Disclaimer: I don’t own Inuyasha or Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I did a few twists to the plot which you’ll see as you read. I hope you enjoy this version of the classic Disney movie.
Triton: Sango’s dad
Flounder: Kagome (mermaid)
Ursula: Naraku (shark-man)
Flotsam and Jetsam: Kagura and Kanna (mermaids)
Max: Kirara (cat)
Sebastian: Kohaku (merboy and Sango’s brother)
Miroku’s friend: Inuyasha (human)
Chapter One- Two Kingdoms
Prince Miroku sighed as he gingerly rubbed his cheek, staring at the ocean as he did so. Another princess had come and gone. He couldn’t blame her. If he had been in her position, he would have done the exact same thing.
“Heh, rejected again, Your Highness?” inquired a voice from behind him.
Without looking back, Miroku said, “Drop the formalities, Inuyasha.”
“Fine.” The silver-haired boy crouched beside his friend.
“In response to your question, yes I was rejected again.” He held up his right hand. “All because of this cursed hand.”
“I don’t think the curse had anything to do with you stroking the princess’s butt.”
“You’re right.” Miroku lowered his other hand to reveal a red handprint on his cheek. “I just can’t help myself.”
“By the way, any leads on Naraku’s whereabouts?”
“None. It’s as if he dropped of the face of the world.”
“Well, he’s obviously in hiding. If he was dead, the curse would have lifted.”
A silence fell upon the pair and it felt awkward to Inuyasha. Possibly because of the gloomy mood that had been brought on by their last topic. He felt he had to cheer up his best friend and an idea came to him.
“Miroku, you want to hear what a sailor told me?”
“The guy claims he saw a mermaid a few weeks ago.”
“A mermaid?” Miroku raised a skeptical eyebrow. “That’s impossible. Mermaids are just fairytales.”
“Maybe, but some fairytales have a grain of truth in them.”
“You believe that?”
“Of course I do.”
“Well, I’m going inside. I’m supposed to sail to a neighboring kingdom early tomorrow morning and meet the princess.”
“Tomorrow’s also your birthday.”
“Right. I assume you’ll be on the ship tomorrow.”
“I’ll be there. Goodnight Miroku.”
The next morning dawned bright and sunny, but those below the sea’s surface were unaware of the weather, particularly a race called merpeople. They were heading for the royal palace for a performance of Prince Kohaku and Princess Sango. Their father, King Senmonka (expert in Japanese) was proud of both of them. Kohaku played a variety of musical instruments while Sango accompanied him with her singing.
A hush fell over the crowd as the curtain rose. An eleven-year-old merboy swam onto the stage, pulling a harp behind him. He sat on a rock the color of pink coral, his blue tail tucked to one side. He smiled shyly at the crowd before lifting his delicate fingers and dragging them across the strings. A soft beautiful melody filled the concert hall and the audience listened in quiet rapture.
Kohaku played the song’s introduction before striking the three notes that preceded his sister’s voice. When he struck the first note of Sango’s part, no singing came nor his sixteen-year-old sister. He continued to play while his mind said, ‘Where are you, sister?’
Kohaku’s song reached its end. He saw merpeople look at one another and murmur to each other. Fingers trembling, he looked at his father, who was fuming with rage.
“Sango!” Senmonka yelled, the name echoing in the room.
Sango was nowhere near the palace. She was exploring sunken ships with her best friend, Kagome. Her long hair was tied back and flowed behind her like a second tail. Her green tail propelled her effortlessly toward the ship that was her destination.
“Sango, wait up,” Kagome called.
“Oh, Kagome, you’re so slow.”
“No. You’re too fast.” Kagome panted as she brushed her loose black hair back. The fins of her pink tail twitched slightly.
“Let’s go,” Sango answered. “I can’t wait to explore this ship.”
“Neither can I.”
“That’s because you’re the human expert,” Sango teased.
“Well, who else is going to tell you about the treasures you collect?”
Both girls giggled as they swam about the ship, looking around for anything Sango didn’t already have.
“Sango, over here!” Kagome’s voice called from around a corner.
The princess swam over to her best friend, who held up a silver object.
“It…kind of looks like father’s trident, only smaller,” she commented, referring to the weapon that her father wielded and commanded the ocean with.
Kagome examined the item closely. It had one more point than a trident, but several less than their combs. Her eyes lit up at the last comparison. “Sango, I think this is the human equivalent of a comb.”
“You think so?”
“Sure. Watch.” Holding the object by the handle, she ran the prongs through her hair.
“Hey, you’re right. A human comb.” Taking the item, she placed it in a small pouch she was carrying. She swam around the room before a curious object caught her eye. It had a rounded handle and hand a kind of bowl with a hole on one end.
Picking it up, Sango said, “Kagome I found another item. I definitely have not seen this before.”
Kagome swam over to look at it. “It looks like some kind of instrument. I bet it plays.” Taking the item, she put the stem between her lips and blew. Nothing. “Hmm. I guess it’s broken. Sango, what’s wrong?”
Sango’s face had gone pale. “Instrument! Oh my gosh! The performance! Father’s gonna kill me!”
“That was today!? We gotta to hurry. Maybe we can make it.” Kagome shoved the pipe into Sango’s bag and the two mermaids sped toward the palace.
Unbeknownst to the mermaids, they were being watched. In a deep, dim cave, a sorcerer watched the pair in a mirror that was being held by a young mermaid all in white.
The sorcerer’s eyes stared coldly at the image. “Yes,” he hissed. “Hurry home princess. You don’t want to be late for your performance for your father, do you?” He snorted. He hated the royal family, Senmonka in particular. It was the king who exiled him for selling dangerous magical roots and he had been seeking a way to get revenge ever since.
‘Perhaps the princess is whom I’ve been searching for,’ he mused. Out loud, he called, “Kagura!”
A mermaid with black hair and a swirled green and pink tail appeared. She bowed. “Yes, Master Naraku?”
“I want you to keep an eye on Princess Sango. She may be of use to me.”
Kagura looked at Naraku with bright red eyes. How would the princess be of any use to him? She didn’t see how she could, but Naraku had a knack for telling when someone could benefit him, so she didn’t question it. Instead, she replied, “As you wish, master.”
Senmonka sighed, “I just don’t know what I’m going to do with you, Sango.”
“Father, I’m sorry. I just forgot.”
“Do you have any idea how foolish you made me look?” Kohaku demanded.
Sango looked down. “I’m sorry, brother,” she said softly. “I was just having such a great time exploring-,”
“Exploring what?” her father interrupted.
Sango hesitated. She hadn’t meant to explain her no-show, but now it seemed she had no choice. Lying to her father was not an option. If she did lie, he would eventually find out the truth and he would be even angrier that she kept the truth from him.
“Sango,” Senmonka prompted. “what were you exploring?”
Dropping her voice to just above a whisper, she answered, “Sunken ships.”
Kohaku gaped and Senmonka’s face turned red with anger. “You went to those human creations!? Have I taught you nothing, Sango? Humans are dangerous barbarians!”
“Father, they’re not barbarians,” Sango protested.
“Yes, they are. I don’t ever want to hear of you hanging around those ships again! Is that clear?”
Sango glared at her father with tear-filled eyes before swimming angrily out of the room.
Chapter Two- Lovestruck
“Sango,” Kohaku murmured. Why would his sister do something so reckless? Humans could come by those ships to retrieve them and drop nets into the ocean to do so. If Sango was around when that happened, she could possibly get captured.
“You don’t think I was too hard on her, do you?” Senmonka asked gently.
“Of course not Father. I know how dangerous humans are.”
“Good. Perhaps you could keep an eye on her for me.”
“You want me to spy?”
“Spy isn’t the right word. You’re just watching out for your sister. Of course, you’ll tell me if she’s disobeying the rules, won’t you?”
