THE SWORD OF SILVER
Lolark was staring with his beady eyes at Aarav , from top to bottom .
“Why’re you here boy? What do you want?” He said moving his hands over the wheels of his chair and coming closer to him.
“I was here to forge a sword...a special one"
“Hah..we don't do forgin' for idiots, only warrior bloods.Get lost...Bloody hot bloods!”
“Ser, but i am a warrior blood...”
“Oh yeah? Then catch this...” The old man said and threw a sword towards Aarav which he caught with ease.
“Looks like you are, but i’ve left my job of a bladesmith a long time ago. But who sent you anyway, Huh?”
“Master Ashwa sent me , he said you were the only person who could forge swords which aren’t iron , copper or bronze...”
“Ashwa? Do you mean that masked Bastard Ashwathama ?”
“Yes , ser , he’s my guru...”
“Oh...i see , bloody idiot wants a blade again , am i correct? I told him i only make a sword for a person once....he wasted it didn’t he , boy?”
“Actually , its me who wants a sword forged, not Master Ashwa...”
He thought for a while , then stared at Aarav’s face for some more time , then said ,
“Not happening , i don't forge swords for kids.” and turned to go back into the shop.
“There are 1789 shops in this street , go to any shop you want.”
“But , its not an iron , copper or bronze sword , its a silver sword.”
“Get lost!” He said and went away.
For a long time Aarav stood there calling out his name, but he didn’t even answer . Finally , he pulled out one of the rusty stools and sat on it in front of the shop.
He was about to go back , when he heard a rough and rowdy voice say,
“Old hag , come on out and give us the money you asshole! Or we’ll kick your butt...”
Aarav turned to see three well built rowdy looking men standing on the other side of the shop. One of them saw Aarav and said,
“What the heck do’ya want , kid ? Get lost.Old hag come out , or we’ll have to take whatever’s remaining in this scrapyard...”
Aarav looked at them , one of them came close ,
“Whatch’ya lookin’ at , bastard? Want some?”
“I want nothing.” Aarav said and sat quiet.
“Ar’ ya ignorin’ me? Ah..look what we have here? How about we take this...”
He saw Aarav’s cloak , and pushed it upwards to look at the bracelet.
“I wouldn’t touch it if i were you.” Aarav warned him.
“You’re right , i wont touch it , i’ll just snatch it...” He was about to touch it , while in time Aarav pulled his hand back .
“How dare’ya , you son-o-a-bitch?”
Aarav ignored him. While the other two men came close too,
“Any problem boss?” Said one of them .
“Nothin’ , the boy is askin’ for some , giv’im will ya?”
One of the guys came and launched a punch at Aarav , he just moved his slightly and the guy missed. He launched another hand , and in time , Aarav held his wrist and stopped him.His free hand launched again , and Aarav caught it , and turned the man , so now he was lying on his back, with both his hands in Aarav’s.
“You’re making a mistake , ser.” Aarav warned him.
“We’ll see...” Said the second guy and charged. Aarav used the stool and jumped high , and while falling back , with the back of his leg, he kicked him in the head. The man fell on his face.
“Some nerve ya got there!” Said the boss and pulled out a dagger. He too charged , while Aarav stood there still. When the man came close , Aarav held his hand , and turned him , so that the dagger was on the man’s neck.
“I told you , you’re making a mistake...” Aarav told him.
People were gathered round to see the fight , so Aarav quickly pulled his mask over his face .
Someone had called the city guards so one of them came and said,
“What’s going on here?”
“Nothin’ officer , nothin’ at all!” Said the man with the dagger at his neck ,“...we’re just havin’ some fun...that’s all, isn’ it ?”
“Yes, officer , we’re old friends meeting after a long time...“Aarav said.
“Alright then , carry on...” The officer said , and looking at the dagger simply walked away.
“Now , how about you spill the beans , huh?” Aarav asked him.
“I’m sorry, we are..we wanted our money...that’s all. I swear!” He said struggling for breath.
"Your money?“Aarav tightened the grip.
“Alrigh’... alrigh’ ,not ours..its the ol’man’s money...”
“Now how about you run off somewhere? I don't want you people to even roam around in this market ...is it clear?”
“Yes boss.“Said the guy. The other two fallen men moaned in pain as their boss picked them up and ran hell.
“Looks like Ashwa has trained you well, huh kid?” Aarav heard someone say. He turned to see Lolark was back on his wheel chair.“Come kid , come in...”
Aarav entered the shop , and saw it was even worse from the inside , all rusty , stinky and unused for a long time . The shop was interconnected to a room , which had another underground steps that went to the dungeon.
He turned his chair and faced Aarav and asked him to sit.
“So , kid , what type of a sword do you want? What metal were you speaking of , huh? Silver did you say?”
“Yes ser , and i need it forged out of these...“Aarav said and pulled out the pouch that contained the three coins , and then he pulled his bracelet to reveal Galade.
He took a keen look at the coins , then at Galade with his lens. He saw it from all angles very keenly ,
“Some metal you’ve got here , kid . That’s the purest silver i’ve seen . But this sword , its made of two different kinds of silver , the hilt is made out of the same as that of the coins , but the rest is different . Do you want me to melt these and then forge?”
