Chapter 1:

Encounter in the Forest

False Paradigm

In the deep forest of Aleor, loud splashes of muddy water can be heard against the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The mud-filled up the bottom of Elfina’s shoes as she was running with all her might remembering the past that she buried in the depths of her mind. It’s not that she hated nor liked those memories. They were all superficial for her. It’s just that after all the time that has passed after the old lady who took care of her died, why was she only remembering these occurrences now?

The hem of Elfina’s white skirt is also covered in the dirt now as well as the end of her blue cold shoulder top’s lengthy sleeves. The blue ribbon enclasped around her white hair came undone leaving her half-done braided hair swaying along with the wind as she run. She held the lasso as she continued to skip and hop seemingly mocking the humans who were trying to capture her.

“What are you both doing?! Can’t even capture a lone elf. Don’t you guys know how much bounty we are gonna get from that filthy elf?!”

The human who seemed like the boss of the three agitatedly spoke. Elves are rare now due to the massacre that happened 9 years ago when humans invaded and used them as a sacrifice for experimentation to achieve immortality. Despite all of the elves they’ve gathered, they continuously fail for some unknown reason. They even tried to gather intel on the elves themselves but to no avail, they all just brushed the topic off showing that they also don’t have the faintest idea about it.

Some people began to doubt the existence of immortality but there are still others who continued the experiments up until now such as king Maru IV of the humans. In monarchy governance, the king's and queens’ orders were absolute. They demanded to continue it and for any more elves to be captured equaled an appropriate reward.

“Are we even sure that it’s really an elf? You know, they’re very scarce now…”

“Besides, that thing is too fast. Can we really catch up to that?”

The two argued as they feel their legs giving up. It has been almost an hour since they spotted Elfina from the entrance of the forest and started chasing after her without a second doubt.

“She even got those long lovely white hair. What if… uh…a d—”

“What if what huh? A Deity? Stop your yammering, boss will scold us again.”

In this world of humans and elves, the Deities are considered the Gods of the world. No one knew if they were really true because no one ever saw even a glimpse of them. It is rumored that they control how the world will proceed and even know what the future holds. They were about 12 of them according to the myth but no one truly know the truth behind them. Despite this, humans and elves alike don’t dare to badmouth or insult a Deity as they will be cursed with never-ending suffering even after death.

Aren’t you getting tired of living in the forest? Human prison could be enjoyable too don’t you think?

The tiny voices in Elfina’s head uttered. Elfina was living in that forest for about nine years and obviously know her ways around it. She ignored the little voice in her head and continued dashing as the memories of her past overflowed her mind. She deliberately entered the forest when she first saw the three humans, instinctively knowing that they were after her. She knows little to nothing about the other elves who survived the massacre but she estimated that there were about only 10 left including her considering they weren’t caught for the past nine years.

“Ah! This is so frustrating…”

The boss of the three uttered as he slip due to the mud caused by the rain. He looked up into the sky as the raindrops fall down her face. His family is in shambles. If their overflowing debt were to be left unpaid until next week, his whole family could be seized to become slaves or worst be killed on the spot. This was his last hope to save his family. The two included had their own fair share of problems. All were involving money. Capturing an elf could bestow the three so much wealth that they could never ever get hungry for the rest of their lives. Besides that, they are also guaranteed to be treated well by the king and could even get a decent job in the castle. What more could they ask for?

What if this was just a trap? What if that lady we saw back then was just an illusion due to our crippling hope? What if…

The what-if thoughts overflowed the mind of the three humans as their hands tremble especially their boss. They started thinking about the worst-case scenarios. Were they really just been duped by their eyes? Elfina, on the other hand, was enjoying the rainfall as she passed by the trees. The rain continued to pour. The thunder was getting louder. Her clothes are overly wet and she seemed to be having a hard time running but her expression tells otherwise. A small smile is forming on her thin lips. The feeling of freedom that she has always yearned for. It is like she can see it now before her eyes.

Ah, a deja vu. The sweet smell of the grass in the morning dew under the rain. I can’t get enough.

Elfina uttered inside her head after realizing that it was already a cliff in front of her. She remembered how she entered the forest the first time she saw the three humans. Escaping isn’t really her intention from the start. She heard from the old lady who took care of her which already died two years ago about the movement created by the current king to capture an elf in exchange for tons of money and a lifetime job in the palace. Naturally, she thought that they were in dire need of those to think that they could capture an elf without even confirming if it is truly it. She is tired of hiding and living in the forest. She wanted a change of pace that’s why she was planning to get caught but she wanted to mock them off a little by circling the forest.

“Don’t you ever get tired of running? Annoying little pest.”

The humans caught up to her. They were stunned in their places mesmerized by Elfina’s appearance. The rain has stopped. They can now clearly see her face. The ray of hope glimmered in their eyes. Elfina noticed it. She mockingly steps closer to the edge of the cliff.

“What are you both doing? Seize her!”

The boss said as he just now regained his composure. Elfina continued to step closer to the end. One more step and it could be the end of her life so as the end for the future of the humans in front of her. They carefully walked toward her. One wrong move could end all their aspirations.

Elfina let out a loud laugh. Her voice is soft but the humans felt chill in the spines. Elfina raises both of her hands in the air. The humans didn’t think twice to handcuff her both hands and feet so she couldn't escape. She spat on their faces. The distraught mad faces of the three humans in front of Elfina amused her more. It is like watching a clown show from a Carnaval.


The three were overjoyed but Elfina’s presence made them very uncomfortable although both her hands and feet were detained. They felt like something would go wrong if Elfina was out of their sight even for a second. They still can’t be relieved unless they could turn the elf over and obtain their bounties.

Humans again. It doesn’t matter how hard they’ll try. No matter how grave their sacrifice is. They’ll never achieve it. Bunch of stupid morons. It’ll be fun to watch how they slowly consume their own minds and begin stirring up their anger towards their own comrades.

Elfina was talking to herself. She already knew what they were after. She can’t wait to witness how grave their downfall is when the time has come.

“Go on. Seize me. I will be useless anyway.”

She spoke in a soft manner. She said it so casually but it somehow felt frightening to the three. Her seemingly soulless eyes were glued to them sending more chills to their spine. 

False Paradigm