The Importance of Security
“Saintesses, I’m very sorry about this. But after tonight’s events, we must reconsider the security of this place. And it would be very helpful if you could at least explain to us what happened tonight.”
The tall Saintess did not try to hide her annoyance. The small one must have been sleepy, as she had a vague expression. Hou changed his strategy.
“Well, if Aeris or Aaron fully understand the situation, that is fine too. The Saintesses are leaving tomorrow with the princesses, yes? We want to make plans tonight. It’s for their safety.”
“Still what? Aeris?”
The commander and Aeris seemed close.
“I will be separated from Maki and Chiharu starting tomorrow. And so I want to spend as much time with them as possible.”
“Are you stupid! Besides, this ‘separation’ is just a few days.”
Hou was quite exasperated.
“Look here. If you’re leaving, that means security will be even more important.”
“I will go then. I think that I know the most about the situation anyway. Aeris and Aaron can escort Maki and Chiharu to their room.”
Edwy interrupted. Then he signaled for the others to take the tired Saintesses away. They watched them walk away, and then Edwy invited Hou to his room. And in spite of not even inviting them, Toul and the two other princesses followed them.
So there were three royals who were just there to watch. However, Edwy was competent enough to order drinks for all of them.
“It’s hard to believe he’s so much younger than them.”
This Midland prince was really just a child in comparison. Hou had always expected that being in charge of security in the elf lands was back-breaking work. Seeing as how people like Aeris and the royals just did as they pleased without much sense of danger over anything. And he became sure of it after seeing Edwy.
As he was the Midland prince, Edwy had been given a large room, and they were all able to sit in it comfortably.
“So, about the Saintesses. This business about turning monsters into magic stones, as you saw today, we’ve already reported it to the king.”
“Hmm. I have heard it as well. However, this has not been discussed with anyone else yet.”
“Yes, we didn’t know either.”
Toul nodded and the first princess agreed with him. However, Hou was not satisfied.
“Still, it is quite troublesome if us guards are not aware of such things. I heard that the Saintesses like to sneak around in disguises. And so I thought that a small team of guards should be the minimum. Of course, I intend to go as well.”
“You’re already worth several soldiers by yourself. That should be enough.”
“But if what happened earlier were to happen every night or during the day? No, we must have several teams take turns watching the area.”
Edwy shook his head.
“Perhaps that looked like a lot of gazers to you, but I’ve seen Maki and Chiharu surrounded by more of them. And several times. The monsters only come out at night. And they never harm the Saintesses. And so there is no need to fear the monsters. If anything…”
Edwy’s blue eyes moved towards Hou.
“Fearing or avoiding the Saintesses because they can turn monsters into stones…that is what will hurt them. And so…”
“What you should be careful of, is the malice of others.”
It wasn’t his job. That’s what Hou wanted to say.
“Sometimes you end up hurting those you are supposed to protect. People ask why the Saintesses don’t purify all of the monsters. They forget that they were summoned here by god, and they see them as nothing but tools to be used.”
“Of course, that includes soldiers and ordinary people as well.”
Silence fell over the room.
“Indeed, they turned those monsters into stone as if it were nothing. Some people will start to think that it’s foolish to send Adventurers and soldiers to the dungeons.”
“Sister, what are you talking about? There are some people who are good with bows, but that doesn’t mean they should be forced into making archery their profession. It’s all up to them.”
Oh? Edwy thought. The princesses were surprisingly capable of having decent thoughts.
Edwy nodded at them and then turned to Hou.
“So you should protect Maki and Chiharu to a degree that it doesn’t bother them. However, the soldiers should know that monsters tend to gather around them, and while the Saintesses do have the ability to purify them, it causes a great strain on their body and mind.”
“They seemed rather cheerful for being so tired.”
Hou couldn’t help but mutter. They didn’t look that exhausted.
“I said body and mind. To the Saintesses, the monsters are just living creatures. It hurts them to have to end the lives of creatures with emotions.”
This was all very difficult for Hou to understand. He didn’t even see the monsters as living creatures.
“After all, they wouldn’t allow anyone to step on the Mandragoras. They even returned that fluff to the air.”
The fifth princess said as she recalled the scene.
“Perhaps this is difficult for a soldier like you to understand. And so we will try our hardest to protect them from the malice of others. Won’t we, sister?”
“Of course. While we may be rivals, they are Saintesses who God invited so that they could purify this world. Yes, we shall treat them well.”
So they’re still rivals then. Edwy thought with amusement. Then the fifth princess turned to Hou.
“We were going to make plans about the sightseeing, but that’s when the Mandragoras started to go mad. And so we haven’t really decided on anything yet. However, if they like to eat, I think I will take them to the honey workshop in the royal forest. And if they are interested in clothes, I will take them to the fabric workshop, where they can see the silkworms and weavers.”
“Hmm. Well, I suppose you won’t need much protection if you’re going to the honey workshop. But there are many more people at the fabric workshop… Even if we don’t take monsters into account…”
Hou thought about it for a moment, and then he said to the princesses,
“If you do end up going to the fabric workshop, we will have to send more guards, but I will make sure that they do not draw too much attention.”
“Very well. We will also watch the Saintesses carefully.”
The first princess said with a nod. And then Hou stood up from his seat.
“Well then, see you tomorrow.”
He bowed to Edwy and then turned to the royals.
“Your Highness, how long do you intend to stay here? I am sure Prince Edwy is very tired.”
“But this is such a rare visit, I don’t see the problem.”
“There is a problem. Now please leave.”
“Edwy. Let’s have a drink together when things settle.”
“So that’s what you were after from the beginning. Now, let’s go.”
The three left soｍberly as Hou drove them out of the room.
“Well, well. They are a little similar to Aeris and Van.”
Edwy sighed. He would have liked to spend time with Maki and Chiharu as well, but it couldn’t be helped. Still, Aaron and the fifth princess would take care of things here while they were gone. He had to fulfill his duty first. He told himself this as he prepared for bed.