BLACK AND WHITE#2 - THE RED DEMON

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12-REVA

She never knew how long it had been , an hour , 10 , a day or a month? Reva was well fed , along with her clan , all her needs were seen , but except for one , light . All the time , they were kept in utter darkness tied to each other by the backs , with two same guys , Giant and skinny , they never knew their names , standing as guards.

The giant was an idiot and the skinny was a weakling but cunning.

“Yo! Asshole! Atleast tell us what you want with us.”Pranay yelled.

“Bro , did you hear anyone yelling right now? “Skinny asked .
“No , bro , i heard nothing.” Giant replied.

From the looks of it , Reva had figured one thing . Her kidnappers wanted Megha and her as hostage and any time , Pranay and Mayank could be killed. So she whispered,
“Bloody damn it , Pranay shut up . Yelling won’t free you.”

“Well , yeah ...but i have nothing to do.”He japed .

“We shouldn’t have believed them when he said there are 20 more of them , and we were stupids to give our weapons away.”Reva said.

“Reva ...”Megha said, “There’s no use in whining about it . And don’t worry i have a plan.”

“Bro , are you hearing some stupid kids whispering in the cellar?” Skinny asked.
“No bro , i didn’t , but boss can hear everything...”

The giant was a fool , sure , but what he said was true . The so called boss was not only an asshole , but also a creep . His fingers had moved over Reva’s cheek so many times now , that if he did it again , she wouldn’t care if she died , but sure enough she’ll take him with him. Nothing hid from the man , he could hear everything . So somehow it wasn’t possible to plan an escape .

“You know he can hear right?” Mayank asked Megha.

“Pranay...”Megha whispered , and god knows why , he started yelling curses as loud as he could,
“BLOODY ASSHOLES.”

“Pranay , why the hell are you yelling?” Reva asked.

“BASTARDS.”

“Reva listen...” Megha whispered, Reva tried stop her but she said, ”Listen first, he can’t hear too many voices at once...”

“SON OF BITCHES.”

Reva understood . Megha continued...”The weapons we gave weren’t actual ones , we have our real ones , and Pranay has his twin sword with which he’ll cut us free.”

“STINKING ASSES.”

“But not any sooner , i have a vague guess that he’s going to sell us to who ever rules the kingdom now , when he does that we’ll escape.”Megha whispered.

“RUDDY RASCALS.”

“Alright , i get it. Pranay you can stop now.” Reva added.

“Bro , did you hear that?” Skinny asked.
“The boy yelling , bro?”
“No , bro , the footsteps...boss is coming.”

True it was , Reva heard them too . She shivered.
Stay strong , you’re the queen now. He can’t do shit to you.

The cellar door opened , and slowly the boss came close . One of the fools brought him a chair and he sat right in front of Reva .
“Reva dear , you think you’re smart? And you , little bitch-” He said , and held Megha’s face in his hand. “Asking you’re little boyfriend to yell , while you make plans, huh? It was a smart move though , and i’m sad to say , but i actually didn’t hear what you planned.”

“You piece of shit , DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH HER!” Pranay said grinding his teeth.

“Or what? You trying to become her knight in silver?” He mocked and moved his hand towards Reva ,
“Don’t touch!” She said.

He didn’t listen and the moment Reva felt the slight touch of his fingers , “Change of plans , we wont escape , we’ll kill!” She said.

It all happened in the blink of an eye , Pranay cutting himself free , then Mayank charging at the fools , Megha helping Reva cut loose.

Twin blade summoning.” Reva heard Pranay say , and she heard scrapping of metal on rock , and his other black sword came flying .

Reva’s head spun , her anger uncontrollable , her body flew in the air glowing red , her eyeballs rolled up and she started shooting sparks of all colors at her opponent , the building blasted off . She didn’t see her friends , just one man wearing a black coat holding a stick .

The man threw black sparks , that turned into snakes , alligators and even creatures that roughly resembled a dragon , but her sparks were brighter ,larger and stronger , turning in fantastic shapes . The first one was a Pegasus , then a unicorn , then a bird larger than any other creature she had ever heard of , it had a burning body and flaming wings. It swept the man high in the air and when it reached to a height where the man looked like a black dot , the bird exploded. Then something silver came flying from the explosion and stuck itself in the mud right in front of Reva. She bent and picked it up ,
Aarav’s dagger.

She coughed and spat out blood , and her stomach rumbled , and she retched , her body felt lifeless and that’s all she remembered when she woke up with the dagger clutched tight in her hand.

“Bloody hell , Reva you almost killed us. What was that?” Pranay asked.

“I don’t know myself.”She said looking at her slightly burnt hands.
You’re the queen.
Whatever happened right now was the least of her concerns . Her people needed her , and she'd do anything to free them.

“Lets go.” She told them as she safely tucked the dagger at her waistband .

“Where?” Megha asked.

“To meet your brother.”

The building they had just blasted , stood far away from the borders of the Mauryan kingdom , so they had to walk for roughly a kilometre and then they saw the outline of the city. Reva felt weak physically , but looking at the place which she once called home , made her emotionally weak . Leaning on Megha , Reva reached the market finally , where people looked unenthusiastic as ever .

The common folk were walking corpses , unaware of what was going on around them . They were roaming like cattle.
Reva and her clan had pulled on their hoods , and were searching for inns , and later when they were deep inside the market , they found the first one , and Megha’s brother had told them that would find him in the first inn they see.

