TLN: Thanks to R.O for sponsoring this chapter!
—Chapter 117: Naga’s Dawn, the Challenge of the Merfolks.
I had nothing to do in the paddle steamer ride, so I used the Fairy Door and walked around a variety of places.
I returned to my residence once and put away the World Tree Branch at the storage room. Once the party of the Fairy Kingdom ends, let’s ask the old man to make it a weapon.
I headed to the merfolk’s island next.
I am trying to set a new door here.
At the beach, I met with the Patriarch Garland who was on his way to fishing. His muscular body shone in the noon sunlight.
“Isn’t that Keika-sama? What’s the matter?” (Garland)
“I was thinking about advancing the plan of clearing the misunderstanding about the merfolks that we talked about before. How about having around 2 of them living in a harbor town? Also, I would like to choose a few others to request for a bit of a job.” (Keika)
“What kind of people are you looking for?” (Garland)
“For the former, merfolks that won’t be caught by humans and won’t be deceived; for the latter, merfolks that are good at plays and acting.” (Keika)
Garland nodded and called a pink haired girl that was at a rocky area closeby, and a gray haired man that was preparing to fish.
“Aria, Parker, can you go with Keika-sama?” (Garland)
A young girl in her late teens making a devilish expression, and a handsome old man that gives a manly butler-like atmosphere.
“As for people who are good at acting, I will need some time for that, so I will notify you later. Are you in a hurry?” (Garland)
“I would like to have them in a few days.” (Keika)
“Then, please come again after 2 days.” (Garland)
“Got it. Then, let’s go… Would you prefer to be carried?” (Keika)
I asked the two merfolks who were standing on the beach.
Parker answered with a low voice.
“I can use wind magic, so I can float.” (Parker)
“I see. Uhm, what about you, Aria?” (Keika)
“I can use it, but…I would be happy to get carried by Keika-sama!” (Aria)
“Ah, what are you doing, Parker?! You didn’t have to make me float too!” (Aria)
“We should not trouble Hero-sama.” (Parker)
Aria puffed her cheeks cutely, but she didn’t forget to invite me with a sidelong glance.
…She might not be deceived, but I feel like she is the type that does the deceiving instead.
I pulled the hand of the 2 who were floating, and headed to the Fairy Door.
Merfolks are fairies, so they can cross just like that.
The place we arrived at was the harbor town of Dollarth.
We went down the stairs to the very bottom of the mayor’s villa that’s standing at the top of the cliff and is connected to the private beach.
The coast before dawn.
After putting the two in the water, I tell them.
“If you go along the shore west, you will reach the town of Dollarth. Before that, there’s the inlet of the Keika Beach, and nagas are serving as watches there, so tell them my name and please stay on standby there.” (Keika)
“Understood. Let’s go, Ojou-sama.” “Oka~y.”
They both turned around, slapped the water’s surface, and then swam off.
Their polished swimming form was beautiful.
I was watching with Farsight, but they weren’t attacked by monsters, and soon arrived to where the night watch nagas were at. They have safely entered Keika Beach.
The nagas were surprised by the sudden appearance of merfolks.
After that, I walked through a dim highway, and first headed to the residence of the mayor at the hill.
I felt bad for coming at this time of the day, but Mayor Frank was already up and doing work.
I had him agree to Leonel’s transfer and borrowing the villa to use the nagas and other things. The ‘other things’ is important.
I had the villa changed to my name.
When I exited the mayor’s residence, the morning sun was peeking out.
The white plaster wall and the red roof townscape shining from the sunlight which can be seen from above the hill.
People wake up. The mornings of fishermen are early. The restaurants and stores also open to match this.
What’s surprising is that there’s nagas walking around normally within the populace. They are wearing coats on top of their swimsuits or pareos, wriggling their snake bodies as they slither around.
The nagas were buying food from carts while mixed among people, and were doing stuff like drinking coffee and eating bread at coffee stores.
They are carefreely talking with the people of the town, and at times would laugh together with the old ladies at the stores.
That scenery was unfolding before me as if it were natural.
A town where people and nagas live together.
…I was the one that created this sight.
Even though I was simply seeking wealth and believers. Even though I did it for my own sake…why is it that a smile leaks out from me when I look at this?
I felt kind of happy or like giddy and ended up talking to a young naga who was eating a sandwich at an open terrace.
“Good morning. The nagas also wake up early, huh.” (Keika)
“Good morning~. Yeah~, we are the express service first thing in the morning. When we drink this black thing, we wake up really well~. Or more like, who are you?”
