- Character image references:
- Merrill :
Warning, this story may contain elements that tip slightly away from PG-13. Such things as objectification and humiliation are present.
Making her way through the forest, she was following the directions sent to her via iLac, Luna was to meet a representative of her client in the cover of the darkness by their estate outside of town. Checking her ilac again, it read at approximately quarter passed five in the morning. It was an odd job request, but Luna had nothing better to do, or any room to decline. Being a pacifist meant she couldn't be picky when taking on jobs.
Being dishonest was not something that sat easy with Luna, however she did need the money, and a roof for a while. She heard the tiny yawn from the miniaturized mermaid around her neck as she woken up. "Are we there yet?" Luna made sure to gently respond as to not surprise the little creature. "Not quite, we're almost there."
However she saw a figure in the distance wearing what appeared to be a long coat, leaning against a fence post smoking, Luna gotten an eerily familiar vibe, however that was cleared up as she recognized the figure from before. It was a young man by the name of Jace, Luna had encountered him on her way to the neutral grounds once before. He still wore dark pants, steel toe boots, and a nearly fully opened grey button up shirt. Hair still covered an eyepatch over one of his eyes, Leaning on the stone brick wall fence. He nodded as Luna arrived closer to him. "Sup Luna, how've ya been?" Luna was glad to see a familiar face after all that has happened lately. However she wish she had better news. "Not too good, been scrounging for jobs, my guild kinda disbanded." Jace noticed the mermaid on Luna's shoulder, and got a bit curious. "Who's you're little friend?" However Neptuna instantly got nervous and slipped underneath Luna's clothing. Poking her eyes out to see the man. "Oh, this is Neptuna, she's a very shy mermaid. She's sorta attached to me. She's easily frightened. How'd you score this gig?"
Jace shrugged as he thought it was no big deal. "I helped the boss girl escape from a picture snappin' peepin' crowd. Just a little bit of handiwork here and there and some driving, and I got the job. I'm basically their all around guy, escort, handy man, and occasional bodyguard." Luna nodded, figuring out his story as he got in the way of paparazzi and guessed his attitude was not off putting enough to offset his skills. Neptuna had swallowed her fears as she crawled out of Luna's qipao, but ended up falling, luckily Luna as able to catch her. She turned to face Jace "He, hello."
Jace nodded as he turned to face the wall, tapping it with a thin lacrima, causing the wall to disappear in a small doorway shape. "We'll catch up later, we need to hurry." After Luna had entered, the missing segment of wall reappeared. While Luna admired the mansion, Jace then felt the ground after he stopped, and pulled on a metal handle, opening a hatch embedded in the ground revealing a staircase. He stepped out of the way while holding it up, gesturing for Luna to go down, which Luna did, the stairwell was dimly illuminated as she walked down into a rectangular room.
On one of the shorter ends was what appeared to be an opened hidden door, Luna had no idea how it was accessed from the other side. The room seemed cozy as on one side there was a rather comfy looking couch with a wardrobe next to it, the floor was carpeted. Along the wall opposite to the hidden door appeared to be a safe with a lacrima in place of a dial, open. The safe appeared to be open and nothing inside. Against the further long wall were three doors, with circular slots in the wall, on the one on the far right was a golden lacrima. On the couch was the client and her mother. Luna looked at the duo and was in shock as to who she was working for, the Lactube star Coral, part of the Lactuber group Endless magic. Sitting next to her was her mother, Celina. She noted that neither of them really do look their ages. "Hello, I'm Luna, the wizard who responded to your job request."
Coral nodded and gestured to the empty spot on the couch beside her. "Thanks for coming! Have a seat." Over the next ten minutes, Luna was briefed on the backstory of the family. Corals father had skipped town shortly after Celina was pregnant, but that didn't stop her from seeking out her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Trying to live both lives, she eventually met and fell in love with a mage years later. Confessing to him that if she could. she wouldn't age passed her twenties at all. Concocting a potion to do so, he prepared it to surprise her, unfortunately he forgot to label it and left it on the table. When Coral and Celina came home that day, Coral was thirsty and wanted a drink, and unknowingly drank the irreversible potion. The mage was ashamed, he did make a second drink for Celina, but they eventually had a falling out. Coral soon discovered her joy of acting years later, as her and a bunch of her friends formed Endless Magic. "So yeah, before my ex left, he made this room. You see in each room is a special Lacrima and circle that all you gotta do is enter. It will transform the user into the saved copy, we've got plenty of our own. Yours however, will be saved right after you enter, and locked in that safe."
