Aquata Cove Ch. 60

Amateur

Sorry to be taking so long between each chapter, I’m sort of in a block right now.

*****

Chapter 60: Scars of Rebuke

Arnaav peers over a reef as he signals ahead, hearing a marlin several feet away. His survival-knife spear quivers slightly in his little grip as he signals again. He meeped a little as signals again. And again. Once more, he sent a signal to hear the marlin-

“Stop it…” Merrick muttered right next to him, “One signal is enough, two is cautious, too many will alert them of your presence.”

“O-Ok…” Arnaav squeaked lowly.

“You must keep your voice down.” Merrick muttered a little harshly, “Hunting is a composition of time, stealth, speed, and precision.”

“Mmm…” Arnaav nodded.

“In a hunt, you must always know what, when, where, and how your prey is going to go, going to move, and going to do at the moment of strike.”

“… B-But…” Arnaav’s insides churn with anxiety, “H-How do I know what they will do? I cannot see the future.”

“You do not see the future,” Merrick explained, “Your instincts tell you exactly what will happen, and you must respond to it.”

“But I have tried before, I always fail because-“

“Keep your voice down!” Merrick instructed.

“I-I have tried to hunt before…” Arnaav whispered, “I cannot understand what you mean.”

“At that very moment, when you are ready to strike, it is in that frame of time where you capture your prey.”

“Mnnhhh…” The otter groaned. Honestly, he has absolutely no idea what Merrick is talking about.

“Alright. Now, are you ready to try again?”

“I think so…” Arnaav said.

“Then as I have showed you. Swim the lunge, and thrust your weapon on the prey…” Merrick said.

“Yes…” The otter merman primed his hind legs, and then launched himself! His small, webbed paw pushed as best as he could in a sloppy loop, not nearly as fast as he needs to be.

“Rgghh!” Merrick growled as Arnaav totally ruined the technique. The marlin saw him, and whipped around to swim away. The Amnien panicked, and threw his spear in a failed attempt to catch the marlin.

“NO!” Merrick suddenly jets from his spot. Arnaav gasped as the Piscien looms like a blue and silver blur through the water. Merrick snarled as he sent his harpoon flying threw the water, and pierced the marlin through the middle. The fish flopped helplessly blood wafted from the entry and exit wounds before Merrick took in a fell swoop. The merman angrily carried the prey back to the quivering otter.

“What was that??” Merrick demanded.

“I-I am sorry, Merrick!” Arnaav stammered, “I-I tried! I tried! I tried it like you have shown me!”

“That was not ANYTHING I have shown you!” Merrick scolded, “You did not give yourself a proper leap, and you failed to surprise your prey! This is the 19th time you have failed!”

“I am sorry, Merrick!” Arnaav started to sob, “C-Can we not-“

“No! You are not to eat until you have caught your prey!” Merrick instructed. The otter flinched as he sniffled, “You must learn decisiveness! Both as a hunter, and as a Trit-” He stopped.

Merrick froze in his harsh ranting. The poor young male sniffles and whimpered as he looks up at him, terrified. Merrick’s hands shook as they clenched on his weapon with the flailing marlin. He shook his head and sighed as he pulled his harpoon back until the hook-end was in the fish, before he did a quick stab inside, and the marlin stopped moving, dead.

“I am sorry, Arnaav…” Merrick as he lowered the fish to the young one.

“W-What?” Arnaav hardly accepted the marlin, and saw the Piscien start to circle him, “M-Merrick! I am sorry! Let us try agai-“

“No, Arnaav…” Merrick interrupted before pausing and turning, “I am sorry. I cannot teach you…”

The little otter gasped a little as he started to cry.

“But… You HAVE to!” Arnaav said, “You told me you would teach me! I-I can be better! Please, you cannot-“

“Arnaav.” Merrick turned around, and swam to the small Amnien, “There are several reasons why I cannot teach you…”

“Please, Merrick!” Arnaav sniffled, “No one else will teach me!” He paddles up to Merrick, “Please, let us-“

“I cannot, Arnaav…” Merrick turned aside, “I really am incapable of teaching you… I’m sorry…” He looked back at him with saddened eyes, “It is possible that you are not meant to be a hunter…”

