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Chapter 4: Gladness

A fine wind was blowing from the sea, in perfect favor of the trip. She loved the winds and was glad being a Wind-User. She stood for a while at the railing enjoying the salty wind and the cool breeze when some crashed into her so hard that she almost toppled over the railing with a slight scream had that person not caught her by her shirt.

She moved from the railing thinking how close she had been to death when that person apologized,

‘I am so sorry. I slipped and collided into you. If you please forgive me…’ the guy said. Rivola had the perfect plan to show him who was sorry. She suspected that he had pushed her deliberately and that he simply wanted to show off.

‘Oh really?’ she said in a tone that generally effected people into thinking that she did not believe them. He looked surprised at her tone and said in perfect confusion,

‘I am sorry. I told you it was an accident.’

‘Oh. I’m sorry. I thought you pushed me deliberately and saved me just to show-off.’ Rivola said blushing red and bowing. The guy didn’t seem offended. He rather smiled and offered her his hand,

‘I’m Shahir Windsior. Pleased to meet you.’

‘I am Rivola Lumnisca.’ Rivola said shaking his hands. She studied his looks more carefully as he smiled at her. He had a lovely smile with dimples in her cheeks. He was taller than her with a slender build though he looked quite strong. His wavy hair was black and he had big, baby blue eyes. He was wearing a T-Shirt and blue jeans and running shoes.

‘Tell me more about yourself.’ He said leading her to a table.

Six years ago~

The woman’s cheeks were stained with tears. Blood flowed from her wounds on her face and arms. She screamed as the King’s Guardsman whipped her. His Majesty, King Fredrick Paluerise himself stood there watching the proceedings with a calm expression.

The little boy clamped his mouth in horror as he watched his mother, the woman he loved the most, get whipped again. She screamed, her tears mixing with her blood and begged mercy. The little boy felt helpless as he watched her. His mother’s damp green eyes were wet with tears. Her brown-gold hair was disheveled and messy. She begged the King’s mercy screaming each time the rope touched her body.

The King smiled and waved his finger at her. ‘No. No, my dear ex-citizen, you are under arrest.’

‘What did I do your majesty!? What?!’ the woman screamed. The king smiled and looked around at the large crowd gathered around. He said,

‘I like to keep my control over the kingdom woman. Next time anyone crosses my line or questions any order I have passed, their fate shall be worse than yours. Take her to the dungeons!’

The guardsman pulled the woman’s hand by force and dragged her along ignoring her screams and shouts. But the little boy remembered.

The bloodcurdling screams of his mother would never fade from the boy’s memory. He would remember them. One day, he would make the king regret he was ever born.

Nature, aligning itself to the boy’s thoughts, spread a yellow patch through the grassy meadow he was standing upon. The grass withered to dust around his feet.

A strange black aura penetrated from his skin as he raged inwardly. The people around him moved away in confusion returning to their jobs. He ignored them. These people were silent spectators who had no right to live after they simply watched his mother’s whipping in silence not a word of protest passing their lips.

But Siva didn’t hate them as much as he hated King Fredrick Paluerise.

Back to the present~

Aila definitely did not look pleased. Roy nervously placed the fingers of his hand together and looked at her mutely. Kai sat beside him sipping his juice making slurping sounds.

Finally Aila said narrowing her eyes,

‘You blame me don’t you? You blame me for Mom never coming back.’

‘I do.’ Roy said honestly, ‘I blame you for the cruddy life I’ve had with my brothers. They blamed me. You can’t blame me for blaming you that Mom never came back.’

Roy had said that he didn’t want a mother and that woman was just his biological parent but he knew that deep inside his heart, a small part of him wondered what having a mother felt like.

At this point Aila sighed. Her eyes were swimming and shining with tears. She bit her lip and said,

‘I’m sorry. It just…makes me feel so bad.’

‘Never mind it.’ Roy said. ‘We won’t talk about that woman or Dad until we reach home for the vacation. Then we’ll figure things out. Is it a deal?’

‘Yes.’ She said and dabbed her wet eyes. Kai smiled and said,

‘You both don’t look anything like each other.’

’We are not anything like each other Kai.’ Roy said.

‘Excuse me…’ a polite voice interrupted. Roy looked up to see and he gasped. Before him stood the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. The girl smiled in a polite manner but it was equally beautiful. Her dark hair coupled together with her ivory pallor, oval face and enchanting dark eyes seemed too beautiful to be a human. He asked half-hesitating,

‘Are you a fairy? Or a goddess?’

The girl looked surprised for an instant, and then she laughed. Her laugh was delicate yet golden and she said blushing red,

‘No! I am just a normal village girl.’