Luna nodded as she started to understand the mechanics of the room. Coral then spoken up about the situation. "Alright, there are three things you need to know, first off is that this room stays a secret. As long as you don't let people know, you can use it whenever you want after this. Jace seems to speak highly of you, I heard the tales. Second, is that I already handled the Lactube stuff, so all you gotta do is relax and be present. Third, well, here's where things get complicated. You see, while you take my form, I am going to take the form of my mother to go on vacation." Luna nodded, following along but incredibly confused. However, Celina decided to explain the situation. "I don't like taking her form, and since she can't grow, I let her use mine once in a while. I am not a good enough actress to play her." Luna felt a bit odd about the whole ordeal, but one question was bothering her. "So, Miss Celina, what are you gonna be doing?"
Celina smirked as she had something in mind. "About that, I will be taking on the form of our pet/maid, Merrill. I have done this before, switch roles with her. If you want to treat me as a lesser, feel free. I enjoy these times.". Luna nervously nodded. Jace had already come down and opened the wardrobe. He threw a fluffy white bathrobe to each of the ladies. Luna set Neptuna down on the couch as she stood up. "I'll be right back Neptuna. Except looking a bit different. But just because I don a different appearance, doesn't mean I'm not me inside." Neptuna nodded, she knew Luna couldn't back out now. "Alright, Luna, once you get in there, you're gonna need to change into just the bathrobe. Slide them out through the hatch in the bottom." The three ladies each entered one of the rooms and followed the same process. Standing in the circle of the small room, Luna saw the lacrima in the center of the circle light up before the magic circle did.
Neptuna grew impatient as she thought it would be over, so she talked to Jace, who was standing by a podium with an ash tray, he picked up the cigarette he left resting there. "Shouldn't it be over by now? Transformation magic is usually instant." Jace shook his head, correcting the mermaid. "This isn't that type of magic, you're thinking instantaneous transformation. This magic alters the actual body so the transformation doesn't need magical sustenance." The lacrima in the pedestal next to the door Luna entered lit up brightly. "Well, her current status has been saved. Sounds like all three are about to start the transformation process."
Luna suddenly felt numb all across her body as she could start to feel a massive wave of nausea and dizziness, and almost wanted to curl over. She looked down as her body started to shrink. It wasn't exactly shrinking as she felt as if time was going back. The details of the magic circle became clearer as she was getting smaller, and younger. The robe that had fit her upon going in was now almost touching the floor. She started to feel a rise and then fall in energy as she felt the energetic qualities of youth, however she felt a massive drain, her magic energy was absorbed away. However the Lacrima out in the hall seemed to expand to double it's original size, Jace was a bit surprised. "Woah, never saw it go double. The Lac absorbs all her essence, including magic energy. Guess she's more powerful then I thought."
Luna's skin felt softer then ever before as any sign of bruising, cuts, or even sun burn seem to vanish before Luna's eyes got covered by something blue. "What is th- My voice!" Luna noted it was no longer her own voice coming out of her mouth, brushing her now longer hair aside, she started to look around the booth as she was now two feet shorter, she was amazed and felt great. She turned around to see that the door knob was now at her eye level. She tried to open the door but found that she did not have the strength to open the metal door. Soon the door was opened and Luna was greeted by the figure of Celina? No, she remembered who's who for the week. Luna noted that Coral went in with a robe that would be a bit too large, now the very same robe was barely fitting her. Luna had to look up to the woman who was holding the lacrima from earlier who appeared to be in high spirits. "Hello there, daughter. Looks like you came out more beautiful then I could expect. Luna's form and magic is safe and secure inside this Lacrima." Luna smiled as she was happy to play along for now, nothing wrong with a little role play. "Wow, you look great too mom." Coral walked over to the safe and placed the Lacrima inside, before pulling out what appeared to be a leather collar with a green Lacrima in it, shutting the safe.
