Two Saints wander off into a Different World – 12
Miragaia had said it would be a quick stroll, but he ended up flying way up high.
Maki said something to him and pointed in different directions and he would take her there.
“Maki seems to be very calm about it.”
“Maki is more accepting of things and people as they are.”
“And so you must be extra cautious to make up for that?”
She wasn’t being cautious for Maki’s sake. She just didn’t like being in situations where she had no control. Of course, being easily swayed might look cute and have helped her keep her boyfriend… But still.
“Maki’s chill and accepting personality is what I like about her. You can relax when you are with her.”
“And so there were a lot of people who tried to take advantage of that in the other world. People thought that she was too generous and lacked firmness. She would be hurt by people who forced their ideals on her, only to be disappointed later on.”
“Do you think then, that she is trying to show everyone how she truly is?”
“I don’t know…”
She didn't want to think too deeply about her friend. And of course, there were many things that you just had to endure when you had a job. But they both made an effort to be pleasant company when around each other.
“Something about you reminds me of my dead wife.”
“Dead… Edwy’s mother?”
“She was very weak physically. She passed away as soon as he was born. Everyone said that she could not be queen, and that she would not have children. But she was strong and supported me.”
“I’m sure it was...an honor.”
Perhaps that was why the prince was so spoiled. Arthur grinned a little and continued.
"I don't know if I would call it an honor. My wife could be very black-hearted."
"Huh? But I am not black-hearted? I'm just uh, uh…"
“I am just a little more honest than most.”
“Hahaha. My wife must have also been very honest. Surely.”
Arthur looked up at the sky.
“We had grown up together. I think that we knew each other quite well, but I often wish that I had known how she thought a little more when we were adults.”
"I can honestly tell you my own black-hearted thoughts if you wish."
“Hahaha! As I thought. She would often talk to me like that. It brings back memories.”
“She was not only your wife…”
“But a very good friend to you then.”
Arthur said with a gentle expression.
Maki had come back. She came running towards Chiharu as soon as Miragaia let her down. I would probably be wobbling on my feet for a while in her place. That's Maki for you. Chiharu thought.
“I got to see the city from above the palace! There a plaza with a fountain, and stalls, there were food stalls!”
“Food stalls! Coins! We need some change! Arthur, please convert our millions into coins!!”
"Chiharu, calm down. It's ridiculous to convert a million into coins. Well, we should be fine with maybe ten thousand per person. Let's have the magic gem sold properly and convert twenty thousand into coins."
“Wait, wait. Maki and Chihaaru. It is too early for you to leave the palace grounds.”
Maki and Chiharu swung around. Arthur pointed at the bird people.
“It’s not only the bird people that will swarm around you if they hear that the Saintesses are here. It will be dangerous if security measures are not put in place.”
“There are people who would want to hurt us?”
Chiharu asked. Arthur answered.
“I do not think that anyone would want to deliberately. Except maybe the Doom Church. But they have been silent recently.”
Wait, wait. Doom Church! That sounds terrifying! Why was he saying it so casually? Arthur continued before she could interject.
“But more importantly, many people would come to catch a rare glimpse of the Saintess, and I fear that you may be crushed.”
“Then we will never be able to leave…”
The king became flustered at Maki’s mounting sadness. He had little choice.
“Arthur. Is this the extent of the human territories?”
“No, this is the shore of a huge continent. There is much more to see along the coast and inland as well.”
“Well then, might there be a country where women can wear veils when leaving the house? Or maybe we could disguise ourselves…”
"Veils… I believe the women of the desert countries do that. Though, that would still draw attention, I think."
“But it won’t cause a crowd to show up, would it?”
“I do not think so. I see. That could work. Although your hair and eyes are also unusual.”
“We can wear wigs.”
“And your eyes?”
“We will just look at the ground.”
“But your height.”
“We will say that we are children.”
“...You want to visit the street stalls that badly?”
“...It cannot be today, but I will arrange for it to be done.”
They would be allowed to leave! Arthur grumbled to himself as the two rejoiced next to him.
“You can wear wigs and pretend to be noble children. That way no one would think it strange that you have guards. Edwy did it often. No, maybe we should just publically announce that you are the Saintesses and have Edwy show you around. We could assign much more guards if you are with the prince. Yes, I will discuss it with Edwy and Sera. No, first we must decide when we will make the announcement.”
He seemed to decide, and then:
“Miragaia, this generation’s Saintesses say that they will meet with you. So you must go through the proper steps. And do not rush anything. Let them be, should they refuse! Also, one more thing. Since you are here, there is some business to discuss. Please come to my office with me. Well then, Maki and Chihaaru, you haven’t had breakfast yet, have you? You should go back now.”
He said and walked away quickly. Miragaia looked longing at Maki, but he was at least satisfied enough now to go and follow Arthur obediently. The other bird people seemed to have calmed down, now that they saw their chief’s wish was fulfilled after so many long years. And they talked amongst themselves with some emotion. As for Sauro…
“Do you like high places too, Chihaaru?”
He invited her, but she…
“I’m not prepared to go so high yet.”
...refused him. Still, she did have him carry her directly back to the balcony. Maki was completely used to it now, and Chiharu felt that she was getting close. It was a good thing that they hadn’t eaten yet. Sauro and Saikania would eat somewhere else, and so Maki and Chiharu were left behind with Sera.
“That was just splendid. You dealt with those birds without causing a fight.”
“I guess it was like an unrequited affection he had for many years. Perhaps.”
“The people of this world feel more strongly about the Saintesses than either of you realize. It may feel like a burden at first, but I am sure you will get used to it. Now, you should eat your breakfast.”
Yesterday they had eaten the food of this world. There was soft bread that was the size or your palms, and jam, hams, and soups. And today there was rice.
“I thought this yesterday as well, but what do you use for the soup?”
Chiharu asked Sera.
“Kelp and dried fish. We also add dried mushrooms.”
“I knew it. But I guess they didn’t learn about bonito flakes.”
Sera seemed oddly excited.
“According to the records, a Saintess long ago said that she wanted to eat bonito flakes. However, we did not know how to replicate it. Fortunately, we had seaweed and small fish to make these other two things. The mushrooms were added to complete the flavor.”
“Do you two know anything regarding the making of it?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t. It has something to do with mold I think, I have no idea how it is done.”
“Neither do I.”
“Mold, you say?”
“Yes. But, mold is usually bad for you, so it’s difficult to do.”
“Hmm, I see. But perhaps the elves and beastfolk can study it, as they have longer lives. It is definitely something to consider.”
And then they were served tea after breakfast.
“Huh, Sera, this…”
“It’s green tea…”
“Is it? So this is what it is! The color is a little on the yellow side, but as it was just the right season for harvesting the leaves, we tested some of the methods that Maki suggested to make this.”
“While it is called green tea, it’s mostly just the color of the leaves. The actual tea is generally quite yellow. And this tastes exactly like it.”
“I see, so it was quite simple to make after all. If only your predecessor could have drunk this…”
Sera seemed very moved. But really, we should be the ones that are moved, seeing as they made this in just two days. Both of them felt a sense of warmth over Sera’s affection for the late Saintess.