One of those black sky nights, deep in the forest with trees as far as the eyes can see, no sign of human life except a lonely shelter made of straw. Tsai a tall dark-skinned man in his mid-thirties strong as an ox, a picture of a man who has been fighting his whole life, wakes his teenage son Lefa. With a certain resemblance, no denying he has his father's genes, not only does he share the look of his father, he has been copying him all his life; the only person he has ever gotten close to.
"wake up" calls out Tsai, "wake up, take everything you need and let's go" says Tsai.
Lefa startles awake, in disbelief he asks, "now?"
"Anything left will be torched" replies Tsai.
Lefa quickly fills up his bag with everything he might need. With all their essential possessions in hand, both Tsai and Lefa exit the shelter. Lefa takes one last look at the shelter, photographing it into his memory before Tsai sets it ablaze. As the flames engulf the shelter both father and son make their departure.
"Yes, that's me and my father; fleeing as usual. We never inhabit one place for long. My father tells me that's how we survive, not that I could complain, we have fought for our lives numerous times. This is life for us; we belong to no clan or kingdom. We have always relied on our ability to fight. I learned from an early age that this world is cruel, my mother was killed when I was just an infant. See, you know very well I have to be very strong to survive in this ratchet world" says Lefa
As they continue their journey through the moist green forest, "son" says Tsai. But he doesn't get a response from Lefa who is lost in thought. Tsai calls out again, "son" this time Lefa is startled and involuntarily replies "father".
"What is it?" asks Tsai with concern.
Lefa gathers his thoughts; and realizes that he forgot his necklace back at the shelter, so he responds, "I forgot something back at the shelter" They both stop, with an inquisitive look Tsai asks, "what is it?".
Trying to be as soft as possible Lefa replies "it's a necklace".
Tsai suppresses his anger, turns to the road ahead and says, "forget about it, let's go".
Without flinching Lefa says, "I can't leave it behind".
Tsai looks at Lefa with great intent and asks, "what can be that important that you'll be willing to risk our lives for?".
Lefa replies, "it's a necklace, the one I received from mother"
Tsai takes a deep sigh and tries to be calm, but this time he is unsuccessful and shouts, "damn it. You've got to be more responsible" and continues to say, "wait here. I'll go get it, where is it?".
"my sleeping area" says Lefa.
Tsai heads to the burning shelter, the only light under the pitch black sky.
"I've lost count of how many places we've burned down, I wonder where are we going now? well I guess it doesn't matter, we are still going to burn down that place too" says Lefa as he sits down on a log to wait for his father.
"Damn! this boy. Everyone within twenty kilometers is sure to see the blaze, going back to the shelter might be suicidal" says Tsai.
After sometime Tsai comes back to Lefa and hands him the necklace. "Thank you father" says Lefa.
"Let's go" says Tsai, but before they could continue their journey, Lefa notices a burn on Tsai's arm.
With guilt overpowering him, " damn it's my fault" but quickly distracts himself from that thought, and replies Tsai "yes father".
Along their journey Lefa notices a path near by, "what is that? a path?" and quickly convinces himself, "maybe its just a deserted path. I know father wouldn't risk any chance encounters with anyone"
In the earliest of the morning hours father and son climb up a hill, upon reaching the top overlooking in front them just below, surrounded by tall green trees lies the Mal kingdom.
"Wait...that looks like... a kingdom" says Lefa, and asks Tsai, "father, what are we doing here?"
"This is where we're going to live" Tsai replies.
Lefa puzzled and confused, "but rule number one; Avoid all human contact. This place is teeming with humans."
Tsai puts his hand over Lefa's shoulder and says, "don't worry, this is the Mal kingdom, it's safe here."
"But why couldn't we come here earlier?" asks Lefa.