“Well then, where should we start? First, I’d like to talk about your months of absence…”
The teacher skips the formalities and gets straight down to the business.
This no-holds-barred directness must be terrifying to the person being scolded.
I understand why these girls are scared.
It’s not like they’ll be able to do anything even if they muster the courage to face her beforehand.
“You’ve been declared absent from school since His Majesty Nagus notified me, but the time you’ve wasted outside has left you far behind the other students. That’s why we’re going to be doing a lot of remedial work so you can catch up…”
“P-Pleash waith!!!” interrupts the Crowned Witch’s sister.
She fumbled on her words again.
While she did a good job interrupting the teacher’s flow, her calm stare is about to make her break down.
“W-We came here… t-to ask for permission!”
“Permission to extend our absence!”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Please do something about it!”
Well, that escalated quickly.
Now, this girl has got the hard-headedness of royalty again.
“…I have a question for you, Princess Angel. What are you?”
“Huh? Um… The second princess… of the Mermaid Kingdom?”
“Good. At least you have a modicum of self-awareness.”
What a sarcastic woman.
“As a member of the royal mermaid family, you have certain responsibilities that come with it, such as being a role model for the mermaids and acting with dignity. And education is essential to provide the foundation for this.”
“Mermaid Witch Academia is a place where young royalty like you can acquire education. We want you to become a great potion compounder and a great member of royalty. That’s why we’re doing our best to make that happen.”
“Yet you’re trying to abandon your responsibilities and behave as you please. Do you think that’s acceptable behavior for royalty?”
This woman’s all about logic.
I’m relieved to see that Carp hasn’t changed on the inside.
“And the same goes for the four of you.”
Now she’s onto the other girls?
“Especially you, Discus and Veiltail. You have met the requirements to be admitted to our institution but had to give up due to familial circumstances. However, due to Lady Angel’s kindness, you were granted special admission.”
Hm? So, their families are too poor to admit them to a prestigious school?
I thought these girls only had sheltered upbringings, but it seems some also have some backbone in them.
Also, Carp said her name’s Angel, wasn’t it? She behaves more like a princess than her sister.
“Which is why it’s inexcusable that you’re spending all your time in idle amusement with your sponsor, Lady Angel, when you should be striving even harder at your studies. You’re ruining the expectations the school has set for you.”
“B-But we’re not…”
“What was that? If you have something to say, say it clearly.”
“Well… On land… We…”
She may have potential, but she’s still just a student. She can’t go against Carp’s words.
Good grief. If I don’t do anything here, there’ll be no point in coming all the way to the capital.
“What can they possibly learn in this sheltered institution?”
My voice drew Carp’s attention to me.
“You’re a fool, Zoth Syra. Had you not spoken, I would have pretended you never existed.”
“Are you saying that for old time’s sake? Kind of ridiculous to see a failure still calling herself a potion compounder, though, if you ask me.”
“I’m sorry, what? What about me is a failure?”
“Just look at your position as some pompous teacher right now.”
And at a prestigious school, too.
“You think you’ve come a long way, but once you’re in power, you’re as good as dead as a researcher.”
“That’s a typical misconception of yours, Zoth Syra. You, who have let your research subjects run amok, upset the balance of the world and end up on the wanted list.”
The girls confusedly look back and forth at Carp and me.
“I can call the guards here right now if I want. You will tragically end up in Trench Jail, and your ultimate research will never be completed.”
“I dare you to try, but this disgusting school would have turned to ashes before then.”
I know she can’t do anything about it.
She’s scared of me.
I’ve even made her cry countless times in the past.
“…Tsk, why did you girls bring this woman along?”
Sensing the disadvantage of her position, Carp shifts her attention back to the girls.
“This woman is a felon known as the Witch of the Abyss. She uses magic potions in the wrong way. And our school’s vision lies in not producing criminals like her!”
“However, it’s also true that the highest-level of potion compounders are generally referred to as witches, including me, the Witch of the Abyss, Zoth Syra…”
The Crowned Witch.
The Witch of the Bitter Cold.
The Witch of Hellfire.
The Witch of the Plague.
“…These five girls are their proteges.”
“What?” says Carp surprisedly.
Well, not that I expect a mere teacher like her to know this.
“When you said they were spending all of their time in idle amusement, these five were being taught by the finest potion compounders, the most distinguished of witches.”
“Are we even allowed to say that?”
I don’t care if they’re flustered right now.
I’m sure I was asked to escort them to say this.
“Just imagine how rewarding it has been for them to spend time there than in the classrooms here. The days they spent were truly a battle. They’ve been accumulating knowledge that they cannot master even after ten years in an unengaging school as this.”
Not that I’ve been watching them closely.
I just embellished it a little as if I saw things myself.
“Let me ask you again, Carp. Are you saying that this ‘prestigious school’ you’re so proud of can provide a better education than established witches? You’re just some mediocre compounder, far inferior to a witch, acting cocky and all.”
“W-Wow, Master Zoth Syra…”
“This is the first time I’ve seen someone push back Teacher Carp in an argument!”
Praise me more, girls.
“Was that true? Wait, but more than half of the Six Mad Witches are held captive!”
“No, there really were several of them present. I think my sister did something to them…”
Even her habit of nail-biting when annoyed hasn’t changed.
“Princess Angel’s sister, Princess Platy, is the Crowned Witch of the Six Mad Witches! I see, so you pursued her…”
Oh yeah, I heard the Crowned Witch dropped out of Mermaid Witch Academia.
I guess she thought she’d be more successful as a witch if she didn’t study here.
“We’d like to ask you again, Teacher Carp!”
Oh, Angel’s suddenly serious.
“I want to be a better compounder than my sister! The best way to do that is to be close by and learn from her!”
“I want to be taught directly by Master Puffer too!”
“I want to be trained directly by Master Lampeye!”
“Master Garra Rufa’s madness!!!”
If I were to ask them their real intentions here, they’d probably reply that they want to keep eating the farm’s food, which would ruin the whole thing, so I stopped.
Well, this is how a teacher of a prestigious school was confronted with the hard fact that it’s better to learn directly under a witch than at school. How will she react?
“I can’t back down here… I can’t back down here!”
“We’ve already failed to educate Princess Platy and develop her unique talent… That’s why we can’t afford to lose you as well, Lady Angel, the second daughter!!!”
She’s getting worked up.
And she’s lost it.
“A witch’s techniques are heresy. The only thing that is truly useful to merfolk is the legitimate pharmaceutical magic we teach at our school!”
“That’s plain sophistry. There is no right or wrong in the path of mermaid magic.”
“No! I’ll prove it to you in a match!”
“I’ve taken several seminar students of this school under my wing. I’ll prepare five of the best and make them compete with each one.”
The girls are taken aback.
Come on, it’s just a little match.
“If the witches’ evil ways are truly beneficial, they should win. However, if they lose, you will acknowledge that our school’s path is true, and they will follow its curriculum! All right?!”
Results: The girls won 5-0.