He lays in the large canopy bed waiting, barely breathing, expecting to hear his uncle any moment, but hoping he does not. A small fabric bag of food and valuables hides under his pillow. He holds the bag's handle more tightly, his survival will depend on it's contents.
Heavy footfalls approach his door down a dark hallway. A long pause in the steps sends panic into the boy's heart. He worries the door will slowly creak open. Instead, he hears his uncle walk away toward his own room.
He exhales. He just realizes that he had been holding his breath until that moment. He lies there listening to the darkness; he must be sure. A small mouse squeaks in the dark and shuffles against the wall of his room. He buries himself deeper under the blanket as if the thin piece can protect him from impending doom.
Much later he pulls back the cover and his bare feet silently touch the stone floor. He slides off the edge of the bed and pulls his treasure from beneath his pillow. Every moment is measured to make no sound. One step, two steps, slowly across the room, slower he turns the handle on the door.
He hears the door handle click, it pulls open soundlessly. He holds his breath to shimmy through the opening, not chancing to open it any further than absolutely necessary. He pulls it closed behind him only releasing the knob once it is completely shut.
The lanterns lighting the hall affect his eyes and he can no longer see beyond the glare. In between each set of lights he pauses to listen again. No one is moving, he hears nothing. When the passage ends in the large dining room he waits for his eyes to adjust again.
Past the over sized solid wood table, through the door way to the throne room. He avoided the grand entrance double wooden doors. Designed to create a spectacular approach to the King's position, the heavy barriers cause mind numbing noise as they swing open and slam together closed.
Finally he reaches a small servants walkway. The cool air blows against his cheek as he faces the city outside the castle. A few feet away stands freedom, but also the heaviest burden he can imagine. It would be very easy to return to his bed and ignore what is happening. He can eat to his hearts content and have every luxury he desires, but only if he stays, only if he survives.
It is better to walk away. He must find her and protect her, and if possible himself. The cold water shocks him, but he swims out into the ocean anyway. A large fishing boat sleepily anchored off the shore has no idea a young merman swims below them.