Chapter 41

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Miko Princess and Reward
The atmosphere in the Blue Waters Shrine overflows with “harmony.”
Magic tools shaped as lanterns are illuminating the path, the grid windows, and the bridge railing gives off a feeling of the old capital, Kyoto.

“Miko Princess, I have brought Takumi-sama, Allen-sama, and Elena-sama.”
“Please, enter.”

We were guided to the most inner part of the Blue Waters Shrine where the Miko Princess is.
There is a light-blue haired girl in her teens and an elderly man inside the spacious room.
Is this girl the Miko Princess?
The gracefully smiling girl is wearing a celestial kimono, emitting an aura of a young princess.

“Takumi-sama, Allen-sama, Elena-sama. Welcome.”
“Umm…… Thank you very much for inviting us?”
“Fufufu. Please, do not be so stiff. Rather, we are the ones who should show respect to you.”

Wait a moment! What do you mean?
I got startled by Miko Princess’s words.
Miko Princess is a great person in the Mermaid Tribe, right? Why should a person like that show respect to me?

“I have heard that Takumi-sama is a benefactor of the Water God’s Retainer-sama.”
“Miko Princess, thanks to Takumi-sama, our problem have also been solved. I have other people checking the coral right at this moment.”
“I am really glad. Then, Takumi-sama is our benefactor, is he not?”
“That’s right.”
“No, that’s a little……”

Hey, Water God’s Retainer-sama~ What kind of nonsense have you told them~~
Just how much have you told them? Surely, you didn’t expose my true identity, did you!?

“Err… I don’t know what you were told, but if you know that……”
“Please, do not worry. Only the three of us here know about the Oracle I have received. Naturally, we will not reveal it.”
“Thank you very much. Incidentally, what were you told……”

Just in case, I ask how much they know……

“I have heard that Takumi-sama is a person of principles and a very kind person.”
“……… Please, give me a break.”

Is she talking about me!?
Just what have you told them~~ Please stop iiit~

“Fufu. You are exactly as Retainer-sama said.”

I’m troubled…… I’m worried about what the Water God’s Retainer-sama told Miko Princess, but I have a feeling that I don’t want to know……

“Miko Princess, Takumi-sama is troubled.”
“Oh my, Gard. I am just telling the truth, there is no reason for Takumi-sama to be troubled.”
“Then, you wouldn’t mind if I tell him on the day of the first meeting with Miko Princess ‘That I know Miko Princess very well. She’s quite the tomboy’ would you?”

The elderly man next to Miko Princess stops her.
On the contrary to my expectations of Miko Princess being a secluded Ojousama, it seems she’s quite the tomboyish child…… Her appearances don’t match her personality.

“…… Oh. Takumi-sama, please forgive us.”
“No worries……”
“Right, right, I have not introduced you to Takumi-sama yet, did I? He is Gard, the Chief managing the mermaids living here.”
“I’m the Chief, Gard. Thank you very much for today.”

The man is apparently the Chief of mermaids. He’s very good-natured-ish looking old man.

“Chief, is it? I heard that the Miko Princess is the Lord of Blue Waters Shrine, is Chief something different?”
“Yes. I am indeed the Lord of the Blue Waters Shrine, but Miko Princess is the so-called honorary position. The person with the most affinity with the God takes the place generation after generation. There’s a different one for each clan.”

Actually, there is no way to know the affinity with God, so abilities, etc. are unrelated. Miko Princess is a symbolic existence, a woman elected by the clan to become a holy individual.
Miko Princess mutters “I did not really want to do it because it is too stiff…” in a small voice.
If a tomboyish girl is her true nature, the current appearances of a graceful Miko Princess is an act.
She must have it tough.

“…… Being Miko Princess must be tough, huh?”
“Fufufu. That is right.”

It seems she heard the words I unconsciously muttered.
Miko Princess agrees with a laugh.

“Right, right. We have to present the reward to Takumi-sama.”
“Ah, that! In that case, wouldn’t you teach us the way of using water magic?”

Talking about the reward, I asked about what was on my mind.
Right. I want to learn water magic.
Mermaids living underwater would know a thing or two about water magic, right?

“Water magic, is it? Certainly, most of the Mermaids can use it, but……”
“We possess the Water Magic skill, but I’m troubled because I can’t use it well. The children have never used magic before……”

In fact, when we moved through the sea, I tried using water magic, but it didn’t go well.
I tried shooting a low-level Water Ball, but it had no power. Splurt, just about a fistful of water spurted out.
Because I myself can’t use it, I am not able to teach it to Allen and Elena.

“If that is the case, there is no problem. I will introduce you to a user who excels at teaching! However, the reward is separate.”
“No, just teaching us is enough.”

Even though I solved their problem, I just put the ship into the《Infinite Storage》.
I would be grateful for just being able to learn water magic.

“No, I request you to accept it. Although I said reward, it is something unnecessary for us…… Would you please look at it first?”

……… N? Unnecessary?
What does she mean?
Saying, please look at the goods first, Mirena-san guides us to the place where the reward is.


◇ ◇ ◇


“This way, please.”
“This is?”

The place I was guided to is a cave in the rock face in the rear of the Blue Waters Shrine. Inside the cave, there was a spacious room with a lot of things were piled up.
Seaweed in a shell?
Fish bones with some kind of stones?
There really was a lot of things. Moreover, a considerably large quantity of each.

Bracka seaweed
A medicinal plant inhabiting deep seas.
Because it has an effect of lowering temperature, it’s used as a material for antipyretic and salves for burns treatment.

Bone of Giant Shark
Hard, but light bone.
Utilized as material for weapons.

After appraising it, every seaweed and shells were materials for medicine. The bones can be used for making weapons.

“Everything has quite a value, you know?”

And yet they say that everything in here is part of the reward.

“Eh? Pearl!? Huge!”

Allen and Elena brought a golf ball-sized pearl. Looking carefully, a great amount of various sized pearls were rolling on the ground beside the two.
Not only big ones but also normal sized pearls that could be used to make necklaces. And they are just gorogoro on the floor.
White and black, purple, pink, yellow…… various colors.
This is my first time seeing so many pearls.

“To tell you the truth, this place is our garbage dump…”

Haa!? Garbage dump?
This all, are you saying this all is garbage!?

“When we pick something that sunk around the Blue Waters Shrine or the ocean floor, we put it here.”
“Everything!? I mean, this is a pearl, you know?”
“That’s a stone that comes from the edible shells, isn’t it? The big ones come from Big Shells, but…… Either of them is not a magic stone, you know?”
“Pearl is a kind of a gem, you know?”
“Is that so? I like gems too, but I like the more sparkling and transparent ones better?”

Ofu…… these people recognize pearls that come out of shells as stones.
I see, I see now……
Are? To the people of Aetherdia…… it’s a gem, right? Without a doubt.

“It’s as Retainer-sama said then, although it has no worth to us, it seems it’s attractive stone to humans.”

That’s right. I’m really startled by your different sense of value.

“As you can see the place has become full…… Although we think it’s rude to give something unnecessary to us as a reward, we would be much grateful if you received it……”

I have no words to say anymore.
Allen, Elena. Do you like that pearl? It seems we can take it, so I will.

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