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Part of Your World is a novel based on The Little Mermaid that is the fifth entry in the "A Twisted Tale" series.

Summary

What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula?

It's been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid... and took King Triton's life in the process. Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric's kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world and a prince—she never imagined she would see again.

Plot

Five years after marrying Prince Eric, Ursula - as Vanessa - spreads her command on land by conquering surrounding kingdoms. Eric, not remembering what had happened due to Ursula's spell, distracts himself by composing operas, with his work "La Sirenetta" becoming especially popular, as it was inspired by his diluted memories. Scuttle views "La Sirenetta" and realizes that Eric vaguely remembers, but also that - rather than King Triton having been killed by Ursula as everyone had believed, he'd been transformed into a polyp. After investigating with his great-grandgull, Jona, Scuttle discovers that what Eric has written is true, spying Vanessa speaking to the imprisoned Triton.

Following the supposed death of Triton, Ariel returned to Atlantica, voiceless, and was forced to take the position of queen by her sisters as punishment for everything that had come to pass because of her actions; with Flounder, Sebastien, and Threll acting to interpret Ariel's signage in Mer runes. Though Ariel had attempted to pursue revenge against the sea-witch, Ursula's postage of the guards along the shoreline prevented her from doing so.

After receiving word about a gull that wanted to talk to her, Ariel is informed about Triton's survival. Furthermore, the number of guards on the beach had lessened, making it an ideal opportunity to return to the surface. In the process of her return, Ariel sees Eric, reproducing the song Ariel had sung to him when she'd rescued him on an ocarina while just offshore with Max, leaving Ariel stunned. When Eric returns to his kingdom, Scuttle and Jona cause enough of a distraction to allow Ariel to use the Trident to provide herself legs and proceed into the castle to search for her father. As she is unfamiliar with the rules in the castle, Ariel is discovered in an out-of-bounds area by a guard and is pursued. Fortunately, she is spotted by Carlotta, who hides her, only to reprimand her for her sudden disappearance five years earlier. In their time together, Ariel exposes the spell placed by Ursula by uncovering Carlotta's buried memories. Carlotta partially blames Ariel for everything that Ursula had done to the kingdom, but welcomes the prospective rescuer and helps to properly disguise her.

Ariel searches Vanessa's room, and is nearly caught by a maid, who is searching for Max. Unable to find Triton, Ariel is intrigued by the singing voice she knows all too well. Ariel follows the voice to discover Vanessa bathing in salt water, which returns to their tentacle form. Enraged, Ariel transforms the Trident from its hidden comb-like form into a dagger, Ariel is tempted to kill Ursula. However, Ursula hears Ariel's approach, and thus Ariel returns to her senses; fortunately Ursula chalks what she'd heard up to the maid who had been searching for Max and shrugs it off, allowing Ariel to discover Ursula's Nautilus. Without thinking, Ariel steals the Nautilus, but is seen by Ursula's personal aide, Vareet, although she silently promises to remain quiet about it.

Ariel rushes off and immediately destroys the Nautilus, restoring her voice, freeing Eric from the spell over him, but unintentionally tipping Ursula off to her presence. Ariel then decides to speak with the townsfolk in order to uncover more about what Ursula had done as Vanessa, eventually meeting Argent, an 'inker' who is privy to Ariel's identity as a mermaid due to the ancient coins she uses, which she'd collected from the ocean floor, though she keeps Ariel's secret, hoping to one day see Ariel in her true form. While Eric attempts to maintain the illusion of being under Ursula's spell, while Ursula attempts to encroach on a neighboring kingdom's supply of tin - which she'd need to craft more weapons of war. While Ursula has been cut off from the sea, and thus her source of magic, she has taken to utilizing other methods, and poisons the emissary when he rejects her offer. While considering a ritual in which the Elder Gods would provide her with power she could wield on land, Ursula summons Flotsam and Jetsam, now transformed into human disguises, and offers a reward for the capture or reported sightings of Ariel, now deemed an enemy of the state.

Meanwhile, Flounder returns to Atlantica on Ariel's orders, updating Sebastien on the matters while the kingdom grows frustrated with Sebastien's attempt to organize the kingdom in Ariel's place. Attina, Ariel's oldest sister, overhears the update, expressing that she's growing impatient with Ariel's progress. On land, Ariel discovers a message written in the sand of the coast, written in Mer runes, which states that Triton would be killed if Ariel is found to be in the kingdom. With help from Carlotta and Grimsby, Ariel manages to meet Eric while he's out on a stroll, where she tells him that she'd returned to find her father, rather than for Eric, who mulls over Ariel's decision to bargain with Ursula; recounting that he'd nearly died of pneumonia after Ariel had saved him. Eric vows to find Triton for Ariel, thrilled by their meeting and promising to update her. Only, when Eric returns to the castle, Grimsby informs Eric that the body of the emissary had been found.