Senmonka patted his son’s head. “That’s my boy. Now, catch up to Sango and stay out of sight.”
Nodding, Kohaku turned and swam out the door and down the corridor. Once out of Senmonka’s sight, Kohaku sighed in frustration. He didn’t know which way Sango went. The sea had an infinite number of directions and she could be anywhere.
A flash of green caught his eye. Turning, he saw his sister and her friend, Kagome. The pink-tailed girl handed a pouch to Sango as they glanced furtively around before swimming off. Curious, Kohaku followed.
The mermaids led Kohaku far from the kingdom. His fins were getting sore and he hoped the girls would arrive at their destination soon. His prayers were answered when they stopped in front of a blocked cave entrance. They tugged on the rock, creating an opening just wide enough for them to slip through.
He waited until the entrance closed before going up to it. He pulled it open a little, wriggled through, and quietly closed it behind him. He slowly moved down the short corridor and peered around the corner. What he saw made him gasp softly. A hand went to his mouth.
Around the corner was a huge grotto. Rocks jutted from the wall, forming natural shelves. A slanted flat rock stood in the middle of the area. But what shocked Kohaku was that the place was full of human objects! He saw Sango remove an item from her pouch and put it on a shelf before reaching in again and pulling another object out.
“You okay, Sango?” Kagome asked from above. “You were awfully quiet on the way here.”
“Father doesn’t understand,” Sango replied. “I don’t see humans the way he does. Humans can’t be all bad if they make such wonderful things like these.”
“I know what you mean.”
“Who knows, Kagome? Maybe one day, we’ll be able to live up there.”
Kohaku began to back up. He had to tell Father about this place. He knew Sango was going to be in big trouble, but it was for her own good. He didn’t get far when his fins hit a rock and sent it flying into the grotto. It made a “thwack” sound as it hit the flat rock.
“Who’s there?” Sango demanded, swimming into the corridor. She stopped short and gasped. “Kohaku!”
Kagome came up behind her, saw the merboy, and murmured, “Oh, dear.”
“Sango, why?” Kohaku asked softly. “Why are you doing something like this? Father won’t like it.”
“You won’t tell him, will you?” Kagome demanded.
“Please brother,” Sango pleaded. “He would never understand.”
“Sister, perhaps we should discuss this before bringing Father into this.” Kohaku took Sango’s hand. “Let’s go home and-,”
A shadow passed over the hole in the top of Sango’s grotto, causing Kohaku to break off in mid-sentence.
“What in the-,” Sango began before swimming out of the cave, her brother and friend in tow. Kagome, however, was the only one to keep following. Kohaku stopped because Sango was heading for the surface.
“Sister, stop! Come back!” he called.
Sango slowly rose up to see colors exploding in the sky. It was so beautiful and it seemed to hint at joviality. She looked over at Kagome who had also come up. Both of them smiled and broke into short giggles before composing themselves enough to head for the source of the color: A ship.
They drew closer and discovered overhangs next to an opening where they could observe the activities aboard without being seen. What they saw filled them with awe. There were dozens of human men who were laughing, dancing, and making music. It looked like some sort of celebration.
Light, quick movement below the men’s legs drew Sango’s attention. There was a curious-looking creature prancing around on four legs. It had large orange eyes and what appeared to be two tails. She watched it dance around when it stopped and seemed to be sniffing the air. It walked in their direction, still sniffing. Sango and Kagome quickly flattened themselves against the ship. A cooing sound prompted Sango to face the opening and she found herself looking into the creature’s eyes. It cooed again before licking Sango’s cheek twice.
“Kirara, be careful, girl,” a man’s voice called. “I don’t want you falling overboard.”
The creature, Kirara, turned and headed for the voice. Sango peered through the opening to watch her. She wound herself around a pair of legs before leaping into a set of hands. Those hands brought her up to a face-
Sango’s mouth dropped. It was the most handsome face she had ever seen. His blue eyes twinkled merrily and were accented by his black hair that had a small ponytail at the nape of his neck.
Kagome watched the celebration again after the creature ran off. She found humans fascinating to watch. They had the same upper body merpeople had, but below the waist was a different story.
She noticed Sango was staring at something. Curious, she said, “Sango? You all right?”
She smiled dreamily at her friend. “I’m in love,” she replied.
“Mmm-hmm. That one,” she pointed at the man holding Kirara.
Kagome followed Sango’s gaze. She tilted her head. He was cute, there was no denying it. Another human approached the man.
“Hey, Miroku! Great party,” the new human said, clapping him on the back.
“Thanks, Inuyasha.” As opposed to his friend, Miroku’s tone was a little soft.
“Still bummed about the princess, huh?”
“Well, that and my family’s curse. Another year gone and the hole gets bigger.”
Kagome listened to their conversation, but looked at Inuyasha. He was unusual-looking for a human. His hair was long and silver while his eyes were a deep gold.
“Don’t give up Miroku,” Inuyasha said. “You’ll find your bride and have a child to continue the search if you’re unable to.”
“True. I just have to believe that I’ll find the right girl. She’s out there somewhere.”
A flash of light and a rumble of thunder drew the attention of everyone on the ship. A storm was brewing and everyone was running around to prepare themselves for a rough time.
Chapter Three- The Storm
Sango and Kagome, scared of the storm, dove under the rough waves to protect themselves. Sango, however, stayed just below the surface to make sure the ship survived. She wasn’t sure how she could help, but she stayed close nevertheless.
She watched as the ship was tossed back and forth for several long minutes as lightning and thunder flashed and rumbled. The sail suddenly acquired red and orange tongues that Kagome said was called fire. Neither one knew exactly why and how fire burned, much less seen it for real. Now, faced with the reality, it terrified Sango for no reason she cold discern.
The fire was the least of the humans’ worries. The ship was heading for a grove of jagged rocks. It struck the grove and the jolt was so startling that it threw the humans off the ship and into the water. Well, most of them anyway. Those who didn’t fall in had gotten to the life boats and were pulling the others onto them.
A loud scared cooing sound came from the ship. Miroku recognized it immediately. “Kirara!” he cried. He dove into the water and swam toward the burning ship. As he climber aboard, he wondered why Kirara hadn’t flown off the ship already. He got his answer when he reached her: Her tails were trapped under a piece of wood. He had to act fast because the fire had reached the cargo bay where the gunpowder was stored. When that powder ignited, the entire ship would explode.
Miroku grabbed the end closest to the cat and lifted it just enough for her to pull her tails out from under it. She cooed happily as she leaped onto his shoulder.
“All right, all right,” he laughed. “We don’t have time for this. Get airborne and I’ll head for the boat.”
Kirara nodded, went to her larger form, and took off. Miroku dashed for the ship’s rail. The last thing he heard was the ship exploding and something striking the back of his head.
Sango watched in admiration as Miroku headed back to the ship to save his pet. He was so brave and caring. Her admiration turned to awe when she saw a large animal that looked like the pet, rise into the air, and take off.
Suddenly, the ship exploded and Sango heard Inuyasha exclaim, “No! Miroku!”
Horrified, Sango swam into the flotsam, looking for any sign of the prince. She soon found him sinking into the ocean’s depths. Grabbing him around the waist, she pulled him to the surface and started to head for the nearest shore. She was unaware that Kagome was following her below the surface and that she was being followed by Kohaku from further below.
It was nearly dawn when Sango pulled the unconscious prince onto shore. She scanned him frantically for some sign of life, but she didn’t know anything about the human body.
“Sango!” a voice called softly. The princess turned her head to see Kagome nearby.
“Kagome, he’s unconscious. What do I do? I don’t want him to die!”
“Put your ear on the left side of his chest. That should be where his heart is. That’s where ours are.”
Sango did as instructed and heard a steady thumping sound-just like a merperson’s heartbeat! “He’s alive! I heard his heart beat!”
