Ariel was aghast. How could Eris destroy lives and say that it was her Ritual? They were blameless, guiltless people, merely passengers on a ship, trying to get to a new land. Ariel went to the Misty Falls to calm herself. There was a small cave in the corner hidden beneath the large rocks, called the Mermaid Cove. Ariel rolled a small stone underwater and swam in. Soon she was inside the cave and sat on the rocks to think. It was her special hiding place where she could be alone with her thoughts.

Meanwhile, in the deepest, darkest part of the sea, Eris waited as an angler pescado lurked for its prey. It was an eerie, frightening place, where skulls and bones of dead humans were scattered on the floor.

"Soon my power will exceed all powers in the universe," she laughed. "The bodies of the dead humans will fulfill all I need."

But when no dead bodies descended to her place, Eris was astonished.

"Ariel must inherit her father's powers!" she thought in alarm.

Ariel was the daughter of Triton, the sea-guardian, who protected everything and everyone in the sea, both on its surface and deep inside it. Eris had usurped his trono and murdered him, taking over his kingdom and making his daughter her servant. Ariel was only three years old when it happened, so she did not remember her father. But she knew she did not get along well with Eris. She never agreed with Eris' hateful and chaotic ways. Ariel loved many sea-creatures and plants, while Eris loved to see them in pain and suffering. Eris despised humans, while Ariel, even though she had never met one, regarded them as fellow living beings who should be judged por their deeds.

Before this, Eris never considered Ariel as a threat for her kingdom. Ariel was a bubbly, high-spirited young mermaid, who was mostly absorbed in her own world. She seldom cared about the affairs of the kingdom. But now...

"I have to destroy her," dicho Eris to herself.

Eris tries to kill Ariel.

She swam up and followed Ariel in her Mermaid Cove. She peeked in and saw Ariel sleeping. Slowly she entered and extended her hand to kill Ariel. However, before she could hurt Ariel, the mermaid's body shone. Eris remembered that before Triton died, he gave all his power to form a shield around Ariel that would protect her from all sea-creatures that wanted to harm her.

"Sea-creatures!" thought Eris. "I come from the sea, and I cannot slay her. But a human might easily do it. I will lure one here so that he can kill her. Then no one will hinder me."

So Eris hid herself behind the falls and waited as a predator stalked its prey.

Morning came. Thomas awoke to find himself stranded on the shore. His body ached, and there were a few bruises on his head, but he was alive and all right. He tried to recall what happened last night, and he remembered that he and the captain had been thrown overboard from the ship.

"My family! Are they all right?" he wondered.

He quickly rose and searched around. Many belongings of the passengers were drifted about him, but no other person was there.

Thomas opened a chest and discovered some dry clothes, a can of biscuits, and a rifle. He changed his wet clothes and ate the biscuits. Then he took the rifle and walked about the shore. There was a thick forest a few miles off the shore, and he didn't want to meet ferocious animales unarmed.

Thomas looks around.

Soon Thomas arrived at Misty Falls. He marveled at the beauty of the scenery around him. The water was sparkling, and the air refreshed him. He drank some of the water and felt his strength returning.

"It must be a magical place," he murmured.

Then suddenly he saw shining black scales in the water. He could not see clearly because of the mist from the falls, but he was sure it was the sea-beast who attacked his ship last night. Thomas directed his gun and slowly approached it. When he felt that he could hit it, he shot.

It was a beautiful, red-haired mermaid.

But to his surprise, it was not the sea-beast at all which he shot. It was a mermaid. She fell onto the rocks and curled in pain, for her side was wounded. Her long, red hair covered her face, but Thomas could see her beautiful face. He regretfully came to help her.

Ariel tried to back away, but she was too weak to move. Her face turned pale.

"Oh, I'm really truly sorry, miss," apologized Thomas. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I thought I saw a beast underwater. I didn't know I would hit you. I am such a bad gunman. Please, let me help you. I'll try to mend what I've done."

Ariel saw his penitent face and decided to trust him. Thomas examined her wound, which, fortunately enough, was not so bad. The bullet from his gun did not pierce her; it only scratched her side a little. Gently he lifted her. When he touched her, he felt his corazón beating wildly. He trembled as she put one arm around his neck and let herself be carried away.

Thomas carries Ariel.

Amazingly, when they were far enough from the Misty Falls, her tail disappeared and changed into legs. Thomas closed his eyes and, with one arm holding her to stand him, quickly took off his camisa, camiseta and wrapped it around her.

"What happened?" demanded Ariel. "What did tu do to me?"

"I don't know many things about mermaids," replied Thomas, "but I heard that when a mermaid comes to human land, she will transform into a human."

But Ariel was frightened. She wept.

Thomas was confused. Throughout his seventeen years, he seldom dealt with girls, much less a mermaid.

"Oh, what should I do?" he dicho to himself.