How’s your day going? If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, how much have you written so far?
I have written 25045 words so far as of now. Yesterday I hadn’t uploaded because the Chapter Ten that I have written was longer than I usually write, and I would write around 2100 to 2400 words per day as far as This Year’s NaNoWriMo concerned.
The breakdown of words written and it’s respective sprint is below:
11-Non-2020: 60 mins: 2473 words
20 mins: 740 words.
20 mins: 850 words.
20 mins: 883 words.
12-Nov-2020: 40 mins: 1633 words
20 mins: 724 words
20 mins: 909 words
I might Write Chapter Eleven Today. I will let you know in my next blog post.
But I am more excited about how many things clicked while writing this chapter. And tons of foreshadowing needs to be done in previous chapters, which I will do in the Second Draft of the Book. Also, I need to do more worldbuilding. I will also do it once the First Draft’s been done.
I think there’s 6-7 more chapters left and I might finish within two weeks. I will post chapter wise.
Without further ado, here’s the content I have written.
Chapter Ten: Bharghav’s Secret
Surya ran his hands through his hair as he closed his eyes and looked into the Living Realm inside his heart. He could see and feel everything inside the Living Realm, except the palace made out of white cloth.
Syri had just denied to help him defeat Madhav, or at least stop him from bonding the Harbinger of War. She was afraid of Ira and she was even willing to abandon their task rather than confronting Ira and her plans.
When Surya had tried to convince her with more rigour, she threw him out of the Living Realm. She also prevented him from entering there no matter how much he tried.
When Ira had left them, after killing the old woman, he had found Syri awake and crying. She was clearly afraid of Ira. He tried to convince her that they could help each other and defeat Ira and Madhav.
Every argument he put out to her, she thrashed it with providing the facts that were so true that it hurt Surya to even think about them.
He even suggested that he could stop Madhav and bond with the Harbinger of War. She was so horrified by it that, she glared at him. Her eyes turned red, reminding him of Ira’s red eyes that were always glowing.
Does this meant that Syri and her kind were sane and normal when their eye colour was their natural one and if one goes insane or rogue, their eye colour turns to red?
Had she realized that her eyes had turned red and she had to control herself from becoming just like Ira? Is this also one of the plots of Ira?
Surya didn’t know.
All he knew was bonding with other master’s object was forbidden.
That also meant that Harbinger of War was not the sword that Syri had promised as a reward upon rescuing the princess.
And more importantly, after he rescues the Princess Shravani, he had to complete one more task to bond with his own Sword.
And it also meant that once Madhav completes his next task, which was possibly to gain either Princess Shravani’s heart or eradicate Neeraj’s camp out of existence entirely.
Surya knew that the Princess was allowed to roam freely inside the camp, the fact that she had even entered the torture room would prove that Madhav’s task would be to eradicate Neeraj’s camp. Once that’s done, he would finish bonding with the Harbinger of War. And since Ira has gone rogue, she would manipulate Shravani’s heart to love Madhav as a reward.
What should he do now?
Abandoning the task was not an option. Syri had implied that doing so would lead to a punishment and she hoped it wouldn’t be severe. But Surya felt like it would be so severe, at least for him. There might be a chance that he would lose Syri as his master and he would be worthless and a weakling for the rest of his life.
He couldn’t attack Madhav as of now. Surya was powerless, without any aid from Syri while Madhav has power, bonding with the Harbinger of War and Ira was so intent on helping him and progress faster.
He couldn’t ignore everything else and rescue Princess Shravani. Everything was interconnected. She hated Madhav for killing her father and kidnapping her. Even though she was allowed to roam freely, it was not complete freedom. And it seemed she would do anything to invigorate Madhav. She even went as far as to kiss him. Surya didn’t know what the implications of it might be. But he knew that she would make things difficult for him to rescue her, with all the commotion that was going on.
