The silent forest stared down at the young culprits as they looked around for the voice that had sent chills down there spine. At the opening of the field where you could look down at the river dividing the village and the town, stood a man with a built that these children had only seen in books that spoke about heroes that were perfect in every way. His face was as calm as the silently flowing water in the deep river down the mountain and his perfectly tanned skin shone under the bright clouds that were hiding the sun somewhere. The man wore a burgundy scarf around his shoulders and his belt held a sword whose sheath was a simple shade of wood that had an engraving of the symbol of fire in gold.

Boro looked at the man with anger but the moment the latter’s eyes met his, a certain overwhelming emotion overtook him, enveloping all his senses. Boro did not realise it was fear that was creeping all through his body as his body let out buckets of sweat with a cold sensation making him shiver all over.

Everyone, excluding Fergeson, was somewhat happy somewhere in some corner of their heart to see Boro in this state but they were still not sure who or what the man was in front in them and whether he was the one responsible for the quake they had felt just now.

“Do you little ones realise how angry you have made the forest for hurting an innocent child?” The man’s voice was stern with a hint of worry.

“How can the forest get angry? It’s not a living creature.” shouted one of Boro’s little henchmen. Boro was still in a state of shock. The rest of the kids were getting uncomfortable with Boro not displaying his power.

The strange man smiled as he pointed to Fergeson, who had never taken his eyes off the forest shadows and stood frozen in front of a giant lion that came of the shade and stood in front of the golden-haired boy like a shield. As every other little head turned towards Fergeson and then towards the tiger, little hearts fastened and breaths grew short. The beast looked at them one by one, kindling fear with every passing moment before giving out a loud roar.

And that was enough; enough to send the once fearless mischievous bullies into a herd of wailing sheep running down the mountain. Everyone ran for their lives except Fergeson. He stood there in front of the lion, huge tears falling from his eyes.

“I won’t hurt anyone from the other side of the river I promise.” his voice shook when he spoke like any child would when he has been scolded by his mother and is questioned for his actions.

The man studied him intently. It wasn’t long before he realised that the little kid was really talking to the beast.

“Okay, I won’t play with Boro-san an-” a little growl from the tiger’s throat stopped little Fergeson, forcing him to correct himself.

“I won’t play with Boro anymore. I-I know he is not a good person but when any one of us does not do as he says he takes us away alone so that our parents or other kids won’t know and hurts us, so we have to listen to what he says, every time.”

The beast looked towards the city for moment as if in some deep thought. He then turned back to Fergeson and groaned some things to him which were only understandable to the two of them.

Fergeson listened intently to the beast. The more he heard, the more his mouth opened in shock while his eyes bulged out of the sockets. In the end he had to cover his mouth with his hands to not let the excitement escape.

“O-Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll bring him then.” Fergeson wiped his tears from his soiled shirt and turned into the direction of the town and stopped short to look at the golden-haired boy.

“I’m sorry. I just did what Boro told me. I don’t like hurting anyone. Please forgive me.”

Saying that, he ran in the direction similar to where the rest of the boys had fled.

Chapter 3: The Sins                                                                                 Chapter 5: The Guardian