We’re going to be talking about the mermaids for a while.
Now that winter is over, and spring has come, a change is also coming to their team.
“My beautiful tail fins…”
Angel is the sister of my wife, Platy, making her the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom.
“Free! Finally, free from the side effect of the reject humanizing potion! I’m back in my pretty mermaid form again!!!”
“We can go back to the sea now!”
“At one point, I really thought we were done for!”
Angel and her friends are frolicking on the coast near our farm, swimming in the shallows with their tail fins, which they regained after months.
It’s as if they’re reacquainting themselves with the sensation of being a fully-fledged mermaid again after so long.
“I didn’t think it would take this long to neutralize the side effects…” says my wife, Platy (currently pregnant), as she stands on the beach and sighs.
It was before winter when her sister, Angel, and her gang arrived at the farm.
They launched an assault in a fit of youthful recklessness but were utterly beaten by her sister Platy and her team, who were far superior to them in terms of experience and ability.
In addition, the humanizing potion that allows mermaids to traverse on land backfired due to their inexperience in making it and had awful side effects.
When they tried to revert to their mermaid form, their lower half transformed into algae, octopus, barnacles, and other horrifying shapes.
Hence, the girls had no choice but to stay at our farm until the side effects wore off…until today.
With time and the extraordinary efforts of Platy’s group, the side effects of the failed potion have been neutralized…
And now, the younger mermaids can go back to the sea!
“We’re finally back in the sea! This sea is ours!”
I don’t know about that.
How can young people like her be so overconfident?
“…Anyway, as you can see, neutralizing the potion produced equal successful results,” says Platy exhaustedly.
She’s also a mermaid, but only she is standing on the beach in her human form.
Since she’s pregnant, she won’t revert to her original form until the baby is born because of the potential impact it may bring.
“Go on; it’s time for you to return to your homes now.”
“HUUUUUUUUUH?!” the girls disappointedly exclaim.
“Why are you surprised? That’s what we agreed on; you couldn’t go back to the sea because of some stupid potion my stupid sister made, so we had no choice but to let you stay, right?”
Now that the side effects have worn off and they can return to the sea, there’s no reason for us to let them stay any longer.
“No! Wait a minute, please!”
“We want to stay here!”
“We want to keep eating delicious food!”
“Not that, silly! We have so much to learn here!”
Angel’s followers cling to Platy all at once.
Discus, Veiltail, Heckelii, and Batrachus are their names, I believe.
They’re clinging to Platy in their mermaid form, so they’re like fish flailing around.
“We…We have a mission!”
“Indeed! We have an important mission to help Master Puffer and Master Garra Rufa!!!”
The mermaid team’s shorthandedness became a major problem last year.
There were many underlying reasons for this, like the increased demand and diversification of responsibilities.
The improvised approach to solving the problem was to train these girls, which is how they came to live with us.
Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold, was the pioneer behind this idea.
Platy lets out a deep sigh and says, “…As I said before, I’m against it. You’re all still students, so you should focus on studying hard.”
“But we can study here too!”
“If anything, we get to learn a lot better here!”
“Yeah! We get to receive direct instruction from the Six Mad Witches!”
In the heat of the moment, the girls stepped on a mine word.
Platy’s anger sends the scared mermaid girls squiggling back into the water for cover.
“I told you not to utter that name! It hurts my ears!!!”
The Six Mad Witches. A nickname given to the powerful witches who represent the mermaid realm.
“Witch” is the title given to a mermaid who is an expert potion compounder.
My wife, Platy, is one of them, but she despises being called “mad.”
She says she finds the group name offensive because it sounds so childish.
Oh, we got off track.
Our issue at hand is whether or not to return the girls to the sea now that they’re back in their mermaid form.
“I’m not going back,” says Angel, who has been quiet this entire time. “I came here to surpass you, Sis. I won’t go back to the Mermaid Kingdom without accomplishing that!”
“But what is your true motive, really?”
“The food here is so delicious, I can’t part from it!!!”
Good. We like honest girls.
“Don’t tell us to go home! Ginger-fried pork is delicious! Miso soup is also delicious! I want to live here with you foreveeeeeeeer!!!”
And as the usual pattern goes, she also clings to Platy, with her tail fin swishing around.
“Hey! Stop it! Why do I still have to live with you even when I’m already married?!”
Her sister’s rejection is relentless, so I decide to intervene.
“Well, they’ve become a valuable asset to the farm already, so won’t we be in trouble if they leave now?”
They’re even working remarkably hard as assistants to the older mermaids now.
Puffer is in charge of fermentation and food refrigeration.
Garra Rufa is in charge of medical care.
They support the essential parts of our farm, but it’s hard to deny that their work is also supported by their new assistants.
If Puffer were here, she’d probably take the initiative in refuting Platy’s point, but she isn’t, as she is currently accompanying Prince Arowana on his pilgrimage.
“Why must you hit where it hurts?”
“We also have the right to live!”
The girls keep pressing on.
But my wife, Platy, also known as the Crowned Witch, is not one to be pushed around by some girls.
“No means no.”
“You came here without permission from your school or parents. Don’t you understand how worried they are about you?!” says Platy bluntly. “I’m finally starting to understand what it’s like for a parent to worry about their child now that I’m also going to become a mother…” she adds as she caresses her belly.
There’s a hint of never-before-seen sanctity on her face.
“O-Oh… She has a point!”
“Y-Yeah, Mom and Dad must be worried…”
“Hendra may have explained the situation to them, but still…”
The girls couldn’t refute Platy’s point, who is also emitting a motherly aura now.
Remembering the face of my mother back home also makes my heart ache.
“…You’re actually still evolving, Sis?”
“There are several periods of dramatic change in a woman. You haven’t reached any of them yet, though.”
The way Platy just puffed her chest proudly made me think that she hasn’t grown up much either.
“With that in mind, I thought up a compromise plan.”
“A COMPROMISE PLAN?”
“It’s a good opportunity for you to return to your mermaid form now. First of all, don’t grumble about anything, and go back home once. Then, get your own permission to live with us from your parents.”
That must be the minimum requirement for the girls to officially move to our farm.
And I agree with her.
They’re still young girls, just a step away from adulthood. While there’s a saying that goes, “If you love your child, send them out into the world,” as a soon-to-be parent, I can relate to the feeling of worrying about one’s child.
“…Okay. If you say so,” solemnly says Angel. “I’ll get permission from Mom and Dad and come back. Don’t take me lightly, Sis!!!”
“Very well. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
Why are these sisters always seem to be in a dueling mood at every opportunity?
“One more thing. You need to get permission from your school.”
For some reason, Angel’s expression froze at Platy’s request. But why?
“What? From school too? Do we really have to?”
“Of course. You’re students, after all.”
“No matter what?”
“Of course… Well, I understand how you feel about it, but that’s how things are.”
Even Platy lets out a deep sigh with her.
Huh? What’s going on?
The school they’re referring to teaches the highest level of pharmacy magic in the Mermaid Kingdom—Mermaid Witch Academia.