VRITRA -THE SERPENT LORD
It was completely dark , and Aarav and the other old men stood still.
Aarav heard Master Bheema say ,” Ofcourse .” And the next moment his hand was ablaze giving out a blue-white flame.
Master Chirayu and Blade followed , Blade took out his sword and it burned blue , And Chirayu was holding a long stick with a glowing head.
Aarav pulled out Galade and murmured , “Metal-fire.” , his sword erupted in flames enough for him to see 2 feet ahead of him.
“I’m getting the creeps here.” Chirayu said .
“Scared?” Asked Bheema , “You’re the strategy guy , never a fighting one.”
“We don’t have time to waste , we should keep on going ahead .” Blade said.
Everybody agreed and they went through the cave . Blade was leading them , Bheema was in the back looking out , so Aarav and Chirayu were left in between them .
Aarav saw Chirayu glancing again and again at Galade and Then at his face . Finally he came closer and said ,
“Boy , correct me if i’m wrong , isn’t that beauty you’re holding in your hand from the Mauryan Clan weaponry? Where did u get it ? Don’t tell me you stole it from such a high security!”
Aarav remembered old man telling him to stay away from Bheema and Chirayu . But what was he to do? He had no choice but to speak up.
" Yes you’re right , it is Galade and No i didn’t steal it .I was the Mauryan clan’s knight.”
“I...left, as i had to come and learn under Master Blade...” He said .
“Leaving a clan...that’s a really weird thing to do . What exactly was the reason that you needed to learn so bad?” He said coming close to Aarav’s face , as if checking whether he was really speaking the truth .
“Don’t trouble the boy , you cocky old man...” Aarav heard Bheema say , “...what’re you gonna do knowing the reason ?”
“Nothing , just curious.” Chirayu said taking a last glance at Aarav before going to Blade’s side and start talking in whisper.
After another fifteen minute walk , Blade raised his sword and an hand as a stopping sign . He said, “We’re here , stay put and be alert . We don’t want trouble.”
Great , just great , you come walking inside trouble’s lair and say ‘we don’t want trouble’? Aarav thought.
Aarav walked towards the Blade and saw that they were at the edge of cliff , above a large canyon. Aarav increased the flames of his sword and raised it high to have a better look. And straight at the far end was a large boulder . But something was different about it , it was glowing in the dark and it had weird type of curves on its body.
Bheema asked ,
“How deep do you think it is?”
Chirayu bent and had a look at the canyon’s bottom . He said ,“120 feet , more or less . ”
Aarav thought how could someone calculate the depth by just looking at it ? Without notice , Bheema and Chirayu jumped straight down .
“I know what you’re thinking . But don’t forget they’re the smartest and strongest of the legendary 8 . If you still don’t trust them , which i’m pretty sure you don’t , use your training .” Blade said and patted him on the back . He nodded and he too jumped straight down.
"Muladhara chakra , foot stability.” Aarav murmured and heat surged through his legs . Slowly he kept his leg at the edge of the cliff , and jumped . When he was almost half way , he turned in mid air and pushed his legs on the hard rock surface of the cliff wall . The next moment he was standing still on the vertical wall . Slowly he started walking downwards and finally when he felt the ground did his heart started beating again.
He bent , and made his breathing normal . It was dark , but not much , so all of them kept their glowing weapons aside.
“Looks like you’ve trained him well , Ashwa.” Aarav heard Chirayu say . He looked up and saw that the three old men were looking at him. Bheema and Chirayu were smiling ,
“Just got lucky...” , Blade said, But Aarav saw a glint of pride on his face .
“What is this place , anyway?” Bheema asked, “It looks like a city in a rabbit’s burrow!”
“I’ve heard about such places ..” Chirayu said,“As the monster grows , its lair grows along with it .But where is the serpent demon?”
“We need to find it .” Blade said .
They walked further on and Aarav found the rock which was shining from the top of the cliff . He was about to touch it when he felt it moved , just a little.
“Uh...master Blade ...i think this rock moved.” Aarav said .
“Not a good time for jokes...” Blade said as he was hitting on the walls of the caves with his knuckles .
It moved again , for a moment Aarav thought he saw scales.
“Master Blade , i swear this rock moved...”
“Blade , the boy’s right . It seriously moved , i too felt the plate movement...” Chirayu said.
“Take a look....” Aarav heard Bheema say . They went near him , where he was pointing towards some weird sort of cloth with scales. Then he instantly recognized it...
“Snake skin! That means...”
“That means the snake is awake and hungry and strong . We’d rather get out of this place than fight the bloody thing.” Chirayu said, “...just look at it. Its massive!”
He was right . It was the largest snake skin Aarav had ever seen.
Just then , something moved . They heard something move , Aarav turned to see the thing that he thought was a rock was moving. Its shiny scales becoming more clearer by the moment .
The monster raised its head , high and high it went , till its large hood spread like an eagle’s wings . Its eyes blue like lighting . Skin , a shining green shade .Crumbling pieces of hardened mud was falling off its body.
“That’s why we couldn’t see it. Its Vritra ,the snake lord , when its asleep , a layer of rock forms over it making it only partly visible...” Chirayu said.
“Thanks for the knowledge , genius ! Glad you said it...” Bheema said .
“But ...what am i forgetting? ...“Chirayu said , “Something about it is weird...”
