One Kingdom of colorful reefs and corals in the bright open ocean. Another more down deep in caves and not so much light. The two not really enemies, not really friends. Both have been told stories about the other and just tend to stay away from each other. It helps that mermaids tend to stick in their pods anyways.
Each Kingdom has a Prince. The one of colors is to wed a Princess. Though it seems his heart just doesn't see him loving a female. Nor wanting to be told who to marry.
The other Kingdom's Prince his heart is set on seeing the Ocean, way before marriage. To see something other than these dark caves! Hidden away! He wants so much more than what his father has planned for him. He wants to explore! To see danger! To see colors other than hues of black, blues, and lights.
Well, the two Princes end up meeting. Knowing instantly the other is from what Kingdom. Though both have heard terrible things about the other, they just cant help but be lured to the other and not believing the rumors.
Does love bloom between the two? Their parents would simply not understand loving a mermaid not from their pod, not their kind. Especially the one is to be married! What will happen to the two lovers?
Aedan laughed a little as Yule started to try and clarify what he meant when it came to messing around. “I know what you meant,” he said softly. He really thought it was funny how often Yule said something that could be taken wrong but mean it in a complete and innocent way. It was cute and funny.
What smile the was on his lip fell away when his engagement was mentioned. Almost all the joy disappeared from his features as he thought back about his impending doom. With a small sigh he floated down to the floor of the ocean and sat down. “Yeah...” he said sadly as Yule asked if she was a princess. Pulling his tail up to him he rested his chin on it. “She is from Shols. Our kingdoms have been fighting on and off for a while now and there is so much tension between us. The council probably thinks marrying her and me together will fix that tension. It worked with my mom and dad.” Aedan paused for a moment as he ran a hand through the soft white sand. “I really don't want to marry her. I don't even know her!” he added.
Aedan didn't even know which princess he was marrying! Shols only had princesses and there was 12 of them! 12. All of which were not married. Aedan really wished he had just gotten married like the rest of his siblings. He was the only one out of 7 that was not with another and he was the oldest. There was a chance for him to get married to one of his friends a few years ago. She was like Aedan where she preferred her own gender but also like Aedan couldn't be with her own gender. She had begged Aedan up and down for them to marry but Aedan didn't want to settle. Now that his hand was being forced he wished that he had just said yes not that he would have known this would be the outcome of his stubbornness. There was some indications that should have alerted Aedan that this was his fate though. The council had actually stopped bringing up his lack of marriage during council meetings. Aedan had thought that meant he was safe but obviously it didn't because they had something up their sleeves.
His chin moved away from his tail as he laid his forehead on the smooth scales. “I don't know how to get out of this. I don't even think I can get out of this marriage since I've been running out of excuses on why can't marry for awhile now,” he mumbled into his tail. Aedan turned his head so his cheek was resting against his scales. “Are you married? I know you said your peoples way of mating is boring but you are a prince and people tend to expect princes to marry. At least that is how it was with my people. Even before the engagement they were harassing me to find a mate. Find a mate and have children,” he said the last part with a scrunched up nose. He wasn't really fond of children. They were okay but he never imagined him having children. Then again he never imagined that he would be marrying someone either.
It was a little sad to hear that Reef Mer only mate purely on looks. That must have sucked for one who may not meet their standards. Would that mean Aedan had trouble with love? Unless it wasn't really a problem? If his people even knew what love was? Love sounds amazing to the big and strong Cave Mer, not that he could really tell his family that. Love was pointless in both Kingdoms it seems. But Aedan continued how sometimes a couple does end up loving each other? Isn't it suppose to be the other way around? Yule glances at his tail and thinks just cause it was dark and not bright, that it actually was still beautiful. How it shimmers and sparkles. Was it really only bright colors they liked? Or just fun colors mattered? If he didn't glow and kept his spikes tucked in. Would they really know he was a cave mer? Maybe he could play off being a mermaid from another distance Kingdom? There were many types of beauty other than bright. Right?
Some how, this lead to Yule nearly exposing his cover and he spilled everything. He was a Prince, the Prince of the Cave Mermaids. It was so scary to tell Aedan that and he sat there in the sand with his eyes closed tightly and tense. Fearing maybe being yelled at? Or laughed? Or who knows!? Though his eyes started to open and he relaxed some when Aedan started to laugh a bit. Choking on his meal in the middle of doing so. Once the choking stop he laughed more and Yule folded his arms over his chest and looked confused, not mad or offended. Just confused. [b "What's funny? Don't believe me?"] He asked watching the other still having his laughing fit.
Aedan eased his mind when he mentioned that he was in fact not laughing at him. This only confused the Cave Mer even more. So not at him? Then why? [b "Is something on my face?"] Yule wiped at his cheeks and lips then his own eyes widened shocked. Hearing Aedan call him Prince was a little weird. He didn't want him to start treating him differently cause he was a Prince. No, he liked it like this. Them not knowing. [i I should have kept my mouth shut.] He thought, though he too gasped and his jaw dropped hearing that Aedan himself was the Prince of the Reef Mers. That was really shocking considering he "didn't look" like a Reef Mer. [b "Wait, wait. You're...a Prince too? This whole time we have been Princes, just, messing around out here? Well, not MESSING AROUND, you know what I meant."] He slapped his forehead, he did it again.
Though he slowly lifted his head from his hand when Aedan spoke of fate and destiny and this soft smile and look in his eyes appeared on his face. It really did feel like they were suppose to meet each other. Surely now they could be more open about each other. As to why they were really out here now. [b "It, does feel like that. Doesn't it?"] That soft smile stayed on his lips as suddenly something felt rather different in the waters between them. A connection? Why who better to understand a misfit Prince, than another misfit Prince? Did Aedan just get more alluring?
[b "Well, I don't know about you. But I feel ten times better letting that out. But, wait. So, this maiden you're suppose to marry, it's...a Princess? You don't want to marry her? Do you?"] He asked talking softer and felt even more safe around Aedan.
Aedan listened carefully as Yule explained his peoples vastly different mating process. It made sense why the strong tended to stick with the strong with such harsh living conditions but it still seemed lonely. At the same time it was also nice that they didn't pay attention to looks. His people only paid attention to looks and not at the quality of the person. By looks Aedan really meant tail color. His and Yule's tail would never attract a mate in Arshor because they were not vivid colors. The only reason why Aedan attracted any feigned interest was because he was a Prince.
“No problem. It is interesting to hear the differences,” he said when Yule apologized over getting carried away.
Soon enough Aedan had spotted his “prey” and had gathered some of it for Yule and himself. The first bite, as always, was delicious. Seaweed had to be his favorite plant out of all the plants that they ate. While he delicately ate the plant he watched Yule, carefully, a small smile spreading across his face when Yule's tail started to flicker. If that was any indication then Yule was enjoying the seaweed just as much as Aedan.”I'm glad you enjoy it. These, obviously, grow wild but we do have some land dedicate to growing seaweed. We also have different types that have different colors and taste...well different. This type is my favorite though,” he said before continuing to enjoy his meal.
