Prince Arowana came to visit.
The one who was most pleased was, of course, his fiancée, Puffa.
'Master! I've missed you!
My dear future wife! Me too!
They hugged each other and spun on the spot.
It's a very good idea to have a good idea of what to expect.
You're not going to be able to get a good idea of what you're looking for.
Still, for both of us, it was a void that was equal to eternity.
My wife, Prathi, who is next to me, said as if she understood.
Recently, I've finally realized that mermaids themselves are a race with very deep romantic feelings.
It's so deep that you could call it a sinfulness?
'Lord Saint! It's been a while!
Prince Arowana, who has finished mingling with his girlfriend, is coming towards me.
So it's only been three days.
I hope my nephew is doing well! By the way, I've got something interesting to tell you today!
He said it in a kind of pompous way.
You didn't just come here for fun today, but you have something to do with it...?
* * *
A martial arts competition?
What does that sound like?
Sir that's it.
Oh, yeah? I know what you mean. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, that's it.
Yes, yeah, a thing.
Later, Prathi told me secretly about it.
The martial arts competition is a festival held by the mermaid race.
It's a martial arts festival where mermaids compete to win or lose.
Mermaids who were proud of their skills would compete in one-on-one matches, fighting, fighting, fighting together, until they were the last one standing.
It's said to be an event to determine the strongest in this way.
'Oh, I remember! Didn't they talk about that last year too!
I think it was Prince Arowana who won.
Hmm! So the season has come around again, I see! I'm in this year as a previous winner too! I'm under pressure to be on the receiving end of the challenge!
''There's no one in the mermaid kingdom that's an enemy to the current master!
They're really excited, aren't they, this couple?
Don't tell me you're already poisoned by the festive atmosphere?
''........Because the warrior swimming competition is one of the most exciting events in mermaid country. It's especially exciting for male mermaids!
Only male mermaids could participate in the Wushuushu competition.
This means that the competition is a test of a man's pride and pride, and they say it's going to be exciting before the event begins.
Prince Arowana, in particular, won the same tournament last year.
He was the defending champion, so he should be fired up.
As I recall, Prince Arowana is going on an ascetic's journey! I thought it was because he won the same competition last year.
The prince has changed a lot after that trip.
The fact that the tournament was the catalyst for that change makes me very emotional.
A year has already passed since then.
A year has passed and the tournament is being held again...?
And I would like to make a proposal to your highness.
Prince Arowana loomed over me with Zuzuys.
'Will the Lord Saint come to the convention this year?
''I was actually thinking of inviting you to last year's tournament as well, but after all, the venue was in the middle of the ocean. Not only is it not the domain of land people, but the saintly lord doesn't seem to move from his farm, so it was difficult to invite him...!
I didn't know you cared about me like that?
But nowadays, it seems that the saint has been traveling a lot, and more importantly, he once visited the mermaid kingdom. Would you like to show the Mermaid King and his wife the face of your grandson again?
I want to maintain a good relationship with my wife's family, and I should visit them as often as I can if I have the chance.
It's a big festival.
Isn't that a good enough reason to come?
All right, let's go.
It was decided that we would go in an OkLet's Go kind of way.
Since this is Prathi's parents' house, of course my wife Prathi and her two treasures Junior will be going with me.
We did it, Junior. You'll get to see your grandpa and grandma again, won't you?
Prathi spoke to her son.
Junior, of course, was not yet old enough to understand, and only looked back at his mother's face blankly.
Because he's still a baby, right?
I don't understand words, do I?
You really don't get it, do you?
What's with the baby's occasional all-seeing look?
And 'You didn't look like that, did you?' As soon as he said that, he quickly shifted his interest to something else.
'Well, I'd be happy to accept your invitation anyway!
Thank you! As before, the whole mermaid kingdom will welcome you with open arms!
After making the promise of a visit, Prince Arowana went to the farm to have fun.
After chatting with Prathi and me, he spent the rest of the day gorging on pickled cucumbers and wrestling.
We taught the students a lesson about the mermaid kingdom, and then we ate cucumbers and wrestled again.
And then, after flirting with Pfafa, he returned to the sea.
* * * *
At last the day came to visit the mermaid country again.
Aboard the magical steamship Herkilke, we cut through the waves.
The road from the farm to the mermaid kingdom is once in route.
We will go to Paradise Island, which is a diplomatic window that the mermaid kingdom has secured at sea, and from there we will enter the magic potion soap bubble and go underwater.
It's not going to break again, is it?
''I've modified it properly, so it'll be fine!
The members of the Mermaid Nation's Breath are me, my wife Prathi and my son Junior, and naturally Veerle is joining the family.
Now, it's as if Veerle is everywhere in our family with Junior.
Will he grow up quickly and leave us more quickly than anyone else?
That's the part I'm a little worried about.
I'm going to visit the mermaid country again with the above members.
I wonder what in the world is waiting for us this time.
But I wonder if we'll ever see the giant fish again.
The mermaid country where the mermaids live is inside the body of a big, big fish.
It's like something out of a fairy tale, but it's about time we could see the outline of that giant fish on the ocean floor...?
You're not going out there today.
'It's a martial arts swimming competition today. It's a blood feast of men's spears, muscles and fighting spirit. It's not something you can do in the city.
Such a fierce festival?
So the Wushuushu competition will be held outside the mermaid kingdom and I can see it. It's a special place.
A faint light on the dark ocean floor.
And the presence of countless people.
The closer you get, the more you realize.
An open-air arena set up just for the tournament.
A large number of fighters and dozens more crowded into the arena.
The air was filled with a strange kind of heat.
This scale, this intensity.
It's true that it's satisfying to be told that you can't fit inside the clothes of a giant fish with a mermaid country.
This is...! Wushu competition........?
The largest battle tournament in the mermaid kingdom.
Male mermaids vie with each other for pride in their strength and skill.
It was an event to determine the strongest of them all...?