Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire, is one of the mermaids who work at our farm.
She is also one of the Six Witches who are reputed to be the best potion-users and used to be a palace guard.
Perhaps it’s because of this personal background that she’s absolutely loyal to Platy, the merprincess. Platy’s enemies are also her enemies.
And because she used to be a guard, she’s unsurprisingly skilled in combat and often joins the orcs on their hunts.
Today’s story shall be revolving around her.
Yep, it’s me, Kidan.
I’ll be narrating the rest of the story from here.
I’ve been completely out of the loop since I couldn’t keep up with the political discussion between Platy, the Demon King, and the merman visitor.
The guest room that welcomed Prince Arowana’s substitute, who I believe is named Hendra, is in an uproar.
“Please step back, princess! You mustn’t approach this insolent fellow!”
“Look who’s talking! You’re the most worrisome person here, a violent soldier sticking around Princess Platy! What were the guards thinking?!”
The place is out of control with Hendra and Lampeye incessantly exchanging insults.
What in the world is going on?
Do they know each other?
“Is this perhaps…”
Platy, seated at the head of the table with a sour look on her face, seems to have an idea of what’s going on.
Actually, with the people gathered in this room right now, she’s the only person who can help us figure things out.
“Haven’t you heard how Lampeye came to be here, Dear?”
Basically, most of the mermaids working here are prisoners of the Mermaid Kingdom.
They are staying with us as part of a plea bargain that allows them to be exiled to our farm.
Lampeye is no exception, as she was also imprisoned back in the Mermaid Kingdom before she came here.
I think the reason she was apprehended was that of an incident of violence, she beat up an aristocrat right in front of the king’s presence.
“The aristocrat Lampeye beat to a pulp…”
“…I’ll explain things in detail.”
So, Hendra is an aristocrat?
“He’s an unaffiliated controversialist, but he has a good family background. That’s why he and my brother are close. I think he was born into a military family but ran away from home because he didn’t want to join the army… Or maybe he didn’t run away?”
What vague information.
In the meantime, Hendra and Lampeye’s squabble is becoming more and more heated.
“Princess! Permission to burn this insolent man to nothingness! A crook like him is definitely up to no good!”
“That’s my line! Weren’t you serving time in the Trench Prison? You escaped, didn’t you? I need to inform authorities and have you captured!!!”
Wait, wait, wait!
Calm down, both of you!!!
I don’t want any bloodshed on my farm!
“Ahh, I think I know what’s going on here,” says Platy confidently.
“What is it, Platy?”
“Brother sent Hendra here, didn’t he? He actually has this way about him. Though he’s kind, things just don’t follow through…”
“Lampeye is relatively decent among the mermaid prisoners sent to us. She was even an elite imperial guard. In fact, until she was imprisoned, she was known as ‘The Only Sensible One of the Six Witches.’”
The only stain on that name that made her a prisoner was her violent outburst in front of the king.
“Hendra was the victim in that incident. So, my brother sent him here, thinking that he might be able to clean off the only stain on Lampeye.”
That certainly sounds like something Prince Arowana would come up with.
“If Lampeye apologizes here and Hendra accepts it, her past sins will disappear and she will be released. There might even be a way for her to return to the Mermaid Palace as an imperial guard.”
And so, Platy faces Lampeye to ask her.
“Would you like to apologize to Hendra here?”
“No, thank you.”
An immediate reply.
“First of all, I have no desire to be reinstated as an imperial guard. It is my supreme pleasure to be here and be of service to the princess… Moreover!”
She’s getting more and more worked up as she speaks.
“I could never bow down to such an insolent man! I can recite what this man said in front of His Majesty in full verbatim!!!”
Besides, I bet Princess Platy is just some drug freak with no sense of decorum. No matter who you marry her with, things won’t go well.
“…Were his words! How could anyone forgive such a man?! As someone who pledged allegiance to the royal family, I will not tolerate such insults!!!”
“I mean… He wasn’t wrong,” says Platy herself.
