Chapter 65: Cold Salvation
The Piscien Noitas of the Kenovani pod, the Holsien Noitas of Olaroc’s clan of reptiles, and the unbeknownst Amnien Noitas on the other side of the Sazae Graveyard all wave and dance smoothly in their movements to bring the tide of the ocean up to an unnatural level of height.
The otter Noita and her half-bear daughter focus as they find difficulty in this cast and craft under the untrue evening of the eclipse. This Noita has sensed the presence of a familiar aura – the son of an ally of theirs, belonging to Noita Umiato of the Piscien merfolk. Though what he could be doing here, of all places, when she can’t sense any Piscien pod anywhere nearby, is anyone’s guess, but doing a friend a favor by bringing the ocean high enough to safely bathe him during a Black Sun is the least she can do for an old friend.
And then there’s another reason for her being here and doing this. She senses the soul of another familiar merfolk. A very young soul. Too young to be out here all-alone instead of here, with his original family, yet is legally obligated to no longer be with them.
For old time’s sake, and for the fact that he was exiled for such a trivial reason, Noita Rayette feels she must do everything in her power to help prevent an unfair transformation for poor, little Arnaav.
“Almost there…” Samudra says as he glares at the tippy top of the graveyard. The surface has just enveloped the very last of the mountain of shells, and now they await for any further length of which they can exploit to come in – ideally, once under the water, anyone should be safe.
The water inches up ever so slightly, reaching further up, before the very tip of the Graveyard touches the surface.
Samudra, Olaroc, and Ebba swim swiftly upward to the deadly field of the shells of eternal sleep.
“I will return swiftly.” Triton Bertone pushes his mighty arms as the polar bear merman jets up to the Sazae Graveyard, past his casting Noita and Adra, and up to summit of the Graveyard.
“C’mon, it’s still safe to see, gurl.” Jamal says, “Why I gotta put on these weird-ass glasses?”
“So you don’t fry your eyeballs out, Dummy.” Yuri says as she reaches up, and yanks those goggles down, “Quit taking them off already!”
“I STILL don’t git how’s an eclipse supposed to make me blind.”
“Just something about the umbral rays of the moon amplified by the position or seeing the peek of the sun when the moon moves to the side.”
“Psssh, yeah right, you don’t know either.”
“Oh, shut up before I rearrange your entrails.” Yuri growled before she turned around, “ADAM, HURRY UP, YOU’RE GONNA MISS IT!!” She bellowed. Moments later, Adam comes trotting over to the back porch with his two roommates, holding onto his pair of specialized goggles.
“Alright, alright, I’m here.” Adam puts on his eclipse goggles, and walks beside them.
They look with awe at the large black circle in the sky. Despite being 2 O’clock in the afternoon, everywhere in sight looks as though it’s 2 O’clock in the morning. It’s so dark outside, and the sky looks so thick with ebony, and yet there isn’t a single star in the sky, not a tiny spec of white in the darkness.
“So,” Yuri said, “Mermaid question, Adam.”
“If merfolk find their love during a Lunar Eclipse, do they find their worst enemy under a Solar Eclipse?”
“No, not really. Something does happen though.”
“Oh, right!” She said, “They turn into a mutant or something, right?”
“Yeah, only if they’re out of the ocean though.” Adam answers, “When I was at the Agency, they showed me the corpse of a Gorgon that they found in Greece – just like Medusa, you know?”
“Wow, you’re kidding.”
“They even made me look in the eyes…” Adam frowned. Yuri turns with a shocked look.
“Oh my God, they did not!” She exclaimed.
“Weren’t you turned to stone, man?!” Jamal asks as he shoved Adam around to see him.
“No, I wasn’t, but I WAS paralyzed for a couple of hours or so.”
“Oh Adam, I’m so sorry,” Yuri pouts as she gives Adam a hug.
“It’s fine, I’m ok, and they actually told me I took it better than most.” They parted, and Adam continued, “Merrick also said he once saw a flock of bird-like merfolk that used to be Amnien mermaids. He says it’s very unpredictable as to what a merperson would become if they are unlucky enough to end up on the surface during an eclipse.”
