398-396 Expo Visitors Part 4

 My name is Gomame.
 I'm a mermaid.

 .... or should I say "was" mermaids to be more precise?

 I don't have those supple, shimmering, scaled tail fins now.
 Just two ugly, branched legs growing out of my crotch.

 I don't live in the ocean filled with beautiful seawater, but on hellish land.

 Why do I live in such a place, well, I am a sinner, a mermaid.
 I was banished permanently from the sea to the earth after committing a crime.

 It's a punishment that was only recently introduced in the mermaid kingdom. It's the result of Princess Platy, the most prodigious genius in the history of mermaids, developing a semi-permanent land-humanizing potion.

 I suppose I could say I'm the first to be sentenced.

 Wonder what kind of crime he was sentenced to such harsh punishment for?
 ...I suppose. Now that I think about it, I may have done something outrageous.

 I tricked the royalty into eating and drinking without paying for it.
 You didn't just eat and drink for no money, did you?
 I ate every bit of freshly caught seafood at Tukey's Market, the largest fish market in mermaid country.
 Unfortunately, one of the fish and shellfish I ate up was a super rare, premium ingredient, metallic platinum silver sea urchin, which was destined to be offered to the royal family.

 It was super tasty.

 But Princess Prati, who was looking forward to the metallic platinum silver sea urchin, was super furious.
 She imposed a heavy sentence of banishment from the earth.

 According to one theory, Princess Plati was so angry that she perfected the perfect land humanization drug or something.

 Either way, I've been upgraded from a petty food escape criminal to a serious criminal.
 On land, where I was banished, I was forced to live a completely different life than the one at home.

 But life on land is not as hard as I thought it would be once I got used to it.

 As a female mermaid, I know how to make potions. Though I'm not as good as those so-called "witches".
 I was able to sell potions of my level of quality to people who didn't know anything about medicine, and I was able to earn a lot of money.

 Now I've started to open a shop in the capital of the most prosperous demon kingdom in the land, the Demon City.
 I even deliver to the Demon King's Castle.

 Just like this, life on land, which I was not used to, was starting to be smooth sailing.

    * * * *

 I heard a strange rumor.

 It's an exhibition that's been held recently outside the Demon City.
 I heard that mermaid medicine is being sold there.

It's called the Mermaid Hall. The process by which mermaids make the potion is explained in an easy-to-understand manner.
They actually sell mermaid pills. I hear they're better than this store's, and they're in danger of going out of business.

 As we are only an apothecary, such rumors come in from time to time.

 I was suspicious. As a mermaid, I know the strangeness of mermaid potion circulating on land best.

 Are there any mermaids who have been banished to the land just like me?
 To be honest, I can't think of any other reason for the appearance of potions on land.
 I decided to take a break from the shop and go to the exposition to find out the truth.

 It's a much bigger event than I thought it would be.
 The space is packed with visitors and the pavilions are all of a high standard.

 Where can I find a pavilion that sells mermaid potions?
I thought you said it was called The Mermaid House?
 This is the Natto Museum, I made a mistake.
 But natto (fermented soybeans) is very tasty.

 We had to make a few detours, but we were still able to find the Mermaid Hall.
 The exterior of the pavilion is quite elaborate, with a design that reminds me of the ocean floor.

 It's awfully nostalgic.

 No matter how well I'm getting on with my life on land, I can't get rid of the nostalgia.
 I want to eat sea urchin.

 What an unbelievable way to bring back memories of the sea, isn't it?
 What kind of outcast mermaid would run this place?
 I went into the 'Mermaid Museum' for now.

 The inside was even more of a mermaid than I thought it would be.
 The explanations of the potions on display are just right.
 It's just like a potions school in the mermaid country.

You can't openly disclose such a thing in other countries? I thought there was no wonder that the place was packed to capacity every day with such detailed explanations.

 And then there was the souvenir corner.

 Mermaid potions were laid out as if to confirm the rumors.


"It's real!

 A real potion.
 Only a female mermaid who is a potions user would be able to create it.

 Potions is a magical product.

 We need the ingredients for the potion, but we also need the magic power that the creator emits. So even if you have the recipe and all the ingredients, in the end only a mermaid potions user can create potions.

