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“We have to stun it! Keep it from reaching the others!” Savarna orders. A few hunters swim swiftly around the ravenous Relic Rockfish — an ancient species of fish that are due to sleep for decades at a time, and become full of rage and blood thirsty when awoken from an outside source.
“If we cannot lull it, we must drain it of its blood until it stops!” Brishen says as he stabs a scaled knife into the enraged behemoth, “Noita Savarna, your healing will need to be quick!”
“No!” Savarna acknowledged, “We must try not to harm it! I will try to ease its rage with the cold!” Before she finished her sentence, a flow of frost already pours and races from her hands and from her staff. The Relic Rockfish thrashes around its restraints, the giant specimen shaking the very reef that surrounds them.
“Noita Savarna!” A mermaid screams as rocks begin to shift and crumble above them. Savarna’s eyes lock onto the moving rocks, just before shards of glowing ice spontaneously grow and form to freeze the rocks into place. More rocks start to lower from the forceful struggles of the beast, prompting more glances from the Noita and freezing the crack solid just from her stares.
“What?!” Savarna turns, and gasps as she sees a white and black merman swipe and flip in the water against several monstrous eels, “Nalcious Eels?! THIS close?!”
“There is a school of them! The Guardian will not come to my call!” Cotei shouts as he cuts and spin in melee.
“Not good…” Savarna growls, “We have not even arrived yet!”
“Mother! Watch out!” Comes a young voice as a small trident strikes onto the gaping maw of the Relic Rockfish.
“SON! Get back to the others!” Savarna panics at an Arctic Veil merman, “It is not safe!!”
“It was going to devour you, Mother!” Tenshi says as he tries to hold the large creature.
“Do not hurt it, Son! Get back NOW!”
“AH!” Tenshi’s trident snaps in half just as he gets back. The creature charges forward at the small Adra.
“Get DOWN!” Comes a sudden voice. A blue and silver blur races around them, and knocks the Relic Rockfish to the side by sheer momentum of the water. Savarna gasps as the newcomer rings out a strange echoing sound, stopping the Relic Rockfish in its place, “ARNAAV! The poison!”
“I’m on it!!” Says a quick flash of gleaming orange rolls forth, glimpsing what appears to be spike-like barbs jabbing at specific spots between the slabs of stone on the fish’s body.
“Theros Arnaav! Left and right!” Calls a young turtle merman as he shields himself. The one with the orange scale turns into the water, withdrawing into a tight-fit crouch before an eel assaults him with its teeth. A blade shoots from under the small fortress and rips into the eel’s mouth. A three-pronged spear flies through the water and slays the other eel on Arnaav’s area.
“Brother! Do not harm it! That is a Relic Rockfish!” Savarna yells as she freezes an eel to a cavernous wall with her icy glare.
“I know!” Merrick says as he takes his a barb from his gear, and stabs into the Relic Rockfish’s mouth.
“What are you doing?!” Cotei asked as he sees wisps of blood around the creature.
“Quick, remove the barbs immediately!” Merrick tells Cotei, “And do not let them cut you!”
“Do as he says, Brother!” Savarna says as she swims quickly out of the cave. She sees several Nalcious eels, and a handful of different merfolk swimming about fighting them. “Brother, Little Brother has not been able to summon Guardian Leviathan.”
“It is already within the domain, it will not hear us. There are not many eels left.”
“Are you serious?! Look at them all!” Savarna says out loud.
“Naomi! Now!” Merrick says as he swims with a strange, delicate crystal.
“Yes!” Says a flash of a mermaid as she swoops in and takes the crystal from Merrick’s hand. She smashes the item with her hand, and released a steady, melodious cry from both the shards and her voice. Immediately, the mermaid creates a spiraling vortex that drifts rabidly with her. The Nalcious eels are instantly drawn to the sound of the white aurora, as if they are being called, “Noita Nerissa!”
“Now,” The blue and yellow mermaid flares with glowing yellow spikes, and goes into a raging tackle into the thin horde of eels. The blades of light shred into the fiendish creatures in one fell swoop, while several other members of the Kenovani and the other Piscien merfolk nearby dispatch the stragglers.
“What… WAS that?” Savarna asked, awestruck.
“Contained resonance.” Merrick says, “Freezing and trapping the call of several mermen, and then tempered by ice.”
“I have never heard of such a thing, Brother.”
“Mother!” Adra Tenshi swims quickly to the both of them, followed closely by Cotei, “The Relic Rockfish! I-It’s starting to fade!”
“It is?? Brother, you said poison…” Savarna turns to him, “You did not…”
“Ask Theros Arnaav, those barbs Brother is holding are his tools.” Merrick says as illegal bahis he indicates the sharp spiral-shells he’s holding.
