The bright blue eyes, as if they had not been mixed with any impurities, were so beautiful that it could not be described in words, so Rayan was stunned for a while.
Then, he quickly came to his senses.
“This is a place where people do not enter because the height of the wave is high.”
“But you were still swimming here.”
Perhaps he should call this a lucky thing, but the clouds obscured the moon and darkened the surroundings, so the human didn’t seem to notice that Rayan had small webs between his fingers, or the tail fin hidden under the sea.
“Who are you? Who saved me?”
And unfortunately, when Rayan was caught by the human, he did not know how to deal with it wisely.
This human was too weak for him to hit his cheek with his tail like back then.
Anyway, looking at his clear, bright eyes, he didn’t want to do that for some reason.
Moreover, since he had not fully matured yet, the siren’s song could only work when the other’s mind was shaken, so it was clear that it would not work when his mind was clear.
Rayan struggled with the sudden difficulty, not knowing how to deal with it.
He couldn’t come up with a sensible solution because even the letan, who gave him advice at that time, was nowhere to be seen today.
“That time, and today too.”
The boy kept asking for answers.
The moon, which had been hidden behind the clouds, was revealed, and the moonlight was reflected in his blue eyes.
His eyes suddenly looked down, and the line of sight reached Rayan’s hand.
The transparent webs between his fingers caught the light.
Rayan then shook off the other’s grip and quickly hid his hand behind his back, but it was too late.
“Aren’t you human?”
The boy scanned Rayan’s body every single detail, as if trying to figure out Rayan’s existence.
Even the lower body that was submerged in the water.
Close to the shore, the exceptionally dark-colored sea revealed his flesh in the moonlight.
Red and blue coral reefs swayed below, and turquoise fins that were slightly darker than his eyes were swaying along with the current.
…Mermaid? The words the boy was muttering in a daze sounded unfamiliar to him.
Rayan was stunned and he didn’t know what to do.
For humans, the existence of mermaids shouldn’t be discovered.
Just as humans were taboo to mermaids, humans also had to be unaware of the existence of mermaids.
Since it has been a law that has been observed for hundreds of years, Rayan had to plunge him under the raging sea and seal his mouth forever.
If he drags him by the hand and let go in the sea like that, the fragile human would die.
But his body didn’t move.
Rayan couldn’t make any decisions.
His body didn’t listen to him, and all sorts of negative thoughts ran through his head.
For example, the words the mermaids were talking about.
Mermaids who were discovered by humans were said to have their flesh ripped out alive due to a strange rumour that eating mermaids would give them immortality.
Or that mermaids’ songs have healing powers, so they made them sing until their necks bleed.
It was clear that these were exaggerated words, but nonetheless, he could not shake them off.
His fingers flicked and moved, then withdrew repeatedly.
“…Ha! Your Highness…!”
The voice of someone interrupting the boy’s words ripped through the air.
A red light flashed over the cliff.
The boy licked his lips, then released Rayan’s wrist that he had been holding onto.
“Two, no, three days later, see you here at this time.”
The boy’s voice while pushing Rayan’s shoulder into the water, sounded urgent.
As though he knew Rayan shouldn’t be caught.
Two days later? Aside from Rayan’s inability to count dates of the human world, does he think that even if he knows the day, he would come?
Rayan pursed his lips and remained silent.
His tail fin swung gently beneath the sea.
“If you don’t come,”
Reading the meaning in Rayan’s eyes, the boy smiled and added.
“I’m going to throw myself back into the sea like that day.
Then I’ll die because I can’t swim.”
It was funny that he said a threat with a brazen expression on his face.
Rayan had only saved him because his blonde hair shining like the sun caught his eyes, but there was no way that Rayan would save a human being who became aware of the existence of mermaids.
Rayan laughed and snorted and plunged inside, touching the surface of the sea with his hand, which had been held in the scorching warmth the whole time.
As he stretched out his hand and waved, the distance between him and the boy widened.
Beyond the swaying surface, the boy seemed to be unable to take his eyes off him as he moved away.
But Rayan only glanced back once, and he neither turned nor stopped.
He sits with his buttocks on the railing of the window sill, and his gaze is tenacious.
He didn’t say anything, it was obvious what was on his mind and the reasons why.
Erhart was deeply aware of his own mistake a few days ago and was troubled.
Even with that impenetrable security, how could he break through the surveillance and go outside alone? After a few days of being meek, Leah’s alert attitude had subsided a bit, but he knew that Leah would open his bedroom door to check once every night.
He didn’t feel like he got an undeserved scolding this time.
He really didn’t think so since a few days ago.
He just gambled recklessly.
It was so dim that it was hard to see, but if it was the one who saved him that day, he wondered if he would save him this time as well.
Even if he wasn’t saved, no, even if Erhart had just mistaken it for rocks of the sea, it didn’t matter either.
He had, after all, a life of no regrets.
Others’ sorrow and grief also did not touch his heart much.
He jumped in with that in mind.
Erhart, who had been meaninglessly lazing around his bookshelf, suddenly got up.
Leah, who was far away, flinched.
Where are you going?”
He put up a pretence and made a casual expression.
The question implied whether or not he wanted to go again.
