A/N: Here I am with another story, even though I haven't finished any of the ones I've written on here that I said I would. I'm still working on everything else, never fear and they will be finished. This story is just in high request and people like it that I've read it to, so I decided to post it here.

Also, this story has a comic called Tides of War. You can reach it at tides-of-war on tumblr or by searching Tides of War on comicfury. It's also my home page on here.

Below is my normal info on it. All warnings, summaries and ratings as well.

Info. Junk

Title: Le Maree Della Guerra (The Tides of War)

Author: Melissa Norvell

Rating- T

Genre- Romance/Angst/Psychological/Action/Adventure

Pairings- ALL


Summary- An assassination attempt on the King of the Sea turns out to be more than one girl can handle as she's thrown into the perils of a great under sea war. Images of those around her warp and change, and the entire sea is caught between what is in their nature to do and what creates a peaceful society.


Le Maree Della Guerra

By: Melissa Norvell/Revamp

Movement 1: To The Depths


The room was small with an old, washed out, wooden floor that looked as if it had poor maintenance over the years. It creaked and groaned under her heeled boots as she stepped into the center. An orange light from a lamp on a dark, wooden desk provided little light. She couldn't even see who she was talking to very well. The fact that they mostly hid beneath a dark robe didn't help at all.

Behind the desk the concealed figure eyed her, shrouded in mystery as they rested their chin on their bony hands. They had no defining features, nothing that stood out that would cause them to relate more to one gender or the other.

She attempted to peer into the robes, but to no avail. The swordfish assassin bore her true identity to him, standing there in knee-high, black, heeled boots, a short, leather skirt with two belts in the shape of an ex, and a leather shirt that showed her midriff with straps that latched over the shoulders. For the most part, she looked human, minus her long, swordfish tail, pointed nose, and dorsal fin that protruded from the top of her head, jutting from her pixie cut. Light gray arms were folded over her breasts, adorned with leather straps and buckles.

"You will be rewarded handsomely." However, when they spoke it was all too clear that the figure was male. "That is my solemn promise. I sought you out in specifically for this job because you're the best assassin in the deep, blue sea. Miss Percuss, I am confident that you can pull this off."

Standing across from him, a serious expression was cast over Percuss' visage. Even if she didn't want to brag, the anthromorphic sword fish was one of the best assassins around. "No one's ever asked me to kill a Sea King, so this may be the most challenging assignment ever. I've never worked in Nautica Kingdom. I'll be counting on you to do your part."

"Rest assured, nothing will happen as long as I'm around." After all, Percuss was integral to his plans and he wouldn't forsake her when he needed her so much.

The assassin nodded in response.

"Now," the figure outstretched his hand, exposing his light grey, nearly white skin as the ground lit up around the swordfish.

The room was illuminated in a brilliant, neon red as Percuss looked below her to see an intricate magic circle displayed on the floor. Steely blue eyes widened upon seeing the spell, and a million thoughts ran through her head.

"I'll be sending you on your way. Good luck in your efforts and don't disappoint me." If she did, there would be dire consequences and she knew that. Hopefully, the edge of his voice was enough to make the warning crystal clear.

Calming down a little, now that she knew it was only a transportation spell; the sword fish nodded and placed a hand over her breast. "I've never missed my mark."

With that, the room was engulfed in a brilliant light and all she saw was red as her form faded from the room of wood and grim decor.

Tilting his head down, the robed figure sighed a little. "I hope I'm making the right choice, Miss Percuss."


A whirlpool appeared in an unhabited spot in the ocean. The waters swirled around violently, causing chaos among the usually unrested waters. Percuss appeared in the middle, the movement of the water caused her hair to become disheveled and her tail to wave from side-to-side in order to keep her afloat. However, that effort was proven ineffective as she soon plummeted down to the ocean's floor. Gripping her short, tight, skirt in embarrassment, Percuss let out a scream as her body made impact with something lumpy.

Groaning, the assassin sat up and blinked a couple of times as the whirlpool disappeared. Gazing before her, she saw that a carcass of something that resembled half-fish and half human. Dark hair waved in the water. She was straddling a dead mermaid. Looking around her, she noticed there was far more than just one of them. It was as if a mass genocide had taken place on the spot she landed in.

Unamusement crossed her face. 'I'd better be getting paid good money for this...Hmm...These are all mermaids. I don't see a single Sea King around here.'

Percuss rubbed at her back as she rose from her position and stepped over the mermaid she had been sitting on. Slowly, she made her way through the battlefield, littered with bodies. She tried her best not to step on any of them and had no idea how long she walked through countless corpses before she got to the end of the carnage.