“I’m sure he aight,” Jamal said.
“Who said I was worried?” Adam asked as he turned to look at Jamal.
“No one. You just one big wusseh!” Jamal commented with a playful smirk.
“Well fuck you, rat bastard!” Adam laughed as he came over and started smacking the big guy around.
“Ugh, I swear,” Yuri leans on the railing, “Am I the only mature one here?” Here is a rare event in the sky where the moon blocks out the sun, and casts a part of the world in a colossal shadow, and all these two numbskulls can do about it is insult and wrestle each other?
“No…” Ebba covers her mouth as her eyes glimmer with tears, “This cannot be…”
“We are too late…” Olaroc says with his head bowed down.
“Merrick… I am sorry…” Samudra sighs as his stomach feels a grave sinking deep inside him.
Before the three merfolk, within the shallow, heated area, is now being cooled by a large formation of glittering ice. The white mass of crystal has almost encased the entire spiral shell of which it had been placed. Waves of warm and cold waft invisibly in the water as they look at the huge patch of frozen entity before them.
“Is that really… Him?” Samudra asks with a heavy heart.
“Yes…” Ebba nods sadly, “That is truly him… His link to me is within…” She can barely hold herself from sobbing.
“Why ice? …?” Samudra asked, in a sort of way to distract himself from the tragic truth if only for a moment.
“His mother is Umiato, of the Arctic Veil merfolk,” Olaroc says, “From the icy waters of the North. Under the Black Sun, his mother’s blood must have reacted, and come to the surface of his whole being.” He explained drearily.
“And Arnaav…” Samudra mumbled to Ebba, “He is also…”
“Yes…” Ebba places her hand upon the neutral temperature of the shell before the beautiful shapeless tower of ice, “He is just beyond the…” She sniffles and continues, “I cannot say for certain if he has transformed too, but…” White, shimmering wisps dance from her eyes, “I need to hope that… He is at least well…”
“Hello?” Comes a deep voice. They turn to look, and see a large, white and fluffy merman pad from behind the crystalized shell, “I am Triton Bertone, of the Amnien merfolk.” He holds his trident up for the traditional salute of the tritons, but pauses as he sees the sadness in their eyes. “I apologize, I… I do not understand, what…”
“Why are you here?” Samudra asks as he closes his eyes.
“My mate… My Noita has sensed the presence of two familiar auras on top of this Sazae Graveyard.” Bertone explained, “One…” He takes what seems like a bracing inhale, before continuing, “Former member of our pod, and… The son of an ally of ours. We thought we could… Help.” Bertone loses his feeling motivation as he looks at these merfolk.
“Hmph,” Samudra scoffed as he glances at the polar bear merman, ‘So this was his Triton, eh?’ He thinks to himself, “Even as Arnaav was banished for something as trivial as playing with a infantile human, you would simply come and rescue him, just like that?” He asked with a cynical glance.
“Not everyone who looks upon a Coshiton sees a plague of nothingness, Holsien.” Bertone answered as he feels a chip in his own chest, “He was far too young to leave us…”
“Well, even so…” Olaroc intervened, “This Arnaav should be well enough. However… This ally of yours, no doubt you are looking for an Adra Triton by the name of Merrick, are you not?”
“Yes. My mate says he would be here.”
“Look to your left, and you shall find him.” Olaroc said to him. Triton Bertone does so, and furrows his brow as he touches the freezing wall of ice before him. A faint glimmer comes from ice sculpture, before he gasps silently, before looking to the others.
“No… You are not saying-”
“We tried…” Ebba sobbed as she covered her face, “We tried to save them… We have already lost too many on this sun…”
“No…” Triton Bertone looks with aggrieved eyes as he presses his large paw onto the ice, “Oh Kaiken…”
“Merrick was banished from his pod long ago.” Samudra spoke up. Bertone looks at him with disbelief, “For the crime of mating with a human male. Merrick and Arnaav were with me…” Samudra closes his eyes as he shook his head, “They were MY responsibility… As a Triton, I was supposed to be their leader… Their guardian, their protector as well as my Noita… And now I will have to come to the home of his love, and tell them that he has been lost.”
