Still, Hendra speaking here, the controversialist of the mermaid race.
I finally arrived on land after swimming along the currents indicated by Prince Arowana.
“This must be it!”
The ‘saint’s’ farm where Princess Platy is living in seclusion.
I transformed myself by taking a humanizing potion, put on a pair of pants, and walked further onto the land in a decent getup.
And then, I met someone.
“Excuse me, is this the farm run by the saint?”
I spoke to the person politely but without any signs of abasement.
As a person who calls himself a controversialist, it’s only natural to adjust my attitude to this level.
Then, I instantly recognized that the person I asked was from the demon race.
“Indeed. Although, I’m not a resident here. I’m just a guest who comes here from time to time to relax.”
“I’m sorry to disturb you. If you don’t mind, I’d like to meet the head of this place…”
As we conversed, I started to feel bothered.
Why is there a demon in the place where Princess Platy is supposed to be hiding?
Is this place already under their control?
“Understood… Lord Saint! Lord Saint! You have a visitor!!!”
I could tell that this demon shouting loudly is no ordinary person.
In addition to his burly build, the aura he radiates is like a blade that has been forged in a hundred battles.
Be of demonfolk as he may, no more than ten people can possess such air of supremacy.
Just what kind of farm does this ‘saint’ have for a brawny demon to be staying here?
“Here I am! What’s up, Demon King?”
Not long after, a contrastively lanky young man who looked like a human(?) came from the fields.
Wait, what did he just say?
“He said he wanted to meet you, Lord Saint. It seems he’s a merman.”
“Ah! You must be the substitute Prince Arowana told us about! Thank you for coming all the way here!” greets the man in a very mellow demeanor.
From what he was called, that means he’s the saint?
“So, you do exist!”
My speculation was right off the mark.
So, he’s the man who won Princess Platy’s heart?
“O-Oh! Pardon me. Indeed, I am Hendra, and I’ve received a package from Prince Arowana. I know this is abrupt of me, but I’d like to see Princess Platy…”
“Yes, of course! This way, please! Platy! Platy, someone’s here to see you!!!”
Anyway, I went and followed him.
The saint that I thought was imaginary actually exists. Not only that, the vast fields around him are sublime.
I couldn’t get rid of my bewilderment.
Even that burly demon walking harmoniously with the saint…
“I’m sorry, Demon King, I made you receive a visitor…”
“I’ve lived here for a while, so it’s not a problem. No need for formalities between us, Lord Saint.”
Princess Platy really is here.
How many months has it been since I’ve seen her countenance?
“You’re my brother’s substitute, aren’t you? Thanks for coming this far.”
As soon as I handed over the compounding tools Prince Arowana had given me, I immediately began to talk about my own business, that is, the imminent invasion of the demon race.
Now that the Human Kingdom has been destroyed, we’re probably next in line as a new target for their war.
Before that happens, we have to do everything we can to hold them off.
Princess Platy, please assist us!
I plead to the princess, who is also an extraordinary witch.
“Ah, so the Mermaid Kingdom is in such a state right now.”
The princess’ response was somewhat indifferent.
“Well, not that I didn’t see it coming. Why don’t you ask the person himself to know of the real situation?
“T-The person himself?”
“So, Demon King. Does the demon race plan to invade the Mermaid Kingdom?”
Princess Platy asked the burly demon whom I first encountered upon arriving.
“That’s a stupid question. We have no reason to invade the Mermaid Kingdom.”
“The war with the human race was merely a defensive one we accepted because they initiated it. We judged that they would not stop attacking us until they were destroyed as a nation,” says the burly demon in a dignified voice.
“I’m sure merfolk wouldn’t want a war with us demons. We will only respond equally in turn. Hostility for hostility, camaraderie for camaraderie.”
“So, there you have it. Straight from Demon King Zedan himself.”
Demon King Zedannnnnnnnnnn?!
He’s the king of the Demon Kingdom and the commander of their army!
Why is such an important person here?!
“That’s just the kind of place this is. See that human girl hoeing the fields just outside the window?”
“Yes? What of her, princess?”
“That’s Letasreit, the former princess of the Human Kingdom.”
What is with this place?! Why are the royal families of the human, demon, and mermaid race all gathered here?!
“I come here whenever I get a break from politics to calm my dissolute mind. Prince Arowana often relaxes here as well,” says King Zedan.
“You’re also acquainted with our prince, sir?!”
“More than that. Prince Arowana and I are sumo buddies. When he becomes the Mermaid King, I can assure you of a hundred years of friendship with the Demon Kingdom.”
When did you start dabbling in diplomacy?!
You’ve already become a close friend of the most powerful head of state on earth!
Is this why you ignored the domestic disputes and went on a pilgrimage because you were convinced that there’s nothing to worry about?!
“The prince also stopped by our capital on his way and made acquaintance with many of our senior statesmen. It is the consensus of both kingdoms to formally announce their friendship with each other one of these days.”
“One of these days? Why not right now?”
“It’s a trick I’ve used before, when those who should speak are silent, the rash will start acting rashly.”
“I’m sure Prince Arowana would want to clean up the old regime before he becomes king himself. He’s waiting for the place to heat up so that he can easily take the rebels by surprise while training himself in the meantime.”
I-Is that so…
Those who blame the current regime for not marrying off Princess Platy to a demon race are also generally more critical of the current regime.
They’ll definitely have the egg on their face the moment the truth comes out.
They will be shown that the current regime, which they’ve been rebuking so much, is highly capable, and will be irrefutable evidence that what they’ve been advocating isn’t worth believing.
After that, their influential voice will rapidly grow weaker, and it will be the perfect opportunity to bring the rebels out into the open.
And the more openly rebellious they act, the easier it will be to catch them.
So, that’s what Prince Arowana’s silence and further absence are aimed at!
He doesn’t need to be impatient since he already has established firm relations with the other nation and promises a great comeback that will turn things around!
“You look like you’ve figured it all out. Merfolk really are quick-witted.”
“Hendra is my brother’s favorite, after all.”
I have nothing to worry about now!
Prince Arowana, I knew you were worthy of being entrusted with the future of the Mermaid Kingdom!
“…My suspicions have been cleared. I shall be taking my leave!”
“Leaving so soon? Why don’t you have a meal before you go? You could even share stories about what’s happening to the other mermaids living here with me.”
And then, Princess Platy calls out to some people in a loud voice.
“Lampeye! Garra Rufa! Sister-in-law! Come here for a minute!”
A tall woman with flaming red hair appeared in response to Princess Platy’s call.
Hmm? I think I’ve seen her somewhere…
“What can I do for you, princess?”
“Only you showed up, huh? Oh, well. We have a visitor from the Mermaid Kingdom. Maybe you can have a little chat with him…”
The tall woman looked at me and noticed.
I also noticed at the same time.
“You’re the Imperial guard who beat me up during my audience with His Majesty!”
“You’re the bastard who bad-mouthed Princess Platy in front of His Majesty!”