Apparently, during that time in the beast lands, they found out that Chiharu had been taken inland, and decided what should be done next. By morning, the birdfolk were flying in every direction in order to send messages.
First, there was the elf lands, where most of their fighting force was focused. If the dungeons had calmed down now, they would take as many soldiers as they could on airships, and then head for Lowland. They wanted to station their soldiers in the human territories so that they could move if it became necessary. Aeris would also take his own small airship and go to the human lands. Of course, Kaider and Nyran would accompany him.
Messengers had been sent to the dwarf lands as well. And they had replied, saying that they planned to send a train to Midland that would carry personnel who knew about digging, in order to deal with the inland dungeons.
Messages had also arrived from the merfolk. They were already traveling through the water roads and on their way inland.
Messengers went to Lowland and Midland too, and each castle said that they would think of something. At the very least, they would not prevent people from the three territories from traveling through their land.
“Chiharu. This is really blowing up…”
Maki became very worried, and seemed to shrink. Sauro probably wanted to go out in person, but remained in the command room with Miragaia as they gave out orders. Zynis and Leia had also gathered beastkin together in order to send them to the dwarf lands. After running quickly in their beast forms, they would use the trains to travel to the human territories.
Trains were already being sent out constantly.
“Hey, what is that!”
She heard a voice shouting from behind. Maki looked to see what it was.
“It’s Aeris’s airship… But, I thought he was headed to Lowland…”
Apparently, something unexpected had happened, and Zynis and the beastkin frantically moved out so there would be space in front of the cave. The airship floated down and landed there.
As soon as it had landed, Edwy burst out.
Edwy looked around the clearing and then found Maki. He ran towards her and then embraced her. Normally, the prince would become red just because she held his hand, but there was no time for that right now. He was just worried about how Chiharu was after being torn away from Maki.
Maki buried her face in Edwy’s shoulder. She had thought of him as a younger brother, but just for now he was more like an older brother, and she felt as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
“I heard about what happened. It must have been very hard for you.”
“Nevermind me. At least I’m surrounded by friends. But Chiharu…”
Maki knew that Edwy was secretly attached to Chiharu. Yes, he must be sick with worry over her.
“Each country is trying to do what they can for Chiharu. Of course, I am worried about her, but I’m now more worried about you.”
“Yes, Maki. Chiharu is always the one who is abducted, and we know how much you worry and suffer every time.”
“Kaider! And Aaron!”
It was Kaider and Aaron who were standing behind Edwy.
“Nyran said that someone needed to be there to give orders, and so he took the large airship to Lowland. Because, well, it seemed like it would be best for me to move freely.”
Aaron chuckled as he looked at Maki.
Kaider moved towards her a little hesitantly, and then just like Edwy, he wrapped his arms around her.
“She has gazers with her. They are fast and strong when they need to be. Though, I know you can’t help but worry no matter what we say. But…”
Maki nodded. She could feel his warm emotion and passion. He had a stronger, broader chest than Edwy. And as she was enveloped in the scent of his leather armor, Maki felt herself on the brink of tears.
“Yes, thank you.”
Maki raised her head and smiled before moving away from Kaider. Aeris then moved to her at an incredible speed, and he embraced Maki before either said anything.
“Maki. You did so well.”
Why were they all so kind? Aeris was another one who adored Chiharu. And yet he was so worried about Maki. It’s because they are like this, that both Chiharu and I want to help them, even if it’s more than we can bear. We aren’t being forced to do it. We did it ourselves. After all, they too are desperately fulfilling their own roles. It wasn’t as if everything was being pushed onto Maki and Chiharu alone.
Aeris then moved away from Maki and looked into her eyes as if to make sure that she was okay. Maki smiled and said she was fine.
“Well, it would be no surprise if you weren’t fine. Isn’t that right?”
“Yes. At least until we rescue Chiharu.”
It was then that Zynis, who watched them with folded arms, shook his head.
“Now, now, Aeris. Shouldn’t you and the others be on your way to Lowland?”
“Hmph, Zynis. I think it will be best for everyone if we move freely.”
“Indeed. These aren’t people who even obey orders…”
“But it’s not as if we aren’t thinking at all either.”
Aeris insisted that they weren’t just being difficult.
“Midland is closer to Highland. Besides, the king of Lowland, Arthur, is friends with the Highland king. And so I think it would be best to stay near Arthur and support him.”
“So you think the human kings should get involved?”
“Most likely, yes. It’s been a while since the Highland king made a public appearance. And only humans should interfere in human matters.”
“Yes. While we are focused on saving the Saintess, we also have to be careful about the humans. It cannot be helped.”
Maki was a little stunned when she heard this. Whole countries were going to act? That made it sound like war.
“Maki. What the inland people have done is that serious. They betrayed their fellow humans, the three territories, and God. However, this matter should be left to the royals and their representatives. What you need to think about is rescuing Chiharu.”
Edwy smiled in order to assure her. Then he became serious again and turned to Aeris.
“Indeed. Zynis, we are now going to leave for Midland. We can carry about six to seven people. Is there anyone you think that we should take?”
“That’s perfect. The four members of the previous infiltration mission. And me.”
Maki was surprised as she thought Zynis would stay in order to give out orders.
“Zynis, don’t you have to stay and command the others?”
“Why? Leia is here. Besides, it would be better for me to stand in front of the humans as a representative of the beastkin. Leia agrees with me.”
“Alright then. Hurry up and prepare. What about you, Maki?”
He asked her suddenly. As she now knew what must be done, she had been planning on crossing the sea directly with Sauro and Saikania. But now she had the option of going by airship. While an airship was more comfortable, birdfolk were faster.
“Maki, that’s why I came here. Right now, you and I are the only humans who can fly long distances with the birdfolk. And so we should go on ahead with Sauro and Saikania.”
“Edwy. Are you sure?”
“We should go to the Midland castle and tell my father the situation as soon as possible. Maki needs to be as close to Chiharu as she can, and soon. That way, they can communicate through the gazers.”
Now they could finally act. Maki’s eyes gleamed powerfully.