Desharow Mermaid - Chap 3
Chapter 3 Adventure Exploration
Step by step, I approached the top of the cylindrical water tank, deliberately keeping my footsteps light. Even when I walked up to the side of the mermaid, it remained motionless, leaning against the pillar as if it was asleep without any alertness. Despite being only one step away from it, we were separated by a layer of glass.
I carefully maintained my pace and movements, as this static state was perfect for my observation and documentation. I put the fluorescent stick aside, switched the DV to night vision mode, and pressed myself against the outside of the water tank to capture it from different angles, from tail to head. In the dim water, the mermaid’s streamlined tail curled around a cluster of water plants like a python, and its three wing-shaped tail fins overlapped like a cloud of black smoke, resembling the dense mist expelled by a squid.
I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like if it appeared in the deep sea. It must be like a shadow from hell, sinister and terrifying. If I encountered it while diving, it would undoubtedly be a chilling experience.
I couldn’t accurately measure how long its lower body was, but I estimated it to be around 2 meters based on visual observation, combined with its upper body, it was roughly the same size as an adult tiger shark. I wondered if its attack power was also significant.
With these thoughts in mind, I adjusted the camera angle and moved upwards along its tail, capturing the mermaid’s spine in the lens. When I was on the deck, I only took a quick glance and felt that its upper body was no different from that of a human. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that there was a glowing substance on the mermaid’s skin, similar to the texture of a white whale’s skin that I had seen before. It diffused a hazy halo in the water, making me feel surreal.
It was not just the mermaid’s existence that felt unreal, but also the suspicion that arose within me in this moment and place. I had a feeling of being in a dream.
Was the mermaid truly a creature belonging to this world? Was there another planet that we were not aware of connected to the deep sea?
I shook my head, forcing my thoughts to return from intuitive speculation to rationality. Damn it, why was I thinking about these things? If Ryne heard my thoughts right now, she might laugh at me for getting entangled in ridiculous sophistry.
The mermaid was not a real existence in front of my eyes, so why was I indulging in random thoughts?
In my mind, I chuckled to myself and refocused my gaze on his skin. It must be a protective membrane that prevented mermaids from developing unsightly wrinkles and becoming excessively fragile like humans when submerged for prolonged periods. Their skin appeared smooth, perhaps as tough as shark skin.
As I thought this, I couldn’t help but feel an urge to touch a mermaid’s skin myself. Just then, I noticed an unusual detail on the DV camera.
On the powerful and slender arms of the mermaid was a sizable wound. It wasn’t bleeding, but the skin was turned outward, exposing the white, muscly interior and several vicious bite marks that appeared to have been inflicted by a shark.
My nerves immediately tensed up: damn it, why didn’t I notice earlier? The mermaid was likely extremely weak and may have even been injected with a tranquilizer, which explained why it had been so quiet all this time!
I was grateful that I had brought a medical kit with me and quickly put away the DV camera, climbed up to the top of the water column, and saw that the shadow below had silently risen with me.
The mermaid was under my feet. This fact made me instinctively take a deep breath and look down.
I was standing on a semi-circular metal platform used by the feeders, with small holes allowing me to see the changing ripples, but I couldn’t see where the mermaid was.
There was a sound of surging currents coming from below, and the light inside the hole suddenly dimmed as a dark color different from the water glided past. The mermaid swam towards the transparent glass door on the other side of the platform, the only passage separating the underwater world from the outside.
I didn’t want to open that door that could bring danger, but there seemed to be no better way to treat the mermaid’s wounds. I didn’t want it to die from infection.
I touched the anesthetic gun on my lower back, my palms sweating slightly, but my nerves trembling with small, restless excitement.
This is your first time coming into direct contact with a live mermaid, don’t mess up, Desarollo. Stay calm, stay calm.
I admonished myself as I took steps towards the edge of the railing, staring at the nightmare-like shadow underwater, reaching out to grab the handle outside the glass door and slowly applying force, pushing open a gap that could only accommodate one person.
By doing this, even if the mermaid really attacked me, it would be restricted by the small space and it would be easier for me to avoid and fight back.
I kneeled down. As the silhouette of the mermaid gradually peeled away from the deep water, breathing became as difficult as drowning. My reason was still intact, but my brain was already somewhat muddled due to nervousness and excitement.
When the mermaid’s head emerged from the water, my consciousness blanked out for a moment, until half of its body protruded outside the door and the splashing water droplets hit my face, then I finally came to my senses. However, my thoughts were still sluggish, as if I couldn’t remember what I came here to do, as if I was bewitched, caught by the gaze of the dark pupils hidden in its hair.
When facing any fierce beast, one should always avoid their eyes, or else they will be seen as a provocation and be attacked. This clear thought lingered in my mind at the moment, as I tried to avoid the gaze, but my eyes could not move away from the face that was faintly visible in the water. It was a face that I could not describe.
