Before they knew it , Aarav and Pranay were surrounded by 9 men , wearing armors with no sigil and swords which were neither white nor black.
Pranay was about to pull out his sword , when Aarav stopped him,
“No , don't! We cant risk getting exposed.“He said, then he asked the men, “What do you want?”
“We’re the 20 footers “, said a man with a long and scarred face.
“So what?” Pranay asked ,“What do want from us? And Who do you serve? You’re armor has no sigil.”
“We don’t serve any kingdom , we serve the realm . We’re in search of the silver bladed warrior...“said the same man, “Do you know him? And why are you roaming these forests in the middle of the night?”
“That’s none of your....” Pranay was about to say when Aarav realized they were searching for him.
“We’re traders , going to the next kingdom to sell our goods and we know nothing of the silver bladed warrior.” Aarav said .
“Then why aren’t you on the main road? Wouldn't it be convenient that way?“the man asked.
“To ...avoid taxes. Road taxes and to avoid looters.“Pranay said quickly.
“Where are your goods then?“Asked another man , plump of body and short of height.
“They’re with our friends. We can show you if you follow us...” Aarav said.
The two men who were talking discussed for a while , then asked the other seven men , looking at their faces , Aarav saw that they were satisfied . So , the scar faced man motioned to lead the way.
Aarav and Pranay raised their hands and started walking forward , while the men followed them.
“Now what?“Pranay whispered.
“Once we’re in open land , we go berserk.” Aarav whispered.
Then , from somewhere ahead of them , a loud howl of a wolf , that clearly sounded fake was heard.
“That’s the signal...“Said the scar-face.
“What signal?” Aarav asked them.
“That means they’ve found someone...Ahoooooooooo” Said the plump man , and replied with a loud and fake howl.
Ahead , Aarav saw a small clearing amidst the thick forest. He whispered to Pranay,
“ We’re there . Once we step foot , just follow my lead.”
Pranay slowly nodded. And as planned , the moment the nine men , Pranay and Aarav were in the clearing , Aarav pulled out his sword ,Vajra. And Pranay was holding his black coloured sword.
“Boy , what are you doing?” Said scar-face.“You’re making a huge mistake by attacking us. Look at the numbers , 9 on 2 , who do you think has the upper hand ?”
“That's the problem. It's just 9 of you.”
In the blink of an eye , 4 men were down , and Pranay was handling 3 more . Only scar-face and plump head were remaining . Pranay took down the 3 , and came to face the remaining two.
“How many of you are there?“Aarav asked.
“20 then , 13 now . Boy , 11 of my men will be near your friends , think what you do.” Said plump head. Scar-face slowly placed his sword down on the ground .
“What’re you doing?“Pranay asked him .
“I don't know how to use a sword , so i’d like to fight hand-to-hand. I think you’re mature enough to respect an opponent...“He said.
“First i need some answers...“Aarav said.“Why do you want the silver bladed warrior?”
“We want to kill him.” Said plumphead.
“What? Why?“Aarav asked.
“He’ll become a threat to the realm , once a kingdom is successful in knowing his true power , the realm will be destroyed , all the worlds will crumble to dust.“He said.
“Fine.“Aarav slowly put his bracelet back on his wrist.
“Don’t be stupid , Aarav just fight him with your sword. I mean , look at him , he’s way stronger looking than you...“Pranay said .
“I’ve learnt to respect my opponent , and i will follow that.”
He raised his fists , and scar-face charged . Aarav blocked his every move , not once attacking him . He had no time , he had to do this , quick .
"Manipura Chakra...10 petal fist.“Aarav said and he hit 10 fists at 10 different locations of scar-face’s body and the next moment , scar-face had fallen .
Aarav turned to see Pranay had taken care of the plump man . He said ,
“What the HELL was that? ”
“This is what i was learning.”
“Cool! Let’s go , there are 11 more waiting for us ...”
