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The Snake Woman's Daughter

Short story By: Sammy Wang Yang
Fantasy


Tags: Naga, Garuda, Asian, Myth


Sequal to the Snake Woman. Narya grew up within the Garuda worshipping tribe of Suparna. She married a Suparna Warrior. Unknown to her, her Naga blood-line surfaced and her dark secret threatens the village.

The Naga tribe and the Suparna tribe are centuries-old enemy. Their hatred brought about the Naga Beast.


Submitted:Oct 2, 2011    Reads: 434    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


"My darling Narya. Twenty weeks have passed since our union as one. And nineteen of those weeks, I have strayed too long from you while I serve King Garuda's campaign against the Naga tribe of Lothas. Nineteen horrible and long weeks without your soft touch and your soothing voice. But rejoice! For our campaign has ended and I shall return to you in another week's time. Soon, we will be together again, as One!"

Narya could not wait for her husband to return from battle. He is Aryan of the Suparnas s warrior. He had been gone for twenty weeks and was due to return soon. She had received a letter from him the prior week stating that he has finished his campaign against the Naga worshipping tribe of Lothas. Narya and her newly wed husband were raised to be Suparnas , the tribe who worshipped King Garuda of the garuk race. King Garuda is half man and half bird and a mighty warrior of Heaven.

Narya could not wait for her husband to return. For she brings joyous news!

The night arrived quickly, just like every night. But this night was not as lonesome as those others when she missed her husband. She was filled with joy to know that her husband will arrive by the morning sun. She wished for the night to lift as quickly as it came.

She entered the bath-house that was built outside her hut home. She undressed her sarong and splashed the cold water from the basin upon herself. The night air felt cool on her naked pale skin. She smiled in the half darkness and rubbed the bump that revealed itself months ago soon after her husband left. She could not believe that she was able to create Life with another person. She really loved her husband, who had courted her continuously.

Her father, a wise sage of her village, gave him his blessing and was the one who united them as man and wife. But no sooner did they united, when the Call to Arms were presented to her husband, who is a soldier to the Grand Garuda Army. And as brief their honeymoon was, he had to assume his role as a Suparnas soldier.

But now, the campaign has ended and Narya will once again unite with her husband and become a family of three.

A whispering was heard outside the bath-stall and Narya returned from the reminiscences. She peered through the cracks of the wood planks of the bath-house, trying to make out a shadow outside the stall.

"Who's there?!" she asked, sharply. She felt vulnerable as she was naked and feared someone might have evil intentions of harm to her.

The whispering continued and the shape outside the stall swayed within the darkness. It shuffled from left to right, a couple of feet from the bath-house. Angry, Narya grabbed her sarong and wrapped it around her naked body tightly. She quickly searched for a weapon and found one with a loose plank of wood. She charged out of the bath-house and approached the shadow.

She slowed her pace when she saw an image of an old woman, huddled under a thick wool blanket, swaying in the cold. The old woman was bent forward with a huge hump on her back. Her hair was a thick mane of threadish locks. Her eyes were wide when she saw the young woman charging at her.

"Please…child," the woman pleaded, raising her bony hands to her face.

"I'm sorry," Narya apologized, putting the wood plank down and respectfully bowing at her elder. "Why were you outside my bath-stall? In this cold night..."

The old woman tilted her head this way and that, swaying in the gentle breeze. Her cold eyes examine Narya, inspecting her feature like a paintist examining an art. "You're very beautiful…" the old woman sighed.

"Grandma, would you like a hot tea to warm your coldness?" Narya offered politely, hoping to send the old woman away after the warm drink.

The old woman shook in the mere mention of the cold. She nodded her head, rapidly. Her dirty hair bounced like a piece of rope. "Sure-sure," the old woman said.

Narya took her frail arm and guided her to the seating bench beside her hut. She took a kettle off of the stone oven and poured in the hot liquid onto two cups. The old woman continued to study Narya's beautiful shape figure with the sarong still tied tightly around her body.

She offered the tea to the old woman, who gracefully accepted the cup brushing her scaly fingers on top of Narya's soft fingers.

