Two Saints wander off into a Different World – 14
After that, Sera excitedly helped them select clothes to wear for their city excursion.
As they would be disguised as boys, they chose dark pants, cream-colored shirts, and a tunic that went over it. The hemline was much shorter than the types that women wore. And then came the wigs. The most common hair color on this continent was a dark blonde color. The bangs were on the long side to cover their eyes as much as possible. As long as they did not wear makeup, they could pass for very girly-looking 12 year-olds. Or in other words, younger versions of the Prince.
“Oh, this one looks good.”
“Yes, this one looks quite similar to the suit that you were wearing. Though, it did look like something that a man would wear. Is it a recent fashion in your country?”
"I don't know about recent. It's just, uh, a type of uniform for working woman I guess. Some people wear pants and some people have skirts that cut off at the knees.”
“It's not only at work though. You can just wear whatever you want. Many women wore pants there."
"Oh, my. Well, that is…"
Apparently, she felt that women should only wear long skirts.
“With this tunic, you could gather it together from the waist to the hemline, so it’s more comfortable. Also, I think it would look cute if you wore harem pants underneath that.”
“What are harem pants?”
"It's very loose around the legs and tight around the ankles. Like the sleeves of a one-piece dress."
“Sleeves of a one piece. Sleeves. I see. I see. I will have a prototype made immediately!”
Haha. She was fast. Chiharu liked being fashionable and would have fun experimenting.
However, their magic gems were growing again.
"Do you have any ribbons that wouldn't draw too much attention?"
"Indeed. You could use a wide ribbon that is the same color as your hair to wrap around it...like this…"
“Ah, that’s good. It doesn’t stick out too much.”
In front of the mirror now stood two boys. While their hair looked a little scruffy, they seemed like they came from good families.
“No one will know that you are Saintesses now!”
Sera said proudly.
And from the next day on, they spent the mornings studying under Aeris, Grudo, and Zynis as they learned about the other three lands. A private tutor was also hired to give them lessons on the human territory's geography and history. And their afternoons were spent going out into the city.
Aeris, Grudo, and Zynis went with them the first time that the prince took them out. It was quite the sight, as they were also surrounded by guards. And in spite of how surprised they felt, the people treated Maki and Chiharu politely as if they were children of nobility. It was possible that the people saw through their disguise, but no one was rude enough to say anything about it.
Of all the human lands, it was Arthur’s kingdom alone that was connected to the other three territories. Bird people flew over the city, and there were elves and dwarves on the streets as well. Some of them even had their own stores, and so things were peaceful, with no resistance against anyone who was different.
Eventually, their daily ‘sneaks’ into the city were public knowledge, and while the guards continued to accompany them, they only needed one chaperone. And since they all wanted to accompany Maki and Chiharu, there was great competition to fill this role. Those that were defeated were forcefully dragged back to the castle and made to work. In fact, the prince and three ambassadors had many responsibilities, including dealing with guests from each country, and they could be afforded little time to rest.
It was hard to describe just how much Maki and Chiharu enjoyed these outings.
What was most surprising for them, was the huge cases that everyone carried. Some people had wheels on theirs and pulled them like shopping carts. And they did it with just one hand.
“Look, that woman is carrying that huge thing as if its nothing!”
Grudo explained to the two shocked women.
“Don’t you remember your lessons? You studied about these floating stones that come out of monsters.”
“Oh, ah, those things that make stuff float?”
“You said that it was like a levistone, remember?”
“I did hear something about them being used in airships.”
“It’s rare to find stones that are big enough to lift airships, but the smaller ones from smaller monsters can be used to make your luggage lighter.”
“But wouldn’t they start floating up in the air then?”
“Heh, look at this.”
Grudo showed them the bag he was carrying.
“Oh, there is a dial on it.”
“Try holding the bag with one hand and turn the dial with the other.”
“Uh, okay, oh, woahhh!”
As she turned the dial, the bag became lighter and lighter.
“You can adjust the effects of the floating stone with the dial. It means that heavy things and lighter things can be made to have the same weight.”
“So that cart over there.”
“Yes. There is a floating stone installed in the base.”
And the trains were the ultimate example of this stone’s use. There were five connected cars that were about a third of the length of the train cars in Japan. And they were being pulled by a horse. A horse.
“Thanks to the floating stone, a horse can pull five cars without issue. If anything, it is necessary to make sure that it is not too light, to maintain a balance.”
Grudo had helped in developing them, and so told them of the many troubles that they had faced.
“It was also very difficult to dig the tunnels under the sea. While we dwarves are masters of digging underground, all would be lost if the caves crumbled even once. We based our work on old traditions of digging under the sea that have been passed on from ancient times. And it took us nearly 100 years of digging and reinforcing to complete the tunnels.”
But now they could reach the dwarven lands in just 4 hours.
"That being said, we will stop at the halfway point to visit the mermaid island. So it will be driving for two hours, an hour break on the island, and then another two hours to reach our destination. Usually, the train will come twice a day, in the morning and evening."
The mermaid island sounded interesting, but then the train arrived in front of them and the passengers came out. The first car carried people that looked very rich. From the second car on, the people seemed more normal.
“Maki, Chihaaru, are you interested?”
“It takes quite a lot of money to be able to travel. And so just being able to ride the train would put you in the wealthier class. Thought, the wealthy will often charter a private train.”
They looked towards the first car. It appeared to be separated into private compartments. From the second car on, they were normal seats that faced each other.
"However, there are small-time merchants who need to travel, and people who visit relatives in far-off lands. Some people try to make a name for themselves in other countries. Many adventurers come from the human territories to farm magic stones in the dungeons. There are cheaper but cramped seats available for such people. Those seats are in the second and sometimes third cars. The rest is for luggage. Since the announcement about the Saintesses’ arrival, many people are coming from all over, and so we have increased the number of runs."
From the second and third car came happy families, brawny men and a group of children. Their clothes were dirty.
“Who are those children?”
“They must have come to live with relatives. Either that or they are being sent to an orphanage. Likely, they are children of adventurers who have met some misfortune.”
So this was not exactly a kingdom of dreams. There was a large gap between the rich and the poor. Maki and Chiharu watched quietly from afar as the children held each others’ hands tightly and moved along.