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Chapter 4: My name is Nahla

I came to conclusion that this would be a tough challenge. The ship was way more advanced than I had thought. Not only had they cannons and guns, they also carried seakruid with them.

My lips pulled up in a silent growl.

Horror stories about that devilish herb circled through my mind. Not only did it burn out skin, it was also highly toxic when eaten. Some mermaid hunters would let it in the sea, hoping a clueless mermaid would eat it.

Foolish of course. None of the merfolk would eat it, the highly disturbing sent was enough to warn from miles away.

The worst however was a rumour that no one dared to speak out loud, yet everyone knew. That if you cooked the seakruid and let it soak it would form a poison. This poison could do the worst thing possible, turn the merfolk in humans.

Shivers ran down my back. I let my head sink under water, hating the fear I felt. That was the only thing I truly feared, becoming human. Humans were such ugly creatures, especially their, what was the word again, oh right, legs.

If a ship like this possessed seakruid than it must be important. It must be dangerous. Nothing was more exciting than hunting on a ship like this.

My tail flipped in excitement. I couldn't wait to swim back to my sisters, we would rip those filthy humans apart. Maybe I could take one of their heads to my father. I'm sure he would like my prize.

Just as I turned around to swim away I could feel a movement into the water. With one flip of my tail I turned around, ready to let my claws sink into the stupid pirate who dared to attack me.

It wasn't a pirate.

In the water struggled the handsome human to get back to the surface. His hands and feet were tied, humans didn't know how to swim with their hands tied. Another reason why our race is superior.

Something about his struggling perked my interest. Maybe it was how desperate yet determined he looked, or maybe it was his emerald necklace.

A lot thing humans did didn't make sense to me, but I shared their love for shiny things.

With a simple flip of my tail I swam towards the human, his struggling becoming less and less frankly as the air left his lungs.

His skin felt hot, burned under the sun, under my fingers. It was rough yet soft. Like it was treated with care all his life until a few weeks ago. Until the pirates. I giggle at the strange feeling, my eyes locking with his that flew open right after my touch.

I expected to see fear. It's in the human instinct to fear those who are stronger than them. Yet I found nothing, only wonder.

He didn't fear me.

Why?

He should fear me, but I didn't find any of that in his eyes. Only calmness. It frustrated me. How dared he not to fear me!

Didn't he know I could rip him apart? Rip that ugly flesh away and take his bones as a prize to my father.

He did. He did know all horrible things I could do to him and he didn't fear it. Didn't fear it because he was dying anyway. I was no more a threat to him than the water around us.

Water that was a home to me but was ripping his lungs apart.

Our eyes were locked. His eyes weren't brown like I expected, they were a deep green colour. Like the emeralds my sister once brought to us after a hunt. Like the shining coral beside my window.

My own blue eyes' were wide with rage. A rage I couldn't still, not even when my claws ripped on the skin of his arm. Not when the water around us started to turn bloody red and his eyes closed. Not even when his mouth opened in a soundless scream of pain.

Water streamed into his mouth and nose, chocking him and drowning him. He was gasping but there wasn't any air to breath.

Death was claiming him already. It shouldn't bother me.

But it did.

It did because he still didn't fear me, not even in death. Not even when I clawed his arm, spreading enough blood to peek the interest of any shark in a 5 mile radius. Or at least that is what I told myself. That was the only explanation for my mercy, mercy I shouldn't give to anyone.

With my claws still in the flesh of his arms I flipped my tail a few times, bringing us to the surface. His body was heavy in my arms, no resistance or movement. It was like he was dead already

We broke to the surface, the evening sun shining down on us. The water around us glimmered, the blood in it only making it more beautiful.

The ship was gone, it was only me and the dying human in my arms.

For me the endless miles of water were no problem. I could easily stay under for weeks, but the human in my arms wouldn't survive if I didn't find land soon. I knew that my sisters were close but they would take one look at him and rip him apart.

They had no right to touch him. He was mine. My prize. My human. Mine to kill if I desired so. The though of my sisters ripping his flesh apart with their claws, to see his blood stream over their lips made my growl. No. I wouldn't let them share my prize.

With a flip of my tail I swam east. We were close to the coast of Orion. With a look at the blood that still came out of his wounds, the smell almost driving me mad, I swam even faster.

I didn't want the human to bleed out before we reached the coast, neither did I want to eat him. I never was close to humans, other than eating them, and I was curious. I was curious about how they lived, how they behaved when they weren't screaming for their lives.

