"Finn! You're here!"
That was the first line that Lynn said when she saw me. Even in these circumstances, she still has the same composure just like when taking a walk in a park.
"We're going home."
"What? No way! I wanna stay!" Lynn flatly refused.
I just noticed the trembling children surrounding her. They all have light blue skin, pointed ears and gills on their necks. Lemurians. I took my eyes off of them and turned to Lynn while looking annoyed.
"What are you talking about? Let's go home already! Besides, we've been missing for quite some time now. I'm sure our families are getting worried."
Lynn took a deep breath to calm herself down. Looking at me resolutely, she said. "Follow me."
She turned around, not waiting for my response. I have no choice but to follow her even while complaining. We entered a hidden cave just ahead of the reefs that Lynn and the children were playing at. The cave was so hidden that you wouldn't see it no matter what unless you stop and carefully observe the place.
Inside the cave, was a row of seaweed beds. Tens of Lemurians laid there with bandages all over their bodies. Some are even on the process of getting their treatment.
"This is the rebel army, Finn. They couldn't take their ruler's cruelty anymore so they decided to abandon their city and raised an army to replace the current King."
Lynn faced me and explained with a bitter look on her face. I didn't know why but I felt a prick on my chest even though I have no wounds. She continued.
"Every day, there is no less of soldiers being brought here to get treated. No matter what the rebels do, they still cannot defeat the King's soldiers. That's why..."
"That's why we made a deal with the King of Atlantis in return for their help."
A voice cut Lynn in the middle of her sentence. It came from a Lemurian woman entering the cave from another entrance. She wore a battle-oriented powered suit that's a little different from what Lemurians wore. If I recall correctly, I think I saw a similar armor being worn by a high ranking soldier earlier when Colonel Dakkor got attacked by the Lemurian army.
Her figure imposes a strong sense of valiant aura. Despite all of that, the woman doesn't lose one bit compared to the beauty of the elves. I think the armor even accentuated her looks.
"I am Mara, leader of the Rebel army." She bowed as she introduced herself. "Just like I said, we made a deal with the King of Atlantis to keep a certain girl. In return, he would help us replace King Merro, the current King of Lemuria."
It seems that a long time ago, approximately 500 years ago, the empire of Lemuria was ruled by a king called Naga. Normally, an ordinary Atlantean or Lemurian can only live up to a maximum of 150 years. However, King Naga lived for 500 years.
Using the Serpent crown, he ruled the Lemurians without aging. He waged war with various undersea cities and pillaged the passing boats/ships in the Pacific. As a result, the Lemurians continuously experienced a nonstop war with other tribes. Naturally, wars fueled the advancement of technology, but at the same time, causes massive casualties.
This went on until the crown was lost and Naga died because of a guy named Karthon. It was said that Naga killed Karthon's wife so Karthon killed him in revenge, earning the throne in the process. Under Karthon's wise and just rule, the Lemurians finally achieved a peaceful civilization and were even allied with Atlantis. But this did not last long.
The son of the deceased King Naga, Merro, killed Karthon in revenge of slaying his father. He reclaimed the throne afterward and continued his father's cruel methods. He slaved away the citizens in order to increase his army and built more fighter crafts. He attacked small settlements and likewise, made its residents join his army to attack bigger settlements.
Because of this, some of the Lemurians instigated a rebellion to replace their cruel King. Mara is a high ranking official in the King's army. Under her command, several mistreated soldiers defected and they robbed the empire's armory. They rescued some of the suffering civilians and hid away from the King's grasp. Right now, they were still bitterly resisting the King's army.
Then, a couple of days ago, the King of Atlantis offered them help. In return, they would kidnap a specific person and hide her away until King Namor says so. That's King Namor's plan.
"I apologize to the two of you. We couldn't help but be tempted by his offer, so we followed his instructions to kidnap Lynn." Mara bowed to Lynn and me.
"I told you it's fine, really. I understand that you had to do it for your people. Besides, even though you kidnapped me, I didn't feel one bit that I was kidnapped, you know? No need to apologize~" Lynn grinned while raising Mara's head up.
"Thank you, Lynn." Mara also smiled at her.
I am really touched at your exchange, however...
"So what? We still need to leave now. Good luck on your rebellion." I turned around to leave. "Let's go, Lynn."
"No. I won't leave." Just when I was reaching the cave's entrance, I heard Lynn's resolute reply. I faced her again with an annoyed look in my face.
"Do you know what you're doing right now? You're telling me, you wanted to help these people that kidnapped you. Is that it? Are you being serious right now?" I glared at her.
However, she remained unfazed. Taking a deep breath, Lynn replied. "Even so, I still wanted to help them!"
"I'm telling you right now, you're making a really stupid decision. Why can't you just follow me? Let's go back."
"No!" Lynn shouted agitatedly.
With that, my patience snapped. "You stupid girl! I told you, let's go back--!"
When I looked at her again, she was no longer agitated. Instead, she wore a gentle expression as she stared straight up my eyes. It almost seems like she was looking right through my soul.
"Yes, I'm a stupid girl. I even wanted to help them even though I just met them two days ago. Even though they kidnapped me. I still wanted to help them..."
Lynn clenched her hands.
"But, you see. I'm not like you. I don't have any powers or any magic. I'm just an ordinary human. But because I'm an ordinary human that I wanted to help them even more. I'm sorry, but I will stay. This time, I won't ask you to help me."
Lynn and I stared at each other's eyes for a long time. I can see that she has indeed made a resolute choice, to which I cannot change it no matter what. She was not influenced by anyone, nor was she forced to comply. It was because of her curse. The curse of the 'Saintess'.
"Whatever. Suit yourself."
Since I cannot change her decision no matter what and since she's not forcing me to do anything, I decided to leave even without her. Thus, I went outside the cave.