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Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Young adult or teen  ➡  Fantasy  ➡  Fantasy  ➡  Epic

Mystical adventures of Celesta's stones

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MYSTICAL ADVENTURES

OF

CELESTA’S STONES

Acknowledgement

would like to express my gratitude to the many people who saw me through this book; to all those who provided support, talked things over, read, wrote, offered comments.

I would like to thank Amazon for enabling me to publish this book. Above all I want to thank my family, who supported and encouraged me in spite of all the time it took me away from them. It was a long and difficult journey for them.

INTRODUCTION

This is story is about a young girl who is just like us. But one day while her visit to museum with group of friends she travels magically to some other world. Where she comes to know that she was chosen to collect the lost stones of princess Celesta and rescue the world from getting destroyed. In return she will be granted one wish, she can wish for anything in the universe. While at the opening of new museum in the town, Kiara encounters a tablet in restricted section of the museum known as Tablet of Celesta. While saving a little girl from falling from the roof top carrying the same tablet transports her into some other universe. Kiara finds herself the Chosen one. She is destined to gather the five stones of Celesta representing Five elements(fire, water, air, earth and metal)in order to summon Celesta and obtain three wishes. She has to collect all stones within six months, if she fails to do so both the worlds will be in danger and suffer massive destruction with the hands of evil. In her journey of finding all the stones, she makes many friends but falls in love with Derek. At first Derek denies his feelings but later accepts his feelings for Kiara.

But that is not all, Yuva who she meets in this world also falls in love with her. He becomes her best friend at first and later on develops feelings for him and Derek is the one she falls in love with at first sight. As the story unfolds she is forced to chose between these Two. Who will she chose? As they both battle for her love.

Will she chose love over her family and stay back in this world or go back and fulfill her dead father’s wishes. All questions will be answered as the tale unfolds

CHAPTER 1

Visit to the Museum

This is my story, my name is Kiara Crane. I am eighteen years old, average height around five feet two inches tall, with dark eyes and long black hair. I have a pleasant personality, easy going and friendly. But one of my bad habits is that I am very lazy and not dependable, usually late in everything from submitting her assignments after the deadline to making someone wait for a long time. I live with my mother, grandfather and younger sister in Barking, Great London in a three BHK apartment. Last year I lost my father in a car accident and since then I am living along with my family with my grandfather in London.

It was Thursday morning. As usual I was late again. I have a bad habit of snoozing my alarm every morning. It is Mickey Mouse design alarm clock kept aside my bed on a side table. Alarm clock was a gift from my friend Aria on my fifteenth birthday. We are friends since a very
long time both of us were studying medical and are trying very hard to get into medical college next year. Aria was an A student always in top three in her class while I am an average girl merely passing in exams. Aria always wanted to go to medical school since her childhood
while I wanted to go to medical school to fulfill my father’s wish to see me going to medical college. This year I have been studying very hard to prepare for her entrance exams.

Since last few days I have been having strange dreams but every day they are becoming weirder. Today I woke up feeling scared and was sweating heavily. Before I could think what happened to me, I heard my mom’s voice calling me loudly to get up and get ready. I looked at the
clock it was already 8:00 am. I  rushed towards dining table in a hurry, grabbed one hot pancake wrapped it in a napkin and took it with me as I didn’t have time to eat, had to meet Aria at 8:30 on the bus stop.

It was 8:40 am, I was 10 minutes late.

Aria was already waiting for me on the bus stop.
“You are always late Kiara. We just missed the bus” Aria said

I apologized to Aria for her being late. So we decided to go on foot to the museum. While walking I told Aria about my strange dream, I have been having a dream of myself being alone in a forest filled with tall grasses running from something. I never saw the face but knew
that whatever it was, I was very afraid of it but from past few days I am daily having the same dream again and again. I wonder if that dream meant anything, was it trying to tell me something.
Aria asked me to stop watching horror movies with my younger sister. I have a younger sister April. She is in high school and one of her favorite hobbies is to watch horror movies with me. Both of us usually watch late night horror movies in dark.

Finally we reached the Museum. There was Jack waiting with his friends for them. Jack was Aria’s boyfriend. He was tall, handsome boy with wavy brown hair. He was one year senior to Aria. He took a break from his studies this year and was working with his aunt with some research work. He and Aria were friends since three years. But they were in
relationship since last year. We were all were going to the opening of “THE HISTORICAL MUSEUM”. Jack’s uncle was the one who was managing the event today, so he
arranged some passes for jack and his friends.

Aria didn’t want to feel isolated among his friends so she invited me also. Actually there
was a lot of buzz going on in our town about the museum. Jack introduced us to his friends Peter, Rachel, Harry and Raina. Raina was Jack’s little niece. It was her father’s museum that was
opening tonight.
Jack told us that we have just reached in time otherwise they would have missed the beginning. On being asked by me what beginning was he talking about?
He told us that the organizers had planned something grand, like dance performance just outside the museum before the gates would open. They had also called some very good professional dancers for this. The preparations were going on since one year for the opening.

Suddenly we heard loud drums. The performance had started, there were so many dancers dressed up in different colors, acrobats and magicians. It was a huge celebration. Lots of balloons, confetti’s and people. After the performance was over the founder of the museum gave
a welcome speech.
It was time. The door of the museum opened. It was so beautiful. One could see a big chandelier on the roof. Everything there was magnificent and beautiful. They were provided with a lady guide. She showed them around. She showed a huge skeleton of a dinosaur. There
were old paintings, statues, old artifacts and mummies. Everything one would expect to find in a museum.
One of Jack’s friends Harry was very much into Egyptian mythology. He asked the guide that he had heard that they had a special section of few artifacts from Cleopatra’s treasure and was very intrigued to see it. He asked her if she could show them. While Harry and others went with the guide, Jack, me, Aria and Raina stayed behind. Aria was tired of walking so Jack, Raina and I decided to stay back.
Raina insisted her brother Jack to get her something to eat. Jack and Aria wanted to spend some alone time together. Aria asked me to take Raina with her to get her something to eat.
I took Raina with her to find a cafeteria. It was down the hall but line was very long. I asked Raina to sit in the hall while I get something to eat. Raina asked for a burger. I ordered one burger and three sandwiches.

While I was walking back to the hall where Raina was sitting, I came across the section of Restricted Area on her left. The door was open. Out of curiosity I peeked inside. There were boxes kept inside few were open and others were still packed. It was a bit dark inside but
not dark enough that nothing could be seen. There were statues, paintings and ornaments lying there.

I was just exploring the room and saw something that got attention of my eyes. A piece of stone block encased in a glass box, something was written on it but was not legible for me, and it seemed to be written in some ancient language.

Just then a voice popped out from my back “This is the tablet of Celesta”. I looked back and there was a tall boy with short blackish brown colored hair wearing bifocals dressed in formals. He apologized for scaring me like this.

He introduced himself as Alex and asked me either I was lost or I didn’t read the sign on the door on your way in “NO VISITORS ALLOWED

I kept staring at him for a while. He was so cute.

“Hey! Are u alright?” he asked
“Yeah! I think I took the wrong turn. I was going towards the cafeteria.”
“No, it’s alright; instead of taking left you should have taken right when you came down the hall” he said.
“Hi! I am Kiara, sorry for the inconvenience caused. I should have read the sign.”
“Its fine” he said
Why this section is restricted? I asked.
These items have to undergo some legal procedures before being kept for display he replied.
“I think I should go now, my friends would be waiting for me” I said.
He said “Yeah! It was nice meeting you”

Then I went to cafeteria and grabbed some eatables and drinks for all of us. When I was going back to my friends I heard some voice. Someone was in trouble. I followed the voice as fast as I could. It was coming from roof. I opened the girl and I saw a little girl in white frock standing on the edge of the roof and she was holding something in her hand. I asked her what she was doing. She didn’t answer just had a blank look on her face. Even if she moved one step back she would
fall. I asked her to come down but she didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to do. Should I call someone for help but I can’t leave her behind. I slowly kept the eatable in my hands on the floor and started moving slowly towards the girl. I didn’t want to scare the girl so I kept talking to her to distract her although I was the only one who was speaking. On reaching closer to her I saw she was holding the tablet of Celesta.

Still confused how she got hold on this. I asked her to give me the tablet as it was a very precious item that belonged to museum and gave her my hand to come down. She smiled and stepped back and fell down the building. I quickly bend down to grab her. I was able to grab her left hand I was so close to miss her hand. I tried to pull her back but she was heavy. She was making no efforts of climbing back that was strange. If I was hanging on the roof just
about to die I would be scared but I could tell from her face that she was not at all bit scared. She slowly brought her right hand towards me in the one which she was holding the tablet as soon as

I reached for it and touched it. The inscriptions on it started scrambling and a light grew out of it. And next thing I knew we were surrounded by the light. It was so bright that I closed my eyes.

Chapter 2

Waking Up

After a while, I woke up, unable to remember what happened. My head hurt very badly, I slowly opened her eyes and was shocked to see her in a strange place. It was cold and freezing around her. My body was cold, and there was ice all around me. How did I? Where am I? Where is that little girl? What the hell….there were thousands of questions in my mind but with no answers. I shouted aloud for help but there was no one. There was all white ice surrounding me. There was no sign of any living around me. I couldn’t see any human or animal anywhere .I knew if I stayed there any longer I would die. I had to find a shelter. I started walking. It was very cold. Slowly my hands started turning blue, my lips were cracking, and cold winds were blowing so fast that I couldn’t see. It seemed like never ending journey. As I moved forward I saw something, it was something small, standing alone in this white ice. As I moved closer to it, it started getting bigger and bigger. As I reached close enough, I could see it. It was a tree. It was a very big tree, it had a large trunk, with a hole in it, it seemed very old, and it had big branches and white colored leaves. I really mean white. You guys may be thinking it would have been covered with ice, that might be the reason the leaves were white, But no, literally trees were colorless .It was getting dark. I was already very hungry and thirsty and lost all the strength. I couldn’t move any further. I decided to rest below the tree. I didn’t know what to do. By now sky had turned completely dark. I was weak and had no strength left. I started feeling dizzy. But suddenly I started hearing some noises. I could see tiny yellow lights far away. I gathered strength and shouted for help. Soon I could hear noises coming towards me. There were few men on horses with fire lanterns in their hands.

One of them got down from the horse’s back. He was wearing armor. His face was covered with a blue mask all I could just see were his hazel eyes. My lips were numb; I couldn’t even say a word. He covered me with a drape that he was wearing and lifted me up in his arms. I could feel warmth of his body. And soon I could realize I lost my consciousness.

Next thing I knew I woke up in bed. I felt quite better than before. My clothes were changed. I was in a beautiful room. Work on the walls of the room was magnificent. Just then a lady arrived in the room.

“How are you feeling miss?” she asked

“I am feeling better now” I replied.

She brought me hot supper. And asked me to take it as it will help me regain my strength and protect me from cold.

“Who are you? Where am I?” I asked

“My name is Anna. I work in this palace. I have been taking care of you since you were brought here. You were asleep for 3 days. When they brought you, you were very weak and freezing and since then I have been looking after you.”

I thanked her for looking after my health.

Soon another servant stopped by at the door. She said that I was called by the highness in his court.

Anna gave me back my clothes which she washed for me. After dressing up, I was taken to the court.

Chapter 3

Meeting the Royal highness

I was escorted to the court by other servants. As soon as I reached there I could see people dressed up strangely sitting in opposite sides of the room and in the centre at the end was the king. But I couldn’t see his face as he was sitting behind the curtains

Soon someone asked me “Who are you? And what were you doing in the dark forest?”

I answered “My name is Kiara Crane, and I am from England. Where am I?”

“You are in the kingdom of Agnasia in the presence of King Angus VII” a guy standing beside the king replied

“What were you doing in the forest?” he asked

“I don’t know how did I get here? First I was somewhere else and then I was in the forest”

The king stood up and asked the man next to him to keep quiet. He asked his men to open the curtains. . I saw a man in his mid twenties, a very handsome looking guy. He was too young to be a king. He had blackish brown hair to his shoulder’s length, brown eyes, perfect musculature and a charming face. He was dressed up in expensive clothes. He was wearing a golden crown and had a stick in his hand with something like a small globe attached over it.

“We should give her a chance to prove herself” King said

A man with a long white beard standing in the room said “Your highness! You are too humble and gullible; we should not go on her external appearance. She may be from the enemy side. You know she was found near the tree of faith. She needs to prove herself that she means no harm to our kingdom”

“Hey what do you mean by proving myself. I am telling you I am just a student. I don’t know how I got here. And how can you think I mean harm to you all and to your kingdom Arg….whatever.”I said in frustrated way.

The long bearded man spoke in a strident voice “Girl! Lower your voice. You can’t speak like this in the presence of his majesty. You can be punished for such an offence.”

It felt so strange standing among strange people and being judged. I stood there in the center of the room watching people whispering about me to each other.

Then suddenly a man took out a knife from his pocket and pointed towards the king’s neck. Everyone was startled. The man asked everyone to stay still and to lower down their weapons otherwise he would cut king’s neck. Than man asked the king to lead him to give him the tablet. The king refused to give him; he said he would never let tablet to go into wrong hands. The man asked him again and this time he said if he wouldn’t give him the tablet than his men would burn the quarters of women and children and the king will be solely responsible for their death. The king agreed with him and asked him to spare women and children. He asked everyone to give them way. Helplessness could be seen on everyone’s face. Just then there was loud noise of gunfire. Everyone got scared and even did the man. He got in panic and king took the advantage of the situation and this time the king had knife on man’s neck. But where that noise was coming from, I wondered. Soon I realized it was the noise of my alarm set on the phone. My sister usually sets alarm to scare me at night but thankfully this time her prank saved someone’s life.