Bertone sniffled as his free fist rose up, and rubbed one of his eyes, “Merrick and Arnaav were practically brothers, for the short time they have known each other.” Samudra continued, “Ever since Merrick has joined us, he held Arnaav’s hand, protected him, stayed by his side… It is not easy for any sort of merfolk to simply adopt affection and rightful feelings for another, but for Merrick, it just seemed to come easy. He was the only in the pod who treated Arnaav with the sort of nurture a meryin needs.”
“I have only known Merrick a few times,” Olaroc said with a weak smile, “His Sister would always want to come and play with my own children with Merrick… Though my Adras were not so willing to have such a spry mermaid want to push in on their games, Merrick would not refuse her.”
“Yes…” Bertone sobbed as he wipes his eyes, being such a big, emotional lug himself, “I have only met him once… He and his pod helped mine when we were under attack by a few Niseags… That Adra Triton was so brave, like his Father… No, this is not fair…” The polar bear merman grits his teeth as he forces himself to swim to the other three.
“Merrick has endured too much pain in his young age, and held himself for so much blame and responsibility… He placed Arnaav’s needs before his own,” Samudra says as he looks upon the diamond-like formation before them, “And by the grace of the Sea Mother, he turned into a shield of ice to protect Arnaav from the Land Father’s slumber…”
Ebba continued to cry as they looked in despair at the iceberg. The formation has a very elegant curved design to it, as if the goddess of the moon Herself sculpted it. It’s a tribute worthy of such a sacrifice, so much so, that even touching it would feel too much of a gross violation, regarding on how remarkable it is, and for what it stands for. Sadly…
“We are out of time…” Olaroc says, “If we do not move, the toxin of the Sazae will send us into sleep.”
“Yes…” Samudra nods, “Ebba… I trust Arnaav still yet lives?” He asked. The Razirah sniffles, and nods, “And as does Merrick, I am sure… In his new state…” He takes a deep, mournful breath as he takes up his trident, “The Waves of Fate truly are cruel, are they not…”
“Wait, stop!” Bertone puts his strong arm onto Samudra’s weapon, “You are not going to-”
“We must.” Samudra answered, “Arnaav yet lives. Merrick gave himself to protect him. As much as it pains me to do this, and please believe me…” Samudra gently pushes that huge paw off of his trident, “It breaks my heart to do this…”
“In order to save at least one young life,” Olaroc says as he drifts forward, “We must destroy our former comrade…”
“No…” Triton Bertone huffs and pants as he sees the two sea turtles approach the ice statue. He whimpers as he grips his own trident with both paws, and reluctantly paddles his strong legs along with them, “Kaiken… Your Son was…” He mumbled with great sorrow, “The finest Piscien I have ever seen…”
“Ebba… Please stay…” Samudra called to her, “Arnaav will need warmth once he is free.” Ebba nods as she turns away, and faces the open water as the three mermen corner the magnificent crystal tower.
“Triton Merrick, my friend…” Samudra raises his trident up as he aims it, “Forgive me…” He shakes his head of the tears misting from his eyes, “I have failed you…”
The solid, three pronged weapon then SLAMMED right into the ice! Shards and chunks of ice break from the mass of ice. Ebba flinches from the harsh cracking and demolishing taking place behind her. She huffs and covers her ears to try and block out the noise of destruction. Please just let it be over soon…
“Ghh! HHHhhh!” Bertone weeps as he hammers his trident into the cracking of the massive ice. It’s so thick and solid. With every strike he deals to the crystal, he feels as though he’s ripping Merrick’s very soul apart. He wishes he can just turn back around and leave to his pod so he wouldn’t have to desecrate the remains of such a young and worthy merman.
Olaroc grunts as he works his heavy, armored arms into his trident, and crush into the ice beneath him. ‘It’s truly a shame…’ Olaroc hammers into the deep freeze, driving the sharp ends of his weapon into berg, and chiseling a heavy chunk off and away from the mass, ‘Son really liked you, Adra Merrick… You should have seen the look of sadness my son had on his face when he learned that you were banished.’ He wipes a smidge of ice dust floating near his eye as he tightens his grip, and stabs into the ice some more, ‘I wonder if Kaiken will still pretend that you no longer matter, even after learning how you ended…’ Olaroc scowled as he focused a sense of anger into his digging, ‘Honestly… How so much compassion as yourself has somehow spawned from such a superficial merman such as your father, is far beyond me!’ More large shards break and shatter as Olaroc drills his trident into the ice.
