301-299 Another way home

 My name is Hendler.

 I am a mermaid who lives in the land of mermaids.
 My gender is male.
 My occupation is a debater.

 I am proud of being a common mermaid who can be found everywhere.


 Recently, I'm not so sure.

 Because he's always receiving special missions from Prince Arowana, the future leader of the mermaid kingdom.
 At one point, he was sent to his younger sister, Princess Plati.
 I even swam around among the mermaid nobles to mediate for the second princess, Angel.

 And now.

 Finally, they used force.

 I had to roast all the criminals who were disgruntled with the mermaid royalty and capture them all at once.
 I was to put the finishing touches to this.

 The strangers who had rallied to kidnap the returning Princess Platy were to be rounded up.
 We would round them up.
 I was in charge of the army.
You can't just leave that to the generals? But he couldn't even make a big deal out of the operation because he didn't know where the insurgents were lurking, and he left everything to me, who he could trust with certainty.

 I'm glad they trust me, but I have reason to be honestly happy about it.

 I am a debater, not a soldier.

 A debater is in the field, reading the times and explaining to the world in a way that is easy to understand, while at the same time arguing with other debaters to find a better policy.
 Sometimes they act as advisors to powerful people.

 In other words, they move their mouths but never their limbs.
 There is no such thing as the use of force.

 I can understand why Prince Arowana ordered me to command his troops.
 It's about my origins.

 I'm the second son of a mermaid aristocrat, and my family is a family of soldiers who have been in charge of the mermaid kingdom's military.

 It's called the Beta family.

 My father is an active general in the Mermaid Kingdom.

 His sons were given a thorough military education from an early age, and were promised to become the military elite.
 I was among them.

 But I refused to follow the ruts that had been carved in my mind.

 I refused to follow the same path my brothers had taken and went down to the field alone to become an orator.
 Naturally, I was disowned by my home and told I would not be allowed to return, even at my parents' funeral.

 I knew that was unavoidable.
 I had to pay a price to get my way.


 I returned to my parents' house for the first time in a long time.


 Naturally, I wanted to talk to you about the anti-royalist roundup.

 It's a good idea to have a detailed report on the results of the operation and apologize for the fact that I, an outsider, commanded the troops on my own.
 And that's why I reported to the top brass of the military.
 And my family is of military stock, so if you throw a stone at the top brass, it will almost always hit your relatives.

 This time, when I was going to report the matter, I was told that I'll ask at home, so I couldn't avoid visiting them.

I didn't think I'd return home like this...?

 The timing of Prince Arowana's return from his training trip, I would also be returning to my parents' home.
 No one is expecting this.

"Oh, Hendler! You're finally here!

 My brother greeted me from the doorway.
 It was my oldest son, Wild.

 He was the one I was originally supposed to report to, and he is now the Captain of the Kingsguard.

''It's been a long time, brother. I'd like to quickly discuss the charges and treatment of the subject of your capture.......
'It doesn't matter! Now, get in the house!

 What do I care?
 It doesn't matter! The cutting down of royal assailants is an important part of the Kingsguard's job!

'You have nothing to refrain from, it's your house to begin with! My father is waiting for me, and he's making his gills long! Quickly!

 Is your father home too?

 No, wait a minute, it's as if he doesn't want to see you or doesn't want to see you!
 Wait, I just came to report...?

    * * * *

You're the worst of my children.

 My father, Beta Traditional, said.

 He is the head of the Betas, a family of distinguished military men, and now he is to be the greatest general in the Mermaid Kingdom's military service.

 This is the mermaid who most embodies my family's style, a name that will live on for generations to come.

He was born a son of mine, but instead of being a soldier, he chose to be a debater, a debauchee, a weakling, a prodigal who stains our family name.

 You know, the minute I got home, I was all tapped out like this.
 That's why I didn't feel comfortable with it. I don't have a heart of steel that doesn't get hurt by being abused, either.
 But that doesn't mean I'm naïve enough to leave it at that.