“Ah, sorry about that. I am the Hero, Keika.” (Keika)
I take out the Proof of the Hero from my pocket and show it to her.
The eyes of the naga with long eyelashes opened wide. Her snake body hit the desk and it made rattling sounds.
“M-My apologies! To speak in such an informal manner towards the benefactor of us nagas, Keika-sama! I am truly sorry!”
“No no, it is okay. You don’t know how I looked anyways. Ah, right! There’s no statue of me in this town. I should put one at Keika Beach.” (Keika)
“Everyone will be able to remember you with that, so that’s a great idea! We will clean it up really well every day!”
“And so, is the patriarch Dahlia or the deputy head Yetulia here?” (Keika)
“Yetulia-san was the express service of the afternoon yesterday, so she must be staying at the capital. As for Dahlia-san, I think he is off-duty? He should be at the harbor.”
“Thanks. Sorry for interrupting you in your busy time before work.” (Keika)
“No, not at all! I am happy to have been able to talk to you!”
The naga stood up from her seat and lowered her head repeatedly.
It seems like she isn’t lying here. She was looking at me with her cheeks flushed and directing eyes of admiration.
…I am glad I did this.
While I was going downstream, I met Yetulia-san by coincidence and said that I would create a place for the nagas.
I didn’t expect things to turn out this way.
The first time I met Yetulia and Dahlia, they were drained.
Remembering that, a smile leaked out from me.
The burly Dahlia covered in green scales was at the harbor. He is a size bigger than the other nagas.
He is giving the orders on top of the wharf to load the cargo onto the ships.
He soon noticed me and wiggled his snake body intensely while making a big smile.
“Keika-sama! It has been a while!” (Dahlia)
“Yeah, you seem to be doing well, Dahlia. Weren’t you off-duty?” (Keika)
“It is their first job in the cargo business, so I was teaching them the procedures… By the way, what brings you here this early in the morning?” (Dahlia)
“I simply had a little something I wanted to request, you see.” (Keika)
“Hoh, to me? Or maybe us?” (Dahlia)
“Hmm, I guess it is to all nagas. I have brought a race I want you to get along with. They are not as strong as nagas, so I want you to protect them.” (Keika)
“Huh? That much isn’t an issue if it is a request from Keika-sama, but…what kind of race are they?” (Dahlia)
“It would be better to meet them directly. They are at Keika Beach.” (Keika)
“Got it. Sheril, I leave this place to you. Then, it would be better to go from the sea. Please ride on me.” (Dahlia)
The naga named Sheril answered with a salute.
Dahlia jumped into the sea and I jumped onto his snake body soon after.
“You get it fast.” (Keika)
“Then, let’s go.” (Dahlia)
Dahlia began to swim.
We arrived at Keika Beach with the bright morning sun shining.
Dahlia turned speechless as he saw the merfolks.
We introduced each other.
“This guy is the patriarch of the nagas, Dahlia. The mermaid girl here is Aria, and the merman is Parker.” (Keika)
“I am Aria. Nice to meet you, I guess, Dahlia-san.” “It is an honor to make your acquaintance, my name is Parker.”
Dahlia was completely frozen in place, but he suddenly shook his head and grabbed my shoulders.
“What are you thinking, Keika-sama?! Bringing merfolks to a human settlement is dangerous to the extreme! The greed of humans is bottomless. Even we wouldn’t be able to protect them fully!” (Dahlia)
“So it really is like that, huh. But merfolks are the same as nagas, you know?” (Keika)
“What do you mean by that?!” (Dahlia)
Dahlia asked this with his eyes on me.
I crossed my arms and said…
“The nagas had sown discord with the humans due to the Demon Lord and lost their homes. As for the merfolks, there’s a superstition about getting younger if you eat merfolks, which made it impossible for them to live together with humans anymore. I have been thinking about this the whole time, but who was it that spread that superstition?” (Keika)
Why is there a superstition similar to that of Earth when it is a parallel world?
There’s no such coincidence. Someone must have purposely spread that around -that’s what I have been thinking this whole time.
Dahlia’s voice trembles.
“C-Could it be…you are implying that the one who spread that rumor was the Demon Lord…?” (Dahlia)
“I can’t say for certain though. It might have been one of the 4 Devas that were at the sea a long time ago. There’s no other beings that would want to take away your rights as much as them after all. If humans, nagas, and merfolks were to form a united front, it would be pretty troublesome for them.” (Keika)
The merman Parker placed a hand on his chin and thought.
