***CONTENT WARNING: LANGUAGE***
The building shimmered in the dim light, casting colors in every direction, and making it seem brighter than it was. The added pressure made her body feel odd, but not necessarily uncomfortable. The only life around them was that of the long kelp reefs, and the various fish that lived among it.
Iris expected there to be at least servants or guards around, but no one was there, at first. After a few moments, an odd, reddish-colored octopus person swam over to them. As it came close, Selena bowed gracefully to it, then watched as the creature took the reins to the dolphin-drawn carriage, and swam off.
Iris looked to Selena with curious shock, prompting her to simply say; "Gorgon."
At the mention of the word, information filled Iris' head. She knew from her studies that Gorgons had no set body structure. Their physical appearance varied to resemble all manner of sea creature, but a few bloodlines were more obviously closer to their ancestors in appearance.
As Iris, Selena, and Levi swam up to the building; the Undine Queen started to recall details about the other rulers...
The Gorgon King's family resembled their line's most famous ancestor: Medusa. His lower body was snake-like until out of water, and his head was covered in small snakes. The mental image of him resembled a Pit Viper, but with a smooth human face and a head full of slithery serpents.
The Selkie's King looked just like a Leopard Seal to her, but talked like a person.. 'That's gonna be disturbing to experience.. Wonder if the two Trident killed will be brought up? I feel a little bad for the Merfolk king..huh?'
As she thought about what the king looked like, the image wouldn't come to her.. Why? I thought I could remember everything the original Iris knew? I remember conversations with him, but I can't see him in my mind clearly.. Is anyone else like that?'
Thinking through the rulers, Iris' breath caught in her throat. A memory of the Sirens passed through her mind, making her actually shudder.
Long, thin arms with long, slender fingers, and murky-colored tails passed in front of her mind's eye. Their skin was almost see-through, and their eyes were a sharp, macabre yellow that Iris recognized instantly from her dream.
'Was it a warning? Does it have to do with the Gift of Perception? What about Trident and Matt?! I thought I was supposed to know things automatically, not do guess work!'
Selena and Levi had instantly reacted to Iris' distress, but couldn't ask about it. The doors were pulled open for them, revealing the Gorgon King. He smirked cockily as he looked down at the two Undines, not seeing Levi yet.
"I see the Undines are taking their sweet time as usual.. But at least you're not last this time. Atlas hasn't shown up yet, either. Hurry up inside, and we'll start without him."
Selena glared at the Gorgon King; "You Know that the summit cannot start without All of the leaders present, Draxzel."
The Gorgon King quirked an eyebrow at Selena while keeping his cockiness; "Oh, Acolyte. You know how I love it when you say my name.."
Selena scrunched her nose, and imitated a gagging noise before saying; "Eww.. Just: eww.."
Draxzel barked a sharp laugh, then replied with a lower, gravelly voice; "I think you'll like it if you try it."
"Okay, I've had enough of this horny version of Lord Voldemort," Iris rubbed the bridge of her nose, then looked up and continued; "Now show us the way, or move Out of it."
The Gorgon King was surprised by the usually shy and withdrawn Undine Queen. Her voice had been stern, and her eyes gave warning not to test her. In all the years he'd known her; Iris had never had an actual backbone before.
A wide grin brimming with amusement covered Draxzel's face as he replied; "Sassy in the mornings! I like it!"
"..It's mid-afternoon.." Iris stated in a flat tone.
"Not for me!" the Gorgon King called out to them as he turned around, and headed inside.
Selena sighed heavily, then turned around and looked at Levi; "And what were you doing? Hiding from one of your worshipers?!"
"..You can clearly see why."
Iris chuckled at his reply, but Selena intensified her glare; "His personality is No excuse to hide!"
"You're right, it's not an excuse, it's a reason. One of many.."
Levi actually shuddered as he thought about the meeting to come...
Entering the building; Iris marveled at the intricate carvings and designs that covered the ceilings, and the boarders along the walls and doorframes. The coloring was just like in videos she'd seen of a guy melting down Bismuth ore, then selling the creations he'd made.