With his survival confirmed, Sango studied him closely. “He’s so beautiful,” she murmured. Brushing back a lock of his hair, she began to sing softly to him. The sun slowly came up, its light hitting the pair on the shore.
Miroku stirred as the light landed on his face. He was aware of a hand on his cheek. It wasn’t like when he got slapped, though. It was just resting there. He heard a voice singing to him and what a beautiful voice it was!
Determined to see his rescuer, he slowly opened his eyes. The singing continued. He couldn’t see much due to the sunlight. The sun was behind a beautiful girl. All he could take in was her long black hair, deep brown eyes, and beautiful smile. The singing ceased and Kirara’s call reached his ears. The girl left his line of sight and was replaced with his cat’s face. A moment later, a second face appeared: Inuyasha’s.
“Miroku! Oh, thank goodness you’re alive!” the boy exclaimed as he helped the prince up.
Miroku was barely aware of his friend’s presence. He staggered about the shoreline aimlessly saying, “A girl…rescued me. She was…she was singing. She had the most beautiful voice.” He just about collapsed, but Inuyasha caught him.
“I think you’ll delusional,” he stated, draping on of Miroku’s arms across his shoulders. “Let’s go. Mushin is worried about you. Come on, Kirara,” he called to the cat who stood at the water’s edge. She turned and bounded off after the two humans.
Unknown to them, Sango and Kagome watched them from behind a nearby rock. Actually, Kagome was looking at Sango with concern. The princess had fallen in love with a human and had fallen very hard. She wasn’t about to discourage her-not yet at least. She would wait awhile before telling Sango that it was impossible for a human and a mermaid to love each other.
Kohaku watched the girls from below the surface. His eyes and mouth were wide with shock. His sister was in love with a human! This was not good. Father would be furious. Who knew what he would do? Kohaku vowed then and there not to tell the king. It would be just between him and the girls.
Naraku chuckled to himself. “My, my,” he purred. “The princess is in love with a human. The possibilities for this are endless. Kanna, join your sister to watch Sango. When the time is right, bring her to me.”
“As you wish,” Kanna answered in a soft voice.
Chapter Four- The Secret’s Out
Two days later, Kohaku knocked on Sango’s bedroom door. She had been acting slightly dreamy lately and it concerned him. He waited for a response, got none, and knocked again. “Sister, it’s time to get up.”
The door opened to reveal a dreamy Sango. She smiled at Kohaku. “Good morning, dear brother.” She kissed his cheek before dancing down the corridor.
Kohaku shook his head. “Oh boy, she’s got it bad. I hope Father doesn’t find out.”
Sango floated lazily down the hall. During the last two days, she had spied Miroku crossing the sea on those ships. She would follow the ship and it would lead her to his palace. She would watch him get off the ship and marveled at how gracefully he moved. Many were the times she wanted to call to him or at least sing, but her throat would close up on her.
‘I know where he lives, so when I get the courage, I won’t have to wait for his ship,’ she thought. Sango was so lost in thought, she almost collided with Senmonka who was talking with a guard.
“Oh!” Sango gasped. Recovering her wits, she kissed her father’s cheek and practically sang out, “Morning, Father.” She continued on her way, singing to herself.
Senmonka stared after his daughter. Two days ago, they had been arguing and now she was unbelievably happy. What had changed?
“I wonder if she’s ill,” he wondered aloud.
“If I may, Your Majesty,” the guard spoke up. “I have a teenage daughter and I’ve seen her act like this before. I believe the princess is in love.”
“Sango? In love?” Senmonka smiled. His daughter in love. Oh, this was wonderful news, indeed. Why hadn’t Kohaku told him? Surely, his son had noticed his sister’s behavior.
Kohaku swam aimlessly around. He had kept his silence about Sango, but his nerves were getting frayed. As far as he knew, his father didn’t know, but how long would that last?
Suddenly, he spied Sango, who appeared to be picking petals off a flower. Curious, he swam up behind her.
“He loves me,” Sango said, plucking a petal and discarding it. “Huh, he loves me not. Oh, he loves me! Yes, I knew it!”
Forgetting that Sango didn’t know that he knew, Kohaku demanded, “Sister, stop talking crazy!”
Sango barely registered her brother’s presence much less his words. “I have to see him again. I’ll go tonight, I know where he lives.”
Kohaku couldn’t believe his ears. This…obsession had to stop. But, who could convince her? Father didn’t know and he was being ignored, so who…
“Sango!” came a familiar voice.
The princess spun around and smiled. “Kagome!” she called back.
Kohaku also looked and his eyes lit up. Kagome! She could convince Sango!
“Sango, I have something to show you.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t tell you. It’s a surprise.”
“Well, let’s go.”
Sango went by her friend a little ways. Kagome was about to follow when Kohaku grabbed her arm. “Please,” he begged. “Tell her she can’t love a human.”
“You know!?” Kagome gasped.
“I know. Please talk to her. She won’t listen to me.”
“I’ll talk to her.” Kagome had no intention of talking Sango out of her love. The girl was head over fins in love. She came to that realization the day before.
Kohaku watched them swim off before wondering what to do next. He got his answer when a guard came up to him.
“Your Highness, your father wishes to speak with you.”
“Yes. He said it has something to do with Sango.”
The guard swam off, failing to notice that Kohaku’s face had paled. “He knows!?” he gasped softly in horror.
Senmonka was in his throne room, fantasizing about who the lucky merman was. That was why he called for his son. He wanted to know if Kohaku knew that Sango was in love. If he did know, perhaps knew the name of Sango’s lover.
A timid knock sounded on the door. “Come in,” he called. The door opened and Kohaku swam in and up to the throne. The boy was nervous. Senmonka could tell from the way the fins were twitching.
“You called Father?” Kohaku asked.
“Yes. I’m concerned about your sister. Have you noticed that she’s been acting strange lately?”
“Strange? What do you mean?”
“Well, she’s been daydreaming and singing to herself. Oh and she’s been extremely happy. Surely, you’ve noticed.”
“Well, maybe a little.”
“Kohaku, are you keeping something from me?”
“Keeping something?” Kohaku repeated, trying to sound innocent.
Kohaku’s twitching fins began to twitch faster. “S-Sango?”
“In love? You know something, son. Tell me.”
“Oh,” Kohaku groaned. He began to swim back and forth, barely aware of his father’s presence. “I told her to stop, but she wouldn’t listen. I told her to stay away from humans and their ships. Then, then-,”
“Humans! What about humans1?” Senmonka thundered.
Kohaku stopped his talking and looked at the king with scared eyes.
Chapter Five- The Messengers.
“Kagome, why can’t you just tell me?” Sango pleaded, pushing the boulder away from the grotto.
“I told you. It’s a surprise,” Kagome replied. The girls swam inside, Kagome in the lead. She turned the corner, paused for a moment, and then moved aside.
Sango gasped. There, in the middle of the grotto, was a statue of Miroku! “Oh,” she breathed. “Kagome, you’re the best! Where, how?”
“It was in the ship when it sank. I asked a whale and some dolphins to transport it.”
“It looks just like him,” Sango remarked, swimming closer to it. “I mean, it even has his eyes.” She ran her fingers across the statue’s face, marveling at the details. She wrapped her arms around the neck and gazed into the stone eyes, imagining she was looking into Miroku’s warm blue eyes.
She closed her eyes and leaned on the statue’s chest. She could almost hear Miroku’s voice saying, “I love you, Sango. Please be my wife.”
“Of course I will,” she whispered, caught up in her daydream. Disengaging from the statue, she twirled happily before stopping with her facing the grotto’s entrance. She opened her eyes to see her father there, his eyes burning with anger.
“Father!” she gasped. She spied Kohaku behind the king and her heart sank. Her own brother had sold her out.
