Chapter 189 – The first girls-only gathering in a long while
Thirteenth arc – Ninth chapter
“Ugh… Haa… It’s no good.” Tiararose took a deep breath, then drooped her head.
Standing next to her was Keith in his lab coat, who shrugged his shoulders.
Tiararose was struggling with controlling her magical powers. She was fine with small amounts, but she had quite a bit of trouble when handling large amounts.
She tried asking both Aquasteed and Keith to teach her, but neither gave good results.
“Mother, cheer up!” Luciarose hugged Tiararose.
“Lucia… Thank you.” Tiararose hugged her back, and thought that she needed to keep on working hard, so as to be a good role model for her children.
However, Tiararose was still struggling with this anyways.
She thought it would probably be much easier for Luciarose, as she had been born with great magical powers to begin with.
But Tiararose only received this strong magic after she was already grown up, so it’s harder for her to learn how to control it now.
“Perhaps we should start thinking of other solutions while we keep on practicing.” Keith suggested.
“Agreed.” Tiararose said.
Though she didn’t really know of any other possibilities available to her.
“Well, now that Lilia is here, you can try asking her how she handles the power of the Starry Sky, perhaps she can give you some guidance.” Keith continued.
“That’s a good one… Slowly and surely…
“Well, I’d prefer if it didn’t take long, but we should try thinking of what we can do.” Tiararose replied.
The sound of the pen running through the documents in Aquasteed’s office was only interrupted occasionally by a sigh.
However, he still processed the documents at the same speed as usual.
Nonetheless, it was clear that this situation was causing a mental strain on him.
“Would you like some rest, lord Aquasteed?” Elliot asked.
“No, not really… Or perhaps I should.” Aquasteed nodded at Elliot’s words, then stood up and stretched.
Aquasteed was too worried about Tiararose’s magic practice not going well, and he was also quite frustrated at not being able to help her. He wished that he could be a better teacher for her.
And as Aquasteed thought that, Elliot prepared a cup of tea for him, so that he could rest with more ease.
“By the way, the ladies will hold a girls-only gathering today.” Elliot said.
“Yeah, everyone readily agreed to it once miss Akari made the suggestion.
“On that note, will Philiane attend it?” Aquasteed asked.
He did remember that Philiane’s name was listed on the invitation that Tiararose received from Akari.
“Yes. I will probably get home before her today.” Elliot replied.
“I see, then I should finish my work quickly to free you.” Aquasteed replied.
“That would be quite helpful.” Elliot said.
Elliot then checked how much work was left, and he got quite happy when he saw that today’s quota was almost done.
While there are maids in their mansion, Philiane is still the person who spends the most time caring for their children, so Elliot would rather not stay away for too long when Philiane is out.
“Though it’s hard to get the babies to stop crying once they start… With Philiane they stop right away, but with me…” Elliot wondered if this happened because his body was too stiff.
He looked away while thinking that. He is always troubled when his children start crying.
And Aquasteed could only giggle at his statement, “Well, I suppose it’s easier to sleep at softer arms over hard ones.”
Elliot nodded vigorously at Aquasteed words. He remembered the time back when he was training to be a knight. Sometimes they had to sleep at incredibly hard beds during their travels, and it was always horribly uncomfortable.
“I can’t sleep properly at hard places…” Elliot muttered.
“We can hardly compete with mothers.” Aquasteed nodded.
“Yeah, which is why I can’t help trying to get my children’s attention with souvenirs…” Elliot replied.
Right now, the Coralsia house was filled with children toys due to Elliot’s actions.
Though Aquasteed also shares the feeling of wanting to buy lots of things for his children.
Not to mention the many toys they often receive from the children’s grandparents that live in Lapis Lazuli.
After Aquasteed finished his tea, he said, “Alright, let’s wrap things up here for today, so as to let Philiane go out without worries.”
“Yes, milord!” Elliot replied.
The evening girls-only gathering that Akari planned had started.
The participating members were Tiararose, Akari, Olivia, Philiane and Liliarge, though Luciarose and Haruka were there too.
They were all wearing matching negligees of different colors, light-blue for Tiararose, pink for Akari, white for Olivia and cream for Philiane. Liliarge couldn’t wear a negligee, so she had a ribbon tied around her neck instead.
Luciarose was using a negligee that was tied up with a ribbon, and she smiled and said, “Cute!” when saw herself in these clothes.
As for Haruka, he was peacefully sleeping right next to Luciarose.
Sweets and juice were lined up next to the beds.
The sweets were made with Tiararose flowers, so they all looked gorgeous and had a delicious taste.
“It’s been a while since our last girls-only gathering!” Akari exclaimed, properly starting their meeting.
Their lives have certainly changed considerably over the past few years, as most of them had become quite busy with taking care of their own children.
And well, Olivia was enjoying her time working as Tiararose’s aide.
“How are things going with you and Haruka, lady Akari?” Tiararose asked.
“Lord Hartnight is a very good papa! He takes care of Haruka, feeds him, and even bathes him!” Akari replied.
“Oooh?” Everyone said together.
They wondered if it was better to not say anything about how surprising those news were.
Akari then explained that Hartnight was actually able to basically care for all of Haruka’s needs by himself, so these days Akari was the one who was busier with official duties instead.
“So prince Hartnight is the househusband.” Olivia commented.
“Indeed! I think this can be a nice start to increase the number of working women in this world.” Akari replied.
In this world, there was certainly a tendency for men to work while women took care of their houses.
So, Akari hoped that with her having a strong participation in official duties in Lapis Lazuli, she’d be able to serve as a living example that proved that things did not have to necessarily be this way.
