the sea kingdom is the only home you've ever known, and the only place you want to be. from the moment you hatched, you were full of love for the sea. it takes no time at all for you to love all the denizens of the sea kingdom, from princess uomi all the way down to the smallest fish. similarly, people loved you before you were born.
everyone tells you stories of a father you never got to meet. the great sorcerer protected your sea with everything he had, kept it safe so you could be born in a time of peace. he was already gone long before you hatched, but the memories he left behind in others keeps you from missing him too much. you still feel close to him without actually meeting him, and you are far from lonely even if he isn't by your side. you are the only witch in your sea after your father, the only one capable of keeping your sea in balance because of your connection to him. it's a lot to live up to.
you are trained by tatsumiya from day one. your father's legacy is passed down to you little by little in the teaching of his spells. you learn of the barrier around your sea and where to fix it should cracks appear. no one outside of a select few should be able to go near the points that give the barrier power, much less damage them at all, but the measure is more cautionary than anything. you learn about the existence of other witches and their internal conflict from chlomaki, a witch from someplace far away. she takes a liking to you right away, and you could say the same about her.
you are happy in your sea. you would do anything to protect it.
when you first meet samekichi, it's like something inside you finally clicked into place, something you didn't know was incomplete without him. he's rough around the edges, but funny and sweet at the same time. the two of you can talk for hours about everything and nothing. you can't remember if you've ever been this happy and content in your entire life. you used to only feel this way at night with the full moon to look up at. you can't describe why you feel the most content with samekichi or while looking up at the full moon, but you wouldn't trade it for anything.
you make samekichi your very first familiar. little changes between you after that. he stays at your house and listens to you play the piano just as often. you take trips with him to the islands in your sea. you laugh with him and enjoy the passage of your days with more joy than the last.
one night on star island, with the glow of stars in the sky and trees surrounding you, samekichi gifts you with the most beautiful ocarina you've ever seen. he says he loves you, and you say it back. you love all your friends, of course.
sal is the ambassador of the sea of death. you knew that one day such a creature would come, have been told about it ever since you hatched, but you never expected it to be sal.
your mind whirls as you lay pinned to the ground by sal, your chest tight with panic and lost air. the revelation doesn't feel real at all, more like a horrible nightmare. you've had fun with sal. you thought he was nice. you trusted him. everyone trusted him.
sal is a traitor. sal tricked you. sal is going to hurt you. no one knows where you are. you should have never followed sal in the first place, but how could you have known?
sal smiles at you, razor sharp teeth glinting and menacing in the low light. your eyes are wet with tears and you can't get free.
"I LOVE YOU, WADANOHARA."
you don't want this. you don't want this. you don't want this. you don't—
"help me, samekichi!"
tatsumiya tells you that the sacred sword has been stolen. you don't know who could have done it.
there's a hole in your memory you can't quite fill. the nagging feeling in the back of your head that says you've forgotten something important will not leave you alone. it's like someone took a slate from your head and wiped it completely clean. you have no idea what it is you need to remember.
what have you forgotten? what do you need to remember?
standing the in the presence of the great witch is just as intimidating as you imagined. it's your first time seeing her and your first time visiting the witch world. part of you feels lost here, unsure of what to do. you haven't traveled very far outside of the sea kingdom. chlomaki reassures you the way she always does, winking with a smile on her face.
you leave with parts of your memory still missing, the great witch unable to do anything about it.
the sea kingdom is on the verge of war with the tosatsu kingdom after years of peace. your sea has never once been attacked by another kingdom, and what was once believed to be impossible has suddenly become entirely too real. the barrier is cracked, its foundations weak. only you can fix it, yet you can't help but worry. no one should have been able to get near the jewels that keep the barrier intact. you can't stay lost in denial, even if everything tells you that this couldn't have happened.
something is very, very wrong.
you can't bring yourself to believe the accusations thrown at samekichi, but you don't know how to convince anyone otherwise. you try, because there's no way samekichi would do anything to hurt your sea. there has to be reason why he's so cold to you now, so turned away from you that the happiness you once felt is more like a dream than reality. no matter how much you think about it, you can't find a reason for his actions, and samekichi refuses to tell you anything. you can't say he's innocent without proof. everyone but you is pointing their fingers at samekichi; you don't know what to do with your hands. you don't know what to do with samekichi. fists clenching in silence, your shoulders growing heavier and heavier by the day, you can only look on, hoping that maybe this is all a misunderstanding.