“I consider myself to be a good and reasonable father,” Senmonka began before swimming in a little bit farther. “I set certain rules and I expect them to be obeyed. Is it true you rescued a human from drowning?”
“Yes,” Sango answered. “because I-,”
“Contact between our two worlds is forbidden. You know that.”
“He would have died.”
“Good. It would have been one less human to worry about.” Senmonka turned to leave.
“You don’t even know him,” Sango retorted.
Senmonka spun around. “Know him? I don’t have to know him. They’re all the same! Spineless savage harpoonic fish-eaters! Incapable of any feelings-,”
Sango, unable to take anymore harsh words about Miroku, blurted out, “Father, I love him!” She gasped at her confession and ducked behind the statue.
“No!” Senmonka exclaimed. “Have you gone completely mad? He’s a human, you’re a mermaid.”
“I don’t care,” Sango replied tightly.
“Then, I have to get through to you some way and if this is the only way,” he said, lighting up his trident. “so be it.”
Without another word, Senmonka aimed and fired at various points of the grotto, destroying Sango’s treasure. He heard his daughter’s pleas for him to stop, but he paid no heed to them. Instead, he took aim at the statue and blew it into thousands of pieces.
Sango, stunned by the loss of her treasures and particularly the statue, fell to the floor and began to sob. Senmonka felt a twinge of guilt at making his daughter cry, but said nothing as he left.
Kohaku also felt guilty as their father left, but he intended to apologize. Moving toward his sister, he said, “Sango, I-,”
“Just go away,” Sango interrupted, still sobbing. She was clearly not interested in Kohaku’s apology.
“But, Sango-,” Kohaku began to say before Kagome started pushing him out of the cave.
“She said go away. She wants to be alone right now. Besides, haven’t you done enough damage already?”
Stunned by Kagome’s harsh words and tone, he headed back to the palace.
Sango’s heaving sobs tapered off into soft ones as she tried to see her father’s reasoning for destroying her collection. But, none came to mind. She loved her father and her brother, but why did they fear humans so much? They weren’t evil barbarians: Miroku certainly wasn’t.
Someone clucking their tongue snagged her attention. She turned around to see a mermaid with a green and pink tail behind her holding a fragment of the statue. Behind her was a younger mermaid, all in white.
“Tsk, tsk,” said the older mermaid. “Poor, sweet princess. You have quite a predicament, don’t you? Well, we know someone who can help you, don’t we Kanna?” She directed the last part of the question to the white mermaid, who merely nodded.
“Who-who are you?” Sango asked, slightly put off by these odd girls.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. Forgive my rudeness, princess. I am Kagura and she is my sister, Kanna.”
“You said you know someone who could help me. Help me with what?”
“Why, help you be with your prince of course. He’s a sorcerer, you see. He has great powers.”
“Who is this sorcerer?”
“His name is Naraku.”
“N-Naraku? I couldn’t possibly go and see someone like him. Go away! Leave me alone!”
“Well, then we will. Besides, we were just suggesting you see him.” Kagura tossed the fragment she was holding to Sango before turning to leave, Kanna following behind her.
Sango looked at the stone in her hands. Miroku’s eyes stared back at her. She ran her fingers over the face. She still loved Miroku and wanted to be with him. What was the harm of just seeing this Naraku and finding out what he could do?
Sango called to the girls. “Wait. Take me to Naraku. I’ll talk to him.”
Kagura smiled sweetly at her. “Come along, princess. Naraku will be eager to see you.”
Sango follower her escorts, unaware that Kagome had heard everything and resolved to follow her and keep her from making a mistake.
Kagura and Kanna led Sango far from the boundaries of the kingdom. The water began to turn dark and murky. Sango had heard stories about Naraku. Some said that merpeople had to be fools if they made deals with him. Other stories focused on his appearance. She didn’t know what to expect.
“How much farther?” she asked.
“Not much more,” Kagura answered. “Naraku’s has distinct markers that lead to his home.”
“What is he like?”
“Well, he certainly doesn’t act like the monster others make him out to be.”
“Yes. He helps others who have problems that no one else can solve.”
The trio rounded a bend and saw a long line of merpeople statues. There were actually two lines and they formed a path up to a cave. The statues varied in size, shape, and gender, but they all looked so sad. She couldn’t imagine making a sculpture with a sad expression.
“Come on Sango. Naraku’s waiting,” Kagura called, for Sango was lagging behind.
Sango hurried up and followed her guides into the cave. A long corridor was before her with more statues. She hesitated at the end of the tunnel. It was so dark and where was Naraku?
Chapter Six- The Deal
“Come in my dear,” a deep, smooth voice called from the shadows of the cave. Sango squinted at the darkness, trying to see the sorcerer, but she could make out nothing.
Slowly, however, a face emerged from the shadows. His eyes were red and cold. They were accented by black wavy hair that flowed in the current and faced his face. Naraku fully emerged: He was human from the waist up, but below the waist was the tail of a Great White shark. In fact, Sango spotted a dorsal fin protruding from his back.
Naraku chuckled as he swam up to the mermaid princess and circled above her. “So, you’re here because you’re in love with a human, eh?”
“How did you-,”
“I don’t blame you. He is good-looking, is he not?”
“You wish to be with him, don’t you? Well, I can help you with that. The only way to be with your prince is to become a human yourself.”
Sango gasped. Be human? It was that simple? Licking her lips, she said, “If that’s all, then let’s do it.”
“Not so fast, princess. You haven’t heard the entire bargain. You see, I can only make you human for three days. In order for the spell to last, you have to get him to give you The Kiss of True Love. If he does, you remain human. If he doesn’t, you’ll become a mermaid again and you’ll become my slave.”
Kagome, who had been listening around the bend, swam in crying, “Don’t do it, Sango!”
Kagura swam up behind Kagome and put her hand over her mouth. “Stay out of this!” she hissed.
“What do you say, Sango?” Naraku asked.
“Are they your slaves?” She gestured at Kagura and Kanna.
“No. They’re my followers. I make these conditions when dealing with lonely merfolk like yourself. Of course, those who disappoint me as slaves end up as a statue in my collection.”
‘That explains the merpeople figures outside,’ Sango thought. ‘They were once living breathing beings!”
“So, do you accept my terms?”
Sango was silent. Getting Miroku to kiss her would be easy. All she had to do was sing and he would realize that she rescued him. But if she did accept the deal…
“If I become human,” she thought aloud. “I’ll never be with my father or brother again.”
“True, but you’ll have the prince. Tough choice, huh: Your true love or your family?
“By the way, I do require payment for my services.”
“Oh.” Sango felt her spirits sink. “I’m afraid I don’t have any money with me.”
“I don’t accept money anyway. Really, what I want is rather trivial. You see, what I want is…your voice.”
“My-my voice?” Sango was confused. How could Naraku take away her voice? That was impossible. Wasn’t it?
“Correct. You have the most beautiful voice in the sea and that’s worth more to me than anything.”
“But, if you take my voice, how can I talk to Miroku?”
“Why, with your eyes of course. Besides, actions speak louder than words, dear Sango.” He waved a hand and a contract with a fish-bone quill appeared in front of the mermaid.
Sango bit her lip. What should she do? If she signed the contract, she would be taking a big risk. She would be trading her voice for legs and three days on land if she didn’t get Miroku to kiss her. If she turned and left now, she would be miserable for the rest of her life, which would be a long time.
‘I love Miroku. I will not turn and flee!’ She quickly grabbed the quill and added her signature to the parchment.
The contract rolled itself up and zipped into Naraku’s outstretched hand. Grinning as the contract disappeared, he swam over to his cauldron and began to chant. A swirling green current encircled the two of them as a pair of green hands rose from the cauldron.
“Sing,” the shark-man commanded.
