In the Airship
While Arthur was watching the beastkin head towards the inland region, Maki and Chiharu were relaxing in the airship. It was just as he had wanted.
There were several small sofas in the airship and also a table. There was also a simple sink. The pilot’s seat was in the very front. As it was made especially for Aeris, the handle was much too high for Maki or Chiharu to control comfortably while sitting down. While Aeris piloted the airship most of the way, Van would sometimes take his place. Maki was surprised that he could be useful sometimes.
They were not flying too high, and so they were able to see the land below very well. When they looked to the side, they could see birdfolk flying in the air. If their eyes happened to meet, they would wave at them cheerfully.
“So, it’s not affected at all when the birdfolk get close?”
“Airships are very heavy crafts. It took so much testing to find the right balance of levitations stones to keep it in the air. And while the birdfolk used to mock us up in the air, we were too busy fighting the wind back then.”
“Hey, Aeris. Knock it off with the boring stuff.”
Grudo interjected just as Aeris was starting to get into his long-winded speeches.
“Hmm. Well, it took us a long time to develop it.”
Aeris ended with a chuckle.
“The birdfolk don’t bother us anymore… However…”
Just then, they heard a thud come from the ceiling.
“Sometimes they rest on top of the airship when they are tired.”
Aeris said with a look of annoyance.
“But three hours of flight is nothing to them. They are really just resting on top because they find it amusing. Damn them.”
Indeed. Chiharu thought.
They passed the town of Tram, where the castle was, in no time. Then the airship continued on by the sea towards the south. The sea was blue and there were sandy beaches and cliffs that were hit by white waves. When they turned their eyes inland, they could see flatlands and wheat fields. To the west, there were mountains and forests.
“So, that direction is inland?”
“Yes. Once you pass the low mountains, you will see vast fields where they grow grain. The inlands are connected with Midland and Lowland to the south.”
As Aeris was piloting the ship, Grudo explained this to them.
“Both Midland and Lowland are on low grand. So there is just a river that makes the border. And there are several bridges over them. However, the mountains form the borders for Highland. So there are not as many ways to go there.”
“Is there any procedure for crossing the border?”
Kaider interjected. He looked very bored.
“After all, what did you even do in the dwarf lands?”
“That’s right. We just bought tickets and got on a train until we reached it…”
“Right? Well, it’s the same in the human lands.”
They had studied some of this at the castle, but it was different when you were actually traveling. Edwy looked at them a little uncomfortably and then opened his mouth.
“Maki and Chiharu. You may not want to hear this, but the actions of the inlanders during the unveiling made a lot of people angry. In fact, Highland blocked their roads after the incident.”
Maki and Chiharu started to feel bad when they heard about what had happened.
“There is no reason to feel bad. This is a problem that affects our whole world. The reason that I brought this up is because I don’t want you to think that you’re safe, just because you’re around humans. The borders are no longer blocked. And it’s possible that there are people who might want to harm you.”
They replied. Edwy had become a little more serious after traveling in the dwarf lands. Chiharu felt that he had come to respect their independence a little more.
Boys grow up so fast. She thought with a warm look.
“Now, let’s land once so we can rest.”
Aeris called out. Indeed, he had been piloting for 3 hours now. It would be good for him to take a break.
And so he landed the airship quietly by a riverside town. Apparently, they often used this small airport. So their arrival didn’t cause a commotion.
“Well, we can eat lunch here. Now, Edwy. That’s your job.”
“Yes. Let’s go.”
And so Edwy led them away from the airport and to the town. Then they went to the river.
“We’re still in Midland. And this is a place I sometimes visit. Here!”
Edwy pointed. It looked like a row of small cottages were floating on the river.
“A floating cottage?”
Chiharu said with surprise.
“Do they have them in your world too? They are built during the summer and taken down in autumn. There are rooms inside of them where you can eat.”
“They had something similar. They were built on the sea and you could stay in them. I never actually went to one, but I always wanted to.”
“So, that means your dream has come true.”