It became dark very soon. We were soothed by the fire started by Mahatapase. She was still unconscious, even after a tiresome roll down, even after trenched in the stream, still unconscious yet alive. “Who is she? why did she come to the rail track? Why is she still unconscious?” Many questions like this kept my mind busy, blinding me to witness what would happen next. She was unusually beautiful. It was as if I’m been mesmerised by her beauty. The only question that continuously ran in my mind was “who she is ?”
I went to fetch something to eat for myself and Mahatapase, where I heard some movement in the woods. I got alert and gripped my Trishul tight in order to face anything that approaches. All of a student there was a sound of multiple metallic clash. I rushed towards the camp which we temporarily made and saw a group of mob dressed weirdly with weapons in their hands charging against Mahatapase. I went in between them and began to charge at them. “Who are these guys? This place is filled with mysteries, first it was just a woman, now a group of men. Where were they when we first entered the temple?”
We were over powered and were also not sure of their motive too. Suddenly there was a horn sound, a war horn. On hearing it the mob which attacked us ran away out of fear. “Who blew that horn?” I expected my professor to be there. To my surprise there was another set of mobs on different attire who marched towards us. They had fur on their skins which looked odd; whether they were friends or foe was a great doubt for me and Mahatapase. We both gripped our weapons and stood in battle position; but all of a sudden the surrounded us and stood against us, as if they were protecting us from someone. After sometime an elderly person in armor came towards us with a smiling face. ” You are lucky today as we crossed this way, or else no one could have saved you both from the brutality you could have encountered” said the elderly person in armour.
He introduced himself Smithii. He was the local clan leader of the Smithiis which was named after him. He provided us with some water and food which was carried by his men and further welcomed us to his place to take rest and stay safe for that night. we readily accepted for his aid as we were very tired and would not be able to protect ourselves if someone attacks us at night. His vision then turned to the woman who was lying nearby. He clapped his hand on his thigh and said with a confident tone ” This is why those vermins attacked you” and laughed weirdly.
With the guidance and help of the Smithiis we reached a small cave like entrance which ended into a great palace with an assemblage many men, women and children. This really surprised me. An underworld within an underworld, we were welcomed warmly and was given separate rooms to take rest. They took the women to the prison and Smithii said that we would talk about other things on the next day morning. On passing I heard many Smithiis talking about the prisoner, they said that there would be peace and prosperity in their land here after. Some gossiped that after many decades their race have finally defeated their deadly enemy.
The next day we were taken to the hall where Smithii and his noble men were seated; they asked us many questions and I was the one who were answering them all. After hearing complete detail about us they were very eager to know about the temple and how i got the Trishul. Again and again their questions were only on the Trishul that i possessed. After the investigation session, we were taken to have royal food. Each plate that was placed in front of us had different kinds of food on various vegetables, fruits and flesh that they cultivated over there. During the feast, Smithii told us about the cunning Vishakhans, who were leaded by their great queen Vishakha. He said that she was a great threat to the Smithiis, as they possessed the most powerful weapon created by God himself.
He told that they were living for many centuries as it was a gift given by God for eternal life and both Vishakha and Smithii grew up together. Once they met God himself who accidentally killed them both. So in order to rectify his mistake he gave life to both Smithii and Vishakha, during the process of giving life Vishakha became a snake. Later her mind was corrupted by evil from whom She got the power to mesmerize anyone with her look and kill anyone with a single kiss, because of her special ability Vishaksha started her own clan with snakes and ruled it brutally.
He further said that long time back there was a great war between God and evil at the temple during which the Smithiis helped God in the battle, as a result God gifted them with a great weapon named “The Mighty Arc” for their safety against the Vishakhans who turned evil. Later there was a war between the Vishakhans and the Smithiis for acquiring the weapon given by God. During the battle the weapon was broken into two pieces. One part of was looted by the Vishakhans while the other was kept safe with the Smithiis. He said that only the people who are worthy for it can use it, and he added that Smithii and Vishakha had the ability to use it. Recently when they arrested Vishakha along with us, they got back the remaining piece and now its easy for Smithii to protect his people from the Vishakhans.
After the feast Smithii ordered one among his noble men to bring the broken pieces of the Mighty Arc. A white furry man brought something covered in velvet. On reaching Smithii he removed the velvet, it was two bows. Two bows with only some variations in it. With a bright happy face Smithii took both the bows and tried to unite it into one in order to recreate the Mighty Arc. His attempts failed, because of which he got furious and asked the guards to bring the prisoner to the hall.
Vishakha was brought by a guard with her hands chained. On seeing me she got little surprised, which was seen in her eyes. Smithii questioned Vishakha on what she has done to the Mighty Arc. She stood silent starting at me. There was a slap given to Vishakha. After which she said “Only the blessed and worthy can recreate the Mighty Arc, you try it now”. Smithii with a satirical tone laughed and said ” you could have said this before and avoid that slap”. On hearing this Vishakha started to laugh and said ” I was talking to him.” Her index finger pointed towards me.
Smithii without thinking anything gave both the bow in my hand and told me to unite it. I tried many times but it repelled as if I tried to unite two magnets of the same poles. After a many tries, I managed to bring the bows together and hold it tight. The bows became very hot and bright and all of a sudden it turned into ashes. Smithii got shocked. He shouted at Vishakha stating she has tricked her and destroyed the weapon. She cursed her ” trickster ” and threw everything he had in his hand. Everyone in the hall was thrown back due to a great explosion. Again the same mob who attacked us on the first hand entered the hall. They unchained Vishakha who rushed towards the turned-ash bows and collected it all in a velvet cloth and kidnapped us from there within a fraction of seconds. The final sound that I heard before I went unconscious was the monstrous scream of Smithii.
……….To Be Continued……….