Samudra grimaces as he forces his weapon into the jagged ditch of the ice. He can practically hear the screams of agony from the inanimate ice as the three Tritons pummel and strike sway at the ice, ‘I am sorry, Merrick… I am so sorry…’ Free tears swim from his eyes as he works his trident at several different angles. Merrick was so scared, was so young… And Vanora, she said she can see a whole tapestry of darkness and misery inside of Merrick on the first time they have met… To have to exist with a hurricane inside one’s heart, and yet function as if nothing is hindering them…
He can already see himself walking upon the beach, with each heavy step, onto the human’s dwelling… To Adam’s house. He can imagine Adam’s face consumed in horror as Samudra tells him is lover has been reduced to a pile of shards in a graveyard of giant slugs. Adam holds his own face as he falls to his knees, and cries hysterically as he feels his heart break inside him. To lose the only person you give your heart to in a tidal crash of happenstance… To say that he changed and died bravely is of very little comfort in the wake of loss.
As the three Tritons dig and break into the ice, the chip away at the thick crystalized water, and see a glimmer of blue/aqua color in what looks like large, leaf-like plates of pitch-black flake. They reach in, and break off small plates of ice, and see the flakey blackness of the strange new substance.
“What…” Triton Bertone plucks at the flakey leaves, only for the flimsy material to break apart just from a light touch. Trying to grab a firmer grasp, or scoop, really, the polar bear soon infects the immediate area with a tiny flurry of black snow, glimmering in the low light with beautiful bluish-cyan sheen, “I do not understand…”
“His father was a Navyn Tail merman,” Olaroc told them, “That is the essence of the other half of his being.”
“Let us continue,” Samudra said, already feeling his body to be heavier than it was. The three males nod, and they continued to chip and chisel away at the ice. The force of each stab and hammer breaks and scatters the flakes in a rather bothersome blizzard of flake. Each merman now breathes in shallow gulps, as to not inhale any of the Navyn flakes.
Olaroc chips and forces his weapon down further. He huffs and growls as he jams his weapon down with force, breaking more and more ice, and then-
His eyes widen as his trident suddenly sinks into something else.
---One Hour Ago---
Taci tilts his head as he looks upon Merrick. His body is twitching and writhing, all the while turning pale, very light blue, even, before Merrick stops moving altogether. His thin, fairy-like wings shake as the insect gives a shiver, before they zap up, and he buzzes down to his former companion.
The bug drops down, and looks unto Merrick’s face. His eyes are still open, but he doesn’t seem to be awake. His whole form is covered in a thin layer of frost, growing like a rapid white moss over his being. Small crackling noises can be heard as the ice can visually be seen growling along Merrick’s flesh, climbing and gradually consuming his hands while his blonde hair turns into shiny, pale yellow as it turns into a brilliant silver fleece.
The insect waves his shiny, twig-like arm over his face, but Merrick gives no response. The insect pouts as his wings wilted with empathy. Buzzing sadly, Taci picks up one of the decorative scales piled onto Merrick’s frozen body – which are sparkling white beautifully, despite the fact that there isn’t any light for them to reflect, they’re even vibrating ever so slightly.
In a last-stitch tribute for the sake of respect for placing Arnaav into the shell, Taci arranges the scales around the Piscien’s naked human body. He places one onto Merrick’s forehead, onto his chin, a few over each pec, around his stomach, a few elegantly lined alone his arms, and down his legs, a couple over his genitals.
He arranges the scales in a sort of symbolic array on and around Merrick. It’s not much, but at least they look like pretty black jewels around him. Taci lifts another scale up, before it started to spark and vibrate madly.
“EErrrraarrtt?!” The insect spazzes out, and drops the scales he was holding. The scales were all spitting tiny dots of fire as they crackled and warped, biting on every inch of Merrick’s body.
