The soldiers lined up for their food and then ate together peacefully. Maki and Chiharu had now been working for two days, but as they were very good with their hands, they were put in charge of serving the soup.
It was very easy. While it had been years ago, they had done it many times when serving their school lunch. Children would often complain if their portions had too many vegetables or too little meat. Edwy watch from afar as Maki and Chiharu excitedly served the soup. He felt that his eagerness to take them back with him was weakening.
It had been fifteen days since Maki and Chiharu had left the castle. And while Grudo had sent guards, and while the birdfolk watched over them, they probably would have fared just as well if they had been alone. Perhaps both of them never wanted to be protected or treated as if they were special.
When the line was almost finished, Edwy entered at the end.
“You’re the last one, so you get a big scoop!”
Chiharu said as she poured it into his bowl. Just then, Edwy grabbed her wrist.
Her dark eyes looked up at him quizzically. Yes, it really was Chiharu.
“Chiharu. I found you. And Maki.”
Chiharu’s eyes widened as she froze. Maki looked surprised as well. Yes. I was stupid for not being able to see it, but they weren’t so smart either. There is no way people wouldn’t notice if you started flying in the sky.
How dumb were they to be surprised at this, when they had not been cautious at all?
His worry, his anger. All of it began to crumble.
“Chiharu. You’re so dumb!”
“Hey, Edwy. That’s no way to speak to a lady.”
“Uh, um, shut up!”
Edwy burst into laughter. Maki frantically called to him.
“Hey, Edwy. Be quiet. We don’t want to draw attention!”
“Nothing will draw more attention then flying with the birdfolk.”
The people around them now recognized the prince and began to talk amongst themselves.
“Hey, you. Take your dinner plates and move to that corner! You’re in the way!”
Paulo said to all three of them after seeing the scene they were creating.
“Fine. Edwy, sit over there!”
“We won’t run away. Hold this for me.”
Edwy was handed three bowls of soup and then left alone. Maki picked up three plates and went over to the grills in order to get the meat. Chiharu took three cups to where the barrels were. Edwy felt very uncomfortable allowing the girls to do this for him, but he waited quietly.
“Alright, we can talk while we eat. Anyway, good work today!”
They clinked their cups together. They were drinking ale. That was strange. He had meant to find Maki and Chiharu and cause an uproar.
“Ahh, it’s good!”
“Ahh, it’s good!”
While Edwy was used to dining in the mayor’s mansion, it was not exactly enjoyable. The only thing he liked about it was seeing how uncomfortable Kaider and Nyran were as well. I don’t like them. Edwy thought with a sigh. They treated him like a child.
“Edwy. This is what we cooked today. It’s boiled potatoes that have been cooked on a grill with cheese on top. You should eat it while it’s still hot. See. Hah-ha-hot.”
“Ffff, hah, quickly, quickly.”
There were lots of potatoes with strips of meat on top.
“Ah, hot. It’s good.”
“Right? It’s delicious. We got this cheese in Lapondo.”
“They say it’s really famous.”
They ate in silence after that. At the castle, Maki and Chiharu had eaten like the nobles. And they had acted as ladies in front of the ambassadors. But now they were sitting on the ground crossed legged and opening their mouths wide to be filled with potatoes.
“Ah, the meat is so good too!”
“This is the meat that Paulo was marinating in sauce last night.”
“I see. It’s so good.”
They finished off the mugs of ale with their food. It was fun. This dinner was much more fun than most meals.