Sango obliged and her melodic voice filled the room. The green hands drifted toward her. They scared her a little, but she continued to sing as if she had been hypnotized. She closed her eyes to focus on her singing. It was only a few seconds later that she heard her voice, but it sounded different. She closed her mouth, but she was still singing! Opening her eyes, she saw a ball of light floating in front of her, held by the hands, and her voice was coming from it! She had actually lost her voice!
She gasped silently as her voice was sealed inside a pearl that had appeared in the sorcerer’s hand.
Naraku laughed as Sango was engulfed in a bubble. Pain wracked her body, particularly her tail. She watched in horror as her tail was ripped lengthwise into two pieces before becoming a pair of legs.
The bubble broke, leaving Sango floundering, unable to swim or breathe. Kagome broke free of Kagura’s grip to grab her best friend and speed toward the surface. Kagome didn’t slow down or stop until they broke the surface and Sango was sitting in the shallow water.
Chapter Seven- The First Day
“Oh, Sango,” Kagome scolded. “This is a bad idea. Making a deal with Naraku isn’t going to help you. We don’t even know where Miroku lives.”
Sango wasn’t listening. She was staring at the cream-colored palace behind her. Miroku’s palace! She had seen it several times while following him. She hadn’t realized that Naraku’s domain was nearby.
“Sango, are you listening?” Kagome called in irritation.
Sango looked at Kagome in annoyance. She pointed at the palace and then patted her heart.
Kagome tilted her head. “What are you trying to say?” Sango repeated the gestures. “Oh,” Kagome said, her eyes lighting up. “Are you saying that’s Miroku’s palace?”
Sango nodded, smiling. She then grabbed a rock in front of her and attempted to stand up. Her legs trembled and she landed back in the water with a splash. She sat up, put her hands on the sandy bottom , and pushed herself up. She stood there swaying for a few seconds until she was standing still. ‘I’m standing!’ she cheered inwardly.
“Sango, look! You can use that material to make a covering that humans wear,” Kagome told her, pointing at a discarded sail lying on the beach that had pieces of rope still attached.
Miroku strolled aimlessly along one side of the palace, a stick in one hand and Kirara walking beside him. Once in a while, he would throw the stick, Kirara would fetch it, and bring it back.
The prince sighed. “That voice. I can’t get it out of my head. I wonder who that girl is and where she is now.”
Suddenly, Kirara began to meow rapidly and pawed at Miroku’s pants. Her actions confused him. He’d never seen her act like this. Before he could ask her what was wrong, the cat ran off.
“Kirara! Come back!” Miroku called before running after her. She rounded a bend and he heard excited meows. He called her one more time before turning the corner. Kirara came running up to him, took one pant leg in her mouth, and pulled on it, her tails twitching and pointing behind her.
“Kirara, what’s gotten into you, girl?” Miroku looked up to see a girl dressed in a tattered sail and sitting on a rock. “Oh,” he finally said. “Oh, I see.”
He approached the girl who began to nervously play with the end of her hair. “Are you okay, miss? Don’t be afraid of Kirara. She’s harmless, really.” Miroku then took a good look at the girl. Her hair, eyes, and smile looked familiar to him. Was it possible that…?
When Sango first heard the meows, she was so scared, she climbed onto a rock while Kagome dove underwater. Her fright turned to relief when the sound turned out to be from Miroku’s pet. A few seconds later, Miroku appeared from around the bend.
Her heart began to pound as he came closer. She was barely aware that she was twisting the end of her hair. She was aware of the smile she was giving him: The same one on the day she rescued him.
Miroku appeared to have noticed it too. His face took on a thoughtful expression as he said, “You seem very familiar to me. Have we met?”
Sango nodded vigorously and Miroku’s face lit up.
“I knew it!” he exclaimed. “You’re the one who saved me! The one I’ve been looking for! What’s your name?”
Sango. The former mermaid tried to answer, but no sound emerged. She put a hand to her throat and looked down. In her excitement, she forgot that she didn’t have her voice anymore. But, she had to let him know that she did rescue him.
“What’s wrong?” Miroku asked, bringing Sango back to reality.
She tapped her throat. “You can’t speak?” the prince asked. Sango moved her hand in a so-so motion. “What do you mean, ‘kind of’? Did you lose it somehow?”
Sango nodded rapidly. He still believed she was the one he searched for. She was certain now that she would get her kiss before three days were up.
“If you can’t speak, then perhaps you’re not the one who saved me. Maybe you have a twin?”
Sango shook her head and looked back down. He was starting to doubt her “word.” Perhaps, it wouldn’t be so easy. What if he didn’t kiss her? Then, she would be Naraku’s slave forever. Tears started to well up at the thought.
“Whoa,” Miroku said. “Hey, don’t cry. I’ll help you. You can stay with me until we get this straightened out, whatever “this” is.”
Thrilled, Sango smiled gratefully and slid off the rock. Unfortunately, she still wasn’t steady on her legs and she started to fall. Her fall was halted when Miroku caught her.
“Easy. Here, lean on me.”
Sango took hold of his arm so she could learn to walk. She glanced back, saw Kagome now behind a rock, and gave her a thumbs-up sign.
Kagome slipped under the water after seeing that Sango was in good hands. She wasn’t sure how her friend was going to get Miroku to kiss her, but she would stay nearby. Maybe she would be able to help.
‘I might have a chance to tell him Sango’s name,’ she thought. ‘I just have to make sure I don’t reveal myself.’
The raven-haired girl looked down to see Kohaku swimming up to her. His eyes were red and puffy as if he had been crying. This struck Kagome as odd. Why had he’d been crying?
“Kagome, do you know where Sango is? I want to apologize for telling on her. I was torn between being loyal to my sister and being loyal to my father. I’ve been thinking and decided to support Sango in whatever she chooses to do from now on.”
Kagome was touched by Kohaku’s words. Apparently his love for his sister was greater than the love he had for his father. A little odd, but this worked out perfectly for her.
“Oh, Kohaku,” Kagome finally said. “Sango is in terrible trouble. She made a deal with Naraku.”
“Naraku!? Oh no.”
“She gave him her voice and he turned her human. If she doesn’t get Miroku to kiss her in three days, she’ll become Naraku’s slave forever.”
“Then, we have to help Sango get her kiss.”
“Right. First off is finding a way to tell Miroku Sango’s name without exposing ourselves.”
Upon arrival at the palace, Miroku gave Sango to an old handmaiden named Kaede so the mute girl could wash up and get into some better clothes for dinner. While the girl was being tended to, Miroku told Mushin about her. “She looks so much like the one who rescued me. If she could talk, I would know for sure.”
“Miroku, be serious,” his guardian said. “Young ladies don’t go swimming around rescuing people and then disappear into oblivion like-,”
“I’m telling you, Mushin. She was real! When I find that girl, I’m going to marry her.”
Mushin shook his head. He had taken care of the boy since the king fell victim to the family curse. The queen had died when Miroku was a baby. He had come to love the prince and did not wish to see him die as his father and grandfather did. But there were times when he wanted to throttle Miroku, particularly when the prince was dead se on something so ridiculous.
An old chuckle from the front of the dining hall drew their attention. Kaede was gently tugging on an arm. “Come on, honey. No need to be shy,” the woman coaxed.
Slowly, a figure stepped forward and out of the shadows. It was the quiet girl all dressed in a beautiful dinner gown. Her hair was clean and hung straight down her back. She gazed into Miroku’s face, a smile lit up her face as she approached him.
Miroku was struck speechless by her appearance. She was so gorgeous he didn’t know what to say. Mushin clearing his throat snapped him out of the spell. “My, you look great.”
The girl dipped her head in embarrassment before Mushin guided her to her seat.
Sango felt as if she was dreaming. She had legs and was seeing things she had only dreamed about. The woman, Kaede, had been nothing but kind to her and had gotten her cleaned up and in what she called a dress. After putting on what Kaede called shoes, she was led to where Miroku waited. She felt anxious and nervous at seeing him again. So much so, that she hesitated just outside the dining hall doorway.
