After a heavy cosmetics and cloth shopping by the girls , the clan finally reached the palace . They had their afternoon lunch and Aarav headed back to his room for a quick freshen up and a nap.
Reva was accompanying him , she said ,
“So who exactly can Shiba be ? ”
“I don’t know . But what i know , is that for someone of her age , she’s gone through a lot . And yeah , i’m sorry...“He said turning his door’s knob.
“I pulled you people into this , if i wasn’t stubborn , this wouldn’t be happening .” He said getting in .
“Aarav , we told you we are not just a clan bound by spell, we are a family now. Your problem is ours , so don’t blame yourself.“She said .
“Well , guess you’re right. Anyways , so you prepared ?“He asked.
“For what? Match is yours.“Reva said .
“Not for the match , after the match . Raaka’s not that bad for just a kiss you know . Alright then , i’ll meet you in the evening .” He simply smiled , and she bid her bye.
“Only if u understood ,you freak . Always busy in training , i kept this match and the prize so that you could win....idiot!” Reva mumbled to herself as walked down the corridor back to her room.
At 6:45 Aarav and the others left the palace , and started to the field 8. They reached it in no time . And the pervert was waiting for them there.
He saw Reva and bent to grab her hand ,
“Reva darling , lovely as always . ” Reva wiped her hand with a cloth and threw it away , stamping it in the mud , while Raaka continued ,“Well , the whole losers are here . Pranay , black sword bastard , as cocky as always. Megha dear sister...” He went closer to hug her , but Pranay came in and pushed him away.
“Cut the bull shit , and do what you’re here for , asshole. You want to be physically fit before the match right?If you continue , you should play with one limb less , so stop .“Pranay warned .
“Oooooh...black swordy looks dangerous. Am i scared? Shit no!” Raaka said raising his hands in retreat.
In no time , Aarav was standing face to face with Raaka. They had decided that it would be a knock out match as according to Raaka that would be more interesting , and as stubborn as Reva was , of course she accepted it . Raaka said ,
“Well , there’s still time you know , quit and avoid getting handicapped .”
“Raaka , you sure have a big mouth .”
He felt a hit on his stomach, as soon as he heard a shout from the audience. He rolled just in time , to remain inside the ring .
“Aww....wasn’t that close ?” Raaka mocked .
Aarav stood back up holding his stomach where he was hit . Before he could take a proper look , he heard Raaka yelling and charging at him.
Aarav couldn’t dodge his every move , even the slightest hit could make him step out of the ring , and not to forget , Raaka had extremely high control over his foot .
So when Raaka came a hand length distance close to him , he held Raaka’s shoulders , and twisted himself , so that both were on the ground .
But the moment their backs touched the ground , Raaka held both of his hands and completely flipped Aarav , so that he was now banged to the ground on his stomach.
“You sure are weak . I haven’t used my ability yet , and you are about to get knocked out . Man , i’m wasting my time . I should just pull my darling Reva for a kiss.” Raaka said , now climbing on Aarav’s waist and punching his face .
Aarav had no time to think , Raaka wasn’t stopping even to breathe . One after the other he was pulling out moves . The count had begun , and the moment it reached three , Aarav kicked Raaka on his head , which miserably failed , because , Raaka himself turned Aarav back on his stomach.
“I don’t want to win so easy , or to say , for you to loose so easily .“Raaka said .
“Why are you so hell bent on defeating me? I don’t even know you! Do you love her so much?“Aarav said while holding his stomach , his body crouched and fallen on the ground.
He laughed and said ,” Do you really think i’d fight for that bitch Reva ? I don’t give a shit about her . All i wanted was to defeat a warrior blood and prove myself better than my so called ‘commander brother ’ ”
“But why me ? ” Aarav said trying hard to stand up.
“I don’t know , just didn’t find anyone better than you.” He said. “Anyways , you’re Indumati’s son aren’t you?”
“How the hell do you know that?”
“Words spread . I know a lot about you. Tricked for 17 years about you’re mother . Bad things at birthdays , i know . Must have felt like dying didn’t it ? Felt your life was like a joke ?”
