Enveloped in Wings
They heard that the two had entered the room through the terrace, and so the three rushed to it immediately. There was indeed a large, double door connected to the outside, which would make it easier for birdfolk to enter if they folded their wings.
Saikania was about to burst through the door, but Maki stopped her.
“Wa-wait. We should still knock first.”
“If you say so, Maki.”
Saikania took a step back. Maki hurriedly knocked on the door.
“Who is it?”
Came Sauro’s voice from inside.
“Oh, come in.”
While he was talking quietly, there was no hesitation in his voice. Ortha and Saikania looked at each other and nodded. Then Saikania opened the door.
They saw a round table with two chairs in front of them that had been placed there so you could eat while looking outside. The bedroom was separate from it, and there was a large screen in front of the bed. That’s where the voices were coming from.
“Ah, you’re here too, Saikania. Chiharu is sleeping, so keep your voices down.”
They were relieved to hear Sauro’s calm voice as they made their way around the partition. However, Maki was shocked at what she saw. There was a very large, double bed there, and Sauro was lying on it and looking quite cramped. Chiharu was lying right next to him. She was sweating and it looked like it was painful to breath.
She was also wrapped up in Sauro’s wings as if something precious. Saikania’s wings shook as she sighed.
“Is that enough heat? Should I help you warm her up?”
She said worriedly as she rushed to the bed.
“I could change my form too and stick close to Chiharu? I think this bed is too small for birdfolk anyway.”
Sauro seemed to understand it, and so he pulled away his wings with a look of regret, and got off of the bed.
She rushed towards Chiharu and felt her forehead. While it was hot, it wasn’t as hot as she had dreaded. And while she was relieved, she started to wonder if it wasn’t because Sauro was so hot that Chiharu’s temperature had risen. However, Maki had not been able to accompany her, so it could not be helped. More importantly, Chiharu seemed to be sweating now. Perhaps it would be better to help her cool off.
“It would be even warmer with two dogfolk.”
“Birdfolk are better at keeping warm, we just need more space.”
“No, it would be better for a small cat person to stick to her.”
The three were having a dangerous conversation.
“Wait, wait. All of you, wait.”
Maki said, and the three turned to look at her.
“I think her temperature has risen enough. She’s not shaking anymore. I actually think letting her cool down a little will help her be more comfortable. So there’s no need to warm her now.”
“But, chicks should be warmed.”
“Uh, Chiharu is not a chick.”
Apparently, she was like a baby bird to Sauro.
“I’ve never heard of letting someone cool off. We have to warm her.”
“Do beastkin ever get heat strokes?”
“Heat strokes? We don’t even get that hot in the first place.”
It was no use. They couldn’t think of anything but warming her. Maki was the only human here, and could rely on no one.
“I think she’s just tired, but I’ll stay with her tonight and watch over her. And if she doesn’t start recovering by tomorrow, we can call for a human doctor.”
The three looked quite relieved to know that it wasn’t serious.
“Let’s go and tell the others then. She has a slight fever and is mostly just tired.”
“Yes. This room is too cramped for all of us anyway.”
So saying, Sauro and Saikania left the room.
“I didn’t think anything would happen. And I’m glad that it was the case.”
Ortha said with a sigh. Really. Chiharu was just warmed up a little. That was all.
“It’s true that there can be romance between the different races. However, humans and beastkin will rarely be drawn to each other due to differences, including shape. And it is especially true for birdfolk.”
“I think there’s a big difference in how we think.”
“I understand that. Chiharu is always struggling. Well, I think she’s mostly given up.”
“It’s much easier if you just stop trying when it comes to them. Really.”
After that, some cool water and towels were brought to them, and Maki did her best to cool Chiharu down and make her drink water that night.
“Hmm. Huh? Maki-chan?”
Chiharu awoke with the bright morning light. She saw that Maki was sleeping next to her. She wasn’t sure what had brought about this situation. They had been turning gazers into magic stones yesterday and… Ah.
She shouted as she sat up. Her head hurt a little.
“Ouch. Is this a hangover?”
Maki opened her eyes as well.
“How do you feel? It’s not a hangover. You had a fever and were put in bed.”
“But what about the gazers?”
“Don’t worry, I returned them all to magic stones. More importantly…”
Maki sat up and stuck her forehead to Chiharu’s forehead.
“Hmm. Yes. It seems like the fever is gone. Good. Now you should drink some water.”
Maki got out of the bed and poured some water from the pitcher next to the bed.
The cold water poured down her throat and Chiharu realized that she was much more tired than she thought. After she was finished drinking, she lay down on the bed again. Maki also got back onto the bed next to Chiharu and began to laugh.
“If you only knew, Chiharu. When you fainted, Sauro caught you and carefully carried you all of the way here.”
“Ahh, how embarrassing…”
Chiharu covered her face with both hands.
“And so we came back here frantically after I finished with the gazers. And then you were here in this bed…”
Maki stopped there because she couldn’t stop laughing.
“Hey, tell me the rest! What happened?”
“Chi-Chiharu… You and Sauro were in the same bed and…”
“What? Do you mean…”
With Sauro? Chiharu’s heart began to beat rapidly.
“He had his wings wrapped around you as if protecting a baby bird.”
“What! Ohhh! This is too embarrassing!”
Both of them laughed for quite some time after that.
“Ahhh, it’s so funny.”
“Really, there really wasn’t any point in worrying about someone like Sauro.”
As they stared up at the ceiling, Maki suddenly became serious.
“The beastkin warm each other up when they feel ill. I realized yesterday that they see us like chicks or children…”
“I see. But we’re nearly the same size as the catfolk.”
After a short while, there was a knock on the door.
Maki said, and then Ortha entered.
“How is Chiharu?”
Ortha said in a relieved voice.
“Unfortunately, I have to talk to you about something.”
“It’s the other gazers in the cave, right?”
“Yes. We decided what to do about them, and so we need you two to tell the gazers.”
On closer inspection, there were small bags underneath Ortha’s eyes.
“Was there a very long meeting last night?”
“Yes. Well, how about some breakfast first?”
They needed a good meal before going to work.