Declaration of War
Within the library located inside the castle, there is a forbidden archive where only the royal family are permitted to enter.
In there exist things such as books on fairies that are passed down from generation to generation of the royal family.
“……The throne of the King of the forest fairies, huh.”
“And Miss Tiararose is in there?”
“Most likely, yes.”
Aquasteed‘s and Eliot’s voices echoed in the quiet place.
Down the spiral staircase leading to the basement, there’s a small room. Though it is said to be a place where the librarian takes a rest, its real purpose is quite different.
As they reached the room, Eliot stopped in his tracks behind Aquasteed.
When Aquasteed placed his hands on the wall, a magic circle appeared.
Since only the royal family can enter the place from here on, Eliot was left on standby.
“Please be careful, Prince Aqua…… It is frustrating for I am unable to come with you.”
“It can’t be helped since it’s a rule. I’ll be okay.”
He gave him a nod and then set his foot into the forbidden archive.
The place is full of dust, proving that it has been a long time since someone entered the room.
The reason Aquasteed went in here is for him to be able to get Tiararose back from the fairy king, Keith.
Since only valuable books are kept in the archive, there aren’t many of them. Aquasteed gently picked up a book that is related to the fairies from a shelf with gold borders.
“…… If only I was blessed by the forest fairies, I might’ve been able to go to where the king is in no time,” Aquasteed said to himself.
There are three thrones that are prepared for the forest, sea and sky fairies. And the one who sits there is the king of the fairies.
Who would’ve thought that Tiararose, who’s originally from a different kingdom, earned the Fairy King of the forest’s favour. Not even Aquasteed expected that to happen.
Even if one got blessed by the fairies, no one would expect for that person to meet the Fairy King.
For that reason, Aquasteed grew impatient.
He doesn’t know what he would do if Tiararose catches the fairy king’s attention— no, she already did but there’s still one thing that hasn’t been done.
“Although the forest fairies had already blessed Tiara, the Fairy King hasn’t done it yet. But, could it be that it’s only a matter of time before he does so……?”
The fairies blessed the people that they like.
Just like how Tiararose is blessed by the forest fairies and how Aishira is blessed by the sea fairies. However, one cannot gain the blessing of a forest king unless they had gained its favour.
“……Damn it, where is it?! There must be an entry that tells the way to the forest Fairy King here somewhere.”
He hurriedly but slowly turns the pages of the book. The rush that he is feeling makes Aquasteed grow impatient. However, due to the fact that the book has been kept for a very long period of time, it is sensitive enough to crumble away if handled roughly.
He thought that he should make a new copy of it but, right now, he has no time for such things.
“It’s not surprising to see many accounts regarding the sea fairies but there are too little about the forest fairies……”
There aren’t that many kings in the past who were favoured by the forest Fairy King but there should at least be one that existed.
Aquasteed runs his eyes to the letters that are written while restraining his frustration.
And finally, he saw what he was looking for near the last page of the book. It is stated that the passage to the king of the forest fairy’s throne is located somewhere in the castle.
“It’s in the castle……? I know all of the secret passages but there wasn’t anything that’s connected to the fairy king’s.”
――Where in the world is it located?
As he continues reading, it was written that it’s located in the Queen’s private room.
“Why is it at such a place?“ he frowns as he says to himself.
But the reason behind it was obvious. The one who the Fairy King had favoured in the royal family was probably a Queen.
It is unknown if that Fairy King is the previous one or Keith himself but now that Aquasteed knows where to go, there’s only one action he would take.
That is to go quickly to the secret passage in order to arrive at the fairy king’s throne.
He quickly turned around and was about to run but it was hindered by Keith’s appearance.
A dark green flowy hair and a pair of eyes that seems to see through everything, all of this was clearly reflected in Aquasteed’s vision.
“…… Hey there. You look desperate.”
“Isn’t that because you have taken my princess away?”
――Hurry up and give her back to me.
Aquasteed glared at the fairy king, not minding the fact that the man in front of him has a noble existence. However, only his form of speech did not change.
“Well, I didn’t plan on doing that at first but— I changed my mind.”
“Because you know? Fairies are quite capricious,” he continued as he snickered as if he did not mind Aquasteed. No, he probably really didn’t.
“Please stop joking around. She’s my fiancée.”
”Ahh, I’m not particularly joking around either.”
Keith still didn’t mind even if Aquasteed quietly raised a restrained voice. Aquasteed couldn’t tell just by the tone of his voice if he was being serious with his words or he’s just whimsical.