Kaede looked at her and chuckled at the nervous expression on the young lady’s face. “Come on, honey. No need to be shy.” Leaning in closer, she whispered, “I think the prince really likes you.”
That was all the encouragement she needed to enter the room. She smiled brightly at the prince, while wishing she could speak. Miroku commented that she looked great and she dipped her head in embarrassment. It wasn’t the greatest compliment in the world, but it came from Miroku and it was directed to her.
The second man in the room guided her to a chair at the table so that she was seated across from him and on Miroku’s left. She looked at the objects in front of her. She recognized them from her destroyed collection, but couldn’t understand why they were on a table. A familiar pronged object caught her eye then: It was the comb!
Her eyes lit up. Here was her chance to act like a real human. She picked it up and began to run it through her hair. She only did it two times before pausing. The reason she paused was because Miroku was looking at her with a raised eyebrow and a weird look on his face. She glanced over at Mushin to see a bewildered expression.
‘Maybe it is inappropriate behavior at the table,’ she thought as she put the object down and looked at her lap.
There was an awkward silence at the table after their guest had put her fork down. Mushin guessed that she must be feeling uncomfortable. She certainly looked it. As he sipped his wine, he caught sight of Miroku now smiling dreamily at the girl, who was still looking down. It would seem that the prince was quite taken by her. Perhaps, he should play matchmaker and get Miroku and this girl together. Miroku couldn’t wait around for his mystery maiden to show up after all.
“You know Miroku,” he spoke up. “Perhaps our young lady might like a tour of the kingdom tomorrow. What do you think?”
Miroku and the girl had been staring at one another by this point, but the prince looked at his guardian with a distracted air. “What did you say Mushin?”
“A tour, Miroku?” he prompted.
“Oh! I see.” Turning back to the raven-haired girl, he asked, “Would you like to go with me on a tour of my kingdom tomorrow?”
A bright grin and an enthusiastic nod were all the answer he needed.
Chapter Eight- The Second Day
Early the next day, the prince and his silent companion sat in a carriage with Miroku holding the reins, ordering the horses into a trot. His guest stared at the sights in awe as if she had never seen a kingdom like his before. He always thought that one kingdom was pretty much like another. Perhaps that wasn’t the case.
Kagome swam alongside the carriage as it moved across the…street next to the water. She saw Sango look down and spot her. Kagome mimed her question of whether Miroku had kissed her yet. Her answer was Sango shaking her head. Disappointed, Kagome sank under the surface.
As the carriage rode out of sight, Kohaku swam up to her. This was why Kagome slipped underwater: Kohaku refused the violate merfolk law.
“Kohaku, where have you been?” Kagome demanded. The merboy had dark circles under his eyes as if he hadn’t slept.
“When Sango didn’t come home, Father got worried and ordered that no one will sleep until she comes back.”
Kagome winced. “He’ll be waiting forever if Sango gets her kiss.”
“She hasn’t yet?”
“She has to! I wouldn’t be able to bear the thought of her being Naraku’s slave.”
“She will get her kiss. You and I will see to that.”
Sango gazed at Miroku’s back as he prepped a rowboat for a ride. The tour had been wonderful. She recognized several of the objects she used to collect and others she did not. Miroku had even given her a gift: A heart-shaped locket.
“Well, the boat’s ready,” the prince announced snapping Sango out of her reverie. He held out his right hand to help her in. She noticed, for the first time, a cloth covering his palm and held in place by a ring of beads. She wondered why he covered his hand as she slid into the boat. Her curiosity briefly left her when she felt something stroking her rear. Annoyed, she slapped it and turned to see what she had hit.
Her eyes widened when she realized that it was Miroku’s hand she’d slapped. He shook his hand to relieve the sting and he had a chagrin look on his face. “Sorry,” he said. “I know I shouldn’t have.”
Sango took his hand and stroked the covered palm before kissing it. He smiled slightly. “If only your kiss could take the curse away as well.”
She gave him an inquisitive look as he rowed the boat into the lake. He caught her look and smiled again. “It’s a long story, sweet maiden. Fifty years ago, a curse was place on my family, starting with my grandfather. A hole had pierced his right hand and formed what we call The Wind Tunnel. Think of it as a hole that sucks up everything in its path when uncovered. These bead help keep its power sealed.
“Every year the hole gets bigger and the wind becomes stronger. Unless I kill the one who placed the curse, I’ll eventually get sucked into the tunnel like my grandfather and father were. I was currently on his trail and then he disappeared. I hope to find him one day. Perhaps, you’ve heard of him. He calls himself Naraku.”
Sango stiffened at Naraku’s name, an action that caught his attention. “You have heard of him! What a relief. I had thought he changed his name.
“Speaking of names, I still don’t know yours. Perhaps I can guess it. Is it, uh, Yuri?”
Sango shook her head. “It’s not Kikyo, isn’t it?” Another shake. “Okay. How about Koharu?” Yet another shake.
Miroku was about to guess again when Sango heard Kagome’s voice whisper loudly, “Sango. Her name is Sango.”
Miroku’s face took on a puzzled expression. “Sango?” he muttered. Sango leaned forward slightly and nodded. Miroku looked at her. “Sango?” he repeated.
She nodded again and took one of his hands. “That’s a lovely name, Sango.”
“Yes!” Kagome cheered. She grabbed Kohaku’s hands and spun them in a circle. “He knows her name! Now we just have to nudge them into a kiss.”
“And how do you plan to do that?”
“Easy.” Kagome reached down and snapped a reed with hold in it off the bottom. “You’ll play a romantic tune. Just stick the instrument above the water and you won’t break law.”
“To heck with law,” he snapped as he took the reed. “I’ll play from that tall grass.”
“You’ll defy law?”
“It’s for Sango. Besides you won’t tell.” Kohaku smiled before swimming toward his destination.
Kohaku rose slowly up to the surface, his heart pounding. His first time violating merfolk law and he got a thrill at doing so. The world looked so different on the surface than looking at it from beneath the waves. Everything was clearer, sharper, and more colorful. He peered between the stalks of grass at the couple in the boat. Sango looked so happy and he felt a twinge of guilt for telling on her.
“This is for you, sister,” he said softly before putting the reed to his lips and playing the most romantic tune he could think of.
Sango gazed at her surroundings as well as Miroku. She knew she should be thinking about how to get him to kiss her, but she kept getting distracted. Besides, she still had one day left.
Suddenly, she heard music playing. Discreetly, she glanced about to determine its origin. Her gaze came to a bed of grass. Her eyes widened when she saw Kohaku’s face just about the surface, playing a reed like a flute. He gave her a wink as he continued to play.
That wink told Sango everything: Kohaku was on her side and working with Kagome to help Sango get her kiss. She turned her attention back to Miroku so he wouldn’t look at the grass and spot Kohaku.
It wasn’t necessary, because Miroku seemed to have eyes only for Sango. He took his hand- his cursed hand- and grasped her right hand. He started to lean forward with his eyes slowly closing.
Her heart began to pound. This was it! Miroku was going to kiss her! She leaned forward too, eyes closed, and lips puckering. She felt Miroku’s warm breath against her lips as they got closer. Almost there…
…And then Sango was tasting water. Her eyes flew open to see herself underwater. She flailed about wildly until Miroku grasped her waist and brought her to the surface.
“Hang on, I’ve got you. It’ll be okay,” Miroku said soothingly.
Sango relaxed, able to breathe again. What had happened? She spied their boat, but it was upside-down! Their boat had tipped over. Did their forward-leaning overbalance the boat? Either way it happened, the romantic mood was shattered. Day two was over.
Naraku watched Sango in Kanna’s mirror as Kagura swam in. “Good work, Kagura. That was too close. Unless we do something, she’ll receive her kiss before sunset for sure!”