At the end of a long, window-lined hallway, two large, heavy doors sat with two bulky Gorgon guards. One looked like a giant lobster, and the other looked like a Way-oversized shrimp. As they swam up to them, the guards nodded, and opened the doors..
Several semi-rectangular tables with person-sized gaps between them were at the center of the room. The table tops looked like the same material that the building itself was made from, but the legs resembled dark grey columns of stone. The chairs matched, and a delicate, crystal-like chandelier hung from the ceiling. Filling the room with more light than outside.
As the three entered, Iris looked at each ruler in turn, and greeted them with the Undine sign of peace. She'd found it a little funny that it was literally a peace sign, but with one's wrist twisted so that one's hand could be put against the chest.
It was a gesture that only the High Priestess did to the other royals, but all were required to return it. Iris nearly hesitated when she'd reached the King of the Sirens, but had followed through with the etiquette for the situation.
When he smiled at her, Iris could see his long, sharp teeth. They kind of reminded her of an Angler Fish, but without the overbite. Trying to keep the fear off of her face; Iris returned the smile, then headed for the final royal: the Gorgon King.
Iris dreaded the interaction, but knew she had to get it over with. Right after the greeting, he started to say unscrupulous things to Selena. Apparently, they'd fought each other directly in the last war between the Gorgons and the Undines.
It was before Serenity's time, but not very long ago, either. As their tempers and voices rose, Levi found himself unable to hold back..
Growing to match the king's size within seconds, Levi spoke with a slight growl to his voice; "What kind of an Idiot disrespects a person that converses with the Gods?!"
For a moment; Draxzel was so astounded that he'd froze. The god that both he, and all of his people worshiped was floating in front of him.. In the flesh. Levi expected him to grovel and apologize, but instead he. Went. Off.
Every legendary battle that the Great God Leviathan had ever been a part of, or was mentioned in, was being recanted to him at an alarming speed. The king chattered on for a solid twenty minutes until the Selkie's King became as irritated as everyone else was. He barked like the WAY oversized Leopard Seal that he was, then told the Gorgon King to wait until the end of the summit.
He looked to Levi, who nodded enthusiastically at the chance for a reprieve. Draxzel muttered and cursed under his breath as he retook his seat, but then smiled at Levi and said; "We'll talk again after the meeting!"
As Selena and Levi went to take their seats along the walls with the other attendees, Levi turned back to Iris with a sour face; "Do you see?! Many reasons!"
Iris smirked; "Oh, yes. The reasons why have become Much clearer."
As Iris cracked her joke, the doors swung open. Two Mermen Guards entered the room, followed by their king. His hair was in a long, intricate braid, and he had a kind of vest that was the same golden color as his crown and trident.
A Fate's Spindle necklace laid against his broad chest as he swam to stop before his men. He surveyed the room, saw everyone present, then took his seat without a word.
Iris stared at 'Trident' with a gaping mouth.. 'H-He's the king? King Atlas?! HE'S the King of the Merfolk?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?'
Atlas got about three words out before Iris slammed her fists down on the table. Everyone looked to the Undine Queen in shock as she sat up, and pointed at the Merfolk King.
"Are you Fucking KIDDING ME?! It's You?! What the Fuck, Triden-Atlas?! Why would you-how-I can't even, AHHH! I can't BELIEVE you!"
Atlas was up and swimming towards her; not caring about anyone else in the room. Selena sat up from her seat along the wall, but Levi held her back. She glared at him, but didn't fight back as he whispered; "Just wait.."
Atlas reached a hand out to her as he said; "I'm so sorry, Iris! I know I should've told you, but I thought you would be-"
"Pissed?! Furious?! You're lucky we're inside, or I would- ...W-What is that?"
The entire room was so quiet that one could hear the water flowing about in the room. Iris slowly lifted her finger up to point at the Merfolk King a second time..
With utter shock on her face and in her voice, Iris asked; "Why is your necklace glowing?"