Even though Ed remained quiet, she read in his eyes something that appeared to be pain.
‘However, Ed served in the Navy.
He’s also an imperial citizen… No, witnessing a mermaid might change his mind as long as he’s human… or… I’m not sure if he’d be motivated by greed or curiosity.
He might even get the idea to hunt down the rest of the species.’
Distrust rained down on Lil like a barrage of bullets.
‘I don’t know anything about him, and I’ve been wary of him since the beginning.
I can’t believe him…’
She repeated the same few sentences in her head over and over again, like gunfire hitting her brain.
‘I don’t believe him… I don’t trust him… I can’t trust him…’
Lil began to be buried under the deafening noise in her head and cried out to him with a roar.
But along with his unchanged expression, his sharp answer shot back like a dagger.
Without hesitation, the door started to close, so Lil hurriedly shoved her arm through the gap.
The door, which was closing so fast it produced a gust of wind, came to a halt just as it was about to crush her arm.
A harsh voice came from behind the door.
“Normally, I would’ve said I’m a competent doctor.”
So if you snap my arm in two, I’m sure you can fix it.”
“But didn’t you say you won’t hurt me”
“Didn’t you say that was a lie”
Lil closed her eyes tightly.
‘I’m going to have to listen to this.
This is it…’
She wasn’t that concerned about his nagging as it was something she had expected anyway.
But, she now had something vital to say.
Words that were waiting to be said from her mouth.
“Sorry, I was wrong.”
After a moment of silence, Ed peeped open the door a bit, and his half-seen face asked sullenly.
However, he sounded unenthusiastic, so Lil thought she couldn’t afford to be duped and stormed through the door.
After Ed was hit on the forehead by the door’s corner and he was forced to take a few steps back with a yell, Lil slammed the door shut as soon as she entered the room.
His cabin was as bright as how she saw it from the outside.
‘No, in fact, it seems brighter.’
Feeling like that, Lil shrugged her shoulders and looked around his room.
Despite the fact that there was only one lantern hanging on the wall, it was as brilliant as day, even the shades had no chance to appear.
While checking behind her, Lil continued.
“I don’t have time to fool around.
After hearing what I’ve to say, don’t ask questions.
I’m in the middle of a situation where I don’t even know if you’ll be helpful or not.”
Nonetheless, Ed strolled up to the bed and lay down.
He grabbed the blanket, twisted around to face the wall, and made incomprehensible snoring noises.
‘Didn’t he whine about the South being too hot Then what’s the deal with this blanket’
Lil rushed to Ed’s bed, removed his blanket, and hit him on the back.
Causing Ed to glance back at her and exclaim with an awful face that stretched his chin and philtrum.
“Oh! That hurts!”
“I have a question for you.”
Instead of answering, Ed grabbed the blanket that had fallen around his waist and rolled himself in it.
Lil’s agony peaked when she realised she had to entrust the fate of an unique race to a man acting like a five-year-old.
She crossed her arms and paced for a moment, glaring at his back that looked more like a silkworm cocoon.
She concluded that she had no other option as she already came all the way down here.
So she had to bet her last money on a terrible hand and spoke in a weak voice.
“…It’s said that the Mother of All Things was originally a god named Orsay, so is a mermaid also a child of Orsay”
Ed wriggled and tightened his grip on the blanket even more.
He then spoke in a murmuring voice.
“…Why are you asking that all of a sudden Have you seen a mermaid..”
His wriggling abruptly stopped and he looked back at her over his shoulder.
“So get up, we need to hurry.
There’s a mermaid.”
“We only have about 30 minutes left.
We have to release it.”
“What are you talking about”
“The Marian is carrying a living mermaid.”
Ed, who turned completely to face her, raised his upper body sporting an expression that was far from what she had expected.
He didn’t widen his eyes as if he couldn’t believe it, he didn’t laugh at her, he didn’t say it was all nonsense, he didn’t tremble in fear, and he didn’t get excited with curiosity.
