READ THIS AN: This story mentions a lot about children, but there will be NO Mpreg or OC fish babies. This story will also involve a love triangle that will most likely end in polyamory, but it will be a long, tough road before we get to that point. And yeah, all the merpeople are naked. Mermaids only wear clothes in Disney movies. These first few chapters are a bit short, but they get longer as we introduce more plot and characters.
Thanks for reading, and please review!
The sea was beautiful at this time of day. Of course, the time of day didn't really make a difference, considering little to no light actually reached this deep, but it was gorgeous nonetheless. Small fish darted to and fro between the rocks, taking refuge in this place where no predators resided. Very few things were able to live at this depth, unable to withstand the pressure of the water around them. So, save for the waves made by the small number of inhabitants, the water was quite still.
This peace was disrupted, however, by the frantic movement of a creature swimming about. The being took the form of a beautiful nude woman from the waist up, and its bottom half was comprised of a fish tail with stunning dark green scales that seemed to shimmer, even in the almost nonexistent light. Her long, almost black hair swirled about her as she shouted out into the ocean.
"Allen!" The distraught beauty called out into the depths. "Allen, where are you?"
Suddenly, a blur of silver crashed into her. "Boo! Gotcha, Lenalee!"
The dark haired maiden whirled around and giggled at the sight of her friend. This one was much the same as she was, except the torso was that of a man, and his scales were the color of platinum. As she looked him over, she noted that he had become quite handsome over the years; his hair was the color of alabaster and his eyes a tempest grey.
"What's so funny?" the white haired youth asked.
"You have seaweed in your hair." Laughing lightly, Lenalee reached out and plucked the offending plant from pale locks. "You've been out exploring again, haven't you?"
Allen flushed slightly and looked away. "Maybe."
"Allen. You know the General gets upset when you do things like that. What if you get caught by a fisherman?"
"I'm strong enough to take care of myself, Lenalee."
"But apparently, you aren't smart enough to remember when your own ceremony is being held."
The normally pale skin went almost white at the reminder. "Oh, crap." He whispered.
"Uh huh. C'mon, we are already late as it is. Let's go."
Lenalee grabbed Allen's hand and began to swim east, dragging him along with her. Swiftly, they traveled through a series of twists and turns, diving around rocks and eventually swimming over a precipice into a valley along the ocean floor. A giant castle made of coral rose from the valley. As they swam closer, it became obvious that the huge structure was teaming with life. Other merfolk drifted in and out of several openings in the castle walls, mingling with various other sea creatures. As the pair swam past a giant squid, Allen went out of his way to give it a wide birth.
"Allen? What's wrong?" Lenalee asked, noting his discomfort.
"I don't like squids. Foul tempered things."
"Allen." She let out a sigh, causing several bubbles to burst forth from her mouth and gills. "You know that all creatures that come into our territory are pacified by magic. It wont hurt you."
"I know…I'd just prefer to keep my distance." A shudder ran through his body, temporarily disrupting the rhythmic movement of his silvery scales.
His counterpart shook her head and she motioned for him to hurry up. They went through what appeared to be the main entrance, traveled through a series of winding corridors that would have left anyone else feeling very lost, until they came into a rather large antechamber. Several others were already in the room, some of them smiling in greeting, some shaking their heads. Lenalee finally let go of Allen's hand and pushed him toward a dais in the center of the room. Hesitantly, he floated up to the top of the platform, worriedly looking toward the merman who was waiting for him there.
The flowing red hair and mask taken from a sunken ship, coupled with the glare that adorned the visible side of his face made for quite the imposing vision. Allen thought that he looked more like a sea-devil than one of the merfolk, but he didn't dare say that aloud.
"Well. It seems as though my idiot apprentice has decided to grace us with his presence."
"M-Master, I can explain-"
"I don't want to hear it. Let's just get this over with. We need to find you a mate."
At this, Allen crossed his arms. "But, why? What if I don't want a mate?"