It was not as beautiful as the rumors had described, but I had to admit that it was more stunning than any human I had ever seen. Its contours blended sharpness and classical beauty perfectly. If such a face were born on a human, I would have thought he was a Russian soldier with noble blood.
But I couldn’t think of any beautiful words to praise it, and all that came to mind was the word whispered by Mr. Shinichi with fear.
The eyes that were deep-set in the shadow of the browbone were steeped in the gloom of the deep sea. The corners of its mouth were slightly upturned, as if mocking something, and that smile was full of indescribable enchantment and evil.
I tasted for the first time what Mr. Shinichi called “the deepest fear in the heart.”
It was a feeling that made even the soul tremble.
In the moment I was stunned, its upper body had already floated up completely. One hand rested on the edge of the platform, and its wet body stood upright, forming a shadow taller than me that completely enveloped me underneath. I widened my eyes in surprise. Because I couldn’t imagine how its tail was supporting its weight in the water, it was an impossible task for its body structure.
I stepped back cautiously while raising the tranquilizer gun, and suddenly its tail curled up and approached me, leaving only half an arm’s length away from me. Then it bent down to face me, like a giant python testing its prey.
Oh my god, this situation was too horrifying.
I was caught off guard and startled, and my other hand instinctively protected my head, causing the glow stick to roll into the water. The sudden change in lighting threw me off balance, and I stumbled backwards a few steps, staggering until I eventually fell to the ground.
I had completely lost my geographical advantage and my body felt sluggish and slow for some reason. I could only curl up like a dying snail and try to avoid whatever was coming at me in the darkness. I couldn’t see where the mermaid was or how close she was to me. All I could sense was the strange, damp scent that permeated the air, causing it to thicken. Cold water droplets dripped onto my calves, and my ankles suddenly felt cold as something wet and sticky clung to them.
It was the mermaid’s hand.
Realizing this, sweat quickly formed in the palm of my hand, making it difficult for me to hold onto my tranquilizer gun. My lower body was completely immobilized, and I could only let the mermaid move up from my legs. My heart was pounding violently, and I was preparing to inject the tranquilizer into her neck artery as soon as her head came close to mine. This was the fastest and most effective way to stop an attack.
Soon, the mermaid’s wet, long, and thick hair fell on my skin, one strand at a time, brushing against my calves, thighs, and stopping at my lower abdomen.
At that moment, the nerves in my legs twitched with tension.
I couldn’t be sure what she was going to do, but it was highly likely that she wanted to cut open my abdomen and eat my organs.
If I fired my gun at that moment, there was a high probability that I would hit her head. In the face of the life and death situation between the mermaid and me, I had to make a decision immediately.
However, just as I was hesitating, a series of low, strange sounds suddenly echoed in the darkness.
It was a kind of low-pitched sound that seemed to be produced by vibrating through the throat, somewhat similar to the Russian palatal consonant. My family was from Russia, and the familiar way the sound was produced allowed me to immediately escape from the chaotic state of near-death.
Although I couldn’t determine what she was trying to express, at least it proved that the mermaid was not purely driven by instinct. At this moment, she did not intend to attack and eat me.
Otherwise, wouldn’t it be strange to communicate with her prey before eating them?
Perhaps… this kind of mermaid can understand the language of humans. It’s a bold assumption, as there are no records of successful communication between humans and mermaids in history, only through various media. I might be the first human to have a direct conversation with a mermaid.
I took a deep breath, forcing myself to calm down, and looked down to meet the gaze of the mermaid pressing down on my body below the waist.
His eyes were hidden behind his hair, emitting a faint blue light, resembling the dual pupils of a wild wolf in a night vision lens.
I swallowed my saliva and tried to swallow my fear, speaking clearly and softly, “Hey, listen to me. I mean you no harm. You’ve been bitten by a shark, and I want to disinfect your wound.”
I pointed to the wound on his shoulder with a gesture, but the mermaid did not respond, still lying on my thighs, with his hands firmly gripping my legs, not loosening even a bit.
I felt somewhat disappointed, but with the faint glow underwater, I saw the corner of the mermaid’s mouth seem to move slightly, slightly open, and deepen the faint smile on his face, like teasing, but also like a smirk.
A chill rose up my spine, overwhelming my sense of disappointment. I once believed that the intelligence of mermaids was somewhere between dolphins and humans, and had published several papers on this topic under Rhine’s guidance. Now, however, I have great doubts about my previous judgments.
Because the expression of the mermaid made me have a terribly eerie and potentially illusory understanding of him being a higher creature with unique intelligence, capable of playing me between the palms of his hands. A thorough, predatory hunter.