Deep Sea Girl

All was well, until the Lillium were discovered. As a lowly Necromica, Rosalie never expected anything from a life as a slave for the high merfolk. But again, that’s just her cover. Trained from birth by a group of harpie mercenaries who took her in, she is their greatest weapon to date. Under the guise of a merchant's daughter Rose infiltrates the courts of Amphirite, where she discovers a whole new world of deceit and power, where even the slightest trip of the tongue could send you down the road to despair. Behind her blank façade lies a dark secret; Rose is developing a unique power of which could be her salvation, or her destruction. Originally my Heir of Fire writing contest entry A/N: I do apologise if chapters seem to be unfinished, or unpolished, but my internet is weird, so Movella's settings spazz on me from time to time. Enjoy!

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6. Scales

    Gingerly prying the door open, I poked my head out of the prince's study, and surveyed my surroundings. Judging from the gold and red color scheme of the carpeted halls and slightly less garish decorations, the room must be located in the East Wing, where the royal family resided. To make my presence less obvious, I took off my shoes and sunk my toes into the furry algae carpet. In my mind I pictured the layout of this wing, found where I was, took some mental notes about the study and the clues it might contain, and set off in a sprint, my footsteps silent, cloak billowing around me. My goal was the Central Palace, where the Amphirite court was hosting a banquet, celebrating the king's birthday. Each city was to offer up two of their daughters as a hostage exchange; it ensured the king's grip on his entire empire, and produced bastards for the elite army. According to Miriam, I am now Semiramide, a daughter of Keros, a large settlement in the Midlevels which teemed with necromica and other forms of artificial life. The king was to select five new concubines for his harem, and a maximum of twenty others could be divided for the royal family to own. Any who were not chosen would receive lower positions in the palace and serve the royal family and nobles for the rest of their lives. I wasn't particularly confident in my charm; raised to be a discreet killer, my specialty was assassination, not infiltration. Still, one had to try. Just when I was about to round a corner, a small figure appeared. Stiffening my spine, I walked forward as if I was actually going somewhere. It wore a billowing cloak of fuschia, a large hood obscuring most of it's facial features. The hem of it's velvet dress brushed against the algae carpet, making swish-swish sounds as the figure moved in long strides. We passed each other without so much of a glance. Yet the little figure gave off the aura of something... powerful. All necromica could detect auras, the mass of magic which resides in a mage's body. I could tell what type of magic inhabited a body, the quantity and the characteristics of the magic. While I knew my own magic as a well of power, the magic of the little figure was like an ocean; raw, deep and vast. It churned beneath her skin, waiting to be released. The little one must be a Prodigy then. And a new recruit, no doubt. When one's Gift showed itself, the children with the most potential are whisked to the palace to hone their talents and serve the Prime Mage, the one who administered the use of magic throughout all seven seas. The maze I just passed through? Just a meager extension of his powers. The current one is rumoured to be a practitioner of all types of magic, and so powerful he unsurped his predecessor at his arrival. But according to the information I was provided, Prodigies weren't allowed outside their compound until graduation. And the color of that cloak... 
I turned around, and gave chase. Though my bare feet were quiet on the algae carpet, the figure lurched forward and darted away in a sprint. My own cloak started tripping me, but with nimble feet I managed to gain up on the little figure. Down the hallways we went. We passed quaint, manicure gardens where gaudily-dressed matrons had tea, cobblestone courtyards where guards jostled each other, grand libraries with multi-tiered shelves bursting with books, a dusty gallery, several sitting rooms and countless closed doors of all sizes and shapes.  The little figure did not seem to tire; it continued to run away from what looked like an invisible threat to others. Everyone we encountered was stupefied at the strange sight: a small figure in a vibrant cloak streaking through the halls as if all hell was on its heels. Worse yet, I wasn't the only one following her. Shouts were raised, guards shaken from their positions and organised in search parties. The little figure was being pursued by what seemed to be an entire regiment of castle guards. Finally, we approached a small yard where supplies were being unloaded. The little figure threw itself against the wooden door, but it would not budge. I jumped onto it, rolled the thing over, and took a look at my prize. I now understood why my guild sent me here. They needed me to investigate a strange surge of black magic which happened near the castle, and if needed, assassinate the source. And being a necromica with mind powers, I was perfect for the job. Pinning it's skinny, iridescent arms behind it's small back, I flipped it's hood back. Red with fatigue, the face of a little girl greeted me. And a pretty one, at that. With round cheeks, fair skin, small lips and a bush of ash-blonde hair, the little girl looked pretty normal. But it was the eyes that marked her. Round and wide with fear, both had little slitted pupils, and one was a burnished gold, while the other was piercing silver. The only race in all seven seas which possessed such eyes were the rainbow serpents; the heart of all creation myths in the world. And with her iridescent skin and human form, she could only be one person. And quite a legendary one, too. 
   "So," I asked with a wicked grin, "did you hatch out of an egg, Sylvia?"  

 

 

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