Enchanters of the Ocean

Enchanters of the Ocean

A pebble rolled off the mountain and fell into a sea. Travelling into the depth of the ocean, it landed at the entrance of a kingdom where merfolks lived. Not only did they live there happily but also ruled over the mighty ocean. Their ocean, their rules. 

Until one day, an evil monster from the upper world attacked them. The conniving monster, along with the likes of him, wanted the magic of the merfolks. They wanted to capture all the merfolks but managed to capture the most treasured ones. These monsters were none other than the humans.

***

Though many beautiful mermaids lived in the kingdom of Piscia, no one could match with the beauty of Princess Coral. It was no secret that Coral inherited this beauty from her mother, Queen Cordelia. 

Once a princess, always a princess. Coral was sleeping on her bed when someone pushed her. She landed on the ground with a loud thud. “This is the only way to wake you up. For God’s sake, remember that, you’re a princess and not sleeping beauty,” roared Cyan, Coral’s step-brother whose skin was greenish blue unlike Coral’s pearly white. His dislike for Coral was evident in the way he treated her.

However, Coral was not a damsel in distress. She was a princess and knew her worth. “How dare you push me off the bed and raise your voice at me? I am the princess,” snorted Coral. “You may be the princess but one day I will become the king of Piscia and will make sure that you rot in the dungeons.” 

“In your dreams, loser.” Coral made an L shape with her fingers, pissing off Cyan. “I will rule over Piscia just like my mother,” she added.

“Breathe till you have life in you, Coral. You will never….” Their conversation was disturbed by an unfamiliar sound. “What’s happening Cyan? What did you do? This is not funny. Stop at once,” warned Coral. “I didn’t do anything,” retorted Cyan.

“Run! We are under attack!!” The Royal Guard’s voice was enough to make everyone go helter-skelter. “I will save Queen Mother,” declared Cyan as he swam towards the Queen’s chambers. “Not so fast, Cyan. I will save my mother.” Coral raced trying to move ahead of her step-brother.

Unfamiliar weapons pierced through the water killing the royal guards. Coral and Cyan dodged the weapons while swimming towards their destination. “Save the queen,” ordered Cyan. “Do not come here children. Find a place to hide. The Queen is safe. The monster is behind you. Save yourselves,” informed the Royal Guard as he killed one of the monsters.

Coral looked behind her and froze in place. A large fishing net was heading towards her. In a fraction of second, she would have been caught, had Cyan not pulled her. “Coral, we have to go.” “No. I am not leaving my mother.” 

“Coral, leave with Cyan, now!” The Royal Guard ordered. Cyan grabbed Coral’s hand and pulled her towards the opposite direction. “What’s wrong with you, Cyan? Why are you suddenly being nice to me? Wouldn’t you be happy if I am dead?” Coral couldn’t hide her confusion.

“Not now, Coral. I can’t let the monster kill you. I will kill you with my own hands.” Cyan grinned mischievously as he revealed his intentions. Little did he know, that the fate had some other plans for them. 

As they swam towards what looked like a safe haven, they swam directly into the large fishing net. They were trapped. Before they could react, something was pierced into their arms.

***

Coral was the first one to open her eyes. She blinked and looked around. There was water around her but it did not taste like the ocean. She swam forward but was hit by something invisible. She tried again but failed. She kept trying until a bump was formed on her head.

“No use trying. We are trapped,” said a familiar voice. “Cyan!! Oh, my goodness,” cried Coral as she swam forward to hug him.

“Woah! Back off! I am not your real brother.”

“Thanks for reminding me that, you’re a jerk.”

“My pleasure!”

Their sarcastic conversation was interrupted by a loud bang. They focussed their attention towards the source of their noise. There was a team of monsters who had entered inside the room. These monsters were staring at them as if they were seeing something unusual. “What are you staring at?” Coral spat.

“This mermaid is trying to say something but I can’t understand,” said one of the monsters. “They can’t understand our language, Coral,” said Cyan. “But we can hear them,” replied Coral. 

“She is asking what are we staring at?” Leonard, one of the monsters said. 

Everyone looked at him, surprised at first, but then burst out laughing. “Look at this fool. He can hear what the mermaid is saying.” They all laughed at him, calling him stupid. Only the three of them knew who the real fool were.