That day before, yesterday, and a few hours ago, Erhart went in and out of the study.
It wasn’t that he was away from books, but he wasn’t even close to them, so these frequent visits were strange.
“You’ve been going there a lot lately.”
“So you don’t like it?”
“Of course that’s not it.
Your Highness is so devoted to learning.
Of course, His Majesty and Olivia would be happy if they knew.”
He didn’t know about his mother, but the Emperor who wanted him to die would be happy? It was fortunate enough that he hasn’t send assassins suddenly saying his actions were suspicious.
In fact, it might have been that he was still able to live up till now thanks to Olivia’s entanglement with Erhart’s life.
Moreover, the things she had done to fill the void in the relationship between the Emperor and Erhart were done in vain.
“I hope that you’ll be happy.”
There was not even a single ounce of sincerity to be found in the skewed demeanour.
Erhart watched Leah, who was choosing her words for a moment, added that there was no need to follow him, and then turned around.
While loosening the cumbersome cravat, Erhart strode forward.
He noticed Leah hesitantly comply, but it didn’t matter anyway.
Erhart, who never looked back, pushed the thick door in and closed it.
He wondered if he should lock the door, but when he thought about it, he feared that Leah’s heart, which had been continuously anxious, would stop.
Perhaps before the sun goes down, she would knock on the door with the excuse of bringing a snack and try to confirm Erhart’s safety.
At least she wouldn’t come in until then, so he was free to choose and read whatever book.
For Erhart, the castle in Argen served as a place of exile or a place of final rest before death, but it was originally a resort that the royal family would come to when they fell ill.
Although there was no owner for over ten years, it was well maintained like a castle where the royal family stayed, and the library was overflowing with all kinds of old books, perhaps to appease their boredom.
From ancient texts, history books, rhetoric, theology, and even strange romance novels, who knew which boring person had collected them.
However, the reason Erhart came to the library was not to look at those books.
The eyes wandered through the bookshelves among the debris of dust floating in the sunlight as if sprinkling with light powder and soon fixed in one place.
As he had already seen it several times, he was familiar with it, so Erhart pulled out a book in a remote corner with his skillful hand.
The book he held in his hand did not show any signs of being worn out, although it was an old book that hardly anyone had ever looked through.
However, within a few days, Erhart had looked through it well, so he flipped through the untitled book that had the folds left behind.
His hand turning the page meaninglessly stopped immediately.
[Now that hundreds of years have passed, mermaids only appeared in fairytales because material have been lost or intentionally hid and forgotten, but they are clearly a real race.
A long tail under the seawater, dark hair swaying under the deep sea, and a single gesture can make the sea surface shake, and a song of fascination that can enthral people to death, the ruler of the vast sea…]
Even though these sentences were familiar to him because he had already seen them dozens of times, he carefully pondered about them as if he was seeing them for the first time and it was new and unfamiliar.
A fantasy existence from a fairytale book that Leah had read to him before no matter how picky he tried to be.
Even without seeing this book, Erhart was able to describe the appearance of a mermaid thanks to Leah.
Erhart recalled the beautiful boy he had seen under the moonlight a few days ago, whose gender was ambiguous.
He had a face that made him sigh just by seeing him.
He could be regarded as the most devoted creature God had put into the world.
He was that beautiful.
No, even that word was absurdly poor to define him.
No matter how many words of praise in the world are brought to you, you will be humbled in front of an unknown being.
The black hair that fell over his shoulder, the white face that looked paler than the moonlight, and the green eyes that seemed as soft as a young shoot sprouting in spring.
It was something else that awakened his dazed mind.
For example, if he looked down a little further, there was a thin film between the other’s fingers that a human should not have.
The parts further below were obscured under the water, but he clearly didn’t have human legs.
Were mermaids really real? And not a fictional being that appeared in fairytales and filled the fantasy of children who knew nothing? Erhart overlapped the unfamiliar yet familiar word ‘mermaid’ and the boy whose green eyes touched his heart under the moonlight.
Certainly, it would be understandable that that was a face that did not belong to a human…
Today is the specified third day, but would he come? The plan seemed to be able to work, knowing that the other had saved him twice, but Erhart had to keep in mind that he might not come as he looked at him warily.
But what’s the point of keeping that in mind? There was only one way to find out.
So he was nervous.
The problem wasn’t that Leah’s surveillance had become persistent, but that he might not come.
Was there any way to avoid this? As the sun went down the horizon gradually, his nerves also calmed down.
Looking at him, he did not say nor thought of anything but he was just trying to hold on instinctively.
Erhart closed the book with a ‘tak’ sound and put it back in its original place.
And he had the ability to grab any book and spread it out and read it, as if he had come for a different purpose.
Not long after, Leah came in with a cup of dark black tea in her hands.
Erhart enjoyed the tea made to his liking and behaved mildly.
He could feel Leah, who had been sensitively standing up like this for several days, calming down little by little.
Erhart, who had been showing no interest in anything and no lingering attachments, was frequently visiting the study for several days, so she was pleased with it.
Erhart, who was happy with Leah’s relief, quickly changed his expression and emptied his glass, waiting for the sun to set and the moon to rise over the spire.
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