*My remake of a Japanese fable*
by Acezon Cay
Long ago, deep beneath the ocean, a kingdom ruled by the Dragon king lies. This kingdom, inhabited by different sea creatures such as mermaids, mermans, fishes, sharks, turtles and other species, lived in harmony. Corals as colourful as the rainbow filled the seabed, making shelter for these creatures. Blue whales scattered the city like huge stones, composing the people’s transportation. Kelps and other sea plants greened the city, supplying the oxygen they need. The kingdom was so alluring; it shines even on the most distant parts of the ocean.
In the middle of this oceanic city, a palace lies where the king and his daughter lived. Decorated with golden shells, festooned with the best corals in the sea, and bejewelled by the most precious gems, this huge palace is the marvel of the city. Coral gardens, oyster farms, and colourful monoliths added glamour to the palace.
Everything was well. Until one day, the daughter of the Dragon king became sick. Worried, the Dragon king immediately ordered the guards to call the palace doctor, Octopus.
“Your majesty, what problem do we have here?” asked Octopus.
“My daughter! My daughter!” The weeping Dragon king said. “She’s sick! And I know you’re the only one who can make a remedy for my sick darling!”
Octopus hurriedly came to the bed of the king’s daughter. As he checks the daughter’s condition, his eyes slowly closed.
“Your majesty, I greatly apologize but it seems that your daughter will die unless we can find this very rare medicine.” Octopus sadly talked to the king.
“What is this medicine you’re speaking of?” Dragon king curiously asked, with eyes opened in hope.
The bedroom of the Dragon king’s daughter became silent as they listen to Octopus.
“Legend has it that this very rare medicine can cure every disease. It is said that eating this would instantly heal the patient. But finding this would be very hard and tedious. It is the monkey’s liver, your majesty.” Octopus said.
“Then start the search for this medicine! And make it fast before my daughter dies. You will be the one to do it, Octopus.” The king ordered.
As the king said Octopus’s name, his eyes became large in surprise.
“Me?” Octopus shouted. Astonished, he toned down his voice in embarrassment. “Umm.. I mean, your majesty, is it me you’re asking?”
“Yes, doctor. I’m directly speaking to you.”
“My apology your majesty, but I think I may not be fit for this.” As he thought of another creature to do the search, his mind lit brightly when a name appeared on his head. With a smirk in his face he said, “Why not Jellyfish? He deserves the mission as he is more skilled than me.” A plan suddenly clouded his mind as he uttered these words.
The Dragon king, who ran out of other options, agreed to what Octopus suggested. Hastily, he ordered the guards to call Jellyfish.
Jellyfish arrived with a question mark in his face. At first, he thought that he had done something so criminal, he’s brought to the king. Octopus quickly explained to Jellyfish all of what happened the moment ago.
In fear, Jellyfish said, “Your majesty, if that is your choice, then I gratefully accept your wish. I will find this medicine Octopus spoke of, and I will do it fast.”
At that moment, Jellyfish had no idea of what he said. It just came out of his mind. Still clouded with questions, Dragon king sent him to the expedition for the monkey’s liver.
As Jellyfish left the palace for the search, he felt a cold air run through his skin.
“Something’s not right. But I have to do this for the king.” He silently murmured.
During the wait inside the palace, Octopus hurriedly went to his room. His large orange body lied in the bed as he silently laughs.
“I finally got my revenge on that stupid creature. Once he gets here without the liver, he’ll be sent to the dungeons and beat up by the guards! All is going according to plan. The timing is perfect!” Octopus muttered, rubbing his soft, long tentacles.
Jellyfish, on the other hand, is not going well. He cannot find the shore or the monkey. He had searched every outskirt of the kingdom entirely, looking at every corner. Finally, his mind was drenched by hopelessness.
He sat on a huge stone, weeping wordlessly. He never thought that this would happen to him. He knew that we he returns without the monkey’s liver, he’ll be sent to the dark dungeons. Then he came to a solution to end his life.
By pushing a huge stone on top of the cliff, Jellyfish placed himself on the rock’s pathway so the rock could squish his body and tear all his bones. Lying down, he placed a wood beneath the rock. When he was about to remove it, he saw a blurred image of a creature above the glittering surface of the sea.
In surprise, he swiftly swam to the surface to see the creature. As swam and swam, he slowly gained hope of finding the medicine.
“This is it! This is it! I knew I wouldn’t fail!” Jellyfish shouted joyfully.
His body made the surface. He saw a hairy, brown creature with his back facing Jellyfish. He noticed the ears moved up and down as he swam towards the being. Curious with the sound made by swimming Jellyfish, the brown creature turned and in awe, Jellyfish’s eyes grew large.
“It’s the monkey! I’m finally saved!” Jellyfish said in relief.
He approached the monkey and courteously asked to accompany him to the palace.
“Mr. Monkey, can I take your time for a minute?” Asked Jellyfish.
“Sure. Sure. I have all the time in the world.” Monkey answered in comfort.
“You see Mr. Monkey, the royal daughter in our kingdom became sick. And the only way to cure her disease is eating your liver. And…”
With wit, Monkey quickly responded. “So you’re saying that you need my liver to heal her?”
“Um… yes. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Hmm… Okay. If that is for a royal daughter, I would gladly give it.” Monkey said with pride.
As he rides the back of Jellyfish, Monkey thought of what he said a while ago about affirming to Jellyfish’s request. Then folds started to appear in his forehead as he crimped his eyebrows.
*see part 2 for the continuation*
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