“Lady Akari is saying something surprisingly reasonable…” Tiararose commented.
“Lady Tiara, what do you think of me!? I do have a lot of things I worry about, you know?” Akari replied.
“I’m sorry, lady Akari, it’s just…” In the midst of her apology, Tiararose couldn’t help smiling, “I just think it’s wonderful.”
“It’s certainly something you wouldn’t be able to do without the cooperation with prince Hartnight though.” Philiane commented.
“That’s true. Though Hartnight can be a real worrywart at times, you know? When I start cradling Haruka, Hartnight often rushes forward by saying ‘I’ll hold him!’ and the like… It’s quite cute, isn’t it?” Akari said.
Everyone went silent as she said those words… They couldn’t help wondering if Hartnight is taking the initiative of caring for Haruka because he is too worried about Akari’s parenting skills, but they decided to not comment about it.
So, Akari rolled around her bed and suddenly hugged Olivia, “What about you, lady Olivia? Isn’t it about time for you to get married?”
“Me?” Olivia replied.
“I heard lady Aishira is going to marry Kyle soon, so isn’t now the time for the villainess to also achieve happiness?” Akari stated.
Olivia was already twenty-six years old, so she was certainly old enough for marriage.
“Though well, I’m not gonna try forcing you. The most important part is for you to be happy, after all!” Akari exclaimed.
“Thank you, lady Akari.
“For the time being, I’m just enjoying my life though. Things are quite fun right now, so I’d rather postpone marriage as long as I can.
“I also want to make more pilgrimages to the ‘holy lands’, after all…” Olivia replied.
“Well, that’s just like you, lady Olivia.” Tiararose commented.
After all, if Olivia found a troublesome partner, then she might no longer be able to travel to the ‘holy lands’ that she loves making pilgrimages towards.
She’d probably have no trouble going to nearby places, but visits to the event sites in Lapis Lazuli would be much harder to arrange if her spouse didn’t like the idea much.
But then, Tiararose wondered if Levy could be a good match for Olivia. He not only understood Olivia better than anybody else, but he was also the person that cared for her the most.
The main issue is the difference in their social status… For someone in a position as high as Olivia, the lowest she could go would probably be the second son of a count, which is what she has been aiming for for quite a while now.
But then, while Tiararose thought of that, Akari grinned and stared at Philiane.
Philiane flinched at that, “W-what is it?”
“Well, how is your married life with Elliot going?” Akari asked.
Akari couldn’t help wondering about the lives of all people from this game world, so she had to ask.
Tiararose and Olivia also wanted to know, so they didn’t try stopping Akari.
“Married life, huh?
“There isn’t much worth talking about…” Philiane replied.
She tried thinking if there was anything worth mentioning… Her husband, Elliot, works as Aquasteed’s close aide, so the time that he comes home is quite irregular.
Sometimes he can’t even go home at all, but he still tries to be there as often as he can, as he truly cares for Philiane, their home and their family.
“If anything, I think it would be nice if Elliot stopped buying as many toys as he does.” Philiane smiled wryly as she remembered the room that is about to overflow with children toys.
“He’s such a sweet papa to his children!” Akari giggled.
“It’s surely fun listening to everyone’s stories. I want to keep on listening forever.” Liliarge, who had only listened so far, smiled as she made this comment.
“You traveled all around Marineforest, didn’t you, lady Lilia!? I also want to explore every corner of Marineforest…” Olivia said.
“I did, and I enjoyed it quite a bit! I saw lots of towns and villages in my travels, but no matter where I went, people were lively, the food was delicious, and it was all very fun.” Liliarge replied.
“Ooh! I want to go too!” Akari exclaimed.
While Akari said that, Olivia’s stared with shining eyes at Liliarge, as she thought about how she wanted to go everywhere in this world. Not just to Marineforest, but also to Lapis Lazuli and many other countries.
Olivia thought that she really shouldn’t let herself be tied down by marriage.
Tiararose figured out what Olivia must have been thinking, so she started giggling.
But at this moment, Luciarose leaned on Tiararose’s back and muttered, “Mother…”
Luciarose was pouting quite a bit, so Tiararose said, “Oh dear, you must have been bored by this talk.”
Luciarose nodded at that, but then, she opened her eyes wide, “Ah! Mother, your ring is sparkling! How cute!”
“Eh?” Tiararose replied.
Luciarose’s eyes were captivated by the light of Tiararose’s ring, which was reflecting the lamp’s light and was shining brighter than usual.
She may say that she wants to become a knight, but she still likes cute girlish things.
“In the future, a nice person will come and give you a ring, Lucia.” Tiarose told her.
“Really!?” Luciarose loosened her cheeks.
“Then, I’ll have Haruka give one to her!” Akari exclaimed.
“Lady Akari!” Tiararose exclaimed, and was about to start scolding Akari.
“Just kidding.” Akari replied, but Tiararose wondered if that was really a joke.
Or rather, Tiararose thought that Akari was completely serious.
“Mother, I want to wear it!” Luciarose exclaimed.
“Eh?” Tiararose said, not realizing what was happening.
Because Luciarose had already reached out her hand towards Tiararose’s ring finger, pulled out the ring of the Starry Sky, then put it on her own finger.
“… Ah.” The adults in the room said together as their gazes gathered on the ring.
And then, Tiararose instantly turned into a cat.
“Mmmeeeeow.” Tiararose’s low growl made everyone become tense.
“N-no good! Hurry up and give her back the ring, or she’ll become a monster!” Liliarge exclaimed.