PROLOGUE: LOSS

15th of Summer, 2008, Agria Farm, Stardew Valley of Ferngill Republic

"Grandpa! Wake up! Wake up! I wanna see my chickens!" 7-year old Jane shouted in Korean, shaking her sleeping grandfather violently.

"Why, of course, Haneul! Did you brush your teeth like your teacher taught you?" Her grandfather asked.

"Of course, grandpa! Look!" Jane replied, showing her white shiny teeth. Her grandfather gave a smile through his beard.

"That's my granddaughter! Be a good girl and wait for me to get ready!" Her grandfather remarked, looking at the clock. "Oh dear! It's seven o'clock! It's Sesame Street time!" He added.

"Eww, I wanna watch Pokémon! I want a Charizard!" Jade pouted.

"Alright, alright! Give me a break, Haneul!" Her grandfather assured her, waking up. He headed for the bathroom and washed up. He came out of the washroom to find Haneul cheering in front of the TV. Pokémon was on, as usual. He gave a smile as he prepared breakfast of milk and cereal.

"Ash, why are you such a dummy? You don't use a bug type against a fire type!" Jane screamed at the screen.

"Now, now Haneul. Breakfast is ready." Grandfather said, taking a seat. Jane leaped from the floor and sat on her chair. She poured some cereal with milk and started shoveling it into her mouth. Her grandfather laughed as milk splattered all over her face. She finished her food in less than a minute and ran out of the cottage.

Haneul 'Jane' Park was a peppy little girl with long black hair. Her Korean parents took her to her grandfather every summer vacation. She was raised with masculine ways such as videogames. She loved her grandfather as he seemed to always be there for her. Jane immediately ran for the coop and swung open the door. She flopped down on a block of hay as the chickens ran to her. She giggled as they cuddled next her. When she heard her grandfather entering, she hid inside the block. However, the tickling sensation of the hay made her giggle, blowing her cover. Her grandfather quickly found his granddaughter in the hay and picked her up with great strength. Jane laughed, and so did he. "There you are, my little princess!" Her grandfather said.

"Aww, no fair!" Jane pouted.

"Sam and Abigail came here. They want to play with you!" Her grandfather said.

"Sam? Abigail?! Hang on, guys! I'm coming!" Jane gasped as she released herself from her grandfather's grasp and ran for the cottage. She picked up her satchel and pulled out her Gameboy Color. She also made sure that her Pokémon Gold cartridge was inside. With that out of the way, Jane ran out of the cottage to find Sam Arvidel and Abigail Berneau accompanied by their parents just outside Agria Farm. "Hey guys!" Jane chirped, hugging Abigail. Sam was 10 years old while Abigail was 8, making Jane the youngest among her friends.

"Aw, no fair! Why not me?" Sam pouted. Jodi and Kent laughed at their son's response.

"You didn't give me that Skarmory yesterday! It's your fault, Sammy boy!" Jane replied, sticking her tongue out. "What's your Pokémon level, Abby?" She asked Abigail.

"My Typhlosion is level 43, Steelix is level 39, Dragonair is level 40, Quagsire is level 38, Pidgeot is level 37. Wait… my Haunter is level 30." Abigail replied. Jane turned on her Gameboy to check her pokemon. She gave a grin when she saw her level 53 Meganium.

"Thank you for bringing your kids to our farm, friends." Jane's grandfather came and thanked the Berneau and Arvidel family. "Alright, kids! It's time to see your plants! You can play your videogames later!" he said to the children.

"Aww, grandpa! We were about to battle!" Jane pouted. Her grandfather simply gave a warm smile and lowered her Gameboy. "Okay." Jane sighed. Grandfather walked to the center of the farm where Sam, Abigail and Jane planted their own crops. It has been two weeks since they planted the seeds. Sam's plant was already bearing blueberries. Sam screamed with joy when he saw the blue fruits dangling from the plants. Abigail's and Jane's plants were also growing well, but Jane's one was smaller than her friends'. "Grandpa, what did I do wrong? Why is my plant so small?" Jane asked.

"Haneul, you promised that you would tend your plants yourself. This is what your efforts rewarded you." Her grandfather replied. Jane gave a sigh.

"Hey, wanna come over? Last one in is a rotton egg!" Abigail chirped as she ran out of the farm.

"Wait for me!" Jane shouted as she chased the purple haired girl. Jane's grandfather gave a silent laugh as he watered the plants that his granddaughter and her friends planted.

"Meganium, use earthquake!" Jane shouted as she pressed the A button of her Gameboy. It was a one hit KO as Sam's Rapidash had low defense. Jane cheered as she cherished her first victory of the day.

"Aw, I never won against you, Jane!" Sam pouted.

"Sam, you don't know how to use your Pokémon properly! Fire is weak against ground!" Jane remarked. As she turned her head acting like a valiant hero after a victory, she saw a small figure peeking beside the general store's wall. Jane squinted her eyes to see that the figure was a boy with long black hair. He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and was looking gloomy. Curious, Jane approached the boy. She ignored the callings from Sam and Abigail. The boy quickly hid himself behind the trash bins but was quickly discovered by Jane. The boy squirmed into a fetal shape with fear surrounding his body. "Uh… hi." Jane greeted him.

"I don't speak to girls." The boy replied, shivering.

"Aw, why?" Jane asked.

"Don't talk to me." The boy said, pushing Jane away. Jane stopped him by tugging his arm.

