The four beautiful maidens, all clothed in the same luminescent silk, beckoned Benedikt from the shallows.

"Benedikt?" the first maiden sang, her head tilted at an angle so her white hair fell entirely over one shoulder. "Come rescue us," she pleaded. Her voice was a gentle and unearthly sound. The others laughed at her words.

"I'll rescue you!" Benedikt shouted. He pulled his shirt over his head and dropped it into the grass. He prepared to dive into the shallows, when out of nowhere something, or someone, barreled into him and knocked him to the ground. Benedikt scrambled to his feet and clumsily drew his sword, confused by the shrieking and hissing that came from the women in the lake.

"Help us!" they screamed

"Kill her," they whispered.

Benedikt's head filled with a foggy rage, overcome with a desire to protect the maidens. He took a wild swing at the figure blocking his way even as he recognized her as Grielle in his addled mind. She adroitly blocked his blow.

"Are you mad?" Grielle yelled, tripping Benedikt as he tried to take another swipe at her.

As Benedikt fell to the ground, the violent screams of the maidens filled his ears and spread a cruel fear through his bones. He tried to rise but Grielle kicked his sword out of reach, pounced on him, and pinned his arms to the ground. The screams grew louder still, paining him to the point that Benedikt thought a crack might be splitting down the back of his head.

"Get off," he growled. "I have to save them."

"They are Sirens. Whispies. They are trying to get you into the water SO THEY CAN EAT YOU!" Grielle roared


"Lies!" the maidens shrieked.

Benedikt drove his head forward into Grielle's with all his might. Black spots erupted across his vision and the force knocked her off him.

And he ran.


Grielle rolled onto her knees. Something warm and sticky ran down the side of her nose. She swiped her tongue over her upper lip and the metallic taste of blood filled her mouth. As she tried to stand, she muttered a stream of curses under her breath. Through her blurred vision she could just make out Benedikt running into the lake with arms outstretched towards the four Sirens. A figure rushed past her and out into the water.


He picked up Benedikt by the waist and carried him back to the shore, ignoring the shrieks behind him. Grielle blinked away the fuzziness as the Sirens came back into focus. Angered by their loss of a meal, they began to float towards them, now revealing their true selves. Their teeth grew into fangs, and elongated claws now replaced their fingernails. As they got closer, Grielle could see their dark eyes, blackened with rage. Ludvig appeared at her side with his bow drawn.

A twang sounded and he sent an arrow straight into the arm of one of the Sirens. She emitted a guttural screech in some inhuman language, and then, in a splash of water and moonlight, turned back into a swan and flew into the air. The others hissed. She flew perhaps twenty feet into the air before her injured wing gave way and she fell back onto the shore with a thump.

Benedikt now screamed and clawed at Moose's arms, begging to go to her. Though Grielle knew he was still under the Sirens' spell, the words still stung. Ludvig fired two more arrows at the other Sirens, who collapsed into the water on impact. The fourth and final siren gave a heart-wrenching cry before turning back into a swan and flying off into the woods. Benedikt writhed in pain as the Siren flew away, his mind still poisoned by their enchantments.

Grielle strode across the clearing to where it took both Moose and Berne to keep Benedikt from running off into the forest. She drew her hand back and with all her might, slapped Benedikt across his left cheek. He stopped struggling and gave her a confused and glassy-eyed look.

"He'll need more than a slap to snap him out of the Whispies' spell," Yorick said.

An idea crossed Grielle's mind. She wiped the blood from the gash on her forehead onto her sleeve. Benedikt still struggled against his captors, his eyes distant and somewhere else. She pulled his face to look at her. Keeping her eyes locked on his, she planted a kiss on his hardened mouth. He struggled at first to pull away, but the longer Grielle pressed her lips to his, the more Benedikt's eyes came back to her. She kissed him until at last his arms relaxed and his lips softened against hers into a sigh.

Grielle took a step back, and brushed the trickle of blood from her lips.

"I meant dunk him in the lake, but I guess that works too," Yorick said, refusing to look at either his sister or Benedikt.

Grielle looked up to shoot a glare at Yorick but instead got a subtle thumbs-up and wink from Reyn. A flush warmed her cheeks.

Benedikt groaned as Moose and Berne released his arms. "I'm sorry, everyone — I don't know what came over me."

"That's all right, my good man." Moose clapped Benedikt on the shoulder with his paw-like hand. "Those foul creatures get in your head and muddle your brains so they can draw you into the water. It's the only place they're truly dangerous."

Benedikt rubbed the back of his neck and turned to Grielle. "Uh, thanks for that."

"Welcome," Grielle mumbled to the ground. She shifted her weight uncomfortably, then shook off her embarrassment and gave the command to head back to their camp. After the evening's events, she made sure those on guard were doubly armed. She herself spent the night with a dirk in one hand and her stiletto in the other.


Thanks so much for reading! I'm absolutely loving sharing this story with you all!

This chapter is dedicated to @ChristianOtaku for all the wonderful comments! I love reading your reactions to this story!

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