Aedan was almost finished eating his stalk of seaweed when Yule asked him about his people's mating habits. “We don't necessarily look for our soulfish. As I said before my people are very vain and they pick partners based off of their tails most of the times. Sometimes you get people who don't care a lot about tail color and fall in love with each other. Then you have people like me who get married off to better the family. Most of the Mer's at the Reef are, however, are hopeless romantics though and will pick a mate off of their tail and then be with them until they fall in love with them or are able to tolerate them,” he explained, finding it interesting that Yule stopped when he said his family was the biggest. Yule had done this multiple times before, piquing Aedan's interest. In fact he really wanted to pry and ask but at the same time he knew it wasn't very princely to pry.
He didn't have to wait long because soon enough Yule was telling him everything. Aedan was actually mid bite when Yule started to talk about how he was the Prince of the Cavemers. He was not expecting that at all.
Once Yule finished Aedan began to laugh, well he tried to laugh. He had forgotten about the seaweed that was still in his mouth so it went down the wrong tube, causing him to cough and hack up his lungs. Only when he was done with his hacking fit did he actually laugh. He wasn't laughing at Yule at all and he believed him when he said he was a Prince. No, he was laughing at fate for bringing them together. He knew that he needed to stop laughing to reassure Yule he wasn't laughing at him.
“I swear I'm not laughing at you,” he said between a few laughs as he tried to calm down. “Well Prince Yule you aren't the only one from a Royal background. I am Prince Aedan Sumthal of Arshor,” He said with a bright smile and a small bow of his head. “I feel like the Ocean wanted us to meet. I mean what are the odds of two princes from opposing kingdoms run into each other,” He said. Like many Mers in the Reef Aedan believed in fate and destiny. This particular moment felt fated.
Yule couldn't believe he had don that! Touched his tail with out really knowing if he was allowed. Where it was no big down in the cave, he has heard that it was sort of a big deal up here. These beautiful and colorful mermaids seem to cherish their tails way more than Cave Mers. Yule's face was bright red as he apologized over and over and offered his tail as an apology! That wasn't the kind of male Yule was! That wasn't very Princely, not at all. It was just, a habit cause it's not looked at like how Aedan looks at it. He must have razzled and frazzled the poor dear. [i That wasn't his first touch was it! Oh geese! I feel awful!] He was mentally beating himself up feeling ashamed of himself.[b "You can touch mine. I swear! It's okay! It's only fair. I was curious about yours. I mean not that I didn't enjoy it! Your tail is very gorgeous and alluring."] He smacked his forehead. [b "I mean I don't think your tail is one I wouldn't touch like that. OH DAMN IT! I mean I'm not saying I wouldn't! I just, I'm trying to say. I'm going to shut up now."] He dropped his face in his right hand trying to hide the burning of his face. Never has he ever lost his confidence like that around an attractive mermaid. Why Aedan?
Luckily, thank goodness! He heard Aedan's stomach and he didn't even have to second guess it. [b "YES! YES! Food!"] Anything to change the subject! To get past and forget whatever that was Yule had just done! [i You idiot!] He sighed mentally, disbelieving what he had done to Aedan. It was such a relief to hear that Aedan was understanding in the little accident and handled it maturely. If Yule had to say so himself. The question as does his culture hold the same meaning for tail touching and Yule was much more relaxed about the subject now.
[b "Oh, well. Touching with our hands isn't all that, meaningful for us. No. Mating for us...well, different I guess. For us it's just a matter of keeping the kingdom populated since we are....well surviving is hard down there. For many obvious reasons. Lack of food, bigger and stronger merfolk, the caves themselves can fall on you and kill you. So we mate to populate. It's not so much as, finding your "soulfish" or whatever. No one really mates for love. Plus the King is always needing guards and is working on keeping the soldiers stronger. So the weak ones tend to not mate. So...well I guess we look for strength for partners. Not really caring how you look. A strong male could have a couple of mates. And...well...It's all rather boring."] He folded his arms and the bored expression was clear, let alone this small hint of sadness in his eyes. Oh he hid it well. But maybe it was just cause no one cared if you were sad down there.
His father and mother have been worried about him when it comes to mating. Yule doesn't want to mate for that. It's boring and lacks, fulfillment. He asked his parents if they loved each other and they just laughed. She was strong female, he was a strong male. They made Yule. He didn't want that. And well the fact that he didn't like females was a problem. A big one. A HUGE ONE. That was frowned upon big time down there. But that's cause two males cant make babies.
[b "Ah, sorry got carried away there."] He chuckled lightly and held a smile on his face, that little look of boredom and sadness gone and they were off to look for seaweed. Again. THis time Yule is sure there wont be any problems receiving the food this time. The chances of something going wrong twice? That would be crazy.
The food wasn't that far it seems for he was now watching Aedan circle the food before grabbing some. Yule's blue eyes couldn't look away from how tall the seaweed went. To the top where he couldn't see it no more. And that's when he remembered. The surface of the ocean. Something no one in his kingdom doesn't even talk in, let alone believe. The ocean doesn't just stop. They hardly believe in human's you just look stupid down there if you talk about that. Yule, wasn't like the rest of the Cave Mers. He really would have been shunned and casted out if they figured out he was so, problematic. Maybe even, killed off. Something his people tend to believe in. Greatly. Killing off weak. Sometimes if it is noticeable young, even killing them off then.
When Aedan returned holding the food, Yule's face lit up and his stomach growled in sync with Aedan's. Getting a funny laugh out of them both. Then after watching Aedan take that first bite, Yule did too. Chewing slowly at first and taking it in. Before his eyes widened and he smiled with his tail flickering quickly with lights. [b "Oh! It's amazing! So much better than most food down in the caves!"] He licked his lips and chomped away on more of the seaweed. Loving it! [b "Oh I wish this grew down in the caves. We just have these weird plants that don't really provide much substances, mostly used for light as well. They glow. BUT THIS! Wow!"] The male was clearly happily and after fending off that squid, this was hitting the spot.
The two sat there nibbling on their food more and once his pace slowed down he looked over to Aedan. Watching him enjoy his meal as well. The dark male stared at how delicate Aedan seemed but he wasn't. No he was strong too. But so gentle on the eyes. Surely he had females swooning over him, even if they thought he was different from regular reef mers. Didn't they find him exotic and exciting? Like Yule did? Wasn't different interesting up here? It wasn't down in the caves, for sure. Were they both misfits from where they came from?
[b "So, uhh, what's the mating like up here? Is it the same for you up here like it is for down there? Or is it more...about actually findig your "soulfish"? Cave mers, kinda make fun of....touchy feely stuff like that. I always hated it. But so I didn't get in trouble or teased. I had to laugh along. My father would have killed me if he found out I wanted something like that. He is the ki-"] He paused a bit. [b "The kind of guy that was very respected for his...strong and harsh way. Very strong male. Huge. The biggest in the kingdom. I'm not even close to matching his size. Not yet. I will be. Our family is the biggest since we-"] It was getting hard to avoid the fact he was a very important mermaid down there. The royal family of course was the best of the best down there. Size, strength, and health. He feels like, he could trust Aedan though.
