C293: Pinocchio’s Crib

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So, we’re finally going to the Mermaid Kingdom.
But how?

“If you don’t mind me asking again, where is the Mermaid Kingdom?”

Yyyeah… Thought so.

Merfolk aside, I’m just a human from another world. I can’t stay underwater for too long.
I’ll drown.
How am I supposed to enter the merfolk’s territory?

“You must be confused. But don’t worry, We’ve made preparations specifically for you,” says Queen Mahi, smiling. “It’s meant for land-dwellers like you, so you don’t drown going there.”

We then move someplace else.

We arrive at a small cove at the end of Paradise Island.

“We’ll go from here.”

Then, Queen Mahi and Platy drink potions and revert to their mermaid forms.

“Dear, take Junior.”

Junior, who’s probably only capable of pulmonary respiration like me, goes from his mother’s arms to mine.
Wait, since he’s half-merman, he may have some kind of predominance in the water, but that’s not something we should verify right now.
He can check it out for himself when he grows older.

“We’re going underwater together, huh?”
“Let me hold Junior! Let me hold Junior!”

Sorry, Veil. I know you want to hold him, but this is a father’s role.
In return, if something happens to us, we’ll rely on your dragon powers.

Queen Mahi dashes some kind of liquid on me.
The next thing I knew, Junior and I were enclosed in this airtight space.

Is this… a soap bubble?
Are we in a soap bubble?

“Now, you can go underwater without drowning. It’s our latest developed potion.”
“I’m the one who concocted that…” says Platy. “Hendra asked me to make it, and I wondered what it was for. It turns out it was for us all along! You could’ve at least said something! And why me in the first place? Doesn’t the palace have many top-notch potion makers?!”
“Well… We’re most at ease if we have you do it.”

Seeing the queen act kittenish, for a second, I thought, “She’s too old for that.”

“And you know how bad Mommy is with pharmacy magic. You’re a born genius at it. Of course, I’d want to brag about my girl.”
“Ah… It is needed, so I guess I’ll let it pass…”

And so, we make our way to the Mermaid Kingdom.

“Oh, I can breathe even underwater!”

The bubble isn’t popping and keeps the air around me secure.
By the way, there are three of us in one bubble: me, Junior, and Veil.

We dive deeper and deeper into the ocean floor.

“But this sure is one amazing soap bubble. With our descent, it means it can also withstand high water pressure, right?”
“Oh, I didn’t take into account the water pressure at all.”

If so, the pressure will pop this if we go any deeper!
Then, the water would come in, and Junior and I would suffocate!!!

“I’ll use my dragon magic to strengthen the bubble,” says Veil.

A reliable dragon whenever and wherever… If she feels like it, that is.

“This is more difficult to adjust than I thought. If I invoke too much magic into it, the bubble won’t be able to withstand it and will pop!”

I know you can do it, Veil!
We’re counting on you!

In the meantime, the bubble goes deeper and deeper. It’s now pitch black around us, no ray of sunlight to be seen.


I sensed the presence of “it” in the sea despite zero visibility.

“Here we are.”

There’s a fish on the ocean floor.
But not just any fish. A gigantic one.

It’s so gigantic that the word itself doesn’t do it justice.
It’s just too big!!!

In front of that giant fish, even dragon Veil would look like a tiny insect.

“What’s up with that fish?!”

The mere sight of such a giant brings up primitive fear in my body.
And the sea’s magnificence that hides such a creature also fills me with awe.

“That’s the Mermaid Kingdom.”
“The fish itself is the Mermaid Kingdom’s capital.”

I have no idea what they said, but I eventually got what they meant as we got closer.

Platy and Queen Mahi swim up to the giant fish with us in tow, and to my surprise, we end up in its mouth.


We enter the giant fish’s mouth and continue our way through, eventually arriving at a place where there’s no water.
There’s air.

“No need for the soap bubble, then. Bye-bye,” says Platy, dashing some kind of liquid again, and the bubble disappears.

But we’re fine.
Again, because there is air here, even if we’re at the bottom of the sea.

“Aren’t we inside a fish right now?”
“Dear, you can give Junior back to me now.”

Platy takes the humanizing potion to turn herself into a land-dweller and quickly embraces Junior.

“This giant fish is called Zigol. It was given to us by the sea god Poseidon,” explains Queen Mahi. “They say he took pity on the nomadic merfolk that just hid behind rocks, so he sent them this fish. Its body doesn’t digest what goes in its mouth, and we can come and go as we please, making it the perfect home for us.”

And so, the merfolk lived in Zigol’s body and started their civilization here.

“So… this is the Mermaid Kingdom?”
“Zigol is now the capital and the nation’s territory itself. More than eighty percent of merfolk live here.”

A city in the body of a giant fish. Truly a fantasy setting.

“Once you go through that gate, you’re in the Mermaid Kingdom’s domain. I’m sure the people will welcome you with open arms.”

There’s a large gate in the direction Queen Mahi is pointing.
It’s tightly closed at the moment, so we can’t see what’s on the other side.

“Why don’t we just go in, Mom?”
“Wait a little longer. More people are coming, remember?”


At that moment, I hear the sound of water coming from behind me, and I see two burly mermen.


It’s King Nagus and Prince Arowana.
Following them are Puffer, Songokufon, Hakkai, and Ardheg.

“Oh, so they came too.”
“I got them into another bubble and had my husband and Arowana lead them.”

But I see no sign of the bubble. Songokufon, Hakkai, and the rest of the non-merfolk are all soaking wet.

Did the bubble pop on their way here?

“What took you boys so long? I thought you were right behind us.”
“Sorry, Mother, but we had to welcome a special guest before we left! Also, the bubble popped…”

I knew it.

No, more importantly…
A special guest?
I wonder who it is?
Then, I heard the sound of water again, and another person showed up.
Is he the special guest in question?



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6 months ago

Is that living capital mobile or always staying in one place? There aren’t any seasons nor changing weather underwater anyway, so staying still would be boring if true.

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