They ran ahead , and after running for some time , they saw men surrounding Reva , Megha and Mayank. They were fighting . Quick as a monkey , Aarav climbed the nearest tree , pulled out his sword and leaped ahead , in mid air he said,
"Water style , Dragon dance...”
Everyone looked up . Aarav landed , his sword hit the ground , and water rushed out of it . All the men were now standing on the water , and slowly a huge wave of water , took the shape of a dragon , and washed over the men . After that , all the men were down , soaking in the water.
Aarav turned and saw all of them were staring at him .
“Hi.” He said giving an embarrassed smile.
Megha was shocked , Mayank was clueless and Reva...couldn’t be read. She was struggling to decide whether she should cry , be happy , surprised or angry.
“Wait a minute...” Aarav said and turned towards the water soaked men , he said...
"Thunderbird...” and raised his sword high in the air , and all the men were now unconscious after getting directly hit by lightning.
“Aarav ?” Mayank said.
Aarav tried to smile , but soon enough got punched in the gut by Megha’s heavy hand.
“Aw! Calm down! It hurts...” Aarav tried saying spitting out blood.
“Hey, hey , Megha ...calm down...” Pranay said.
“IF U GET IN THE WAY YOU’LL GET KILLED TOO!” Megha said grinding her teeth. And without any word Pranay simply slipped away in retreat. “REVA ,HOW ABOUT YOU TAKE THE LEAD?”
“Hey...Reva, hi.” Aarav said.
“YOU ASSHOLE...” Reva said and started shooting sparks out of her hands at Aarav.
“Calm.it.down.i’m.sorry” Aarav said each word deflecting the sparks with his sword.
“YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD GET AWAY SO EASILY?” Reva yelled,” ‘FORGET ME’ , IS’NT THIS WHAT YOU SAID?”
“Hey , you don’t want to ...kill me, do you?” Aarav said.
“Looks like it.“Pranay said.
“Reva you’ll kill him...” Mayank said and held Reva from the back.
“LEAVE ME! I’LL KILL YOU TOO...” Reva warned him.
“I said I’M SORRY! ” Aarav said slowly moving towards Reva step by step.“Mayank , leave her...” He said in a calm voice. Aarav met Reva’s moist eyes and she calmed down , slowly Mayank stepped back and Aarav moved his hands and held her face .
“Calm down.” He said,“I'm here now , okay? I won’t go anywhere, i promise"
“Quite a reunion , isn’t it?” Aarav heard someone say. He turned to see , black cloaks with the sigil of a bird on fire , which had spread its wings.
“Phoenix.“Megha said ,“They’re from the phoenix clan...”
“Did we disturb you’re little reunion ? No worries , once you die , you’ll all meet up there.” The same man said pointing at the sky. “But before that , hand her over to us...NOW..”
“Hand over who?” Pranay asked him.“And who the hell are you anyway?”
“I’m the head guard of the borders , Vaibhav . And who will you be?” He asked.
“Don't fool us like you did those 20 footers , you’re no traders . Traders don't hold swords , they buy men to hold swords. Now , tell me who you really are...And i don’t like asking twice.“He warned.
“What does it matter boss ..“Said on of the men beside him ,“...doesn't look like they know anything about the abduction . What will we do knowing who they are if they’re dead...?”
“Smart boy...” Vaibhav agreed.“I’ll kill them then...”
“Don’t make your sword bloody boss , let us handle him.“Said another of them.
“There’s no need for blood shed.“Aarav said ,“We can talk this out , alright?”
“No , not alright . We kill... you die!” Said one of them and half of them charged.
“No choice...“Aarav said,“...Guys be careful...”
Aarav closed his eyes , and stood joining his hands .
“What the hell are you doing? Pull out your sword , there’s too many of them.” Megha said .
Aarav didn’t answer . He stood there , still as a rock . And he heard his clanmates charge too . He was waiting for them to come close , and the moment a man came close, he attacked with his sword which Aarav held in his palms and stopped the man and pushed him to the ground .