'It looks like a war went on here, but why are they all mermaids? Whatever did this is a huge monster...or a small, powerful one. I'm going to stay on my guard.' There was no telling if whatever struggle the mermaids had been involved in was even over. There could be an enemy somewhere around that would threatened to take her life. Percuss was thankful she had her laser rifle attached to her back. One would have just passed it off as a normal sniper rifle from appearance alone, but it packed a special punch when fired. Instead of being pelted with bullets, her foe had a hole ripped through them with a brilliant laser beam.

She stopped in front of what looked like the front line of battle. 'They end here. I don't like the feeling I'm getting from this place.' It was quiet, and that unnerved her. It was like something was going to pop out at her at any moment and attack.

Just then a burst of laughter sounded, which caused her to flinch. It was apparent that she wasn't alone. Whipping her head around frantically, she tried to look for a place to hide. Her heart raced, and her thoughts mimicked the action as dread and anxiety flooded her body.

Darting behind a large rock, she peered from behind it as she saw four denizens approaching her.

Her eyes immediately went to a female rock hopper penguin. She held a severed head in her hand, crimson blood dripping from her white hands. The penguin wore a black coat that went to her ankles with a bold, white rim around the bottom that went up to her black belt before turning into a black shirt with wizard-sleeves that had large, white cuffs and a white collar. Beneath that, poofy, white pants and black shoes adorned her small feet. The penguin's most striking feature was her yellow eyebrows and bold, blood red eyes. Unlike most denizens, this one's entire eye was red with a small, black pupil. It made the penguin with the pixie cut look all the more menacing.

'How barbaric,' Percuss frowned as she continued to watch the four.

"A head in the hand is worth two alive, right?" The penguin's voice was deep and feminine, but cold to the touch.

"Nice job, everyone," an anglerfish next to the penguin spoke. Just like their comrade, the anglerfish was quite attractive. Unisex in appearance and vocalization, they wore shoulder armor shaped like crabs, a large chest plate, and hip armor that resembled the old samurai. Beneath the armor, they donned a white shirt of some kind and the same, white, poofy pants as the penguin. Shiny, black, ankle-high boots and long, black gloves with a row of spiked metal going down each arms accented her outfit.

The anglerfish ran a hand through their long, black hair that was evenly cut across the back, bangs and two tendrils on either side of their face.

A loud, notably masculine and baritone voice caused her to revert her attention to a tall male, with wavy, short duel-toned hair. He had long bangs, crudely parted in the middle with one strand hanging in the middle of his face. Haphazard spikes stuck out from the bottom and two tufts of curled hair framed his cheeks. Near the top of his head were two white patches of hair that grew out like puffs before his black hair turned white on the ends.

Much like the penguin, he had pale white skin. A large, pointed dorsal fin protruded from between his shoulder blades and a black and white tail with a heart-shaped fin jutted from his butt.

He wore a regal jacket with golden pads on his shoulders, embroidered with a large anchor in the middle and tassels that fell from them. Whoever he was, he was highly decorated and when he turned the right way his medals were shown. He wore the long-tailed coat in a sloppy manner, unbuttoned and flung open, revealing a white shirt and black tie along with blue pants that had a dark gray stripe up either leg.

"That's exactly what the Sea Kings are made of. This is the kind of stuff I live for. I'd be afraid of me, too." The lazy-eyed male smiled sadistically, showing off his long, hellish-looking teeth.

"You're a sniveling bastard. You'd kill us all if you thought you could, Orca King, Isatsu." Behind him stood an unamused-looking shark with shaggy, haphazard, blue, nearly black, shoulder-length, stringy hair and piercing blue eyes. He wore a long, tattered and torn, black cape and was dressed from head to toe in a long-sleeved, white, button up shirt with a black tie, black pants and boots with split, white covers. On his arms were cloth covers, bound with rope to keep them on, and on his hands, fingerless, black gloves.

He had numerous scars on his tail, dorsal fin, and fingers, and two on his face - an x-shaped scar on his right eye and a vertical one on his left eye extending to his mouth. The tope shark looked as if he'd seen a few battles, and Percuss was unsure if he won any of them.

Just then, a look of realization crossed the swordfish's face. 'Wait...Did he say Sea Kings? As in there are more than one of them? What am I supposed to do now? I was never told that there was more than one Sea King. That must mean one of them has to be the king of kings, right? Maybe they're all sub-kings with one king who controls the others? They could be more like lords than kings. So, the question is...which of them is the Sea King?'

Her eyes were directed to the penguin with the boyish pixie cut. 'That one is a woman, so she can't be it.' A woman couldn't be a king. Maybe she was a queen or something, but definitely not a king.

She looked to the angler fish, who, upon further inspection was wearing what looked like red eyeshadow or red war paint on their eyes. 'That long-haired one seems too young.' Percuss would have been shocked if the angler fish was anything close to a king. Maybe they were the offspring of a king.

Percuss then glanced to the man called Isatsu. 'I think he was just called the Orca King. He doesn't really look like a king should. Actually, he just looks like an asshole.'

