I’ve decided to participate in the competition to fill in for the absent player!
“Okay. I know I said that and all, but how exactly am I supposed to compete…?”
I’m a human.
I can only breathe through my lungs.
There’s audacious, and then there’s me, who volunteered to participate in an underwater battle with mermaids.
“I bet I’ll die of suffocation before I even step into the playfield!”
We’re deep underwater.
Currently, we’re in a space filled with air, but if I take just one step outside, I’ll end up a pathetic drowned corpse!
However, my wife remained unperturbed, holding Junior in her arms.
“It’s okay. I prepared just the thing.”
“You were expecting this?!”
Platy holds out a lump of damp seaweed in her hand.
It’s awfully fine and slimy.
“Hold this in your mouth. But don’t swallow it.”
“Ah, is this…”
I did as I was told and let her put the seaweed in my mouth.
It feels so viscous and slimy inside.
But at the same time, I sense a refreshing taste spreading.
As soon as I jump out from where we sit, I’m instantly enveloped in water, but I’m not drowning.
I’m actually breathing underwater, thanks to the seaweed Platy gave me!
“Oh my, dearie. You made that?”
“It’s an air seaweed that generates oxygen the more you chew on it! As long as you keep it in your mouth, even land-dwellers can breathe underwater!”
My wife is such a genius!
The bubble Junior and I were in ensures proper and better air circulation, but if you want to be agile and don’t mind getting your clothes wet, this seaweed is definitely the better candidate.
This solves my handicap underwater.
I feel like I can do this!
…Blegh, I’m getting tired of chewing this seaweed.
I’ll just swallow it, and…
“I told you not to swallow it! That seaweed lets you breathe as long as it’s in your mouth!”
I enter the finals in earnest after getting another seaweed strip from Platy.
Many of the spectators were bewildered.
It’s unheard of for another race to participate in their sacred tournament, after all.
I could feel the confusion and caution as they wondered if they should let this slide.
Yikes, I feel like I’m walking on a bed of thorns…
“I hadn’t the slightest idea you’d be participating, Lord Saint! This should be interesting!”
Prince Arowana heartily laughs away the tense atmosphere.
As expected of a dignified prince.
“People gathered here, I can vouch for Lord Saint’s abilities. He’ll gladly show us a spectacular battle in our prized festival! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled at all times!”
You too, Your Majesty?!
I greatly appreciate your support, but please don’t raise the bar too high!
And so, my first Martial Swimming Competition started.
I’m just a reserve player, so I’ll aim to do my level best and not overdo it.
My first match is with a guy called General Shark.
I think I’ve heard that name before.
“Dear, General Shark is one of the regulars in the finals,” says Platy just outside the playfield.
Is she here to provide assistance?
“He’s a fierce general who has won a championship before, so be careful.”
She went to the trouble of changing into human form and staying inside a bubble to bring Junior with her.
Okay. Enough about that.
…I’m already up against a terrifying guy from the start?!
As if to back up Platy’s statement, my opponent looks more like a Mohican roaming the wilds than a general.
“Gaaahaha! I never thought I’d bump into Princess Platy’s husband this quick! I’m sharking, I mean, shaking with excitement!!!”
It seems his striking feature is the large dual blades he wields in the shape of a jagged saw.
“Those bite saws are General Shark’s unique weapons. If you get caught between their blades, it will snap you like a shark bite, so watch out.”
Easy for you to say!
“I’m sure Princess Platy didn’t fall for just your features! You must have the strength to back it up! Strength is what makes us men charming, see!”
Shark swoops in to attack with no signal whatsoever.
Being underwater, all my movements were sluggish, so I just barely dodged his scary advance.
Even though I can breathe underwater with the seaweed, I’m still a land-dweller.
There’s no way I can compete with merfolk and their tail fins underwater.
“I’m gonna rip you to shreds!”
The merman strikes again without a pause with its rapid and sharp turn.
How should I overcome this?
Fortunately, I didn’t come here unprepared.
I have my own trump card—the evil holy sword Dreischwartz, and, most importantly, the Hand of Supremacy.
Maybe I can swim well if I activate the Hand of Supremacy?
Like tangibly grasping onto water or something.
After all, my gift has performed numerous miracles before.
I might be able to swim faster than a mermaid because of some logic that I’ve successfully caught the current.
If that’s the case, I must strike while the iron is hot.
Grab the waves! Wave Access!
With that in mind, I tried grabbing the water around me and…
“Huh? What’s with the cryptic movement? It’s distracting!”
The enemy, who may have taken my mysterious dance as a loss of will to fight, couldn’t put up with me and continued to charge.
But I’m starting to feel like I’m about to seize something.
I’m still grabbing water, but instead of just grabbing it, it’s more like I grasped its core…”
The Hand of Supremacy firmly grasped the water and brought out its maximum potential.
“Gah! What the hell is this? The current! The curreeeeeent!!!”
The current that originated from my hand swirls violently and heads toward General Shark.
Having grasped the true nature of water, I am now capable of controlling the currents at will?!
“Gwaaaaah! I’m being swallowed! I’m being swallowed by the vorteeeeex! I’m spinning! I’m spinning round and rouuuuund!”
General Shark, swallowed by the vortex, can’t resist nature’s force.
Reduced to an existence similar to a sock tossed into the washing machine, he disappears into the distance.
He’s… probably still alive.
“…The winner is Princess Platy’s husband, the saint.”
The referee announced that I had advanced to the next round.
Me, on the other hand…
“Didn’t I tell you not to talk while the seaweed is in your mouth?!”
I was so in the moment that I shouted and let water enter.
It’s been a while since I had a glimpse of the Hand of Supremacy’s excessiveness.
All I wanted was to have swimming skills on par with a kappa. I never thought it would go as far as to allow me to manipulate currents.