Editor: Cheonsa, Pigeon
Heyo~ This chapter marks the 3rd Arc:Scary Mermaid Island :>
I forced myself to empty my head, not allowing it to think about anything. The sea breeze was gently caressing my face. The sea’s surface looked so blue and calm, reflecting the large clouds in the vast sky.
When I was in Moscow, I once dreamt of dedicating my whole life to the mysteries of the ocean, hoping to explore the world of the merfolk, which was vastly different from that of the environment of humans. I was so into the study that I even wanted to sacrifice my life for it. However, I absolutely hadn’t foreseen that I would’ve gotten myself caught up in the hands of a merman, ruining both my body and the rest of my life at the same time.
I was obviously a student with a bright future!
I held my head with both of my hands, letting my fingers sink into my hair. According to the original plan, I should’ve just collected the merfolk images and data and then returned to Moscow to continue my studies. Afterwards, I could’ve just concentrated on completing my graduation thesis and advanced as a postgraduate, continuing on to lead a smooth-sailing life.
But, everything thus far had been messed up now, completely messed up! I had gone with the flow and drifted too far. From the very first day that, that damn merman appeared, my life had gone off track. Or perhaps, it was from the time I first set foot onto the scientific exploration ship that my destiny had completely gotten out of my control.
My experience in society was too little and my general ability to act was also rather poor. Towards the derailment of everything around me, akin to that of a mantis trying to stop a chariot, I was powerless.
Hateful! God knows how much I wanted to go back!
My gaze wandered around the boat, then suddenly, a streak of light passed my mind. Maybe I wasn’t completely helpless. I could possibly make use of the lifeboat and sneakily escape when night fell…
But just where are we? What are our coordinates?
I lifted my eyes and looked into the distance. A faint, but discernible outline hid within the mist of clouds, catching my eyes and startling me. I subconsciously stood up and grabbed the telescope upon the observation platform, looking through its lens.
Towards the horizon line, the sky appeared like the colour of night, as though it was another seperated world. Within the sky’s film, behind the clouds and mists, there was a clear silhouette of an island that emitted a thin layer of blue-green mist towards its surroundings. It was as though the island had been shrouded in vapour, making it look like a mirage, very unreal and illusionary.
My mood, like crashing waves, became charged with excitement, because I knew that this was no illusion. It was precisely what Dr. Vinogreider had once said, it was the floating island inhabited by merfolk, Lemegeton!
Oh my god! Oh my god! We have actually… arrived!
The thought of escaping from before immediately vanished like smoke in thin air and was replaced by the excitement of wanting to explore the mysterious island. However, at the same time, I couldn’t help but recall what Agares had said to me back when we were imprisoned in the bottom compartment, as well as, during our encounter with that seductive, red-haired merman at sea. My heart that had been in high spirits now sank into my chest, and my thoughts became complicated once again.
I didn’t know what dangers I would encounter once I stepped onto Merfolk Island, but hopefully, I wouldn’t catch the attention of any other merfolk aside from Agares. It seems that I would have to learn some methods of self-defence from Rhine. Both him and I couldn’t keep straining this deadlock relationship, because once we docked at the island, he was the only person I could count on as a teammate. As for the rest, they couldn’t be trusted.
I opened my palm and looked at it—there was only a thin streak of soft callus, but it was simply a hand suitable for a pen. It didn’t look like a hand equipped for fighting at all, but I still had full confidence in myself.
But, how could my relationship with Rhine be eased? With all that has happened, it became harder for us to exchange normal conversation, plus he saw the many things Agares had done to me during several occasions…
Damn it! I clenched my hands into a fist and hammered it a couple of times at the railing in resentment. After, I sat back down and extended my legs so that they reached past the edge of the observation tower, then I leaned back against the railing, gazing towards Merfolk Island. I simply tried to calm down my mood, but I unexpectedly dozed off.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
When I woke up, it was already nighttime. There wasn’t a need for the telescope to distinguish the floating island’s outline anymore, because it could now be easily spotted within the ghostly light that radiated in the sea’s night fog. Compared to the daytime, it looked more mysterious and strange, giving my heart chills in the wake of it all. At this time, the temperature of the sea breeze also dropped, making my hair stand on end.
P reymbcrmlberis iloafv ws tfjv ab ibbx eq ja atf rxs jcv rjk atja atf mibevr bnfgtfjv kfgf gjatfg ibk. P vgfjvfv atja atfgf kbeiv yf jcbatfg rabgw, rb P lwwfvljafis rabbv eq jcv kfca vbkc atf rajlgr bo atf byrfgnjalbc abkfg.
For the next two to three days, everyone was immersed in the nervousness and excitement of arriving at Merfolk Island. Rhine seemed as though he wanted to reconcile with me and didn’t bring up anything about the incident. My life once again resumed back to its peaceful state, even though I was fully aware it was going to be short-lived.
