C262: Mermaid of Conspiracies

I’m among the few selected students studying at Mermaid Witch Academia’s Farm Branch School.
This project began with Mermaid Queen Mahi’s fickle proposal.

Even so, there was a rush of applicants.

After all, the offer was to receive direct tutoring from the Six Witches, the best potion compounders in the mermaid realm.
Everyone wants to learn the potions’ secrets, from faddist students to even the most ambitious ones.
As a result of various screenings, I was chosen along with more than ten new students. Of course, Princess Angel and her followers are also with us.

I don’t have any particular talents or specialties; I was admitted to Mermaid Witch Academia simply because I was born to one of the many middle-class nobles in the Mermaid Kingdom. I guess I was lucky enough to enter this highly competitive school. That’s the only reason I could think of.

Still, I feel somewhat bitter about my luck.
Because of this once-in-a-lifetime fortune, I am burdened with a serious mission that does not suit my banal self.

My brother is a brilliant man despite his mediocre status and often makes public speeches—he is a so-called activist.
He ordered me to find the farm’s location where Princess Platy is living in seclusion.

There’s a controversy in the Mermaid Kingdom right now that could split the nation in half.
It stems from the fear that the demons would attack the Mermaid Kingdom next, who have won the war against the humans and have taken total control over the earth.

My brother belongs to the faction that believes the demon race is planning to attack and destroy our nation, and we should take action as soon as possible.
Hence, he’s trying to take these steps to fend off their invasion.

“We should revive Princess Platy’s marriage plan and strengthen our friendly relations with the Demon Kingdom. Who she’s married to now matters not one bit. We should force her to divorce him and marry the Demon King instead,” he claimed.

And for my brother, Princess Angel’s visit to the farm where Princess Platy lives was like a godsend.

The night before I left for the farm, he said, “Listen carefully. The future of the Mermaid Kingdom lies in your hands. Princess Platy, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, should be at your destination. Find out more about that place and use all means possible to inform me.”
He continued, “That’s all you have to do. Once I know where she is, I will lead a group of people to pick up the princess and send her straight to the Demon King. No matter how tight their security is, it should be easy to take the princess if we have fifty of the bravest mermen.”
Lastly, “That is the way to prevent the Mermaid Kingdom’s downfall. Do you understand? Our success or failure lies in your efforts. You must never arouse suspicion from the teachers!”

I can’t go against my brother, who has taken such good care of me, so I came to Saint’s Farm with this secret kept close to my heart.
Here, I confirmed Princess Platy’s whereabouts.

The first phase of my secret mission is complete.
All that’s left is to somehow inform my brother of this farm’s precise location.
If I can do that, my brother will come with a group of people to take the princess back.

A thousand mighty merwarriors.
As my brother says, there’s no such thing as tight security on a small farm like this…

“Ehem.”

In my pensive mood, someone speaks up.

“We have an extraordinary teacher with us today.”


“I’m Sensei the Lifeless King.”


……Hm?

What kind of horrible, out-of-this-world monster is he?
He looks like a dried-up mummy.
However, the magic or miasma emanating from him was so terrifying that many students, including myself, forgot to breathe and shuddered in fear.

“He was a human before his death, so mermaid magic is out of his expertise. Still, I can guarantee you’ll learn a lot about magic so extreme you wouldn’t care about such distinctions anymore, so please make the most out of this session!”

…No.
This isn’t about how it’ll be beneficial to our education or anything like that…

Lifeless King?
Isn’t he one of the worst menaces on land?

Why is he here giving us an open lecture?

“Sorry about this, Sensei.”
“I can’t say no to a request from you, Lord Saint. Besides, I feel young again when I get to interact with young people. If anything, I’d teach them any time of the day.”
“It makes me happy hearing you say it rejuvenates you.”
“Yes, I feel that one lesson can make me ten years younger.”
“But isn’t ten years within your error range, Sensei?”

The undead monster and the land-dwelling man laugh heartily.
Is this what they call an undead joke?

In any case, even if my brother led 5,000 elites, I don’t think they could defeat the Lifeless King.

“Anyway, let’s get right to it. Today will be a practical class. I’m going to summon a god, so please observe carefully.”

For the first time in my life, I was able to see Poseidon, the ancestral god of merfolk, in person.


After two to three screws of our common sense were blown off by the Lifeless King’s class, another special lecturer, who defied conventional wisdom, appeared.

“I am the Demon Queen Astres.”


The Demon Queen?

If memory serves me right…the Demon Queen is the Demon King’s wife, right?

“Today, I have taken on the role of guest lecturer after Sensei the Lifeless King. I’ve always been indebted to Lord Saint, so I want to return the favor in any way possible. I’m determined to make everyone listen and remember every word I say. Otherwise, be prepared for the consequences.”

You scare me, Demon Queen.
The tone of your voice sounds more like a general than a queen.

“Nonetheless, the most important thing I can tell you is the future relationship between our two races. Do not worry, for we are and will always be on the best of terms.”

Really?!

“And the key to that friendship is Lord Saint, the owner of this farm, and his wife, Lady Platy. As long as these two people are alive and well, there will never be a war on earth or underwater. On the contrary…”

On the contrary?

“What do you think would happen if someone tried to harm these two noble beings?”

We students all murmur at the Demon Queen’s implied question.

“In the name of the Demon King’s army, the culprit will be killed along with all of their relatives up to the 15th degree.”

When she said all that she had to say, she took her child from her subordinate and cuddled him with an absurdly sweet smile.
The gap in her attitude was overwhelming.


I learned one crucial thing through today’s special classes: this farm is not to be messed with.
No few dozen mermen can subjugate this place. Rather, that’s a complete underestimation.
At the very least, the entire merfolk population might be required.

We need to prepare ourselves for the demon race to become our enemy.
The purpose of this secret mission was to avoid a war with them, anyway.

This plan must be aborted.
But will my brother be convinced? Will he be able to accept things based on hearsay, not seeing firsthand how terrifying the farm is?

In my confusion, a winged person is having a match with a dragon in the skies.
However, only we students are looking up at them, panicking.
A practice match, they said… Everyone else is used to seeing them already, they said…

If you look a little beyond the horizon, you will also see someone noteworthy—Princess Platy, the heart of this matter.
She is married to the owner of this mysterious farm and is pregnant with their child.

She has a loving husband, is blessed with a child, and is happy no matter how you look at it.
Who has the right to destroy this happiness?

Ultimately, all I could do to keep everyone happy was write a coded message saying “Pending Investigation.”


Extra:


(Omitted)

Oh yeah, there’s a student there named XXX.
I think she’s a spy from the anti-faction.
You know, the group of people worried that the demons are going to attack us.

She was sent there to find your whereabouts, so could you gently persuade her?
You know how some people can be stupid when they set their eyes on one thing, focus on it, and neglect the rest?
While we “hold you in custody” as bait to keep her from making any unnecessary moves, we’ll make preparations to purge her.

Since you’re also a merprincess, could you at least help Mommy buy some time?

(Omitted)


*Excerpt from Mermaid Queen Mahi’s letter to her daughter Platy.
In response to this, Platy says…

“…I didn’t even need to go as far as to persuade her personally!”

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lecora alzuras
lecora alzuras
9 months ago

Too bad the prince is also on a journey so he can’t even tell people how well he and the demon king get along, too.

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