So once the beautiful arctic male explained his story of love and mating up here in the reefs. For who knows, it could be different in other kingdoms. Yule gulped and set his hands down on his tail and bit his lip. Not sure how to say it. But he wanted to. He hopes that they could be good friends. Yule has never been more comfortable around some like he is around Aedan.
[b "Aedan...I'm...the King's and Queen's son. I'm Prince Yule Septariam Depthar The First. Do-don't get all, weird or jealous now! Please! I liked you being, well you!. I swear you don't have to address me as some snobby Prince! I hated it! I never wanted to be the Prince! I don't want to be King! I never wanted it! Please, please...don't tell anyone else though. I think just you knowing. Is good enough for me. I trust you more than anyone I have ever met."] He sighed with rosy cheeks and big eyes nervously watching Aedan. To see how he would react.
When Yule said it was no one's fault all Aedan could do was nod because he didn't really want to get into an arguement. He did somewhat disagree with Yule and still felt like he was to blame but said nothing of it. Though he did have an idea to get Yule a new knife in place for the one he lost in the squid and as an apology for not paying enough attention.
Aedan lifted his tail up slightly as they began their discussion about Yule's tail. His pale eyes were wide while Yule started to discuss all the functions his tail could do. A small part of Aedan could understand why his ancestors felt threatened when it came to the Cave Mers. With so many abilities that could harm another it only made sense that the Reef Mers acted before the Cave Mers did. While Aedan could somewhat see some reasoning for the slaughtering of the Cave Mers he did not agree with it at all. “Your appearance didn't scare me. It was just different? As for my tail.... I don't know. All I know is it is a great tail to have in cold waters,” he replied. When Aedan was younger he asked his mother if the Arctic Merfolk had any special traits. All she said to Aedan was the had better vision, to include day and night, and that the frills helped keep their tails warm in the cold water. Nothing as cool as flickering and glowing tails!
He was about to say something else when Yule moved away form his spot in front of him. With Yule behind him, probably checking his back, he turned his face and closed his eyes. What Aedan hadn't expected was for Yule to touch his tail. Instantly Aedan froze and held his breath. He was shocked that Yule was forward enough to touch his tail. For the Reef and Arctic Mers the tails were an intimate thing to touch. Only family got away with purposely touching each other tails and that stopped when they were about to hit majority. Outside of Aedan's own family no one had touched his tail or shown any interest in it. Yule obviously saw the error in his ways because he was soon enough apologizing. As Yule started to apologize Aedan let out the breath that he hadn't realized he was holding.
“It's okay. I'm not offended, just surprised. You are right when you said it was an intimate thing for my people. Also its fine. You don't need to offer up your tail to me to touch, it is fine,” he replied. A part of Aedan really wanted to return the favor and touch Yule's tail but he felt like that was overstepping a boundary, even if Yule offered his tail up. Not that it mattered though if Aedan did. Obviously Yule touched Aedan's tail more out of curiosity and less out of intimate longing. At least that was what Aedan was telling himself.
Aedan's stomach had come to the rescue to diffuse the awkward water around them. “No, no, it is fine. Do your people hold a similar meaning as mine when it comes to tails? In my kingdom we kind of go out of our way not to brush against each other's tail because its believed that only lovers should touch each other tails.” he asked curious if the Cave Mers held a different meaning to tails. His attention was soon enough drawn away from the tail incident and on his back. With approval to get up Aedan happily got up from his belly. “Those....er...gelly gooops? Are amazing,” he said unsure of the name. “My head will be fine. I have a killer headache and somewhat nauseous but I'll survive. I think getting some food will help a little bit,” he said.
This time the journey wouldn't be so perilous because Aedan could see. From what he could see there were no other creatures in the immediate area but he did proceed with caution. He didn't want to be slammed about by an angry squid again.
The swimming oddly enough helped with he headache a bit. With his pain somewhat relieved he was able to focus on more important things like seaweed and the tingly feeling the remained in his tail from Yule touching it. Soon enough Aedan saw a patch of seaweed and circled around it. Once sure that the patch was clear of anything wanting to harm him he swooped in and began collecting some of the seaweed. “Ta-da,” he said as he held out a piece for Yule to try. “These are my favorites,” he added with a bright smile, the encounter with the squid forgotten.
The both of them now laid there in the sand on their stomachs looking at each other. Yule would admit, Aedan really was lovely to look at. He was handsome and yet, this mixture of elegant and beautiful. Just about everything Yule wasn't. Aedan looked so smooth and as if he hasn't had a cut on him his whole life, up to now. Where Yule had scars all over his body. But with the help of the glow gellies on Aedan's cuts, his will heal with leaving barely a scar on him. Hearing the soft "thank you" made the Cave Mer smile and grew all modest suddenly. [b "Ah, it was nothing. I couldn't just let it kill you. What Kind of pri-person would I be if I did that?"] It almost slipped out right out of his mouth. That he wasn't just any regular Cave Mer. No. He was the Prince. The next King. Though that wasn't the life he wanted, so he ran. It was selfish he knew that. But he wasn't born to be a King. Granted he's thankful for all the training with the guards and knights and such. He was THE top fighter down there. No one beat him. Not a one.
But hearing the beautiful mermaid saying that it was his fault caused Yule to frown a bit. It was no one's fault really. Neither of them asked the squid to attack. [b "Hey, hey. You stop that. It's not your fault and we all make mistakes. Okay? How about, it was neither our faults. Okay? How's that?"] He smiled ever so sweetly to the other, taking in the beautiful features that were Aedan. [i NO. Stop! This isn't the time. Stop it. You would be asking for trouble. It wouldn't be safe to Aedan.] The cave mer thought to himself to snap him out of his thoughts.
Then when Aedan started to talk about Yule's talents and his tail, the darker male just chuckled and his cheeks flushed a bit as he sat up and looked at his tail then Aedan's. [b "Don't...you have anything? To use? I guess....we had to adapt..to the harsh life down there in the caves. I'm...sorry if...that appearance of me...startled you."] He rubbed the back of his neck. A few minutes ago he was covered in armor scales, now he was wonderful skin. His body exposed to be seen once more for wondering eyes. [b "No, it can't do anything else. That was it. The sharp knife like scales, it can glow and flicker and it is over all, just really powerful. It could crack necks if I wanted too. I'm sure yours can do something. Maybe you, you just haven't discovered it. After all, you grew up with Reef Mermaids. You said so your mother was an Arctic that was married off young. So maybe neither of you really know all you can do? I'm sure maybe those amazing frills mean something."] He swam over to touch Aedan's tail gently, to run his fingers through the frills. Finding them beautiful. [b "Fuzzy. All along your tail. I think your tail is great just the way it is. Don't be ashamed of it. Okay. It's beautiful."] He flashed a grin and then blushed so embarrassed. [b "OH GOSH! I'M SO SORRY! I..I didn't ask to touch your tail..I swear it just..I got caught up. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I know how....intimate that is among you reef mers. So I was told. I....YOU CAN TOUCH MINE! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to offend or..freak you out!"] He gulped nervously.
