Translated by J.
Just like this, the admiral and the burglar began their happily ever after together.
One day, in an unnamed region of the ocean…
As the scorching heat of summer warmed the seas, a little human sat on the Kraken’s giant head while he swam. As his twenty-odd little tentacles busily churned through the water, the sea monster swam forward at full speed.
Roar… Suddenly halting to a stop, Moqi formed a staircase next to his head with ten of his tentacles.
I think we’re here.
Wearing only swim trunks, Tuoba nimbly stepped over the tentacle stairs and jumped into the ocean, taking a deep breath before disappearing into the water.
Moqi dived down with him. Small fish and shrimps were scared into a panic as they suddenly sensed a Kraken in their presence, and frantically swam in circles around the seabed. Moqi roared with authority under water, his will immediately calming all the sea creatures around him.
No ships passed by this part of the ocean and there were no populated islands nearby. The clear seawater was filled with many species of marine life, making it an ideal location for diving and snorkelling.
Beams of sunlight scattered into the seawater in soft ripples, turning into dreamy layers of glowing light in the water. Moqi wrapped a tentacle around Tuoba’s waist, pushing him forward as he swam so he did not have to expend as much energy. The supple white sand at the bottom of the seabed and the turquoise water above them looked so surreal that they made the sea seem like an entirely different world altogether. A world with bright colourful fish blowing shiny bubbles like silvery sand while they zoomed between sea grass, coral and reef rocks.
Roar, roar, roar… The giant monster growled with its gargantuan mouth.
At that, faint glowing dots appeared all around them, growing bigger as they congregated towards Tuoba.
Tuoba curiously widened his eyes as he watched swarms of jellyfish crowd around him at the sea monster’s command.
The blue jellyfish looked like they were rendered into life by a paintbrush soaked in a deep azure pigment, which then dispersed like silken strands in the water. Purple-striped sea nettle carrying symbiotic Cancer crabs hurried past, followed by mysterious jellyfish with silvery bells and golden oral arm clusters, their colouring steeped with a sense of opulence and grandeur. Next, with their round, bald yellow heads and showy white skirts, a row of Mediterranean jellyfish shaped like over easy fried eggs circled Tuoba before they suddenly departed, running head-first into a line of jellyfish that sparkled with a pearlescent glow and dotted with tiny luminescent bubbles around their skirts.
While the summoned jellyfish danced for Tuoba with enthusiasm, waving his twenty-odd tentacles, the Kraken searched for pretty coral nearby. Once he had found them, he would wrap the tip of his nimble tentacle around a small bunch and pull the coral up from the smooth white sand on the seabed, looking very much like a little girl picking wild flowers on a daytrip to the mountains.
Moqi arranged the coral he collected in a certain order. Placing a bunch of bright orange stony cup coral at the centre, he layered white jasmine polyp coral and fluffy feather duster coral around them. Then pulling out a few sticks of lush green leather coral and tower-shaped Christmas tree coral, Moqi randomly inserted them between the others. Next, he ripped off a large sheet of cerulean toadstool coral as the packaging for the ‘bouquet’, before finally grabbing a large bunch of lightbulb sea squirts and scattering them amongst the remaining spaces like baby’s breath blossoms.
The large coral bouquet was now complete.
Foolish male humans liked to present floral bouquets as an expression of love for their partners. Some of the more creative ones might use bouquets of chocolate, dolls or even hand-made fruits and vegetables… but not the Kraken, for he preferred a coral bouquet.
Once he finished the preparations, Moqi transformed back into human form. With a large bunch of coral in his arms that were so magnificent that they seemed unreal, Moqi swam back to Tuoba’s side. Seeing that Tuoba was almost out of breath, Moqi kissed him without hesitation, and passed over his own unlimited supply of oxygen.
That’s right, the admiral could breathe freely under water.
When Tuoba had acquired enough fresh air, Moqi gave him the coral bouquet in his arms like a boyfriend presenting flowers to his girlfriend. As Tuoba received the bouquet, like many girls after receiving flowers, he lowered his head for a deep sniff before revealing an exaggerated look of indulgence that said ‘they smell lovely’. Moqi comprehended his meaning. Then locking eyes for a brief moment, they broke into laughter, a laughter that melted into the warm ocean currents.
Reassured that he could reveal his true self to Tuoba, Moqi transformed back into the Kraken. To the admiral, there was probably nothing better than this in the whole world.
Reaching across the lovely coral bouquet, Tuoba gently pressed his lips against Moqi’s giant face with a kiss that became freeze-framed in the sea.
Two dozen tentacles reached out from beneath Moqi’s giant head. Clapping in pairs, they sounded an endless applause from the beautiful dream-like bottom of the ocean.