Ge Xiu felt that he had a long dream.
A very terrible one.
Every fragmented part had a sour smell of nightmare, but no matter how much he tried it the pieces didn’t fit together, only the cold and suffocating feeling still stayed in the cracks of his bones when he woke up, as if it had been deeply imprinted in the depths of his body.
He was awakened by childish music.
Loud and joyful electronic music dragged his mind back to sanity, from the hazy chaotic thoughts back to reality.
Ge Xiu blinked, staring dumbfounded at the little man on the screen close to him, jumping over the pillars in front of him one by one, cleverly avoiding one trap after another, evading every attack from the boss. It fired bullets without hindrance, as if it had experienced it thousands of times before, with dexterity and smooth movements – the boss fell.
The boss’s body faded away and vanished.
Symbolic celebrating gun and salutes sounded, colourful flags waved on the screen, the little man jumped up and down happily, and one huge word occupied the entire screen:
Ge Xiu rubbed his eyes and turned his head to look beside him.
Rowett was wearing a black neatly pressed suit, and sat on the ground indifferently, holding the game controller in his slender palm, and his thumb had just moved away from the attack button.
He didn’t know how long he’s been sitting here.
Ge Xiu blinked his misty blue-purple eyes, along with the drowsiness that didn’t fade away was a little surprise— he didn’t expect that he could sleep so soundly with someone so close, and he didn’t wake up for so long. Could it be that it’s been too long since he had to struggle to survive in the Abyss and his vigilance has faded?
The winning score on the screen gradually faded and returned to the initial interface. There were only two accounts arranged together, and the first one had a much higher score than the second.
Rowett put down the console and turned his head to look over at him.
His expression was quite peaceful, the cold and sharp facial features were softened by the sunlight, and the previous indistinct sense of brutality has lessened a lot, and he seemed much more approachable and relaxed.
Rowett threw the game console to Ge Xiu, then picked up the other console from the side and shook it:
“Come for a round?”
The metal surface of the console still retained the temperature left by human hands, and it felt warm and comfortable to the touch, like pebbles heated up by the sun.
Ge Xiu shrugged, and straightened his back holding the console.
Two little figures scrambled to jump and run across the screen to avoid traps.
One of them advanced step by step, dodging all attacks extremely skilfully, and quickly left the other behind — a few minutes later, a victorious salute and music sounded on the screen, and a little man jumped up and down with joy, the other little man fell down on the gray ground in frustration.
“You lack practice.”
Rowett put down the console and commented objectively.
—Isn’t it obvious?
It’s his first time playing!
Ge Xiu rolled his eyes angrily. He dropped the console, turned around, and plunged into the water. The huge splash of water he made deliberately fell in Rowett’s direction. If he didn’t take a step back quickly, he would have been complately soaked.
Rowett was stunned for a second, then raised his head, and saw the figure of the merman in the water, like an arrow breaking through the sparkling pool water, quickly swimming away…
As if in a fit of anger.
He lowered his head and glanced at his half-drenched elegant suit and wet boots. The cuffs of his privately designed jet-black clothes were still dripping with water.
——His Majesty the Emperor has rarely had such an embarrassing experience.
The curvature of Rowett’s lips rose uncontrollably, and his dark eyes flashed with an almost pleased light under his high eyebrows.
He slowly wiped the water droplets off his face, and brushed the wet hair on his face to the back of his head, revealing a smooth forehead. The well-defined facial features became more dangerous, sharp, and extremely aggressive.
He narrowed his eyes and beckoned to the guards who were standing outside, asking them to call someone to clean up the water stains on the ground, and then turned around and left hurriedly.
The guards who had witnessed everything from start to finish did not dare to make a sound, their lowered eyes were full of shock almost in trance, and they couldn’t believe that what they had just witnessed had actually happened—
The one who’s been resolute in killing and disposing of people ever since he ascended to the throne, His Majesty, the violent Emperor, actually played video games for two hours in the glass room, and… after being drenched in water by a lowly merman, he was not angry at all, and actually seemed quite happy?
What’s happening? !
The guard was so shocked that his pupils shrank, and he felt that his worldview has changed.
