Erich. Rayan, lying on the bed, still uttered an unfamiliar name with his tongue.
At the same time, he looked at the hair that was as thin as a gold thread.
Returning to Atisa, the first thing he did was to place the strands of hair that he had been clenching so tightly that there were nail marks on his palm, in a crystal ball.
He would lose the thin hair that was only as long as his palm if he didn’t do that, so he couldn’t help it.

The hair floating around in the transparent crystal ball shimmered.
Even though it did not emit light by itself, whenever he saw this, he thought of the person who asked him to call him Erich.

The human, whom he had thought would be feeble, was more suave and impudent than he expected.
So, after completing her second growth and manifesting abilities, Ayla, who was granted the position of Soligers1 had a similar personality.
To summarise, they were a little ill-natured.

Rayan had told him not to call him by name, yet he said that he wanted to, and kept calling out ‘Rayan’, and he even put off the answer to Rayan’s question by holding it as collateral.


Ah, never mind.
Rayan quickly corrected his judgement.
Humans wouldn’t be able to come by blindly, so to say that he resembles Ayla was a great disrespect.

Among the mermaids born around the same time, Ayla was the only one who did not avoid Rayan, who could not reach adulthood.
When she had time, she visited his palace, and as usual, she came to Rayan and called his name.

“What are you doing?”

As he quickly grabbed the floating crystal ball with his hands and turned around, a female mermaid with soft wavy turquoise hair came up to Rayan and patted his tail with her tail.
There was a lot of affection.

“What is that?”

He hid it with agility, but it looked like she saw it.
Her expression resembled a child.


“As if.
Crystal ball? There’s something inside”

Reaching out and grabbing the crystal ball, Ayla looked inside with curious eyes.
She didn’t know that it was human hair, but Rayan was nervous that he might get caught.

“What, did you pull out someone’s beard somewhere?”

“Give it to me.”

“Or did Yuri get you something weird?”

Ayla had been rolling the crystal ball on the palm of her hand, and her eyes soon narrowed with a suspicious light.
They have been together since childhood, so Ayla was well aware of Yuri’s playfulness, and Rayan, who soon joined them, also became quite familiar with it.

“That’s not it.”


“It’s just…”

As his mind went blank, Rayan’s words trailed.
Turning away from Ayla, whose eyes were getting more and more suspicious, he snatched the crystal ball from her hand and set it aside.

He was worried that Ayla’s gaze would keep following him, and he would be taken away or questioned again, but fortunately she no longer looked at the crystal ball with the human hair in it.

Rayan, who had been very nervous, became awkward.
Perhaps, knowing Rayan’s tendencies, she had no choice but to be concerned.

“Aren’t you busy?”


Ayla, who complained that she was too busy, put her head on Rayan’s tail and nuzzled despite being busy.
It had been her habit since childhood, but Rayan found this situation a little funny.
It didn’t seem suitable for Ayla, who had become a fully grown adult, to lie down and rub her cheek against his fins.


Also, it wasn’t proper for Ayla, who has become an adult, to still have this habit.
No one called Rayan such, but he was a defect, and Ayla was the most outstanding in ability among mermaids of their age.
As evidence, among the mermaids who completed the first growth around the same time, she was the only mermaid who completed the second growth and became enlisted in the Soligers.

As a result, there were many mermaids who wanted to be Ayla’s companion.
They wouldn’t like Ayla to behave this way to Rayan.

“Don’t lie.”

When he tried to push her away, she clung closer and hugged him.
Her curly dark blue hair touched his flesh and tickled him.
He gave up as he patted her.
As he admitted to himself, it was obvious why Ayla, who was busy, took time to come.
She said that a few days ago, she couldn’t come because she couldn’t make time that day, so she looked for him as soon as he had time.
He didn’t dislike the consideration she gave him.

“And even if I’m heavy, you’ll have to get used to it, Rayan.”


“That’s because, you’re my fiance.”

He didn’t know what Ayla was talking about.

Apparently during their childhood, they promised to share the seal of their companionship.
To be more precise, it was Mer’s intention.
It was evident now, but Ayla has been a mermaid with a promising future after growth since she was young.
Mer tried to keep Ayla close to Rayan, and there were talks about companionship.

However, Ayla became an adult while Rayan was a defect.
Now, even as a joke, they couldn’t and shouldn’t say things like that, whether it was an engagement or a companionship.
And unless Rayan became an adult anyway, he couldn’t share the seal of companionship.

“If Kella hears that, he’ll be heartbroken.”

“What Kella.
His ability developed slower than me.”

Then Ayla, who had been talking so far, put on an embarrassed expression.
She was being rubbed in Rayan’s arms and must have forgotten for a moment that he was in a worse situation than ‘that’ Kella, and could not even become an adult.

So she pulled out of Rayan’s arms and smiled as if nothing happened.

“Hey, Rayan.
Shall we go outside?”

Rayan tilted her head.
It doesn’t seem like what Ayla was referring to the outside of the palace.


