Their work began the very next morning after the welcome party.
“I’m sure you already know what this place is and how it came to be…”
Puffer, Lampeye, and Garra Rufa sit right next to each other as Platy assumes a teacher-like stance in front of them.
She’s the one who originally asked for helpers, so I’m going to leave this to her.
“What I want you to do is assist me in making fermented food and medicine. We’ll also be researching new food development in response to Dear’s requests. I possibly can’t take all of these by myself, but by splitting the load between us four, it should make things easier…” say Platy, a little teary-eyed.
Forgive me. But you won’t be carrying this load all on your own anymore.
“I’ve already asked my stupid brother to bring in the compounding equipment for you, so you can start working right away, but…”
Platy suddenly stops her seminar and turns towards my direction.
“Why are you all here?!”
Starting from me, Veil, Batemy, Belena, and the entire monster team all gathered behind Platy.
Prince Arowana and Sensei were a little tipsy from last night’s party, so they already went home.
“Don’t you have your own work to do?! Get back to work!!!”
Sure, we have the fields to take care of and stuff, but…
“What? As the master of this land, I want to witness how the newcomers are being trained!” is the excuse I came up with.
As a matter of fact, I am curious about how newcomers are being guided here, so I want to watch.
“Madam, with all due respect, we, the monster team, are going to take in new staff soon. Please allow us to observe your method of teaching the newcomers,” says Orkubo on behalf of the monster team.
Now, these guys are the ones who take things seriously.
Batemy and Belena were next.
“We thought it would be interesting to watch.”
Straight-up honest, I like it.
Last but not the least, Veil.
“I have nothing else to do.”
Good lord, work then.
That’s how things are, Mrs. Platy. So, please allow us to observe.
“You say that, but these girls aren’t amateurs, they have adequate experience already. They’re effective workers who can start right away without my guidance. So, I don’t think this will be useful as a reference to you, Orkubo.”
I guess she’s right.
They are members of the Great Mad Witches, a notorious group infamous in the mermaid world, my wife included.
…No matter how many times I utter its name, it still sounds so lame.
“If it’s just normal compounding, I can show it to you right away, three times faster than normal.”
“While I was serving as an Imperial guard, I neglected anything unrelated to the compounding of offensive magic potions. I would appreciate it if you would give me some time to get the hang of things once again, princess.”
“I’d be more than happy to cultivate malt and yeast!”
These newcomers sure are more than handy.
…In case anyone forgot; these three women used to be prisoners in the Mermaid Kingdom. Their reason for being here is also under some kind of plea bargain.
I was worried about employing such people since some of them have complicated backgrounds, such as avoiding strife with a certain authority or fixing their anger issues. But Platy, the employer herself, seemed to be fine with it.
“Don’t worry. All three of them have their own reasons to willingly work here,” declared Platy to me last night.
First, we have Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire.
She used to serve the Mermaid Kingdom as an Imperial guard, hence her loyalty to Platy is absolute.
Heck, the reason why she ended up being here was that she beat up a mermaid aristocrat who bad-mouthed her princess.
And since she’s that devoted to serving Platy, she wouldn’t even think of doing anything rash, such as running away or defying her. If anything, she would savor the joys of life just following Platy like a dog.
Next is Garra Rufa, the Witch of the Plague.
She is a woman with undeniable talent who foresaw the existence of bacteria in this fantasy parallel world. But that also brought ruin upon her as she was driven out of her nation and was brought here.
For her, my soy sauce, miso, and dried yeast ideas validate her theories. In other words, they’re gospel.
She would be more than glad to engage herself in work here because of her disposition as a researcher who wants to prove the legitimacy of her theories and take them further.
…Or so what Platy told me last night about her.
Lastly, we have Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold.
She sounds like the hardest nut to crack out there, isn’t she? What with this rebellious aura surrounding her as if signaling others to make her submit to you by force.
At first, even Platy seemed worried about how to handle her, but after last night’s party, she was completely relieved. She said she’s the tamest one among the three.
I wondered what she meant by those words, but I gradually came to understand. This young lady, who appeared fairly temperamental, was sitting right next to Prince Arowana and looked like she didn’t want to leave his side at last night’s party. She was even enthusiastically pouring alcohol into the prince’s cup.
Since we don’t have the capacity to brew alcoholic beverages yet, all the liquor was brought by Prince Arowana.
She kept on insisting and making him drink it as if trying to take advantage of his drunken stupor so he’ll make the moves on her.
From then on, I knew for sure that Puffer is going to do a great job here, doing her best so that the prince wouldn’t hate her. And if things go well enough, she might even score plus points from him.
“The Six Witches may have attitude problems, but they were chosen as such because of the excellent ability they possess as pharmaceutical magic specialists,” muttered Platy. “It means one is qualified enough to be chosen as the mermaid queen in terms of true strength. My brother, the next in line to the throne, is at greater risk of being politically used than I am, so it’s better to take action sooner rather than later,” she added.
Such things were going on at the party last night.
Anyway, let’s bring ourselves back to the present time.
Platy started giving instructions to her first-ever assistants right away.
“All right, Puffer! Here’s what I want you to do!”
“Keh, I don’t really like being bossed around, but there’s no helpin’ it. So? What is it? I’ll show you what I can do with my title of the Witch of the Bitter Cold on the line.”
“Practice on confessing!!!”
Puffer lost her composure like some innocent, young maiden.
“What the hell are you talking about?! Who’s going to confess to who?!”
“To my stupid brother, of course. Now, repeat after me! ‘I like you! Will you please go out with me?’ Come on!”
“Like hell I’ll do thaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!”
They were called here to work and yet things have already taken a change of course.
If that’s the case…we might as well enjoy it.