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Aquata Cove Chapter 61: Pending Precipice
“If we go through the Tower Trenches quick enough,” Samudra said as he, Vanora, Ebba, and the Adras plot their next route, “We could make it to the Caspian Seas in time for the dancing jellies…”
“No, we cannot go to the Towers.” Vanora said.
“We tried that once, remember?” Vanora said, “When we reached the end of the Towers, we came to a Sazae Graveyard.”
“Ah yes. Confound it…” Samudra growled, “That storm on the last moon has really interfered with our path…”
“Wait, what is wrong with the Sazae Graveyard?” Nerissa asked, “It is just a large basin full of giant conches, are they not?”
“Sazaes in particular are very slow, yet still very poisonous.” Vanora explained.
“Yes, I know, but why can we not simply pass by their remnants? Are they not dead and harmless?”
“Less so, but they still pose a threat to us.” Ebba said, “When a Sazae dies, their corpse fades fairly quickly, but the area of which they decay becomes stained with a miasma that induces sleep and fatigue to those unlucky enough to come near.”
“And the Sazae Graveyard is entirely full of empty conch shells, brimming with eternal slumber…”
“By the depths!” Nerissa grits her teeth, “Does this mean we will not make it to the twirling jellies??”
“We could try to swim quickly, but it is likely that we will miss them, if not just barely catch the last moment of their light.”
“Before we leave, I want to give you something.” Merrick said as he and Arnaav loomed through the water. The Kenovani is getting ready to depart for the morning.
“For what?” Arnaav asked.
“Just for…” Merrick smiled a little, and shrugged, “I do not know. For no reason.” The Piscien and Amnien made their way into an algae-incrusted office, and down to a very old treasure chest.
“WAIT!” Arnaav pulled Merrick’s arm backward, “I have already touched that box! It made my paws hurt really weird!”
“Haha, I can imagine.” Merrick said with a smile. As he moved closer to the chest, it became encased in a transparent sphere of energy. The closer he swam, the brighter it illuminated.
“MERRICK, NO-” Arnaav panicked. Merrick’s hands entered the field of energy, with no sort of reaction whatsoever. Arnaav quirked a brow as his head tilted, “Whaaa?”
“This chest has been safeguarded by my Sister.” Merrick said as he looks to the side at the otter merman, “This is indeed her work. This is a kind of repellant magic. A barrier of this size is a safe guess of an Adra, but a Noita could have placed a ward on the entire ship.”
“So why is it not hurting you like it has done to me?”
“I told you, this spell was placed by my Sister. I am her Brother, and so it will not effect me.”
Arnaav paddled over to him, crouching onto the hold, slimy desk as he watched with fascination as Merrick’s arms worked and unlocked the chest, as if the ball of fierce light was only a harmless bubble, “If it belongs to her, why are you taking it?”
“I am not taking it, only a little of what is inside.” He said as he started to open it, “Besides, I am sure she would not notice if I only take one item out.” He opened the box, and Arnaav’s eyes beamed down as the barrier became large to further shield the contents.
“Woooooooow!” Arnaav cooed at the glittering contents of small, rusty old disks and shimmering gemstones. He swam forward a little, before suddenly spazzing out when the energy zapped his paw, “OW!!”
Merrick chuckled as he took Arnaav’s little arm, and pressed it against the underside of his own arm. The little otter whimpered as his webbed paw neared the furious ball of light, before his brown knuckles entered along with Merrick’s flesh, their arms pressing together as they both reached in. Arnaav smiles with glee as Merrick pressed his free hand onto Arnaav’s bicep to safely secure their limbs.
“Go ahead and choose whichever one you want.” Merrick said.
“Are you sure?” The young one asked.
“I know my Sister. What is she going to do with all of these pieces anyhow? She only placed such a ward on this box for the sake of territory.”
“Ok…” Arnaav reached in a little further, eagerly sifting through the metals and jewels until his little paw grabbed onto an ornate silver dagger, smaller than the survival knife on the top half of his weapon, but his fingers tightened around the handle, “This one!”
“That one?” Merrick smiled.
“Errrmmm… Yyyes!” Arnaav nods quickly.
“Granted.” Merrick carefully loomed backward, holding the child in his arms as they move back, Arnaav giggling as he clutched his new knife to his furry chest.
“Merrick?” Came a third voice. They turned their heads to see Syrinx looking at the pair of them. Merrick let him go, and turned his body to face the mermaid.
“What do you want?”
“Merrick I…” Syrinx sighed as she shook her head, “I cannot begin to think how I can make things up to you…”
“You followed me… Did you canlı bahis şirketleri not?” Merrick asked.