There!

I could see the black hills of Orion's coast. The beach, which was nothing but black stones and salt, was abandoned. I let the ocean push me towards the beach until I could sit on the muddy stones, only the tip of my tail left in the water.

I laid the human on the stones and peered down on his wounds. They were undoubtedly  from a mer. Deep claws marks with five fingers.

I wasn't a healer but it seemed like none of his important muscles were ripped. He would still need a healer but I knew nothing of the human body. I knew only one solution. One way to save the human who intrigued me in ways I can't describe. The only way to lure humans towards me. I opened my mouth and started to sing.

The song told a story but a sweet princess, lost in the sea

Oh my fair princess come back to me

Your beauty is lost in the sea

Every day I look for you beauty face

That they had taken away

Princess oh my sweet

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Monsters with a palace of gold

Their bodies never get old

They lured with a sirens song

Captured and looked you away from where you belong

I beg you my princess of the sea

Never forget me

Never forget me

Never forget me

I opened my eyes, a smile playing around my lips. Singing, music was part of me. It made me whole. I looked down, tilting my head to the side to listen. Listen if I hear people come to my song. My eyes met green eyes, eyes that stared up at me in wonder. Wonder and something else, something I couldn't describe

"You saved me." His voice was hoarse and dry, almost like he hadn't drink in days. "Y-You saved me." He laughed like it was the most funny thing in the world. "A siren saved me." He sounds like he like believe it. For once I couldn't blame him. I could barely believe it myself. A mermaid who saved a human. A helpless useless human. It as unbelievable. Humans were food, and yet I saved him. I saved him and now I was looking at him, listing to him.

I shook my head, pushing away from the human. I shouldn't be here. This was a mistake. My claws came out and I wrapped my hand around his neck. His eyes widened and for the first time he smelt like fear. It would be over soon. Just one little squeeze and it would be all over. No one would know I had tried to save a human. I looked him in the eyes and squeezed. Squeezed. Squeezed. And let go. Couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. The sneu of his fear overwhelmed me.

For a moment we looked each other in the eyes. He terrified and yet calm. Me shocked and confused. Then he smiled at me. "Thank you." I froze. A growl, or was it a groan, threaten to escape. This wasn't going well. He thanked me. No man has ever thanked me like that.

"...I swear it's coming from here." A voice pulled me from my shock. More people were coming. I pushed back, they would save the human. I could go, go and pretend this never happened.

I was about to disappear under water when someone grabbed my hand. "What's your name?" Such a simple question. One I shouldn't answer. It was bad enough that I saved him, telling him my name and revealing I could talk. That would be a disaster. I pulled by lips up in a silent growl. A warning and a threat. He moved back and let go of my wrist, a reflex of a prey looking at a predator.

I turned back when I hear his voice again. "I'm Magnus." He looked at me with hopeful eyes. "Please tell me your name." He was begging me. I didn't understand why he wanted my name so bad. One glance back told me the other humans were beating fast, I needed to go now.

But, I couldn't just go. If I was breaking the rules, then I was doing it all the way. Besides, there was no one who would ever be able to discover this. I would never see the human again. And no one would believe him if he told them that mer could talk.

I let myself slip in the water and looked him, flashing him a grin that showed off all my sharp teeth. "Nahla." My voice was nothing but a pleasant whisper. "My name is Nahla." With that I disappeared under the waves.

I hid behind one of the biggest stones a little further in the sea. There I watched as the humans who were lured by my voice found the hu- found Magnus. It were two people, an older men and a young woman. The woman screamed when she saw Magnus and ran towards him. She fell on her knees beside him.

It was only due her enchanted hearing that she was able to catch what she was saying.

The woman was shouting at the man to get a healer while she cleaned the wounds on his arms and searched him for other wounds.

I hid behind the rich till the old man came back. My teeth gritted together. Everything inside me screamed to attack. Defenseless humans, they wouldn' able to hold me off.

But I did nothing. Nothing but watch till they took my human away. Nothing while it became darker and darker. The sent of blood growing stronger and stronger. I watched till they all disappeared behind the hills.

The human looked over his shoulder one last time. Our eyes connected one more time and I smiled. A smile full of death and sharp teeth. A wave hit me and I was gone.

I didn't see how the human smiled at the waves Or how he whispered my names under his breath.

"Nahla."


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