Suddenly everything around Aarav went slow . Raaka who falling to the ground because of the punch Aarav had given with all his might , was now falling in slow motion . Aarav didn’t think twice what was going on , his warrior blood ability had triggered . He kicked Raaka straight in his rib , and before he could fall he landed another one on his face . And as soon as Raaka fell , Aarav climbed over him and started smashing his face .
Everything went back to normal and again he was pushed back by Raaka , who was still wondering what exactly had happened .
“Ah! I know , warrior blood trait . Guess i hit the nerve to trigger it.”
In no time Raaka was back pounding and mocking Aarav in the face .
In the audience , the rest of the team was sitting. Shiba had her eyes covered by her hands , Pranay was sitting on the edge of his seat . Reva and Megha were astonished seeing Aarav struggling so hard.While Mayank was busy watching their moves closely.
“He’ll die if this keeps going , It looks bad , really bad!” Pranay said .
“I shouldn’t have accepted the challenge in the first place. I was too stubborn ” Reva said “I didn’t know this would go so berserk!”
" Its too late Reva , and i’ve never seen Aarav getting so badly hit. He could’ve just stepped out of the ring if he wanted , but he didn’t .“Megha said .
“He never was like this you know . Always the scared one , avoiding people , getting himself bullied all the time . God knows what changed him.” Pranay said .“What the hell , guys are u seeing what i’m seeing ? Why is he glowing ?”
Meanwhile in the ring , the battle was getting more and more intense. As if by taking Indumati’s name , Raaka had lighted a fire inside Aarav , whether it was the anger he had on his true mother for she abandoned him, or because he felt betrayed , he didn’t know .
Raaka grew impatient. He raised his palms and stretched his fingers and said ,
“Enough kid’s fight , get ready bastard ...shadow control, gate one!"
Aarav saw a dark thing coming close to his shadow , and suddenly when the black thing touched his shadow , Aarav body came to a halt . He couldn’t move a muscle .
“What...is this?” He asked Raaka .
“This, my friend , is my ability . I control a person’s shadow as i wish , gate two ,shadow control !” He closed his fist .
And the pain Aarav felt was intense . Each muscle of his body was paining and tightening around each other . He felt air filling his chest , and his breathing getting weaker and weaker .
Finally with a smirk on his face , Raaka said , “...stage three!”
Aarav felt his muscles tighten under whatever was holding him , and Raaka started pounding on his face , with his hands and legs . Aarav was not feeling his body at all . He heard footsteps , Mayank’s voice , all of his clanmates were saying something but it wasn’t audible.
One thing he felt , was that his body was heating up .
“Never thought why she abandoned you ? What if you were a mistake ? Something she never wanted ? A bastard?”
Anger and rage was filling up inside him .
Raaka was saying every phrase with a pause , as if waiting for Aarav to build up rage after every word .
“...did u ever know who your father was ? He could be any guy...any .random. guy, waiting to get his pants down...”
Enough . Aarav heard himself in his brain .
His anger was at peak , and Raaka had crossed the line .
Aarav’s body started to glow and slowly the shadow in which he was trapped , started moving away . His eyes rolled up , so that his irises were not visible at all. Pure white eyes and nothing else.
He felt his legs leaving the ground . It wasn’t him , he was someone else now . That someone else inside him said ,
“...swords dance!” and he raised both his arms side ways .
Around him , blue light had started emanating , and in no time , 8 swords , blue in colour had formed out of thin air , slowly , the sword tips directed in Raaka’s direction , and flew towards him , and within the blink of an eye , all of them had were sticking out of his body .
Aarav heard shrieks , someone screamed , but he didn’t care . He closed his hand in a fist , and all the swords shattered .
He heard an even louder cry , it was a male voice .
Aarav felt his muscles relax , and his face touching the blood smeared ground , he opened his eyes and saw blue coloured snow all over the ring . And that was the last thing he saw , after that all he saw was darkness.
Two days after the challenge .
All of the clan are sitting in the garden of the huge palace , except for Aarav, and Reva who’s been taking care of him.
