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He even felt a little bad for Prince Hartknights, who was always being manipulated by her. But then Aquasteed remembered that he had more important things to worry about, and he braced himself for what was up ahead.
Just because Elliot and Akari had made it through safely, it didn’t mean that there were no traps here at all. It was better to be too cautious.
But his anxiety ended up being unnecessary, as the path did not go in very deep. And they arrived at the end quickly.
“Here it is, Queen Lilia!”
Akari looked at her smugly. “Is it the right one?” she asked.
It seemed unlikely that such important people of the royal family would be buried out here in the middle of nowhere.
“This is the tomb…?”
Tiararose could now see the tombstone.
It had slept here in this quiet space all of this time. She found herself grabbing Aquasteed’s sleeve.
Aquasteed quickly put his arm around her waist and pulled her towards him with an ‘it’s alright.’
“Though, it is a little eerie.”
Behind them, Olivia also looked quite fearful.
And so Levy took her hand and led her so that she would not trip in the dark.
It was just big enough for all of them to enter, but still felt cramped. There was also lots of dust and the air was stale.
When they were close enough to the tombstones, they could see that it was made of good stone, but had not been taken care of for many years.
The words that had been engraved on it was now worn away and unreadable.
—Why is it in a place like this?
As if it had been forgotten. Or hidden away… That’s what this place was like. It did not seem like the kind of place where an item to help people would be.
Tiararose looked at Liliarge now, wondering if she was alright.
Just then, she saw large tears fall from her eyes.
“So this is where Pheles’s parten rest. …I was never able to meet them. Pheles must have missed them greatly.”
“That’s what it is like as a man of the royal family. You have responsibilities that keep you away from your parents.”
“Aquasteed… Yes. Pheles was always such a hard worker. He was a great man.”
“King Pheles loved you, Queen Lilia. I am sure that his happiness was much greater than the sadness of being away from his family.”
“Thank you. Both of you.”
Liliarge laughed in relief after hearing their words.
Then she put her two small hands together and offered a prayer for Pheles’s parents.
Tiararose and the others also put their hands together and closed their eyes. Please. Give us the power to help Pheles. They prayed.
There was a long silence before Liliarge opened her mouth.
“Thank you, everyone. There is no mistake. This is the tomb of Pheles’s parents.”
She went behind the tombstone and showed them that the royal crest was there.
It was before there was a kingdom of Lapis Lazuli. And so only Liliarge and Pheles knew of it now.
“So, the only thing we need now is the item!”
“Yes! It must be somewhere around here…”
If it was for Pheles, then surely his parents would forgive them for searching the place. Tiararose stepped in front of the tombstone and bowed deeply.
Liliarge stood next to her and bowed as well.
“Please lend us the power to save King Pheles.”
“I was never able to meet you, but Pheles always spoke of you fondly. But he is in pain now. Please, help me save him.”
After this, everyone prayed once again.
“Now, let us search.”
Aquasteed put a hand on the tombstone and inspected it. Elliot searched the back area while Levy remained alert of their surroundings, in case something happened.
—The parents of the first king.
There was nothing about King Pheles’s parents in the records of Marineforest. Not only that, but there was hardly anything on the king himself.
It could not be helped, as it was so long ago. But Aquasteed also wondered if the information was hidden due to some political reasons.
As he wiped away the dust from the center of the stone, he saw a hole. It had not been noticeable before, but it seemed like there was a handle inside.
“Part of the tombstone came off?”
It was like a trick box, Aquasteed thought as he moved it away. Tiararose watched this from behind, and Akari looked very amused.
“Uh, a bracelet? Or is it an arm ring?”
“It looks like it… But there is something unpleasant about it. I do not think it is good.”
Aquasteed was holding a rusted arm ring.
Liliarge climbed up to Tiararose’s shoulder and looked at it. Then she frowned and said, ‘I agree…’
–Should this really be given to the first king?
Aquasteed wondered if this might not make matters even worse.
“If we are to give this to Pheles, then we must have it purified first.”
Liliarge looked both sad and troubled.
Tiararose wondered if there was anything she could do. Perhaps this ring had to be returned to its normal state in order to save Pheles and to save Marineforest. It must have been a beautiful ring at one time.
But how did you purify something? Did you have to go to a shrine? But there were no shrines in this world.
What they had instead was magic.
–Ah, I see.
Just as Tiararose had an idea, Akari and Olivia raised their voices. They looked at each other and said the same thing at the same time.
“The heroine’s holy prayer!”
In other words, me. Said Akari with much confidence.
“Lady Akari? Yes, that might solve this problem…”
Aquasteed nodded. But he did not seem too enthusiastic about it. Perhaps it was because he did not want to involve Akari in a matter that concerned his own country. And he also wasn’t sure if it would work at all.
Akari looked at him and said,’it will be fine!’ and she took the arm ring and smiled.
“I want to help Queen Lilia too. And I do sense a lot of evil in this ring. It has become something bad. …That’s probably why no one came here for so long.”
“Lady Akari, are you able to do it…?”
Liliarge looked uncertain as Akari stared at the ring. Full of evil… Upon hearing those words, she clenched her small hands.
Akari smiled gently at Liliarge.
“Leave it to me, Queen Lilia! I have just the right event for this!”
“Yes! My wedding! The power of holy prayer is strengthened when there is lots of happiness around.”
So leave it to me. Akari said with a laugh.
“For Lady Akari, her own wedding is an event.”
“Hehe. That’s very like you. I bet your wedding would have the nicest CGs.”
They decided to return to the castle now that they had found what they came for. The air was so fresh on the surface and they took their time breathing it in.
Perhaps the bracelet would not have become so unclean if the tomb was on the surface. Tiararose thought. And she decided that they should come back here again once things were settled.
Before they could return to the carriage, they heard the neighing of a horse and someone shouting, ‘Prince Aquasteed!’ The voice sounded frantic.
Elliot’s voice called out to the knight on horseback. He was one of the knights who had accompanied them from Marineforest. He quickly fell to his knee.
“There is an urgent message from Marineforest! They say that the stars have vanished from the night sky.”