C65: Mermaid Prisoner No. 2

My name is Lampeye.
I myself am one of the members of an embarrassing group called The Great Mad Witches, with an equally embarrassing nickname: Witch of Hellfire.
Before I was arrested, I used to serve the Mermaid Kingdom as an Imperial guard.

I’m skilled in pharmaceutical magic, particularly with fire and explosive types of offensive magic potions, which got me my nickname.

One time, I struck down an imprudent fellow with righteous indignation.
To make matters worse, he was the son of a mermaid aristocrat.
Thus, I was incarcerated for my crime.

Under normal circumstances, I would’ve received an instant death penalty. The fact that I was only imprisoned was probably due to the efforts of the royal family behind the scenes.
However, I am also a person who serves the public. I can’t afford to cause any more trouble to the royal family.
I thought of ending my life in prison and settling matters alone.

That’s when Prince Arowana gave me an unexpected proposal.

“What do you say you go to a faraway prison to cool your head?”

With the royal family concerning themselves with me, there was no way I could refuse.
I accepted my own fate.
My journey toward new land began whilst accompanied by two other people; Witch of the Bitter Cold, Puffer, and Witch of the Plague, Garra Rufa.

Just like me, they are also considered mad witches belonging to The Mad Six.
Frankly speaking, it’s a terrible insult to someone like me, a splendid Imperial guard, to be considered in the same league as these two.

After all was said and done, we arrived at our destination—the land.

Does this mean we’re going to live here?

“Drink this, all three of you,” says Prince Arowana as he offers us something.

…?!
Is this…the newest humanizing potion drug developed by Princess Platy?!
There are no side effects or time limits to it, either!

It’s said to be the perfected drug, one of the greatest achievements in the history of the mermaid race achieved by none other than Her Highness!

I’ll drink it! Please let me!!!
As an Imperial guard serving the royal court, it is with great honor that I get to be one of the test subjects of Princess Platy’s new drug!

I will drink it in one go!

…Glug, glug, glug!

It reeks of medicine.

The lower half of my body is turning into a foamy mess which eventually transformed into a pair of land-dweller legs, making it super convenient to walk!

“The drug Platy made has a permanent effect, meaning you won’t be able to return to your mermaid form under natural circumstances. But knowing you clever ladies, I’m sure there’s no need for me to inform you of this.”
“Ohh.”

Huh?!

My fellow convict, Puffer, rushes straight into the sea after she drank the medicine!

“Bwah! Bwah! It hurts! I can’t breathe! I’m dying!!!”

Of course it would hurt!
Now that we’ve transformed into terrestrial beings, it’s obvious that we have lost the ability to breathe underwater.

“Scientists must always get their facts from experiments, so I wanted to test it out.”

That may be so, but please bear in mind the position you’re in right now.

Don’t blame us if you got killed after what looked like you attempting to flee!
…But there is some truth to her words.

This is also my first time intaking a humanizing potion. After taking permission from Prince Arowana, I also dove underwater to test things for myself.

Bwah!

It’s suffocating! I can’t breathe through my gills! I can’t breathe through my gills!!!

That was an eye-opening experience.
I heard that the new drug developed by the Princess doesn’t let you revert into your mermaid form unless you intake the other medicine that cancels it.
In other words, we cannot return to the sea without due permission.

I see. This makes this place a penal colony then.
In a way, no place is more severe and despairing to exile mermaids.

While I was deep in thought, someone came from the opposite side.
Is that…a demon?!

“We are so glad that you have come. I, Batemy, have been ordered by the Saint to show you around.”

Is this area within the demon’s sphere of influence?!
Things are getting weirder and weirder. It’s making me worry.

“We will be heading to Lord Saint’s house from here. However, there is something I must inform you all about.

Something to inform us about?

“Yes. The saint has established a few rules for you to live by here. Among them, there is one particular rule you must obey.”

That sounds serious.
I personally have no objections to it, but the other two people with me are quite the rebellious type. If they feel like they’re being repressed, they will rebel all the more.

“The rule is that you mustn’t walk on land while exposing your lower half!”

Huh?

“It means you can’t go out in public with your nether region exposed for the world to see! That’s why I prepared underwear, skirts, and pants for you to use. Please put them on right away!”


The land sure has some peculiar customs.

This so-called underwear is clinging to my buttocks tightly that it’s making me uncomfortable.
When I pointed this out, the demoness got red in the face and told us in a loud voice that we’ll get used to it.

There isn’t really anything to shout about, is there?

The three of us—me, Puffer, and Garra Rufa were led by the demoness further within the land.

Since we are convicts, we must behave ourselves and obediently follow her.
The guards escorting us earlier have left, leaving only Prince Arowana accompanying us.

I wonder what kind of place this is?
It looks neither like a town nor a village.

I was even more surprised when we went further in… there were anthropomorphic monsters such as orcs and goblins.

I’m not that familiar with land monsters, so this is my first time seeing them!

“…Ah, greetings. You are the rumored recruits who have come from the Mermaid Kingdom, yes?”
“H-Hello?”
“My name is Orkubo, and I lead the orc team. I look forward to working with you.”
“L-Likewise?”

We exchanged greetings with the monsters.

I didn’t know land monsters were highly intelligent beings equipped with the ability to talk.

After our exchanges, the monsters immediately returned to the work they were engaged initially in——farming.
I felt more anxious the more I observed them.
It is said that it is in the anthropomorphic monster’s nature to follow the demon race.

The demoness that welcomed us and monsters that follow them…

Maybe this place really is within the demons’ sphere of influence?

That means…the saint is also a demon?!
Was there some secret pact formed between the Mermaid and Demon Kingdoms?

While I was in a state of confusion, we arrived at our final destination.

What a grand-looking building.
Even with my explosive magic potions, it would certainly be difficult to blow it up!

“…Don’t do what I think you’re going to do,” interrupts Puffer, standing beside me.

Could you not read other’s minds and treat them like they’re some kind of terrorist?!

As we were arguing like so, Prince Arowana startled me by shouting out of nowhere.

“Heyyyyy! Platy!!!”

Huh?!
I was surprised by the loudness of his voice, but I was even more surprised by what he said.

Did the Prince really just…

“I brought the backup you asked for! Where are you?!”

In response to the voice, the doorway of the huge storehouse opened with a creak…and out came a person!

“Geez, you don’t have to be that loud for me to hear you. You’re embarrassing me!”

Princess Platyyyyyyyyy?!

The Princess Platy whom I should devote my entire life serving as an Imperial guard?!
Why is the Princess here?!

This is just my guess, but… does this mean I’m going to serve Princess Platy here?!
If that’s the case, there’s no way this place is hell for me!
It’s heaven, I say! Heaven!!!

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