“H-How did you know?”
“I did not.” He answered. “I sensed a merfolk nearby while I spoke to Arnaav. I only just guessed that it was you.”
Syrinx sighs as she bowed her head, “Merrick, about the cruise. I am sorry.” She holds her arms up a little, “I know I should have not judged you, but… When I was a meryin,” She explained, “A mermaid from my pod lost everything.”
“What are you talking about?” Merrick asked, “What does this have anything to do with you and I?”
“This mermaid, her name was Gelentea. Even how young I was, I was close to her, as if I was her second daughter, even though she had a child of her own.” She looks up with sad eyes, “I remember… You look so much like her…”
“Wait, what?” Merrick tilted his head curiously, “How is that possible, I am a Pisci-“
“I know, but even as an Amnien,” She rose her hands up to gesture to him, “You both possess the same body shape, your heads, arms, as well as the tail is very similar to her…” Arnaav looks to Merrick, and then to Syrinx, and then back again, “Even the way the colors of blue and silver on your body is almost alike in the tones of brown on her fur… You even act the same as her, I can almost guess that you have her personality too.”
“And your point is?”
“… One night, the Ghost Whale appeared…” Syrinx continued, “And it had swallowed her mate and her new born child…” She sighs as she brings back old memories, “Gelentea was never the same after that. She was hostile, and distant after such. It did not take a Noita to see she had become distorted and broken in her eyes. And after a few suns, she lost her sanity.”
“She killed 3 members of our pod… Including the Adra Noita…” Syrinx answered, “She raved and rampaged about how we do not deserve life, how we did nothing as her reason of existence was stolen from her, and accused the Noita of intentionally refusing to help bring back her loved ones.”
Merrick feels a cold front on his face.
“She was not even able to become a Coshiton – the Triton of my pod had to put her down, especially after ending his daughter.”
“And you thought I was, or am, of the same mental fragility as this Gelentea.” Merrick said. Syrinx sighed as she felt one of her arms. “… I… Understand…”
Syrinx looked back up with surprise, “You do??”
“Yes…” Merrick sighed as he swallowed his personal feelings, “If we are going to be in the same pod, I may as well learn to let go of grudges. To be honest, I still feel spite towards you, but my problems now are too small to bear substance.”
“Thank you.” Syrinx nods.
“…” Merrick hesitated, and then he swam back to the open treasure box, “Just for the sake of an idea…”
“Wait!” Syrinx holds out her hand as a ball of light started to cloak the large box again, “It has a ward on it!”
“It is ok!” Arnaav quipped, “It is his Sister’s magic!”
“Oh?” She turned back to the Piscien, and saw him half submerged into the barrier with not even a burn on his flesh.
Merrick rummaged through the treasure box, and then came back up with two items. One, a very old gold chain with a blood ruby encrusted in an ornate pendant, along with a rusty silver medallion with a few emeralds attached to it.
“The humans often practice a sort of alliance, everywhere, of any age.” Merrick says. Syrinx chuckled.
“Like when human children form ‘clubs’ and the like.”
“Yes,” Merrick brought the items over to the mermaid, and handed over the necklace to Syrinx, “I think I would like to start one between me, you, and Deilan. The three of us being exiled for Forbidden Love. And we each have an item of a gem.” Syrinx smiled as she took the jewelry, and wore the ruby one over her head, dodging her horn carefully, “This one is for Deilan.” Merrick held up the medallion.
“What about you?” Syrinx asked.
“I already have mind,” Merrick plucked up the platinum key necklace with the cyan jewel on it, “My Adam gave this to me on the Cruise.”
“But you are still taking these from your Sister!” Arnaav swam up, “Is that not wrong?”
“Hmm…” Merrick pondered for a moment, “I suppose you have a point… I think I will leave something behind.” He loomed his tail around, and gracefully moved back the chest, just as it started to glow again. He then pulled off the shark-tooth headband from his head, and removed the scallop shell from it, the one that is written with the kanji for ‘Moon’ on it. He placed the one shell onto the pile of gold, and closed the box.
“Are you sure that is enough?” He asked, “That is one item to four.”
“I know… I hope she forgives me…” He backed away from the treasure box, “It is all I have to give, and I think it will suffice.” He turned to him, “My Sister loved me dearly. She was heartbroken when I left. And only I am able to touch the box since we are related. Leaving this here will tell her that I am alive canlı kaçak iddaa and well. She was so terrified of me dying when I was banished… Heh, I know I must sound egotistical right now, but in the end, these things are only objects.”
“Alright…” Arnaav nods.
