Chouze had met the merman who was trapped in the net, and she invited him to the villa. He had come willingly, but after telling her his name and talking briefly, he became very grumpy and hadn’t changed since.
He would complain about the fish being cooked wrong or about the beds being too hard. Then he would tell them to call someone who understood his needs.
“Oh, but you’ve only just got here. I wanted to hear about your country.”
“Then come to the merfolk island. There are lots of us there.”
“But father would never allow it. Oh, Amia. It’s said that no one knows where the merfolk country is. Is it true? Where is it?”
“No one knows because it is a secret. How can you not know something so simple?”
“That’s why I want to know.”
Chouze continued to talk as if she didn’t notice that Amia was annoyed. But then Amia interrupted her.
“Um, can you see that rock over there that looks like coral?”
“Coral? I’m not sure what you mean. But perhaps you are talking about the rock that is known as the ‘Elf’s Hand’? I think that it is disturbing.”
This rock looked like a hand that was thrusting out of the water.
“It’s dark in that area. Something is gathered around it. What is it?”
“Oh. Yes, I do see it now, but I have no idea.”
“They say that we must not go near the shore on the other side because it is dangerous. There are mines. Recently, soldiers have had to guard it against dangerous creatures. Do you know about them, Amia? In the beastlands, they have vampire bats that live in caves.”
Surely there must be similar creatures here. There was a part of Chouze that wanted to see them, even if it was just a little.
“Mines? I thought that digging was a job for dwarves.”
“Oh, you’re surprising clueless, Amia. They have places to mine inland as well. But I believe there are some dwarves that work here.”
“Have they been here long?”
“No, I think it was after I was born…”
Chouze tilted her head to the side. She wasn’t very interested, and so the details escaped her.
“There is some place that you can go in order to meet the dwarves.”
That was all Chouze cared about. Even if it was the result of bringing criminals and their family from the dwarf lands.