Two Saints wander off into a Different World – 16

What They Wanted Returned

The adults from the southern region were shocked at this, and so they berated her.

“Chouze, you go too far. You are being rude to the Saintesses who are loved by God.”
“Hmph. Saintesses are exchangeable things. God will drop a new one in three months even if these two happened to disappear. These tiresome ceremonies are a waste of time. The Saintesses should be shut up in their palace and purify the miasma there.”

So said the inland prince who had come to see what was happening.

“Exactly. It is as my brother says. I have heard that all the previous Saintesses were poor even in their own country. And yet here they are given good clothes and have enough to eat. It is most annoying that they let this get to their heads.”

But we weren’t letting it get to our heads at all. Maki and Chiharu looked at each other and sighed.

“I heard rumors that they are wasting a fortune in the city just to play, and doing little else.”

That was too much for Chiharu. Don’t talk about money so lightly!

“You say that we are spending a fortune, but are you aware of how much we spend in the city in one day?”
“How should I know something like that!”
“It is under 1000 gil for lunch and snacks at food stalls. Even when we buy any items, it is around 5000 gil. And we are using money that we’ve earned ourselves.”

The other adults all murmured with approval. This was good. It was wonderful.

“But, you have guards! Also, you are robbing prince Edwy of precious time!”
“We have guards whether or not we are in the city. Edwy is our friend, and we enjoy his company.”
“You what!”
“Aren’t you the inland princess? I would have thought they’d teach you simple things like the prices of products.”
“But, my uncle told me so!”
“Well, excuse us then. It looks like this conversation is too hard for a child like you. I see some rare sweets over there. Why don’t you go try some?”

Everyone was so childish! Chouze snarled at Chiharu who was waving her away.
The inland prince could not help but snort when he saw this.

“Sweets, you say. Saintesses, I think it is you two who would find such delicacies a rare treat. Why don’t you try some? You gluttons.”

While they were both princes, this one was nothing like Edwy.

“Maki, Chihaaru, what is it? Are you alright?”

Edwy himself had come to see what the commotion was.

“Prince Edwy!”

Chouze threw herself onto Edwy's arm. He scowled at this but gently tapped her on the shoulder in a brotherly way.

“Chouze was trying to separate me from Maki and Chihaaru. She said that I would be contaminated by the miasma. But we were having so much fun just talking together.”

The small princess blurted before anyone could say anything. Hahaha. I love tattletales, Chiharu thought.

“Chouze, were you really getting involved with Maki and Chihaaru again?”

Again? He knew?

“But… It is your castle Edwy, and yet they walk around like they own the place. But they just look like beggars with rocks on their heads. And they even play in the city. They do not care at all that everyone else is busy planning this ceremony for them.”
"Chouze, how can you say that! What kind of education are they giving you over there! The disrespect is beyond what is acceptable. They are the most important people in this world! I don't care how young you are, this is unforgivable. Norfe, take Chouze back to her room."
“Edwy, what are you saying? We are invited guests here. Why should we be the ones who have to leave?”
“Norfe. Remember just why you were invited. It was to honor these Saintesses who crossed between worlds in order to purify this one. Maki and Chihaaru were mature enough to prevent this from getting too out of hand, but this is going too far.”
“But it does not change the fact that they are a money pit.”
“Duke Adol!”

Duke Adol was the middle-aged man who had insulted them in the gardens. He was the inland king’s younger brother.

"We are made to contribute yearly donations to a cause when we don't even know if they will be of any use."
“It is for the benefit of the whole world. As royalty, you should know just how much you are indebted, even if you cannot see it.”

Just how important Saintesses were, just how much of a burden they were to each country, and just how that was interpreted by everyone. Those were things that we should probably find out. I’ve been holding back until now, but these people should know too. Maki thought with annoyance. And then:

“Enough already!”

She shouted. Everyone fell quiet. Chiharu moved closer to Maki.

"You are free to choose just how much we are worth, or if we are worth anything at all. It is none of our business.

She looked at Maia kindly before her eyes moved to Chouze, Norfe, and Duke Adol.

“If you say that we are living lavishly, then throw us out into the streets. If you do not want to spend any money on us, then don’t.”
“Ho, the Saintesses don’t need it.”

Duke Adol said mockingly.

“In exchange, give us back what you have taken from us.”
“Taken from you? What are you talking about!”

Duke Adol said with suspicion.

"We came from a prosperous country. I had dozens of clothes for each season. I had food to eat every day and could buy things from all over the world. I rode trains every day."
“It has been recorded, that all Saintesses were poor.”
“How long ago was that? Times have changed since the last Saintess.”

Maki continued.

“And so, having different clothes every day, food to eat and being able to leave are not considered luxuries to us. There was an uncountable variety of sweets where we came from.”
“In that case, you should ask for more.”

She was getting side-tracked. Her annoyance was causing her to throw out random complaints.

“Then, I want my family.”

Maki said quietly.

“Your family?”
“The ones who gave birth to us, raised and loved us. Give them back.”

Everyone gulped.

“Return us to the families that lost their precious daughters.”
“...”
“Our families would be so worried now, staying up all night just looking for us. Return us to them.”
“But God…”
"Yes, it's so convenient to blame God for the bad things. But you are happy to receive any blessings. I wonder which of us are the real gluttons."
“!”

Then Arthur came and spoke.

“Duke Adol, your complaints about the inlands do not concern the Saintesses. It seems like the previous Saintess being so quiet has caused you and the others to forget your debts. This is a grave matter in terms of diplomacy that I will pursue. For now, you will apologize to the Saintesses. And then you will leave.”

The three of them did so without any sincerity and left.

Later on, Sera was called to the Saintesses room in order to make contact with Aeris.
Maki and Chiharu wore thick, heavy robes and visited him when it had become dark. Zynis was also called.

“This was quite the day for you two. I can't apologize enough, on their behalf.”
“Oh, don’t do that. There are many people, with different ways of thinking. There is no reason for you to apologize, Aeris.”
“I see. Then, what is it? Maki and Chihaaru.”

Aeris asked gently.

“To-today, we talked about our families.”
“We just couldn’t be alone after that…”
“It’s strange, we’re supposed to be adults…”
“I just want to meet my mom and dad again…”

Aeris and Zynis gently held them as they gazed at the floor. And still, Maki and Chiharu refused to cry out loud. They repressed their sobs, even as their tears soaked into the shirts of the two men. While it pained Aeris and Zynis to see this, they held them tenderly in the places of the father and mother who couldn’t.

The next day, Maki and Chiharu met the worried Arthur, Zynis, and Aeris with smiles and appeared before the civilians in the morning to wave. After that, the two said they wanted to rest before the final banquet in the night.
But when night came, the two were nowhere to be found.




Notes:

Maki and Chiharu spend roughly $10 for lunch and snacks. $50 for other shopping in one day.

Duke Adol = Inland King’s brother
Princess Chouze = King’s daughter
Prince Norfe = King’s son








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