“Leo, you stay here tonight and keep a watch on these creatures. If anything happens to them, I will cut off your neck,” warned one of the monsters.

***

It was past midnight. Leo looked at the sad faces of his captives who were trapped inside a large aquarium. They had tried to free themselves the moment his colleagues had left the place. He felt pity for them but there was nothing that he could do for them.

He stared at Coral. He had never seen anything as beautiful as her. Her pearly white skin would even make the moon envy. Her scales looked as if they were embroidered with pearls. He wondered if she was as soft as cotton. He wanted to feel the softness of her skin against his.

“Hey you, monster,” Coral’s voice broke his reverie. “I know that you can hear us. Come here at once or I’ll curse you.” Like an obedient kid who would receive a star for his obedience from his teacher, Leo obeyed her order.

“What do you want from us?” 

“I don’t want anything.”

“You fool, why are we trapped here?”

“Oh! I don’t know. They said that mermaids have magic in them. They want that power.”

“Magic? Is it so easy to take away from us what belongs to us? You monsters, you will rot in hell.”

“We are not monsters,” said Leo in a defensive tone.

“Oh really? Then what are you?”

“We are humans.”

Both Cyan and Coral burst out laughing.

“Humans? You call yourselves humans but we call you monsters. You think that a creature that is large, ugly and frightening is called as monster. But you, you humans are the real monsters. You pollute our oceans and kill our sea friends for your own benefit. But we mermaids will not let you destroy us,” snapped Coral.

“Are you hungry?” Leo asked, quietly.

“Yes. I want to eat you all.”

“If we eat them, we will become like them, Coral,” sighed Cyan. 

“Do you want to go home?” Cyan and Coral looked at Leo, trying to read through him.

“Are you mocking us?” asked an angry Cyan.

“No. I want to help you.”

“You think that you can fool us? This is definitely a trap. You humans are untrustworthy,” said Cyan, as a matter of fact.

“As you wish. You can either let me help you or rot in this place forever. Choice is yours.” Leo shrugged off.

Coral and Cyan shared a glance at each other. They knew they had no option than to take Leo’s help. 

“Help us,” ordered Coral.

“You don’t order when you ask for help,” replied Leo. 

“HELP US, PLEASE,” pleaded Coral.

“Ah! Much better! Now, I have a plan but I am not sure if it will work. It all depends upon you.”

“Tell me, I will do anything to get out of here,” said Cyan. “Me too” said Coral. 

“This aquarium is made of unbreakable glass, except the top portion which is fragile. But it is too heavy to move.”

“I am the mighty Cyan. I will try to break this.” Swimming towards the top, Cyan was about to break the topmost glass cover when Leo’s voice stopped him in his tracks. “If you break the glass, it will alert the guards outside. You both need to work together to come out of it.”

“I don’t need her help. I can do this alone,” replied Cyan. “Neither am I dying to work with you. But this human is right. We need to move that cover together. We are amongst the enemies. At this moment it is better to stick together than letting our enemy take advantage of our situation. It will be such a shame that the mighty Cyan left Princess Coral to die alone in an unknown land because he was too coward to defeat her on his own,” provoked Coral. 

“I can’t believe that I am saying this, but you’re right, Coral,” agreed Cyan. Together they swam towards the top.  Cyan, with all his strength, lifted the top cover while Coral kept slowly moving it. After some time, they were able to make enough space for themselves to slip out.

The moment they touched the ground, a miracle happened, they turned into humans. They tried to move but lost their balance and fell. Standing up, they slowly put their one foot after another, till they could walk without falling.

“Hey you, human-monster what did you do to us? Turn us into mermaids, now,” cried Coral. “Believe it or not, I have done nothing to you. Now let’s get out of here before they come back. By the way. I am Leonard but you can call me Leo.”

“I am Coral and he is Cyan,” replied Coral, nonchalantly. They followed Leo as he led them towards the exit. However, the guards were all over the place. “Now what? We are trapped,” sighed Cyan. “I know a secret passage. Follow me.” They followed Leo to a secret room. Once they were in, Leo bolted the door from inside.

“Why are you helping us, Leo?” Coral wanted to know the truth. “Because I am a human and not a monster. Not all humans are bad,” answered Leo as he peeped out of the window. “There are no guards below. We need to get down through this pipe. Can you both do this?” They both nodded in unison.

