C193: Long Live the Demon Prince!

Demon Queen Astres has given birth.

We’ve already heard the news of her pregnancy and have seen her baby bump multiple times, so it didn’t come as a surprise to us.
However, the birth of a new life is something that should be celebrated under any circumstances.

All the residents of our farm applauded and congratulated Mrs. Astres and her newborn baby.

Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap !

“Congratulations!”
“Hooray!”
“Congratulations!”
“Congratulations.”
“Congratulations!”
“Congrats!”
“I don’t really know what’s going on, but congrats!”

Receiving all the felicitations like a wave, Mrs. Astres, now back to having a slender waist after so long, is moved to tears with her baby sound asleep in her arms.

“Thank you. This makes me tenfold happier than with the ceremonial event we had at the palace,” she replies.

“My husband, Demon King Zedan, was unable to accompany me due to his official duties, but he said that he would definitely pay a visit soon. I wanted to give you a chance to see our child as soon as possible, Lord Saint.”
“Please, you didn’t have to concern yourself with that.”

Mrs. Astres’ baby is a boy, which means he’s the legitimate demon prince.

The problem of the current demon king’s successor has also been resolved for the time being. Things seem to be more and more tranquil.

In the future, he’s destined to succeed his father and rule over the entire demon race.

“Do you have a name for him yet?”
“Yes, Lord Zedan himself named him Goetia.”

Goetia, the Demon Prince.

For this child whose father is Zedan, the “greatest demon king of all time,” will his bloodline be a boon or a bane?
Perhaps only his future growth will determine that.

But let’s leave the serious stuff aside.

“These are our baby gifts to you!”

Our farm’s residents each have their own present to give.

Mine is a selection of vegetables from the farm, such as carrots, potatoes, and onions, all of which are flavorful and nutritious.
If you boil them and make a soup out of them, it will make fine baby food.

What?
It’s too early for him to eat baby food? Drats!

“Here’s a set of magic potions from me,” says Platy as she hands over a medicine box. “I’ve prepared special remedies for diseases that babies are prone to. Always keep them ready in case of an emergency.”
“The mermaids’ magic potions which are said to be the most effective in the world! Thank you, I’ll keep it by my bedside at all times.”

Next are the elves.

“This is a statue that has been used by us elves for generations to ward off evil,” says one of them as she brings an eerie wooden statue.

It must be their custom to use that terrifying figure to drive away the invisible evil that targets babies.

“This is a work of art that took Mieral, the leader of the woodwork team, seven days to sculpt. Don’t you feel the soul in its twisty horn extending from its head entering your nostrils?”
“My apologies, I don’t really understand art…” says the Demon Queen ambiguously and equivocally.

“As for me, I’ll grace him with sound health…”
“You too, Sensei?!”

The demon prince has received a spell from the Immortal Lifeless King to repel misfortune.

Other baby gifts were presented in turn by the orc team, goblin team, satyr team, and the earth spirits.
Even the angel Horkosfon gave hers…

“My congratulatory gift to you is this deluxe natto I specially fermented for this occasion…”
“Wait a second!!!”

I managed to stop her just in time.
It’s still too early to give a baby fermented food.

Then, there’s Letasreit, the former princess of the Human Kingdom…

“Umm… The only thing I can give you right now is the fava beans I grew…”
“It’s all right. Thank you.”
“Ngh!!! My… My fava beans!!!”
“Do you want to eat them with me later?”

Instead, Mrs. Astres was being the thoughtful one.

And so, the demon prince received all sorts of blessings from everyone.
The fact that he is already loved so much reassures me that he’ll grow up healthy and strong.

However, the congratulatory gifts don’t end here.
If anything, the climax is only about to come.

Batemy and Belena.

They are directly related to Mrs. Astres, the demon prince’s mother, so we can expect an even more extravagant congratulatory gift from them.

Belena goes first.

“F-Forgive me, Miss Astres! The only things I can give you are these pebbles and weeds I picked up here and there…”
“Mm-hm, understandable.”
“I find it dishonest to buy gifts with the money I made from my part-time job building magic information systems!!!”
“I still think that’s nice.”

In the end, Belena gives her a stuffed toy that she bought with her part-time salary.
Even though Goetia is a baby boy, a stuffed toy is probably the most appropriate gift he has received so far.

“Up next is Batemy… Where’s yours?”
“I already gave it.”

Huh?

This cunning demoness.
Her speedy preparations have impressed me once again.

“I already gave three sets of baby clothes for the prince. Because of their nature, it would’ve been too late to start making them after his birth.”

True.
Batemy sure is tactful and well-prepared.

“The baby clothes made by Batemy fit Goetia strangely enough. His clothes right now are one of her works,” says Mrs. Astres with satisfaction.

Baby clothes.
They’re ‘typical’ gifts from Batemy, our farm’s tailor.

“I gave it my all since they’re Prince Goetia’s clothes. It’s been a while since the last time I used adamantine silk and have ensured that they’re impervious to any blade or magic. Of course, I also paid attention to heat retention, breathability, and convenience for daily use to ensure that the prince would have a healthy childhood.”
“Wonderful. It’s reassuring to know that my child will grow up dressed in your incredible work.”
“I am not worthy of those words!”

Ohh.
This is like an exchange between a big-wig and their talented subordinate.

Belena, watching from the side, vexingly bites and tugs her handkerchief.

“In fact, the workmanship of the baby clothes you made is so splendid that he’s in a good mood when he wears them.”
“Nothing makes me happier as a tailor than hearing my clients say that.”
“I would like you to make five more outfits for him. Is that possible? Provided, of course, that it doesn’t interfere with your portion of work for Lord Saint.”
“Pardon?”

Hearing this, Batemy had a sudden doubtful look on her face…

“Well… I’m sure it wouldn’t take too long with the sewing machine, but are you sure, Miss Astres?”
“What do you mean?”
“I only know of the word on the street, but they say a member of the Demon King’s family must have a variety of artisans at their disposal.”

Such as armorers, woodworkers, and even personnel for providing even the smallest necessities in daily life.
Surely, the Demon King, ruler of the demon race, and his family members employ personnel who produce first-class products for them.

“I’m sure you have professional workers exclusive to the Demon King’s family, including clothes. Don’t these people sew your garments, including Prince Goetia’s?”
“Just as I expected from you. Is this why you’ve always limited the number of clothes you have given to me?”
“No, Ma’am! I wasn’t really limiting it!”
“I know you. You’ve always been attentive to those around you.”

It wouldn’t be very fascinating for the exclusive dressmakers to see the royal family wearing clothes made by others, ignoring the clothes they made.

“You must’ve been conscious of this and kept the number of clothes you gave to me to a minimum, but that still caused its own problems.”
“Problems?”
“I’ll let him explain in detail. Shax.”

Out comes Shax the demon merchant.
So, he’s also here with us today.

“It’s been a while, Lord Saint, everyone. I, Shax, president of Pandemonium Trading Company, would like to give you an explanation.”

…O-Okay?

“The tailoring brand named Mixpider is currently employed as the royal family’s personal dressmaker. It was the most popular brand in the Demon Capital.”
“The most popular…”
“Being the official purveyor of the Demon King’s family, it is a highly-regarded top brand that receives many orders from upper-class demons. Its prestige has been around for a long time after being in business for 200 hundred years.”

The successive Demon Kings and Queens made their public appearance in the formal clothes made by this Mixpider.
It is said that they have overwhelmed its witnesses and made them bow down to them, befitting a king’s tailor.

“We actually received a protest from Mixpider…”
“A protest?”
“They want to meet you, Ma’am Batemy, the tailor of the clothes that are all the rage in the capital these days!”

Oh boy, this is going to be another long story.


this chapter marks the end of volume 5 🙂 (we’re getting closer and closer to kidan jr’s appearance)

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C192: Bestowal of an Alias

Today, we’re talking about the waypoints.

There are currently several of them scattered around our farm to help us move from place to place.
Since the teleportation spell only allows you to move between any two given points, managing them is important to prevent anyone with ill intentions making use of it.

Hence, it has triple-layered security so that only the relevant people can use them.
Each waypoint also has a specific password and is placed far from the actual destination.

We also have Veil’s special traps installed in the waypoints around our farm, but it seems there’s more to them.

…And that’s something I only found out recently.


“Assuming that the waypoint is misused, the most alarming thing to watch out for is magic lock-pickers.”

What’s a magic lock-picker?

“They’re black mages who analyze and nullify the code created by magic spells. A magic code is made up of 176 digits mixed with dummies specific to each waypoint, but a good lockpicker can break through even that and analyze the code.”
“Ohh…”

It’s a crazy world we live in.

We’ve even set up traps around our waypoints as a precaution.

“That’s why I’ve increased the coordinate code to 437 digits for our waypoints.”
“Huh?”
“That’s the upper limit of incrementation without compromising authentication speed… The more digits the code has, the more complex it becomes, which means it is more difficult to be analyzed.”
“I-I see…”

So, that makes our waypoints a tougher nut to crack than the usual ones.

“I also set a teensy-weensy trap during the code analysis…”
“What?!”
“If someone tries to analyze the code illegally, they will get stuck in place, preventing them from analyzing it thoroughly forever. But if they keep persisting to unlock it…”

Yeah?
What then?

“The art of regurgitation Sensei taught me will be activated and will fry the brains of those who are illegally accessing it!”
“What the heck?!”

As if the other traps weren’t scary enough!
This sci-fi-like hacking battle is also scary in its own way, it’s bad for my heart!!!

“Uh… I have a question…”
“What is it, Lord Saint?”
“W-Were you the one who constructed such circuitry that would surprise even the future police?”
“Oh, yes, it was me.”

The one who explained everything so far is…
Her.

Belena.

She and her partner Batemy stayed with us to maintain the waypoint that originally connected the Demon Kingdom to our farm.
She was also long-tormented by her own existential value to the point of involving everyone acquainted with our farm, saying that she had no personality and no redeeming qualities.

“You self-proclaimed incompetent!”
“’Self-proclaimed incompetent’?!”

I shout at Belena.

“What part of you is incompetent? You’re actually pretty talented!!!”

It’s obvious!
She’s the one who’s been single-handedly taking care of the waypoints and their installation on our farm!

She’s doing her job!

“I’m giving you another name! From now on, you’re Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent!!!”
“’Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent’?!”

That will be her alias, and we’re going to make it known all over the world!

“Um… Can’t we change it to something else? I can’t even tell if ‘Self-Proclaimed Incompetent’ is supposed to be a compliment or an insult!”
“I’m afraid not! In a little over a decade, this name will be known throughout the universe!!!”

Not that I can guarantee it, though.
Thus, Belena was able to rank up to having an alias.


“Greetings, I’m Shax the demon merchant. I’m here on business matters.”
“Hi, I’m Belena, the receptionist, also known as Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent.”
“Pardon?”
“Nothing. Let’s get down to business.”

Belena is negotiating with the merchant from the capital.

Only she can handle these bothersome and complicated things.

“…Well, here’s the list of orders for clothing, leather goods, and glassware that was placed by our clients. I would appreciate it if you could have these products ready by the appointed schedule.”
“No, please wait. These are way too many. We won’t be able to finish this in the allotted time.”
“What? But…”
“Please don’t forget that our workers’ priority is to work for the farm. If it interferes with our principal occupation, I’m afraid we would have to stop all such transactions…”
“Wait! Oh, all right. We’ll reschedule the lower priority items on the next due date instead.”
“Please do so. But we also request you to not raise the price unfairly to create a sense of premium hierarchy.”
“I understand… You’re quite a tough negotiator. It appears your title of ‘Self-Proclaimed Incompetent’ is no joke.”
“Would you please stop that?!”

As I eavesdrop on their exchange, I become more convinced.

Belena is capable after all.

It’s no wonder she was an aide to a Heavenly One. She’s doing an excellent job of negotiating, a factor our farm lacks.

Belena.

You’re no longer incompetent.

You’re now Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent!

“…Oh, and, about the personal matter I asked you about the other day.”
“Framing the magic code? It was a good side job.”
“The client loved it. They said it was simple yet seamless. They wondered if they could place another order. What do you think?”
“That depends on the situation… I’m a busy woman despite looks.”
“Very well. You could do it within your reasonable means.”
“But I’m busy!”
“All right, all right! Why do you have to say it again? Are you trying to imply something?!”

She even got a side job?!
Also, did I just witness her be a little pretentious?!

After all that sobbing and bawling, saying she had no fixed role to play!

Belena!

You’re finally starting to find something you can do!
You’re starting to shape who you are!

Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent!

Keep up the good work, Belena the Self-Proclaimed Incompetent!!!


less than 1k words. the shortest chapter we’ve had in months. was it deliberate cause the author doesn’t have anything more to say abt belena? jk
but on a serious note, I kinda relate to her feelings of impostor syndrome. hell, I feel it every day :kekw: :sadge:

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C191: Town Musicians of Bremen

Today, we’ll be narrating a game Veil has started.


“Pochi!”
“Woof, woof!”

“Sakamoto!”
“Neigh!”

“Yoschamo!”
“Cock a doodle doo!”

Veil is playing with the animals.

“Yes! You’ve got good pitch! We’re raising that next!”

She’s originally a dragon, but right now she’s in her petite human girl form commanding the animals in front of her as they woof, neigh, and cackle in response.

There are three of them—Hypercaon Pochi the wolf monster, Sakamoto the dragon-horse, a genetically engineered homunculus horse, and Yoschamo, a chicken monster that gives us healthy eggs every day.