In all honesty, there was something about the orca that radiated arrogance. He clearly didn't respect his royal dress. In fact, he looked like he just rolled out of bed and met up with the others. The way he was bragging gave her an awful impression of him. What the shark said didn't help his case.

Her eyes traveled to the tattered-looking shark, who still had a bitter expression on his face. In all honesty, he looked like he didn't even want to be there, either that or he was fed up with the others. 'There's the shark. It could be him. He's the tallest one there, and he looks arrogant. I wished my client would have told me this Sea King's name, then I could just listen to them talk and find out who it was.'

He really didn't make anything easy on her, and Percuss couldn't figure out why. She thought if he wanted her to do the job more smoothly that he would have given her important details.

Now she had to play some guessing game. How irritating.

The penguin allowed the severed head to roll from her bloody hand. It floated to the ground and rolled a couple of times, staring up at her with dead eyes. "That takes care of General Riptide. He's been a thorn in our side for years."

"How did they get into Nautica?" The scar-faced shark seemed confused. "The gates were tampered with and the guardian didn't even notice them. He must be falling down on his job."

"I'll have the border troops check the parameters. There could be something we overlooked," the angler fish noted, looking thoughtful.

"Guess we'd better get back to the castle," the orca suggested.

Suddenly, there was a loud rumble and the ground shook violently. The group steadied themselves and with a 'huh', beady, sleepy-looking eyes glanced down as a crack split below the orca's feet. The ground shattered in an instant and it sent the four of them falling down into a black chasm with suction like tides. Percuss tried to run, but she wasn't fast enough. Her foot sunk into the shattering earth and with a shriek, she was sucked into the darkness below.

This was it. She was going to die, sucked into a dark vortex with a bunch of people she didn't even know. So much for accomplishing her mission, or getting out with her life.

She screwed her eyes shut, bracing herself for her eventual death on the splintered and broken coral below. Just when she thought it was all over for her, she felt a hand wrap around her wrist and her form jolted to a stop.

"Huh?" In shock that she hadn't met an unsavory end, she glanced up to see that the scar-faced shark had saved her.

"I've got you. Hold on." She never thought the voice of a stranger could sound so comforting as it did in that moment.

Looking up at the shark, she thanked him then glanced down at the sharp, busted off coral that awaited her if she fell. Anxiety raced through her heart as she glanced back up at him. "Just don't let go!"

"Is everyone alright?" The penguin asked, latched onto the Orca King's tail for dear life.

"If you mean alright as in alive, unfortunately yes," the Orca King replied, hanging onto the side of the cliff with one hand. He managed to cling to it before he completely lost sight of the ground.

Right now, he was the one who held everyone's life in his hands. They were all forming a long chain of sea dwellers, clinging desperately to each other so they wouldn't fall to a gruesome death.

"We won't be for long if we're sucked into that pit of coral. We'll be impaled," the rock hopper penguin glanced down at the splintered coral, waiting to dig into their flesh.

"Isatsu! Pull us up!" The anglerfish commanded from their position, clinging to his ankle.

Grabbing the cliff with both hands, the orca looked back at long-haired one. "Get off my ass, Angla." The tone of his voice didn't even hint that they were in immediate danger. It more sounded like he was just dismissing Angla's words out of minor annoyance as he pulled himself up with the penguin in tow.

He turned and pulled Angla up, who in turn pulled the shark up. The shark then helped Percuss up.

They were safe.

Angla tapped their foot on the ground toe first. "Thank Neptune, my shoe almost came off."

"Sorry," the shark apologized, "I just felt myself fall so I immediately clung to the closest thing to me. Since you nearly kicked me in the face, I saw opportunity."

Since Angla was top heavy from all of the armor they wore, their feet flew above their head and he grabbed the angler fishes' ankle, relying on them to save the both of them from a gruesome death.

"I can't help the way I fell. At least it wasn't the orca's foot." If it was, he probably just would have stomped his face in until he let go. That wouldn't help anyone. Then again, the orca would have liked to see someone splatter into a puddle on the coral.

He was sadistic in that sense.

"Then you'd be in a coma," the penguin remarked.

"Oh, how I wish it had." Isatsu smiled, winking at them in a disturbing manner.

"Fuck you, Orca King Isatsu," the shark grumbled.

"You all have such charming mouths," the penguin was pretty sure their new guest felt uncomfortable enough as it was. Those two didn't make things better by acting like uncivilized brutes.

"Who's the delicious-looking morsel?" Isatsu turned his attention to the assassin, giving her a smug smirk.

'Crap!' Percuss went rigid, not because the orca took notice but because they were now all staring at her when she once had spied on them. What to do? What to do? She felt like she wanted to disappear.

Angla crossed their arms, "never seen her before."

"Neither have I," the shark agreed.

"I haven't seen her. Is she new?" The penguin asked.

"Who are you?" The tope shark inquired.