That left him with Neeraj and his army. Neeraj’s second, Bhargav had died to help Surya. He knew about that. And more importantly, rumours about him being killed by a powerful mage, Surya, were spread wide. There was no way that Neeraj could trust him. But he was all he has now. He also had to inform to him that the existence of his army was more important than they ever thought about. He need to inform him about his theories.
He decided to go to Neeraj and ask for his help.
Surya took one final look at the ashes of the old woman and stepped out of the room and started to walk out of the Underground Stone Cavern.
Surya was instantly surprised by the wind that’s so strong that it’s getting a little bit difficult for him to move forward.
He also noticed that the wind was blowing sand particles all around them.
He turned towards the guard, who was standing beside the stone scripture that was guarding the entrance of the Underground Stone Cavern.
“Why it’s so windy now? It’s hasn’t been windy when I went inside?” he asked.
The guard stared at him. “You have been inside for almost two days. You missed most of the announcement made by the announcers. There’s apparently a huge sandstorm coming early. It’s advised that everyone stay inside the Underground Cavern,” he said.
Surya frowned. He had never seen a sandstorm and didn’t think he was crazy enough to see one in real. But he has more important work to do. “I will come back after I finish some work in the city,” he said.
He nodded. It seemed like he wanted to ask something, but was hesitating.
“It’s alright. You can ask what you wanted to,” Surya said.
“The old woman has been killed by the Powerful One?” he asked.
Surya hesitated. “Yes, she has been. She had been so helpful to me. But that damned one killed her. I …” Surya trailed off as the guard stared at him instead.
“Please tell me. You are going to take care of her. Ever since she arrived along with Madhav, our whole Kingdom has been in chaos. People hesitate to go to the King’s palace. The King has been acting erratically, ordering many to be either imprisoned or killed. They are thinking of rebelling, supporting Neeraj, but .. But… everyone were afraid about the Powerful One. We heard that you were also a powerful mage. Please take care of her for us,” he said.
Surya swallowed. If only the guard knew the real truth about Surya. But he was the one who started to spread rumours about himself as a powerful mage. And Ira had taken it to a step further and spread more rumours about him. He had to believe that he could take care of her and Madhav. At least, he should let others think that he was as powerful as he had proclaimed and would take care of them. “I will try and do all that I could do. But for now, if what you said about the Sandstorm is true, then gather the people inside and protect them. It’s about to get ugly out there. I hope that it would be finished before the sandstorm reaches us,” he said.
The guard nodded and went on to inform others inside, while Surya was walking towards Neeraj’s camp.
Surya felt like he had seen a streak of red at the corner of his eyes. He turned around and found out that it was empty.
It must be imagination. He had been so scared of Ira that he was becoming jumpy. Surya shook his head and walked further.
Surya once again saw the streak of red at the corner of his eyes, he was also feeling that someone were watching him.
He turned around, this time stayed like that for few moments. He couldn’t see anything red. All the people of Krishnarajyam were making their way towards the Underground Stone Cavern.
Surya felt someone push him and he balanced himself and turned around to see nothing in front of him.
Just the strong wind carrying the sand.
Surya shook his head and continued walking.
When he spotted an Inn, he went inside to rest as well as fetch himself water. His mouth was parched, his throat scratchy.
Once the Innkeeper gave him a mug of water, Surya thanked him and drank the water. As he swallowed the water, the scratchiness of his throat subsided.
“Could you also provide me some more for carrying?” he asked.
The Innkeeper nodded. “But it would cost. We also have to hurry. I heard a sandstorm was coming and…” he looked at Surya and shook his head. “You know about it and still came out in the open. Who are you?”
Surya eyed the canteen around, producing the coins necessary for the canteen and the water.
The Innkeeper sighed. “I will get what you want. Are you the one that the town had been hoping for from the past few days?” he asked.
“The Powerful Mage from Neeraj’s camp, coming to oppose the Powerful One from Madhav’s side?” he asked.
Surya’s eyes widened. How are everyone figuring out that he was the who the rumours claiming him to be, at the same time, failed to recognize that he was powerless both in mental magic as well as physical magic?