Some random Man: “What in the horrifying world was that?”

Me: “Don’t worry it’s just my phone”

I showed the phone to everyone in the room and played a song on it. The expression on everyone’s face was priceless specially the king.

Me: “No your highness it is not magic its technology. We use it to talk to people far away and in addition it also has some entertainment apps.”

I could tell from king’s face that he was very impressed.

The king thanked me for saving his life in front of everyone. I kind of blushed at that time. The way he was looking at me. This was the first time I noticed how handsome he was. He was charming, smart and a beautiful person. He was wearing red color clothes something like a long gown touching the floor with golden embroidery on it and crown on his head which had some strange sign embedded on it. Every word from his voice was honeyed and proud.

He asked me where I came from. I told him the whole story of me being from England and last thing that I remembered was me was a girl, some strange light emitting tablet…..

Before I could complete the sentence king interrupted me.

King: “Did you just say tablet”

His facial expression changed into serious.

He asked me to follow him. I didn’t have any other choice except following him. Finally I reached a room with two guards standing outside they opened the doors for us. King asked to not to disturb us for a while. That was a little weird.

When we entered a room I saw fire lanterns hanging on the walls. There was a big statue in the end of the room of some idol. It was a woman. Did they worship her? Who was she? Before I could ask the king came to me with something in his hands.

King: “Is this the tablet you are talking about that brought you here?”

It was the same tablet. Was it the one which transported me in this world?

Me: “Yes”

King: “So you are the girl from the legend”

Me: “Excuse me! What legend?”

CHAPTER 4

Legend Unrevealed

King started telling about the legend. “Long long ago there was a princess named Celesta who lived in kingdom “Helia”. People say she was the most beautiful girl in the world. She was simple and a very kind person. Soon word of her beauty and simplicity had spread across the kingdom. She used to receive many proposals from different kingdoms. Her parents loved her very much. Actually she was everyone’s favorite in the kingdom. She never used to throw any tantrums like princesses do and was a kind and gentle person who was always there to help poor and any person in need. As the princess was getting older and soon she was going to turn twenty, king knew it was the time for her daughter to get married. So he sends out proposals for a feast to all the eligible princes to different kingdoms. He thought the princess could meet them and she may find someone who she thinks she could spend her whole life with.

A grand feast was prepared. Many handsome young men arrived that night for the feast. The princess met everyone. Every prince in the room tried to charm her with their own ways. Some by telling how wealthy they are, some by telling stories about their brave encounters while other just trying to impress her by telling how others are not suitable for her except them. Princess was very upset. She couldn’t see herself spending life with anyone present in the room. King after seeing how upset his daughter was, he apologized to everyone and asked them to leave as he told them his daughter was not interested in marrying .But one of the princes known s prince “Anubis” had fallen in love with her since the first time he saw her . When he heard that princess rejected everyone he went to the princess and asked her why she refused to marry him. Princess told him that he was a handsome guy and any girl would be lucky to marry her but she is not the right person for him. She refused his proposal and asked him to leave. Being rejected made the prince angry. He tried to force him on her to marry him. Before he could harm her King’s men arrived and were able to save her. The prince was able to escape but before leaving he warned everyone that he would make princess his wife and if she doesn’t marry him in ten days then he will make her grieve for everyone The prince hailed from the kingdom of “Dark Waters” and they were known to practice some strong black magic. King knew that he needs to do something to keep his daughter and his people safe from the prince. That night he called a great priest who was guarding king’s family for many years. King told him about all his trouble. The priest performed a ritual that night. In the presence of all the gods from the heaven and power of the universe she was given a magical bracelet. The magical bracelet contained five stones. Each stone represented one of the five elements fire, land, water, wind and metal. Together they are so powerful that no power in the universe is strong enough to stand against it. That bracelet was powerful enough to protect the princess and people of “Helia”. Everything was back to normal.

But one day when the princess Celesta was taking a walk in the garden inside her kingdom, she heard someone crying, she saw a little girl crying under the tree. She went to her and asked her why she was crying. The girl told her that she lost money she saved for her mother’s birthday as that year might be her last birthday. Her mother was very ill and doctors declared that she could not be saved and has only few months left. Princess offered her the money and asked her to buy a beautiful gift for her mother. The little girl asked princess if she could show her the bracelet she was wearing. Princess said that she was not allowed to remove her bracelet. But the little girl requested her that if she won’t keep it she just needs to take a closer look at the bracelet.

To keep the little girl’s heart she gave her the bracelet. As soon as she removed the bracelet the spell broke. That little girl turned into vicious evil entity sent by the prince “Anubis”. That entity destroyed whole of the kingdom, men, women, children, even the king and queen were killed. Not even a single soul was left alive.

Celesta was devastated. She swore to take revenge. She called the gods from heaven and asked them for help. But the gods were helpless they couldn’t go against their own power. The bracelet was most powerful instrument in the universe even the makers couldn’t destroy it. Everyone was worried how to defeat the immortal power in the universe. But there was a wisest of all gods. He said that that there is one way. If they could split the power of the bracelet then we could seal it. The bracelet power was connected with Celesta’s soul as it was made for her protection.

With help of gods from heaven she was put under the split spell. Her body was turned into statue and her soul was split into five parts. And when her soul split they say that the bracelet broke and the stones flew into different parts of the country. Those who saw that claim that when the bracelet broke a huge light was emitted and it was so bright and large enough that it covered the whole kingdom of Helia and it disappeared as if nothing ever existed there. The only thing left was The Celesta’s statue and a tablet. On the tablet it was written that a girl will come from some other world and will bring back the princess by collecting all the stones. The day all stones are brought together Celesta will come back to life and take her revenge from Anubis. In return the girl will be granted three wishes.”

Me: “Wow! So you mean I am the girl from legend”

King: “Yes!

Me: “Why do you care so much? “

King: “As per the legend the spell is to be performed when all the nine celestial bodies align themselves in one line. They power all the celestial bodies and stones will bring back Celesta to life. If these stones are not united, then our world will disappear forever that means whole life and existence from this world will be disappeared as if it never existed. We don’t have much time left. This Celestial event is going to occur on the full moon after six months. Please help us.”

I was shocked at what I was hearing. First of all I couldn’t believe there is something beyond the world we live. Me being chosen to lift the spell I mean I was never chosen for anything not even to collect copies in my class and now I am chosen to save world. It was very hard for me to digest.

King asked me if I will help them

I looked at him and what other choice did I have.

Me: “What will happen to me after if I am able to collect all the stones?”

King: “After you are able to collect all the stones and summon Celesta, you will be awarded three wishes

Me: “Three wishes. What should I ask?”

King: “You will have time to think till you collect stones. You should use it wisely.”

Chapter 5

Journey Begins

It was next morning. I woke up early and bathed myself and got ready. Last night king asked me to join him for breakfast in the morning so that they can discuss further details. I dressed up nicely and went into the main dining where his highness usually has his breakfast.

The room was big. There was a long table and around 20-25 people could sit for dinning there. The table was covered with a red velvet cloth. In the centre was a large swan shaped silverware masterpiece. And most important of all there was food. Food looked delicious and tasty. I didn’t know what they were but everything smelled so good that it was mouthwatering. Well! Seeing all this delicious food increased my hunger ten times. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Suddenly a voice came from my back.

“Don’t keep staring, if you want you can eat it. It has been specially prepared for you”

When I turned around it was the king himself smiling at me.

King: “You may have a seat and start eating, so that we can discuss how to proceed”

Me: “yes aik……….. sorry your highness!”

King: “first of all you can call me Derek. I don’t think we need to be very formal with each other. You are new here and I wish I could go with you to help you find the other 5 warriors. But I also have responsibilities towards this kingdom and its people. So I will be sending the man who I trust the most and am capable of protecting you”

Than the king ordered his guards to call a man (I didn’t know whom he called exactly). First I thought to ask him who is the man he is talking about, than I thought I will know it in few minutes so why to waste time. So I concentrated on food.

Than only a man arrived at the door and asked for the king’s permission to come in. he was a tall and a handsome man. His hair was black colored with partial bangs camouflaging his centre of forehead. His eyes were brown like Hazelwood. He had a perfect chiseled jaw with an attitude on his face. He was dressed in blackish red colored armor and was carrying a sword.

King introduced me to him by saying that he is the man who saved my life. His name was “Derek”. He was commanding general of the king’s army.

He was the one who saved my life. I couldn’t believe it, it seemed as if I was dreaming or was in a fairy tale. He was like a prince and me as a princess in distress.

He bowed towards me. I thanked him for saving my life

Derek: “it’s my duty”

I just kept staring at him. Just then king ordered him that he will be the one helping to find the stones.

I told the king that I can do this alone and I don’t need anybody’s help. But told me that I was new here and I would need as much help as possible, if it was possible who would also come along but he is bound to his duties towards his kingdom and no one is more capable than Derek for this job.

I also knew that it would be a tough job form me so I agreed

Next morning we were ready to leave. While Derek was preparing the horse, I said good bye to the king and promised him that I will bring him all the seven pearls. When we were leaving the king handed me a small crystal ball. He said it is one of his old treasures that have been in his family for many years. He said crystal will guide us to the pearl whenever we are near anyone.

I tried climbing the horse but I couldn’t as it was taller than my height. I tried again and again. Than someone suddenly someone held my waist and pushed me up to help me climb the horse’s back. When I looked behind there was Derek. He also than hoped back and took control over the leashes. We took farewell from everyone and started with our journey.

It was first time I have been travelling alone with a stranger. He was sitting behind me holding reins and controlling the horse with his arms around me. I should have been feeling unsafe as I was all alone with a guy whom I merely know but strangely I was feeling kind of safe.

We had been riding for hours and yet we didn’t even speak a word to each other. It was getting so awkward. So I thought I should say something.

Me: “This forest seems like never ending. Are we lost?”

There was no response from him. He just kept riding. I think he was not at all interested to talk. What a boring guy!

Derek: “it is getting dark. We should take some rest in the forest only as it will take eight to nine hours to reach the village. And travelling forest at night is not safe”

Me: “ok”

But who said that taking shelter in the forest was also safe. It was so dark and scary.

We stopped somewhere nowhere in the forest. We took shelter under a big tree. He tied the horse with a rope to the tree. Some branches and leaves were gathered by him. Fire was lit by him with stones. That was really impressive. He fed the horse with some leaves. And we ate some food that we brought back with ourselves from the palace. We kept eating and eating and didn’t event say a word to each other.

So I decided to break this silence. If I was going to travel with him for longtime at least we needed to talk a bit. But before I could say anything to him he asked me to take some rest and sleep as we had a long journey ahead. I had never slept on the floor in my whole life and ground was next to impossible. I tried to sleep but couldn’t. But he was sleeping so peacefully as if this hard ground was a soft mattress.

It was almost mid night. And I had to pee. He asked me to not to go far for anything before sleeping. But I couldn’t pee here. He can hear it and also he is a man. So I decided to go bit far.

I went a bit far into bushes and peed peacefully. But I think I went a bit far. I kind of lost track back to the camp. I tried to find the way back. But it was all so dark and scary I couldn’t see anything properly. Suddenly I heard some noise from bushes. I could see pair of sparkling golden eyes. It started coming closer and closer. First I saw left paw coming out of bushes, than face and finally whole of it. It was a big wolf. It had a scary face, sharp teeth and saliva drooling from his mouth I could see hunger on its face.

It was approaching closer to me. I looked around to find him some distraction. I took a small branch lying next to me and threw in opposite direction thinking it might fetch that. But it didn’t show any interest in the stick. Then I threw my bracelet to scare him. But I think it made him angrier.

It jumped towards me. I knew that now I was going to die so I closed my eyes. Suddenly someone pushed me out of the way.

I saw it was him standing there in front of the wolf with his sword in his hand. His expression was fearless. He looked into the wolf’s eyes telling him that he was ready to battle. The wolf approached him but he defended himself with the sword, he fought with it. Seeing him winning it ran away.

I was still standing on the side seeing the whole seeing the whole scene. He looked at me and asked me to follow the camp.

(We reached the camp)

Derek: how could you be so stupid? I asked you to not to go anywhere alone. Why did you?

Me: I am sorry. But I didn’t want to disturb you and you were….

(He interrupted me)

Derek: “You were given as a responsibility to me. Till the time we are together for the purpose. You need to be safe. When we are done and I bring you back safe to the king. You can do whatever you want to do. I don’t care.”

It was morning and we started with our journey. I took out the stone from my pocket to see why it is not working. Can it be that it is defective? Suddenly the stone began to glow yellow. Seeing the stone glow we knew the first stone was near us. There was a village nearby. So we headed towards the village.

Just outside the borders of the village we saw an old man been beaten up by few thugs. Derek helped the old man and gave a good fight to those bastards. In return we were offered shelter by him

CHAPTER 6

Meeting the family

It was just an old man and his wife living in the house. They treated us very nicely. The women had cooked very nice and delicious food. We both were very thankful to them for treating us so nicely. While Derek offered the man to help him with some handwork, I helped the lady with the dishes.

While we doing dishes together, I could see that Derek was helping the man with chopping woods from window.

Lady: “He is a nice kid. Just reminds me of our son. He also used to help his father in his work. More than being father and son, they were friends. He was so cheerful. Where ever he went he would spread joy and happiness.”

