“It’s been too long, Your Highness. I am surprised to see how much you have grown.”
“And yet, I’ve still not caught up to you, sister Tiara…”
“My height? Oh, I am sure you will be well past me very soon.”
Tiararose said that he had nothing to fear and then patted him on the head.
Alexander watched this and laughed.
“Really… Sirius has been looking forward to meeting you, Tiararose. But he is the future king, so I wish that he would behave himself a little.”
“Oh, I do not mind. I do not have a younger brother myself, so it makes me happy.”
Besides, while this was a dinner party, everyone here was quite close. Tiararose knew that Sirius was usually very calm and capable, so she smiled and said that there was no problem.
“Tiara and Sirius are quite close, I see. I had no idea.”
“I am surprised as well.”
Akari said as she brought a hand to her mouth with exaggerated surprise. Aquasteed agreed.
Tiararose looked at them and said, ‘yes, we are,’ and she nodded.
“I had many opportunities to speak with Sirius while having tea with the queen.”
“Ah, I see.”
As the prince was still young, he often joined his mother’s tea parties. And since Tiararose was his older brother’s fiancée, he started to call her older sister.
–Ah, but that is no longer the case.
Hartnight had annulled the engagement and she had married Aquasteed instead. Tiararose felt that it was no longer appropriate for him to call her sister, but just then, Sirius broached the subject himself.
“However, you are no longer my sister.”
Sirius added that he found it quite regrettable.
The adorable gestures of the young boy moved Tiararose to the point that she almost wanted to tell him that he could continue to call her sister if he liked, however, she held back the impulse.
But, at the same time, Hartnight seemed to stiffen. Had he not annulled the engagement, Tiararose would really have become a sister to Sirius.
It looked like he was struggling to find something to say now, but Alexander opened his mouth first.
“Sirius. Shouldn’t you welcome Prince Aquasteed first?”
“Oh, that is right.”
Sirius apologized and said that he had been so delighted to meet Tiararose that he had forgotten.
He also bowed to Akari and said, ‘how very rude of me.’
“It is fine. Please don’t worry. Tiara is my best friend. So I am practically your sister, Prince Sirius.”
Please don’t say such things. Tiara said with an awkward laugh.
“To think, me and Tiara as sisters! Wouldn’t that be so glorious and fun? And I would be glad to have a cute younger brother like Prince Sirius! Don’t you agree, Tiara?”
“Right? And I have a present for tonight’s tea party… Oh, that can come later!”
Akari wouldn’t stop talking. Now it was not just Tiararose, but even Alexander was laughing.
‘I am so happy that my son’s wife is so lively,’ smiled the queen. Perhaps she was one of the few people that had a lot in common with Akari.
“Lady Akari, if this continues, Prince Sirius will not be able to greet Prince Aquasteed.”
“Ah, that is right.”
Akari raised her hand to her mouth with an ‘oops,’ and then laughed knowingly.
–Still, the atmosphere had become very cheerful.
Even Sirius seemed happy as he watched Akari. So Tiararose was relieved.
“I am so sorry to keep you waiting, Prince Aquasteed. I am Sirius Lapis Lazuli Lactomut, the second prince.”
“Aquasteed Marineforest. We will not stay for long, but thank you for having us.”
Sirius shook hands with Aquasteed and then smiled happily.
The dinner party went on smoothly. Tiararose was now staring at the desserts that were lined up in front of her.
She could tell at a glance that the quality of desserts had gone way up since she was last in Lapis Lazuli. Akari’s input at the castle must have caused a dramatic evolution.
The desserts were mainly chocolate.
They were displayed on individual plates and each one seemed to be telling a story.
Within the half-spheres of chocolates were bite-sized chiffon cakes.
The plates were lined with honey, strawberry, blueberry and chocolate sauce. There was also striped chocolate ribbons and to the side, chocolate truffles that were covered in cocoa and sugar powder.
It was not only Marineforest that put a lot of effort into how their desserts were presented.
“What do you think, Princess Tiara? You know, these chocolate plates were my idea.”
“They are very delicious, Lady Akari.”
The chocolates melted in your mouth in seconds.
There were many varieties too, milk, white, and bitter. Seeing as they served different ones to different guests, it was evident that they were made to fit everyone’s tastes.
Aquasteed’s plate contained mostly white and bitter chocolates.
–Akari is working hard for her country as well.
She had popularized earrings and accessories and developed new desserts. Tiararose was impressed, especially since Akari had once been locked up in the white tower for being rude.
–I respect her guts.
As for Akari, she never said yes to something she didn’t want to do.
And so she never lied, and she would always do what she had once said yes to. Because of this, people had a lot of trust in her word.
And she had such a big personality, which had helped her reputation recover to the point it was at now.
“Sister Tiara, oh…I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright, Prince Sirius. What is it?”
“The thing is, I have a request…if possible, I would like to have some of the flowers that were named after you.”
May I? He looked into Tiararose’s eyes.
Tiararose’s flower was very beautiful and had become the national flower of Marineforest. They had brought some in pots as a gift.
“Of course, Prince Sirius.”
“Thank you so much!”
Tiararose consented and Sirius brightened up like a flower.
“What? You want flowers?”
“Older brother… You know, this is why Sister Tiara got tired of you!”
Well, this was unusual… Sirius was glaring at Hartnight.
“Brother, why don’t you send some flowers to a woman you are fond of?”
Tiararose chuckled. Yes…Hartnight had never done such a thing for her.
They had never even gone on a date. The only thing he ever did was send her jewels and accessories on her birthday.
–Prince Hartnight. He’s certainly being told off…
There was something a little refreshing about seeing him now. And apparently, Akari felt the same way.
Akari was looking hard at Hartnight and Sirius. Tiararose could almost hear her internal scream, ‘such an entertaining scene did not exist in the game!!’
“Damn it. You should not argue like this here. And in front of Tiararose…”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Sister Tiara…”
“I-I am sorry.”
Both of them apologized after being rebuked by Alexander.
Akari watched as Hartnight bowed and she chuckled. Tiararose assured them that she was alright and smiled.
“Then Hartnight, you should give me some flowers as a gift.”
“Ah-ah! Well, of course.”
He nodded at Akari’s request. Then Hartnight turned to Tiararose and Aquasteed and said that he would also like to have some of these flowers.
“Of course, I do not mind. Don’t you agree, Prince Aquasteed?”
Hartnight patted his chest in relief upon hearing their reply.
The uncomfortable air began to evaporate, and the talk became much more lively.
Akari sat next to Hartnight and explained to him about the desserts. ‘Isn’t it delicious?’ she said with a smile. ‘It’s too sweet,’ Hartnight complained, but then continued to eat every bite. He clearly did not hate it.
Tiararose was relieved to see how happy they were together.