In a fit of panic, Taci flies away as black and ice start to creep and engulf Merrick, twisting his body as it grew like a mound of crystalline soil.
“STOP!!!” Olaroc shouted. Samudra and Bertone cease their forceful digging, and look to the blue and white sea turtle.
“What, Brother?” Samudra asks. Ebba turns to see the sudden interruption.
“Look here…” Olaroc points to the end of his trident, where it seems to be leaking a dark fluid. Bertone swims around, and puts his nose towards the dark mist around the area. Olaroc pulls his trident out of its spot, and thus letting more of the substance out.
Bertone sniffs the new liquid dancing slowly in the water, before looking up to them, “It is blood… Of a fish…”
All three paused before Samudra takes his trident up, and SLAMS it into an upper part of the ice! Bertone places his trident aside, and starts to grab and break apart the ice with his bare paws, while Olaroc does as his brother does, and breaks apart the ice in huge chunks.
The polar bear merman brushes and shreds the large black ashes forcefully, until he pushed his fingers into them, grasped something soft and cold. He quickly pushed away the other flakes, almost making a cloud of black dust, until he felt a smaller webbed hand on his huge paw, with his other paw on an arm, “HURRY!”
The two turtle Tritons keep digging and shoving, making haste before they realized the boundary of the black flake. They all started to dig and pad away into the pile. Olaroc replaces and pushes around the flakes until he can make out a glinting silver key with a heart-shaped jewel at the center of it. Bertone pants as he pushes through the layers of shiny black paper, and he eventually pulls his paws at a thick tail with frilly membranes on either side. Samudra scoops several handfuls of flake away, until he was able to see a face. His heart pounds as he blows the flake away, until he sees a sleeping blue face with a pearlescent sheen with a field of sharp fins on the top head.
“By the Sea Mother…!” Ebba gasps as the three Tritons pull Merrick from the ashes. His eyes closed and otherwise dormant, his head slowly bows down, his arms hang on either side with his left arm issuing a dark red mist from a deep puncture wound, his tail drifts away from the hole of flake and ice.
Bertone looks into the cavern, and gasps as he sees the small otter merman. He reaches in, and picks up the small, fuzzy boy, shivering in the sheer cold.
“He is…” They inspect him, from head to tailfin. No spikes, no wings, no grotesque anomaly of any sort. Faint red marks are over his body, including a few shriveled spots on his fins. They hold him in their arms as he remains comatose in dreamless sleep, before Ebba comes to them, and places a hand firmly onto his chest, and then over to his gills.
“He is not breathing,” Ebba says, “We must get him to the Noita!”
“Let us hurry! We can still save him!” Olaroc and Samudra take Merrick by each arm over their necks, and swim swiftly away.
“Amnien Triton,” Ebba says as she turned around, “You-” She stopped before she could say anything. She lowers her hand as she looks upon the other two Amniens.
Triton Bertone weeps as he holds the meryin in his huge arms, burying the boy within the confines of his very thick white fur. Holding Arnaav this close, he can feel every shake the little one makes. He pushes his face onto Arnaav’s head, snuggling close.
“I thought I would never see you again…” Bertone whimpered as he holds him close, “I thought I had lost you to the sea…” He sobs as he holds his son as tight as he could without crushing him.
“Wait, then he is…” Ebba asked lowly. Bertone, having heard her through his sniffling, nods as he holds Arnaav closer, “But he never said he was… He only said-”
“He was far… Far too young to know… He did not understand anything…” Bertone sobbed, “He did not listen when he was given the chance…”
Complete darkness is only visible. Black and silence.
A faint humming can be heard from outside. Lines and specs of light flow through unseen openings and holds, littering onto a few shiny surfaces. The humming gets louder as the small lights shine brighter and brighter.
The light in the dead center of the dark wall cracks a centimeter larger, before a horizontal light draws all around the dark space. The line widens and opens up by the pearly white hands of a beautiful white mermaid.
The sphere of light around the chest dissipates as the caster accesses the old treasure chest. Savarna pushes the two corners of the chest’s lid upward, until it is fully opened, and the many ancient riches revealed in their musty residence.
