[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] The Princess and the Shark Boy

Short Story ROUGH DRAFTS – Free for All – See Terms of Use before reading

“You…were never told?” 

“Told what?” 

Nen clicked his tongue, startling Midnight Star. She looked up at him with her eyes, watching as he side-eyed the kelp. His frown made her nervous. Oh no, I did something wrong. 

“My job is to protect you and the rest of the royal family.” 

“It…is?” 

“Yes.” 

“Really?” 

“Yeah.” 

Midnight Star became flustered. “B-but why?! You’re gonna be a p-part of the royal f-family. Why would your job be to protect us?” 

Nen shrugged. “I don’t know that bit. All I know is my mom and your parents have been reminding me over and over that my job is to protect the whole royal family. Especially you, since I’m with you all the time.” 

Midnight Star grabbed her head and looked away. “Huuuuuuuh….” Why did I not know this?! This is so embarrassing!! Midnight Star ran through her memory, searching where she might have know that information, desperately hoping she just simply forgot and wasn’t completely ignornant to that. But…alas, she couldn’t find a single one. 

“Mid-Star?” 

“Huh?!”

Nen snickered. “You’re trying to remember if you’ve heard it before, aren’t you?” 

Midnight Star’s muscles tightened. “N-no.” 

Nen grabbed her hand. “Don’t worry about it. I don’t think anyone ever told you.” 

Midnight Star couldn’t look Nen in the face, afraid that he would call out her obvious lie. 

“Besides, even if it wasn’t my job, I would still protect you.” 

Midnight Star wanted to melt into a puddle. Her face flushed red and she looked at Nen, completly forgetting that just a few seconds ago, she didn’t even want to see him in the face. 

Midnight Star looked at Nen up and down, her mind going through everything she knew about him. It didn’t take too long before she realized how much she actually knew. 

Midnight Star placed a hand on her cheek. “I…I don’t really know much about you at all, do I?” 

Nen flashed her a toothy grin. “Maybe not enough.” 

Midnight Star gave him some rare eye contact. “What else do I not know about you?”

Nen’s lips curled. “Want to go back and find out?” 

“Ah…” Midnight Star looked down to Nen’s hand grabbing her’s. “Sure.” A soft smile spread across her face and she grasped his hand firmly. 

Midnight Star let Nen start to lead her out from the forest. The light seemed to shine on him in just the right way, seeming to make Nen glow…or perhaps it was the magic radiating through his body that she had never noticed before? Regardless, something about him was glowing and it was more than the excited smile that appeared on his face. 

“Is this the way out?” 

“Yeah, it should be. Just go straight and we should end up exiting somewhere to open ocean.” 

Midnight Star smiled, looking up towards the sunlight ocean sky . Wow…I can’t believe what I learned today. I wonder what Nen has to show me when we go…”…back.” 

Midnight Star felt as if her head slowly turned as Nen’s hand ripped out of her’s in slow motion. The colour drained from her face as she watch Nen get slammed to the ground, a large spiked tail through back and jutting out from the front. Her shoulders lifted as she gasped and placed her hands over her mouth. Everything seemed to be in slow motion. Even her tears seemed slow to well up. 

“M-mid-s-star!” 

She couldn’t move.

Midnight Star could not move. 

She could see blood rising up from Nen’s body through where the spike had penetrated. 

“M-mid-s-star!” called Nen once more.

Midnight Star could not get herself to move. Instead, she stared at her dying fiancé, pinned under the tail of a sea monster they thought had rushed off, its tail now stuck to both the ground and the body of the young shark merman. 

Midnight Star could barely hear Nen calling her name,  whose voice had turned into a whisper. 

“M-mid-s-star, t-take h…hold o-of m-m-me….” 

Midnight Star watched, still frozen in place, as a golden light surrounded Nen. His body became long and thin, while his hair became pointed. When the light cleared, lying in his place was a golden staff with a blue crystal start at the very top. 

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH

She felt her body MOVE. In the short distance in front of her, she could hear the sea monster’s metal-on-metal shriek once more. 

I’m going to die too. 

Without her usual second-thoughts, she grabbed the staff that had once been Nen. 

The sea monster lunged out from the thick kelp, snapping its jaws at her. Midnight Star forcefully pushed herself out of the way, watching the creatures head disappear into the kelp behind where she had just been standing. 

Tears finally rained out from her eyes and floated towards the surface. She clung, hugging the staff as she let out her own shriek of pain. 

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH

Midnight Star sat down on the ground of the kelp forest, hanging her head, hugging onto the staff tightly. I’m sorry, Nen! I’m so sorry…

She could hear the rush of the water in front of her…and then a BAM! 

She looked up, startled by the sudden, unexpected explosion, only to see herself being surrounded by a sudden blue and golden light. She watched the sea creature flying through the water at such speeds unmatched by anything she had seen before. 

She turned her head to the staff in her arms, then back to the monster flying backwards. The upper half of her stomach seemed to churn, but for once in her life, she felt emotionally clear: RUN

She sprung up from the ground and fled the Kelporal Forest, shooting straight through the thick kelp and into open waters, clutching the staff to her chest. 

*** 

Midnight Star’s body began to tremble. Although her mind had been blank as she worked her way back to the castle, that wall of being in unfamiliar and somewhat unfamiliar places crumbled. Her tears stared to stream down her face again as she passed through the front entrance.

“Good evening, Princess Midnight Star…” greeted the staff, their voices slowly fading as they witnessed Midnight Star’s eyes becoming increasingly red. Immeditately, three out of six of the servants surrounded her. 

“Princess, are you alright?” 

“What happened?” 

“Quick, go in form the King and Queen” 

Midnight Star’s voice cracked like a steel beam breaking. She didn’t even know what to say, what to speak. Heck, her thoughts couldn’t even clear up. She just. had to. CRY. 

“Lady Medeba!” exclaimed one of the servants.

A cold shiver ran down Midnight Star’s body, causing her to tremble even more violently for a brief moment. 

“Oh? It’s rare that you call out to me, what is it?” asked Lady Medeba, from a slight distance.

“Princess Midnight Star is crying. We have reached out to the King and Queen, but they are currently in a meeting.” 

“Ah…I see. What did my son do now?” 

Midnight Star’s eyes locked with Medeba’s for a brief moment, but Midnight Star immeditately tore them away. She knows! 

The warmth of Medeba’s hand touched shoulder’s and she watched Medeba’s other hand gently brush her fingers against the staff. She couldn’t hear what Medeba was mumbling through her own creaking cries, but she could just feel it was all-knowing. 

Midnight Star looked back up at Medeba. All the guilty that had been built up on Midnight Star’s shoulders dropped away and she was able to stop creaking her sobs and let them come out, unabashed. 

Midnight Star wailed loudly as Medeba hugged her and stroked the back of her head. Her shaking had stopped, but her wails bounced off the castle walls, running down every corridor. 

**END**

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