Long long ago deep into the time when magic was not merely a circus trick and humans were not the only vicious creatures in the world, there existed a civilisation, mithyā, which is now struck down as unreal if ever told to any soul. This tale and the tales to be followed of this name, are songs passed on from generations and generations for eons only for you to witness the glory which is now just a fantasy.
#TALE1 – Love, Treasure and the Vetala
Recap of chapter I:
Daksh, a knight searching for treasure slips into sleep and dreams about a man and woman pushing him off a tower. He’s called by his name by a mythical creature, Vetala. Daksh reveals that he is actually searching for Vetala, as they are cursed with knowledge about the secret treasures. Daksh promises to reward the Vetala with a fresh human body so that it can either possess or eat the flesh. Vetala guides Daksh into a dark deep cave.
Link to Chapter I:
Daksh groped his sack and took the bottle of Surāh, but found the bottle empty. “Fuck!” he grunt. “You drink like it’s just water!” Vetala asked in amusement. ” Does it bother you?” Daksh kneeled a bit and tightened his grip of Vetala. “Why are you so guilty?” Vetala asked. It puzzled Daksh and “Do I look guilty to you?” he asked. “You replied with a question, which means yes! If you were not guilty you would have just said no” Vetala grinned. “You are full of crap” Daksh moaned. “No, really! You have asked me to validate. You needed a confirmation. And for your question, your brute face doesn’t look like anything, but your actions, they shout of guilt,” Vetala stated. “My actions? Hahahaha,” Daksh laughed hysterically. “Yes, drinking like a swine! One drinks to escape reality; to drift in the realms of surreal world. But you drink all the time! You don’t want a mere escape, you don’t want to face reality at all! You are so guilty of it!” Vetala stated again resting its elbow on Daksh’s head. Daksh shook Vetala’s hand over his head and remained silent for many minutes. “Are you taking me to a dead-end to kill me? Or are you trying to run me out of food?” Daksh roared at Vetala munching another rabbit out of Daksh’s belt. “I eat when I’m bored,” Vetala said as Daksh laughed. “You starved for years before me! Were you not bored then?” “Isolation is never boring, my dear brute. If you are bored when you are alone, then you are in a bad company,” Vetala stated as Daksh stopped walking. “Which way?” he asked as there were two paths inside the cave. “Both!” Vetala shouted. “What do you mean both?” Daksh was irritated and almost at his breaking point.
“Both of the paths possess treasure! Should you choose one, you are rewarded with different rewards than the other!” he said. “Which if these paths contain gold?” he asked. “What’s the fun in revealing?” Vetala grinned. “You know I can still desert you without giving a fresh body?” Daksh yelled. Vetala put his finger on the curse mark he gave Daksh. “You know you can’t!” Vetala laughed. Daksh closed his eyes controlling his anger. “Okay, go to left for the gold!” Vetala said. Daksh stepped left, took few steps, and stopped. “What’s there on the right?” he asked. “Just a crystal which can alter your past!” Vetala smiled. “You fool!” Daksh turned back and found no way to go back. His jaw dropped with shock. “You son of a bitch, you!” he yelled. “Why the rage? You have asked me for gold,” Vetala smiled as Daksh turned back and started walking for the gold. “So you want to change the past? You really are guilty about something,” Vetala scratched Daksh’s head. Daksh remained silent. “Who’s Aditya?” Vetala asked. “How the fuck would you know that name?” Daksh’s eyes opened with amusement. “Well, you were dreaming about him and a lady pushing you from a tower” Vetala said. “Vetalas can read minds?” Daksh asked shockingly. “No, but we can sense strong emotions and messages, we are telepathic. I didn’t see your dream but sensed what was happening. That was so intense. I could only find you because of your dreams,” Vetala said. “I am forbidden from sharing my personal information with you,” Daksh said. “It’s okay, no one will know. You can share with me,” Vetal asked with a caring tone but sarcastically. “Why don’t you keep quiet? Why don’t you shut the fuck up? Why’d you have to annoy me so much?” Daksh yelled. “I’ll stay quiet but at the rate of your rabbits! You chose my silence over your appetite?” Vetala laughed and “There’s one other way to keep me silent,” he said. “What might it be? Stuff a rock in your mouth?” Daksh moaned. “No. I’m a good listener too. You talk and I listen. That way I’m quiet!” Vetala stated like it was a brilliant idea. “Oh god!” Daksh whinged. “Okay, I’ll tell you a story,” Daksh said. Vetala smiled, “That’s my boy,” he said.
