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Chapter 17: Welcome

We can hope that she’ll fulfill her mission by tomorrow…The Dark Lord whispered. His voice was getting stronger by each hour. Siva said cautiously,

‘How can you be sure Lord that she will fulfill her task? What if she betrays you?’ Siva asked.

Do you think that I am foolish enough to trust anyone like that? I am very careful Son of Death. Very careful…

‘And who is this Rakhio?’ Siva asked.

I tried to tempt him. Why did you come to me in the first place Siva? Will you tell me that?’

‘Because I wanted revenge.’

For years these clumsy idiots had been trying to free me because they believed that it was time I ruled the world not the gods. But their appearance did not rouse me. I was still trapped in my enchanted sleep. My conscience was sleeping. That’s when you stepped on this island. And that roused me. But I needed more power. I tried to tempt each of them with their deepest desire but they were strong enough to resist. That’s why I’ll kill them.

‘What for?’

Because if weeds start growing in your garden, you have to uproot them before they kill your plants…

Sunlight was seeping through his eyelids. Roy faintly opened his eyes.

Wait a minute, where was he? He sat up and looked around him in horror. He was all alone. Where was Aila? Kai? Jayce? Rika? Where were they? Roy stood up in panic. Did they leave him alone?

‘Aila!’ he called out pulling his bag over his shoulder. ‘Kai! Where are you guys?’

But he received no answer. They had been asleep last night. Aila had been crying. He comforted her. Jayce had talked to him…what happened after that? Did he do anything else? No. He simply fell asleep.

But then where were the others?

‘Roy!’ Aila’s voice called out. ‘Roy! Help me!’ Roy turned.

‘Aila? I’m coming!’ he shouted and ran through the forest floor deeper into the dense forest.

Why was Aila all alone? Did Roy leave her all alone? It certainly looked like it. Well if he didn’t want her then…

~Aila? Can you hear me? ~ A strange voice whispered. Aila stood up. She had heard that voice before. It was Jayce’s voice. But he was nowhere near her. Jayce did see that he was psychic user. Was this telepathy then?

~Yes, this is telepathy. Keep thinking about something. Don’t let your mind go blank. I’m coming~

But what should she think about? She sat down on the log and closed her eyes. She cast her mind back to her childhood.

And started looking through all her memories.

How much her Mom loved her! Aila missed her badly now. Her mom’s handmade cookies were so delicious. She used to always smile at Aila and say how much she loved her…

Suddenly it struck to her, how much Roy had been missing all this. He never understood how cool Mom was because he never had even spoken to Mom. She felt awfully bad for her brother. How could she have been enjoying all this while when Roy was being treated so harshly by Clare and the others?

And then there was her home. It was just a small cozy house on the countryside. Warm, pretty, neat and cozy. Aila really loved that house…

Then her thoughts turned towards the quest. She knew why Roy wanted that Platinum Trophy but still…it was insane. How could Roy think it was even possible? That trophy hadn’t been taken for a thousand years or so. How could he expect to take it?

And why was she all alone? Aila’s heart was beating faster each second. Where was Jayce? And Roy? Was he even searching for her? Or was he happy to get rid of her? If there was one thing Aila hated the most in the world, it was loneliness. She hated being lonely. What happened to the others?

Suddenly there was a rustle behind her. She stood up her sword drawn before her when the Jayce leapt out of the bushes. Though his hair was covered with leaves and his clothes had mud stains, Aila was stupidly and utterly glad that he was there. She simply dropped the sword and hugged him.

‘Oh thank you…thank you so much Jayce.’

She could hear his thumping heart-beats.

Obviously he too had been scared. A moment later he pulled her away and said,

‘Well…if you are okay, shall we go to find your brother?’

The tour was great. A large military fort with dangerous weapons, a sword arena with real swords, a large weaponry where you build your own weapons, acres of fields, awesome view of the sea, the amphitheater, Archery range, the javelin contest and so much more.

Rivola spent half the tour with her mouth hanging open. She never had imagined such a wonderful place. And the dining arena took her by surprise. It was lunch time and she had eaten nothing for the past many hours. The tables were larger than the one in Crestville and filled with awesome mouth-watering delicacies.

‘Is it lunch time?’ she asked.

Kiran Loop nodded and an old lady hit the gong. The resonating sound spread through the whole valley. Students started gathering at large. Everyone sat down and they all began lunching.

Everything was delicious. Hot chocolate, soft rolls, honey cakes, veggie sandwiches, spicy carrot curry, hot crunchy wafers, loaves of steaming hot bread, milk, salads and lots more.

Rivola was eating and eating. Her eyes remained glued to the plates and her nose remained stuck to the smell of the food.

Finally she paused and took a deep breath. She asked one question.

A question which had been bothering her,

‘Kiran, did the Princess of Shepyt make it?’

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