Volume 7 Chapter 26 Kanon, My Cherished Treasur
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
It felt as though I was witnessing a nightmare. I, who had been forcibly returned to the Stars, was suddenly told by Her Majesty the Queen, who is also my mother, that I was to be married. Confined within the tower with the most rigorous security measures within the palace, I could only wait for the wedding that would take place in a few days.
’Your Highness… let’s escape from here. You might not have a luxurious life, but if it’s just you, Pegonia will support you!’
Pegonia, who had been imprisoned with me, would say that to me almost every day. However, running away forever in the long life ahead was difficult, and I didn’t want to rob Pegonia of her freedom because of me.
’Thank you, Pegonia… but I am a person of the Stars, so I must serve this country and its citizens.”
I feel guilty about what I did to Aqua, whom I had been in a relationship with. But since Aqua is wonderful, even if I’m gone, other girls surely won’t leave him alone. While it pains me deep inside to think about Aqua, I’ve had to repeatedly remind myself that it’s an inevitable situation.
On the day before the wedding, the period of confinement that had lasted for a while was ending today. However, even if I were to get married, would I truly gain my freedom? Gazing at the moon hidden behind the clouds from the window, I pondered vaguely about such matters.
’Your Highness, behind me…!’
The first to react was Pegonia. Sensing a presence in the darkness, I also heightened my guard. The moonlight filtering through the clouds slowly illuminated the visitor who had appeared from nowhere.
”I’m not an enemy. You can relax…”
Before me and Pegonia stood a small girl dressed in a peculiar ninja outfit.
’Pegonia, look! A ninja, a ninja!’
While my eyes were sparkling with excitement, Pegonia wore a puzzled expression.
’Also, wait, those cat ears—are they real!?’
The cat ears attached to the ninja’s hood were twitching.
”These cat ears are artificial. They’re called Fully Automated Cat Ears. Oh, and the tail too.”
Wow, amazing! Moreover, the words this child is speaking are the language of the country we recently left. Even after spending four years in that country, I’m still surprised by things like this… Stars lack such playful charm.
”So, little ninja, what is your purpose?”
The ninja raised both hands to show no hostile intent.
”My name is Popcorn Pancake, also known as Kunoichi.”
A ninja with cat ears and a tail, and her name is Popcorn Pancake? In the midst of information congestion, Pegonia and I exchanged glances.
”I like popcorn and pancakes. So if you could call me Pop-chan or Pancake-chan, I’d be delighted…”
”Well, um… then, why is Pancake-chan here? How did you even manage to infiltrate?”
The security here is strict. Frankly, I’m curious about how such a small girl managed to infiltrate.
”I have one and only one purpose. Your Highness Kanon… many people are working to save you right now. So… if someone were to reach out to you next, I want you to respond to their feelings. I’ve come to convey that to you.”
Pancake-chan stared at me with big, round cat eyes.
”And about the infiltration, it’s easy. I have this.”
Saying that, Pancake-chan took out a windmill.
”This windmill has a scent pouch attached to it. If you smell this scent, any woman will faint instantly.”
Huh…? Is that safe? Is it some sort of harmful biological weapon? Can people who smell it be okay?
”My perfume maker made this, so please rest assured. It does have an impact on the human body… I won’t deny that, but smelling it only leads to having happy dreams.”
Oh, that’s suspicious… But I’m a bit curious to smell it out of sheer interest. While I was thinking that, Pegonia, who was next to me, seemed to have read my thoughts and whispered, “That’s not a good idea, Your Highness.”
”That being said, I’ve conveyed what I needed to convey, so I’ll be leaving now.”
Pancake-chan climbed back up a string hanging from the ceiling to return to the attic. So, that’s where she came from. She really does seem like a real ninja. Just as I thought that, Pancake-chan poked her head out from the attic.
”By the way, do you happen to know which direction the church is? I seem to have gotten lost…”
Pegonia and I almost stumble over nothing. Huh? A ninja who’s bad with directions? With the information already congested, is she really adding attributes to this!? Moreover, despite being directionally challenged, how did she manage to find her way here? In a sense, it’s impressive.
When Pegonia points out the direction of the church for Pancake-chan, she thanks her and heads in that direction… or at least, I think she did. What was that all about? I felt it best not to worry about the details.
”I must prepare myself too…”
The next day, the wedding proceeded as planned. I still don’t know who I’ll be forced to marry, but I have no right to refuse from the start. Pegonia held my hand until the very end and asked me to come with her, but I kept shaking my head. There seemed to have been a minor dispute outside the church, but the car I was supposed to ride arrived slightly late and I entered the church.
’We’ll change the plan and head to the venue instead of going to the waiting room.’
