With Those Gentle Hands
Maki and Chiharu called, but it seemed like nothing happened for a while.
It was right when the nervous soldiers began to relax a little. One of them noticed it.
It wasn’t loud. The soldier was looking up at the sky where the light didn’t reach.
Dark shadows were appearing as if to block all of the stars in the sky.
“It’s the gazers…”
“And there are so many.”
The sky had been filled with pretty fluffs that evening, but to the elves, it was now blackened out by gazers.
Of course, Edwy and Aeris knew. It hadn’t been like this when the monsters overflowed from the dungeon. Aaron as well. The gazers that he had seen by the mirror lake had been in greater numbers and moved with more vigor. These gazers were quiet. They were like old people who were at the end of their lives.
Just then, there was the faint sound of a bow being pulled. Perhaps someone could no longer stand the fear.
Maki’s voice rang in the quietness. Chiharu was focusing on the monsters. Maki kept an eye on the monsters as she stayed near Chiharu. But she also kept an eye on their surroundings. She was a Saintess but looked like a knight.
At the same time, an elf’s voice rang. It was likely their commander. The soldier who had nearly shot his arrow, quickly stopped.
In the silence, Chiharu’s voice echoed.
“I see. You came from the dungeon.”
The dungeons were crowded. There were too many of us. Before we knew it, we were pushed out into the wide space.
“Did you get to see different things?”
Yes. Bright and colorful things. Warm, living creatures. And small friends.
“Friends? Oh, the Mandragoras.”
Those on land and those in the sky. All of the creatures made by God.
“Like the fluffs.”
The others could not hear the gazers. So it looked like Chiharu was muttering to herself while staring at the sky.
The little friends returned to their duty of creating more life.
“So, do you want to return to magic stones?”
Yes. We are so tired. Let us go back. With your gentle hands.
Chiharu and Maki looked at each other and nodded. Then they let go of each other’s hands. Aeris, Edwy, and Aaron all turned to the soldiers and raised their hands. This was the signal. Do not interfere.
Finally, the gazers descended quietly. And then they formed a line in front of Chiharu and Maki.
The soldiers could not help but gasp when they saw the gazers vanish as if time was being rewound.
Clank. Clunk. The magic stones fell to the ground. One by one, as if talking to them gently, the hands of the Saintesses turned them back to magic stones. And occasionally, there would be a warm sparkle of light, and a magic stone would fall from their foreheads. It was a beautiful, mystical sight.
One of the soldiers fell to his knee, and the others started to follow.
“Tsk. And you think you can protect the castle!”
Their commander said in annoyance. He looked up at the gazers warily. However, he was not sure if he should rouse the soldiers to defend, or allow them to revere the Saintesses. But he saw that there were some soldiers who continued to have their bows ready, and that there were not many gazers remaining, and so he decided to wait.
However, that Saintesses. His eyes moved to the tall one. While she was returning the gazers to magic stones, she continued to look at her surroundings. She knew that some of the soldiers were kneeling, and she also watched the soldiers who had their bows ready.
Was that just her role? Or was it a strength born from having someone to protect? It was interesting.
That’s when he noticed that there were no more gazers left in the sky.
Maki’s voice echoed. She was looking at an especially small gazer. It was about the same size as the fluff.
“Didn’t we meet in Midland?”
The gazer spun around.
“Ah, I knew it. You’ve grown a little.”
Maki said. And then the gazer turned around again and said,
It was a good day. And a good night. Many lives are moving around.
“Oh, you not only grew larger, but wiser.”
The gazer spun around again.
I came because you two are interesting. And I have more friends now. I followed the bird people and crossed the mountains. And the great waters.
Maki and Chiharu looked at each other and chuckled.
“So, you’ve seen enough then?”
Not yet. I think there are much more interesting things to see.
“So you won’t go back yet.”
Not yet. But I won’t go close to anything warm.
“You’re so smart.”
The gazer spun around again before disappearing into the night sky.
“Why did you let it escape?”
The commander asked.
“You unleashed a gazer into the wild.”
Maki turned around and tilted her head to the side.
“It said that it wouldn’t go near anything warm. Besides, it wants to see more. That’s why I didn’t.”
“I understand how you feel, but we aren’t hunting monsters here.”
The commander’s eyes went down to the pile of magic stones on the ground. If they weren’t hunters, what were they?
“These are just tired and lost monsters from the dungeon. We are helping them return to the circle of life. We are just answering their requests.”
“A monster’s request?”
“They want to return to magic stones. We would not do it forcefully if a monster doesn’t want to. Of course…”
Maki looked at the commander and smiled a little mischievously.
“That was the first time a monster ever refused.”
The tall Saintess had black hair that seemed to melt into the night as it swayed. Her eyes were also like the night, and they sparkled in the light. It was beautiful.
“What is it, Hou?”
One of the soldiers asked him, and the commanders moved his eyes away from Maki and shook his head.
“Search to see if there are any gazers left! Split up into eight groups!”
“I doubt there are any.”
Chiharu said. The commander nodded as if he knew, still, the search continued. Even if it was true, this was their job. He would have to talk to them later in order to better protect them.
“Well, that’s the end of that.”
“We should rest for tomorrow.”
The two Saintesses said light-heartedly. It was as if this miracle was an everyday occurrence to them. The commander was so stunned that he could not say anything. In the meantime…
“Good job everyone.”
The two said as they started to walk back to the castle. Even Aeris and Aaron were leaving. Wait. Wait. We can’t work without understanding what is going on.
“Hey, wait! I need an explanation!”
“Can’t that be tomorrow?”
That’s the problem! The commander was more shocked by their nonchalance than anything else that had happened that day.