Though he heard the growling stomach of the other and that alone reminded him of his own growling stomach. The two got a great laugh out of it, not thinking much of what had happened earlier. [b "Yes, I'm still very much hungry and would love to try this seaweed. I was serious though, you can touch mine too. If it makes things even and for you to know I didn't mean it...like that."] He blushed again and then went to check on Aedan's back when he asked how much longer of not moving. He poked at his back and saw that Aedan didn't even notice. [b "You're good. Your back is completely numb and the mucus and good stuff from those snails are helping your muscles heal up faster. Just don't do anything too crazy, and just take it easy with your swimming. You'll be good."] The darker male flashed two thumbs up and then reached down to hold a hand out to the other male and help him up from the sand. [b "How's your head? I sadly..don't have anything for that. I didn't...really get to grab the whole medical collection we had at my home. I was in a hurry myself to leave."] Yule was a little vague about that last part, but it was true. He was in a hurry to leave. [b "Lets get some food! I'm starving!"]
With that, the two set out once again for the mission for food!
Aedan couldn't understand why Yule felt so guilty for not being fast enough. What occurred was not Yule's fault at all it was all Aedan's negligence that caused him to get injured. “It isn't your fault. I should have paid better attention,” he said as his head was lifted and rested in Yule's lap. A sigh of contentment left his lips when Yule started to brush his hair out of his face. The sigh only turned to a small whimper when Yule hit the bump. “Ouch,” he grumbled as he sent Yule a half-hearted dirty look.
He was extremely comfortable in Yule's lap and couldn't help but voice his discontent when Yule told him to roll over onto his stomach. With a huff he laid on his stomach and turned his head so that he could watch Yule. The first piece of coral being removed hurt horribly and Aedan had to close his eyes. He didn't think that his back was that badly cut up but was was proven wrong with the never ending removal of coral. Aedan needed something to take his mind off of the pain so he decided to answer Yule's question about him leaving without bringing his weapon. “My father....fuck... he told me about the marriage. I just left the room and swam without thinking,” he hissed all while trying not to squirm too much. The last piece of coral was perhaps the worse one yet because it was as if his body didn't want to release the foreign object. Only with Yule's patience did the piece get removed and Aedan forced himself not to say some unprincely curses.
Removing all the coral had caused his back to throb uncomfortable unlike earlier where there was pain but not constant throbbing pain. Aedan opened one eye to see what Yule was doing. A fine eyebrow arched upwards as he caught sight of what was in the jar. Weird. He hadn't seen anything like that ever but he sadly couldn't appreciate the oddities because he was greeted with a whole lot of stinging. “Shit just put the coral back in! That hurt less,” he hissed as he scrunched up his face in pain. Once the paste was fully on his back the stinging stopped and he felt better instantly.
“Thank you,” he said as he turned his head and rested his chin on his arm. Aedan opened his eyes and looked at Yule, “It isn't your fault. I should have been more cautious,” he softly said. If anyone was at fault it was Aedan and Aedan alone. He should have know that calm waters didn't always mean safe waters especially in the dark. He had learned that lesson many years ago when he was younger but obviously he needed a refresher course on paying attention. “How you fought was rather impressive. I have never seen someone's tail change from a normal tail,” as he said this he lifted his tail up as an indication in what he meant. “to a weapon. An effective weapon at that. Is there anything else you can do? So far I've seen the claws, scale armor, and weapon tail.” If Aedan was being a hundred percent honest seeing the display of strength from Yule was attractive. Aedan, however, was not overly honest with himself so refused to admit that the show of strength was very attractive to Aedan.
As if on cue and to make maters worse Aedan's stomach growled. A small laugh left his lips. “Just as bad timing as your stomach,” he said with a small smile. “How long do I need to lay here because I'm pretty sure I promised to find you some seaweed this time without squids involved though.” His back was already feeling much better with the help of the glum goalies.... glowie guppies...glowy gellies. His back didn't feel a hundred percent but it felt much better now.
Yule regrets asking about wanting to run into a big squid or big shark. He regrets it, a lot as he was now carrying Aedan up and out of these dark part. Though, he had to admit. Feeling Aedan nuzzle up against his body and his face in his neck. Was rather sweet, even consider the circumstances. He wishes it wasn't cause Aedan was hurt. But with the directions for Aedan they were now up in the sunlight and catching their breathes in the safety of bright and open waters.
Naturally, Yule helps Aedan down in the comforts of the soft warm sand and kneels down next to him. Watching the other lay there all dazed and cut up. It was kind of scary. [b "I..wasn't fast enough with saving you... I'm sorry...I'm sorry. Are you okay?"] Yule helps level Aedan's head on the lap of his tail and brushes hair from his face. No longer in his scary fight mode. He would run his fingers back behind Aedan's head, not feeling any cuts, just a bump. But his back, was a different story.
It was awful. Some coral still embedded into his back. Yule couldn't stop the worried look on his face. [b "Here....roll over...let me help you."] He spoke softly and guided Aedan to roll over onto his stomach. Then very carefully, started to pick out coral. Rather easily with the help of his claws acting as tweezers for him. [b "Why...were you in a hurry to leave your home? That would cause you to leave something so important behind? No no, don't move...I know..it hurts. Just.. take deep breaths okay."] He frowns seeing Aedan in pain and starts to dig around in his bag some. [b "Were....are...my....glowy gellies...were....are.oh! Here they are!"] He pulls out a little jar, filled with these squishy and glowing snails. [b "THis...is going to sting....a lot. Like...a damn lot. But these babies will heal you up twice as fast. I promise."]
And with that, he pulled one out and started to rub the snail all over the cuts. Seeing that wasn't enough, Yule looks around for some rocks and then starts to smash the snail in the rocks. Making a thick paste that glowed up even more. Then he rubbed that around all over slowly and carefully and noticed it was helping much better already. [b "Ah, there you go. Try...not to move for a bit. Okay? Just...relax."] Yule then cleaned up his mess and rolled onto his stomach in the sand in front of Aedan. He folded his arms under his chin and watched him. [b "You'll be okay. I promise. I'm sorry you got hurt...cause I was hungry. I'll make it up to you. I will."] The Cave Mer flashed a big grin as he made his promise to the beautiful Mer before him.
“Try not to PANIC. GREAT ADVICE,” He yelled back the moment Yule told him not to panic. He wasn't panicking, a lot, he was just panicking a little bit. Aedan was stuck in the grasp of a squid that looked really hungry... OF COURSE HE WAS PANICKING. The only reason why he wasn't frantically panicking was because Yule was with him who he felt safe with. Aedan stooped thrashing around only when he saw Yule's tail change with razor sharp points up and down it. Aedan's jaw dropped as he saw the transformation, it kind of made his tail feel inadequate if he was honest. Before he could say anything the squid his him against the wall yet again. “Poseidon's Left Nipple! Stop hitting me against the side of the gorge,” he hissed as he dug his nails further into the fleshy tentacle.
