It had been a very ...very long journey , almost 1 and a half days . As soon as she had left granny’s room in the Vardhana palace , Disha was forced to sit in a chariot and start the journey to the Phantom kingdom immedaitely, with no one else but Aasha by her side. Her mother , had decided that she will stay, so she was the only one coming. They had gotten a pigeon saying that they will be received by the queen , the princess and a head of the kingsguard with a four star rating , whatever the hell that meant.
But thanks to her granny , Disha wasn’t bored . The story about the skin changer Avantika , and skin shifter Poornima had thrilled her . But it really was hard to accept .
“Aasha , tell me , do you really think there are people who can turn into animals?”
“There are smaller clans in the forests and mountains who are said to have such abilities . But most of the stories are that they can turn to amphibians and reptiles , not many though. “ Aasha said .
“Oh , so snakes or frogs mostly. Can they turn to birds?”
“No , princess.” Aasha said.
“Actually , your maid is wrong.” Said a female voice from outside the chariot.
“And who could that be?” Disha asked .”You’re not supposed to eavesdrop you know.”
“I couldn’t help . I am supposed to keep my eyes and ears open at all the costs , so i can't exactly filter what you talk.”
Smart woman. Disha thought.
“Get in then , i’m bored as hell here.” Disha told her.
The woman came in , actually she was a girl in her 20’s , one of the queensguard women who swear oath to devote their lives for the safety of the female royal blood line.
The girl got in , she was wearing an armor of red , and the sigil of an eye with three concentric circles in it. “My queen...I’m Zeba” she said and bowed.
“I’m not the queen.”Disha told her.
“By blood you are and will be till you marry . Now , as i was saying , more than reptiles , people are known to shift in birds as they come closest to us after the apes , you know they are classified as Aves in taxonomy right?” She asked.
“Do they...really teach all of that in gurukuls of the Vardhanas?” Disha asked.
“Actually , i don't know . I’ve studied at Kamhaan for all my life . I’m doing my MBBS in the big city . I’m here for my vacation . So , as i was saying , humans can transform in birds most easily. But you see , as days passed on we lost our abilities , and lesser and lesser people started shifting . The ones who could , were called freaks of nature and were banished or killed . Their blood lines got more and more weaker by the day . But once in a century , some possess the strongest shifting abilities . Some had improved themselves so much , that they could control their body to shift only the parts they want.” Zeba said.
“Isn't that cool. What do you know about skin changers?” Disha asked.
“Shifters are nothing but changers , princess ...”Aasha said.
“Shut up Aasha , Zeba , go on.”
“Let me see , changers you say... Ah! I remember , skin changers are like shifters but with ability to mind control . They are extremely rare , your grace. I don’t even know if they really exist , or are they just mere legends .”
Well , looks like i am a legend . Disha thought . She had to meet the Priest once she reaches Phantom , that was the actual reason she had come .And after all , as far as stories go , Priest is no ordinary man . Lord Silver seeked his counsel . And after all he had told her granny to convey his message..
you will find who you are searching for....
Can i really find Aarav here? Is he really alive ? She questioned herself .
They had finally reached the end of the door of split . She had always wondered about how the tiny door small even for a human , could fit the chariot . They were finally in the hallway sort of a thing . She peeped her head out , for which...
“Princess Disha , please don’t do that , it isn’t safe.” Zeba said .
“God , when will i grow up in your eyes.” She muttered and went back in . They moved for a bit more , and finally came to a halt .
“We’re here , princess. Everybody is waiting...” She corrected the wrinkles on her dress , and Aasha was trying to comb her hair , but Disha told her.
“I’m good as I am , there’s no need for over make up.”
“But princess , you’re representing the kingdom . You may even find your future husband here-”Aasha tried to say.
“Will you ever shut up for a second? Husband? Seriously? I don’t even a boyfriend!” Had though.
“You shouldn’t either . A mere low blood wasn’t a match for you anyway.”
Ignore her , she’s the bitch’s informer. , she told herself and got out of the chariot. She saw people waiting , women showered flowers , rose , jasmine , daffodil , tulips that hurt when hit the head and many more beautiful ones that she never saw neither cared to know about. Then came the water sprinkling , she had heard that the custom of Phantoms was to sprinkle water from every river in the three worlds . Then she saw that a thali was prepared , which was actually a custom from the Vardhanas , the queen herself welcomed her.
She was a beauty , tall , slim by the waist , light coloured dusk skin , that was rarely seen here . Her daughter , who was bethroted to her brother was the only woman giving a fair competition to the queen. But she had the normal skin of the Phantoms . Brown hair of the royal women stood odd here . Rarely did she saw a black coloured citizen , she saw some , a young man with a grey armour and a white cape , short cut black hair , normal sandalwood skin . But she ignored the guy as she was given a tight hug by the queen .
