C255: Mermaid All-Girls’ School

I am Zoth Syra, the Witch of the Abyss, and I am currently in the Mermaid Palace, the capital of the Mermaid Kingdom.

Why, you ask?
Because I’m babysitting a group of little girls entrusted to me by the people at the farm. You know, immature little fries.
They told me they were going back home and were worried about leaving them without some supervision.

Why again, you ask?
Why would I, the Witch of the Abyss, do such a charitable thing?

Even I myself wasn’t totally willing to do this.
There’s a solid reason behind it.

First of all, my timing was wrong when I visited the saint’s farm to see Orkubo.

This is the first and most important reason.
Then, that’s when the Crowned Witch approached me.


“Hey, my sister and her friends are going home. Escort them.”
“Why?”
“Well, leaving them to themselves bothers me. They might do something reckless.”
“Why me?”
“Of all the mermaids I know, aren’t you the least busy?”
“But I’m not?”
“You’re not even an official resident here, but you keep dropping by. I’m pregnant, so I can’t dive underwater. Puffer is busy with the brewery and my brother Arowana. Garra Rufa is in charge of the farm’s health care. Lampeye is also busy with this and that…”
“But I’m not that free either. I just make good use of my spare time outside my lab and come here.”
“In addition, all the mermaids here are convicts. There’s no way I can let them walk around the capital in plain sight.”
“But I’m also a wanted mermaid. The only difference is that I’m not caught yet. Aren’t the Six Witches all like that?”
“Look after them for us, oldest of the Six Witches.”


That’s how I was forced to do this.

What’s up with her aggressive persuasion?

How could she force me, the Witch of the Abyss, to babysit a bunch of children?
Is not listening to other people in their blood?!
Ah, no…

Anyway, I’m here again in the capital after who knows how long.
How many years has it been, really?
I don’t think it’s been more than ten years… but I decided not to think too deeply about it.

Then there are these young and fearless girls.
I heard that they’re returning home to get official permission to live at the farm.
Well, permission or whatever it is, just get them all. You should take advantage of being pampered by your parents while you’re still young.

After staying at their parents’ house for a few days, they came to meet each other on the promised date.

“We got permission!”
“It was A-OK!”
“They told me to be the finest witch I could ever become!”

I see.
Good for you.
But how are their parents fine with their daughters becoming witches?

“Well then, our job here is done. Let’s go back to the farm.”

So I get to see Orkubo as well.

“Please wait!”
“The real trouble starts here!”

The girls all cling to me at once.
What is the meaning of this?
Don’t lump me in with the other younger witches. I’m not as overprotective or thoughtful as they are!

“Our parents were more like a minor hurdle! Like the weakest of the Heavenly Four!”
“The last boss is still waiting for us! Please accompany us until we get thereeeeeeeeeeee!”
“Please! Just staying with us is more than enough! Otherwise, we’d feel hopeleeeeess!”

Huh? The last boss?

Of the five little girls here, only one isn’t clinging to me.
I believe she’s the Crowned Witch’s younger sister.

“That demonic sister of mine told us to get permission from our school…”

School?

“Yes, the elite school that produces the best potion compounders in the Mermaid Kingdom, Mermaid Witch Academia,” says the Crowned Witch’s sister as her tail fin quivers ever so slightly.

She must be scared as well.


However, Mermaid Witch Academia is a prestigious school.

Merfolk prides itself on its pharmacy magic.
Schools in the Mermaid Kingdom that teach it to young people are spread far and wide.

Among them, Mermaid Witch Academia is the one that boasts of its overwhelming structure and scholarly ability. And since it is directly managed by royalty, it’s a prestigious school.

The first to be admitted is the daughter of the Mermaid King’s family. After that, daughters from noble families. Then, talented girls selected from all over the nation.

As the Crowned Witch’s sister, she’s automatically a merprincess, so she has all the qualifications to enroll.
Her followers are probably just partners in crime who started hanging around the school.

Haa… I never had the enthusiasm to put up with this job, to begin with.
Why should I, the Witch of the Abyss, have to take care of young ladies from well-to-do families?

I am feared as a witch because my research is regarded as dangerous and heretical, as it could destroy the world.
Who thought combining such an outlaw like me with these sheltered girls was a good idea?

Ugh, I don’t really care anymore.
I’ll just accompany them and not interfere.

To hell with what they say about me later.
I’m the Witch of the Abyss, and whoever decides to trust a witch is entirely their fault.


So, we’re finally here.
At Mermaid Witch Academia.

To be honest, this is the first time for me, an outlaw, to set foot in this place. It’s as overly luxurious and unpleasant as I imagined it to be.

It seems that we’re going to have an interview with someone beyond the room before us.
The girls form a circle in front of the door.

“Ready? We’re going to get through this ordeal and go back to the farm!”
“YES, LADY ANGEL!!!!”
“Five Legitimate Holy Witches, Five!”
“YEAAAAH!”
“Five!”
“YEAAAAH!
“Fan!”
“TASTIC!!!”

Why are they so worked up about this?
And what’s with the Five Legitimate Holy Witches thing? Is that their team name? How embarrassing.
Anyway, they open the door with renewed spirit and enter the room.

“E-Excuth mi!”

She fumbled.
Is she that nervous?

The room is part of a prestigious school, so it’s as luxurious and puke-inducing.
There’s a mermaid waiting for them.

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Princess Angel? Normally, we’d meet every day to take my classes.”

Even the way she talks is getting on my nerves.

Well, from the school’s point of view, these students have been absent without notice for months, so I should say that it’s nice of her to keep the sarcasm to a minimum.
So…

“…Who is she?”

Who is this mermaid who looks like she’s about to sarcastically diss these children?
I thought her identity is classified information, but then, one of the girls secretly whispers into my ear.

“She’s a teacher here at Mermaid Witch Academia, Teacher Carp.”

A teacher, huh?
Well, I thought so.

Wait.
Carp?
Could it be that Carp?

I didn’t recognize her immediately because of her overly prim outfit but…
Carp as in Carp, the Witch of Arts?

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