Her eyes were filled with tears. She was flooded with the emotions of losing her son. I could understand how it felt to lose someone. It doesn’t matter how many years pass after losing someone. But their memories are always intact. And remembering them always brings you back to the day when you lost them.

Me: “I am sorry for you’re losing. But if you don’t mind may I ask what happened to your son?”

Lady was still wiping her tears.

Lady: “our son decided to join king’s army. He wanted to serve his people. We won the battle but lost our son.”

Me: “You must be proud of our son”

Lady: “yes we are”

She started smiling a bit.

Lady: “so enough talking about us. What about you? He is a handsome man.

Me: “No! No. You are taking it all wrong. We are together just to find all the pearls.

Lady: “Listen sweetheart. I know I have grown old but these eyes have seen more than you can imagine. Just from looking at the person. I can tell his past and future. And the way he looks at you. I just know that there is much more than just being friends. Maybe you both will realize that soon.

Smiling at what she said she went back from kitchen to store room to grab some sheets for us. I stood looking at the window seeing Derek helping the man. They were laughing and working together just like father and son. Is there some truth in the lady’s words? Is there something between me and Derek. All I know that he is a good man and is taking care of me since the minute is landed here.

I was talking to myself in my mind while looking through the window. Just at that moment our eyes met each other. He saw me staring at him. I didn’t know how to react. I just didn’t want him to get any wrong idea. I just walked away from there.

I helped the lady to make bed. They gave me their son’s room for the night. Derek’s bed was made in the hall way. They were also kind enough to lend us some night clothes.

It was late night. I couldn’t sleep. So I went into the kitchen to have a glass of water. It was dark everywhere. I grabbed the lantern from my bedside. With quite steps I walked into the kitchen. I didn’t want to wake anyone up. Suddenly a voice came from my back “can’t you sleep” and it scared me. The lantern slipped away from my hands.

I turned around but no one was standing behind me. But I was sure I heard someone. I turned back towards the kitchen and ran into something. When I opened my eyes I saw Derek standing in front of me with a lantern in his hand. We were so close that I held my breath at that moment. We were standing just an inch away from each other I could feel him. None of us said anything at that moment. It seemed as if our bodies froze at that particular moment. It was the first time I was so close to a man. I tried to say something but the way he was looking at me, words just stuck in my throat. Usually if something like that happened to anyone, one would either turn away or at least break the eye contact. But I stood there, my body refused to move as if it just wanted to stay like this over.

Just than in his soft voice “I am sorry”

Me: “Huhhhhhh”

Derek: “I am so sorry for hurting you and scaring you like this”

Still caught in the moment I just kept staring at him. Yeah I got scared. What did he expected that I will jump in surprise. But wait what did he say about hurting me?

Just then I felt burning sting like sensation on my arm. It was burnt. I didn’t realize the pain at first. Maybe due adrenaline rush inside me at that moment.

Derek: “You seemed hurt very badly”

Me: “its ok its fine. It’s nothing just a small burn”

He just held my hand to the amount of burn and I shouted in pain.

Derek: “so if it’s nothing than why did you cry out so loud? You are such a bad actor.”

While I sat down Derek dressed up my wound.

Next morning we got ready to continue with our journey. We thank the couple who gave us their place to stay for the night. The lady packed us some food for our journey. She reminded me of my mother. My mom also never used let me leave home without food wherever I would go.

On the other side I saw Derek talking to the old man. It seemed they had bonded a lot in one day. The man was saying something to him but I couldn’t make out what they were talking about. Suddenly both of them turned towards me. Their eyes caught me seeing them. I didn’t know what to do. I just smiled at them. The man also gave me a smile back but Derek’s face was expressionless.

It was time for us to leave. We said good bye to the couple and thanked them for all their help.

CHAPTER 7

Finding stones

We started back with our journey. Soon we reached the main city. It was called The City of the black stone.

As we entered the city we started enquiring about the Salhma family. As per the legend one of the stones was with one of the members of the family. We started to ask around about the Salhma Family. After asking few people we were able to know the directions to the Salhma’s Residence.

Finally we were their standing in front of the Salhma’s house. It was a big house with very tall gates. There was a picture of lion head engraved on the gates. As we entered through the gates we could see a very beautiful and a big garden. The Lawn was covered with the bed of pretty and colorful flowers. The lawn was intersected by the path of stones. It was leading to the main door of the house. We were asked to sit in a big hallway while one of the workers went inside to call the owner of the house.

Soon a beautiful woman came out. She was very petty. Her hair was jet black colored which were tied in a form a bun. She was wearing a pink long sleeved silk gown. She just looked like a princess.

Woman: May I know who are you? What is the purpose of your visit?

Just than Derek stepped in to answer her.

Derek: My name in Derek and this is Kiara. We have come a long way for the search of the first stone of Celesta.

Lady: “My name is Kiyosha. But I am sorry that I can’t help you with it”

Me: “What do you mean that you can’t help us? I mean as per the legend one of the stone was preserved by your family?”

Lady: “you are right. But the stone was stolen away from the family 10 years back.”

Derek: “What do you mean stolen”

Lady: “My grandfather used to tell me about the story of celesta. He said that she was the most beautiful woman known at that time. People from faraway places used to visit the kingdom just to have a glance of her beauty. They say that when the necklace was broken her soul was also broken into pieces. Each stone absorbed a part of soul”

Derek: “if you don’t mind, may I ask you how did your family get in hold of the stone?”

Lady: “My great great grandfather was present in the same place when the necklace broke. When the necklace broke they didn’t want the evil to get her hands on the stones. If all the stones are brought together they will have enough power to release the demon from the hell. So the stones were dispersed. And one of the stone was given to our family for protection. When my great great grandfather returned back home, he brought one of the stones with him. He knew that the stone contained special powers. Soon the news spread all around our village about this powerful stone. But stone’s power could only be activated by his rightful master. But who knew that the right master was one of the Sahlma’s family members. My brother was always attracted to the stone. One day when me and my younger brother were playing. We accidentally broke the glass case in which the stone was kept. The stone started glowing. When my brother took the stone in his hand, suddenly a bright red light was released. I still remember that light. My brother Konin was one of the seven masters. Soon the news spread around the town. One night few people came into our house and took away my brother along with the stone away. My family tried very hard to find him. But we couldn’t. My mother couldn’t tolerate the grief of losing my brother and she died 2 years after my brother’s disappearance, While my father also passed away a year after my mother’s death. ”

Me: “I am so sorry to hear this”

I felt very bad for Kiyosha. Losing her whole family would have been very devastating for her. One could feel the pain in her voice, the sadness of not being able to see your family anymore, the loneliness of a daughter and a sister.

We left the Salhma’s house. The stone was out there with someone but I couldn’t get it, I felt helpless. Seeing me sad, Derek consoled me that everything would be fine and that we would some other way to find the stone. We decided to go back to the main city. On our way back to the city I was tired so we decided to rest. While Derek went out to get some water I waited for him under a tree.

I heard something, some voices; they were coming from behind the bushes. I peeked from the bushes and could see two men trying to rob a man.

I could hear them. The man was pleading the two robbers to let him go. But the men were not letting him go until he would give them the stash he was holding in hands.

I had to do something. So I took a stone and threw from bushes towards the men.

Men: “who is that?”

Me: “Run!”

The guy took the advantage of the situation and ran. We both ran in opposite directions. One of the men ran after. I was running as fast I could. But I could hear the man catching up to me. No matter how much faster I tried to run, but I could feel distance between me and him was reducing every second. Suddenly someone grabbed be from behind.

“Where do you think you are going?” Someone was holding me from behind with his arms wrapped around my shoulders. I tried to free myself but he was too strong. When I looked behind I saw his face. He had short chocolate brown colored hair with a black band tied around his forehead. He was wearing an earring in his left ear. There was cunningness on his face but his eyes were different. I don’t know what but there was something deep in his eyes. At that moment I forgot how strong grip he had on me.

Just than a voice came from behind us, “Leave her!”

It was Derek. He stood there demanding the man to leave me. He refused to do so.

Man: Huhh!!! Is this girl very special to you!

Derek: “That is none of your business. Get your hands off her!”

Man: “Well! That’s interesting. Whoever wins gets her”

And last thing I knew both started fighting. Both of them were good and were giving tough competition to each other. The fighting was intense but none of them was ready to give up. Derek threw few kicks and punches but the other guy was able to tackle back. But Derek was also strong, the guy tried to punch him but Derek held his arm, twisted it and threw him on the ground. Blood started dripping from the guy’s mouth. And by seeing the look on his face, one could really tell that he was very angry. He Got up and kicked Derek in his stomach. And Derek fell backwards and hit his head on the ground. If this fight continued one of them would have definitely died.

I tried to stop both of them by telling them to not to fight. But none of them would listen suddenly something it on Derek’s neck. It was a dart. The dart made Derek dizzy and he finally fell unconscious on the ground. The man who shot the dark was the other guy. He had the stash in his hand.

First Guy: “so you caught that bastard?”

Second guy: “Nope, he ran away! But no worries he dropped the stash on ground. And good thing I came in time, otherwise….”

First Guy: “otherwise what?”

He was still very angry.

Second Guy: “What to do with them?”

First Guy: “Let’s take them to the boss. He would know what to do. At least he should know that this was the one because of which that bloody bastard was able to escape.”

He said this pointing towards me. They blindfolded me and took both of us somewhere. I didn’t know where we were going as I was blindfolded all the time. All I knew we were carried to somewhere on a horse I think. No, I am sure it was a horse; I know how a horse sounds like. Then we stopped after a little while. I could hear voices. I think we had arrived in their base camp. I could hear different voices asking who were we and did they find “it”. “It” that they were talking about must be the stash. I could also hear some whistles from the back. I was pushed around; someone was holding me from upper arm. But I couldn’t do anything as my hands were tied.

Chapter 8

Kidnapping

They unfolded the blind. When I opened my eyes I found myself in a locked room. It was an empty room with a single window. There 2 torches hung up on the walls lightning the room. It was similar to dungeons in the movies and those movies usually don’t end well. There was an earthen pot in the corner of the room with a glass placed on the top of its lid. I was feeling very thirst. All that running must have drained me out. I was wondering where Derek was, just than someone opened the door. There was a very evil looking guy standing on the door, I asked him about Derek but he didn’t answer. He asked me to I will come with him, but is refused and told him that I will not come with him until or unless he tells me where Derek was.

He told me if I wanted to know where Derek was I need to come with him. I agreed to go with him. While walking with him all I could think about was Derek. We both got into trouble because of me. It was me because of whom he was hurt so badly. I don’t know if he was alright, did he get any medical help as he was bleeding so badly. My mind was flooded with all these questions which were worrying me.

Me: “At least you can tell where are you taking me?”

Guy: “To the boss. He would know what to do with you.”

Seriously he sounded like a villain in a movie.

He took me into a big room. As I entered into the room, I could see many men sitting and drinking. That made me very uncomfortable. Something looked very fishy. One of the men untied my hands. The ropes had left marks on my wrists. Those men were smiling in a very dirty manner my body started shaking and my heart was pounding fast. I could really sense some bad vibes coming from these men. One of them asked me from where I came, he seemed drunk, and few others started passing nasty comments about my clothing. One of them approached near me and held my hand and pushed me towards him. I could smell his alcoholic breath.

Just than the door from behind opened that was him the guy from the forest.

“What are you doing Yuko?” he asked

“Look who is there. It’s Yuva! Isn’t she a constellation prize for us? We men do work hard. There is nothing bad in having a little fun. If you want we can enjoy her together”

“Fun! Huhhhhh! When did she become your toy to play with? Haven’t you heard finders are keepers? She is coming with me”

It was him the guy who kidnapped me. That bloody rascal.

Me: “Hey! Stop calling me a toy.”

I was really angry. I couldn’t hear that non-sense of me being just any object to play with. I started yelling at them. But Yuva shut me up by covering my mouth with his hand.

He grabbed my hand and took me out of that room. This time I gave him a good punch in the stomach. But still he had a good grip on me and took me to some other room.

That was enough; I am not some helpless girl who will just give up. I can fight. First of all I had to find something to defend myself. I looked around the room he took me to. It was a bedroom. There was an old bed and it seemed that sheets weren’t changed since a long time. Hush!! And the walls were so dirty. The room was messed up. There was a cupboard on one side of the room with a painting hanging next to it. Beneath the painting a piece of broken rod was lying. As soon as he released me, I grabbed that rod

Me: “Tell me where is Derek? Where are you hiding him? What a scum bag you are. Trying to take advantage of a girl. FYI I know karate.”

He was standing there expressionless and pretending that I wasn’t even there.

I asked him again, but still no answer. He started removing his long tunic like robe; under the tunic he was wearing white loose sleeved shirt and brown pants with long boots. He started unbuttoning his white shirt.

Before he further undressed himself, I took that rod and attacked him. But he held the raised rod from my hand, snatched that away and threw it on the floor and pushed me on the bed. He locked my shoulders with his hands on the bed.

“What do you think of me? I am a bandit and not a pervert”

“Then why you brought me here?”

“Some of us are not used to women, if I would have left you in that prison room you may have become toy of some other bandit. You being here, no one will touch you. And as far as for your so called friend. He suffered from a head concussion. He was treated and is resting. He will gain consciousness soon”

After saying this he released my shoulders. And let me free. He asked me to turn around so that he could redress his wound and change clothes while we talked

“Then why were you undressing your clothes?”

“Don’t you remember you punched me hard in my stomach? I had stitches there. Thanks to your friend for this. It started bleeding again when you punched me”

I apologized to him and thanked him for saving me and treating Derek.