All three of them, descended through the pipe and landed onto the ground. Quietly, they jumped over the fence to the other side of the large building. They followed Leo into a narrow lane. The lane was eerily quiet with darkness. “It is too dark,” complained Cyan. Leo took out an unfamiliar device. He clicked on it and the device emitted light. “What is this thing?” Coral asked in awe. “This is a smartphone,” Leo replied, simply.

In the next moment, a cat jumped out of nowhere. She hissed at Cyan and Coral. She started chasing them while continuously meowing. Leo stood in between them and the cat, trying to protect them, but the cat wouldn’t budge. Suddenly, the cat started growing in size till she overlooked the humans. They realised that it was not an ordinary cat. 

“We need to run or else it will eat us up,” cried Cyan. “I am not running away like a coward. I will fight this creature. I am not dying without fighting,” declared Coral. “Cyan, you need to distract this beast while I find a way to kill it.” “Why do I need to listen to you, Coral?” “Cyan, do you have a better idea?” Cyan felt defeated but followed her advice.

Turning to Leo, she asked, “Is your smartphone smart enough to tell me the weakness of this beast?” Leo quickly googled on cat’s weaknesses. Coral and Leo came up with a plan while Cyan distracted the cat. 

“Hey beast, I am not scared of you,” shouted Coral to grab the cat’s attention. She hissed at Coral and leaped towards her. Coral clicked on the flashlight of Leo’s phone and focussed it on the cat’s eyes. She tried to dodge but her opponent was too fast. But the odds were in the favour of the cat. 

The phone switched off as the battery drained. The cat struck Coral and she fell on the ground. She jumped upon Coral, pinning her to the ground. Opening her mouth wide, she was about to relish the enemy in front of her when a large stone was thrown into her mouth. She cried in pain as her jaw was dislocated by the hit of the stone. Coral punched the cat in the chest throwing her off guard. The three of them left the place without looking back.

“Thanks, Cyan and Leo, for saving me,” said Coral once they reached a cliff surrounded by the ocean. “It’s time to say goodbye,” said Coral, sadness creeping through her voice. “Thanks for all your help, dear human,” added Cyan.

 

“Goodbye,” said Leo, sadly. In the next moment, Cyan jumped off the cliff leaving Coral behind. However, he started drowning in the water. Leo quickly came to his rescue. He jumped off the cliff and swam towards him. He held Cyan and brought him to the surface. Coral ran towards them. “Are you okay, Cyan?” Cyan coughed out some water.

“Why can’t I swim? Why am I still a human, Coral? I want to go back home,” cried Cyan. Coral marched towards the sea. She entered the water letting waves play with her feet. But she didn’t turn into mermaid. Shocked, she returned to Cyan. “Let’s go to some safe place and figure this out. By now, everyone must be looking for us. If they find us, they will kill me and torture you both,” stated Leo.

***

Leo booked a room in a hotel instead of taking them home. He knew that their lives were in danger. He had got himself into this mess and now there was no turning back. He looked at the two sleeping beauties. Locking them inside the room, he made his way out.

When Coral and Cyan woke up, they were in a state of despair. They didn’t understand what to do with their lives. Being human was not their choice. And they had no idea how to get back to their original form. They heard unlocking of the door and panicked. But in the next moment, they breathed a sigh of relief on seeing Leo.

“Where have you been?” They asked him in unison.

“I went to my ancestral home. My grandfather was an oceanographer. He had written a book on the lives of mermaids and guess what? There is a solution to your problem,” said Leo.

“Tell us everything, Leo. We will do anything to go back home,” said Coral excitedly.

“In his book, my grandfather wrote that there lies an emerald in the middle of the ocean. This emerald can turn a human into a mermaid. But there is a catch. A human may find this emerald but he can only become a mermaid with the help of Queen of the mermaids.”

“Wait, why would the Queen of the mermaids help any human to become a mermaid?” asked Cyan.

“The Queen of the mermaids cannot refuse the holder of the emerald. She has to bow to the command of the emerald holder.”

“And how does that solve our problem?” They asked in unison.

“I have a map that will take us to the location of the emerald. Then we will take it to your queen and she can turn you both into your former selves,” concluded Leo.

