AN: Ok everyone go with me, I've been wanting to write something like this for a while. Before you judge read it, it's cool if you like it if you don't ignore it. R & R!

A pair of large blue eyes looked around the strange environment appalled by what they see.

There was no grass, no. This whole place resembled a dry, dusty wasteland.

All around from where she stood, were hundreds of large monuments with the same hideous visage on it. The face of a demon with flaming red eyebrows and goatee/beard, six horns and sharp cruel fangs.

To her left, she could see very large pits and cart rails leading in and out, while to her right, was an enormous mine cavern.

Carefully, she edged closer to the entrance, curiosity overpowering common sense.

Inside, she could see...

Humans.

A vast number of them dressed in rags. Digging, pulling, lifting and carrying heavy loads on their backs all while being watched wicked looking figures with eerie green eyes and dress in red ninja garbs.

Even young children were forced to work!

Their narrow eyes were full of sadness as they toiled away.

The young woman couldn't believe what she was seeing. What kind of terrible place is this, where these poor beings are forced into slavery to the point of death?

She felt her heart go out to all of them.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw an old man chained to a great mill, pushing with all his might. He looked so frail and weak yet something about him told her he must've been a strong man in his youth – much like her own father.

One of the guards then cracked his whip. "Break!"

She saw the old man fall on all fours, gasping for air.

A woman scooped up water from a nearby well in a small wooden bowl and approached the old man. She offered him water, but the bowl was literally whipped out of her hands by the guard.

"Not for him!" he snapped.

The woman picked up the bowl apologizing to the old man and scurried away.

"Water, water…" the old man whispered quietly.

Finally the young maid had seen enough. She couldn't stand such cruelty. She climbed out of her hiding place and rushed over picked up the water carefully.

"Here, drink quickly." she said, raising her cupped hands to the frail man's lips which he drank from eagerly.

"I said : NO WATER!"

There was the crack of the whip that cut across her shoulder, making her cry out. The pain had sent her falling to her side, her legs touching the spilled water…

"What…?"

For a moment, the guard's eyes grew wide.

The old man froze then as if trying to wake himself up, he splashed water onto his face.

"It's not possible…" He whispered hoarsely.

The noise had caught everyone's attention. Many of the chained humans stopped what they were doing in awe of her, their weary faces a mix of shock, sympathy and wonder. the demonic minions were completely taken by surprise.

"A ningyo!"

"An ocean spirit!"

"But what is it doing so far from the sea?"

The little mermaid cast a desperate glance at the old man, who looked as though he'd seen a ghost.

A very long pause followed before the guards all snapped out of their reverie.

"Take her to Aku!" shouted one of them.

Quite a few of the humans gasped, there was no doubt what the fate of this poor sea creature before them would be. Though some of them weren't happy about the idea either, they began protesting and shouting.

At the sound of the guard's order, the mermaid panicked.

"No! No! Someone please help me!" she wailed. She didn't want to see the monster that her sisters and father had warned her so much about.

About three or four of the overseers approached intending on picking her up and taking her to the Pit of Hate, while the mermaid thrashed and struggled frantically to get away.

It almost seemed as though all was lost for the mermaid.

But someone else stepped in and killed the minion closest to her.

"Insubordinate fool, no one attacks Aku's minions!" snarled one of the guards, "Destroy him!"

The minions all leaped towards the newcomer, claws prepared to strike.

However, the stranger was much quicker, he met each of their blows with his sword and then he cut through each of them. When the minions were sliced through with the blade, they dissolved into black wisps, leaving only the red garments.

Then the samurai cut through the old man's chains, freeing him.

The old man looked up tearfully at him, "My son has returned."

His words made the young mermaid gasped softly in understanding. "Oh, I see."

As soon as he helped his father up, the samurai and the old man turned to Ariel.

"My son and I thank you, daughter of ocean." The old man said to the mermaid with bow of respect.

"It was the very least I could do," she said to them, "I just couldn't stand by and watch them let you die of thirst. Not even a human deserves to suffer all this. Tell me, why are you all slaves?"

The samurai nodded, "What has happened to our land father?"

The old man began to explain solemnly, "It has been many years since that fateful day that Aku has returned from his imprisonment." he explained, "Enslaved we have become to unearth the riches of our land so that Aku can strengthen his power and begin to conquer the world."

Outraged by all this, the Samurai claims he will vanquish the demon with the sword. But his father sternly knocked the sword out of his hand, causing his full-grown son to lower himself on his knees, palms pressed together apologetically.

The old man then told him that the sword was merely a tool and the true power was righteousness.

Something about the way they both spoke and thought, made the mermaid watched them attentively. She then turned to one of the humans and asked quietly, "Er…I don't want to sound ignorant, yet, who were they before Aku enslaved you all?"

The woman that had first tried to give water to the old man looked at Ariel ins mild surprise. "You do not know? He is the emperor of our land and that is his son."

Hearing this, the mermaid was taken aback.

"Oh gosh!" the mermaid tried to bow to the emperor and the to the Samurai, "I'm sorry, if I'd have know I would have tried to-"

The aged emperor shook his head and helped her up.

"No, my child." He said to her gently. "If a sentient creature of the sea is able to show kindness to those that hunger and thirst for justice not knowing or caring who once was…"

The Samurai put his hand on her shoulder, "You were brave enough to come to my father's defense when no one else would, long enough for me to arrive to aid you all. It is you we should be honoring."

"I will always be grateful of your compassion towards me and my people. For even one kind word can warm three winter months."

The mermaid nodded solemnly to them.

Moments later the Samurai had mounted a horse, ready to confront Aku.

"I will not fail you father!" the Samurai called over his shoulder as he rode off into the horizon.

The emperor, his people and the mermaid all watched him leave.

"Be wary my son," the emperor said softly, "For evil finds a way."

The mermaid heard his words and bowed her head in a silent prayer. Please let him succeed in delivering us all from this evil.

AN: Nostalgic isn't it? Hope it was detailed enough, in the meantime review away!