I wouldn’t care less , old man . Aarav thought ,Weird? Cant you see , old ass , look at its size . Its normal , isn’t it?
Though Aarav himself was forgetting something . Something about snakes...But what?
“Master Blade , i've seen snakes hypnotising...”
“That’s it ! Dont look in its eye , those are no normal eyes!“Chirayu quickly said.
Aarav quickly closed his eyes, but he was sure he had seen the blue eyes . Master Blade and Master Bheema weren’t so lucky . The moment the serpent rose high , the very first thing they did was look at the snake’s beautiful blue eyes.
“Boy , you there?” Chirayu asked .
“Yes, sir . ”
“We cant lose Ashwa and Bheema , especially Ashwa . We need to bring them out before its too late!” Chirayu said, “Damn it , old men , an 18 year old boy knew , and these two old bastards didn’t , just great...Boy we need to run.”
“What? But what about Master Ashwa and Master Bheema?”
“Damn them , ill save my own ass , and if chances are there , i can save you .”
“But Master Chirayu , you were assigned this mission and you said you would kill the snake!” Aarav said with his eyes closed.
“No boy , i didn’t say i will kill the beast , it was we. And i’m no hero , if u want to be one ,go on.” He said .
“But....” Aarav heard the movement of a body scratching and a wind gushing some feet away from him. He opened his eyes and quickly turned to see that Master Chirayu was gone.
“Bloody hell!” He said.“Old man , snap out of it .” He was shaking Master Blade vigorously , but he didn’t even flinch . His Eye balls were gone , and it was only white which he was seeing . He even tried waking Master Bheema , but even he was no less .
“The boy doesn’t know he is wasting his energy.What a fool , what a fool.” Aarav heard someone say. He turned around to look who it was , but found no one other than the large serpent , who was hissing madly .
He heard hissing and then again heard ,“They wont wake up , the boy doesn’t know.”
“Who is it?” Aarav yelled .
“Stupid boy , the old man was a coward but smart , he ran . The boy doesn’t know , he thinks he’s brave to face me...”
Aarav was raging . The hissing sound was causing him a headache , and now this unknown voice.But the thing that troubled him the most was why wasn’t the serpent attacking ?
“He is clueless...”
Now Aarav understood where it was coming from , the hissing and the voice were same . Maybe just like he could understand Boogey’s(The demon whom Aarav had freed and it had gifted him the coin)language, he could even understand the serpent’s tongue.
“Hey, Snake demon , why are doing this? ”
“Is the boy talking to me ?” The demon hissed.
“Yes ofcourse , who else is there is this cave?”
“Does that mean the boy understands the demon’s tongue? That’s strange , nobody but Lord Argent could do that!”
Lord Argent , that was the same name even Boogey had mentioned .
“Why are you here , boy?” It hissed.
What could he say? Say to him that he was here with three mad old men to kill him in its own house ?
“Uh...we ..we were lost ...we didn’t mean to wake you up .Now let us just go.” Aarav said.
“Do you take me for a fool ? Men come here for only one thing ...the second coin of the three coin treasure . Are you here for that , just like everyone else?”
“What? No! I dont even know what that is ! Just let us go and...”
The serpent’s head came at lightning speed and smashed the place where Aarav was standing . He missed it in time .
“I know what you are here for , dont lie to me !” And he smashed again . Aarav had no choice now , if the serpent kept on bashing like this , he would smash Master Ashwa and Master Bheema to dust.
Aarav pulled out Galade from his bracelet , and light it ablaze .
“Vritra , i dont want to fight you , we can talk this...”
" No talks , I’m hungry after all , i haven’t had a meal for a month now . You look skinny , i can have you for starters , and then these old fools for dinner . That one looks fleshy...”
Aarav knew he was speaking of Master Bheema . The serpent came low to face Aarav , his head was thrice as large as Aarav’s body .
“Interesting...” It hissed,“...Why aren’t you being affected by my gaze? Are you a sorcerer?”
“No” Aarav had no time to think . He should either kill the thing or let it kill him . He took the chance , now that the snake was close .
"Manipura Chakra , strength overflow.“Aarav murmured and slashed straight into its jaw with all his might . But the sword didn’t even do a tiny scratch on the scaly surface .
The snake backed away , and hissed , really hissed, and started bashing the ground with its mighty head .
Aarav dodged and ran as far and fast as he could , away from the standing old masters .
The serpent was following him like a shadow , attacking at his every last step . Finally when he felt he was quite away from them , he jumped and landed straight on the snake’s head.
“Get off...” It hissed .
It started moving its head savagely in the air . But Aarav had somehow caught on to it . Once it stopped for a moment , at that very moment , Aarav set his sword ablaze , and now his sword was burning white due to the heat , he pierced the sword in the left eye of the snake . It started hissing madly , but before Aarav could pull out , he was thrown to the ground with his sword still in the serpent’s eye.
“NOW YOU’VE DONE IT!” It hissed and Aarav saw it grew even larger , and its skin colour changed , the shiny green tinge was now the colour of blood . It was looking like lava , spreading the colour all over the cave .
In one swing , in mid air itself , it open its now even huge mouth , and before he knew , Aarav was gulped inside the red coloured serpent .
PS: An action packed one , please dont forget to drop a review...