“You don’t have to worry about us giving you away. It’s been going on around that you are going to attack Madhav’s camp, and some thought that Madhav had found Neeraj’s and he was preparing to attack them. But seeing you, we believe that you are going to attack Madhav’s camp instead. I will ask you to defeat him as brutally as possible,” the Innkeeper said.
What’s with everyone going on around, seeing him as their hero and hoping he would defeat Madhav? And he thought the fact that the Princess was kidnapped was kept as a secret from others. Is this some sort of game that Ira was playing on him?
He then remembered the old woman saying that the people were not fools. The Princess usually visited them. But she hadn’t been seen outside for so long. And the King suddenly started to act out of his character, ordering others to be imprisoned or either killed.
Did they know what was going on, but were helpless against the Powerful One and Madhav?
Surya didn’t know. But he had to give them hope if they were genuine. “I will do as much as I can. Meanwhile, inform people that a huge battle was about to commence and they should stay inside the Underground Stone Cavern till the battle and the Sandstorm were over,” he said.
The Innkeeper nodded and Surya left the Inn.
Surya stepped outside and he stiffened. He swore that he saw the red streak at the corner of his eyes. Someone were following him for sure. But who was that?
Surya deliberately slowed himself and walked forward slowly, hoping he could catch the owner of the red streak.
As soon as the read streak appeared at the corner of his eyes, he turned and saw that it was a girl in red jacket, who had been following him from the Underground Stone Cavern.
She froze, swore something under her breath and was about to run away when Surya appeared in front of her.
“Who are you?” he asked.
She shook her head, mumbled something under her breath.
“I see that you have been following me ever since I left the Underground Stone Cavern. Are you a spy? For whom?” he asked.
The girl’s eyes widened. She bit her lip, her eyes watered and before Surya could do say anything, she cried out loud.
The people around them glared at him. At least someone else didn’t know about him. He didn’t know whether he should be relieved about it or not. First, he had to deal with the girl.
“Stop following me. I heard that a sandstorm was going to come and also a war. Many people would get hurt. I wouldn’t want you to be hurt by it. Go back to the Underground Stone Cavern,” he said.
The girl in red jacket nodded and walked away from him.
As he watched her back, Surya felt like he had seen her somewhere. But he didn’t have time to think about that. He had to reach Madhav and convince him to help him.
Shaking his head, he turned around and walked towards the Happy Inn. There, they knew about him and would take him to the camp of Neeraj. Till now, whenever they took him in and out of the camp, they covered his head. To maintain their location as a secret.
They made sure that their men’s mind were protected from Ira’s mental invasion. The location of Neeraj’s camp was kept as a secret. The reason why Ira and Madhav hadn’t attacked them was because they didn’t know where they are. Just that they owned the Happy Inn.
He reached the Happy Inn and he didn’t find the girl in red jacket follow him any longer. He was glad for that.
He thanked the gods and nodded towards the guards outside the Happy Inn. They frowned at him, but after they realized whom they were looking at, the lead guard moved forward. “Our caption had been waiting for your arrival for so long. Come inside,” he said, reaching inside his coat to produce a black cloth.
Surya sighed and closed his eyes.
He felt the guard covering his head with the cloth, the move him forward. He was then ushered into the mini tent at the corner, the one where he had met Bharghav.
Then they pushed him forward and the air around him shimmered, prickling his skin like thousand needles. The same way he had felt when he was ushered into Ira’s quarters back when he met her at the Hungry Inn.
Soon, the prickling sensation faded and the cloth covering his head was removed.
“I have been waiting for you,” a powerful voice said.
Surya’s vision was still cloudy. But once it’s cleared, he saw Neeraj glaring at him.
“I know. But I have been busy,” he said.
“Busy creating chaos and killing Bharghav,” Neeraj said, glaring at him.
Surya swallowed. He went straight to the point. How could he convince Neeraj that he had nothing to do with Bharghav’s death? It was Ira who had done the entire thing?