“Yes ser, but one thing , how can you touch the sword? Are you a warrior blood too?”
He laughed and said ,“No , kid , bladesmiths can touch any metal , holy or not , doesn’t matter . Do you have a design?”
“For the sword? No.”
“Okay then , tell me , which style of swords are you strong at?”
“Water and thunder.”
“Ah..i see , quite a rare combination . Not to worry , i’ll make the best water-thunder sword that the world has ever seen.”
“How long will it take?”
“4 hours...not much , you’re lucky its me , or else it would be no less than a day for such a sensitive metal.”
“Isnt that a bit too quick for a bladesmith?”
“Looks like you’ve been to the mortal world ...here , bladesmiths use spells and forge techniques so its quite quick work. Alright then , follow me...”
He turned again and headed towards the steps that led to the dungeon .
“Ser...should i help?“Aarav asked.
“Ah..not at all kid , i’m not old , i just look like it...”
That’s not the reason why i asked ...., Aarav wanted to say, but thought against it.
Lolark pressed his knees , and steam rushed out of them , then the old man was standing .
“Those are....“Aarav recognized them , its wasn’t magic or spells he used , those were hydraulics.
“Hydraulics , they’re called...” Lolark said,“.. . That masked bastard Ashwa took me to that filthy mortal world to that weird magician who fits broken limbs...”
“You mean prosthetic?”
“Yeah, yeah, someone like that. He just did some changes and used this . Come on now , quick.”
Aarav followed him , each step he took , it felt as though a robot made of iron was walking .
CLUNK , CLUNK.
In the dungeon there was a huge smelter , a hearth and many other forging instruments that Aarav didn’t know . He sat in the corner of the room while Lolark was doing the work of forging.
He started the fire , then put the metal pieces in a large vessel over it , melting all. Then he put it in the smelter , where he separated the correct metal type . And he did many other things like heating it , then tinkering , then cooling , again heating , again tinkering , and cooling , and it went on...
Finally after two hours , he asked Aarav to bring some water. Handing the glass of water to him , Aarav was wondering about his legs , Lolark saw that and said,
“Ask out , i wouldn’t mind...”
“Alright , i’ll tell you. After i made that masked bastard’s sword , and he became a vilgilante of justice , people found out that i was the one who made his so called ,‘justice blade’ . So this was my payment. A criminal mob came into the shop at night , and broke my legs warning me not to forge a sword ever again or else they’ll kill me , but it turned out the other way , your guru , Ashwa , killed each and every one of them , and also gave me back my legs , though artificial...and the reason i’m helping you is that bastard itself .”
Aarav didn’t speak , he couldn’t , not even an apology or a sympathetic comment , because all these years , he learnt one thing , sympathy can never bring a person out of his misery .
He was looking around Lolark’s dungeon when he saw the photo , a small boy holding a bright silver sword , that Aarav felt he had seen before.
“It’s me ...” Said Lolark ,“...holding the legendary sword of silver , father of all swords . My grandfather was the person who forged it ...for Lord Silver , i was beside him when that demonic sword was born...And i know that i have got the opportunity to bring it back to life...” He said lifting a roughly shaped sword.
“Ofcourse , i do , kid . You’re the master of the sword of silver , you’re guru sent me a pigeon saying that you’d come . I just wanted a conformation that it’s really you...”
“Then those rowdies...”
“My pets . I sent them to check you...” Lolark said , as he was polishing the sword.“...a bit of over acting , but passable...”
“Will you say then , if anyone asks?“Aarav asked him.
“About the sword of silver?”
“You know boy , a bladesmith’s word is compared to the strength of the swords he makes. The more the swords break , the lesser he is believed . And i dont remember any of my babies to even get a scratch. Don’t you worry , everything is safe inside this old bladesmith , words and swords alike.”
Aarav smiled and instantly , he took a respect for the old man .
Finally , as he had said , Lolark finished the sword before the expected time . He came close and removed the red cloth from the sword , to reveal the most beautiful and in the same time strongest sword Aarav had ever seen .
“A katana , single bladed , handy , strong and durable babe. ” Lolark said with pride ,“This is specially made for a water-thunder type swordsman ...stronger than a holy sword , sharper than a needle . Heightens your warrior blood ability , and also take this...” He handed him a small dagger .
“Remains of your old sword , and a small thanks for listening to the old talks of this old man . Use it wisely kid , you have a very difficult path ahead of you . And mind you , if this sword gets a scratch , i’ll be the person the put this in your gut...”
“Thank you very much ser , and dont you worry , you said yourself that your swords never get a single scratch...”
“Smart lad...but i don't work for free.” He said .
“Oh...so much is it?”
“Dont think me so low kid , i never made swords for money . In return i want you to always walk on the right path , and if u ever take the wrong one , i want you to break my sword in two...”
“Alright , now get lost. What will you name it?”
Lolark gave a smile , while Aarav touched his iron feet , but Lolark didn’t do anything , he just shook his head and walked away.
(* Vajra-According to Indian mythology , Vajra was the weapon of Lord Indra , who is known as the king of Swarga . Vajra is actually a bolt of thunder which he used to kill the Serpent demon , in the legendary battle against Vritra.)