Arnaav whimpered as Merrick gradually began to swim away from him, bowing his head down from his shame.

~~~

Syrinx frowned from seeing that aggressive display. She pushes her arms to propel herself towards Merrick.

“What was that?” She asked when she moved herself close enough to him, “He was trying his best, he has been trying his best!” Merrick simply ignored her as they swam together, “I do not know what you are thinking, but he is still just a meryin, and you made him a promise.”

“Stay out of it.” Merrick retorted.

“Do you realize how difficult it is for Arnaav??” Syrinx stated, “With no one to teach him, no one to see to a young güvenilir bahis merman’s well being, he is always isolated and alone in the pod! How can you rage at him as you have?? You must go back, and help him!”

“I said stay out of it, Syrinx,” Merrick rattled with aggravation, “This does not concern-“

“No! Not after what I saw of you.” She swooped around, and came in front of Merrick, “You-“

“What do YOU know of me?!” Merrick snapped before Syrinx can talk, “Why are you trying to talk to me now? You wanted nothing to do with me on the human ship.”

“You are part of the Kenovani now.” Syrinx answered, “I wondered why I have not seen you before, and now that you are here, there is no reason for us to show hostility.”

“Forget it.” Merrick said as he undulated around the mermaid, but Syrinx simply locked her weapon with his, and pulled herself back up front.

“I ask that we do not fight, Merrick.” She says, “I am willing to speak with you now. Why do you insist on keeping your anger?”

“Why do YOU insist on forgetting that you judged me without knowing my past?”

“I have a past of my own, Merrick. What happened on the ship brought upon old-“

“Oh, do not even.” Merrick seethed as he pushed his tail hard to leave the conversation.

“Stop!” Syrinx whipped around him once more, “We are of the same pod now! We need to understand each other.”

“Do you believe you are the only one with a troubling past, Syrinx?” Merrick said, “We all have our pain, but it does not give us the full-extent of our being.” He leers at her with a slight disgust and cynicism, “You say you will not back away from after what you saw of me to Arnaav, but truly, what right do you have to presume who I am?!” He growls at her.

“I admit, you intimidated me,” Syrinx says, “From the moment I saw you before you hurt those human men, but we-“

“I LOOKED for you on that ship, Syrinx!” Merrick snapped, his father’s anger once again getting the better of him, “I NEEDED to find and talk to you! I was dying after being stranded upon land and terrified of entering the ocean! And you would not tolerate me when you saw me at my worst, as if a moment of blind rage is all that I am!”

Syrinx sighed sadly as she shook her head, “I am truly sorry, Merrick, I am. I should not have judged you before I met you.” Merrick breathes deeply as his blue eyes pierces her hazels. She widened her arms outward in an opening shrug to gesture an offering attitude, “What can I say or do to make it right between you and I?”

“There is none.” Merrick dismissed stubbornly, “You already labeled me as unstable, you made that perfectly clear. And in truth…” Merrick pushed himself backward, “I still am. The best thing for both of us is to stay away. You and I have noting more to say.”

With that, Merrick whipped his tail, and zoomed away, kicking up some sand with the reckless tail-kick, a lot faster than before when trying to elude Syrinx.

“Merrick!” Syrinx held her flipper-hand out, seeing just how fast he really is, “… I am an idiot…” She groaned before she dropped her head back, “Sea Mother, why did you give me my Mother’s sense of mind?”

~~~

Deilan hovers around through the water, his senses on full alert as he scouts the area. Even with a Capricorn nearby, dangers are still fully capable of suddenly happening, and scouts are still needed to be on the lookout for any sort of potential trouble.

“… Hm?” He looks, and spots half broken staff, one side bare, and the other one with a survival knife tied to it. The squid merman hovers down, and picks up the two halves, and signals around. His signal detects the faint presence of the youngest member of the Kenovani, aside from Adra Triton Hecalt.

Deilan quickly swims forth to the small signal, and quickly catches up with the somber otter.

“Arnaav, wait!” He called. He caught up with him, and loomed around, “What happened with your weapon?”

“I broke it…” Arnaav mumbled, “I do not need it… It is worthless in my hands…”

“What???” Deilan queried, “What are you saying? It is a tool, any tool has a use and a function. Why would you want to throw it away??”

“As I have said,” He said, “It is worthless in my hands… I have tried to be a hunter… But I always fail time and time again…”

“Arnaav,” The squid merman pulls Arnaav in the water to face him, “That is not true. Look.” Deilan holds up the two halves of the spear, first pointing up the bare half, “Here you have a prod,” He held up the half with the knife tied to it, “And here you have a carving blade. Both are invaluable items that serve purposes.”

“…” The otter remained stubbornly quiet.

“Just… Keep them with you.” Deilan said, “Just keep them and I will stop bothering you.” He smiled. Arnaav pouted as the squid merman reached in, and secured the two halves of the weapon to Arnaav’s straps, “There. Now let us return to the pod.”

