Everblue by Brenda Pandos

Book: Everblue by Brenda Pandos Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brenda Pandos
his ultimate desire is to kill, destroy, and steal what is rightfully ours. Humans are never to be trusted. We must always remember that they are our enemy!”
    Badger joined the hoots and hollers, beating his fist against the metal breast-plate over his chest. I stayed still, content to observe with my javelin in my hands behind my back. His agreement surprised me. He of all people, who once was a man, didn’t strike me as one so apt to condone blanket condemnation of his previous kind. Before I could mention something, Azor continued.
    “We must defend our city to the death. For here in our utopia, we have the delicate balance of peace, love, and happiness that the humans can not understand. They do not have the capacity to progress to this level and never will. So, take your weapons and master them. Make them become an extension of you! Of us! Of Natatoria! For we are the master race!”
    More hoopla rang out from the group as merman clashed their weapons against one another’s in a chorus of thundering metal. Badger raised his trident toward me.
    “Look the part, lad. Someone’s watchin’ ye, thinkin’ yer gettin’ soft on the human folk.”
    Out of the corner of my eye, I caught Azor’s glare. Instantly, I raised my javelin and clanked it against Badger’s, growling on the exterior, but disagreeing in my heart. There were plenty of virtuous men on land, like Ash’s dad who was a fireman. Not all of them were lost to greed. Unfortunately, Azor never had an opportunity to find out himself, being a snob in his underwater kingdom, content to preach fear.
    “Come, lad. Let’s get to fightin’,” Badger said quickly, gaining my attention.
    “But you don’t—”
    He grabbed my arm and shook his head. “Not here. Come.”
    I followed him to our dueling spot, feeling slapped for doing nothing wrong. Once we were out of earshot he turned abruptly with fire in his eyes. “Son. A word of advice. Don’t be gettin’ bold and assertin’ your displeasure of what Azor be sayin’. For the most part, he be talkin’ just to hear hisself talk, but you don’t want him on your bad side. Ya hearin’ me?”
    I backed away. “What’s the big deal?”
    Badger got back in my face. “The deal is, he’s royalty and if they suspect you’re gettin’ soft on the humans, they’ll yank yer chain so fast yer head’ll spin. I don’t think you’ll be takin’ too kindly to stayin’ here the rest of yer life!”
    “What?” I rolled my eyes. If that were true, we’d have been grounded a long time ago. Dad was a total rogue.
    He sighed and pawed his hand through his wild hair. “Aye. I wouldn’t be tellin’ ya if I didn’t know so.”
    “But you don’t agree with what he’s saying, do you?”
    “Of course not.” Badger took his hand and splayed it against his forehead. “I knew men that would cut their parts off to save me life. All he knows is he needs to keep peace and doesn’t want another uprising like they had in ‘93.”
    He looked up toward heaven. “Oh, dear Lord of mercy, don’t ya be knowin’ your own history? I’m goin’ to have a talkin’ to your da’ once he gets home fer not teachin’ ya the important stuff of our ways. You don’t know about Montauk and the massive town mind-wipe?”
    I shook my head. As a family, we never discussed stuff like that. And now that he mentioned it, Dad didn’t talk about the past at all.
    “I don’t be havin’ time now to be schoolin’ ya. You just come by me house tonight, and I’ll fill ye in on what happened.”
    I pressed my eyebrows together. This sounded a heck of a lot more important than banging our swords together, especially if we never intended to fight for real. “But Badger.”
    “Don’t be badgerin’ me! Sparrin’ is what we’re supposed to be doin’ now. We’ll talk later, in private.”
    I glowered but moved into position. I knew if I didn’t, Badger would knock me on the seafloor without warning. As we

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