Desharow Mermaid - Chap 41
As I stared at the profile of Ageres, he also turned his head to sense my presence. He looked at me and extended his webbed claws, curling his fingers towards me.
I leaned against the wall and was momentarily stunned. Then, I saw a red flash in the darkness, and that tenacious challenger charged back towards Ageres with great momentum. A huge wave surged up, and the remaining defeated soldiers also engaged in a fierce battle with Ageres’ supporters. The cave echoed with terrifying screams. I swear that the fight between the mermaids was more gruesome than any animal I had ever seen, because at least when filming sea lions or lions, they did not see humans being disemboweled, arms torn off, and heads twisted off. Within moments, there were many severed limbs floating on the water’s surface, and some were even lifted under my eyelids. The air was instantly filled with a strong smell of blood.
I clung tightly to the wall, my hands trembling and my mouth and nose covered. I felt like I was in a horror movie called the Wax Museum or back in the hospital’s morgue during a previous internship. Witnessing all of this was mentally overwhelming, and I desperately hoped for a way out of this chaotic construction site.
Just at that moment, I suddenly heard a voice above my head: “Desaro, Desaro! Come up quickly!”
That’s actually Davinci’s voice! I thought I was hallucinating, but when I looked up, I immediately saw a rope hanging over my head, with a few blurry silhouettes in the light above. Oh my God! I wiped the water off my face, grabbed the rope, and endured the pain in my waist as I was dragged up by the force from above.
I quickly rose several meters above the water, but my auditory nerves and attention seemed to be firmly linked to Ageres, making me resist the urge to look back at him, even though I clearly knew that Ageres had an absolute advantage. If I, a human, continued to stay in the mermaid’s lair, it would only cause more chaos, and I couldn’t rely on Ageres to protect me all the time, so it was better to leave early.
In the instant I emerged from the cave, several pairs of arms caught me. When I looked up, I was shocked to see several faces that were no more familiar than my classmates, except for Davinci, including my senior brother Raphael, senior sister Eva, and some strong-looking armed personnel who looked like mercenaries.
The excitement of unexpectedly reuniting with friends in a time of danger made me feel sour in the nose. With them, I no longer had to worry about being abandoned like by Raine and the others. I suppressed the urge to hug them and cry bitterly and whispered, “Hey, guys, we have to leave quickly, it’s very dangerous down there!”
“Hey, buddy, you look pretty badly injured!” Raphael frowned at my waist and signaled for several armed personnel to lift me up.
Raphael is a jungle biologist with extensive survival experience in unfamiliar wilderness environments. Under his leadership, we quickly withdrew from above the cave and settled near a freshwater lake in the jungle. In order to prevent attacks by wild animals at night, the personnel in the team climbed trees to build a makeshift shelter.
After dark, we lit a pile of campfires and shared food. In the conversation with others during dinner, I learned that Davinci and his team arrived here before my team with Raine. Furthermore, I learned that Davinci was originally invited by Shakaral to participate in the mermaid project and was supposed to go to Mermaid Island together, but he suddenly passed out in the deep-sea laboratory that day and was confined to the hospital by medical staff after waking up. He noticed some clues of conspiracy and managed to inform Raphael and the others and escaped.
Perhaps because our ship encountered a sea…
“Why did Shakaral exclude you from the project after you fainted in the deep-sea laboratory?” I asked in confusion, memories of the fragmented scenes playing back in my mind since the moment I woke up in the hospital, with the disjointed images rewinding with the confused gaze behind the Davinci mirror in the flames, until I could see a black fish tail entwined around my legs, causing me to shudder involuntarily.
It was obvious what happened during my blackout period while Davinci was fainting, and my memory loss. Combined with Reine’s strange reaction, it confirmed the fact that I didn’t want to admit. That evil beast of Ageres might have already been present during my first trip to the deep-sea laboratory…
“No, no, Davinci, forget it if you can’t remember. I feel a bit unwell, so please leave for a bit!” My sense of shame suddenly exploded in my nerves, and I panicked, standing up and taking a few stumbling steps, wanting to run away. But Raphael grabbed my arm and touched my forehead with concern, “Hey, buddy, are you okay? Why did your face suddenly turn so pale?”
