“Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme und singt ein Lied dabei; Das hat eine wundersame, gewaltige Melodei…”
Queen Mahi starts singing.
Strangely enough, her voice still resonates underwater, so much so that I can hear it clearly even from within the bubble.
“What is this song?! T-There’s something abnormal about it!”
“What are you doing, you foolish apprentice? Use your potions to guard yourself!”
It seems Puffer, who’s in the middle of a battle, and Zoth Syra, who just arrived, had a teacher-disciple relationship before.
Puffer immediately reacts in response to her former teacher’s statement.
She shatters a test tube that forms an ice shield in front of her.
The shield shatters in an instant, its impact blowing Puffer away in the process.
“That was a close call! She almost had it right in her face!”
Their teacher-disciple relationship came into play at a strange time.
“Hey, witch hag! What’s going on here?! How is Mom attacking Puffer?!”
“Don’t call me a damn hag! Besides, Sis Mahi is still older in terms of age! But she keeps her existence a secret, making me the oldest of the Six Witches!”
“You think I care about that right now?! We need an explanation! Isn’t that why you’re here?!”
Platy’s high-handedness made Zoth Syra give in.
“…Solmization magic is the art of manipulating magic by singing. Land-dwellers cast their magic through chants, right? It’s similar to that.”
It’s true that Queen Mahi has been singing away merrily for a while now.
Meanwhile, Puffer has been retreating, shocked as if hit by something invisible.
“You said earlier that solmization magic is the merfolk’s original magic, right?”
“Merfolk used to control magic with words, just like land-dwellers, but with the addition of rhythm. Except, our ancestors must’ve had a much greater aptitude for magic that it far surpassed that of other races, to the point of almost destroying the world.”
Zoth Syra, who’s doing her own research far from the Mermaid Kingdom, seems to know things no one else does.
“The sea deities then sealed solmization magic from merfolk. Still, they felt sorry if they were left with nothing, so they gave them potion magic and the giant fish Zigol in return. This all happened a long time ago.”
“If what you say is true, how come Mom can use ancient magic?”
“Ever heard of atavism? I’m not much knowledgeable myself, but Sis Mahi was born with the most powerful and dangerous power of merfolk!”
According to her, Queen Mahi, who was born with an immense talent for better or worse, got so pretentious that her own power manipulated her.
The Mahi Kanne of that time easily committed brutal acts with the power that resided in her, such as beating up younger Zoth Syra and forcing her to be her underling.
“She even said something ominous, like making this world a place where only her voice echoes. She also tried to seriously destroy the world by having me and Carp concoct a great magic formula. Of course, we were stopped…”
“Stopped? By who?!”
“They’re right here. Look.”
We follow Zoth Syra’s gaze and see a giant, old merman.
“The Mermaid King?”
“In his younger days, he persuaded Sis to stop her plans altogether. It was a big help to us because neither Carp nor I could defy her…”
They had such a grand past?!
Merfolk sure are passionate when it comes to love…
“This ugly man took a vow in exchange for his speech to gain the power to resist Sis Mahi’s magic. That’s how he was able to butter up to her and win her over.”
Wow, His Majesty is incredible.
“Since then, he can only ever say ‘ahem,’ but that just goes to show how much he wanted to stop Sis. But now that she’s using her magic again, who knows if this world will live to see another day?!”
As someone who was also there to witness past events, Zoth Syra’s fear is real.
Nonetheless, the battle goes on.
But we can no longer call it one.
Queen Mahi’s magic is one-sidedly assaulting Puffer.
“Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe, ergreift es mit wildem Weh; Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe, er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh….”
Her magic seems to be activated whenever she sings.
Puffer is moments away from being crushed by the swirling currents.
She throws six test tubes at once, but to no avail as the surrounding currents repel its effects.
“My Absolute Zero potions! Not even my most potent concoctions work?!”
But the fact that she can hold out this long proves that Puffer is exceptionally strong.
A typical mage, be it human, demon, or mermaid, would’ve been knocked out in no time flat.
Still, she looks like she’s close to her limit.
“Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen am Ende Schiffer und Kahn; Und das hat mit ihrem Singen die Lore-Ley getan….”
Just before being swallowed by the torrent created by the queen’s song…
A slash tears through the current.
Queen Mahi also stops singing at the sudden turn of events.
“What are you doing, Arowana dear?”
Yep, Prince Arowana intervened in their battle.
He swung down the crescent pike I made and terrifically sliced through the current.
I had no idea it was capable of such power.
“Dear, this is a battle between this girl and me. You must not interfere.”
“No, I will interfere because this is my fight too.”
“What did you say?”
“My future together with Puffer is at stake in this fight. I can’t just stand by and watch as long as this is the case. I wouldn’t want people to think I’m an oaf who makes his wife do all the work,” he says, readying his pike. “Listening to Zoth Syra’s story made me respect Father more. I must learn to love earnestly, which is why I’ll point my pike at you, Mother!”
“If so…” “A’gess we’re in this too, ah?”
