[I’m a Tomboy Mackerel After All] Just who the Hell Set up a Matchmaking Between me and a Mackerel! (1/2)

Authored by: quiet

Contexts:

This is a short story about a matchmaking of an emperor. Japan, even as today, has it’s Emperor on top of its leadership followed by a minister. So this context doesn’t really mean it’s the ancient/old era. Below are some Japanese things that are implied and not expressly stated so it would be nice if you can keep them in mind as you read. I enjoyed the read of this so I hope I can share the same. Have fun!

  1. Please understand that being late, even by normal Japanese standards, are shameful in itself. What’s more, matchmaking between monarchs have extremely strict etiquettes, so being late, well you get it.
  2. Monarchy matchmakings include checking of heritage, bloodlines, well net assets too. And other stuff as well depending on their levels.
  3. Kabedon is the act of putting someone’s back against the wall as you slam it and lean towards them. (Kabe = wall, Don = Sound you make when you slam the wall)

[Another matchmaking? Enough of that already. This isn’t something that we can pull off no matter how many times we try.]

Such cold words were uttered by a fine man with black hair and eyes surrounded by some kind of a wild charisma – the young emperor of this land. (TL: We will now tag his lines as E)

[Well, well. It’s not like ‘there’s ‘anything’ left to shrunken’ so why not?]

And the person who said such words was a young man with long silver hair, sporting a monocle, and who is the whole embodiment of suspiciousness – the prime minister of this land. (PM).


[It is shrinking. My lifespan, that is. I am a mere human with a finite life span. Why would I waste my already limited time for these things that are clearly trivial.] (E)

[Then just decide and pick your bride already.] (PM)

[And I’ve been saying that there’s no need for that. It isn’t necessary for my successor to be from my own bloodline. Just let the most amazing person next to me be the emperor once I die.] (E)

Yareyare. Then we might as well have the empire die next to you, or so the prime minister imply as he shrugs.
 

[That’s fair. Then I shall live up to the words of the emperor, just like what my parents often say, ‘scatter our ashes over the seas upon our death’, then I shall proceed with your orders carrying the same faith.] (PM)

[You actually didn’t follow through to your parents as far as I know though. Just say that you won’t heed it then don’t.] (E)

[Well, that’s that and this is this. Please give up and just get along with this matchmaking. Afterall, It’s set and preparations are done already.] (PM)

This time, it’s the emperor who just shrugs his shoulders.

[You’re always like this… anyway, when is it?] (E)

[In two minutes.] (PM)

[WHY THE HELL YOU’RE ALWAYS LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!] (E)


*BANG*


The emperor immediately gets up.

He hurriedly then runs with a tremendous momentum — and as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, the Prime Minister follows through. As they run, they started to converse–


[You idiot! Every single time, why aren’t you telling me these kinds of things until the last minute!!!] (E)

[Well, I think it would be more interesting] (PM)

[Dammit… One of these days, I’ll definitely exile you!!! I WILL EXILE YOUUUU!] (E)

[Leave it to me. That’s actually one of my specialties.] (PM)


However, like a max level cursed doll, no matter how many times this man had been exiled, before the Emperor knew it, he’s already climbed back as a prime minister by his side. Nevertheless, things remain the same so he needs to rush.

And thus, they finally arrived.

They stood in front of the door with words that say ‘Matchmaking Room’. After being able to witness not less than eighty imperial matchmakings within a single year, the room is now honored and named.


‘There’s no more time left’, or so the emperor thinks as he made a last minute check to himself in front of the room and with the help of a hand mirror, he’s now able to embellish even his bangs to perfection. 


[Background? Data? Where’s the papers or anything!?] (E)

[I do have it but I won’t show it ♪」(PM)

[EXILED!] (E)



Thinking to himself that staying here further would just be a waste, the emperor, wearing his overflowing majesty and charisma, slides the door open —- 

*Opens*


But then, he didn’t find even a single person.


[………is the other party actually late…?] (E)


The emperor made his way towards the sofa as doubts starting to fill his head.


Though it was honored and named as a ‘Matchmaking Room’, it isn’t really that special.

It’s just that the interior design was a little bit more elaborate compared to the other rooms in the palace. Here’s a sofa, and another one in front of it, and a low table positioned between them, as well as some paintings and pots here and there. All in all, it gives the vibes that it isn’t cheap. That’s the gist of it.

Oh, there’s actually one more thing.

In front of the emperor is a sophisticated aquarium installed on its walls. 

[…No, it’s actually better for them to be late. Now I have some time to thoroughly prepare.] (E)

The emperor then stands up from his seat and walks toward the aquarium to check on his reflection to assure himself that he didn’t miss even a little spec that he didn’t see from his little hand mirror. 

‘Perfect. Not even a single blemish.

If, by some kind of fate, the person who’ll actually walk inside is my one true love, then there’s nothing for me to fear.’


The emperor, with such thoughts in mind, then takes a deep breath. And then, he noticed that there’s actually a fish in the aquarium swimming by itself. 

