The Martial Swimming Competition is nearing the finale with only a few matches left.
Now, there are only four players left on the field.
They are as follows:
First, the Mermaid King Nagus.
He stands at the top of the Mermaid Kingdom in both name and substance. He has won the championship for fifteen years in a row, but after a long period of silence, he is back in the ring. Will he continue his legendary streak and sweep this year’s championship?
Next is Arowana the merprince.
Last year’s champion. He has already proven the fruits of his pilgrimage in his previous matches. Will he be able to defeat his father and qualify to be the next generation’s standard-bearer?
The third is Hendra the controversialist.
He’s the second son of the Bettas, a military family of fighting fish. He got in the best four and supposedly lives up to his family’s name despite his true occupation.
The fourth one is…me.
Sorry if I stick out like a sore thumb.
The semifinals and finals will be held between us.
Naturally, the highlight will be the father-son duel between His Majesty Nagus the Prince Arowana.
King Nagus’ strength in the mermaid realm is legendary, but now Prince Arowana’s valor is rapidly catching up.
Will the new generation rise to the top, or will the old generation hold their ground?
This is a must-watch battle as it will affect the succession to the throne.
Since they are in different blocks, they will have to advance to the semi-finals before they can face each other.
As for the first semifinal match…
It’s King Nagus vs. me.
Prince Arowana is up against Hendra.
“I’m going to fight my father-in-law?!”
I can’t help but cower in fear.
I’m in a breathable area during the break, so I can talk without problems.
“I just don’t like the sound of me fighting my wife’s father… It’s scary!”
“Don’t worry,” casually says Platy, like this doesn’t concern her. “Dad is a martial artist, so nothing makes him more content than a serious match, be it with kin or not.”
“That’s what scares me!!!”
Imagine getting punched by a man as muscular as him!
My head is going to fly off like a golf ball tee shot!
“Hey… Is it too late to back out now? Haven’t I fought hard enough?”
We’re in the semifinals.
Can’t I at least have the option to withdraw?
“What are you talking about, Dear? Now that we’ve come this far, we’re going to win this!”
“Since when did we agree on that?!”
My wife’s ambition knows no bounds.
“Imagine… the first time in merfolk history that another race has won the Martial Swimming Competition! And you rightfully deserve to win that title, Dear! Now’s the time to let the whole nation you’re the best in the world!”
Calm down, Platy.
I’m glad you’re proud of me, but too much self-aggrandizement can become one’s downfall.
Although, I also think you’re the best in the entire universe!
“…Hah. What naïve sentiments. You’re like a child who believes the moon follows wherever you go.”
The one who said such provocative words was Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold.
Both of them are witches.
“Puffer! You’re slacking off farmwork again!”
“It’s fine. Garra Rufa’s there to hold the fort.”
You guys really owe Garra Rufa an apology.
Anyway, the cat fight continues.
“The Martial Swimming Competition is a venerable event of the mermaid race. No other race can win! The only winner today will be my one and only Prince Arowana!”
When these witches meet one another, they usually butt heads.
This happens often on the farm, and we’re witnessing it again during the tournament.
“But of course. The winner is one who stands at the top of the mermaids! The most deserving of this is our youngest and strongest of the mermaid royal family, Prince Arowana!”
“Oh please! Everyone can see my husband is far more competent than my idiotic brother! Are you sure you don’t have rose-tinted glasses on?!”
“Look who’s talking!”
Puffer is Prince Arowana’s fiancée, so of course she’s going to have biased views of him.
Similarly, Platy has no doubt that her husband is the best.
This argument will never be settled!
But then, a new witch appears.
The Witch of Hellfire, Lampeye.
“You’re all making a big mistake. The winner will be my boyfriend, Hendra!”
“How much more complicated can this debate get?!”
Rather than settling the fight, she fanned the flame even more by bringing up her lover!
“My, you chirp like adorable little chicks.”
Even Queen Mahi is here!
“You fail to comprehend the history of the noble Martial Swimming Competition. How can my darling, who was champion fifteen times in a row, be behind the other young and inexperienced men?”
Then she began to boast her husband, King Nagus.
Platy, Puffer, Lampeye, and Queen Mahi, stare at each other, sparks flying.
Puffer-> Prince Arowana.
Queen Mahi->King Nagus.
They’re the spouses/girlfriends of our four finalists.
“…With all due respect, mother-in-law. The ‘young and inexperienced men’ you speak of also include your very own son.”
“Yeah, Mom! I won’t let you call Dear an inexperienced man! He’ll be the winner for sure!”
“So is my Hendra! He’s the very embodiment of wit and brawn!” they retort.
Come to think of it…
Platy’s the Crowned Witch; Puffer’s the Witch of the Bitter Cold; Lampeye’s the Witch of Hellfire; and Queen Mahi’s the Witch of Darkness.
A witch is a name given to a mermaid who is an astounding potion compounder.
Currently, only six people in the world are officially called so, and four of them are here…!
“Anyway! My dandy darling is not going to be outdone by boys in their twenties!”
“Times are changing, you know! Watch the climax of Dear sending Dad flying!”
“Like I said, one of the ‘boys’ you mention includes the son you gave birth to!”
“Hendra won’t lose to anyone!!!”
If being one of the top players in the Martial Swimming Competition is the mermen’s stardom, then the Six Witches is the pinnacle of mermaids’ admiration.
Four of these witches (although the identity of one is kept a secret) are having a big argument, which attracts the attention of the people around us.
“Look! Princess Platy and Queen Mahi are having a fight over there!”
“And are those the Witch of the Bitter Cold and the Witch of Hellfire I see with them?!”
“So, it’s true that Prince Arowana’s engaged to the Witch of the Bitter Cold? Isn’t that a huge national crisis?”
“No, considering the princess is already a witch, it might not be that severe of a crisis.”
“Wait, since when was Hendra dating a witch?”
“I swear, that guy has everything but an official post!”
An unprecedented situation where all of the top four finalists have a witch as their helper adds up to the tournament’s approaching climax.