The moment Erich embraced him, there was a sound of a gasp.
Rayan turned his gaze towards the direction of the sound.
A female human was looking this way with a slightly surprised face.

In fact, Leah couldn’t control her surprise.

As described by the captain of the guard, the boy had an appearance worthy of admiration.
The long, wavy hair was pitch black, not so common in the Empire, and pale green eyes twinkled like a star.
It was a face deserving of attention wherever he went.

However, contrary to his appearance, when the shabby boy hugged Erhart, Leah forgot to admire the boy’s appearance and stepped forward to intervene.
It was because Erhart, who hated physical contact, might get offended and push the boy away.

She tried to say something, but what she encountered was Erhart, who hugged the boy back instead of pushing him away.
She wondered if she was dreaming, so she had to secretly pinch the back of her hand.
Of course, it was real, and her skin stung with pain.

“Your Highness.”

She quickly came to her senses.
They were still in front of the gate.
Even if it was late at night, people were watching.
With his dazzling blonde hair fluttering, anyone would know that he was the Prince, but the way he was holding a boy face to face on the street was apt to start an unnecessary scandal.


Erhart belatedly came to his senses at Leah’s call and gently let go of the body he was holding.
It was questionable as to whether there was a gap as he distanced only a little bit.

It’s not the time to do this here, we should go inside.”


It was also surprising that the boy called Erhart by his nickname given by Olivia, and it was also bewildering to see Erhart bending his back and lending his ears as the boy gestured.

Who knew what he whispered, but Erhart’s expression could be seen gradually changing.
Erhart exhaled while rubbing his forehead and held out his hand to the boy.

The boy staggered as he tried to get up, grabbing his hand.
It seemed uneasy to use his legs.
Perhaps he didn’t think of it as strange, Erhart hugged the boy lightly.

“Your Hi—”

When she saw Erhart, who had barely woken up today after drinking poisoned tea, and was holding a boy his age, Leah pursed her lips, but shook her head as if she couldn’t say anything.

“Prepare a horse, no, a carriage.
I think this kid needs to be taken home.”

The appearance of Erhart speaking with a troubled expression on his head was also unfamiliar and surprising, but Leah could not afford to fuss about it.
Erhart spoke with certainty that the boy was to be taken home.
And looking at his arms, it was clear who was going to take the boy home.

“I’ll tell others to serve him without lack.”

Leah could no longer keep her mouth shut.

“I will go.”

“Your Highness must rest.”

“This is an order.”

“Your Highness!”

“It’s an order.
Countess Cavendy.”

It was the first time Erhart called her Countess, not ‘Leah’ or ‘nanny’.
And it also meant how determined he was.

As the strange confrontation ensued, the boy who had been stretching and turning for a while, stiffened and noticed.
The moving eyes looked at Erhart and Leah alternately.
Then he grabbed Erhart’s clothes and gently shook them, trying to distract his attention.

“… You should come back soon.”

In the end, the side that conceded was Leah.
Erhart nodded his head, saying he had intended to do so anyway.
Soon the carriage was ready, and Erhart escorted the boy into it first and then followed him.
Leah was amazed, but she closed the door of the carriage and did not forget to remind the coachmen.

Clang~ As soon as the carriage door closed, Rayan looked around curiously, forgetting that his legs were hurting.

“Is this what humans ride?”

It looked like a seahorse.
It was fascinating but there was no answer awaiting him, and a tapping sound of hitting the chair with his fingers soon called his attention.
Rayan turned his gaze to Erich.

“Is that important now?”

Of course not.
He was distracted by the novelty, but it didn’t matter.

As soon as Rayan saw Erhart, he had a lot of things he wanted to ask.
First of all, from why he didn’t come, to why his face looked so haggard in the meantime.
Rayan licked his lips, and Erich sighed, putting his hand against the wall and muttered.
Light spread around his hand, and the figures of Rayan and Erich were engulfed in the light.
When Rayan closed and opened his eyes, they had arrived at the cave they always met.

His legs had been tingling when he stood because of the weight.
It was a pain that he couldn’t get used to.
Still, it was better than when he swallowed the potion and split his tail into legs.


At that time, he felt like he was going to lose his mind from the pain he experienced for the first time in his life.
Other adult mermaids suffered this every time they humanized, Ayla would have made a fuss earlier if she had known.

‘It’s not normal, so maybe it’ll hurt a little.’

Come to think of it, Asha said it might hurt a little.
How could this be ‘a little’? The resentment had lasted for a while, and when the pain of splitting raw flesh flowed down the spine and he had gasped for breath, the tail, covered with turquoise scales, had become a human leg.

Even so, Rayan, who had been afflicted for a long time, wore a robe that was apparently washed up by the waves, and limped to the castle, met Erich.

“What’s wrong with your legs?”

Erich, who quickly noticed Rayan’s discomfort, grumbled as he supported him even though his face had turned paler than before.
Even in the midst of discomfort, his pale face was concerned and at the same time fascinating.
Rayan thought the other was just a small human, but when he got two human legs and stood on the ground, he was about the same height.
Of course, Rayan was a little taller by a small margin.

Rayan was busy looking at him up and down, but Erich faithfully supported him and put him on the boundary.
He saw the sea in front of him.
Rayan hesitated a bit, then jumped in.
With a plop, pure white foam rose and soft bubbles rose.