While considering the early years of their marriage, in which Vanessa would obsessively pose and boast openly, seemingly to herself - leading Eric to rationalize that perhaps Triton was her intended audience. Correct, Eric discovers that Ursula had disguised a collection of imprisoned polyps as perfume bottles in her room - however he is unable to tell whether or not one of them, if any, is Triton. Elsewhere, Ariel returns to the sea and explains to Flounder, Sebastien, and Attina about what had happened with Eric, and Attina is disappointed in Ariel's reliance in the humans, allowing Ariel to finally realize and understand that Attina, like their father, had always been afraid of losing Ariel to the humans.

At Chef Louis' insistence, Eric sits down to dinner with Ursula, who explains away her different voice as being the result of a cold. The two trade wits with one-another, both aware of the other's motives, with Ursula admitting at Ariel is to be killed on sight if she is found in the kingdom. With Eric exposed by his shock, he equates Ursula to evil, resulting in a comparison from Ursula between humans and the evil elder gods for consuming frivolously and polluting the sea. In her explanation, Ursula professes her pleasure at toying with the humans, who also outnumbered the Mer, while also having realized that, under the sea, she'd never be able to attain the same position of power due to her reputation among the Mer. Unintentionally, Ursula reveals to Eric that she's unable to perform magic while cut off from the sea, something Eric thinks of using against her - only, Ursula threatens to kill Grimsby if she suspects Eric of helping Ariel.

Ursula plots to move her plans forward with the ritual, but requires a new voice, attempting to bargain with a local girl. However, this attempt ends in failure, when the girl becomes scared and flees. Grimsby then discovers Ursula's plans to send Triton to the zoo of one of her allied kingdoms, which Eric relays to Ariel, only this is lead Ursula places in order to draw the mermaid into a trap, where Ursula taunts Ariel and leaves her to return to the sea, defeated. Thinking of those she'd forgotten over the five years she'd been on land, Ursula makes preparations to destroy Atlantica, and the entirety of the Mer, once and for all.

While speaking with Carlotta, Eric's attention is pointed to the castle garden, where Ursula has planted a collection of poisonous plants, tipping Eric off to Ursula's attempt at witchcraft on land. Soon after, Jona arrives with a message from Ariel to explain what had happened with Ursula. Ariel also brings her sisters and the royal council up to speed, resulting in Attina providing her youngest sister with her blessing to be with Eric if she saved their father, as it had always been clear to her that Ariel was unhappy as a mermaid.

After Ursula's attempts to get an admiral to destroy Atlantica go awry, Eric puts his foot down about her military actions. Expectedly, Ursula threatens Eric's life, but Eric realizes that Ursula could do anything but, pointing out how she had signed a contract just like Ariel, one of marriage, understanding their importance to the sea-witch. Afterwards, as word spreads of Eric's supposed growing mania, Eric discovers a map drawn up by Ursula while he searches for Triton. Additionally, he comes across Vareet, drawing on a page from one of Ursula's spellbooks, which is written in Mer runes.

Ariel, in the meantime, discovers that Ursula had offered a reward for the capture of a "magical fish", which is Flounder, precipitating the overfishing of many species of fish, which are then left to rot in the sun. Furious, Ariel gives in to her anger and conures a tsunami to strike the kingdom - and though she reels back her anger, the wave manages to injure many, and destroy Ursula's warships, but also allow the surviving fish to escape to back to the sea. She then meets with Eric again, where he shows her what he'd found, revealed to be a map of Atlantica and the ritual, requiring the blood of the gods - which had been why Ursula had been keeping Triton alive all of these years. To Ariel and Eric's horror, had Ariel not lost her temper, Ursula's warships would have succeeded in dropping a bomb on Atlantica, killing the Mer. Eric and Ariel then try to figure out a way to show the people what Ursula really is, by dousing her in sea water, leading the two to kiss for the first time.

The two part ways to brainstorm together, with Eric being informed by Grimsby the necessity to redo the viewers box before the free public performance of 'La Sirenetta', and Sebastien inspiring Ariel. Together, they plan for the performance to be next to the fountain of Neptune, which draws upon water from the sea, which they would push Ursula into after dedicating the performance of 'La Sirenetta' to her on stage. To ease Ursula's suspicion, Eric provides her a bronze medallion as an armistice, suggesting that they need to act like a couple in order to quell the potential of a revolution. While not trusting Eric, Ursula seizes the opportunity to use the audience as sacrifices in the ritual.

At the performance, where Ariel attends in disguise with Sebastien, Ursula begins by informing the audience that, despite the destruction of her war vessels, they had been gifted replacements by one of their allies, which were en route to perform a munitions test out at sea, the cover for her plot to destroy Atlantica. She then claims to have Carlotta imprisoned in the basement of the castle for high treason, and congratulates Flotsam and Jetsam on their capture of Flounder, who they throw into Neptune's Fountain. Ariel, wanting to help her friends, is advised against doing so by Sebastien and Argent, while Flotsam and Jetsam rain the reward for Flounder's capture down upon the audience.