“You look just like your mother!”
Disha bent her knee and bowed .
“Your highness...Princess Sara.”She remembered the Princess’ name.
“No, no . You’re like my sister.”Sara said and hugged her. She smelled of roses and her presence lightened up the surroundings . Disha took an immediate liking to her to-be-sister-in-law.
“Come , princess Disha.” The queen said . Hand in hand she walked with the queen to the chariots.
“Your highness , you knew my mother, i mean my real mother?”Disha asked her.
“I did . She was one woman who i can never forget . One of a kind , you know...The guild meets were where i met her . I even visited your palace when you were born . Later on it was due to the tiring circumstances between the clans that i couldn’t come along , then i heard the news . I know how hard it is...” She said patting Disha’s back .
There’s sadness in her voice, Disha felt.
“Scott , come here.” The princess said.
The same guy wearing the grey armour with four stars on his right shoulder came , and as he came closer , Disha’s heart beat skipped . She almost fell if not for the queen .
“Are you alright ,Disha?” She asked.
But Disha didn’t hear her , she stood in her tracks and watched as Aarav stood in front of the princess.
“I’m not your dog you know.” He said .
That voice , its no doubt. He had grown taller , and had better muscles . The armor fit him perfectly , his face not as handsome as a gallant knight , though passable . His brown eyes that shone in the bright sunlight , his trimmed hair , perfect for the look of a knight.
“Atleast have the courtesy to respect the royal bloods . Keep in mind who you are!”The princess said.
“Now , now , language little queen . What did you call me for again?” He asked leisurely .
“Escort us to the chariot.” She said.
“Can’t you walk by yourself?” he asked scratching his palm.
“I didn't say carry , i said escort! Dumbass...” She said.”Sorry princess Disha , he’s new to the job.”She added.
“I’m here to protect you , not to babysit ...JORGE! Get your boring ass here!” Scott said and a man wearing a golden armour came in .
“Hey , asshole , escort the queen , the princess and the girl to the chariot. NOW!” He barked.
“One day , i’ll snatch that star off your shoulder and i’ll make you scrub the toilet seats. Hey ! Don’t you dare ignore me! “The man named Jorge was saying while Scott just stood yawning. Then he saw Disha staring at him.
“Is there something on my face?” He asked.
“Wh-th-Aar-I’m....”Was what Disha could manage.
He sighed and finally said ,
“Alright , Jorge , wiggle your tail and ask them to follow . “ He said ,turned and headed away from the crowd.
“You little...”Jorge had started but the Queen , who was till now busy talking to a landlord woman , returned.
“You , is that how you speak in front the queen?” The Queen asked Jorge.
The man looked shocked and suddenly taken aback , he bent his head and said,
“My queen , please forgive me , i beg you. Please don’t place a complaint about me...” The queen ignored him and started walking ahead while Jorge tailed behind her.
Disha was staring at the guy who looked like Aarav walking out of the crowd , pushing people aside.
“He’s hot , but too arrogant to handle.”Princess Sara said .
“What? “ Disha said.
“Scott i mean . He’s badass and a foul tongue. I see , you’re into bad boys . Well you’ll get plenty chances to talk to him . He’s our kingsguard afterall...Come...”The princess said and pulled a confused Disha towards the chariot.
Shocked and unaware of the continuous chattering of Princess Sara , Disha finally reached the palace. As she had heard , the palace was the largest of the 5 big kingdoms . But that was least of Disha’s concern , she was looking at the knight in the grey armor who looked like Aarav.
She reached the door , where an old man was standing next to Aarav . She heard Aarav say as she was welcomed with more flowers in the palace.
“Old man , can i take this bloody armor away? Its too tight between the legs...” He said .
“You look rather hot in this.” Said a girl standing next to him.
“Shut up Krys...” Disha heard Aarav say .”Are you even listening old man?”
“ Scott , and you’re the kingsguard , and that’s your uniform.”Said the old man. He looked at Disha and said, ”Princess Disha of the Vardhanas , i’m pleased to meet you , i’m the minister of the Phantom , you can call me Arwin . And meet our newest kingsguard , this is Krystal ...” She shook hands with the girl standing beside Aarav.
“This is Jorge...” The man in the gold armour shook hands.
“This is Moon...” a blond girl shook hands with her. Then her heartbeat rose as Aarav stood in front her.
“And this is Scott Stone, the head of the guard...Scott , atleast shake hands , she’s the guest...”The minister added. Lazily Aarav moved his right hand towards her , but she stuttered something again and couldn’t realize what she said , as she fell and darkness surrounded her.
So , someone from Aarav...oh! I'm sorry , someone from Scott's past has finally entered his life. How will it go now?