His legs clasped together, and shiny turquoise scales covered his skin.
The gills, which had disappeared, also appeared small on the nape of the neck, moving slightly, the ears that were round like regular humans became sharp again, and there were webs between his fingers again.

Rayan, who enjoyed breathing in the water when his body returned, hurried out of the water, remembering that there was someone waiting.
Erich was watching him with his eyes narrowed.
Previously, they hugged each other with a clear sign of joy, but now it was cold again.

“So, why haven’t you come all this time?”

“Because you didn’t come.”

Rayan pouted his lips and retorted.

“… Something happened.
Anyway, why didn’t you come?”

He turned the words around and asked again.
He always held back words like that every time.
Rayan gave a sidelong glance, but Erich didn’t seem to want to open his mouth.

“I don’t know.”



Let me tell you first.
I was a little sick.”

When Rayan seemed to not want to open his mouth, Erich sighed and said quietly.
Rayan tilted his head.
No wonder.
His face didn’t look too good.
It was strange and surprising to see Erich, who he thought was just a little boy, hugging him, but after all, he was a fragile human being.

“I think I know what you’re thinking now, but it’s not like that.”

Erich denied his weakness with a stern face.
Rayan felt more sorry, so he reached out and stroked his cheek, asking if he had felt very ill.

“And what’s worse now is… never mind.
This is why I didn’t want to say it.”

Unable to hide his annoyed tone, Erich murmured softly and turned his head as if trying to remove Rayan’s hand from his cheek.
It may seem harsh, but it was a consideration because he knew that his warmth could feel hot to Rayan.

Come to think of it, it was a shame.
When Rayan was a human, it didn’t feel so hot even when he hugged him face to face.
A very soft warmth that was just perfect to hug.
However, as soon as the transformation was over, his body temperature felt hot again.

“Anyway, I told you, so you should answer, Rayan.
Why didn’t you come? Do you know much I…”

Erich, who was telling him off, suddenly stopped in the middle of speaking.
He frowned, and the tips of his ears were red.

“How much, what? Why don’t you tell me? Erich?”

“Because it’s necessary to say it.”


“So why didn’t you come? Rayan.”

Rayan pondered.
The reason he couldn’t come was because of Alle’s monitoring, but there was another cause, so he thought he should bring it up first.

“On the way back, I was chased by a swarm of sharks.”

“Shark? Chased?”

“Thanks to Asha, nothing happened, but I couldn’t come because Alle caught me sneaking out that day.”

At that time, the fear of being chased by sharks, of Asha who chased the sharks away with a single gesture, and Alle, who was terribly angry at him, were all so vivid.
He was scared, but he spoke without expression.

“I managed to persuade Alle to come, but I couldn’t see you.
I was so worried.”

Even though he couldn’t act mature to the feeble Erich, he couldn’t show his weakness.


Even though he spoke lightly, Erich’s expression was grave.
Perhaps he was terrified, imagining the sharp teeth of a shark.

“Did you get hurt? Where are you hurt?”

Rayan, who was about to say that he would never meet a shark anyway, widened his eyes at the completely unexpected question.
As Rayan’s reaction was slow, Erich looked at him with a cautious gaze.
The corners of Rayan’s mouth, who was blinking at the sight of him looking at him without even touching, loosened.


Rayan turned his body around in the water and showed him his upper body on a rock.
The scratch because of the shark’s snout was reddish, but after a day’s sleep, it quickly subsided and there was no trace of it anymore.

“You weren’t hurt?”

Erich still had a questionable expression on his face, but when he couldn’t see the wounded area, he nodded his head.
At that moment, Rayan smiled brightly and spoke softly.
The period they didn’t meet wasn’t short, so they had a lot to talk about.
For example, the fact that he might come again with Alle soon, but he had to keep it a secret that they met like this today.
To this, Erich replied, “Why should I do that?” but didn’t say no.

Rayan was suddenly melancholic as he placed his elbows against the rocks, waving his tail softly and chattering.
He already had legs so he wished he could walk anywhere outside this sea with him.

“… I hope the full moon will come again soon.”

“What did you just say?”


Rayan shook his head gently and coyly.
He decided not to say it because Erhart was not feeling well today, so when the full moon comes, he’s going to surprise him by telling them that at least once a month, he could walk on the ground like humans.
Also, holding hands with moderate warmth and eating delicious food.

“Anyway, if anything happens, we’ll leave something here in the future.
Don’t wait.”

“Rather than me, you… Alright.”

Erich tried to refute it, but he quickly replied as if it were a good thing.

Promise me.
How do humans make promises?”

“I don’t know why it’s like that, but Marie whines to hook her little finger when we make promises.”

“Marie? Little finger? How do you hook it?”

Like this.”

Erich held out his pinky, lightly holding his hand.
As he glanced at it, he made Rayan’s hand into the same shape and twisted his pinky.
He didn’t forget to leave a little gap in case his warmth would be too hot.

Rayan was more interested in the entangled fingers than his consideration.
It was just like mermaids entwining their tails, wasn’t it? Rayan wiggled his little fingers tightly entwined before raising his hand.
The breaking moonlight shone on their entangled hands.


Rayan smiled slightly as he liked the sign of this promise.

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