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Red, silky locks were swirling around, a mischievous grin was on the boy’s lips as he pulled on silvery-blue strands of hair that felt so soft between his fingers. A laugh escaped him as others started to pull on the other’s tentacles as they called the things they did a game. No one tried to stop him or the other children who treated the octopus that way, for none of them wanted to anger the little prince. 

Those who played along with him either wanted to get on his good side or simply wanted to vent on the one who was no able to defend himself. 

 

The one leading the group was prince Rielle, the descendant of the first mermaid princess that stepped into the world of the land people. Amongst the adults, he was known as an admirable young boy who was well liked by his peers and had good grades, never causing trouble for his teachers. Once they turned away though, his childish and cruel side showed through. Azul, the octopus who had the reputation of being dumb and slow amongst his peers, was the one who had to suffer under his whims and moods. He bit on his bottom lip as he tried to get away from the bunch of people he loathed, a book was tightly in his grasp. For now, there was not much he could do, but he will show them that he was not useless.No, he will make sure that they would never look down on him like that again in the future. The only one who he won’t touch will be the prince, for he did not dare to offend the royalty of his own land. 

Despite his anger, he was not naive enough to think that the other would let any offense against him go and spare his family. 

Even when he was the one he disliked the most, he had enough common sense to know who to pick his fights with and who he should better not provoke. 

Once he noticed their carelessness, he used his ability to spread his ink, taking this opening to his advantage to get away from them as quickly as he possibly could.

His sanctuary was already waiting for him, the pot that he used as a hideout with all the books and scrolls he was able to get his hands on. 

It was time to learn again. After all, knowledge was power. The more spells he knew, the easier it was to get his revenge later on. 

 

~ 🐙

 

Rielle walked through the corridors of their middle school, a black uniform donned his body. His red hair shone under the sun, the colour of it was as deep and intense as freshly spilled blood. Instead of his green fish tail, he had a pair of legs. 

The prince had no intention to go to a school on land at first, content with staying under the sea for the rest of his life, unlike his grand-grand-whatever-grandmother. 

That changed though when he heard rumors of how Azul, his favourite toy, was going to attend a school on the surface. 

 

Some of the children who did not indulge in bullying the octopus but also did nothing to stop him whispered about how he hoped that the boy would have more luck at his new school. The girl he talked to, a petite girl with a white tail and ebony locks nodded, saying something about how she pitied him.

A scoff appeared on his face as his eyes wandered to the octopus who was well hidden in the corner of the dark room, his black and dark-grey body helping him blend in with the surrounding. 

So the crybaby thought that he could simply escape? No, it was for him to decide when he had enough of a toy. 

With that, he approached his parents, telling them that he wanted to go to the same school as Azul did on land because of how he wanted to broaden his horizon and learn new things. At first, they were surprised, for they knew that Rielle was not really fond of the surface world. They didn’t refuse his request though, thinking that his curiosity has been roused, just like with princess Ariel back in the past. 

 

When it was finally time for the first day at their new school, he couldn’t help but smile. He already talked to the headmaster, giving her a little… present. A nice little gesture. Of course, it was natural to give something back to him. 

His surprise was not existent when he saw that he was in the same class as Azul. The face the other pulled was so much more delicious though. For a second, he could see his smile turn into a look of disgust, as if he had bitten into a lemon. 

Eyes took in the sight that was in front of him. Azul lost a lot of weight, his once chubby cheeks were not thin. His legs were long, and he couldn’t help but think that he missed the chubby appearance he had. It was cuter in comparison to how he was now, but this wasn’t bad either.

Rielle’s chuckles were suppressed, for he did want to keep the image he had back then. 

 

He really wanted to approach him, but he had to get past the introductions of his class first. Names, age, hobbies, hometown and more useless knowledge were shared. None of the things his fellow classmates said were interesting to him, but he never let his disinterest show. Who knows when it might be useful to know these kinds of things?