You’d think Veil has done well in training them as they immediately respond in cries to her commands.
But they’ve always been smart, so maybe she can’t take credit for training them.

If anything, I think she’s making them play along.

“Sakamoto! Your tempo is too fast! Time your neighs to the overall beat! Pochi, your ‘woo-woo-woof!’ solo part is the highlight, so make it clearer and more articulate!”
“What is Veil doing?”

My wife, Platy, also noticed Veil’s eccentricity and came over.

A dog, horse, and chicken are singing in chorus under a dragon’s command.
Surely, that gives off a strange image.

Maybe it’s time to explain things.

“…You see, Veil heard a fairytale from my world.”

It’s about a group of animals traveling to a big city to become musicians.

I guess the story must’ve left a lasting impression on her.
Well, it was also me who carelessly told her the story…

“And this is what happened?”
“Yeah.”

Veil is trying to train the animals to form a musical band.

It’s like people buying guitars on impulse because they’re hooked to a certain band anime.

“Listen up! You’re the best members I’ve got and you’re going to make the best music!!!”

She’s on a roll.

“First, dog!”
“Woof! (Correction; wolf!)”
“Next, donkey!”
“Neigh! (I’m a horse.)”
“Then the chicken!”
“Cockle doo! (Hey, I’m a gamecock.)”
“If all three of you sing, the world will respond accordingly! We’re saving the world with your song!!!”

What exactly is she after?

“This won’t work!”

She got discouraged fast.

“Not enough! It’s still not enough! If this group is to capture the world, there’s one thing missing!”

Seriously, what is she after?

“Remember, Master! According to the story you told me, there were four members in the band!!!”

A dog.
A donkey.
A chicken.
And…

“…A cat?”
“Yes, a cat! Once we have a cat, my music band will be complete! We need to scout for one!”

But we don’t have a resident equivalent to a cat with us, do we?
Perhaps a new character will appear today?


“Woof!”
“Neigh!”
“Cockle doo!”
“M-Meeeh?”

Panu the satyr joined the choir.

“Why?”

A satyr is a goat-human mix.
Why add a goat when you need a cat?

“Hm… This won’t do either!”

Veil is acting troubled as a pretend-professional maestro.

“I tried substituting the cat’s part with a goat, but it still didn’t work. I guess cats and goats really are entirely different creatures!”
“I was never a goat, to begin with. I’m part-human, part-goat…”

Panu could only laugh wryly.

“I’m sorry Panu, but you were not selected for this audition. However, the reason for this was a mismatch in musicality and never a denial of your talent. Keep your head high and keep on bleating!”
“If you say so… Well then, I’m back to making dairy products, okay?”

Panu then returns to the workplace from where she had been forcibly taken.
…Sorry about that, Panu. I know how busy you ladies are.

“Unless the cat’s slot is filled, my band will never be complete… In that case… In that case!”

Oh?
Is a new character going to appear this time?

“I’ll play the cat’s part myself!”
“Why?!”

Aren’t you a dragon?!
Dragons and cats are leagues apart from each other!

“Only I can perfectly represent my image of the cat! I’m going to be the final member of my band, the cat!!!”

And then, Veil transforms majestically.


“Woof!”
“Neigh!”
“Cockle doo!”
“MREOWR!”

“Woof!”
“Neigh!”
“Cockle doo!”
“MREOWR!”

The band is complete…
Complete?

A dog, a horse, a chicken, and a dragon.
A dog, a horse a chicken, and a cat… I mean, a dragon.

The sound of these four animals is fittingly rhythmic and well-harmonized, but one part stands out a little too much.
It’s the “MREOWR” that could pierce the heavens and shake the earth!

“This is it! This is the melody I’ve been looking for!” says Veil as she enthusiastically MREOWRs.

Then again, she’s always asleep when people are working.
She’s completely apathetic to anything that doesn’t interest her, but when she wants to be entertained, she gets annoyingly clingy.
She can also be awfully curious, but at the same time can get scared easily.

Is it just me, or does she possess a lot of cat-like qualities?

“Woof.”
“Neigh.”
“Cock a doodle doo.”

As Pochi, Sakamoto, Yoschamo continue to play along with Veil’s whims, they look at me with an expression that says, “When will she let us go?”

I’m sorry.
If Veil’s personality is like a cat’s, she should get bored soon.
Cats are fickle creatures after all.


Then Veil started playing something entirely different from the fairytale.

“Roar! I’m a monster!!!”

Veil is playing monster in her dragon form.

“A monster you’ve never seen before! A horrible monster!”

On top of Veil’s head is Sakamoto, Pochi on Sakamoto, then Yoschamo on Pochi.

If I’m shown this only in silhouette…
There’s no way it’s going to look like an unfathomable monster.

I can only see a dragon with something weird on its head.

“Gahahaha! What do you think, Master? I look strong, don’t I? Don’t I look like a mysterious and terrifying monster?!”
“Yeah, I guess so.”

But Veil, even if you look like a scary monster right now, 90% of what makes it ‘scary’ is because of you.

“Isn’t a dragon more than enough as a terrifying monster regardless of what’s on it?”
“Platy! Shush!!!”

Pochi, Sakamoto, and Yoschamo all look like they have spiritually enlightened expressions as they stand atop Veil’s head.

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C190: The Mermaid Girls’ Days

“…!”
“…?!”

I spy two people staring at each other.

It’s Letasreit, the former princess of the Human Kingdom, and Angel, the second princess of the Mermaid Kingdom.

They’re exchanging wary looks as if evaluating one another.

They continue their intense staring contest while maintaining a considerable distance, and after putting their hands up in the air like birds puffing up their feathers in intimidation…

“GIRLFRIENDS!”

They hug each other.
What’s going on?

“I sense some sort of sympathy with you! Like some innate nobility!”
“I know! I feel like you’re the chosen one, just like me!!!”

They’re in harmony.

Well, both of them were born princesses.
They’re relatively new here on the farm, so I hope they’ll get along nicely.

“But above all, what I feel we have in common the most is…”
“Hatred for that demonic sister!!!”

Ah…
They’ve lost it.

“You’re another victim of that demonic mermaid’s torment, aren’t you?!”
“And so are you! I feel like I’ve finally found an ally I’m profoundly compatible with! A kindred spirit who will stand up against that demonic sister’s violence and irrationality with me!!!”
“Kindred spirit!”
“Kindred spirit!!!”

Whack!

Platy appears out of nowhere, her right fist on Letasreit and her left fist on Angel.
Each of them took a hit to the abdomen… or more precisely, the solar plexus.

“BLEWAHRGH!”

The kindred spirits let out a nasty shriek, totally not ladylike, as they sink to the ground.

“Stop wasting time chatting and get to work!”

And then there’s Platy, composed and indifferent.
She’s also the princess of the Mermaid Kingdom and is Angel’s biological sister…

I couldn’t just stand by and watch so I interjected.

“Hey… Platy. I know you always do this but isn’t whacking your own sister a little too much?”

Though I know it’s too late for me to be asking that.
Still, isn’t it exactly because of your violent treatment that these two girls resent you so much?

“I’d like to do things gently, if possible, you know. Hitting them also hurts my hands.”
“Then don’t raise your hand at them for all the world!”
“No! More! Violence! No! More! Fists!”

Letasreit and Angel join in on the conversation to press Platy for an answer.

Truth be told, Platy interacts normally with the rest and doesn’t raise her hand at them when she scolds them, so why is she specifically strict when it comes to these two?

“You see… I used to be nicer. I had a phase when I believed that polite words and love are enough to get through them without ever resorting to corporal punishment.”
“Huh?”
“But at some point, I realized that such beliefs were nothing but an illusion… Because of Angel.”
“Oh.”

I get it.
I think I kind of get it now.

“Do you remember, Angel? When we were still in the Mermaid Palace, I told you over and over again not to enter my lab, but you never learned, snuck in and…”
“Ahhhh!!!”

Angel trembling means she must have remembered something.

“You touched something you shouldn’t have and that completely destroyed my lab. A lot of my research was lost, and some of it still hasn’t been fully recovered till today!”
“Ahhhhhhhhh!!!”
“Anyway, since then, I’ve realized that there are some things in this world that can only be communicated through fists. Similarly, I saw Letasreit in the same light, so I took the same action without question.”
“Hey! Wait a minute!!!” breaks Letasreit into the conversation. “Are you saying the reason why I get beaten up by you day and night is because of her?!”

She points at Angel.

“What are you talking about? It’s your fault and no one else’s that you get beaten up! Don’t you dare shift the blame on me!!!”
“Nuh-uh! The reason why the demonic mermaid became rougher with people is because of you! If it weren’t for you and what you did, I bet she would’ve been much nicer to me!”
“That’s not true! I’m her biological sister! She’s supposed to be nice to her blood relative!!!”
“No, me!”
“No, me!!!”

A catfight burst into the scene.
Wherever did their heart-to-heart kindred spirit bonding go?

“Aren’t you going to stop them, Platy?”
“…There are times when even I can’t keep up with them,” she says, visibly exhausted.

“SIS! SIS!!!”

The two who were in the middle of their argument came rushing toward Platy.
But why is Letasreit also referring to her as “Sis”?

“Sis, I’m more adorable, right? I’m your own sister, after all! Blood is always thicker than water!!!”
“No! I’m the more adorable one! With how much of a handful I am, she’s bound to get attached to me!”
“You’re seriously saying that about yourself?!”

Before we even realized it, it had become a contest to see who could win Platy’s affection more.

“I love Sis more than you do!”
“Nope, I love Sis more than you do!”

And then it shifted to who loves her more.
Easily losing sight of their reality is the common point that connects them.

“I love you, Sis!”
“I love you, Sis!”
“I LOVE YOU, SIS!!!”

Clearly, their resonance is cornering Platy more and more.

“Ahhhh! Fine! Fine already, so stop clinging to me!!! I love you too! There! Now get away from me and stop fondling my breasts persistentlyyy!”

Platy sure has it rough.


Five mermaid girls starting with Angel, Platy’s younger sister, who is the self-proclaimed (and only self-proclaimed) Witch of the Holy Light, Discus, Veiltail, Heckerlii, and Batrachus have newly joined our farm just a few days ago.

They are under the actual witches’ care who they look up to as big sisters and are studying diligently day by day.

The main reason why the five of them are staying here at the farm is that they can’t go back to the sea due to the side effects of the defective humanizing potion they made.
It would take quite a while for its side effects to wear off, and until then, they have nowhere else to stay but our farm.

Since they’re still of schooling age, I asked Hendra to take care of the necessary arrangements.
Also, Hendra is no longer visiting our farm mainly as Prince Arowana’s substitute, but to flirt with Lampeye.

“Some of Princess Angel’s friends are enrolled in famous magic schools and come from aristocratic families in the Mermaid Kingdom, so it’s quite difficult to get their consent…”
“Their parents must be very worried…”
“I was hoping that mentioning Princess Platy and the other witches’ names would put their minds at ease. After all, the Six Witches are the best mages in the Mermaid Kingdom. To be able to learn directly from them provides a more enriching learning environment than sending them to any leading school.”

Now that he mentions it, he’s right.
For full-time students like Angel and her friends, following the Six Witches, the top professionals, and watching them at work is the best extra-curricular lesson they could get.

If we can persuade their parents in that regard, won’t they approve quite easily?

“You see, that’s that thing…” says Hendra hesitantly. “They were worried their daughters would turn into delinquents if they let the Six Witches teach them!”

No doubt.
Our witches are the worst of the worst in terms of their decorum, even if they get double the gold star for their abilities!

“I managed to get things under control with the help of His Majesty. To think that the Six Witches lacked social trust to this extent… Utterly shocking!”

Hendra also seems devastated by the situation now that he’s engaged to one of the Six Witches.

“That’s not true!” interrupts one of the mermaid girls in question.

It was Discus, one of Puffer’s helpers.

“I’m happy enough to be here! It’s a dream come true to be able to learn about magic potions under my long-admired Master Puffer!”
“Me too!” “Me three!” “Me four!”

The other girls followed suit and chimed in.

This Puffer you’re admiring pressed the job of doing basic fermentation to you so she could be lovey-dovey with Prince Arowana on his journey, though.

“I’m sure Master Puffer is secretly preparing for a new evil plan!”
“A plot that will turn the world upside down!”
“We’ve got to keep up the good work so that we can be of help to her!
“Yeah!”

Seeing them encourage each other with their pure souls is making my heart ache.
If Puffer is doing anything wicked right now, it’s her taking advantage of these girls’ innocence to flirt with a guy.

“Well, I’m just happy you’re all motivated to study under the Six Witches.”
“Not all of them are here, though.”

Shut your trap, Hendra.

“Now, it won’t be that hard, right?” says one of the girls.

What’s with the suggestive tone?

“Only the Witch of the Abyss and the Witch of Darkness are left to complete the Six Witches here.”
“These two are said to be particularly extraordinary among the group! The world will really turn upside down if they’re also present!”
“No, wait!”
“Claims on the Witch of Darkness’ existence are quite dubious right now, but the Witch of the Abyss might exist!”
“THIS IS LORD SAINT’S FARM, AFTER ALL!!!”

The girls laugh merrily with one another.
Wait.
Did they casually hint at a character flag?
But just when I was about to warn them…

Duuuuuuun.

We heard an earth tremor-like sound from somewhere.