With that, the otter paddled and undulated with the squid.

~~~

“It is because I cannot teach him,” Merrick türkçe bahis answered Deilan, as they went scouting together, “I am not eligible to be his instructor.”

“I do not understand,” Deilan said, “You are a Triton – Tritons are the best hunters of any pod. I would think you of everyone here would be more than qualified to teach hunting.”

“That is just it,” Merrick continued, “I… Nnhh…” Merrick faltered as he planted his harpoon into the sand for a moment. Deilan stopped, and hovered as he turned to see Merrick panting with one hand on the shaft, and the other on the sand.

“Merrick? Are you alright?”

“Yes, I…” Merrick grunts as he pushes himself up, “I am just quick to tire, that is all…” With a deep breath, the Piscien collected himself, and swam with the squid.

“As I was saying,” Merrick continued, “I am a Triton. The methods and training regiment of which my Father taught me differ on a very high standard…” He looked sadly along the sand, “It is saddening… After losing my Sister, I feel of Arnaav as just as close to him as I was with her, and then I turn into my Father when I try to help him grow…”

“What do you mean? How did you turn into your Father?” Deilan asked with genuinely curious look, “Do you mean an actual transformation, or is that a human expression? I still cannot tell.”

“Human expression,” Merrick said, “My Father… Had very high expectations of me about growing up to becoming the Triton of our pod. He was extremely strict with me…” Merrick took a moment to signal the areas further ahead, before both mermen turning to a different direction, and continued, “When I accomplished my lessons, he acknowledged me with adult-like respect. But when I failed… The way he bellowed at me…” Merrick frowned, “He scolded me as if I let the Sea Mother Herself down with my short comings – not that he ever used Her in the yelling.”

“So you lost your temper on Arnaav just like your Father did with you?”

“No, it wasn’t losing a temper. It was more like showing a brutal front to motivate me to try harder. But Arnaav…” Merrick growled at himself, “Arnaav is not an Adra, and he is still very young, and yet I berated him like the ruthless parent I once had.”

“You may not be able to teach him anyhow, Merrick.” Deilan pointed out, “Now that I think about it, you are a Piscien with a powerful tail. Arnaav is an Amnien with swift paws. The techniques do not quite match in comparison. And it does not help that he is the only otter merfolk in the Kenovani.”

“I figured that. However, the humans have a child’s story,” Merrick said, “It is about a bat who was an orphan and was adopted by a mother bird. The bat was scolded and then taught how to live like a bird. The bat was able to cope eventually. The story ends with the bat finding her family and becoming well again, so it doesn’t quite match up to Arnaav’s situation.”

The two mermen checked out the section further, before turning and headed for a different direction.

“I have another question, more personal I add.” Deilan said, “Please do not feel obligated to answer.”

“Is this about my being a ‘homosexual’ merman?” Merrick asked.

“Not quite,” Deilan continued, “You were able to secretly meet with your human mate for 5 years before you were banished. May I ask what happened?”

“Once again… It was my Father…” Merrick answered, “I had attempted to break up with my mate – long story, I was stupid – and my Father had interrogated me. Every time we go to the waters of the land of Hawaii, I would leave for the most part of the stay. I would claim that I was undergoing my own personal training as a Triton.”

“Ha! I should have thought of that before I was exiled.” Deilan smirked.

“He cornered me, and probed me. He said a few invoking things as a psychological method to get my emotions elevated so I would confess the truth. Unfortunately, it worked. Not only did I reveal that I had contacted a human, but also mated with him, and a male as well…

“After a while, some things happened with an oil spill, and I had to stay with my human for a while. When it was time for us to leave, my Father, my Mother, and the Razirah ordered me to appear before the pod to trial me of my crime.”

“I hated that.” Deilan growled, “It was not enough I was being banished, but they had to make a spectacle out of me – no, out of all of us.” He blinked, and then looked directly at Merrick, “Wait. Your own Father exposed you of your crime??”

“Yes…” Merrick said, “As I said, he was very strict with teaching me, and he employed daring gambits when it came to my training. He brought me trial to the pod in hopes in reminding me as an Adra, I have a chance to reform my ways, as a sort of attempt to let me know that breaking the Sacred Laws would not be tolerated…”

“… Instead though, you refused, didn’t you?” Deilan asked.

“Yes” He nodded, “I relinquished my second chance, and chose to leave my pod to be with my mate…” His eyes look at the dancing light on the sand reflected from the surface.

