“Now, let’s go.”
Aeris said. The merfolk were sad to see them leave, but the birdfolk followed them off of the island.
“We weren’t able to get enough water, so you won’t be able to shower. I’m very sorry. But we’ll be landing directly in the palace gardens. So you will have a room immediately.”
“It’s fine. We had a lot of fun.”
Chiharu laughed dryly when she heard Maki say they had fun. Chiharu never did like roller coasters. Or heights. And yet she had felt like she was a dolphin in a show.
Hm? What’s happening? I don’t even like swimming, but I’m suddenly swimming very fast. Especially that moment she had shot out of the water. That hadn’t been fun at all. Chiharu thought that maybe she was starting to fit in with this world more than she had known.
And so the airship took the two satisfied Saintesses and headed to the elf lands. However, Aaron’s expression was dark.
“Hey, Aeris. Are we really going directly to the castle?”
“What? Because we didn’t tell them in advance? It should be fine. In any case, Maki and Chiharu will have to meet the king. It will be quicker this way than returning to the laboratory.”
“I think you’re being too optimistic.”
Maki and Chiharu didn’t quite understand what this conversation meant, and they turned to look at Edwy. He just lightly shook his head to the side. He too had not visited the elf lands much, and didn’t understand. However, the elf lands were right under their eyes. Maki and Chiharu were quickly fixed to the window.
“Yes. I thought the elf lands would be deep in the forest.”
From the window, they could see that the elf lands were vast stretches of land with gentle hills. There were forests and rivers as well. But the land where people lived was surrounded by fences, and not inside of the forest. They could see many houses there, and small white dots that might have been sheep. People seemed to be moving horses and with carriages. Some even saw the airship and waved.
“There are a lot of flat lands and hills near the palace. But you will see more trees and forests the closer you get to the Shadow World. The dwarf lands had similar plantlife to the human territories, didn’t they?”
Aeris asked them as he piloted the airship.
“Like the human territories? Yes, aside from the fruits, it seemed quite similar. Are the elf lands so different?”
Chiharu turned her head and asked. Aeris nodded.
“It is quite strange, but is different in the elf and beast lands. They say that it has to do with the miasma from the Shadow World, but no one knows for sure. I’m sure I told you before, but most things are bigger.”
Were the sheep and horses also bigger? They started to get excited by the thought. Or were they? Horses were already big. Chiharu and Maki started to worry.
“Look. You can see the palace from here.”
And so they went closer to Aeris.
“Woah, it’s so big…”
The Midland castle had been a complicated structure that was on a hill, overlooking the sea. The dwarf castle had been big, but it also felt like it was part of the town. The Lowland castle felt like a collection of large mansions.
However, the elf castle was on wide, flat ground, and almost looked like a single town by itself. There was a vast garden, and in the back they saw a huge three-story building that was likely the castle where the king lived. From above, they could see that it was shaped like a rectangle with empty space in the center, showing there was a large courtyard. A white pattern ran through the green garden, and they could see carriages moving towards and away from the buildings. Each road led to a different large castle. And to the right side, there was a large forest and to the left, a large lake.
“As you two were expecting, there are elves that live in tree houses deep in the forest as well. However, the king lives here. It is said that dwarves were called here a long time ago, and they built this castle with stone bricks. While elves did not meet other races too often back then, they wanted to make a place that everyone would feel comfortable in.”
“So that’s why it looks close to a human castle.”
“Most castles are made by dwarves, regardless of country. So it is not exactly human. Anyway, let’s go down.”
Aeris said as he quietly landed the airship near the largest of the castle’s entrances. Then things suddenly became very noisy outside of the airship. Aeris heard this and clicked his tongue.
“So this is what happens, even when you don’t tell them. How annoying. That’s why I didn’t want to return to the elf lands. Aaron!”
“I know. Maki. Chiharu. Listen carefully.”
Aaron called them with a serious expression.
“Aeris is very popular in the elf lands. You may be surprised, but all we have to do is overcome this obstacle and meet with the king. Then our business is finished. Stay behind Edwy and me and we’ll quietly go to Aeris’s room.”
Maki and Chiharu gulped. Elves were generally not interested in people. It didn’t matter if they were a prince or a Saintess. Well, it was more that they weren’t interested in ‘humans.’ So, was Aeris like some kind of idol here?
They had not imagined this situation at all.