Let’s Ride the Basket
The birdfolk were likely holding back as they flew. However, they were still flying higher and faster than the airship.
“We’re moving faster than any airship or carriage, and yet it doesn’t really feel like it.”
“It’s hard to tell when you’re this high up. But we really are moving fast, aren’t we?”
Maki and Chiharu looked down from the window and raised their voices in surprise. When they had gone inland in order to rescue the merman, the birdfolk had picked them up directly. So they thought they knew about how fast they were. However, they had not really been able to enjoy the view, since the wind pressure was so strong, and it was also tiring when you were carried directly.
“There is no wind pressure when you’re in the box, so it’s easy to breath. This really is quite comfortable.”
Apparently, their flight course would take them along the beach. They were flying over the sea where they could still see land. As for why, it was obvious once they looked towards the land. While the elf castle had been on flat lands with moderate hills, once they passed that area, there was a vast forest and mountains in the distance.
“The border with the dwarven territories is somewhere within this forest.”
Zynis casually offered the vague information. He clearly didn’t really care about it.
“Well, there is a road that runs through the forest so that carriages can travel. However, the only thing you will find are small towns. There are no larger settlements.”
Ortha said with a laugh. That’s why the elves and dwarves did not interact with each other very often. However, as both races liked new things, they continued to trade and were not completely cut off from each other.
“The forest elves live on the other side of the castle, opposite of the dwarf lands. I wish I could see those elves, since it is said that they live in a large tree.”
Ortha muttered dreamily as she looked down.
“You too, Ortha? We haven’t gone there either! Then we should all go together once things settle down!”
Maki said happily.
“Huh? You mean, take time off work?”
Ortha asked as she looked at Zynis. He looked back at her with amusement.
“Father. That ‘do what you want’ look is very annoying. I’m starting to understand how Dilon feels.”
“But you should do what you want. There is no law saying how much you have to work.”
Maki heard this and wondered about something.
“Now that I think about it, it seems like the birdfolk do not work much at all. Are the dogfolk that different?”
“Well, now that you mention it, we dogfolk do enter dungeons all of the time. However, it’s also because we enjoy it. Of course, there are people who are farmers as well. And the birdfolk often work as hunters who provide meat.”
Ortha said and then continued.
“Hmm. But I think we still work without resting. It’s just the normal thing to do… Huh?”
It was then that Chiharu made a suggestion.
“Then we should go as part of a tour!”
Ortha looked puzzled, and so Chiharu explained.
“If you enjoy working with everyone, then we should all go and travel together.”
“In our country, we have school trips and employee trips. In other words, we often travel with classmates or co-workers.”
Well, perhaps those employee trips were going out of fashion. In fact, they had stopped doing them at the company where Chiharu used to work.
“So if you want to travel to the elf lands, Ortha, you should go with all of your friends from the dungeons.”
“Ah, it’s the start of the Saintess Tourist Company.”
“Then that would make the fifth princess the head of the elf lands.”
Maki and Chiharu became very excited. As the dogfolk were quite conservative, Ortha did not know how many of them would like to go on such a trip. However, she felt that at the very least her parents and Dilon would want to go.
Chiharu said as she looked into Ortha’s eyes.
“Just tell the birdfolk when you feel like traveling. And then Maki and I will make a fun itinerary for you.”
Yes, like a family trip. She immediately thought of her mother and father doing their own thing and the exhausted Dilon being dragged along. It was just the same as always.
“Yes, that’s nice. I think I would like that. I’ll be sure to rely on you when the time comes.”
“Yes. You will be our first customer!”
Maki exclaimed. Apparently, the direction of the wind had changed, and the basket suddenly started to drop before floating back up again.
“That was a surprise.”
“It’s like when a plane hits an air pocket. It’s terrible.”
“This won’t do if we use these baskets for tours.”
“We’ll have to think of a safer course.”
Maki and Chiharu started to talk seriously.
“Maki and Chiharu sure are interesting.”
“Yes. You just never know what they are going to do next. It’s quite thrilling.”
I see. This warm and fluffy feeling deep in my chest. It’s excitement.
While she didn’t want to be as free as the birdfolk, it would not be bad to take time off of work and travel with others like they were doing now. Yes, not bad at all. Ortha’s mouth curved into a smile.
They flew for a few hours and then rested on some flat ground. The birdfolk traded places. Then they flew for a few more hours before resting again. They repeated this as they passed the dwarf lands and saw Noir below them, which was the last stop of the train.
It was very fun talking about where they would like to go, but by the time that the sun came down and they arrived at the inn, Maki and Chiharu were exhausted. Even Zynis and Ortha were tired. And so the two were wobbly on their feet as they got out of the basket.
“Hey, Maki-chan. Isn’t it amazing?”
Maki answered weakly to Chiharu’s sudden exclamation.
“We’ve become so much tougher.”
“You’re right. It must be because of the birdfolk.”
Maki said with a dry laugh. Saikania saw this and smiled.
“You get tired from just that? You two are so adorable.”
“No, it’s strange that you’re not tired in spite of carrying us all of this way.”
Maki couldn’t help but protest.
“Now, Maki and Chiharu. While we could not reach our destination in one day, this is still the beast land. Welcome to the town in between, Noctare.”
The town in between. It had a nice ring to it. Upon hearing those words, the two raised their tired faces. They had been told that there was a small village by the dwarf and elf border. So, what about the beast and dwarf border?
Just then, the birdfolk who had carried the basket suddenly looked in the same direction. Then they surrounded Maki and Chiharu.
“Oh, my. I see that these Saintesses are also loved by the birdfolk.”
They heard the voice of an elderly woman. They could also see several figures on the other side of the birdfolk. Maki and Chiharu squinted through the darkness.
“Maki-chan. Those graceful movements…”
Yes, the pretty triangular ears and the smooth fur. The complicated patterns and the long hind legs.
“It’s a cat person…”
“It’s a cat person…”
The town in between was a cat town.