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“What did u say?“Aarav asked her.

“I’ve told you so many times now, my nani cannot speak ! She’s been a mute since i ever saw her!” Reva replied to him frustratingly.

“Now, now Reva , i know its hard to maintain a relationship, but the more you fight the deeper your love is.“The queen said to Reva as she only heard the quarrelling part of their conversation.

“Mom, i told you we’re not in a relationship.” Reva replied .

At that, all of the clan came in to the dining hall . Shiba came running and sat beside Aarav , while the rest of them sat on the other side.

The Queen clapped twice and a queue of butlers started coming towards the table holding one dish after the other . Plates and glasses appeared out of thin air in front of them , while the butlers started placing the dishes in the plates.

The food was wonderful , biryani for rice , shahi paneer , kheer filled with saffron for sweet and many other dishes which Aarav had only had once or twice till now . Some of them were the first time he ever saw . The dinner started and everybody concentrated on the food rather than chatting.

Shiba was asking Aarav the names of the dishes one after the other . He said, “That’s biryani, that’s kheer , Shahi paneer , kofta ...” The list went on and finally when he out of names he started making his own. “That one is red curry , that’s the golden sweet , and not to forget the jelly jiggle , now , Shiba , if u want any more information , let us talk about it after the dinner , okay?”

She gave him a huge smile , nodded and finally started eating , letting him eat too. The Queen saw Shiba and realized she hadn’t heard about the girl at all , so she asked,
“Reva dear, tell me , who’s the little girl?”

“Oh, mother ask Aarav , he knows better!” Reva said , kicking Aarav under the table .

“Well...she’s um, Mayank’s Uncle’s daughter’s son’s friend . Mayank knows them well , so , they asked her to take care of her for some time ...” Another kick “....your highness” He mumbled at last.

The queen gave an awkward nod and ended up going back to the food .

“Couldn’t you come up with a better excuse , idiot? ” Reva whispered to him, while luckily nobody else had heard about what he had said .

“ didn’t even try for an excuse.”

Finally the dinner was over and the Queen had said that she had a meeting so she left to the room , while the rest of the clan was sitting in the brightly lit garden of the palace.

“Guys, i’m telling you , the woman really spoke ! She said about a girl , she said we shouldn’t have brought her !“Aarav was telling the clan members, while Mayank was busy helping Reva catch sme fireflies.

“Aarav... SHE CANT SPEAK!” Reva urged.

“Reva calm down , even if she can’t speak, its worth a consideration atleast!” Pranay told her.

“I don’t know , considering Aarav’s situation , he was pretty freaked out , after getting into the dungeons. Workers in the palace do not go even on the floor above it , its really creepy. Maybe he could have hallucinated or something...” Megha said .

“Alright, whatever but-“Aarav couldn’t complete the sentence . Something cold had touched his back of the neck . He quickly turned and tried to pull the metal , but ended up falling to the ground . He got up and saw a man standing .

He said,
“You’re so weak ! I don’t even think you deserve to be in the clan in the first place ...”

Aarav stood up and saw he wasn’t a man , he was a boy just a year or two older than him.

“ i know you?” Aarav asked .“And what did you do that for?”

“Raaka ? What are you doing here ?” Megha asked .

“Ah, if its not my dear sister , how are you princess?“He asked .“So this is the famous Aarav i’ve been hearing about? And look who’s here , the pathetic knight of the clan, the black sword bastard, greetings Princess Reva!“He bowed to her.

“Language asshole.” Pranay said.

“Why are u here ?“Megha asked him rather coldly.

“I had a meeting with the Queen in the afternoon and heard that you people were coming , so i decided to wait here for some time and meet my runaway sister.”

“Dont lie . Even if you’d be the last person on earth , the queen wouldn’t call you. I know you came here tailing and kissing my brother’s boots “Megha said.” Just spit it out , the hell are you here for?”

“Alright , i want to challenge this show off bastard to a fight ...” He said pointing his sword at Aarav , the tip inches from his eyes.“I heard you pulled out the Galade , you’re not worthy of it!”

“What’s your problem man?“Aarav asked him.

“You! “He spat.

“What? I don’t even know you!“Aarav asked him.

“Princess Reva is the reason ! I love her and i want to show her i’m better than you, i want to show that i’m better than a newbie , a rookie ....a no one.“He said gritting his teeth.

“What?” Everybody said at the same time.

“Raaka , just get lost .“Megha said.

“Listen man, i respect your feelings and i really don’t want your heart broken , but just don’t pull me into this . You wont get anything by defeating me .“Aarav said raising his hands in the air.

