Inside the cave, illuminated by crystals hanging from the ceiling, there was a strange atmosphere. Those voices that came out sometimes because of joy and sometimes because of sadness were ceased. Now dark, gray anxieties were floating on the walls.
"You are all in the killing cycle now. I'll catch you one by one!"
Only the flowing water and the murmuring of the child inside the water were resonated. Mel grunted in anger as the wounds on his body slowly closed. He did not go out that day, clawed the metal puppets until the bones in both hands broke, then he went into the water.
When he came out, he absorbed the energies of the plants and headed to the war room again. This cycle continued exactly for one week. The sun was rising for the eighth time as he stepped outside wearing his dark green outfit. Mel walked ahead by scanning the environment with his eyes.
He was taking short steps and persistently frowning against the lights illuminating his contracted facial muscles. He stopped after a few moments and saw the remains of the trees scattered across the field. Even the soil was dug up, the roots inside were cut off and taken out.
“You were a small seedling. You could grow slowly but I brought disaster to you, just as I brought it to my village. If I had stayed in the village that night, my grandfather would protect everyone and no one would die."
Mel, who had not shed a tear for a week, began to cry, one teardrop after another falling on the ground.
“I was greedy. After being a little successful, I forgot who I was. Stupid Mel, skinny Mel, coward Mel! That’s what I am!”
The boy, with his fists tightly closed, cried incessantly until he felt the green sprout ripping through the ground and wrapping around his leg. First, his tightly closed hands relaxed slowly. His eyes followed them, and they opened wide, not minding that they were swollen from crying.
"You are not dead, you are alive!"
Mel's mood changed at the speed of light. Autumn left its place to spring.
“You smart thing! So as a last resort, you have removed this sprout from your main body. I owe you a life. I swear on behalf of my grandfather that I will pay it in the best way possible. There won’t be any more stubbornness. Now you're coming to the cave with me!”
This time, the weak plant did not persist either. Staying on where it stuck, it accompanied the skinny boy on his way back. Mel planted the sprout near the stream, far from the herb garden, and gave it life water from this source.
"Wait here, I'll make you stronger than before!"
By washing his face, he wiped off the traces of his tears and began to walk towards the hall where the giant paw mark was.
From this moment on, days followed days and seasons followed seasons. Outside of the cave was sometimes washed with snow at the height of a man, sometimes with the lights of the scorching sun.
More than two and a half years had passed since the skinny boy walked into the cave on his grandfather's back. Now that boy was proudly standing in bright green clothes, in a valley blocked by wild creatures on both sides.
“Today is the day we'll close the account between us. But I'm still giving you one last chance. I'll be leaving soon. If you pull back, I'll let you go!"
The person, who shouted, was surrounded by hundreds of beasts. His loud voice traveled in the air by blowing the fur of the enemies. With his broad shoulders, bright skin reflecting the rays of the sun, and tall body like a grown man, Mel looked completely different from the first time he came here.
For a person, who had not seen him during this time, the claw mark on the side of his right eye, would give the only clue to recognize him.
“Red fur! The mark you left is right here! If you don't retreat, we'll get even today!”
A long howl came in response, and then the rushing creatures announced the start of the war.
"Wait a little more, buddy. The moment we waited has finally come!"
Taking a strong step forward, Mel began to run, leaving a trail two inches deep where he stepped. While his well-built physique was making a strong impression, the most striking point was the pale green glow around his two hands.
As the clawed hands with three-fingers were swung forward, signs of distortion appeared in the air. Then clouds of blood began to rise. In one second, dozens of creatures were out of the war, yet Mel, approaching the age of fourteen, did not slow down.
His arm muscles, protruding from his short-sleeved outfit, quickly strained and he grabbed the creature approaching him by the chin which wanted to bite him. The hoarse grunts following the bone noises, then an absolute silence were a summary of the cycle in the places where Mel passed.
After half an hour, no creature could breathe except Red Fur, which was three times bigger than its kinsmen, and ten wild creatures waiting beside it. The remaining ten also attacked with a short howling. It was evident that by lining up behind each other, they were seeking a swift and deadly blow.
Mel took a deep breath, leaned slightly, and pulled his right hand to his side. The green color of the clawed hand, which got out of the creatures' vision, darkened, and the distance was reduced to twenty meters.
The creatures were very fast thanks to the shape of their bodies. By using their four legs in a coordinated way, they crossed the ten-meter-long area in less than two seconds.
A smile appeared on Mel's calm face, followed by an attack with the swipe of his right hand. Before they had the chance to stop, the creatures, lined up one after another, blown with the attack on them.
"Not even the half of my grandfather's attack, but it still is too much for you!"
His eyes stared onto the carcasses of the shattered creatures while his mind was on his training with the puppets in the hall. The young boy’s mind suddenly went back in time for a moment.
"It is not working. No matter what I do, it is not working!”
Mel, whose arms were trembling, shouted in anger after his blow struck the body of the crystal puppet. Although he had been sweating here for three days, he had not been able to smash his new target, which he passed after metal puppets.
"Grandpa, what am I going to do? Help me!"
The boy, who was lamenting by looking at the giant claw mark on the wall, began to read the instructions underneath.
“The change that started in your hands will slowly move into your arms and reach up to your shoulders. As you complete your shallow legacy, you will begin to put energy into your paws. This is the first stage of the Dragon's Claw."
Mel, who had achieved that a long time ago, continued to read as his breath recovered.
“Once you achieve this, you can move on to the crystal puppets. The proof of your eligibility for getting to the second stage is being able to smash one. It's not an easy transition, your claws and body will have to go through energy baptism! ”
"If you find it difficult to live up to this day, days of torment are waiting for you!"
While the facial expression of that time disappeared before his eyes, the silhouette of the Red Furred creature emerged. As someone, who passed through the days of torment, the biggest target he had set for himself was just ahead of him.
The eyes of the two opponents converged, despite the distance between them. The sparks fired lightning in cloudless air. The attacks, red on one hand and green on the other, took off, and after two seconds they merged.
Immediately afterward, the giant Red Furred creature and the man, who had dashed forward with his muscular body, engaged with each other. A storm broke out again in the valley that was covered with vegetation and did not cease for an hour.
When everything was finally over, the sky opened up as if to announce the victor and released all its tears. The drops, that reached the earth, continued to fall on the young boy wearing, now, torn-out clothes as he was carrying a red creature head in his hand.