C266: Meat Reincarnation

According to our ancestors, anything is edible if we grind them.
…Or so they say. Don’t quote me.

For example, wheat.
Wheat is hard and inedible on its own but can be delicious if you grind it into flour, add water, knead, and bake it into bread.

Grinding is what connects all the food.
So…

This brings us to the souvenir boar meat.
I feel bad for Mr. Shax, but the meat we catch on our own tastes much better (cushioning the blow).

I don’t like eating bad (bluntly put) food, but I also can’t bring myself to needlessly destroy something that once had a life of its own.

So, there’s only one sensible idea: process the lousy food into something good.
This way, the food won’t be wasted, and our taste buds will be happy.
The processing method to be used is the “grinding” I mentioned earlier.

Once it is thoroughly ground, it can be transformed into a completely different food.
The ground form of meat is minced meat.
And what meat dish is made with minced meat?

“…Hamburger steak!”

Hamburger steaks are originally made of beef, but we shouldn’t be nitpicky about the details now.

I had all the ingredients for a hamburger, so I made some.
I kept tossing the patties in between my hands at ultra-high speed to get the air out of them.
Everyone loved the resulting product, especially the kiddie group like Veil and the earth spirits.

“Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!!!”
“It’s delicious! It’s delicious!!! It has a unique texture!!!”

…Wait, kiddie group?
I guess that’s a bit of a misleading term.

I’m surprised I haven’t made hamburger steak all this time, but I’ll be sure to include it in our main menu from now on.
Still, our main problem of leftover souvenir meat persists.

There are plenty of us on the farm, so Mr. Shax must have thoughtfully prepared this many.
But I can’t possibly make all of them into hamburgers.
We’d grow sick of eating it over time, plus my wrist would die from kneading the minced meat over and over.

“Maybe I need a different approach for this…”

Are there other dishes that can be made with minced meat?
…Ah!

“Sausages!”

I’m pretty sure they’re also made from minced meat.
And they’re a type of preserved food too, so they should have a longer shelf life.
It’s the perfect way to cook nasty… ahem, gustatorily-challenged meat!

All right, I’m going to try making otherworldly sausages with the meat Mr. Shax gave us!


Sausages are essentially ground organ meat.
In other words, we need intestines.

You’d think I could just get them in no time flat because the meat’s right in front of me? Wrong! The meat is well-chopped, with the organs and bones removed.
I like to utilize every part of the monsters we hunt, so I also keep their organs.
Most of the time, I make hot pot stew from them and share it with everyone…

…There it is.

I looked inside our storage and found frozen horned boar intestines.
I think it was the orcs who processed it.
The inside is also cleaned well; they’ve done a great job.

I’ll use this for the minced meat.
This calls for my gift, the Hand of Supremacy.
The power that dwells in my hands will choose the best one and proceed to process them.

The minced meat that goes into the sausage may have some unique additives or mixtures, but I’ll leave all that to my ability.

As soon as I’ve laid out the necessary ingredients, my ability makes my hand grab the most appropriate ones and mix them into the meat.
The Hand of Supremacy really is convenient with how automatic it is.

Intestine skin to put the ground meat in—check.
Ground meat to put inside—check.
All that’s left is to combine them into one to complete the sausage!

But…

“How do I stuff them in?”

Don’t they, you know, usually use a particular machine that stuffs the ground meat into the intestines?
Yyyeah, I don’t know either.

Well, maybe I could try my best to stuff them by hand, but I don’t think that’s going to be a pretty sight.

If I were to make sausages regularly in the future…
Ugh, I really want a sausage-filling machine!
…Filling machine?
Let’s just call it that.

How do we make that filling machine, then?
I could ask for Hephaestus’ help again, but the structure of the machine seems pretty straightforward, plus I feel awkward about using the Hephaestus Counter.

So, what other options do I have?
Oh yeah, didn’t I just recently become acquainted with someone skilled in making such machines?


“…Me, eh?”

I have invited Pops Edward Smith to our farm again.
To explain the purpose of the requirement in a more straightforward way, I am serving him a hamburger first.
Of course, alcohol too.

“I want to stuff these skins with ground intestine and was wondering if you could make the necessary machine to do so!”

With a hefty reward, of course!

“I won’t say no to a request from you, Lord Saint… Well, judging by the tenderness of this ground meat, I think it’s best to pressurize them, no?”
“Oh!”

Already a compelling idea from the get-go?
As expected of dwarves!

“It would be easy to make such a mechanism by applying a pump’s concept. We also use pumps for our underground excavation.”
“Alrighty, let’s get to work! Of course, the materials will be shouldered by me!”

Mana metal ingots!

“Mana metal againnnnnnnnn?!”

I-Is Pops having a seizure?!

“Come to think of it, you were shocked to death last time when you saw the mana metal ship. What’s wrong? Do you perhaps hate mana metal?!”
“N-No… It’s not about liking or hating them… If possible, please don’t place them near me right away… The stimulus is too much for my heart!”

…Stimulus?!
Anyway, I want to rely on his dwarven crafting skills and know-how.

“Let’s work together to make a sausage-filling machine using this mana metal!!!
“We’re really going with mana metaaaaaaaaaal?!”

Huh? You mean we can’t?
But the smell or taste of metal doesn’t stick to the food, so isn’t that a huge help?

“I’m not… I’m not saying we can’t… But… The best metal on earth is being used for mere cookware… and not some legendary sword?!”

W-Why does he look like he’s having a hard time with this?

Well, no matter.
I’ll start by cutting enough mana metal for our project.

This is when the Wicked-Holy Sword Dreischwartz comes into play!

“A holy swooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooord?!?!?!?!?!”

H-Huh?!
Pops let out another strange voice!

“A holy sword said only to be possessed by the king of the demon race… The legendary holy sword created by god! And yet… it’s here in front of me! The real thing?!?!?!?!”

Is it something to be that agitated about?!

But it really isn’t as big of a deal as you put it.
I’m not fighting a world crisis, so it’s useless no matter how powerful a weapon is.
Its only use is to cut up materials at best, you see.
Like schwing!

“You’re using the holy sword to cut through the mana metaaaaaaaaaaal?! The most powerful sword on earth is being used as a mere crafting toooooooooooooool?!”

Pops.
Please calm down.
If you get too agitated, history might repeat itself…

“I can’t take this! This place is beyond my comprehension! My value as a dwarven craftsman, which I have spent half my life establishing, is crumbling…!”
“?”
“…”
“He’s dead again?!”

I had to rush off to call Sensei and revive Pops, who died of acute shock again.
Conversations with him are full of thrill.

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C265: Differences in Meat

Yep, Kidan here.
I received a souvenir from Mr. Shax, the demon merchant.

“You’ve always been a valuable business partner to us. Please accept our gratitude,” he says.

Likewise!
It’s because of his skills that we can sell Batemy’s clothes and the elves’ handicrafts.

Mr. Shax is a wealthy merchant of the Demon Kingdom and is the only person allowed to do business with us. That’s why he’s trying to maintain a good relationship with us with the utmost care.
Today’s “souvenir” is probably part of his intentions.

“…So, what’s this souvenir?”

No matter how old I am, I can’t help but get excited when I hear the word “souvenir.”

“Gee, I was lucky to have gotten it; it’s just that rare to appear on the market! But now that I’ve procured some, I’d like to offer them to you, by all means, Lord Saint!”

Oookay, calm down.
Should you really be carelessly raising my hopes up like that?
You’re making me as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve!

“It’s praised as one of the world’s greatest delicacies, not even His Majesty could always eat. And that is…”

Drumroll…

“Square boar meat!!!”


……Oh.

“The taste of its meat is said to be the richest and most flavorful of all monsters! Still, they are difficult to obtain due to the small number of dungeons they inhabit and their ferocity as monsters!”
“…I-I see!”
“It’s a high-class ingredient that can’t be found even in the finest restaurants in the capital! I can’t guarantee that it will satisfy your refined palate, but I hope you accept my sentiments!”
“Wow, I’m SO happy…”

Square boars are the most common source of meat on our farm.
The monster, which I call horned boar, lives in abundance in Veil’s mountain dungeon.

So, for me, it’s just an everyday item…
But I can’t say that to Mr. Shax’s face, who was so confident that it’ll please me.

“T-Thank you very much! We will all enjoy eating it later!”
“Not at all! I’m glad it pleased you, Lord Saint!”

Besides, I could’ve sworn I had treated him to horned boar meat many times during his previous visits.


“Anyway…”

For dinner, I’m cooking the horned boar meat Mr. Shax gave us.

“What? Boar meat again?” sulks Veil. “I’m sick of eating boar meat. I want something better. Like cake!!!”

Veil, now a dragon with a refined palate, has grown tired of the horned boar meat she has been accustomed to eating since this farm was founded.
And she used to gobble up boar meat with a big smile on her face…

“I won’t give it to choosy children. No yogurt for dessert, either.”
“I’m sorry! I’ll eat it!”

Perhaps the presence of the dessert caught Veil’s attention and made her come back to the table.

“Well, wild boar is still delicious, so I guess it’s okay. Bon appetit…”

Veil takes a piece of the pork steak… gives it a few chews…
And…

“…Blegh.”
“Huh?”

She made a very disgusted face.

“Er… How should I say this? It’s not that the seasoning is bad, but it’s totally different from the wild boar we usually eat. The flavor is just different!”
“Yeah…”

Even my wife, Platy, who is sitting at the table with us, has a subtle expression on her face as she contemplates the steak’s flavor in her mouth.

“Its flavor is different from the usual dishes you cook for us, Dear. I don’t think it’s because of the way it was prepared… Maybe the ingredient itself?”

She talks like a foodie with a discerning palate now.
But it’s the same as usual, guys.
I cook the horned boar meat like I always do, season it, and…

“…Ah.”

Well, the horned boar itself is different today.
It’s not what we usually hunt in the mountain dungeon, but one from another region that Mr. Shax brought us as a souvenir.

Maybe that’s what makes it different?
I ran to the freezer, took a slice of local boar meat, cooked into steak with the same technique and seasoning, and served it to them again.

“Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!”
“Delicious! Delicious! Yes! This is the true taste of a square boar! The supreme and characteristic flavor of Dear’s disheeeees!!!”

This is it!
This is exactly how they reacted the first time they ate boar meat!
It’s like the days of yore have returned that I can’t help but feel moved too!!!

…Yeah, right.

“Are they that different?”

But Mr. Shax’s souvenir meat and our local boar meat are supposed to be the same type of monster.

I cooked two kinds of pork steak for myself and compared their tastes.
They were indeed wholly different.
One has a fruity sweetness imbued in the meat’s juicy flavor. On the other hand, the other has a muddy taste and smells a lot.

Sorry, Mr. Shax. I guess there is a difference in the meat.

“How can they be different when they’re practically the same kind?”

The first thing that came to mind was my Hand of Supremacy.
Just as I had evolved many of the monsters I had come into contact with, had I also evolved the horned boar into a higher species, which became evident in its taste?

“…That’s probably not it.”

Unlike the orcs, goblins, and adamantine silkworms, horned boars are hunted and consumed daily.
The horned boars spawning in the dungeon shouldn’t be affected by the Hand of Supremacy from their very birth.

Besides, with Orkubo and his team going into the dungeons nowadays, there’s no opportunity for me to come into physical contact with them until they’re on the kitchen counter.

“So, it must be something else…”

Is it their place of origin?
Back in my world, there were times when something was the same variety, but there would be varying degrees of differences depending on the region.

“…Ah.”

I think I get it now.
I planted a variety of otherworldly trees in the mountain dungeon.

We call it the “Dungeon Orchard,” and these fruit-bearing trees grow abundantly.
Some of the riper fruit probably falls off before we harvest them.
And maybe… the horned boars eat them.

Crops from another world seem to be tasty here, so the horned boars that consumed them would probably taste better than those from other regions.

My world’s animal husbandry used particular feed to improve the taste of the meat, too.
I also heard that in some cases, the animals eat even more luxurious food than us.
That’s probably what makes this horned boar different from what Mr. Shax gave me.

“Huh? But if that’s the case, then the boars in my dungeon should’ve been the same as the others. The meat dishes you cooked for us were super delicious right from the very beginning, Master.”
“Any meat tastes better if you cook it, Dear. The change in the boar’s taste because of the otherworldly fruit is slow, so we must have been accustomed to it unknowingly, don’t you think?”

And when we ate the meat Mr. Shax gave me, we became aware of the difference all at once.
It’s as good as Platy guessed.

I can’t believe we’ve been nonchalantly dining on gourmet food this whole time.
What an immoral act.
I should be more aware of our blessings and be grateful for them.

“The meat Mr. Shax gave us taught us something important. Let’s all express our gratitude!”
“THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!”

Me, Platy, and Veil bow our heads to the remaining meat.

“…So, about this meat,” says Platy, raising her head. “What are we going to do with it?”
“Huh?”

Er, eat it, what else?
Mr. Shax gave it to us with that intention in mind. Eating the food given to us is always good manners.

“I don’t want to eat meat that tastes worse than usual,” says Veil.

She’s not wrong.
Food is the joy of daily life, so meals must always be delicious to feel fulfilled and energized.
Making bad food on purpose is just preposterous.

Still, Mr. Shax must have put a lot of effort into procuring all this inferior-quality meat from monsters dwelling in who knows where…
Even now, six whole pieces remain.

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C264: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 9 – Hidden Settlement

“Phew… That was something!” says Prince Arowana.

I, Hakkai the orc, will continue to report on the prince’s pilgrimage.
The mermaid students who came for a field trip have just left after achieving their goal.

Sandwiched between Lord Ardheg and Songokufon, Prince Arowana has returned in one piece from a near-death experience.

“I really thought I was going to die back there…”

I bet.
Anyone would die just from a graze of Lord Ardheg’s breath or Songokufon’s mana cannon.
I’m surprised he managed to dodge them all while they were rampaging about like a storm.

“I’m back!”

Lady Puffer, who had sent the girls back to the farm, has also returned.