Having been slightly retouched, I slowly entered the venue. The attendees were already seated, including Her Majesty the Queen, who is also my mother, His Royal Highness, who is my father the king consort, and Kythera, the bishop of the Stars Orthodox Church, who had taken care of me during my childhood. The only one absent from the scene was likely the person I would marry. During the wedding ceremony, the groom’s only task is to sign the marriage contract, so it’s customary for the groom to arrive after everyone else has assembled, sign, and then leave. Therefore, it’s also typical for the bride to handle the subsequent reception alone. But what about Aqua… I wonder how he would react. I found myself pondering such things.
I don’t want this…
I muttered quietly to myself, making sure no one could hear. The truth is, I don’t want to get married! If I had to marry someone, I would have preferred Aqua, and I was terrified of being made someone else’s property from now on. My body would likely be manipulated, and my heart torn to pieces. Yet, I must fulfill the duty given to me as a royal of the Stars. But… but… what if Aqua were to come and help me? Even though I knew it was impossible, if only one wish could come true, I wanted to belong to Aqua. A single tear dropped from my eye.
The words I truly wanted to say. At the very end, what was I saying? I thought that to myself, but my heart was screaming that it’s already too much. I don’t want to involve Pegonia, and I don’t want to disappoint the expectations of everyone in the Stars. But I don’t want to get married. If I had to be tied to someone, I wanted it to be Aqua. I know I’m being troublesome. But he… he never let go of even my selfishness.
The door opened slowly at first, and our eyes met through the veil. The moment I saw the sparkle of a tear trailing down my cheek, he kicked open the doors to the venue with a powerful force.
For me… no, for those from that country who shared the same time, it was an unforgettable sight. Masked Driver, Heaven’s Sword, that kick by Kenzaki Souji, the person I love, in the first episode. It changed the world… no, it saved everyone’s hearts. Just like that kick blew away the shackles that had bound my heart, he kicked open the doors to the venue with great force.
”I’ve come to take you. So… just for now, quietly let me abduct you!”
Ah… ah, he really came. I thought there was no way he would come, but to say I never thought that Aqua might come to rescue me would be a lie.
My voice trembled. I felt like I might collapse on the spot. The heart that had been freezing with anxiety until just a moment ago was now pounding so much that it felt like it would burst.
’When someone you love has a face that’s about to cry right in front of you, wanting to hold them and reassure them is only natural for a lover, isn’t it? It’s not just the Stars. Even if I have to become an enemy of the entire world, I will go to Kanon. If you want to stop me, then go ahead. However, if you intend to stop me, you better be ready to do so with a proper resolve.’
He’s serious… Aqua is always, always serious about everything. And I know, everyone knows. Those who shared those fun times with him, they know that if he says he’s going to do something seriously, he’ll make it happen. Is that okay? I’m quite troublesome, and my head is filled with fantasies. Even so, even so, Aqua will save me even if it means going against the world?
’I… I, was afraid of loving someone. I was really timid when it came to loving someone. Even when I was with Kanon, I thought this relationship would end eventually due to our differences in status.’
It’s the same… I, too, had some doubts in my heart that this relationship would work out. I am a royal of the Stars, and someday, I have to marry someone. But Aqua is an important idol from that country, and I thought that if he became my husband in the Stars, it could become an international issue.
’I tried my best, thinking I could give up if it was impossible. But it was impossible. I was lying to myself, and it was seen through.’
Pegonia… I’m sorry. The truth is, Pegonia understood me better than anyone. She knew I didn’t want this. That’s why she kept saying we should escape from here.
’It struck my heart when I was told not to run away from facing myself.’
Aqua is amazing. I gave up on facing myself… but still, I couldn’t give up, and I ended up shedding tears at the very end.
’They asked me about the wishes of Shirogane Aqua as a person, not as an idol.’
As the princess of the Stars, not Kanon Stars Goshenite, but if I thought of myself as just a girl, my wish had been decided from the beginning. There was only one answer from the start.
’I love Kanon from the bottom of my heart! I won’t give her to anyone else, and I’m the one who will make Kanon happy!’
I also love Aqua from the bottom of my heart. Someday, I might have a similar relationship with someone else, but I want to make Aqua the happiest first. I don’t want to give anyone else that privilege!
’Kanon, just a single word is enough… I want to hear your feelings.’
I open my mouth slightly.
”No… I don’t want to marry anyone other than Aqua!”
The dam that had been holding back my emotions breaks.
’Dear mother… I have also made up my mind. Even if it means parting with my beloved mother and father, even if it means bidding farewell to this beloved country and its citizens, I will be with the person I love!!’
Aqua said he would come for me even if it meant going against the world. Then I will take his hand even if it means going against the world! In response to my determination, mother starts to talk slowly about the situation this time.
’Don’t mess around! Because of things like this… does Kanon understand… does she realize she made such a face!!’
As a fellow royal, I can understand mother’s perspective. But that doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t ache. So, when Aqua got angry at mother, I was genuinely happy. Because I could understand mother’s feelings…
’Hey… Kanon. Are you able to prioritize this country over Aqua-kun?’
