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Backstory

        ‘Sumatra, as you’re willing to take the challenge, you must first have a clear picture of why the Druids are expelled from the tribe.’ The woman waved her hands, and images cascaded through the surroundings like a stream rushing downhill. She continued, “These are the authentic historical scenes passed down from the previous Druids of our tribe. You’ll choose your own path after you learn the truth. The rest shall solely depend on you.’

        In the past, the Druid once lived in harmony with the tribespeople. Sometimes, the people would be attacked by Demons during their hunting; fortunately, every time the Druid would repel the Demons and keep the people safe. Yet, it led to the people’s overdependence on the Druid’s power. On one occasion, when Demons invaded the tribe, the Druids had unfortunately gone out with the hunting team, and thus, could not manage to return in time to rescue the people. Seeing the chaos that befell the tribe after the raid, the people casted the blame onto the Druid, and even exiled her. Later, as the rumor spread across the tribe, the word “Druid” eventually signified “catastrophe”.

        Nevertheless, each generation of Druid still did grow up in the tribe, and thus they had developed some affection towards it. Despite being exiled, the Druids would still discreetly protect the tribespeople, which was the reason why the people’s jungle-based lifestyle remained one of peace.

        ‘Sumatra! Something is happening!’ The woman’s voice suddenly rang out, while the surroundings rapidly swirled around her until an image of parents appeared — Demons were destroying their house and chasing after her parents! Sumatra hurriedly conjured magic learnt from her auntie at the Demons; however, the attack simply penetrated their bodies and dissipated.

        ‘You’re still in your dream. You have to wake up first! The magic is only effective in reality!’

        ‘But...auntie, doesn’t it only work in the dream?’ Sumatra kept calling for her auntie to no avail.

        Panicked, Sumatra started slapping her own face and yelled, ‘Come on! Wake up!’ She was fully aware that she was in a dream, but had no way of waking herself in reality. Seeing the Demons in pursuit of her parents closing in, she conjured another wave of magic but the attack merely passed through their bodies again.

        Pacing back and forth in quick steps, Sumatra muttered to herself, ‘Ahhh! Think, think! Auntie did mention how to turn a dream into reality! We’re tapir Druids. Our most significant characteristic is that by appearing as a tapir, we’re capable of entering someone’s dream and altering everything in it. Also, we can use the power of nature to realize the dream we create. Oh yes, the power of nature! I have to conjure the power of nature inside me!’

        In the real world, the body of Sumatra lying on bed gradually changed: animal ears had grown out from her head while her skin had turned distinctive black and white like a tapir. She suddenly opened her marked eye wide and it radiated with anomalously bright light. Sumatra woke, but she did not realize that the attack she saw was merely a dream her auntie had created until she saw her parents sitting at her bedside.

        ‘Sumatra, congratulations on passing your test.’ Half-awake, Sumatra looked perplexed, but then she promptly understood everything upon hearing her auntie’s voice.

        A tapir had been awaiting Sumatra at the entrance of the village; it was going to lead her to where she would carry out her mission. Upon knowing that their daughter had finally become a Druid and had to leave the tribe, they could not help shed tears; yet, they could only bless her and watch her walk away with the tapir.

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