C263: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 8 – Mermaid Students’ Social Field Trip

It’s me, Hakkai the orc.

Our group is in good spirits as usual.

There are no troubles or quests this time, just a smooth journey.
Surely, we’ll reach our next stop without any hiccups along the way.

“It’s about time Puffer arrived, huh?”

Before heading to our next destination, we would wait for Lady Puffer to reunite with us.
She doesn’t want to be separated from Prince Arowana, so she accompanies us on her own accord using teleportation magic. Truly a committed woman who can juggle work at the farm and her travels.
Last night, she went back to the farm before entering the inn, then returned after finishing her work.

“Heya. Morning, guys.”

And there she is.
Lady Puffer acts like a rambunctious character, but she is surprisingly punctual.
She’s never been late before.

“This is when I’d motivate us to have another fun journey, but…”
“Hmm?”

Something’s…off.
Whenever Lady Puffer returns to us, it’s usually just her and her alone, but…
There are more people today!

About 20 in total!
Why?!

“It’s Mermaid Witch Academia Farm Branch School’s field trip today.”
“What?!”

What’s going on here?

Looking closely at them now, they all seem to be young girls.
They’re standing upright with human legs.
But this vibe… are they all mermaids?

“Wee! It’s Brother Arowana!”
“Angel? Why are you here?!”

One girl who looks relatively hyper among the others embraces Prince Arowana.
But Lady Puffer smacks her and drags her away.

“You see, Platy ordered me to teach these inexperienced little girls about the society on land.”
“What’s the meaning of this?!”

Neither Prince Arowana nor I could follow the conversation at all.

Puffer explains that the Mermaid Kingdom has established a school at Lord Saint’s farm, so several girls migrated there as exchange students.
Oh, a branch school?
Branches smanches, it doesn’t matter.

“So, all the girls here are students of Mermaid Witch Academia?”
“Elites, eh?” says Prince Arowana as he lets out a sigh. “I certainly wasn’t expecting this to happen on our journey!”
“Anyway, as part of their studies, Platy wants me to take them on a social field trip.”
“Yes, but what is this social field trip you’ve been mentioning this entire time?!”

Er… The young girls are all brimming with so much excitement seeing unfamiliar land for the first time that they look like they’re about to scatter in places!
Darn it, I need them to behave and stay put!

“Well, they want to observe the future king who’s pilgrimaging on land.”
“Me?!” exclaims Prince Arowana.

It turns out the purpose of their field trip is to observe Prince Arowana himself.
Well, he is a prince, so it’s no wonder he’d be the center of attraction.

“Big brother! Please let us observe you lots today!” says the girl who hugged the prince earlier.

Who is she?

“Please!”
“PLEASE!!!”

The girls all bow their heads at once.
Lady Puffer whispers into the baffled prince’s ear.

“…It seems everything’s going all according to your speculations back in the Mermaid Kingdom, hun. Those who are plotting something are really exploiting your absence.”

One of the many objectives of this trip is for Prince Arowana to purge those people once he officially returns from his pilgrimage.

“But she said it’d be troublesome to keep them under control with just the right amount of force, so if you’re not going to return yet, she wants you to cooperate.”

I see.
If Prince Arowana could show the results of his training here, that information would be transmitted to their nation through these girls.
That way, those who are plotting something in the prince’s absence would be more cautious.

“…Puffer, from whom did you get that message?”
“From mother-in-law to Platy, from Platy to me.”

She just said ‘mother-in-law’ naturally.

“…All right then, she did let me go on this journey,” says Prince Arowana as he flamboyantly swings his pike. “Very well! You’re going to see my majestic figure today!”
“YAAAAAAAY!!!”

Thunderous applause.
But what do they do on a social field trip?
What exactly does Prince Arowana showing off his cool side entail?
Does he find monsters or bandits nearby and kill them?

“Why don’t we just have a short mock battle?”
“Mock battle?”

Lady Puffer proceeds to talk smoothly without paying much attention to me.

“Hey, Songoku.”
“Wuzzit, Sis?”

She calls the angel Songokufon, who was nonchalantly playing over there, and…

“Fight with my hubby, Songoku.”
“Roger.”

And she said something absurd.
Are you seriously going to let Prince Arowana fight Songokufon face-to-face?!
His opponent is an existence that even makes the gods scared!

“He can’t show off his skills if he doesn’t fight an opponent of her level, though.”

If we’re just trying to give a demonstration, why don’t we lower our standards?! A battle with an angel like her always ends up nasty, anyway!

…Wait, no.
Even Songokufon must have grown up mentally after traveling with us.
She has learned commonsense and prudence, so she would probably go easy on Prince Arowana and let him take all the credit…

“Mana cannon at full power.”
“Ahh!!!”

Prince Arowana barely dodges the beam of light launched from Songokufon’s cannon.
The shot beam continues its course…
And blows up a mountain in the distance.

“…?!”
“?!”
“?!?!?!”

The excited looks on the mermaid students have vanished.
Now, they look like they encountered something beyond their imagination.

“Hey! You’re taking this too seriously, Songoku!!!”
“But aintcha supposed ta be serious when it comes ta battles? Das why I set it at max power!”
“Ahhhh!!!”

Prince Arowana is no longer trying to show off; he’s just trying to make it out alive.
The mermaids observing him have blank expressions on their faces.
To make matters worse, someone speaks up amidst the surrounding sea of fire caused by Songokufon’s barrage of attacks…

“How truly brave, Lord Arowana!” says a dragon.

He’s our new companion, Lord Ardheg the Glintz Dragon.
He said he was going to fly around the area for fun, but I didn’t expect him to come back at this time…

“What brute courage to challenge the angel Songokufon on your own! That’s proof of a hero!”
“Lord Ardheg! You’re mistaken! Please, help me!!!”
“I think it’s best if I join her to determine your true talents! Here I come!”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

A hellish three-way battle between Songokufon, Lord Ardheg, and Prince Arowana.
No matter how you look at it, Prince Arowana is sticking out like a sore thumb.
He’ll probably turn into cinders in a matter of seconds…

“Too naïve. Take a closer look…”

Lady Puffer is keeping her cool, but this is a life-or-death situation for Prince Arowana if we don’t rescue him soon.

“AHHHHHHHHH! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!”

Hear that?! He’s even screaming as if he’s about to die!

“Woaaaaaaaaaah! Groooooo!!!”

…Huh?
His screams aren’t stopping, are they?
Prince Arowana is headstrong!

“Looking down on that man is the last thing you want to do,” says Lady Puffer confidently. “It’s not like we fought a Lifeless King, vampires, and automatons just for show. We also had everyone’s help. Now, my hubby has overcome those difficulties and has grown stronger!!!”

…W-Wha?
Hold up. Did Prince Arowana just slice through Lord Adheg’s dragon breath with his pike?!

“Mm?!”

And he closed the distance with Songokufon, who’s been firing her mana cannon all over the place!

“Your cannon is useless in this distance!”
“Ew! Prince, you lecher! Geddaway from me, pervert!!!”
“If I do, you’ll just aim for me again! God gave you a versatile weapon, but your unfamiliarity with it is plain imprudence!!!”

He’s on even grounds with an angel and a dragon!
Has Prince Arowana really grown this strong during our journey?!
In the face of this legendary battle, the students’ expressions remain dead.

“Brother has gone to a faraway place…”

After the girls left, they spread rumors to the Mermaid Kingdom that Prince Arowana was fighting equally with a dragon and such! …Or did they really?

It sounds too exaggerated that it might seem dubious instead, no?

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