I shook my head with a colorless face, my memories becoming clearer, making me sweat on my forehead. I dare not look at Davinci’s expression because I am terribly afraid that he still has consciousness during the fainting spell. If he remembers, I will never be able to face these classmates who I see every day!
“I don’t know,” Davinci shook his head solemnly and sighed helplessly, “but I suspect that Shakaral was using me from the beginning, but didn’t want me to touch the core secret she was hiding-maybe hidden on this mermaid island. My electronic map was stolen by Shakaral, and the backup was destroyed. Fortunately, Raphael repaired all the data, or we would never have made it here.”
I wiped the sweat off my sleeve, secretly relieved, and sat back down, trying hard to keep calm as I told them in detail about the things that happened these past few days, of course, omitting all the segments where Ageres appeared, and instead focusing on the discovery of the US military factory logo found in the cabin.
After listening to everything, Eva, who had been silent all along, frowned delicately and said, “It seems that our guess was correct. This plan is military in nature, but it is illegitimate.” She raised her head, and her beautiful blue eyes sparkled with a complicated light. “A few days ago, I asked a friend in the Navy to secretly investigate the data of Colonel Shakaral. She was dismissed within three months for espionage and later fled. But this matter is classified by the military, and few people know about it. I think that either Rhine is working with her, or she has been deceived.”
“Espionage?” My heart sank heavily, like a stone sinking into a bottomless swamp, my chest feeling tight and unable to breathe. I said in a low voice, “I think this is probably the work of a third country hoping to develop the Cold War between Russia and the United States into a hot war. In any case, we must follow Colonel Shakaral’s plan and see what she wants to do.”
“Okay.” Raphael nodded and took out a black instrument, pointing to the flashing green light on it. “Look, I have already detected a wireless signal on this island. It’s to the west, about four or five kilometers away from us. I think it must be them. We will set out tomorrow morning to track them.”
“Understood.” Davenshi and I answered in unison. He smiled at me and said, “If possible, we will stop this spy and capture her, and bring her back to Russia.”
“That’s right, we can do it! We are the best students of St. Petersburg Naval Academy, fighting to defend the Navy Department and to defend Russia.”
Amid the blazing flames, our hands clasped each other’s, and several familiar faces smiled at each other. Our blood flowed in each other’s veins, with such hot blood, such powerful strength, as if we had returned to the days when we walked into the threshold of St. Petersburg Naval Academy after the strict military training ended. I think that such a moment, I will never forget until I am old, until my life passes away.
Unconsciously, it was already late at night, and a thick fog had risen on the island, shrouding everything in a veil and providing perfect cover for unforeseeable danger. In order to ensure our safety, we each climbed into the rest area on the tree.
I lay in the simple hammock, my body finally able to completely relax, but my mind could not calm down for a long time. It was not only because the wound in my waist, which had been sutured, began to ache faintly as the anesthesia wore off, but also because my mind couldn’t stop recalling my experience in the mermaid’s nest today. I clearly gazed up at the deep blue sky above, but the image of Ageris enduring the pain of having his scales peeled off while I was threatened, unable to move, kept floating in my mind.
I even remember his eyes at that time, which made my heart shrink. I couldn’t help but wonder if Ageris would follow me again like last time after I left the mermaid’s nest, and hide in the darkness, quietly watching me and waiting for an opportunity to attack. I couldn’t help turning over and sitting up, nervously looking around, and then my gaze stopped involuntarily on the fog floating in the lake not far away.
I don’t know if it was an illusion caused by my imagination, but I seemed to see a faint figure in the center of the lake.
Was it Ageris…
My heart suddenly tightened, secretly guessing.