“Aren’t you girls so full of yourself. I mean you would judge any man as a pervert. And moreover you are also not my type”

“What do you mean I am not your type? Do you mean I am not good enough for any man?”

I felt a bit insulted. I am not saying that I wanted something from him, but did he mean I am not a desirable woman.

I turned around and saw him standing close to me. I stepped back and couldn’t move. My way was blocked by a wall. He came close to me. I tried to slip away from side. But he blocked the way with his arm. His arms were touching the wall and it was me between the wall and shoulder. I could feel his breath. He brought his face closer to mine and spoke with a soft voice in my ears “Are you offended with what I said. If you want, we can you know”

Shocked at what he was saying my eyes grew big and my heart started beating faster. Just then he pushed himself away and started laughing aloud.

“Look at your face. You looked scared. It did blow your mind for a second”

That was so annoying. He kept laughing at me. Boys are so stupid.

But he did save me from those bad guys. I was confused if he is a nice person, if yes, than why he kidnapped us at the first place.

At that moment the other guy who was with Yuva in forest arrived. He introduced himself as Teiko.

They said that they will take me and Derek to the boss and he will decide what to do. They took me with them to get Derek.

I saw Derek locked in cage. He was sitting there with his head down and his clothes covered with the blood. Teiko asked the man guarding the cage why wasn’t he treated. The guard told him that he refused to be treated and also didn’t eat any food given to him. When his two men tried to make him understand that he was a captive and he doesn’t get to show tantrums, he beat them up and now they are getting treated.

This made Teiko very angry.

Yuva: “Lot of attitude. That fight didn’t set up his mind right. I think he needs to be taught a lesson”

Me: “Hey stop it!”

I called him through the bars of cage. He raised his head and saw all of us standing out of the cage. The guard opened the cage. I ran straight to him. I hugged him so tightly as if I saw him after a very long time. It was after such a long time that I felt so happy on seeing someone… I was so close to his chest and I heard in a soft voice “I am fine; you don’t need to worry about me. I hope you are also alright”. As soon as I lifted myself away from his chest I saw him. He was smiling at me. That moment it was the first time I saw him being worried for me just not as a responsibility but something else. I had tears in my eyes. He rubbed away tears falling down my cheeks with his shirt sleeve.

Teiko tried to pull me away. Derek resisted him by not leaving me.

Derek: “How dare you!”

Yuva pushed Derek away. And he fell on the floor towards his back.

Yuva: “I think you didn’t learnt your lesson”

Derek: “You call yourself a fighter by winning a fight by cheating”

Yuva in a furious voice: “if I wanted, I could have killed you back the forest only. But a real lion would never prey on weak. He would attack from front and will rip his prey off by piercing first his flesh and than his heart with his teeth.”

There was a lot of tension developing in the room. Yuva and Derek were ready to rip each other.

Just than someone came shouting from the end of corridor. The man looked terrified. He was trying to catch his breath. When Teiko asked him what was the matter. He told us that there was fire in the Number 18 quarters. Suddenly after listening this Yuva’s facial expression changed and he ran hurriedly towards the corridor from where the man came.

Teiko, me and Derek also ran after him. As soon as we reached there we saw that whole block 18 building was on fire. A lot of people had gathered to witness the roaring fire which was devastating the whole house. People were trying to calm down fire by throwing water but it was all vain. There was someone in the house. One could hear their voices shouting in desperation for help.

Yuva ran into the house sneaking his way through flames of fire. No one could see where he went in the house. The roof at the entrance had almost completely burnt and would fall at anytime. People were calling out his name. Bu he didn’t respond. Was he fine? No one knew. Just than one side of the roof fell and the other corner was about to fall, if he didn’t came out now. It will be next to impossible for him to escape from the fire. At that moment when the roof was about to fall, Yuva came out carrying a woman on his shoulders. She was unconscious. Yuva put her down on the ground. Someone handed him water. He splattered some water on her face. She started gaining some consciousness.

“She is inside, save her” she said in a very quiet voice still in a dizzy state.

Someone shouted “What is he doing?”

I turned around it was Derek. He ran into the house. The smoke from fire flames was rolling outside like mushroom cloud. Smoldering, roaring and flickering fire consumed everything that came in its way. House finally collapsed. Was Derek dead? At that moment my legs went numb .I kneeled down on my knees on seeing that blazing fire devouring Derek.

But then through the fire flames someone was coming out. It was Derek with a lady in his arms. He had covered himself and her with the blanket. He had saved her.

He kept her down on the ground. The lady who was rescued by Yuva thanked him.

Lady: “Thank you for saving my daughter. We owe you.”

Finally everyone was safe. He really killed me for a second when I thought he was buried under the collapsed house.

Chapter 9

Friendly Welcome

We all were taken inside. Derek was treated by some old hakim. Teiko came in the room where Derek was being treated he thanked him for what he did. Then a man came into the room. He was middle aged, had a large beard, big physique, looked very strong. Teiko introduced him as their boss.

Both of us stood up as he came near us. He had an angry face. But suddenly his frown turned into a smile. He hugged Derek, tapping on his back saying “Thank you so much son, we bandits owe you”

Derek: “No sir, its fine. It was a human thing I did.”

Boss: “No son, what you did today was very brave. You saved the most precious thing in the world to me my daughter. My name is Roku I am the chief of bandits of Mount Yuko.”

So that was the boss. And the girl Derek saved was his daughter. Wait a minute if my maths is right. The woman Yuva saved was his mother and the girl Derek saved was his daughter. It means…

Me: “It means Yuva is your son.”

Roku: “Yes! Yuva is my son. And I apologize to both of you being held as a captive by us. Why don’t you both rest a bit as you won’t like to be tired at tonight’s celebration”

Me: “What celebration”

Roku: “This celebration is kept in this young man’s honor for saving my daughter and that no one died in the fire”

We were taken to separate rooms to take some rest. An hour before the start of the celebration Teiko’s mother came into my room. She was followed by two lady servants carrying some clothes and jewels

Teiko’s mother asked me to dress up in clothes that she brought. She wanted me to get mixed up in the colors of her people. The two lady servants helped me get ready. They gave me a long baby pink gown and beautiful earrings and headband made of flowers.

The celebration had started. Lots of people were there. There were men drinking beer and dancing with some street dancers while the women were sitting on one side. As compared to men women were very less. I just stood on one side looking for Derek. You could hear drums and flutes to play at their loudest sound. It was a wild party. My eyes were still searching for Derek.

Just then the same guy who insulted me before came towards me with a big glass of beer. He seemed very drunk.

Guy in his drunken voice “You look gorgeous! I am sorry for the last time. I hope you didn’t mind” saying this he tried to reach near me. He brought his hand near me and I stepped back. But he came near me and then suddenly someone held his hand from behind. It was Derek.

Still having a strong grip of his hand he came in front of me and asked him to back off. I could hear his protectiveness for me in his voice. He threw his hand back and warned him to not even come near. The Guy went away in feeling of insult. But one could see how angry he was.

Derek turned towards me and had a smile on his face. He was wearing a long royal blue robe just like kamino with a black belt and black shoes. He looked very handsome and every girl in the party had an eye on him. This made me a bit jealous.

Derek: “I hope he didn’t do anything wrong.”

“No…….oooo…..pe, and tha……tha……nk you!” I stuttered.

At that moment we both froze lost in each other’s eyes. It seemed as if my whole body was paralyzed and I couldn’t move even if I tried to.

Someone called my name from behind it was Roku and his wife. They were waving towards us and called us. Roku introduced us to some of the men. After sometime Derek went with Roku and some men to have drinks while I was with Teiko’s wife and some girls sitting on one side and enjoying the party. I could see the whole party from my place where I was sitting. There were men standing at one corner having beer, some of them were enjoying the lady entertainers, while some of the women sitting on my side were gossiping, girls were staring at boys and I just sat there and watched anyone

“Are you enjoying the celebration” I heard someone from back

When I turned around it was Teiko’s sister.

“We were not able to talk before, you know why” She said that while laughing.

“My name is Sasha”

Me: “It is very nice to meet you, my name is Kiara”

Sasha: “I know everyone is talking about you guys. I would like to thank you guys for saving my life”

Me: “No it’s alright. And by the way it was Derek who saved your life.”

Did she just blush at his name?

She started asking me questions about Derek. She seemed very interested in him.

After talking to her for a while I went to the food counter to have something as I was very hungry. Also she was asking me so many questions that I didn’t know what to say but it was very annoying. I wanted some peace.

When I went to the food counter it was a big buffet. I didn’t understand what to have because I didn’t recognize any of the dishes maybe because none of these dishes were found in my world. Those dishes were so weird looking. Some looked yummy and others looked very weird. How can eating food be so confusing?

Then I heard a noise from back saying that I should have the second dish from the left .When I turned around it was Yuva.

He took plate from my hand and placed some selected dishes in it and asked me to try them. And I actually I liked those when I asked him that how did he know Next morning I heard a knock on the door. Still dizzy as we were awake till late night I opened the door with my half eyes still closed. It was Sasha. She came rushing through the door and asked me why wasn’t I ready yet.

“For what?”

“For the ceremony” she said

“What ceremony?”

“Oh god! You don’t know the whole story. Let me tell you

At that moment a middle aged lady arrived there with 2 girls following her.

Lady: “So you are here!”

She pulled Yuva’s ear. “Where were you last night?”

Yuva: “Awwwww it hurts. You are embarrassing me in front of everyone.”

You could hear everyone giggling from behind.

“So it was you two who came last night” she said.

“What a nice couple you are”

Bit embarrassed on what she said. We told her that we were just friends not a couple.

She invited both of us to the dinner.

We all sat for dinner. I was very hungry. We were sitting together on a table. Very delicious food was served to us. Few girls were serving the food to us. Yuva, his friend, lady, one girl, me and Derek sat together on the table. It really seemed awkward to have food with people who kidnapped you. Derek didn’t eat anything and was still annoyed at Yuva.

Roku the chief wake up in the middle of the dinner and clanged his glass with a spoon asking for everyone’s attention. He thanked everyone for joining him on this auspicious occasion of his daughter’s birthday and also thanked Derek for saving his daughter’s life. He announced that on occasion of Sasha’s birthday and also for her coming wedding he wanted to gift something.

He clapped his hands and a woman came with a wooden box in her hands. He opened the box and took out a beautiful necklace. It was a beautiful golden necklace with a red stone embedded in it. She was very happy and had tears in her eyes. It was a father and daughter moment.

Seeing them reminded me of my father. I will never have such moment anymore. I was happy for them. Seeing your daughter getting married is always a special moment for father. I remember my father used to talk about me getting married and that he would find the best man for me in this whole world.

He also called out for a man sitting on the table with us named Jack. I guess he must be Sasha’s fiancé. Every one raised toast to congratulate union of the couple.

It was a fun night. People danced, celebrated and got drunk. It got too late I was feeling sleepy so I decided to go back to my room.

Chapter 10

A walk under Stars

On my way back to my room everything that happened in the party started flashing in my mind. Especially Sasha and her father the chief.

I stopped. I didn’t recognize the quarters where I arrived. I must have gotten confused. These were not where my room was. And I was walking so deep in my thought that now even don’t know my way back. I called out for help. But no one answered, may be because almost everyone was at the party.

I kept walking. Just then far away I saw something. It was a dark shadow. I asked him who he was. But he didn’t reply. He started coming towards me and started getting close and closer. I couldn’t see his face because it was dark. I was so scared that I froze there. He came closer and closer. I was about to yell just then he came under the light hanging on the top of my head on the ceiling of the quarter.

Me: “What the hell? It was you. Couldn’t you say that it was you when I asked? I almost died back there”

It was Yuva. He said that his mouth was full so he didn’t say anything and asked me what was I doing there?

I told him that I lost my way back to my room.

Yuva: “You are such a mess!!!!!”

Me: “What do you mean? I don’t need your help. I will go back by myself”

Yuva: “Shut up! Let me take you back. No need to go back yourself alone. It’s not safe. You are at the border of our territory and there is a jungle nearby”

He always tries to show that he doesn’t care but is very bad at it.

We kept walking. He had something in his pocket. He kept taking it out and eating it. I was wandering what it was.

Just then he offered me. They were groundnuts. So that was what he had in his mouth. I took few nuts from his hand and started eating it. He started giggling on seeing me. I asked him why he was laughing. He said he was laughing at me.

Me: “Why are you laughing at me?”

Yuva: “seeing you eating these nuts reminded me how scared you were back there.”

Me: “No I was not”

Yuva: “You know you can’t lie. Your face tells everything”

I started smiling on hearing this so did he.

We both kept walking. I looked up the sky. It looked beautiful it seemed as if starts were watching us and winking at us.

Yuva: “Hey! What are you smiling at?”

Me: “The stars. They are winking at us”

Yuva: “What? Nope! Are you drunk?”

I asked him to look carefully and showed him how the patterns of the stars were making a face winking at us.

Yuva uttered in soft voice “My mother used to tell me a story when I was young that when people die they become starts so that they can look over us even if they are not here. Somehow they are with us even when they are not here”

I asked him if he actually believed that story.

Yuva: “I don’t know but I do believe that people die but their souls are still alive somewhere around the people they love”

That was so deep. I didn’t know a guy like him could be so sensitive.

By now we had reached quarters where my room was.

Yuva: “Here we have finally arrived.”

Me: “Thank you.”