With the audience distracted, Eric moves against Ursula, only to have Flotsam and Jetsam pull daggers on him. Jona and Scuttle attempt to intervene, while Grimsby, seeing the danger attempts to reach Eric, giving control of Max to Vareet, who allows Max to attack Ursula, pushing her into the fountain and successfully revealing her for what she is. Not bothered, Ursula beckons Ariel forward by revealing Triton to be in an ampule hanging from her neck, while also threatening to kill Eric if anyone tried to move against her. Ursula attempts to pin the blame for everything on Ariel, but when her efforts prove unsuccessful - the audience now aware of the truth of "La Sirenetta", Ursula begins the ritual by drawing blood forth from the audience members with her magic, now restored due to the sea water in the fountain.

Ariel surrenders herself to Ursula, suggesting that, rather than the risk of summoning the Elder Gods, what Ursula really wanted was to rule over the Mer as penance for her exile. Ariel offers herself, Triton, the Trident, and the right to rule Atlantica, to Ursula in exchange for the lives of the humans - but while saying goodbye to Flounder, Ariel attacks with magic, also summoned from the fountain's sea water. While Ursula defends herself, she manages to gain the upper hand, grabbing Ariel and Eric in her tentacles - though Ariel is able to escape with the help of the humans in the audience, diving after the ampule containing her father.

Seeing Ursula strangling Eric, while Flotsam readies to stab the prince, Ariel gives her father to Vareet for safekeeping and attempts to reach her beloved, who uses his last burst of strength to launch Ursula into the water, bringing himself and Flotsam in with her. Flotsam's dagger then pierces Ursula's heart, killing her, but Eric is buried beneath her in the fountain. Flounder informs Ariel that Eric is still alive, and so Ariel dives into the fountain, returning to her mermaid form, and wrestles Eric from Ursula's grip.Vareet returns Triton to Ariel, who immediately returns him to his Mer form, embracing his daughter and crying, forgiving Ariel for everything that she'd done that had led to his imprisonment in the first place. Ariel then introduces Triton to Eric, Grimsby, Vareet, and Argent, with the king of the sea expressing his gratitude before beckoning Ariel back to the sea.

In the time that follows, Eric frees Carlotta, sends Jona to intercept her warships with a message from him, chains together Flotsam and Jetsam and throws them back into the sea, and swiftly undoes all of Ursula's military work. As well, Eric ensures that Vareet receives a proper education, and offers her a place as his secretary if she was interested, while Jona is made the official emissary between the humans and the Mer. Ariel, on the other hand, manages to convince her father to allow her to act as an emissary to the humans, lest she seek another method to reach the surface world without her father's help, as she had done before. Attina's aid in the matter and volunteering to help their father rule ultimately helps sway Triton's opinion.

New Characters

  • Admiral Tarbish - a Tirulian admiral who refuses Ursula's order to drop munitions into the sea, resigning from his position shortly thereafter.
  • Argent - a Tirulian inker, who sells apples in the market. Argent is the first to realize that Ariel is a mermaid when she uses coins thought to have been lost to the sea long ago. Argent aids Ariel in her battle against Ursula come the St. Madalberta's Day performance of "La Sirenetta".
  • Cahe Vehswo - a peasant farmer in Adam's Rock who speaks with the Tirulian captain when they claim Adam's Rock as part of Tirulia.
  • Iase - Ibrian ambassador and spy for Ursula, Iase attempted to cut ties with Tirulia in wake of unfulfilled promises from the princess, resulting in his subsequent murder via poisoning.
  • Jona - Scuttle's great-grandgull, Jona acts as a method of communication between the Mer and humans throughout the attempt to liberate Tirulia from Ursula's tyranny, while also acting to keep an eye on Ariel while she's on land.
  • Julia - the daughter of a Tirulian fisherman whom Ursula attempted to bargain with in order to obtain a new voice after Ariel regained her own. Julia, keeping her sense about her, refused to give in to Ursula's offers, fleeing in fear when the sea witch attempted to attack with her tentacles.
  • Klios - the dolphin amanuensis who works alongside the rest of Ariel's royal council in preparation for informing the Mer about Ariel's ventures out of the sea.
  • Vareet - Ursula's personal maid, she is the only human to know the truth about the sea-witch, and does what she can to help Ariel and Eric in their endeavors.

Trivia

  • Eric's kingdom is given the name of 'Tirulia'.
  • The seahorse herald from The Little Mermaid is given the name of Threll in "Part of Your World (A Twisted Tale)"
  • Eric is stated to have a younger sister, named Divinia, who would receive his kingdom in the event of his death, following Vanessa's subsequent ousting. Furthermore, Eric is stated to have a cousin, Countess Gertrude, who was a great fan of anything that flew and would often beckon to the birds of the kingdom from her balcony with offers of treats.
  • Eric gets a tattoo from Argent in Mer runes to commemorate his relationship with Ariel after Ursula's defeat.
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