“…Something like that.”
Chiharu had given their family names out of habit.
“We’re very sorry about last night.”
Maki said as her head popped out next to Chiharu.
“It is fine. We are happy to see that you look well this morning. Would you like to take your breakfast now?”
Miso soup was the best for the day after drinking, but they couldn’t be too picky now. Wait, this was miso soup!
“The last Saintess had this made through various testing.”
“His Majesty will tell you the details.”
So saying, they prepared miso soup, rice balls, eggs and pickles for us. The miso soup had the kind of nostalgic taste that reminded you of your grandmother’s house. The broth smelled of dried sardines, kelp, and a little shiitake mushrooms. Chiharu and Maki ate their breakfast and enjoyed some black tea afterward.
“Your predecessor said that she wanted to drink grin tea, but we did not know how to make it. But she knew how to make miso, because she had made it where she came from.”
“She said it was a light green and most fragrant tea.”
“Oh, green tea. It’s steamed instead of fermented.”
“Yeah. I think you steam it a little, and then squeeze and roast it repeatedly.”
Maki knew a lot, surprisingly.
“But I would think black tea is harder to make since it has to be fermented.”
Maki said as she cocked her head to the side.
“Oh! You must share this skill with the producers!”
Sera requested most passionately.
“Uh, I do know how it’s made. But I’m not sure if it will…”
“The craftsmen will cover for that through trial-and-error!”
And so it was somehow settled. Maki had gotten her first job here.
That aside, they needed to wash up and get changed after eating. They could get water at the press of a button here. The toilet didn’t have a flush, but it was immediately decomposed and turned into fertilizer. So it was very sanitary. Things were looking pretty good.
Apparently, the clothes that they had been wearing yesterday were being washed, so they had different clothes prepared for the day. First, they wore a cream colored one piece. It was loose around the arms and the hemline went down to their ankles. Over this, they wore a beautifully colored one piece that looked like a yukata without sleeves. This one went down to their calves. A belt went around their waist and it was done.
Their hair was just brushed and left untied. Chiharu and Maki stared at each other.
“This reminds of that thing.”
“Yeah, that thing.”
They couldn’t remember it.
“With the castle! And the dancing sea bream and flounders!”
“No. It’s Otohime-sama.”
Sera was wearing a type of maid outfit. But it looked a little eastern? Chiharu thought.
Taking a closer look, their clothes were made of several layers and had quiet colors. Oh yes, the manners and customs of a foreign land! Chiharu became very happy.
“These were modeled after the garments of your predecessor’s country.”
Oh, I see! She was quite busy, eh? Well, she must have been treated very well then. That’s good.
“Preparations have finished. What will you do now?”
“What do you mean?”
“I am sure you would like to know what is happening. You can either call his majesty here, or you can go and see him in his office. You may also choose to stay locked up in here and see no one until your heart is ready.”
“See no one?”
“It is said that the Saintess, I believe it was five generations ago, she was afraid of non-humans and never did get accustomed to living here. Your predecessor was also unable to be comfortable around the beastmen…”
“Oh, Rasche! Are there many of them?”
“Yes, they are about a tenth of the population.”
Maki became very excited.
“These beastmen, are there all kinds of…”
“Maki-chan, that can come later.”
Maki grew sullen.
Sorry. But, really.
This place was not their land. They were at a disadvantageous position. So…
“We will go and see him.”
Otohime-sama is the princess from the folktale Urashima Tarou, which Maki confused with The Little Mermaid.