At the local market, Santiago trades his old book for a new one, and just as he is becoming absorbed in it, an old man asks him what he is reading. When Santiago shows it to him, the old man says that the book is important but irritating. The old man goes on to say that the book describes its characters' inability to choose their own Personal Legend. He also says that everyone in the book believes the world's greatest lie: that as people get older, they lose control of their futures and their lives are directed only by fate.When Santiago asks where he's from, the old man replies that he's from many places but was born in a place called Salem — of which he is king. His name, he says, is Melchizedek. He offers to help Santiago find the hidden treasure in exchange for one-tenth of his sheep. Then Melchizedek writes in
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