“Captain, the sea is calm, and we should arrive tomorrow, just as we have planned.” After hearing this report from his chief officer, the captain continued counting antiques on his desk: a vase from an aristocrat of the North, a notebook from an ascetic, gold coins from the secretary of a fallen kingdom...All of these were treasures he and his crew had gathered in the years of sailing across the realm. When the captain was about to count the treasures again, the chief officer dashed into the captain’s quarters with a look of concern and said:

        “Captain, we heard a crying sound...”

        Upon hearing that, the captain put down the vase and followed the chief officer to the deck. They walked to the west gunwale and looked into the distance. Illuminated by the red sun’s radiance, a fish tail was visible waving back and forth on the sea’s surface. Its scales shimmered with the sun’s reflection; and its colors were indescribable, which appeared to be more tempting than the treasures inside the captain’s quarters. As the fish tail submerged into the water, its body could be vaguely seen, and sounds of crying became clearer. However, it instantly swam deeper into the water and presented its tail again.

        “It’s a mermaid! It must be!” The captain excitedly grabbed a pair of binoculars from his first mate, but when he wanted to observe it, the fish tail had already approached and was circling the ship. “Looks like it is interested in us.” The captain hurriedly turned the helm toward the fish tail and followed it.

        The ship voyaged behind the fish tail for quite some time. They were traveling farther and farther away from their original destination, and had entered an area shrouded in darkness. Suspecting that something was off, the chief officer tried to convince the captain to stop the pursuit: “Captain, let’s head back...” However, the captain gave no response and instead, only focused on the fish tail in front of the ship. Suddenly, the tail disappeared into the water without a trace. The crying sound then raised to an intensity that could deafen a person. It was not until then did the captain regain his consciousness and found that rain was hitting his face, and the deck was a mess — the ship had entered a storm.

        “Humph. A mere storm will not take down my crew.” The captain stayed calm as usual, but the chief officer reported with panic, “Captain! We found cracks on the main mast and half of the hull is shattered! We can’t hold any longer...” Before the chief officer finished his sentence, the captain saw a young stranger crying at the bow of the ship as he peered through the storm with difficulty. He noticed that the crack on the deck spread according to the sound of the child’s cries. When the captain saw this, his sailors suddenly screamed. The mast collapsed into the sea with a large “boom”, but it still could not cover the sound of the child’s cries. Thoughts raced through the captain’s mind: the mast and the hull were highly refined metal and had faced numerous storms and battles in the years without a scratch, but now, they snapped like twigs? The captain managed to clearly issue the order to abandon the ship, but before they could jump into the water, the ship ran straight into a reef and sank.

        The captain never imagined that his honorary voyage would end with his ship sinking. The water was calm. The captain avoided pieces of the ship and swam toward the sea’s surface, but he was stopped by a long tail — it was the fish tail. The tail flipped and the captain was shocked; the imaginary mermaid was actually a monster with a thin, long face and a plump body. On the monster’s back was the anguished child who had long hair. The captain raised his hand to call for help, but the sea cow lashed its tail at him and shoved him toward the depths of the sea. Just before he lost consciousness, he could only see the sea cow and the boy surrounded by his crew’s floating bodies...

        ‘So, are you satisfied now? Don’t cry, Seabean.’ The sea cow brought Seabean onto a reef, so the child could get a better view of the scene. After witnessing the wreckage, the frowning child instantly smiled and the mountainous waves suddenly dropped as the ocean surface returned to its stormless state. The water resembled a mirror and shimmered with the red and orange radiance of the sun.

        ‘The sea is ours! The sea is ours!’ Seabean only knew how to babble, but the sea cow could understand his thoughts. It held him in its arms and together, they appreciated the beautiful scene of dusk, enjoying the peaceful feeling of being “home”.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.