 So there's no doubt that mermaids are involved in this!

 But who the hell is behind this?

 You'll know at a glance. The high quality of the potions on display at the souvenir corner.
 The quality of the potions reflects the skill of the mermaids who made them.

 There was no doubt that the person who produced this potions was a potions master who was far more skilled than I was.
 If this potions were to be sold in the Magic City in earnest, my shop would surely go out of business...!

 Seriously, who the hell made this thing...?

Clerk, clerk!

 I called out and one of the store keepers came running up to me with a response.
 He was carrying some kind of baby. Customer service while babysitting?
 Oh well.

''The potions here are of excellent quality! There aren't many potions of this level on the Mermaid Nation mainland!
Do you know what that means? Your eyes are high.

 Does the waiter look happy?
 As if it was a compliment to you?

It's a pleasure to meet a guest who can make a difference. You must be very knowledgeable to gain such insight on land?
'No, no, I'm a former mermaid.

 I should be able to say that I'm a former mermaid, as I was forced to change my tail fin into an ass and beautiful legs with a magic potion.

However, it's been a long time since I've encountered a thing that makes me feel like home, and my nostalgia is hard to contain...! Is it possible to meet the creator of this potion? At least to face your hometown...
Speaking of which, as I recall, you're...
"A market bartender who went on a binge in the marketplace, using my name as a cover.


 And you are...?
 This face, these huge breasts, this aura of divine genius?

 This is the one...?
 Princess Prati?

What's Princess Prati doing here?
Because I'm the host of this pavilion. It's a good idea to have a mermaid with some experience in the field to help you sell medicine directly to the public.

 No, before that!
 Why is the Mermaid Princess of the Mermaid Kingdom, Princess Platy, on land?

 The potion in this gift shop is, in other words, made by Princess Platy? That's why they're of such high quality!
 Are you sure you want to sell such a valuable thing as a souvenir?

I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you at first glance. It was so long ago that I'd forgotten about it.
The same goes for me...?

 I didn't expect Princess Prati to be on land.
 Moreover, the baby you're holding on your chest...? You didn't build it?

What? You're living in the Demon City now? You're a tough guy, exiled on land, trying to make it on your own...
No, I mean..., it was just luck...?

 What is this?
 All of a sudden, it's like this is a tangled mess!

I was young at the time. "I was young at the time, but I didn't realize that I was going to be deported just because I was seized with a feast. But it's good, isn't it, a metallic platinum silver sea urchin...
Yes, it was super delicious...!
I've learned a lot of things since then. Since then, I've learned that there are many other delicious things to eat besides sea urchins. Vegetable stir-fry..., tonkatsu..., it really is a revelation to meet my husband.

 The princess...?
 He's drooling. You're having a difficult time with your son.

'So now I have the nerve to forgive myself for what I did then! Let's undo your deportation!

 I didn't think that the return to the mermaid country I'd dreamed of in my dreams would be fulfilled in a place like this...?
 Hope will come to you one day...!

I thought...


''You just remembered. When I came from the Demon Kingdom to apply for a bride to Attah, I wondered, 'Where did my reputation come from?' I mean, isn't it difficult for information to travel back and forth between land and sea?

 Come to think of it, was Princess Prathi in a fuss about getting a wife?
 I'd heard rumors about it, though I didn't know the outcome.

I wondered if any of the deported mermaids were talking shit about me on land. I was guessing that... yeah.

 He looks at me, who lives in the Demon City.

''You were the culprit, weren't you?

 No! No, I definitely have an idea!

 I think he said something bad about Princess Plati when he sentenced her to deportation every time he drank at a bar.
 And now it's going around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around...

 Wait, I'm sorry, I can't help it!
 How dare you use bad language as a benchmark for getting a wife?

We're short on staff at our pavilion. Especially the souvenir section, which requires expertise. I was trying to get a mermaid student who was studying abroad to help me out, but because of the fact that our school doesn't allow students to work part-time, or something like that, my former employers at Carp said it's not allowed.

 Princess Prati grabbed me by the shoulders.

By the way, you're not busy right now, are you?

 The baby gave me a 'sorry' look.
 From then on, I had to close my shop and take a temporary job here until the expo ended.
 If I work hard here, I might be able to find my way back to the sea!