She told herself this as she searched for a solution.
There was something about Liliarge that looked sad as she wildly unleashed her attacks on Aquasteed. Tiararose wanted to see her smile again no matter what.
And then suddenly, Tiararose looked at Liliarge’s hand–at the ring. The claws were long and fearfully sharp, but the ring was still there.
It was the ring of the starry sky that Liliarge usually had around her neck.
The moment she caught sight of it, Tiararose’s own ring began to glow.
–Maybe I can help Queen Lilia.
Tiararose’s ring of the starry sky and Liliarge’s ring of the starry sky were calling one another. They had met for the first time because the ring had led her to Liliarge.
It was because the ring had called that Liliarge escaped this place and went up to meet Tiararose.
And so these rings must be the secret to helping her.
“Tiara. I don’t think that Aquasteed will last much longer… Hey, what are you thinking?”
“…Something that only I can do.”
Keith was just about to say that he was going to attack Liliarge… But Tiararose had such a stern look in her eyes that he swallowed his words and could not speak.
Tiararose walked passed Keith and moved towards Liliarge.
She was so serious, that Keith hesitated over whether to stop her. However, Elliot was quick to react.
“Princess Tiararose. Please stand back. It is too dangerous! If anything happened to you, Prince Aquasteed shall be very sad.”
“It’s no use. Tiara can be strangely stubborn. She won’t back down, judging by her eyes.”
Elliot looked frantic as Keith chuckled and said this.
Olivia had no intention of stopping Tiararose. She even said, ‘You’re just like a heroine!’
–I don’t know if I’ll succeed.
However, she alone could save Liliarge now. Tiararose stared at the ring and kissed the stone in the center.
“O ring of the starry sky–connect to Queen Liliarge’s ring of the starry sky, and give her overflowing power to me!”
If it was too much for Liliarge to hold alone, then they could hold it together. Tiararose prayed to the ring, asking it to allow her to help.
Then suddenly, pale lights filled the room, creating an atmosphere that resembled the night sky.
Aquasteed immediately noticed the difference and looked towards the door—at Tiararose. Then he saw the incredible amount of power that was flowing towards her. Then he shouted in terror.
“Tiara! What are you doing…!”
They didn’t know what would happen and he wanted her to stop. But her resolve was firm. She quietly shook her head and smiled, showing that she would do no such thing.
“I am your wife, Prince Aquasteed. Both of us must shoulder the burden of ruling this kingdom.”
If that meant dying here because she could not handle the power, it meant that she was not strong enough to accept the burden in the first place.
However, as Tiararose was the villainous daughter, she had an advantage. Keith had said that she had the capacity to take in an immense amount of power.
She would wager on it.
“Prince Aquasteed and Queen Liliarge, I will help support you both.”
And with that, the power flowed into Tiararose.
At the same time, Liliarge stopped her magic attacks. Her body grew smaller as her power went into Tiararose. Her sharp horns even started to become round again.
It was as if the unfamiliar magic had given her a fever. Tiararose collapsed just as Aquasteed held her.
Sweat dripped from her face, and yet she tried hard to accept it all. Aquasteed supported her and prayed that she would not accept more than she could take.
Pheles was the first to show a change.
The reversed flow of magic stopped. His pained expression became soft again. And then he dragged his heavy body towards Liliarge.
He gathered the shaking Liliarge into his arms and wept. And over and over he repeated the words, ‘I’m so sorry.’
When the two of them finally smiled, Liliarge had returned to her former size, and the flow of magic towards Tiararose stopped.
Tiararose was relieved to see that they were both safe and she sighed.
But Aquasteed was even more relieved to see that she was fine.
“Tiara. I wish you wouldn’t do things like that. I nearly got a heart attack.”
“Still. You believed in me enough to not try and stop me. Thank you. I am so glad that I was able to save Queen Lilia.”
Aqusteed could only agree to that. No, everyone who was there was relieved that the result had been so good.
Tiararose had acquired the ring of the Fairy King of the Forest, and the others were able to bring Pheles back to normal. The stars would surely return to the sky and Marineforest would once again be a peaceful and prosperous country.
While he supported the weakened Tiararose, Aquasteed had much to do now, and he thought about it… Still, seeing the old king and queen happily embrace each other made him just want to watch over them quietly.
How could the kingdom be happy if Pheles and Liliarge were not?
Aquasteed felt that he and all of his people had to be happy in order for the kingdom to be happy.
And Aquasteed needed Tiararose in order to be happy.
“Thank you, Tiara. Both I and this kingdom need you.”
“Oh, Prince Aqua…”
Aquasteeds hands held hers as their fingers entwined. But both of them were looking towards Pheles and Liliarge.
Liliarge was sobbing as Pheles said, ‘don’t cry,’ and caressed her. But he was also crying happily.
It was such a lovely and warm sight. It was hard to believe that both of them had been acting so wildly a moment ago. Tiararose felt that this was their normal state, and she was full of emotion.
“…Pheles. I can finally see your face now.”
Liliarge wanted to see more of his face. Pheles was the same, and they stared into each others’ eyes.
“I haven’t heard your voice in so long, Lilia.”
“I’m sorry for leaving you alone for so long…”
“I should be saying that to you. I kept you bound here as my wife. If only I was stronger, you would not have had to shoulder such a burden…”
“We promised not to talk about it.”
Liliarge’s furry paw touched his mouth as she said, ‘Don’t.’
“Even if I whither and die, I will stay with you.”
“Yes, yes… Thank you, Lilia.”
He cried quietly and kissed her.
“Thank you for being with me.’
“And please stay with me forever.”
Their tears combined and glowed as if it were a blessing.