”It was a scorching heat out there! Howd you manage to get back–eer…well…not toasted? ” Brow lifted, asked Cose, another member of our circle of friends.

She specializes on acting out scape plans, with golden sun long hair decorated with white pearls, coral shards with embossed green seaweed tail.

I shrugged, Esicc and Draein brought me to the Corales Dormitory. The dorm for mermaids ongoing school.

And mind you they all planned for these, including Cose my dearest bestfriend, Hannah the pretty Trivadocean Imperial Princess, Avery the slowpoke mermaid from the tribe of Dugongs, Rave the strong-willed Trivadocean Academys President, Draein, Essic, and Aspen, the drop dead-gorgeous merman who would ruin me if only he can smile at me.

They were all my friends.

Honestly it is a bit chaotic. Even though my circle is full of merpeople with authority, such as President Rave, Princess Hannah and Prince Esicc, all of us we
e actually not right in the head. We are all rebellious in our own ways.

Yes.

Even the Imperial Princess goes sneaking well with us, and she is good at ditching the palace guards.

Rave can also go along with the fun. Unexpectedly Esicc is a prince from the Kingdom of Wizerio, the tribe of the great white shark mermaids.

The only common merfolks without titles in our group are Cose, Aspen, Draein and me. Pureblooded Trivadoceans not belonging to other tribes– just the Trivadocea Empires mermaids.

Mrs. Fins, the Dean of Corales Academy gave me an earful of nagging a while ago, but she let me off the hook this once since its my birthday.

I stretched my hand to get some more oyster cupcakes, they were my favorite.

”Help yourself guys, don be embarrass, ” I urged them.

Hannah pointed to me half assed laughing ”Don worry, we learned from the best. ”

”Who?? ”

”From you, from how you devoured food, you glutton! ”

We all exchanged a boisterous laughter.

”Heyyy! Siel! come here! ” The firm call of Rave took my attention.

In my years of living here, his voice was the most important. He flips his fins against us all when he got upset.

Being the President for the whole school took two-thirds of his sanity away. Ignore him and youll be thrown into his frenzy whirlpool with his crazy skills to operate in the water.

I headed to him then and leaned closer, ”Whats up Rave? ”

He looks like hes having fun, good to know. The coast is clear for my day, whew!

”Were gonna sneak out tonight, up for it? ” My eyes glimmered at the thought.

See what I mean? Hes the coolest crackhead President that we ever got.

I nodded furiously, hes not sane! Just him, casually talking about doing something illegal! Oh, I love it!

”Pfft, you don need to look like you
e so happy, you could die this moment, you know. ” I sniggered and was ready to compliment his ever beautiful decision but he read through me easily.

”I wasn the one who proposed the idea, it was Aspen and I thought that he was right. We hardly had any time to sneak out this week, I need some stress reliever, ”he glanced at me.

”And I heard youve been sneaking out by yourself again. I haven got you a birthday present, would that be accepted as a compensation? ” he grinned.

Sure, Rave is a strict President, but he was also an acting big brother to most of us and he knows how to cheer merpeople up.

Oh President! I love this troublemaker!

Before I can hug him, he already had his hand put up as a sign of rejection against my spur of the moment action.

He rather pointed to Aspen who was with Avery.

Aspen was gliding across the hall coming for me–okay, US.

He looked around and his gaze fell on me and…Rave.

Weirdly he smiled. My heart raced and was convulsing to get out of my ribs, my scales even shivered as my stomach did a summer sault. His lips were enticing and was luring me. His charming smile easily became the focus of my brown-red eyes, he was so dreamy…even though he did not smile at me but smiled to Avery…

Im accusing that Avery said a dull joke, and the polite Aspen smiled.

That darn expensive smile.

Its not like Aspen and I were distant. We are just chill and casual.

Too casual…

Sigh.

Ive been crushing on him since forever. The guys never gave me motive, nor flirted with me. But Ive always liked him.

Aspen is just the type of merman deemed mysterious. He is silent, but he always shows actions than words. He doesn really say he cares, but I feel warm whenever he do us a favor without asking anything in return.

He doesn even mind silently helping, oftentimes he helps us without our knowledge.

But he can be really cold too.

He is warm to friends but he blatantly ignores mermaids and mermen who only seeks favor. Its like he never gave a sht and swims past them.

But it really can be helped. I heaved another sigh as I thought of him.

Merfolks are naturally attracted to him. Everything about him was…the dream.

His pointed nose, pale skin, green youthful lovely eyes, his jade tail tinted with azure fitted him best, and his long flowing black hair was gorgeous on him. He is even so outstanding that he was awarded as a apprentice Mermaidel which equals to a warrior of the sea.