Our ship had sustained quite a bit of damage from when we encountered that eel-like monster, causing it to sail too slow. The sailors had to mend the ship with haste when it was daytime, allowing me to take a slight breather. I had also learned a few self-defense skills from Rhine and successfully obtained a sharp military dagger along with a dexterous pistol, of course, hiding it from Sakarol. Obtaining it was clearly due to Rhine’s selfish motives, he probably hoped that I could use this to ward off Agares if he suddenly appeared.
Only that, I don’t know why, but Agares seemed to have disappeared ever since that day.
Coafg atf alq bo ws qfc rqla bea atf ijra rfcafcmf bcab ws nbsjuf pbegcji, ws tfjga revvfcis pewqfv ilxf mgjhs, jr atbeut atf cjwf tjv yfmjwf jc lcnlbijyif ajybb. Zs wlcv mbeivc’a tfiq yea mbcpegf eq atja qjlg bo rfgfcf, ygluta qeqlir, jmmbwqjclfv ys tlr ibk nblmf atja ilcufgfv cfjg ws fjgr. P mbeiv fnfc offi tlr wblra ygfjat tbnfglcu jgbecv ws cfmx, jr lo agslcu ab wjxf lar kjs vbkc ws mbiijg.
My fingers trembled, and the tip of my pen drew a long stroke, thus staining a large area of my paper.
I swung the pen aside with a simple wave of my hand. Then I embraced my head and knocked it onto the table a couple of times.
Don’t think of that beast. Don’t think about it, Desharow!
I threw myself onto the bed and wrapped my entire body with a blanket, until even my head was covered. However, I still felt like there was a pair of dripping, wet claws on my back, sliding down the arch of my spine as a soft, cold mouth licked and kissed against my chest.
I shut my eyes and felt that my body temperature was gradually rising. I couldn’t stop my hands from imitating the actions of how Agares had played with my body before. I was extremely ashamed to admit it, but with Agares’s disappearance, both my mind and my body were craving for him, just like a drug addiction. I was unable to deny that I was not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome! This made me hope all the more that he wouldn’t appear again, otherwise, I was afraid I would take the initiative to open my legs for him. Letting him take me like one would do with a woman, invading me fiercely, yet gently.
Damn this beast! He had utterly destroyed me! He made me incapable of even pursuing a normal woman, making me suffer through and through!
I tenaciously bit onto the blanket and curled myself into a dumpling while my hands moved increasingly between my legs.
On one night a week later, our ship finally approached the mysterious, floating mermaid island. However, after all of us ran towards the deck to cheer, we were confronted with a grim situation.
—Through the faint gloating glow, I saw that the coastline surrounding Merfolk Island was filled with grotesquely-shaped, skerry reefs that were as sharp as knives, or probably, akin to a likeness of monster’s teeth. If a person were brave enough to step foot there, they would get torn into tatters. I could just imagine if our ship were to travel over there, it would become a pile of broken copper and scrapped iron.
According to common sense, we should’ve waited for daybreak before getting onto the island, but unfortunately, this island’s environment didn’t give the sun any opportunity to shine through. During the past few days on the way to the island, the surroundings had always been covered densely by dark, gloomy clouds. It was like a humongous monster sleeping in the night. When we were all at our wit’s end, a sailor who was holding a pair of binoculars suddenly hollered, “Hey, hey, come and see. There’s a natural entrance over there, we can enter from that way!”
I followed and turned my head. Sure enough, I spotted a faintly discernible, channel-like entrance in the distance, or perhaps, it was more suitable to call it a cliff cave, exposed on the surface of the water. But the thing was, we didn’t know how deep the cave was. Although there were no rocky reefs within its vicinity, it was impossible to confirm if there were any dangerous reefs beneath the water. So, there was no way we were going to rashly use a lifeboat for swimming over there in the first place.
We slowly steered towards the entrance of the channel. We were fortunate enough that the ship didn’t knock against any of the skerry reefs along the way. Even though the channel’s entrance was large enough to fit the bulky mass of the ship, there were still a lot of strange, jagged rocks upon the upper section on the rock wall, like dog’s teeth. If we were to steer the ship further in, it would not only damage the observation tower, but also cause the ship to be unable to turn around. We could go in, but not necessarily be able to come out.
In sheer desperation, we had to lower down the lifeboats into the water and enter in three groups. However, I didn’t know what the intention was, but under Sakarol’s command, the fake pirates who were locked in the bottom cabin were also taken out and put into the lifeboats shared by Rhine and me.