She had no choice but to introduce herself. "My name is Percuss. Who are all of you?" Maybe by asking that question she would learn a few things about these strange denizens. Perhaps she could even learn who the master Sea King is.

"You really must be new if you don't know us." Was she kidding? Everyone knew who they were, or at least Isatsu knew it to be the case.

"You could say I just dropped in. I did hear something about Sea Kings." She was going to see how much information that they were willing to cough up unwillingly.

"Yes, we're Sea Kings," Isatsu informed.

Percuss arched an eyebrow, "all of you are Sea Kings?"

"Yes, you act like it's awkward." The penguin couldn't understand why she questioned it so much.

"I've heard of one king at a time, but not many at once." It was a little strange to her that Nautica had so many different kings. Was their empire that big? Even so, she still didn't understand why there were so many kings. Such a concept was foreign to her, but at the same time it interested the sword fish.

"Nautica is the biggest kingdom in the ocean. We have a whole team of kings to help run its many aspects." Angla could tell that Percuss wasn't from anywhere around there. The sword fish really was clueless about what was going on and how their monarchy system worked.

'Now how am I supposed to find this Sea King? Who knows how many there even are.' Things seemed hopeless at this point in time when it came to her mission. Percuss needed to prod them for more information. "Exactly how many kings are there?"

"There are five of us in all," the Orca King shed some light on her question.

"Allow us to introduce ourselves," the penguin bowed formally. "I am Symphony, the Beast King. I am the supreme commander of the Dark Alchemist Army, and I manage the beast troops of Nautica."

"I am Fish King Angla, and I command the fish troops of Nautica. I am the leader of the 7th Infantry, a mostly female fighting squad." Angla introduced themself, which immediately caused Percuss to question the anglerfishes' motives.

"An all girl's squad?" She arched an eyebrow.

"Is there a problem with that?" Angla was a little offended that the assassin would question why they had an all-girl's squad.

"Um..no," the sword fish said a little nervously. She knew that she had crossed a boundary that the Fish King didn't like, so she decided to back down. 'That's odd for a guy. Is he some kind of huge pervert or something?'

"I am Orca King Isatsu. I control the orca armies of Nautica. I'm the strongest of the Sea Kings and the best at what I do," Isatsu winked, "kicking ass and watching people suffer."

Yeah, this guy was definitely an asshole.

"I'm Shark King Oro," her savior introduced himself, "Supreme Shark Commander. Our great leader, who isn't here, is King Orzo. He's the Great Sea King who rules over all of Nautica."

Little did he know, Oro just gave her the break she needed by divulging that information. "Supreme ruler? So, he oversees all of you?" She wanted to make sure that she had her man.

"He may not be the oldest, but he is the wisest fish in the sea. We should have told you that when we met." Then again, their meeting consisted of them trying to save themselves from falling from a cliff and being sucked into a dangerous chasm.

Confidence restored itself back to the assassin's face. Finally, she had some leads. 'That must be my man. I'll have to let them take me to him. I can't be around these guys or they'd make sure I left in pieces.'

Now, all she had to do was find a way around the other kings in order to find her way to Orzo. But, how would she carry out that? She didn't even know where he was. No doubt Orzo lived in some lavish castle under the sea. The only question was where was this castle?

Just then, an idea struck her. "Since I'm new here, maybe you could show me around?" It didn't hurt to ask. Even if no one gave her a solid answer, or a positive one it didn't mean she couldn't do a little snooping on her own.

Angla turned to his companions and arched an eyebrow. "What do you say? Should we show her around? I always can if you guys don't want to." After all, taking time out of their jobs to attend to one person was a bit bothersome for some of them and the anglerfish realized this.

"You always had a way with the ladies, Angla," Oro said that phrase so simply, so casually.

It made Percuss want to wrinkle her long, pointed nose in disgust.

"Do you have to say it like that, Oro? You're going to make her not like me," Angla gave a playful shoulder shove to the scarred up shark as Percuss eyed him with skepticism.

'This guy has issues. He's definitely a pervert.' She could gather that from context clues alone. Percuss didn't even want to know what the guy did with his all woman army.

"You get her better than I do," Isatsu admitted that his flirting attempts were terrible. His interaction with most denizens was overall unlucky.

"You suck with women," the shark agreed with him.

"Are you trying to say something that'll get another scar put on that precious body of yours?" Irritation lit up on the orca's visage, marring his lazy-eyed appearance. Above everything, he wasn't going to let some shark talk to him like that. Oro needed to know his place on the food chain.

Taking Percuss by the wrist, Angla looked to his company. "Exactly what I said it meant." Then, he looked to the swordfish with kind, red eyes. "Well, how about it? Would you like a trip around North Castle?"

Percuss blinked in confusion. "North Castle? So, that place is real?"