Come to think of it, its near my Fathers title. Dad is a full fledge Mermaidel, something like the seafloors hero?

Anyways, apart from the thing of when Aspen only talks when needed and not so friendly nature, everything is dreamy.

Did I talk to much about him? Man… I silently cried out my pitiful situation.

”Hey Siel Happy Birthday! ” Avery greeted me.

”Yeah, thanks! Having fun Ave? ” I inquired Avery.

”Sure is! Eating Belgian Algae was the best part! ” He says, I laughed.

I shifted my gaze over Aspen who was now staring right into my soul.

”Whats wrong? You
e turning to a red sea bream Siel—, ” commented Avery, cluelessly.

”Come on Avery, I think we should shove some algae and plankton to your mouth. ” Rave pulled Avery away.

I could hear Averys confused voice, but it faded away eventually.

I was frozen. I was left with Aspen.

Literally, my tail was glued on the reef. He was staring at me, and I felt my blood rushing to my cheeks.

I want to look away but my action says otherwise. He was now swimming nearer to ME. What?

ME? ME?!

He t-to-tttooo-toucheddd my lips!!! He just freakin did!

He was now staring at my lips, and back at my eyes, his emerald green eyes luring me to its cheerful dept.

Pull me in! I won even budge! I mentally slapped myself. What am I thinking.

Aspen slowly opened his lips, and my eyes glued on his face.

”Why are you biting your lips? ” he asked, worried.

I blinked. ”Here, ” he pressed the side of my lips a bit and wipe some blood.

This is crazy.

I remembered Averys words.

Yes, I think I just turned red. Like a red sea bream.

I clumsily made a pathetic excuse, ”I saw the clams over t-there. I thought they
e tasty…t-thats why…I bit my…lips… ”

.

.

.

Awkward. It was awkward I tell you.

”Hey!! You guys cool? ” Suddenly Esicc came swimming, half panting and inserted himself between Aspen and me, with an innocent smile.

I was relieved that this knuckle head broke the glacier of awkwardness.

At afternoon, we held up a meeting for our sneak plan later, including Hannah, Esicc, Draein, Rave, Avery, Cose and even Aspen.

Cose took out the map and laid it on the huge clams surface.

”For the most part, well all be going together. Only that we just received an information that the Palace Guards will be rounding around every corals this evening so we might as well do it early. ” Rave started.

”Thats not actually a problem Rave. We can ditch them with enough merpower. And besides, we can use the secret routes and passages. ” Says Princess Hannah.

”Nah, nah. Thats not the only problem. Apparently I heard from whales and sea horses that it will be a full moon tonight. Dangerous. ” added, Avery, proud about his findings.

And Hannah seemed to have understood. Full moon is dangerous to many races. It is the time where most crimes takes place from the berserk moon creatures.

Mermaids are fine, but to creatures that mostly relies on light pixes, fairies and many others, it keeps their powers in a weakened state if not average level at most.

To night creatures like werewolves, vampires, necromancers, they get their maximum strength from the blessed moonlight of a full moon partly due to their dark attribute. Some even go berserk because of extreme flow of awakened instinctual power.

–Berserk state erases rationality in exchange of power afterall.

”Okay, now thats cleared, what about the scape route, Cose? ” asked Rave.

Cose smiled, ”Well be using the cove near the underlake Canal, but if anything goes wrong, we also opened the passage at the seaweed reef and the boulder passage at the back of the school. Its open. ” I gave her a thumbs up.

”Got your back little shrimps ” Cose said.

Draein and Esicc sniggered at the back, trying to suppress their laughter. They seem excited.

Esicc waved his fore finger with the ticking of his tongue, ”tch tch, were no amateurs, mermaids and mermen. We
e the best on these departments ” he said beaming to us.

”Why don we level up our usual game? Lets go at the fall of the full moon, exactly midnight! ” suggested Draein out of the blue.

I saw everyone moved the sides of their lips except for Hannah and Rave.

But if we go before the sun sets, it would be like the usual.

Rave opened his mouth, ”I know what you
e thinking you little fishes. And there is no way Im allowing it. ”

”Same here. ” Hannah also agreed, ”Its too risky. ”

”Come on Han! Come on Rave! weve been sneaking around for more than three years now, don you think we deserve more credit than that? ” Cose argued.

”Besidesss, it is only for a while, gee! ”, taunted Avery. Im glad we
e on the same page.

”No— ” Rave was ready to flip, when Aspen, intervened.

”Just this once. I think it will be worth it. ” Aspen stated, his face with all seriousness.

I titled my head to Hannah and Raven, ”Can I have my say here? ”

This was after all, my birthday present.

They bore their eyes on me.

”Lets do this. ”

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