Rielle perked up slightly when it was time for Azul to talk about himself. Even when the things he said were trivial, he couldn’t help but soak up all the information.

 

Once they were done and it was time for their first break, he wanted to walk up to the octopus but was stopped when a pair of twins passed him by and talked to the shorter man first. 

A look of annoyance flashed over his face, but it was gone as quickly as it appeared. 

Alright. He had more than enough time to talk to him again. After all, they had three whole years together.

 

~ 🐬 

 

Crash. 

 

Glass was shattered against one of the walls of his dorm room as he breathed heavily, a look of pure rage was on his face. Three years. For three years, he didn’t get a single chance to talk to Azul. Fingers were twisted in his own hair, pulling on the locks in frustration as he let out a sound of anger. 

Jade and Floyd Leech. Those two were classmates of his, back when they were in elementary school. They never got in his way before, preferring the company of each other over getting closer to the other children. That was why he never saw them as a threat.
Now, they were the ones who he hated the most, always sticking close to the younger man and leaving with him the moment he tried to get closer to him. He started to bite down on his nails.

Oh, he noticed how Azul went after each and every student that bullied him back then, making them agree to deals that they would regret, but he didn’t care. Quite the opposite, he was wondering why the pale skinned man didn’t go after him first. Or at all. 

What did that mean? 

Could it be… could it be that he just didn’t care? That he thought that he was not worth his time? 

 

The more he thought about it, the more he could feel a certain sense of panic rise. 

It couldn’t be. He did everything to get his attention, even back then. Rielle always made sure that Azul would look at him, even when his eyes were filled with hate. 

So how? How? How? How could that have happened?

His eyes narrowed dangerously as he looked at the mirror. A dangerous glint was in his eyes, and his usual pristine and princely appearance was nowhere to be seen. 

All that was left in the room was a restless, mess. Only the sound of breathing filled the silence, but even that got more and more silent until he calmed down again. The calmness was almost unnatural though.

 

“I see…”

 

Laughing echoed from the walls as he put a hand on his chest, clutching the shirt of his uniform as he leant forward. He laughed and laughed until he felt pain, but he didn’t care. 

Rielle never knew why he was so obsessed with Azul. The red haired man believed that it was simple possessiveness over a toy that he didn’t want to give over to someone else, but he was oh so wrong. 

 

No, the reason was love. The Prince always admired Azul for how he held out, how he kept working hard despite the words that were thrown his way. He wanted his attention to be solely on him because he was not able to stand the thought of having the octopus think about anyone else, couldn’t stand the thought of being like a complete stranger to him. That was why he bullied him. In that way, he at least was his sole focus, even when it was not love. Now that he was forced to stay away from him for such a long time, he had time to realize where that desire stemmed from. 

 

He simply wanted to be a part of his world.

 

~ 🐳

 

Sadly, that realisation came too late. It was time for his graduation, so he didn’t have a chance to talk to Azul again. He also didn’t have the chance to go to the same school as Azul, for he was not chosen by Night Raven College. His parents also wouldn’t allow him to go to any school that was not the Royal Swords Academy. 

A cold feeling of regret came over him as he looked at Azul and the moray eels from afar. The only reason why he got the chance to see them was because of the MagiShift tournament between them. Rielle couldn’t help but wish that he got rid of the identical looking pair of twins when he still had the chance to.

 

And then it happened. His head immediately turned to the direction the sound came from, and he could see and hear it clearly, and a shiver ran down his spine. 

That laughter. It was sweet and clear and so much better than his mind came up with. 

Since he attended the Royal Swords Academy, he couldn’t help but fantasize about him. What if he acted differently in the past? Could he have been Azuls prince Eric that saved him from the bullies? Could he have been the one that he would have clung to instead of the twins?

What if he had gotten to Azul before the twins could? All kinds of scenarios came to his mind, but he would never find out if all of that would have changed anything. 

 

Without him even noticing at first, he took a few step forwards into the direction where Azul and the twins once stood, but then he realized that they were already gone.