In all honesty, that was a castle that she only heard about in dreams and legends. It was said that such a place was truly magnificent, standing proud on the northern side of Nautica. From the outside, it looked like any fairytale castle, with pointed roofs and magnificent arches. White and dark blue in coloration, it stood like a huge monument, watching over the peaceful kingdom. Percuss could only imagine what it was like to be inside of it, and she wanted to see it for herself.

After all, she might not get the opportunity again.

"Of course it is. Nautica has a northern capital. That castle is there." In fact, the castle was the northern capital of Nautica. Angla would be happy to take the assassin there.

'If I go there, I can find out things I want to know about the Sea King. Even if I go with this pervert, I'll still have the upper hand.' This bungling Sea King would be thinking that he was doing her some good by showing her around, but in actuality, he would be helping her gain information on how to infiltrate the North Castle in order to kill the Great Sea King. "As long as you don't do anything, I'll be fine."

Angla looked a little unamused as beads of sweat ran from his forehead. "I'm not like that. Those guys just like to poke fun at me."

Poke fun at him and destroy whatever good name he had left.

"Don't put me with them," Symphony jerked a thumb back at the orca and the shark, who stood a few feet behind her.

"You think I'm going to be nice to you? How charming," the orca was pretty amused with the situation. He really was quite a jerk. It didn't help that he smiled the whole time he was talking. In fact, Percuss never saw that smirk leave his face. A part of her wanted to knock it right off.

Angla sighed and looked to Percuss in irritation. "See what I mean?"

The two began walking away towards the North Castle. Angla wanted to get as far away from his team mates as possible. He put up with a tough crowd. Hell, the orca in himself seemed like a giant pain, she could only imagine what it must have been like putting up with the rest of them.

"They seem like a hand full," Percuss knew just saying that was an understatement.

"Those two are both older than me but sometimes I feel like I'm the one taking care of them." The anglerfish sighed again. He was really done with them.

"What about the Shark King?" Oro didn't seem like he was too much of a bother.

"He doesn't bother me. He minds his own business and keeps to himself. Oro is the least trouble." Angla smiled a little. Actually, Oro was a joy to be around. He was fond of him judging by the tone of voice he used.

"He seems scary," the swordfish commented, "and so do you." They all intimidated her. There was just something about them that radiated a daunting presence.

"I'm still a predator," Angla reminded her of his species, "but I also protect my kingdom."

"Still, a Shark King? Doesn't seem like the Orca King would like that too much." It was a widely known fact that sharks and orca hated each other.

"He doesn't, but I don't care what he thinks."

"Is that the Northern Capitol?" The mighty castle came into view and it was magnificent.

It stood tall and elegant in the sea waters, with dark blue roofs made from sea shells as well as dark blue window shutters. The white walls were kept pristine and a beautiful sea shell arch greeted them. The sight was so magnificent that it nearly took the assassin's breath away looking at it.

"Yes, this is my home and the home of many who support the royal family and its branches." Angla said as they walked through the arch and into the royal gardens, adorned with shaped shrubbery, stone walkways, and intricate statues. It had a section where beautiful anemones resided, its own small, coral reef, a tea area and even a kelp maze.

"That's amazing. It's huge!" Percuss couldn't tear her eyes from the castle. She'd never seen a building quite like it, and its majesty captivated her.

"Wait until you see the inside. You'll really be blown away." Angla smiled. He seemed pretty excited about taking her inside. The fact that he was going to take her inside was a definite plus. Percuss was going to use that to her advantage.


The water was murky, so much so that it looked like an underwater fog. Symphony, Oro and Isatsu walked through the dense, cloudy waters. All around them, the atmosphere was dim, lacking most of the light that usually shown over Nautica. The farther away they got from their source of light, the dimmer it became.

"Is it necessary to make a trip all the way out here?" Symphony wondered what the purpose of this trip was. The Shark King was so insistent about coming there, but what for?

"I just want to see how Earlkonig is doing." There was something Oro wanted to check on, for his own person solace. It unnerved him that the mermaid armies were able to get through the gate without the guardian knowing. He intended to get down to the bottom of the issue.

"I hate dealing with Earlkonig. He has two moods - asleep and killing shit. When he's not asleep, he's killing shit and I don't want to be the shit he tries to kill." Isatsu wasn't looking forward to this trip at all. If there was anything he despised, it was seeing him again.

"Sounds like you two are similar," Oro remarked as they kept walking. The landscape around them morphed into a grotesque and malformed place with twisted coral formations and strange-looking sea anemones. "We'll be fine."

"Hey, Earlkonig, come out!" Symphony raised her voice, summoning the guardian.

"Let's yell at him and wake him up so he's utterly pissed," Isatsu remarked sardonically.

"I don't want to end up skewered," Oro agreed. If the sea urchin was rattled too much, he might strike without warning. That would cause a world of trouble for the Sea Kings.

