Desharow Mermaid - Chap 1
Chapter 1 Capturing a Mermaid
The author has something to say:
[Important note for readers] The original title of this story was “Wallace the Mermaid,” paying homage to the Japanese author Junji Ito’s sci-fi novel “Wallace the Mermaid.” However, the plot of this story is completely different from the original, which is about a pregnant female mermaid studied by a biologist named Wallace in late 19th century Hong Kong. The son of his friend falls in love with the mermaid and marries him. In 1913, Wallace leaves behind a book called “The Hong Kong Mermaid Record” and passes away, and the legend of mermaids is lost in the dust of history. One hundred years later, a scientific research vessel is sailing in the vast Pacific Ocean, and something resembling a legendary mermaid lingers around the vessel. Soon after, a young man named Haiyuanmi encounters a shipwreck and miraculously survives after sinking to the bottom of the sea for three months… The legend of mermaids slowly unfolds, opening a door to anothim mysterious world…
[To avoid misunderstanding, the title of this story has been changed to prevent future disputes related to publication.]
“July 17, 2016, evening.
Today is the third day we have arrived in the waters near Iceland.
Laine is conducting radar searches in the captain’s room, but so far thime is still no sign of the mermaid. I am very skeptical whethim the mermaid can survive in such cold water temperatures, but Laine insists that he saw traces of a mermaid hime last year.
According to known records, mermaids belong to tropical creatures, but I don’t want to give up any hope.
I really long to see a real mermaid.
I hope that my nickname can continue the exploration of this mysterious creature that the great biologist never completed.”
I wrote this in my diary with a pen, and inadvertently looked at the small circular window of the cabin.
The outside was dark and gloomy, and I could only see the warm reflection of the desk lamp on the glass and my thin silhouette in the reflection. Black hair, black eyes, and my face appeared extremely pale in contrast, as if I were a drug addict who had overdosed.
I chuckled. Laine said that sometimes I am as paranoid as a lunatic, and maybe he is right.
I wrote this sentence, and the pen suddenly scratched deeply into the paper due to a sudden restlessness. At that moment, a cry came from outside, “Tesoro, my little Wallace! Come out quickly, thime is something underwater!”
My hand trembled suddenly, and my body reacted faster than my mind. I ruhed to the captain’s cabin with one arrow step. I collided with Rein, who was coming out, and he opened his arms and hugged me tightly. He pointed at the monitor of the deep-sea camera excitedly, “Wallace, look, I told you thime were mermaids hime! You should have believed me earlier!”
As I stared at the moving shadow on the screen, I lost my breath for a moment. It was a clear and distinct streamlined contour, obviously different from sharks and dolphins. Thime were no fins on the sides of the upper body, but a pair of open limbs, like those of humans.
It was indeed a mermaid.
“Quick…quick, cast the net! Rein, what are you waiting for!”
I almost jumped up as if I had just woken up from a dream. I punched Rein’s chest, but he grabbed my wrist and smiled, “Do you think I’m as dull as you? This mermaid has been confused by our shark-catching scent, or why do you think it doesn’t run away?”
I immediately ruhed to the deck and saw that the sailors on board had already changed their equipment and dived down with the net spread out underwater. The fishing net had luminous buoys, which scattered on the sea surface, like stars scattered in the sky. They disappeared under the undulating sea surface with the diving of the sailors, and my heart also floated up and down. My nerves were as tightly stretched as if they were under water pressure.
This would be one of the most amazing discoveries in human biology history.
Thinking of this, my spine couldn’t help but stiffen, and I stood on tiptoe on the mast, wishing to dive down with those sailors and bring up the mermaid.
“Wallace, relax~ Don’t fall into the water!”
Rein laughed wickedly behind me, and my calves tightened. He circled his arms around them, and I was scared and almost fell for his joke. My body fell forward, and he quickly grabbed the back of my collar. We both fell on the deck. My butt almost pressed against his face. Fortunately, I was relatively light, othimwise I would have broken his proud nose.
“Dude, you don’t have to be so eager to kiss my butt, do you?”
I moved away and climbed up, squinting and giving him a narrow smile. Lyne just propped himself up on the deck and said shamelessly, “From a biological perspective, the shape of the butt is good, and it tastes good too. This is anothim great discovery tonight besides the mermaid.”
“Your knee hardness is good too.” I kicked him in the knee, revealing a set of white teeth.
The next second, the sound of water rushing out of the ship below immediately took away all my attention. I squatted at the edge of the mast, watching the sailors pull up the layer of luminous fishing net and put it on the hanger. The fishing net was tangled togethim, clearly wrapping around a wet outline, twisting like a captured shark.
When the hanger was raised, his long tail leaked out from the fishing net, drooping with a graceful arc.
The only mermaid ever discovered in human history was the Indian Ocean red-tailed mermaid, but this one was different. His tail was black, but not entirely black.
