520-518 Mermaid Country Now

 Zos Saira.

 Do you remember me?
 One of the six witches feared by mermaids.

 One of the six witches feared by the mermaids, the most evil, the most horrible, the most forbidden of all.

 The Abyss Witch is the title of the Abyss.

 Abyss means the abyss.
 Don't look into the abyss, for the abyss is also looking into you.

 As you can see, the straw is forbidden for mermaids. They must never be touched. It is a symbol of the fear of the mermaid race that tries to ignore its existence.

 But today.....

    * * * *

"Lord Zos Saira! Congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of the Mermaid Nation!

 Why then?

 The mermaid's forbidden straw, I'll be the Prime Minister.

 What kind of success story is this?
 What kind of a success story is this, where one who is chased as the scourge of the land rises to become a pillar of state at once?

 Isn't that just what life is all about?
 You've gone around in circles three or four times and now your life is in reverse!

"Don't talk like that, help me, Master!

 Saying this, the one who comes to embrace you is the present Mermaid Queen Puffa.

 I taught her how to make potions.
 It's not only that I taught her, she became known as the 'Frozen Witch', but she has now married into the mermaid kingdom and become the mermaid queen.

 The world is an interesting place.

 You don't think I can say that?

 I still understand Puffa's situation.
 For a woman, it's a dream that everyone dreams of being a princess. In other words, the possibility of its realization is so high that everyone dreams about it.

 However, it is very unlikely that a wanted felon would become a vassal.
 That's why the idea itself doesn't come out.

 How could such a thing happen in the real world?

I'm sure Prime Minister Zos Saira is aware of this, but...?
You're full of it, Your Excellency!

 The person who calls me his highness is Arowana, the new ruler of the mermaid kingdom.
 The other day she married my apprentice Puffa.
 So he's now the Mermaid Queen too....

 I thought a well-mannered young man was her least favorite type, don't you think?
 After all, you don't understand the love affair, do you?

 No, that's not the point.
 I'm talking about the fact that you're calling me a lord.

I've heard enough explanations to make octopus tentacles grow out of my ears...?
With me as Handmaid King, this new administration is still very fragile. The chief ministers who were at the core of your father's reign also retired almost simultaneously with your father, saying that they must not continue the tradition.

 I've heard that too.
 Therefore, the new regime of the new King Arowana is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of talent.

 They are desperate for talented, trustworthy, and useful people who are both capable and trustworthy.

 But that doesn't mean I'm out of strawmen, does it?
 You're an out-leaning out, right!

''Earning the title of witch means that you are that much more adept at handling potions. That's what makes him a national treasure. It was a loss to have someone of that much ability in the field until now.
But you are wanted.
"I'm offering you a pardon for your service to your country. I've already told you that.
I don't think so!

 No, I'm confident that I can get away with it without a pardon from a straw man.
 Don't lick the oldest of the Six Witches, okay?
 Though I'm not exactly the oldest.

'Please, Master!

 And even now, you're the stupid apprentice and queen who clings to your waist.

 It's a good thing that you've been calling me master only when it's convenient for you.

 It's a good thing that you're not going to be able to find a solution to this problem.

I can't stand it when people say that my husband is ruined because of marrying me! Help me, Master! Master, you can easily serve as the Prime Minister!

 Well, it can be done, right?

But this is a rebel company. You'd be out of luck with any anti-corporate connection, wouldn't you?
'Then you're anti-corporate, too, Atai! He's a burly outlaw! But I'm a queen!
You are asking me to behave myself.

 How did you end up being the queen, you delinquent?

 But what's done is done.
 Or do you think I'm gonna say, "Dabo!"?

"Zos Saira, sir. I can't speak for your conduct, but your abilities and knowledge are among the best in mermaid country. If we could only have your caliber in our midst, I'm sure the reputation of the King of Arowana would rise.

 The one who says, "I'm a persuader of the straw that is still here.

 I think it was Hendler or something like that.
 It is said that he was a man of the field, just like Warawa, but like Warawa, he seems to have been added to the vassals' ranks without choice.

 It seems he was given a special, newly created position, called sidekick. As the Mermaid King's deputy, he travels around the country, dispensing the king's will all over the place.
 It's an extraordinary position.....
 It's not your job.

If you, who have disregarded the laws of the land, were to give in to them, everyone would be in awe of the new King Arowana's dignity, and would follow you more closely. It is a double benefit to His Majesty's new regime.
So the straw is for show, huh?

 Surely the youngster's fame would be enhanced if it were known that he had a huge badass as big as a strawberry on his side, wouldn't it?
 What is that? And they're much worse than these little girls.

'Can't you ever get it together? My husband is determined to turn away from the path of the orator and serve the nation under heaven.

 There's still another member trying to persuade Warawa.
So it's Lampwicke, isn't it?
 I thought she was Hendler's wife and that she was the newlywed. But they all had their jollies.

I don't mind. It's not your first time in the palace service anyway, is it?

 And here's the other one.

Won't you do anything for my lovely son and daughter-in-law, Zos Saira?

 Isn't it unfair that Sheila, the former mermaid queen and sister to the bratwurst, is here?
 An old one! The trauma etched into me so long ago is draining the rebelliousness out of me.

When I first became queen, Zos Saira supported me by helping me with my duties in the shadows, didn't she? With your experience at that time, you could easily serve as prime minister, right?

 You forced me to do that back then, didn't you?
 How cramped I had to feel before I was freed over the next few years!

 I don't like the idea of a servant of the court! I learned that lesson the hard way in those years.
 So I'm never serving in public office again! And a Prime Minister is a job with maximum responsibility!

 No, sister! Don't tangle your arms and legs!
 You won't be able to escape! You won't be able to escape!

    * * * *

...this is a green light. I've stamped it, so pass it on to the field office.
There's not enough specifics in the proposal. You need to refine it and then submit it again.
Something about the numbers don't add up in the whole scheme of things. You're sure this is just a cover-up, right? Have a covert investigation. If they've been caught cheating, let's round them up!

 Wawa, he is a prime minister in his own right.

 But he was a wanted criminal until recently, and now he's at the helm of the country and no one complains about it.
 You okay?
 How tough is this country?

 The Prime Minister's straw must be firmly steered so that he can be okay!
 I can't help but feel like I'm playing into the hands of a surgeon when I think, "I'm not sure.

"Prime Minister! You are truly a wonderful person! I'm so happy to be working for you as soon as I graduate from Mermaid Witch Academia!

 Shut up! An elite little secretary who grew up in a greenhouse!
 Don't take advantage of Walla's badass image and bring me another case!

 Every minute of my time has a bearing on the mermaid kingdom's bottom line!

'Yes! This is a case that has come over from another country.
Another country?

 The only other country that comes to mind at this time of year is Devil's Land.
 What business does the High King of Earth have for you?