His eyes narrowed as Keith looked at Aquasteed.
“Tiara, I’ll be having her instead.”
“Stop with your nonsense!”
Keith‘s voice was quiet but it brought heavy pressure. This echoed throughout the forbidden archive and after leaving such words, Keith‘s figure vanished. He had performed teleportation magic.
Aquasteed, forgetting his form of speech, drew closer to where Keith was but ended up grasping the air.
He bit his lips in frustration as he glared at the place where Keith was been standing.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Please stop, Your Highness!”
“The Queen is currently not present due to her official duties.”
“This is an emergency.”
After leaving the forbidden archives, Aquasteed hurriedly went to the Queen’s private room together with Eliot but unfortunately, the owner of the room was not present.
Although the Queen’s attendants and ladies-in-waiting were trying to stop him, he didn’t have the leisure to wait.
He must go to where Keith is as soon as possible.
“We had already contacted her Majesty.”
“Mister Eliot, but……”
Unlike usual, Eliot was the one who explained to the attendants rather than Aquasteed who is currently not saying much.
However, the attendants and the knight that guard the Queen’s private room did not look convinced. That is because they did not receive any official notice.
That being said, Aquasteed is the Queen’s legitimate child so the attendants cannot strongly refuse him either.
Aquasteed really did contact his mother—the queen. However, it is also true that the official notice has not yet been passed down to the attendants.
Aquasteed didn’t have enough time to wait for them to be notified.
“I’ll take responsibility for whatever happens so open the door.”
“Your Highness…… I understand.”
Aquasteed entered the room as the knight opened the door, abiding to his orders. Of course, his objective is to go through the passage that leads to the fairy king of the forest’s throne.
Behind him was Eliot who uttered an apology before catching up to Aquasteed.
“…… I wonder what is wrong.”
“Indeed. However, His Highness would not do things such as this without any particular reason. I will notify Her Majesty of this.”
After the attendant and the knight consulted each other, one of them quickly left the place in order to get the Queen’s confirmation.
They had let Aquasteed into their master’s room without her permission. And although they do not feel good about it, they had also known and cared for Aquasteed for a long time.
The Queen and Aquasteed have a really close relationship. It is not uncommon for the Queen to invite him in her room for some tea. And the way Aquasteed cares for his mother shows that he really is a good son.
Therefore, all those who serve the Queen couldn’t strongly refuse him.
Indeed, they’re feeling anxious, but they trust Aquasteed more than that.
All they could do is to wait for the Queen’s confirmation.
“…… Oops, sorry but we need to close the door.”
“However, that is too……–”
“Forgive us, but unfortunately you guys don’t have the right to witness what is inside.”
While feeling sorry, Eliot closes the door without a second thought.
With this, Aquasteed and Eliot are now the only ones who’re inside the room. Even if they commit any mistake, the attendants or a mere knight must not know the existence of the secret passage.
Moreover, this passage is not meant for escape, it leads to the Fairy King himself. Thus, it is considered as a secret of the royal family.
“……Sorry for the trouble, Eliot.”
“Not at all, Miss Tiararose has been taken away by the Fairy King. Nothing’s far more important than that.”
Plus, Eliot was supposed to be inspecting the sea that Aishira is taking care of but he decided that there would be no problem if he postpones that for now.
“Miss Aishira was also worried about Miss Tiararose.”
Aishira was extremely worried about Tiararose who was originally from a different kingdom.
Especially when she found out that Tiararose was hated by the sea fairies. Aishira just wished for Tiararose to live a happy life with Aquasteed and to forever love this kingdom……
Eliot remembered how Aishira smiled as she said that she would be really happy if they got along together like sisters.
“…… How is it?”
“According to the book, it’s around here….”
Aquasteed reaches his hand towards the beautiful painting on the wall, located at the back of the room.
Within the beautiful frame is a painting of a flower. Usually, Aquasteed didn’t care less about it but it was indeed a painting that is associated with the forest fairies.
When Aquasteed looked at it closely, he was able to feel a slight magical power from it.
“I see, so it’s this one…… It‘s quite an old and complicated magic.”
“We have to open it by all means.”
Aquasteed narrowed his eyes while making a complex expression.
Although Eliot also has knowledge about magic, in terms of who is more powerful, Aquasteed has the upper hand so Eliot decided to back down and just watch over him.
His only prayer is for Aquasteed to be able to get Tiararose back.