Well, there are far more concerning things for me.
More than the excitement of the whole tournament and our wives who are cheering us on.
Something much more important than arguing about who’s the best.
It’s my next opponent, King Nagus and Platy’s father!
In other words, my father-in-law.
I can’t believe I’m going to fight him…
…I don’t think I can do this!
He’s the number one person a son-in-law should NOT butt heads with!
How will I fight such a person?
I’m afraid I’ll ruin our relationship if I strike back too hard, but I also think I’ll get some serious beating if I ease up on him!
“…What are you pacing about, Dear?” says Platy in a voice that exudes cold-heartedness. “We must win! We’re going to crush all the enemies that stand in our way, including Dad and Arowana, and stand on the summit of victory!”
“You do realize you’re talking about your family, right?!”
The entire mermaid family is so hotheaded!
Are you seriously letting Junior see family quarrels this early?!
“Let’s just think about doing our best and nothing else.”
Maybe that’s the only choice I won’t regret.
I put a strip of seaweed in my mouth, allowing me to breathe underwater.
“Don’t accidentally swallow or spit it out again, okay? You don’t have much left.”
“…gulp. Gotcha! Mmbbgah!”
“I literally just told you!!!”
After receiving another strip from Platy, I refrained myself from talking.
Now, the first semi-final match is about it begin.
There’s already a merman waiting for me, towering over the surroundings like a giant.
It’s Mermaid King Nagus, ruler of the seas.
Today’s the day I realized how big and imposing he actually looks.
And, seriously? Fifteen consecutive wins?
I guess he has become too strong and started to refrain from participating in the tournament for the past years, giving way to the younger generations, but then he changed his mind this year.
Prince Arowana’s return from his pilgrimage must have something to do with this.
As the king of a nation, he’s probably beginning to think about who he’ll entrust the next generation to.
For that reason, he needs to face his own son right here and now.
I think from the bottom of my heart, “I so want to give way!”
I don’t want to be part of such a dramatic tournament.
I’d like to step aside before I incur any enmity from various directions.
But my wife won’t let me do that.
“Tear Dad to pieces and feed him to the crabs! Yeahhh!!!”
How can she be merciless toward her father?
Look, you’re making him feel hurt!
“Don’t lose, Darling! Teach your pretentious son-in-law what’s it like to be a real dandy!”
“But I’m not being pretentio- globglobglobglob…!”
Damn it, I didn’t want to let that slide, even if it meant spitting out the seaweed.
I got another seaweed strip from Platy.
Anyway, the first semifinal match begins!
Victory goes to the one who makes the first move.
I decided to end this match quickly, so I used my skill right away.
I activated the Hand of Supremacy and clutched the water.
It then creates a whirling tide.
The whirlpool created by my ability is like a tornado in the ocean.
This is how I won my first and second matches.
I’m going to use it as my winning technique for this round as well!
…Though I wish it were that easy.
The Mermaid King is not the least bit intimidated by the approaching whirlpool like a baleful dragon.
In fact, he holds out both hands to intercept it.
Then, to my surprise, his hands generate individual whirlpools just like the one I created!
Two at once? Come on!
Our whirlpools collide and cancel each other out, but King Nagus’s whirlpools are more powerful, and one of them heads toward me.
If I hadn’t dodged it, I would’ve been caught up in the vortex.
I can make whirlpools with the Hand of Supremacy, but my opponent doesn’t have the same gift.
So how did he manipulate the currents and create them?
“That’s my darling’s dandiness,” says Queen Mahi at the ringside.
Her words don’t explain anything at all.
“Darling’s gushing dandyism means that even the tides obey him. The fact that you need an explanation for everything proves how much of a little boy you are!”
Nope. You’re still not making any sense, ma’am.
But in this situation, it’d be disadvantageous to keep an open distance.
The whirlpools are clearly superior in terms of long-range attack power. The only way to win this is to initiate close combat.
Now is the time to pull out the evil holy sword Dreischwartz!
But it’s not as if my opponent doesn’t have his own countermeasures.
A merman has a shield and a spear.
Mermaid King Nagus also carries something fit for battle, and he holds it in both hands to intercept my charge.
Clang! goes the sound of metal clanking.
He thrusts his three-pronged spear head-on with my sword and pushes me back with equal force.
Wait a minute.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a weapon evenly matched with my Dreischwartz!
One of the seven holy swords created by the God of the Underworld, Hades, to seize the earth!
Queen Mahi proudly interprets King Nagus’ words.
“That sacred spear is a replica of our god Poseidon’s trident!”
Oh. A replica, huh.
“It’s proof of kingship passed down from generation to generation in our family. The Mermaid King solidifies his throne by inheriting it!”
It must’ve been created by Poseidon himself if it’s a replica of his belongings.
It’s the same as my holy sword.
The Mermaid King is far more massive than I imagined.
If I keep my distance, he’ll send whirlpools my way. But if I close in the distance, I face his sacred trident.
His prowess is similar to that of the Demon King.
Does every king in this world have to be this strong?!
If I don’t give it my all, I’ll be instantly overwhelmed!
Besides, have I ever fought this seriously before?
I don’t think I have, since I usually let Orkubo or Gobukichi do the smashing and bashing.
If one doesn’t fight regularly, you won’t develop fundamental fighting instincts.
In that sense, I was very close to being brought into a very dangerous match…
“Game, set, and match! The winner is Princess Platy’s husband!”
The audience erupted.
The undefeated champion, who had won many tournaments as for years, was beaten for once.
The reason for his defeat was a lack of stamina.
Even the undefeated king seemed to be affected by aging and a long absence from politics.
Phew, I feel pretty breathless…
“P-Platy, please! A new strip! I need fresh oxygen…”
“Yes, yes, have as many as you want as a reward for your hard work.”
I found this out by overworking my body.
This seaweed is good for breathing underwater and replenishing oxygen after a rapid workout.
To be honest, I couldn’t hold my breath long enough to fight, so if King Nagus hadn’t thrown in the towel first, I would’ve lost.
I don’t even know if I could have dodged his attacks.
King Nagus approaches me.
Even though I’ve won, I’m so exhausted I can’t move!
“He says, ‘You showed me your full power. I feel more and more confident in entrusting my daughter to you.’”
Thank you for the interpretation, Queen Mahi.
I’m glad that after our fierce battle, I’ve been acknowledged better as his daughter’s spouse.
Now, there’s only one more match before the finals, but…