“I told you we don’t need blood bath, just listen to us!”
One after the other men were coming , whom Aarav didn’t attack , but instead blocked them and made them fall face to the ground . In no time the only people standing were his clanmates and some men wearing the black cloaks.
“Aarav you idiot, why aren’t you attacking them?” Reva asked him.
“They’re doing their job , that’s all. There’s no need to kill them for that.” Aarav replied.
“Quite some virtues you’ve got there boy...but i’m sorry to say , i’m not so kind “Vaibhav said.
“I’m telling you , we are not here to hurt anyone , so please we can talk this out .“Aarav told him.
“Will you stop begging Aarav? Have you seriously lost it ?” Megha asked ,“They’re attacking us , talking won’t defend their attacks!”
Aarav was ignored them , but even he was clueless why he couldn’t attack . He felt that if he attacked , then something bad was going to happen .
“We can’t stand while they attack . If Aarav isn’t doing it , then i have to...“Megha said and started throwing runes tones at the men . There were four of them excluding Vaibhav, remaining .
One after the other , they began fighting , while Vaibhav was staring at Aarav with a smirk on his face. He was casually waving his black swords.
“Something is different about you boy” he said,“You look afraid , but not of fighting me , what is it? Why aren’t you attacking me? Well, i’ll spare you this time , let me have fun with someone else for now.”
He lifted his sword high in the air , and struck it in the ground . From his pocket , he pulled out a small book and tore a page from it , he put the book back , and waved the paper and it was no longer a paper . He was holding a mace , and that too a huge one.
He gave another smirk at Aarav , and swung his mace which landed straight at Mayank and he fell on the ground .
“Aarav , WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO YOU? ” Megha yelled.
Aarav didn’t answer , he didn't want to attack . Vaibhav swung his mace again and this time it hit Pranay , another swing and when it was about to hit Megha ,
“Now you’ve done it.“Aarav said holding the mace in his hand .
"I said there is no need for bloodshed!"
He pulled the mace out of Vaibhav’s hand and tossed it in the wilderness.
“Water style...palm of water..." He said and hit his palm on the man straight in the chest . Aarav heard something crack and Vaibhav screamed in pain . He hit the other four men at their chest , and each time the strength was quadrupled . The last hit was so intense , the sleeve of Aarav’s cloak tore away . and Aarav felt all his surroundings slow down , his senses improved and he heard a slowing heartbeat , which stopped after three beats .
Everything went to normal again , and he fell to his knees . He was staring at the darkness ahead of him . And before he knew , he was drifted off to the same dream , which started with Shiba running in a corridor , who changed into a weeping woman and finally with Shubhanka who kissed him and stabbed him in the heart. And after that , surprisingly his tired body didn’t let him wake up , instead he slept.
A dark room , with nothing but a table and a mattress of hard thread . The young man was sitting with his eyes closed near the table . He suddenly opened his eyes , and got up , waved his hand and a portal opened up and he stepped inside it and was now standing behind an old man who was looking over at the town from the window .
“Priest , he ...He has..” The young man was out of breath .
“Calm down and then talk ...“The priest said .
The young man took a long breath and then finally he calmed down .
“The boy , he lost control and killed three , and other two are critical and on the verge of death . Two among them dead , they have their ribcage broken to bits . And the third one ...he...“.
“He what?” The priest asked.
“The third man , he was the last to be hit . With every hit , the strength was growing exponentially . The final blow ended up breaking the spine of the man . The boy has grown too dangerous , master...Is it because of ...The sword?” Shishra asked.
“I fear so..“Said the priest,“...i hadn’t foreseen that the power of the sword would take effect so early...his White side is showing up . The immense power he has shown are a sign that we need to hurry . The seal has to be put, or else...”
“Or else what master?” the young man asked.
“Or else he will die .”
“Die ? He will die because of the power?”
“No , he will die because of the guilt.”