“What are you going to do Master Naraku?” Kanna asked.
“Simple. Kagura, I will turn you into a human and you will use Sango’s voice to mesmerize the prince into marrying you.”
“Me, a human?” the mermaid gasped.
“Just until Sango becomes a mermaid again,” Naraku answered, throwing ingredients into his cauldron. He pulled out the pearl holding Sango’s voice and fixed it to a hairpin, which he placed in his follower’s hair.
An amber bubble engulfed Kagura, changing her into a human with a black and beige dress before carrying her to the surface. Naraku laughed. Sango would soon be his and his revenge against Senmonka would almost be complete.
Miroku leaned against the palace wall, re-living the day and thinking about his rescuer. Sango looked so much like his rescuer. Perhaps Sango was the one and a curse took away her voice.
‘Maybe a kiss will break the curse. A rather romantic solution, really,’ he thought. ‘I think I’ll give her a morning kiss tomorrow and ask her to marry me. After all, she is beautiful and I’m starting to fall in love with her.’ Nodding to himself, Miroku turned to head for the front doors.
A voice singing carried itself on the wind to him. Turning around, he saw the shadowy figure of a woman coming toward him. Unknown to him, a hypnotic spell wafted from the pearl hairpin and into his eyes, convincing him that this was the woman who rescued him.
Chapter Nine- Wedding Announcement
Sango awoke on her final day as a human to the sound of tapping near the balcony. As she got out of bed, another tap sounded and a small stone appeared on the bedroom floor. She stared at it. ‘How did that get in here?’ She wondered.
Picking it up, she headed to the balcony to throw it into the sea. She forgot about the stone when she saw Kagome and Kohaku in the water below. Indeed, the stone fell from her hand at the sight of them.
“Sister, the dolphins told us that they heard the humans talk about a wedding. Miroku’s getting married this afternoon! Isn’t that great!?” Kohaku called.
Sango smiled brightly. Miroku was getting married and she was the only one he had been around with lately. It had to be her! She would get her kiss before sunset!
Missing Sango’s beaming smile, her brother said, “Sango, why aren’t you saying something?”
Kagome smacked the back of his head. “She doesn’t have her voice, remember?”
“Oh, yeah,” Kohaku rubbed the back of his head.
“Sango,” Kagome said. “we’ll be nearby to watch the ceremony. After you kiss, we’ll try to get your voice from Naraku.”
Sango nodded and gave a thumbs-up sign before smoothing down her hair and dashing out of the room to find Miroku.
She was halfway down the staircase when she stopped and ducked behind a pillar. She saw Mushin and Miroku, but there was a strange woman hanging onto the prince’s arm.
“Well, Miroku,” Mushin was saying. “It appears you were right. Your rescuer does exist.”
“Koharu and I wish to be married as soon as possible,” the prince answered.
“As soon as possible?” the guardian repeated.
“Yes, Mushin. Wedding ship will depart before sunset today.”
Mushin was surprised by the prince’s anxiousness but nevertheless replied, “As you wish, my boy.”
Sango had heard all she needed and fled back to her room, feeling as if her heart was breaking.
Kagura saw Sango fleeing out of the corner of her eye. She continued to hang onto the prince’s arm while enjoying the feel of the hairpin with the pearl in her hair. Naraku had explained that as long as the pearl didn’t break, Miroku was in her control.
Sango watched sadly as the ship pulled away from the dock. The ship resembled, to her, her freedom sailing away. Once night fell, she would be a mermaid again and Naraku’s slave. Overcome by despair and sadness, she slid onto the dock’s floor and cried.
Kagome and Kohaku, unaware that Sango wasn’t the bride, swam right alongside the ship’s side. Kagome looked forward to seeing a human wedding while Kohaku plotted how to get his sister’s voice back. Both of them came out of their thoughts when they spied a woman on deck, holding a hand mirror.
“Master Naraku, this is Kagura,” the woman said to the mirror.
“I hear you. Report,” came Naraku’s voice from the mirror.
“Your plan is working,” Kagura replied, her voice gradually changing to sound just like Sango. “The prince is under the spell and believes I rescued him.”
“Excellent. Once night falls, you’ll be a mermaid again as will Sango and we’ll be one happy family,” Naraku laughed and Kagura joined in.
Kagome and Kohaku exchanged horrified looks before swimming back to Miroku’s palace as fast as they could. They found a forlorn Sango sitting on the palace dock and swam up to her.
“Sango,” Kagome cried. “You have to get to the ship. That girl is Kagura and she and Naraku have put Miroku under a spell.”
Sango’s head jerked up and stared at the ship. Kagura and Naraku! They were trying to stop her from staying human! They wanted her as a slave!
“How is she going to get to the ship?” Kohaku asked Kagome. “She can’t swim!”
“I’ll help her. Perhaps our sea friends can help in stalling the wedding.”
“Yeah. Both of us should do that.”
“Both of us?”
“Yeah. I’m going to tell Father. He needs to know about this. On my way home, I’ll talk to the animals.”
“Okay. Let’s go! We don’t have much time left.”
Sango got to her feet and leaped into the water. Kagome grabbed her waist and pulled her above the water and began to swim the two of them to the ship while Kohaku swam beneath the water toward the palace.
As they swam, they explained to their sea friends what was going on and they were eager to assist. Kagome had even asked the birds for help. Before long, an army of animals were heading for the boat to stop a wedding.
Chapter Ten- Family Curse
Kagura strolled down the red carpet on the ship’s deck, one arm looped through Miroku’s and one hand holding a bouquet. She ignored the growls of the cat as they passed. She didn’t however, ignore the slowly setting sun. Once it was gone, she would assume her true form again and have someone to order around…at least for a little while. She knew Sango would eventually displease Naraku and become a statue. All the previous slaves did and Sango would be no different.
At last, the couple reached the altar and the priest began to read the wedding text. It was long and boring, but he eventually got to the vows.
“Do you, Miroku, take Koharu to be your lawfully wedded wife for as long as you both shall live?” the priest asked.
Still mesmerized, the prince answered, “I do.”
As the priest started to ask Kagura, the sounds of birds reached her ears. She turned her head toward the sound and ducked as a flock of birds dive-bombed her. She ducked another dive as some seals leaped onto the ship.
In no time at all, an organized wedding had been plunged into chaos. Dozens of sea creatures and birds boarded the ship, sending humans into a panic. The humans didn’t need to panic. Their only target was the bride.
Birds pecked at her, dolphins squirted water at her, and pelicans dumped water and seaweed on her. Out of the corner of her eye, Kagura saw Sango board the ship. Then, a brave seagull flapped in her face and seemed to be trying to get at her hairpin. She pushed it away and it came back to resume its attempt. She kept pushing its face away and it kept on coming back. Suddenly something painful hit her from behind. She screamed and the seagull snatched the hairpin from her. It carried it near Sango before dropping it and letting it shatter.
The moment the pearl shattered, Sango’s voice was free and was singing as it rose toward its owner’s throat. At the same time, the hypnotic spell on Miroku broke. He watched along with the crowd as a ball of singing light flew into Sango’s throat. Then Sango was singing! The song finally ended and Miroku stared in disbelief.
“Sango?” he asked.
“Miroku,” Sango answered, saying her first word as a human.
“You are the one.” Miroku abandoned the altar and went over to Sango, taking her hands. “You can talk.”
An unfamiliar voice called, “Miroku, get away from her.” He ignored it. Sango was the one he loved.
“It was you all this time.”
“Miroku, I wanted to tell you,” Sango said as they leaned forward to kiss. Suddenly, Sango gasped and she slid from Miroku’s arms and onto the deck.
“You’re too late!” Kagura laughed as Sango’s tail reappeared. Miroku stared in disbelief at his love as Sango looked back at him sadly.