There was an awkward silence for a moment we both kept standing. Then he turned around to leave. I kept standing seeing him leave. He stopped and with his back still towards at my side said “You should know that you may not see but there is still someone who is always looking after you”

He just said that and went away. That was strange. What did he mean?

With that thought I went back to sleep in my room

Chapter 11

Stolen Necklace

Next morning still in my sleep I heard some noise. That noise broke my sleep. It came from someone banging at the door. I opened the broke it was Derek.

Derek: “Are you still sleeping? We don’t have whole day. Get ready fast”

Me still sleepy: “whaaaaaat?”

A nice good morning would have been much better than this sudden rush. I got ready as fast as I possibly could. We were supposed to leave today to continue our search.

We decided to take leave from the chief before leaving. When we reached outside his quarters we saw there were lot of men standing and everyone was worried and in a rush. There was Sasha crying in her mother’s arms.

I went straight to her and asked her what happened. She told me that her necklace was stolen. She cried heavily. I tried to calm her down but she kept crying. I asked her how it happened. She told us that someone stole it from her room when she was asleep. Someone came at the night and took it out of her closet. She was so depressed and was taken to her room.

We went to Chief. He was busy commanding his men to search every corner for the necklace. He was so tensed and worried. He couldn’t believe that necklace was stolen. We couldn’t leave them like that so we offered them our help. Just a man came from the doors running trying to catch his breath. Still trying to catch his breath he asked everyone to come and look outside. Everyone ran in hurry to see what happened.

It was Yuko standing there with some men behind him and he was wearing the necklace that her father gave.

The Chief was very angry and asked Yuko what he doing with the necklace. Yuko seemed to be unaffected by Chief’s anger and in a very reluctant tone said that the necklace belonged to him and he is the only one who has the right to use it. Roku was so angry that he asked his men to take Yuko and his men as prisoners

When they tried to capture him Yuko raised his left hand and threw a fire ball up in the air towards the men. Everyone was shocked at how he did it. Then we saw that the stone in the necklace was glowing. That meant it may be……

I took out the crystal ball from my bag. It was glowing and was showing the symbol of fire. Derek was standing next to me he saw it and said so it’s true they actually exist.

Yuko Commanded Chief to bow down before him and to accept his defeat.

Roku got very angry at him and asked him to stop all this. But Yuko refused to do so. They tried to stop him but all their efforts were vain. He was very powerful and told people that he was their new leader. Saying this he was surrounded by circle of fire. Now I understood what the king meant. If the stones go into wrong hands it may lead to catastrophe.

Yuva came running from behind along with some of his men and asked Yuko to stop.

Yuko refused to listen to him. He said that he loathed Yuva to his guts the day he came here. Always trying to be everyone’s favorite. Yuko should have been the next heir of the Bandits not him. He said he was always jealous of Yuva for being his father’s favorite. He hated him because his father loved Yuva more than him even though Yuva was brought from street.

I was shocked to know that Yuva was not Roku’s son. But even more shocking than this was that even Yuva didn’t know Because when Yuko told him he looked straight towards His parents and both of them stood there with their heads down not being able to make eye contact with them.

Seeing that Yuko was strong and powerful many men changed their loyalty and sided towards him. But there were still who were still ready to stand by Roku’s side no matter how strong Yuko was.

Yuko’s mother came running towards the scene and asked him to stop all this and how could he do this to his own father.

Yuko was mad at her and asked her to back down otherwise he would forget that he even has a mother. He said he was always trying to find a way to have all this because it actually meant for him and he deserves to be the next chief. He said his parents were very foolish they never saw the true power of the stone even when they had it for a long time.

Roku: “How did you know that it had magic in it?”

Yuko: “Many years back when we were kids one day when I was playing. I saw granddad going in the jungle early morning. When he returned back I asked him where he went he said he went for a walk. He used to go everyday early morning for half an hour. One day I followed him into the forest to surprise him but instead I got surprised at what I saw. He never used to go for walk instead he used to visit someone a friend. I hid myself outside the house and overheard their conversation. His friend said that he was very sick and may only live for few days and asked him to take care of something that he has been protecting for years. Granddad kept visiting for few days and I used to always follow him. One day when he had gone to visit his friend he found him dead. He buried his friend’s body in the jungle and went back to the cottage. He took out something from the closet. It was wrapped in a white cloth. He took it out and it was a necklace. He wore it and said something asking some spirit to rise from sleep as her master. The stone started glowing and before I knew fire started coming out of his both hands. He burned that cottage into ashes. I can’t forget that moment. He saw me hiding and asked me to forget what he saw and never to mention anything to anyone. When I asked him about the necklace he said it was a bad omen and is never to be found.

That day when we returned back .I kept thinking about it whole night. That night I decided to ask my grandfather again about it. But next morning he was dead. They said he died in his sleep. I remember I searched his room for days and also places where he may keep things but never found the necklace. But on the day of the fire when the quarter was burnt into ashes and you were recollecting everything that was left unburned I saw the necklace. But that night before I could ask you for it you already gave it to Sasha and I knew now the only way left to get the necklace was to steal it. So I stole the necklace. I always dreamt about it and now I have it. I can rule the world with this.

Saying this he gave an evil laughter that was so dramatic of him just like in movies.

He asked his men to capture all of us but before they could we could hear sound of horsed from back. It was Teiko with few men on horses. He asked us to come with him. Yuko’s people tried to stop us but everyone gave a good fight but they were outnumbering us. So we escaped from their Roku and Sasha got caught while fighting while me, Derek, Yuva and his mother were able to escape.

Chapter 12

Escape

We all fled into the jungle with few men. Teiko took us deep into forest to a tribe and decided to take shelter there. He told us that the tribe was the tribal people were their friends and that for mean time we were safe here. Everyone decided to rest. Many of the friends along with us were hurt and were treated by the tribal people. Chief’s wife fainted due to all the stress. They took her inside and gave her something which made her go to sleep so that she can rest. Everyone was called to gather around by Teiko. He said that we all need to do something to save their people left back there. Everyone asked Teiko where Yuva was. He remained quiet for a moment and said that Yuva may not be coming back, saying this he asked everyone to rest for the night and they will plan what to do next morning.

That night when everyone sent back to sleep Derek came to me and told me that we need to help these people. The stone in the necklace was the first of the Celesta’s stones. I asked him if we should tell everyone about the legend. He said that now was not the right time. We can tell them after we get the stone.

Derek: “Why are you so worried? Don’t worry we will get it from Yuko.”

He assured me that we will get the stone and asked me to go to sleep and take some rest.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I decided to take a walk to clear my mind.

While walking I saw a small pond nearby. I was thirst so I went near the pond to drink some water. The pond was clear and water looked fresh. I washed my face by splattering some water on it. I raised my head after splattering some water I saw someone throwing stones in the pond and when I looked at my right I saw Yuko sitting a bit far and was throwing stones in water.

I got up and went to him and asked him if he was fine. He said nothing and kept throwing stones from the ground into the water. He didn’t even look at me once while I was talking. So I kept throwing stones along with him and kept talking. Are you worried about people being trapped there, he said nothing and kept throwing stone, Then I asked about Yuko having the stone still no answer and then I mentioned about him not being real son of Roku. He didn’t throw stone that time. He stopped and a tear rolled down his eyes and fell on his hand.

Me: “Of all this you are worried of being not there real son”

Yuva angry at me “What do you know? Just go away”

Me: “You are right I don’t know much but all I know that they loved you very much”

Yuva: “But no matter what I am still not their son I am just an artifact brought from street”

Me: “So that was all they meant for you?”

Yuva: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I know they never told you that you were not there real son but they did so to protect you. And what did you give in return just break all the bonds you had with them for a single truth that they never told you in order to protect you. They loved you more than their own blood Yuko. Chief loved you so much that he considered you right heir as compared to his own blood. Just tell me if I said anything wrong.”

Yuva remained quiet and didn’t say even a word.

Me: “You can’t imagine how lucky you are. What would have happened if Chief wouldn’t have found you? Though you may not be his real son but he loved you more than him. Sometimes some bonds are thicker than blood. You had a father even when you didn’t have one. Some people are not as lucky as you.”

Yuva wiped his tears and got up while I was sitting and brought his hand towards me to help me get up. I gave my hand in his and he pulled me up softly

He smiled at me and said “thank you for reminding me who I was.”

He asked me to look up in the sky and said something that I may never forget

“Do you see those stars above? There may be more than billion of stars shining up there. But still only one star is shining the brightest of all just for you”

Me: “what do you mean?”

Yuva: “You may think you have lost him but he can see you by that star and is telling you by shinning brightest of all not to worry and that he is there with you every time. He will be there to show you way when darkness surrounds you like you did.”

His words touched my heart. Was he talking about my father, he may have interpreted this from our talk.

Me: “What do you mean?”

“Nothing we just need to go and rescue everyone” Yuva said

After reaching back to the camp I went to find Derek and Yuva gathered everyone together. He apologized to everyone for not being there with them

He addressed to everyone “I am sorry for before. I reacted too suddenly. But then someone made me realize that though I may not have blood of real bandit but my soul always belongs to my people. And as a true bandit if we are ready to die for each other then we are also ready to kill for each other”

Everyone hooted for Yuva’s name. He was there new leader.

Someone from the crowd said that they were fewer men as compared to back there and also how could they stand before Yuko and his powers. Just then Derek said that the only way to win this battle was to get the necklace from Yuko but now the question was how.

Teiko then agreed with Derek. He said they had to come up with a very smart plan to stand against Yuko. Many of us came out with different plans but they were somehow not solid enough to withstand Yuko. Just then Yuva had a plan that seemed to be convincing.

Now it was the time for the execution of the plan.

Chapter 13

Plan

We all prepared ourselves for the execution of the plan. The tribal people also stepped forward to help us. We were going to attack in the dark.

There were few of Yuko’s men guarding the mountain border. They were put back to sleep by making them something from behind. It may be something like chloroform I wonder if it exists in this world. We all divided ourselves. As per the plan first we had to somehow lower down Teiko’s defense. So we divided ourselves in groups. We divided ourselves in three groups. Each led by Teiko, Yuva and Derek. I was in Teiko’s group. Derek’s group job was to handle men who trapped people in their own quarters. His group was the largest of three. Teiko was given responsibility to rescue Roku, Sasha and some other people who were put in the jail which was opposite and built a bit far away somewhere underground from where actually the bandits lived. While Yuko decided to face Teiko. We all scattered at the border as per our plan. When we were splitting Derek gave me something in my hand. It was a knife. I looked at him. He closed my fingers on it and with this just by his eyes he told me to keep it for self-defense. Then we all scattered. I saw Derek leave with his group towards the quarters and Yuko left straight for Yuva’s quarters. I headed along Teiko towards the prison where everyone was kept along with Roku.

When we reached outside the prison there were men standing outside smoking. We attacked them and went inside. Inside were around four men playing cards. That was very strange why Yuko would keep so less men to guard. We overheard them talking. Just as we were about to attack Teiko asked us to wait because he said he heard name Yuva. Those men were talking about Yuva and how their boss Yuko planned a trap at his quarters because he knew that no matter what happens Yuva will come to take revenge. It meant that they were already waiting for Yuva and his life was in danger. Someone had to go and stop them.

I asked Teiko to take care here and rescue everyone and I will go and inform Yuva. But he asked me not to go and let him go. But I knew everyone needed Teiko there also. Teiko said that he will meet us with others behind Roku’s quarters and then they will plan what to do with Yuko.

I nodded and went different way.

I finally reached outside Yuko’s quarter as planned I saw one of the men who was with Yuko hiding behind the Quarters. I asked him what was he doing there and where are other people and Yuva. He called Yuva.

Yuva whispering to me “What are you doing here? Weren’t you supposed to be with Teiko and others?”

Me: “Yeah I know. But I came here to tell you that Yuko is in their”

Yuva: “I know that. That’s why we are here”

Me: “No! He knows you would come. We overheard some men talking that Yuko had planned a trap inside for you because he knew that you would come but he is actually in Roku’s chambers. Teiko and others are going to meet us behind Roku’s chambers.”

I, Yuva and other men went behind Roku’s quarters. There was Derek and some men waiting for us. I asked him what he was doing here and where were others. He said that he was not able to rescue other people because one of the men came to him saying that we all were caught.

Me: “What are you saying? Who came? “

Just then Teiko appeared from nowhere. Yuva asked him where others were. He started laughing

Teiko: “They are where they were supposed to be”

Yuva: “What do you mean?”

Saying this people appeared from everywhere, they were Yuko’s people. It was all a trap from starting. Teiko was an imposter pretending to be Yuva’s friend. He lied to all of us. He brought all of us here so that Yuko could capture us.

Yuva: “Why did you do this?”

Teiko: “No matter what I do but there will always be Yuva Yuva Yuva. I was your best friend. But what did you do instead. You abandoned me.”

Yuva: “What are you saying?”

Teiko: “Three years back in that fire. You left me to die and burn to death”

Yuva didn’t say even a single word. He kept quiet. I kept looking at him. Was it a silence of guilt?

Someone placed hand on Teiko’s left shoulder. It was Yuko. He was adding fuel to fire by telling him that he took the right decision and a Yuva was not his friend just used him. Yuko ordered his men to capture us as prisoners.

They caught us and kept us in different cells. We were trapped in some underground prison. I was trapped in prison with some other women. Men who were with us were also poisoned in different cells. I couldn’t see Derek anywhere. I asked one of their men where he was but he didn’t say even a single word. Just then I saw two men bring Derek. They were pushing him hard to make him move forward. When Derek resisted the man he slapped him. Derek punched the guy and then four men came to hold Derek and threw him in the prison just in front of me.