“There was a princess, as flawless as milk and as strong as iron. There was a warrior, as stubborn as a wolf and as fierce as a lion. The warrior had his eyes on the princess. He was even declared as a suitor for the princess. The heir-less king was fond of the warrior so much that he’d want the warrior to be the heir to throne instead of his foolish nephews. No one declared this, but everybody in the kingdom knows this. As you’ve said earlier, actions spoke,” Daksh paused. “That’s a lucky and happy warrior. Doesn’t sound like you at all. Who are you in this story?” Vetala asked. “You said you’d shut the fuck up,” Daksh yelled. Vetala put a finger on his lips and signaled Daksh to continue. “Everything was fine. A warrior and a lover! We were fools. We never expect women to have choice. We don’t even think that they can choose. Of course they are forbidden of the value of choice. Hence, we forget to remind them that. We delude ourselves that they’ll know to obey. But, no! I guess they always need someone to remind that it’s not the world where their choices are accepted,” he paused and got lost in thoughts for a bit.
“There entered a thief. He not only stole gold, he stole from the knight what was most valuable to him. His princess! His lady of life. That’s what the knight thought at least. The knight was ignorant that no one can steal a lady, it’s the lady who decides. Knight can kill the thief like a pest, with one swing. Knight can possess the lady back, but can he possess her mind which was already possessed by the thief? He didn’t steal her from the Knight. The knight never possessed her in the first place. The princess ran way form the castle with the thief and the thief was good at hiding. No one could find them for years.” Daksh’s tone softened.
“Destiny thought that the knight didn’t suffer enough. The king ordered the knight to find and bring the princess back and also the thief’s head. He began his journey not to search the princess, but to search himself. To prepare himself to kill a friend,” Daksh paused. “A friend?” Vetala asked. “The thief! He was the knight’s best friend. In fact, he was the only friend the warrior ever had. His only friend ran away with his only love. No whore could please him, no drink could heal him off this misery. He killed his old enemies, he tortured the thief’s associates but it didn’t cool his rage. Wasted in an old bar fight, he was helped by a stranger. The stranger and his wife helped him heal. They healed his wounds and shaved his beard. They were none other than his friend and his lady love. All his emotions were clogged, he just didn’t react looking at them. “Are you hunting us?” the lady asked. “Should I?” the knight said and looked at his friend. “Why did you betray me?” he asked. His friend, the thief remained silent. “I love her,” thief said after a while. “And you chose him? A cowardly thief over a fierce knight?” he asked the lady. “Yes, I chose him. I had the luxury of choice at least,” she said. “Your choice! Just because your choice, we all are suffering,” knight yelled. “I chose to love this man, not to torture the army, it’s your king’s choice to suffer you people in my hunt,” she yelled back. “You babble about choice like you are a free being. You are not. Can you choose to not kill him and not take me back to my father? You can’t! You don’t have the privilege of choice, you are not free. You are a slave to my father and are jealous because I chose not to be oppressed,” she shouted. “Even when we found you hurt and drunk. We didn’t abandon you. Even though you killed my friends, even though destiny is shouting out that you have chose to be my enemy, I still chose to save you! I didn’t flew in the waves of fate, I chose to be whatever I wanted to be,” thief finally spoke out. The knight was robbed out of all words. He was silent. He drank some soup they fed and went back to bed. “Would you kill me then?” thief asked. “Kill me in my sleep, or run away! I’m offering you this because you saved me. Next time I find you, I’ll ‘choose’ to cut your head not because some king ordered me to. But because you stole my lady love,” he said and went to sleep. He opened his eyes, they were not in the house. He was relieved of the pressure of killing them himself. The previous nights’ conversations had killed whatever the grudge he held against them. The only stress he had was the stress of killing him, himself. He went to the bathroom and looked around. He found a box of charcoal powder. He took a handful, rubbed his teeth with it, gargled some water and headed out. He was shocked to see a heap of dead bodies on the ground. He walked in utter shock and everywhere he saw there bodies lying. The entire village has been turned into a graveyard!