The larger merman turned his head toward his apprentice and narrowed his eyes even further. "We have been over this a thousand times, boy. Ours is a dying race. Even though we live for hundreds of years, we are only given a very small window of opportunity for reproducing. Once a merman or mermaid reaches sexual maturity, they have a year at most before they are no longer able to spawn."
"Allen, today marks your 250th birthday. You are in the prime of your fertility stage as of today. You have no choice; we must do this so that our people may live on. Best that we get it over with now."
"Allen, General Cross is right. We have to find a suitable mate for you right away, so that you can spawn a child." Lenalee said from behind the white haired boy.
"But going to the surface for that is just-"
"Ah, now I understand. You do not want to be with a human." The newest speaker swam up behind Lenalee and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Brother! Don't scare me like that." She said.
"Sorry about that. You know that Big Brother Komui would never intentionally frighten you." The merman of similar coloring as his sister fawned over her for a moment, then turned back to the general.
"It is a pitiable accident of birth that we are unable to reproduce without the aid of humans. They are contemptible at best, so I can comprehend your hesitation. However, this must be done."
"General Cross?" Everyone present looked over to find little Timothy raising his hand.
"Put your hand down kid. What is it?"
"Why are humans so bad?"
"This hasn't been explained to you yet, young one?" The red haired merman asked. When the child shook his head, the general sighed and began to explain. "Long ago, we resided in shallow waters. We lived alongside humans in peace. Back then, our numbers were plentiful, because they happily mated with us. However, Men are greedy at heart, and they eventually grew jealous of our long lifespan. They began to hunt us out of fear and envy and we were driven to the deepest depths of the ocean. They no longer have any respect for the ocean, and just dump whatever they please into it, as if they own the waters. And because we are so few in number now, we have no choice but to hide down here and we must resort kidnapping suitable mates, then drowning them to keep our species alive."
Timothy shivered in horror. "That's horrible. Why would they do that? What did we ever do to them?"
"Nothing." Komui spoke up, with sadness in his eyes and muted anger in his voice. "We always considered Men to be our friends and they betrayed us, murdering our kin in cold blood."
Allen shook his head. "I know all of that. But it doesn't change that fact that I don't want to be forced to mate against my will."
"Grow up, boy. You must do this, for the good of our race. Stop acting like a child and deal with it. Now. If we are quite finished with all of this nonsense, lets get on with the ceremony."
Everyone fell silent, most out of respect, some out of curiosity, and Allen did so to keep himself from blurting out something that would get him punished even further. General Cross turned toward the dais and opened the gigantic oyster that lay atop it. From it, he retrieved a luminous pearl, big enough to fit comfortably in both of his hands. He held it aloft as he began to chant.
"O, Neptune, Lord of All Seas, Master of The Tide. It is time for young Allen to create a new life in your service. Please, show us a human suitable for this venture."
"For your sake, I hope that it's at least a pretty girl." Koumi whispered.
"Or a handsome sailor. Gender makes no difference, after all." Lenalee added.
Allen tuned them out. Despite his reluctance, he couldn't help but become fascinated as the pearl began to glow, the water around it shining with magical power. The pearl's milky texture slowly faded into something more translucent as they all watched, either in awe, or in excitement to find out whom the next sacrifice to the sea would be.
Allen's breath caught in his gills as an image formed within the now clear pearl. Certainly, their call to the sea god had been answered, but…
"Two? Why are there two people in the image?" Lenalee asked, voicing the confusion that Allen so clearly felt.
All was quiet for a moment, before General Cross erupted into laughter.
"I knew you would be worth something someday, boy! You have been given the opportunity to mate not once, but twice. Two rounds of spawn from the same merman. This is our lucky day!"
The room erupted into chatter and cheers. All around, people swam up to Allen and patted him on the back.
"Two breeding cycles from the same guy!"
"Wow, way to go Allen!"
"Such a rare thing—you must be honored!"
Allen accepted their jubilance in stunned silence. Logically, he knew this was a good thing. He had the chance to give twice as much to their community than anyone else. But only one thought kept running through his head:
'Now I have to kill two people…'