“Now that I think about it, while we did meet once on the island, I haven’t thanked you properly yet.”
“It’s fine. But now I know just how strong the merfolk are.”
They sat next to each other and gazed at the lake. She felt that the merfolk would have dealt with the situation just fine, even if they hadn’t come. Well, thanks to that, the trouble had been postponed, so she couldn’t complain. Though she was still annoyed at Saia, who had pushed everything onto them because he couldn’t be bothered to do it himself.
And so even Maki felt cold towards Saia.
“You can be angry. You can even tell him never to show his face to a Saintess again.”
“But he was doing it for you, Amia. Also, isn’t he pretty powerful?”
“Aye. He is the future chief of the merfolk. However, just because he was doing it for someone, doesn’t mean that everything should be forgiven. After all, it wasn’t just you precious ones, but even the birdfolk and southern lands got pulled in. And so no one would believe that it was just you two acting on your own.”
“Yes. That’s true. But we will probably have died of old age by the time Saia is chief.”
Well, the root of the whole problem was that Amia was too free.
As for Saia, he would likely be a lot of trouble for the next Saintess to come. Yes, perhaps she should write a note, warning the future Saintess about Saia. Maki decided this. Of course, she had never been able to keep a diary in the past.
Amia would likely live a lot longer.
“Please don’t say such sad things. No, wait…”
His voice suddenly changed. He turned Maki’s body so that she was facing him, and put his hands on her shoulders. Then he slowly looked at her up and down.
Had it been anyone else but Amia, she would have likely punched them in the face for harassment. But she now saw him more like an uncle. Of course, Amia would have been very surprised if he knew what Maki was thinking. However, it seemed like Amia was seeing something completely different through Maki, and she did not feel like making any jokes.
“Something has changed. Maki, what happened in the elf lands?”
“Changed? What happened… Too much happened…”
“Did you eat or drink anything unusual?”
“Uh, yes, we ate a lot of unusual food.”
She was taken aback by how serious Amia was. However, when it came to what they had eaten and drunk, there was one thing that was bigger than the others.
“Well, the best was the honey wine. There were all kinds. The sweetness and alcohol percentage changed depending on how much it had aged. But they were all so delicious.”
Once everything here was finished, they would go back to the elf lands.
“Honey wine. No, it’s not the honey wine.”
“Hm? Oh, yes. We got to meet all of the bees as well. I never thought that we would be able to communicate with bees and mandragoras.”
“Or…what about the queen bee?”
“She was busy with the young ones, so we couldn’t meet her. But we got royal jelly as gifts. And we were told something. There was something that we lacked, and so we should drink it. Like a supplement.”
Oh, Amia appeared to be deep in thought now. He really was a free spirit. That was fine. As Amia sat there in contemplation, Maki looked at the lake as if to rest after the tiring journey. While they had said that they took control of the place, the merfolk were jumping around happily. And she could even see townsfolk watching them from the shore. I suppose even if the villa had been taken, it wasn’t related to them.
Amia suddenly opened his mouth.
“Beloved child. We may be together for a lot longer than you think.”
“You always talk like this. I don’t understand what you mean.”
She wished that he would be clearer. Now that she thought about it, even when she had met him at the lake in the dwarf lands, he could have just told them that Saintess would be liked by monsters.
Well, Maki also felt that there was no point in thinking too hard when it came to the birdfolk and merfolk.
Leaving the playing merfolk aside, other merfolk and birdfolk had gathered in the large garden. And the especially large birdfolk were picking up the merfolk and trying to fly off. Ah, they failed. One more try.
After several failures, one pair managed to fly in the air for quite a long time. After seeing this, the others paired up and took to the air. There were a lot of them.
A moment later, Sauro came rushing back to them.
“Merfolk are heavier than they look, so I had my doubts that it would work. But it seems like it’s not too bad once they are off of the ground. However, they won’t be able to fly for too long. They won’t last until the capital unless they take multiple breaks. Hey, merfolk chief. Do you really have to go?”
“I must go. This incident has angered all of the races, and the humans must know it. Or else the same thing will happen again.”
And then Amia stood up and faced Sauro. They were both about two meters tall. The bird man with the white hair and feathers. The merman who shone like an opal under the sun. They were undeniably nice to look at, but…
“Amia is really heavy.”
“Maki, that is a groundless accusation.”
“But you were so heavy that we could barely pick you up.”
Still, he insisted that he was going, so there was nothing to be done.
“As long as you help when we take flight.”
“Yes. I just have to jump, right?”
Sauro picked up Amia and jumped. They rose lightly into the air and Sauro immediately flapped his large wings. Before she knew it, they had flown off somewhere, leaving Maki with her mouth hanging open. And after a while, they returned.
“That was quick…”
“It was perfect, wasn’t it?”
“He jumped up at just the same time as my brother. And read the current of the wind so that he wouldn’t be an extra burden. Even though he may be one of the heaviest of his kind, I think it’s probably easy to fly with him.”
Saikania seemed to have come out of nowhere as she sat next to Maki. It was true. Amia almost looked lighter than the other merfolk.
“He’s strong and quick to make judgments about the situation. It’s rare for a merfolk chief to be this brilliant. His predecessor had no interest in the other races. And the future chief has too narrow a vision. My brother is also brilliant. Perhaps it’s what this age needs.”
Maki had never heard Saikania talk like this before. She might have thought she was quite cool, but her first impression was not so easily erased.
Sauro and Amia landed a short distance away from them.
“Yes. We can do it. But I don’t know if it would be like this with the others.”
They were talking to each other.
“What is it, Maki?”
“Edwy and I are light. So I’m sure the other birdfolk will be fine.”
“However, it will be different in terms of how you get tired.”
He didn’t want to leave Maki to the others.
“But I think that it would make a bigger impact if you took the merfolk chief instead of me. I can just make a quiet appearance.”
“Very well then. I will carry the chief.”
And so on that night, many of the birdfolk took the merfolk and carried them off. Still, there were a lot of merfolk left by the lake.
“Saia. This place will be our base. Don’t let the humans take it back.”
“Understood. Please be careful, chief.”
Apparently, Saia was going to stay here and take command.
“You too, beloved child.”
When they were close to the castle, and resting in a mountain that would be their final base, Maki suddenly stood up. Her hands were shaking.
“What is it? Are you tired? You have to rest, or tomorrow will be hard for you.”
Sauro was looking at her worriedly, and so Maki sat back down. As the others watched, Maki opened her mouth.
“Norfe was thrown into prison with Chiharu.”
Things were moving much too fast. Sauro and Amia held their heads. They had to change their plans now. There would be no sleeping tonight.