NaNoWriMo Day 27 & 28 – Bhavana: Old Wooden Box

Hey Readers,

How’s your day going?

I just woke up and checked the internet connection. It was there and I let out a sigh of relief.

I had week off yesterday and today, after doing Monday in general shift and Tuesday to Friday in Night Shift. I thought of posting what I’ve written on Day 26,27 and 28 yesterday. But I was tired as hell after doing Night Shift and went to sleep instead.

When I woke up yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to find that we didn’t have internet connection. I checked with the ION(our internet connection brand name) and they said they had some issues and was down for whole of our area.

So I was not able to post yesterday. But since there was internet connection today, I am going to post now, before the same thing that had happened yesterday was going to repeat.

Without further ado, here’s what I have written on Day 27 and Day 28 of NaNoWriMo.

Bhavana: Old Wooden Box

Bhavana was disappointed at Neeraj. He kept on ignoring her when she practically threw herself off him.
“How’s your training today?” she asked, hoping he would open up to her if she discussed something that he was interested in.
“Why are you still here? Haven’t you gone back to your kingdom?” he asked, walking away from her.
Why ask a question when you walk away like that? She wanted to ask much more, but she knew that he was not going to listen to her. So, clutching her dress, she trailed after him, cursing for his long legs and her shorter ones.
When she did caught up to him, she put a hand on his shoulder, leaned into him a little bit and calmed herself, while Neeraj was squirming under her touch.
She gripped his shoulder harder, just to spite him and he glared at her. She knew that if she continued, he would hate her more. She loosened her grip instead.
“Why are you in a gruff mood?” she asked.
He glared at her. “Have you spoke to Bharghav recently?” he asked.
Bhavana stiffened, but didn’t reply to him.
“You have spoken to him. That fool. He knows whom I love. He knows that it was not you. Then why is he still bending to your requests?” he asked.
Bhavana shrugged.
“I should reprimand him when he appears,” he said.
“Why can’t you love me instead?” she asked.
“You know why I can’t. I am not interested in you. You knew that ever since we were kids. I think it’s high time you get the facts right and return to your kingdom. My father is dead anyways, and he was not there to force you to my sides. Shravani was kept as a captive by Madhava and she couldn’t help you in anyways. Just stop distracting me by following me like a lovesick puppy,” he said.
Her eyes stung. She struggled to keep tears under control, but she couldn’t. So she cried, cried harder.
He looked to be in a miserable state, whether to help her or order her away. Finally, he awkwardly patted her shoulder.
“Look, I know that you love me. But that doesn’t mean that I should love you. You might’ve believed in the concept of the destined, considering how much of that crap my sister believes and how you spend most of your time around her, when you are not doing that with me. But I love someone else. And it is mutual. Just stop pestering me,” he said.
She controlled her feelings and when she felt better, she decided that she would not stop following him until he either loved her or she were dead. With that decided, she stepped behind him and they both walked towards the general discussion room.
“Whom are you looking for?” she asked, after seeing that he hadn’t asked for Bharghav. Which was a shocker considering the way he expected him to stick around him practically every hour.
“The new mage, Surya. He said he would help us against Madahv and the Powerful One. And he had asked us for a chance to prove himself. He was supposed to do that today and he were nowhere to be seen,” he said.
Bhavana’s eyes narrowed. Surya. He didn’t trust that man even a little bit. He claimed to be a powerful mage. He has ulterior motives in approaching Neeraj. Neeraj, being a naïve man that he was, had welcomed him with open arms.
She were glad for Bharghav in this that he was suspicious enough and threw him in the dungeon. She informed the same to him.
“When would he learn that not everyone out here are looking to take my head just like they did to my father?” Neeraj asked.
“You should be grateful that he values your life and was looking off for you,” she said.
Neeraj stopped in his feet, stared at her with his eyes widened. “Since when did you agree to something that Bharghav did?” he asked.
She shrugged. “When it concerns your life and your safety,” she said.
He shook his head. “Alright. I heard that you were summoned to that damned palace, to keep my sister company. I don’t know how she convinced him. If I didn’t know about that foolish girl, that she were waiting for her destined, I would’ve believed that she seduced him. Go meet up with her and see that she was safe. And inform to me everything that Shravani says. And if possible, get me the wooden box that my grandparents had given to me. Since my father was no longer around, I could keep it for myself,” he said.
The wooden box that he was talking about was an old one, so old that she wondered how it was still in one piece. But it meant something to him and since he trusted her enough to get the box to him, she would make sure that she would deliver it to him and hoped that he would be so impressed by it that, he would fell in love with her. She knew that it was a foolish wish of hers and the chances of it happening were slim. But a girl could hope.