[….What’s this fish called again? If I’m not mistaken…] (E)

[Mackerel desu.] (?)

[Oh yeah, a mackerel, right. You know your stuff, huh.] (E)

[But of course. We’re talking about myself after all.] (?)


About myself after all.

Repeating those words in his head, the emperor’s thoughts stopped working.

.

.

.

.

He looks left, right, front, and back. But there’s no one around.

Not even a shadow can be found.

Realizing that there could be no other possibilities, the emperor hence then concluded.

Even as an emperor, he is just a man, and can therefore only scream at the moment —

[——-THE MACARELLLLL — IT TALLLKKKKSSS!!!!!!] (E)




*BANG*

The door screams at the force exerted by the emperor as he hurriedly gets out of the room. The first thing he saw after confirming he was able to escape for his life outside the matchmaking room was the meek appearance of the prime minister chilling along its hall. Without further ado, he runs, grabs him by the collar, and puts the prime minister into a kabedon.

*BOOM*

[Y-you…! W-what the hell was that…! Was that actually a puppet? Ventriloquism!? Do you really plan on killing me with a heart attack…!? Tell me!] (E)

[Well, no. The mackerel was just speaking like it normally does.] (PM)

[WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THAT NORMAL!!!! EVEN IF THAT’S TRUE, WHAT’S A MACKEREL DOING INSIDE THE MATCHMAKING ROOM!!!] (E)

[That mackerel is the match you are scheduled for today, though.] (PM)

*Breathesssssssssssss*

The emperor then lets go.

He turns on his heels, moves towards the door, slides it open, and enters the matchmaking room again. In front of the aquarium once more, in such a calm manner like the outburst he made didn’t happen, the emperor whispers.

[Please excuse my behavior. There’s actually a miscommunication on my part and… based on what I heard, you are the one I am supposed to meet in this matchmaking, is it correct?] (E)

[Yes. That is correct.] (Mackerel)

[I see. I’ve shown you such disgraceful behavior. My apologies. Not to be rude or whatnot, but would you mind if I excuse myself one more time?] (E)

[Please, I don’t mind.] (M)

[Thank you.] (E)

And so the emperor slides out from the matchmaking room once again.

Then, this time, he grabs the Prime Minister from his chest and puts him on the wall – AGAIN!

*BANG!*


[HOW – OF ALL PEOPLE—- MY PARTNER IN A MATCHMAKING BE A MAACCKKKAAREEELLL…!!!] (E)

[And here I thought you’d be a good fit….] (PM)

[TELL ME THIS IS A JOKEEEE! SAY THAT YOUR KIDDING MEEE!! IDIOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!] (PM)

‘Hm? Wait a moment.’, the prime minister says so with his face full of doubts.


[You’re majesty, aren’t you always preaching about things like you don’t mind and are open to all shapes and appearances?] (PM)

[But there should be a limit!!!  A DAMN F*KING LIMIT!!! WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE SPECIES! IS-PI-SHIS!!!!!] (E)

[Well, if you’re that bothered, then perhaps you can ask if they’re open to having just a strict contractual marriage or so…] (PM)

[HOW CAN A MACKEREL, OF ALL THINGS, CONSTITUTE A CONTRACT WITH AN EMPEROR!!!] (E)

[You can talk to it, no? If it can talk, then it should be intelligent, then why wouldn’t it be able to give its consent and enter contracts itself?] (PM)

[…….] (E)


Can that really be acceptable, legally speaking?

Thinking about its plausibility, the emperor lets go of his hand. The emperor, in all honesty, has a very flexible mindset. That’s why he’s able to shift his gears immediately like how he’s able to find different ways to punish the prime minister instead of slamming his head directly no matter how irritating the prime minister can be. 

And so, towards the matchmaking room, he once again enters.

This time, he sat on the sofa and started the conversation.


[I’m sorry for having you wait.] (E)

[Please, no worries.] (M)

[Well then, about matchmaking…] (E)


And so, the matchmaking has now fully commenced.

‘Hi’, the emperor chose to first introduce himself.

[—and I do this emperor thing for a living.] (E)

[Oh my, how polite. I—] (M)


The mackerel then introduced itself, which actually had a name.


[—Princess of the Empire of the United Oceans.] (M)

[Technical Timeout.] (E)

[Please.](M)

*Door Opens*

*BANG!*


[WHAT THE HELL IS THAT WEIRDLY GRAND SOUNDING COUNTRY CALLED EMPIRE OF THE UNITED OCEANS…!!] (E)

[A country that can be found in the seas, I guess.] (PM)

[Oh, wow, what a bright new idea…! Then putting it in their perspective, am I supposed to be the ruler of a country that can be found above the ground….!?] (E)

[That is certainly so.] (PM)

That’s fair. Or so the emperor convincingly agreed to himself as he opened the door once again.

There are a lot of times where the prime minister hid a lot of facts behind his back but never once did he lie. It’s like dealing with a devil full of deceit but bound by restrictions.


