The look of confusion that covered the two's faces was priceless. It took everything within Iris not to burst out in laughter. Undines had ears and features that reminded her of those little packets of sea monkeys kids would buy. The one she'd had as a child showed a little sea monkey family floating together outside of an underwater castle.
The tall, lean, and stern-looking man had introduced himself as Drake. He had sharp features with dark-orange colored hair and a matching tail. He was the one who had done most of the talking earlier.
The other one introduced himself as Cleitus. He was shorter than Drake, but had much more muscle mass.. His face was a bit more boxy than Drake's too, but they had the same noses and ear folds. The fact that Cleitus' hair and tail were a bright yellow color was the only reason Iris doubted that they were brothers.
As if reading her mind, Selena stated; "They are the offspring of Kadin, a loyal subject of yours. He's often complained about how rebellious his sons are. I don't think he'll be particularly happy with you two over this."
The two shrunk in place. They obviously feared their father, which hit a nerve with Iris. She was scared of her father for the longest time too.. Still was a bit. The only reason she wasn't all the time was because of Matt.
'Matt.. I hope he's ok. Please, please, please, let him be ok!'
As the thought crossed her mind, Iris jerked her head up towards Selena; "We aren't telling their father about this. Not unless they betray us, understand?"
Selena looked like she was going to protest, but nodded her agreement instead. She didn't know what Iris was thinking, but decided it wouldn't look good to openly argue with her in front of the brothers. They might doubt the new Iris' words.
Turning to face them, Iris flicked her wrist up and said; "You may leave for now, but always be at the ready for when I call upon you.. And remember to keep all of this to yourselves, or else.."
With the ominous threat hanging in the air, the two and their remaining guards bowed and thanked their Queen for her mercy, then scurried out the door. After a solid minute of silence, Iris and Selena exhaled deeply with relief. Selena slumped down in a chair while Iris let her body go limp.
While slowly floating down to the clamshell bed, she hollered; "I can't believe that actually Worked! Hahahaha! Powers, Bahahahaha!"
Levi looked to Iris with a quirked eyebrow; "So you don't have powers in your world?"
After getting her laughter under control, Iris replied; "Hell no, I don't have powers! Humans don't have magic or powers like you guys! It was a total bluff!"
"And what would've happened if they would've called on you to prove your powers? Or at least prove that you have control over the Queen's powers?" the Leviathan asked as he started to shrink back down to the size of a large iguana.
Iris shrugged; "I didn't think about that. I saw how close they were to pissing themselves just seeing you.. I figured I'd just take advantage of their already existing fear, and amp it up a bit."
Selena pinched the bridge of her nose lightly as she asked; "And what will you do when the council demands proof of your powers? You Will have to prove yourself at some point, and soon. With the Great Leviathan around, everyone will know Something has happened."
Iris donned a quizzical expression; "Hey, why can't we just say that Levi told you and the Queen to preform the ritual? You said yourself that the Gods can't, or won't fight the Charybdis, right? Then why can't they be the ones to summon me? Or be the ones to tell the high priestess to?"
"Technically, we gods are supposed to have very limited interaction with the Aquarians. It is the cost of free will. I'm sure your universe has similar rules pertaining to inter-dimensional beings; most do. Only the ones where the mortals have no will of their own are allowed direct, and sometimes even constant interaction with their gods."
Iris shook her head; "That knowledge is way above my pay-grade. I'm one of the lowly mortals in my world, so everything you just said right there," Iris motioned her hand over her head; "Just went right past me.."
Selena smiled at Iris' humor and mannerisms. The original Queen was a shy, soft-spoken girl that only raised her voice a handful of times in her life. She was gentle, caring, and humble in nature.. Nothing like the new Iris. A dunce would be able to see the difference!
As panic started to rise in Selena's chest, Iris said; "Well.. Godly business aside, how does that affect the lie? I need you to speak plainly, Levi.."
"I see that's not going away any time soon.. Very well, I shall be known as Levi while in this form.." Clearing his throat, Levi continued; "I told you how gods interact with mortals in their various universes, but here it's a little different. Everything in this world was created solely by Poseidon alone, so we have much more leeway when it comes to interactions with mortals."
"The more gods that had a hand in the creation process, the more rules that must be applied to keep things fairly equal. Technically I'm not a full god-"
Iris interrupted enthusiastically; "Oh! So you're like a demigod then?! Are all of the others like you, too? Are they all water-based? Do you have someone named Hercules?"
As Iris rapid-fired questions a Levi, Selena listened to the exchange. Everything the god had said about different worlds was far beyond anything the Aquarians had ever researched into, as far as she knew. The being inside of her Little Flower seemed to understand at least most of what he was saying!
'Demigods? That means they're like us in a way, but more powerful; immortal.. He said that Poseidon had created everything, was everything created at the same time? Why did he create us in the first place?! This.. This is too much!'
Selena stepped forward with a nervous smile; "Pardon me, but I really think we need to start covering the original Iris' life. It would be odd for you not to know your own birthday, or your own acquaintances."
Both Iris and Levi nodded their agreement. It was obvious that their conversation was making her uncomfortable, so Iris attempted to sit up, to pay better attention to Selena. As she straightened her back, Iris' stomach practically screeched in protest.
A touch of pink colored her cheeks as she smiled nervously and shrugged. Selena grinned knowingly as she swam over to the table, and grabbed the tray of bubble bites from earlier. As soon as she set it next to Iris, the girl began to inhale the bubbles like she hadn't eaten it a week.
'The taste is kinda bland, but good. That's also probably me being used to my heavily flavored American food.. I miss my chili cheese fries already..' Iris' eating pace had slowed drastically as her mind began to wander.
"Now that you've eaten, we need to discuss the original queen's history and personality traits. Drake and Cletus might believe you're powerful, but you'll eventually have to prove it once who you truly are is revealed. The Council will want to make sure that the new Queen was worth sacrificing the original for.."
A heaviness settled in the water as Selena's words sunk in. The current Iris was now responsible for an entire species.. an entire world. It was a sobering thought that made the food in her stomach unsettle, and threaten to come back up.
The original Queen had literally sacrificed her soul to save her people.. and had gotten an average collage student in return. It wasn't something any one person seemed to control, so getting mad about it would be a waste. Fear, however; was a natural survival instinct, and her body was suddenly filled with it.
Not for herself necessarily, but for the Aquarians. They'd hoped for a hero or savior and gotten her..
Iris' heart ached with the storm of emotions swirling around within it. 'There's NO WAY I can save them! I'm just me! I'm not a soldier or general! What the Hell am I gonna do?! I can't let these nice Undines, umm, Aquarian people-whatever!-I can't let them die! But I don't wanna die again, either! First time wasn't exactly pleasant, minus Matt's kiss.. I seriously doubt the second time will be any better!'
Seeing the struggle within her, Selena and Levi both assured her that they would teach her everything she would need to know. Levi had also promised not to return to the Heavens to report back until she was proficient in using her powers. This comforted Iris enough to make her want to hug them.
As she awkwardly struggled to sit up, Levi chuckled low as he said; "Maybe we should teach you how to swim before anything else, yeah?"