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A Blue Sky Day

It was quite the luxury to have lunch prepared for you in the garden. They would not have been able to ask for it yesterday. However, it seemed that being overly modest here would probably only make them worry. Or so Chiharu thought, and so she had declared that she wanted to go out to the gardens.

The season seemed to be the same as Japan. As they looked at the garden with its beautiful rose-like flowers, a table was set out with some light dishes for them to eat.

"We prepared some refreshing drinks for you, but please call if you prefer some tea instead."

So saying, the guards and even Sera moved away to where we couldn't see them.

Chiharu and Maki sat down in their chairs. The wind was refreshing.

"I wasn't able to ask about whether we could return."

"There was hardly an opportunity to."

"Yeah, I was too shocked."

Both touched their smooth foreheads at the same time.

"…"

"…"

"Something's growing again."

“I hope it doesn’t fall off this time. Can you imagine accidentally dropping something worth a million?”

A small gem was already taking shape on their foreheads. But wasn't it supposed to be just once a month?

"I know! What if you covered it with a net, kind of like those hothouse mangoes?"

"Aah, so it will fall off when it is ripe and the net catches it."

"Yeah."

"But then I'll look like I'm injured."

Chiharu protested. Maki thought about it.

"Oh, I know. That ninja thing."

"Ah, a headband?"

"Yeah, you can put a Saintess mark on it."

"Saintess mark? …like a third eye?"

"No waaay."

"No way."

Both of them looked up in despair. Then Chiharu said:

"Realistically, I think we should cover it with a ribbon and tie the bow on the side of our heads."

“Ouch. I can’t do that as a 25-year-old.”

"Well, it's better than a net or a bandanna. And dropping it too."

"I guess so."

"So in other words…"

"Huh?"

“He said 'once a year’ at the end.'”

"Yeah."

“That means we’ll die here without ever going back, doesn’t it?”

"…Yeah."

The sky was blue, and the wind brought the scent of flowers with it. The food smelled good.

"Let's eat."

"We can't fight on an empty stomach."

"Because you're a ninja now?"

"We already rejected that option."

Their breakfast had consisted of rice balls, but lunch was centered around bread. The first thing that caught their eyes was the salad. It was shredded carrots and radishes that were marinated and placed into small white bowls. The subtly sweet and sour flavor was a great appetizer. Next was thin slices of what resembled French bread that was covered in blue and yellow pastes. There was also thin slices of ham and fat omelets that were half the size of the palm of your hand. There were also oysters that were cooked in a golden oil and stuffed with meat.

Once they took their first bite, they could hardly stop. Of course, this was not an amount that they could actually finish. However, the food had just the right kind of spices that kept the food delicious even after it cooled down. And they wanted to take at least one bite of everything.

Once they were satisfied, they tasted the drinks that had been prepared.

"It smells like grapefruit. Maybe it's water with just the peels inside?"

"It's not sweet, but it's refreshing. I feel like I drank this before?"

"Last night, before bed."

"Ahh…"

Some things were best left forgotten. The sky was so blue today. Maki thought.

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