He defeated her, finally. After all these years trying to get it in her hands, she finally did it, but she was bound to die. Still, she was happy she could stop this farce. She could not afford to burden him any longer. He already has seven daughters to mind—and one of them was a hard-headed mermaid who wouldn't listen to him. He couldn't afford to worry over another pain-in-the-neck mischievous woman like her.
She was dying but she smiled. It was funny. Impossible she thought it was, but now she's actually witnessing it. She never thought this would actually happen, but her life is indeed flashing before her eyes. It comforted her to remember before her last breath that she had not always been this despicable—that she was also once a little mermaid.
A Tragedy Under the Sea
By: Feyerah Klydell Evvs
Chapter 1: My Name
"Duval!" she called, "Duval, wait!"
A throng of young merpeople were swimming lively in the distance. Among them was a young merman who stood out, even from afar. His body was lithe and graceful with every wave of his golden tail. His long light hair, although kept together by a lace of seagrass, bounced softly in the water. In his left arm, he wore a silver armlet adorned with the royal crest which glinted through the deep water.
"D-duval, wait," with a pant, her voice came out weakly. She stopped to catch her breath but when she looked up, the crowd was swimming too far already. It was useless. She couldn't possibly catch up any longer.
Once again, she was reminded that she was just a weakling. Most mermaid her age wouldn't be so easily tired out after swimming a few leagues, but she had always had a small body and a weak heart. She didn't belong with them. Her friend Duval would fit perfectly with that crowd but if she would also try to join them, it would spoil everything.
A weakling. She watched as the group slowly faded into the darkness of the waters, trying to hold back the tears that were attempting their way out. If she cried now, nothing would change. If she cried, no one would come back for her, and she still would not be able to join the banquet.
If she would not cry, it would still be the same. She would still be left there, alone.
Tears ran down her face, and she sobbed. The world was just so unfair to her. She had always wanted to join this banquet more than anyone else, but she did not know where to go since this was her first time in the metropolis. Duval had promised to take her there, but Duval was gone already.
"What are you crying for?" A young merman's voice came from behind her. "Are you so happy you've finally got the chance to enter the metropolis?"
She turned and was surprised to see Duval's handsome smirking face. She was not alone. Duval was here. She jumped and immediately hugged him tight which made Duval stiffen.
"I'm so glad! I'm so glad, Duval!" she squealed in delight, "I really thought you've left me in here alone! I felt so lost for a moment there, I don't know which way to get to the banquet, but you're here!"
"Wha-what are you talking about?" Duval flustered. He could feel her body, and the thought was distracting him. "I-I promised you"—she hugged tighter, and he stiffened all the more—"alright, alright! The banquet is starting in five minutes. He's probably waiting there with his brows knit already. So let's move along."
She let go looking alarmed. "Oh, are we going to be late?" she asked and with a look of horror, she apologized profusely for delaying them.
"Oh dear, I'm so sorry, I couldn't swim fast. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!"
"We aren't late yet, so calm down," he said firmly, which managed to calm her down, but she was still uneasy.
"But you said that the banquet will start in five minutes," she said worryingly. "I-I can't swim that fast."
Duval sighed. He cleared his back by moving his long hair to one side and gestured for her to ride. He figured he should have done this a while ago.
"Who do you think you're with, young lady?" he asked rhetorically as she climbed his back and locked her arms around his neck. "Hold on tight, because you're riding on the fastest merman in the metropolis!"
His parents had already gone ahead and sat at their respective thrones as he paced back and forth behind the throne's curtains. Really, it was supposed to be a banquet for him, he was supposed not to worry about anything, but he could not afford not to worry about those two. How late are they going to be?
"Are they here yet?" his deep voice boomed and the soldiers frantically moved to report.
"Not yet, Your Highness."
The horns sounded, and the page was already announcing his name. He shook his head.
"Really, what could take Duval so long to fetch her?" he asked himself, and then he told the soldiers, "Keep the gates open," as he swam through the curtains and into the throne pedestal where his guests could see him. He had jet black hair and a beautiful glistening tail the color of the sea.