Duuun, duuuun, duuuuuun, duuuuuuuuuun!

It was getting closer and closer to us.

“Where is this sound coming from?”
“I think it’s from underwater!”

As if lured by the sound, I rushed to the shore and saw a giant rising from the sea with a huge splash.

“A giant?!”

Why is a giant coming out of the sea?!
Moreover, I could see someone petite sitting on its shoulders.
It’s Zoth Syra, the Witch of the Abyss!
She’s already here to retrieve her character flag!

“Orkubo, where’s Orkubo? I, Zoth Syra, the Witch of the Abyss, have come to hang out!”
“T-T-THE WITCH OF THE A-ABYSS?!”

The girls who also happen to be present have their knees giving way.

“Woahhh! Not only Master Puffer and Princess Platy but the oldest of the Six Witches, the Witch of the Abyss, is also here!!!”
“What the hell is going onnn?!”

Yup.
Sorry for overstepping commonsense bounds.

I’d like to ask one question now that we’ve gotten general formalities out of the way.
Zoth Syra.
What is that giant with you?

“It’s my latest creation—a genetically engineered sea monster that can move on land. I thought I’d show it to Orkubo today. Oh, Orkubo! Where are you, Orkubo?”

Isn’t that pretty dangerous?!
Please spare us! You could destroy the world with your small slipup!!!

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C189: Belena’s Q&A

Today’s meeting attendees seated around the table:

Starting from me, the chairman and moderator.
On either side of me are Platy and Veil.
Orc representative Orkubo and goblin representative Gobukichi.
Aileron from the elven group and Panu from the satyr race.
The earth spirits.
Pochi.
Angel Horkosfon.
Our special guests: the Demon King and Sensei the Lifeless King.
The gods Hades and Poseidon.
We also have Mrs. Astres (in her final month) who is Belena’s former boss, and her irreplaceable buddy Batemy.

I would like to start the meeting with these members.
And it’s titled…

“The First Meeting on Belena’s Existence”!

“Isn’t that kind of exaggerated?!” exclaims Belena, all embarrassed. “Aren’t most of our attendees too eminent for this?! Even Lord Zedan is here! I could die any second from the shame I’m feeling right now!!!”
“Oh, come on.”

I said the most obvious thing I could think of.

“You’re a member of our farm, Belena! It’s only natural for us to help you find meaning in your life!”

Right, guys?
Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is halved sorrow. That’s the beauty of helping each other!
We’ll all work as one and help overcome your suffering!

“…In brief, Belena stayed on the farm because she was confident in her abilities as an alchemist specializing in teleportation, but wasn’t recognized for her usefulness in that regard. In the meantime, more and more waypoints were added and everyone was able to use teleportation magic, with her becoming less and less needed…”

And finally burst into tears a few days ago.

“Actually… is teleportation magic that rare and valuable?”

Let’s hear what the Demon King ruling over the demon race has to say about this.

“Affirmative. Not only is it difficult to learn, but it’s also much handier than other alchemy spells, so its users are strictly regulated by the state.”
“In the Demon Kingdom, you must first report to the authorities who will investigate your background and ideology before being granted permission to learn the spell. If it’s an alchemist unauthorized by the state, that alone is enough reason to put up a bounty and capture them.”

Seriously?!
…Wouldn’t it be a problem if we were being taught such a valuable spell indiscriminately?

“It’s a little late to worry about that now, isn’t it?”
“This farm is full of exceptions, after all.”

They seem to have some insight into it.
Let’s return to the real issue at hand.

“In other words, Belena’s magic, though considered rare and valuable to the world in general, is just unremarkable here! It’s like a bat in a birdless forest going out to mingle with wyverns!”

Batemy’s on fire.
But please stop adding to that flame, you’re making your friend cry harder.

“What Belena needs, I think, is a new quirk!”
“You smoothly inserted a suggestion?!”
“She needs a new skill to replace teleportation magic and be useful here at the farm! That way, her importance, profile, and salary would naturally increase and may even open doors leading to new opportunities!”

Batemy’s suggestion has some truth to it, but…
What quirk should we supplement Belena with?

“Why don’t you drink a potion and become a mermaid? The potion that lets land-dwellers turn into mermaids is still a work-in-progress, so you risk turning into bubbles instead of a mermaid…”
“Would you like to bathe in dragon’s blood? In exchange for being mentally broken, you’ll be invincible.”

…Were Platy and Veil’s respective suggestions.
However, the risks that come with it are far too dangerous.

Also, Platy’s suggestion of a mermaidizing potion doesn’t make much sense since there are already mermaids like her.
I solicited suggestions from the other attendees.
What new quirk should be added to Belena?

“Become unparalleled in the dungeon.”
“Defeat strong monsters in one punch.”
“Live in the forest.”
“Produce milk.”
“Bury herself underground!”
“Woof! Woof!”
“Should I lend you one of my mana cannons?”
“Shall I make you immortal?”
“Shall I giveth thou mine own blessing?”
“How about eating cod roe?”

Were the suggestions proposed.

“What do you think, Belena, did any of those sound good to you?”
“They’re all impossible for me!!!”

Yeah, I thought so.

“…May I?” says Mrs. Astres as she raises her hand.

Though she’s a queen now, she was once a member of the Heavenly Four, and above all else, Belena’s former superior.
She’s probably the one who knows Belena the best.

“Belena truly was a competent aide during my time as a Heavenly One. An aide’s job is to support their superior from behind the scenes. In that respect, there was no more thorough person than her.”

She kept in close contact with the other units, gathered and analyzed information prior to fighting their enemy, managed resources and coordinated plans, as is often the case in mobilizing an army.
It was a simple but important job and one that couldn’t be done perfunctorily, yet Belena had done it all flawlessly.

“Compared to her, Batemy’s work was somewhat inconsistent, but she compensated for it with the facility of her humble life’s upbringing…”

I can see Batemy whistling beside her. How clichéd.

“I have the conviction that such talents of Belena will serve her well here at the farm. Why don’t we let her contribute to the farm in those areas?”

That’s true.
In fact, Belena did most of the work negotiating with the demon trader Shax and making arrangements for Letasreit’s arrival.
All done reservedly, so she doesn’t make it known.

Why didn’t I notice this sooner?!

Her administrative and negotiation skills are fairly valuable on our farm.
It’s enough to make Belena’s new quirk!

“What do you think, Belena? Do you think you can continue contributing to our farm by doing those?”
“No.”

Huh?!
I thought this was already resolved! Why the sudden plot twist?!

Are you sure, Belena?
It’s your long-sought, personal quirk!

“I don’t want to be useful in an ordinary way when I’ve been indebted to your extraordinary farm, Lord Saint! I want to do something flashier, something that will be remembered by everyone!”

What?!

“But I don’t have those super-duper powers! It’s sad! If only I had more power, I could turn it to my quirk!!!”
“Like what?”
“Like this!”


“Gahahaha! This saint’s farm will perish at the hands of the evil demon general Erinsoir!!!”
“Wait! Evil demon general Erinsoir!!!”
“Bastard, who are you?!”
“I am Belena, faithful servant of Lord Saint! I preserve the peace on this farm!”
“Hmph, don’t get the wrong idea, Belena!”
“What?!”
“I didn’t come here to save you! I will defeat you! I won’t allow you to be defeated by anyone but me!”
“Evil demon general Erinsoir!!!”
“Therefore, for today alone, I am your helper! Come, let us plow the fields together!!!”


“…Like that! I want to stand out like that!”
“…”

Everyone got fed up.

Dismissed.
I repeat, meeting dismissed.

I feel sorry for the people who came from far away just to attend this meeting.
At least we’ll have dinner later, so please eat, drink, and enjoy yourselves before leaving.

As for you, Belena, we’re appointing you as our farm’s administrative negotiator effective today.

It’s an important job, so we need you to go all out and help us.

Thus ends Belena’s problem with her quirk.


author probably felt more enlightened and decided to add 2 proverbs when they wrote this chapter. first was the bat and wyvern part, og counterpart goes like “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” (biblical in origin). i almost went with that until I remembered that this is a fantasy novel so I kept the bats and wyverns.
the second was double joy-half sorrow. some sources I found say its german in origin (Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid, geteilte Freud ist doppelte Freud) and my german friend also believes so, but some also say its Swedish. either way, just some personal insights I wanted to share.

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C188: Teleportation Magic Chitchat

“We, the Orc team, are now heading into the dungeon.”
“YESSIR!”
“Oh no, I forgot our bag! We can’t bring back the monsters we hunted without it!”
“Oh well, just teleport back to the farm and get it.”
“Yessir!”


“Ahh… Forest bathing feels so good.”
“We elves really are one with the forest.”
“But won’t Boss Aileron get angry at us if we’re late for work?”
“Even if we start running back now, we still won’t make it…”
“It’s okay. That’s where teleporting comes in!”


“Ma’am Panu! We’ve finished milking today’s batch!”
“It’s almost time for them to finish work! We need to bring these to the bathhouse soon!”
“It’s okay. That’s where teleporting comes in!”


“We have finished cweaning the house!”
“We also pwomised to cwean Sensei’s dungeon today!”
“But his dungeon is so far away, walking all the way there is a bother!”
“Issok, that’s where telepowting comes in!”


“Woof! Woof! (Teleport!)”


…I feel like teleportation magic is being ubiquitously cast lately.
It’s hard to take notice of it because I’m riding my dragon-horse Sakamoto to go from place to place at high speed.

Were there really this many people on our farm who can cast teleportation magic?

“Most of them can cast it now, you know,” says Platy.

Seriously?!
But I thought it was a high-level spell!

“Why, Sensei’s way of teaching is just that exceptional.”

Oh, that explains things.
As expected of the Lifeless King, the Immortal King. He excels in a variety of things after living for so long.

“So, thanks to Sensei’s lecture, almost everyone has now mastered teleportation magic irrespective of their race?”
“It was originally limited to demons, but that sister-in-law of mine developed a teleporting potion out of her passionate love for my brother, so now, we mermaids can also cast it.”

Platy finds it uber-convenient, but is this really okay?
For some reason, I don’t think it is.
I wonder why?

“It seems even Mrs. Astres learned how to cast it despite not being a resident on our farm.”
“No wonder she comes here so often!”

Well, Batemy also learned how to cast teleportation magic and went to the Demon Capital all by herself.

…I guess all of them have really mastered it.

“Why don’t you also learn how to cast it, Dear? Sensei’s classes are famous for being easy to understand even by total dummies, so you should be fine!!!”

…Er, as an otherworlder, I don’t think that’s possible.
Besides, someone will be bothered if I acquired self-mobility…

Don’t worry, Sakamoto.
When I want to travel over a wide area, I’ll still ride on your back and soar through the skies.

You can stop looking at me like a calf about to be sold now.


I have no idea when we started having so many waypoints.

To review, waypoints are, in essence, fixed points where you can cast teleportation magic.
You can only teleport between these waypoints, so your destination must be a place you’ve been to before.

In the beginning, there was only one waypoint used by the Demon King to travel between the capital and our farm.
Now, they’re scattered all over the farm, used as a tool to move quickly and efficiently between various places—at Sensei’s cave dungeon entrance, at Veil’s mountain dungeon entrance, at the bathhouse entrance, and the one just outside our farm.

Currently, there are four of them.

What was the point of saying that it would be better not to increase waypoints for security reasons?
At the end of it all, they succumbed to the temptation of its convenience.

“We’ve taken security precautions,” says Veil.

Why are you the one telling me this?

“Because I built the security traps along with the pseudo-corpse and the earth spirits.”

A magic trap created by the Dragon and the Immortal King?
Why does that sound like it could even kill the gods?!

“It surrounds the waypoints in a ten-step radius and is only triggered when someone exits it.”
“O-Okay…”
“It won’t be triggered if you have the Talisman of Recognition that I made, so the residents won’t fall for it by accident. I’ve already distributed it to everyone.”
“But I didn’t get one.”
“If you lose your talisman, you can still exit it while chanting a special incantation. I’ve already taught this to everyone on the farm.”
“But I wasn’t taught that.”
“If an intruder tries to exit the waypoint without the talisman or chanting the incantation, an evil earth spirit will come out and drag them underground. They’ll be stuck there until either I or the pseudo-corpse drag them out.”
“Scary!”

I can at least tell it’s not life-threatening, but the idea of being buried underground not knowing when you’ll be freed is off-putting…

The waypoint is an encoded system where you need to know the set coordinate codes for each to be able to use it.
However, lawbreakers such as those who can crack the password and enter a foreign waypoint are present in every world, so I guess we need this as a precautionary measure now that we’ve increased them.

Of course, we’ve been taking such precautions since our first waypoint.

Now…
What exactly was I doing again?

“Lord Saint…”
“Ahh! You spooked me!!!”

Belena!
Why are you concealing your presence? You could’ve stood next to me and I wouldn’t have noticed!

“Hello… Sorry to disappoint, but I’m Belena of the demon duo and not Batemy…”
“What’s up with your greeting?!”

Speaking of which!
The very first job entrusted to her was the waypoints’ management!

She was supposed to check them every day for any abnormalities!

Now, however, the number of waypoints has increased with booby traps installed under Veil’s initiative.

“Oh, I’ve modified them so that any anomalies will automatically trigger a notification to me, so don’t worry. The earth spirits also said that they will take care of the cleaning.”

Veil.
Those words of yours are enough to break Belena’s heart into tiny little pieces and make her delirious.

