Beneath Us (BL)

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Chapter 55

Ok so the thing is, I post this on my phone when Im at supper. So thats why, sometimes, it looks terrible. So then i have to go back and fix the chapters. I realized there were some formatting issues in the past chapters and I will go back and fix them soon. Thank you everyone who reads and loves this story. I love you guys! Please stay safe. A close friend of mine is about to lose his grandparents to Covid and its terrible. So stay safe. Wear your masks, stay healthy. We'll get through this together. ❤❤❤❤

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“Ne’igalo, come quick,” the boy’s mother shouted, waving up at him from the mast. Ne’s friends grabbed the ropes from his hands before turning away. He sighed as he started his climb upwards. The seas were gentle and the sun was warm on his back, calming the anxiety pattering in his chest.

His mother grabbed his arm as soon as he came up to the top, and pulled him into the crow’s nest. She grinned at him before turning out towards the water. “Its beautiful up here, isn’t it?”

Ne’ turned to look out towards the same direction. Dolphins chatted excitedly alongside the boat’s edges and Ne’s cousins ran about on the bow. His father breached the water and pulled himself up onto the boat before shaking the water from his hair. Further out, a faint mountain rose up in the distance. The island itself was small, only a few miles across and a few miles long. The mountain wasn’t high either, only taking up half of the island’s surface. Most of the boats around them were already turning coarse to avoid hitting the reef. His mother pulled the trident from her back, the shaft rested against the wood of the mast. It’s snowy white prongs glittered in the sunlight as she lifted it and slammed the shaft on the wood once. The water spiraled up from the surface and curled around her hands like a well-fitted glove. The surface was smooth like glass, glistening in the sun’s gentle light.

“Magnificent,” his mother said with a soft smile. “The water is alive.”

“Hasn’t it always been?” Ne’ asked with a tilt of his head. His long ebony hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, allowing the strands to curtain over his shoulders. His mother grabbed one of his free hands and pressed the ivory trident into his hands. She closed his fists around the object with a small smile.

“It will be, as long as you live.” Then the familiar scene started to fade away. The ship bled into the water until it was nothing, and Ne’ freefell towards the water’s surface. The trident turned into black liquid and curled around his arm like a veiny band. His mother’s had turned into a pendent she wore around her neck… but this time, it was a tight fitting bracelet. He tried knocking it free, but it held tight. It’s appearance blackened until it was two shades darker than Ne’s own hair and heavy against his skin.

Thousands of memories poured in, and he started choking in the water. The waves crashed over his head. For once, his gill refused to function. He was everywhere at once, and nowhere at the same time. He saw his mother when she was much younger, and before her, his grandmother. Each fighting an endless battle. And then his spinning world halted suddenly. His stomach churned as he fought and kicked his way to the surface, afraid, that for once he’d drown.

“Calm,” a deep voice rumbled, the water vibrated around him. Ne’ turned around and came face to face with Triton.

He was larger than life, well above 6 foot with huge shoulders and scales blended in with his own flesh. His long snowy hair created a thick curtain around his shoulders. Huge dorsal fins spread out from his back, and the fins at his wrists and ankles were much larger than any other Ne’ had ever seen. The man’s eyes glowed in the darkening water, and through the water, Ne’ could smell the ocean. Right at the center of his chest sat the Triton symbol, the symbol of the ocean.

Ne’ was quick to bow, water rushing around him. The pain was momentarily forgotten, and the squeezing pressure lightened up around his wrists.

“Ne’igalomeatiga, you stand at a precipice for the future. If you chose to follow your people out on these waters, then you’ll surely die along with those of the future. If you choose to wake and bear the burden of the Trident, then the future will be hard and filled with heartbreak, but many will live. Hope will rain down on the people of the water once more.”

Ne’ looked down at the weapon on his arm. It shouldn’t be a hard decision, it really shouldn’t. But in his dreams, it’d be the only time he’d see all his people in the same place again. And it made his stomach churn with sadness. He’d give anything to be with them again. Triton wouldn’t have come to him if there wasn’t something important in Ne’s future so he squeezed his eyes shut and apologized quietly. Then he looked his god in the eyes. The man, was he even a man, gazed back with amusement twinkling in his eyes.

“You seem like you’re sure,” Ne’ questioned and the man grinned at them.

“Of course, I wouldn’t have chosen you when you were born if I wasn’t. There’s a great prophecy, enshrouding Tian Ashturokma. It’s all the talk on the land. The great Kukouk, Iron chief. But I hear no one talking about the prophecy on the water.”

“There’s a prophecy?”

Triton pursed his lips. “I’m not like fate, so I won’t keep it from you. Right now, you’re pregnant with Axel’s child. A child that will accomplish great feats in his life. He will bring peace to the people of the water and set the balance right. Monsters are waking with the destruction of your tribe, and its only a matter of time before the world is in danger. But more importantly, it will be you that lulls those monsters to sleep and reset what’s already being toppled. The Trident has chosen you as the protector of the water.”

Ne’s chest tightened and fear prickled every nerve in his body. He pressed his hand to his stomach and a surge of energy met it. There was, in fact, a child growing and living deep inside. But its energy was weak, too weak. His heart thumped wildly in his chest. Axel’s child. Would it have his red hair? Or Ne’s?

“You must protect this child if you choose to wake. The child must survive no matter what,” Triton stated. “And you must teach it well.”

“If I stay on land for Axel, will it still…”

“You cannot stay,” Triton replied urgently. “The child must grow up on the water. You and I both know only the best sea navigators grow up there.”

“Oh,” Ne’ whispered. He clutched his chest where his heart ached and ripped apart. He could never ask Axel to follow him out to sea. The man belonged in the mountains where he had land and freedom, and not the confines of a boat. “This child… it will be raised by me, only. Right?”

Triton gazed at him with pity. “Unfortunately, the father… he does not follow you. Your child will never know its father.”

Ne’ nodded with a choked breathe. He wanted to sit down and stop his chest from constricting so painfully. “I-it’s only fair. Axel can get married and have a normal family and not one with…” the tears trailed down his cheeks, but the water didn’t carry them away like it often did. “So what, I just wake up and leave?”

“It’s more complex than that. Tian will not succeed if he does not have your help. You must assist him before you leave. He will be your greatest ally in time. A war is coming.”

“This isn’t fair, I- I don’t even know any of these people…”

“I’m sorry. I wish only for your happiness Ne’, perhaps fate can bend a little and let you find some peace.”

Ne’ gasped awake, clawing at his throat. It felt like he was suffocating, his gill ached painfully to find water. To find oxygen, anything, but he couldn’t. Hands pushed his shoulders back to the surface and he could finally gasp with his lungs. The panic started to ebb away once oxygen flooded through his system. He was somewhere he didn’t know, lying on something so soft he was uncomfortable. Ne’ blinked until he could see clearly, only to be greeted with a wave of orange.

“Ne’?” A familiar voice exclaimed, smoothing the hair from the boy’s face. “You came back.”

Ne’ coughed into his closed fist before sitting up. Axel was quick to support him with shaky hands. “Where are we?”

“I don’t entirely know.”

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