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I Accidentally Break The World. Oops

Author’s note: I wrote this piece for a writing contest. We had to write the first chapter of a fantasy story. It could be about whatever we wanted, but the only requirement was that it had to start with the line ‘There weren’t always dragons in the Valley.’ What you’re about to read is the world I created from that one line.

This is different from the other pieces I’ve written for DAY in that it’s not directly inspired by real-life events. It’s purely a fantasy story that allowed my imagination and creativity to run wild. Being able to write a story with all-Asian characters without explicitly saying they’re Asian was liberating. Middle-school me would have loved to read something like this. And who knows? Maybe this could turn into a full-fledged novel one day. Until then, thank you for taking the time to give this piece a chance. Happy reading! :)

Chapter 1:

There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. Back in the day, as Grandpa liked to start his stories, dragons were almost hunted to extinction by humans who thought they were superior. The Crystalguard were a group of humans working together with the remaining dragons. I couldn’t remember where the “crystal” part came from, but it still made them sound really cool. Since then, dragons and humans have lived together in harmony here in Garusha Valley.

We lived by rules and agreements set by our ancestors who walked amongst the dragons to avoid the sins of our past. Any humans who break those rules are banished from the village. While it was never confirmed, many of us believed that banishment was a euphemism for being offered to the dragons. The thought alone was enough to keep everyone in line. Our rules kept us safe, and safety kept us alive.

Although, if there was one person I would love to feed to a dragon, it was Basho.

Basho the Boar, as I liked to call him. He was the village bully who thought it was his dragon-given duty to torment the other kids. At seventeen, he was the oldest teenager in the village… and the meanest. He and his two minions, Faraj and Minho, would rough up boys who accidentally bumped into him. Basho would flirt with girls who repeatedly rejected him, which only motivated him to keep at it.

I tried telling my parents, but they dismissed it as “boys being boys.” I’m a boy, and even I knew that was a terrible excuse. I even went to Basho’s parents directly, thinking they would be outraged at their son acting so terribly. But they assured me that their beloved Basho would never commit such terrible acts. Of course, the brute found out and gave me a black eye. And when I told people how I got it, no one believed me.

If my brains were brawn, I would have stripped him of his self-proclaimed title of King of Garusha. Alas, I was as skinny as a twig with the muscles of a newborn. I couldn’t do much except patch up the kids who had been on the receiving end of his fists. My mom taught me what herbs to crush into a poultice that could be used to dress wounds and the best way to wrap bandages to stop bleeding. Those skills helped, but I still felt powerless. Having power meant making the first move, not cleaning up the mess afterward.

An unsolicited pearl of wisdom my mother had once shared echoed in my mind. Yuri, there is great strength in choosing not to fight.