They looked around , and quietly entered the 4 storied , old and mushy-walled inn . It was almost empty , if not for some men and women drinking . They reached the counter , and saw a bearded man , with a warrior like masculine body wiping the glasses . It was completely dark now , and customers had started to rush in . He took one look at them , and said without meeting their eyes ,
“Follow the lad. Shyam , take them there...”

A boy of roughly 10 years , came running with a plate filled with empty tea cups . They followed him as he took them to the basement of the inn . There he pushed open a door , and through a path made between racks and racks of rice , wheat and grains , he took them to a small opening in the storage room . There , a pale man was sleeping under the blanket on a cot . The boy shook him awake and whispered something in the man’s ear and took off .

The man woke up , and walked towards them . As his face came in the dim lamp light , Megha lost her feet and almost fell if not for Reva and Pranay . The man was none other than Megha’s brother , Shreyas , who was the Lord Commander of the Mauryan army.

“You look gorgeous as ever, sweet sister.” He said looking at Megha . Tears rolled down Megha’s red cheeks looking at her pale and weak brother , who had been one of the most handsome man seen in the palace . Even Reva had secretly liked Shreyas since she ever saw him , but eventually , she realized that he saw her just like Megha , a little sister , her girlish dreams were crushed.

“Ow..calm down , i’m not dead!”He said . “ Princess Reva...” He added sadly and bowed.


The inn owner had brought them snacks and tea , and they were sitting on chairs in a circle.

“How are you here ?” Megha asked.

“The innkeeper was a soldier once , so he helped me in hiding. Princess Reva , i’m really sorry , but i couldn’t help-” He said.

“Its alright Commander , but how did it all happen?” She asked.

“A guild meet.”He said.

“Don’t they happen ..like every month?” Reva asked remembering her mother’s continuous attempts to take Reva with her to the meets . She had gone too , but because of too much boredom , even her mother had stopped asking her .

“They used to happen every month . Then it was decided that it should be once every 3 months. This was the second such quarter yearly meet .Just like every other meet , this took place in the palace itself. Everything was going right , but only till the lunch break. After that , out of nowhere the palace workers changed , guards , gardeners , even temple priests , everyone.”He said.

“Wait...changed?” Pranay asked.

“Yes.”

“By?” Megha asked.

“The other four clans...Hoysala , Chola , Chera and Pandya , they betrayed us.”

“ Weren’t there 5 clans including the Sangamas in the allaince with the Mauryas?” Reva asked.

“The Sangamas were loyal and remained so. Even the Cheras were, but 4 months ago , the king of Chera died of old age , and his son took the place. And believe me , the old man would be the last man standing in a face-off.”He said.

“You mean he was killed by his own son?” Megha asked.

“Yes . And according to my spies , the young king of the Hoysala had the most hand . Infact , he’s the one holding the palace right now.”

“That bastard used to always sweet talk my mother.”Reva remembered .
She had seen the letters that the clans exchanged , and almost every week her mother would have a letter from the Hoysala with the sigil of a mountain lion .He would begin the letter with Divine beauty and end with Your magnificence . Her mother usually wrote back , but in one such letter he had asked Reva’s hand for marriage , so from that day the queen maintained her distance from him .

“So what happened then , after the lunch?” Reva asked.

“The queen and the alliance sat for another hour , then for some reason all of them had something too confidential to discuss , so they dismissed their kingsguard . In my case , i was the queen’s guard , so the queen sent me away even after my declining . I don’t know exactly , but when i came back the palace was taken , and the queen...she...she was stabbed..”He said and put his face in his hands.

Reva was angry , but more than that she was sad . She wanted to cry and yell, but then again..
You’re the queen. She told herself . She wiped her moist eyes and asked,
“Lord Commander ...”

“Don’t call me that princess , i’m not worthy of being called that . I couldn’t even save the queen!”He said.

“It’s alright Shreyas , you were always like a big brother to me. There was nothing you could do . You were following what mother said , there can be no better Lord commander than you , ever . But you need to hold yourself...tell me , who remained loyal?”Reva asked.

“The Sangama king , Airavat , he remained loyal , but he could do nothing to save the queen . His daughter is the wife of the Hoysala traitor king , and bears his child now. You remember Nakul?”

“Who?” Pranay asked.

“The former king of Sangama clan in the mortal world who attacked you 2 years ago , and was killed by Aarav.”Shreyas said.

Reva remembered , that some million years ago , Aarav had saved a weak girl named Reva , who wasn’t strong enough to protect herself . But not now , then she was a spoiled , stupid , annoying and a stubborn princess , but not now , now she is the queen . And a queen protects her subjects , no matter what.

“We’re going.”She said standing up.

“But princess Reva...it’s not safe to be wandering around!”Shreyas said.

“Reva , try to understand what brother’s saying.”Megha said. “The kingdom isn’t safe anymore!”

“That’s the thing. The kingdom isn’t safe anymore. But it will be soon . This kingdom was ruled by my grandfather , then by my father and finally by my mother . They were all Maurya , true to word and strong by will . And it will always be ruled by a Maurya . Lord Commander Shreyas , take some rest , i need you when i take back my kingdom , my home... our home .
These are the orders of the new queen!


And hence , a new queen was born.

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