I asked him if he was ok. He said he was fine. He said he was sorry for all of this and that he will find a way out. Derek was apologizing for something he didn’t do. This all started because of me finding all the stones.

Me: “no it’s not your fault. It all I started because of me. I was the one who dragged you in all this”

Just then we heard some noise. It was coming from the stairs to the underground prison. It was the noise of chains. Two men came down the stairs dragging Yuva in chains. He was unconscious covered in blood. They had beaten him up very badly. They threw him in the prison responded but slowly and slowly he opened his eyes.

“Are you hurt” I asked Yuva.

Yuva replied in sarcastic way “Nope just resting”

Derek: “hey man! Why did they do this to you?”

Yuva: “You are asking me a question you know answer to”

After this there was just a pin drop silence. Everyone sat quietly in there prison.

Hours passed we sat there no one came.

Chapter 14

Insulted in Courtroom

Just then we heard some footsteps. Two men came they looked around at cells and opened one of the cells took a girl with them. She resisted them but they had grabbed her tightly. She asked them where they were taking her. They said they were taking her to Yuko. One of the prisoners was that girl’s mother she begged them to leave her daughter. But they didn’t listen. Everyone was helpless.

I couldn’t see. I know I was going to do something very stupid which I may later regret. But…

Me: “You guys proved yourself his pet pity dogs who survive on his leftovers.”

They both got furious.

First man: “What did you say?”

Me: “I called you a pity dog. You bastard!”

Second man: “You have got a big mouth lady”

Me: “At least I have mouth to speak you can only bark”

It was too late before I realized I said too much. I was also taken along with that girl. They said Yuko will decide my punishment for my misbehavior.

They took both of us somewhere different place. It was not the quarters but some big room.

As we entered there were only men there and women serving them.

What the hell? Yuko made all the women of the community as servants. It seemed they were forced to please men by serving them. That was typical him.

Yuko was sitting on a big chair like a king enjoying all luxuries. It was disgusting to see such a man as a leader. They all were drinking and smoking. The man told Yuko about what I said.

Yuko: “Well do have some old settlement to settle. Last time there were some distractions. Well I hope this time no one will interfere.”

I was in a big trouble. He asked me to serve him the drinks kept before him. But I refused. . He again asked me to serve him some food kept before him. I again refused.

He ordered his men to bring someone in. They brought Derek and Yuva. Both of them were tied up in chains and were brought down on their knees. By seeing the bruises on their faces I knew they were tortured badly. I could see that Derek was beaten up badly. Had a bruise under his right eye and his upper lip was bleeding. But Yuva was more badly hurt that he even couldn’t raise his head. He was bleeding from forehead. Blood was dripping from his nose. He had bruises all over the face.

Yuko warned me that if I didn’t listen to him he would kill Yuva. I couldn’t let that happen to my friends. I served food to all the men like I was their servant. He then asked me to massage his feet. I was disgusted at what he told me to do. I didn’t want to do this. I am not the girl who will massage some stranger’s feet. Still reluctant at what he told me to do but when I looked at them I couldn’t let that happen I sat on my knees, picked up his giant ugly foot. It smelled gross and started massaging. Everyone in the room stated laughing at me. Before I knew I had tear in my eyes. I was never insulted like this. I just couldn’t hold my tears anymore, I started crying. It was just like one of my dreams where I was alone and everyone was laughing at me. Just then Yuko grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. I resisted but he asked in front of everyone to entertain him. I asked him what he meant. All of his men started laughing again raising their glasses as if he just did something brave. All the women in the room just stood with their heads down. I asked him again what the hell did he meant. And then he just said in the most disgusted way that he wants to look what I have beneath my clothes. I was shocked. I begged him to not to do this. I pulled myself away and tore my left arm sleeve in resisting. Everyone started clapping. I picked up the liquor bottle lying next to him and told him if he took even a single step near me I would kill him. I broke the bottle in half by breaking it on the floor and used it as a shield. I warned him to not to come near me. But just then someone grabbed my hand from behind and pulled the bottle away from me. Two men grabbed my arms and held me while Yuko was approached near me in front of everyone reaching for my top. I closed my eyes I didn’t want to see what was just about to help and cried loudly for help. Just then there was a noise. It was Yuva.

The men who held him were thrown away unconscious. He was burning in fire. Hi eyes were golden. His hair was all raised up like a flame and his eyes changed color to reddish yellow. There was fire emitting from his body. In a deep voice he asked Yuko and his men to leave me. They unhand me. I quickly ran towards Derek opened up his chains.

Yuva was on fire. One could see that all his rage was turning into fire. But how is it possible? Yuko has the stone not Yuva. Yuko’s men tried to stop but Yuva was too strong. He almost burned everyone who came in his way. After Yuko’s men failed to stop Yuva he came into fight Yuva.

I just froze seeing Yuva in such a new blazing avatar. I didn’t know he had some kind of powers.

Yuva and Yuko stood face to face and fight begun. Yuko used his powers from the necklace and was also blazing in fire and used his powers on Yuva. They continued fighting but both of them were equal but were not realizing that the fire was burning everything around them. People started running out of the room. If they would continue fighting like this soon the building would collapse. I shouted at Yuva from behind and asked him to stop because if they continued fighting the building would collapse. Yuva took the fight outside.

Chapter 15

First stone

People gathered around while Yuva and Yuko stood in centre fighting there was both fighting and using of fire. It seemed as if I was seeing action sequence of a Hollywood movie.

Derek: “They’ll keep fighting and destroy everything. But still it won’t stop”

Me: “What do you mean?

Derek: “Both of them are equally powerful but won’t stop until or unless one of them is killed. And the whole village will be destroyed in this fight”

Derek was right. Everything around was burning in fire. People were running out of their houses with their kids and belongings. It had to be stopped. We tried to tell Yuva about what their fight was causing but now he was totally out of control. He was deaf to all the people voices and was only concentrating in destroying Yuko.

We had to do something.

Derek: “We need to think something very fast. With this power they are losing control over themselves”

What can we do? I asked

After thinking for a while Derek had an idea.

Derek: “What can defeat fire?”

Instantly answer popped into my head and I shouted “Water”

He said we need to get lot of water enough to slow them down. We asked few people who were helping us at the first place to help us gather some water. Seeing us many more people came and joined hands with us. One of them told us that there was a small water reserve nearby.

People started gathering water in whatever thing they found from bottle to bucket to bowl. Even kids started helping us. There was a small boy who was around five to six years. He was running among the people I stopped him and asked him what he was doing. He had a small cup like a small toy tea set.

I asked the boy what he was going to do with this small cup. He said that the cup belonged to his little sister and being the only man in the house it is his responsibility to protect his mom and sister. If it was possible he would have brought whole lake here at once but he couldn’t. So he is doing his bit by bit and helping his people. That little brave soldier brought tears into my eyes.

Me: “That’s very brave of you. Your family will be very proud of you. But you can also help us in one more way. Take all the women and children out of here as soon as possible till this fight resolves. You can see that it will harm people if they stay here.”

Boy: “ok. I will do anything to save my family.”

Before he took off I gave him my gold earrings that my parents gifted me on my twentieth birthday and asked him to use them to help his family if something happens here.

Me: “I don’t know what they may cost here but they may give you kick-start if everything gets destroyed here”

The boy took off.

I stood there seeing him running for his family seeing that little soul being so brave brought courage in me.

It also reminded me of something he said if it was possible he would have brought whole lake here. His words gave me an idea.

I ran quickly to Derek. And asked him distract Yuva till I gave him a

Derek still with a question mark look on his asked me “How?”

Me: “I don’t know say anything but just distract him from Yuko.”

Derek: “Than what?”

Me: “Just trust me”

He looked into my eyes and agreed with me.

Derek ran to towards Yuva and told him that his sister was trapped and building could collapse at anytime. Though he was angry and full of rage against Yuko but was still his sister’s brother. He left his fight in between and went to rescue his sister.

Now was the time. I called Yuko’s name.

Yuko: “Don’t stand in front of me like this. Get on your knees. Can’t you see how powerful I am? I am God” in an arrogant voice.

Me: “Correct yourself no one can be God or even close enough”

Yuko: “You stupid girl. Look around you can’t you see people are afraid of me and you should also be”

He was thinking himself of almighty.

“I don’t give a damn. You filthy creature” I said and this made him angry. He tried to hurt me with a fireball that he threw but I was able to dodge it. I kept running through the mountain forest with few bruises and burn. Then I reached end of a cliff.

Shit! I ran the wrong way. I was supposed to take him to the small lake where everyone was waiting. We all were supposed to trap him near the lake and somehow get the necklace. Now what should I do?

Still questioning myself I stood there at the edge of the cliff thinking of what to do

Yuko: “There is nowhere to go where will you go now?”

He started coming towards me and I kept going back.

Me: “You are not the man you show yourself to be. Somewhere inside you is a nice guy. Why are you doing this?”

Yuko: “You won’t understand. I was never treated the way I should have been. That Yuva stole everything from me. After I am done with you I am going to finish him.”

He grabbed my wrist and pulled me towards him.

Yuko: “if you resist then you will fall back down from cliff. Choice is yours”

Just then a voice came from behind.

It was Yuva. He was standing there and I was never happy to see him so much like I was right now. Like always he was there whenever I was in danger.

Yuko grabbed me with his around my neck holding tightly. He asked Yuva to tell him how he had those powers. Yuva told him he didn’t know.

Yuko: “don’t lie to my face. I know you are hiding too. Tell me how did you get those magical powers? If you will not I will kill her”

I didn’t want to be some pity girl. While Yuko’s mind was on Yuva I stepped on his foot, kicked back between his legs turned around snatched the necklace from his neck and was able to free myself from him. I ran towards Yuva.

Yuva asked him to surrender himself because now he had nothing left. Yuko refused to do so. I couldn’t imagine how someone could be filled with so much hatred. He said he would rather die instead of surrendering.

Yuva shouted to not to do something stupid. But he didn’t listen. He stepped back his right foot and jumped off the cliff. Yuva ran towards him to catch him but couldn’t. He just jumped like that. Seeing him fall from the cliff Yuva fell on his knees with tears in his eyes. Although Yuko was always jealous of him and there was some bitterness between them but Yuva somewhere always loved and cared for him his tears could tell. Just then Derek and other man came running.

Derek: “Are you alright? Were you stupid you could have killed yourself”

Me: “Sorry! I was the one who made the plan but lost my way”

Derek: “Where is Yuko?”

I told him the whole story and how he fell of the cliff.

After this we all went back to the village of bandits. Most of the place was burned and it seemed it would take a lot of time to repair. All those men who were with Yuko were captured as prisoners while Teiko couldn’t be found somewhere. He would have most probably run in the fuss. Most of the people were hurt they were treated. The chief was back in charge.

After everything was settled it was time for us to leave. I was treated and given some medicines for my bruises to heal faster. We gave our condolences to Chief and his wife.

Me: “I am sorry sir for your loss. I never meant to take him there but….”

Chief: “I know it’s not your fault. He brought this upon this by himself. I knew his nature but never knew that he was filled with so much hatred and will fall so low to achieve his goals”

Before we could leave Sasha asked us to wait and gave us her necklace. She said she didn’t want the necklace which took away her brother from her and led to all this and moreover we needed it more than she does. I thanked her for that.

Sasha: “I think it never meant to be mine. But I still have one question unanswered. How did Yuva had the power?”

Me: “Because Yuva too has a part of the stone”

Derek: “What?”

Yuva: “I don’t have it?”

Me: “Yes you do. Your grandfather gifted you these earrings.”

Yuva: “How did you know?”

I asked him to take off his earring and shoed everyone the necklace carefully. The stone in the centre was carved in round shape with a hole in the centre and Yuva’s earring also had a small stone in it. Although it was smaller than the stone in necklace but was still powerful

Derek: “When did you find out that the stone was the same?”

Me: “I had an idea when Yuva told us about the story. His grandfather knew that stone was very powerful so he gave it to the two people he loved and trusted most i.e. Yuva and your grandmother

Yuva: “I had this earring for so many ears but how did the powers evolved now?

Me: “The necklace. Once the stone in the necklace got activated so did the stone in earring. More you use it more powerful and alive it became. So when you faced Yuko the stone got triggered with your rage and anger.

He removed his earring and gave it to me and asked me to keep it. I withdrew the stones out of both the ornaments and when I placed them together a bright red light grew from the stone. The small stone joined in the large stone in such a way as if they were never apart. It became one.

Also something came out of the stone. It was the fire soul. She had sharp eyes, had long pointed ears and was wearing some kind of headband which had flame picture drawn on it. I couldn’t see her feet because all I see could below her waist was fire. Fire was emitting from her whole body. She bowed before me as I was holding the stone.

Fire Soul : “My name is Agni. I am the fire soul. Thank you for rescuing me. For a very long time my spirit was split into two halves. I was trapped until my two halves were united. Thank You for completing me master”

So she was the first soul Agni and I was her master that means legend is true.

I and Derek took our leave for the search of our next stone

Chapter 16

Memories

I was happy that we found the first stone. We started with our journey again after saying our good bye to the bandits. Thanks to Roku who gave us the next clue of where we could we find the second stone. I wonder what its power would be. The first one was the fire stone and was very powerful. If even one of these stones went into wrong hands it will be a disaster. I kept thinking about the stones just than Derek shouted “Be careful!”

I was walking blindly and tripped from a stone.

“Why can’t you see where you walk? Oh god Kiara you are such a mess!”