Luna wondered what the collar was for but she then remembered the third door. Coral turned to Jace for a moment, "Grab Merrill her clothes, I'm going to get her ready." Jace went to the closet and pulled out a folded set of clothes for what seemed like a maid outfit. Meanwhile when Coral opened the door she walked in instantly and heard a yelp before Coral came back out, smirking towards Luna. "So, ready to see you're maid for the week?" Luna nodded as she was curious to see what form Celina would be taking. However she then saw the feline human hybrid come out of the room. "Wow! So pretty, but still not as beautiful as you mom." Both ladies blushed a bit. However Jace handed each lady an outfit, Celina the maids, and the other two got the outfits for their respective forms, before taking Luna's original clothing leaving out her ilac. "Alright ladies, sun is rising in less then an hour. Get changed while I get somethin' started upstairs. Cor, ya eating or just ditchin'?" The ladies went back into the three rooms as they got changed into their respective outfits, Coral left Luna's door wedged so she could leave. "Gonna leave quickly, also Luna, that collar around the maids neck, forces compliance out of the wearer. Our voices are the only one set."
Leaving the room, Luna noted the clothes felt odd, but that was mostly because the sleeves were way to long but then resigned to it as everyone has their own fashion choice. As Coral entered the room, Luna was surprised. She saw the attire but it looked different now that she barely came to the figure's waist. "Wow! You look, just, stunning." Coral looked to the third door disappointingly as Celina came back out, finally dressed. "How dare you lolly about in there, you are supposed to be ready before my daughter. How dare you make us wait for you." Celina bowed in shame, but she was giving off an excited aura. "Sorry mistress."
Meanwhile Luna returned to the couch, reaching her hands down as Neptuna jumped into them. "Sorry Neptuna, but with this length of hair I'm worried you might choke. Gonna have to carry you by hand for a while." Coral walked over picked up Luna, carrying her in one arm. Luna started to wonder how much she weighed now as she did feel very light. Coral carried Luna out of the secret room that got covered up by the wall, Luna couldn't see where the switch was. The room was at the bottom next to the door to the cellar. "Easier to do this, you get winded travering the stairs. Halfway up the stair case is the maids quarters, no point in showing you. Gotta admit, that's a nice looking companion you got there, didn't know they come in travel size."
Neptuna blushed before curling into a ball, timidly hiding. "Sorry! Did I say something wrong?" Luna shook her head, it was no one's fault. The little mermaid was just very timid. "Poor thing had a rough life, she's scared of most humans, I saved her from a rough patch who tried to stone her after ripping her out of the water because they thought she drove away all the fish. Who knows what else before as she was alone as far as I know. When she attached herself to me, I made a promise to never let her feel alone ever again." As they got upstairs, the layout of the house became clear. It was a square ring type house, with 3 stories, each corner had larger areas then the ones between, while there was a private pool and BBQ area in the middle of the ring layout, Luna assumed that was for outdoor things without a full crowd of paparazzi watching.
Coral put down Luna at the kitchen table, before snapping her fingers towards Celina then pointing at a small pillow in the next room. Celina grabbed it and put it down on the table as Jace brought over scrambled eggs and pineapple. "Here you are miss." While Luna put Neptuna down on the pillow, Coral looked at Jace, confused. "No sausages? We out or something?" Jace shook his head, as that wasn't his concern. "Luna isn't heavily into meat. Also five jewels say the mermaid doesn't like fish sausages, which is all we got."
Coral felt like a idiot, eating fish in front of a hurt sea creature would be incredibly insensitive. Luna cut off a little piece of pineapple before holding it up to Neptuna. "Neptuna, please darling, eat something." Neptuna grabbed the piece of fruit and started to nibble on it. While Coral grabbed a quick cup of coffee, Luna ate breakfast. Luna then followed Coral showing her out, while Jace loaded the vehicle out front with two suitcases. Then Coral got in the back of the car "I'll be back in a week, Jace, take care of things. Don't get into too much drama while I'm away, daughter. Oh, feel free to the pool, and that goes double for Neptuna, I wouldn't dare keep a mermaid from water. Luna waved as the car left, and soon entered the odd mansion again. Still carrying Neptuna on the pillow. Jace looked down at the girl, lowering his hand as he wanted to offer a hand. "Want me to carry her? I can do it single handed" Luna shook her head. "No. Neptuna only trusts me."
