“Keep your head held high while running! You won’t last on the battlefield like that!!!”
“Pochi and the others! Don’t hold back and make her run for her life! She’s doing fifty more laps around the farm!”
The two demon queens, Mrs. Astres and Mrs. Glasya, are still making Angel undergo their gruesome training with the hypercaons chasing after her, so she can’t slow down.
“I-I didn’t know… Queens do… Manual labor!!!”
They said they’d make her understand what it’s like to be a demon queen, but no matter how I look at it, it’s definitely the training regime new army recruits undergo.
Well, they are former members of the Heavenly Four.
Their soldiers are pretty toned, so Angel should gain something from it as well.
“…What about you girls?”
I ask the four girls freaking out beside me.
They’re the girls who accompanied Angel on the raid(?) on our farm.
…I think they call themselves members of the Five Legitimate Holy Witches or something?
“Um… We were just forced to come along!”
“After Lady Angel’s business is done, we’re thinking of going home since we have nothing else to do…”
They seem to have the common sense of perceiving danger and avoiding it just like anyone else. Their intention to leave before they get involved is as clear as day.
It was too late.
Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold, spread her arms wide and hugs all four of them.
“Uh… What’s wrong, Puffer?”
“Lord Saint, aren’t they the perfect solution to our problem at hand?”
Our problem at hand?
“You mean that our farm’s mermaid team is short on members? You’re not making them join you, are you?”
Isn’t that a little haphazard?
“It’s fiiiiiine. If they’re acquainted with the merprincess, then they must be promising students. Since they’re still young and fresh, they’d be more useful than typical pros if they were kindly, carefully, and thoroughly instructed by an expert like me.”
Where is that baseless confidence coming from?!
But on the other hand…
“The Witch of the Bitter Cold is going to instruct us first-hand?!”
Naturally, the girls are confused. Still, they seem shocked and ecstatic by the fact that Puffer is going to instruct them first-hand.
“Is that how it is?”
Hendra, the controversialist, explains.
“The Six Mad Witches are also admired as the best specialists in pharmaceutical magic in contrast to being the most troublesome people in the mermaid realm. For young mermaids like them, being approached by even one of these witches is a thrill, let alone be under their direct guidance!”
Meanwhile, Puffer proceeds to select two girls at random.
“I’ll take these two as my assistants in the brewery and refrigerator. The other two will have separate jurisdiction!”
“Wait a minute,” interjects Lampeye. “If two of them are going to be your subordinates, does that mean Garra Rufa and I will each have one only? Isn’t the ratio a little off? We need to talk more about this and…”
“Idiot!” roars Puffer. “You’re not doing much work in the brewery because you’re just hunting in dungeons and clinging to Platy as her self-proclaimed bodyguard. The remaining two will be working under Garra Rufa. She’s the one who works the hardest in our team, you know that?”
Lampeye couldn’t refute Puffer’s statement.
“Anyway, now that that’s cleared up, I’m going to start briefing these two about the work here. Lampeye, you take the other two girls to Garra Rufa.”
With that, Puffer takes the two girls and quietly leaves the scene, leaving nothing but flabbergasted looks on our faces.
“What are you going to do, Lampeye?”
“There’s no ‘what’ about it, I can only take the other two to Garra Rufa. Puffer’s argument was sound.”
But she didn’t ask the girls’ intentions at all.
“…U-Um!” says one of the remaining girls, eyes sparkling.
“Is this person named Garra Rufa the very same Garra Rufa, Witch of the Plague?”
What about it?
“Wow! Not only the Witch of the Bitter Cold, Witch of Hellfire, and the Crowned Witch, but the Witch of the Plague is also here!!!”
“Almost all of the Six Mad Witches are here! What is this place? It’s out of this world! Is this where the world’s brainiest people gather?!”
Looks like most things are going to be a trivial matter to these posers.
Meanwhile, Angel’s hellish training under the two demon queens is still ongoing as she runs as fast as she could.
“Come on! That’s two hundred more laps for you!!!”
Of course, the girls who were taken away as if they were abducted weighed on my mind, so I decided to go check on them.
First, I went to see the two girls Puffer took with her.
When I arrived, they were sincerely listening to Puffer’s lecture on how to make some kind of potion.
“Oh, Lord Saint. These girls are pretty promising. They’re also obedient and fast learners.”
Puffer giving honest compliments is weirding me out…
“It helps that they’re still students because they wholeheartedly learn the things that they don’t know. This doesn’t work on adults who are already fixated on the things they do know.”
“Your remark strikes home.”
“As expected of the princess’ schoolmates. Maybe the fact that they’re also enrolled in an elite school is another factor.”
I believe the girls she took under her wing are called Veiltail, the Witch of Fire, and Discus, the Witch of Ice.
I’m sure they’re only self-proclaimed witches unlike Puffer and the others, but at least they have the talent to call themselves that.
Amidst this, one of the girls timidly speaks up.
“I don’t go to a good school because my family can’t afford the tuition…”
“I was a rotten delinquent, attending the lowest-ranking magic training school. Veiltail here became a soldier to put food on the table…”
Veiltail nods beside her.
“We were doing our best just to survive every day, but then Lady Angel found us and made us her followers…”
Well, isn’t that heartwarming?
If that’s the case, then Angel’s unexpectedly got the charitable heart of royalty and a good eye for people.
They’re even talented enough to be recognized by Puffer.
“But because of that upbringing, I respect Master Puffer the most out of the six witches!”
Then they proceed to draw near Puffer.
Puffer is bewildered.
“You have always shown your rebellious spirit by opposing the regime! It’s soooo cool how you didn’t abandon your principles even when you were sent to Trench Prison, Master Puffer!!!!”
“A rebel to power! An outlaw! Only you show this attitude among the Six Witches! We admire you so much for that, Master Puffer!!!”
Looks like they idolize her a lot.
Is this the mentality of delinquents looking up to wicked people?
“Did you have some trouble with the royal court or the academy that’s why you left the Mermaid Kingdom to live on land?!”
“The other witches aren’t on the same level as you, Master Puffer, but they’re still quite infamous! The Six Witches coming together to do something on land… It’s like you’ve made this your turf!”
More like you’re using words you don’t even know the actual meanings of.
So, Puffer is considered to have the charisma of a badass in the Mermaid Kingdom.
Well, she does look like a sharp knife that could hurt when handled poorly.
Though, in truth, Puffer is officially serving her sentence as a prisoner by working on our farm.
So, based on that, it’s more like she gave in to the regime and…
She’s being pretentious.
Puffer is acting vain against the girls’ baseless admirations.
“There’s no way they can rope me in that easily. Now is the time to be in hiding while I sharpen my rebellious fangs!”
“So cool! You’re incredible, Sis!!!”
Now, they’re starting to call her “Sis” like they’re a gang.
“As a mermaid, it’s the end of the world if you become a slave to the authorities, am I right? If you’re a witch, you must go against the system to advance your research!”
“You’re so cool, Sis!!!”
Puffer has become the focus of the young girls’ respect.
The person you’re in love with and are making a fierce approach to is…
The future mermaid king.
The very core of the regime.
Do you understand what your rebellion entails?
I ask in a whisper so the girls won’t hear.
“If you had to choose between rebelling and marrying Prince Arowana, which would it be?”
“Marrying the prince, duh.”
I can’t believe this person.