“Sorry! I didn’t see the stone” I apologized

Derek asked me if I was hurt. I injured my arm a bit, had a little cut but nothing serious. He cleaned my wound with some water in the bottle and tied a cloth on the wound so that it doesn’t get infected. He was very concerned about me. He kept asking me if there was any pain but though it was hurting a bit I told him that it was nothing.

Sometimes it is so difficult to understand him. I mean one minute he mocks me and then the other minute he is so concerned about me. And he calls me a mess. But I was glad that in this journey he was there with me every time when I needed help. Just then something fell on my face. It was a water droplet. It started raining suddenly.

Derek: “What the hell! The sky was clear. How did it start raining?

We grabbed our things and started running to find some shelter. Ahead of us was a mountain and we could see an opening in it like a cave. We went into one of the caves to take some shelter. It was very cold and dark in there. He gathered some logs of wood and lighted fire to warm us up. We both sat near the fire to dry ourselves up. Cave was glowing from the light of the fire.

Derek: “you should remove your clothes”

Shocked on what he just said.

Me: “What the hell?”

Derek: “Don’t get any funny ideas. If we stay in these clothes we will get sick from cold.”

He took off his overall in front of me. My eyes widened seeing his bare chest. His hair was wet and water was dripping on his chest. He wiped himself with his overall. His steamy look made my heart pounding faster. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I was feeling bit uncomfortable but could stop staring at him. Just then he opened his bag and took out a pair of clothes.

Derek: “Here take this. I always carry an extra pair wherever I go. For now you can use this overall and I will use the lower. But we will buy you some new clothes when we reach a nearby village as you can’t wear same clothes each day and I can’t lend you my clothes every time”

Me: “thanks”

He headed deep into the dark cave and I asked him where he was going.

Derek: “Do you want me to change in front of you.”

Me: “No…..no…not at all”

He went bit inside the cave where I couldn’t see. After two minutes he came out after changing his lowers

He then asked me to change as it was my turn.

It was a very dark and scary cave. I was afraid to go and change. I started going into the cave soon as I started going deep it started becoming darker and darker. Just then something started crawling on my feet. I shouted loudly. Derek came rushing towards me asking me what happened. I told him something crawled on my feet. He pointed light on the floor it was a rat.

Derek: “it was a rat only. Are you…?”

I was sweating badly and started having breathing difficulty. My face turned pale and my pulse started accelerating.

Derek: “What happened? You don’t look well?”

I told him that I was claustrophobic and get panic attacks whenever I am in any close or dark place.

He immediately grabbed me and took me in front of fire and gave me water to drink. After few minutes I calmed down.

Derek: “are you an idiot? You scared me. Why didn’t you tell me that you are so scared of dark?

Me in a slow voice: “I just didn’t want you to make fun of me”

He told me that I could change right in front of the fire and he would turn around. He promised me that he wouldn’t peek.

I changed into his overall. It reached below my knees. As it was open from front I had to tie a belt. After changing I asked Derek that he can turn around.

At that moment we were both quiet and placed our wet clothes in front of fire to dry them up and also sat next to them. None of said anything for a while.

Derek: “Are you hungry?”

Me: “Yeah a little bit and thirsty too”

Derek: “Here take this bottle it still has some water. I also have some berries but I don’t think it would be enough.”

I told him it was fine and was enough for both of use to go through night. We had total eleven berries. He divided them and gave me six while he kept five for himself. We started talking while we were eating

Derek: “Can I ask you something?”

Me: “Yeah!”

Derek: “What was in your pocket that you actually risked your life for? I am sorry; I shouldn’t ask you any personal questions. It’s none of my business.

My hands just froze at that question. I put back the berry I was just about to eat. That moment I wanted to answer his question but words stuck in my throat. I headed towards my sash and took out the ring. It was a ring with green stone.

It’s my father’s ring I told him. It was one of the last things he was wearing before he passed away.

Derek with a serious look in his face “I am sorry. if you want we wouldn’t talk about him

Me: “No its fine”

Derek: “Do you miss him?”

Me: “yes I do!”

Derek: “Why do you hide that ring from others?”

Me: “I always keep this with me as it gives me strength in bad times. As long as it is with me I know he is somewhere around protecting me. Though I know today is not good but this always reminds me what he used to say “None of the days are same Kiara. There will be some good and some bad days. All you need is to have patience that one day this bad day will be over, courage to face whatever it brings in your face and attitude to do whatever you want to do but nothing can break you.” I know mom misses him a lot. He was the only one in the world she shared with the most. She always keep smiling but I can hear her crying in the morning when she thinks we are asleep. Sometimes I think I should go to her and wipe her tears down. But I couldn’t make her feel the same way she used to be when we were a family. I let her cry so that she could lighten her heavy heart filled with sadness and loneliness. I know we can’t replace him. But some day I wish a day would come when everything will get back to normal. He would be remembered not with feeling of loneliness and sadness but with his beautiful memories in our wonderful lives filled with happiness.”

Derek smiled at me “Don’t worry everything will turn out fine! and My mother used to always say that every river can be crossed in the boat of faith. So have faith in yourself and you can cross every hurdle that comes in your way”

He takes a pause for a moment.

Me: “Your mother sounds like a wise woman”

Derek: “Yup she is. I don’t know about you but I am feeling sleepy.”

Just suddenly that soft Derek changes back to hard one. He starts yawning and lies on the ground and go to sleep.

What did just happen? Why did he stopped at his mother’s name. He always tries to hide his soft side I have felt it earlier also. At the time when I was hurt, during the fire, but whatever, he did listen to me and helped me take some burden off.

I also went back to sleep. I was so tired that even the hard ground felt like a soft mattress.

Chapter 17

Forest

It was next morning. The rain had stopped. When i woke up I saw that Derek was already dressed up and asked me to get ready as we still had a long journey ahead. I changed my clothes and we got ready to leave. While Derek was packing up the stuff I picked up a small stone from the floor and wrote mine and Derek’s name on the wall. When Derek asked me what was I doing I told him I was writing our names. I may never visit this world again but I will never forget this journey of mine and I want to leave something of mine behind so that whenever someone comes here they will know we were here or he may one day comeback and may remember all this.

Derek also picked up one stone and wrote something in his language. When I asked him what was he writing. He told me that he wrote what his mother used to say “Always have faith you may never know what destiny has planned for you”

We just stood there and took a moment. Just then I heard a voice. When I turned back there was a monkey holding my bag. He started playing with the bag. I had to get my bag back.

Me: “Hey monkey give me the bag”

But the monkey stepped back and refused to give me my bag back. Seeing this Derek also started laughing.

Derek: “See even monkey doesn’t listen to you”

Oh yeah! If he could do something better at least I was trying. I asked him instead of laughing if he could make any efforts to get my bag back.

By the time we were talking monkey ran away with my bag. I started running behind him and Derek followed me. He ran deep inside the cave. We ran after him and we reached the cave’s other end and were amazed at what we saw. Beyond the other end of the cave was a beautiful forest. It was very beautiful and magnificent something I have never seen. The monkey was jumping on the trees and we followed him. He stopped at one tree and stood at the top the tree with my bag in his hand. And I requested him to give it back but he won’t. He was enjoying this. The tree was also so tall that it was impossible for us to climb. I was already tired of so much running that I sat on the ground. So did the monkey up there sat on the tree. I started plucking the grass. The monkey started plucking the leaves.

Derek: “I think the monkey is copying you”

I scratched my head so did the monkey. It was just like the story my mother used to read me when I was a child about the monkey copying the man who sold the caps. I took Derek’s bag from his hands and started playing with it. Same way the monkey copied me. Then I threw the bag and so did the monkey. I grabbed my bag from the ground as soon as monkey dropped it.

As soon as I grabbed the bag I raised my head to see the monkey. But he was gone.

That was strange. I checked my bag and everything was there including the crystal ball.

Derek: “That was very smart of you”

What did I just hear? Derek calling me smart. Did I just get deaf?

Me: “……”

Derek: “What?”

Me: “What did you just say?”

Derek: “Don’t get too happy. If would have taken care of your bag in first place we would not have to waste so much of our time.”

Typical Derek! Back to his sour attitude.

We started walking again in the forest. I was following behind Derek. Just then Derek stopped all of a sudden and asked me if I could hear something. I tried to listen but couldn’t hear anything. We continued walking. I was tired. I asked Derek if we could rest for some time. He agreed that we could rest for few minutes. We stopped for a while to take some rest. I opened my bag to grab the water bottle. When I opened my bag I was surprised at what I saw. The crystal ball was glowing.

Me: “Hey look at this. The ball is glowing”

Derek: “What? Show me”

The ball was glowing. It meant that we were near our next stone. This time the stone was glowing in blue color. It meant water element.

We decided to go ahead. After walking a few miles the landscape started to change. Land was dry; there were dead plants, no sign of life. It was k it was a strange that few miles back it was a green forest. But now we can see just a dry land under the scotching heat of sun. I was sweating badly. Hot sun had extracted all energy out of me. I was exhausted. My throat was blasting with thirst but we had no more water.

“I am tired, I can’t walk anymore”

Derek asked me to hold on we just need to walk some more. I walked with my legs feeling heavy. I was so tired that I couldn’t even bear weight of my body. Derek took bags from my hands and carried them himself. I could see him also getting tired. But he wasn’t complaining. I tried to catch up with him. But it was getting harder and harder.

I started feeling dizzy. Everything started to blur before my eyes but I decided to continue to walk as long as I can. Suddenly my head started spinning around. I could see Derek walking ahead of me but the visual of him ahead of me started to distort and I couldn’t walk anymore. I fell on my knees. I tried to call Derek but couldn’t spit out even a single word. Last thing I remember everything blackening before my eyes and Derek coming running towards me.

Chapter 18

Waking up

It was dark all around. I couldn’t see anything. I shouted if someone was there. But no one answered. It felt like empty space where there was neither start nor any end. I moved around but still it was dark.

A bit far away I could see some light. I ran towards it. Under the light coming from nowhere there was an empty glass box. What was it? I reached for a closer look. It was just empty. I touched it to see if it opens and next thing I knew within a blink. I was inside it. I was trapped in it. I tried to push it to open from all the four sides but couldn’t. I tried to search for a key or something which could open it but couldn’t find any way to open it. I was still searching for a way out, suddenly my feet started to feel cold. When I looked below there was water coming from I don’t know where. It started filling the glass. I tried t to push the glass hard to break from my body strength but failed. Water level was rising slowly it had already reached my knees and then to my waist level and then to my neck level. I was having difficulty in breathing. I don’t want to die in a glass box filled with water. I continued pushing. Water continued rising above my neck level. I closed my eyes but was still persistent with efforts to break the glass by pushing. I could feel the water going through my nose into my lungs. I was going to die.

Just then I opened my eyes. I could see a wooden roof above me. Still confused at what just happened. Must have been having a bad dream, I looked around I was in a small wooden hut. Just than Derek came into the hut.

Derek: “how are you feeling now?”

He touched my forehead.

Derek: “you are still warm but better than before”

I asked him where were we and for how long was I out.

Derek: “We are in Kabachi village. People here gave us shelter. Heat had exhausted you so much that you fainted. You had high fever. They treated you. You were unconscious for 2 days.”

Was I unconscious for 2 days? That was a long time.

A woman came inside with a bowl in her hand. She gave me a smile and asked me how I was feeling. Derek told me that she was “Katsia”; she was the one who took care of me for 2 days. I thanked her for taking care of me. She handed me the bowl and asked me to drink. She said it was a mixture of herbs and will help me to recover fast and gain my strength back. I was feeling much better than before.

Derek sat with me and began to explain everything about how we came here. He told me that I fainted so he carried me but even he couldn’t carry me for long. Just then he saw group of people passing by. They offered us help and took us with them to their village. They took care of me and were very hospitable towards us.

After Derek told me the whole story we decided to go outside as it would be good for me to have some fresh air. Katsia asked me and Derek that the elder wanted us. As I stepped out of the hut I saw that the condition of the village was very bad. People were living in broken old huts. People didn’t have any proper clothes to wear. Most of them were bare foot. Seeing the condition of people made me sad. Derek might have noticed what I was thinking. He explained me the whole living condition of “Kabachi” villagers. He said that the land which they were living on has been dry since last 50 years. There had been no rain since then. All rivers and canals have dried up. People here walk thousands of miles to get water for their basic needs. Due to no water they are not able to fulfill their basic requirements. These large acres of land are waste for them as no plant could grow due to deficiency of water.

The elder of the village was sitting under a shed smoking. There were few men sitting with him. He looked really old. He asked me how I was feeling. I thanked him. I couldn’t stop myself from asking him.

“Thank You so much for letting us stays with you. But if you don’t mind can I ask you something” I asked hesitantly.

Elder nodded at me.

“If people here are having so much trouble why don’t you all move somewhere else where you all could live a normal life without much trouble” I asked.

The elder asked me and Derek to sit on the ground to listen to what actually happened. I folded my knees and started listening to him. it looked like a class and the elder seemed like a teacher telling us a story.

Elder: “We were not like this. This all started with a curse”

Derek asked seriously what curse

Elder: “Hundred years back one of the villagers was working in the field they found something buried in the ground. It was a statue of goddess. It was placed in centre of the village. It was a magnificent beauty. Whole village worshiped it. It was a blessing for our village. The goddess provided us with food. Since the goddess was placed in our village there was not even a single person who would sleep with his or her stomach empty. One day a man came in our village he said he was a traveler. He asked us if we could let him stay in our village for few days. He seemed to be a very nice person. He was very helpful. He helped everyone in village from fetching water from river to working in fields in matter of days he became everyone’s favorite. One night he drugged all of us with his special drink and made us sleep early. Next morning when we all woke up we found the statue of goddess missing along with him. Since then our village has been covered with clouds of bad omen. Bad things have been occurring in our village. Drought, no harvest, no water, people getting sick and dying. All we know where ever this village goes bad omen follows it.”