The squid was thankfully distracted by the flashing colors of Yule's tail and just held Aedan tightly in its tentacle. Aedan still tried to wiggle out of the creatures grasp but was still failing. A small cry left his lips when Yule's light went out and he couldn't see Yule anymore. He had seen Yule hit the squid but hadn't seen anything else and was worried that Yule may have gotten hit back and knocked out. Yule disappearance also only aggravated the monster more and Aedan's head got reacquainted to the side of the gorge. A flurry of curses unfit for a prince left Aedan's mouth and he missed the second sighting of Yule. Aedan was about to call out to Yule to make sure the other Mer was safe when something covered his mouth. Aedan was about to bite down on the nearest part of flesh he could find when Yule's voice filled his ears. Aedan instantly relaxed and nodded as he took the knife. “Be safe,” he softly said as the hand was removed from his mouth.
Equipped with a weapon and with the knowledge that Yule had a plan his panic lessened considerably. Now instead of worried about himself he was worried for Yule, who he couldn't see. The only reason he was sure that Yule's plan was working was because at random the monster would let out sounds of anger and frustration. During the event there were a few more times that Aedan got slammed into the wall but nothing as bad as the initial attack. He was so dazed that he almost missed Yule telling him to stab. He fumbled with the weapon for a split second before pushing it into the tentacle that was tightening around his abdomen. Aedan wasn't too sure what happened after he stabbed the tentacle he just knew that the pressure around him was gone only to be replaced with Yule.
Aedan pressed himself up close to Yule. It took forever for him to finally comprehend that Yule was talking to him. It took him even longer to comprehend what Yule was asking him. “Continue this way and start going up,” he mumbled as he buried his head into Yule's neck. Now that the whole ordeal was over with the adrenaline that was thrumming through his veins was gone. In place was some shock and a whole world of pain when it came to his back. Aedan's thoughts came to a screeching halt when he reliazed that his back was most likely scratched up. He didn't know how he was going to explain it to his parents without them banning him from leaving the kingdom ever again. The idea of not being able to come out here was rather unsavory especially because Aedan was hoping he would get to see Yule again.
When they were finally above the gorge Aedan unlatched himself from Yule's side and gracelessly plopped down on the sand. “Thank you,” he mumbled as he brought his hand up to feel the back of his head. Thankfully he didn't feel anything sticky where his head had met the rocks and instead felt a large bruise. The bruise he could hide from his parents but the blood he couldn't. Content with his findings Aedan leaned over and laid on his side. “That was not how I planned dinner at all,” he began. “Sorry you had to come save me. I forgot to bring my knife with me when I left home in a hurry.” Aedan had to pause as he reoriented his thoughts. “I think I'll be fine in a few,” he finished. Aedan just needed a long moment to reorient himself and pretend that the growing headache and nausea was not a thing. “How does my back look?” he asked trying to distract himself.
Yule blushed as Aedan teased about his stomach ruining the mood. This apologetic look on the Cave Mer's face. But it couldn't be helped. He was hungry. Was it just him out of the two. Though hearing Aedan chuckle as he did, made Yule smile more. That smile was great on the other mer. Thank goodness for his good site in the dark, allowing him to see clearly.
When the mention of seaweed popped up, yet another confused look appeared on the darker male's face. What was seaweed? Was it good? Aedan seems set on eating that and Yule was game. [b "Maybe I will like this, seaweed. We do not get much plant life down there in the caves."] So they were off, to find this weed of sea.
Though Yule didn't say much or act out on it, he noticed that blush on Aedan's face earlier. Even if Yule wasn't aware of his own blush when the other had complimented Yule's tail. It was true, weren't all Mermaids proud of their tail to some part. Yule doesn't know what he would do if he lost his tail. Though for a Cave Mer, their tail was their survivor gear. It's a light source, a tool, and weapon. And Aedan had just complimented Yule's tail. Causing Yule to blush himself, though hopefully the darkness helped hide it.
Once again, the two found themselves outside of the ship. The crystal and Yule's tail providing light for them. It was rather dark out here. And Aedan seems to feel that it's safe out here in the dark water. He took silence and stillness as a good sign. Yule felt, a little cautious though. [b "Hey...wait."] He mumbled a bit as he glanced around, he felt something. Something's energy was being picked up on his tail, it was a backup way for seeing in the dark. The Cave Dwellers seeming to have more than one way to see in the dark it seems. Though Aedan started to exclaim that he sees the seaweed and was going to rush over to get it.
Yule felt it. A rustle in the water, it was bigger than anything he has dealt with before. Before he could cry out warning, he saw it. A huge tentacle wrap around Aedan's waist. It, was huge. The eye staring around hungrily looking for a meal too. It did rattle Yule's nerves, for a minute. Only! A minute. His brows narrowed and a dangerously serious expression was on his face now. This thing was going to kill Aedan if he didn't do anything.
[b "Hang on, just, try and not panic. I know that sounds easier said than done. But, try."] And with that, he reached in his lucky bag, pulling a little knife. All the while, his tail retracted a good several hundred spikes and razor sharp points. Along with his fangs once again retracting and much longer claws. And his glowing scales started to blink and flicker. As if trying to get the beast's attention.
[b "Hey!"] He shouted and hissed, loudly. The giant eye darts over and stares at Yule. The Cave Mer smirked as a tentacle went to grab at Yule, and swatted his tail at the tentacle. Making the beast cry out in pain as it's blood flush out from it's flash. Then suddenly, Yule turned off his glowing scales and with his dark colors, he wasn't seen in the dark waters. The beast grew annoyed and Yule flashed his lights with him in a different position. [b "Over here!"] He cried out wiggling his tail more and the creature reached for that spot. But Yule turned off his lights again and dashed behind the beast this time. Up to Aedan and covered his mouth. [b "Shhhh, here. We cant kill it...but I can chase it off for sure. Don't stab him yet. Wait till I tell you when. Okay?"] He smiled confidently at Aedan while he handed his only weapon over to the other male. And with that. He was off again, hiding in the dark.
The beast was focused on Yule now, but was still holding Aedan. Yule would use the dark to slash his tail at the beast at different points. Yes, it could see in the dark too. But not thing using the dark to blend in. It was getting annoyed and was much too focused on Yule.
[b "NOW!"] He called out to Aedan, being only inches from the beast's eye. With it crying out from the stab in his tentacle. It's focus on Yule was moved, for a second. And that's all Yule needed. While it was looking at Aedan, Yule repeatedly slammed his tail and claws into the beast's eye. It cried out the loudest yet, releasing Aedan and darted off defeated.
Yule relaxed sharp scales and dashed over quickly to Aedan to catch him and help him float. He wrapped the other's arm around his neck and his hand reached over and around to hold Aedan's hip, carefully. [b "Hey, hey. You okay? How do...do we get out of this gorge?"] He asked, sort of remembering himself, just needing to hear Aedan talk so he doesn't pass out, hopefully. [b "Hey, hey? You okay? The way out Aedan."] He asked once more swimming as fast as he could to get them out of there.
Aedan didn't expect Yule to be so fascinated with the fact that he had seen a human. Almost everyone in the Reef had gotten close to see a human at least once in their lifetime even if it was forbidden. Thinking about it, however, it would make sense why Yule was fascinated. The only way a human was going to get near the caves woulds be if they were dragged down and they probably wouldn't survive that journey.
