Chapter 1: A Song I'll Never Sing

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Once upon a time, in a land known as Nuvinia, there were two statements that all inhabitants knew to be fact

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Once upon a time, in a land known as Nuvinia, there were two statements that all inhabitants knew to be fact. First, the two kingdoms of Nuvinia, Dral and Proghund, despised one another and would spend eternity at odds. Two, one should practice extreme caution when at sea, because the waters were infested with seductive sirens who would happily sing you to your grave.

For a young siren named Vivian, there were also two statements that had always been accepted as fact. One, she must not reach the age of eighteen before mating with and drowning a human man, or else be cast out from her pod to fend for herself. And two, she could not kill someone, even a human, for it would tear her apart.

Warm, salty ocean water sprayed into the young siren's eyes as she propelled herself across the surface of the sea, toward the pod of dolphins she'd seen swimming towards the horizon

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Warm, salty ocean water sprayed into the young siren's eyes as she propelled herself across the surface of the sea, toward the pod of dolphins she'd seen swimming towards the horizon. When she breached the next wave, a fin or two could be seen poking out of the water, only about one hundred yards ahead. Heart racing, the siren pushed herself forward, faster and faster towards the creatures. When their playful whistles and clicks came within earshot, Vivian grinned.

Dolphins made for great racing competition, although at this rate, the siren would be much too exhausted to be able to match their speed. But she cared only for the feel of the water slipping over her skin and the power coursing through her body as she flicked her tail again and again.

Out of breath, the siren broke the surface again and kept herself afloat with a few gentle flicks of her tail. She turned her eyes skyward and relished in the feel of the blazing sun, the warmth of the summer wind against her skin. The sparkling blue ocean stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction, boundless and never-ending. The ocean was open, free—precisely the reason she loved it so much.

Suddenly, something large came barreling into her tail, knocking her back below the waves. Bubbles and sea foam blocked her view of her assailant for a moment as her heart thundered. Please not a shark, please not a shark

"Well, you were supposed to move out of the way."

The siren's vision cleared just in time for her to observe her sister swimming in rapid circles around her, leaving a trail of bubbles in her wake.

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