If you have missed the story, please read the recap in the left handside column- Secrets of Zynpagua, Return of the Princess
As the bullock cart proceeded, Anika saw simpletons sitting in a group. Few men had their chest bare that flaunted a scorpion tattoo. Some wore stockings while the others were wearing ill fitting pants. Most of them flaunted golden chains on their neck. On moving ahead, Anika saw a group of men with turbans, preoccupied in weaving a cloth, few others were peeping from a shop like structure, set amidst the array of houses, selling metal artifacts.
Anika promptly asked Vivian “I cannot see any woman here!”
Vivian replied “They stay indoors”.
Anika was quiet for the rest of the journey. Most of her questions were answered.
The cart hurriedly crossed the market and reached the foothills.
Anika and Vivian got down and thanked the man. Hunger kicked Anika’s stomach but she maintained silence and ascended the mountain. When they were at the hill-top, Vivian pointed towards a small house made of mud with thatched roof that flaunted a creeper blooming with red flowers. It was the most appealing, petite and peaceful place which cajoled Anika to run inside and sleep in its arms. She dashed towards the door and opened it. There was a living room and on one of the walls, was a painting of Sussaina, Soto and little Vivian. One corner of the house had a tiny kitchen, and towards the other side a small room.
Fatigue had taken its toll on Anika and she looked pooped. Vivian seemed disturbed yet rushed to cook something for her. He lit the clay stove stacked with wooden twigs and made the most delicious porridge Anika had ever tasted.
Seeing Vivian’s state Anika asked “Do you know Sabrina?”
He told her “She is my friend. One of the most learned, brave and intelligent girls in Zynpagua. She excels at riding, good at fighting with bows and arrows, swords and poles. I don’t know what the punishment would befall on her. King Drudan is a vicious man. Under his heinous rule, people have become callous and inconsiderate. I wish I could kill Drudan.” Vivian was livid with fury.
Anika murmured “We have to save Sabrina!”
Vivian’s countenance relaxed and he suggested “Anika we will think about this tomorrow. You are a deadbeat, please take some rest.”
Vivian laid two cots woven with coir outside his house for them to sleep. Anika could not get any sleep. The memory of Sabrina and what transpired in the morning continued to snag her……..Share