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She looked sweet while sleeping. One of her hands resting near the pillow, the other still holding in to his, her breathing had become deep and slow, there was a calm look in her face like she's dreaming something beautiful.
Even her dreams must have changed by now…he thought as he sat beside her, gazing in to that calm face. Her journey from a commoner to a royal wasn't easy. She had it rough so rough that she deserves to be happy now.
But… Life isn't going to be that sweet with her. The danger still waits. It had waited for her for 16 years…one or two months more won't make it intolerable. It was his duty to protect her. Because he was the one who wanted her to be Manyata on the first place. Yet he was also the one who was responsible to the danger that follows her.
He stood up and walked away from the room closing the door behind him to now deserted palace. The place too seemed to be in sleep just like the people who lived there. He walked on briskly not bothering to turn on the lights his thoughts that were battling inside his head now vanishing in to the darkness that had swallowed the whole place.
As he reached a pair of doors a security personal made his way to meet him. Uday merely nodded to mark that his presence was noted and the man spoke.
"We searched everywhere sir there was no sign of him"
With a sigh he opened the double doors and entered to what looked like a royal chamber. It was battered and old now but his memory told him otherwise. He remembered the place to be filled with glow of his mother's smile, to ring with her voice and to be alive with her existence. Even now he felt it to be breathing her memories just like he did whenever he visited the place.
He walked in going deeper and deeper to his mother's memories and soaking himself in bitterness. Finally stopping in front of the high portrait that hangs on the opposite wall he gazed up longingly at the joyful face of his mother.
Nobody would ever meet this side of Yuvraaj Udayveer because he simply wasn't Udayveer then. He was Uday a son who had lost his mother at such a young age and a son who still misses her with some part of a heart which people thought not to exist. If anyone bothered to look at him now they could see how much this young man resembled his mother. His face wasn't hidden in the mask of royalty now but looked simply pure just like the queen in the portrait. His eyes wasn't sneering but looking longingly at her face.
Even her smile was an elixir for him Uday thought gazing at her. What would she feel if she was here now…what would she say…would she say that he had failed? Would she say that this wasn't what she expected? Would she be hurt seeing his confusion? Would she like someone else a better son perhaps? A son who won't have to keep the truth away from his future queen?
He didn't know. All he knew was that he had messed it up. Because he never thought it was a choice he was making then, a choice between his sister and his bride, when he had to save his sister from a man who was unworthy for her he never dreamed that he'll have to face the same problem again.
But there was no way out of it. The only way lead him more in to the puzzle, the puzzle that was left for him by his mother the puzzle of responsibilities.
He couldn't fulfill the first task handed to him. It was to save his mother. He couldn't do that…he was too childish then…But there was something that he could do for her that was to solve the mystery of her death and the one who had the key to that mystery was also his responsibility and was also in danger. His eyes fell on the royal sward of Jaygar that was in the glass case and he recalled the moment he had touched it and vowed to be the protector of his people…to be a great king and to protect her…his princess as his mothers eyes glowed with tears of pride.
He was an idiot the moment truth knocked on his door. He would have known everything then…as he was the last one who met Manyata before she was taken away.
He remembered her white face on the day of their engagement an year after his mother's death the day he thought to be the happiest of his life and become the worst he ever had. They said she wasn't talking to anyone, doesn't want to meet anyone including him her best friend. That must have been because he had hurt her with that sward he thought then.
He was forbidden to see her before their engagement yet he had sneaked up to her room to apology for a mistake that he thought to be a crime. She was sitting there with tear marks in her face.
"Are you still upset with me princess?"
She turned to look at him as though he was a piece of furniture and said in a trembling voice. "Suma"
His lips twisted thinking that how lucky he was to have such an easy to pronounce name or she would have called him something like that too. And he looked around to see where 'Suma' was. But she was nowhere to be seen.
At that precise moment Komal Devi entered looking for her daughter. As Manyata saw her she turned away slightly to clean her face and as though nothing happened she smiled at her mother.
Such a radiant smile! Uday thought as he took three steps at a time to reach downstairs as Aunty Komal had shooed him away. She was putting up and act he was sure of it. But why? He wondered. Manyata wasn't one of the girls who act happy when they aren't. She was the type who cries until they get what they want. So why the sudden difference?
She was afraid of something then. Uday realized later. And she wasn't calling out for 'Suma. She was going to tell him something about her. But for his ill luck she doesn't remember it now.
But he'll make her remember…
He thought as he slashed the royal sward through the thin air. That was whole point of this journey. But those memories where paining her…he never wanted her to suffer…But what must be done must be done…his mind told him. While his heart protested. What will happen when she comes in terms with the truth that it was all a plan to make her recall her past?
And what if she comes to know their other plans as well the ones to make her the hair of devgar? What will be her reaction if she knew about the contract between his father and her grandmother, about what happened between him and Akash, about his past as well as Akash's? What would she feel if she comes to know that all the characters in her life story knows each other even before they come to know her?
His sward flashed as each of those questions made their space in his mind and suddenly he heard a sound of metal clinking as the opponent's sward flew away. He looked and realized that the fight he thought to be between his mind and heart was truly between him and Manyata. He didn't know when they had started to fight or when she came in to the scene. She stood there looking calmly in to his eyes as he looked at her to make sure his subconscious fighting style hadn't done her any damage.
"I thought you were sleeping" He said finally.
"I had my reasons to believe you were too." She replied. "I didn't realize that you were plotting my murder here" She said her eyes twinkling.
He smiled. "How come you worked that out princess?"
"Well first you won't teach me how to strike and then you start fighting with me so fiercely. I was bond to lose"
"You won't lose ever again" He said handing her the sward of Jaygar. "Here let me teach you"
She felt sparks running through her skin as his fingers run across her arm finally wrapping themselves around her hand correcting her grip. His warm breath kissed the back of her neck as he whispered to her ear. "Your sward is an extension of your arm princess…" Still holding in to her hand he made her move the sward through the air. "It will double you strength…" They made another move together. "If…" His lips were kissing her ear now while one of his hands made her move the sward the other was wrapped around her waist. "You use it wisely it'll obey you"
He was using it very wisely she thought as she felt her mind freezing. He had the complete control over her even though the sward was in her hand he was the one attacking.
"This sward will never obey me" She said making a vain attempt to get away from his clutches. "It is the Royal sward of Jaygar its loyalty always rests with the king."
His lips moved down her neck to her shoulder before he said. "Then you're the queen…the king's loyalty rests with you…along with his heart"
She cursed herself for taking such a step but she listened to her heart and turned to hug him. Her heart beating helplessly as he kissed her forehead, her cheeks and finally her lips. There was no resistance this time as her mind had nothing for Akash except hatred, And nothing for Uday except love. Then she didn't know that in coming days her feeling s for both of them would take the opposite turn. And she would curse the day she opened her heart for Uday and made it possible for him to ruin her.
On the same moment Uday made the choice again, a choice that would make it all right once again. The moment his lips touched hers he knew which path to take he found the path that would take him to the truth. And he left the very same night to find it if possible.
"I want you to tell me what happened" Uday said looking in to those empty eyes of Murari Lal.
"I've told you everything I know" He repeated stubbornly.
"I don't want that rubbish you came up with…" He was losing control now. "I need the facts…tell me who else was there…tell me who was the girl with Sushma the moment she died"
The old man shook his head.
"Wait a minute…" Said Uday slowly as the thought appeared in his mind. "Was it princess Manyata?"
Murari looked up in to those questioning brown eyes and Uday
never wanted any other answer.
Tell me what you feel about it.
Thanks for reading.
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~Tera Mera Pyaar ty vm pg 68
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