Whethim it was due to the reflection on the water’s surface, it showed a cold blue color like the center of fireworks, with a little red at the end, which was shockingly eye-catching, like blood on a sharp blade.
For some unknown reason, my eyeballs suddenly felt a stabbing pain, and my heart was filled with an indescribable sense of unease. I vaguely remembered the legend that my senior colleague, Mr. Shinichi, who had been studying mermaids for fifty years, had mentioned to me during my research trip to Okinawa a few years ago.
It was a creature known as the “Nightmare Mermaid”. Its tail was blue-black with a touch of red, just like what I saw in front of me. When he told me about it, his face was filled with cautious panic. He said that this was a more terrifying creature than a tiger shark, not because of its attacking power, but because of the eerie power it carried.
He warned me never to bring it ashore if I encountered this mermaid, but to treat it like the way we studied the red-tailed mermaid, otherwise unimaginable misfortune would befall me.
“He comes from hell, an evil demon,” he described.
But I was not Japanese, nor did I understand Japanese culture, so I only had a vague idea of what the term meant, guessing it was similar to the Chinese evil spirits and Western demons.
As for how terrifying it was, Mr. Shinichi did not tell me during our conversation, ending it with a hushed sound as if he was avoiding my questions and visits. To my surprise, when I returned to Okinawa the following year, I was informed of his passing. This mystery has since been forever imprinted in my memory.
And now, this legend has truly appeared in front of me.
Regardless of whether Mr. Shinichi’s warning was given beforehand, the mermaid was already a near-death temptation for me, a paranoid and mysterious biologist.
As it was hoisted onto the deck and put into the water tank, my heart seemed to stop beating. With the help of the sailors, I carefully crouched down and injected a proper dose of anesthetic into its tail, and nervously traced the curve of its fish tail after the injection. The tiny, cool scales on the tail felt different from any other fish, they were smooth and finer than the skin of a dolphin, even approaching the texture of human skin, like a layer of film wrapping around a human leg.
This thought frightened me, and my hand unintentionally touched the tip of the tail, causing a sharp pain in my fingertips. I was surprised to find that the tail had thorns, and the triangular tail fin was as sharp as a real blade. Blood dripped from my fingertips onto the scales, disappearing as if absorbed.
Suddenly, the mermaid struggled violently, and its tail curved towards me in an incredible arc, like a python trying to entangle my ankle, even several sailors could not hold it down.
I fell to the deck, stiff and stunned in place, like in a trance.
“You idiot, are you dumb?” Rhein pulled me up from the ground, dragged me aside, and stepped on the fish tail that was attacking me, injecting the remaining anesthetic promptly and efficiently.
“Don’t! That’s the amount for sharks, overdosing may kill it!” I exclaimed in alarm, seeing the fish tail quickly calm down, and nervously pushed Rhein’s arm away, removing the fishing net from his body.
My hands were trembling uncontrollably, excited, and mixed with fear from the memories. When the fishing net was lifted off of it, revealing its entire body, I shuddered all over, taking a step back before regaining my balance.
This was my first time facing a live mermaid in reality.
He was completely different from the skeletons and corpses in the collection, except for his fishtail and sharply defined ears, he was essentially a human.
He lay there with his body curved, his face to one side, his hair (although I wasn’t sure if I should call it that) wet and dripping, hanging in strands around his neck. His facial features were hidden, but the sharp line of his jaw was visible. From the side, it appeared that he might have a nice human face, but that wasn’t what concerned me.
My gaze extended downward, and the muscles that undulated on his back stretched and extended, taking on the shape of a taut bowstring, full of the power of a sea predator. I even suspected he might suddenly leap up and tear into me like a shark.
This was a merman who looked like he had the muscular torso of an adult male.
I had once thought that merpeople were genderless and only changed their gender like eels during mating season. But at this moment, this contradiction completely destroyed my speculation.
My gaze involuntarily shifted to his lower abdomen, where there was actually a bulge, wrapped in the scales that grew down along his external oblique muscles, revealing a small gap at the pubic bone.
That should be the area similar to the reproductive structure of dolphins, which only protrudes outward during mating season, like human phallic organs.
But do merpeople have the same reproductive system as humans? Is their reproductive process similar to that of humans?
The curiosity in my heart was unstoppable and I took out the flashlight from my waist, intending to do a simple check on him. However, just as the light from my flashlight passed over his head and I was about to lean down, he suddenly moved slightly, just a small movement. But I immediately became alert and bounced back, while Lain blocked in front of me to prevent any sudden attack.
But there was no big movement, just a slight tilt of the head, and wet hair slid open a crack from his face, revealing half of his face. There was a layer of fine hair under his eyelids, similar to eyelashes but shallow in color like fish bones, while his pupils were dark and bottomless, like a deep current floating in the depths of the sea, without any focal point.
But I knew very clearly that he was staring at me, even scrutinizing me.
I felt a chill down my spine. Based on my experience as a biologist, I was sure that that kind of gaze… regarded me as prey.