Chapter 2 - Losing everything

It was a crazy scene. The city was burning, people were screaming, and the wind was whipping around Toshani.

They had only gone a hundred meters before a scream pierced the night. Toshani stopped, recognizing her mother's cry of anguish. Toshani was unable to move from panic- until she heard a roar. her father roared into the night before silence fell. 

"Princess we need to move." The Oracle said.

" parents." She cried.

"They sacrificed their lives for you. Let it not go to waste your highness." The oracle said.

"Let go of me..." Toshani screeched but was muffled when a large hand covered her mouth.

"Princess you must be quiet, or you will get us killed!" said Manas, placing a viselike grip on her arm.

"They are hurt, captain! I must go back... we must try and save them" Toshani sobbed, trying to pry his grip from her arm.

"The king knew what he was doing and accepted the danger. My mission is to get you to safety princess... I gave your mother my word" said the captain, as he continued to pull the distraught princess along behind him.

"Stay behind me princess, keep to the shadows. We are nearing the moat." Manas cautioned her.

They approached the moat and gingerly walked across the wooden planks set across it by their invaders. They were almost on the other side when a shout was heard.

"Stop them!"

"Run!" Manas yelled.

They ran blindly without looking back. A rain of arrows followed them.

"Wait!" The Oracle yelled.

A thin streak of light appeared from her hand forming a protective layer above them. Stopping the arrows midway.

"Keep running" she shouted.

Toshani had stopped in the track. Manas grabbed her hand and ran. They ran like crazy without looking back into the dark forest.

Toshani looked at her bloodied feet as she balanced herself on a makeshift bridge made of wooden lofts. Silvery moonlight gave some respite in the pitch darkness of the forest. However, it also made them vulnerable to being detected if someone followed them.

The river was swelling below them. Leaving the castle was not the end of her troubles. She had to cross a vast land full of enemies and traitors to reach the safety of Lorna.

"Your highness please be careful," Manas said as he held her hand leading her towards the other side.

Toshani looked straight ahead afraid of seeing the surging river below them. The rushing water below diminished the noise of hoofbeats which was approaching nearer.

"There you are princess!" A booming voice broke her attention.

She turned towards the riverbank which they had just left. Her eyes growing wide in terror.

The horse riders of Vatsaya were glaring at them. Their faces lit up by the burning torches which they carried.

"Come on princess you can't run away. Just come to me."

Toshani knew that voice.

It belonged to Anbir the crown prince of Vatsaya, Rudra's elder brother.

"Princess don’t look back just continue moving they can't follow us on horseback," Manas said as they inched closer to the other side.

Toshani had last seen Anbir 6 months back when he had arrived along with Rudra to participate in the Svyamvar to win the hand of her sister Revati.

He was not successful.

"Is this war due to that?" She thought.

"Go capture them. Make sure the princess is alive." Anbir commanded.

"My lord we can just shoot them." The commander who was a big man dressed in armor said to the prince.

Anbir turned towards his commander clearly looking annoyed.

"I said ALIVE you idiot! now get off your lazy ass and get her." 

The commander reluctantly got off his horse. His well-polished boots splashed in the mud making him even more annoyed.

The bridge shook dangerously as the sudden weight of armored soldiers tested its strength.

"Don't turn back princess once we are on the other side, just run as fast as you can. We'll get the advantage of time." Manas whispered to her.

"Stop otherwise we'll shoot!" A voice boomed over the noise of the rushing river.

Toshani turned back to see a soldier pointing an arrow at them.

She froze. A sudden surge of anger coursed through her.

She took her bow from her shoulder, strung an arrow, and pointed it at Anbir.

"Stay away prince Anbir! " She said.

"Princess no!" Manas shouted. His eyes wild with concern.

Anbir narrowed his eyes and scrutinized Toshani. The girl had spunk.

"Toshani just comes over, otherwise you will die!"  Anbir warned her.

Toshani aimed her bow carefully at Anbir. He was tall, with wide shoulders, his features were razor-sharp just like his brother Rudra. Brown eyes stared back at her.  However, the brothers had no resemblance. Anbir had silver golden hair with pale skin.

Rudra was dark with bronze sun-kissed skin. He was tall and broad just like his brother but with hazel eyes.

She shook her head to repel his memory. She was about to kill his brother better not to think of him.


An arrow whizzed past her hitting into in Manas. He gasped.

"MANAS!" Toshani forgot all about her target and turned towards Manas.

"Princess!" He whispered.

Blood spurted from his mouth. He lost his balance and fell into the gushing river.

"NO" Toshani screamed.

Looking down at the savage river, her eyes teared up at the precious life which had just ended.

"Get her" Anbir commanded.

She turned her head and glared at Anbir. His face lit up in the torchlight. She aimed her bow at him again.

"Don't you dare move! " her violet eyes blazed with anger. 

TWANG! Another arrow shot past her. She closed her eyes bracing for it to hit her.

"AH!" A male voice screamed.

She opened her eyes. Anbir toppled down dead from the horse. An arrow sticking out from his neck.

"My lord!" His men shouted. There was mayhem as more arrows flew at them hitting the soldiers.

Amazed she turned back to find the source of arrows. They were being shot from the other side of the riverbank. She narrowed her eyes trying to detect shapes in the dim moonlight.

Before she could identify her savior, the bridge shook violently as more soldiers moved towards her.

"Catch her! she killed the prince," they shouted.

Her arrow was still in the bow. She never got the chance to shoot it.

A soldier had almost reached her and lunged at her, his armored hand clawing to catch her.

She scrambled back as the bridge shook violently. She lost the footing and the next thing she remembered was falling through the ice-cold air. Falling into the swelling river.

The soldiers looked on stunned as her body washed away with the currents.

To be continued......

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status