Poetic Justice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Review Chain
Life and love below the water.

Submitted: July 12, 2019

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Submitted: July 08, 2019

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POETIC JUSTICE

The House of Aul de Væncoür woke up in chaos one fine night.

Prince Aurum, Heir to the throne was furious. His broad shoulder with wide, impressive chest was shaking in anger. His dark, long hair was trailing behind his majestic head and the expression of pure rage on his face made all his subjects lower their heads. The most intimidating part was his 3 foot long, deep red tail, covered in shimmering scales; that twitched whenever any merman or mermaid was brave enough to come near him.

"How dare someone steal from me!? How did they steal from my private chambers without any one of you knowing?" he yelled at the guards.

The stolen Pearl of Alysia was a heirloom in the royal family for generations, passed down from mother to her first-born son. It was a traditional gift for the Heir to present to his anima alterum when first revealing their bond to her. It was expected of all the males to present some gift or token when asking their soul mate for acceptance of their bond. It was after all, only the males of their kind who could recognize their soul mate or anima alterum when they entered into adulthood.

Prince Aurum had found his anima alterum at his coming of age ball, a fortnight ago. He might have known her to be his soul mate only for a fortnight but he had loved her almost his all life. Oh all the tricks and pranks he played to get her attention! He had loved her since the first time he saw her yelling at his friends for bullying a merling when they were merely seven winters old. She was still just as feisty.

And in cowardice, that would make his ancestors weep in shame, he had not dared to tell her the he was hers.

And now, he had also lost the family heirloom that was meant for her!

"Sire, we know who did this," one guard bravely informed his liege.

"Then what are you waiting for? Capture them and find the Pearl!" roared the Prince.

"But Sire! W...We d...dared not with....without your p...permission. It is L...Lady Sylvia," the gaurd stammered.

"WHAT!?"

"We f...found a n...note, Sire."

"Show me!"

The note was quickly passed to the Prince.

The Pearl of Alysia is a small compensation for my humiliation. For what you did to me, you deserve far more to lose. Perhaps this will finally make you realize the enormity of your mistake. How much  does the gift for your anima alterum mean to you? To what lengths will you go to have it back?

- Sylvia

Guilt overcame him, his anger long forgotten. He could not blame Sylvia for what she had done. He deserved this and more. Even though she did not understand everything, he could hardly blame her. In his anger, he had committed an unforgivable crime against her. His impulsive act had lost him his sleep many a days, in regret.

"You all are dismissed," he told his guards. "Do not mention of this to anyone. I will personally handle this."

The room slowly emptied of the bewildered guards, while the Prince was lost in his thoughts. There was only one way forward. However unpleasant, he had to do what he had put off for so long. With a deep breath, he gathered his courage and made his way to Lady Sylvia's chambers.

"I request an audience with Lady Sylvia in private," he told her hand maiden that opened the doors. He waited patiently while she went inside to ask her mistress. After few shells of time had passed, she came back. With a bow, she welcomed him inside and left, closing the doors behind her.

The grandeur of the chamber faded in comparison to Lady Sylvia. Her royal purple tail with scales that were envy of the whole court, her feminine waist and delicate shoulders accentuated her angular face and the fire in her eyes. Her grey eyes never failed to captivate him. It was like he was caught in the storm from which there was no way out.

The smug look on her face and her haughty eyebrows, by no means diminished her exquisiteness. "So...?" imperiously she demanded.

He was lost for words as well as the courage he had barely gathered before. He dared not open his mouth in case he spoke wrong words that would only make the mermaid in front of him angrier.

She misunderstood his silence. "What! You have nothing to say?" she asked him scathingly.

"No... no...." he tried to pacify her before she got the wrong idea. Again. "It is not like that. You have misunderstood the situation."

She raised her eyebrows at this. "Really? I have misunderstood the situation, have I?" she asked, unconvinced.

"I.... Yes.... Um...."

"Yes! Please explain to me how I have not understood the situation. Explain to me why you did something so.... so horrible!" She started ranting.

He had no idea how to answer her so that she could understand why he did what he did. Not that there was any way to justify it. "I apologize for what I did. Believe me, I have regretted it ever since."

"An apology and your regret mean nothing in court. Nothing at all. Can it change anything? The humiliation! I am the one who has to face the court every day! I will be remembered for this my entire life. What about my anima alterum? What will he say? What if he doesn't... accept me?" Her voice broke. She turned away her face before he could see her tears.

His heart broke.

Prince Aurum wished there was a way he could undo what he had done. In that moment, he would have given anything and everything to change the past.

"I know how terrible the sin I have committed is." he muttered miserably. "I can only hope that you can find it in yourself to forgive me."

"Forgive you?" she shouted, now enraged. "Forgive you? How can I?"

"I know. I mean...." he tried to explain, unsuccessfully.

"YOU CUT MY HAIR!!" she yelled.
"If it were anyone else.... If they were not a prince.... they would have been punished! They would have been sent to dungeons. But you...."

He could not meet her eyes. He had done something so shameful! Unlike two-legged land dwellers mer-people could not grow back their hair. They never cut their hair. It was a symbol of their pride and joy. A sign of prosperity. It was considered humiliating to have short hair. More so for a lady of the court. He had shamed her and her family by doing something so rashly in his anger.

"Why...?" she finally asked him.

She deserved an explanation. And this was his chance to explain. "I was hurt. And angry. When you said that I do not deserve my anima alterum. You said she would forever regret me being her other half. That she would never accept me... never love me. I was hurt. And I in my anger, I was blinded. Without thinking of the consequences, for you and me, I acted."

She sighed. It was wrong of her to have said that, especially to the future King. With guilt layering her voice, she gently explained, "I spoke in my anger."

"I... I did not actually believe them. I am sure your anima alterum would gladly accept you," she added wistfully. Suddenly angry again, she asked, "Moreover, why do you even care what I think?"

"I care. I have always cared. Your opinions and thoughts have always guided my actions. I mean..."

"What?"

He took a deep breath. "I have strived to be a better man.... for you. I did not ever wish to disappoint you."

He heard her take a sharp intake of breath. With a resigned sigh she said, "Well, it is best if we put this behind us."

She went to a drawer near her vanity mirror and came back with something in her hands. "Here, take the Pearl," saying this she handed him the box containing the Pearl of Alysia.

He did not take the box. "Will you forgive me?" he asked.

"I will try." She offered him the box again.

Ignoring the box he replied, "Please..."

"Take the Pearl!"

"I want your forgiveness. Not the Pearl."

"You would give up your present for your anima alterum in exchange for my forgiveness?" she asked him sardonically.

"Yes," he answered without hesitation.

"You infuriate me!" She took a deep breath to calm down. After a little thought, she decided to put him out of his misery.

"I suppose this was a little...very little bit, my fault as well. And you do have to work in kitchens until you take the throne, by King's orders. Well.... if you promise to buy me shells that I want for as long as I ask for, you are forgiven."

"Really!" His face brightened as he smiled widely.

"Yes. Now take this Pearl and return it to its place before the King or the Queen hear about it being missing"

"No. It belongs to you."

"What? No! You must present it to the Princess when you find her," she told him, bewildered.

"Yes, I must. It belongs to you, Sylvia, if you will accept it," he said to her. With uncertainty, he waited for her to reply.

To say she was shocked was an understatement. For years, she had secretly dreamed of this. Never had she ever put these dreams to words. And suddenly, they were all coming true.

"Yes, I do!" she replied with tears in her eyes once she got over her shock.

Smiling in exuberance, he finally did what he been dreaming of doing for so long. He gently pressed his lips to hers.


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