Bhavana hated that she had to follow Surya, in the shadows, at least until he stepped inside Hungry Inn.
She was still suspicious of Surya. No matter what he said, she was sure that he had ulterior motives. If he were to mean Neeraj any harm, she hoped Bharghav would take care of him, show him what would happen if someone were approaching Neeraj with ill intentions. She hated Bharghav, but in the matters where Neeraj’s safety were concerned, Bharghav was more useful to him than her.
Surya finally stepped inside the Hungry Inn and Bhavana heaved a sigh, then turned towards the palace that belonged to Shravani’s father in the past. But now, it was the basecamp of Madhav, with a shapeshifter impersonating as the king in his place.
How could any self-respected shapeshifter follow Madhav?
Shaking her head, she walked towards the palace.


Bhavana reached the palace, and there she was searched by an old woman who demanded her to strip her clothes so that she hid nothing. She was so embarrassed that she would’ve walked away from there, but she remembered that Neeraj wanted the old wooden box, closed her eyes and stripped her clothing till she were only in her shift.
The older woman padded and probed at her exposed skin, as if someone could hide something under their skin. Then she remembered a group of species back in her homeland with the ability to manipulate their skin to their advantage and shuddered. They were right to be cautious, but if they were to encounter such species, then no amount of probing on the skin would help them.
“She could be allowed inside,” the old woman said and only when Bhavana put on her dress did she opened her eyes. She didn’t dare to look at the guards, and walked inside instead.
The palace was completely different than she had last visited, the proof that Madhav and Ira had changed the surrounding to their advantage.
It baffled her how they could decorate their palace, a big tent that housed many smaller tents inside. When a sand storm approaches, they have to lock the decorations, then the tents inside their wagons and should walk towards the Underground Stone Cavern. Wouldn’t it house more people if they had as little possessions as possible?
She shook her head and continued to walk to towards the ground, where a fountain was erected on the top of Neeraj and Shravani’s father’s corpse.
The king was good to her, knowing her secret, and allowed her to approach Neeraj, even made every effort to make Neeraj like her. In a way, he was more helpful than her own father, who was disappointed by her.
It was not time for her to think about her magic and failure at that and focus on her immediate task.
Soon, she heard a set of footsteps and turned to see Shravani beaming up at her. She seemed to be excited to meet her. There were an edge of sadness to her eyes, but her happiness dominated it. Bhavana was baffled what could’ve happened that made Shravani even forget about her father’s death.
She didn’t have time to think when Shravani engulfed her in a huge hug.
“It’s so good to see you,” she said.
Bhavana nodded and hugged her in return.
“How’s he doing?” Shravani asked.
“More grumpier,” Bhavana said.
Shravani nodded, as if that were a perfect explanation. “But make sure that he would not blame himself for father’s death. And also my captivity. Even if he were present at that time, he would’ve gotten himself killed,” she said.
Bhavana shivered at that. She couldn’t imagine her life without Neeraj.
“You seemed to be excited about something,” she said instead.
Shravani, who was still hugging her, squealed with pleasure. “You couldn’t believe me even if I tell you,” she said, releasing the hug and staring at her.
“Try me.”
“My destined had arrived few days earlier.”
“What?” Bhavana asked her.
“Is that why you were so excited these past few days? I should’ve realized that,” a voice said, steeping towards them.
Bhavana stiffened, glancing at the owner of the voice. It was a girl barely younger than them, but there was an aura of ancient about her. The most striking feature of hers were her red eyes. They were so bright that the whites of her eyes seemed dul.
Shravani shivered. “I should’ve known you would follow me,” she said.
“Oh, stop such nonsense. I was not following you. You were merely on my way when you were discussing about your destined,” Ira said.
“As if I would ever believe that. What do you want to know this time?” she asked.
“About your destined. When did he arrived? Have you met him or were yet to meet?” Ira asked.
Shravani ignored her and looked at Bhavana. “Did my brother changed his opinions about you?” she asked.
Bhavana was touched by Shravani’s concern. If only Neeraj were half as compassionate as his sister, he would’ve loved her. “No. But I am sure he was going to fall in love with me in the days to come. I came today to achieve the same. He said there was an old wooden box that your grandparents had given to him and that your father had forbidden him to take it with him when he exiled. I came to deliver it to him, hoping his opinion of me would change,” she said.
Shravani nodded. “It meant a lot to him. But I don’t think he would change his opinion just for that. You need to work on him more, show your true love. He was bound to fall in love with you sooner or later,” she said.
Bhavana nodded. But they were interrupted by Ira who cackled.
“What?” Shravani glared at her.
“Show your true love and hoping he would fall in love with you? Are you an idiot? It would never work. Look at how much Madhav was showing his love for you and you aren’t budging an inch, focused instead on an unknown destined that you are yet to meet. Besides, I have met him and he is nothing in front of Madhav,” Ira said.
