Chapter 51: Red Haired Mermaid

Rheolis, the kingdom of flames, was a kingdom that only knew peace, but that peace was tested when the new king of Rheolis, Damario Acestes, had given orders to rage war against Azseldo Kingdom for the slaying of the original king, Rasmus Eganus. Some were against the war, but they were soon overshadowed by the cries of the people wanting revenge for their king. Those cries of revenge were enough for Damario to prepare for the war. Everything for the war was going to plan and even the ships were almost prepared, but then something he didn’t expect happened: The Fire Kraken, the guardian of Rheolis Kingdom and the one who recognized the new king, suddenly broke the contract that had existed for more than a century.

Damario was enraged by this turn of events and immediately ordered someone to bring over the Priestess of the kingdom over. His orders were obeyed and the priestess was brought before him in his throne room. The priestess, who was nearly in her fifties, gave a small bow and asked, “What is it you need, your majesty?”

Damario frowned and asked, “Do you know what has happened to the Fire Kraken?” The priestess frowned and stated, “I have felt that the contract has broken, but as for the reason…there are two possibilities: The first one is that the Fire Kraken decided not to recognize you as the new king…as for the second…it is almost impossible, but the Fire Kraken could have made a new contract with another and that new holder of the contract could very well be the new ruler of this kingdom.”

Damario’s frown deepened. Both reasons were not in his favor. He had finally obtained the throne after careful planning, but now this turn of events jeopardized his position on the throne.

“Is there a way to restore the contract?”

“There is, but it has been lost through the ages. My guess would be to slay the new owner to get the contract if there is one, but even that is not a guarantee that the Fire Kraken will fall back under your control and if the Kraken had indeed decided not to recognize you then there is no way to restore the contract unless the old way to reestablish the contract is discovered.”

Damario went into deep thought to consider what the priestess proposed and soon decided that it was best to have the owner of the contract slain if there was one than to have the people of the kingdom know that the contract was stolen or broken because the Kraken didn’t recognize him as king.

“If a person really did establish a new contract with the Kraken, would you be able to locate him?”

The priestess nodded and asked, “Do I have your permission to cast the spell?” Damario gave a simple nod before the priestess pulled a fan from her sleeve and held it vertical at the center of her face as she began to mutter words that even Damario couldn’t decipher. The priestess gave off a violet glow, but the light soon faded as the priestess lowered her fan with a frown on her face.

“There is a new owner of the contract. The aura of the new contract is on the shores of the kingdom’s beach.”

Damario immediately ordered soldiers to the beach to bring whoever was there, but he was puzzled on how this unknown person convinced the Fire Kraken to make a new contract with him.

Meanwhile, on the shores of the beach, Yanira laid unconscious with the waves washing over her bare feet. Her long red hair draped over her body with seaweed and shells entangled in it. The white robe she wore was dripping wet and had grains of sand stuck on the fabric, but the rays of the sun reflected off the fabric making it seem like it was glowing. Yanira moaned in her sleep as she rolled from side to side gathering more sand on her wet form.

Unbeknownst to her, soldiers began to gather on the beach. A soldier with short black hair, who looked around his twenties, ordered the group of soldiers to comb the beach making it clear to who saw that he was the one in charge of this group. The moment the soldiers dispersed, the soldier in charge glanced back at a soldier maybe around his teens. This soldier had short blonde hair and looked timid.

“This is also training for when you have to order your own squad, Grian.”

The teen, Grian, nodded and then asked, “Shouldn’t I search too, Captain Molech?” The soldier in charge, Molech, nodded; and shoved Grian forward ordering him not to be so nervous. Grian only nodded before running across the sands of the beach.

Grian was a soldier in training unlike the other soldiers on the beach. He was at first assigned to the school for soldiers to train because of his gift in both knowledge and strength, but because of a recommendation from Molech Hilani, the captain of the guards, he was reassigned for on the site training with real trained soldiers and this included getting tutored by the captain himself. Grian was honored for this chance, but his nervousness made him a target for mockery by the other soldiers that were forced to go to the school before they could take the field. As a result, he had been ostracized and could only go on missions when Molech dragged him out. This case on the beach was one such incident.

Grian, at first, searched the beach for any person with the soldiers, but when it became apparent that the soldiers were avoiding him, he decided to search in an area that was void of any soldiers. The procedure was usually to search in a pattern, but Grian broke this pattern when he separated from the others.

The moment the soldiers were no longer an arm’s length away from him, he heaved out a sigh scratching the back of his head taking note that someday he would have to get over his fear of the soldiers he would be working with in the future.

