“Nothing dangerous. But you are still Saintesses. That means you’re important.”
Wasn’t a prince more important? Oh, well. They now had permission to go outside. And when they did, they saw a vast white beach.
As they ran along the water’s edge, the waves splashed at their feet and then drew back. The evening sea reflected the light and sparkled. Behind them, Edwy and Aaron were likely standing watch. Aeris was probably tying the airship down. However, there was no one in front of them. It was as if Maki and Chiharu were the only people in this world.
They could see the elf lands in the distance. The waves crashed at their feet. The wind was just slightly warm, signaling the end of summer as it blew through their hair.
Chiharu muttered as she looked at the sea. Maki turned to her in surprise. Chiharu’s eyes were just a little red.
“I felt so stifled and held back. But now I feel sad that there is no one around.”
Maki silently offered her hand.
Chiharu looked puzzled.
“Yes. Give me your hand.”
Chiharu did, and Maki squeezed it.
“You’re not alone.”
And so they held hands as the waves silently came and pulled away.
“Ah, why don’t they call for us?”
Edwy asked as they watched from afar.
“I could hold their hands if they wanted. I could even embrace them.”
Aaron sounded exasperated.
“Well, if it is what they wanted, yes.”
Edwy turned a little red. This prince was still too inexperienced, and could not hold Maki and Chiharu’s hands by himself. It was then that Aeris completely ignored them and caught up with Maki and Chiharu.
And with his big body, he wrapped his arms around both of them as they held hands.
“Ahh, I am so jealous!”
“Edwy. You need to be bolder in order to go against the White Philosopher.”
“Bold? I see. But I…”
Just when Edwy made his decision and took a step towards Maki and Chiharu, the two of them laughed and slipped away from Aeris. Then they ran towards Edwy and Aaron. Maki grabbed Edwy’s hand.
“Edwy. Let’s go and gather some firewood!”
“Huh? Uh. Okay.”
Edwy looked a little embarrassed. At the same time, Chiharu called to Aaron.
“What about you?”
“I will wait with the Philosopher.”
Chiharu looked a little puzzled, and then she grabbed Edwy’s other hand.
“Now, let’s go get the firewood!”
They pulled Edwy away towards the forest.
“Ahh. He is probably very red right about now.”
“While they treat him like a little brother, that’s not bad either.”
Aaron looked at Aeris with an exasperated expression. Aeris just grinned back.
“Use what you can. Isn’t that the key to getting what you want?”
“I wish all of the elves in the castle could see you now, Philosopher.”
“They will see more than enough of me tomorrow.”
“So you’re not going to deny it.”
Well, at least he was aware.
“We have magic tools for making a fire, so we don’t need firewood. But I suppose it has its charms.”
That night, they had a simple meal around the campfire. And perhaps it was a more memorable event for Edwy than it was for even Maki and Chiharu. It was just a little chilly for a summer night. But the fire was hot. Chiharu’s cheeks looked soft on the other side of the flames. Her dark eyes seemed to dance when they caught the light. And the friendly banter seemed to continue on forever.
Of course, they had no idea that the light of the fire showed their position in the darkness of the night. From the sea and sky.