Chapter 4: Help from a Mermaid
As Blaik entered the forest, he checked his surroundings regularly. He made his way to Mer Lake, where he rested his tired feet in the cool water. Before he knew it, he saw Aimee’s webbed fingers brush the hair out of her face as she emerged from the water.
“Aimee,” Blaik started. “I’ve had a crazy day.”
“What happened?” Aimee asked concerned.
“It all started last night as I was going back to the palace,” Blaik began, “when all of a sudden someone came from behind and drugged me with an Unc Leaf! I woke up the next morning to see an old friend, one I don’t get along with, and she was watching me sleep.”
“What!?” Aimee asked. “Are you ok? Who captured you? Who was it?”
“I’m fine,” Blaik replied. “You don’t know the person who I woke up to. She’s a wicked queen on another planet. But that isn’t the worst part.”
“When I woke up,” Blaik said, his words getting faster, “I saw another old friend who I thought had died… but she was alive… and she was telling me all this crazy stuff.”
Aimee looked concerned. She put her hand on Blaik’s leg. “You seem frazzled. I think you need to go home and get some rest.”
“Aimee- no,” Blaik said. “I have to tell you what happened! Mikeez, she was saying crazy stuff like she and Syrain had formed some type of army, and they want to take over my kingdom!” Blaik
Aimee paused. Hundreds of thoughts were running through her mind. Had her best friend gone mad? Had the death of his father and the betrayal of his sister culminated to a final breaking point? Had the realities of his life caused his mind to escape into a dark fantasy?
“You must feel so overwhelmed,” said Aimee.
“The worst part is, Syrain is going to try to get Nik to join them,” Blaik said.
This last statement caught Aimee’s attention.
“And he might actually join them!” Blaik continued. “Dann is still alive and they have him.”
Aimee felt lost. She wondered what could be done to help her friend. She decided to play along. “Have you talked to Nik about all of this?”
“No,” Blaik said. “I basically just asked him if he would choose Dann over our friendship. He said no, but I think he might.”
Aimee looked Blaik directly in the eyes. “Do you want my advice?”
“Of course!” Blaik said. “That is what I came here for. You always give me the best advice.”
“I think you should talk to a Xlair that specializes in psychology,” Aimee replied.
“What? Why would I need to do that?” Blaik asked. “How could a Xlair help me?”
Aimee’s lack of a response made Blaik realize what she had implied.
“You don’t believe me,” Blaik said. “Aimee, I’m telling you the truth.”
Aimee hesitated before she spoke. “I’m just saying that this all seems a little outlandish. Syrain forming an army from the Dungeon? You know that communication with prisoners in the Endless Dungeon of Darkness is strictly impossible.”
“I know this all sounds crazy,” Blaik said. “I don’t blame you for being concerned. But please, just trust me. Something bad is brewing.”
Aimee took a deep breath. “Ok. I believe you.”
Blaik smiled as he sighed from relief.
“If what these people were saying is true, then we need to be prepared for war,” Aimee said.
“Wait, who said anything about a war?” Blaik asked.
“You said that Syrain was forming an army,” Aimee said. “Armies are used to fight.”
“I don’t want to fight,” Blaik said.
“Then you are going to lose everything,” Aimee replied.
Blaik didn’t respond. He stared into the water, then closed his eyes.
“I’m going to take you to a friend,” Aimee said. “She’s a skilled warrior. She lives in a river that is quite far from here. We need to swim there.”
Blaik looked despondent.
“Remember to hold my hand so you can breathe under the water,” Aimee warned.
A merman popped his head out of the water. His wavy black hair fell to cover his forehead. His green eyes shouted confidence, but at the same time whispered with a soothing and kind calmness. Couple that with the rousing smile of his red and voluptuous lips, it was no wonder that this was the most sought after creature in the water.
“Hey brother,” Aimee said.
“Hello sister,” he replied. He bowed his head as he addressed Blaik. “Your Majesty.”
“Hello Klarke,” Blaik replied.
“Where are you going Klarke?” Aimee asked.
“Mom is craving some cocoa berries, so she sent me out to get some,” Klarke said as he swam to the pebble filled land. As he made his way out of the water, his tail quickly turned into a pair of legs. He stood up and waved to Blaik and Aimee.
Aimee waved back as she watched her brother walk into the forest. She then turned to Blaik. “Are you ready?”
“I suppose so,” Blaik said.
“Remember to hold my hand,” Aimee said.
Blaik reached out to hold her hand. He longed to break through the webbed fingers and have their hands intertwine. However, he settled for the joining of palms. As soon as Blaik touched Aimee, a flame was lit in the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t hide the smile that was always ignited. He slowly fell into the lake.
They swam for a long time until they arrived at a river and saw a stunning, brilliantly crafted underwater hut.
“This is where she lives,” Aimee said.
They swam to the entrance of the hut. Blaik couldn’t help but feel a strange familiarity. As the door to the hut opened, a memory crept into the forefront of Blaik’s mind. He knew who lived here.