“All right, off we go.”
“Where are we going today?”
“To tell you the truth, Demon King Zedan told me about a place that we should definitely visit if we pass by it.”
“?”
“He said it should be somewhere around here.”

It’s not like we can ignore the Demon King’s request, can we?
I guess our destination today has been set.

“Let’s get ‘em!”
“YEAH!”


And here we are.

“Hey, hun, is this really the place?”
“Yes. I’m pretty sure this is the place Lord Zedan told me about…”

But the place we arrived at is… how should I say it, desolated.
No towns, villages, not even a single plant or tree.
Just barren land without a hint of biological life.

Why did the Demon King make us come here?

“Was it to lure us out so he could ambush us?”
“There’s no such thing as that, Lord Ardheg! Lord Zedan would never use such underhanded tactics!”
“Oops, sorry…” says Lord Ardheg dejectedly.

For a dragon, he’s pretty delicate.
Meanwhile…

“Oh, what a surprise. Are you perhaps travelers?”

From the seemingly deserted wilderness, a human appears.
…Wait, human?

“You must be lost. I’ll show you the way to the nearest village, so you should set out right away. You should get there by dusk at best if so.”
“No, mister, we’re…”

Prince Arowana explains how we came to be here, glad that there is at least someone.
We wouldn’t want things to turn into a long story, so he kept my identity and our connection with the Demon King a secret.

some explanation going on!

“Oh! You must be the prince from the Mermaid Kingdom the Demon King told us about!”
“?!”

There goes the prince’s effort to explain things as ambiguously as possible.
Apparently, the other party knows everything.

“J-Just who are you, mister?”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve been told by the Demon King to show the mermaid prince and his group around when they show up. You’re free to observe as much as you like.”

With that, the human starts walking as if to say, “follow me.”
Looking closely, he’s a shabby but dignified middle-aged man in his late forties.

“I can’t really guarantee if there’s anything worth observing in this wasteland,” he says.

And it indeed is a wasteland.
It seems impossible for people to live here with no vegetation, animals, or even a flowing river.

“Why do you choose to live in such a harsh place, mister?”
“Destiny, I suppose?”
“Pardon, sir?”
“I’m lucky to have survived this long here. Besides, there’s something that I need to do.”
“And that’s…?”
“‘Cultivation,’ I believe?”

Cultivation?
That sounds familiar.

“Look over there.”

Several people are hoeing in the direction the man is pointing.
It seems he’s not the only person living here.

“Oh, farmwork?”
“No, we haven’t even reached that point yet.”
“Huh?”
“We’re mixing rice husks into the soil. But that’s not all. We also use crushed fish bones and ashes from burning wood. Even rotten vegetable scraps…”

Oh, organic fertilizer.
Back at Lord Saint’s farm, in addition to hyper-fish fertilizer, we also mix food scraps into the fields to nourish the soil.

“As you can see, this area is a wasteland. The soil is dead, so even if we plant crops, they will not flourish. That’s why we’re starting from bringing the soil back to life.”
“I-I see…”
“We are also drawing waterways while we’re at it. Only after these are completed can we produce food for ourselves.”

But it will probably take them many years to complete those.
The hyper-fertilizer at Lord Saint’s farm promotes the growth of crops and produces an abundant harvest in a shorter time.
We strong orcs built the waterways there, but as ordinary human beings, they will probably progress like ants.

Is such a challenging and unpredictable process what they call true cultivation work?

“Wonderful!” exclaims Prince Arowana. “What respectable work! This is the very first step in the formation of a nation. I now understand why Lord Zedan wanted me to see this!”
“If you don’t mind, I’d say you’re even more respectable for realizing it at such a young age,” says the man, smiling radiantly. “I couldn’t have realized it until I was this old. Upon coming here, I was reminded that I’m not capable of placing myself above others.”
“…”

Prince Arowana seems to notice the regretful tone in the man’s voice and humbles himself, asking, “…With all due respect, you’re a human, yes?”
“Indeed. You can tell by my complexion.”

There is indeed a big difference in the skin tone between the human and demon races.
Still, it’s impossible to believe that humans are in the Demon Kingdom.
What could be the meaning of this?

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you the former king of the Human Kingdom?”
“?!?!?!?!”

Prince Arowana’s question baffles all the party members, including yours truly.
The Human Kingdom was already destroyed by the Demon King’s Army, and its king was believed to have been executed.

Our eyes focus on the man.
The man in question only lets out a dry chuckle.

“How sharp of you. Why, yes, you are indeed correct.”
“So you’re…!”

He really is the king of the Human Kingdom who was supposed to be executed.

“I was supposed to be killed. But thanks to the Demon King’s mercy, I remain alive and am now spending the rest of my life like this.”

So, he was only made out to be dead on the surface.
It’s probably more convenient to rule the former Human Kingdom that way.

“Such a compassionate ruler the Demon King is. He gave me a chance to live and a meaningful job.”

That is, cultivating this land.

“I feel like I’ve learned what a true king is in this land, though it was all too late. I hope I can at least serve as a role model so that a future king like you knows what not to do.”
“No, not at all.”

Prince Arowana takes the former king’s hand.

“I can learn what it is to be a king from the way you live and have lived your life. I understand why Lord Zedan guided me here.”
“And your daughter…” interrupts Puffer. “Is doing awfully well living in another place. Is there anything you want us to tell her?”
“Letasreit?!”

The former king’s eyes gleam even more.

“I see… So, the Demon King kept his promise not to oppress my daughter…”
“So, is there anything you want to say?”
“No, nothing.”

The former king interrupts in a reserved manner, despite Lady Puffer’s offer.

“In her mind, I’m supposed to be dead. I don’t want to confuse her unnecessarily. You should also keep the fact that you met me here a secret.”

We all nod in agreement as the former king places his index finger in front of his lips, gesturing, “Shh.”

“Well, I’ll have you know living here isn’t as hard as it looks! Most especially thanks to the Demon King’s support. He provides us with food until we’re able to grow our own crops. That’s why I’ll stay here and continue to do the things I couldn’t do when I was on the throne.”


And so, we bid our goodbye to the former Human King and went on our way.
I guess he plans to spend the rest of his life in the shadows, never to appear on the center stage of history again.

He decided that it was for the best of the nation he once ruled and the world as a whole.

“That was one of the many forms of a king, huh. It was an enlightening experience.”
“Yeah…”

Prince Arowana and Lady Puffer talk side by side.
This experience would come in handy when they’d be in a position to govern their own people.

And when that time is near, this journey, too, will come to a close.

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C263: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 8 – Mermaid Students’ Social Field Trip

It’s me, Hakkai the orc.

Our group is in good spirits as usual.

There are no troubles or quests this time, just a smooth journey.
Surely, we’ll reach our next stop without any hiccups along the way.

“It’s about time Puffer arrived, huh?”

Before heading to our next destination, we would wait for Lady Puffer to reunite with us.
She doesn’t want to be separated from Prince Arowana, so she accompanies us on her own accord using teleportation magic. Truly a committed woman who can juggle work at the farm and her travels.
Last night, she went back to the farm before entering the inn, then returned after finishing her work.

“Heya. Morning, guys.”

And there she is.
Lady Puffer acts like a rambunctious character, but she is surprisingly punctual.
She’s never been late before.

“This is when I’d motivate us to have another fun journey, but…”
“Hmm?”

Something’s…off.
Whenever Lady Puffer returns to us, it’s usually just her and her alone, but…
There are more people today!

About 20 in total!
Why?!

“It’s Mermaid Witch Academia Farm Branch School’s field trip today.”
“What?!”

What’s going on here?

Looking closely at them now, they all seem to be young girls.
They’re standing upright with human legs.
But this vibe… are they all mermaids?

“Wee! It’s Brother Arowana!”
“Angel? Why are you here?!”

One girl who looks relatively hyper among the others embraces Prince Arowana.
But Lady Puffer smacks her and drags her away.

“You see, Platy ordered me to teach these inexperienced little girls about the society on land.”
“What’s the meaning of this?!”

Neither Prince Arowana nor I could follow the conversation at all.

Puffer explains that the Mermaid Kingdom has established a school at Lord Saint’s farm, so several girls migrated there as exchange students.
Oh, a branch school?
Branches smanches, it doesn’t matter.

“So, all the girls here are students of Mermaid Witch Academia?”
“Elites, eh?” says Prince Arowana as he lets out a sigh. “I certainly wasn’t expecting this to happen on our journey!”
“Anyway, as part of their studies, Platy wants me to take them on a social field trip.”
“Yes, but what is this social field trip you’ve been mentioning this entire time?!”

Er… The young girls are all brimming with so much excitement seeing unfamiliar land for the first time that they look like they’re about to scatter in places!
Darn it, I need them to behave and stay put!

“Well, they want to observe the future king who’s pilgrimaging on land.”
“Me?!” exclaims Prince Arowana.

It turns out the purpose of their field trip is to observe Prince Arowana himself.
Well, he is a prince, so it’s no wonder he’d be the center of attraction.

“Big brother! Please let us observe you lots today!” says the girl who hugged the prince earlier.

Who is she?

“Please!”
“PLEASE!!!”

The girls all bow their heads at once.
Lady Puffer whispers into the baffled prince’s ear.

“…It seems everything’s going all according to your speculations back in the Mermaid Kingdom, hun. Those who are plotting something are really exploiting your absence.”

One of the many objectives of this trip is for Prince Arowana to purge those people once he officially returns from his pilgrimage.

“But she said it’d be troublesome to keep them under control with just the right amount of force, so if you’re not going to return yet, she wants you to cooperate.”

I see.
If Prince Arowana could show the results of his training here, that information would be transmitted to their nation through these girls.
That way, those who are plotting something in the prince’s absence would be more cautious.

“…Puffer, from whom did you get that message?”
“From mother-in-law to Platy, from Platy to me.”

She just said ‘mother-in-law’ naturally.

“…All right then, she did let me go on this journey,” says Prince Arowana as he flamboyantly swings his pike. “Very well! You’re going to see my majestic figure today!”
“YAAAAAAAY!!!”

Thunderous applause.
But what do they do on a social field trip?
What exactly does Prince Arowana showing off his cool side entail?
Does he find monsters or bandits nearby and kill them?

“Why don’t we just have a short mock battle?”
“Mock battle?”

Lady Puffer proceeds to talk smoothly without paying much attention to me.

“Hey, Songoku.”
“Wuzzit, Sis?”

She calls the angel Songokufon, who was nonchalantly playing over there, and…

“Fight with my hubby, Songoku.”
“Roger.”

And she said something absurd.
Are you seriously going to let Prince Arowana fight Songokufon face-to-face?!
His opponent is an existence that even makes the gods scared!

“He can’t show off his skills if he doesn’t fight an opponent of her level, though.”

If we’re just trying to give a demonstration, why don’t we lower our standards?! A battle with an angel like her always ends up nasty, anyway!

…Wait, no.
Even Songokufon must have grown up mentally after traveling with us.
She has learned commonsense and prudence, so she would probably go easy on Prince Arowana and let him take all the credit…

“Mana cannon at full power.”
“Ahh!!!”

Prince Arowana barely dodges the beam of light launched from Songokufon’s cannon.
The shot beam continues its course…
And blows up a mountain in the distance.

“…?!”
“?!”
“?!?!?!”

The excited looks on the mermaid students have vanished.
Now, they look like they encountered something beyond their imagination.

“Hey! You’re taking this too seriously, Songoku!!!”
“But aintcha supposed ta be serious when it comes ta battles? Das why I set it at max power!”
“Ahhhh!!!”

Prince Arowana is no longer trying to show off; he’s just trying to make it out alive.
The mermaids observing him have blank expressions on their faces.
To make matters worse, someone speaks up amidst the surrounding sea of fire caused by Songokufon’s barrage of attacks…

“How truly brave, Lord Arowana!” says a dragon.

He’s our new companion, Lord Ardheg the Glintz Dragon.
He said he was going to fly around the area for fun, but I didn’t expect him to come back at this time…

“What brute courage to challenge the angel Songokufon on your own! That’s proof of a hero!”
“Lord Ardheg! You’re mistaken! Please, help me!!!”
“I think it’s best if I join her to determine your true talents! Here I come!”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

A hellish three-way battle between Songokufon, Lord Ardheg, and Prince Arowana.
No matter how you look at it, Prince Arowana is sticking out like a sore thumb.
He’ll probably turn into cinders in a matter of seconds…

“Too naïve. Take a closer look…”

Lady Puffer is keeping her cool, but this is a life-or-death situation for Prince Arowana if we don’t rescue him soon.

“AHHHHHHHHH! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!”

Hear that?! He’s even screaming as if he’s about to die!

“Woaaaaaaaaaah! Groooooo!!!”

…Huh?
His screams aren’t stopping, are they?
Prince Arowana is headstrong!

“Looking down on that man is the last thing you want to do,” says Lady Puffer confidently. “It’s not like we fought a Lifeless King, vampires, and automatons just for show. We also had everyone’s help. Now, my hubby has overcome those difficulties and has grown stronger!!!”

…W-Wha?
Hold up. Did Prince Arowana just slice through Lord Adheg’s dragon breath with his pike?!

“Mm?!”

And he closed the distance with Songokufon, who’s been firing her mana cannon all over the place!

“Your cannon is useless in this distance!”
“Ew! Prince, you lecher! Geddaway from me, pervert!!!”
“If I do, you’ll just aim for me again! God gave you a versatile weapon, but your unfamiliarity with it is plain imprudence!!!”

He’s on even grounds with an angel and a dragon!
Has Prince Arowana really grown this strong during our journey?!
In the face of this legendary battle, the students’ expressions remain dead.

“Brother has gone to a faraway place…”

After the girls left, they spread rumors to the Mermaid Kingdom that Prince Arowana was fighting equally with a dragon and such! …Or did they really?

It sounds too exaggerated that it might seem dubious instead, no?

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Special Edition: Isekai de Tochi o Katte Noujou o Tsukurou Characters

With the number of characters increasing after working on this for a long time, I decided to write a general introduction.
I hope you can make use of this to look up a particular character while reading the story from here on out.