“That would have been a great idea only if we could swim underwater without drowning ourselves,” sighed Cyan.

“That’s why we humans invented something called Scuba diving. I have brought all the scuba diving equipment along with me. Wear them and we are ready to swim underwater,” smirked Leo.

***

With the help of a boat, they reached in the middle of the ocean. Coral felt mixed emotions. Within few hours, she would return to her home but she would definitely miss Leo. “Now my friends, we need to jump into the ocean and search for the emerald,” announced Leo breaking her reverie. 

They dived into the ocean, swimming into its depth. Following the map, they located the treasure they had come for. There were many green stones. “Which one of these is the emerald?” asked a curious Cyan. They both picked every green stone one by one until they came across one which was stuck. Cyan used all his strength but stone didn’t budge. Then Coral tried to do the same but failed.

“Something is engraved on this stone,” said Coral. “You can only lift the emerald, when your powers combine,” read Coral aloud. “What is that supposed to mean?” asked Cyan. “I think let’s try to pull it out together,” suggested Coral. Together, they tried to lift the emerald. The emerald moved as if obeying their orders. They both grabbed it and placed it inside a small box.

Now it was time to return to their kingdom. Leo followed them. He was awestruck by the magnificent castle that stared back at him. “Cyan, Coral you’re safe. We thought that we lost you forever,” cried the Royal Guard. “Where is mother?” asked Coral. As if on cue, Queen Cordelia came outside to meet her children. She embraced them into a bear hug.

“Who is this stranger?” asked Queen Cordelia. “Queen Mother, he is Leo, our saviour. He rescued us from those monsters,” replied Cyan and narrated the entire incident. 

“Thank you for saving my children, dear Leo,” said Queen Cordelia. “The pleasure is all mine,” replied Leo.

“Mother, please turn us into mermaids. We are tired of being humans,” requested Coral. “Cyan, give the emerald to mother,” she commanded. Cyan looked for the box in his pockets but there was nothing. “Coral, where is the box?”

“It is with me, you fool,” laughed Leo as he revealed the emerald. “Bow to me, you mere creatures,” he commanded as he held it high. As if they were hypnotised, all the merfolks bowed to their commander. “You monster, you betrayed us,” yelled Coral and tried to push Leo. But he lifted her with his free hand and threw her on the ground. Both Cyan and Coral tried to fight Leo, individually, but they were mere humans now.

“You both didn’t even think for once how I was able to hear and understand you. You thought I was helping you but I wanted the emerald that only you both were able to remove from the ocean. I will do what my grandfather couldn’t. I will become the king and rule the ocean,” declared Leo.

Cyan grabbed Coral and ushered her inside the castle. “What are you doing, Cyan. We need to save them,” cried Coral. “Remember what was engraved on the stone, Coral? We have to combine our powers. We need to work together. We are not mermaids anymore. We are humans. We have to fight him together before he becomes a mermaid and gets our power.”

“Cordelia, chant the magical words, and make me the King of Mermaids,” Leo ordered. “Wait Leo. I wish to die as mermaid in a battle between merman Cyan and me. Please grant our last wish before we die,” begged Coral.

“I will grant your last wish,” obliged Leo, who was amused by her wish. Cordelia chanted the magical words and both turned into mermaids. The moment they turned into mermaids, they hugged each other and started rotating fast before Leo could react. Their continuous rotation created a whirlpool in the ocean resulting the emerald to fall from Leo’s hand.

The moment the emerald touched the ground it got stuck like before and all the merfolks woke up from the spell. Cyan and Coral stopped rotating and looked at Leo. They both held each other’s hand and dashed towards him to punch him. But he vanished into thin air.

“How is this possible?” they cried in unison. “Because all this was an illusion,” replied Queen Cordelia. “I wanted you to realise that the real power lied in combining your powers together and not using them against each other. Although this was untrue, humans have created a technology to reach us. If we don’t unite, many Leos are there to destroy us,” she added.

“I am sorry, Coral, for treating you badly all these years. Can you forgive me?” asked Cyan. “Only if you can forgive me too,” replied Coral.

***

Many years later, Princess Coral ruled the kingdom of Piscia along with King Cyan. Together, they protected the emerald.
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