“I… I… I… I put all of my talents into mastering the high-level teleportation magic and used that to climb the ladder of success in the Demon King’s army… I even became a Heavenly One’s aide…”

Ah, I do remember her saying that once.

“But now, everyone can cast the very same magic I monopolized for a long time… My value to society only keeps on decreasing! My miserable raison d’être!!!”

Then, Belena starts crying boohoo.

I’ve been feigning ignorance this entire time…
Simply because it’s too troublesome for me to handle.

But it seems the time has finally come to have a serious discussion with Belena.

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C187: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 3-The Wanderers’ Visit

Hakkai the orc here.

We continue our journey led by Prince Arowana and have come across a village around sunset, so we inevitably decided to spend the night here.

Thanks to the written pass we received from the Demon King before we left the Demon Kingdom, we are welcome anywhere we go.

His influence reaches as far as this small village that’s away from the metropolis.

However…
There’s a little incident…


“…?!”

Meals served in this village consist of barley porridge and vegetables simply roasted in the fire.
The barley porridge is bland in taste, completely different from the rice Lord Saint cooks for us.
The roasted vegetables aren’t seasoned in any way, either. It seems they’re roasted only for the sole purpose of ensuring safety since eating them raw would upset the stomach.
To be honest, it’s nothing like the food we eat at the farm.

“…I-Is this what’s considered normal food for this village?”

Still, it was served to us, so we can’t have leftovers.
We have to eat everything even if it means glugging it down with the water that was served with our meal.

“Bleurgh, this is crap. I can’t even eat this.”
“Songokufon!!!”

You’re not supposed to think that out loud!

“Please, it’s nothing to scold her about…” apologetically says the demon village chief who provided us with our meal. “We are but a scanty village in the countryside that cannot afford to provide a grand feast for our occasional guests. After all, we have been at war with the human race for generations…”

I guess wars really do impoverish nations.
And the poorest of the poor villages are the first to suffer from their collateral damage.

“I strongly believe the world will get better little by little now that His Majesty has overthrown the Human Kingdom, but for now, we have to bear with this barley porridge…”
“…”

Hearing this, Lady Puffer ponders for a while, then abruptly stands from her seat.

“I’ll be right back, wait here!”

And with that, she vanishes after smashing a potion-filled test tube on the ground.

“What got into her?”

If she used the teleport potion, then she must have returned to the farm.

Just as she had declared, Lady Puffer returned immediately, a bucketful of something in hand…

“It’s a rice bran bed!”
“What?!”

She approaches the village chief.

“Even with limited ingredients, you can still make food taste good with some ingenuity. A hearty meal enriches lives, after all!”

It seems Lady Puffer is going to teach the villagers how to make pickles with the rice bran bed.

“If you can make barley porridge, that means you have barley with you! Lord Saint may only approve of rice bran, but I reckon barley bran shouldn’t make much of a difference!”

She then puts the bucket down.

“Lord Saint also said that food pickled in rice bran provides more nutrients than eating it as is. The village children also look quite malnourished, so I hope this will make things better even a little.”

What surprising turn of events is this?
Lady Puffer, the hard-boiled witch outlaw who doesn’t care about anyone else but herself, is voluntarily showing kindness.

“Their health also concerns me, do you mind if I examine them?”
“Huh? You know how, Puffer?”
“I’m not as good as Garra Rufa who’s an expert in it, but I can look at a patient’s superficial symptoms and prescribe appropriate oral medication. I’m sure medicinal herbs are growing around here, could you go into the forest and gather some for me?”
“O-Okay…”
“And while you’re at it, catch some monsters if you come across any. There’s no better nutritional value than meat.”
“Not all monsters are edible!”

Nevertheless, Prince Arowana and I took some of the active villagers and went into the nearby forest to gather medicinal herbs.

The villagers didn’t seem knowledgeable about medicinal herbs, so we taught them how to identify plants that could be used as medicinal herbs and how to properly harvest them after Lady Puffer gave us a prior run-through.

Conveniently, a deer monster also appeared which Prince Arowana killed in a single shot, earning applause from everyone.

I, Hakkai, who was used to farm work, quickly dismantled its body and brought it back to the village for a barbecue party.

“Guys! How is the meat? Is it tasty?”
“YEAH!!!”
“Did you make the rice bran bed already?”
“YEAH!!!”
“Have you compounded the herbs?”
“YEAH!!!”

The hearts of Prince Arowana and the villagers have somehow united.

Beside him is Lady Puffer teaching the village women how to make a simple herbal formula.

“I’m surprised at the land-dwellers’ lack of knowledge of medicinal herbs.”
“This is unthinkable in the Mermaid Kingdom where magic potions are widely distributed. But realizing that what’s common sense in our nation doesn’t apply everywhere is what makes this journey significant.”
“The Demon King is a fine ruler, but he must have been so busy with the war against the human race that he hasn’t attended to every single internal affair.”
“It’s been a chronic issue for hundreds of years. Blaming everything on Lord Zedan alone would be unjust.”
“Even if the masses’ way of life is to be reformed in the future, the process will inevitably spread from the center to the provinces under the head of state’s leadership, delaying relief to remote villages such as this.”
“I’m sure that will be resolved soon. Lord Zedan is a benevolent ruler.”


Could you please stop talking about such heavy topics, Prince Arowana, Lady Puffer?

You’re acting like the future Mermaid King and Mermaid Queen!

“All right! Listen up, everyone! I’m going to teach you an amusing game called sumo!!!”
“WOO-HOOOOOOO!!!”

And so, Prince Arowana became popular with the village children and opened his heart to the villagers.

“Whoooo, keep at it, boyssssss.”

Songokufon cheers for them as she dozes off.
Hold up. She’s the only one who didn’t contribute one bit!!!


Thus, Lady Puffer passed down her knowledge of pickle-making and herb-compounding to every village we visited which they all thanked her for.
She is praised like a heroine.

After visiting several villages and towns, Lady Puffer was nicknamed “the evangelist,” and rumors spread far and wide. She was even welcomed with open arms in towns and villages that we have never visited before.

“Are the pickles good?”
“YEAH!!!”
“Are the herbs effective?”
“YEAH!!!”
“Do you want to know how to make it?”
“YEAH!!!”

She has become somewhat of a celebrity now.
Today, she is contributing to increasing the village’s cultural standard by giving a class on pickle-making and herbal compounding.

“I’m glad to see Puffer enjoying this journey.”

Prince Arowana…
Are you fine with that?

“I first met her in mermaid prison. At the time, she had this terribly fierce look in her eyes, but as she worked on Lord Saint’s farm, she regained her vitality and is what you see now.”

Oh… Err… Yes.

“To think such twisted merfolk can open their hearts like this… Lord Saint’s farm never fails to impress me…”

I think Lady Puffer’s growth was more brought about by romance…

But the prince fails to realize this!!!

“At this rate, we may be able to cancel her charges by the end of this journey. Her talent is valuable to the Mermaid Kingdom. If she wishes to return home, then all the better.”

…Prince.
For Lady Puffer to return, one big condition must be met!

…But I, a lowly orc, don’t have the courage to tell the prince that.

Well, I’m sure Lady Puffer isn’t as rebellious as to refuse to return without becoming queen first. Still, I think she’ll do great if she does become one.

“All right! I’m also going to do my best to spread sumo’s magnificence! Those who are confident in their skills, gather round!!!”

The response for sumo varied depending on the village we visited.

Thus, we were praised by the people everywhere we went for popularizing pickle-making, herb-compounding, and sumo.

Our journey is still going well.

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C186: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 2-Function Description

It’s me, Hakkai the orc.
I’m accompanying Prince Arowana of the Mermaid Kingdom on his terrestrial pilgrimage.

We’re temporarily suspending our journey because he has visited us again—Hermes, the god of wisdom and one of the heavenly deities.

“I has’t cometh today to explain the equipment and abilities installed within Songokufon.”

He seems to be in a happy mood.
When he first came to force Songokufon on us, I thought she was nothing but trouble.
At first glance, Songokufon may certainly be trouble, but she can be tame around Lady Puffer and is the most capable when it comes to battling. If anything, she’s been a great help on our journey.

Currently, she’s making purring noises as she buries herself in Lady Puffer’s chest who has rejoined us after finishing her work at the farm.

“Siiiiis. Your knockers are outta this world, hehehe~”
“Don’t rub your face against them too much or I’ll smack you.”

While they were busy in their yuri affair, Prince Arowana and I entertained the god.
Actually, isn’t he being too casual with his visits to the land of mortals?

“…Anyway! Songokufon, who hast been heavily remodeled by mine own Brother Hephaestus, the god of modeling, is equipped with new inventions nay angel hast verily hadst afore! The lass is a machine who pursues rationality with compact functions to help suiteth everyday life!”
“I see.”
“I just forced her upon thee last time and completely forgot to explain things. However, today, I am going to teachest thou everything that shall surely help thee on thy journey!”
“I see.”
“Since I has’t entrusted thee with guiding Songokufon, it is mine own duty to support thee as well! As a god, I wouldst beest willing to giveth thee counsel non-stop!!!”
“I see.”

Prince Arowana doesn’t seem to be taking this seriously.
This must be one of those tricks to get people to leave as soon as possible by half-mindedly listening to what they have to say.

“First, what sort might angels be? Angels art biological weapons mine own clotpole father Zeus hadst Hephaestus maketh from his sinister designs to invade the earth. Even just one of those folk embodies transcendent power to destroyeth the earth and annihilate all of mortalkind…”
“You’re going to start from their very theory?!”

This is going to be a long one…


Buttt, I’m omitting that.

“And so thusly, I am going to talk about each of Songokufon’s armaments.”
“Finally, onto the main topic!!!”

That took forever.
But through Hermes’ explanation, we were able to learn about unexpected information such as how Lord Saint was involved in Songokufon’s resurrection.
I’d like to know more about this from Lord Saint once we meet again.

“I supposeth it is better if thee seeth for thyselves. Cometh over here, Songokufon!” calls Hermes out to Songokufon.

However…

“Hunh? But I wanna keep snugglin’ in Sis’ knockers!”

A diagram indicating Lady Puffer’s superiority over a god has been formed in Songokufon’s head.
Hermes is left with no choice but to urge Lady Puffer, whom Songokufon values higher than a god.

“Just go. If you don’t let him talk as much as he wants, he won’t leave.”
“Gooooot-cha.”

Songokufon reluctantly comes toward us.

“Songokufon! Thee knoweth what to do!!!”
“Ayeeee.”

Rustle, rustle.

“Wherefore art thou trying to taketh off thy underwear? What exactly art thee trying to showeth these folk?! I wast talking about thy rod! Take out thy rod!!!”
“Ohhhhh, thaaaaaat.”

Songokufon rummaged around in her ear canal and pulled something out.
It was something small and thin, like a thorn…

“Extend, Songokurod, Attack Mode.”

As soon as Songokufon chanted something like a spell, the thorn suddenly became one huge rod.
Moreover, its entire body is dyed in vermillion, adorned with decorative carvings in various places, much like an artisan’s gem.
I’m sure our elven friends would be excited if they were to see this.

“This is Songokufon’s main armament, the DX Songokurod!”
“It looks like a fine article judging from appearances, but isn’t it just a rod?”

Swords and spears would’ve been more impactful in our opinion…

“It is too early for thee to comment upon it. Show them, Songokufon.”
“Bend, Songokurod, Blaster Mode.”

As if in response to Songokufon’s chant, the rod transforms on its own and takes on a strange shape.
I think it’s starting to look L-shaped or something? The bent part of the rod has become some sort of handle…

“Blaster Mode, fire converging mana cannon!”

Holding the bent part of the rod, Songoku aims the end of the rod skyward and shoots out a beam of light.

“Is that…”
“What blew up the Lifeless King and the castle walls of the Old Demon Capital?!”

I was too busy to witness it myself at the time, but is this how Songokufon unleashed her flash attack?!

“Blaster Mode is the Songokurod’s caliver form which fires a converging mana cannon! By utilizing these two forms, Songokufon can maintaineth her fighting ability more efficiently than typical angels!”
“Ooh!”
“By the way, the rod gets its energy from power reactors, so nary a one other than Songokufon can handle it.”

I don’t know what that’s supposed to be, I can only tell that it’s incredible.
But I wonder why neither Prince Arowana nor I could take our eyes off the rod since the moment we caught a glimpse of its transformation?

“I don’t really get it, but it’s cool! So cool! I can’t help but feel this adventurous thrill welling inside me!!!”
“Right?! I kneweth thee mortal men wouldst understand! I did keep entreating mine own brother to installeth a transformation function! Ultimately, even that gent became enchanted by it!!!”

This conversation is getting hyped up.

The ladies, Lady Puffer and Songokufon, only look at us with cold eyes.

“S-So, does Songokufon’s armaments still have more of this function?”
“Nay.”

Prince Arowana feels let down.
That’s it?
Transforming from a stick to a gun doesn’t sound exciting enough, does it?

“Hmm, but ponder upon it. Songokufon hast only been revived recently.”

As Hermes points this out, we pay closer attention to Songokufon.

“Hah? The heck ya’ll starin’ at? Ya wanna fight?”

“It wouldst be too risky to entrust all an angel’s destructive power to Songokufon right now, wouldst it not? Such is why I hath asked mine own brother to locketh down some of her functions.”
“Oh!”
“Once the lass hast mentally grown and does recognize how to handleth her powers properly, those folks shall be granted the means to unlock and activateth her new form!”
“Her new form?!”