The characters listed are limited to those who;
1: have appeared in the story so far, and
2: those who are likely to appear in the future.
Please check out their introduction below.


Farm Residents

  • Saint Kidan (Protagonist), M
    Otherworlder.
    The protagonist summoned from modern Japan. With the cheat ability, Hand of Supremacy, given to him by a god, he has built a farm in a remote area.
  • Platy, F
    The protagonist’s merprincess wife. Produces the farm’s fermented food using her magic. She is currently pregnant with the protagonist’s baby.
  • Veil, F
    Grinzel Dragon (Imperial Princess Dragon). Aimed for the protagonist’s holy sword for the Dragon Archon trials. She is wedded to the protagonist just like Platy, but no matter how you look at it, she’s being treated more like a pet as of late.
  • Sensei the Lifeless King, M
    The undead guardian of the cave dungeon near the farm. Lifeless Kings are the most terrifying immortals on earth, but Sensei is kind and helpful in times of need. He is on excellent terms with the protagonist.
  • Orkubo, M
    The leader of the farm’s orc army. Through contact with the protagonist, he mutated and became the strongest species, the Julius Caesar Orc. Steady in nature, he leads fifty other orcs and is in charge of the public works and construction on the farm. Recently, he has become quite the construction junkie.
    There are other orc leaders following Orkubo, namely:
    o Orkma
    o Orkra
    o Orkninushi
    o Orktober
  • Gobukichi, M
    The leader of the farm’s goblin army. Through contact with the protagonist, he mutated and became the strongest species, the Takehaya Susano-o Goblin. The goblin army is responsible for a wide variety of tasks and contributes the most to the farm.
    There are other goblin leaders following Gobukichi, namely:
    o Goburo
    o Gobuhiko
    o Gobusaemon
    o Gobunoshin
  • Batemy, F
    She was a soldier in the Demon King’s Army but started working as the farm’s seamstress and has made a name for herself. She produces all of the farm’s clothing and now sells her other creations to the Demon Kingdom.
  • Belena, F
    A former soldier of the Demon King’s Army who came to live on the farm with Batemy. She used to be tormented by her self-viewed incompetency but is now doing fine.
  • Puffer, F
    She is called the Witch of the Bitter Cold and is an outstanding potion compounder. She was invited to the farm during its first shorthanded phase and has succeeded Platy in making fermented food. Arowana, the prince of the Mermaid Kingdom, is her crush.
  • Lampeye, F
    A mermaid guard known as the Witch of Hellfire who served in the Mermaid King’s Castle in the past. She was imprisoned due to a blunder. Through a plea bargain, she ended up working on the farm.
  • Garra Rufa, F
    A mermaid doctor known as the Witch of the Plague. She is the only person who has foreseen the existence of bacteria but is treated as a lunatic by those around her for it. At first, she was in charge of brewing alcohol but was magically reassigned to the medical department at some point.
  • Aileron, F
    She used to be the leader of elven bandits but was caught stealing from the farm. As a form of atonement, she now uses her elven dexterity to work as the farm’s article maker. Aileron is the head of the pottery team.
    The other members of the elven bandits who were captured with her are:
    o Maelga, the head of the leatherwork team (and former second-in-command),
    o Mieral, the head of the woodwork team,
    o and Poel, the head of the glasswork team.
  • Earth Spirits, F (?)
    Self-conscious creatures materialized by the earth’s spiritual energy. Normally, they are intangible, but with Hades’ blessing, they have emerged as cute girls in charge of cleaning around the farm. Their favorite food is butter.
  • Panu, F
    A half-goat therianthrope. Panu is the head of her team and is a calm and alluring lady. Famous for producing high-quality milk, she and her kind were welcomed to the farm as residents. In addition to milk, her team also makes other dairy products, like butter and cheese.
  • Letasreit, F
    The princess of the Human Kingdom. Her country was destroyed by the demons, and she was brought to the farm as a prisoner when she should have been executed. She acted all high and mighty at first, but once she got used to life on the farm, she began to work diligently. Loves fava beans to bits.
  • Horkosfon, F
    An angel, a biological weapon created by Zeus to conquer the earth. Resurrected after thousands of years, she forgot her original mission and settled on the farm. Loves natto more than anything.
  • Angel, F
    Platy’s younger sister and the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom. Her rivalry with her sister made her come to the farm to settle the score. She insists on staying for some reason.
    The following are Angel’s friends/followers. The “witch” part is self-proclaimed.
    o Discus, the Witch of Water
    o Veiltail, the Witch of Fire
    o Heckerlii, the Witch of Air
    o Batrachus, the Witch of Earth
  • Bacchus, M
    The demigod of alcohol. He came to the farm because he sensed the presence of a rare brew. Eventually, he became in charge of the farm’s alcohol production.
    He leads a number of his followers called the Maidens of Bacchus as assistants.
    The only Maiden whose name is known at this point is Threep.

Farm Animals

  • Pochi and friends
    Wolf monsters called hyelycaons but evolved into more powerful hypercaons through contact with the protagonist. Several hypercaons are living on the farm, and Pochi is their leader. He looks and acts more like a dog than a wolf and is adored by everyone.
  • Yoschamo
    Chicken monsters.
    They are raised for their eggs but are more like game fowls than farm chickens. Perhaps because they are monsters, they lay eggs regardless of gender. Even those with cockscombs lay eggs.
  • Homunculus Horses
    Genetically engineered horses, they are a cross between normal horses and various monsters.
    There’s Sakamoto, the dragon-horse ridden by the protagonist.
    Gigantirock, ridden by Okubo.
    Mimikoctopus, ridden by Gobukichi.
    And there are also several regular horses.
  • Adamantine Silkworms
    Silkworm monsters.
    They are kept for the production of silk. The threads they spew are strong, and the fabric weaved from them can reflect any attack.

Prince Arowana’s Party

  • Prince Arowana, M
    The first prince of the Mermaid Kingdom and Platy’s older brother. He became good friends with the protagonist through Platy. He is currently on a pilgrimage on earth following a similar pattern to “Journey to the West.”
    The following are his companions.
  • Puffer
    Same as the Farm Residents’ section.
    She has feelings for Prince Arowana and uses teleportation magic to travel back and forth between his destination and the farm. Therefore, she appears in both scenes.
  • Songokufon, F
    An angel.
    Destroyed thousands of years ago and was resurrected by putting together salvaged parts. Accompanies Prince Arowana on his journey for the sake of education. Has a broken hippie tone.
  • Hakkai, M
    Orc.
    He used to be one of the orcs working on the farm, but he became Prince Arowana’s companion with the protagonist’s permission.
  • Ardheg, M
    Glintz Dragon (Imperial Prince Dragon).
    He is searching for “a king unworthy of a hero” or “a hero unworthy of a king” for the Dragon Archon trials. He expects Prince Arowana to be either one and thus joins him on his journey.

Demon Kingdom Characters

  • Demon King Zedan, M
    The ruler of the Demon Kingdom. He has an honest personality and is a good friend of the protagonist. He is trying to rule the whole earth devoid of any partiality after defeating the Human Kingdom.
  • Astres, F
    She was one of the Heavenly Four of the Demon King’s Army but eventually got married to Demon King Zedan and became his first queen. She was the trigger to the relationship between the demon race and the farm.
  • Glasya, F
    Another former member of the Heavenly Four and the current Second Demon Queen. She’s been rivals with Astres since their days as Heavenly Ones.
  • Belphgamilia, M
    An active member of the Heavenly Four. He is an unmotivated and self-indulgent man, but his abilities are the strongest in the demon race. Whenever Demon King Zedan takes a break from military and naval affairs to focus on internal administration, he takes over as army commander.
  • Ravilian, M
    A former member of the Heavenly Four. Stepped down from his position after conspiring to bring down Astres. His son-in-law is currently taking his place.
  • Aeshma, F
    A newcomer who succeeded Astres as a Heavenly One. Sincerely respects Astres.
  • Leviasa, F
    Glasya’s former aide and her successor.
    Competent.
  • Olba, M
    One of Belphgamilia’s aides. He’s probably in love with Batemy.
  • Shax, M
    President of a large merchant association in the Demon Kingdom. He acts as a mediator for the farm’s products.
  • Great Demon King Baal, M
    The previous Demon King and Zedan’s father. The title “Great Demon King” is given to retired demon kings and is merely a title of respect.
    Since his retirement, he has been buying antiques from around the world to promote the Demon Kingdom’s cultural enlightenment.
  • Demon Prince Goetia, M
    A baby born between Zedan and Astres. The first candidate to become the next Demon King.
  • Demon Princess Marine, F
    Demon King Zedan’s second child, born to the second demon queen Glasya. She is Goetia’s half-sister.

Mermaid Kingdom Characters

  • Mahi Kanne, F
    The current Mermaid Queen and mother of Prince Arowana, Princess Platy, and Angel.
    She is the Six Witches’ Witch of Darkness, but this is kept a public secret.
  • Mermaid King Nagus, M
    The king who rules the Mermaid Kingdom and the father of Platy and Prince Arowana. He’s a hero who won the heart of Mahi, who was a witch on the verge of destroying the world back then, and made her his queen.
  • Zoth Syra, F
    The Six Witches’ Witch of the Abyss. She is researching homunculus, which is forbidden in the Mermaid Kingdom, and is, therefore, a wanted person. Her encounter with Orkubo led to her frequent visits to the farm. She seems to be crushing on him.
    Has a history with Queen Mahi as her subordinate, but since the Witch of Darkness’ existence is a mystery, Zoth Syra is considered the oldest among the Six Witches.
  • Carp, F
    An inflexible teacher at Mermaid Witch Academia, a prestigious school in the Mermaid Kingdom. In the past, she was Mahi, the Witch of Darkness’ subordinate together with Zoth Syra. She was known as the Witch of Arts.
  • Hendra, M
    A controversialist. He comes from a noble family and is close to Prince Arowana. After the prince left for his journey, Hendra visits the farm on his behalf. Is in love with Lampeye.
  • Crowntail Betta, F
    A student of Mermaid Witch Academia, now an exchange student at the farm’s branch school.
    It turns out that she’s Hendra’s sister. The future with her seems a little messy.

Human Kingdom Characters

  • Human King, M
    Real name: Genesis the 18th. He was a foolish ruler, but he had the backbone to lay down his life in his nation’s time of crisis. It is believed that he was executed by the demons…
  • Heroine Momoko, F
    Otherworlder.
    Real name: Momoko Akasaki. A high school girl summoned to another world with the protagonist. Because of her superior skills, she is hailed as a heroine. Her detailed activities are described in the spinoff series.
  • Bearmon, N/A
    Bear monster.
    A monster born on the protagonist’s farm but traveled to the former Human Kingdom to train itself. It spends its days fighting brigands and protecting the local people in the chaotic nation post-downfall. For some reason, it found a kindred spirit in Momoko and is now working together with her.
  • Shabe, M
    A novice adventurer. Seeks the Saint’s Farm. A pursuer dreams and romance. He has no direct acquaintanceship with the protagonist.
  • Dalkish, M
    He is a feudal lord of the former Human Kingdom and is pardoned by the demon race to rule his territory. As opposed to the foolish royalty, human feudal lords like Dalkish are competent and fair.
  • Varlina, F
    A former demoness soldier in the Demon King’s Army. She was sent to monitor Dalkish, but after facing difficulties together, they fell in love and got married.

Dragons

  • Geyser Dragon, M
    Real name, unknown. He is the Dragon Emperor who rules all dragons. He is currently putting his children through various trials to determine his successor, but there seems to be a conspiracy behind it all.
  • Alexander, M
    Grauglintz Dragon (Crown Prince Dragon).
    He has not appeared in the main story. Under normal circumstances, he would’ve been the next Geyser Dragon, but he and his father have had a falling out. He has a dungeon in the Human Kingdom open to adventurers.
  • Seidour, F
    A Grinzel Dragon and Veil’s sister. She is steeping herself to make dragon wine on the farm.

Deities

  • Hephaestus, God of Crafting, M
    A god skilled in creating all sorts of crafts. Gave the protagonist the Hand of Supremacy. He is a celestial god but is not comfortable around his father, Zeus, or his siblings. He is more inclined toward mortals and has profound ideas that benefit them. Rice ball is his favorite food.
  • Hades, God of the Underworld, M
    God who rules the earth out of the Three Realm Deities. He created the demon race and is a kind-hearted god who has given up the earth to his mortal children and lives in the underworld. His favorite food is rice with toppings.
  • Demetersephone, Mother Earth Goddess, F
    Hades’ wife and the mother goddess who gives life to all on earth.
  • Poseidon, God of the Seas, M
    He is the god who rules the sea and creator of the mermaid race. His favorite food is cod roe.
  • Amphitrite, Mother Sea Goddess, F
    Poseidon’s spouse. Gave Platy the Blessing of the Mother Sea Goddess.
  • Medusa, Sea Consort Goddess F
    Poseidon’s other spouse. Gave Puffer the Blessing of the Sea Consort Goddess.
  • Zeus, God of the Heavens, M
    Scum of a god who rules the skies and created the human race. Currently imprisoned because of his own actions.
  • Hermes, God of Wisdom, M
    Runs here and there to clean up after the mess his father, Zeus, made. When the protagonist revived Songokufon, Hermes brought her back to the celestial realm to fix her and made her accompany Prince Arowana afterward.
  • Athena, Goddess of War, F
    A celestial goddess of triumphant battles. She inherited much of her dirty attitude from her father. Has only appeared in the spinoff series so far.
  • Ares, God of War, M
    While Athena is the god of triumphant battles, Ares is the god of lost battles. After the Human Kingdom was destroyed, he trained Momoko and sent her back to earth to minimize the chaos. Has only appeared in the spinoff series so far.

