Prologue

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Prologue 

Marius the Conquerer never did like redheads. From his experience, the red hair was an omen of their 'fiery' personality; which usually meant ill-tempered, reckless and volatile temperaments. Those were the ones he tolerated the least because they were unpredictable. And he also quite disliked freckles, a distinctly human trait, which human redheads seemed to be especially prone to. But never had he seen a mane so shockingly red in all his millennia of exsitence. It was neither ginger nor copper, and it was even brighter than blood. The human in question had scarlet red hair the colour of the brightest saffron, giving a new meaning to the word 'redhead'. 

Marius watched the redhead in question from where he sat on a large, black rock protruding out of the sea. His superior vision allowed him to see the human clearly even though it was nighttime and the male stood at the very edge of a high cliff overlooking the sea. Behind him, a large house that had more glass than walls stood, a structure that flaunted style and luxury over security and practicality. To him, the structure showcased human vanity and egotism perfectly. 

He inwardly laughed. They were not in any position to forfeit the security and safety of their prince. He thought that finding him would be a lot harder; that he'd have to walk on land to do so. But here he was, living right next to a body of water -a sea of all things-  right there for the taking. How like the conceited Atrians to think him a fool who was not capable of tracking down their most precious possession, just because they thought he didn't know he existed. Oh, but he knew. True, he hadn't known up until a day ago, but he did now, and he was not going to allow this rather shocking discovery to impede his plans. If anything, he was going to use it to his advantage. 

He was going to make the half-blood prince and his fearsome powers his. 

A beautiful full moon decorated the cloudless night sky, casting a gigantic reflection on the pitch-black canvas that was the Black Sea. The Prince's hair under the moonlight looked as if his head had been set aflame. He had been standing on the cliff for more than half an hour, simply gazing forlornly at the sea, lost in thought. It allowed Marius the time to scan him from head to toe at his leisure. He was tall, a quality he definitely gained from his father. Merpeople, when they stepped on land, were tall. His figure was lean, but he could see that he had well-defined muscles underneath his white pajama shirt. Next, his eyes went to his freckle-less face. It was where the similarities with his late father ended. 

Indeed, those bottle green eyes had to be his human mother's. Merpeople did not possess the gene for green eyes. Marius suspected that, when they were hit by direct sunlight, they glowed, so bright they were. 

He found himself wondering what it would feel like to have the Prince's gaze meet his. 

He was immediately taken aback by the uncharacteristic thought that had leaped into his mind from out of nowhere. No human had the right to look him in the eye, ever. Yet he would have to make an exception if he planned to become ruler of the strongest underwater nation in the world. 

His eyes travelled down the length of the Prince to his pajama-clad legs. Marius sneered in contempt. 

The Prince abruptly reached down to the hem of his shirt and took it off, exposing a pale chest to the cold, sea air. When he began to take his pants off, it became apparent that he was going to dive into the sea. 

Marius' pulse quickened and every muscle in his body tensed. Was the Prince about to make his task much, much easier and come to him himself? 

A woman appeared out of the house and called out to him just then, halting him. There was an exchange of words between them. Whatever she said managed to dissuade the Prince from diving and convince him to return to the house with her. 

He followed him with his eyes until the two disappeared into the house. Lucky for him, their pathetic home was really a glass house that he could see right into in most places. He saw the Prince walk up a modern flight of stairs before he finally disappeared out of sight. 

Marius dove into the sea. 

No matter. He'd allow the Prince these last few moments of imaginary safety. Very soon, he would have him right where he wanted him: in his grasp. 

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

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