"Hey, can't boys be friends with girls? I have a lot of boy friends, you know!" Jane said. The boy glared at her as if she said something surprising.

"…Can we be friends?" The boy asked.

"Of course! What's your name?" Jane asked.

"My name is Sebastian. I am…" the boy replied, counting his fingers. "…10 years old." He concluded. "What's yours?"

"My name's Haneul Park, but people call me Jane. I'm 7 years old! Nice to meet you!" Jane chirped, holding Sebastian's hand. "Wanna play with us?" She asked. Sebastian nodded. Giggling, Jane dragged the boy to her friends where he nervously greeted them. When Sebastian finished with his introductions, Abigail stopped him from running away.

"Let's go to the mountains! I heard there are spooky monsters there!" Abigail said with an intimidating voice. Jane giggled as she always loved monsters in the Final Fantasy games.

"M…monsters? Can we please go back to Jane's farm?" Sam asked, shivering.

"Scary cat! Come on, guys!" Abigail said, sticking her tongue out. The gang ran to the mountains with Jane grabbing Sebastian by his arm.

"Ooh, it's so dark in here!" Jane remarked as the gang walked into the entrance of the mines.

"Follow me, guys! This way!" Abigail shouted as she climbed down a ladder.

"Guys, I don't know about this." Sam said, with fear covering his words.

"Don't be a scary cat! Nobody likes scary cats!" Jane replied, following Abigail in. "Last one in is a rotten egg!" She added. Sebastian hurried inside with Sam following shortly. The cave was dark. Thankfully, Sebastian had a flashlight with him. He turned it on, brightening the room. Just over the cave, the gang saw something. It was green and jellylike.

"Look, it's a slime!" Abigail remarked. It was approaching them. Sam was sobbing. He was scared.

"I miss mommy already…" Sam sobbed, hugging Sebastian.

"Hey, get off of me!" Sebastian grunted. The slime was now about three meters away from Jane.

"Aww, it's so cute! I wanna ask grandpa if I can keep him!" Jane said. Suddenly, the slime leapt from where it was and onto Jane's neck, releasing its acidic cytoplasm. Jane was struggling to breathe while she screamed in pain for help. "HELP! HELP! IT'S HOT HOT!" Jane gagged. Horrified, Sam and Sebastian bolted for the ladder. Abigail, on the other hand, drew her kitchen knife and stabbed the monster multiple times until it let go of her friend and slither away.

"Are you okay, Jane?!" Abigail asked, checking on her friend. She gasped in horror. The skin that covered Jane's throat was gone, with coagulated blood gushing from her wound. Jade struggled for air despite the slime not being there. She made inaudible noises as if she was trying to say something. Not knowing what to do, Abigail dragged her incapacitated friend up the ladder. "We need to take her to the clinic!" Abigail exclaimed. Sam and Sebastian nodded and helped their friend hold the patient. They carefully took her to the clinic.

"JANE!" Jane's grandfather barged in the clinic with concern in his eyes. "Harvey, where is he?" He asked Harvey Van Veen the new and young doctor of Pelican Town.

"Your granddaughter is in the room to the right. Follow me, please." Harvey replied. Grandfather nodded and followed the young man into a room with a single bed. He witnessed her granddaughter in patient's robe with an IV stuck on her throat. Her friends surrounded the bed. Jane's grandfather, horrified, fell to his knees and looked at her daughter. Her eyes moved to him, but she didn't utter a word.

"Jane, Haneul… oh my princess, are you okay?" Grandfather asked with tears dwelling from his eyes. When he found the wound in Jane's throat, he turned to her friends, who were shivering in fear. Filled with rage, he grabbed Abigail's collar and shook her violently. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY GRANDDAUGHTER?!" He bellowed. "ANSWER ME, YOU PIPSQUEEKS!" The children shivered in fear.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Park…" Abigail whimpered. She started to cry as tears flowed from her eyes.

"Sorry is not going to put it, young lady! Stop crying at this instant!" Jane's grandfather commanded. "Did you go to the mines?" He asked. Abigail nodded in response. "There are horrible creatures down there that are ready to hurt you all and you still wanted to go there? Can't you see what they've did to Jane?" He continued. He turned to Harvey, who was checking on the medical machines. "Harvey, will she be fine?"He asked.

"She will be fine. What concerns me the most is the toxic material I've found in her larynx, which is the voice box. If we don't operate now, she will receive permanent paralysis through her body." Harvey replied.

"I'll pay however you want to keep my granddaughter well. What are the consequences?" Grandfather asked. Harvey gave a worried face as if he's not going to like it.

"The consequence… is that Jane won't be able to speak for the rest of her life. Our current technology isn't advanced yet for such treatment. I'm sorry." Harvey said with sadness mixed in his words. Grandfather gave a sigh. He dearly loved his granddaughter, but the thought of not being able to hear her happy voice again pained him so much. Without any options left, Grandfather opened his mouth.

"Very well. I'll accept the surgery. Please keep her alive." Grandfather said. Tears dwelled in his eyes, making Harvey sob.

"I'm so sorry that I had to tell you this. We have to operate now before the toxins spread." Harvey said, pushing the bed towards the operating room.

Abigail and Sam were being scolded by their parents when Harvey opened the operating room covered in blood. All the attention was focused onto him. "Mr. Park, the operation is successful. We've managed to remove the toxins without much difficulty…" Harvey said. Everybody except Grandfather gave a sigh of relief. "… in exchange of her life, she has lost the ability to speak. I'll get her here immediately." He added, walking back into the operating room.