5-6. The Rat Princess
Satou's here. Princesses are often present in fairy-tales. But don't you think that there are a lot of suffering princesses?
At least, I'd like it if they end up in happily ever after.
"Have you come to?"
I asked gently while feeling relieved. However, the girl takes a leap to distance herself from me. No, she tried to but because of her anemia she got her feet tangled and tumbled over.
"...Where is Mize?"
I don't know that name, but I could only think one person.
"Is that the red helmet from the rat-man cavalries?"
Although she's right to be on guard, she sure is a taciturn girl.
"After entrusting you to us, he went to bravely fight the monsters... and died."
"It can't be..."
I hesitated for a bit whether to tell a lie to prevent her from getting shocked, but I decided to tell her the truth.
Her face went pale, she must be shocked.
"I am Satou. A traveling merchant. May I ask your name?"
I can see it with AR, but it's proper to introduce yourself to start a conversation.
A short answer came out after a beat of silence.
Hu~m, it's difficult in quite different way than Lulu.
"Princess-sama, have awaken~"
"Ah, her name is Mia it seems."
"Eh~, I'm Arisa. Nice to meet you, Mia."
Arisa is dumbfounded after introducing herself and looked at Mia's face.
"What is the meaning of this, I wonder?"
Arisa is coming to me. Does she not use Status Check?
"What do you want to ask, say it."
Arisa takes a deep breath.
"Why is it an elf!"
Arisa said so while pointing at the pale pointed ear of Mia.
Still, I don't think you need to be affected to this degree, right?
"It wasn't the rat-men's princess?"
"It's your fault that you did not properly check on it."
Certainly I thought that I was mistaken when I received her. Although, that's why I took the elf language in the first place. I conversed with Mia in elf language too, did Arisa not hear it?
"Kuh, even though I've made her a special cheese platter..."
I thought the saying that rats like cheese is just a folklore. Wasn't it the fault of western animations.
"Oh well. More importantly, let's eat!"
Arisa pull Mia's hand to make her forcibly stands up.
"If you're hungry, you'll just end up getting even more depressed, let's eat a lot and cry a lot! That's the best memorial service for the departed."
Those are some good words coming from Arisa. I have a feeling that she quoted it from somewhere, but I won't make fun of it.
Mia is overwhelmed by Arisa's vigor, and she take a seat for the meal.
I interpret for the two of them while walking together.
I understand this after we've talked for a bit, even though Mia can't talk in Shiga language, she can understand the rough meaning of it.
Thanks to that I could finish the meal without having to become an interpreter for the little girls.
From the AR, I know Mia's stat, her age is 130 years old. A woman. Level 7. Her skills are, [Water Magic], [Bow], [Spirit Seer], those three. Her titles are, [Maze's Master], and [Little Child of Boluenan Forest]. Her true name is Misanalia Boluenan. I think that her nickname should be Lia, is it because of a custom of the elves?
Mazes huh. Are those different from labyrinths?
From her appearance, she looks to be midway between Arisa's and Lulu's age. Her breast is even more humble compared Arisa-- for Mia's sake I won't talk more than this.
Her hair is light turquoise almost blue rather than green. Her pupils are beautiful emerald greens. Her skin is white, and her body is thin to the point of almost looking unhealthy.
Still, I'm worried whether I'm cursed with a spell that makes me draw little girls.
Mia is eating only vegetables while avoiding meats since a while. The meats that she refused are shrewdly taken by Tama. From the opposite side, Pochi is swapping her vegetables to Mia's plate.
If you're picky with your foods, you won't grow big you know?
The one I'm most worried about, Liza, is intoxicatedly chewing on the wild boar's leg meat, she's not paying attention to her surrounding. I'll leave her alone.
Lulu is busy acting as a waitress. Since Arisa is taking care of her, even while Lulu is busy, she's still properly eating.
"Boar meat is delicious~"
"Meat stuck on bones is good nodesu."
"Mia too, do eat without refrain."
'Meat, I dislike.'
"She dislikes meat she said."
"Arara, how very elf-like."
'I am an elf.'
"Lulu, don't give her only vegetables, please cut some fruits too."
'I like pears.'
"She likes pears she said."
Mia's replies were shorts, but she did what she could to establish communication with the little girls.
After finishing our meal, everyone is drinking teas made by Lulu.
Since Pochi and Tama don't seem like they have interest with tea, they're enjoying an after-meal nap on the sheet. Liza and Lulu are doing the clean-up.
I search for [Bornean Forest] in the travel journal book. It's located south from here, adjacent to the a Shiga kingdom duke's territory. It's a bit off from the route to the Labyrinth city from here, but it's not like we could not go to it.
I'll be fine with escort her there, but it's probably a good idea to check the reason why those ants were chasing her. I don't think that it was just a chance encounter when it was that many.
I ask her in elf language. I'm careful as to not make it sounds like a cross-examination.
"Mia, I have a few things to ask you about, is it fine?"
"Could I hear the reason why those large swarms of flying ant were chasing you?"
"...They came to capture."
Mia answer my questions bit by bit. I feel bad for everyone else, but I'll translate the informations I got from the conversation to them later.
"Why did the ants want to catch you?"
"Because it's necessary."
Well, yeah, of course.
If I don't plan my question better, I won't get the answer I want.
"Who is the one who need you?"
It's a good news that it's not the same kind as wagahai-kun.
"Do you know why you're needed?"
"For the maze."
Still, mazes huh, this is a world with a lot of mysterious words huh. Her title is master of maze after all, I wonder if the maze can't function if she's not there.
"Where is the maze located?"
"Is it near here?"
It's probably where that mist, or rather ants, came from.
Although, it's not like I intend to go there.
"What is that magician doing in the maze?"
"Making things like ants or puppets."
So the ant was made huh, they're like the subspecies of the ants from the labyrinth. By puppets, is it the moving dolls?
Nevertheless, even though I don't know for what reason the magician is gathering forces, it's probably not for something good. Judging from the position, it's to wage war with Seryuu city maybe?
"Do you know what they are made for?"
Mia's face which had became red after taking the meal is turning pale. It looks like she knows but she doesn't want to tell or remember.
"Do you think that magician will come after you?"
That would be so huh.
That mean I can't just push her to the manager of the worker guild. If possible, I would have wanted to.
Even if war breaks out, I don't think that Seryuu city armed forces would lose, but the flying monsters might indiscriminately attack the girls I know somewhere in the city. It's painful to even think about it.
Should I become the silver masked hero, persuade or force the magician to give up on the maze, and push the magician to the soldiers on the gate of seryuu city? I feel like the plan is too simplistic.
Lastly, let's ask what the person herself want.
"Mia, Mize-san asked you me to take you to your home or to the same tribe. Which one do you wish?"
"...I want to go home."
"Everyone, we'll take a detour to bring Mia home, is that fine?"
I asked everyone beside the two who were sleeping. Since no one disagree, it's decided.