hand back. Then he moved in front of her and opened the window to invite the animal inside.
Tiararose was worried that it would run away again, but it came inside without showing any signs of fear or apprehension.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. Is it a fairy?”
“It’s unfamiliar to me as well. It’s clear that it is no ordinary animal. But a fairy…I don’t know about that.”
“It is very strange.”
Aquasteed looked at it suspiciously, but it showed no signs of attacking or doing anything. He was relieved by that but still wanted Tiararose to stay away from it.
However, their questions regarding the animal quickly vanished.
“Aquasteed. Tiararose. Please help me!”
“! The animal talked…!?”
Its beady eyes were a little wet, but it shed no tears. They were strong as they looked straight at Tiararose and Aquasteed.
“If this continues, then Pheles will turn into something bad. I want to stop that… Please, will you help me?”
Tiararose was shocked at this most unexpected name.
He was the first king and was now a ghost that lived in the sealed king’s room under the castle.
He had helped Aquasteed make the starry sky ring.
–But how was this animal related to King Pheles?
There were no animals down there. Aquasteed had been thinking the same thing.
‘Who are you?’ he asked quietly.
The animal took a step back and bowed.
“I am Liliarge Marineforest. You can call me Lilia.”
Only royalty had the name Marineforest.
However, they had never heard of that name among the history of the royal family. The only possibility was that she was Pheles’s wife, as her name had been lost in the official records.
Aquasteed’s guess turned out to be correct. ‘I’m his wife,’ Liliarge said.
“Oh, I had no idea, your royal highness…how rude of me.”
“No. Tiararose. Thank you for helping me.”
Tiararose had quickly fallen to her knees, but Liliarge smiled and said that it was fine. Aquasteed had also fallen to his knees. She looked at him with concern.
“Aquasteed. How is your health? Now that you are awakening to your power as king, it has likely become difficult to control your great magic power.”
“I do feel that my magic is increasing. But I am fine. Thank you for your concern.”
“I see…that is good.”
Tiararose saw how kind Liliarge was and sighed with relief that she wasn’t a dangerous animal. At the same time, she wondered why Pheles’s wife looked like this now.
The two had lived together so long ago. Tiararose wondered if Liliarge too was trapped in this form, just like a ghost.
Or perhaps she had been so desperate to help Pheles, and had ultimately turned into this animal…
–She must really love King Pheles.
Just like Aquasteed loved her. It must have been Liliarge who had caused the pull of the ring.
In that case, Tiararose felt that she must help Pheles and Liliarge in any way that she could.
Suddenly, Liliarge turned to the table and exclaimed.
“What is that? …It is very cute.”
“It is a sweet treat called a cookie. Would you like some?”
“I would love to try it!!”
The cookie had icing on it in the shape of a flower and was very pretty.
Previously, cookies were only baked and that was it. But Tiararose had popularized this style, and now the rest of the cooks in the castle were able to make them.
Tiararose picked up Liliarge and put her down on a chair. Then she handed her a cookie.
Liliarge accepted it with a furry paw and enjoyed looking at it for a moment before putting it in her mouth.
“Ahhhh. To think that something so delicious had existed…!”
“I am happy that you like it.”
“Women of any age enjoy sweets, I guess.”
Aquasteed smiled as he saw Tiararose and Liliarge eat the cookies happily. Then he noticed that there was some dirt on Tiararose’s dress. He wondered how that had happened, then he realized that it was from Liliarge.
“Perhaps we should allow Queen Liliarge to get some rest. I am sure she is very tired.”
“! Oh, that is right… I am sorry. I was outside, so it would be nice to be able to take a bath.”
Aquasteed nodded. Tiararose said, ‘I’ll prepare the bath right away,’ as she went to the bathing room that was connected to their room.
◇ ◇ ◇
While Tiararose and Liliarge were in the bath, Aquasteed told Elliot to call off the search for the animal.