As if to support the young couple, a dragon and an angel appear.
It’s Ardheg and Songokufon!
“We’ve always worked together on our journey. So, why not do that here again?”
“She’s da last boss, innit? Lezzgow!”
Prince Arowana’s allies are once again united.
…Oh, Hakkai’s present too.
He’s the only one who can’t breathe underwater, so he’s just drowning!!!
Hang in there, Hakkai!
You’re one of his travel companions too!!!
Queen Mahi stares at the group for a moment, then quickly retreats.
“That’s not fair. If you’re going to band together, I’ll have no choice but to make way.”
“Or do you want to beat Mommy up with your friends, dear? How awful, you’re going to make Mommy cry from sadness…”
“No, that wasn’t my intention-”
Prince Arowana panics before his mother making boo-hoo gestures.
Men really are weak when it comes to their mothers, no matter their age.
“…Does this mean the battle’s over?”
I wondered for a while what was going to happen, but it turns out Puffer and her friends were able to defeat Queen Mahi, who was a more formidable opponent than they expected, through the power of their bond as friends.
“Yay! We won!!!”
“I’m happier than when we beat the Geyser Dragon!!!”
As Puffer’s group rejoices, Queen Mahi leaves.
She comes to where we are, the spectator area.
“…That was a terrible charade, Mom.”
There goes Platy and her relentless remarks.
However, Queen Mahi, her mother, didn’t reply.
“If you’re going to back out so easily, you shouldn’t have objected in the first place. What did you want to do by revealing your secret?”
Now, even more people know that she’s the Witch of Darkness.
Queen Mahi eventually speaks up as if she can’t bear her own silence.
“Because I don’t want my little Arowana to be taken away from me!!!”
And with that, she hugs the Mermaid King and weeps.
Further conversation with her was impossible.
Prince Arowana is her son, the first boy she ever had.
She thought he would always be hers, but now he’d belong to another woman, and she felt extremely reluctant to let him go.
“…Oh, I think I understand now,” says Platy, Junior in her arms. “If Junior grows up… Brings a woman I don’t know and says he’ll marry her… I’ll kill the woman for sure.”
“Let’s not, deal?”
Mothers have their own indescribable sentiments for their sons.
And that will forever be incomprehensible to men.
Anyway, now that the battle is over, it’s about time we rescue Hakkai.
He was squirming and struggling a moment ago, but now he isn’t even twitching!
Hakkai managed to breathe again via CPR.
We’re back in the Mermaid Kingdom’s capital in a harmonious mood… save for a pair.
Queen Mahi is strangling Zoth Syra.
“When did you become such a chatterbox, Zossy? Don’t you think it’s unbecoming of a woman to go around spreading rumors about others?”
“Owowowow! All I wanted to do! Was to speak on behalf of those… Reluctant to reveal themselves! I can’t help but butt in because… if you really snap…this world will kiss itself goodbye!!!”
I didn’t know Zoth Syra had that in mind…
I feel sorry for her. The next time she comes to the farm, I’ll make sure she gets some more alone time with Orkubo.
“But I was surprised to find out that Arowana’s girl is one of your pupils,” says Queen Mahi, her grip around Zoth Syra’s neck not loosening up one bit. “You should’ve told me sooner. You’re like a little sister to me, Zossy. Any of your apprentices is like my niece.”
The person you so-call your little sister is about to die from suffocation, though…
“I can leave my little Arowana to such a girl without a worry. He’s a little too serious and inflexible, but please take care of him.”
The decision was made easily.
Makes me wonder what all the ruckus before this was.
“We did it, Puffer! Now we’re husband and wife!”
“Let’s get married right now! And have a child! We can’t let the gap between Platy and me widen!”
I thought the festivities were going to continue, but…
“Oh, you can’t get married just yet.”
The queen’s words halted the couple’s excitement.
“What are you talking about, Mother? Didn’t you approve of our marriage?”
“Just your relationship, dear, not your marriage. Rather, even if Darling and I approve, the public isn’t quite ready for it.”
Prince Arowana is going to be the next Mermaid King, so it’s natural that he also needs his people’s approval to get married.
“Those called witches are infamous and receive harsh treatment from the public, yes? I’m a witch myself, so believe me, dear, I know what it feels like.”
“I’ve had my fair share of hardships before I got married to Darling. You need to work hard to become worthy of being Mermaid Queen, Puffer.”
Sound reasoning no one could counterargue.
They can’t just ignore the fact that Puffer was originally a prisoner and let her get married to royalty.
“Ah, you live on the farm of Platy’s husband, yes? We also have young girls studying there, so why don’t you teach them?”
“I see! If she gains popularity by teaching promising young mermaids, she’ll have an advantage in marrying Arowana! Nice idea, Mom!”
Even Platy’s on board with the idea.
I guess Puffer’s going to stay on the farm with us longer.
The road to their marriage is still far.
to avoid further confusion, queen mahi’s song is in german in the raw and is actually referencing the german poem The Lorelei. one of the readers has provided an english translation of it in the comments. thank you!