Three weeks into the wayfaring, half way to their destination, Jimin is near starvation. A badly deformed girl, injured in the war, rescues him. But Jimin cannot warm to her because of her disfigured face. But in the ensuing talk, he finds that she had lived in America and is much more intelligent than he. Jimin begins to like her and finally falls for her. After five days of stay at her place, before he and his sister depart, the girl reveals that she is the very girl named Sora, with whom he had been secretly in love, living next door to her in Seoul. Sora talks about her family’s ordeal in the refugee column, how her sister was killed in a massacre, and how she and her mother were injured in a bombing raid. Jimin wants to stay longer but he and his sister have to depart in order to meet up with their father and return to Ockdo to survive.
After traveling for a month and a half, Jimin and Misern finally reach Hadong and meet their grandmother and uncle, but learn that their father had left for Seoul on foot three days earlier.
On September 15, UN troops make an amphibious landing at Inchon, take back Seoul two weeks later after pulverizing the city, and then advance north almost unchecked. The North Korean soldiers trapped in the South flee into the mountains, become guerrillas, plunder villages, and wreak havoc.
Sinman comes back to Hadong after the Inchon landing and tries to return to his former life, but the rumor that he had been an interior worker and had murdered Jimin’s mother is all over town, so he heads to the JiriSan (the Jiri Mountains) and joins a partisan band.
Jimin’s uncle, who has served under the communist regime for a short period to earn a living, also heads into the JiriSan; Jimin and his grandmother struggle to survive. Jimin and Misern are left alone again with their grandmother’s sudden death.