Disclaimer in the first chapter.

Later that day in the evening, as night was slowly approaching, Carmen was inside her room cleaning the music box while Francine and Julchen were talking. "To be honest, I thought the queen vas going to punish you but I'm surprised she let you go vith just a warning."

"Well, its better than what Roderich did to us." Francine spoke. "He gave us a full lecture about our behavior not to mention he gave Julchen coral duty and I have two months to wash the dishes." Francine groaned in dismay at the thought of the dishes.

"I can handle coral duty. What I can't handle is Roderich scolding me like a little kid. I'm only a couple thousand years old."

Carmen giggled to herself quietly as she listened to her friends. It was humorous to hear Julchen constantly complain about how much she hated Roderich even though she secretly admired him. After she finished cleaning the music box, Carmen smiled in approval seeing the gleam of the box truly shine. "I'm finally finished." she announced proudly. "Look how beautiful it is."

Julchen and Francine stopped talking once Carmen spoke and looked at the small music box she spent almost an hour cleaning. Francine smiled in awe once she laid her eyes on it. She clapped her hands together and said, "Wow, Carmen! It is beautiful!"

Julchen agreeably nodded. "Yeah, you cleaned it up real good."

Carmen smiled in thanks. "Yes, now it looks beautiful than it did before. It's to bad it doesn't work. I would have loved to hear it play music."

"Too bad we don't have the equipment. If we did, I would have fixed that baby right up!" Carmen giggled a little as well as Francine.

"Julchen!" They hear a loud, booming voice call out Julchen's name. All three girls looked at the door and swimming inside was Julchen's little brother Ludwig. Ludwig was one of the biggest mermen as well as the toughest. He was second in command behind Julchen but unlike his big sister, he took his position seriously and always scolded Julchen whenever she slacked off.

"Oh, hello Ludwig!" Julchen greeted him. "Fancy seeing you here. Vhat's up?"

"I came here to pick you up. Tomorrow we have to train recuits und I'm going to need your help." he explained to her.

"Aw, really?" Julchen groaned in dismay. "But that's so lame und none of the newcomers vant to pay attention. They're unawesome und a vaste of my time." Ludwig rolled his eyes at his sisters immaturity and forcefully grabs her by the hand and hangs her over his shoulder.

Julchen screams in and begins to scream insults towards him. Ludwig apologetically bows at Carmen and Francine who were laughing among themselves. "Sorry for the interruption but my sister needs to go to bed early so if you please excuse her."

Carmen waved a dismissed hand to Ludwig. "It's okay. Now go home before Julchen causes attention." Julchen looked at Carmen with a shocked expression but before she could say anything, Ludwig was quick to take her away. Swimming away in the halls, Carmen and Francine listen as Julchen was shouting insults at her brother and the two of them before she was out of hearing distance.

After Julchen (forcefully) left with Ludwig, Francine stood up and stretched her arms up. "Are you leaving already, Franny?" Carmen asked her.

Francine nods. "Yes, I have to leave and prepare dinner. Is there anything you like me to add for your plate Carmen?"

"No thank you Franny, I'm good. I do have something to do anyways so I'll be back in time for dinner." Carmen sits up from her bed and grabbed her satchel from her bed. She puts her music box inside the bag and swims out the window.

Francine smiled knowingly with a chuckle. "Let me guess, you're going to the cavern, aren't you?"

Carmen giggled. "I'll see you later."

Many years ago when Carmen was a small child, she came across a cavern not very far from the kingdom. It was during her lone adventures, exploring the reef and observing the land outside the kingdom. Since she discovered the cavern, Carmen would sneak out when the moment was right and go to the cavern. The only ones who know of the carven are Francine and Julchen and Carmen made sure Laura never found out about it. The reason for that is because every human item she found was put there, safe and hidden.

To paintings, small tea sets and other objects, this was the one place Carmen truly felt she can be herself. It was filled with stories of the surface world, they've gone to places she could imagine existed. Carmen was envious, she wanted so much to explore the world and see what it had to offer. But she wasn't like Francine, her tail couldn't magically transform into legs. She couldn't run, she couldn't dance, she can't even walk.

Carmen desired to become human, even if it was just for a day. Carmen wanted to experience what it felt like to feel alive.

Carmen sat with her tail curled underneath her, on a rock that was big enough for her to sit. She slowly traced the patterns on the music box with her finger, analyzing the design around it. She than opens the top and read the letters that was carved underneath the lid. For my one and only true love. Carmen fondly smiled at the sentence, remembering her reaction when she saw the sentence.

It was no brainier that this was given as a gift for someone's lover and it was no doubt whoever bought the music box truly loved that person. It was another reason why Carmen loved humans. Everyone in the kingdom believed that humans were evil and felt nothing like the soulless monsters they believed them to be. But Carmen, she saw more to the humans. If they could feel the same emotions such as love, than they could feel the same emotions such as happiness, anger, and more.

Carmen laid down on her back and hovers the music box above her. 'I wonder...' she thought. 'Is my place truly here in the sea, or is it meant somewhere else?' Carmen suddenly looked up when a looming shadow hovered above her. Curious, Carmen puts the music box down and swims up to investigate.

AN: Not much has happened but the next chapter things will finally happen as the famous saving the prince scene comes into place.


Ludwig: Germany