Grian shook his head and only took a few steps forward before he saw a red haired girl lying on the beach with the waves hitting her feet. He ran to her and then knelt down next to her to see if she was alive. He sighed in relief when he heard her breathing. He pushed strands of hair away from her face and felt immediately mesmerized. She was as beautiful as a Goddess to the point he almost believed her to be one, but when he saw the seashells in her hair, he then thought she resembled a mermaid.

Grian looked at his surroundings to see if there was anyone else, before picking up Yanira like a princess and heading back to Captain Molech to report.

Yanira felt her body rise and opened her eyes a crack only to see Grian.

“Who…?”

Grian heard Yanira’s mumble making him stop momentarily and look at her fragile form.

“Hello young lady, my name is Grian Balthazar. Are you OK?”

Yanira nodded weakly.

“Can you tell me your name?”

“Ya…nira…”

Yanira tried to say her whole name, but felt her strength leave her again as she fell unconscious in Grian’s arms.

“Young lady…she fell asleep,” muttered Grian and then muttered, “I didn’t quite get her name, but I think she said her name is Nira…a name suited for a mermaid.” Grian couldn’t help smiling as he ran back with Yanira held in his arms.

Grian ran pass the soldiers ignoring their puzzled stares and called to Molech to get his attention. Molech looked in his direction and felt his eyes widen when he saw Grian approaching with the dripping wet Yanira in his arms.

“Where did you find that girl?” asked Molech with a puzzled look, his eyes not leaving the sight of Yanira’s sleeping form.

“She was washed up on the beach over there,” stated Grian glancing back in the direction he found Yanira. Molech stared at Yanira’s form for a long while before saying, “She looks like a mermaid from the legends.”

“I know right?” stated Grian in his excitement. Molech remembered the orders of the new king and stated, “I will have the men continue to search the beach in case there is anyone else. You will take that girl back to the king.” Grian nodded feeling proud of himself and then ran to get his horse with Yanira still in his embrace.

Molech watched Grian’s retreating form thinking about the mysterious girl he found. He remembered the orders of the king to bring whoever was on the beach, but he was puzzled if this girl was the one he was looking forward. Molech only shrugged and ordered his men to search faster.

Meanwhile, Damario was in his study going over the plans for the war. He was worried about the contract, but he still had his duties as the new king. He planned for years to gain the throne and he had finally obtained it, but to keep it, he had to rage war against Azseldo to keep up the pretense that Rasmus was killed by that Kingdom. It wouldn’t have been pretense, if the King of Azseldo had killed Rasmus on the spot like he had planned. He never expected that the Anyion hating king would spare Rasmus. Because of the turn of events, he had to get pirates to kidnap Rasmus while making sure that they were ignorant of Rasmus’s royal line. Rasmus was kidnapped as planned, but Candace, the fire Anyion, was also taken. If his plan went smoothly, he planned to wed her to gain more support from the people, since she was the fire Anyion, but that plan was eliminated when the pirates got involved. Though his plans were not smooth, he still managed to get the throne and was recognized as the king by the Fire Kraken, but now the contract was broken.

Damario stopped writing the plans for the war as the thought of the contract being broken began to bother him again like an itch. He wanted to know who broke the contract and made a new one with the Fire Kraken. This person was somewhere on the beach according to the priestess. He planned to kill this person, but not before knowing the secret of how to establish a new contract with the Kraken.

Damario shook his head to dismiss any thoughts of the contract to return to his work on the war that he was sure he could win.

Damario suddenly heard a knock on his door followed by a timid voice of a maid saying, “Your majesty, one of the soldiers has returned from the beach with someone. He is waiting in the throne room.”

Damario immediately shot up from his chair and ran out of the room not caring that the maid was there. Even when the maid yelped out in pain when she collided with the door, Damario continued down the hall until he reached the throne room where Grian stood with the unconscious Yanira in his arms.

Damario panted before standing up straight and approaching Grian, who bowed his head in respect. Damario glanced at Grian and then at Yanira asking, “You found this one on the beach?” Grian nodded and added, “Before she passed out, she told me that her name is Nira.”

“Nira…”

Damario stared at Yanira finding her slightly familiar. He then looked at Grian saying, “Bring her to vacant room. One of the maids will lead you.” Grian nodded and was escorted out of the throne room.

The moment Grian was gone, Damario rubbed his chin in thought.

Did that girl really make a contract with the Kraken?

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