That sounds thrilling!

“I did forsooth impose… Er, entrusted thee with Songokufon’s development, so thou shall guideth her along the way. If it be true thou guide her with sincerity, the lass shall be enabled to developeth with just that!”

But the original purpose of this pilgrimage was to train Prince Arowana as a future king.
I think things will go down a different lane with the introduction of a variable like Songokufon…

“No, it won’t,” bluntly says Prince Arowana. “Simply put, Songoku and I need to grow, don’t we? Then that means we are headed in the same direction! In fact, it’s not just us two. You’re also part of this, Hakkai!”

Me?

“As well as Puffer!”
“Me too?”
“We will improve ourselves together! We’re comrades! And we’ll be there for each other every step of the way!!!”

As expected of our prince! His words are of a different caliber!
Yes, we are comrades who will unite our hearts through this journey! Let’s all improve one step at a time!

“Exactly! I kneweth I did make the right choice entrusting thee with Songokufon! I perceived thou to be mortals capable of doing so!”
“And then, we’ll unlock Songoku’s new form and witness it for ourselves!!!”

That’s what Your Highness is ultimately after?!
But I know the feeling! Just hearing the phrase ‘new form’ makes my heart race as well!!!

“So, on what basis does her new form manifest? Power? Speed? Could you give us a hint, please?!”
“That wouldst be a spoiler, Arowana! It couldst also be based upon the environment such as an aerial battle form or an underwater battle form, who can knoweth?”
“Underwater battles excite me as a merman!!!”
“I am also discussing with Brother Hephaestus the items such as cards, medals, and rings to unlocketh her new form! Whyfore must it be this hard to chooseth?!”

While Prince Arowana and Hermes are engrossed in their conversation, Lady Puffer continues to stare coldly at them and says…

“…Men are so stupid.”

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C185: The Holy Witches’ Enrollment

Anyway, after seeing the girls adjusting to their mentors just fine, I returned and saw that Angel’s grueling training with Mrs. Astres and Glasya had already ended.

Angel is lying flat on the ground, drenched in her own sweat.
She’s breathing heavily, so she’s probably still alive…somehow.

“She did well for her first day. As expected from Lady Platy’s sister.”
“Her performance is on par with our army’s privates.”

She must’ve worked hard, considering the two demon queens generously praised her.

Then, her sister Platy dragged her to who knows where.
She seemed to have stayed here the whole time while her sister was being ‘trained.’

Curious, I followed them and saw that she had carried her to the bathhouse.

Similarly, Veiltail, Discus, Heckerlii, and Batrachus, who had also finished their work, went through the curtain leading to the women’s bath.

“Ahh… This feels so good…”
“It’s heaven on earth…”
“I can’t believe just taking a dip in hot water can feel this good…”
“I could feel the fatigue leaving my body…”

The girls’ lax voices echo through the partition between the men’s and women’s baths as they soak themselves.
And then, they got out of the water.

“Woah! This white, ice-cold drink tastes so good!!!”
“Oh, it’s called milk? I see… Huh? The luxurious satyr milk?!”
“The coldness feels even way better on the throat after the hot bath.”
“Is it chilled in this box? …It’s Master Puffer’s custom-made icebox?!”
“There’s a freezing potion that can keep the temperature constant at the desired level?! That’s a member of the Six Witches for you!”

I could hear them having the time of their lives through the partition.
Women sure get lively when they’re in groups.

Then, supper came.
Tonight’s menu is tonkatsu with loads of shredded cabbage.

“Sooooooooooooooo good!”
“It’s crispy, juicy, hot, and above all… Delicious! Divine!!!”
“The veggie garnish resets your palate after the strong flavor… I could eat this foreverrrr!”
“The soup and other dishes that go with it also taste exquisite!”
“We don’t even get any of this at the Mermaid Palace! What in the world is this place?!”

The girls wolf down the tonkatsu, soup, and rice that was served to them.
Seeing their satisfied faces also made me, the cook, happy.

“Now… Do you realize how fascinating and wonderful this farm is?!” comments Platy. “A farm visited by the Demon King, served by many witches, produces delicious crops, pleasant baths, and many other amazing things. And its owner is no one other than my husband! Hurry and show your respect!”
“Y-YES, MA’AM!!!”

The mermaid girls cast their rebellious spirit aside and bowed their heads, save for their leader, Angel.

“Urk…”

Maybe it’s because of her pride as royalty that she’s desperately trying to preserve her autonomy?

“Angel… I’m sure you know how I’ve always beaten you at your own game despite your antagonism,” says Platy as if she’s cornering her. “Sure, half the reason why you came here uninvited was that you were being pressed by the public to be the Demon King’s concubine and wanted my help, but let’s be honest here, the other half was you wanting to compete against me as usual.”
“…!”
“But now, I am fully committed to making this farm flourish together with Dear. As his wife, I can no longer be just your sister, and I want you to understand that,” she adds as she clings to my arm.

So, this is how she’s going to persuade her?

“…I can’t accept that!”

However, her sister doesn’t want to back down just yet.

“You’re my famous sister who has left a significant mark as mermaid royalty in history! I can’t call myself the number one merprincess without defeating you first!”
“Do you really have to do that?”

Can’t she settle with being number two?

“I’ve been striving to be at the top ever since I was born a princess! I will continue to challenge you to prove that I can be better than an older sibling!”
“Good grief…”

Platy, who is now my wife and co-owner of the farm, is already extremely busy. She probably can’t find the time to entertain her sister looking for trouble.

She tried reasoning with her farm duties as a starter, but it still didn’t work.
Just when Platy was considering killing her as her last resort…

“I’m going to work on this farm too!”
“HUH?”

Both of our eyes widen at Angel’s statement.

“I’m not so conceited as to think that I can beat you the way things are right now! Appropriate training is required when dealing with a formidable foe!”
“What is this girl blabbering about?”
“That’s why I’m going to observe my nemesis in action, steal her magic techniques, and grow while I’m here on the farm! And then one day, I will defeat you, Sis!!!” says Angel as she munches on her second serving of shredded cabbage from the tonkatsu.

I wonder if it’s not just because she wants to challenge Platy but also because of the food that she has decided to stay?

“I see what you’re trying to get at, but you’re still a student, aren’t you? If you stay here and skip classes, your grades credits will drop, and you might be expelled from school. What then? Have you forgotten that you’re a princess? With position comes great responsibility, you know?”
“Didn’t you also drop out of school, Sis?”
“Ugh… I can’t find the words to refute that.”

There it is, her Witch-like outlaw phase.

“But that’s all the more reason to not drop out of school like I did. Otherwise, the mermaid royal family’s authority will crumble. The same goes for your friends. Go home and continue your studies.”
“Huh? You’re sending them home?” interjects Puffer. “I’ve already started training them as recruits for my department. If I can get these girls to handle the brewery, I can visit Prince Arowana more often…”
“Shut it, sister-in-law.”

Puffer…
So that’s why you’re unusually optimistic about replenishing our workforce…

“Anyway, you guys should return to the Mermaid Kingdom, pronto! And don’t interfere with my love nest with Dear!”
“Whaaat? No way! I also want to live here and eat tonkatsu every day!!!”

I knew it, that was her main goal all along.

As their verbal tug-of-war continued, something disastrous happened.
It’s Angel and the rest of the mermaid girls’ lower halves.

“GYAAAAAH!!!”

The Five Legitimate Holy Witches, was it?
The slender legs of every member are transforming into something grotesque… Tentacles? Barnacles? Or like a massive mass of algae?

“What’s going on?! This is too sudden!”
“Is this… a side-effect of the humanizing potion?!”

Oh, right. I forgot mermaids have to drink a magic potion that turns their tail fins into human legs when visiting the land.

Angel and the others had been in their human form the moment they first showed up.

“Hey, Angel! Where did you procure the humanizing potion you drank?!”
“Isn’t it obvious? Nothing stands in the way of Angel, The Witch of the Holy Light!!!”

She made it herself?

“Are you stupid?! The humanizing potion is not something a student can make. A little mistake in its compounding and it can cause major side-effects!!!”
“No way! But I followed your recipe!!!”
“We wouldn’t be called witches if anyone could make it with just the recipe! Oh, for crying out loud! For now, let’s get you fixed!”


In the end, our farm’s personnel had to calm down the five girls and relieve them of their symptoms with Platy and the other witches’ help.

They were able to regain their human legs for the time being, but the effects of the defective potion were hard to get rid of, so it would still take them a long time to get their tail fins back.

Hence, they’re also going to live with us on the farm while the effects gradually wear off.

Platy sighs, Puffer is ecstatic to have assistants, Garra Rufa is desperate to clear up the misunderstanding, and Lampeye doesn’t care; she just keeps on flirting with Hendra.

The five new girls seem to have mixed feelings about their new life on the farm, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.
I won’t make them do anything crazy, anyway.

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C184: Commonsense Gap

I was able to confirm that Puffer was in harmony with the new girls.
Relieved, I decided to go to the next place.


“Assistants? My very own?”

Garra Rufa, known as the Witch of the Plague in her nation and a current member of our farm’s mermaid team, is in the infirmary which had been built within the mansion before I knew it.

My farm has become more accident-prone with more residents such as Letasreit, elves, satyrs, and earth spirits living with us.

Whenever someone gets in an accident, we need people who can deal with it. And there’s no one more fitting for the role than Garra Rufa who had worked as a doctor in the Mermaid Kingdom.

Therefore, she’s always on standby in the improvised infirmary and can’t be involved in making fermented foods and fertilizers, which is what the mermaid team is supposed to do.
If anything, even our medical service, which is her main focus at the moment, is short on manpower.

The fact that Puffer is willing to prioritize this area by sending helpers is a meticulous gesture befitting the wife of the future mermaid king.

The girls assigned here are named Heckelii, the Witch of Air, and Batrachus, the Witch of Earth.

The ‘witch’ part is just self-proclamatory, though.
As what happened with Puffer, these two also excitedly approach Garra Rufa whom they had never met before.

“So, you’re Master Garra Rufa!”
“The Witch of the Plague, Garra Rufa!!!”

The timid Garra Rufa is taken aback by the girls’ enthusiasm.

“We’ve heard anecdotes of your madness!”
“You’re even widely talked about in school!!”


Anecdotes of her madness?

“They say the debate over who is the strongest of the Mad Six is divided into various theories!”
“But when it comes to the craziest, everyone is unanimous that it’s you, Master!!!”

“It’s no surprise since you’re a member of the Mermaid Medical Association, the best in the nation, and you propose original theories with reckless implementations!!!”
“And though you were evicted for being obsessed with your repulsive and wild theories, this didn’t stop you from continuing your research!!!”
“In addition to being feared for your eccentricity, you’re also a legendary figure who, aside from your nickname, has had other titles such ‘the craziest of the six witches,’ ‘the maddest of the mad,’ ‘those who have gone nuts are nothing but an act in front of her,’ and many more!”
“It’s an honor to be able to see you in person, Master Garra Rufa!!!”

Garra Rufa receives the girls’ barrage of praises (?) who kept prattling at her face-on.
She stands up from her chair, walks briskly, and plops face down on the bed typically found in any infirmary…
And starts sobbing.

“So mean! That was too much!!!”
“HUH?!”

The two girls, Heckerlii and Batrachus, got the title of ‘Making the Witch of the Plague Cry’ as soon as they arrived at our farm.


I had to console Garra Rufa by patting her on the head five hundred times before she recovered.

“You girls are mistaken!!!”

And as soon as she was back on her feet, she refuted the innocent girls.

“I’m not the maddest of the mad mermaids as you call me! I’m just the plainest of the plain citizens!
“HUH?”
“It’s all because I’ve been lumped in with the Six Witches and the rumors that surround them! Now, I’m also being unfairly evaluated as if I’m the crank of the century!!!”

You mean you’re not?

“I’m not as strong as Lampeye or Puffer, nor as noble as Princess Platy! I’m just plain! Plain to the bitter end!”

Garra Rufa is bawling as if she’s venting out her pent-up frustrations.

“I’m the most ordinary of the Six Witches, so to speak! I have destitute talent and no ability! Being earnest is my only redeeming feature! What you said was mere overestimation! No, it’s not even an overestimation, it’s an unfair evaluation! I’m not mad!!!”
“O-Oh…”

The two girls are overwhelmed by Garra Rufa desperately defending herself.
I guess this is where I step in and appease the situation.

“Now, now, Garra Rufa. Don’t get too agitated or you’ll scare them.”
“Oh, you’re right, Lord Saint.”
“As I said earlier, these girls will help you with your work. Why don’t you show them what you do on a regular basis? That way, your fake rumors will vanish on their own.”
“Pardon? Oh! You make a good point, Lord Saint! You and your words really are in a different league!!!”

I managed to hold back the next words ‘if they really are fake’ that were already at the tip of my tongue.

“Come here, both of you! Let me explain to you my job!”
“YES, MA’AM!”

Garra Rufa places a piece of equipment in front of them with a thud.
It’s the microscope that I had given to her some time ago.
But its appearance has changed a lot since then.

“This is the microscope given to me by Lord Saint, which I modified on my own to increase its accuracy and resolution! I used my own magic and asked the elven glassworkers to make a more powerful lens!”

Poel, the leader of the glasswork team, complained about how you were so relentless and persistent with your order that their other work got delayed, you know?

