“Oh, the current Saintesses must have a lot of free time. The castle is busy taking care of the guests, and here they are, frolicking with the bird people.”
They turned around and saw about ten people looking at them as they stepped out of three carriages. Unlike this country, these women wore one-piece dresses with skirts that puffed outwards. The men wore jackets and scarves around their necks.
They were clearly the royal family of some country. It was likely the middle-aged man among them that had spoken.
Sauro and Saikania scowled at them, but Chiharu stopped them from saying anything. It was not good for them to say anything careless before being properly introduced.
The chamberlain who was leading the guests frantically came forward.
“These are the current Sai-”
He began to introduce them, but…
“No need for that. I want to go rest.”
The man said, and ignoring Maki and Chiharu, they walked quickly away. The young man who was about Edwy’s age glanced at them with a bored expression and passed them. As for the young lady, she looked at Maki and Chiharu up and down and snorted before turning her back and walking away.
“Sauro, Saikania. What was that?”
“Inland royalty most likely.”
“Didn’t they come here to meet us?”
“I think so. But I do not know much about those countries.”
Oh, well. It was not as if they wanted to be presented before everyone. It was a silly ceremony that they were a part of through necessity. They would do what they had to, and return to their peaceful lives. That was what Maki and Chiharu thought.
For some reason, the speed at which the magical gems generated would not slow down, and they would constantly be popping off of their heads, even when they wore a ribbon.
And this was witnessed by the inland people.
“How utterly filthy.”
“Bodies that gather miasma.”
“Why don’t they just hole up in their palace and stay there forever?”
They said. The guards even tried to rebuke them for this, royalty or not. But Chiharu and Maki would not allow it. Still, if they thought that it was filthy, then they shouldn’t have come to see them. And yet they would come to gawk and throw insults anyway.
And then the incident occurred just as Maki and Chiharu had had enough.
It was right after a banquet on the eve of the unveiling ceremony. Maki and Chiharu were talking to a cute princess from the southern lands. This princess and the children of her attendants had taken a liking to Maki, Chiharu, and the bird people. The other adults had looked at this warmly.
“Princess Meiya. I would advise you to keep your distance from these Saintesses.”
“Oh, but why, Princess Chouze? We are having so much fun talking.”
The small princess asked with puzzlement. They clearly knew each other. Maki and Chiharu braced themselves for more annoying behavior.
“But do you not know, Meiya? These Saintesses gather miasma on their foreheads. They will contaminate you if get too close to them.”
“Chouze, I have learned it just recently. The Saintesses purify our world of miasma at their own expense.”
“They are foul because they have to collect the miasma to purify. Now, let’s go somewhere else.”
“I refuse. I prefer the company of Maki and Chihaaru.”
The young Meiya said flatly. Wonderful!