Others

  • The Lifeless King Emperor, M
    A former demon king possessed by an abnormal desire to rule. As he was about to become the immortal king who rules the earth, he was annihilated by Prince Arowana’s group. Even so, he managed to survive with only his head remaining. He’s been suppressed now, but it’s possible he could be revived in the future…
  • Arachne, F
    A spiritual being with a unique position as an elder spirit. She is the guardian of weavers, dyers, seamstresses, and other artisans who work with thread. She is currently in a fierce rivalry with the adamantine silkworms.
  • Edward Smith, M
    Ruler of the Underground Dwarven Empire, but he prefers to be called “Pops.” He takes pride in his smithy work, the dwarves’ primary occupation, and cannot keep up with the farm that casually handles the most precious metal found on earth. He also loves to drink and is on friendly terms with Bacchus.

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C262: Mermaid of Conspiracies

I’m among the few selected students studying at Mermaid Witch Academia’s Farm Branch School.
This project began with Mermaid Queen Mahi’s fickle proposal.

Even so, there was a rush of applicants.

After all, the offer was to receive direct tutoring from the Six Witches, the best potion compounders in the mermaid realm.
Everyone wants to learn the potions’ secrets, from faddist students to even the most ambitious ones.
As a result of various screenings, I was chosen along with more than ten new students. Of course, Princess Angel and her followers are also with us.

I don’t have any particular talents or specialties; I was admitted to Mermaid Witch Academia simply because I was born to one of the many middle-class nobles in the Mermaid Kingdom. I guess I was lucky enough to enter this highly competitive school. That’s the only reason I could think of.

Still, I feel somewhat bitter about my luck.
Because of this once-in-a-lifetime fortune, I am burdened with a serious mission that does not suit my banal self.

My brother is a brilliant man despite his mediocre status and often makes public speeches—he is a so-called activist.
He ordered me to find the farm’s location where Princess Platy is living in seclusion.

There’s a controversy in the Mermaid Kingdom right now that could split the nation in half.
It stems from the fear that the demons would attack the Mermaid Kingdom next, who have won the war against the humans and have taken total control over the earth.

My brother belongs to the faction that believes the demon race is planning to attack and destroy our nation, and we should take action as soon as possible.
Hence, he’s trying to take these steps to fend off their invasion.

“We should revive Princess Platy’s marriage plan and strengthen our friendly relations with the Demon Kingdom. Who she’s married to now matters not one bit. We should force her to divorce him and marry the Demon King instead,” he claimed.

And for my brother, Princess Angel’s visit to the farm where Princess Platy lives was like a godsend.

The night before I left for the farm, he said, “Listen carefully. The future of the Mermaid Kingdom lies in your hands. Princess Platy, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, should be at your destination. Find out more about that place and use all means possible to inform me.”
He continued, “That’s all you have to do. Once I know where she is, I will lead a group of people to pick up the princess and send her straight to the Demon King. No matter how tight their security is, it should be easy to take the princess if we have fifty of the bravest mermen.”
Lastly, “That is the way to prevent the Mermaid Kingdom’s downfall. Do you understand? Our success or failure lies in your efforts. You must never arouse suspicion from the teachers!”

I can’t go against my brother, who has taken such good care of me, so I came to Saint’s Farm with this secret kept close to my heart.
Here, I confirmed Princess Platy’s whereabouts.

The first phase of my secret mission is complete.
All that’s left is to somehow inform my brother of this farm’s precise location.
If I can do that, my brother will come with a group of people to take the princess back.

A thousand mighty merwarriors.
As my brother says, there’s no such thing as tight security on a small farm like this…

“Ehem.”

In my pensive mood, someone speaks up.

“We have an extraordinary teacher with us today.”


“I’m Sensei the Lifeless King.”


……Hm?

What kind of horrible, out-of-this-world monster is he?
He looks like a dried-up mummy.
However, the magic or miasma emanating from him was so terrifying that many students, including myself, forgot to breathe and shuddered in fear.

“He was a human before his death, so mermaid magic is out of his expertise. Still, I can guarantee you’ll learn a lot about magic so extreme you wouldn’t care about such distinctions anymore, so please make the most out of this session!”

…No.
This isn’t about how it’ll be beneficial to our education or anything like that…

Lifeless King?
Isn’t he one of the worst menaces on land?

Why is he here giving us an open lecture?

“Sorry about this, Sensei.”
“I can’t say no to a request from you, Lord Saint. Besides, I feel young again when I get to interact with young people. If anything, I’d teach them any time of the day.”
“It makes me happy hearing you say it rejuvenates you.”
“Yes, I feel that one lesson can make me ten years younger.”
“But isn’t ten years within your error range, Sensei?”

The undead monster and the land-dwelling man laugh heartily.
Is this what they call an undead joke?

In any case, even if my brother led 5,000 elites, I don’t think they could defeat the Lifeless King.

“Anyway, let’s get right to it. Today will be a practical class. I’m going to summon a god, so please observe carefully.”

For the first time in my life, I was able to see Poseidon, the ancestral god of merfolk, in person.


After two to three screws of our common sense were blown off by the Lifeless King’s class, another special lecturer, who defied conventional wisdom, appeared.

“I am the Demon Queen Astres.”


The Demon Queen?

If memory serves me right…the Demon Queen is the Demon King’s wife, right?

“Today, I have taken on the role of guest lecturer after Sensei the Lifeless King. I’ve always been indebted to Lord Saint, so I want to return the favor in any way possible. I’m determined to make everyone listen and remember every word I say. Otherwise, be prepared for the consequences.”

You scare me, Demon Queen.
The tone of your voice sounds more like a general than a queen.

“Nonetheless, the most important thing I can tell you is the future relationship between our two races. Do not worry, for we are and will always be on the best of terms.”

Really?!

“And the key to that friendship is Lord Saint, the owner of this farm, and his wife, Lady Platy. As long as these two people are alive and well, there will never be a war on earth or underwater. On the contrary…”

On the contrary?

“What do you think would happen if someone tried to harm these two noble beings?”

We students all murmur at the Demon Queen’s implied question.

“In the name of the Demon King’s army, the culprit will be killed along with all of their relatives up to the 15th degree.”

When she said all that she had to say, she took her child from her subordinate and cuddled him with an absurdly sweet smile.
The gap in her attitude was overwhelming.


I learned one crucial thing through today’s special classes: this farm is not to be messed with.
No few dozen mermen can subjugate this place. Rather, that’s a complete underestimation.
At the very least, the entire merfolk population might be required.

We need to prepare ourselves for the demon race to become our enemy.
The purpose of this secret mission was to avoid a war with them, anyway.

This plan must be aborted.
But will my brother be convinced? Will he be able to accept things based on hearsay, not seeing firsthand how terrifying the farm is?

In my confusion, a winged person is having a match with a dragon in the skies.
However, only we students are looking up at them, panicking.
A practice match, they said… Everyone else is used to seeing them already, they said…

If you look a little beyond the horizon, you will also see someone noteworthy—Princess Platy, the heart of this matter.
She is married to the owner of this mysterious farm and is pregnant with their child.

She has a loving husband, is blessed with a child, and is happy no matter how you look at it.
Who has the right to destroy this happiness?

Ultimately, all I could do to keep everyone happy was write a coded message saying “Pending Investigation.”


Extra:


(Omitted)

Oh yeah, there’s a student there named XXX.
I think she’s a spy from the anti-faction.
You know, the group of people worried that the demons are going to attack us.

She was sent there to find your whereabouts, so could you gently persuade her?
You know how some people can be stupid when they set their eyes on one thing, focus on it, and neglect the rest?
While we “hold you in custody” as bait to keep her from making any unnecessary moves, we’ll make preparations to purge her.

Since you’re also a merprincess, could you at least help Mommy buy some time?

(Omitted)


*Excerpt from Mermaid Queen Mahi’s letter to her daughter Platy.
In response to this, Platy says…

“…I didn’t even need to go as far as to persuade her personally!”

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C261: Mermaid Teaching Methods

We’ll be observing the lives of the mermaid students who have become our new residents.

After all, they’re here for their studies, a pattern different from usual.
What will they learn and gain at our farm?
As the farm owner, I’ll be observing them to satisfy my curiosity.

Our witches are the reason the mermaid students have decided to build a schoolhouse on our farm.
The Six Witches are the best potion compounders in the mermaid realm.
And to be taught by them is more fruitful than learning from any textbook or veteran teacher.

…But a specific group of people also refuse to admit this.
This is why our witches, who have become accustomed to living with us, will be most affected by their arrival.
Among them, the first person I’d like to start with is…


“Oh? Is it just me, or are there more people?” asks Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold.

She returned after a long time and noticed the increase in mermaids.

“Discus, when did you become able to multiply? Were mermaids always capable of such magic?”
“That’s not it! There’s no way I could’ve multiplied myself, Sis!”

I wonder if this eccentric way of thinking is what makes them genius witches…
Puffer, along with Discus, her very first protégé, looks at the new students who have joined our farm.

“Haa… I never expected things to go this way while I was gone…”
“Aren’t you happy, Puffer? You’ve been wanting more helping hands for a long time,” I say.

The more people you have, the more you can leave the brewery in their hands and the longer you can stay with Prince Arowana.

There’s a reason as to why Puffer’s often out of the farm.
Prince Arowana, the heir to the throne of the Mermaid Kingdom, is currently on a terranean pilgrimage. Puffer is accompanying him.

Why, you ask?
Because she is in love with the prince.

To accompany the prince and work on the farm simultaneously, she has made a breakthrough and created a mermaid version of teleportation magic.
The more manpower we have here, the less often she has to return and the more time she can spend with Prince Arowana, so she must be extremely overjoyed right now.

“Well… On the other hand, if there are this many people now, there will inevitably have to be someone with a certain amount of responsibility to command them… This is going to be a tough one…”

Guess it didn’t turn out as she hoped.


…No, wait.
Isn’t there something odd with what she just said?
She’s a generally accepted outlaw. Is Puffer, whose raison d’etre is to oppose the regimen, saying she cares about the new group?!

“I’ve got a question for you!”

In my confusion, one of the new mermaid students lashes out at her.

“Puffer, Witch of the Bitter Cold! Why do you not use your wisdom for the greater good?!”
“Huh?”
“I was taught at home and at school that magic used by mermaids is for the Mermaid Kingdom and merfolk’s benefit! However, you only want to use extraordinary magic for your own inquisitive intentions!”

Well, Puffer was indeed arrested for the dangerous research she was conducting.

“There is nothing to be learned from such a selfish person! I refuse to take lessons from you!”

This girl is probably from a self-righteous aristocratic family. That’s why she can’t stand Puffer’s outlawry.
But she’s a reckless girl, nonetheless.
I can’t help but think she’s dead in Puffer’s mind for saying something like that to her face.

I expected this poor girl would be blown away by Puffer’s magic potion, not knowing what hit her, but…
Instead, she just receives a passionate hug.

“Mmmmbh!!!”
“You’re right.”

Her head is buried in Puffer’s chest.

“It’s true that I’ve been using my power only for myself. But I now realize that’s not good enough.”
“?!”
“They say that you grow when teaching others. And by teaching you girls, I want to be reborn as a witch who is respected by others. Let’s do our best together, okay?”
“?!?!?!”

Hey, outlaw, your fangs have gone dull!
What in the world happened to you?!

“Well… Think about it. If I’m going to be Mermaid Queen in the future, recklessly making enemies is a bad idea, right?”
“Mermaid Queen?!”

This story is escalating much faster than I anticipated!

“The wife mustn’t drag her husband down. This girl is a student of a prestigious school, so that makes her a future elite, right? Taming her doesn’t seem so bad.”

Something must have happened between her and Prince Arowana that resulted in this turbulent change…
What I have in front of me isn’t a quick-witted outlaw but a maiden in love who dreams of a happy family in the future.

“…Hey, Discus, are you okay? Weren’t you idolizing outlaw Puffer? Don’t you feel disillusioned?” I ask.
“It’s all right. I’ve had vague ideas of where Sis Puffer went occasionally…”
“I see…”

I suppose you would.
In fact, it wasn’t just occasional, but quite frequent.

“The power of love is incredible…”
“Yeah…”

And so, Puffer of the Six Witches is surprisingly the most enthusiastic about teaching and education.


Next, we’ll take a look at Lampeye.
An unfamiliar mermaid is already standing upright in front of her.

“My name is Crowntail from the Betta family!”

Who?
Well, I guess she must be one of the new mermaids who joined the branch school.
Judging by the way she speaks… she’s probably from a noble family or something.

“I deeply admire you, Master Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire! I was born into a family of Fighting Fishes and am aiming to become an imperial guard in the future! To be able to see you in the flesh like this makes me tremble in great happiness!”
“You’re the one with the higher family status, so you don’t have to be so uptight and formal with me…” says Lampeye, puzzled.

As I thought, the Six Witches are very popular among the mermaids.

“Actually, I have something I want to apologize to you about, Master Lampeye!”
“An apology? But isn’t this our first meeting?”
“Affirmative! However, what I want to apologize for is not myself, but my relative’s misbehavior!”

Relative?

“I beg of you to forgive my incompetent brother for tricking you!!!”

Brother?

“My brother, Hendra Betta, was born into the family of the famous Fighting Fishes but ran away and became a rhetorician, a complete disgrace! Nonetheless, he had the gall to pay a visit to King Nagus and interfere in political affairs!”

Uh…
That girl… Is Hendra’s sister?

“I heard that you were incarcerated for rebuking him with your fists, but I believe you weren’t wrong in the least! It was all my brother’s fault!”

Come to think of it, Hendra’s not here today.
He’d usually drop by even without official business just so he could flirt with Lampeye… Maybe it’s just poor timing?

“I told my foolish brother that I hated him right after the incident, so I hope you’ll let it pass for now! In the future, our family will do everything in our power to clear your name!”
“What’s past is past,” says Lampeye as she takes Crowntail’s hand and smiles kindly. “It’s the present that matters. Let’s talk more when you’re a little calmer. I have some of Lord Saint’s snacks with me too, if you want.”
“I-I’m honored, but… What am I supposed to talk about?”
“Tell me all about Hendra, his childhood, his hobbies, everything!”
“But why?!”

Lampeye, you’re going to be teaching the other students too, you know?

Thus, Lampeye and Crowntail leave the scene. Still, I think there would be chaos once Hendra visits again.