“Come,” Merrick gestured, “I want to see if we have time for a hunting lesson before the pod leaves.”
Arnaav gasped as he looked up, “B-But, Merrick! I cannot! You know-“
“We need to work around your own style,” Merrick said, “We are two different merfolk, but I think we can figure out a movement for you to hunt with.”
“Hey,” Merrick lowered down, and put a hand onto the boy’s shoulder, “Hunting is not only a necessity of sustenance. It is also a means of self-defense.”
“That is right,” Deilan said as he drifts from a whole in the ship, “To hunt means to fight. At the very least, you can learn to handle yourself in almost any situation.”
“Ah, Deilan,” Merrick swims up to him, and offered the bangle, “Here, we are starting a sort of… Union. Between Coshitons of Forbidden Love.”
“We are?” Deilan took the strange bracelet with baffled confusion, “Are our marks not enough?”
“Perhaps. But I think it is intriguing to be recognized as a particular unit.”
“Hah,” Deilan chuckles as he equips the small armlet to his wrist, “So what should we call ourselves? The Love Trio?”
“Perhaps not,” Syrinx answered, “Eventually, we may find other Coshitons that have been banished for Forbidden Love. It will not be a trio with more than three members. Maybe… The Cursed Hearts club?”
“That sounds a little dark,” Merrick commented.
“Well, we will need to decide later,” Deilan said, “Triton Samudra sent me to find you; the pod is leaving.”
“Alright,” Merrick nods as Arnaav paddles along, while Merrick reties his headband without the shell, and slips it over his head.
“By the way, there was one thing that really confused me on the Cruise, Merrick.” Syrinx said as the four of them navigated through the ship.
“You mean other than my impending madness?” Merrick asked.
“Yes.” Syrinx rolls her eyes, “I saw you at being doused with contained water. And then I watched you play on the shore on the water with the humans, and yet you looked completely human. How exactly are you able to do that?”
“Wait!” Deilan whipped around, looking at Merrick with wide eyes, “What??”
“Yes,” Syrinx continued, “When we were on a human ship, I have seen Merrick’s body wet with water, but he never transformed.”
“What kind of trickery is THAT?!” Deilan exclaimed.
“It’s not like it’s a trick of mine at all.” Merrick said. “Tell me, have you ever heard of the Forbidden Ancient?”
“Only bits and pieces,” Syrinx confessed.
“She is a spirit of the land waters, is she not?” Deilan said, “That is what I have heard.”
“I am not completely sure what she is,” Merrick said, “She says she was the very first Noita, and that she died under a Black Sun, and has lived for centuries ever since.
“She has an infinity of time, and so she eventually toyed with the idea of making a way for merfolk like myself to become immune to the water,” He dug into his wirey handbag, and pulled out a small pouch. He dug his fingers in, and drew out a chain with a deep blue scale. “She takes a piece of my own body – a single scale will do – and she takes an entire moon to somehow enchant it to allow me to appear human at all times.”
“Does it truly work?” Syrinx asked.
“Yes, and I am still able to breathe and signal under the sea. Though, I swim a lot slower and with more struggle in human form. Also, I cannot speak as I do now while I am human.” Merrick then brought the chain up.
“Y-You are putting it on now??” Deilan asked. Before Merrick answered, he had brought the chain, and his entire body immediately morphed before he can secure the latch of the chain.
The two Amniens and Holsien watched wide-eyed and jaws dropped as the Piscien before them completely changed. Merrick’s legs paddled slightly as he stays there, suspended in the water, while his arms slowly reach around and push down. He smirks as he flaps his arms forward to push him back, and then paddled his legs to move ahead, before he reached behind his neck, and undid the necklace, and transforming right back into his true form.
“It takes some getting used to when swimming in human form, and it is still an annoying method of swimming, but it is very useful when mingling with humans.”
“That is… So very strange!” Deilan exclaimed.
“Does that work for any merfolk??”
“No,” Merrick pocketed the necklace, “Since this is done with MY scale, it only works for me. If you want to be able to do this, you will have to talk to the Forbidden Ancient yourself.
“Where does she live???” Syrinx asked.
“In a river somewhere on the land of Hawaii. You cannot miss her; she looks almost like the dark human woman from the Pirates of the Caribbean story.”
“We need to start moving,” canlı kaçak bahis Deilan said, “The pod has probably left by now.”
“Right.” Merrick nods before they start to swim forth.
“Wait,” Arnaav quipped, “If we are leaving, why did Razirah Ebba not summon us?”
Just after the boy asked that question, the shell fragments around his neck, Merrick’s wrist, Syrinx’s tail, and Deilan’s waist all began to glow and vibrate. They chuckled as they moved quicker, “Your next lesson will have to wait, Arnaav.” Merrick said.
