“Wow, that went well!”
“And surprisingly so!”
Prince Arowana and the Demon King laugh heartily.
It’s me again.
These two rulers are nothing short of grand when they’re together.
“We caught fifty rebels red-handed, just as we hoped. If we make them fess up, it’ll be a fatal blow to many more miscreants.”
“Thankfully, the Mermaid Kingdom is stable now. The new era of our friendship will be a sound one.”
The Demon King made a surprise visit at the same time as us for this very occasion.
At first, I wondered why he was here. But the effect revealed itself immediately.
He blew away the merfolk’s desultory fears that the demons would invade their nation.
Let me explain.
The Mermaid Kingdom had a rebellious faction against the royal family.
They also instigated the fear that the Demon Kingdom and the Mermaid Kingdom might go to war.
Prince Arowana and his allies deliberately allowed them to strike.
Caught in their trap, the rebels were rounded up in one fell swoop.
His sudden pilgrimage was also for this purpose.
“If we can hold a peace treaty signing ceremony with the Demon King tomorrow, the stability of the Mermaid Kingdom will be resolute. The anti-factions won’t be able to make their move.”
Royalty who acts while thinking about such things every step of the way scares me.
It’s a world beyond my comprehension.
My wife is also royalty, but right now, she’s sitting next to me, modestly changing Junior’s diapers.
I hope this modest life will continue forever.
We’ve already reached the castle where the Mermaid King and his family live.
The inside has a strange structure, with a running river for merfolk to swim.
There’s also a shore area where they can rest and relax when they get tired of swimming.
The capital is generally structured like so, with canals stretching all around, almost like Venice.
These canals penetrate the interiors and serve as pathways.
Once again, I’m astonished to see such a complex arrangement inside the body of one gigantic fish.
According to them, Zigol’s body is divided into several compartments, with some half-water, half-land areas like this one, and others completely filled with water.
I guess merfolk live in different areas according to their preferences.
This place leaves nothing else to be desired.
Even powerful dragons find such a secluded region rare.
“Wooooah! This place is huge! I can’t believe we’re in the belly of a big fishy!”
“Indeed, Sis Veil.”
“If it’s this big, it should be fine if we revert to our original form.”
“Truly indeed, Sis Veil.”
“Wanna try it?!”
“Let’s, Sis Veil!”
I hurriedly stop Veil and Ardheg from trying to revert to their dragon forms.
There may be no problem regarding their sizes, but there would be panic if two dragons suddenly appeared here.
Especially Ardheg, who looks like a distinguished gentleman when he really is a dragon.
Other than that, it’s a joyous reunion with Platy’s other siblings at the royal palace.
I thought there were only three of them, but I was naive.
There are many more.
Two younger brothers and four younger sisters.
And to make matters even scarier, there are plans for more.
The Mermaid King and his wife’s intimacy is unstoppable!
“We can’t lose, Dear! We’re also going to make more!!!”
Platy, who inherited their genes, is burning with competitive passion.
“Mhm! I’m also going to make a big family with Astres and Glasya!”
Even the Demon King is inspired?!
Well, it’s good to have more children to lead the next generation, so I won’t object.
Enrich the country, strengthen the army, as they say.
But just when I thought our stay in the Mermaid Kingdom would pass peacefully…
“Father, Mother, I must speak with you.”
Prince Arowana made his move.
Yes, this visit was not only for Platy’s homecoming, my wedding greeting, and for the king and queen to see their grandchild, but it also had a further significance.
It also meant Prince Arowana’s return, who had finished his journey.
Since he is the rightful heir to the throne, isn’t his matter more important?
But he, perhaps out of concern, waited for us to finish our business first.
He really is a considerate man.
“Sorry we were late in greeting you, Arowana. Mommy’s happy to see you again.”
His parents are delighted to see their son back.
“I can tell just by looking that you’ve grown stronger from your journey. It must’ve been worthwhile.”
“Yes, Mother. The hardships of the land have taught me many things, some of which I will need to learn to rule my nation…”
Without replying, the mermaid queen embraces her son, his face buried in her still-youthful chest.
“M-Mother?! It’s about time this habit stops…”
“Oh, come on. You can come back to this chest once in a while, where I used to hold you when you were a baby.”
It’s a frazzling attack for a man in his twenties.
But no matter how much a person grows up, they’ll always be a child in front of their mother!
“It seems like only yesterday when you were clinging to my chest for dear life. Oh, my darling little boy…”
“Excuse me,” interrupts someone’s queen’s motherly moment with her son.
It was Puffer, a fellow traveler of Prince Arowana.
She was strangely quiet until now, but now her knife-sharp nature showed itself!
“Isn’t that too thoughtless a way to treat the next mermaid king? A king is also known as the nation’s father. Treating a father like a child could lead to contempt from your people.”
The queen’s expression suddenly turned deathly cold!
But it only lasted for a moment. It quickly returned to her cheerful smile.
It was so instantaneous that I thought it was only my imagination.
“You’re right. My little Arowana will follow Darling’s footsteps, so I must treat him accordingly.”
“…Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Thank you for reminding me. You’re a good girl. What’s your name?”
“It’s Puffer, Your Majesty. Forgive me for overstepping my bounds.”
She’s actually being polite?!
This unique atmosphere made everyone tense.
Even Junior gulped.
“…So, Father, Mother, as I was saying…”
“Oh, yes, of course. Sorry I interrupted you. What is it you want to say?”
“I think it’s also time for me to tie the knot…”
The queen’s expression fades once again at the prince’s statement.
“…Well, if you’re going to be on the throne, you’re going to have to marry a woman befitting a queen.”
“Truthfully, we’ve received many marriage offers from ladies of the most prestigious merfamilies. From these, we will select the most suitable mermaid to be the next queen and…”
She brings out a pile of photos, but…
“No, Mother, I have already decided who will be my partner,” replies Prince Arowana. “Puffer is the one I want for life. I ask your permission, Father, Mother!”
With that, he embraces Puffer by her shoulders.
At that moment, everyone noticed.
The Mermaid Queen emanated a sinister aura that spooked even the Demon King.
…I sense a war coming.