“This is an arena set up within Mermaid Witch Academia’s premises. Today, we’ll be using the full-water type.”
“Even this prestigious school’s facilities are sophisticated.”
This entire room filled with water would surely drown humans or demons if they were to enter. It’s a space only we merfolk can use.
Incidentally, in addition to the full-water type, there is another arena where only half the room is filled with water. It is designed for battles near the water’s surface and allows tricky tactics such as surprise attacks. Still, the fact that Carp chose to fight in the full-water type instead suggests that she is determined to make things clear based on pure ability alone.
“And here are the opponents I’ve prepared for you. They’re my honor students.”
Five unfamiliar mermaids appear, all young and inexperienced-looking.
They’re beautifully dressed like elites, but from my point of view, they look mediocre.
“You will be fighting each other one by one.”
If they win, the girls can continue studying at the farm, but if they lose, they have to stay here in school, huh?
“But this is an actual battle. I thought it would be in a more scholastic format, considering it’s being hosted by a teacher like you.”
You know, like a written test or a quiz.
“It’s better for a barbaric woman like you if it’s as simple as this, no? You don’t get to give me excuses when you lose later.”
“Wow. I didn’t know you were so demanding of yourself.”
Both sides return to their respective camps with invisible sparks crackling in the room.
I get to support these girls through this unexpected turn of events. And with a great tactician like me on their side, their victory is as good as guaranteed!
However, Angel and the rest of the girls are already getting cold feet before anything has started.
“We can’t do it… We won’t win!”
“All our opponents are from the highest grade! There’s no way we can compete with them!”
I see. Their enemies are their upperclassmen.
If so, it’s no wonder they’re intimidated. For students, the difference in grade is absolute, even by one year.
They must be thinking of themselves as children in front of adults.
“But we have no choice but to do it…”
Just as I was about to encourage them, I was beaten to the punch.
“If we don’t win this match, we’ll never get back to the farm. We must win! Now is the time to show off everything we’ve learned!” says Angel.
She just took my spotlight. I guess that’s royalty for you.
“She’s right. Don’t worry; you also have me, the Witch of the Abyss.”
I wasn’t enthusiastic at first, but now I’m getting excited. I’m going to help them give Carp a surprise.
“I, the Witch of the Abyss, will be in direct command to help you win. So, you’d better rest easy!”
Now they’re starting to call me Commander for some reason.
“Just so you know, it’s foul play to let your students use your potions.”
“I know that. Who would use such an underhanded trick?”
The skill of potion compounding and use is put to the test in this match.
A witch is most apt at using her own potions, and it is meaningless unless she wins with them.
“Well then, let us begin. First pair, step forward.”
“Go get ‘em, Discus.”
If I recall, Discus calls herself the Witch of Ice.
She seems to admire Puffer and respects her in both attire and demeanor.
Her opponent is…
“Calva, daughter of the Amia family.”
Just another stereotypical-looking elite.
She looks smart in contrast to Discus, who is awfully flamboyant in her imitation of Puffer.
“It seems you’ve forgotten your place as a plebeian. I’m here to teach you that such people should stay in the shadows of a true elite like me!”
A sharp voice comes from Carp, the referee, telling them that the match has begun.
But her voice only echoes vainly underwater.
Neither opponent isn’t moving an inch.
“…? What’s going on? I said ‘begin’!”
“Teacher, it’s already started.”
“And it’s over.”
What was the name of Discus’ opponent again?
Oh well, there’s no point in trying to remember the loser’s name.
She, who lost to Discus, is desperately trying her best to move but to no avail.
I can see that the water on the surface of her body is slightly frozen.
“Ughhh! Move! I can’t move! The ice won’t melt even when using a potion to neutralize it!”
“Master Puffer said you can’t make ice by using a potion to lower the temperature. You make it by reacting the potion with water. The temperature then lowers itself due to the generated ice.”
This is Puffer’s appalling specialty.
Because the potion reacts with water to create ice, a simple temperature-increasing potion will not melt it.
The resulting ice cools the surrounding temperature and reacts with the cooled water to create even more ice.
If I’m not careful, Puffer’s silent invasion of creating bottomless ice can be pretty dangerous.
“Hey! You already mixed a magic potion in the water, didn’t you? Even way before the match has starteeeed!”
“What about it?”
“That’s unfair! How could you ignore the starting signal?”
“Master Puffer also said that no one gives you the start signal in a real battle and that those who let their guard down before the enemy are fools.”
Her “elite” opponent can no longer escape the ice on her own.
Suppose they can’t even neutralize Discus’ freezing potion that’s not as well-crafted and effective as Puffer’s. In that case, this so-called prestigious school is worth nothing.
As if to prove the point, Carp hurls a test tube, cracks open, and melts the ice as quickly as the contents spread into the water.
“Calva, you’ve lost. If you’re a compounder, you can neutralize a freezing attack with a surprise attack. Your lack of study owed to your loss.”
The second one is Veiltail, who calls herself the Witch of Fire.
She looks up to Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire.
Her opponent is…
“Crowntail, daughter of the Betta family.”
She may be elite, but something about her is a little different.
For a mermaid, she’s got a harpoon.
“The Bettas are one of the few warrior families in the Mermaid Kingdom and are also known as the ‘Fighting Fishes.’”
Thanks for the explanation, kid.
“I’ve been told that Crowntail has a fixed position as an imperial guard after graduation and is an upper-echelon candidate.”
“That’s pretty darn elite.”
So, does she look up to Lampeye as well?
This is a clash between two Lampeye Jrs. then.
This match is about potions and the use of harpoons, which are originally the weapon of choice of mermen. However, Veiltail dodges Crowntail’s thrusts and hits her shield with an explosive potion, emerging victorious!
Lampeye’s take on explosive potions makes them so sticky that when spilled out of the test tube, it adheres to the shield’s surface and continues to burn even underwater.
As the metal shield heats up, Crowntail could no longer hold it.
The harpoon and shield come as one set in mermen’s fighting style.
And Crowntail, who was trying to imitate it, lost one of the two and was consequently beaten.
On the other hand, Veiltail’s fighting style combines the harpoon with potions. This is a technique that Lampeye passed down to her.
With a senior who lost one of her wings and a junior who is still in tip-top shape, the rest of the match was set.
Heckerlii, the third contestant, calls herself the Witch of the Air.
Apparently, she is the protégé of Garra Rufa, the Witch of the Plague, and is selling her newly-developed magic bacteria.
They scatter in the water and adhere to the opponent’s clothes, decomposing the fibers and leaving them naked.
It’s a cruel way to win, but what’s even worse is that once released, the bacteria multiply endlessly that not even their creator can stop them.
Everyone except Heckerlii, clothed in adamantine silk that cannot be broken down even by magic bacteria, took the risk of becoming naked.
We had to boil the water in the arena just to kill the bacteria. It was a hassle.
In the fourth match, Batrachus, the Witch of the Earth, has helped me heaps.
She helped me mass-produce Deep Ones for Orkubo’s Castle before.
I advised her that she could use the remainder of what she made and used that in today’s match.
Her opponent fell right into Deep Ones’ trap that split every time they were hit and was eventually crushed by their overwhelming quantity.
Last but not least is Angel, the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom.
“Finishing Blow! Mermaid Spark!!!”
“Is that… One of the three secret techniques passed down from generation to generation in the royal mermaid family?! I heard Princess Platy revived it for the first time in decades!”
And her younger sister using that same technique means she learned it from her.
It may be a secret technique within the royal family. Still, it’s not something that can be easily mastered, even with a great teacher.
Anyway, there you have it. Our side won all five matches with me as their great tactician.