He had already gone out of Atisa several times with Alle, Yuri, and even went out alone a few times, but Rayan pretended not to know.


Calling out to him, Ayla narrowed her eyes.

“You don’t think I don’t know, do you?”

“You thought I didn’t know that you went out with Alle so often? With Alle’s personality, he wouldn’t take you anywhere dangerous, so I just pretended not to know.”

Rayan stroked his chest, barely putting his pounding heart into place.
From what she said, it was clear that she didn’t know the details.
Come to think of it, it was natural not to know.

If Ayla had known that Rayan was going out alone to see the outside world, she wouldn’t have spoken so calmly with that personality.
Not only Alle but also Yuri would not have let him go, and he would be bombarded with their continuous nagging.
Ayla might leave her work behind and keep an eye on Rayan.
She had that sort of character.

“Let’s go out, Rayan.
I don’t think you’ll be able to go out these days since Alle isn’t here.”

Rayan, who had taken advantage of Alle and Yuri’s absence to go out on his own several times, felt guilty.
But he pretended not to know and nodded his head, and grabbed Ayla’s outstretched hand.

Ayla grabbed Rayan and dragged him outside.
Beyond Atisa’s protective barrier, beautiful scenery disappeared, but the deep sea was cold and calm as usual.
The outside world was beautiful, but it was nothing compared to this place.
Rayan couldn’t have loved Atisa, the sea where he was born, more.

As Rayan’s tail fluttered, the corners of Ayla’s lips were pulled upward as well.
She was so excited and took him to all kinds of places.
Along the way, they ran into other people.

There were also mermaids who frowned at Ayla bringing the young mermaid out and was about to say a word, but after confirming that it was Rayan, they shut her mouth.
Anyway, now their glances didn’t mean much to Rayan.


Ayla didn’t know what to do.

“Do you want to go to a fun place?”

So this was her way of comforting him.
Ayla, who seemed to ponder for a moment as she shook her head, dragged Rayan away.
Ayla’s ‘fun’ was different from others, so he was a little worried, but he soon relieved his worries and left it to her as it wasn’t like she would throw him to the Kraken as its food.
The flow of the current and the smooth movement accelerated.

They stopped when they saw the border between turquoise and black, that is, the Black Sea.

Rayan glanced at the dark pit-like boundary.
Beyond the Black Sea was the realm of Krakens, Sea Serpents, and Sharks.
Mer respected their territory.
Rather, it would be more accurate to view it as an inviolable zone, but in any case, the king’s influence did not reach beyond the Black Sea, and therefore neither the mermaids nor the clan that swore to Atisa and Mer went near the Black Sea by mistake.

Although he has travelled to and from the outside world, which was the most taboo for a mermaid, Rayan had never been near the Black Sea.
He subconsciously craned his neck out and then came back to his senses and looked at Ayla.
Her eyes lit up as if she’d gone insane and she smiled bashfully.

Seeing this, Ayla was an old friend of mine.

“If you come here with Alle, I wouldn’t let it go.
But Rayan.
I’m stronger.”

Alle, the successor of the killer whale clan, must be a formidable opponent, but Ayla smiled confidently.

“I brought you here in advance in case you were curious and secretly come later.
Take a look.
There’s a story that a witch lives over there.”

“The one who lures young mermaids?”

“That’s right.
And our Rayan is still young.
What if the bad witch lures Rayan and eats him?”

Since she became a companion guard, he was always treated like a child.

Rayan pretended not to hear and looked at the black sea with his curious eyes.
The story of a witch from the Black Sea enticing and eating a young mermaid was like a fairytale that was passed down from parents to child from generation to generation.
Sometimes, it was also said that if a young mermaid was not obedient, the witch of the Black Sea would take them away.

Do witches really live in the Black Sea?”



“It’s just a made-up story.
At most, maybe there’s a shark clan or a kraken.
Speaking of kraken.
It’s disgusting to think about it.
…Rayan, I’m warning you in advance, but don’t even try to find out.”

Ayla, who was responding lightly, quickly made a serious expression.
Rayan gave an ambiguous expression.
He was curious, but he wasn’t curious enough that he would sneak around this place without fear.
Now, all Rayan’s attention was not on the Black Sea and beyond, but on that human being in the outside world.


Will the kid, who said he would wait until he comes, be waiting again today?

A few days have passed, so maybe he gave up and no longer came.
When he suddenly thought of that, he felt impatient.

“I want to go back now.”

When Rayan asked to return with uninterested eyes, Ayla couldn’t hide her curiosity.
She had thought he would look around for a long time because he had curious eyes until just now.
However, Rayan didn’t seem to be in a bad mood, and although she had put everything aside, she still had a lot of work to do.

Ayla took Rayan back to the palace, expressed her affection as usual, and then left.
And that night when Rayan was left alone and fiddling with his crystal ball.
Rayan poked her head out of the water.

“Are you finally here?”


As if it was natural, he met a pair of blue eyes under the moonlight.


the name for the guardian mermaids

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