“My father told me the same thing about Humans and our tails,” Aedan paused for a moment when he looked down at Yule's tail. “I think your tail is pretty. My people are just really vain and think colorful tails are superior. They hardly take into account how healthy and well maintained their tails are. Yours looks very strong and taken care of,” he said another blush dusting its way across his cheeks as he avoided eye contact and only looked at Yule's tail. What he said about tails in his kingdom was true. Most Mers neglected the upkeep of their tails simply because it wasn't necessary in their eyes. They were already blessed with a pretty tail color so they thought their work was done. Aedan on the other hand spent a decent amount of time grooming his tail to make sure it was clean and the frills didn't get knotted. While Yule didn't have the frills to worry about he still had to make sure his tail wasn't dirty and Aedan didn't see any algae on his tail. The more he looked the more details he could see of Yule's tail and the more he had to agree with his original assessment that Yule's tail was handsome. His blush spread and he had to look away only when he realized he was staring.
Thankfully the story had given him an idea and soon enough he was swimming to the room. His embarrassment was soon forgotten while in the room with all the statues. “I don't know about the tools. I know my people tried to recreate similar things but the tools we used couldn't get to that level of details. The coral we were using wasn't pliable either,” he said as he stared at the hair of the human. After his people tried to recreate the statues they gave up and got rid of their failures. Aedan looked up at Yule while he was thanking him. His gratitude was ruined the moment his stomach growled loudly and he couldn't help but laugh a bit.
“Your stomach has perfect timing when it comes to ruining a serious moment. Also it is no problem. You did scare me but it was mostly because I didn't expect to see anyone on that side of the gorge. Lets go get you something to eat though. I'm pretty sure there is some seaweed nearby and if you really want we can go find some sea cucumbers,” Aedan happily stated.
From the multiple times Aedan had explored this area he knew there was some seaweed in the area. Or at least he was pretty sure it was seaweed. It was hard to tell though because it was pretty dark every time he had explored the ship wreck. Taking one last look at the statues he began to leave the room. “I really wish my people weren't so vain. The Cave Mers aren't the only ones we nearly drove to extinction. We drove multiple Mers to the brink of extinction all because they were different than us and for their land. Now we only reside on our original land and let the land we conquered fall into neglect,” he said with a sigh. Because of his great great grandparents error he was going to suffer for it with a political marriage arranged to some Mer that he had never met. The thought angered Aedan a tad bit but he couldn't do much about it.
With his handy dandy crystal that he was borrowing from Yule he was able to see a patch of seaweed not too far from the ship. Aedan looked around for a moment to make sure the area was clear of other creatures. It was hard to tell, however, because of how dark it was even with the crystal. Aedan took the stillness of the water and the silence as it being clear though. Content with nothing moving about he made his way over to the patch of seaweed. The location of the patch was a little tricky with it right where the gorge started to narrow so it was flanked on each side with a wall. Aedan, however, was not too concern with the placement of the patch, knowing that his slim frame would easily avoid the sides of the wall if he was careful. What he wasn't expecting was a tentacle to shoot out and wrap around his waist when he went to start picking the seaweed.
Aedan looked down to see a large dark red tentacle wrapped around his waist. Before he could even react the tentacle shot out and flung him into the wall all while tightening its grip. A breathless gasp left his lip as his back hit a jagged rock. His hand shot out to grab a knife that he normally had on his waist when he realized that he didn't grab it during his mad dash out of the Palace. Not that the knife would help much in his hands. All he was good at was hacking and slashing to get himself out of these situations. Which was better than what he could do now.
“Yule,” he called out as he began to squirm in the squids hold. Aedan was hoping that he could get the the squid to loosen his grip if he squirmed enough but it only caused the squid to tighten its hold onto him. “Help,” He added to his call as he was smashed into the wall again. Aedan wrapped his hands around the tentacle and tried to dig his nails into the creature but the short nails were not doing much. He really needed help.
A minute ago, the two were talking about each other's lives and how they lived differently and yet seemed to not be that different after all. Yule was peeking into the old glass window, when he felt the warmth of the other male's arm brushing up against his own. His glowing blue eyes glance down to see them touching a bit and then he looks back to the window, smiling a bit. Remembering that cute blush that was on Aedan's face earlier when he called him beautiful. If he had to guess, the Arctic Mer was innocent and not use to other's flirting with him. Well, maybe not a male flirting with him? This wasn't the time or place to be thinking about something like that. He was free. He wants to enjoy things before even thinking about, THAT STUFF.
To hear that not even Aedan has material made of this stuff made Yule cock a brow and float back a bit to take in the grand view of the ship. His arms folded over his broad chest and his bag slung over his shoulders massager style. Humans were amazing creatures. Really. But he knew even less about them than he did about Mers up here in the Sands. But maybe the most interesting story Yule has ever heard, was hearing how Aedan was able to see one, up close! The shock and fascination was clear to see on Yules face. [b "Wait? Really? WOW! That's like, amazing Aedan! I bet you're the first in a long time to see one that close, and live to tell the story. I've heard...humans like to capture us. For...who knows why. Nothing pretty I'm guessing. It's your tails I think they like. Not my kind's surely. My kind...aren't really known for beauty. I mean that is half the reason why us Cave Dwellers don't get along with the Sands mermaids. Especially Reef mermaids."] He hasn't shown much, insecurities since the two met. But that was a little glimpse.
It was true, he may have been flirting a little earlier to be a little, cute with Aedan. But for all he knew, the reason Aedan was making that face earlier was maybe disgust. Sure he was nice to Yule, but that doesn't change the fact that they have beauty standards. Down in the caves, Yule was considered handsome. Sure. But up here. Who knew.
Just then he felt Aedan take his hand and squeeze it a bit. THis brought Yule back from his thoughts and look down to their hands and then back to up to this amazing Mermaid before him. Just hearing that little, "follow me" got an interesting reaction in his chest. This little, sudden thud in his chest and a lump in his throat. It was weird! When Aedan swam off to lead the way, Yule shook his head and didn't think much more of it. It was probably hunger getting to him.
Next, Yule followed the other Mer and found himself in an old room on the ship. He slowly turned in the water to gather his surroundings, a smile bright on his lips and his eyes glowing in the darkness of the room. This place was like out of like some dream or book. When Aedan spoke out again, Yule turns himself to look over to him and he swam up to the old statue to look at it too. It was incredible. To see the things these creatures on land could make. [b "THis...is amazing! What tools do they have?"] He slowly ran his fingers over the face of the human statue and glances over to Aedan again. [b "Aedan...thank you for this...for just. Giving me a chance. It means more than you think to me. I wish..I just wish the rest of us down in the caves weren't so...scared. The one thing we are scared of. Well, them. Is other Mer's up here. I mean, I get where they are coming from. They were hunted to nearly extinction thousands of years ago. And then were chased down in to the caves a several hundred years ago. But...I...I'm just thankful. I know I probably...well.. scared you. We don't really look the same after all."] He laughed a little and rubbed the back of his head a bit, then heard his stomach growl loudly. [b "Oh! Guess it's time to eat. Anything good down here on the boat? Sea cucumbers?"] Yule laughed a bit rubbing his armor covered and toned stomach.