samekichi is not a traitor, you know this, would do anything to make everyone see the truth, but you can't deny that he's hurt you by turning the other way. what happened to the old samekichi who would listen to you play the piano for hours on end? what happened to the old samekichi who smiled at you, looked out for you, stayed by your side always? you wish you could go back to then. you wish samekichi would open up to you again. you want samekichi to be with you again.
you weren't lying when you said you wanted to stay with samekichi forever.
sal is the ambassador of the sea of death.
your beautiful sea, the sea you've loved and protected your whole life, turns red before your very eyes because of sal. he laughs and belittles you to your face, the sacred sword turned as red as the sea, the moon a melting backdrop to the worst thing you've ever felt in your life.
flashes of memory make your head split in two. sal pushing you down, sal saying he loves you, sal hurting you with a smile on his face. your entire body feels like ice, immovable and cold down to your very bones. you're scared. you're so, so scared of his sharp grin and red eyes. there's nothing to stop him from hurting you a second time. not even samekichi.
princess mikotsu appears, and your eyes close.
(it was a dream. the whole thing was just a dream. there was never a threat from the tosatsu kingdom, and sal is nowhere to be seen. peace continues on undisturbed, and you continue your life as if nothing happened.
the entire kingdom is covered in blood and the corpses of everyone you know. the streets and houses are drowned in red as far as the eye can see, stretching out into the distance reaches of your sea. no one speaks, but they still talk to you. you laugh with your familiars just like usual. the gaping hole where memoca's visible eye used to be always looks happy to see you. dolphi's face may be scooped out and missing entirely, but that doesn't stop her from making the same cute expressions as before. fukami's decapitated head is still as serious and reserved as ever, just what you'd expect from him. it's nice here. you like it here. everyone is happy. there's no pain here for anyone, not even you. a life without troubles, a life where everyone could be happy. this is what you wanted. you could stay here forever.
this is not real.
you blink, the scene shifting. the blood and bodies are gone, yet you still feel trapped.
you meet your father for the first time. he's just as kind and wise as you've been told. he smiles at you, tears prickling your eyes as you wish you could stay longer to actually talk to your father, if only once.)
you wake up.
holding your father's staff in your hands, you face sal with a clear head. you're not afraid of him anymore.
samekichi is gone. his absence wounds you in a way that makes being impaled by the sacred sword seem like nothing. the injury sal left you with heals much faster in comparison. it feels like you only really had samekichi back for a minute, only for him to disappear entirely.
sal has to be stopped and the sacred sword returned to its rightful place. you know this, yet you still wish samekichi didn't take on that burden for himself alone. he's protected you from sal for so long, and you only just remembered what he scarified to keep you safe. his coldness toward you, his abrasive and cruel words, was all an act to protect you from sal, and you feel like a fool for not realizing the truth sooner. your failures loop in your head like a melody playing on for an eternity, like an awful dream that repeats every night. if only you had been stronger. if only you had remembered who sal was from the start. you could have prevented all of this.
months turn into years, and you hear nothing from samekichi. the pain dulls but still throbs, trying to heal over and never fully closing. you play your ocarina for him everyday, hoping that maybe - just maybe - he might come to your call. you believe in him just as you always have and always will. he promised he would return; you don't mind waiting for the rest of your life if you have to. as long as you can be with samekichi again someday, you're willing to wait forever. you love him the most out of everyone, after all.
you become a better witch in the meantime, one you wish you could have been so long ago when it was needed the most. your regrets never completely fell away with time, but you are more determined now more than ever to keep your sea safe. your father passed down this duty to you, gave his staff so you could be strong enough for the task. you love your sea, and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
your wait ends on the night of the full moon. samekichi finally came back to you. you smile at him, your eyes hot with tears you're trying to hold back.
you hug samekichi tightly, shedding the tears you promised to keep at bay. you're never going to let of him go again.