Kai stood up taking her hand in his and he bowed lightly kissing her hand and he said,

‘You are too beautiful to be a “normal village girl”. What is your name O beautiful one?’

Roy had no words at all. Kai was just an absolute charmer. He exchanged looks with Aila and judging from her expression she was as startled as he. She mouthed the word: Charmer.

Roy nodded. The girl blushed and smiled brightly,

‘I am a daughter of a small baker in Mistar’s Capital city, Laneshift. I am Lana Helder.’ Roy started. He looked at her warily and said,

‘Please sit down.’

She sat down and he whispered in a low voice,

‘I heard something about Mistar.’

‘How so?’ Lana frowned. ‘Mistar is very different from Shepyt. We are totally different countries though we are neighbors.’

‘I know that we are from different countries and that your king exercises more powers there and also that you have absolute monarchy. Now will you confirm what I’ve heard?’

Lana looked startled but assented. Roy spoke in low tones,

‘I’ve heard that Mistar’s King has poisoned his prisoner. I also hear that she was a woman. And that her son worked with a baker in Laneshift. Is that true? Do you know anything about it?’

‘Why are you asking this?’ Lana asked her voice edging towards tears, ‘How do you know?’

‘Is it true?’

‘Yes. That boy lived with us.’ Lana said.

‘His name. What was his name?’ Roy asked, his voice edging towards panic.

‘Siva. Siva Rudra. Why do you ask?’ she said.

Roy slammed the table so hard that it rattled. He looked at Lana and said,

‘If you trusted him, let me tell you this. He’s gone to the other side, consider him dead.’

Aila was feeling confused. Why was Roy talking ridiculous stuff? Lana looked stricken. Slowly a drop of tear fell from her brimming eyes. Kai interrupted,

‘What are you both talking about?’

‘One day, I received a letter from a merchant. It was almost a year ago. The merchant was from Laneshift, Mistar’s capital. He said that a boy had asked him to give the letter to anyone of his age. The merchant Finn [as I later came to know] saw me hence decided to give it to me. I still have the letter.’ Roy said and he pulled out a green envelope from his shoulder-bag. He gave it to Kai and said, ‘Read it aloud.’

Kai opened it and read:

‘To whoever receives this letter, Hello. I am just a common boy of thirteen years old. I suddenly felt the necessity to know your part of life. My name is Siva Rudra. I am merely suggesting you (whoever you are) to consider my deal. I think we’ll tons of fun and information from it. I simply want you to be my pen-friend. We simply exchange letters on our thoughts and surroundings. Presently, I am watching the sun setting as a soft breeze plays around. I can hear my best friend Lana walking towards me no doubt to call for dinner. I’ll talk about Lana some other time if you accept my deal. We can exchange letters through Finn or any other merchant who visits Claropolis and Laneshift. If you do not want my deal then please pass it to someone else of around twelve or thirteen. Yours sincerely, Siva Rudra.’

Roy folded it up and continued,

‘He considered me his confidant and his best pen-friend though we never saw each other. He has told me whatever he thought about his surroundings. I may say that he knows me better than my own family and that I know him better than you. I know of his frustrations under the absolute monarchy, his anger towards gods and love towards his mother.’

‘How come he never told me about the letter?’ Lana asked.

‘I don’t know about that. I never told anyone about it either. When I first saw you, you looked familiar then it struck my head that you were impressed upon me. In one of his letters he has mentioned you. Describing every little detail in you. That was why I asked those things.’

‘But you said “consider him dead”?’

’I received his last letter yesterday. He wrote to me in clear urgency under my own writing. It was sent through Instant Magic. He has written quite clearly, that he won’t come here and that the Dark Side is his only choice and also that he has nothing else to lose. And Dark Side clearly means death.’ Roy shouted.

His eyes were rimmed red behind his glasses. He took a deep breath and looked at Lana. She clamped her mouth in horror.

‘Oh dear! Why couldn’t he pray to the gods? Why couldn’t pray to creator? Why did he choose the Dark Side?’ She began crying. Roy looked disturbed. He sighed and squeezed her hand to comfort her.

‘I’m sorry Lana. I couldn’t do anything to stop him.’

‘What could he do? He is not a grown-up and if grown-ups are not interested in feelings of patriotism what will he do fighting all alone?’ She screamed. ‘I’ve always told him to be faithful to the gods!’

‘I understand.’ Roy said looking at the sky. The sky was overcast and looked like it would rain. ‘But I also understand that he has the power to stir the Dark Lord.’

His eyes drifted to Aila and she could read the anxiety in his eyes. Suddenly he jerked up and dashed to the railing. But his legs weren’t moving. His legs were being dragged.

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