When Yule was starting to compliment him he felt a blush creep across his cheek and chest. No one had ever complimented him. He had other Mer's flirt with him and show interest in him but it was not because they were interested in him. The Mer's who flirted with Aedan only had interest in his chance in being King and the wealth that he possessed. No one wanted Aedan just for him and no one ever said they liked his tail outside of his family. In fact Aedan didn't know what to say to Yule so he ended up saying nothing. His blush only grew in intensity when Yule asked if he was sure he wasn't part siren and that Yule didn't mind biting. If he didn't know what to say before he definitely didn't know what to say now. Thankfully he was able to get out of saying anything by escorting Yule away form their location and to the ship.
The swim was interesting and Aedan actually learned a lot about Cave Mers during the journey. Perhaps the most shocking to Aedan was when Yule's scales started to flatten out and spread along his body, protecting him from the jagged sides of the gorge. Aedan had never seen anything like that and he never thought such a thing was possible. Equally interesting was the fact that they used the tiny crystal as a light source. His own people used a very specific plant to illuminate their homes in the dark.
“Thank you,” he said when he took the crystal. “I can see a little bit better in the dark than my people but not nearly as well as my mother.” As Aedan said this he rolled the crystal in his hand for a few moments, inspecting its smooth surface. His ability to see in the dark was only slightly better than the Reef Mer's abilities but not by much. The gorge was just barely dark enough for him to navigate through with little to no injuries but that was it. The crystal was actually greatly appreciated though because it's soft light helped illuminate just enough of the gorge for him to see with ease. After one last look at the crystal he took the simple band that it was attached to and put it around his neck so that he had full freedom of his hands. The crystal actually helped speed up the swim too because now Aedan didn't have to be so cautious with the walls of the gorge and he could actually make out the sides of it.
Soon enough Yule was answering Aedan's questions about living in the Caves. “I was thinking creatures. The sharks and the squids here are perhaps the worse. The squids tend to leave us alone but the sharks do not. They really like to circle the Reef and pick out the weakest Mer they can find to attack. Luckily they haven't been around lately since the King started to randomize the patrols and increase how many guards we have,” He replied. The sharks were perhaps the most obnoxious creatures ever to deal with. They just couldn't take a hint when it came to the fact that they were just not wanted anywhere near the Reef. Aedan was about to say something when he realized that Yule had just stopped at the word for when talking about the squid. He wanted to say something more and ask about it but decided against it. He didn't want to seem nosy even if he kind of was.
With the crystal Aedan was actually able to see more of the ship than he had been able to see before. It was fascinating to see in such clarity. He swam closer to Yule, his arms brushing against Yule's arm while he peered into the window. A small smile was on his lips as he inspected the room closely. “No we don't have anything like this. I don't even know what this material is,” he said as he ran his hand against the wall closes to him. Aedan turned his attention away from the room and towards the wall. It was hard and weird. While the coral they built their homes out of was strong but it wasn't as hard as this material. It was almost like what they made their jewelry out of but much different because this material was rusted.
Aedan halted his inspections when Yule asked about humans. “I only saw a human once. They were traveling through and I decided to go see what they really were like. I ended up sneaking out at night and swam to where their ship was at. One of them decided to mess around with one of the small ships and was in that when I ran into him. He didn't see me thankfully. From what I was able to see they were not that different. They wear something on their bodies and don't have tails but they didn't look too different. Before I could really get a good look my father pulled me back below surface and proceeded to lecture me as we swam back home. That was the worse trouble I ever got into,” He fondly said. Just seeing the human was worth getting in trouble for. It had just been so exhilarating and interesting.
The story gave Aedan an idea. Grabbing Yule's hand he squeezed it and sent Yule a large smile. “Follow me,” he said before letting go of the hand and swimming away. The room that Aedan had in mind wasn't that far and soon enough he was there, slipping in pass the ajar door. The room had obviously seen better days with the wooden furniture warped and flipped up on themselves. Leather bound books were scattered all over the place, really not holding up to the test of time. Though the most important thing about the room were the statues. Most of the statues were missing pieces, broken in the wreck, but they retained most of their aesthetics.
Aedan paused in the middle of the room. “The humans are really good craftsmen,” he said as he gestured to one of the statues of a man. While the man was missing most of it's right leg and laying on its side it was still a piece of art. In fact it looked similar to the man Aedan had seen once. Aedan also couldn't comprehend this art form with the Reefs really having nothing similar.
The dark cave mer watched the other float up from the sand and Yule's eyes watched him yet again. This was his first time seeing another merfolk that wasn't from down deep in the water waters. He was honestly, a bit surprised to see Aedan here so, well, in shape. Life must be so much easier up here on the sand. Than down there in the caves. Life, is, well harsher down there. It was a rather every mer for themselves down there. As long as they know who is King and do as his Yule's father says. Muscle up when he says so. Work harder on the crappy farms when needed. Scavengers worked for his father. Basically, as long as you did your part. The kingdom didn't care if you beat someone up for crossing you. One thing, Yule didn't like. Maybe that's what fueled such rumors about his people? He thinks, he may keep that part to himself. For now. Till Aedan here sees that Yule was not like that. Not all cave mer were like that. No.
[b "Oh! So you're from the Arctic, well, heritage is from there. I was wondering why you didn't look like, well what I have been told about the reef dwellers. Not that's it wrong! Its even more interesting actually! It's just, open, dark, and cold waters in the arctic right? I'm sorry...I'm...rambling. I think...it's silly your people have issues with you taking after your mother. I think your tail is beautiful! Strong! Healthy! Father would like you."] He grinned with his fists on his hips. Strength and health being very important down in the caves. Survival of the fittest after all. [b "Don't listen to them. You're beautiful. So they are just jerks. I guess, my ideas of peaceful reefs was...just a dream sadly. Oh well, I wont let it bother me."] He smacked his right fist into the palm of his left hand. [b "I'm still going to see everything! All of it! I want to!"] The darker mermale chuckled a bit, not seeming to care too much of what others thought. He wasn't going to let that get in his way it seems.
Hearing Aedan laugh though, Yule felt a smile curl on his lips. He's never heard such a laugh. It was musical and so, lovely. [i wow] He thought to himself. [b "You sure you aren't part siren? I've heard some interesting things about them. Wouldn't mind playing around with one of them."] THis cheeky half smirk grow on his lips as he nudged his elbow into the other mer. [b "I don't mind biting."] He laughed and then flicked his tail a bit to stretch it so it was ready for a big swim ahead. [b "I'm ready when you are."]
FInally, the two were out to see a sunken ship! Yule was most pleased with this! Here he thought he wouldn't have so much adventure so soon in his new chapter of his life. Let alone with another mer already! He's just glad Aedan here wasn't kick to kill him. Yule was no threat at all. Though hearing Aedan explain that others may not be so accepting like he was. Did let him down a bit. He thought it was some amazing utopia up here. It seems that was a childish thought. Sadly.
Hearing the Arctic Mer talk about his home made Yule's eyes light up with joy and wonder. That was something he couldn't even dream of seeing. Colors. Colors he has never seen! Probably something most wouldn't be excited about it. But he was. Why from what creatures he was already seeing on his journey to this ship, was just a little taste of what it was like up here.