The old woman slurped the cup, almost in a lapping kind of way with her tongue licking at the liquid. The warm liquid soothes her freezing body and she straightened up with new strength. She gave a pleasurable sigh. Her eyes fell upon Narya, who gazed at her almost mesmerized at the new change of Life in the old woman.

"I feel a bit alive after that wonderful drink," the old woman said, her voice stronger than before.

"What were you doing outside my bath-house?" Narya asked, innocently.

"I was watching you…" the old woman said, sending a cold shiver to the spine of Narya.

"Why?" the young mom-to-be asked, trying to control the shakiness of her voice from fear.

The old woman smiled weakly and leans forward. Narya stood her ground. The old woman's eyes bored into Narya and peered into her soul. "Because you are my daughter," she said.

This time, Narya stepped back and stood from the old woman. "You are insulting my hospitality."

"It is true, my child," the woman said, shrugging off the blanket from her shoulder. She wore a liquid black dress that dragged on the ground like a tail. Her aged face smoothed into rich, beautiful skin the color of the moon. Her eyes were dark and her threadish hair became fuller and oily black. A gentle breeze lifted those silky hairs, allowing it to dance in the wind.

Narya could not believe her eyes upon the transformation of the old woman to this witch.

"Twenty years ago, I gave birth to you in the forest. I was alone and abandoned by the man who I thought once loved me," the witch said to her, cold and malice in her voice. "It was twenty weeks since he had banished me and called me a devil! I ventured back to the village where the man who I once called my husband still resides so I can reveal our child to him. To my own heartache, I found he had moved on with another woman. He'd broken his promise to me that he'd always love me no matter what happens!"

"I'm sorry to hear about your sorrow," Narya quietly replied, stalling so she could figure a way out of this situation. The wood plank was hidden in the shadow somewhere.

"Love," the witch spat in disgust, "Love is not true when you are cursed." The witch turned her gaze at her. "My child, I held you for so briefly. But I was wrecked mad at that man who betrayed me. I left you at the doorstep of the old Sage of this village. Then, I returned back to my village and allowed my vengeance to be satisfied."

"What are you?" Narya asked, horrified now at this woman who emitted a dark aura. "Why should I believe you? I have no ounce of hatred in me. I am not cursed!"

"Your husband…" the woman said, hissing, "Take heed of my warning, baby. He does not love you forever. He will hunt you like a monster when he finds out you are like me."

"I'm not like you," Narya said, starting to choke, "What are you? I am not CURSED!"

The woman hissed violently, and fell to the floor. The end of her black dress curled upward into an actual tail, and her bottom torso connected into a single mass. Her body slithers like a huge snake. The Snake woman lurch her body upward and stood like a cobra ready to strike. The black hair that danced in the breeze, were waving frantically in the form of snakes!

Her beautiful moon-lit face stared down at Narya. Her eyes glow a demonic yellow. It was those orbs that reflected the horrified reaction of Narya. Something stirred in the Snake woman's eyes, but then quickly, she turned away and slither into the darkness.

alt

Narya didn't realize she was holding her breath. She was struck horrified at the sight of the woman that transformed into a giant snake-like creature. She felt weak in her knees and she collapsed on the ground. She let out the breath she had held, and then inhaled a new gulp of air before letting out a piercing scream.

She woke up the next day in her bed. The memories of last night were just a fading dream. Already, the feeling of dread had wane. Today was going to be a joyous day of celebration. She prepared herself and dressed. Then she rushes to the village center, along with other villagers who awaits the return of their son, their father, and their husband.

And soon, as the sun stood high, the sound of trumpets was heard and the eagles sang their song in the sky. The glimpse of light reflecting off metal armors glinted in the horizon, and then a wall of figures appeared in the sky. They were like a dark cloud, a swarm of birds. Their wings beating against the wind.

The Suparnas Warriors were hawk-like warriors with wings on their back, a gift given by King Garuda and the Grand Garuda Army. They were the chosen warriors of man, gifted by the Gods.

The Warriors made their way toward the village. They were greeted by the echoes of cheers, thousand of feet from their final destination. The double formation of the Suparna Warriors hooted back toward the village and their greeting travels the long distance to reach their loved ones.