 

~ 🐟

 

A blank face was on his face when some of his subordinates told him about how someone broke into the museum. Under normal circumstances, he didn’t care too much about trivial things like these. Almost everything in there was useless to him. When he first heard about it, he believed that something like jewelry or a gem had been stolen. 

Once he had been told what disappeared though, he barked at the guards, yelling at them for their carelessness. 

The only thing that had been important to him was stolen. 

 

It was the photo of their class, where Azul was standing next to him, his own arm slung around the fleshy shoulder of the shy kid.

Rielle was prepared to send out troops to find the culprit, but he called back his command when the picture was back where it had been before it was taken away. 

The prince did not care about who it was, as long as it was back.

This desire and craving… it was time for him to finally do something against it, wasn’t it.

 

~ 🐠

 

Azul was sitting in the Mostro Lounge, one leg was crossed over the other. A polite smile was on his lips as he carefully shoved the contract towards the prince. Next to the contract was a silver ring, the gem was a beautiful sapphire.

 

The reason why he agreed to see the prince was the ridiculous amount of money he had been offered. His hatred of him was not completely gone, but his sense for business was stronger than his pettiness, so he agreed to make the deal. 3 000 000 Madols for a simple love spell with which he enchanted the ring that had been given to him by Rielle. How could he refuse something as simple as that. A suitcase full of the notes was lying on the table, the octopus already made sure that those were not fake. Of course he didn’t expect Rielle to lie, but one could never be sure. 

 

“I can see that the twins are not here this time?”

 

Rielle was smiling as well, but his seemed to be much more honest. If it weren’t for the fact that he was used to acting and smiling, even when he didn’t want to, he would have rolled his eyes at him already. But alas, he kept his composure.

“They are busy with different things. You are not the only one I make deals with after all.”

 

Ah, in a way he couldn’t help but be amused. There was someone who was not charmed by his fake princely behaviour, so he had to ask the person who he bullied in the past, almost begging him to help him with his problem? 

Really, there was nothing more amusing than that. He almost laughed out loud back then, but the thought of the amount of money he would get helped him keep calm, putting on his act as the benevolent sea witch.  

 

“Now, the only thing you have to do is to sign the contract and give me the money.  With that, your beloved will love you and only you, until you take off the ring of their finger personally. Doesn’t that sound lovely?”

 

Azul couldn’t help but let a sliver of sarcasm drip in his voice. It seemed as if the prince didn’t care though, as he signed the contract with a bright smile before he grabbed the ring. A satisfied glint was in his eyes when he looked at the money that now belonged to him. 

He was so distracted that he didn’t notice Rielle approaching him.

 

 

Rielle grabbed the octopus’ wrists and pulled Azul into his arms, slipping the ring over one of  the others' ring fingers gently after he pulled his white glove off. There was a gentle glow around the object, before it started to get tighter. Once the glow was gone, it was snug against the digit. At first, the shorter man struggled, but then he relaxed into the grip. The smile that was on his face only got wider as he noticed that, and he let go of him, so he would be able to look at his face. 

Azul looked at him gently, a blush was on his pale cheeks. He fluttered with his long eyelashes, and he noticed the pure love in the others eyes. 

 

“Why did you let go, prince Rielle? Is my love not enough for you?”

 

His voice sounded much more lovely, now that the spite and hate was gone. It was as if his dream came true.

 

“I will hug you again, don't worry… but please try to take off the ring first? If you think you can’t get it off, you don’t have to try anymore. After all, I don't want see the one I love get hurt.”

 

The octopus blushed even more, nodded and tried to pull the silver ring off, but it was stuck. Perfect. That meant that it worked the way he wanted it to. Not that he expected anything else from him, he was known for following through his contracts, even back in middle school.

Rielle wrapped his arms around his hips and pulled him closer again, but this time, the hug was accompanied by a kiss full of the desire and longing he kept inside of him for over twelve years now. 

 

Finally. 

Finally he was a part of his world. Was his world.