“Very well then,” Adra Savarna mumbles, “Which shall I talk with me to the…” She ponders as her eyes looks here and around the pile of gold and jewels, until she spots something completely different from the hoard of treasure: a very small scallop shell with a black symbol upon it – what looks like letter that looks like 7-pointed star drawn of 4 lines and 2 dashes.
She gives a light gasp as she instantly sees the aura of her own brother imbedded to the shell, inside and out. The black kanji symbol wisps of a human aura, but it’s more or less overpowered by that of the energy of her kin.
“What…” Her dainty hand picks up the small shell, and she holds it delicately with both hands.
Her mouth eventually turns into a weak smile, before her fingers softly close around the shell, and she brings it to her chest.
“He is alive…” A gentle sense of joy starts to pleasantly flow into her as she takes this small moment to at least relish this unexpected sentiment, “You are alive…” Savarna mumbles, “Brother… I hope you are… Please be safe…”
“Nnnnhh… Hhhh…” Merrick groans as his eyes peer open, very slightly. Every part of him aches, he can feel himself shaking, trembling everywhere on his body. His vision blurs as he can eventually make out his own hand, down to this blue fingertips. He bids his fingers to move, and they give an obligated twitch.
As Merrick’s webbed fingers curl into his palm, he can soon determine that his body is pressing down upon the cool sand of the ocean, while also feeling a dying sting receding within his other arm. He winces as his body tenses in an attempt to move, but finds that he’s too weak for even a shift.
“They really were just minor fire marks,” Says a familiar female voice, “They erase almost as instantly as I heal them. Same as his tailfin.”
“Is there nothing we can do to cleanse them of the Sazae toxins?” Asked a familiar deep voice.
“No, we are not in the area for any animal or plant that may perish the poison. Merrick and Arnaav will have to let their bodies filter themselves.”
Merrick clenches his eyes as he gives a harsh groan.
“Oh, he is awake!”
“Merrick, you mean?”
“Unnhh…” Merrick groans again as he tries to manage a few deep breathes. His insides feel so painful and solid, which is why he’s determined that he shouldn’t even move right now.
“Merrick, are you here?” Comes a voice, “Are you awake? Do you understand me??”
“Where…” Merrick moans, “Where am I… I feel so cold and… My stomach feels almost sharp…”
“You are recovering from a vicious sleep,” He soon remembers the face of Vanora as he hears it overhead, “As I can see, you have not sustained anything that I cannot heal.”
“What… I do not understand…”
“You and Arnaav were trapped on the top of a Sazae Graveyard. Did you not know?”
“What…” Merrick feels so dizzy and confused, “What is a Sazae… And what graveyard… I was not in any…”
“I thought so,” She continued, “You do not know of Sazaes… We will tell you later,” She said.
“Yes,” Vanora said, “You were-”
“Arnaav,” Merrick grunts and whines as he tries to push himself up, “Where is Arnaav… I need to find him… I tried to protect him, where is Arnaav-”
“Stop, keep calm!” Vanora pushes Merrick down, making him struggle, “He is well! I assure you!” Merrick settles down reluctantly, still hurting badly in the inside as he can feel the healing energies still trying to thaw his body, “He was protected. You were able to cover him. He is well, but he is dormant.”
Merrick’s eyes feebly open as he endeavors to force himself aware. Slowly, his blurry vision allows him to make out a rather large, white mass that is adorned with various gear of shells and kelp.
“Nnhh… Tr… Triton…”
“That is Triton Bertone.” Vanora said, “While you above the surface, I along with Daughter, and Noita Shazde and Adra Bauru tried to raise the tide. Soon, Noita Rayette and her daughter came to assist. We soon found you, with Arnaav hidden inside a shell.”
“The…” Merrick mumbles, “Black Sun… I was… So cold…”
“You had undergone… Transformation…” Vanora said, “And yet, you are you right now.”
“I… I duh…”
“Just rest.” Vanora said. “Be still. You have done enough.”
Triton Bertone turns, and swims to Merrick, swooping slowly down to be level with him, “Is he?”