“Now, we can observe bacteria to the fullest!!!”

The only expressions left on Heckerlii and Batrachus’ faces after hearing Garra Rufa’s explanation were…

“?” “???” “?!” “?!?!” “…?” “????????????????????????????????????????”

Like that.
They don’t seem to understand what Garra Rufa is saying.

Well, I don’t blame them.
The concept of bacteria itself doesn’t exist in this world yet, after all.

“…Um, may I ask you a question?”
“Yes! What is it?”
“What’s…’bactiryuh’?”
“Good question! Bacteria are tiny, tiny, TINY organisms! They are everywhere—in the air, in our bodies, EVERYWHERE!!!”
“HUH?!”

Their view of Garra Rufa is starting to change.

“What do you think happens when we can observe bacteria? You can do a lot! After all, germs are the cause of many diseases! If we can examine the patient’s body and find bacteria that aren’t normally present, we can immediately find out what disease the patient is suffering from!”
“Examine the body? How?”
“We draw blood from them.”
“BLOOD?!”

It’s still changing.

“Up until now, the only way to examine a patient was to observe the superficial symptoms, so there was no way to avoid the risk of misdiagnosis. But! With the introduction of hemanalysis, the accuracy has increased dramatically! Now, all we have to do is to apply the appropriate treatment for the identified disease! Moreover!”
“MOREOVER?”
“There’s also a revolutionary method of treatment using bacteria! I’ll spare you the finer details for this one, but for example, we can draw the blood of a person who has been cured of a certain disease and inject it into…”
“INJECT IT INTO?”
“Into patients suffering from the same disease!!!”
“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!”

Well, she skipped a lot of steps, but blood serum is a common treatment in my world… And my world alone.
The common sense in my world isn’t necessarily the same as the common sense in other worlds like this one.

“M-M-Master Garra Rufa!”
“You really are mad!!!”

I think their reactions are pretty reasonable.

“What?!”

Please, Garra Rufa.
You don’t have to look so surprised.

“I have no idea what you talked about, but what I do know is that it sounded awesome!!!”
“It’s madness! It can’t be anything but madness! You’re the only one among the six witches who can come up with such crazy ideas!!!”
“Truly madness within madness! Garra Rufa, the craziest of the six witches!!!”
“You’re the real deal after all! I have a newfound respect for you!!!”

They’re pretty wacko themselves if they respect her more despite calling her mad.

“Lord Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaint! These girls don’t understand me at all! Why? Why, oh why?!” cries out Garra Rufa to me.

Come on, what do you expect? You went too far ahead and overwhelmed them.
It’ll take a long time before your commonsense and this world’s commonsense attain balance.

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C183: New Valuable Assets

“Keep your head held high while running! You won’t last on the battlefield like that!!!”
“Pochi and the others! Don’t hold back and make her run for her life! She’s doing fifty more laps around the farm!”

The two demon queens, Mrs. Astres and Mrs. Glasya, are still making Angel undergo their gruesome training with the hypercaons chasing after her, so she can’t slow down.

“I-I didn’t know… Queens do… Manual labor!!!”

They said they’d make her understand what it’s like to be a demon queen, but no matter how I look at it, it’s definitely the training regime new army recruits undergo.

Well, they are former members of the Heavenly Four.
Their soldiers are pretty toned, so Angel should gain something from it as well.

“…What about you girls?”

I ask the four girls freaking out beside me.

They’re the girls who accompanied Angel on the raid(?) on our farm.
…I think they call themselves members of the Five Legitimate Holy Witches or something?

“Um… We were just forced to come along!”
“After Lady Angel’s business is done, we’re thinking of going home since we have nothing else to do…”

They seem to have the common sense of perceiving danger and avoiding it just like anyone else. Their intention to leave before they get involved is as clear as day.
But…

“Wait…”

It was too late.
Puffer, the Witch of the Bitter Cold, spread her arms wide and hugs all four of them.

“Capture complete.”
“Uh… What’s wrong, Puffer?”
“Lord Saint, aren’t they the perfect solution to our problem at hand?”

Our problem at hand?
You’re kidding…

“You mean that our farm’s mermaid team is short on members? You’re not making them join you, are you?”
“I am!”

Isn’t that a little haphazard?

“It’s fiiiiiine. If they’re acquainted with the merprincess, then they must be promising students. Since they’re still young and fresh, they’d be more useful than typical pros if they were kindly, carefully, and thoroughly instructed by an expert like me.”

Where is that baseless confidence coming from?!
But on the other hand…

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…”
“The Witch of the Bitter Cold is going to instruct us first-hand?!”

Naturally, the girls are confused. Still, they seem shocked and ecstatic by the fact that Puffer is going to instruct them first-hand.

“Is that how it is?”
“It is.”

Hendra, the controversialist, explains.

“The Six Mad Witches are also admired as the best specialists in pharmaceutical magic in contrast to being the most troublesome people in the mermaid realm. For young mermaids like them, being approached by even one of these witches is a thrill, let alone be under their direct guidance!”

I see.
Meanwhile, Puffer proceeds to select two girls at random.

“I’ll take these two as my assistants in the brewery and refrigerator. The other two will have separate jurisdiction!”
“Wait a minute,” interjects Lampeye. “If two of them are going to be your subordinates, does that mean Garra Rufa and I will each have one only? Isn’t the ratio a little off? We need to talk more about this and…”
“Idiot!” roars Puffer. “You’re not doing much work in the brewery because you’re just hunting in dungeons and clinging to Platy as her self-proclaimed bodyguard. The remaining two will be working under Garra Rufa. She’s the one who works the hardest in our team, you know that?”
“Ngh…”

Lampeye couldn’t refute Puffer’s statement.

“Anyway, now that that’s cleared up, I’m going to start briefing these two about the work here. Lampeye, you take the other two girls to Garra Rufa.”

With that, Puffer takes the two girls and quietly leaves the scene, leaving nothing but flabbergasted looks on our faces.

“What are you going to do, Lampeye?”
“There’s no ‘what’ about it, I can only take the other two to Garra Rufa. Puffer’s argument was sound.”

Yeah.
But she didn’t ask the girls’ intentions at all.

“…U-Um!” says one of the remaining girls, eyes sparkling.

“Is this person named Garra Rufa the very same Garra Rufa, Witch of the Plague?”
“Huh? Y-Yes!”

What about it?

“Wow! Not only the Witch of the Bitter Cold, Witch of Hellfire, and the Crowned Witch, but the Witch of the Plague is also here!!!”
“Almost all of the Six Mad Witches are here! What is this place? It’s out of this world! Is this where the world’s brainiest people gather?!”

Looks like most things are going to be a trivial matter to these posers.
Meanwhile, Angel’s hellish training under the two demon queens is still ongoing as she runs as fast as she could.

“Come on! That’s two hundred more laps for you!!!”


Of course, the girls who were taken away as if they were abducted weighed on my mind, so I decided to go check on them.

First, I went to see the two girls Puffer took with her.

When I arrived, they were sincerely listening to Puffer’s lecture on how to make some kind of potion.

“Oh, Lord Saint. These girls are pretty promising. They’re also obedient and fast learners.”

Puffer giving honest compliments is weirding me out…

“It helps that they’re still students because they wholeheartedly learn the things that they don’t know. This doesn’t work on adults who are already fixated on the things they do know.”
“Your remark strikes home.”
“As expected of the princess’ schoolmates. Maybe the fact that they’re also enrolled in an elite school is another factor.”

I believe the girls she took under her wing are called Veiltail, the Witch of Fire, and Discus, the Witch of Ice.
I’m sure they’re only self-proclaimed witches unlike Puffer and the others, but at least they have the talent to call themselves that.

“…U-Um!”

Amidst this, one of the girls timidly speaks up.
It’s Discus.

“I don’t go to a good school because my family can’t afford the tuition…”
“What? Really?”
“I was a rotten delinquent, attending the lowest-ranking magic training school. Veiltail here became a soldier to put food on the table…”

Veiltail nods beside her.

“We were doing our best just to survive every day, but then Lady Angel found us and made us her followers…”

Well, isn’t that heartwarming?

If that’s the case, then Angel’s unexpectedly got the charitable heart of royalty and a good eye for people.

They’re even talented enough to be recognized by Puffer.

“But because of that upbringing, I respect Master Puffer the most out of the six witches!”
“Me too!”

Then they proceed to draw near Puffer.

“W-Woah!”

Puffer is bewildered.

“You have always shown your rebellious spirit by opposing the regime! It’s soooo cool how you didn’t abandon your principles even when you were sent to Trench Prison, Master Puffer!!!!”
“A rebel to power! An outlaw! Only you show this attitude among the Six Witches! We admire you so much for that, Master Puffer!!!”

Looks like they idolize her a lot.
Is this the mentality of delinquents looking up to wicked people?

“Did you have some trouble with the royal court or the academy that’s why you left the Mermaid Kingdom to live on land?!”
“The other witches aren’t on the same level as you, Master Puffer, but they’re still quite infamous! The Six Witches coming together to do something on land… It’s like you’ve made this your turf!”

More like you’re using words you don’t even know the actual meanings of.
…Hm.
So, Puffer is considered to have the charisma of a badass in the Mermaid Kingdom.
Well, she does look like a sharp knife that could hurt when handled poorly.

“…!”

Though, in truth, Puffer is officially serving her sentence as a prisoner by working on our farm.
So, based on that, it’s more like she gave in to the regime and…

“………………………………………Of course.”

Ah.
She’s being pretentious.
Puffer is acting vain against the girls’ baseless admirations.

“There’s no way they can rope me in that easily. Now is the time to be in hiding while I sharpen my rebellious fangs!”
“Ohh!!!”
“So cool! You’re incredible, Sis!!!”

Now, they’re starting to call her “Sis” like they’re a gang.

“As a mermaid, it’s the end of the world if you become a slave to the authorities, am I right? If you’re a witch, you must go against the system to advance your research!”
“Sis!!!”
“You’re so cool, Sis!!!”

Puffer has become the focus of the young girls’ respect.
…But Puffer.
The person you’re in love with and are making a fierce approach to is…

Prince Arowana.
The future mermaid king.
The very core of the regime.

Do you understand what your rebellion entails?

I ask in a whisper so the girls won’t hear.

“If you had to choose between rebelling and marrying Prince Arowana, which would it be?”
“Marrying the prince, duh.”

I can’t believe this person.

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C182: Sister Showdown

Results: They were beaten in a single blow.
The Five Legitimate Holy Witches were outmatched by Puffer and Puffer alone.

“AHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Puffer’s so strong.
I’ve only ever seen Lampeye and Platy do all the fighting so far, but as I thought, she’s strong.

I guess she isn’t called the Witch of the Bitter Cold for nothing.

Without even showing any visible signs of using the potion, the surrounding area was cooled to below freezing temperature, which immobilized the Five something-something Witches in one fell swoop.

She gave them a taste of their overwhelming difference.

“Puffer, try not to get too ahead of yourself. Didn’t they just declare their challenge?” protests Lampeye.
“Wasn’t that enough? The fact that they expressed their willingness to fight means that we can strike at any time. In fact, taking it easy would be a mistake.”

Yikes. This witch scares me.
She’s just like those bloodthirsty delinquents.

“I’m trying to regain my fighting instincts as much as I can here since I’m going to be doing a lot of roughhousing on Prince Arowana’s travels, but it’s not going great. They’re not even worthy of being my sparring partners.”
“No wonder you’re unusually barbaric.”
“From the looks of it, they’re all students of Pharmaceutical Magic School. Maybe they’re just self-proclaimed witches?”
“Absolutely. They’re not witches even if they’re honor students at the school, as prestigious as it may be. They can’t win against you no matter how hard they try.”

Now, they’re making their difference in ranks clear.
And then, Platy shows up.

“Aren’t they just members of the school’s Six Witches fan club founded by Angel? Pretty immature of you to go against them like that, Puffer.”
“Oh, Platy.”

Platy smoothly slips past Puffer and stands in front of her younger sister, frozen stiff along with the four other girls.

“Lady Angel! The ice! The ice has frozen us!”
“Do something about this, Veiltail! Aren’t you the Witch of Fire?!”
“The antidote isn’t working at all! At this rate, I’ll use up all of it!”
“Ah, I’m starting to feel drowsy!!!”

Then, with a dash of Platy’s potion on the frozen lump of five chaotic girls, Puffer’s ice evaporates.

“I’d like to greet you with a ‘long time no see, Angel,’ but shouldn’t you be studying at school instead of idling your time away like this? You dunce.”
“Sister Platy! Duel me right now!!!”

But as soon as Angel readied her stance, she was directly hit by Platy’s potion, spinning in place about ten times.

“You’re ten years too young to be challenging me. Are you telling me you followed Hendra all the way here just for that?”
“…Bwuh?”

Weird.
It’s been a long time since they last met, so shouldn’t they have a more touching reunion?
How can she be so savage?

“Sorry about this, Dear. Angel is my sister.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that.”
“Despite being my sister, she often gets carried away and causes a lot of trouble. I’ve been scolding her over and over, but she never seems to learn her lesson, like today…”
“I think that’s what makes you two sisters.”

And then…

“Angel. What is with this turn of events? You came here to attack me, you say?”
“Bweh…”
“I know we’re not that close as sisters, but I don’t think we’re that hostile either for you to go through the trouble of chasing after me all the way to land. What happened after I got married?”
“Sssss…”

S?