He didn’t know. But he had to try. “I know that you are hurt by wha—”
“You couldn’t imagine how much Bharghav means to me. Not only that, you also somehow able to make my sister fall in love with you. What spell have you put on her, mage?” Neeraj asked.
Surya frowned. There’s strange emotion on Neeraj’s face as he mentioned Bharghav’s name. As if they were very close together. Maybe he had seen him as his brother and it was clear that he values Bharghav more than Surya’s family had ever did.
And more importantly, Neeraj was thinking that Surya had put a spell on his sister, Princess Shravani, which he didn’t know and was a big shocker to him, make her fall in love with him.
It was she who had kissed him when he was about to fall, yelling loudly. She had secretly entered the torture room and she had used it to invigorate Madhav further. Out of all of this, Surya had become a fool. How could he convince Madhav of the truth and convince him to help him stop Madhav from bonding the Harbinger of War, stop Ira’s plans and rescue Shravani?
“It’s just a misunderstanding. You didn’t even tell me that you were Princess Shravani’s brother. Doesn’t that meant that you were the Prince and Heir to the Krishnarajyam Kindgom? Now that the king has died, you would be the logical King of the Kingdom Krishnarajyam. You should—“
Surya didn’t get to continue as Neeraj reached towards him, grabbed his robes and lifted him in the air, glaring at him.
“Stop talking about that. I thought you knew about me, my sister and Madhav and arrived to offer your help to us. But now… I am not so sure. You don’t even know why or even the fact that I was exiled. We placed our trust on a wrong mage,” he said, dropping Surya like a discarded baggage.
Surya hit the bottom, but ignored the pain and stared at Neeraj. Neeraj had been exiled? Surya thought why it might be, but he knew that Neeraj was a better commander, people give him respect, he was a caring sister, caring and foolish enough to plan an attack on a Ira and Madhav, who were powerful and had more army.
Then he remembered the way his voice was filled with emotion when he had spoken about Bharghav. Neeraj said he couldn’t understand what Bharghav meant to him.
Surya glanced at Neeraj, who was in despair. His agony. His tears.
Surya shook his head. There was no way that a guy like him could be exiled because of that. He didn’t believe it. But he had to confirm for himself. “You and Bharghav. You are in a relationship aren’t you? That’s why the King has exiled,” he said.
Neeraj turned to him, glaring at him. It’s like the emotions that he had kept bottled up inside were bursting open and he sank to his knees, hands on his face and he cried.
The others surrounding them were clearly uncomfortable, but there was sympathy in their gazes. They respected and loved their leader despite his preference in his partner.
Surya was startled as a small voice in his mind’s eye. Syri’s.
Bharghav was alive. She said and then she disappeared.
“What do you mean he’s alive?” Surya asked out loud.
Syri didn’t answer. She locked herself inside the Living Real and he had no access of it.
Neeraj turned his gaze to him, confused. “What are you talking about?” he asked. His voice was cracked.
Surya shook his head. “Nothing. It’s j”
Bharghav was alive.
Syri’s voice said once again.
She kept on insisting that Bharghav was alive. But Surya had clearly seen that Bharghav had died. There was no way that he could’ve been alive.
“What do you mean?” he demanded out loud.
Neeraj was looking at Surya strangely. Surya ignored him and concentrated on Syri inside his Living Realm instead. There was no movement.
Finally, Syri sighed in his mind’s eye. He was not who Neeraj thought he was. He’s a kind of shape shifter, capable of changing his gender based on his will. A very rare kind. And they are very hard to kill. It’s as much as I can give to you as of now. Use this to gain Neeraj’s trust and …
Her voice stopped.
Surya was shaken by what he had learned. No way. There’s no way that such species existed. A person capable of changing their gender based on their will. A shape shifter.
But he had heard that a shape shifter of Madhav’s side was acting as a king, once he killed the killed.
Surya could use it to his advantage.
“I have some good news and some disturbing one that might be related to you. I will give it to you in exchange of your help to rescue your sister,” he said.
Neeraj brows furrowed. “What?” he asked, his voice half hopeful, half disbelieving.
