"Who are you?"
The first reaction to what had been happening came from the man who led a crowd of more than a hundred people. The leader of the bandits, whose eyes were twitching because of nervousness, shouted with anxiety that was caused by the sudden darkness that invaded his mind.
"You don't need to know my name. You'll just remember that I was the one who took your life!"
The old man did not seem to be bluffing; he moved his gaze over the village for a few seconds and then started talking.
“Thank you for letting me live with you for ten years. Like happened before, I couldn’t protect the people I cared about. But don't worry. This kid you left behind won't end up like you! ”
As he finished his words, the old man bowed to the village which was on fire, took a deep breath, and swung from top to bottom with his right hand that turned into a claw.
It was like the move that chopped a horse with its rider, but this time, the area of effect was much greater. On where the village used to be, there were now three large canals, at the length of at least a thousand steps starting from the place old man was standing.
This time, the ground shook with the effect of the wind created by the movement; everything was torn into pieces and flew into the air. The bloody fog that remained from the village just revealed its color for a moment and then got disappeared in this storm.
The impact was enormous in nearby areas, but the old man was aware that it would not be limited to the places before his eyes.
In the distance, perhaps in the distance of millions of steps away, the light around the crystal coffin, surrounded by thousands of candles, disappeared instantly.
As the burning candles went off, the eyes of the white-faced man lying in the coffin, as if his blood had been drawn, suddenly opened.
The day after the destruction of the village, far from where the incident took place, in a cave in a deep valley surrounded by plants, a man was waiting calmly beside the skinny boy lying next to him.
This place was incomparably larger than the small cave where Mel had taken shelter before. The ceiling, which reached the height of several men, was covered with shiny stones that brightened the darkness.
In addition to this feature that made it bright inside, there was a fragrance carnival that was stimulating all the good feelings in a human as if he was in a flower garden.
Indeed, there were so many kinds of flowers around and they were growing in the land fed by the clear waters of a small stream.
"Did you wake up?"
The old man couldn’t stop asking this question, even though he knew that the boy, with his head on his knee, opened his eyes.
"Grandfather! My mother, my father, the whole village! ”
He started crying with hiccups. Mel had slept all this time hoping that what had happened was a dream, but now as he returned to reality, he painfully realized that everything he saw actually happened.
The old man did not speak. He let the boy, whose emotions had accumulated in himself and made him cry until his eyes got dry, to live his sadness to the core.
Although the concept of time seemed to have lost its meaning in this cave; after a while, the skinny boy calmed down.
“Mel, I'm so sorry that you witnessed all of this at a young age. Now you know what the world is like. I have one last task to do and I need you to complete it, little man. Will you be my successor?"
When the old man had found the reason that had nailed him in the same place for ten years, he understood what he had to do. As his body was collapsing day by day and his age was advancing, this had to happen.
"Grandpa, is that a good thing?"
It was obvious that Mel didn't understand anything and he trusted his grandfather, whom he always felt safe with, for the decision he will make.
"Yes, even the best for you."
This answer was enough. The little boy, shaking his head as a sign of accepting it, now fell asleep on his grandfather's knees again.
When he woke up, he was in a completely different place from his grandfather. He was sitting cross-legged on a high stone altar in the middle of a small room illuminated by several candles.
When Mel looked at his grandfather standing right in front of him, perhaps for the first time in his life, he was startled because of him. When he saw the cuts on the body of the old man, whose hands were covered with blood coming from his wrists, he shouted.
"Grandpa, what happened to you?"
The old man smiled despite his exhausted state. Unable to bear with this situation of his grandfather, Mel reached out to help him and saw that his arm was covered with symbols he had never seen before.
Not only his arm, but his whole body was covered with different symbols and signs. Their red color proved that the old man's blood was used to draw them.
The boy, who looked at the old man’s body in astonishment, felt the hand of his grandfather touching his forehead and heard the roaring of him at the same time. After a moment, the lights illuminated everywhere, and Mel felt as if his body, cross-legged on the ground, began to fall in a bottomless abyss.
This state of Mel overwhelmed with the feeling of free fall, did not last long. The moment his two feet touched the ground, he opened his eyes and found himself in front of a giant temple.
"Grandpa, where are you?"
These were his first words. Mel was wondering about the old man, as he was waiting in front of the almost sky-high door of the temple, which had a roof rising on huge marble pillars.
"Come in Mel!"
As he heard the familiar voice, the skinny boy got himself through the door without thinking. There, the shadow of his grandfather fell on a stone pedestal.
"Who are you? Where is my grandfather?"
Mel had another surprise when he came near the person who was calling him. Instead of the blowzy old man Mel knew; now there was a young man with neatly braided black hair wearing a magnificent robe with a green dragon rising to the sky.
“It is me! Actually, I am the person who I was hundreds of years ago! Do not be afraid. You will understand everything when the ritual is over! Start walking and embrace your new destiny, my little one! ”
With the encouragement of the man standing on the pedestal, which was put in a cavity carved into the massive wall, Mel began to walk ahead slowly. He took several steps and didn’t stop until reaching another cavity.
The walls of the wide corridor were decorated with marble stones, bright enough to dazzle the eye as if it was competing with the entrance of the temple.
Contrary to the entrance and walls, the road Mel walked on seemed as neglected as a self-formed stone path. The child, who was walking on that road in astonishment caused by this contradicting situation, froze for a moment.
After the hot weather hit his face, Mel raised his hands over his head in fear. He quickly turned, as if caught in a whirlpool, and looked upon the pedestal. Here, there was a statue with its hair dancing in the wind and with eyes that were almost defying the world with its strong gaze.
The source of the feeling, that had just moved him with fear, was the statue. Although it did not really burn him, fear-inducing energy was gushing from the place where the pedestal was.
"I have to go ahead. I have to listen to my grandfather's words!"
Mel set off the road by motivating himself and on this journey, he came across seven more hollows like the two hallows he left behind.
While waiting for another after the ninth hollow, this time there was nothing but only the long road in front of him. Mel went as far as the distance he had walked from the beginning, but nothing came up.
After the ninth pedestal, the corridor changed completely. The walls didn’t have their old gloss and they resembled a clumsily carved cave wall.
But the road was glowing so brightly that Mel could not take a step without squinting. Suddenly, everything seemed to have switched its place.
When he finally reached the end of the road, a statue, at least ten times larger than the ones he left behind, greeted him. This magnificent sculpture, with its every line handcrafted exquisitely, would evoke the admiration of those who saw it.
The enormous pedestal, on which the sculpture was standing, was made worthy of it, and even the smallest figure carved onto its milky-white body was the product of a high taste.
Eleven-year-old Mel could not hold back, and just like ships caught in a vortex formed in the open sea, attracted by the statue.