A short time before the final banquet, Sera went to Maki and Chiharu’s room to help them prepare. As the two did not take long to prepare, she would only have to give a little advice and quickly fix their hair. Sera wished that she could help them more, but they tended to be a little reserved when it came to help, so there wasn’t much she could do.
However, there was no answer when she knocked. Everyone in the castle was quite disturbed about the events of the previous day, but the two had acted normally. Perhaps they were tired, Sera thought.
Even so, she needed to help them get ready. She slowly opened the door and went inside. But the only movement from within the room was the gentle swaying of the balcony curtains. There was no one here. And the bed was neatly made.
“Did they go outside?”
“No one has left through this door.”
The guard replied, and Sera inspected the room again. She discovered that a sheet of paper had been left on the table. There were no bags inside of the closet. Sera had a bad feeling about this. She rushed to the king’s study.
“Your Majesty, Saintess Maki and Saintess Chiharu are nowhere to be found! And this was left in their room!”
It looked like a note. Arthur and Aeris both looked at it carefully.
“What does it say!”
“Give it to me! What, it is a foreign language that I cannot read!”
“Call a scholar! It is likely something very simple. Bring a character table. Also, search any places that Maki and Chiharu are likely to go!”
The king barked, but Sera replied fearfully.
“It seems that they did not leave through the door. But the bags that they always use are missing, and the balcony window was wide open…”
“Call the birdfolk too! It is possible that they went out into the city.”
The castle was in an uproar. First, Sauro and Saikania were called.
“Arthur, you wanted to see us?”
“Sauro, Saikania. Did you carry Maki and Chiharu while they were disguised as boys today?”
“No, we have not.”
Sauro said. Saikania nodded.
“Maybe they aren’t disguised? Or they could have mingled with the civilians and gone out of the castle gates…”
The time for the banquet had already arrived.
“We brought one!’
A scholar who was in a festive mood over the banquet arrived.
“Oh, this is all hiragana characters. Hiragana is the what their children first learn in their country.”
“Nevermind that! Translate it immediately.”
“Yes-yes. Uh, from Maki and Chiharu. Yes, it was definitely authored by them.”
“And the contents!?”
“Yes-yes. Uh, ‘chotto’ which mean ‘a little’, and uh, ‘tabini.’ It is a suffix word, meaning ‘socks.’”
“Or maybe it means to travel.”
“Travel…” “Travel…” “Travel…”
“‘Demasu,’ ‘tabi ni demasu.’ I think it means that they will go on a journey.”
“‘Shinpai, shinaide, kudasai’ that means they do not want you to worry.”
“How could we not worry! Where did they go!”
“That is all that they wrote.”
Arthur slammed his fist on the table.
“Those inland bastards. We should have done better to shield them from them!”
“Maki and Chiharu were so calm and collected… It seemed as if they were not bothered. I am sorry.”
Edwy said with a dark expression.
“But we did know that something was not normal with the way they were acting recently!”
“Sera, had you not heard anything?”
“They seemed very annoyed by the inland people, but, they laughed and said ‘we can’t be bothered by such small things as adults. It’s like taxes.’ At least until yesterday. But it did not seem like they were disturbed enough to want to leave.”
“Arthur, what will you do about the banquet?”
“We will have to say that they are tired and resting. After that, we must have a meeting with only representatives.”
“But, where could they be traveling… Maki and Chiharu would never break their word…”
Edwy looked up with realization on his face.
“The train. Father, the trains! Maki and Chiharu would immediately try to leave this country. But two noble boys without guards will surely draw attention. We should send someone out immediately.”
“Yes. Chancellor, send out people to investigate!”