“That güvenilir bahis siteleri could not have been easy…” Deilan said, “I was banished when I was seen by a fellow member of my pod making out with my mate, and I was banished on the very next sun. I am not sure how I would handle the choice you were forced to make.”

“The choice was obvious…” Merrick said, “Even if I chose to stay with my pod, it was only a matter of years before I would be forced to leave. And I would have made myself and my Adam suffer a lot more than needed…”

“I see…” Deilan said, “… I have one more question, if you will indulge me.”

“Alright.”

“So how do you physically mate with a human male?”

“AH! Ahhh…” Merrick blushes harshly.

“I have heard once or twice of men having sex together, and yet I have no idea of how they do it.”

“Look it up on the webs of the inside when you return.” Merfolk don’t have a word for ‘internet’.

“But it should be so much easier to ask someone of experience!”

Though Deilan insisted and nagged Merrick continuously, he only denied him the sexually detailed explanation as they eventually return to the pod. Deilan wavers his tentacles up while Merrick merged into the middle of the crowd. His eyes looked, and his hands clenched a little as he sees Arnaav.

“Awwllll…” Merrick moaned in remorse as he sees two halves of Arnaav’s spear tied to his sides. The little merman looked to the said, and quickly turned his head back forward at the sight of Merrick. He sighed sadly. He’s the one who failed Arnaav…

The pod swims in the open ocean, with each different merfolk with their own item or enchantment from the Noita to keep up or biologically survive in the pod. Being consisted of different species of Coshitons, some of the members need a mystical veil of icy energy to keep their sense of cold, or a couple of them need a coat of heated light around their bodies so their temperature is not interfered with the ocean.

“Are you sure about this, Vanora?” Samudra said, “A Black Sun is coming so soon?”

“I am afraid so,” She said, “Deilan will be disappointed, but it appears it would not be safe for him to return to the land just yet.”

“Father?” Adra Hecalt piped up as he paddled quickly along. As the son of Samudra, he has the majority of bodily appearance of his father, while the heavy armor plating on his back has a similar design as his mother’s fins, “What is a Black Sun?”

“You know of the Land Father Mithras, correct Son?” The Triton asked as he turned his head to his offspring, “The God of the humans, who dwells within the sun itself.”

“I think so…” Hecalt nodded. He’s so very young, younger than Arnaav, even.

“The Land Father stays awake for most of the years, yet every so often, He grows very weary, and so He must sleep, as does the Sea Mother, but He is much more active than the Sea Mother, and so He slumbers a lot less often.”

“And that has serious influences upon us merfolk.” Vanora added.

“What kind of influences?” Hecalt asked, “And why?”

“We do not know,” Samudra answered, “But when the Land Father sleeps, and thus the sun turn black, the shadow of the human god threatens are very essence – forever changing us in body and soul in ways no one is able to imagine.” Hecalt gulped, “Though it is very conditional.” He said with a smile, “You need not worry, Son.”

“W-Why is that?”

“The shadow of the Black Sun can only mutate us when we are above the surface.” Vanora served this one, “As long as we stay beneath the surface, we are protected from the abstract dreams of Land Father Mithras.”

“It has only been 4 moons since the previous slumber of the Land Father, however.” Samudra said with a slight frown, “It seems rather odd that another one consecutively happens like this.”

“It is simply a lapse of chance, Samudra.” Vanora said, “When I was a meryin, I recall the Red Moon appearing three times within only 2 moons.”

“THREE Red Moons in 2 moons??” Samudra asked with his eyes widened, “I do not remember this!”

“That is because you are 5 years younger than I, my love.” Vanora said with a smirk, “There is a reason why our Daughter is much advanced in age in comparison to our Son – the Waves of Fate are witty that way.”

Samudra grumbles as the two Adras giggle.

“When IS the Black Sun happening, Mother?” Adra Nerissa asked.

“Soon, but I am uncertain; no one is able to fathom the exact sun of when the Land Father will sleep. All I can know is that it is happening within this moon.”

“This means the pod’s Walking Lessons will be canceled for the entire moon, or at least when the Black Sun has passed…”

Unlike most pods, that typically have a usual, predestined cycle/route of where they go in a consistent routine with occasional detours, the Kenovani pod travels everywhere. They select where the majority of the pod wants to go, and Triton Samudra and Noita Vanora lead the pod thusly, with a Capricorn present at all times.

Merrick feels… Slightly uneasy about being amidst the pod, as in either somewhere in the middle or at the edge of the pod. He is used to being in the front, by his father as the Adra Triton. Not having that responsibility anymore will need some getting used to.

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