“Guys its been two days and tomorrow’s the award ceremony , do you think he’ll wake up atleast?“Mayank asked .
“The award ceremony is the least of our concerns right now. What we should actually think about is the technique that he used . We’ve been avoiding it , but someday or the other it has to spill out. Who the hell is Aarav?” Megha asked .
“What do you mean ? “Mayank asked her.
“That ability is unheard of . The last person to ever have that ability was....” Megha said.
“Was who?” Mayank asked impatiently.
“Lord Silver.” Pranay said continuing her sentence .
“Its a legendary ability , my grandfather used to tell me stories. When someone didn’t accept Lord Silver’s peace treaty and tried fighting back , he would use this and take an whole army all by himself. But during his downfall he became so weak , that he almost stopped using it.” Megha said .
“But if word gets out that he can use this ability, then....” Pranay was about to say , when ...
“Deep in discussion?” Aarav said . They turned and saw him walking towards them , with his hands on Reva’s shoulder . There were still bandages around his legs and face .
Pranay got up and helped Aarav sit on one of the couches . He sat and looked at everyone ,they were watching him in tensed look.
“Why are u so weary? And where’s Shiba ?“Aarav said looking around.
“Don't worry she’s in the castle playing with the younger maids." Megha said.
“I’ve told you not to leave her alone at any risk. I’ll go and check on her ...“He tried getting up , but a soft hand pushed him back. It was Reva , she said,
“No you don’t , you stay right where you are. I don’t want you getting in any trouble again, anyways , there is no chance of an enemy raid inside the castle , its heavily guarded . So just shut it , and sit back.”
“But you don’t get it , she’s not safe alone!” Aarav told her.
“Aarav , that’s enough . ” Megha said with a cold voice .“Try thinking about yourself for once . Atleast listen to what Reva says , she’s been by your side while you were off for two days. Would it be wise to get in any more trouble?”
“What? But why Reva?” Aarav asked her turning his face .
“If that’s your way of saying thank you , it really sucks .” And she simply walked away back into the castle.
“You sure don’t know how to handle a girl , do you?” Megha said shaking her head .
“What did i even do? I didn’t ask her to help me !“Aarav said.
“Come on , buddy . She feels guilty for getting you into trouble , that’s all . “Pranay said frustratingly .“Anyways , so as i was saying , about Raaka ...”
“Wait, what about him? What happened anyway?” Aarav asked .
“What do you mean? Dude , you just sent him into coma!” Pranay said.
“What? When did this happen?” Aarav asked them.
“I knew it ” Megha said with a smile on her face .” I knew it wasn’t you doing it !”
“Doing what?” Aarav asked them , completely clueless.
Everybody , fed him up with whatever had happened , about his body glowing , about Sword’s dance, and finally about the similarity he shares with Lord Silver.
“So what you mean to say...” Aarav said,“...is this is a rare ability?”
“Legendary. And if word gets out everybody will be after you for it.“Megha said.
“What? Abilities can be stolen?” Aarav asked.
“Not stolen , transferred , by blood magic . So before Raaka wakes up and starts his bombardment , we need to do something., and fast.” She said.
“So what do you plan to do ?” Pranay asked her.
“I have a plan , but we need to take proper care , and also we need time.”
Accordingly , all of them , not Reva , headed to the medical room , where Raaka was being treated .
They entered and saw that the nurse was still waiting , she saw them and said ,
“Good news , in a few hours , your friend will be standing and kicking . Do you need anything ?”
Megha smacked her straight in the face and knocked her out.
“Why’d you do that for ?” Aarav asked her .
“No distractions . Now listen carefully , before the doctor comes we have to complete the spell. So Pranay and Mayank , stand at the door and look out for anyone . Aarav , just stand quiet and don’t disturb.”
As she said , both Pranay and Mayank went near the closest corner of the corridor and one was near he door . Megha went near Raaka’s bed , and pulled out a book , a runestone , a vile of brown coloured liquid and ...
“Bubblegum? Why the hell do you need that for?“Aarav asked her.
“Just shut up , i need it for proper concentration.”
