The five of them left the room and then Aeris and Aaron led them to the castle audience chamber.
“An ‘audience chamber.’ How excessive.”
Maki said with a tilt of her head.
“After all, in Midland and Lowland, we just went to the king’s study, didn’t we? Though, they were pretty big.”
“Think back. About how it was like in the dwarf castle.”
They had been made to wear formal clothing and were escorted. Maki thought as Aeris spoke to her.
“It is the first time a Saintess has come to the elf lands. I think they will want to do something special.”
“So, the Saintesses are not on a secret mission after all.”
Aaron replied. Maki and Chiharu felt a little bad.
“But it’s fine. When you two were unveiled, Arthur told the other countries that you don’t like to stick out. And so we should treat you more modestly.”
“Arthur? I see. That’s nice.”
Maki was relieved when Aaron told her this. Yes, while Aeris was a prince, elves were not very curious about others. In fact, the princesses earlier had no interest in Maki and Chiharu as Saintesses. They didn’t even see them as rivals. So it must be fine. That’s what Maki thought as she looked at Chiharu, whose expression was a little stiff.
“Woah. There are guards at the entrance.”
Maki said excitedly.
Aeris and Aaron wore hard expressions. When the heavy doors opened silently, they saw that there was a long carpet that stretched out towards the throne. And on both sides…
Maki muttered. That’s how many elves had come inside. The crowds began to buzz as soon as Maki and Chiharu entered. Maki didn’t know anything about formeral elven attire, but they all wore pretty clothes with glimmering patterns. While Maki couldn’t help looking around, Chiharu stood without moving and raised her head.
Then they were ordered to come before the king. Maki was escorted by Aaron and Chiharu by Edwy. And Aeris walked slowly behind them. Maki and Chiharu could tell that everyone was staring at their foreheads.
The throne was on an elevated platform that was three steps high. And sitting on the throne was the first old elf they had ever seen. He had platinum hair and a long beard.
Well, he didn’t have a big belly, but he did look like he might give children some presents. Regardless, Maki and Chiharu were suddenly less nervous. And next to the king was someone who appeared to be about the same age as Aaron, and looked a little bit like the king.
The king stood up slowly and with the support of the young man, came down the steps to stand before Maki and Chiharu.
“So, you two are the current Saintesses.”
“My name is Maki.”
“My name is Chiharu.”
“And I am called Bartfon. I am the current king. And here is Toul, who will be the next king.”
Then he held both Maki and Chiharu’s hands. While they had been quite surprised to see so many people, Bartfon was a little like Arthur in that he didn’t come off like a noble. And so Maki and Chiharu were relieved.
“Ever since we heard news of your arrival, the miasma has started to thin. However, it has been especially fast since yesterday. It’s practically gone completely now. I am in awe of this power. It’s like suddenly being able to see.”
He laughed kindly.
“We didn’t mean to overwhelm you like this, but everyone so desperately wanted to get a glimpse of the Saintesses, and so they all gathered to the castle. I’m sure you’re very surprised.