He heard footsteps and turned towards the sound. A soldier ran towards the knight and bowed down. “Good sir, I’ve seen them taking you. I was drunk too. Afraid of losing, I didn’t fight but I did follow the man who took you. When I saw his face, I recognized him. I rode back to the next outstation and called for reinforcements,” the soldier was interrupted. “Did you capture them?” Knight asked. “Not just them, good sir. It appears that this village has hosted all the rebels and outlaws of our kingdom. They claimed that they can’t be controlled. They said they have no god and no masters. We killed everyone who came in our way,” soldier said while still kneeling down. “You killed an entire fucking village?” Knight couldn’t digest the fact. “Yes, sir!” the soldier said. The knight shockingly looked everywhere and put his palms on his face. “You killed kids, you son of a bitch!” he yelled. “They were fighting too sir, had no option,” the soldier replied and looked at the knight. “The king would be happy sir. We rid the lord off all the rebels in a single night and have also captured the princess and that traitor,” soldier re-affirmed. “You did this to please that fat fuck? You killed a child so that your master rewards you with gold?” The knight lost his mind and was in a total shock. “You should rest sir. The traitor drugged you with Kaladana seeds. Else you would praise me. You wouldn’t call our lord a fat whatever,” soldier stated and turned his back walking away from the knight. “Give me your sword, soldier,” Knight shouted. Soldier closed his eyes and turned back. “You are not in the right mind, sir,’” he said. “I’m your fucking knight, you cunt! Obey my orders like a pussy you are,” Knight yelled. “You are my knight only in your right mind sir. I’m sorry, but I’d have to use force on you if you don’t remain quiet. You just need some rest that’s all,” Soldier claimed. “Why don’t you kill me? You can be the Knight if you killed me. You can earn more gold,” Knight said as Soldier looked puzzled. “You wouldn’t! You are a fucking mechanism. You are just a puppet of your lord,” Knight saw around and found a sword lying on the ground. He picked it up. “Fight me or I’ll kill you!” Knight yelled. “Sir, please put the weapon away,” soldier yelled as the Knight stuck his sword into the soldier’s throat. A soldier saw him and ran towards the scene calling a battalion of eight soldiers with him. The soldiers were shocked at the gruesome scene and was looking at the knight. “What happened sir? Did he do anything wrong?” one of them asked. The knight laughed. “You saw me murdering him and you are asking me what’s wrong with him? Because, I’m your superior? Because, you don’t question your superior?” The knight pointed at the dead soldier. “He was better. He dared to say that I was not in the right mind at least. You are a total pussy.” Knight stabbed the soldier. “Come on! Fight me!” Knight stabbed another soldier. The battalion finally started attacking the knight after third murder and the knight mercilessly killed all of them except one. He grabbed the armour of the final soldier. Put the sword to his neck. “Where did you take Aditya and the princess?” he asked as the soldier pointed towards west. Knight cut his throat and started running towards the soldiers taking his friend and his only love. For the first time in his life, he chose to do something of his own with no manifestation of fate. He cared no god, no master, he ran towards the setting sun following his natural drives to save them,” Daksh paused and sat down to put up a fire as Vetala leapt down. “You are that knight aren’t you?” Vetala asked. “Oh boy! The fate has been rough on you then,” Vetala grinned. “Interesting….” Vetala said. “Come on! Continue,” he yelled. “Let me eat! Gimme a damn break, it’s been a millenium since I’ve spoken these many words. My throat aches. He threw a dead rabbit at Vetala as he caught it with his mouth and started munching on.
To be continued on next Tuesday!