Instead, his face hardened fiercely.
“You mean they captured a mermaid”
‘Why do you look like that’
Lil paused and chewed her lower lip.
‘Yes, there’s no going back now.’
Beating around the bush would be a waste of their time as they needed to get it out as soon as possible.
However, she found the situation rather difficult to explain, so Lil began to speak in a gibberish way.
“It’s in a huge tank, and it’s… it’s very deep… It’s chained and can rise to the surface for a while with the power of its tail, but it sinks quickly.
Well, but if it’s shipped to the Empire, I’m sure…”
“Did you see it yourself”
“Yeah, but its hostility was pretty evident, it tried to kill me no matter what I did.
It’s extremely afraid, probably thinking all human beings are there to attack it.
I want to free it, but I don’t know what to do.
I got the key to open its chackle from Jacques Poussin, but he can’t come up with a way to release it.
You know the myth.
Do you know anything else Like when does it sleep A weakness”
“So you’re telling me that there’s a tank on that medium-sized sailing ship that isn’t even a fishing boat Was this capture planned”
“The Duke of Mireille ordered it.”
“Who else knows”
“The Marian’s crew, but on our side, it’s only Cesar and me.”
Ed got out of bed and rummaged through the bag next to him as Lil’s gaze followed his back.
Ed continued while intently looking for something in his bag.
“Orsay hid the mermaids in a place where the wind lays down.
I wonder how a small merchant ship managed to reach and escape that windless region.”
Lil opened her mouth wide.
‘Jacques Poussin did say the mermaid was captured from the windless zone, and it took them several weeks to get out of the area.’
She wasn’t sure at first, but apparently, it was true.
“How did you…”
“I can see the Captain’s face even if I don’t look.
Why are you so surprised Didn’t you come here for this”
“Uh, yes… right Yes, but…”
Lil couldn’t shake the feeling of being a fool, so she quickly slapped herself on the cheek.
She had to be resolute.
She couldn’t show her bewildered side in front of Ed, so it was time for her to come to her senses.
“You’re going to help me, right”
“Why would I”
“Then what are you doing”
“What are you trying to take out of that bag”
Lil moved to his side with hesitant steps and looked over Ed’s shoulder.
As he pulled out his head, she could see a little inside his dark bag, but she couldn’t tell what he was looking for.
For no apparent reason, Lil grabbed her gun.
‘If Ed takes out a weapon, I must shoot immediately.
I don’t think he will, but I can’t help but be prepared just in case.
If the Duke was looking for a new race, anyone in Sesbron could have a similar idea.
Judging from the precedents of the Western Continent, beautiful rare species were a luxury that had no comparison.
This could be a huge incentive.’
Another possibility arose in her mind.
‘Ed could be anyone’s pawn… I’m sorry I don’t have enough time to sort things out logically, I’ll have to defend myself first.’
“The water tank must be dark, right”
Lil answered with a startled heart.
“You’re going to need something to light it up.”
“But fire won’t reach the bottom of the tank.”
Ed turned around and held out a cloth-wrapped object in front of Lil.
‘Maybe this is what he was looking for.’
Ed’s gaze fell on the gun handle held by Lil, but she didn’t notice as she focused on the object.
Her eyebrows raised unknowingly.
Ed unwrapped the cloth without saying a word.
Dumbfounded, Lil took a step back when she saw the spherical, elongated item that was shimmering weakly with a light she’d never seen before.
It was roughly the size of a palm and therefore could be handled with one hand.
The item appeared green, yet its radiance was pure white as if it were illuminated by stars.
Lil’s eyes widened in surprise at the exquisite hue.
The colour of fire was yellowish, so humans always associate light with the colour yellow.
Even though this was also unrealistic experience for Lil, she abruptly came to her senses after foolishly wondering if the dream she’d been dreaming since seeing the mermaid had not ended even now.