“Theros?” Savarna asks as she sees the otter merman comes to them, wearing many orange tear-shaped scales around his body, much like samurai armor. “You. Did you poison the Relic Rockfish??”
“Yes, with Sazae toxin.” Arnaav says as he takes the used barb-like shells, “It is not lethal unless ingested in enormous quantities; it is a poison of sleep.” He puts the barbs away, “One of our members is plagued with random outrages, so we must dose him with the toxin when it strikes.”
“You utilize Sazae toxin?” Cotei asked, “How can you even manage to get near one without falling asleep?”
“With tedious difficulty.” Arnaav frowns with his short arms crossed.
“The battle is over, I see?” Asks Syrinx, swimming up to them with a handful of the other scouts and otherwise non-combatants, along with their Razirah.
“I believe so.” Triton Hecolt tells her, “Are all of you safe?”
“Yes. Not one of us are injured.” Syrinx answered, “Where is Sabrina?? Did she make it??”
“I am here, Mother.” Says a smaller mermaid, armed with a spear and double-edged dagger. This one holds an orange-yellow coloration of her body with a slender whale-like tail and a short unicorn horn on her head as she comes to Syrinx.
“Thank you for intervening.” Savarna says, “I feared we were going to have to harm it after all.”
“What made the Relic Rockfish rampage in the first place?” Merrick asked as Brishen came up to them, “Did your brilliant Theros get brave again?”
“Yes. I challenged a sleeping and revered and vulnerable creature just when we are about to enter the most sacred sanctuary of all Piscien merfolk.” Brishen says with a dulled leer.
“I had a feeling you would.” Merrick smirked.
“By the Sea Mother, Merrick!” Brishen exclaims.
“Several Lava Prawns tried to make a cave out of the Relic Rockfish’s body. Their heated venom is what made it thrash.”
“Excuse me, but…” Comes a voice. Savarna looks, and then gasps quietly. The mermaid from before that took the fragile crystal Merrick is approaching them. This mermaid’s form shimmers all around her white, cloak-like fins and body. Savarna drifts closer to her, reaching carefully as she looks at this mermaid’s sapphire blue eyes.
“Who… Are you?” Savarna asked. The mermaid before her is no doubt a female Arctic Veil, but looking at her, it’s as if she’s… Looking through time itself, “Who are you? You resemble exactly like…”
“Sister.” Merrick puts a hand onto Savarna’s shoulder. He smiles at her before he swims around and behind the Arctic Veil, “I thought she may shock you, given her appearance. It has been so many years since I… Since I wanted her to meet you…”
“Who is she, Brother?”
“Sister…” Merrick rubs the mermaid’s arms tenderly, “Her name is Naomi. And…” Merrick’s heart beats mercilessly with anticipation, “I want you to meet my Daughter.”
“Your Daughter???” Savarna asked with shock, “You have a child, Brother?!”
“I have waited so long to meet you, Noita Savarna.” Naomi says to her, giving a formal bow.
“H-How is that possible??” Savarna asked, “Are you not mated to a man, Brother??”
“The humans have their ways, Sister.” Merrick says with a smile.
“I have always wanted to meet you all.” Naomi said, “But Father never wanted me to go far from the land, in fear of the ocean, even when he goes to the Kenovani.”
“Naomi…” Cotei says as he circles her, completely amazed, “Forgive me for staring, but you look exactly like… OUR Mother…” He said with awe, “Except the eyes.” Cotei smiles with wonder as he looks at her deep and vivid royal blue eyes. “You have my Father’s eyes.”
“Are you my… Uncle?” Naomi says with word in a very strange way — merfolk have no such terminology.
“Your what?” Cotei asked with a raised brow, not entirely sure how to pronounce that.
“It is a word the humans use for the brother of a parent.” Naomi explained, “The word for the sister of a parent is known as an ‘Aunt'”
“We merfolk are few in any pod.” Savarna says, “We practically never have enough brothers and sisters to create such words. But how is it that we never met? I see she is 16 years of age. Why wait so long, Brother?”
“Naomi is part human… I was afraid how any of you would react… Even a few of the Kenovani see her as… I’d rather not say…” Merrick says.
“That is absurd, Brother.” Savarna says as she looks at the coy mermaid before her.
“And besides, I couldn’t risk you breaking the Sacred Laws for talking to her for being part human.”
“And what of Grandmother?” Naomi asked, “You were saying that I look like her… Is she here?”
“Yes, I am here.” They turn and smile as they see Umiato swim slowly up to them. Merrick looks his head up, and smiles with endearing relief as he sees her, “Here, come closer to me, child.” She gestures. Naomi obeys and floats to her. Naomi is significantly shorter and smaller than illegal bahis siteleri Umiato, and her body is much brighter and vivid than the older mermaid; Umiato’s veil-like fins are a lot less reflective than they used to be, and her fins are even withered to a degree. Their eyes are of different colors — Umiato’s eyes are silver while Naomi’s are blue.
