64-63 The ground seen from the sea

 I approached Prince Arowana, who came to visit immediately, to ask him about filling in the staff.

'Would you like to hire a mermaid?'

 Prince Arowana recited what we wanted, while still polinging the takuan for tea, and Prince Arowana recited what we wanted.

'Yes! We're short of people to make the takuan that my brother is eating right now, and all that kind of stuff, anyway! It's a field of pharmacy magic that mermaids specialize in!

 Prince Arowana rustled through his portable bag and pulled out a little starfish from inside.
 You carry it around with you?

That's not a starfish!

 Prati knocked the little starfish off Prince Arowana's hand.
 But I didn't think I could get away without doing the exact same blur.
 For the first time, I had the realization that they were brother and sister.

'Anyway! There's a limit to what I can do to produce the takuan that you love so much on my own! So please, just give us a little help! Otherwise, I'll give the takuan I made to the teacher first and only pass the extra to my brother!
That's not good. It's not a good idea. It's a good idea to get a second opinion on the subject, but it's not a good idea to go with the first.

 Prince Arowana often comes to visit us for less than a week, and his sister, Prathi, rarely goes out of her way to entertain him.
 He usually leaves me to do the bidding, while he stays in the brewery or goes hunting in the dungeon.

 Don't you like your brother? But since such a prathi breaks with convention to welcome his brother on his own, the urgency of the situation can be felt.
 There's something wrong with that.

I'm sure you're in a lot of trouble, Prati, but.... .........Nuh-uh, replenishment?

 Prince Arowana got a difficult look on his face.
 His hands and mouth, which polish the takuan, remain unstopped.

''........Lord Saint. Do you know what land is like for our mermaid race?

 Does that mean that's how the mermaids feel about the earth?
 I don't know.
 I don't know for sure, and I've never imagined it before.

 But seeing as how Prathi and others are living a normal life, isn't it very normal?

'It's hard for me to say this from my flesh and blood, but Prati is one of the very oddball categories of mermaids. .........Weird fish? What the f*ck? Don't kick it, Platy! Don't kick my brother?

 That's pretty much what I thought.

 I mean, it's a rare case of an oddball who likes to live on land.

"A place like land is like a place for common mermaids. To the average mermaid, land is a place ... hell.
Mermaids can't live on land, after all. The magic potion makes them become land people. That is the basic premise for mermaids to live on land.

 It's true.
 Prathi and Prince Arowana are so easily humanized and go back and forth between land and sea that they give the illusion that this is normal.

It's too late to ask this, but.... For mermaids, is the potion to change into a terrestrial person valuable?
That's great.

 They say it's precious.
 Prati and Prince Arowana are mermaid royalty, so they would have no problem drinking such a valuable substance.

It's true that the land-humanizing potion is not that valuable to my family," said Prati. Well, to be more precise, it's not that valuable to my family, but to Platy.
'Until Prati developed a new drug, the only land-humanization drugs available were crude. There was a time limit on how long you could be a landman, side effects that made you lose your voice, and even a deleterious drug that failed to return as a mermaid and turned into a bubble and disappeared.
'What? Can you give me a minute?

 Until Prati created a new drug, if........

'Yes, Prati had the first perfect land-humanization potion developed as a result of his research, with no side effects. You can be a land human for an unlimited amount of time, and if you want to become a mermaid again, all you have to do is take a special disarming potion.
And until now, terrestrial life was completely unknown to mermaids?

 Prince Arowana says wistfully.

'There have been times when I've used an incomplete land-humanizing drug with a time limit to run some errands, but it would be terrible if the effect wore off before I returned to the sea. Plati's new drug isn't even available to the general public, and in the end, land is a dead zone for the majority of mermaids.

 If you think about it in a normal way, it's true.
 On the other hand, if you say to us humans, "Try living in the ocean for a minute," it's only natural that you'll get a 100% answer of "don't be reckless.

 When you think about it, you realize how reckless you are to the mermaids.
 And Plati's new drug that made that recklessness easily possible.

''Prati is a genius after all?''
Yeah? You know, the Master could do with more praise for Attah?

 Is a genius a genius, but a paper-thin genius?
 Prince Arowana continued.

Prince Arowana continued, "Therefore, even if we had a complete version of Prati's land-humanizing potion, few mermaids would be willing to step ashore. Do you have any idea what the most common use of Prati's complete land-humanizing potion is now that it has been perfected?

 What is it?


 The answer was outrageous.
 Apparently, in the mermaid society, the second most severe punishment for those who commit major crimes is banishment to earth, next to the death penalty.

 Of course, it seems to be a relatively new system that was instituted after Prati developed a complete version of the land-humanization drug.
 They would be forced to drink the anti-transforming potion, which would make them unable to return to their original form as a mermaid unless they took the anti-transforming potion, and then they would be released on earth.

 Mermaids who have been transformed into terrestrial humans cannot return to their homeland even if they want to, and they have no choice but to spend the rest of their lives on the earth, which is a foreign land.
 For ordinary mermaids, the earth is a dead place, so it's natural that they have no relatives on whom they can rely. They have no choice but to spend the rest of their lives alone in a foreign country where they have no access to the knowledge and skills they have cultivated on the seabed.

 When it was put into words like this, it felt like a terrifying punishment.
 Terrible on earth!
 It's terrifying for mermaids!

"It's a matter of how many mermaids are willing to come to such a place for hire.

 Are there any?
 No, he's not.
 It's at a level where the word "antithetical" is valid.

''And what the Sage Lord and Prati are looking for is a certain level of pharmacy wizard who can help with takuan making and concoction, right? When you send that many people to land, you don't know if they'll ever come back. There's no way I can do that on my own will...!

 Is this where you must prepare to never return to your post, this place?

'If there's any other way...! No, this is as good as it gets........!
What do you want? Do you have a better idea?

 If there's an effective way, we don't have time to be picky.

''As I said before, the banishment of mermaids from the earth is a severe punishment. As I said before, banishment from the earth is a severe punishment. Some mermaids are so skilled in pharmacy and magic that they have gone astray and produced forbidden medicines and offensive potions that have caused violence.

 Yeah, I mean.
 If you send a guy like that to us in the name of banishment, there's nothing wrong with that, including his wishes?

'No! No, no, no! Treating the residence of the saintly lord, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude, as a place of exile is beyond callous!

 With that, Prince Arowana devoured his takuan.

You didn't hear that, saint! I don't want to repeat myself, but we, mermaid nation, owe you a great debt of gratitude! You will do the mermaids proud and you will fulfill your request...!
It's okay.

 'It's good,' said Prathi abruptly.

'It's fine, I mean, what?'

 There is no subject matter, so I don't really understand what Prathi is trying to say.

'So why don't we just call him an exiled criminal? These pharmacy wizards are usually of such supernatural strength that they are much more useful than a well-behaved court medicine man.
'Platy? You're not going to...?
I want you to send me 3 more guys to do it. I want them to be the best and the most vicious. I won't have to be merciless in hurling them around.