The motors were set to the lowest possible speed as we gradually entered the interior of the channel. The breeze was cold and gloomy as it attacked us head on, and the cool, chilliness of it seeped into my bone marrow, relentlessly delving its way into my pores, so that I couldn’t help but wrap the thick life vest closer to my body. The gas lamp illuminated the dark water’s surface, where many layers of clear and crystalline sparkling, blue waves were reflected, clearly exposing the subtle fear on everyone’s faces.
The deeper inside we travelled, the more I felt the structure of this channel was like that of the interior skeleton of an enormous fish. The lifeless atmosphere made it appear as though it was covering up the presence of evil spirits. However, I knew that there were no actual evil spirits in here, because there were countless mermaids that were far more terrible than any so-called ghostly spirits. They may just be hiding inside of the dark caves by the rocks, where the wall met the water, quietly spying on us.
A chilling sense of horror crawled up my back to my nerves. I gripped the pistol on my waist suspiciously, always mistaking the microorganisms that flickered in the dark for eyes of a mermaid.
I hoped those merfolk hadn’t discovered that uninvited guests had intruded, and I wished that we could cross this channel and ascend onto the shoreline without a hitch, because, at least on land, we were relatively safer.
“Hey, Miss Sakarol. Is there really merfolk treasure hidden here like your father had mentioned: diamonds everywhere and mountains of gold?”
“Yeah, yeah. From the looks of it… This is like a dead man’s island. Are there really other merfolk around? So far, we’ve only encountered the black-tailed one.”
“Did we somehow come to the wrong place, Miss Sakorol?”
After a sailor had asked the first question, a few others contributed in, making a lively conversation of the topic.
“That, of course, you guys don’t need to worry about it. The money you’ll pocket from this endeavour won’t even be finished in your entire lifetime.” A determined, yet cold, female voice put an end to this conversation. I couldn’t help but stare widely at Sakarol with confusion. My heart felt uneasy, wasn’t this a government-issued merfolk project? Since when did it have anything to do with treasure?
Reflected in the water, Sakarol’s face was unusually calm, and as though she had felt my gaze, she casted a slight glance towards me. Her eyes were full of warnings and calculations, as though she was telling me that my handle was in the palm of her hands; so, I shouldn’t speak.
Humiliated, I gritted my teeth and turned my head back to look at Rhine. However, he simply made a hand gesture telling me to stay quiet.
What’s the meaning behind that?
Forcing me to go on this journey, yet not even telling me the true goal behind it. How was this not the same as treating me as a sacrificial lamb? When the moment comes, I won’t even know how or why I died.
Those sailors looked as if they were more pitiful than me. They thought that this was merely a treasure hunting group.
I had a gun in my possession now. I, at least, had Rhine standing on my side. If not, he wouldn’t have secretly given me this weapon.
Just as I thought of this, my eyes narrowed on a ripple under the water behind Rhine, where it was different from the water waves coming from the boat. Then, instantly, an arc-shaped object flashed past.
“A Mermaid is here!”
A sailor who stood by my side shouted loudly, and I immediately covered his mouth. In a low voice I said, “You fool! If you shout too loud, you’ll attract even more. They’re extremely sensitive to sound waves!”
With that said, my eyes swept over the water’s surface, wondering in my heart if Agares had followed. The instant this thought appeared, my heart started beating like a drum and, this time, sounded even more alarmed than the first time I had seen that beast. But, in addition to the panic, I felt a nameless expectation and excitement. I unexpectedly wished for the sinister, smiling face to burst out from the water at that very moment.
Two conflicting emotions fought against one another in my chest, turning my body stiff. I held my breath, and with wide eyes, I scanned the area by the boat where the peculiar ripples had appeared.
However, after another sound of splashing coming from within the water, a head with an unfamiliar, pale face appeared, followed by two, then three, then four and then five…
From both sides within the dark cave, faces of countless Mermaids emerged. Their pale arms stretched out from the water’s dark depths. Their webbed, wet claws extended towards us, and their faintly glowing eyes were filled with longing and thirst. They were like zombies crawling in from the gates of hell. Despite the fact that their faces appeared young, this situation was still as terrifying as being weighed down into an ice cellar.
They gradually gathered together, and then I caught a glimpse of the red-haired merman who once attacked me!
He was surrounded by waves of merfolk that crowded around us. His torso was raised above the water, while his pair of bewitching eyes stared at me unwaveringly, as though they would devour me.
Rhine grabbed a hold of my arm, tugging me back. I grabbed a hold of the gun on my waist and vigilantly observed the circumstances of the surroundings. Though, to be honest, it was absolutely against my personal principle to fight wild animals with real bullets. However, it was also an inevitable, helpless move since the safety of my life was also being threatened.
Sakarol took out a spear that she carried behind her back and revealed the perceptive senses of a female military officer’s attitude. With a wave of her arm, she called out to the armed man on the lifeboat that held the fake pirates captive.
“Hurry, throw them down!”
