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Backstory

        In a dense forest, a little girl and an iron toy were weaving through the foliage. Their names were Woodbury and Hamel.

        “Master Woodbury, is that really an invitation from Master Alice?” asked Hamel, who was frightened by the gloomy atmosphere in the woods.

        “It’s an invitation letter carried to us by sister Alice’s Pawn. The letter even has her signature on it...But you’re right. It seems like a trap. Perhaps we'd better leave... What a pity that I couldn't share with her the fresh grape juice I prepared.”

        “Hehe…” Peculiar laughter resounded through the forest. A shadow revealed itself in the gloom. It was Ogier, the man who always wore a smile on his face, as if wearing a mask.

        “You’re Woodbury, right? I’m here to capture you under Master Judith’s command.”

        “Judith...She is that Demon who took over Nome’s throne...You’ve come at the right moment. I’ve been investigating her. Now her man has delivered himself to me. Thanks for making it easy for me. I appreciate that.” Woodbury gathered elemental power as dazzling lights wrapped around her. But Ogier put his hands in the air and smiled.

        “I’m not a fan of violence. You’re stronger than me anyway. Why don’t we play a game instead?”

        ”I don’t have all day to play stupid games with a weirdo. Get out of my way!” Ogier’s faint smile gave Woodbury nothing but chills.

        “That’s not your call to make. Let’s play hide-and-seek, shall we? You’ll have to catch me before sunset, or you’ll be trapped in this forest forever.”

        “Then I’ll just beat you to a pulp right now!” Woodbury tossed her energy sphere at Ogier and blew a hole in the ground. But he was already gone.

        “Hehe...Come catch me before being catched…” Ogier’s voice echoed through the forest. Woodbury and Hamel went on full alert back-to-back, trying to figure out Ogier’s position to no avail. Suddenly, tree branches turned into blades and leaves into knives, attacking Woodbury and Hamel from all directions. They retraced their steps, trying to escape through the entrance, but they found themselves running on the spot.

        “He set up a magic boundary...We must defeat him to get out, but he’s an expert at hide-and-seek. We’ve got to come up with a plan.”

        Woodbury threw Hamel a glance. At that moment, Ogier’s laughter rang again. He stepped out of the bush with his head tilted to the far side, at an angle so impossible that as if his head and body were disconnected. He stared into Woodbury’s eyes and giggled. She frowned in disgust.

        “Why did you lure us into this forest?”

        “To capture you. Master Judith will grant me immortality and Demon status if I bring you back to her.”

        “Nothing will that witch grant to a filthy Human. She is a blood-purist who only recognizes native Demons! You’ve been fooled!”

        “Liar! She promised me...She will uncage me from the cycle of life and death! Death is so terrifying. It took away my family and the people in my village. The voices of their suffering…” Ogier’s smile disappeared. Bloodlust raged in his eyes. “I’ll catch you and become immortal!”

        “I won’t let you lay a finger on Master Woodbury! Die!” Hamel charged at Ogier before he could react. She threw the bottle of grape juice onto him, but he pierced through it before it reached him. The grape juice splashed on him.

        “Tsk! Get lost, you dang piece of scrap iron!” “Ugh!” Ogier struck Hamel hard. The impact blew her away.

        “Hamel!” Woodbury caught Hamel mid-air. Fury twisted her pretty face. “How dare you hurt Hamel!”

        Woodbury gathered light elemental power, which concentrated into a giant light sphere.

        “Woah, scary! It’s going to be bad if that hits me. But you’ve got to catch me first. Hehe…”

        Ogier merged into the woods and disappeared again. Again, the leaves turned into blades and launched themselves at Woodbury.

        She calmly closed her eyes and opened them again right before the leaves touched her. She charged at a rock to her right and shot her light sphere at it.

        “Ugh! H-how did you know where I was…” Ogier revealed his true self. He dropped on one knee with blood gushing out of his mouth.

        “Humph, I’ve never seen a rock that smells like grape.”

        “Grape?...That piece of scrap iron did it on purpose…”

        “Watch your tongue! She’s not scrap iron!” Woodbury trampled on Ogier. He responded with a grim smile.

        “Hehe. She seems important to you. I wonder how you would feel if I broke her.”

        “What?” Woodbury immediately looked backwards at Hamel. A tree Elf was approaching the toy. It raised its spiky branches and thrust them at Hamel, but Woodbury blocked it with her shoulder.

        Woodbury slumped to the ground. Ogier managed to stand up and hobble to her, as she glared at his faint smile.

        “Hehe...You sacrificed yourself for her. She’s nothing but a toy…” “You’re wrong! She’s my family!”

        “Family...Is that worth your life?”

        ”You...are pathetic. You’ll always be alone even if you become immortal. Death is terrifying because you have to face it yourself. You’ll live in endless fear...Ugh...M-my head is spinning. The spikes are smeared with poison…”

        Woodbury couldn’t fight the weariness and fell asleep. Ogier stared at her dolly, beautiful face, as her words replayed in his head.

        “Not even immortality could eliminate my fear…? No! She’s a liar! The sun is setting. I have to bring her back to Master Judith and embrace my eternal life!”

        “Hehe…” Ogier smiled trying to convince himself.

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