When Aedan stopped to warn Yule about being cut and such, he turned his head. [b "No problem."] With that, his scales suddenly flattened and smoothed out on his tail and spread a bit more up his arms and on his collar. As if, like armor. [b "We have to travel, in the dark, in caves. Young aren't allowed in them cause their scales aren't ready to protect them yet. But lead the way! I cant wait!"] He sunk down into the depths right behind his new friend. The sharp coral hitting him but they just broke against his scales. Even his skin on his soft belly seemed to have toughen up and didn't scratch that easily. It seemed, maybe not all mermaids could do this? They really were all different with each their own skills and perks.
[b "It's dark down here. Though I'm sure that's not a problem for you. Like you said, you're half Arctic."] He flashed a pearly grin and kept up with the other easily. To soon be asked about the caves. It was only fair to answer his questions. [b "Dark? Yes. But, we have these crystals for light sources-oh!"] He reached down into his bag for a bit before pulling out this palm sized crystal. It glowed with this soft blue and handed it to Aedan. [b "Since you're leading. You can use it. I only brought one sadly. Dont' worry. These are nothing special. Everywhere. Good job if you work in the quarries or gem farms. Plus our eyes adapted to see in the dark like, really well. Took me like 15 minutes to get use to all the light up here. It's crazy bright!"] He stopped and snapped a piece of coral. It was a bright green with red spots. Colors he has never really seen. Everything was blue, gray or black down there in the cave. Some purples maybe. But these colors? No.
[b "As for scary? What do you consider scary? My people? I mean...you know. Us merfolks? Or...creatures? Don't you have giant sharks up here? I'm not gonna lie. I want to fight one. I took down this one squid thing. For-"] Yule had to stop. For one, he didn't know how to mention that being a prince down there. You better not be scared of anything. There are pits where warriors go and fight things for honor and reputation. It's best to see your prince fighting with his people. He couldn't be no weakling scared to fight. One thing his father never had to worry about. Was Yule's incredible ability to face things bigger than him. Yule. Did. Not. Scare. Easily. Battle scars were encouraged. Hence the scars on his arms, back, chest, and stomachs. From other mers and creatures. [b "Nah, nothing scary down there. We don't love fighting, that much."] He laughed a little nervously, and was glad when they came to a stop to see the ship. Just resting there on the sand.
Yule's eyes, wide and glowing again since they were down in the dark. Allowing him to see just fine with out the crystal. It was like nothing he has seen before. He started to laugh and flip in the water. Clearly enjoying all the room out here outside of those caves. [b "Wow! Look at it! Humans are so....weird! This the closest I've been to anything human made. What do you think they do up there? What's that!?"] His attention was everywhere! He was just like a big kid it seemed as he dashed off swiftly and swam right up to the old metal walls of the ship. His hands rubbing all over it and his head turns back to look to the other. [b "It's so weird. What is this made of? Do you have anything like this up here in the sands and reefs?"] Yule asked, then dashed off to an old window and peeked inside. Seeing creatures just living their lives and all the little human things. Honestly, it was just a room not all that different from his own. A bed. A desk. Shelves. [b "Are...humans....not that different from us? Have you ever seen one? In person? Alive?"] Yule floated back from the ship a bit and back up to Aedan to see where else he wanted to go.
A sense of relief filled Aedan when Yule got excited to go the the ship. Aedan didn't want to really explain that in his kingdom arrange marriages were a common thing. In fact Aedan didn't even want to think about the marriages at all. He wasn't ready to settle down, especially with a female. Even when trying not to think about the marriage it kept invading his mind. At least when Yule started happily talking he was able to focus on what he was saying.
The city that Yule was talking about was not his kingdom. After so many years of racism they were slowly trying to weed that mind set out of the kingdom. It was actually one of the reasons that his mother and father had been forced to get married; the council and Aedan's grandfather wanted to promote diversity. So far it was not going well with only a few new groups of mer living in the Reef and there was no cave mers. There was still a strong prejudiced against Cave Mers which Aedan didn't understand. He didn't understand why appearance of a group of people mattered so much when it comes to them being good or bad.
Aedan got up from the warm sand. “I don't know about any kingdom that accepts all kind of Merfolks. I know my kingdom is trying to be accepting but it really isn't. People are still prejudice against others. There are even people who dislike me because I took after my mother and have the coloring of the Arctic Mers even though I've grown up in the Reefs,” He said as he looked down at his pale tail. Aedan thought his tail was rather handsome with how slim it was and the frills but all everyone else saw was a foreigner. “As for Cave Mers the only stories they ever tell is about how savage your kind is. All the stories told are in an attempt to make you guys seem like monsters that need to be avoided. Though talking to you I think they may have been wrong.”
Aedan had to cover his mouth to stop him from bursting out laughing when Yule puffed out his chest and said he knew how to fight. He didn't doubt that Yule knew how to fight but his own people also knew how to fight and how to fight well. Yes they looked much more delicate than Yule but they knew how to destroy their enemies efficiently and with no mercy. Though Aedan didn't know how to fight that well because he was rather hopeless in a fight.
Taking a nice long stretch he gestured Yule to follow him as he made his way to the rim of the gorge. “The city is beautiful. It is covered in color and is sprawling. The homes are actually hidden in the Reef and are hard to find to new comers because you have to know where to look. Further away from the epicenter is even more homes and shops that are built out of coral and are easier to see. Beyond that is just a field of pure white sand that leads to the Palace. The palace is this large spire construct made out of only the strongest coral. It is a beautiful city and there is a lot of hustle and bustle but I like it,” he said fondly. Despite his kingdom's views when it came to other mers Aedan couldn't help but love the kingdom. It was beautiful and filled to the brim with color, Mers, and fishes.
Aedan stopped right at the mouth of the gorge before peering down the dark depths. “Be careful. The wall of the gorge is rather jagged and sharp,” He said, knowing from experience. Aedan got scratched up once and never again did he swim too close to the edges. With his warning said he began to swim down the gorge. “What are the Caves like? From the stories I've been told they are dark and scary,” He said as he glanced behind his shoulder for a short moment before turning his attention back to their route. The shipwreck was thankfully not too far away from where they were and there wasn't really any difficult terrain that they had to swim through. Soon enough Aedan was able to make out the outline of the ship in the murky waters. He picked up speed ever so slightly and they were there near the ship in moments. The ship was probably once a beautiful sight before the wreck but now it was covered in algae and showed wear and tear from its journey to the floor of the gorge. It was still an interesting sight though. With some care Aedan moved closer, swimming in through a tight hole so that he was in the rust filled room. If Aedan was honest it was kind of eerie being in the room with how still it was but at the same time it was rather interesting. Turning around from his inspection of the room he sent a large smile towards Yule. “Ta-da. This wreckage is a little bit older than me. From what my father told me the ship hit another and this one was poorly built so the damage was extensive. A few mers in my kingdom saw it happen so they helped everyone to safety and they were rescued later that day. No one died according to my father,” he told Yule with a smile. The wreck had been unfortunate but it did leave behind something interesting and it gave some insight to the human's world.
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