Last but not least, I hear some noise coming from the infirmary of Garra Rufa, the Witch of the Plague. As I listen in silence…

“MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD! MAD!!!”

…such endless, choral chanting was the only thing I could hear.
I decided to leave them alone and walk past.

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C260: …is Under the Sea

A letter from her mother shattered Platy’s stubborn will.
Is it that hard to defy her?

Let’s find out from an excerpt of the letter.


My beloved Platy,

Congratulations on your pregnancy.
You are now an adult. I couldn’t be prouder as your mother.
Are you taking good care of yourself? Are you making sure you’re not sleeping with your belly exposed?
Your body is not yours alone anymore, so you have to be more careful.
Usually, I’d come over and congratulate you in person, but I can’t be away from your younger siblings, so I’ve decided to write this letter and give it to Carpy.

(Omitted).

I trust you’ll take care of the branch school’s establishment.

With love,
Mom


“There’s no way… I can say no to Mom’s kind words…” says Platy as she cries tears of joy.

I see.
Appealing to her weak point is also her natural enemy.
I think there was some pretty nasty political stuff in the omitted part, but we’ll get to that later.

“Fine, we’ll start a branch school or whatever! I’ll listen to anything Mom says!”

And so, Platy gives in as well.
Now that there’s no one left to oppose…

“I hereby approve the establishment of Mermaid Witch Academia Farm Branch School.”
“YAAAAAAY!!!”

All the mermaid students rejoice, including Angel and her friends.
…Why are they all so overly delighted?

“Quiet down, everyone!”

With just one shout from Carp, things instantly quiet down.

“As merladies, you must refrain from such immodest behavior. You will not only learn pharmacy magic here, but you will also learn how to behave nobly like the ladies you are.”
“YES, MA’AM…”

Teacher Carp is strict.
Come to think of it, I also had a carping teacher like her during my school days…

…Meanwhile, Platy is purring close to me.
It’s as if I’m seeing a fluffy tail swishing behind her.
Though, obviously, she doesn’t have one. She’s a mermaid.

Veil is our only cat character here, and that’s more than enough for me.

“Therefore, Saint, we need to discuss our schedule with you.”
“Schedule?”
“A student’s life is all about order! The students will be following a daily schedule that has been carefully made by our instructors!” she says as she lays out another broad piece of seaweed.

This must be their version of paper. Written on it is a detailed schedule of when to get up, go to class, start work, etc.
It’s so detailed down to the very minute.

“…”

I boldly toss the seaweed into the pot to make dashi out of it.

“Ah!”
“Please discard this schedule.”

Our farm is all about tranquility.
It will ruin the atmosphere if people are forced to live such a time-pressed life.

“You can work whenever you want, however you want here. That’s what makes this place pleasant and fun.”

As long as we all have a set time to eat, wake up, sleep, and drink the milk the satyrs hand out, the rest is all up to you.
Efficiency?
Who cares? I’m in a different world, so I’m free from such things.

“But… But our school’s education…”
“It’s a branch school within our farm. If you can’t adhere to our ways, I’m afraid we’ll have to ask you to leave.”

Behind me, I could hear, “Way to go, Dear!”, “You’re so cool, brother-in-law!” from the two merprincesses.

“I-I understand… We’re already indebted enough as it is already. I suppose we should comply.”
“Thank you for understanding.”

Behind me, I can hear more merry voices, saying, “See that? That’s my Dear’s power!”, “Brother-in-law’s power!”

“Well, since you’re going to be living with us… We have to prepare your quarters too.”

There’s no way we can let them stay out in the open.
And since there are more than a dozen of them, we’ll need to build another house.

“My Lord! Do we get to build things again?”

Orkubo and the rest of the orc team seem excited.
They’ve really become construction junkies.

“Our boys want to indulge in their hobby, so they’ll build you your place to stay shortly…”
“That can’t be.”

Huh?

“We can’t nurture the merfolk’s pride if we let others do everything for us. We’ll secure our own quarters.”

So, they’ll be building their own house?

“Will you be hiring carpenters from the Mermaid Kingdom?”
“No need. We mermaids have this,” says Teacher Carp, taking out a white pebble of some sort.

It’s about the size of her fingertip.

“…A coral?”

From the looks of it, it’s probably a fragment of it.

“It’s not just any coral. It’s one of Princess Platy’s great inventions—a sample of a hypertrophic growth coral.”

Hypertrophic growth coral?

“You really brought that old thing with you?” asks Platy.

She probably invented it, but really, what exactly is a hypertrophic growth coral?

“It’s a coral that grows at an explosive rate when a special growth-accelerating potion is mixed with it, and you can decide in advance what shape it will take.”
“That’s why it’s possible to grow them into hollow, roofed houses. With this, mermaids can instantly lead a cultural life in any ocean!”

So… Like a coral house?
But corals can only thrive in the ocean, so that means they’d have to be built underwater, right?

“You won’t be staying at the farm?”
“We are mermaids, and we should live our basic life in the sea. We will build our quarters in the nearby waters and live there. During daytime, we will ingest the humanizing potion and go on land.”

That’s too much trouble.
If they’re going to live with us, why don’t they just stay on land?

“Besides, a cultivation coral house is just prefabricated with simple construction, a far cry from a house built by a professional coral carpenter. It’s one thing to make your camp-out more comfortable, but not as a permanent solution to it!”
“No, merfolk’s pride can only be nourished by cherishing sea life.”

Her statements alone are more than enough for me to understand Carp’s stubbornness and troublesomeness as a teacher.
The students with her probably find it unbearable.

“To avoid becoming a burden on Princess Platy and the rest, we will be providing our own meals, too.”


Thus began Mermaid Witch Academia’s farm branch school.
At first, the girls built a sea dorm near the farm as instructed by their teacher Carp, slept there at night, came on land in the morning in their human forms, took classes, and helped with the farm work. Then, they returned to the sea after dark, reverting to their mermaid forms.

Such was the repetition of their life.
Eventually…

“Huh?! Do they wear such cute clothes when they sleep on land?!”
“They’re called pajamas! All the clothes here are made by the best demoness artisan!”

The mermaid students are all of a certain age, and the longing to dress up in pretty clothes can’t be taken away from them.
What’s more…

“…Lunch at the farm is so delicious!”
“…It’s nothing compared to food under the sea!”
“I’ve had enough… Enough of eating raw fish!”
“I’ve also had it with the philosophy that drinking seawater is enough to make you live!”

At some point, one by one, the students began to stay on the ground, and it wasn’t long before they all refused to return to their sea dorm.

And Carp…

“W-We’ll be in your care!”

With my homemade kebab in hand and a bashful expression on her face, Carp proposes a full-scale residence on our farm.
By that time, all the newcomers were captivated by our farm life.

“The food on the farm is delicioussssssssss! The milk from the satyrs is also deliciousssssssssssss!”
“The hot spring feels so goooooooooood! So are these cozy futooooooons!”
“Lord Bacchus sake is deliciouuuuuuuuuuuuuuus!”
“Wait… What?”
“Aren’t you still a student?!”

And so, the mermaids could no longer live without the food and clothing produced on our farm.


Once their official migration was settled…

“Orc team, assemble! It’s your long-awaited building! Let’s build a comfortable place for our new mermaid friends!”
“But we already have, My Lord.”
“Huh?! Fast!”
“Well, it was only a matter of time before they gave in.”

Still, they started construction without waiting for their Lord’s signal; how impatient!
Despite the twists and turns primarily due to Carp’s fastidiousness, the mermaid branch school officially started.

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C259: Mermaid Branch School

Yup, it’s me again, Kidan.

Angel and her group are back on our farm.
However, one thing bothers me…

“…They’ve multiplied?”

I could’ve sworn there were six of them, including Zoth Syra, but now there are twenty.
Multiplication?

“I didn’t know mermaids could multiply!”
“No. What makes you think that?” interjects Zoth Syra.

But we really appreciate your help this time, you know.

“Why have they increased in number, then?”

Among the twenty mermaids, the five girls, Angel, Discus, Veiltail, Heckerlii, and Batrachus, have bitter smiles.
Who are the rest of the unfamiliar faces?
I personally haven’t seen nor met them before.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lord Saint. I’ve heard a lot about you,” says one of the somewhat older-looking mermaids, bowing her head.

She gives off an awfully meticulous impression.

“I’m Carp, a teacher at Mermaid Witch Academia, the most prestigious school in the Mermaid Kingdom.”

Ah, I remember that name being mentioned before.

“I am pleased to announce the proposed establishment of Mermaid Witch Academia’s branch school here on the farm managed by you, Lord Saint. Hence, I would like to ask for your kind support.”
“Hmm…”


…Huh?

“Branch school?!”

The heck’s that?!
It was so sudden that I had to repeat the word in my head to understand it!

“That’s the compromise plan,” explains Zoth Syra.
“Compromise plan?”
“The girls want to continue their studies here at the farm. But if they do, the prestigious school’s reputation will be ruined. You cannot satisfy both sides. That’s why we’re setting up a branch school here, so Angel and the others will still be considered students of the same institution.”

Oh, I see.
Seems like gray sophistry politicians tend to think of.

“What does this have to do with the number of mermaids that have increased since you left, though?”
“If we’re going to set up a branch school, we’ll need a more respectable number. Think of them as exchange students from Mermaid Witch Academia’s main school.”

Oh, okay.
So, they also want to study here.

“I’ve been assigned to be in charge of the branch school and to guide the students. Naturally, I’m also going to be of service to you, Lord Saint, the husband of Princess Platy!” says Carp (am I right?) as she bows her head again.

No wonder she’s the only one who doesn’t look like a student in this group of unfamiliar faces.

“Please, we’d like your permission to establish a Mermaid Witch Academia branch school here!”
“Well, it’s not like I’m against it…”

We’ve already taken in a lot of new residents, so there’s no point in worrying about it now.
Though, we do need to give some consideration to the other residents and ask for their opinions.

“I’m fine with it.”
“I think it’s a good idea.”
“The mermaids’ department is regularly short-staffed, so it might be a good idea to add a few more of them.”
“We’ll have to bake more plates, won’t we?”
“Woof, woof!”
“MREOWR!!!”
“We’ll have to produce even more milk starting tomorrow…”
“New fwiends!!!”
“Do they drink?”

They seem generally welcoming.
However…

“We have a problem.”

This statement ironically came from a mermaid.
One of the Six Witches—Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire.

“Huh? Just you?”

Where are the others?

“Puffer’s out as usual, and Garra Rufa’s in the infirmary, not because she’s too busy with her duties, but because she can’t stand being called crazy again.”

The new mermaids let out impressed voices, saying, “The Witch of Hellfire is here!”, “Wow, she’s really here!”
The Six Witches sure have a high status back in their nation, huh?

“Puffer and Garra Rufa are fine, but where’s Platy? Isn’t she supposed to be in charge of things like this?”

She’s my wife and the mermaid team’s representative, after all.
Shouldn’t the opinion of the entire mermaid team come from her?
So, why Lampeye? And why the adverse reaction?

“I’m speaking on behalf of the princess. Such was her opinion.”
“Huh?”
“Princess Platy and that school have had many conflicts, so…”

Is that right?
But when I was about to ask for more information, something strange happened.
Carp’s eyes glinted for a moment.

“Princess Platy! You’re there, aren’t you?!”
“Gah! You found me!!!”

You were here this whole time, Platy?!

“Too naïve, Princess Platy! Have you forgotten how many times I caught you sneaking out of class as a student?!”
“That’s why I hate you! You’re a ghost of the past! You shouldn’t be stepping into my paradise!!!”


It’s rare to see Platy in an unfavorable position like this.
Exactly what kind of relationship did they have?

“…Oh, didn’t the Crowned Witch drop out of Mermaid Witch Academia?” says Zoth Syra.
“I’ve only learned about this through hearsay, but apparently, due to Princess Platy’s personality, she didn’t fit in with the school’s authoritarian order and clashed with the teachers many times. Perhaps Carp was the spearhead of those clashes,” says Lampeye.
“…Is that why the teachers have been looking at me that way?!” asks Angel.

Well… If you’re the younger sister of a troublemaker, you’re bound to get some attention, whether you like it or not.
Meanwhile, Platy and Carp are fighting with each other.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time! I came here to protect and educate the current students and meet you again, Princess Platy! Now is the time for you to be re-educated along with Princess Angel and her friends and officially graduate from Mermaid Witch Academia!”
“Shut upppppp! I’ve already graduated from being controlleeeed! Being polite and earnest isn’t in me! I just wanted to be free as soon as possibleee!!!”

Platy is throwing a tantrum like some kid.
But don’t flail around too much. I’m worried about our child.

“There’s her strong revulsion. The princess even pleaded with me to object to the teacher’s offer on her behalf,” exasperatedly says Lampeye.

Platy actually pleaded to someone?!

“Even the Crowned Witch has her natural enemies. It’s kind of understandable that Carp, a person of discipline and meticulousness, wouldn’t be on the same wavelength as the princess, a witch.”

In addition to that, a mentor is the most challenging person to defy in one’s life, next to one’s parents.
If so, what should I do?
I wouldn’t want to welcome new residents when my beloved wife doesn’t want me to.

“Oh, I know! I’ll use my authority as the farm owner’s wife to reject you! You should all just go back to the Mermaid Kingdom at once!!!”
“Why me too?!”

Angel takes collateral damage.
I’ll have no choice but to agree with Platy’s decision if she insists, but…

“You leave us no choice,” says Carp calmly. “I can only show you this letter I received from Queen Mahi.”
“From Mom?!”

Carp pulls out some kind of broad seaweed from her pocket.
…A letter?
Written on a piece of seaweed?

Platy snatches the letter from her and reads it.

“…”

For a few seconds, her eyeballs moved left and right.
Eventually…

“I hereby approve… the establishment of…the branch school.”
“YAY!!!”

The mermaid students are overjoyed, while Platy is utterly beaten.

Platy had one more natural enemy.


volume 8’s here with a cute volume cover to match. also, i keep forgetting to add this as a little footnote, but is anyone else having problems posting a comment? if you are, please drop a message in the inquiry box here!

