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We Have Lingered in the Chambers of the Sea

Chapter Text

“Ariel! Where is that girl?”

Sebastian frantically paced atop a corral reef, scanning the horizon frantically for the youngest princess of Atlantica. So much so, that he neglected to check behind him from whence he came, thus missing the flash of red that came from behind a boulder.

Eyes of sapphire peeked their way around the stone, eyeing the crab cautiously. As he frantically began to comb the reef, hoping to spot a princess hiding between two shells, the mermaid sighed in relief.

“Thank Poseidon that we lost him,” Ariel whispered to the guppy swimming beside her as she crept further out of sight from Triton’s right-hand crab. “Sebastian gets so flustered, he wouldn’t see us right now even if we swam /right/ in front of him!”

“Um, Ariel?” Flounder inquired, his small fins working overtime to keep pace with his friend’s giant, sweeping tail. “Shouldn’t we let him know where we are? I mean...he would help us stay out of trouble.”

“But that’s /boring/!“ The princess huffed, her hair flowing behind her like waves of fire as she sped up, Sebastian far out of sight. “Gosh Flounder, don’t be such a guppy. Wouldn’t you rather have fun?”

“I’m not a guppy,” the fish muttered, nervously refusing to answer her question.

Suddenly, a low thrum of music could be heard vibrating through the water. Ariel stopped, her tail swishing with the effort of remaining in one place. Her ears strained to listen, and—there! That /was/ music!

Blue eyes widened at the thought; they were too far away from the kingdom for it to be the merfolk. So where was it coming from?

The noise raised in pitch and her eyes seemed to follow the sound, being drawn upward to gaze at the surface of the sea. There she could see a huge shadow slowly covering the reef, accompanied by smaller shadows trailing behind it.

Ships!
⠀“Um, Ariel, I don’t think that we should—” Flounder’s words were lost to the princess as, with a mighty flick of her tail, she was propelled upwards, speeding towards the surface. She frantically swam towards the sun, an action that would earn her great disapproval from her father later—if he ever found out, that is.

A rush of cold blasted Ariel’s face as she surfaced, followed by a rush of heat from the sun. The music grew much louder, the ships just a few meters away from where the mermaid bobbed.

Flounder surfaced beside her, his face full of worry. “Ariel, don’t you think that we should maybe—”

“Shh, Flounder! Can’t you hear that?” Ariel whispered in awe, her eyes devouring every inch of the vessels that she could see. Her gaze was drawn to the one at the forefront of the legion, curious to see who led such a fantastic herd of boats (and people).

She could only make out a hurricane of curls, unable to clearly see the captain due to distance. But that problem was easily solved.

“Ariel, don’t!” Flounder hissed as the mermaid dived back underneath the waves, racing towards the ship.