“Yes…” Arnaav moaned as they continued.
“By the way, another thing I have wondered, Syrinx” Merrick said as he looked to the mermaid, “The Cruise we were on was originally for those of what the humans call ‘LGBT’, like homosexual beings such as I and my mate. What were YOU doing on it?”
“Me and my mate Kevin have always wanted to go on any kind of cruise,” She answered, “That one just happened to be the most affordable, as well at the next one available in time. It was annoying with him, he kept wanting to have me and him mate with other females.”
The four of them make it to the front of the ship, before Merrick gasped as he felt an attack coming, “LOOK OUT!”
A blur and a flash, a scream sounded from them, and a flurry of fins and teeth ravaged the water around them.
The surprise shark jets in a direction as the three older merfolk scrambled to chase it, as a small cloud of blood can be seen as it moved, before it started to slow down. Merrick speeds towards the patch of brown fuzz on the head of the shark, where the source of blood originated.
“ARNAAV!” Merrick whips around to him, “Are you alright?!” He looks to see the otter panting as the shark started to drift down, with a survival knife-tied shaft sunk into the head of the shark, and the fancy dagger inserted into another part of the shark. Both paws are firmly attached to the two blades.
“M-Merrick?” Arnaav whimpered. Merrick quickly puts his arms around Arnaav, and gently takes him off of the shark.
“It is alright, Arnaav,” Merrick said as he rubs the little one’s back, “It is over.”
“B-But, I did it…” Deilan went to pull the knives out of the dead shark “I-I hunted something…” He then suddenly whimpers as he clutches onto Merrick, still shaking.
“Yes you did,” Merrick said gently, “We will work on it… Let us settle down now…” He said as the poor scared boy continued to quake as they elevate and swam forth.
‘Business as usual here in the ocean…’ Merrick thought as he carried Arnaav, ‘I wonder what you are up to, Adam…’
“Urrhhh…” Adam flops on the couch as he looks up at the ceiling. It’s only been 2 months since Merrick left for the Coshiton pod. “Mmnnhhh… I hope you’re ok, baby…” He mumbled. With the Capricorn with them, they should be unharmed, but still he worries.
The door to Yuri’s door opened, and slammed, before Yuri storms across the living room, “H-Hey, Yuri-“
“I’M FINE!” Yuri instantly retorted right before she slams the front door closed. Adam frowns as her car pulls out of the driveway.
“Fuck…” Adam grumbled.
Yuri and Ryojin are having a fight; Ryo apparently wanted the two of them to move in together, but Yuri turned him down, saying that she’s not ready yet. Heck, Adam can’t really blame her; they’ve only been going out for almost a year. Ryo’s just a lovesick puppy-dog. Besides that, in a fit of frustration, Ryo actually insinuated that she’s been fooling around with Jamal, seeing as how Jamal is ALWAYS playing the field with his open relationship, tying in with how much Ryo wanted to take things very slow in any physical activity between them. He even went so far as to pick a short fight with him, before the bouncer at the Dream Waltz broke it up before it could get serious.
“Hey…” Came a darkened voice. Adam peered over, and saw Jamal cracking open his door, “Is she gone?”
“Yeah . The Grudge has left the dwelling.”
“Aw good…” Jamal comes in wearing only his boxers, and carrying an overflowing basket of laundry, “She a fuckin nightmare when she angry. She and Ryo still goin at it?”
“Unfortunately,” Adam nodded, “I heard her yelling in Japanese a few minutes ago.”
“Man, what’s dat guy’s damn problem?? Does he REALLY think I been fuckin ’round with Yuri??”
“I don’t know, I don’t understand angry Nihongo.”
“I mean, c’mon,” Jamal scoffed/shrugged/shook his head, “I might be a super-freak in bed, but she prolly freeze my dick off if I try anything!”
“If not lop it off with a scalpel.”
“And after all that prissy lecturing about me and Merrick fighting on the cruise.” Adam grumbled, “I think they’re just going to be fine, Yuri’s just very flustered, and Ryo’s getting crushed by his long-time crush.”
“What bout you though?” Jamal asked, “You doing ok?”
“…” Adam sighs, “I miss him. Like, a lot.”
“You not having any suspicions like Ryo is, are you?”
“Oh please,” Adam scoffed, “He’s already had you.”
“Hey, so did you, yo.”
“Yeah,” Adam got up to go to the kitchen, “After you accidentally tripped your cock into his mouth!” He brings a sudden spank onto Jamal’s concealed ass.
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