“Astounding…” Umiato says as she strokes Naomi’s cheek, “I dare say I am looking into a mirror through time, with my Son’s eyes looking back upon me.”
“Whoa…” Adra Tenshi says as he looks at the both of them; they are virtually identical!
“I sense a peculiar yet familiar presence inside of her,” Umiato comments before she looks to Merrick, “Tell me. Has she inherited more than my appearance?”
“She has power, Mother.” Merrick nods, “She is more or less self-taught, but she holds the blood of a Noita within her.”
“I see. Remarkable…” Umiato says, “With your blessing, Son, I would teach her how to utilize her power while we are here.”
“Do you mean that, Mother??” Merrick asked with surprise.
“I do. Ever since your Brother and his Noita have succeed the pod, I have little else to do than offer seldom requested words.”
“You will truly teach me, Grandmother??” Naomi asked, “W-Will I be able to understand?”
“We will see what you are able to do, and then I will show you what you are able to reach.”
“I would also like to teach you what I know, but I must look over my Pod, Naomi. I will spare what time I have for you.” Savarna tells her.
“Savarna.” Comes a merman swimming to them, holding his trident in his hands. An Arrow Shark merman with shaded teal skin with lines of metallic bronze lines formed around his body and rigid muscular structure, “The Ningyo have cleared and repaired the path.
“Of course, you have met my Triton, Aalton.” Savarna introduced as she holds onto his beefy arm.
“Merrick. Welcome.” The shark merman nodded. “Unless I am mistaken, these other merfolk do not belong here.” He says, indicating the Amniens and Holsiens of the Kenovani, “As a Triton of the Piscien merfolk, I ask that you leave, for you are too close to our Kingdom.”
“The boundary is beyond the cave, Aalton.” Savarna says, “You will have to excuse my mate. He is rather obsessive about firm technicalities. Even more so than Father was.”
“There is nothing obsessive with following the laws.” Aalton states before he turns to the other merfolk, “Coshiton or not, your place is not here.”
“We are all aware, Piscien Triton.” Arnaav tells him, “We of the Kenovani still look after our own, as does your pod. We will leave to go to our Kingdoms.”
“Arnaav.” Merrick says, “You be careful now.”
“Yes, Merrick.” Arnaav smiled as they gripped each other’s forearms before they pull into a tight hug.
“Uncle Arnie,” Naomi says as she comes up to him. The adult otter turns and smiles as she hugs him, “Stay safe, ok?”
“Yes, Naomi. Same to you.” He says as he nuzzles her affectionately before giving a signal to the others.
“Keep your eyes open, Syrinx.” Merrick bids her, “And try not to worry your Mother, Sabrina.” He added with a chuckle.
“Yeah, you still owe us rent, Sabrina.” Naomi says with a smirk as she hugs the other mermaid.
“For a grand total of one month?” Sabrina replies with a playful shove, “I will still need to find a job when we get back home.”
“Let’s go.” Triton Hecolt says, “Sister…” He looks to Nerissa, his half Piscien half Holsien sibling, “Remember what we discussed…”
“I know. You too.”
“Right. Move out.” He ordered the Kenovani, prompting Arnaav, Syrinx, and Sabrina to them as well as the other Coshitons, and called the Capricorn to come with them.
Arnaav peddles his webbed feet as he sets his used barbs aside, before moving his paw onto his chest, and taking the diamond-shaped locket that hangs around his neck. Clicking it open, he smiles as he looks at the small picture of him and his wife — Fumiko having Arnaav on his back in his true form, rubbing his furry tummy.
“I miss Kevin already…” Syrinx says as she and Sabrina swim with him, “He begged us not to go.”
“Yes… I suppose it is hard on all of us who have a mate on land or a different creed.” Arnaav says as he clicks the locket closed.
“The last I heard of you, you two were trying to have a baby, yes?” Syrinx asked him, “Have you…?”
“No. Not yet…” Arnaav shook his head, “I really want to, and so does she…” He sighed sadly, “But you know as well as I do how it is with us merfolk… Breeding his hard enough as it is…”
“Still, your mate is human though.” Syrinx says, “That has to bring your chances up, right?”
“Heh, I suppose…” He purrs sadly, “It’s only been a week, but I feel so lonely without her…”
“Stay strong, Theros.” Syrinx says as she grasps his shoulder clad in the carp-armor, “It is only for a year.”
“Yes…” Arnaav as he clicks the locket closed and tucks it safely back under his armor, “So last I heard, the two of canlı bahis siteleri you were trying to have a baby?” Syrinx asked as she and Sabrina swim next to him.