She already fled the palace when the riot broke out, so she doesn’t know the full story.
“What exactly happened to make you say that, Hendra?”
“It pains me to have to explain this to the princess, but…”
Unsurprisingly enough, Hendra is humbling himself.
“It all started with Her Highness’ marriage controversy. It was a question of whether to marry the princess into the demon or the human race…”
“I was the so-called neutral party in that controversy. I strongly believed that the princess marrying into either race would only worsen the situation.”
“That is quite the valid argument.”
“I spoke directly to His Majesty to make my point known, but I got too carried away and the words slipped straight out of my mouth… That Lampeye happened to be on guard duty that time and overheard me.”
And so, it rained blood after.
“See? You’re the one who should apologize! Get down on your knees and apologize to Princess Platy for insulting her!!!”
“No, I cannot do that.”
“I’m a controversialist, and controversialists must do justice to their words, be it verbal gaffe or not. If I keep correcting and retracting every little detail, my words will eventually lose their power as a whole!”
I didn’t know controversialists were such bothersome people.
“That’s why I will not take back any of my verbal gaffes, even if I am beaten to death for it! For a controversialist who loses his arrogance is no longer a controversialist!”
“Enough! I will seal that mouth of yours so you can never speak again!”
“Oh, are you going to resort to violence again?”
“It’s not violence. It’s the iron hammer of justice. Those who disdain the royal family will be punished by me!”
“Very well. It was a surprise attack back then so I couldn’t put up much of a fight. I’ll prove to you that I’m not any inferior to a woman like you!”
That’s how things ended up.
Somehow, it turned into a duel between Hendra and Lampeye.
The two of them are already outside the mansion, trading blows with each other’s lances.
Also, Hendra is surprisingly strong.
He dodged Lampeye’s special explosive potion and landed a precise blow with his lance.
“Although he is a controversialist, he was born into an aristocratic military family, so he seems to have mastered the martial arts in one way or another.”
“I happened to hear earlier that he also participated in the Martial Swimming Competition my brother won recently and advanced all the way to the final match, though he lost in the first round against Master Pike.”
I don’t really get it, but that sounds incredible.
“Lampeye is also a straightforward soldier, so it would be nice if they could just recognize each other’s abilities and reconcile through battle.”
“Is that why you’re tolerating this duel?”
“I also want the mermaids who work for us to be officially free, so I’m taking a shot at every chance I can get. It’d be great if Puffer marries my brother, so Lampeye should take this opportunity to…”
Appease her grudge toward Hendra and be cleared of her charges?
I wonder if it will work that easily…
I mean, just look at them, they hate each other like cats and dogs.
There’s no way a shonen manga-like development is going to happen here and become instant buddies after their fight…
What the hell just happened?
Did I miss something?
An unexpected scene is unfolding before my eyes!
“What happened, Platy? What led to the proposal?!”
“I don’t know either. I couldn’t read their movements at all. Since when did they have such a relationship?!”
It’s like the concept of time was thrown straight out of the window.
It’s not something that would happen if you just take your eyes off of them for a bit…
Lampeye and Hendra are entwining their fingers, immersed in their own world.
…So, is this case closed?
It’s as if the riot never happened in the first place.
She agreed to his proposal, but it seems she hasn’t entered her name in the family register just yet.
“I have a lifelong mission to protect Princess Platy, and I will never give that up.”
It appears she will not leave the farm no matter what happens as long as Platy is here.
“I also proposed on the spur of the moment, but it’s inexcusable to take a woman’s hand in due marriage as a controversialist. I need to do some meritorious deeds, otherwise, it’ll be pitiful for her,” he says as he holds her hand tightly.
For the very first time, I felt annoyed at this couple.
Looks like they’re going to enjoy a form of commuter marriage while Hendra delivers supplies from the Mermaid Kingdom as Prince Arowana’s substitute.
I hope y’all explode.
Your new wife’s the Witch of Hellfire, anyway.