Shravani clenched her fists. “You are just playing with me. And besides, everyone knew that if we showed our love enough, the other person were bound to love us. It’s just only a matter of time,” she said.
“That means you are going to love Madhav any time soon?” Ira asked.
“No. I am not going to love the murderer of my father. His was not pure love. He viewed me as an objected that he wanted to possess, a kingdom that he had yet to conquer,” Shravani said.
“You are still in delusion. Well, here’s some advice child,” Ira said, turning to Bhavana. “You have to go out, force Madhav to love you. He was not going to come to you, or come to love you if you follow him foolishly like a puppy. He would think of you as an annoyance.”
“Ignore her. She’s an evil mage, who only wants Madhav gaining power,” Shravani said. “You came here to find the box? It’s at the father’s room, where he kept his prized possessions,” Shravani said, guiding her away from Ira, who was still trailing after them.
“If you spend time with Madhav, you would see how he truly loves you. You should spend the rest of your life with him, and not with your fabled destined, who was weaker than even our weakest guard. I had seen his memories and he was…” Ira trailed off as she saw Shravani glaring at her. “Well, it would be better for you to see him by yourself.”
“Why are you still following us? Shouldn’t you be looking over your precious disciple, aid him in his training?” Shravani asked her.
Ira shrugged. “I did what I could do to aid him. He should finish his training by himself. And there’s boding of the sword that he had to finish, which was frustratingly taking more time than it should’ve,” she frowned.
Shravani stopped, so Bhavana also stopped by default. There’s a tension on Shravani’s posture, as if she wanted to run away from here, to hide something away.
Shravani glanced at Bhavana and she understood what she meant. The family heirloom.
Ira smiled. “You do know why I am following you. The quicker you give up your family heirloom, the faster my disciple was going to get stronger. Then no matter how many versions of your destined arrives, Madhav could defeat them without even lifting his hands,” she said.
Bhavana had heard from the king and Shravani discuss that their family heirloom was something that the daughter had to pass on to her husband. Upon wielding the sword, the husband would gain unimaginable power. Gaining the sword meant that becoming the wife. And Ira was asking Shravani to give up on the Sword, give up on her destined so that Madhav could become powerful.
Shravani looked like she wanted to take on Ira on her known. Before that could happen, Bhavana had to do something.
“Forget about the family heirloom. Tell me where Neeraj’s wooden box was kept,” she said, hoping Shravani gets what she intended.
Shravani nodded. “Let’s move to my father’s museum,” she said, then walked further.
Ira suddenly stopped, grinned and disappeared.
“She is as powerful as others claimed to be. She was able to disappear on whim and it was difficult even for an accomplished assassin to achieve, and they dedicate their entire lives to achieve that,” Bhavana said.
Shravani looked worried, hastened their pace.
“Is something wrong?” Bhavana asked.
Shravani nodded. “Ira. I think she could read our minds. She got the location of my family heirloom and she went in search of that on her own. We have to reach towards it quickly,” she said.
Bhavana was about to reply when Shravani interrupted her. “My family heirloom was more important than Neera’s damned old wooden box. Let’s get moving,” she said and urged her forward.
They reached her father’s museum and Shravani froze.
“She… she…” Shravani said, pointing towards an empty space.
Ira appeared to them, waving the old wooden box and metallic box towards them.
“I checked inside this old wooden box. I thought you were deliberately trying to mislead me. But this is really an old wooden box, with a chain and locket inside. A gift. No family heirloom. But inside this metallic box by it’s side, there’s a sword. I am feeling a faint power coming from it,” Ira said, shaking the metallic wooden box as if it weighed nothing. “You could keep this damned box to yourself,” she said, throwing the box away from them.
Bhavana growled. That box meant everything to Neeraj and she wouldn’t let anything to happen to it.
She lunged towards the box, but before her hands could touch it, the box fall down, broken. The chain with locket visible from the exposed side.
She glared at Ira, who grinned and disappeared again.
Shravani put her hands on Bhavana’s shoulders and it was then that Bhavana realized that her friend’s life was about to take a worse turn.
“Shravani, I am sorry,” she said.
Shravani shook her head, pointed her shaky hand towards the broken box with a chain and locket inside. “Just give it to my brother. He could do whatever he wanted to do with it. While I have to take care of…” she trailed off, her face set with worry. “You should get away from here quickly.”
Bhavana wanted to protest, but Shravani insisted.
Sighing, Shravani walked away, clutching the broken wooden box with the chain and locket inside. When she went out of the palace, she was not searched.

***

What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in comments.

I am planning 45,691 of 50000 words so for for the NaNoWriMo and am planning to write the rest today. Once scene from Neeraj’s POV, the big battle scene and finally the epilogue. I hope to write them.

Until Next Time,

Nagendra Kumar Yadav T.

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