Iris looked at Levi with a smile as she said; "I don't know when I'll see him again, but I'll introduce you if you're around."
Nodding in agreement, Levi swam over to a stack of books, and placed his tiny claws on top of them before he stated; "Since you've had a decent break, time to get back to work."
Iris groaned out of frustration. She was sick of studying, but the truth was that Levi just wanted some time to brainstorm. The Merman's intervention didn't add up to him, and he needed time to contemplate his possible motive for saving her.
'Iris said that he wouldn't give a name.. That is disconcerting in and of itself. Why would a guard care to give his name or not? It's not like she was going to tell the Merfolk King.'
'In fact, if he was to be caught, it would make More sense to give Iris his name; in case he needed sanctuary.. Then again..'
Levi was literally swimming around in circles absentmindedly as he lost himself to his thoughts.. 'I suppose merely mentioning the situation would let Iris know who he is. But that's based on the premise that she would admit to sneaking out.'
'Since he saved the queen's life, he most likely doubts that she'd turn him away. Anyone who speaks with her for five minutes can tell that she's not the discourteous type. She wouldn't just sit by and watch him die for saving her.'
After checking that Iris was supposedly busy reading, Levi went back to his thoughts. 'Why did he help her in the first place?! It would only benefit the Merfolk if the Queen of the Undines died, so why? Did he feel pity for her, or maybe attraction?'
'She told that Trident about temporarily losing her powers.. The foolish child. She's lucky she that told him I'm here protecting her.'
'If the king knew that she was powerless, he could strike out at her, and break the Pact of the Graeae. Since Iris doesn't have a successor, the oceans would become chaotic again.. I seriously doubt that the Undines have let that little fact be known.'
'If he didn't save her because of that, then why? Is it romantic interest? I doubt that, but one never knows with mortals.. Oh! Maybe he wanted to be a double agent?'
'No.. If he wanted to do that, then he would've at least gave some form of an alias, or a way for her to contact him.. But then again, maybe that's why he has Iris calling him Trident?'
Levi sighed, exasperated with the situation. He wished that Iris had gotten a good look at him, but all she had described was a blurry merman. The only identifying thing that stuck out to her about him was that he was glowing.
Merfolk didn't have magic, but some owned ancient magical items. Ones that that had been left behind after the Draconian Wars. Only their high-ranking officials had them, usually passed down from generation to generation.
Levi couldn't think of one off the top of his head that glowed, but he believed that there had to be one. 'And I bet that's what Trident had, but which one?'
As Levi swam in circles out of agitation, Iris thought about her new friend. He felt so familiar to her, even though there was no way she actually knew him. The only people, or Aquarians that she'd met so far were all Undines.
Still; there was something in his voice, and the way his shoulders moved when he swam that comforted her. Like he was a safe place in this unbelievable situation. It was also the main reason she didn't care if he held her hand or not.
Iris' cheeks flushed slightly as she fake-read her book, and rubbed the hand that Trident had held. She gave a small smile as she thought about his large hand covering her tiny one. He was from a rival kingdom, but he still saved her..
Iris squeezed her eyes shut tightly to stop herself from shaking her head out of irritation at her own behavior. 'God! I'm turning into one of those sappy females you read about in romance novels! He's half FISH! What is Wrong with me?!'
A sad expression covered Iris' features for a split second before she went back to her fake-reading. 'And he's no Matt.. I just wish I knew if he was alive or not. Is it too much to ask?!'
"I see you're as distracted as I am," Levi said dryly, scaring Iris from her thoughts.
"W-What?! No I'm not! I was reading," Iris replied, bringing a smirk to Levi's face.
He chuckled lightly before stating; "I don't know about humans, but Aquarians can't read with their eyes closed."
Iris smirked; "Actually, we can. Some humans are born blind, or go blind as they age. It could happen to anyone, really.. We created an alphabetical system made of raised dots that can be read by anyone. It's called the Braille System."
Levi grinned; "Oh, so you have a universal language then?"
Iris barked a sharp laugh; "NO. We have so many different kinds of languages I'd make your head hurt explaining them all."
"So.. Is it a universal writing language?"
Iris sighed; "Yes and no. There's hardly any variation to it, so it could be, but schools aren't required to teach it."
Levi looked thoroughly confused; "So you have a universal written language, that's the same everywhere, that everyone Could understand, but you don't teach it?"
Iris huffed in exasperation; "Annoying, isn't it? My world has a lot of odd discrepancies like that. I'll tell you one thing: my friend Alice would've had a lot easier life if it was required.. Anyone can go blind."
They talked about Iris' life as Serenity, and the kind of life she led. Levi was fascinated by the variety of cultures and humans that existed in her original world. He particularly liked it when she started talking about Poseidon.
She explained the Greek mythology that she knew, and told him of the plethora of music, books, and movies that had sprouted from the legends. As Levi listened, he couldn't help but be a little envious of Iris' world.
'I wonder if the Aquarians would've been that far along in their development if the Draconian War hadn't of happened? I guess there's no way to know..'
As Iris wrapped up her story of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, Levi grinned knowingly and asked; "Is this story why you asked me if I knew a Hercules or not?"
Iris chuckled; "A little, but I think that's more on Disney and Danny Devito."
"What's a Devito?" Levi asked with serious honesty.
Iris laughed boisterously before replying; "A short, funny human who's highly underrated."
Right as Iris finished, a large yawn escaped her. Smiling softly at the sleepy Undine Queen, he told her it was best if she got some rest if she wasn't going to study.
Snorting derisively, Iris quipped; "So I can wake up and study? It's nothing but scriptures and ceremonial procedures. It's. So. Boring! Hasn't anything interesting happened here before?"
Iris yawned again as she finished speaking. Her eyes were still slightly puffy from the sand, so she looked extremely tired to him. 'I probably should've sent her to bed a couple hours ago..'
"Well, the reason you have to know all of those rituals is because of a great war that happened tens of thousands of years ago. Is that interesting to you?"
Iris snapped her head up in her clam bed, which she now found more comfortable than memory foam. She shifted to look at Levi with a grin before inquiring; "Are you going to tell me a bedtime story now?"
"How old are you? Five? Six-hundred?"
"Hahaha! If I was that old, I'd be dead! Humans rarely live past ninety, so I would literally be dust in the wind at six hundred. Well, unless properly preserved."
Levi was going to ask, but decided against it. It was rather sad to him that there were intelligent beings with such short lifespans. 'They barely get a chance to exist before they're gone; how tragic..'
Seeing the sadness in her friend's gaze, Iris tried to ease Levi's dejection; "Don't worry about us. It's probably a good thing humans don't live thousands of years like the Aquarians do. I can't imagine how messed up my planet would be if people from just a couple hundred years ago were still around."
Levi flashed a hesitant smile before he swam back over to the table. It had become his nightly routine to read while Iris slept. Sometimes he'd slip out to check around the palace, but he never went far from her quarters. The Merfolk weren't the only ones with spies about...
As she started to drift, Iris asked; "So, about that bedtime story?"
Levi smiled as he grew to the size of a small child and said; "Just go to sleep. You're eating into my reading time."
"Excuse me, bookworm," Iris replied sarcastically.
Levi cleared his throat, and spoke as matter-a-factly as he could; "That's Bookdragon, not bookworm.."
Iris chuckled as she closed her eyes, allowing herself to succumb to the inviting darkness. As her thoughts scattered and her mind drifted, Iris rubbed her hands together. Causing her heart to skip a beat at the final thought of Trident's touch..