Courage, dear friend

Taj Mahal(Picture found on Pinterest)

When I saw this amazing picture I was inspired to write a fantasy piece set in India. I have not seen all of India, but the parts I have seen are incredible. It is a beautiful country filled with culture, life and love. Try to take a trip one time in your life if you can.

‘Courage, dear friend.’
Vivek Nathwani had found these words scrawled at the back of a napkin in a café just outside Delhi, in India. He had only popped in for a steaming, hot cup of Cha (which ironically cooled him down rather than warm him up), and to escape the heat; little did he know that stepping into that particular Café, on that particular day would change his life forever.

The napkin, which since that day, lay folded in his wallet, was a little worse for wear, but the ink remained as fresh as the day he had found it. He often took it out to look at it, particularly on days like this, when he needed encouragement.
Dressed in all black carrying a number of weapons Vivek was roaming the city of Delhi at night. For an ordinary man fatigue would have set in, especially if you spent the day as a telecommunications consultant, talking to westerners. But, Vivek had gone days without sleep before and relished a night like tonight. A night where he could finally have his revenge.
“Vivek!” he heard a voice whisper.
Vivek held out a hand to silence the voice. It stopped talking, but he heard a quiet whimpering as it came closer to him. Vivek was standing on the balcony of a hotel in the heart of Delhi. He was on the top floor trying to peer down at the floor below him, where a group of large men where conversing in hushed undertones.
“Vivek!” The voice said again, this time coming right beside him.
“Hush now, Raja,” Vivek lowered his hand down and patted the head of a large Bengal tiger, who continued to whimper despite Vivek’s consoling hands.
“We shouldn’t be here, Vivek!” Raja warned. He looked up towards his human companion with large fearful eyes.
“Raja! Shut-up!” Vivek whispered angrily, so that the tiger lowered his head, whimpering once more. Vivek immediately felt guilty but looked away, he had to listen to the men closely, and Raja was not helping. He edged slightly closer so he was now leaning across the wide bannister. Thankfully it was a dark night; the kind that you often feared as it was starless and the moon made no appearance, this helped provide cover.
“The Asura from all over are gathering.” He heard a particularly raspy voice whisper. “I have been sent by him” Vivek’ ears perked up as soon as heard this; ‘him’, could they possibly mean?
Vivek, unsheathed a sword from the strap around his back, and beside him Raja began to growl. He stumbled back as he saw a large figure jump up from below and land on the balcony next to them. He was completely naked apart from a dark coloured loin cloth which covered his bottom half. Raja advanced forward growling at the very large man, who growled back and appeared to double in height. His open mouth exposed a number of pointed canine teeth and emitted a foul odor.
“Vivek!” The figure rasped at him, with a malicious smile.
“Sura,” Vivek said curtly. “How long has it been? How is your ear?”
“Not long enough,” Sura hissed in reply indicating his absent ear. Vivek smiled and pointed his long sword at the giant man.
“Where are the two others who were with you?” He asked casually.
“They have long since gone to raise the alarm!” Sura warned exposing all of his sharp teeth. His hands were twitching and flexing so that he threateningly displayed his long, curved nails.

“You know those butter knives can’t harm me,” Vivek sassed. “You know the consequences of dueling with me, Giant!”
At his warning, Sura’s hand automatically reached up to cup over his absent left ear.
“I can cut off the other one too,If you require?” Vivek asked happily, laughing at Sura’s frustrated expressions. Beside him he could feel Raja advancing slowly forward.
“Steady Raja,” He said holding out his hand. “We only want to talk to Sura,”
“Do not insult me, boy.” Sura spat at him. “By coming here tonight, you have broken the Sacred Oath. You have trespassed. This is an act of war.”
Vivek’s eyes flashed dangerously at the Giant, who shuffled nervously on the balcony beam. Moving so quickly that Sura had not even noticed Vivek had stirred forward with his sword so that it now rested at the nape of his neck; it burnt the Giant’s flesh and he winced in pain.
“It became a war when the Giant tribe murdered the Sages from the temple, when they slaughtered innocent boys!”
In anger he forced the tip to slice the neck so that Sura called out in pain, he jumped on to the balcony causing the floor below them to shake. Raja, who had been growling ferociously, leaped forward and bit into his exposed leg. Sura fell back leaning against the rail.
“That was no on my orders!” he protested, shaking his head profusely.
“Are you not the Giant King, Sura?” Vivek asked in a dangerously low voice. His head was down by there was an aggressive aura being released from his body that cause Sura to back away as close to the balcony beam as he could.
“Ye…ye..ss” Sura answered in a faltered voice. “But, you have to understand, the orders for that raid did not come from me.” He pleaded.
Vivek simply looked at him. There was no expression in his soulless eyes and his body seemed to move on coordinated puppet strings, after all, no human could possible move that fast. He sliced his blade through the air cutting the Giants head clean off and inserting the sword back into its sheath. He had already turned to leave before the head had landed on the ground.

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