With all due respect, sir, it's not your father's idea that the debaters are weak. Being an editorial writer means risking one's life to see the future of the country through the words of one's mouth.
"It is not with our mouths that we shape the future, but with our hands. At least that's what all my ancestors did. It is our duty as a military family to do so.
'Therefore I have been disassociated from this house. I am going to be a debater, not as a relation of the Betta family, but as a mere man. I have no right to complain.
It can't be.

 Father said grimly.
 Nothing had changed from the old days.
 Years ago, he and my father had had these arguments, and eventually they had broken up and left the house.

 He hadn't stopped by the house once since then because he knew that if he saw her, this would happen again.

'Well, well! So much for the discussion, father!

 My brother stepped forward to intercede.

'You didn't call Hendler back to talk about that today, did you? There's more to the story, isn't there?

 After being admonished by his brother, your father changed his attitude.
 My father has always had a soft spot for my brother.
 The eldest son, an honor student, and the second son, a dropout.
 It's inevitable that there will be a difference in the treatment of the common composition.

''Well Hendler, the reason I allowed you to come home today is to give you credit for your achievements.
You have done an excellent job of capturing them.

 That would definitely be a case of uprooting the anti-royalists.

''No, that was an order from Prince Arowana, and I had no choice...!
I don't need to tell you all. You have the blood of the House of Betta in you, after all. The blood of a soldier who fights and tries to defend his country...

 Something about your father suddenly nodding with satisfaction?
 A development I hadn't expected.

'Your father has been worried about you all along.

 Hee! Mother!
 You're here? Well, of course you're here, at your parents' house!

Father always says you're badly made, but that's because the worse the child is, the prettier he is. Your father is actually a sulky person.
I'm sulking? Why are you sulking?
Because you didn't want to be a soldier. It was your father's dream that Wilde, you, Pragat and Crowntail would join the army and take important positions.

 Even if he named his brother and sister.
 Did your father have such ambitions? But isn't it dangerous to set up a parental government in the military? And I, as a debater, would think........

To achieve such a great achievement while outside the army...!
So the prince had no choice in the matter...!
"At this time, with this achievement and my recommendation, I can twist you into any department. Now is the time for you and your brothers to join the army together and make the Betta family's reputation for bravery known...!

 This is no good.
 Your father has gone into full-on child-rearing mode!

 I didn't know that your father's attitude can change so much just by meeting your expectations. I don't know, maybe it's only natural, but I'm not so sure about this.

"Please wait, father.

 But then your eldest brother Wilde advises you, "I understand your father's desire to be proud of Hendler, but you should not be so forthright.

'I understand your father's desire to make Hendler proud, but I'm not sure you should be so forthright in your actions.
What do you mean?
Prince Arowana has now entrusted Hendler with everything because he has left the military and placed himself in a free position. Prince Arowana has the qualities of a wise ruler. He can use all sorts of personnel in all directions.

"As you wish.

 What am I, covert or something?
 I'd rather not do that and focus on the work of the debaters, but I really want to.

'I see, you guys are able to look at the situation with new eyes. I guess I'm an old man now...
Hendler. "Hendler, it is hard for a warrior to fail to demonstrate valor, but the mark of a true warrior is to endure it. For now, support Prince Arowana from the shadows.
That's not true.
My House of Betta will spare you anything. If you need help in completing a secret mission from the Prince, don't hesitate to call on your father and brother.

 I'm not sure I can count on you.
 And I don't have that kind of job to begin with.
 I'm only asking for a favor from Prince Arowana because he's a good friend of mine who's close to my age...?

'Ostensibly, he's a debater. Behind the scenes, he's a covert operative under the orders of the royal family. Isn't that cool!
''That's why I said it's not!

 Even though I raised my voice, the correction didn't pass, and my family was in the mood to celebrate the return of the prodigal son as best we could.

''Anata........of course Hendler's disowned.......?
''Unbound. Come back when you're ready. I knew I was the son of an eagle...! Hendler is as proud of the eagle as all the other kids...!

 I can't even force a correction if they make me feel this at home.
 It's not fair.

 Thus, I finished my homecoming feeling as if my outer moat had been filled in.