Chapter 9 – Red Priestess
It was early in the morning, a new day had just begun and the beautiful figure of a girl was walking through the school corridor, it was Soumya. Illuminated by the beautiful rays of sunlight coming through the glass windows, she simply looked like a golden fairy.
She stopped in front of her classroom. Like yesterday, she had once again come early to the school, but just when she arrived in front of the classroom door, she immediately remembered the scene from yesterday, how she had entered the classroom expecting no one to be there and had actually found a boy sitting on the last window seat, reading a book.
Her heart started to beat rapidly, he did not know why it was happening but she was excited to meet him and ask him whether he liked her sketches, and ask for his name as well, though she was a bit anxious that he might not like her sketches.
She prepared her heart, and with a faint hope to see him sitting on the last window seat, she opened the door and slowly peeked inside. However, there was no one in the classroom and the excited expression suddenly vanished from her face.
She thought that perhaps he came early yesterday because it was the first day of school, so a smile appeared on her face and she decided to wait for him. She went to her seat, looked outside the window and her attention was immediately caught by the beautiful red sky, enough to enchant an artist like her.
Slowly and gradually, almost in an hour, the classroom was filled with students but there was no sign of Rudra. Soumya was eagerly waiting for him, but he did not come, the class was about to start.
At this time, Shia was standing outside the classroom, staring at the door. Her heart was racing and thumping crazily, she was breathing heavily, the scene from yesterday and Rudra’s image was constantly flashing in her mind, forcing her into such an unstable mental state. She just couldn’t remove him from her mind, especially those dark eyes, she wanted to forget them but couldn’t.
“What did he do to me?” Shia said in a low voice, then with a determined expression on her face, she slowly limped towards the classroom door, lifted her hand to open it, but paused for a moment, and with all her might, she abruptly opened the door then immediately closed her eyes. She didn’t want to see Rudra, but she couldn’t possibly keep her eyes closed for a long time, so after a moment, she opened her eyes and her gaze went straight towards Rudra’s seat.
Shia was overjoyed to see that he was absent, her heart stopped thumping crazily, her breathing stabilized and she slowly limped towards her seat, all the while ignoring the gazes of other students. Soumya saw her limping and a concerned look appeared in her eyes, Shia noticed the concerned look in Soumya’s eyes but didn’t say anything and silently went to her seat.
Soumya thought that Shia most probably hated her and a sad expression appeared on her face. This time, she wanted to lead a normal school life, but maybe, it was asking for too much because she didn’t belong among normal people.
Meanwhile, in the Nav forest, the woman in red was shocked at the mention of the name of Black temple. Why was a stranger like him searching for a dreadful place like it, how could he even know about its existence? Many questions began to revolve in her mind. The other men also had shocked expressions on their faces.
Rudra immediately noticed that something was wrong so he asked again: “Do you know the way to Black temple or not?”
When the woman heard his voice, she collected her thoughts, regained her composure and replied: “I have no obligation to tell anything to an outsider, but now that I know why you have come here, it is certain that your actions will bring bad omen to our tribe.”
Rudra could clearly tell that she knew things about Black temple and was not willing to tell him about them, but he already knew that this would happen, after all, she belonged to a tribe that followed the rule of killing outsiders on the spot. However, Rudra’s plan was to read the reactions of these people at the mention of Black temple’s name and their reactions proved that Black temple was not just a myth created by outsiders because even the residents of Nav forest knew about it.
“Is that so, well, then I will search for it on my own.” Rudra said.
“I cannot allow that, now you know about our existence, you will have to die!” The woman said in a loud voice, and the next instant, the tall man standing next to her suddenly shot an arrow towards Rudra.
Rudra already knew that this tall man was well prepared to attack anytime. There was a blazing fire burning at the tip of the arrow, and while producing a whistling sound, it instantly arrived in front of Rudra’s face, but in a flash, he lifted his palm and caught the arrow between the index finger and middle finger and the blazing fire suddenly vanished without a trace.
“Why didn’t my arrow explode?” The tall man said in a startled manner, and not just him, everyone had baffled looks on their faces.
Rudra glanced at the arrow for a moment then casually tossed it on the ground, a bit far away from him, and as it fell on the ground, it exploded with a loud bang.
Immediately, baffled expressions appeared on the faces of that woman and her group. The arrow was supposed to explode but didn’t, and later, it exploded when Rudra threw it on the ground. Just what was going on?
The old man laughed and said: “Brat, look at their baffled expressions, they look so funny! Ha ha”
Rudra looked at the woman and said: “So, you will continue to attack me no matter what?”
The woman was a bit scared in her heart, from the time she had seen his terrifying eyes, her hands were constantly trembling, in addition to that, her instincts were alarming her that Rudra was extremely powerful and they were not his match. Although he was an intruder and they had no choice but to attack him without giving any warning, but even after that, he had been merciful with them so far. She did not want to fight with him but she must follow the rules of her tribe, otherwise she would be punished severely, along with the ones with her.
“I will always follow the rules of my tribe till the day I die.” She replied in a stern voice, and although her hands were still trembling, and it was getting very hard for her to hold the bow, she tried her best and aimed at Rudra. Others also readied their weapons and their fierce gazes concentrated on him.
Rudra sighed and said in a calm voice: “I accept that it is partially my fault to intrude into your territory, however, I don’t plan to die here, so if you attack again, be prepared to face consequences, and this is my final warning to all of you.”
As he finished this sentence, he turned back and started walking towards the Navi River to proceed towards the depths of forest, as he originally planned. After hearing his words, the complexions on the faces of opposite party immediately paled. They could tell that he was not joking, if they tried to attack him again, they would certainly face serious consequences.
The woman was the most terrified among them and her beautiful face was immediately covered in sweat.
The tall man looked at the terrified expression on her face and asked: “What should we do now?”
With a serious look on her face, the woman replied: “We don’t attack now, we need to ambush him, he is heading towards our village, we cannot let that happen, he also knows about the existence of Black temple and has strange powers, I think he would certainly bring disaster along with him. We must stop him at all costs, even if we all end up dying.”
The four men said in unison: “Yes, Red priestess!”
The old man arrived next to Rudra and asked: “They will certainly come after you, what do you plan to do?”
Rudra indifferently said: “I have not come to this forest to kill people, I would like to avoid trouble, but I won’t hesitate to kill them if they pose a threat me. This is the last warning I gave them considering the fact that I am the one intruding into their territory.”
Rudra was talking to the old man and walking towards the Navi River since he was thirsty and hungry as well. There were some packets of biscuits in his school bag, so he decided to have breakfast.
He opened his school bag to take out a packet of biscuits and his gaze fell on Soumya’s sketchbook, and all of sudden, various scenes flashed in his mind, starting from the time he had seen her for the first time in the sunlit classroom, to the time she had smiled after she got her toy back. He took out the sketchbook, opened the first page and looked at his own sketch, in which he was surrounded by a black aura. The old man was silently watching Rudra and didn’t say anything.
“So, is this what you really saw back then?” Rudra mumbled and a strange smile appeared on his face.