[Please pardon me for going back and forth quite a few times…] (E)

[Oh please. I understand that being an emperor comes with lots of responsibilities that are keeping you busy. In fact, I am even grateful that you found the time to meet someone like me. Thank you.] (M)

[No, please. I was the one who asked for your presence but I only offered a humble cramped space instead….] (E) (TL: He finds the aquarium little considering he’s talking with the princess)

[Fufufu. I appreciate your concern. Thank you. Contrary to what the rumors say, it seems you are quite the kind person.] (M)

From then, the emperor had noticed.

‘This princess, for her part, has such a tremendous sense of decorum and propriety. 

Also, how am I supposed to know what kind of reputation about me is circulating under the seas? Also, on the contrary, I heard nothing about the world under the waters at all! Furthermore, how the hell did that monocle bastard be able to cross the boundaries between the land and seas and pull over their princess to have a matchmaking with me!? Anyway, that’s besides the point.’

Or so the emperor has thought, and finds the princess to be easily in the top ten of the most decent partners he had a matchmaking before. 

After all, the people he’d been meeting recently were people with thoughts like ‘I live by inserting some random screws into my head’, ‘how fuuunnnn!!’, and ‘Dammit! It’ll explode soon!’. That’s the time that he realized that his empire houses a lot of different deep kind of personalities that he is starting to get overwhelmed. And just in time, having a conversation like this, for the emperor, felt like a salvation.


‘Then perhaps, a contract marriage would work.’


To reiterate, the emperor has a very flexible way of thinking. There are even rumors that his brain is actually stored somewhere in a hidden facility fluidly managed by a computer.


[Haha… I’m sorry for taking advantage of your kindness talking about such boring topics, but if you won’t mind, how about we discuss first the marriage’s political part?] (E)

[That’s fine. I was also granted by our kingdom to act as its ambassador and laisse. By all means, please allow me to tell you more about our kingdom.] (M)

The princess then begins the discussion.

She started with the fact that she understands that the people on land don’t really know much about oceans’ people and kingdom. To bridge that gap, their people would like to build a relationship from the largest country aboveground that will serve as their foothold and ultimately reach a tacit understanding between dwellers of the sea and lands. With this marriage, their kingdom is looking at the opportunity of concluding the first treaty between land and seas and establishing a first international order between countries.


The presentation that the princess provided certainly has some merits.

The emperor on the other hand, while he does agree, he listens sincerely and expresses his doubts about pros and cons of the subject, and at times, even renegotiating the terms that will result to be the most advantageous for the both of them.

As the princess accepts the emperor’s thoughts and suggestions, new ideas are born, and the emperor’s about to speak once again —-

.

.

.

Seven hours passed like a blink of an eye until both of them finally settled down.

As for the emperor–

[—I will be honest, but I feel ashamed of how ignorant I was until now.]

[Hm? What do you mean?]

[I didn’t expect for the people of the ocean to have someone who has this broad perspective and deep knowledge amongst them. I am truly impressed.]

To be honest, he now feels some kind of liking for the princess.

No, in fact, he already likes her.

By his nature, he’s a man who doesn’t bother with shapes and appearance – well, he does dress himself well as he mind’s how an emperor should appear before his subjects, but if it’s someone else, he holds no to little interest.

When he first realized that what he’s meeting in this matchmaking is a mackerel, as one might expect, he was clearly shaken… However, with his flexible mindset, he was able to once again pick up himself. In fact he doesn’t even understand himself what pushed him all this time to now be able to properly converse with a fish. But, he’s now able to recover from shock that he can now full heartedly speak his mind.

[Let’s get married. If the two of us become one, I’m sure this world would be more beautiful than either sea or land.] (E)

[Maa….] (M)

Keeping his composure like in some game’s last boss, even after saying something so cringy, he was able to retain his dignity as an emperor. 

‘Let’s do this’, fully satisfied in his heart, the emperor thought.

‘If I get married to someone with such a broad mind and wonderful perspective like this princess, then I have no qualms. A vision to unite the dwellers between the land and seas… Let’s do it then. It’s a mission that seems so fulfilling to dedicate your life to just to complete. Thinking about the hundred matchmakings I had to go through just for it to be a prelude… What a waste. Not that I can do anything about it.’

[It will be quick, but if you could just check this contract—] (E)

[Uhm, excuse me…] (M)

Just as the emperor leans and prepares himself for the leap, the princess interrupts him.

[My apologies. I know that things are moving too fast but… I know this might seem, weird, in fact stupid, but…] (M)

[…….? Is there something bothering you? If so, I’d do my best to accommodate the best that I can.] (E)

The princess bashfully — no, the emperor himself isn’t sure, but he somehow gets the impression that the mackerel in front of him is rather swaying bashfully.

[—-A-anooo! W-what do you think of having a romantic marriage..!?] (M)

The Emperor, who’s just recovered recently, grabbed his own head with such tremendous force as it seemed his brain had some short circuit.


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