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C258: The Queen is a Witch

Victory to the five girls who stayed on Saint’s Farm!

I, Zoth Syra, Witch of the Abyss, couldn’t ask for a better outcome.

On the other hand, our enemies were a huge disappointment as high-achieving students at the best school in the Mermaid Kingdom.
They lost a match they were supposed to win.

Even Carp lost face after overconfidently promoting her own students.
But all’s well that ends well for me.

“We won all matches against students from the highest grade…”
“Have we really become stronger?!”

However, our victors are the most confused.
Why the astonishment?

“You’ve been directly instructed by witches expert in different fields and have had hands-on opportunity to experiment and practice your skills. How could you not have improved in such an environment?”
“Master Zoth Syra!”
“So, if anything, there’s no way you’d lose to a bunch of sheltered fries who did nothing but note down formulas in school.”

Which is more beneficial to the development of these children, the farm or the school?
Those who have always believed they’re top class may have been confronted with a harsh reality.
Ohohoho!

“The students I nurtured with all my heart… were utterly defeated?!”

Oh, hey there, Carp.
How do you feel now that you’ve lost when you thought you were going to win 100%?
Hmm? What does it feel like?

“Just how did Princess Angel and the other children grow so fast in such a short period? They were just mediocre students who could’ve never produced such outstanding performance before!”
“Turning them into remarkable students is what the farm’s all about.”

It’s not like I’m one of their residents, but I act like I’m their representative.

“They’ve shown you their undeniable results that even an obstinate person like you will understand. This school is not the best environment to raise these children.”
“But… This is the most prestigious school in the Mermaid Kingdom!”
“So what? Prestigious school or not, it’s no match for a farm with a few witches. You must understand that and back out gallantly.”

That’s the best thing you can do to help these kids’ development.

“No! I cannot!”
“You don’t know when to give up, do you?”
“We let the first princess, Princess Platy, drop out of school… And now her sister, Princess Angel, too?! Our school’s existence might as well be meaningless now!”

Mermaid Witch Academia is a royal institution.
But if they couldn’t get the royals to graduate from it, then I guess they’d question its significance.

“This isn’t over yet!!!”
“Yes, it is. All five matches are over.”
“No, there’s still one match left, and it’s between you and me!” says Carp, glaring at me.

What do you want, woman?

“I challenge you to a match, Zoth Syra! If I win, you must leave the girls here!”
“How deplorable. Are you going to decide these girls’ education through our unrelated confrontation?”
“There is a relation! This match will show the capability of the leader, and the stronger one will lead the younger ones, that’s all!”

There’s a limit to one’s absurdity, you know?
Buuut it’s not as if this tendency of hers to act rashly when backed into a corner is anything new. It’s what obstinate people tend to do.

“But Carp, aren’t you forgetting something important?”

The impulsive thought of challenging me, the Witch of the Abyss.

“Even when you were at your strongest, did you ever challenge me and win once, Witch of Arts?”
“Don’t call me by that name. I am now a teacher at the glorious Mermaid Witch Academia!”

Let’s see how much you’ve improved then, proud teacher.

“Huh? Uhh… Huh???”
“What kind of relationship do they have?!”

The girls watching as bystanders are confused, but don’t worry.
I’ll win and bring you all back to the farm in an instant!

“You can’t.”
“?!”

Whose voice was that?!

“You two used to be on such good terms with each other, Zossy and Carpy. You shouldn’t be fighting.”
“Y-You’re…”

A dazzling mermaid couple appears.

The husband is a dignified-looking merman in his prime with a rich beard and a magnificent tail fin.
His wife is a youthful lady who could be mistaken for a maiden in her twenties, radiating an irresistible charm.

“Your Majesty, Mermaid King Nagus?!”
“Mermaid Queen Mahi too!”

The rulers of the Mermaid Kingdom and parents to Platy and Angel.

“Mom! Dad!”

As if to prove this point, Angel hugs her mother.

“Why are you here? You said you’d wait at the castle.”
“We were going to, but your Dad was too worried, so we decided to see things for ourselves… And it seems that was the right decision.”

Queen Mahi then swims over to us.

“Zossy, you’re still a wanted person, so don’t go on a rampage here. If you attract too much attention, there would be chaos.”

Y-Yes, Your Majesty!

“That goes for you too, Carpy. You’re in a position of responsibility now, so be rational. Or are you going to teach your students to solve problems with their fists?”
“I-I’m sorry, Your Majesty!”

Carp and I freeze in place in front of the mermaid queen, in no position to argue with her.

“But Queen Mahi, this is a matter of prestige for Mermaid Witch Academia!”

Ah, never mind, this woman still has the nerve to argue.

“Our school’s mission is to raise the royal mermaid family into ladies worthy of their lineage. If we can’t instruct Princess Platy, and now Princess Angel too, our existence is at stake. Please, Queen Mahi, give it some thought!”
“Are you talking back to me, Carp?”

Eek!
I told you so!

Not just Carp, but me and the other girls are shaking in fear too!

“Ahem!”

The mermaid king accompanying her clears his throat.
Queen Mahi gasps and keeps her bloodlust in check.

“…Well, now that you’re a teacher, you have to think about the school, don’t you, Carpy? Not that it matters either way to me, really. As long as Platy and Angel grow up fine, academic background matters not.”
“That can’t be! That would make the nation and schools…”
“Hm? Say what?”

Why do you never learn?! You’re supposed to be a teacher, Carp!

“Ahem!”
“Oh! …Don’t worry, we’ll keep the school in mind.”

If the Mermaid King hadn’t coughed, how many times would Carp have been killed by now?

“You haven’t said a word, have you, Zossy?”
“Ah… I’ll say whatever you want me to say, Sis!”
“Didn’t I tell you to stop calling me that after I got married to Darling?”
“I’m sorry, Sis!!!”

Angel and the other mermaids at the school are dumbfounded, unable to comprehend what is going on.

One of the worst troublemakers in the mermaid realm, a member of the Six Witches, and a teacher at the most prestigious mermaid school are terrified before the Mermaid Queen’s presence.

“I want Arowana, Platy, Angel, and all the younger ones to live freely so that they will have no regrets in their lives. Some people accuse me of spoiling them, though.”

Such reckless daredevils exist?

“But being born into mermaid royalty comes with responsibilities, right? So, I’ve prepared a compromise plan. I hope you’ll all accept it for now.”
“OH…”
“You’ll accept it, yes?”
“YES, YOUR MAJESTY!”

Good, you people are clever.
Just do what Sis Mahi tells you to do. That’s the secret to a long life.

“Hey, Master Zoth?” asks Angel. “You seem to be a good friend of Mom. Do you know each other? I didn’t know she’s acquainted with the Six Witches.”
“Well, we used to hang out a weeeeeee bit in the past.”

Please don’t ask me any more than that. I was threatened to be killed if I spilled any more beans.


About 20 years ago, Carp and I ran on a rampage led by Sis in the ocean.
But before carrying out our grand scheme to destroy the Mermaid Kingdom, she met a young man. She married him soon after, abandoning our plan altogether.

The title she once bore shook the mermaid outlaw realm to its very core—Mahi Kanne, the Witch of Darkness.

The only people who know about her past are her former underlings, Carp and me, aside from her husband.
That’s why we can’t make a slip of the tongue to her own children, either!

“It’s been a while since we last saw each other, right, Zossy?”
“Y-Yes, Your Majesty!”
“I just want to remind you that our memories remain beautiful only if they are kept close to our hearts.”
“You’re absolutely right, Your Majesty!”

At the very least, Platy must have inherited her outstanding talent from her mother.

With the arrival of the Mermaid King and his wife, neither Carp nor anyone else can interfere.
This matter has been settled peacefully…

…Or not!


vol 7, done.

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C257: Inherited Skills

“This is an arena set up within Mermaid Witch Academia’s premises. Today, we’ll be using the full-water type.”
“Even this prestigious school’s facilities are sophisticated.”

This entire room filled with water would surely drown humans or demons if they were to enter. It’s a space only we merfolk can use.

Incidentally, in addition to the full-water type, there is another arena where only half the room is filled with water. It is designed for battles near the water’s surface and allows tricky tactics such as surprise attacks. Still, the fact that Carp chose to fight in the full-water type instead suggests that she is determined to make things clear based on pure ability alone.

“And here are the opponents I’ve prepared for you. They’re my honor students.”

Five unfamiliar mermaids appear, all young and inexperienced-looking.
They’re beautifully dressed like elites, but from my point of view, they look mediocre.

“You will be fighting each other one by one.”

If they win, the girls can continue studying at the farm, but if they lose, they have to stay here in school, huh?

“But this is an actual battle. I thought it would be in a more scholastic format, considering it’s being hosted by a teacher like you.”

You know, like a written test or a quiz.

“It’s better for a barbaric woman like you if it’s as simple as this, no? You don’t get to give me excuses when you lose later.”
“Wow. I didn’t know you were so demanding of yourself.”

Both sides return to their respective camps with invisible sparks crackling in the room.
I get to support these girls through this unexpected turn of events. And with a great tactician like me on their side, their victory is as good as guaranteed!

However, Angel and the rest of the girls are already getting cold feet before anything has started.

“We can’t do it… We won’t win!”
“All our opponents are from the highest grade! There’s no way we can compete with them!”

I see. Their enemies are their upperclassmen.
If so, it’s no wonder they’re intimidated. For students, the difference in grade is absolute, even by one year.
They must be thinking of themselves as children in front of adults.

“But we have no choice but to do it…”

Oh?
Just as I was about to encourage them, I was beaten to the punch.

“If we don’t win this match, we’ll never get back to the farm. We must win! Now is the time to show off everything we’ve learned!” says Angel.

She just took my spotlight. I guess that’s royalty for you.

“She’s right. Don’t worry; you also have me, the Witch of the Abyss.”

I wasn’t enthusiastic at first, but now I’m getting excited. I’m going to help them give Carp a surprise.

“I, the Witch of the Abyss, will be in direct command to help you win. So, you’d better rest easy!”
“Commander!”
“Commander!!!”

Now they’re starting to call me Commander for some reason.

“Just so you know, it’s foul play to let your students use your potions.”
“I know that. Who would use such an underhanded trick?”

The skill of potion compounding and use is put to the test in this match.
A witch is most apt at using her own potions, and it is meaningless unless she wins with them.

“Well then, let us begin. First pair, step forward.”
“Go get ‘em, Discus.”

If I recall, Discus calls herself the Witch of Ice.
She seems to admire Puffer and respects her in both attire and demeanor.
Her opponent is…

“Calva, daughter of the Amia family.”

Just another stereotypical-looking elite.
She looks smart in contrast to Discus, who is awfully flamboyant in her imitation of Puffer.

“It seems you’ve forgotten your place as a plebeian. I’m here to teach you that such people should stay in the shadows of a true elite like me!”
“…?!”

A sharp voice comes from Carp, the referee, telling them that the match has begun.

But her voice only echoes vainly underwater.
Neither opponent isn’t moving an inch.

“…? What’s going on? I said ‘begin’!”
“Teacher, it’s already started.”
“Huh?”
“And it’s over.”

What was the name of Discus’ opponent again?
Oh well, there’s no point in trying to remember the loser’s name.

She, who lost to Discus, is desperately trying her best to move but to no avail.
I can see that the water on the surface of her body is slightly frozen.

“Ughhh! Move! I can’t move! The ice won’t melt even when using a potion to neutralize it!”
“Master Puffer said you can’t make ice by using a potion to lower the temperature. You make it by reacting the potion with water. The temperature then lowers itself due to the generated ice.”

This is Puffer’s appalling specialty.
Because the potion reacts with water to create ice, a simple temperature-increasing potion will not melt it.
The resulting ice cools the surrounding temperature and reacts with the cooled water to create even more ice.
If I’m not careful, Puffer’s silent invasion of creating bottomless ice can be pretty dangerous.

“Hey! You already mixed a magic potion in the water, didn’t you? Even way before the match has starteeeed!”
“What about it?”
“That’s unfair! How could you ignore the starting signal?”
“Master Puffer also said that no one gives you the start signal in a real battle and that those who let their guard down before the enemy are fools.”

Her “elite” opponent can no longer escape the ice on her own.
Suppose they can’t even neutralize Discus’ freezing potion that’s not as well-crafted and effective as Puffer’s. In that case, this so-called prestigious school is worth nothing.

“Ugh!”

As if to prove the point, Carp hurls a test tube, cracks open, and melts the ice as quickly as the contents spread into the water.

“Calva, you’ve lost. If you’re a compounder, you can neutralize a freezing attack with a surprise attack. Your lack of study owed to your loss.”
“Yes, Ma’am…”
“Round two!”

The second one is Veiltail, who calls herself the Witch of Fire.
She looks up to Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire.
Her opponent is…

“Crowntail, daughter of the Betta family.”

She may be elite, but something about her is a little different.
For a mermaid, she’s got a harpoon.

“The Bettas are one of the few warrior families in the Mermaid Kingdom and are also known as the ‘Fighting Fishes.’”

Oh, yeah?
Thanks for the explanation, kid.

“I’ve been told that Crowntail has a fixed position as an imperial guard after graduation and is an upper-echelon candidate.”
“That’s pretty darn elite.”

So, does she look up to Lampeye as well?
This is a clash between two Lampeye Jrs. then.

“Begin!”

This match is about potions and the use of harpoons, which are originally the weapon of choice of mermen. However, Veiltail dodges Crowntail’s thrusts and hits her shield with an explosive potion, emerging victorious!

Lampeye’s take on explosive potions makes them so sticky that when spilled out of the test tube, it adheres to the shield’s surface and continues to burn even underwater.
As the metal shield heats up, Crowntail could no longer hold it.
The harpoon and shield come as one set in mermen’s fighting style.
And Crowntail, who was trying to imitate it, lost one of the two and was consequently beaten.

On the other hand, Veiltail’s fighting style combines the harpoon with potions. This is a technique that Lampeye passed down to her.

With a senior who lost one of her wings and a junior who is still in tip-top shape, the rest of the match was set.
Veiltail won.


