Desharow Mermaid - Chap 43
“Achilles, let me go! They found you here and will shoot at you!” I tried to break free from his grasp, but his arms were as strong as steel bars, leaving me immobile. The fish tail beneath me tightened around my legs, and a thick, hard object prodded at my rear end. “I won’t… let you… go,” he growled lowly into my ear. I felt his fangs graze against the nape of my neck before biting down punishingly on my shoulder. I couldn’t help but tremble and let out a muffled groan.
The bite wasn’t too deep, and he didn’t break my skin, but I knew he left teeth marks that would take a while to fade. I dared not struggle anymore; Achilles had a volatile temperament, and who knew if he would react violently if I angered this wild beast? I watched as Raffles and Eva drew closer, my nerves stretched to their limit. I didn’t want them to see me in this disheveled state, held in Achilles’s arms, and I definitely didn’t want them to think he was attacking me. I suppressed my panic and tried to soothe Achilles. I lightly placed my fingers on his webbed paw and said, “Hey, I promise I’ll come back to you. I know where your nest is! There are some important things I have to take care of first, but once they’re done, I’ll come find you at the mermaids’ lair, okay? I really should repay you!”
“Will you, Desharow?”
Achilles’s webbed paw traced along my chest up to my chin, lifting me onto his shoulder as he leaned down to gaze at me. His irises shone with an unusual brightness, his pupils contracted like tiny nails pinning me to my hollow lies. I thought I heard a cracking sound, making me feel uneasy. In an instant, I wanted to retract my words because Achilles looked like he would take my words to heart and not tolerate me breaking my promise.
The thin lips parted slightly, repeating those magic-like syllables once again. I held my breath, gazing into the eyes of Ares, suddenly feeling as though I was signing a contract with this mysterious, elder creature. It was like placing myself as a bet, destined to lose.
The surroundings seemed to quiet down, even the air seemed to freeze, and I couldn’t even feel the passage of time. Memories of Ares played rapidly in my mind like a film reel, until they froze on an image of a cold, icy sea. I thought I heard a familiar voice in the distance, and at the same time, right next to me, saying, “Little boy… Will you come back for me?”
The voice and Ares’ earlier question overlapped completely.
Yes, everything was predetermined.
At that time, Ares had already asked me that question. But back then, I was just a six-year-old child and couldn’t remember anything.
Fifteen years had passed in the blink of an eye, and I had completely forgotten about this event. But guided by an almost subconscious attraction he had planted within me, I returned along the same path, like a moth drawn to a flame, and was caught in the web that this highly intelligent old man had long since laid out.
My fate underwent a complete turning point from the moment I met him.
”Desharow, hey, look, that’s Desharow!”
“Look, someone caught a mermaid!”
Raphael and Eva pulled me out of a trance-like state and I saw a group of shadowy figures with guns rushing towards us. My brain went haywire and I swallowed hard before blurting out, “Yes, I can!”
“So, I believe you, Desharow,” Agares’ voice penetrated deeply into my ears, making my whole scalp tingle. My body suddenly relaxed.
The long black fish tail beside me created a huge wave as it disappeared into the water. When I turned back, I saw its figure quickly disappearing into a dark underwater cave in the lake. I thought that might be a direct path to the mermaid’s nest and I couldn’t help feeling scared – I was grateful that Agares didn’t just take me back to his lair.
“Hey, Desharow, are you injured?”
Raphael shouted from the shore, and I quickly paddled to the lake shore and crawled up, supported by them. Eva suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my god, you’ve been bitten on your shoulder, but… how did your waist wound heal?”
“Um… I don’t know what happened to me! I woke up in the middle of the night… and ran to the lake!” I immediately covered my shoulder and frantically tried to cover my body, but my shirt had been torn into several pieces. I couldn’t help but glance at my pants. Fortunately, my pants were intact except for the broken belt.
Agares, you perverted beast!
“I cursed fiercely in my heart. Raphaël took off his jacket and draped it over me, then lifted his gun and patrolled the lakeside with a few others. Eva looked nervously towards the center of the lake and said, “Desaro, I think Davinci was attacked by a mermaid like you. He’s missing. Raphaël and I found some of this.” Eva opened her palm, revealing several shiny deep red scales.
I immediately thought of that seductive red-haired mermaid and was shocked for a few seconds. “Mermaids? Did you see what happened to Davinci at the time? Were there any bloodstains?”
“No…none,” Eva shook her head thoughtfully. “I was half asleep at the time and only heard some noises in the woods. They were very fast. When I woke up, you and Davinci were gone.”
My nerves tightened.
This must be the work of mermaids who come out at night to hunt or search for mates. The only lucky thing is that Davinci probably wasn’t taken as prey because no one else was attacked by mermaids, only Davinci, who was next to me, and there was no bloodstain. The biggest possibility is that the red-haired mermaid who coveted my and Agerres’s position intended to capture me, but found that I was not there, so she took poor Davinci as a substitute.