“How is that fair?” Reva said, “Listen Raaka , Aarav will fight you, tomorrow at 7 in the evening , venue field 8. ”

“Hey, hey, hey...Reva calm down!What are u saying?“Aarav said surprised by seeing that he was being pulled into something like this.

“Alright, but what will the winner get? Wait...i know, Winner gets a kiss on the lips by you...Okay?“Raaka said with a smirk on his lips.

“Alright.” Reva said . Aarav gave up , he knew so much about Reva , that no one was as stubborn as her when it came to self respect of her comrades.

“Hey, can we cut the kiss part? I’m not interested in kissing anyone.” Aarav said.

“Forget it anyway, i will be the one kissing my dear Reva tomorrow . But you know there is a slight change. This show off bastard here , has Galade , while i don’t , so it will be a one-on-one combat . Deal?” He said .

“Um...Reva , i think its a bad idea?” Megha said .

“Alright , deal!“Reva said completely ignoring Megha . They shook hands and he turned to leave , he said,
“Get ready for a steamy kiss Reva darling...”

“In your dreams asshole...“Reva replied.

“Will i ever get to make a decision ?” Aarav cried.“Think before you do anything , you idiot !” Aarav said.

“ Can’t you even beat a show off like him, Aarav?“Reva asked him.

“Actually , there was a chance of Aarav beating him at swords , but combat , my ass” Pranay said . “I’m gonna go get some sleep , Aarav get ready to get your butt kicked bad!” And he simply went off.

“He’s right . Do you even know who he is? He’s a monster at combat. He’s the only person in my family failed to master something other than rune magic not to forget pervertism . Reva your a fool.”

“Dont worry , Aarav will win, wont you ?“Reva said with twinkling eyes.

“Forget it, i think i wont even come . Let him enjoy the kiss anyway, who wants it”Aarav said rolling his eyes.

“What was it again?“Reva asked him.

“By the way , Megha , is he your own brother? And who’s the other brother you were talking about?“Aarav asked her ignoring Reva .

“Well, he’s my cousin, son of some blood related brother of my dad. He’s one of the elite in the guild army at combat , and as for the brother i was saying, he’s my actual brother , he’s the commander-in-chief..“Megha said with a bit pride.

“Great family , anyways , Reva get ready to kiss him.“Aarav said and headed back to hi s allotted room.

“What the hell do you mean , you freak? If u lose , i’ll make sure you’re dead !“She said while he was walking back . “Sure...” He said and left.

“He annoys me so much!” Reva said.

“You like him don’t you? “Megha asked .

“Yeah basically, wait what? would i like an idiot like him?”

“Come on Reva , i’ve seen you staring at him, i’m your bestfriend afterall , nothing can hide from me...“Megha said .

“Look who’s talking , the jealous girl . Whenever Pranay hooks up with someone , that day , the punching bag in the training house needs to changed . Funny coincidence right?”

“Shut up!”

Aarav was lying on his back on the soft king sized bed.He was thinking about only one thing ,

The old woman really spoke , i heard her ! I wasn’t that freaked out seeing the dungeon afterall, and about what she said , who can the girl be ?

Thinking hard , he struggled and finally came up who she was talking about ,

Aarav slept a pleasant dreamless sleep , though he had stayed awake for a long time about what exactly the old woman would have meant . Before dawn, as everyday , he woke up quick and got ready .

The woman who had showed him his room the other day , had provided him with a cloth that would show him the route to wherever he wanted to go around the castle just by tapping the cloth with his finger.

So he got up and following the cloth , he went to the training room and when he entered , he saw some men were training too. Aarav trained for a some more time and headed for a bath. He reached his room and the moment he entered he pulled out his shirt and went in , just to see Reva waiting for him.

She blushed looking at his bare chest .“Well...if u are ready , we were waiting for you for breakfast ...“She said

“Yeah, i’ll just take a shower and be there.“Aarav said , “So you ready to kiss that bastard?”

“Stop it idiot ! And try to win rather than mocking me ...“She said trying hard to keep looking at his face .“You go on , i’ll wait for you . I don’t want you to get scared like a cat again , though i’d love to see your scared face again...” She said laughing .

“Ya ya ...make fun all you want .“He said and headed to the bathing room at the corner .

Everybody were sitting on the dining table having breakfast , the queen wasn’t there , it was only the clan and Shiba.

“Any plans for today? The match isn’t starting till the evening ...” Pranay asked .

“How about we go to the town ?” Megha suggested ,“Aarav and Shiba haven’t seen anything here yet...”

“I’d love to come , do we get ice-cream here ?” Shiba asked as she was playing with the teddy bear she called Baby Aarav.