Me: Do you have any idea where did that man go.

Elder: All we know that he went to the west across that river.

Derek: “How do you know?”

Elder: “Across that river there was a desert. But since we lost our goddess a forest grew within a night. That means it is somewhere there.”

Me: “Then it’s final. We have to go and get the statue from there.”

Elder: “it’s not so simple. That forest is not any ordinary forest. It’s a maze. There are many hidden secrets in it. Anyone who enters it never comes back alive.”

After listening to him I immediately stood up and said “we will get the statue back” in a loud voice. Seeing me like that Derek also stood up. We took leave from the villagers and headed towards the west.

We kept walking towards the river. I was quiet whole time. We kept walking just than Derek asked me if I was feeling alright. I am fine I replied. I tried walking a bit faster.

The images of those villagers couldn’t leave my mind. There were many families who lost their loved ones. My family is also alone back there. I wonder what they would be doing. They may have thought I might have been kidnapped or something. Mom would be crying back home and my sweet little sis would be all alone handling everything by herself. She would have been trying to be strong but how would she manage mom. What if I don’t return back home, stuck for my whole life here or die. What will happen to my family? They will break. We are still struggling to get out from the grief of my father’s death and now me.

Someone held my hand. I looked behind.

Derek: “Where are you? Watch out”

There was a muddy puddle in front.

Derek: “What the hell is wrong with you? Where are you lost?”

My mind was so full of all those thoughts and my heart felt so heavy with emotions that words couldn’t pour out of my mouth. I just ran from there. He was calling to me for me to stop. I just kept running without looking behind until I got tired and couldn’t catch my breath. When I stopped I saw myself in front of the river. I fell on my knees and started crying. I yelled at the sea calling for my father’s name. Whenever I was in trouble he was always there. We all needed him. I miss him so much. At that moment I really wanted him to be here with me in his arms saying “don’t worry everything will be fine”. We can’t be a family without him. I just started crying loudly calling him to come back home. I kept crying and crying until my heartfelt light. After my tears dried up I sat in front of the ocean watching the waves washing off the shore. The sounds of waves were like meditation settling down my troubled heart.

After a while I decided to go back and find Derek. He must have been wandering where I was and what happened. I shouldn’t have run away like this but I was getting suffocated in my own thoughts. Couldn’t breathe back their just like in my dream locked in glass of life filled with water of troubles and no way to go back.

I got up and started to walk just then I saw someone sitting on the shore. It was Derek. Was he sitting the whole time?

Seeing me standing he got up and came towards me. After how I reacted he must have been thinking what a stupid girl I am and how could I look into his eyes after how I reacted like an idiot. He stood in front of me with a smile on his face “I just saw small boat nearby. It just needs some repairs. We can use it to cross the river”

Saying this Derek started walking and asked me to follow him. He didn’t say even a word about what happened. Maybe he didn’t see anything but if he hadn’t than why didn’t he ask why I ran away. Still clueless of what was going on in Derek’s mind I followed him. He started repairing the boat and I helped. None of us said a word to each other and kept doing work. Sun was going to set. Derek said it was good for us if we cross the river early morning when the sun rises.

Reddish orange rays of the sun setting had covered the whole river in red. It looked beautiful.

We stayed at the shore for the night.

Chapter 19

The Maze

Next morning at the sunrise we started to sail across the river. Derek was steering the boat with a roar. We sailed for around two hours and finally we saw the forest. It looked very big from faraway. On reaching the land Derek tied the boat with a rope to the tree on the shore. There were just few trees at the shore. As we went further the real forest began. It was a maze. The trees and plants were arranged in just form of a maze. Only the walls of maze were made of the plants. The magical ball inside my bag started glowing. It means one of the stones was nearby. Derek asked me to be careful and be close. We entered the maze.

It was so quiet in there. We kept walking not even a single animal or a human being could be seen. We walked for hours. But still didn’t get anywhere.

Derek stopped “it seems as if it is never going to end”

Just then something started ringing inside my bag. Derek pulled away bag from my hand and threw it on the ground and asked me to back off. I told him to cool down. I know this sound. I opened my bag it was my cell phone. I couldn’t believe how it is possible. Am I able to get reception even in this world? It was my mom. I picked up her call.

Mom: “Where are you? You were supposed to come back home an hour back. Its 5’o clock.”

It’s been just 7 hours. I am here for last seven days. It means every hour in my world is equal to one day in this world

Me: “Hi mom! I am so sorry that I forgot to call you. Actually I will be staying at Sasha’s house tonight for group study.”

Mom: “ok! What about your clothes?”

Me: “I will wear hers.”

Mom: “ok. Take care. Remember your exams are coming up so study hard”

Me: “Yes mom. Bye Bye. Love you”

Mom: “Love you too sweet heart”

I was so relieved after hearing my mother’s voice. Thank god she is fine. I have to find those stones and head back home soon.

I sigh and when I turn back I see Derek in a shocked state. I asked him what happened. But he still seemed terrified. He pointed towards my phone and uttered in a very scared way “wha….t was that”

I told him this is a cell phone and the voice he heard was my mother’s

Derek: “So you are saying that with this small box you were able to talk to your mother. It’s magic”

Me in chuckling “No it’s not magic. Its technology”

Derek still amazed at what he saw “You mean you can talk to anyone?”

Me: “yes. I can talk to anyone from it anywhere in the world. But the other person also needs to have this”

Derek: “that’s amazing! A magical box”

I started laughing on his reaction on seeing a cell phone and him calling it as a magic box.

Just than the land beneath us started moving, trees started sinking down in ground and new plant started growing in an unbelievable speed n some different pattern. Derek shouted that maze was changing and we should run. The whole ground shook up. I still didn’t know what was happening. Derek said may be our voices have activated it somehow. We ran and ran but whole maze was changing big branches were growing and crossing our paths. After few minutes it stopped. Now we were again lost and this time we didn’t know how to go back. We had lost our way out of the maze. Then again it started growing but this time big bushes grew out of ground. It grew as a wall between me and Derek. It separated us.

Derek called my name from the other side of wall formed by bushes to see if I was fine. I replied him that I was fine. It totally blocked us to reach each other. So we decided to find our way out together. Derek asked me to call for his name after every 1 minute. So he knows where I am and he will do the same. So we know that we are fine and we know that whether we are getting close or going far away from each other. We started to walk and called out for each other’s name as we decided. If we could feel that we were going far away from each other than we would change our directions. I kept walking and started feeling hungry. My stomach was growling very loudly. What an irony it was that I was surrounded by plants but couldn’t get anything to eat.

“I could eat anything right now. Right now I feel so bad of refusing my mother for the lunch” I said loudly talking to myself.

I kept walking and calling out for Derek’s name and same did him. Just then I saw something rolled down towards my feet. It was an apple. Where the hell did it come from I wondered. I picked up the apple. My first instinct was to eat it. But it may be poisonous. What if it kills me? Then I thought neither I am snow white nor I have a step mother who would try to kill me. Also I don’t have any enemy here. But usually in most of the stories fruits in magical forests are poisonous. Should I eat it or not?

I was still thinking I could hear someone giggling. When I looked at where the sound was coming from. I saw someone peeking from behind the bushes at the right. I asked her who was she. But she ran away I started to follow her. Whenever I thought I was near her she would just escape. She was playing hide and seek with me. While I was chasing her apple slipped out of my hand. I stopped for a bit to catch my breath. I again lost her and Derek too. I called out his name but couldn’t hear him back. I forgot in this hide and seek game that we were supposed to stick together by calling each other’s name. I kept walking as I turned to my left I saw a girl standing at the corner in the left holding an apple in her hand.

She was a little girl with beautiful emerald colored eyes, wearing a tiara made of leaves and a brown colored frock. This time she didn’t run away. I approached her. But she stepped back.

Hey! No need to be afraid of me I said to her.

She came forward and handed me the apple in my hand. She asked me to eat by enacting with her hands. I couldn’t say no to those beautiful eyes. I said god’s name and ate the first bite. I felt nothing. It was not poisonous. I ate the whole apple to calm down my growling stomach. She kept smiling at me watching me eating.

I asked her what her name was. She didn’t say anything just smiled. Then I asked her where her mom was she said nothing and again smiled. She just kept smiling at my questions but didn’t answer any.

I asked her if she would help me to find Derek. This time she nodded her head up and down and started walking. I think she wanted me to follow her. I started following her. The way she was walking was as if she knew the maze. After following her for some time I finally saw Derek. I called out his name. Seeing me he came running towards me and hugged me tightly. My head was buried in his chest. He kept saying that he was so worried about me. On seeing he was so concerned about me made me somehow happy that he actually cared so much for me. When I lifted my head away from his chest I could see his eyes were wet.

After he gathered his senses back he asked me what happened to me and how did I get lost. I told him the whole story of how I lost him while I was chasing that little girl and it was her who brought me back to him.

He asked me where she was. I told him she was here only but when I turned around she was gone.

Derek: “let’s get out of here.”

But I refused to get out of here.

“We are so close to the other stone and I won’t give up. I don’t want to be someone who would give up so easily. I would die trying rather than live in guilt of giving up.”

“Fine” Derek said.

We heard a loud noise.

“What was that?” me in a scared tone.

“No idea!” Derek said.

We again heard the voice and this time louder and closer. It seemed whatever it was it was coming near us. We started running in opposite direction. It was near us. We could hear the footsteps near us. That thing behind us made the trees fall. We were running trying to escape ourselves from getting buried under the falling trees.

I fell down while running. It was behind me. I looked behind. It was a big scary stone monster. It crushed everything that came in its way. It was about step on me just than Derek pulled me out of the way. He grabbed my hand and started running. He again saved my life.

Chapter 20

Second stone

We were running trying to find our way out. Just then that girl came out from nowhere in our way. She looked at me and started running. I knew somehow she was telling us to run behind her. I asked Derek to follow me. We followed the girl

She took us to somewhere in an open area in the maze. There were no monsters there just a small white flower in the center. She stood near the flower.

It was very strange. Derek asked me to not go near that flower. It could be a trap.

I stood there watching that flower and thought for a while. If it was all a trap she would have already killed me or fooled me before. But she helped me; she helped to find Derek, saved us from the monster. On other hand she was actually helping us and wanted us to find her.

I went near the flower and touched it. It grew big and blossomed. A bright light came out of the flower. There was something shining inside the flower. It was the stone. I took it out and held it in my hand. The girl standing next to the flower got engulfed inside a bright green light. She grew into a beautiful woman wrapped with flowers and leaves. She was very pretty, looked magnificent and divine. She had long brown hair and a peaceful smile. I was shocked to see how that little girl transformed into a beautiful woman.

“I am Dhara, The guardian spirit of Earth. Thank you so much for rescuing me.”

Me: “What do you mean by rescuing you?

Dhara: “I was trapped here. When the stones were broken I went into deep sleep inside the earth in a small statue. But was rescued hundred years ago by one of the tribes, they brought me into their village. There was no greed, no selfishness, people cared about each other. Their kindness increased my power. But one day a greedy and low life came and stole the statue from village. He used my powers for his selfish interest. He started hurting people with my powers. So I sealed myself.

Me: “What do you mean by seal?”

Dhara: “We were trapped spirits since the five stones were scattered apart. We search for our true masters. Whoever would have this stone can use the magic for good or bad but once sealed. Then only the true master could release the true spirit. To save my powers from being used for evil I sealed myself. And waited for you to come and rescue me. Once you touched the flower you unlocked the seal and released my spirit in its true form. This maze was made by me to protect myself from evil. You are my master and it’s my duty to obey you.”

Me: “thank you”

Saying this she vanished into the stone. The maze around us disappeared.

I was relieved that we got the second stone. Now we had two stones Fire and earth. The natures of spirits were same as the element they represent

The Fire spirit was full of rage and anger while spirit of earth showed kindness and compassion.

Finding second stone brought me closer to destination.

Me and Derek left the place and sailed back to the land on other side.


Mystical adventures of Celesta's stones

While at the opening of new museum in the town, Kiara encounters a tablet in restricted section of the museum known as Tablet of Celesta. While saving a little girl from falling from the roof top carrying the same tablet transports her into some other universe. Kiara finds herself the Chosen one. She is destined to gather the five stones of Celesta representing Five elements(fire, water, air, earth and metal)in order to summon Celesta and obtain three wishes. She has to collect all stones within six months, if she fails to do so both the worlds will be in danger and suffer massive destruction with the hands of evil. In her journey of finding all the stones, she makes many friends but falls in love with Derek. At first Derek denies his feelings but later accepts his feelings for Kiara. But that is not all, Yuva who she meets in this world also falls in love with her. He becomes her best friend at first and later on develops feelings for him and Derek is the one she falls in love with at first sight. As the story unfolds she is forced to chose between these Two. Who will she chose? As they both battle for her love. Will she chose love over her family and stay back in this world or go back and fulfill her dead father's wishes. All questions will be answered as the tale unfolds

  • ISBN: 9781310433917
  • Author: GNarula
  • Published: 2015-09-29 14:05:12
  • Words: 26147
Mystical adventures of Celesta's stones Mystical adventures of Celesta's stones