|Period 22: The Land Of Mermaids|
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After hearing about the Land of Mermaids, Nana -a previously popular girl- attempts to reclaim her title by finding the mermaids to show that she can also be chosen. But how far is she willing to go, and will it be worth it?
Yomi greets the readers while standing outside by the swimming pool. She asks if they know about the Land of Mermaids, saying that only beautiful people can enter it. She teasingly asks the readers if they have the confidence to try.
During swim class at school, Nana can only enviously watch as a classmate gets complimented for her figure. She tries to write it off, but her friend and male classmates only make it worse as she remembers being the prettiest girl back in grade school due to her thin frame was capable of making anything work and look good. Her mood only worsens when a girl points out Yuina has a big chest and she notices her own flatness, and while Yuina tries to remain modest, Nana is frustrated and unable to enjoy herself.
It's then she overhears some girls discussing the Land of Mermaids, which Yuina initially thought was a manga. As it turns out, it's a legend of this very school, and the girls with her bring up how a pretty girl vanished from the school some years ago at the pool. If the mermaids acknowledge ones beauty they will bring them to their underwater paradise. They are sure Yuina would surely be accepted into the mermaid land, and they go on to say that the girl who visited went on to become a model.
Nana, curious continues to listen in. But after seeing Yuina spot her she quickly hides beneath the water until seeing something that amazes her; an actual mermaid. The teacher calls for the students and they hurriedly get out of the pool, and shocked, Nana has no choice but to resurface and wonder if the story is true or not. Hatsuki, her friend, notices that she is spacing out.
As everyone is returning to class, Hatsuki finds Nana reading a fashion magazine and mentions that Yuina has suddenly vanished. She said she forgot something by the pool while they were changing and left to get it, but nobody's seen her. As one of her friends tearfully begins speaking to the school staff about it, Nana is left perturbed under the assumption it involved the mermaids.
Despite all of the searching they did Yuina couldn't be found. Overhearing girls begin to wonder the same, a fuming Nana returns to class, angered that Yuina somehow managed to top her again. Hatsuki approaches and suggests they fill in for Yuina for the time being, who was in charge of passing out leaflets but Nana refuses, claiming she has something to do.
Nana runs straight for the pool and changes into her swim uniform, diving underwater to see if the mermaid will return again. But despite how long she waits and checks, she simply isn't accepted- further causing her to rage before she gets out to leave for home.
The following day the girls are changing when they hear someone else reveal that Yuina's friends have gone missing. Out of concern the teachers decide to skip swim class for the day while Nana silently fumes and changes, walking through the hallway to hear girls talk about how it makes sense Nishino and Yamagishi would be the next to go. They were beneath Yuina in terms of appearance, and they were popular with boys. The girls can only grow depressed, remarking on how it must be nice to be pretty without having to even try.
Hatsuki finds Nana and begins speaking to her, startling her with how messy her hair is that day. But after Hatsuki mentions being in such a hurry that she didn't notice she can only chastise her friend and bring her into the classroom nearby, where she brushed it for her and recommends she used hair treatment. She also reminds her to wear sunscreen to avoid getting tanned. Hatsuki, delighted by Nana's kindness points out how cute she thinks she is and how much effort she puts into maintaining her own appearance. Despite her encouraging words, Nana is unable to let it go and she returns to the pool later to try to get the mermaids attention.
Until Hatsuki catches her and reveals that she had been suspicious for some time and worriedly reminds her of how dangerous this is without having someone to keep an eye on her. Nana insists she is fine, causing Hatsuki to wonder if she truly believes in that legend. Anxiously, Hatsuki quickly reveals that it's true people are vanishing but she heard from her mother that it isn't because of mermaids, it's because they drown. She can't explain why bodies can't be found though. She tries to convince Nana to change so that they can leave, but angrily Nana shoves her, throwing Hatsuki into the pool. She panics and calls for Hatsuki, but when she sees her glasses float to the surface, her alarmed screams alert the teachers.
Back inside, Nana is being scolded for her reckless behavior. They assume she is shaken up over Hatsuki's disappearance though, and decide to ease up on her. However they couldn't be more wrong: Nana is only concerned that a girl like Hatsuki would go to the land of mermaids an finds it hard to believe. But after seeing how pretty her distressed mother is she realizes that she probably would be pretty if she got rid of her glasses and dressed up a little; which only puts a further damper on her mood.
Soon Nana's mother is in distress as she realizes her savings have gone missing. She calls for Nana and informs her husband of this, as well as the call she just got from a cosmetic surgery clinic. But unknown to her Nana isn't home, and her window is shown to have been left open with a signed permission slip for the surgeon.
Soon, a mysterious, pretty girl is shown walking by a group of boys who remark on her appearance. She approaches the school pool and changes, throwing herself beneath the waters to reveal it is Nana. She is sure she would be accepted now due to her sudden beauty she obtained; with her longer hair, corrected face, and improved bust and frame. She is sure by now she is prettier than Yuina, her friends, even Hatsuki.
Suddenly she hears a voice and looks towards the direction. She assumes its a mermaid but as she gets closer for a better look she sees it has an oddly long body. Horrified, she realizes that it isn't a mermaid, or even a singular person at all- but several bodies of the girls who vanished, all clinging to each other to form a chain. The older bodies are shown to be thinned and skeletal and she recalls what she had been told about these girls going missing and never being found.
Just as she realizes the horrible truth, the chain begins to move and reach out for her, and she is unable to escape as the monstrous Hatsuki corners her.
Time passes and a group of girls are shown discussing the Land of Mermaid rumor. They point out how their friend would surely be accepted and they begin to tease her, wondering if they should test it out- unaware of Nana, now the top of the chain leering at them beneath the water with barred teeth.
Yomi floats to the surface of the pool and mentions that Nana had been so blinded by her desire to be the prettiest led to her becoming a mermaid. She begins to get out, warning everyone to be careful while swimming, and to avoid becoming food for the mermaids.
- Realistically it would have been impossible for Nana to look good right after having plastic surgery. Usually a person will have swollen tissue and require weeks of recovery.