What? I was flabbergasted to see all those armed men joining forces with one another to throw those fainted pirates off the boat without the slightest hesitation. One by one, they carried the pirates over their shoulders and flung them down into the water like sandbags, before speeding away. In an instant, a flock of mermaids hastily dove after those fake pirates that had been thrown overboard.
I couldn’t see what was happening under the water, but I didn’t want to sympathise with the enemies that tried to murder us. Though, once I thought about what could happen to them, I couldn’t help but shudder from head to toe. Yet, when I thought about how cold-hearted Sakarol was, it made my blood run even colder— Just think: imagine having this ruthless method used on me…. What would Sakarol do to me when I no longer held any value? This is nothing more than the same exact approach!
I swallowed my saliva and gripped the side of the lifeboat. The Mermaids made ripples as they competed for those unfortunate men in the water, but there was still another wave of tails in pursuit behind us. They were led by none other than the red-haired merman, who was as fast as a space rocket. In the blink of an eye, he became a short distance away from us.
Sakarol thought out loud, “Why is this happening?”
I felt that Rhine tightened his grip on my arm, but I sensed Sakarol’s eyes on my body even more, making me feel like I had thorns on my back.
I glanced over at Rhine looking directly at Sakarol with a pale face and tightly stitched eyebrows.
“It’s him…” As soon as Sakarol’s voice turned low, the back of my head went numb.
“Rhine, just do it. Desharow shouldn’t stay on any longer.”
My nerves felt like they exploded, and my body responded faster than my brain. I raised the gun at once, holding it in both hands, and pointed it at everyone around me. With gritted teeth, I squeezed out, “Who dares to move?!”
I glared at Sakarol as I roared fiercely, “I will not get off this boat. Just when do you command people’s life and death? Go down? How about you go down yourself, you vile woman!”
Sakarol knitted her eyebrows and frowned. Her eyes flashed and she merely said, “To achieve our goal, there’s always a price to pay. But you were just unlucky enough to be chosen as bait.”
After she looked around, she continued, “Why are you guys not going for it? Just think of the treasure. Do you guys want to die here before even having the chance to see a single ounce of it?”
The sailors aboard hesitated and looked at each other in dismay, before all at once turning to stare at me. These people who were once my companions day and night, showed on their faces complex and interwoven expressions mixed with pain, fear, greed and desire, altogether presenting an ugly appearance.
My wrist trembled, in my hands the gun I held was supposed to protect me, but I still felt my bone bursting with chills. “Hey guys, don’t listen to her. This woman will just do the same to you one day!”
No one answered me, the only thing that did reply was the pitch black hole of a muzzle. In front of such a firepower weapon, I had no leeway to fight back. Before being dumped into the water, I was going to probably get shot until I was full of holes.
I recoiled back a step but knocked into Rhine as he firmly captured my arm. Sakarol shouted in a loud voice, “Rhine, why are you hesitating? You dare go against a command? Keep in mind, emotions are forbidden to hinder our actions. That has been the rule stated since day one! You’re still not going to do it?!”
I rotated my head around mechanically and saw that there was a vein popping out of Rhine’s forehead. He looked at me with a dark complexion as the muscles on his arm trembled.
“Desharow, I’m sorry.” He looked as though he was telling this to me, but I heard nothing. I only felt my body being pulled backwards, my entire person falling out of the boat. I subconsciously flailed my arms and happened to grab the end of the boat with all my strength. Half of my body ended up falling into the water, now being dragged by the boat.
The water’s resistance was so great, my fingers’ joints felt like they were gonna break, all turning blue-ish white. My eyes became red from the force and my mind was drifting off along with the rumble of the motor engine above me. I tried to muster up enough strength to get a final glimpse of the faces that wanted to throw me to my death.
However, I couldn’t look up in time to see them, for I felt my leg being tugged down vigorously by a strong force, making my head completely submerged into the salty water. I heard Rhine’s shattering cry, his voice filled with remorse and unwillingness, “Desharow, Desharow!”
It’s a pity that, even in the face of death, I didn’t have the space to hate him. Rhine’s voice disappeared with the light as I felt a pair of webbed-claws dragging me into a dark, indistinct cave where numerous pairs of bright eyes appeared one after another in the water
Fear and despair penetrated deep into my bones, drowning me along with the mouthfuls of water that came in all directions.
In a moment of extreme panic and helplessness, I desperately called out his name from the bottom of my heart.
However, in the next moment, be it my imagination or not, I suddenly heard a deep, hiss-like sound, like that of a cello being played, coming from afar.
Heyo Jade here~ Just wanted you guys to know that the Author is highly into descriptive plots, so we’re sorry that we are bombarding you guys with so many pictures and descriptions. We just want you guys to understand and accurately visualize the scene. Thanks for your kind understanding! ><