“We’ve been trying. But you know how it is with us…” Arnaav tells her.
“Humans seem to have a positive effect on our breeding though. Me and Kevin managed just fine with Daughter here.” She said with a smile as Sabrina nudged at her.
“I hope so…” Arnaav nods before they continue onward.
“Speaking of which, what of YOUR Father? My Grandfather…?” Naomi asks.
“He…” Savarna bows her head.
“Oh yes, where is Father?” Merrick asked, “I’ve been very…” He trails off as he notes the sad look on Savarna’s face. He turns to Cotei, who also averts his eyes, “Sister…? Brother…”? Merrick furrows his brow, “Where is Father?”
“Son… I am sorry…” Umiato says.
“Mother, what?” His eyes widen as Umiato covers her eyes as she lowers her head. A blanket of invisible weight sinks into his face as he starts to put the clues together, “What…”
“Father… Brother, I am sorry…” Cotei says as he turns his gaze from his elder sibling. “Father has… He passed on…”
“What? No… No, when was this??” Merrick asked. His insides take a very deep plunge as he looks at the merfolk before him. His face feels a very strange flux of sensations as the solid fact sunk into his brain, “What happened, when did this occur, why didn’t you tell me of this??”
“4 moons ago…” Cotei answers, “His body was not able to grant him strength enough to go on after he fought off a giant Sand Ray. It killed several of our members until we were finally able to stop it… But Father had already given all that he had…”
“Wait… Grandfather is…” Naomi covers her mouth.
“He did what all Tritons are born to do.” Brishen says, “It was an end worthy of him…”
“Brother…” Savarna says as he looks into Merrick’s eyes. His pupils have shrunk as his eyes take on a hollow shade as his mouth remains open. “Brother, say something.”
Merrick takes several breaths as he takes in this sudden news. His Father… Triton Kaiken of the Navyn Bolt merfolk… The one who taught Merrick EVERYTHING to be a Triton… Mercy is for the weak. The Sacred Laws must be abided at all costs. A Triton and Noita both must have the strength to carry those who cannot go on. You have forsaken yourself as well as us. You have erased everything about you. We fight to protect, we fight with all that we have. Age goes not excuse learning. Your first kill is a far better opponent than mine was. Tridents are the extension of our identity as well as our bound and chosen weapon. How long do you intend to dishonor what I have taught you? You may not receive mercy, for you must be the one to give it. You have always had my anger, and your Mother’s compassion will temper your hand. The eyes of the pod’s hierarchy must see past everything before the pod. The Guardians will always come to our call, they will fight to preserve us. Apathy shall not take you. I will not let you disappear.
‘You are my Son.’
“HHH hahh!” Merrick hyperventilates as an icy hand pushes into his chest, Umiato holding his arm.
“Brother!” Savarna comes to him as flashes and racing glimpses race through Merrick’s eyes. His soul is spiraling like a tempest of a narrow sharp pierce of wind and metal drill into his center.
“Father! Father, calm down!” Naomi says, also seeing the intense panic and shock inside of Merrick.
“Merrick, stay strong.” Aalton says as he squeezes his shoulders and arms, “Focus on your breathing.”
“He’s gone… He’s gone…” Merrick whispers with shock, “Why is he gone…? Why is he gone, why did no one tell me??? HHH! HHH! HHH!” He clenches his eyes shut as his insides begin to ring.
“Brother! Remember what he said! Remember what he taught you and I!” Cotei says, sensing Merrick is on the verge of a panic attack, “He taught us we must hold our strength! We have to carry on, keep composed!”
Merrick pants and whines roughly as he forces down the hurt. Naomi watches with estrangement as she sees the needle-like storm of his aura starts to dissolve and twirl like smoking sand, slowly forcing itself into solid nothing.
“I’m fine… I’m ok.” Merrick says as he steadies himself, pushing the information out of his head as they almost surround him. “I am fine… I’m fine… Let’s just go.” His insides feel like a castle of cards — delicate, barely stable, but very shaky.
“I agree.” Aalton says as they start to move.
“Father…” Naomi mutters with a worried tone before she follows them and stays close to him.
The Pisciens return to the ordained entrance of the cave. They pass by the now sleeping rockfish as they go. Naomi observes this strange creature; its flesh is made up of what appears to be rosetta stones and hieroglyphics carved onto his armor-like body, as well as the fins branded with elaborate and pictorial symbols, “Father, what is this thing?”
“That is a Relic Rockfish, Daughter.” Merrick answered, “They are some of what we do to record our history. Every century, when we merfolk gather to our Kingdoms, a Relic Rockfish is hatched, and we carve our most recent events upon the slabs of rock that cover its body.”
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