To the Border Town
How many hours did it take for them to reach the border town? They took several breaks, each one longer than the previous one. And the birdfolk traded places at least four times.
“Agh, I’m tired.”
Even Maki was exhausted. Chiharu wasn’t able to say anything. Aaron got up on shaky legs and thanked them.
“It would have taken three days by carriage, and that would have also drawn a lot of attention. It’s because of you that we were able to come here so quickly and unnoticed. You have my gratitude.”
“We didn’t to it for you. It was because Maki and Chiharu asked us.”
Sauro answered bluntly. He merely glanced in Aaron’s direction and then muttered to himself.
“But it’s not easy for a big human to be carried such a long distance. The royals of Lowland are not as bad as I thought.”
Chiharu found this comment amusing. She managed to stand up and turn to Sauro.
“There are lots of children in the Lowland castle. Including one who we befriended during the ceremony. Maybe there will be more birdfolk near the castle now. And they can play with the children. Then it will become normal to ‘have the birdfolk carry you.’”
Sauro looked at Saikania with an expression of realization. Yes, yes. Chiharu thought she heard them say. But she wasn’t sure.
“Chiharu, I am not sure if those words are a blessing or a curse. But as the birdfolk have little interaction with Lowland, it may be a good thing. But for now, it just seems like a curse.”
Aaron muttered with exasperation.
They had landed just a short distance away from the border town. And someone was already there, waiting for them.
“Now, people will notice if we stand here for too long. Aaron went through the trouble of sending his men ahead. So let’s hurry up and go.”
Edwy said. Maki and Chiharu nodded and turned around in order to thank the birdfolk one last time. Perhaps they felt that there was no need for modesty once they had carried them, because all twenty birdfolk hugged Maki and Chiharu tightly, before leaving with expressions of regret.
“Now, many birdfolk know how close the human lands are. It’s thanks to you, Maki and Chiharu.”
Sauro said. He was the last one to leave.
“I can’t go with you, but be careful.”
“Come back soon.”
And then he and Saikania flew off. Chiharu watched them fly away and muttered.
“I feel like we unleashed something that wasn’t supposed to be unleashed.”
Maki patted her on the shoulder and said,
“It would have happened sooner or later. Now, let’s go.”
The carriage that was provided had a roof, and there were lots of oranges piled up in the back.
“Now we look like proper merchants.”
Maki said as she looked at it with satisfaction.
“Do you want to sit with the driver or under the roof?”
Aaron asked as he held the reins. They wanted to be able to see the scenery, but there was only space for one person to sit next to the driver. As for the back of the carriage, the tarp roof was tied in the back, but there was opening there that you could see out of.
“We’ll sit in the back. And then we move to the cargo if we get tired.”
“I see. We’ll arrive in the town in thirty minutes, so hang in there.”
Maki and Chiharu smiled and ran to the back. The first carriage started to move slowly, then Maki and Chiharu’s carriage was next. And then after there was some distance between them, the last carriage moved as if a coincidence.
“To be honest, I thought they were just acting like spoiled princesses at first.”
“You must be so surprised.”
The two princes talked in the driver’s seat.
“Yes, I see them differently now. I’m impressed that you can fly with the birdfolk without getting tired. For me, I was so terrified and exhausted. But they did it without complaining at all. They don’t even complain about riding in the back of a carriage like this.”
“Well, that’s Maki and Chiharu for you.”
Edwy felt a sense of pride when listening to Aaron praise them.
“They are so small and cute, that you think you have to protect them. But they will run out and do everything by themselves.”
“I heard about that. I was surprised when they started the journey dressed as Saintesses, but I was even more surprised when they started changing their clothes outside.”
Aaron said with a red face. If Maki were there, she would have said,
“What are you saying? You couldn’t even see anything.”
Edwy thought with a chuckle.