His young, handsome face was regal as he scanned the room with his stern, emerald eyes. At the corner he caught a glimpse of them. She and Duval were waving at him, Duval with his usual confident smile and her with her usual light-hearted grin. She was riding Duval so when she tried to wave higher with enthusiasm, she fell as the hand that she was using to support herself slipped from Duval's shoulder. Good thing Duval was quick to catch her.
He felt relieved at the sight of them. A little bit uneasy, but relieved.
The banquet commenced, and the guests were going about the hall, talking with each other and socializing—the usual sight. He was tired with it, so with a quick word with his father and mother, he went behind the curtains of the throne pedestal. To his surprise, she and Duval were already there, but the guards did not want to allow her to enter the banquet, and Duval was trying his best to explain to the Head Guard that she was a special guest.
"She is our friend, Gatton," Duval said, "My brother especially sent me to invite her. I even have her letter."
"I'm sorry, Your Highness, but we aren't familiar with this lady. Nobody has seen her in the metropolis! Who knows she could be of danger to the Royal Family," the guard replied, "we are only doing this for the Royal Family, it is our duty. Take her away."
With that, two guards yanked her arm to her back carelessly and she cried out in response.
Unable to bear it any longer, he yelled, "Stop! I asked for her to come, she is a friend of Prince Duval's and mine."
Head Guard Gatton paused and then said in a low voice, "This lady is suspicious, Your Highness."
Angered by Gatton's insistence, he said in his loud voice, "Do you mean to say that I do not know my friends? She is a personal acquaintance! I am Prince Triton. Who are you to judge my friends, Gatton, especially when you've known them no longer than I do?"
Gatton fell silent. He stared at the mermaid, then at Prince Duval, and then at Prince Triton whose emerald eyes were focused on him. He said to his subordinates flatly, "Release her."
"Release her with care. She is fragile and weak, unlike most mermaid her age," Triton commanded firmly. They did as he bid. Duval came to her and asked if she was fine, she nodded, but her eyes were lined with silver, and she was biting her lips.
Gatton bowed and put his left hand over his chest, "Please accept my sincerest apologies. It has been rude of me, Your Highnesses."
"Apologize to the lady, Gatton. My brother and I weren't the ones treated improperly," Prince Duval said.
Gatton's eyes shot at her. He still thought of her as a threat, in more ways than one, but he bowed, and said, "Please accept my apologies, milady. It has been very rude of me."
Gatton didn't mean this apology. After this, the mermaid would be sure to flaunt and boast her relationship with the princes and then insult him for being rude. Every guest was like that. An apology would be useless, but he had to say it. Instead, he would not mean it, so it would hurt less when he got insulted.
He looked up at her and she looked at him. She stopped biting her lips and said, "I'm sorry you have to go through this, mister. You were just doing your duty. I'm so sorry. I-if I ever looked so suspicious, I'm sorry"—she began to sob and small tears ran down her face, and her voice was becoming smaller and smaller with every word—"b-but I'm not suspicious, I swear! So just please…d-don't hurt me."
That threw him off. Ever since he became a Palace Guard, nobody apologized to him, except his subordinates. Other than the Royal Family, guests seem to think that the guards were lower than their league—even uninvited guests. Gatton stood up, his eyes wide. What an interesting mermaid, he thought. For whatever reason, he could not afford to hurt this mermaid any longer. She's got two princes by her side.
Gatton felt overwhelmed. He did not know how to respond to what she said, but he managed to reply out of urgency, "Ah, no. I'm sorry, milady, I—we won't hurt you, I promise!"
That didn't sound like a palace guard would say, he thought. He sighed at his behavior and found his composure. Then he asked her, "If it doesn't bother you that much, milady, can I have your full name? I intend to write it to the Banquet Registry."
"My name? It's Ursula," she replied as she wiped her tears in between sobs, "Ursula Aevon."
Author's Note: Yes, it's the wicked Ursula! Bwahahahaha! Behold the villain! Weeee! ^_^ So anyway, this was supposed to be a one-shot but it would be too long if I keep it that way. So, even though I made this into a chaptered story, it will still be a short one, with at most...(thinking)...five chapters, I guess. So it'll be different from the rest of my forever-on-hiatus-stories, because those are bound to be loooooong.