Thus, I ended up going with Platy to the Mermaid Kingdom to greet her parents.
Usually, greetings are done when you get married, so people might think it’s too late after our first child’s birth.
But no matter how late it is, it’s better than not doing it at all, don’t you think?
So, into the Mermaid Kingdom we go.
“Look after this place while we’re gone.”
I made Orkubo and Gobukichi, the top class among our older members, in charge.
They know the ins and outs of the farm, so I feel reassured leaving the place to them.
“My Lord… Are you sure about this?” asks Gobukichi, concerned.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be able to run the farm without any problems.”
“No, it’s not us we’re worried about; it’s you, My Lord…”
“We heard there’s some political strife in the Mermaid Kingdom. If you, madam, or Junior ever face danger…”
“Yes, you should bring more escorts with you!”
Even Orkubo is concerned.
“I’ll be fine. I’m just going to meet Platy’s parents. What’s dangerous about that?”
“But just in case…!”
“It’s okay, guys. We have her,” I say, pointing at Veil.
She’s also going to accompany us to the Mermaid Kingdom.
She’s head over heels for Junior.
She hates the thought of being away from him, so much so that she abandoned her efforts to regain control of her dungeon midway and decided to come with us on our trip.
I can imagine her not leaving Junior even for a moment while we’re there.
“Nothing’s more reassuring than having a dragon by our side. Junior’s safe. We can also take care of ourselves.”
“Yes, but…” “I understand, My Lord. Still…”
“Take care of the farm, you two.”
The Mermaid Kingdom visiting group consists of me, Platy, and Junior.
Then, there’s Veil, who tagged along on her own.
Of course, there’s also Prince Arowana.
It seems his traveling party will be accompanying him as well.
He said that it’s a pilgrimage until he goes back home, so he wants to make a triumphant return with all his comrades.
Our means of transportation is a ship.
Now’s the time to use the mana metal luxury liner Helcirce, which we built before.
“She was supposed to be a fishing boat at first, though…”
But let bygones be bygones.
I’d rather show Platy’s parents a luxury ship adorned in dwarven ornaments.
We board the ship with the least number of orcs and goblins for maneuvering and…
“Let’s set sail!”
We set out to sea, headed for Mermaid Kingdom’s capital.
There, Platy’s parents, who are also my in-laws and Junior’s grandparents, are waiting for us.
“While I was away, you managed to build yet another amazing thing…” says Prince Arowana, looking around the ship.
I can’t contain my delight at being praised for something I made myself.
Well, the dwarves did help in decorating it…
“It’s a ship that can move without a sail. Not to mention it’s entirely made of mana metal. The only person who could own something as luxurious as this is you, Lord Saint. I’ve been around the world, but none have been as astonishing as your farm.”
“Haha, oh please.”
That’s too much praise, brother-in-law.
On the deck, Songokufon and Ardheg are playing some kind of game.
I hope they don’t take things too far. If an angel and dragon get serious, the ship will sink to the bottom of the sea.
I bring up a basic question I had on my mind.
“Can we get to the Mermaid Kingdom just by ship?”
Whenever Prince Arowana, Hendra, and the other mermaids would travel to and fro, they were in their mermaid forms.
So, that naturally made me think that the Mermaid Kingdom is underwater.
Then again, I never really asked about its precise location.
But if that’s the case, this magical steamship won’t make it to the Mermaid Kingdom, no matter how long we sail.
“Hahaha, don’t worry. We are well on our way there.”
“I’d like to bluntly ask you this after having come this far— where is the Mermaid Kingdom?”
Is it at the bottom of the sea?
“You’ll have to wait until we get there to find out. You should be able to see it by now.”
Helcirce is rapidly sailing through the sea.
Our orc and goblin crew are maneuvering the ship, but they seem to have a firm grasp of the route under Prince Arowana’s directions.
“Lord Saint! The target island is in sight!”
We’re going to an island?!
Or is that the Mermaid Kingdom?
“The Mermaid Kingdom is on the sea surface?!”
“No, no,” replies Prince Arowana.
I only made a fool of myself.
“Paradise Island is the land gateway to the Mermaid Kingdom, so to speak. It’s owned by the royal family.”
For the time being, this is where we landed.
Even from a distance, the contrast between the white rocky surface and the greenery that covered it is pleasing to the eyes.
When we arrived, I found that the island had a man-made facility that could be called a port and a well-developed town.
A group of soldier-like people rushed to the ship and lined up upon seeing Helcirce dock.
“Prince Arowana has returned!”
“Princess Platy has returned!”
They cry out in sharp, loud voices.
The rest of the soldiers stomp their feet in time.
“All hands, salute!”
“WELCOME BACK, YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESSES!!!”
Even their reception is grand.
“Good grief, again with the bombastic reception. This is why I usually don’t like coming to this island.”
“Prince Arowana, what is this island?”
“It’s a sort of surface negotiation facility the Mermaid Kingdom uses to negotiate with land powers like the Demon and Human Kingdoms.”
A surface negotiation facility?
“Land-dwellers can’t go underwater, right? And for security reasons, the Mermaid Kingdom doesn’t want to allow them into the capital. That’s why they built a facility up here instead to receive land-dwelling diplomats.”
So, that’s what this island is?
“We received the human and demon envoys who came to propose Platy’s marriage here. That’s why there are so many guards and welcoming personnel.”
The soldiers still form a tight line to show their welcome.
“They’re imperial guards.”
If they have legs, does that mean they drank the humanizing potion?
They must have been professionally trained to welcome guests on land.
“THE FUTURE MERMAID KING!!!”
We’ve been waiting for you to come home! Princess Platy!
“THE MERMAID KINGDOM’S GENIUS!!!”
“Your talent is our nation’s treasure! We are blessed to be graced with your beauty once again!”
“WE ARE BLESSED INDEED!!!”
They look like they practiced for this.
At these guards, who continue to make loud, ear-piercing noises…
Platy hurls a potion at them.
“Platy! What are you doing?!”
“They’re so noisy! Junior has just gone to sleep! I’ll kill anyone who disturbs my child’s sound sleep!”
True, anyone will disturb Junior’s nap if they keep yelling like that.
Guilty as charged.
Platy herself hasn’t been getting enough sleep these past few days due to Junior’s nightly wails.
Still, she was unforgiving in throwing the explosive potion.
I think I understand now why they call her a witch.
volume 8, complete!