“Sis, it’s all your fault!!! You left without a word! Do you have any idea how worried I was?!”

Oh.
Is this the pouty tsundere pattern I sense?

“Because of that, every political affair has been left to me to handle! I can’t sleep at night worrying about it! I’m stressed day after day, it’s going to make me go bald!!!”

…Or not. I guess I was wrong.

“Our nation is in ruin because you didn’t marry a demon! Dad is being criticized almost every day! The insensitive fools are even telling me to become the demon king’s concubine to pacify them! Me! A concubine!!!”

Hearing this, I look at Hendra and he nods back emphatically in return.
So, this must be the invasion controversy he mentioned when he first arrived.

“I absolutely hate it! First of all, I don’t want to be a concubine! And to the Demon King, too! Demons are smelly, stupid, and definitely have ugly faces like devil stingers! So no, thank you! You’re more suited to be the Demon King’s concubine, Sis! That’s what I’ve been saying this whole time!”

So, in short, the recent changes in the situation have caused anxiety and a growing fear of the demon race in the Mermaid Kingdom.
On this occasion, an irresponsible party started to make a fuss.
As a means to appease the demon race, they suggested that the second princess, Angel, be offered to the demon king as his concubine.
Hearing this, Angel was in a panic. She doesn’t want to be the demon king’s concubine.
That’s why she wanted to use her sister, Platy, as a scapegoat, hence the duel proposal.

“She’s awfully terrible.”
“You can only expect so much from a student like her.”

Hendra and I stand side-by-side, dumbfounded.

“I knew you’d say that. Geez, you really are a hopeless sister!”
“Sis!!!”
“But your persistence deserves a reward for finding this place. And that is…”
“A reward? What is it? Are you going to be the demon king’s concubine?!”
“Hell no! I’m already married to Dear! …As your reward, let’s ask the Demon King himself.”

Oh, the Demon King.
He came again today.

“What do you think, Demon King? Now that you’ve seen my shameful, idiotic sister, do you want her to be your concubine?”
“…No. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we demons hold no malice towards merfolk. Moreover, I’ve already received Hades’ blessings.”

Hades, the god of the underworld, isn’t into adultery unlike the other deities, and those who receive his blessings must also follow suit.

“I was somehow granted an exception with Glasya’s case, so I don’t think I’ll be granted another one, nor do I have any plans to. Even if she were officially asked to marry me, I’ll have to politely decline for the above reasons.”
“There you have it! Isn’t that great, Angel?”

Angel is overcome with surprise, unable to understand that the burly man before her is the Demon King.
I had no choice but to take over and thank the Demon King for his kind cooperation.

“Thank you as always, Demon King.”
“Oh, no. This much is natural for Prince Arowana and you, Lord Saint.”

Meanwhile, Angel is gradually coming to grips with the situation as shown on her gleaming face.

“…Ye.”
“Ye?”
“Yes! That’s my sister for you! You solved the problem in a jiffy! I love you, I love you, I love you!!!”
“You really didn’t grow up one bit even before I got married… Oh well, I’m glad I can help you since we haven’t seen each other in a while,” says Platy as she slightly smiles.

“Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘you reap what you sow’?”
“Huh?”

Two strong female demons are standing behind Angel.

It’s Mrs. Astres and Mrs. Glasya, the two demon queens.

“Hey, lass, mind repeating what you said earlier, in front of us?”
“Did you say our Demon King is smelly, stupid, and ugly?”

Looks like the whole family is visiting us today.
Then there’s Angel who cursed the Demon King where his two wives can hear him.


…It’s over for her.

“Platy, just out of curiosity, are you not going to help her?”
“She needs to get rid of that habit of attracting trouble to herself because of her own careless remarks before she graduates, so this should be a great opportunity to teach her a lesson,” she says.
“If time and circumstances permitted, you might have even ended up serving the Demon King with us. Since we’re already here, we’ll let you personally experience what it’s like to be demon queen for a day.”
“It’ll be a good experience for you too since you’re royalty of the Mermaid Kingdom! I don’t think a vegetable like you can stay on the same track as us for even a day, though!”

Mrs. Astres and Mrs. Glasya drag Angel away by her shoulders.
From now on, two former members of the Heavenly Four will begin their hellish training.

But Mrs. Astres’ belly is getting bigger and bigger, is it okay for her to move around like that?

“Wait! Help me, sis! Sis! SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!!!”

Angel’s screams for help grow fainter and more distant.

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C181: The Invasion of The Holy Witches

Yoo-hoo, it’s me again.
We’re back at my farm.

I’ve been irritated lately because of two lovebirds flirting right in front of me.

“Lampeye, your eyes are like a blazing fire. Their radiance enchants me.”
“Hendra, every word you say is filled with intense flames, and its heat melts me.”


Yyyyyep, it’s annoying.

We’ve had numerous couples come together on our farm, but none of them were so public in displaying their affection… Until now!!!

Even the Demon King and Mrs. Astres were a bit more reserved!

Ugh! This is making me feel sick!!!

“What’s up? I was only out for a short while but it seems like Lampeye’s brain has gone total mush.”

Oh, Puffer.
You’re here today.

“Prince Arowana will get mad at me if I neglect my work here. Once I’m done checking the fridge’s functions, making new pickles, and stirring the bran bed for pickling, I’ll be on my way.”

My.
Thanks for continuing to help us out despite your busy sched.

“By the way, Lord Saint. Isn’t it about time we start recruiting more staff?”
“Huh?”

I took out a starfish from my pocket…
…but it was swatted off my hand.

“With the farm’s gradual expansion, the required production rate also increased, therefore increasing our workload. But we’re not going to be as efficient as we could be if our manpower stays the same.”
“Ah, that again…”
“Garra Rufa has somehow become the medical officer as well, so the sake brewing hasn’t progressed much at all. The supposedly collaborative effort of making fermented food with Platy has been entrusted to me alone ever since she became your exclusive secretary. And Lampeye… Well, she’s practically useless right now since she’s too deep in love, so the mermaid team can no longer sustain itself like this.”

Honestly, even your love affair is playing a factor in our decreased efficiency rate, Puffer.

But what you’re saying still stands correct.

The fermented food department, which is the core of our farm, is on the verge of collapsing due to the ever-increasing number of farm residents and souvenirs we have to distribute regularly.

Platy also complained about the very same situation before, and we eventually solved the problem by recruiting Puffer, Lampeye, and Garra Rufa.
Now that the three of them have found new things they want to do, we’re short on manpower again.

I guess we have to find more people…
Just as I was wondering about what to do, another problem knocked on our door.

“Heh-heh-heh! I finally found you, you witches! So, you were hiding here after all!!!”
“Huh? Who’s that?”

A mysterious voice is suddenly echoing throughout the farm!
I’ve never heard of this voice before.
Is it someone I don’t know?
The voice is shrill and fresh, so I can at least tell it’s of a young girl.

“You must be daft if you don’t know who I am, you landlubber!!! If you don’t know, the world’s compassion will answer you! Listen carefully with your eardrums cleaned out!”

But if I fiddle with my eardrums, won’t I lose my hearing?!

“Veiltail, the Witch of Fire!”
“Discus, the Witch of Ice!”
“Heckelii, the Witch of Air!”
“Batrachus, the Witch of Earth!”
“…And I am the leader of this group, Angel, also known as the Witch of the Holy Light. The five of us are called…”

“THE FIVE LEGITIMATE HOLY WITCHES!!!”


Five pretty girls appear in front of us and strike a pose for no reason at all.


I feel embarrassed for them.
So, so embarrassed!!!
I’m going to have a seizure from too much embarrassment just looking at them!!!

Why strike a pose on your entry?
And what’s with the overly embellished name?
Who are these girls?!

“Angel? As in…”
“Princess Angel? Why are you here?”

Puffer and Lampeye seem to recognize the group’s leader.
Hendra seems to know as well, so he proceeds to explain things to me.

“Their leader, Lady Angel, is the daughter of His Majesty, King Nagus.”

The king’s daughter?
So…

“She is Prince Arowana and Princess Platy’s younger sister, the second princess with a reputation for being quite mediocre compared to her brother, the next mermaid king, and her older sister, an extolled genius.”
“Don’t say ‘quite mediocre’!!!”

She forcefully butts in Hendra’s explanation.
I see, so she’s Platy’s sister.

“I’m nowhere near mediocre! I’m an elite witch who shines radiantly and reigns over the mermaid magic realm after my late sister Platy!” aggressively bawls out Angel.

But don’t say “late,” because Platy ain’t dead yet.

“She’s just as feisty as her sister, all right.”
“But how did she get here? Isn’t the farm’s location only known to a limited number of people?”

Well, as a member of the royal family of the Mermaid Kingdom, it wouldn’t be a problem for her to have access to top-secret information.
But I knew intuitively that as she’s the kind of person who would never share that information with us.

“It’s simple. I secretly tailed Hendra.”

I knew it, she used illegal means to get here.

“It’s not my fault someone here is careless, hmmm, Hendra?”
“I’m sorry, Lord Saint. I was so engrossed in my love life with Lampeye that I got carried away. My sincerest apologies. Please don’t strangle me, it hurts… No, my neck will snap, it will snap- Ngggggghhhk!”

I put all of my pent-up irritation from seeing their PDA into my Choke Sleeper move.
Meanwhile, I left our unexpected guests to Lampeye and Puffer.

“Now that we know how you got here, what’s the purpose of your visit?”
“Right, that. You even used the humanizing potion to turn yourselves into humans. What brings you girls to such a remote place?”

The two of them are very cautious since they don’t know what the other party is after.
As expected of the Six Witches’ preparedness. However, the intruders’ reactions are unexpected.

“Aaah! The Witch of the Bitter Cold and The Witch of Hellfire!”
“Ice and fire! Two polar opposites! It’s not every day you see them standing next to each other! Ah, what bliss!!!”
“Master Puffer, reputed to be the best outlaw of the Six Witches, and the battle-freak Master Lampeye!”
“I’m going to burn this moment into the retina of my eyes! A core memory for the rest of my life!!!”


Why do they feel like trend-followers to me?

Angel, the leader of the group, scolds her joyful underlings.

“What are you all so impressed about? They’re our enemies! We’ve come here today to defeat them!”

To defeat them?
Not more trouble again.

“That’s right! The Six Mad Witches are now relics of the past, and a group will succeed them! That’s us, the Five Legitimate Holy Witches!!!” says Angel, Platy’s sister. “I know Sister Platy’s here! Go and tell her that her replacement has come to challenge her!”

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C180: Account of the Pilgrimage Part 1-Journey Enroute

There are three main types of dungeons scattered throughout this world—cave, mountain, and ruins dungeons.

In contrast to the first two dungeons that base their appearance on natural structures such as mountains and caves, ruins dungeons are based on man-made structures like the buildings built by the human and demon races. At times, they can be humongous, almost as big as mountains, to satiate the architect’s desire to show off.

At times, such humongous structures dam up and stagnate the mana convection that circulates the world, turning into dangerous dungeons inevitably abandoned by their inhabitants, thus becoming desolate ruins.

Ruins dungeons, after having been abandoned by their people, are relatively fewer in number due to their unique nature of occurrence.

And this place is one of them.
This ruins dungeon, more commonly known as the Old Demon Capital, is owned by me, the “Emperor” Lifeless King.


I was once a demon king who ruled this land, over the Demon Kingdom, and the entire demon race.

The commoners used to call me the Mad Demon King.

There’s a particular reason as to why they called me that, and it goes all the way back to this huge project I once carried out.

At one point, I made a major renovation of the Demon Capital, my territory.
I enclosed it with a moat, built ramparts, constructed a tower right in the middle of the main street, sealed the sewers, painted the castle gates, and even adjusted the atmosphere within the city so that the position of these wonderful sights would have an alchemic effect.

What do you think would happen then?
More and more circulating mana flowed into the city, but instead of being emitted, it settled.
Eventually, the highly concentrated mana distorted the space and turned my capital into a dungeon.

A ruins dungeon that should’ve been my stronghold.

Apparently, the foolish commoners fled and built a new capital somewhere else and started calling my base the Old Demon Capital ever since.

Oh well, it doesn’t matter.

I, who remained in my stronghold that has turned into a dungeon, absorbed the highly concentrated mana that has stagnated and evolved into someone of an even higher dimension—a Lifeless King.

A perfect being who has transcended death and obtained immortality. Befitting of me, the ruler of everything in this world.

This all happened five hundred years ago.


“You must be wondering why I did it,” I say while looking down at the ranks of the strongest undead army I had gathered over the past five hundred years.

They are all ready to go into battle, every corpse full of ghastly bloodlust in their lifeless, hollow eyes.
They look promising enough.

Naturally, I am the one who commands these corpses.

Once Demon King, now immortalized, the Emperor Lifeless King.

Why “Emperor,” you ask?
You will understand in due course once you hear my speech.

“I will become the ruler of this world. No one can control me. I’m the only one who rules over everything. That’s why I wanted the strongest power on earth– eternal life.”

In pursuit of this, I made the most of my power as the Demon King, altered my capital into a dungeon, and turned myself into a Lifeless King.

“Anyway, it’s been a few hundred years since I broke free from the natural cycle of life. But my ambition is not so petty as to be satisfied with just that. I will rule over everything—the earth, the seas, even the heavens! Everything will be under my control! I will dominate the entire world! Dominate!!!”

