178-177 Sea Debate

 My name is Hendler.

 I was born into one of the most famous families in the land of mermaids. My family has served the Mermaid King for generations and has produced many famous generals and officials.

 I was born the second son of four brothers and sisters in this family.

 Instead of joining such a distinguished family, I went down to the field and neither became a soldier nor an official, but earned my living editing books and critiquing current trends.
 He was called a "scholar-sensei," but in essence, he was a wandering, rootless wastrel.

 Lately, however, the world is becoming unsettled and my surroundings are becoming more and more hectic.

 Nowadays, the biggest worry for the mermaid kingdom is not the sea where we live, but the land.
 It is the turmoil of the different species living on earth.

 The destruction of the human nation.

 When the news came, the mermaid kingdom was greatly disturbed.
 The land wars, which had been fought over for thousands of years and which no one doubted would continue to be fought in the future, came to an abrupt end.

 The mermaids were most interested in what would happen in the future.
 What would the winners of the long war do next? That's what it means.

 The humans defeated.
 The demon tribe defeated.

 Now that they are victorious, what will they do next?

 Will you be relieved at the position you've earned and bask in the peace thereafter?
 Or do you not appreciate the end of Hodo and seek a new battle?

 If it's the former, then so be it.
 Our mermaid nation will continue to enjoy the same peace as in the past.

 But what if it's the latter?
 If the demon race still wants to fight over the human race, the next enemy is most likely to be one of the three major races, my mermaids.

 So, the debaters and critics in the mermaid kingdom are now arguing and arguing over a single issue, and they never stopped for a moment.

 Will the demons invade the mermaid kingdom? That's what I'm talking about.

 There is a recent incident on that subject that I cannot help but mention.

 Our beloved mermaid king, His Majesty Nagas.
 It is the marriage of Princess Prati, the first princess of His Majesty the Mermaid King, in a huff.

 Princess Prati is not only a splendid princess, but also one of the best-eyed and most skilled magicians in the country, so it was difficult to get her to be your wife.
 Even people from abroad, such as humans and demons, raised their hands as candidates for the groom.

 This was discussed in various places at the time because a military alliance would be automatically formed with the one who was chosen.

 Should Princess Prati marry into the demon race?
 Or should I marry into the human race?

 That's the debate.
 The choice of the fate of the mermaid kingdom was seriously debated at the time, but in the end, Princess Platy did not marry either of them.

 According to the rumor, she survived the war on earth by marrying into the hands of a saint, a non-human or demonic person.
 When I heard about this, I thought it was a good idea.

 In fact, as a debater, even before the debate was over, I had argued that we shouldn't choose either of them.
 I even relied on my family's power to talk directly to the Mermaid King.
 I'm embarrassed to remember now that I'm also an imprudent man.

 But that's not the point.
 In less than a year since then, the situation has changed.

 The demon race destroyed the human race and became the supreme power on earth.

 This reignited the debate about the past marriage ceremony.
 The faction that insisted that 'Princess Prati should marry into the demon race' at the time was screaming like a demon.

If only Princess Plati had been allowed to marry a demon at that time, the mermaid kingdom would be safe and sound!

 If Princess Plati had married a demon, the demons and mermaids would have been related by marriage.
 Even if the demon race became the leader of the land, there was no need for them to become enemies.

 If, on the contrary, they had been related to the human nation, that would have been the worst choice and would not have been able to see it.

 But at least the reality is that both the best and the worst were avoided with a single move of 'I chose neither'.

 But that's why the fate of the Mermaid Nation depends on the future steerage of the country, and that's why a careful political decision is required.

 The detractors who once argued that 'Princess Platy should be married off to the demon race' have become very good at this and are calling out, 'It's not too late.

''It's not too late! If Princess Plati isn't there, then we will make her sister princess, the Second Princess Angel, the second princess of Angel, the side room of the Demon King to strengthen the relationship with the Demon Kingdom!

 And so on.

 But I don't think that's a good plan.
 The situation has completely changed from the time when Prati-sama's marriage proposal was brought up to now.
 The demon race, which once maintained a delicate balance of power in their standoff with the human race, is now the champion of the land.

 If we were to propose marriage to this champion, it could be taken as a sign of vassalage if we are not careful.
 We would be defeated without a fight.

 The leaders of the mermaid kingdom are also concerned about this and cannot send out emissaries, so they are unable to gather information from the land as they would like.

 With irresponsible gossip such as the army of the demon race attacking the ocean floor tomorrow, the mermaids' anxiety had reached an extreme level.
 If this was the case, the mermaid nation would destroy itself without even being attacked by the demon tribe's army.

 We have to do something about it...!

              * * *

 ........So I ran into the son of the Mermaid King's son, that is, the next Mermaid King, Prince Arowana.
 Again, it's a shame to rely on the power of my birth family, but I was born the second son of a powerful nobleman in the mermaid kingdom, and I had known Prince Arowana since I was a child.

 We discussed it with him and tried to find a way for the mermaid kingdom to maintain its independence, but...

'Oh, Hendler. I'm going on an apprenticeship.

 The first thing he said was, "What?


 That was all I could say.

 At this time of crisis in the history of the mermaid kingdom, the next king who will be responsible for the future of the mermaid kingdom is going to leave the country without a fight?

The next king of the mermaid kingdom is leaving the country without a fight? I've come to the right place. I have a favor to ask of you.
Do you...?
'Yes. You're not employed by anyone anyway, so you're not busy. I need you to deliver something to my sister for me to leave the country.

              * * *

 That's why I'm here.
 The errand I took on from Prince Arowana was to deliver a package to Princess Prati, who had married into the land.

 He said he was leaving on an apprenticeship to deliver some herbs and equipment that the princess needed to create a magic potion that she couldn't obtain on land, so the prince was going to deliver it to her regularly.

 Does that mean that I have the opportunity to meet Princess Prati, who has not made a single public appearance since the marriage fiasco?

 I never expected to get an audience with you in this way.

 Princess Prati has avoided the difficulties of the past by marrying into the saint, so she doesn't belong to either of the demon race or the human race, and she doesn't have to fight against either of them.

 This is my guess, but isn't the saint really not real?
 I think.

 Princess Prati is an intelligent woman, and has even been nicknamed "The Witch of the Crown" by her inferiors.
 It's impossible for her to understand the folly of supporting two opposing forces.
 By setting up a fictional saint, she was able to make excuses to the demons and humans, and at the same time keep herself away from the noisy world of the world.

 I think so.
 That free-spirited man could do this.

 But this is also an opportunity.

 Since Prince Arowana has gone off on his own, now is the time for you to return to Princess Prati and persuade King Nagas to negotiate with the High Priestesses.

 This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk to them directly!

 Even though I'm a retired veteran, I'm ready to lay down my life for my country.
 I almost died once when I asked the mermaid king to give me a personal plea.
 Now, I'll do my best to persuade you again, even if that means being rude to you for the sake of my country.

 That's how a debater's life is laid to rest!