He cautiously raised his head and glanced at the sparkling pool not far away. The sunlight shining in from the glass room reflected on the water surface.
That merman was definitely not simple, the guard made a firm conclusion in his heart.
——So he must not provoke him casually.
Ge Xiu slowly sank into the water.
The icy cold water current swept past his body, and the sound of water changing came from a distance through the water layer, as if muffled with a layer of cloth.
He stretched out his ten fingers and found that his nails had completely fallen off at some point. The new nails were growing much faster than he had imagined, in just half a day, they were almost half grown. The pale pink surface of the fingernails has reflected a faint shimmer in the water, and it looked like shiny shells. Only when touching one could realize how hard they were.
Ge Xiu licked the place where his teeth fell out. The two molars fell off, and tips of the new teeth were emerging from the gums.
The cold water brushed against his skin, and a few unknowing little silver fish swam beside him.
Ge Xiu suddenly was stunned, raised his hand and waved in the water around him twice, the webs between his fingers felt a slight resistance, allowing him to feel the temperature of the water around him more clearly.
This was the first time he felt that the water around him was cold.
This time, his body and his skin was cold, almost the same temperature as the water flowing around him. In addition, he had discovered earlier a constant temperature facility in the pool to ensure that the water temperature was always maintained at the most suitable temperature for mermaids to live.
Feeling water temperature drop only proved one thing…
That he got fever.
Ge Xiu raised his hand and touched his cheek, sure enough, it was warm.
Although it is still lower than the human body temperature, it was definitely not the temperature that a mermaid should have.
Could it have something to do with the fingernails and teeth replacement he’s going through now?
Ge Xiu slowly swam to the edge of the rock where he was resting, staring thoughtfully at the two molars lying in his palm.
After getting the electronic device today, he searched the Internet for information related to mermaids. In this world, mermaid raising was already a very mature industry. The fishing and selling industry chain was very complete. There was still no information that a merman would undergo tooth and fingernail replacement as it grows.
— it seems to have only happened to him.
Ge Xiu wasn’t going to show his anomaly— especially since he didn’t understand what was going on with him right now.
He put the teeth under the seagrass far away from him, curled up his tail habitually, and laid down on the rock.
The higher body temperature made his entire fish body groggy.*
It felt like being thrown into a slowly heating pot, all his senses became dull and sluggish, all of the sounds around him were gradually fading away, and the only thing that remained in his body was the boundless drowsiness.
He fell asleep on the side of the pool before, which was most likely also related to this unpredictable fever.
Ge Xiu closed his eyes tightly, his eyelashes drooped down, his long blue-purple hair quietly covered his body, and his tail subconsciously curled even tighter, making him coil into a circle.
Consciousness was gradually disappearing and receding, and he was slowly pulled into the bottomless darkness.
…..a familiar feeling.
At that moment, Ge Xiu clearly knew that he was about to be dragged back into the nightmare that had been haunting him since he entered this world.
The rotten and cold aura of the nightmare slowly spread from the bottom of the abyss, wrapping him tightly like seaweed.
But he couldn’t resist, he could only fall into a chaotic dark sleep.
The empire was in the critical period of expansion.
Although those countries have not yet fallen, most of their territories have been occupied by the empire’s military strength, and they could only resist stubbornly under heavy pressure of the army.
Rowett wasn’t worried.
Since he ascended the throne, many neighbouring countries have been incorporated in his territory, and under his iron-fist rule, the army of the Empire had became the most powerful armed force in the entire world. Victory was only a matter of time.
However, he still needed to adjust the general direction of the war and grasp the suitable moments, so Rowett have been very busy during this time.
After an afternoon full of military meetings, he poured himself a glass of brandy and turned on the surveillance cameras in the glass room—in these past few days, watching and admiring the merman has became Rowett’s habit, the clear pool water and the slender merman roaming in it always made him feel an unexpected calmness.
The pool was very quiet today.
His merman didn’t swim, let alone stick out his head out from the bottom of the pool—even the amount of candy in the bowl by the pool didn’t noticeably decrease.