Jace checked his ilac, and sighed before flicking a switch. Around the walls of the massive fence, a translucent blue dome appeared before becoming invisible. Luna saw this from the window wondering what it could be. "That was just a bit of sound proofing. So their group can record anywhere in the house without hearing the paparazzi. This place is Corals home and the group recording studio. Come with me for a sec. Also maid, clean the poolside area." Celina curtsied before she walked off. Jace however picked up Luna, and carried her through the the house, going up to the roof level, and faced the road to the main gate. There were people with cameras starting to approach, trying to hop the ten foot wall. "Got very bad once, most of those are vloggers. Once one hired a wizard to sneak onto the premises, needless to say both the wizard and the vlogger are in jail. When Coral and Celina reported them, they let the scum use the footage so it would be identified. Cutting a deal they sold out the wizard who barely escaped." Luna had caught wind of a few paprazzi aid jobs, but then after one day they all disappeared. After a few similar stories the magic council labeled joint liability for paparazzi jobs. Luna looked around at the barred roof level, appeared to be various patio furniture scattered about. "So what is it I gotta do?" Jace checked a piece of paper from his pocket "All her accounts are taken care of except for Insta-lac." Luna didn't have that app personally, but she was very familiar with it. A social media platform specific for brief clips and self focused pictures. Seeing the pool, she figured it wouldn't hurt to relax a bit and adjust to the new form.
"I think I'll take it easy for the day, chill by the pool." Jace nodded, letting Luna down as he led her to Coral's room. Coral looked around the massive room but changed into a blue one piece swimsuit, before she and Neptuna head back down to the base floor and entered the pool area, she carefully lowered Neptuna into the pool, but received odd glares from Jace and Celina. "I understand she's a mermaid and all, but that's a big pool, are you sure she'll be oka-" Jace seemed to silence himself as Neptuna expanded back to her normal height of 3'8" Before shrugging as he watched Neptuna splash about in the pool. However before Luna could get far Luna, he handed her an iLac. She had a feeling of what he was going to say.
Holding the device above her, she pointed it down as she give a coy smike in the sunlight before, posting it she didn't know how to feel. "I feel, cheap." Jace shrugged as he couldn't figure out what to say. He was just paid to make sure when things break, they get fixed, or prevent things from breaking at all. Luna eventually entered the pool, however she could spot the bird with a camera above, who tried to take a photo but the flash from the camera seemed to bounce off of the barrier and break the camera. "What the heck was that type of magic?" Jace, was preparing the barbecue as hours had spent, he sighed as he thought the paparazzi would've leaerned not to send drones or birds by now. "Enchantment blocks sound, and reflects light flashes like cameras with increased force."
Eventually Luna left the pool, and Neptuna followed, shrinking into her smaller form. After drying herself off, Luna fell quickly asleep on the poolside furniture, Neptuna curled up against her. Two hours later, Celina knelled down and gently rubbed Luna's shoulder, trying to wake her. However in reaction, Luna initially thought she was in danger and her instincts resulted in her slapping Celina in the face. "Oh my god I'm so sorry." Celina rubbed the wound as it left not too much of a bruise. Seemingly enjoying it."It's quite alright, I deserve that." Those words sank into Luna, she wasn't judging of others lives, but she started to hate the idea of this. She had a firm belief that all life was sacred, no life deserved to be treated any different unless they have just cause. This experience had reinforced the belief. Luna hated trying to act like a spoiled brat towards the maid. The next day, waking up in the oversized bed in the large room, Luna couldn't help but thinking what a waste of jewels. The possessions she owned would barely fill up her bag. But then again, she lived day to day without a stable roof since the close of her former guild. Regardless, she knew this was no way for someone like her to live.