Kagura ripped off the wedding dress, her own tail also back. She crawled toward the couple, grabbed Sango, and pulled them onto the railing.
“So long, Your Highness,” she said before dragging herself and Sango into the sea..
Sango watched Miroku disappear from view before tears welled up in her eyes. She failed to get her kiss and now she would never see him again.
“Good work, Kagura,” Naraku’s voice called as he swam over to them. He grabbed Sango’s arm. “Now you’re mine, princess.”
“Let her go, Naraku,” an authorative voice called. All three turned to see Senmonka there, his trident pointed at Naraku.
“Let her go?” the shark-man echoed before laughing. “Not a chance, Senmonka. We made a deal and she is to be my slave forever.” He unrolled the scroll and showed him Sango’s signature.
The king fired a blast at the scroll to destroy it, but it resisted the assault. Senmonka blinked and then glared at Naraku who grinned triumphantly.
“The contract’s legal, binding, and completely unbreakable. I wouldn’t use anything less on a princess. Speaking of which-,” He turned to Sango. “you stole back your voice before I was suppose to give it to you. So…” He waved a hand and her fins turned to stone and it started to creep up her tail.
“No!” she cried. She looked pleadingly at her father and her brother, who had just arrived. “Father, help me!”
“No! Sango!” Kohaku cried.
“You know,” Naraku continued as if as an afterthought. “I might be willing to make an exchange.” Naraku paused Sango’s transformation and added, “for someone even better.”
Kagura, behind Sango, watched the proceedings. She now understood why Naraku had told her to watch Sango. He had planned to use her to get to the king. It was a brilliant plan.
Naraku was now holding the contract in front of him, unrolled. “Now, do we have a deal?”
Senmonka stared at his daughter and then at the contract. Kohaku had told him everything that had occurred over the last three days. He knew that he was the one who drove Sango into making a pact with the sorcerer. In order to save Sango from being a statue forever, he knew he had to take her place. Eyes closed, he pointed his trident at the contract and used it to replace Sango’s name with his own.
“It is done,” Naraku declared.
Sango’s tail and fins returned to normal while her father slowly turned to stone. Kagura swam up behind the king, removed the crown and trident, and presented them to Naraku, bowing.
Naraku grinned at the objects before him as Senmonka finished turning to stone. If Kagura hadn’t grabbed them when she did, they would be stone too.
“Finally,” he said. He put the crown on and picked up the trident. “The power is mine.”
Sango stared at her father’s stone form. He gave up his life for her. It was her fault that this happened! If she hadn’t made a deal with Naraku, her father would still be flesh-and-blood.
Anger at herself caused her to attack Naraku. She launched herself onto his back, crying, “You monster!”
Her attack startled him for a moment before grabbing her arm and flipping her in front of his trident. “Don’t mess with me, Sango! You and your brother are of no con-,”
Naraku cried out in mid-sentence when a harpoon grazed his arm as it passed. He looked up and behind him to see Miroku, the survivor of the family he cursed!
Miroku rowed the life boat to where Sango had disappeared. He still felt shock upon learning that Sango was a mermaid but he still loved her and wanted to save her from that other mermaid.
He grabbed the harpoon he took with him and dove into the water. What he saw filled him with even greater shock than before. Floating below him was Naraku! ‘So, this is where he’s been hiding,’ he thought. The curse’s story began when Naraku was exiled from the kingdom for using black magic. Naraku attempted to kill the king in revenge for getting exiled. In response to the assassination attempt, his grandfather had hunted Naraku down throughout the kingdom before getting cursed. It was at that point that Naraku escaped from the search party.
Miroku’s own search had ended when Naraku mysteriously vanished, but now it had resumed and may actually be coming to an end. Miroku then noticed that Naraku had a trident pointed at Sango! All thoughts of breaking the curse left him and he threw the harpoon at Naraku to save his love.
It didn’t kill the shark-man, but it did get his attention. Growling, he brought the trident around and aimed it at Miroku. Sango, however, acted fast and yanked up hard on Naraku’s tail.
The sudden yank caused Naraku’s arms to point down just as the trident fired. The blast cut through the water and zapped Kagura and Kanna who had just arrived.
Naraku frowned as his followers exploded. He didn’t mourn their deaths. He only used them to do his dirty work for him. Anyway, it wasn’t his fault they were dead. It was Sango’s and he would make sure that she and the prince paid for it.
Sango and Miroku had already reached the surface, but that didn’t concern him. Raising the trident, he began to twirl it and it formed a whirlpool that swept Miroku and Sango up inside it. The whirlpool’s creation left Naraku lying on dry land. But he traded his tail for legs and stood up.
This motion did not go unnoticed by Sango. There was enough land for two men and Miroku was in need of air. He took some in before the whirlpool grabbed them, but he needed some now.
She tapped Miroku’s shoulder to get his attention and jerked her thumb at Naraku. Miroku’s eyes widened and then he nodded. Sango moved Miroku in the direction of the circle and pushed as hard as she could.
Miroku came streaking out of the water and slammed into Naraku. The force of the collision knocked the crown and trident away from him and sent them into the water.
Naraku wasn’t worried. He could just change back to his true form and retrieve them. However, Miroku wasn’t going to give him that chance.
“Sango, get down! Wind Tunnel!” Miroku called, unleashing his hand’s power after Sango dove to the bottom of the whirlpool.
Naraku had nothing to hold on to. In desperation, he crouched down and dug his fingers into the wet sand. Miroku held his ground, the Wind Tunnel out in front of him.
Sango watched the entire thing from the whirlpool’s bottom. Her mouth fell open and her eyes widened as she saw the Wind Tunnel in action. If it succeeded in pulling Naraku in, the curse would be broken! Naraku was trying to anchor himself down, but she saw his fingers slipping and sliding through the san, bringing him closer and closer to the tunnel.
Naraku finally lost his grip and was swept up into the air. “No!” he screamed as he was sucked up into the void of the Wind Tunnel. Miroku quickly covered and sealed it before the whirlpool dissipated and the water came crashing down around him.
Chapter Eleven- Happy Ending
Sango pulled Miroku to the surface. She glanced down to see her father becoming flesh-and-blood again. The sight made her happy, but she was also sad. She loved Miroku, but they could never be together. She got the prince to the shallow water and he pulled himself onto dry land. While he regained his breath and strength, Sango watched over him in the shallow water.
The princess was unaware that her father and brother were on the surface, watching her. Kohaku looked at his father. He had told him that the human killed Naraku, which freed all the merpeople who were statues.
“She really does love him, huh Kohaku?” the king said at last.
“Yes and he risked his life to save her and us,” Kohaku pointed out.
“Then I guess there’s just one problem left.”
“What problem, Father?”
“How much we’re going to miss her.”
Kohaku’s eyes widened at his father’s implication. Senmonka’s trident lit up. The king placed it on the water’s surface and the gold light flowed over to Sango.
Sango felt a warmth envelope her tail. Confused, she looked down and saw her tail vanish, leaving a pair of legs in its place. She looked at the ocean, saw her father, and smiled happily at him.
Miroku took a deep breath as his strength fully returned. He sat up and gazed at the water. Somewhere out there, his beautiful girl was swimming through its depths. If only they could be together…
As if answering his prayers, Sango emerged from the ocean, human and wearing a beautiful sea green dress. Miroku got up, took Sango’s waist, and twirled her around.
Sango smiled, held up Miroku’s right hand, and removed the beads. His heart pounding, Miroku held his hand palm up. No wind force. His hand was whole, just like his left hand. The curse was indeed broken!
Thrilled, Miroku kissed Sango, and said, “Will you marry me, Sango?”
She nodded. “I will.”
Miroku smiled as the two of them went inside to plan their wedding. It took place on a ship in the ocean so that everyone could see it. A wedding that united the land and the sea into one family.