"You have a point," the penguin thought about it and she truly hadn't been using her brain for that moment in time.

"I don't want an urchin spike shot up my ass," Isatsu grumbled.

"Look out!" Symphony shouted as a series of long, sharp, black spikes erupted from the ground. She managed to jump out of the way as a spike shot up below her feet. Another came up between Oro and Isatsu. Symphony did a belly flop on the ground, Oro fell backwards, landing on his back and Isatsu landed on his side.

"Good," Oro sat up, "he's up."

"What are you happy about that?" Isatsu looked irritated as he rested himself on his elbow.

The ground rumbled and shook violently as the earth undulated before them. Bursting through, showering them in debris was a large, black sea urchin with small, white, pupilless eyes and a small, triangular beak. It loomed over them, casting a shadow large enough to shade all three of them.

"I am Earlkonig, guardian of Nautica's gates. If you don't want an early death, I suggest you leave." For something that seemed so cute in appearance, Earlkonig had a loud, booming voice.

"Shut up," the Orca King frowned. "You already know us." Honestly, there was no need for any idle threats from that ball of spikes.

The sea urchin let out a booming laugh that was jolly, contrasting from his earlier ominous tone. "If it isn't Orca King Isatsu."

The shark stepped into the light. "I'm here, too and so is Symphony," the penguin mimicked his actions.

"Lord Oro, I never see you here unless it's urgent. To what do I owe this favor?" Earlkonig held a sense of worry when he saw the Shark King making an appearance. That wasn't like him at all. Oro wasn't the most social person in the world. The fact that he showed up at all was concerning.

"Have any mermaids infiltrated your defenses?" The shark just cut to the chase and asked what he came there to ask.

"Nonsense!" Earlkonig was offended that he would assume that he wasn't doing his job. "No one has passed."

"Then why was there a small army inside of the gate?" Symphony wanted answers.

"The ground that surrounds all of Nautica is an extension of my very body. Whatever moves, dies. If something gets by me, I consult you immediately." Earlkonig had never been accused of doing a shoddy job before. In fact, King Orzo praised his ability to serve and protect the denizens of Nautica. He didn't understand the sudden barrage of accusations from the Sea Kings. The sea urchin always performed one-hundred percent.

"You mean absolutely no one has been at the edge of Nautica?" Symphony was confused. This just didn't make sense at all.

"He's making excuses for being too lazy to wake up and take care of them," Isatsu just knew he was slacking off.

This did nothing but enrage the black urchin. "You dare mock me? I've been doing this job since before you were a king. I don't just sleep whenever someone walks on me." He would never forsake everyone's safety by being incompetent, much less procrastinating on checking on everyone who walked over him.

"That's strange," Oro looked thoughtful as Earlkonig and Isatsu engaged in an intense stare down behind him, exchanging looks of malice. "Somehow an army got in here and no one knows how." That was more than concerning.

"I only let people in who are supposed to be in here. I've guarded the gates since the dawn of Nautica's creation. I would have noticed an army trying to get inside." Earlkonig was many things, but he wasn't blind.

"It's not entirely impossible that they came here through ways of magic. There are certain spots in which the magical barriers can be broken. Also, space and time rifts may allow outsiders to come here and they wouldn't have to pass Earlkonig in order to do it." As an alchemist, Symphony knew that the magical barriers around Nautica were hard to penetrate but not impassable.

"That would have to be a big spell," Isatsu knew it took no small table tricks to get past their barrier.

"Your Hazzardrain is a big spell," Symphony noted. Whoever had done it could use an attack similar to the one she just mentioned and gain entry or at least rip a hole in Nautica's defenses.

"It also takes all of my power in order to do it," the Orca King wasn't saying it wasn't possible, but whoever did it might not have had the energy to make it through while they had the chance.

"That might be the case with them as well. Remember, General Riptide was an alchemist. It could have also been a spell cast by many people at once." Symphony knew it didn't have to be just one magician performing the spell. If everyone contributed a percentage of their power it would have been easy to both penetrate the wall and go through with no problem.

"We need to have another Sea King meeting. Orzo is aware of it, I'm sure. We should invite Onco as well." Oro needed his shark general to attend, especially considering that he patrolled around the area that Riptide's army showed up.

"Do we need the Nautical Queen?" Symphony glanced to him in question.

"Wherever King Orzo goes, Cyra is sure to follow. I'm certain she'll be there." Oro didn't mind. It was better that she attended anyway, just to know what was going on. 'I have a feeling that this will escalate if something isn't done about it. It seems that Nautica is on the brink of another war.'

Just thinking about it worried him. If there was anything Oro didn't want to do, it was be involved in another mass casualty incident. The last one was hell enough for him and the other Sea Kings, as well as the denizens of Nautica.

"Thank you for your input, Earlkonig. Be sure to tell me if you see anything suspicious." Oro bowed to the giant sea urchin before turning to leave.

