Let’s go to the honey workshop
The next day, Edwy dragged away the reluctant Aeris. And so it was just Maki, Chiharu, and Aaron left at the castle.
“Can you believe that just yesterday morning, we were playing with the merfolk?”
Chiharu said to Aaron, but he shrugged his shoulders.
“I was more surprised by the fluff and the Mandragoras. They don’t have Mandragoras in Lowland, and so I found them so amusing when I first came here. I remember playing little tricks on them back then. But they just walk forward and do little else. I never saw them gather around a human like that before.”
Ah, perhaps that’s what it was like seeing it from the outside. Chiharu had been shocked when the gazers turned out to be friendly. And so she didn’t think much when it happened with the cute Mandragoras. That’s why all the exercise she got at the beach had made a bigger impression on her.
“That’s true, Maki-chan.”
“Hmm? What is?”
Unlike the gazers, she couldn’t communicate with Maki without saying anything. Chiharu realized that this was becoming easy to forget, which showed just how much she was getting used to this world.
“More importantly, we’re going to the honey workshop today!”
Maki shouted as her eyes shone.
“Oh, Maki. While the royal honey workshop is in the forest over there, it is still quite a distance away. So we must leave immediately!”
Maki replied to the first princess. The two seemed to get along rather well now. Chiharu and the fifth princess looked at each other and chuckled.
The royal forest. In other words, the vast forest that surrounded the castle. However, the workshop was deep within this forest. Still, there was a stone path that led to it, and they would be heading to it by carriage. And four guards accompanied their carriage.
“Two are for us, and the two in the back are to protect you, Maki and Chiharu.”
“Ah, it’s that security guy from yesterday.”
“Hou? So you recognize him.”
The guy who had remained calm even when the gazers came out, and Maki and Chiharu started turning them into magic stones. This man who was likely a commander, had made an impression on Maki. He had talked to them directly, after all.
“Hou is in charge of security at the royal palace. I suppose he would be called a captain of the guard in other countries?”
“Doesn’t that mean he’s really important?”
Maki was surprised as she looked at Hou from the carriage window. He had a serious expression and was watching his surroundings.
Aila looked at her sympathetically.
“You are irreplaceable Saintesses. In other words, you have a right to receive the highest level of security.”
Maki and Chiharu were surprised.
“Well, we’ve been treated very well up until now. But I never really thought about it like that.”
“Neither have I. It’s no wonder there was such a commotion when we left the castle.”
It was a little late for them to feel bad about that.
“Left the castle?”
“Uh, nevermind. It’s nothing.”
Chiharu said a little frantically. And she quickly changed the subject.
“Huh? Then why did the merfolk casually ask us to go on an investigation inland?”
“Chiharu. You finally realized, huh?”
Maki’s shoulders drooped.
“Inland? You two went inland?”
Rhea was quite sharp, which made her difficult to talk to.
“Huh? Yes, quite recently.”
“So that’s why you were late in coming to the elf lands. But I haven’t heard anything about the inlands suffering from miasma. Maki, Chiharu. What is going on with your priorities?”
“Uhhh, Rhea. You’re quite harsh. We did have a reason.”
While Maki was struggling to come up with an explanation, Aaron acted like he had nothing to do with it. Just then, they heard the sound of someone hitting the roof of the carriage.
“Oh, we’ve arrived.”
Maki was saved by Aila’s voice. As they were not out in public, Maki and Chiharu quickly jumped out of the carriage. They were shocked at how unexpectedly large the facility was. After all, they had been traveling through a forest. But in front of them now was a series of buildings made of large red bricks.
There were large doors in each building where cargo was being carried out. And there were smaller doors for people to use. As each building had different kinds of windows, it was clear that they had different purposes.
“This one is the office. That one is the factory where the honey is packaged, and the large building over there is where they make honey wine.”
This was it. Honey wine was the reason that they had wanted to come to the elf lands. It had been nearly four months since they came to this world. And now they were finally going to be able to drink honey wine! Rhea looked a little exasperated by how happy the two were.
“I see that you wish to go there immediately. However, we will save that for last.”
She knew that if they drank that first, they wouldn’t even go to the other places.
“First, let’s go and meet the people who make it.”
Maki and Chiharu raised their hands energetically. They knew that it was important to be able to see the faces of the producers.
“Maybe they’ll have work for us, like that time I gathered flowers.”
“And perhaps they’ll serve honey wine during lunch.”
“And honey cake for snack.”
Aaron looked at them from behind with a sad expression.
They did not enter the office building, but walked right past it instead. There was a vast clearing here where a carriage was being loaded before setting off into the forest.
“Is it those people?”
“Are they moving the honey?”
As Maki and Chiharu talked, Rhea turned towards them.
“As there is still some distance to the hive, we should get on that carriage when it returns.”
“The producers’s hive, of course.”
Just then, there was a loud buzzing sound that came from the forest. It sounded like an old refrigerator, or the outdoor unit of an air condition.
“Oh, how unusual. The producers have come. And so many of them.”
The things that buzzed as they came out of the forest, were a group of honey bees with beautiful black and yellow stripes.
“I had a feeling, once I heard the buzzing.”
Could Maki and Chiharu have said anything else?
“Princesses, Saintesses. There are so many of them. Please stand back.”
Just then, Hou stepped forward and pushed them into the passage. Even then, the buzzing continued to get closer.
“The stripes are so pretty. Very pretty. But why can I see them so clearly? I can’t even see the sky.”
Maki muttered out loud. Chiharu was so fixated on this scene that she couldn’t even blink. The stripes looked so clear? Of course, they were. Aeris had told them about this.
“They are so big. The same size as a circle you make with both hands.”
“Aeris’s hands, that is.”
And that didn’t include their wings. These curious producers of honey had come out in order to look at Maki and Chiharu.