The plan was to alter the memory of Raaka , using a forbidden rune stone . Megha quickly poured the vile of brown liquid into a bowl , and put some powdered ash on it . She dipped two fingers of both her hands in the bowl and started applying them on the side of his temples . Then she took a book in one hand , and a rune stone in other , and started moving her hand slowly above his head. After that , she did the same to the nurse. But suddenly Pranay , who was keeping a watch outside , said,” Guys , the doctor is coming , she’s near Mayank right now. Do it fast!”
“Aarav do something , this wont be over so soon . I need more time, she’s resisting . Quick!“Megha said.
“Oh shit ! Alright ,Pranay , how old is she ?“Aarav asked him.
Pranay peeped in and said ,“Can't say , maybe 25 ? Or more ?Why?”
"Just asking." He mumbled.
Aarav quickly went in the corridor and stood right in front of her . “Yeah? You need something Aarav?“She asked him.
“Actually , yeah , but you know ..its a bit personal.” He said .
“Go on, i’m a doctor afterall ! Some private problem?”
“What? No ! I meant ...about you...are u married ?”
She blushed and said,“Well, i’ve found no one yet...but why do you ask?” She asked shyly.
“I was thinking...I actually like older women especially doctors...so what do you say ...you know...we could....”
“Aarav its done...” He heard Megha say from the communication stone in his front pocket.“We’re going...”
Why do i get stuck in such things? He thought.
He saw the doctor’s cheeks turn red. “Well , but aren’t you too young for me Aarav?” She said placing a hand on his shoulder “I don’t exactly mind though” She added.
“What? Yeah...you’re actually too old for me , Okay so , how about i come in the evening or maybe at night ...then you can treat me ...”
“What? Aren’t you asking for a date? What treatment ?”
“What? No , not at all! ” He gave a false laugh ” I was talking about ointment for my arm...anyways nice meeting you.” He quickly walked away from her with his paining leg and he heard her call him a bastard or something .
Whatever i asked doesn't make a shit of sense! He thought.
Aarav went back to the garden and saw Megha , Pranay and Mayank waiting for him.
He asked , “So Megha , what did u alter in his memory?”
“I just changed his memory where he lost badly , to him winning and kissing Reva as the prize . Yeah , i almost forgot , did u get the prize?“Megha asked him.
“Prize? And why are u smiling?“Aarav asked her.
Pranay was controlling his laughter , but failed and laughed out loud . He said,
“Aarav you’re such an idiot !”
“I’m not getting a word why u people are laughing . Anyways i’m going to my room for some rest, later guys.“He said and walked to the castle, carefully not to fall.
He walked straight to Shiba and found her playing . She saw him coming and ran to hug him.
“Oww! Slow down !”
“Where were you ? You know you were glowing that day..“She said looking up at him.
Aarav knelt low and said,“Shiba promise me something , will you?” She nodded.“Promise me that you will never tell anyone about what happened that night ,okay? And if u do , once we go back home , I’ll buy you a jumbo sized ice-cream.Okay?”
She nodded and said,” Okay , pinky promise...Do you know Reva didi was crying while you were asleep?”
“Yeah , she was crying ”
Aarav was heading back to his room having an apple from the table , when he found Reva coming towards him.
“What is it?”
“I just wanted to say sorry and...thankyou...”
“No need, I just did it cz you got into it because of my stubbornness , i need to go...” She said , but she couldn’t meet his eye.
“What is it?“He asked.
“Um...dont you think you are forgetting something ?” Aarav thought for a while and shook his head.“Nothing better could be expected from a dumbass like you anyway.”
Aarav wasn’t understanding why was she acting so weird. She was near the stairs when she spoke ,
“Hey , idiot , you want to thank me right ?”
“Tomorrow after the ceremony there is a ball , can you come with me as a partner?”
“Yeah, i guess...”
He felt he saw a hint of smile , before she turned away and walked down the stairs. Aarav was still thinking what he was forgetting , trying hard.
He didn’t go back , he took his medicine after having some food , and was lying on the bed , thinking.
Then finally he remembered what he was forgetting and why did everybody laughed at him .
Reva had to kiss him as a prize for winning Raaka’s challenge.