Rowett frowned, straightened his back slightly, and recalled the previous surveillance records.
The fast-forward button flashed on the screen, the fluctuation of the pool water on the screen was accelerating, the dark pool water slowly lit up, the sunset reflected on the water, the glass room has gradually brightened, and time was rapidly rewinding—
Rowett realized that after he left, the merman hasn’t moved.
He drank the amber-coloured wine in the cup in one go, his eyes deepened, and his expression slowly became serious.
The professional merman expert was woken up overnight by His Majesty’s urgent communication, just because his merman hadn’t emerged from the water all afternoon.
The mermaid expert who had just escaped prison a few days ago answered tremblingly: “Your, Your Majesty… According to my experience, mermaids have different personalities, some mermaids like to stay quiet, some like to move, and the mind and emotions of a mermaid are exactly the same as those of a human being. It’s normal for them to be in a bad mood and be unwilling to move. Besides, there should be a device in your pool to detect the vital signs of a mermaid? If something happened to him, the device would warn you in advance…”
After hanging up the communicator, Rowett moved his gaze to the screen again.
He didn’t know why…but he still felt uneasy.
Rowett frowned, stood up, and walked quickly out of the room.
He decided to go see his merman anyway.
Inside the glass room.
Moonlight shone through the skylight above his head, reflecting on the pool surface with a pale silver.
Rowett walked slowly towards the pool. Every object remained the same as when he left in the afternoon. He turned on the underwater illuminating device specially installed in the early stage of the pool designing for viewing mermaids. The soft light came from the pool. Several corners below light up, and the pool water seemed to be like a huge gem emitting soft light in the night.
He quickly found the location of the merman.
Behind a moss-covered rock, the slender mermaid laid quietly among the water plants, and the tiny silver fish lingered beside him, as if they no longer regarded him as an enemy at all.
The long blue-purple hair floated quietly with the water waves, and the fishtail of the same colour curled up, making his figure look even more slender.
Rowett narrowed his eyes.
He forgot where he had seen that if humans like to fall asleep in such a position, it means that they are extremely insecure— he didn’t know if this principle also applied to mermaids.
Rowett opened his mouth to wake him up, but was stumped before he could speak.
He didn’t know the merman’s name.
Generally, merman’s names were given by their owners, often related to their appearance or colour characteristics – but Rowett has never raised a merman, and naturally never thought of giving him a name.
Suddenly, Rowett’s eyes narrowed, and his eyes suddenly caught a tiny detail—
A bright red silk-like thread of blood slowly floated from the direction of the merman. It dispersed in the pool water before taking shape, but under the bright and soft light, it couldn’t be hidden.
Rowett was taken aback for a moment and approached the sleeping merman.
As the distance shortened, the figure of the merman gradually became clear.
The water current swept away the hair in front of his eyes, revealing a stunning face that seemed to have been bestowed by God, but at this moment, his brows were tightly furrowed, his face was as pale as paper, and his lips were pursed into a tight straight line. As if suffering from some inhuman torture, his curled body tightened from time to time in the water, his slender fingers clenched into fists, and the fingertips sank deeply into his palms, creating deep wounds.
Blood strands slowly escaped from the wound.
——Even when he killed his thirteen brothers and sisters with his own hands, he never felt such a strange mood.
The slender fingers unbuttoned the buttons one by one, revealing a well-defined collarbone and a half of a strong chest.
He threw his jacket aside with a calm expression, then jumped into the water.
*a wordplay, instead of human it’s fish
Noble #1: My mermaid is very well behaved
Noble #2: My mermaid sang a song today
Noble #3: My mermaid knows a lot of tricks
Rowett(proudly): My merman splashed water on me today because I was better at games.
Rowett: Sure enough, my merman is the best
3 thoughts on “Chapter 53: The Merman”
Thank you for the chapter!! The little play at the end was cute lmao 😂
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I always smile at the little skits down at the bottom. Thanks for the chapter 😊
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so like,,, they know that mermaids are just as intelligent and emotional as humans??? so where tf do they get off treating them as lowly pets??? how, w all these technological advancements, has there not been any equivalent advancement in like… human rights??
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