I thought of the terrible situation in the mermaid nest. Just by guessing Davinci’s possible fate, a creepy feeling immediately rose in my heart and I broke out in a cold sweat. I clenched my fists and put them to my mouth. “Oh my God…Eva, we have to rescue Davinci quickly!”
Just then, I suddenly heard a dripping sound, and a chaotic electric sound rang out from Eva. Her face changed suddenly, and she immediately took out a pager from her pocket. “Hello, hello, Davinci, is that you? Can you hear me?”
I stared nervously at the pager, and heard a hoarse, intermittent voice on the other end. “Save…me, save me…”
It was Davinci’s voice! I grabbed the pager and shouted, “Hello, hello! Davinci, where are you?!”
“However, I can no longer hear any response from him. It’s just a more chaotic sound, faintly recognizable as the sound of a pager falling into the water. My heart sinks as if I have fallen into a deep abyss – if that’s the case, our only contact with Davinci will soon be cut off, and we can only follow his trail like headless flies.
Perhaps relying on Agares to find Davinci is a good idea…
I turned back to look in the direction of the lake. I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, but I seem to see a shadow like Agares flashing by in the thick fog not far away. However, when I blink, I don’t see anything.
“Hey! I just saw Davinci’s coordinates!”
My thought was suddenly disrupted by this voice. Raphael rushed towards us eagerly, holding up his electronic map and pointing to a position not far from Lein’s cursor in the upper right corner, saying: “I just saw a light here. It’s Davinci’s wireless signal! Let’s go, we’ll leave now!”
We briefly planned the route and set out to rescue Davinci. Because the wireless signal cannot be hidden and can be searched for by each other, once we meet with Shakalal and them, we will inevitably trigger a fight. In order to effectively avoid Lein and them, we chose a completely different route from theirs. They traveled along the coastline, while we crossed from the middle of the island.
Compared to the coastal route, this route is shorter, but the disadvantage is that it is easier to encounter other dangers in the jungle. However, with Raphael, an experienced jungle biologist and explorer leading us, it is much safer than choosing the coastal route, which may result in being attacked by mermaids and being ambushed by Shakalal and them.
After determining the route on the electronic map, we organized the formation and carefully advanced into the deep jungle.
It seems that there is never a real daylight on the Mermaid Island, only the difference in brightness of moonlight. At this time, our watches clearly show that it is eight o’clock in the morning, but the night here is darker than last night, and even the only moonlight that provides illumination has disappeared. There are sporadic blue light clusters floating in the misty tree shadows around, like ghost fires that can be seen everywhere in the graves.
We remain highly vigilant, holding our guns and advancing along the route while observing the surroundings.
“Hey, look at that…
Suddenly, one of the armed personnel shouted out. With the direction illuminated by the strong flashlight, I could vaguely see a low-lying shrub ahead revealing a grayish-white outline. It was a cylindrical-like structure with a damaged base, on which some carving marks could be seen. Perhaps it was a man-made statue-like structure.
“Look, there’s something in that direction too. Oh my god, there are many here…”
The bright flashlight swept around, and I immediately noticed that many of these grayish-white ruins had appeared around us without our notice. One of them was right beside me. I immediately crouched down to examine it with my flashlight. What I saw was the top of a spherical grayish-white building, some of which were still buried underground, so I couldn’t see its overall shape. I vaguely felt that it was part of a tomb.
It was covered with many damp vines, and I carefully pried them open with a branch, revealing strange symbols that were densely engraved on the stone wall. At the top, I found a three-dimensional sculpture that looked like a lizard, which seemed to be a guardian beast that was commonly carved on ancient tombstones, playing a role in guarding the souls of the deceased. They indicated their ancient history and the civilization they left behind on this island.
Eva exclaimed in amazement: “Ruins. These are the ruins of the Mermaid civilization!”
“Oh my god…” I sighed, gripping the flashlight in disbelief.
It turned out that the Mermaid civilization was not just a vague and elusive legend; they really existed. I suddenly understood why Aegles had such high intelligence and emotional intelligence, because Mermaids, like humans, had an ancient civilization and were not a primitive barbarian tribe. Perhaps this was indeed a part of Atlantis left on the surface of the sea, as rumored by our ancestors.
“Hey, I think we should take a piece of it with us. This is a priceless treasure!”
A guy next to Raphael suggested, and as he spoke, he picked up his gun and approached the nearest ruins. But Raphael grabbed his arm and said, ‘Wait! Don’t move. The ground here is a bit off.’
I became alert too and saw Raphael squatting down to pick up a large stone. He threw it forcefully ahead, but instead of the usual dull sound, there was a thud and the stone disappeared into the ground.
Everyone gasped in unison.
Ahead of us, or rather around the ground we were standing on, was a swamp whose boundaries were unknown.
There was a rustling sound coming from the trees, and we all became vigilant and looked around.
Suddenly, I saw a small black triangle rising from below the ground not far from the west. Underneath the scaly, armor-like head was a pair of ferocious dark red eyes that emitted a bloodthirsty gleam, staring intently at us.