“Hmm…that’s true. Humans may have numbers, but they can only move on the sea with ships, and they can’t deal against attacks from underwater. They would be easy targets in the sea. But if they were to fight with us protecting them, the monsters would be having a hard fought battle.” (Parker)
“That’s basically it. Even if it is a monster that you guys can’t defeat, as long as you push them to the surface of the sea, the humans can manage something with their violence in numbers.” (Keika)
Dahlia had his eyes wide open from the surprise.
“T-That’s true. At the time with the Meteor Whale that ravished the sea, it had been lured to the surface with magic, shot a whole ton of spears on it so that it can’t dive into the sea again, and was defeated by the Hero.” (Dahlia)
“I-I see~. In that case, even I could help out?” (Aria)
The frail Aria nodded impressed and her damp pink hair shook.
Dahlia nodded deeply and smacked his big chest with power.
“Got it! We will protect you with our pride as nagas on the line. Also, we will provide assistance in breaking that superstition!” (Dahlia)
“Aaah~, about that, we are planning on using the superstition instead of denying it.” (Keika)
“Hm? What do you mean by that?” (Dahlia)
“About that…we will make a dish and…” (Keika)
I tell him about how we are going to make food and utilize the superstition.
“T-That kind of method…! Is that your plan, Keika-sama?! That goes the same for the high speed vessels, but you really think of outstanding things the whole time!” (Dahlia)
Dahlia’s mouth was wide open as if he couldn’t close it.
“Do nagas live long?” (Keika)
“Longer than humans.” (Dahlia)
“Then, please attribute that to the merfolk dish. The rumors will spread on their own after that.” (Keika)
“Understood. That much should be easy… I am impressed that you can think of such things with such ease.” (Dahlia)
“You could say that. I am the hero after all.” (Keika)
When I said this, Aria rubbed her flat stomach.
“Speaking of food, I am hungry. Parker, get some fish.” (Aria)
“Yes, Ojou-sama. I will go immediately once the talk is over.” (Parker)
I tilted my head at those words.
“Aah, right. You have to work in order to eat.” (Keika)
“I see. Living together with humans means that we have to earn money. I spoke to the guard naga-san just a few moments ago, and they said they are all working at stuff like ships and the harbor. I think I’m a bit jealous.” (Aria)
“What’s the specialty of merfolks? The men would do fishing, but can you pull ships like nagas?” (Keika)
“Hmm…we can’t swim as strongly as the nagas, so I would say that’s a bit tough.” (Aria)
“Anything else would be singing and performing.” (Keika)
“I am really good at singing! I will make them all fall head over heels.” (Aria)
…When I heard them at the party on the island, I felt that their singing had mana in it. It might turn into a specialty.
“Alright, that sounds good. But going to land is still dangerous. First, let’s do singing shows every now and then at Keika Beach to raise your fame. Once the customers increase, it will be dinner shows while bringing out food at the villa.” (Keika)
“Then, shall I play an instrument?” (Parker)
Parker placed a hand on his chest and said this with confidence.
But Dahlia tilted his head with his thick neck.
“Villa? What’s that?” (Dahlia)
“Aah, I didn’t tell you yet. I have borrowed the villa of the mayor that’s east of here for an indefinite term. You go up the stairs at the private beach, and there’s a building at the cliff. Have the nagas and merfolks use it. By the way, the name of the villa is Keika House.” (Keika)
I never miss an opportunity to sell my name.
“Hooh, that’s great. Our numbers have been increasing lately and places to live in were running low.” (Dahlia)
“Please use it effectively. Our hero party will be using it too, so…aah, I have to tell you this. There’s a new species of monster with a jellyfish on her head. Her name’s Luna and she is using that place too. She is an ally, so don’t attack her.” (Keika)
I know from Proof of the Hero that Luna had come all the way to the seas of Dollarth using the Fairy Door after she finished practicing at the place of the marquis.
“Fumu, understood. We will also talk with Dried about it and use the place.” (Dahlia)
At that moment, I heard the voice of Minya.
(Keika-oniichan, Nana is crying in a weird voice.) (Minya)
She is contacting me through the talisman. She is my shrine maiden, so her voice is clear.
“Sorry, I have urgent business to attend to. Then, Dahlia, I leave the rest to you. It will probably be rough for both Aria and Parker too, but please do your best.” (Keika)
“Leave it to us!” (Dahlia)
“Yes, I will try!” (Aria)
“I will be doing my best.” (Parker)
I hurriedly returned to the Keika House with those strong-willed voices at my back.