Getting dressed in a simple white dress and loose fitting hoodie, she looked out the window to see Neptuna swimming about in the pool. She was glad that Neptuna appeared to be calm, a rare sight given the mermaid's history. Luna walked downstairs to see Jace in the process of moving in various packages, storing them against the walls temporarily. Luna was astounded at the near truckload delivery. "Holy, did a whole delivery cart came just for here?" Jace nodded, not being far off on the belief of waste. "Yep, these lot are a bunch of jokers and yet they get handed all this crap for free as well. Well, not totally, as per contract a few companies want some of their products reviewed, and sometimes the crew requests products when they'll be good for product placement."
Luna nodded and walked out to the pool, extending out her hands as Neptuna leaped out of the pool and into the tiny hands while shrinking. "What are we doing today?" Luna shrugged, she had no idea herself as to what she would be doing today. Turning back out, she started walking towards the front door. Jace shrugged as he wasn't gonna stop her, but the paparazzi was intense. He followed her through the large yard all the way to the front gate. "You sure you wanna go out? Once these schmucks think there's a story they stop at nothing, usually crowding for days." Luna put Neptuna in her pocket as she nodded. "Can't just stay cooped up inside, I want to get out for a bit."
Jace opened the gates however Luna was not prepared for the flashing lights and shouting, she ended up covering her eyes and taking a step back as she was trying to avoid all the mess as it seemed like she was barraged. She slipped and fell. Jace quickly stepped outside and closed the gates. Neptuna slipped out of Luna's pocket and expanded to normal size as she grabbed Luna in her arms, trying to comfort the now smaller girl. "Mistress, are, are you okay?" Luna was suprised how fast she could get a headache, the shock of the moment had taken a minute to end. "Ye, yeah... I think I'm fine." Luna lied down for a moment, but slowly got up. Neptuna turned into her human form as she helped Luna back inside as she couldn't walk straight for the moment.
Luna sat down on the couch before Neptuna turned back into her small mermaid form and curled up on Luna's lap. "That was, just awful... Would you mind, turning back to normal size?" Neptuna did so and sat next to Luna on the couch, she assumed she knew what Luna wanted as she wrapped an arm around Luna, to which Luna curled up against the mermaid. A few minutes later Jace returned inside, his knuckles a bit bruised but otherwise quite chipper. "Crowd's cleared, and their vidlacs and photolacs trashed on the same note. Still wanna go outside?" Luna shook her head, she couldn't go outside. She hated this way of life, unable to move outside of the eyes of the media. "No, I feel don't feel well..." Jace grimaced for a moment but he then let it go, he knew there was not much he could do. In the body of Coral, being unprepared for paparazzi would be a great pain for anyone. "I'm going for a smoke, the maid's gone grocery shopping so if you need something I'm right outside." Jace exited out the front door.
Luna started to realize why the celebrity wanted to get away. She had spent the rest of the week trying to relax, but was getting quite uneasy with the whole ordeal. However the day she saw Coral approach, in the form of Celina, she was grateful beyond all belief. She almost ran and hugged the woman when she entered. Coral smiled as she picked up Luna in one arm after leaving her suitcase by the door. "Hey there, you seem anxious to get out of that form. Can't say I blame you. Let's go." Coral whistled, and the other two occupants of the house followed her down back into the transformation room. Coral opened the safe locked a week ago and pulled out the glowing Lacrima, and gestured for Luna to enter one of the transformation rooms. Luna put down Neptuna on the couch and walked into to the small transformation pod after being handed a robe. Changing into the robe, she soon noticed the circle beneath her light up as her form slowly turned back to normal. After a minute, she was back to her original form and her clothes were slid in through the hatch on the bottom.
Changing back to normal, she soon left the pod to see the other two were back and waiting. "Wow, you two finished early." Coral nodded, Luna's transformation was the most complicated by far so it made sense. "To be fair, neither of us needed to have a load of magic restored. Anyways, here you go, thank you for everything." Coral tossed Luna an envelop filled with the promised jewels. Luna put it in her bag before letting her mermaid companion back onto her shoulder. "My, pleasure. I'll see myself out in a way no one will see."
Luna then left out through the hidden door, before climbing the wall and jumping down after throwing her bag. Luna then proceeded to walk aimlessly into the distance, trying to get away. "Ya know Neppy, if anything, today, I learned how I don't want to live... I don't need money, or fame, I just need-" Luna paused for a moment, but then figured better to not speak of dreams that seem impossible. "Never mind."