The Lost Merman

Four years have passed since the defeat of Morgana and everyone is happy until both kings of the land and the sea want to pass their crowns to Eric and Ariel, who can't force themselves to part from each other.
As if that wasn't bad enough, a monster from the sky has come and demand that the kings hand him their crowns or war. Who can save everyone and everything?


1. Jaco-Palo

Four years have passed since Ursula's sister Morgana was defeated by King Triton and his granddaughter Melody. Since then peace between was finally secured on the land and sea and life had been grand. Human and merfolk were living well together. Prince Eric and Ariel with their daughter Melody were still ruling the land very well and happily and the girls were always popping into the sea as mermaids to visit Ariel's father, King Triton and his kingdom of Atlantica. Life was happy.
   And life was good for one of the voluntary servants called Christopher. He worked hard as an assistant for the chef Louis. He had been in the service since he was six when his ship burned down and lost his family. Prince Eric took this only survivor and gave him a new life. Chris had been grateful to Eric ever since.
   He was also friends with Eric's dog, Max. And he was friends with four animals: a fox called Fred, a sparrow called Thomas, a tortoise called Daniel and a duck called Sally. So life for an eighteen-year-old was cool.
   Then, one night, when he finished and went to talk to his friends after work, Chris wasn't looking too happy.
   "What's the matter, Chris?" asked Thomas. "Have you proposed to Melody and she said no?"
   "No, Tom," Chris sighed. "It's not that. It's just the whole kingdom is in trouble."
   "How?" asked Fred.
   "The King is dying and Prince Eric can't make his mind up about becoming King or not."
   "What about Princess Ariel?" Sally asked.
   "That's the other problem, Sally," said Chris. "King Triton of the Seas is getting old and he wants to pass the crown onto someone else. Princess Ariel is the only one available because all of her other sisters are married to the other lords of the sea to bring peace to all of the seas. So you see, guys, everything is in trouble. Not even Eric's adviser Grimsby can come up with a good solution."
   "Well, when's the next time you're going with the Royal masters out to sea?" asked Daniel.
   "Tomorrow," answered Chris.
   "If you go and see them talk to King Triton, maybe everything will work out a lot better."

But even wise old Daniel was wrong. Chris went on the ship as part of Eric's crew and saw Prince Eric, Princess Ariel and Princess Melody talking to King Triton. There were a lot of merfolk and sea creatures in the sea listening to them. What Chris could hear, it was not an enjoyable talk.
   "Oh, daddy, why did you let them leave?" asked Ariel. "I was never going to be the Queen of the Sea. I'm the youngest."
   "I'm sorry, Ariel," Triton apologized. "I did not send them away not only for peace reasons, but also because they love those lords. If only I could find the other heir."
   "Then where is he?" asked Ariel.
   "I don't know," said Triton. "I had a friend and I was the godfather of his son. But then came the day when someone took him and he was nowhere to be seen."
   "I could take the throne," Melody suggested. "You all know how much I love the sea and I've spent my life with a royal family and I know – "
   Then the sea rumbled and the boat was shaking. All the crew fell down! The fish and the merfolk were staying still.
   "I can't move!" groaned Ariel's friend Flounder.
   "It's because some strange dark sand underneath is trapping us!" cried Triton's conductor, Sebastian the crab.
   "I'll go and check up the sky!" Scuttle the seagull yelled. And up he flew and flew! He hadn't gotten far when some strange sand storms came from the sky and hit him on the beak! He was forced to fall back and crash-land on the Eric's ship.
   The sand storms came onto the ship and they took human form. They captured all of the crew and took hold of them. The sands from under the sea took half of human form too and would not let the creatures of sea free.
   "Hold it! Hold it, guys!" cried the English voice of one of Eric's crew, who was not captured by the sand monsters. "Come on! You call this the best way to negotiate? To reveal ourselves after a thousand years? Really! Also I told you to capture me to not make it look obvious!"
   "Mark?" Eric frowned. "Whatever is going on?"
   "Why, I found the perfect solution to peace, your highness," smiled Mark. "The land and the sea give their lives to – " Sand covered Mark's handsome young body and when the sand blew off, he was now a creature, the same height but covered in feathers and with a large beak on his face – "the sky!"
   King Triton saw the monster with rage. "Jaco-Palo! What are you doing here?" His triton began to glow.
   "I came here to negotiate," smiled Jaco-Palo. "After what both your species did to mine." And he told the whole story. A thousand years ago, Jaco-Palo was the leader of skymen – people who had wings of a bird and lived high in the clouds – and led war against the merfolk and the humans. Yet both ancestors of Triton and Eric were wise kings and defeated them, though at different times each. However, Jaco-Palo survived and fled, becoming friends and allies of Ursula's family and therefore the godfather of both Ursula and Morgana. He secretly helped them in their fiendish plots, yet they failed. He was even the one who actually killed Triton's wife, Queen Athena, while working for Eric's boat and made Triton hate humans so he would be blinded by this and not suspect anything. So, after the defeated of Morgana, he spent the last four years plotting this and something else if they don't join him.
   "Not kept you bored, have I?" asked Jaco-Palo. All anyone did was gave him a mean look. "So you've been listening? Good. So what say, we put the past behind us. Give your crowns to me and I will take the pressures of ruling them and you can have good lives. Everyone of the land, the sea and the air can!"
   Everyone went silent.
   Then Scuttle spoke. "What about the people you are ruling now? You'll get more and more pressure."
   "Oh, no!" cried Jaco-Palo. "It'll be a piece of cake. No worries at all."
   "That doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence," Eric said wisely. "Yes, I didn't know you well before you revealed your true self but I know the types of lies you tell. I don't believe you and I will never let the lands be in the hands of the Sky!"
   "Neither will I for the sea!" joined in Triton.
   Jaco-Palo was very angry. "Very well, if that's your decision. But, I warn you, if anyone of your peoples die, it will be your fault." He turned around. "TOUGHCLAW!"
   Then, out of the sky, came a giant brown-feathered griffin! "Yes, sir?"
   "Our plan didn't work! Let's go to Plan B!" Jaco-Palo ordered. He climbed on Toughclaw. "We shall meet again before the end of the world." He laughed evilly and flew off.
   The humans and the merfolk didn't know what to say.
   "Eric, if you even show yourself on the battlefield, you and your armies will die and the world will be gone like lightning," Grimsby told Eric.
   "But he'll take over just like that," said Eric, clicking his fingers, "if we don't fight."
   "You're right, Eric," agreed Triton. "We must make a stand against Jaco-Palo and his evil wing creatures and we must make a stand now. Today we shall supply and rest. Tomorrow, we ride. On the third, we shall fight!"
   "Agreed," said Eric shaking hands with Triton. Then he turned to Grimsby. "Grimsby, while I'm gone, you shall rule the kingdom and it shall be yours if I don't make it."
   "Oh, Eric, don't say that," sobbed Grimsby, wiping the tears of his eyes.
   "And Ariel and Melody, if I don't make it, promise me you will rule the seas with all your heats," Triton told the girls. "Promise!"
   "We promise," sighed the girls.
   And everyone went back to their homes, sadly. Except for Christopher, because he had sneaked inside Toughclaw's feathers under his belly and was flying under him and Jaco-Palo!

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