“Bharghav is still alive. Don’t ask me how. But he is still alive. And also, there’s a secret about Bharghav that could be of benefit to you. You could become the king of Krishnarajyam and still be with him,” he said.
Neeraj gasped. “What in the world of sands are you talking about?” he asked.
“I would explain it to you alone. His secret was not mine to tell. But since you love him and so desperate to live with him, his secret must be well guarded. Though, I don’t know how you are going to take this secret. The nature of this one is very … might be very disturbing to you,” Surya said.
Neeraj frowned. “I would be happy as long as he was alive. But if you say that there was a way for me to live happily and even rule our kingdom, take care of them more than my father ever did, I would guard the secret with my life,” he said.
Surya shook his head. He didn’t know how to say it. “It might be weird and you might be creeped out of it,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Bharghav’s a shape shifter, the kind that could change their gender at their will and they are very difficult to kill. So the attack that had happened while Madhav tortured him hadn’t done to him anything. It’s just another minor wound. All…”
He didn’t get to finish what he wanted to say. Neeraj rose to his feet and grabbed him by the collars and glared at him. “What in the name of the sands were you talking about? A shape shifter, having the ability to change the gender at will? Difficult to kill? Are you trying to play games with me?” he asked.
Surya swallowed. “No. It is the truth,” he said.
“And why should I believe you. How did you even know about that? What proof did you have?” he asked.
Surya shook his head. “I have my ways. Like I already said, it’s weird. But if you push past the weirdness, then you could spend the rest of your life with him, loving him/her. Your people, others that didn’t know about your love life, would be able to accept her. You just have to guard Bharghav’s secret with your life,” he said.
Neeraj looked torn. He seemed to be struggling whether to believe Surya or not. Finally, he let go of Surya.
“I know that you love him. There might be a reason as why he hadn’t told you yet. Once you met him, you could ask him for yourself. You just have to believe me and help me rescue your sister,” Surya said.
Neeraj shook his head. “This too absurd. There’s no way that he… it’s … I think you are playing with me,” Neeraj said.
“No. I am not playing with you. What I said was truth. You know that I am a powerful mage. I have stayed at Madhav’s camp for well over a week. I know how to get secrets. I had made a career out of it. You just have to believe me. If you truly believe that you love him even after hearing that, then let’s go and rescue him, your sister and defeat Madhav and stop Ir… the Powerful One,” he said.
Neeraj contemplated it for a long time. But suddenly, he started. “I think I could accept Bhargav no matter who or what he was. But what about you? What spell had you put on my sister that she fell in love with you just as you met, made her kiss you?” he asked.
Surya frowned. He didn’t know how Shravani had spread the rumours so far that even her brother had known about that. She is really troublesome. “Those are just rumours. You must know that your sister hates Madhav. She would do anything to invigorate him and I was a scapegoat for that. She spread rumours about me, which Madhav would easily believe. He already believed that I am a powerful mage, capable of taking care of his master. So, she just added the rumour that she fell in love with me. He would assume that I had performed some spell on her to do that, just like you were doing now,” he said.
Neeraj shook his head. “Your claims are too much convenient for me to believe. I think I will require some time to process all this,” he said. “Meanwhile, I have a suspicion that you have an ulterior motive. Until that’s been done, I will throw you in a dungeon. And before you could think of using your mage powers, remember that I have a mage of my own. She could be enough to deal with you, at the state that you are in. You require my help in rescuing my sister after all,” he said, then summoned for his mage.
It was the girl in the red jacket. She was shaking horribly, unable to meet his gaze. Finally, she looked into his eyes, and quickly moved it away.
“Oh, in the name of sands. Just stop being scared. If you were as confident of your abilities, I wouldn’t have been in this situation. Throw him in the dungeon. I have some urgent matters that I should discuss with my men,” Neeraj said and walked out of the room.
What do you think about it? Any predictions about what’s going to happen next? What are Ira’s ultimate plans? Write your thoughts in comments below.
Until Next Time,
Nagendra Kumar Yadav T.