After that, he returned straight to his daily work. Only now he had more to do.
He called for Elliot and Philiane and told them that their future schedule would likely have to change.
He also told them both about Liliarge. As they were both attendants, things would move a lot more smoothly if they knew what was happening.
“King Pheles’s wife…”
“Yes. Tiara and I will have to attend the wedding. At worst, I might have to ask you, Elliot, to stay and take care of this matter concerning Queen Liliarge.”
“…I see. It is something that no one else can do then.”
While Philiane would come with Tiararose, he ordered that she prepare a room so that Liliarge could live here comfortably.
“It depends on what Tiararose thinks, but it might be better for them to room together, instead of preparing a new room.”
“Yes. I will have to ask her about that.”
After all, Liliarge was very important.
They wanted to avoid others finding out about her.
As Aquasteed wondered what he should do, Tiararose and Liliarge finished their bath. Tiararose had already bathed earlier, so she only needed to change her dress.
Liliarge’s black fur was very fluffy and she now had a cute ribbon behind her neck.
“Prince Aqua! And Philiane and Elliot too. You’re just in time.”
“I was just hearing from Queen Lilia. King Pheles’s parents’ tombs…are in Lapis Lazuli. Would it be alright if I took Queen Lilia with me to Akari’s wedding?”
According to Liliarge, one of the powerful items of their family had been buried there along with them.
She believed that acquiring that item would help Pheles’s power become more stable.
“That being said, Pheles was not on good terms with his parents. I want to draw as little attention as possible.”
“I see… Then we will alter our schedule so you will have time.”
“Thank you, Aquasteed.”
Liliarge smiled gently. Then Aquasteed spread out a map and asked if she knew the specific location. Liliarge raised her small body onto the table and tilted her head as she looked at the map.
“…I’m sorry. I do not know the location. But I think it is near the castle.”
“No, there is no need to apologize. Perhaps if we had an older map. Elliot.”
“Yes, right away.”
Elliot left the room in order to get an older map from the knights order library.
Philiane prepared some tea and macarons so they could relax while they waited for Elliot’s return. Predictably, Liliarge’s eyes shone when she saw them. Philiane thought it looked there were now two Tiararoses, and she laughed.
While Liliarge was busy eating the macarons, Elliot returned with a map. He immediately spread it out on the table, but the castle of Lapis Lazuli was not on the map.
Yes, this was a map of the land before Lapis Lazuli was even a country. However, this should be the closest map to Lililarge’s time.
“I’m sorry. I do not know. …However, it should not be too far from Marineforest.”
“I understand. If it was the tomb of royalty, then there should be some traces left. Elliot, go on ahead and investigate.”
As it was not their country, they could not send too many people to investigate. However, given the time it might take, they could not set off for Lapis Lazuli without any information at all.
◇ ◇ ◇
Tiararose and Aquasteed were now inside of a gorgeous carriage. Liliarge was also with them.
As no one had ever seen an animal or fairy like this before, Liliarge pretended to be a stuffed animal while they traveled.
They were now traveling through Marineforest and were on their way to the kingdom of Lapis Lazuli.
“Ohh, the sea is so beautiful. I was in Marineforest for so long, and this is my first time going abroad!”
Liliarge exclaimed very happily.
She was humming to herself as she obsessed over the scenery.
“Prince Aqua, isn’t it so nice that Queen Lilia is enjoying herself?”
“Yes. It makes me very happy to hear that she still loves her country after all this time.”
It was likely that Marineforest had been covered in so much more natural beauty back then compared to now. Still, Liliarge said that she still loved Marineforest.
There were cute and delicious sweets that didn’t exist back then. The city was beautiful and the people were all smiling. ‘Thank you for taking such good care of the country.’ –That was what she said. And she looked so happy.
And as part of the royal family who had helped build it, these words were especially well received by Aquasteed.
“I hope we can show her much more of Marineforest later.”
The three of them watched the view and enjoyed their time of traveling.