Five Times

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Chapter 16

Whalros was taken aback when he heard Intelina’s words.

Why is she so happy? She is thanking someone. What’s happening?

He was totally confused. He recollected the whale’s words about some anomalous power. A sudden fear rushed all through his body and made him tremble. His steps towards Intelina fastened.

The moment all the ropes twirled again around Intelina, she sat straight with the bewildered look on her face. Her mind already started thinking about Whalros, whether he heard her or not.

What if he heard me?

She rolled her eyes all over the room and when she saw Whalros’ shoes making its way into the room; she pretended to be asleep and started shouting the same things she said a few minutes before.

“Thank you so much for whoever is helping me. Thanks a lot.” Intelina had the same joy in her voice as before, but this time, her eyes remained shut.

Whalros stopped right in front of Intelina and analyzed her for a few minutes. He ran his gaze through the ropes which were tightened around her. It was perfect. After a relieved huff, he crossed his arms around his chest and glared at blabbering Intelina.

Is she dreaming?

Whalros patiently waited for Intelina to open her eyes. But she didn’t seem to do that. She deliberately raised her voice every minute to make him believe that she was dreaming.

Whalros couldn’t tolerate it for long. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before shouting at Intelina. “Will you just shut up?”

Intelina jolted on hearing his commanding voice. She abruptly sat straight, on seeing Whalros in front of her. She looked around the room and also the ropes that were tied around her. She again looked up at Whalros. Her lips trembled. Eyes were filled with disgust and with an irregular voice, she asked, “Was that just a dream?”

Streaks of lines appeared on Whalros’ forehead. Silence filled the room. Whalros scanned the room from top to bottom but he couldn’t get anything suspicious.

He shook his head on both the sides and again fixed his gaze on Intelina and looked at her quizzically.

After a while, with a stern look, he replied, “I hope so, because you are still in this room, under the ropes.”

Intelina looked down at the floor to avoid his eye contact. She feared that she might chatter out everything to him.

He was standing like a statue with no reactions in his face. He sternly asked, “What dream was that?”

She shot up at once and again averted her eyes down. She gulped down the lump in her throat and started, “All my ropes suddenly got untied and fell down. I was really happy and shouted at the top of my voice and thanked the one who helped me. I think it was by that time, you stepped in.” She completed in one go.

Even then, Intelina couldn’t get any expressions out of his face. His gaze didn’t shift from Intelina that made her nervous.

“Are you trying to fool me?” This question from Whalros shook her.

He didn’t believe me.

“Why are you tormenting me like this? If I had someone or something to help me, then why should I stay here still? I could have very well escaped right?” Intelina tempered a little.

“Don’t even think of that, okay,” He snapped at Intelina that made her jerk in response.

“Yes! I didn’t think about that. And, can you please stop disturbing me all the time? I don’t mind being tied, but I really don’t want to see you again. Can you please leave now?”

She knew very well that what she says is irrelevant to what was actually going on there. But, she just wanted to divert him from finding out the truth and wanted to hide her nervousness. So, she shouted gathering all her energy and disgust.

Intelina’s words infuriated him. “Shut up! Don’t raise your voice against me, okay,” He raged at her and slapped her cheek harder.

Intelina let out a loud scream, unable to cope with the pain. She couldn’t even rub the burning skin as her hands too were under the ropes.

“I know you have no way to escape. But, if I find anything fishy,” he said and passed for an effect and then continued, “you won’t live,” That was an alarming warning to Intelina that she didn’t miss to notice. Whalros sprinted out of the room and made his way.

God! He didn’t find it out. She smiled inwardly.

Intelina just hung her head down in relief. She knew very well that, the moment he finds the truth, she would be destroyed to ashes. She just hoped for the best.

When Whalros stormed out of the room, he was not fully satisfied. He still sensed something wrong. His mind traveled back to the whale telling him about the power and then back to Intelina’s strange words that he heard.

Is there any link between her dream and the power? Will her dream come true? Did she actually dream or did anything happen for real?

He was totally muddled at the thought and wanted to find the solution soon. He headed towards the Havelock Island where he suspected the power to be present. He swam across the waters completely indulged in serious thought.

Suddenly a bright streak of light made its way straight to his eyes. He squeezed his eyes in reflex. He initially thought that it was because of the sun, but he was wrong. He soon found the source of it.

The ring. The same green ring.

Whalros was dumbstruck when he saw the green ring sparkling in a girl’s finger and making its reflections in the water. He slowly raised his gaze to see who she was. Again he was stunned, as he saw Intelina sitting in the boat.

How is that possible? I saw her just now, back in my palace!

He analyzed her in detail for few more minutes and saw a young man sitting with her. “No, No. She is not Intelina. She resembles Intelina.” He said to himself and made his way to his palace without even disturbing them.

“You are right. I found the power that was resisting us.” Whalros said to the whale in a soft tone, sitting in his thrown gazing down. He was neither furious nor tensed but was utterly calm.

“What! What power is that?” Everyone asked in unison.

Whalros shot up and glanced at each and everyone present in the hall. After a small huff, he said, “That ring.”

“What? That green ring?” The other whales were equally shocked to hear this word and looked at Whalros for confirmation. Whalros firmly nodded.

Everyone glanced at each other with a terrified look. Whalros narrated everything he saw and the hall fell silent.

“What should we do now, King,” One of the whales started the conversation.

“We shouldn’t do anything now,” Whalros said with a smirk in his face.

There were murmurs in the courtroom and everyone’s burrows were joined with confusion.

“What do you mean by that, king,” A whale asked Whalros with esteem curiosity. But, Whalros didn’t seem to answer.

“It is really urgent. We should kill that girl as soon as possible,” Another whale said furiously.

Whalros gave him a frustrated look and said, “The problem is not that girl, but the ring, you get it?” Whalros snapped at him and again sat massaging his head. The whale hung its head in shame. After a deep thought, Whalros voiced up.

“I decided what to do next,” said Whalros and stood up to leave.

“What is that?” asked the other whales.

Whalros gave everyone a cheap look and replied, “Sorry, I don’t believe any of you. I, myself execute the plan,” he said with a smirk and left.

Every other whale turned red after hearing Whalros words. “We should prove what we are capable of,” said one of the whales.

“Yes! We have to get the ring and the girl before our king,” said another whale with a grin.

“I have a plan. We will make our king proud,” exclaimed another whale and everyone lend their ear for its plan.

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