Penelope Jackson: Daughter of the Sea- The Amulet of the Moon

In this second Penelope Jackson story, Penelope and her friends must travel to Athens to complete the prophecy that will unite the Gods with their Demi-god children. But a vengeful goddess threatens to destroy Penelope, her family and friends, as they travel. And during a separation Penelope picks up a strange stone that later reveals its true nature as the group of Demi-gods stumble upon a secret civilization.

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10. The Royal Council

I think that sleeping under what has actual calmed my mind, haven't had any nightmares, or that could be the stress of a civil war pending on my mind. After my conversations with Araluen and Nen, I awoke to the sound of knocking on my door. Opening my eyes I called to answer,

"Come in." I said sitting up in bed.

Araluen came in with a grim expression on her face. "Good morning Penelope," she said.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"King Neptune has requested an audience with you with his royal council. You will meet with him and the council in an hour." she said.

"That's not what's bothering you." I noted. 

"My people are growing restless, they are beginning to revolt." she whispered, tears began streaming down her face.

I swam over to her and led her to an arm chair to sit her down. 

"I am terrified that my people will suffer if something is not done soon." she cried.

"Araluen, what is it your people want?" I asked her, "What's caused all the fighting?"

Araluen took a deep breath then said,"We lost our village leader when the Royals came in, my father, he was a great man. But when he passed the Royals came in as an ally, they were supposed to help and protect us. But  they refused to listen us or respect our customs and ways and they've given us no protection what so ever. We've had a pitiful harvest season and we are losing valuable resources. It's hurting us, to the point we are at war." 

I sank to the floor, "Your people are suffering, and the Royals have done nothing to help you."

"My father thought that by giving control to the Royals, our people will benefit, my family thought he was a fool. I'm ashamed to say that sometimes I think this myself." Araluen sighed.

I sat there wondering, and realizing this was my family, who had done this to her people. The feeling was awful, I thought my heart had sunk to my stomach, and then I realized something else.

"You'd been watching me. You knew these merfolk we apart of my family, that's why you brought me here." I said to her.

Araluen nodded, "I was desperate, and I am sorry for pulling you away from your friends, but these are my friends and family, I would do anything in my power to keep them safe."

That struck home, and brought me back to thinking of my parents. I hadn't had a dream or vision of them since I'd been down here, but I was worried about them constantly. My main goal was getting back to my friends to complete my mission. 

"I understand." I told her, "I would've done the same if it'd been my family."

Araluen relaxed slightly, and we sat there for a few moments.

"What are you going to say?" she asked me.

"I don't know," I admitted, "but I know that I can't leave here until something has changed." 

Araluen nodded, but she still looked worried. She started to tinker with the bracelet on her arm, it was the only thing she wore as jewelry. She wasn't overly decorated like Alinari, or the other mermaids I'd seen. 

"What's that?" I asked her.

She looked to see where I was gesturing, and her eyes landed on her bracelet.

"This is my family's wristlet." she said, "it's been passed down in my family for years and years."

She took it off and handed it to me, I held the delicate "wristlet" in my hands. It was made of gold and had little designs of waves and fish etched on it. All around there were shiny scale like gems, for a minute there it almost reminded me of a...

"That's it!" I shouted, startling Araluen.

"What?" she asked confused.

I swam to my...fins? And handed Araluen her wristlet, "Call me crazy but I think I have an idea."

"An idea? What are you thinking?" she asked me.

"No time!" I said, "Quickly we have to get to the conference." I started to pull her hand and swim out of the room.

"But Penelope, I wasn't invited to speak, that is extremely disrespectful." she explained.

"I understand, but with my idea, they'll have to listen to you, invitation or not." I said pulling her along.

"Not if I can help it!" a shrill voice rang.

"What was that?" I asked Araluen.

"Oh no." she whispered.

I turned to face the door and came face to face with a blonde haired mermaid with hot pink tail.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Ugh, peasant mermaid don't you know anything? Well I guess hanging around with the saddest fish in the sea will do that to you." she sneered.

"Please move Shasa, we don't have time for this." Araluen pleaded.

"Not a chance Araluen, I'm going to be the queen someday, and wipe your village away." Shasa hissed.

"Why are you here?" I interrupted.

"I've brought her." Alinari said swimming into view. She forced her way into the room blocking the only exit.

"Why Alinari?" I asked.

"I refuse to have a commoner as a daughter-in-law, even if it is for Nen." she said as if it were obvious.

"You can't do that!" I said bewildered, "That's awful and-" 

"Oh silence Jackson, you're not even a real mermaid, you have no business here."

Araluen stood in front of me, "You will not talk to her in that way." she hissed.

Shasa pushed her, "You don't have any right to speak to the Queen, you're just a poor village fish."

I'd had just enough of these two, and I was running out of time.

"Sorry to cut thing short but we really must be on our way." I moved in front of Araluen and summoned whatever power I had, praying to Poseidon to help me. 

I created a water bubble, an encased the bothersome mermaids in it. Immediately they began to pound on the walls and screamed their lungs off.

"Kinda wished I could make it sound proof." I said to Araluen.

"It's fine, but we only have five minutes to get to the meeting!" she said worriedly.

I grabbed her hand an flung the door open, not fast enough because Alinari shouted

"GUARDS SEIZE THEM! SEIZE THOSE COMMONERS!"

"Swim fast" Araluen shouted. 

Before we knew it we were being chased by the guards and looking for the conference room, and I had't even had breakfast yet! What a morning!

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