Chapter 1

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“Where is this boy,” said the man.

“Are you asking it to me? How many times have I told you to warn him not to go to the old man?”

The husband and wife were shouting at each other in their little shed as if they were envious of the sun rising between the mountains and stirring nature.

“Be a mother and take care of your kid, people started complaining,” said the middle-aged man. He took another spoon of food from the plate in front of him and headed for the door. As he grabbed the scythe from the doorstep and put it on his back, his wife was still talking.

“Should I tie him to bed? He is taken after you; stubborn as a mule.”

Meanwhile, a skinny boy shouted as he approached the shed which was at the exit of the village.

“Grandpa, good morning!”

“Welcome little Mel!”

An elderly man, with a beard over his chest, greeted the boy by spreading his arms on both sides. While wearing a robe full of patchworks and having a wrinkled-face, the old man was sitting in front of the house, which had a half-demolished roof.

“Your mother will be so mad at you.  Look, I’m fine; you don’t need to bring food every day anymore.”

“I don’t care whether she gets angry or not! According to her, it is normal for other children to beat me because I am not strong. But you always teach me new things” the boy replied by puffing his two cheeks.

Then the old man shouted as if he had become young for a moment: “Stupid boy, do you think I’m teaching these things to you because you’re looking after me? I just get so bored while waiting to die.”

“Why don’t you go to the fighting course in the village as your friends do? If you can prove yourself there, you may have a chance to live a comfortable life in the future.”

The old man’s voice became more serious. He was eyeing the little boy from head to foot while his hand was under his chin.

“Don’t make fun of me. I can’t fight against other children in the village yet.  They’re all bigger and taller than me. Moreover, the fight training is very tiring. I want to wander in the forest with you.”

The old man began to laugh by slamming his knees with his hands. 

“Okay.  How could it be possible to contend with you?  Come on. Today I’m going to show you a few plants you’ve never seen before! “

As the little boy, who was jumping joyfully up and down, entered the pathway, the old man followed him slowly. Traces of sunlight, hitting their backs, were getting caught by the branches of the trees, and then we’re leaving them.

When it got dark, the boy who was running in front of the old man in the morning, returned to the village by sleeping on his back. When he woke up, he immediately set for the road. “Grandpa, I’m going home, we’ll meet tomorrow morning,” the little boy shouted as he ran in a hurry.

The happy mood of the boy put a smile on the old man’s wrinkled face. After watching him for a long time, he walked into the damaged shed. As he stepped right through the door, a thick log hit his head.

“You filthy senile, wake up!”

Inside the small room illuminated by the kerosene lamp which had a fluctuating flame at the end of its wick, five grown men were standing at the head of the old man, whose hands and feet were tied.

With his foot, the biggest of them poked the body of the old man, whose beard was grown to his chest, while the others watched them with angry eyes.

“Didn’t we tell you to get out of here?”

“Get off my boy’s back. Do you want to turn him into a loser like yourself? “

The last person, whose voice was heard, was none other than Mel’s father, who was reprehended by his wife in the morning of the day. The middle-aged man shouted angrily while he was gnashing his teeth.

The old man, who was subjected to questions asked with anger, did not answer. Considering his calmness, he might have been in such a situation before.

“Now you have understood that this parasite will not go away by himself. I say, let’s keep him here secretly for a week, and then let’s throw him into the forest in this position!”

The intention of the burly man, who was obviously the leader of the group, was not good. Though he would not kill the old man with his own hands, he wanted to abandon him to his fate in the forest where wild animals were often roaming.

The first support to this idea came from Mel’s father, the parent of the old man’s best friend. For the peasants; the old man, who carelessly tied back his hair, was just a figure to be ignored. But to Mel’s father, he was like a boil that was causing headaches every day.

“Co, will your kid be able to refrain from causing problems?”

The burly man asked this question to his firmest supporter, hoping that his answer would dispel the concerns of the rest of the team.

“Have no worries, I’ll tell him that the old man left him. At first, he will cry a little and not believe me, but after a few days, he will think the way I want. I’m sure about that! ”

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Things unfolded exactly as Mel’s father set up. The next morning, Mel ran to the old man’s place and when he arrived, he saw something that he had never seen before.

His grandfather, who was greeting him at the door every morning, was absent today. When the boy hurried into the crumbling shed and could not find the person he was looking for there either; until the night fell, he waited for the old man at where he was supposed to be.

However, the old man didn’t seem like coming. Mel’s father, who was aware of the situation, did not refrain from brainwashing the little boy while taking him to their home.

“No, grandpa can’t be gone! He wouldn’t leave me without telling!”

No matter how hard Mel tried to resist, his father constantly repressed him.

“How do you know that he is not gone? Look, he didn’t even say goodbye to you. Apparently, you were not really important to him!”

After this harassment operation, which his mother took over when he came home; the boy, who had a painful waiting all day, could not stand any longer and passed out in a corner.

Mel was going to get to the old man’s shed in no time flat in the morning; however, the person he was waiting for was, so to say, turned into smoke and mingled with the wind.

Meanwhile, the old man, who was given dry bread and a little water, did not touch any of them, as if he had accepted his death, waiting for the sun to rise and set off.

Time passed slowly. The days were full of calmness. But two days before the arranged date, something that no one expected happened. Mel, thinking that his grandfather, who had been taking care of him for three years, would not abandon him, went to the forest alone to look for the old man.

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His father learned about this when he went to pick up Mel from the usual place where the little boy had been sitting and crying every evening recently. Two children from the village told Mel’s father that they saw his son running into the forest.

Mel might have been weak and skinny, but no one was in a position to question his courage. Mel responded to the children, who asked him where he was going to, with just one sentence.

“Something must have happened to my grandfather.  I’m going to save him!”

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