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Backstory

        “Just jump! Didn’t you say you would jump down from the tree?”


        “We can’t help it if she likes to hurt herself. Hahaha!”


        Uneasily standing on a tree branch, Pupuro was covered in bruises. It was as if a breeze could blow her off the branch as she gazed at the sky and the dense forest. Although she stood high above her peers, all they did was laugh at her because unlike her, they already knew how to control their mystical powers. Unable to channel her power, she was just like an ordinary Human. WATER clearly knew she was weak and alone. Even though she had once asked other elves for guidance, she still failed to grasp the ways of controlling her power. Filled with desperation, WATER devised a plan — to jump from heights in hopes that her potential power will be triggered. However, not everything turns out the way one wants to. The tree did not extend a helping “branch” as it would if she successfully channeled her power, so she kept falling to the ground.


        Pupuro did not give up. She climbed onto the tallest tree in the forest and was standing at least forty feet above ground. A stiff and cold wind blew by while mocking voices reverberated around Pupuro, causing her to be unusually nervous.


        “I can do this...I can do this...I can do this...” Pupuro murmured to herself. “My power, I now summon you!” With that said, she leaped from the branch and plummeted toward the ground. Her mind was racing, but she still felt her power empty. She fell closer and closer to the ground while branches stood aside and scraped her skin. Coldness filled her heart; her life flashed before her eyes as she began regretting her rash decision. Suddenly, she stopped falling. Turning around, Pupuro saw herself hanging from a branch because it caught her clothing. Just then, other elves hurriedly approached by using their powers, but they only came to laugh at her.


        Filled with embarrassment, Pupuro panickedly waved her arms and legs, trying to get herself out from the situation. However, with a forceful twist of her body, the branch tore through her clothing and she began to fall again, landing in a clump of grass. Pupuro stood up with her hand supporting her waist. She raised her head and looked up — her peers were comfortably sitting on tree branches and loudly laughing at her. Unable to bear their mockery, she disregarded her torn clothing and the bruises on her back as she ran from the woods to the shore.


        Unlike the calm sea, Pupuro’s heart was stormy. She could not help but recall what had just happened and feel worthless. She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her face while crying bitter tears. A long time passed by but her tears would not stop. All she could feel was the tingling feelings around her wounds. She scanned across herself and was shocked to see numerous blue and white slimy flatworms all over her body, causing her to jump up in fear and quickly shaking them off. It was not until she further examined the worms did she realize that they were the “sea slugs” recorded in documents. Without Pupuro noticing, the slugs gathered around her, covering the reef with a shiny blue layer.


        Pupuro looked at her wounds again and was surprised to see that their slimy secretion had already healed all her wounds.


        “Hm...?” While Pupuro was still surprisingly confused by what’s happening, the tiny sea slugs moved together and merged as one. Colors of blue and white mixed and gradually formed into a lengthy creature with round claws, each with a dozen of finger-like limbs. Pupuro could see that it meant her no harm, so she wiped away her tears and left the shore. As she headed back into the forest, she looked back and saw the creature still growing.

        Upon arriving at the village, Pupuro found the peers that had mocked her earlier were now searching for something among the trees. When one of them saw Pupuro, his face brightened up and he could not help but cheer, “It’s good that you’re back! We need your help again.” After a short pause, he continued, “My knife is missing, but I'll have to use it in tomorrow's Hunting lesson. You’re good at finding things. Can you...help me find it?” He felt nervous asking her for a favor because everyone laughed at Pupuro a while ago. However, Pupuro decided to forgive them. She was eager to help and hence, nodded as acknowledgement before she started searching in the forest.

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