"Yes, my lord, you can count on me." Earlkonig's body bobbed forward as if to nod with the shark's request.


The inside of the castle was beautiful, with walls made from oyster shells and a floor of brilliant pearl. Rich, lavish decor adorned every crevice and the entire place shimmered and shone of golds, blues, pinks and whites with the occasional red here and there. Percuss couldn't glance around fast enough at all of the beautiful antiques salvaged from wreckages found on the sea's floor, combined with the riches of the land.

There were several hallways with white doors, trimmed with gold and every floor was different. She was completely in awe at her surroundings. Occasionally, they would see one of the maids, butlers, sentinels or other castle staff while passing by as well as portraits of the founders of Nautica, and other important denizens of the sea.

"This is more than I expected." Percuss glanced around with a wide smile on her face, taking in everything carefully before her sights went back to the angler fish. "Tell me; is the other Sea King...Lord Orzo in here?"

That was the real question.

"I don't know, but Queen Cyra should be here. Cyra is Orzo's wife. She's also an angler fish like me." Angla described the female ruler to her.

"Are interspecies relationships common here?" It did seem odd that an angler fish was with Orzo. From what she knew, Orzo was hardly an anglerfish or a fish at all.

"My family happened to join up together. I was young when my parents fell in love. I've just learned to accept it. Narwhals and angler fish can live with each other just fine." At least, that was the case with his parents. The two of them had been together since the foundation of Nautica and had managed to keep up a healthy relationship, despite the laws of the deep that dictated same species relationships to assure survival and bloodline.

"Narwhal?" So, that's what the Great Sea King was.

"Yes, that's what Orzo is. There aren't many of them around, but that's not saying much. Since the last war, there haven't been many whales left in Nautica." Angla had noticed that several of the bigger mammals that swam in the sea had declined in number. He figured that maybe they all sought peace in the depths of the Deep Sea, much like the orca had.

As he finished his explanation, footsteps could be heard as two denizens walked into the hall. They were an odd pair, a tall, handsome Narwhal with a magnificent horn stood in front. He was dressed in a lavender suit with a black tie and white under shirt. A lighter toned, lavender half cape adorned his shoulders, latched onto his shoulders by gold shoulder pads with the same anchor design as the Orca King's, complete with tassels. His skin was white, dappled in brown markings and white short, white, wavy hair swayed with his movements.

Beside him, standing slightly behind the whale was his mate, the angler fish. She had long, black hair, going to her knees and bangs cut straight across her forehead. She was dressed in a red dress with short, poofy sleeves with two tiers on the bottom with rounded edges, accompanied by black lace. Much like Angla, she had red lips and red eye shadow. She also wore a red choker.

"Lord Orzo, Queen Cyra," Angla took notice of his parents and turned to them, acknowledging their presence.

"It's nice to see you, Angla. How did your outing go?" The queen asked him.

"Eventful, as always," the unisex-voiced fish sighed to himself.

"It's always eventful when Isatsu is around," Orzo could understand where the Fish King was coming from.

Did that orca have a reputation wherever he went? Just what kind of awful person was he?

Cyra smiled a little awkwardly. "Well, he does seem more civil around you, Angla." That was always a plus.

"We're friends. He's still a douchebag, just less of one when we're together." The anglerfish noted that he and orca were close, and Percuss wondered just what kind of relationship they two of them had.

"Who is the girl?" Orzo pointed to the swordfish in question.

"She's new to Nautica. I thought I'd show her around the castle," Angla explained their purpose of being there. He was just taking the assassin on a little tour.

"That's going to have to wait," Orzo's expression hardened.

"Why? What's going on?" Angla was a little confused as to why his words were so dire.

"There's a meeting," the narwhal informed the two of them.

"What? I wasn't informed on this," Was it something that just happened? How come he had gotten no word of it?

"It's regarding General Riptide's army," Orzo educated the two on the circumstances that they would be discussing.

Angla turned to his new found friend. "Percuss, was it?"

The swordfish nodded.

"Sorry to cut this short, but I'm needed on official business. Feel free to look around. If you have any questions, you can ask me when I come back to find you." Angla let go of her wrist and gave her a professional gaze before joining the king and queen.

"We can meet back here," Percuss offered.

This was actually a great turn of events. Now, she was free to explore the castle as she liked unsupervised. The assassin would have to work around the castle staff, but that would be a breeze for someone of her profession.

Angla put up a hand as he walked down the hall, "see you around."

"Bye," Percuss waved. 'I've got to get to that meeting hall, but how do I get there unnoticed?'

She wanted to see what this meeting of theirs was about. Maybe she could spy on them and gain some type of knowledge on the both the Sea King and the events that were going down in Nautica. Of all the times to come to this place, it had to be when they were in turmoil.