“Yes.” Vanora nods, “He is awake, but very weak.” Merrick whines as moving his hand is still the best he can manage.
“Hah… You have grown so much, Merrick.” Bertone smiles, “You were half your size the last time I saw you; when you blinded that Alpha Niseag in both eyes at your Father’s behest.”
“I… Remember…” Merrick groans. He looks up with weary eyes, “Is… Arnaav safe… Where is he…”
“He is here,” Bertone gently moves, and places the small otter child onto Merrick’s side. Merrick groans as he moves his arm over, and gently touches the sleeping boy on the cheek.
“Arnaav…” Merrick’s eyes feel misty as he sees the small, fuzzy chest inflate, and lower in his sleep, “You are alive… You are still here…” He smiles as his cold chest begins to feel a warm flood of emotion.
“I can go home…” Merrick smiles as tears shimmer from his eyes, coming to the realization that as far as he can tell, he’s as normal as he’s always been. “I can see Adam…” His chest quivers as he cried silently, “I can go home… Adam… I can see him again…”
Bertone left the boy to sleep by Merrick, and swim up to the others.
“Thank you for your assistance, Brother, Noita Shazde and Adra Bauru,” Samudra turned his gaze upon the otter Noita, “And to you, Noita Rayette, and Adra Aricio.” He nodded to them, “As we Coshitons, you could have turned away and left us behind, but I am very grateful to be in your debt on this sun.”
“We thank you for taking in and protecting our precious…” Rayette sighs as she shakes her head. Technically, she is no longer supposed to call Arnaav by who he is to her, “We thank you, for protecting him.”
“I suppose you will…” Samudra looks, and is curious to see his brother holds his own trident in one hand, with his other hand onto the shaft of his trident, and holding it out. After a moment, Samudra gives an emotional smile as he took his trident, and held it in the same fashion and touched the tridents in an X fashion.
“I, Triton Olaroc of the Holsien merfolk, greet you peacefully, in the name of Guardian Kraken.” He said.
“And I, Triton Samudra, of the Kenovani pod, greet you peacefully, in the name of the Sea Guardians.” He turns to Triton Bertone as he holds up his own weapon.
“As well as I, Triton Bertone, of the Amnien merfolk, greet you peacefully, in the name of Guardian Charybdis. So let it be.”
On that night, all three pods are on the surface, in reverence of the full moon illuminating the sky. Upon the stony tops of the Tower Trenches, every mermaid in attendance sings beautifully into the clear sky. The females lend their melodies all around in an oceanic chorus to the full white circle up on high, and also for a more melancholy reason.
“On the sun of this very moment of life, we have lost five of our brothers and sisters, in our small pod of outcasts and loners.” Samudra said to everyone in a ceremonial circle. The other leaders of the pod are here as well to pay their respects for the fallen merfolk.
“Karkos, of the Cage-Heart Crab merfolk, now passed; we will be at a loss without his inventive mind. Ehecatl, of the Dugong merfolk, now passed. As caring as she was hurt, her service to our younger members will always be remembered.”
Merrick and sits with his head bowed as the names of the deceased are announced in a small eulogy “Myles of the Sting Fang Lizard merfolk, now passed,” Vanora says next, “He fought bravely in our struggles – I will never again meet as tough and ready a merman as he. Inciro of the Dusk Fish merfolk, now passed. I am sorry that his dream of battling his rivals in combat will never come to fruition.”
“And Taci, of the Meko Shark merfolk, now changed,” Ebba finishes, “Though he sought to change the course of his life, to redeem the sins of his past, the Land Father’s dreams has thus evolved him to an unknown form. Where ever he may be, may we pray that he finds the redemption that he seeks in his new life.”
“And let us thank the Sea Mother,” Vanora says, “For seeing our survival through. For giving each and everyone of us new chances and new paths in this life from the very grace of Her life and light. And know that our fallen companions now dwell in the Shores of Light, to forever watch over their loved ones in the gracious winds and waters of fate and reality.”
Every mermaid in the pods sing their hearts and souls into the air, to the full moon, to give thanks to the Shining Sea Mother Atargatis, to give mourn to those the Kenovani has lost.