I wanted to persuade myself that I was mistaken, but there seemed to be a voice tempting me in my heart, telling me that it was him.
I subconsciously wanted to wake up Raphael next to me, but my hand hung in the air and stopped.
An inexplicable impulse rose from the bottom of my heart, causing me to clench my fists. I realized that I actually wanted to see Ageres, at least to make sure he hadn’t suffered any serious injuries in that fight, because he had come to save me. With that thought in mind, I tiptoed around Rafael, took the flashlight, dagger, and a roll of alcohol gauze, and grabbed the tree trunk, trying not to make a sound. Carefully, I slid down the tree and slowly approached the lake in the mist.
I turned on the flashlight, held the dagger tightly, and cautiously guarded against the surroundings, walking in a half-crouched position to prevent sudden attacks from any wild animals. I could immediately crouch and roll out of its attack range and protect my vulnerable abdomen.
The lake was shrouded in a faint green light, and some light spots, similar to fireflies, floated on the surface of the water, which seemed to be some small luminous shrimp that were rarely seen in freshwater lakes.
I looked towards the center of the lake from the shallow beach, and through the halo of the lake water itself, I saw a slender figure leaning against a rock that emerged from the water in the center of the lake. The long and thick fish tail coiled at the bottom of the rock was faintly discernible and looked particularly prominent against the blue-green water.
It was definitely Ageres, motionless, quiet like a statue. He was resting, perhaps because he was injured and needed to rest. I suddenly realized that we might have stumbled into the territory of the mermaid leader, and this might be his resting place!
I was sure that I was not dreaming or having a hallucination, but as if under a spell, I could not help but take steps towards the lake, one step at a time.
When the water touched my body, I couldn’t help but want to shrink back. I urged myself not to provoke this fierce animal, but the opposite impulse still prevailed – just take a look and sneak back quietly. Ageres must be exhausted after the day’s battle, just be careful…
I swallowed my saliva and buried myself in the water, exposing only my head, slowly swimming towards the rock. My heart swelled like drowning, struggling to stop in my chest. I could even hear my own heartbeat through the water surface, thump, thump, thump.
Slowly, I finally swam to Ageres’s side.
He seemed completely unaware of my approach, his breathing long and distant, and his chest, like ancient porcelain, rose and fell with rhythm. His deep-set brow held peaceful eyelids that cast a vast shadow like ink stains on his cheeks.
The dim light on the lake flowed onto his wet, silver-gray hair and pale skin, outlining his muscular contours and body lines with boldness and ferocity, containing a primitive wildness that could burst out at any moment, like a Greek statue sculpted by an ancient artist in a museum.
I couldn’t help staring at his face and suddenly felt that this evil beast was only tolerable and not as terrifying when he was asleep.
And aesthetically speaking, even though his inherent evil made him look like a bad guy, he was indeed very handsome, or rather, exceptionally handsome.
As a man, I couldn’t think of any other affected words to describe him. If he were human, even in a place like my school, where there were many handsome men and beautiful women, he would undoubtedly be a conspicuous standout.
Unfortunately, he’s not…
If he were… I might start to question my sexuality…
No, Desarro, what are you thinking about!
I forced myself to look away from his face, but couldn’t help but let my gaze slide down to the fish tail exposed on the surface of the water. The fish scales shimmered with a translucent luster, tightly connected like a seamless chainmail armor, and it seemed that the claws of the attackers during the day had not caused any substantial damage.
To confirm my thoughts, I unconsciously placed my palm lightly on the scales and stroked them gently.
The slight undulation below swept across my palm, as if a slight tingling current was flowing toward my wrist, reminding me of the feeling when the beast licked my body with its tongue. My hand trembled suddenly, and my ears uncontrollably turned hot.
However, just as I was about to leave, my gaze unexpectedly collided with a pair of deep and bright pupils.
Ares had already woken up at some point.
He was looking down at me with a meaningful gaze, with a faint smile on his lips.