“Um...i doubt we get ice-cream , but yeah we get a lot other sweets you would like.” Pranay said to Shiba.” What about you Aarav ? Where would you like to go ?”

“I don’t know , i’ll go wherever you people take me to.“Aarav replied ,“But in normal clothes and not on a carriage atleast .” He said as he was digging through Poha ( An Indian dish made of flattened rice)

“Yeah, i feel awkward moving around in those damn royal carriages.” Reva said .

So finally , all of them decided that they would go on normal clothes to the town . They hired a tanga and reached the market. It was one hell of a place .
One full part of the town was the market . And it was overflowing with vendors . They were selling things Aarav hadn’t even heard were sold , like colourful Snake skins , shoes that could make you walk on water , clothes that didn’t catch fire , and many more items.
Megha took them to her favourite spot of the market , spells section . And Aarav thought that bringing Shiba to such a place was not good , but he insisted that he wanted to see it , so Shiba , Pranay and Mayank headed to the kids section of the market , whereas Aarav accompanied Megha and Reva to the spells section.

“You shouldn’t have left Shiba alone !” Megha said .

“Dont worry , almost 50 guards are watching our backs , if anything happens they’ll see to it. ” Reva said confronting her .

They reached the shop that Megha was saying , Not a big one from the outside , but the moment they stepped in , Aarav felt he was back in the palace hall . This place was almost of that size .
Shelves and racks lined close to each other , with just a path in between them . People were moving here and there .

“I need some rune stones and herbs , so i’ll be going there , you two don’t get lost okay?” Megha told them and headed towards .

Aarav and Reva were strolling through the racks .They saw weird things , Bottles filled with insects , fishes , eyeballs , brains , kidneys and what ever a human body had . Each shelf was dedicated to one body part.

“Uh..i guess we shouldn’t go any further in the human body ...” Aarav said as they were about to reach the shelves holding the lower body parts.

Reva laughed and both of them turned towards another section . And no doubt they recognized it . Dark magic section. Cards , spheres , skulls , not the ones which they saw in the human body section , these were way more creepier . Black coloured hands holding candles , books with weird and creepy drawings on them . Reva inched closer holding Aarav’s arm , he said ,“Who’s the scared cat now ?”

They saw a woman strolling through the dark magic shelves, wearing a cloak that had the shop’s logo on it , so Aarav decided he should ask what he was dying to ask.

“Excuse me?“Aarav asked her.

She turned and Aarav saw that she was somewhat of their age.
“Children shouldn’t be in this section , especially love birds !” she said eyeing Reva who was holding Aarav’s arm .

“I was about to ask you the same and we’re not love birds !” Reva said leaving Aarav’s arm.

“Sorry , we didn’t mean to come here , i just wanted to ask you something.” Aarav asked her .

“About what?” She asked .

“Um...well blood magic.“He said hesitantly.

“Come with me ...” She said and took them to a room where an old man was sitting . “We have visitors , special ones. ” she added .

The old man turned and Aarav was sure the man was no less 200 years.
“What do kids want to know about blood magic?” He said in his ancient voice . “Looks like you have been close to someone who has been through blood magic ...” The old man added.

“Can we believe you ?” Aarav asked him.

The man gave a small laugh and said, “Boy , i reckon you’ve seen the shop, did you see anything that was legal out there ?”

“No” Aarav replied ,“But you see , the person is important to us , we need no harm done to her.”

The man laughed again and pulled out a thread with beads on both ends . He said ,
“I can understand you concern , boy . This is a promise thread , touch this ....” He said showing one end to Aarav ” If one of us tells anything about the other , our tongue gets stick to the palette ..go on.”

Aarav touched the bead and said,” So, actually . She’s a small girl , of 12 or 13 years , and its a magic where the little fingers of her legs are missing . And also she wears a pendant that’s stick to her body . We just wanted to know what it s about....that’s all.”

“Little fingers you say....” The man said and thought for a while and said ,“Ah..yes....its a blood magic to stop your ability , temporarily . But this is a complicated one , and a dangerous one too ...”

“What do you mean?” Reva asked the man.

“I mean , that if by any chance , the person on whom the blood magic is done , uses his ability , the person and the one who has done the magic will have to die... Well looks like the girl you are speaking of has a very powerful ability . I suggest you stay away from the girl if u want to be alive , boy...” The old man said.

“We’ll think about that , thankyou for your help , sir.” Aarav said and pulled Reva out of the room.

After they were gone , the old man turned to what he was doing , he was looking at a sphere . The moment Aarav had stepped foot in the shop it had turned red .
The girl who had brought them to the old man said ,
“Grandpa , it turned red , why?”

The man gave an evil smile and said ,“Looks like the boy’s last days aren’t far.”

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