Hence, I call myself an emperor.
I invade and rule.
“Emperor” is the perfect title to bestow on the greatest invader.

“I will rule them all, and I am fully prepared to do so. My carefully selected elite legion of resurrected undead knights will kill the fools who dare challenge my dungeon. They will outmatch this generation’s demon army both in number and caliber by a long shot!!!”

It’s the reason why I’ve been remaining in obscurity for 500 years.

But that’s not all there is to it.
The Sacred Barrier is the biggest problem.
It’s the only thing that separates the Demon Kingdom from the Human Kingdom and persists to be the only hindrance I’m facing even after I’ve become a Lifeless King.

However, it has now vanished for some reason.

It seems that the current Demon King has done something, which is really good news for me.
The preparations are already in place, and with my greatest concern gone, now’s the perfect chance to unleash my supremacy!

“The current Demon King who accomplished such a feat must be praised in person. I’ll skewer him, kill him, turn him into an undead, and appoint him as my chief vassal. Go forth, my manservants!”

My mighty undead army has already gathered in front of the main gate, the entrance to the Old Demon Capital.
We’ll go through this gate and take every settlement outside by storm!

O’ lowly creatures, dread this world’s danger.
From now on, you will be under my control, down to the last ant that crawls on the ground!

“The first army will be led by me firsthand to raid the new Demon Capital. The second army will be led by the immortal general to invade the Human Kingdom! The other small units will invade each city and village!!!”

Open the castle gates!
All troops, move out!

From this moment on, the eternal reign of the Emperor Lifeless King begins!

…Huh?
What’s going on?

The moment I stepped out of the castle gates, a glaring light flashed at me.

Ah-
I’m vanishi-


Boooooom!

“Awrite! Bullseye! Heck yeah!!!”

The converged mana cannon fired by Songokufon successfully hit the Emperor Lifeless King.
The corpse adorned in a black cloak turned into dust and vanished.

Oh, apologies for the late introductions. It’s me, Hakkai the orc.

We’re here at the dreaded Old Demon Capital ruins dungeon today at the Demon King’s request.

“Good lord, Songokufon! What do you think you’re doing? Didn’t I tell you we only came here to scan the area?!”

Of course, Prince Arowana is also here with us.
He looks as if his heart has been mushed by Songokufon’s preemptive bombardment.

“Wha? But… They looked battle-ready AF! Ya really think we should jus’ scan the area like ‘s nonuva business?”
“…Songokufon has a point,” tensely says our other companion, Miss Puffer.

This all started when King Zedan was seeing us off as we were departing the Demon Capital to continue our journey…

“It seems the dungeon called Old Demon Capital is showing disturbing readings as of late. Could you go there and see how things are going?”

…was the request we accepted.

Prince Arowana is a conscientious person, so we went straight to the Old Demon Capital.
But when we arrived, we were surprised to see the Lifeless King holding a rally.

“Fortunately, Songokufon’s blow seems to have defeated the enemy’s leader in one hit. But we can’t rest easy just yet. There are still swarms of undead knights left!”
“Gah! They’re coming out of the castle gates like wharf roaches!”

It seems one can’t be so naive as to think that the rest will disappear once their leader is beaten.
A large army of undead knights, each and every one of whom is a cut above the average undead!

“If they exit the dungeon and attack the neighboring villages, it’ll be big trouble! That castle gate should be perfect to keep them at bay since it’s the dungeon’s entrance, hun!”
“‘Hun’?!”

Puffer’s suggestion to Prince Arowana is spot on.

“They look just like they’re about to invade the entire world. If we don’t beat them to the punch and destroy them now, there will be hell on earth!”
“Rite? Praise me more, sis!”
“Of course. There, there.”

Songokufon is being pampered as she presses herself against Miss Puffer’s chest.
I don’t know how or since when the angel took a liking to the witch.

“…It is as you say, we’ve got no other choice.”

Prince Arowana can become quite the competent commander once he strengthens his resolve.

“We will destroy them and save the world from danger! Puffer, the plan!”
“Roger! Songoku, use your mana cannon to pierce the ruins dungeon’s wall and improve ventilation! We’re releasing the highly concentrated mana seated deep within the dungeon!”
“Yes’m!”
“If the mana concentration inside the dungeon drops, the dungeon will disappear! The dimensional distortion returning to normal will annihilate the undead army along with it!”

Songokufon’s mana cannon, which had been modified by Hephaestus, the god of crafting, is already doing wonders by boring a huge hole through the walls of the dilapidated ruins.

“Hun and Hakkai, push back the undead coming out of the city gates! Don’t let them out as much as you can! We’re wiping them out with the entire dungeon!”
“Understood. Let’s go, Hakkai!”
“Don’t ever step inside the dungeon to avoid being caught up in its distortion!!!”

Even Prince Arowana and I both have confidence in our abilities.
We may be a numerically inferior force, but we can buy ourselves some time on the defensive by nullifying our opponent’s advantage in numbers by locking them up behind the castle gates.

“We won’t last that long! Please, Puffer, Songoku!!!”
“Leave it to me! Songoku! Aim and fire as I tell you! Try to efficiently ventilate the dungeon with as few holes as possible!”

…And so, after a fierce battle, the Old Demon Capital ruins dungeon that had terrified the people of Demon Kingdom for 500 years, disappeared along with the undead army haunting it.

Of course, as well as the immortalized demon king and his mad ambitions.

Prince Arowana’s journey is going well as usual.


Author’s P.S.: By the way, even though ‘Emperor’ is a Lifeless King, he’s still much weaker than Sensei.

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C179: Rapid Development

Lampeye, the Witch of Hellfire, is one of the mermaids who work at our farm.

She is also one of the Six Witches who are reputed to be the best potion-users and used to be a palace guard.

Perhaps it’s because of this personal background that she’s absolutely loyal to Platy, the merprincess. Platy’s enemies are also her enemies.

And because she used to be a guard, she’s unsurprisingly skilled in combat and often joins the orcs on their hunts.

Today’s story shall be revolving around her.


Yep, it’s me, Kidan.
I’ll be narrating the rest of the story from here.

I’ve been completely out of the loop since I couldn’t keep up with the political discussion between Platy, the Demon King, and the merman visitor.

The guest room that welcomed Prince Arowana’s substitute, who I believe is named Hendra, is in an uproar.

“Please step back, princess! You mustn’t approach this insolent fellow!”
“Look who’s talking! You’re the most worrisome person here, a violent soldier sticking around Princess Platy! What were the guards thinking?!”

The place is out of control with Hendra and Lampeye incessantly exchanging insults.
What in the world is going on?
Do they know each other?

“Is this perhaps…”

Platy, seated at the head of the table with a sour look on her face, seems to have an idea of what’s going on.
Actually, with the people gathered in this room right now, she’s the only person who can help us figure things out.

“Haven’t you heard how Lampeye came to be here, Dear?”
“Uhh…”

Basically, most of the mermaids working here are prisoners of the Mermaid Kingdom.
They are staying with us as part of a plea bargain that allows them to be exiled to our farm.

Lampeye is no exception, as she was also imprisoned back in the Mermaid Kingdom before she came here.
I think the reason she was apprehended was that of an incident of violence, she beat up an aristocrat right in front of the king’s presence.

“Wait, so…”
“The aristocrat Lampeye beat to a pulp…”

Is Hendra?

“…I’ll explain things in detail.”

So, Hendra is an aristocrat?

“He’s an unaffiliated controversialist, but he has a good family background. That’s why he and my brother are close. I think he was born into a military family but ran away from home because he didn’t want to join the army… Or maybe he didn’t run away?”

What vague information.
In the meantime, Hendra and Lampeye’s squabble is becoming more and more heated.

“Princess! Permission to burn this insolent man to nothingness! A crook like him is definitely up to no good!”
“That’s my line! Weren’t you serving time in the Trench Prison? You escaped, didn’t you? I need to inform authorities and have you captured!!!”

Wait, wait, wait!
Calm down, both of you!!!

I don’t want any bloodshed on my farm!

“Ahh, I think I know what’s going on here,” says Platy confidently.
“What is it, Platy?”
“Brother sent Hendra here, didn’t he? He actually has this way about him. Though he’s kind, things just don’t follow through…”
“Huh?”
“Lampeye is relatively decent among the mermaid prisoners sent to us. She was even an elite imperial guard. In fact, until she was imprisoned, she was known as ‘The Only Sensible One of the Six Witches.’”

The only stain on that name that made her a prisoner was her violent outburst in front of the king.

“Hendra was the victim in that incident. So, my brother sent him here, thinking that he might be able to clean off the only stain on Lampeye.”

I see.
That certainly sounds like something Prince Arowana would come up with.

“If Lampeye apologizes here and Hendra accepts it, her past sins will disappear and she will be released. There might even be a way for her to return to the Mermaid Palace as an imperial guard.”

And so, Platy faces Lampeye to ask her.

“Would you like to apologize to Hendra here?”
“No, thank you.”

An immediate reply.

“First of all, I have no desire to be reinstated as an imperial guard. It is my supreme pleasure to be here and be of service to the princess… Moreover!”

She’s getting more and more worked up as she speaks.

“I could never bow down to such an insolent man! I can recite what this man said in front of His Majesty in full verbatim!!!”

Besides, I bet Princess Platy is just some drug freak with no sense of decorum. No matter who you marry her with, things won’t go well.

“…Were his words! How could anyone forgive such a man?! As someone who pledged allegiance to the royal family, I will not tolerate such insults!!!”
“I mean… He wasn’t wrong,” says Platy herself.

She already fled the palace when the riot broke out, so she doesn’t know the full story.

“What exactly happened to make you say that, Hendra?”
“It pains me to have to explain this to the princess, but…”

Unsurprisingly enough, Hendra is humbling himself.

“It all started with Her Highness’ marriage controversy. It was a question of whether to marry the princess into the demon or the human race…”
“Oh, that.”
“I was the so-called neutral party in that controversy. I strongly believed that the princess marrying into either race would only worsen the situation.”
“That is quite the valid argument.”
“I spoke directly to His Majesty to make my point known, but I got too carried away and the words slipped straight out of my mouth… That Lampeye happened to be on guard duty that time and overheard me.”

And so, it rained blood after.

“See? You’re the one who should apologize! Get down on your knees and apologize to Princess Platy for insulting her!!!”
“No, I cannot do that.”

Huh?

“I’m a controversialist, and controversialists must do justice to their words, be it verbal gaffe or not. If I keep correcting and retracting every little detail, my words will eventually lose their power as a whole!”

I didn’t know controversialists were such bothersome people.

“That’s why I will not take back any of my verbal gaffes, even if I am beaten to death for it! For a controversialist who loses his arrogance is no longer a controversialist!”
“Enough! I will seal that mouth of yours so you can never speak again!”
“Oh, are you going to resort to violence again?”
“It’s not violence. It’s the iron hammer of justice. Those who disdain the royal family will be punished by me!”
“Very well. It was a surprise attack back then so I couldn’t put up much of a fight. I’ll prove to you that I’m not any inferior to a woman like you!”

That’s how things ended up.


Somehow, it turned into a duel between Hendra and Lampeye.
The two of them are already outside the mansion, trading blows with each other’s lances.

Also, Hendra is surprisingly strong.
He dodged Lampeye’s special explosive potion and landed a precise blow with his lance.

“Although he is a controversialist, he was born into an aristocratic military family, so he seems to have mastered the martial arts in one way or another.”
“Oh…”
“I happened to hear earlier that he also participated in the Martial Swimming Competition my brother won recently and advanced all the way to the final match, though he lost in the first round against Master Pike.”

I don’t really get it, but that sounds incredible.

“Lampeye is also a straightforward soldier, so it would be nice if they could just recognize each other’s abilities and reconcile through battle.”
“Is that why you’re tolerating this duel?”
“I also want the mermaids who work for us to be officially free, so I’m taking a shot at every chance I can get. It’d be great if Puffer marries my brother, so Lampeye should take this opportunity to…”

Appease her grudge toward Hendra and be cleared of her charges?
I wonder if it will work that easily…

I mean, just look at them, they hate each other like cats and dogs.
There’s no way a shonen manga-like development is going to happen here and become instant buddies after their fight…


“Marry me!”
“Yes!”

Excuse me???

What the hell just happened?
Did I miss something?
An unexpected scene is unfolding before my eyes!

“What happened, Platy? What led to the proposal?!”
“I don’t know either. I couldn’t read their movements at all. Since when did they have such a relationship?!”

It’s like the concept of time was thrown straight out of the window.
It’s not something that would happen if you just take your eyes off of them for a bit…

Lampeye and Hendra are entwining their fingers, immersed in their own world.

…So, is this case closed?
It’s as if the riot never happened in the first place.


She agreed to his proposal, but it seems she hasn’t entered her name in the family register just yet.

“I have a lifelong mission to protect Princess Platy, and I will never give that up.”

It appears she will not leave the farm no matter what happens as long as Platy is here.

“I also proposed on the spur of the moment, but it’s inexcusable to take a woman’s hand in due marriage as a controversialist. I need to do some meritorious deeds, otherwise, it’ll be pitiful for her,” he says as he holds her hand tightly.

For the very first time, I felt annoyed at this couple.
Looks like they’re going to enjoy a form of commuter marriage while Hendra delivers supplies from the Mermaid Kingdom as Prince Arowana’s substitute.

I hope y’all explode.
Your new wife’s the Witch of Hellfire, anyway.

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