Heckerlii, the third contestant, calls herself the Witch of the Air.
Apparently, she is the protégé of Garra Rufa, the Witch of the Plague, and is selling her newly-developed magic bacteria.
They scatter in the water and adhere to the opponent’s clothes, decomposing the fibers and leaving them naked.

It’s a cruel way to win, but what’s even worse is that once released, the bacteria multiply endlessly that not even their creator can stop them.

Everyone except Heckerlii, clothed in adamantine silk that cannot be broken down even by magic bacteria, took the risk of becoming naked.
We had to boil the water in the arena just to kill the bacteria. It was a hassle.


In the fourth match, Batrachus, the Witch of the Earth, has helped me heaps.
She helped me mass-produce Deep Ones for Orkubo’s Castle before.
I advised her that she could use the remainder of what she made and used that in today’s match.
Her opponent fell right into Deep Ones’ trap that split every time they were hit and was eventually crushed by their overwhelming quantity.


Last but not least is Angel, the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom.

“Finishing Blow! Mermaid Spark!!!”
“Is that… One of the three secret techniques passed down from generation to generation in the royal mermaid family?! I heard Princess Platy revived it for the first time in decades!”

And her younger sister using that same technique means she learned it from her.
It may be a secret technique within the royal family. Still, it’s not something that can be easily mastered, even with a great teacher.

Anyway, there you have it. Our side won all five matches with me as their great tactician.

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C256: The Irregular(s) at Mermaid School

“Well then, where should we start? First, I’d like to talk about your months of absence…”

The teacher skips the formalities and gets straight down to the business.
This no-holds-barred directness must be terrifying to the person being scolded.

I understand why these girls are scared.
It’s not like they’ll be able to do anything even if they muster the courage to face her beforehand.

“You’ve been declared absent from school since His Majesty Nagus notified me, but the time you’ve wasted outside has left you far behind the other students. That’s why we’re going to be doing a lot of remedial work so you can catch up…”
“P-Pleash waith!!!” interrupts the Crowned Witch’s sister.

She fumbled on her words again.
While she did a good job interrupting the teacher’s flow, her calm stare is about to make her break down.

“W-We came here… t-to ask for permission!”
“Permission?”
“Permission to extend our absence!”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Please do something about it!”

Well, that escalated quickly.
Now, this girl has got the hard-headedness of royalty again.

“…I have a question for you, Princess Angel. What are you?”
“Huh? Um… The second princess… of the Mermaid Kingdom?”
“Good. At least you have a modicum of self-awareness.”

What a sarcastic woman.

“As a member of the royal mermaid family, you have certain responsibilities that come with it, such as being a role model for the mermaids and acting with dignity. And education is essential to provide the foundation for this.”
“Y-Yes, Ma’am….”
“Mermaid Witch Academia is a place where young royalty like you can acquire education. We want you to become a great potion compounder and a great member of royalty. That’s why we’re doing our best to make that happen.”
“Y-Yes, Ma’am…”
“Yet you’re trying to abandon your responsibilities and behave as you please. Do you think that’s acceptable behavior for royalty?”

This woman’s all about logic.
I’m relieved to see that Carp hasn’t changed on the inside.

“And the same goes for the four of you.”
“Y-YES, MA’AM…”

Now she’s onto the other girls?

“Especially you, Discus and Veiltail. You have met the requirements to be admitted to our institution but had to give up due to familial circumstances. However, due to Lady Angel’s kindness, you were granted special admission.”
“OOF…”

Hm? So, their families are too poor to admit them to a prestigious school?
I thought these girls only had sheltered upbringings, but it seems some also have some backbone in them.
Also, Carp said her name’s Angel, wasn’t it? She behaves more like a princess than her sister.

“Which is why it’s inexcusable that you’re spending all your time in idle amusement with your sponsor, Lady Angel, when you should be striving even harder at your studies. You’re ruining the expectations the school has set for you.”
“B-But we’re not…”
“What was that? If you have something to say, say it clearly.”
“Well… On land… We…”

She may have potential, but she’s still just a student. She can’t go against Carp’s words.
Good grief. If I don’t do anything here, there’ll be no point in coming all the way to the capital.

“What can they possibly learn in this sheltered institution?”

My voice drew Carp’s attention to me.

“You’re a fool, Zoth Syra. Had you not spoken, I would have pretended you never existed.”
“Are you saying that for old time’s sake? Kind of ridiculous to see a failure still calling herself a potion compounder, though, if you ask me.”
“I’m sorry, what? What about me is a failure?”
“Just look at your position as some pompous teacher right now.”

And at a prestigious school, too.

“You think you’ve come a long way, but once you’re in power, you’re as good as dead as a researcher.”
“That’s a typical misconception of yours, Zoth Syra. You, who have let your research subjects run amok, upset the balance of the world and end up on the wanted list.”

The girls confusedly look back and forth at Carp and me.

“I can call the guards here right now if I want. You will tragically end up in Trench Jail, and your ultimate research will never be completed.”
“I dare you to try, but this disgusting school would have turned to ashes before then.”

I know she can’t do anything about it.
She’s scared of me.
I’ve even made her cry countless times in the past.

“…Tsk, why did you girls bring this woman along?”

Sensing the disadvantage of her position, Carp shifts her attention back to the girls.

“This woman is a felon known as the Witch of the Abyss. She uses magic potions in the wrong way. And our school’s vision lies in not producing criminals like her!”
“However, it’s also true that the highest-level of potion compounders are generally referred to as witches, including me, the Witch of the Abyss, Zoth Syra…”

The Crowned Witch.
The Witch of the Bitter Cold.
The Witch of Hellfire.
The Witch of the Plague.

“…These five girls are their proteges.”
“What?” says Carp surprisedly.

Well, not that I expect a mere teacher like her to know this.

“When you said they were spending all of their time in idle amusement, these five were being taught by the finest potion compounders, the most distinguished of witches.”
“Hey!”
“Are we even allowed to say that?”

I don’t care if they’re flustered right now.
I’m sure I was asked to escort them to say this.

“Just imagine how rewarding it has been for them to spend time there than in the classrooms here. The days they spent were truly a battle. They’ve been accumulating knowledge that they cannot master even after ten years in an unengaging school as this.”

Not that I’ve been watching them closely.
I just embellished it a little as if I saw things myself.

“Let me ask you again, Carp. Are you saying that this ‘prestigious school’ you’re so proud of can provide a better education than established witches? You’re just some mediocre compounder, far inferior to a witch, acting cocky and all.”
“W-Wow, Master Zoth Syra…”
“This is the first time I’ve seen someone push back Teacher Carp in an argument!”

Praise me more, girls.

“P-Princess Angel!”
“Huh?!”
“Was that true? Wait, but more than half of the Six Mad Witches are held captive!”
“No, there really were several of them present. I think my sister did something to them…”
“…?!”

Even her habit of nail-biting when annoyed hasn’t changed.

“Princess Angel’s sister, Princess Platy, is the Crowned Witch of the Six Mad Witches! I see, so you pursued her…”

Oh yeah, I heard the Crowned Witch dropped out of Mermaid Witch Academia.
I guess she thought she’d be more successful as a witch if she didn’t study here.

“We’d like to ask you again, Teacher Carp!”

Oh, Angel’s suddenly serious.

“I want to be a better compounder than my sister! The best way to do that is to be close by and learn from her!”
“I want to be taught directly by Master Puffer too!”
“I want to be trained directly by Master Lampeye!”
“Master Garra Rufa’s madness!!!”

If I were to ask them their real intentions here, they’d probably reply that they want to keep eating the farm’s food, which would ruin the whole thing, so I stopped.

Well, this is how a teacher of a prestigious school was confronted with the hard fact that it’s better to learn directly under a witch than at school. How will she react?

“I can’t back down here… I can’t back down here!”

Oh?

“We’ve already failed to educate Princess Platy and develop her unique talent… That’s why we can’t afford to lose you as well, Lady Angel, the second daughter!!!”

She’s getting worked up.

“Unacceptable, unacceptable!!!”

And she’s lost it.

“A witch’s techniques are heresy. The only thing that is truly useful to merfolk is the legitimate pharmaceutical magic we teach at our school!”
“That’s plain sophistry. There is no right or wrong in the path of mermaid magic.”
“No! I’ll prove it to you in a match!”

A match?

“I’ve taken several seminar students of this school under my wing. I’ll prepare five of the best and make them compete with each one.”
“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!”

The girls are taken aback.
Come on, it’s just a little match.

“If the witches’ evil ways are truly beneficial, they should win. However, if they lose, you will acknowledge that our school’s path is true, and they will follow its curriculum! All right?!”
“Fine.”

Results: The girls won 5-0.

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C255: Mermaid All-Girls’ School

I am Zoth Syra, the Witch of the Abyss, and I am currently in the Mermaid Palace, the capital of the Mermaid Kingdom.

Why, you ask?
Because I’m babysitting a group of little girls entrusted to me by the people at the farm. You know, immature little fries.
They told me they were going back home and were worried about leaving them without some supervision.

Why again, you ask?
Why would I, the Witch of the Abyss, do such a charitable thing?

Even I myself wasn’t totally willing to do this.
There’s a solid reason behind it.

First of all, my timing was wrong when I visited the saint’s farm to see Orkubo.

This is the first and most important reason.
Then, that’s when the Crowned Witch approached me.


“Hey, my sister and her friends are going home. Escort them.”
“Why?”
“Well, leaving them to themselves bothers me. They might do something reckless.”
“Why me?”
“Of all the mermaids I know, aren’t you the least busy?”
“But I’m not?”
“You’re not even an official resident here, but you keep dropping by. I’m pregnant, so I can’t dive underwater. Puffer is busy with the brewery and my brother Arowana. Garra Rufa is in charge of the farm’s health care. Lampeye is also busy with this and that…”
“But I’m not that free either. I just make good use of my spare time outside my lab and come here.”
“In addition, all the mermaids here are convicts. There’s no way I can let them walk around the capital in plain sight.”
“But I’m also a wanted mermaid. The only difference is that I’m not caught yet. Aren’t the Six Witches all like that?”
“Look after them for us, oldest of the Six Witches.”


That’s how I was forced to do this.

What’s up with her aggressive persuasion?

How could she force me, the Witch of the Abyss, to babysit a bunch of children?
Is not listening to other people in their blood?!
Ah, no…

Anyway, I’m here again in the capital after who knows how long.
How many years has it been, really?
I don’t think it’s been more than ten years… but I decided not to think too deeply about it.

Then there are these young and fearless girls.
I heard that they’re returning home to get official permission to live at the farm.
Well, permission or whatever it is, just get them all. You should take advantage of being pampered by your parents while you’re still young.

After staying at their parents’ house for a few days, they came to meet each other on the promised date.

“We got permission!”
“It was A-OK!”
“They told me to be the finest witch I could ever become!”

I see.
Good for you.
But how are their parents fine with their daughters becoming witches?

“Well then, our job here is done. Let’s go back to the farm.”

So I get to see Orkubo as well.

“Please wait!”
“The real trouble starts here!”

The girls all cling to me at once.
What is the meaning of this?
Don’t lump me in with the other younger witches. I’m not as overprotective or thoughtful as they are!

“Our parents were more like a minor hurdle! Like the weakest of the Heavenly Four!”
“The last boss is still waiting for us! Please accompany us until we get thereeeeeeeeeeee!”
“Please! Just staying with us is more than enough! Otherwise, we’d feel hopeleeeeess!”

Huh? The last boss?

Of the five little girls here, only one isn’t clinging to me.
I believe she’s the Crowned Witch’s younger sister.

“That demonic sister of mine told us to get permission from our school…”

School?

“Yes, the elite school that produces the best potion compounders in the Mermaid Kingdom, Mermaid Witch Academia,” says the Crowned Witch’s sister as her tail fin quivers ever so slightly.

She must be scared as well.


However, Mermaid Witch Academia is a prestigious school.

Merfolk prides itself on its pharmacy magic.
Schools in the Mermaid Kingdom that teach it to young people are spread far and wide.

Among them, Mermaid Witch Academia is the one that boasts of its overwhelming structure and scholarly ability. And since it is directly managed by royalty, it’s a prestigious school.

The first to be admitted is the daughter of the Mermaid King’s family. After that, daughters from noble families. Then, talented girls selected from all over the nation.

As the Crowned Witch’s sister, she’s automatically a merprincess, so she has all the qualifications to enroll.
Her followers are probably just partners in crime who started hanging around the school.

Haa… I never had the enthusiasm to put up with this job, to begin with.
Why should I, the Witch of the Abyss, have to take care of young ladies from well-to-do families?

I am feared as a witch because my research is regarded as dangerous and heretical, as it could destroy the world.
Who thought combining such an outlaw like me with these sheltered girls was a good idea?

Ugh, I don’t really care anymore.
I’ll just accompany them and not interfere.

To hell with what they say about me later.
I’m the Witch of the Abyss, and whoever decides to trust a witch is entirely their fault.


So, we’re finally here.
At Mermaid Witch Academia.

To be honest, this is the first time for me, an outlaw, to set foot in this place. It’s as overly luxurious and unpleasant as I imagined it to be.

It seems that we’re going to have an interview with someone beyond the room before us.
The girls form a circle in front of the door.

“Ready? We’re going to get through this ordeal and go back to the farm!”
“YES, LADY ANGEL!!!!”
“Five Legitimate Holy Witches, Five!”
“YEAAAAH!”
“Five!”
“YEAAAAH!
“Fan!”
“TASTIC!!!”

Why are they so worked up about this?
And what’s with the Five Legitimate Holy Witches thing? Is that their team name? How embarrassing.
Anyway, they open the door with renewed spirit and enter the room.

“E-Excuth mi!”

She fumbled.
Is she that nervous?

The room is part of a prestigious school, so it’s as luxurious and puke-inducing.
There’s a mermaid waiting for them.

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Princess Angel? Normally, we’d meet every day to take my classes.”

Even the way she talks is getting on my nerves.

Well, from the school’s point of view, these students have been absent without notice for months, so I should say that it’s nice of her to keep the sarcasm to a minimum.
So…

“…Who is she?”