The meeting hall was spacious and consisted of several chairs and a large table, shaped like a horse shoe. On the wall, there was a giant monitor, and a window on the adjacent wall with a view of the entire kingdom. The walls and floor were made of white sea shell and kept in pristine condition.

Orzo, Cyra and Angla walked into the room to see that Symphony, Isatsu, Oro and another shark there.

He was a blue shark with light blue skin and long, wavy, dark brown hair, tied back with a black bow. Like Orzo, he wore the familiar golden shoulder pads with the anchor design and gold tassels and a half-cape that went to his butt, red on the inside and black on the outside. On his torso was a brown coat with a white undershirt, and on his bottom-half were brown slacks. His black, shined shoes walked across the floor, accompanied by the tap if a driftwood cane that looked gnarled and twisted, fashioned into a curling circle on the top. This shark also had a scar down the right side of his face, similar to Oro's, but elongated to his jaw.

"I'm the only general here," the shark noted. "How odd."

"Aren't you just special?" The orca taunted, leaned up against the nearby wall.

"I could care less from insight from the peanut gallery." The general retorted and turned his nose up at the Orca King.

"What did you say, fish bait?" Isatsu rose from his position. If it was a fight that the general wanted, he was more than ready to give it to him. Oh, how he wanted to see the decrepit-looking general bleed out on the floor in front of him. The thought of it elated him.

"Can't we have one meeting where everyone is civil?" Angla asked, and then looked as if he came to an immediate conclusion afterwards. "Oh, wait; I forgot who I was dealing with." Only in a perfect world would he even see some sort of civil meeting with these guys.

"This is my right-hand man, Onco," Oro held his hand out, displaying the shark beside of him and introducing him to his peers.

"Shark King Oro, you required my attendance?" Onco questioned. He really hoped that he wasn't just putting up with that unruly orca for the hell of it. He'd rather not stay around him longer than he had to.

"I wanted to ask you something," Oro turned to him. "You patrol the outskirts by swimming above. Have your troops seen anything suspicious?"

Onco shook his head. "There hasn't been anything worth reporting."

"Then how has this happened?" Yet another loose end. Oro was beginning to grow more and more unnerved at the lack of information, as well as the fact that no one seemed to see all of those mermaids. What was going on?

"Someone is here who isn't supposed to be? Is that really necessary to have a meeting over?" Orzo didn't like wasting time over frugal things like this. He had more important things to attend to.

"It was more than one person, it was an entire army, and that army wasn't a normal army, it was the mermaid army." Angla explained to the narwhal, and suddenly it made sense. He was told that their meeting was about General Riptide, and now the true severity had hit him full force.


"The mermaid army...I remember being told about them," Cyra placed a fist to her chin in thought. "They invaded Nautica a long time ago with the Deep Sea Forces."

"It seems like those forces are back, but that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is that they can get into Nautica under our noses." As long as they could do that, Oro knew that they could infiltrate at any time and sneak attack them. That could wipe out their entire kingdom if they weren't constantly on guard.

"What about Earlkonig?" Onco was a little curious as to why the gate-keeper wasn't doing his job.

"We've already asked," Symphony noted. "He hasn't seen anything."

"That means they aren't going through the gates," Onco deducted. Then, how were they getting inside?

"That means one of two things: they are casting a spell or they are using a vortex." Both acts required magic. Oro had been thinking about this on his way to the meeting hall. They were the only plausible answers that he could come up with.

"Or," Onco held up a finger, "someone is letting them in."

Everyone looked at Onco as if he had just said the most awful, offensive thing. Maybe he had in a way, considering that was the ultimate bad scenario. It implied that someone was a traitor.

"Who would do that? The only ones who can pass through undetected are the Sea Kings." What was that shark trying to say? Isatsu didn't like his implications that one of the Sea Kings was letting the enemy inside of the gates.

"None of us would do that. Besides, if we did, Earlkonig would see us." Angla didn't think it made much sense to pass the blame on one of them.

"Even if one of us did commit treason by letting them in, someone would see and find it off that the Deep Sea Army was with a Sea King." Symphony hardly thought that any of them would be that stupid. To actively help the Deep Sea from inside of Nautica was a huge risk in itself, not to mention that it would be hard not to get noticed and reported by someone. The denizens had their way of gossiping, even if the officials hadn't caught drift of it happening.

"Even if we had all of our armies looking, we still can't be everywhere at once." Angla noted that there were gaps, even if it was highly unlikely.

"So then, how do we figure out how they got through?" Symphony wondered if there was a solution to this seemingly impossible question. They needed to figure out how to keep this from going on. If they let the problem persist, they would be in for something that would shake Nautica's very infrastructure.

...To Be Continued

A/N: This chapter was pretty long. I apologize for that. It was mostly set-up material, so I am hoping that the chapters that accompany it won't be nearly this long. Please, tell me what you think in a review! I return any and all reviews.

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