I shake my head in response to mother’s words. It’s impossible. I want to cherish Aqua more than anyone else. I didn’t want to lie to my feelings any longer.
’I see… I understand. I’m sorry, Kanon.’
My mother says this as if it’s meant only for me to hear and declares loudly in front of the attendees of the wedding that I am no longer a candidate for the next queen.
’Kanon, you’re free now.’
With that one word, I felt my heart become lighter.
Mother gives instructions to the people around as a queen. Seeing her in action, I still think being a queen is beyond me. If it were me, I’d probably end up hugging the children right there…
As Aqua approaches, I panic. Wait a moment, I’m not mentally prepared yet…
”A-ah… don’t look, my makeup is ruined now.”
”It’s okay, Kanon. You’re always beautiful. Look, turn this way.”
Aqua places his hand on my cheek and gently wipes away the tear with his fingertips.
”I’m sorry for arriving late.”
”No… I should be the one apologizing. You got involved in the matters of this country.”
It’s not too late at all.
Surely, it was the right timing that allowed me to take Aqua’s hand. Even if Aqua had come to help me before, back when I was confined in the palace, I think I would have stubbornly refused due to my position. I’m that troublesome.
”Kanon… Can I hug you?”
Huh? Wait, I just said “yeah” normally, but I’m not prepared at all. Kyaaaaaa. Aqua embraces me tightly as I’m bewildered.
”Are you feeling a bit better?”
”Yes, thank you.”
Phew… my heart feels at ease with Aqua’s scent after such a long time. Aqua slowly lets go of me after making sure I’ve calmed down, then kneels in front of me.
In front of my bewildered eyes, Aqua takes a small box out of his pocket.
”Kanon, will you marry me?”
Huh…? What did he just say? I feel like he mentioned something about marriage, but maybe I’m imagining things? My ears, have they gone crazy? Oh, where’s the doctor!?
Aqua gazes intently at me. If he looks at me with such gentle eyes, I… I!
”Don’t you like me?”
”I-I like you!”
In that brief 0.000000001 seconds just now. I even answered somewhat hastily.
”Then, let’s get married.”
”Yes, I’d love to!”
Ahaha, ahahaha, this is a dream, right? Yes, that’s it, I’m convinced this is a dream. I’m probably napping in front of the computer and someone’s going to comment “Shumi-chan’s great victory” or something like that on the bulletin board after I wake up. But the sensation of being lifted up and spun around is way too realistic. Huh… this is a dream, right? Or it’s, it’s not a dream?
”Thank you, Kanon!”
Aqua lifts me up while I’m still sitting in a posture like a chair. Huh, huh? What’s this, the way he’s holding me? Could it be, it’s the “rice-bag hold”? The “rice-bag hold” is a term from the novel “Uchinoko,” written by Hakuryu, where a farm boy lifts a girl like he’s lifting a bag of rice. It caused a huge debate in society at the time. But this seems different… because if it were that, I wouldn’t be able to see Aqua’s face, and right now, his face is very close…
”Kanon, put your hands around the back of my neck, it’s dangerous.”
Wait, wait! Putting my hands around the back of his neck is impossible!! If a boy and a girl get this close, a baby might… But Aqua told me to do it, is it okay? I slowly put my hands around the back of Aqua’s neck. His face is getting even closer, and I’m starting to blush.
”Congratulations, Aqua! Be happy!”
”Aqua, that’s more like the Shirogane Aqua I know!”
”You were really cool, junior! No, Kenzaki!!”
Looking around, it’s not just Aqua. Poison Chalice is there for some reason, but I don’t have the mental capacity to deal with that right now.
”Kanon~ It’s great, it’s great!”
Wait, wait! It’s not Chinposuki!? No, it’s Kaede, why are you here!? When I look bewildered, she tells me it’s not just about helping a friend.
”Kanon, I’m glad you’re safe. Be happy.”
Nee-san… no, Kotono-san… And if I look closely in the background, even though she’s wearing a blindfold, not Hagetoru, but Emily-san. I’m happy that Aqua came, but for me, this is just as heartwarming.
Because, for me, I have my status, I’m Mary’s classmate, I made friends when I was in the Stars, and when I consider our positions and various other factors, normally people wouldn’t come to help. But for everyone, that doesn’t matter. It’s not just Aqua. In that country, I gained a treasure that’s so important to me. Realizing that, I can’t stop my tears. Everyone comforts me gently.
Thank you, everyone.
So wait for me. This time, I’ll make everyone happy. After this wedding, I made a major decision. It’s not just me. Aqua is going to make many, many other girls happy too.
Additionally, the author currently sharing Morikawa Kaede, also known as Chinposuki’s daily life stories on Fantia and Fanbox. And I have translated them.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.