Who is this mermaid who looks like she’s about to sarcastically diss these children?
I thought her identity is classified information, but then, one of the girls secretly whispers into my ear.

“She’s a teacher here at Mermaid Witch Academia, Teacher Carp.”

A teacher, huh?
Well, I thought so.

Wait.
Carp?
Could it be that Carp?

I didn’t recognize her immediately because of her overly prim outfit but…
Carp as in Carp, the Witch of Arts?

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C254: Returning to the Sea

We’re going to be talking about the mermaids for a while.
Now that winter is over, and spring has come, a change is also coming to their team.


“My beautiful tail fins…”

Angel is the sister of my wife, Platy, making her the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom.

“Free! Finally, free from the side effect of the reject humanizing potion! I’m back in my pretty mermaid form again!!!”
“Yay!”
“We can go back to the sea now!”
“At one point, I really thought we were done for!”

Angel and her friends are frolicking on the coast near our farm, swimming in the shallows with their tail fins, which they regained after months.
It’s as if they’re reacquainting themselves with the sensation of being a fully-fledged mermaid again after so long.

“I didn’t think it would take this long to neutralize the side effects…” says my wife, Platy (currently pregnant), as she stands on the beach and sighs.

It was before winter when her sister, Angel, and her gang arrived at the farm.

They launched an assault in a fit of youthful recklessness but were utterly beaten by her sister Platy and her team, who were far superior to them in terms of experience and ability.
In addition, the humanizing potion that allows mermaids to traverse on land backfired due to their inexperience in making it and had awful side effects.

When they tried to revert to their mermaid form, their lower half transformed into algae, octopus, barnacles, and other horrifying shapes.
Hence, the girls had no choice but to stay at our farm until the side effects wore off…until today.

With time and the extraordinary efforts of Platy’s group, the side effects of the failed potion have been neutralized…
And now, the younger mermaids can go back to the sea!

“We’re finally back in the sea! This sea is ours!”

I don’t know about that.
How can young people like her be so overconfident?

“…Anyway, as you can see, neutralizing the potion produced equal successful results,” says Platy exhaustedly.

She’s also a mermaid, but only she is standing on the beach in her human form.
Since she’s pregnant, she won’t revert to her original form until the baby is born because of the potential impact it may bring.

“Go on; it’s time for you to return to your homes now.”
“HUUUUUUUUUH?!” the girls disappointedly exclaim.
“Why are you surprised? That’s what we agreed on; you couldn’t go back to the sea because of some stupid potion my stupid sister made, so we had no choice but to let you stay, right?”

Now that the side effects have worn off and they can return to the sea, there’s no reason for us to let them stay any longer.

“No! Wait a minute, please!”
“We want to stay here!”
“We want to keep eating delicious food!”
“Not that, silly! We have so much to learn here!”

Angel’s followers cling to Platy all at once.

Discus, Veiltail, Heckelii, and Batrachus are their names, I believe.
They’re clinging to Platy in their mermaid form, so they’re like fish flailing around.

“We…We have a mission!”
“Indeed! We have an important mission to help Master Puffer and Master Garra Rufa!!!”

Uh-huh.
The mermaid team’s shorthandedness became a major problem last year.
There were many underlying reasons for this, like the increased demand and diversification of responsibilities.

The improvised approach to solving the problem was to train these girls, which is how they came to live with us.
Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold, was the pioneer behind this idea.

Platy lets out a deep sigh and says, “…As I said before, I’m against it. You’re all still students, so you should focus on studying hard.”
“But we can study here too!”
“If anything, we get to learn a lot better here!”
“Yeah! We get to receive direct instruction from the Six Mad Witches!”

Ah.
In the heat of the moment, the girls stepped on a mine word.

“You little-!”
“AHHHHH!”

Platy’s anger sends the scared mermaid girls squiggling back into the water for cover.

“I told you not to utter that name! It hurts my ears!!!”

The Six Mad Witches. A nickname given to the powerful witches who represent the mermaid realm.
“Witch” is the title given to a mermaid who is an expert potion compounder.

My wife, Platy, is one of them, but she despises being called “mad.”
She says she finds the group name offensive because it sounds so childish.

Oh, we got off track.
Our issue at hand is whether or not to return the girls to the sea now that they’re back in their mermaid form.

“I’m not going back,” says Angel, who has been quiet this entire time. “I came here to surpass you, Sis. I won’t go back to the Mermaid Kingdom without accomplishing that!”
“But what is your true motive, really?”
“The food here is so delicious, I can’t part from it!!!”

Good. We like honest girls.

“Don’t tell us to go home! Ginger-fried pork is delicious! Miso soup is also delicious! I want to live here with you foreveeeeeeeer!!!”

And as the usual pattern goes, she also clings to Platy, with her tail fin swishing around.

“Hey! Stop it! Why do I still have to live with you even when I’m already married?!”

Her sister’s rejection is relentless, so I decide to intervene.

“Well, they’ve become a valuable asset to the farm already, so won’t we be in trouble if they leave now?”

They’re even working remarkably hard as assistants to the older mermaids now.

Puffer is in charge of fermentation and food refrigeration.
Garra Rufa is in charge of medical care.
They support the essential parts of our farm, but it’s hard to deny that their work is also supported by their new assistants.

If Puffer were here, she’d probably take the initiative in refuting Platy’s point, but she isn’t, as she is currently accompanying Prince Arowana on his pilgrimage.

“Why must you hit where it hurts?”
“Right?!”
“We also have the right to live!”

The girls keep pressing on.
But my wife, Platy, also known as the Crowned Witch, is not one to be pushed around by some girls.

“No means no.”
“Whaaat?!”
“You came here without permission from your school or parents. Don’t you understand how worried they are about you?!” says Platy bluntly. “I’m finally starting to understand what it’s like for a parent to worry about their child now that I’m also going to become a mother…” she adds as she caresses her belly.

There’s a hint of never-before-seen sanctity on her face.

“O-Oh… She has a point!”
“Y-Yeah, Mom and Dad must be worried…”
“Hendra may have explained the situation to them, but still…”

The girls couldn’t refute Platy’s point, who is also emitting a motherly aura now.
Remembering the face of my mother back home also makes my heart ache.

“…You’re actually still evolving, Sis?”
“There are several periods of dramatic change in a woman. You haven’t reached any of them yet, though.”

The way Platy just puffed her chest proudly made me think that she hasn’t grown up much either.

“With that in mind, I thought up a compromise plan.”
“A COMPROMISE PLAN?”
“It’s a good opportunity for you to return to your mermaid form now. First of all, don’t grumble about anything, and go back home once. Then, get your own permission to live with us from your parents.”

That must be the minimum requirement for the girls to officially move to our farm.

And I agree with her.
They’re still young girls, just a step away from adulthood. While there’s a saying that goes, “If you love your child, send them out into the world,” as a soon-to-be parent, I can relate to the feeling of worrying about one’s child.

“…Okay. If you say so,” solemnly says Angel. “I’ll get permission from Mom and Dad and come back. Don’t take me lightly, Sis!!!”
“Very well. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Why are these sisters always seem to be in a dueling mood at every opportunity?

“…Ah, also.”
“?”
“One more thing. You need to get permission from your school.”
“?!”

For some reason, Angel’s expression froze at Platy’s request. But why?

“What? From school too? Do we really have to?”
“Of course. You’re students, after all.”
“No matter what?”
“Of course… Well, I understand how you feel about it, but that’s how things are.”

Even Platy lets out a deep sigh with her.
Huh? What’s going on?

The school they’re referring to teaches the highest level of pharmacy magic in the Mermaid Kingdom—Mermaid Witch Academia.

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C253: The Real Completed Ship

Yo, it’s me again.

It’s been a few weeks since the dwarves started frequenting our farm.
Pops can’t do the work all by himself, so he leads the extra helpers he brought with him instead.

We provide their meals and lodging during their work hours.
It’d be too much trouble to have them commute all the way from their home, so we decided to let them live here for a while.
The orcs built their house and brought them their meals while they were at work.

The dwarves, on the other hand, are amazed at what’s happening on the farm—first with the orcs and goblins carrying axes, sickles, and other farming tools.
They are astonished to see that they are all made of mana metal.
Second, I’m honored that they enjoy the meals I cook for them, but they’re even more surprised when they see the kitchen because all our cookware is made of mana metal.

“Why is there mana metal everywhereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?!”
“This place is teeming with iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! So much that they’re being used in daily livinggggggg!”
“Farming tools and cookwareeeeeeeeeeee?! But there are much better uses for them!”
“Like weapons… Or even armor!!!”

Pops and the other dwarves are on the verge of ascending to heaven in shock.
Please don’t die all at once. Sensei won’t be able to accommodate you all.

Besides that, they are also surprised by the adamantine silk made from the adamantine silkworms, the monster materials brought back from the dungeon by Orkubo and his group, and the transparency of the glasswork made by Poel’s team.
Having to keep calling Sensei over and over in an emergency was a hassle for all of us.

And so, at the end of all the crisis and hardships (although I think they had nothing to do with the shipbuilding itself), the dwarves finally completed their job.

In what way did they remodel our ship?
Let’s find out!


The dwarves say in succession:

“Please look at her!!!”
“This is the result of our technical prowess!”
“The ultimate ship in terms of functionality, simplicity, and aesthetic beauty!”
“We call her, Helcirce!”

They even named the ship themselves…

Well, not like I gave her a name first.
I guess they also name ships here.

“Please have a look at her exterior!”
“We did our best to create a radical design as our client would have wished.”
“It won’t look out-of-trend over time with her timeless design. We tried creating a solemn impression without being too flashy or too plain!”
“A ship fit for a ruler!”

I’m no ruler, though…
The remodeled ship looks nothing like before, with traces of the dwarves’ skill all over it.

Let’s say the ship I made was Kamen R*der.
The current ship that the dwarves have remodeled is his final form as the story progresses.
Maybe that’s too hard to understand for most people.

Anyway, you can think of it as a simple ship that became flashy.
But it’s not just flashy; it’s also sophisticated and charming.
This is probably because, as the dwarves themselves claimed, great care was taken in its decoration.

The dwarves continue their explanation.

“Look at her bow! We’ve installed a familiar figurehead there!”

Oh, you mean the carved statue in front of the ship.
I see a beautiful statue of a goddess as if she were guiding the ship.

“Hm? But that statue looks familiar…”
“Of course, you’d recognize her! To tell you the truth, that figurehead was modeled after your wife!”

My wife?
Platy?!
An idol modeled after her?!

“Oh, wow. I was asked to be a model for something, and I just went along with it, but I never thought it would be displayed in such an eye-catching place…”

Well, she is a merprincess, so that might effectively protect our ship from disasters at sea.

“Her bow and stern are specially carved to show that she’s a first-class ship! I’ve even had the farm’s insignia engraved on the side of the hull!”
“The farm’s insignia?”

I don’t remember there being such a thing.

“We came up with it ourselves!”
“Oh…”

I feel like all sorts of things are happening without me knowing.

“Painting an insignia on the mast is customary. But this ship doesn’t have a mast!”
“Amazing, right? A ship that moves without a mast! She can generate her own power!”
“We dwarves have no foundation in magic, so we’re no match for the demons when it comes to technology like this. But seeing a magic-powered ship firsthand makes us so happy!”
“We’ll never have a job this good again!”
“Whoever built this ship must have been Hephaestus or something!”

Err… I’m the one who built this ship.
I’m embarrassed you think so highly of me.

“Next, let me explain to you how well the interior is done. Let us go.”

Like I said, I’m the one who built this ship.
Why are these dwarves acting more like homeowners inviting guests?

“We wanted to make effective use of her unused space, so we made full use of our dwarven know-how to propose an ideal voyage project.”
“Okay…”
“First of all, the noise and heat from the drive engine on the bottom impair comfort, so we built comfortable quarters in the ship’s tower.”

Huh?

“Hahaha! Relax, relax! There’s no way we dwarves would let her lose her balance with the amount of weight she’s carrying! Her magical power reactor has a lot of extra power, so she can handle even double her weight!”

No, that’s not what I’m worried about…

“Onto the captain’s cabin! We brought in the finest furnishings that the Underground Dwarven Empire offers, so it can also function as a VIP room! We can even hold important treaty-signing ceremonies here!”
“Signing ceremony?”

But I don’t plan on doing that.

“There are twenty guest rooms in all! All of them are furnished in the style of first-class inns in the Demon Capital!”
“We’ve added a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, playroom, and everything in between in the empty space at the bottom!”
“As such, you’ll be as comfortable as if you were on land! This is the result of the saint’s divine work combined with the technical prowess of us dwarves!”
“You won’t find a better luxury liner anywhere in the world!!!”


Mm-hm.
The dwarves had done a great job.

It’s luxurious, clean, functional, and comfortable.

But what the dwarf just said caught my attention.
What was that?
A luxury liner?

“Um…”
“Well, even if you asked us to do a better job, we probably couldn’t do it. We just had the best job of our lifetime! …Hmm? What is it?”
“It’s not a cruise ship; it’s a fishing boat.”
“Huh?!”

Didn’t I tell you?
It’s only meant to catch fish.

It seems they misunderstood the ship as a luxury liner that tours VIPs around the world.

“…Is it why it’s made like this?”

What do to…
It’s nowhere near functional as a fishing boat anymore.

“It’s fine. We can still fish and draw nets on this ship,” says Platy.

“We proved in our last fishing trip that magical support is enough to handle our catch. Plus, it’s not a bad thing to have a comfortable room to sleep in while we’re out fishing, don’t you think?”

Yeah, you have a point.

Our farm’s fishing boat, the Helcirce (named by the dwarves)…
Is here!

“Waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!”
“Such a wonderful ship with the divine combination of function and elegance… is just going to be a fishing boaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!”
“What a wasteeeeeeeee! At least! At least take this beauty around the world onceeeeee!!!”
“You can go to the end of the world with heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!”

The dwarves are clinging to me all at once. But don’t they understand that a fishing boat is a fine vessel in itself?

It’s okay, guys.
You’ve all done a great job.

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