Her mud-stained feet were covered just as prominently with what appeared to be blood. Confused, the Princess glanced at the ground and noticed that she had been walking on miles and miles of dead Oomkali crab bodies, their blood mixing in with the muddy ground. Princess Deboline felt herself gag, but as she was unable to seek a plot of land not strewn with dead crabs, she continued on, feeling the squish of more deceased crabs seeping between her toes and into her toenails.

                Pretty soon, the Princess was swatting at low branches and vines like they were mosquitoes, and after some time had passed without a single valuable frangeracuca shell found, she finally saw it.

Glimmering within the recesses of a clump of muddy, blood-stained tall grass, Princess Deboline saw a beautiful, purple shell that nearly stopped her heart on account of its beauty.

Breath-taken, she slowly walked towards it, looking around her to make sure no one else was around to snatch it, when she suddenly tripped on a log, falling into a dense brush of grass. Feeling only minor pain and not even bothering to get up, the Princess crawled upon the ground of the forest floor like a lion hunting its prey, stalking the purple frangeracuca shell with her now primal, glassy eyes. Just as she was close enough to reach out and pounce upon it, a muscular hand shot down from above her and snatched it away in a haste.

Dumbfounded, the Princess leapt up and wildly turned in all directions, looking for the thief that took her shell, when she was suddenly confronted by what appeared to be a man dressed in clothes she had never seen before. With her hair untamed and her clothes torn, the Princess immediately felt embarrassed to be seen by someone, but this man seemed different from the men in her village. This one had two pieces of clothing on, one that covered the length of his arms, and another that covered his legs, nothing like the dresses the villagers wore, and made from a material the Princess had never seen. He wore things on his feet which covered them, too, and all the Princess could wonder is why this man was dressed in a way that did not accentuate his beauty. Even his hair, she noticed, was not adorned with decorations or braided like the men in her village had their hair, but was cropped short upon his head.

But what confused the Princess about this man’s appearance most was how he didn’t seem to be completely material – he seemed to glimmer, like the shell had just moments before, yet there he stood before her, a man, who looked into her eyes despite the fact that he glittered like the sun. And in his hands, he held the purple shell, not reflecting anymore, but that the Princess still desperately craved.

                She pointed to the shell, smiling in the hopes of seducing the man into giving it to her, as she could not speak his language, but the man still held it in his hands, a smile upon his face. After some time, the Princess grew angry with the man for not giving her the shell she wanted, and prepared to lunge at him and run away with it, when suddenly, the man held out his hand to her, palm faced at her. She halted, unsure of what he was doing, but instead stared at him cautiously, her eyes flickering more and more at the shell. The man held up the shell, the smile never disappearing from his face, and suddenly, without any form of hesitation…

                The shell broke under the strength of his fingers, falling to the ground in dozens of fragmented pieces, each landing with a thud that sounded like piercing screams shouted right into the Princess’s ears.

                Princess Deboline grabbed her head and yanked at her hair, sinking to her knees and wailing as she gathered the broken pieces in her hands. The man still stood before her, his presence glimmering and his smile still on his face. The Princess continued to cry as she brought the pieces to her heart, mourning the loss of the most beautiful, heavenly shell she ever saw and begging for mercy and protection from the gods, so that they may not punish her for not protecting it. In a most desperate manner, her shattered eyes rose to meet his as the tears streamed down her face, begging for an explanation for such taboo. The man continued to stare at her for some time, until minutes later, he opened his mouth and said in the Princess’s native tongue…

The End

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