The Sea, Finally
Maki watched excitedly as the two tall men glared at each other. In the meantime, Chiharu ignored them and moved towards the water. It wasn’t just Sauro, but the men in this world were quite tiring if you faced them on every issue seriously. If they wanted to fight, let them.
Oh, wait. Edwy was different, thought Chiharu. He was mature. She thought on the gentle face of Edwy, who she saw as like a younger brother, and she couldn’t help but smile. The waves came up and tickled her feet. Then they drew back and took the sand with them. Chiharu’s curly hair moved gently in the wind.
It was so quiet.
She looked down and took another step forward. The waves crashed at her feet. She took another step, and the waves drew back.
A voice came from behind her.
Maki had finally come.
“Oh! Why can’t I be allowed to enjoy this vacation for just a second!”
Chiharu turned around with annoyance. Maki looked a little troubled as she held her hands up.
“Look at reality.”
Maki said as she pointed ahead. A crowd of merfolk were there, watching Chiharu’s every step. And in the sky, flew a flock of birdfolk.
“I knew that. I knew…”
She was just pretending that they weren’t there.
“Chiharu. Maki. This…”
Saia approached them and tried to give them some thin cloth. It was soft and yet strong. Thin and yet opaque. Very strange.
“What is this?”
Asked Maki. And so Saia spread it out and then expertly wrapped it around Maki’s waist so that it hit the floor. The extra fabric hung in the back. And all of this was done without touching her.
“This is the thing that all the merfolk wear!”
Chiharu shouted as she circled around Maki.
“Huh? It’s pretty, but I was going to go out for a swim. It will get in the way.”
“Maki, should you really be saying that after getting something so pretty? That’s not very lady-like.”
Chiharu said with exasperation as she folded her arms.
“Chiharu, excuse me.”
Saia then wrapped up Chiharu in a similar fabric. Now their legs were mostly covered.
“It’s so light, smooth, and easy to move in!”
“This was weaved with the webs of water spiders. They will not get in the way when they are wet, so you can swim in them. It’s a very mysterious fabric.”
Saia explained to the overjoyed Chiharu.
“Really? Huh. Wa-water spider…?”
“Yes. Are you interested? I can show them to you.”
“Uh, no. I think I’m fine.”
It was a subject better left untouched. Chiharu closed her eyes to the materials.
Then Saia knelt before them, and first he took Maki’s hand and then Chiharu’s. And he placed them on his forehead.
“Maki, Chiharu. I did not know that things would get so dangerous. And yet I have troubled you greatly over our chief. I am so sorry.”
He apologized sincerely. When they thought back on it, they had known there was a risk, but they could not abandon Amia, who had saved them. Chiharu thought that it couldn’t be helped. However…
“Exactly. Besides, not only did it turn into a huge deal, but it would have been resolved even if we didn’t go. Actually it might have ended sooner if you didn’t ask us to go.”
Saia’s eyes wandered. But…
“Our chief had gone missing, and I did become a little frantic. However, I believe that it was because you two were there, that he came back quietly, and it did not cause more of a commotion than necessary.”
He said with another bow while still on his knees.
“Oh, it’s fine. Besides, nothing happened in the end?”
Chiharu said. Maki squinted at her suspiciously.
“Chiharu. Thank you!”
Saia raised his head and looked at Chiharu with an honest expression. However, Maki did not miss the slight curl of his lip when he did so.
Saia turned to Maki now. He was still kneeling. Maki looked down at him. For the others that were watching, it would look like they were staring into each other’s eyes. Like a knight who was swearing his loyalty to Maki. Chiharu felt quite excited.
Came Aeris’s voice.
“Did you finish fighting?”
Chiharu turned around. Now that she was distracted, Maki addressed Saia. And her expression was not sweet.
“Chiharu is the only person I have in this world.”
“What a coincidence. I feel the same way about the chief.”
There was no smile on his face either.