Narya could clearly see her husband leading the pack. His golden wings were larger than his peers due to his rank as Captain. His sword bobbles from behind due to the flapping of his mechanical wings. His eyes found her in the crowd and he hooted again toward her. She screeched in delight to his greeting.

The Warriors circled the village square in the air like vultures, before landing gracefully with a grand display. Their mechanical wings ceased to flap and the air became still. But no sooner then, the villagers swarmed them like an attacking mob. There were hugs and kisses and gleeful cries of children and women, greeting their fathers, sons, and husband.

Aryan hoisted Narya and hugged her tighter than she could bare to hold.

"My darling!" he screeched with excitement, "I've missed you very much! Oh how I love you! I can't bare to let you go again."

"Careful!" she pushed at him, "You might damage our baby!"

His eyes light up and he crowed with even greater joy! He lifted her up into the air with the mechanical wings and whooping with exhilaration. She squealed with delight and joy. They are together again.

At their home, Narya made her husband his favorite meal as he recounts the epic battles he had partake.

"The Lathos tribe was persistent," he recounted, hanging the golden mechanical wings by the wall with intentional display. "They were many. But none were true soldiers. Their coward leader recruited the peasants and any able bodied men into their army. It was a massacre for them, and a shame. They swarm us like ants, yet they were quickly cut down by our blades! This was not war."

Narya served her husband his meal and sat beside him, grabbing his arm and laying her head by his massive shoulder.

"If only the world would not give in to hate," Narya said, softly.

"The Lathos are worshiper of the Serpent," Aryan said with a disgust face. He could not bear to bring the spoonful of soup into his mouth with the thought. "They are misguided and have paid the price for their false belief. Even the children are raised with this immoral principle…"

"The Naga and the Suparnas s will forever be at war because of our differences," Narya gravely said. "I pray that our child will know justice and follow the path of righteousness."

"He will be a great Suparnas Warrior!" Aryan proudly proclaimed.

Narya punched him in the arm. "How do you know the baby won't be a girl?"

"Because He is my son!" Aryan said, crowing with laughter.

She woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of whispering…

Her husband laid peacefully with his body spread wide over the bed and his snore was like thunder. But the whispering was heard over the rumble. She peeks outside the window and notice a shadow by the woods, swaying in a gentle rhythm.

She snuck out of her hut and walked barefoot on the dirt ground toward the figure in the shadow.

"It is you," Narya whispered at the shadow. She was not afraid, but more curious.

"You did not forget…" the woman said softly. She was in her rag form again, huddling underneath the thick wool blanket.

"I will not offer my hospitality to you," Narya said, accusingly. "You owe me explanations. What are you? And why are you here again? I will not allow you to stalk me while my Husband returns."

"Bagh!" the woman made a disgust face, "How noble of him! To what he says that he is honorable to kill helpless women and children because of their different belief. He is a murderer!"

"Stop it!" Narya exclaimed, "I will not let you insult my family. You will not return here again and harass me or my husband. I don't ever want to see you again!"

"So you banish me," the woman said, sneering and hissing through her teeth, "Just like your father. You wish to rid of me? Your very own mother."

"You speak with forked tongue," Narya said, getting angry. "You are trying to destroy my family. You are NOT my mother! You are a She-Devil, the Serpent's follower!"

"You are not Suparnas s, your are of Naga descent. The Serpent's blood runs through you and that of your unborn child. And you are cursed. You will need me!" The old woman stepped back into the shadow. Her body changes back into her Naga form and she slithered away, hissing with anger.

Narya never knew such hatred. But she was overcome with anger at the woman, who has suddenly appeared in her life.

"Narya," the figure of her husband stood by the doorway. His voice was filled with concern. "Why are you staring off at the woods?"

Narya turned to her husband. She brushed off her feelings and buried her face in his massive chest. "I must be sleep walking," she simply replied. He guided her back into the hut and they fell into warm embrace.

The next morning was a field of commotions. As Narya and her husband made way to the Village Square, a crowd had gathered and someone was wailing mournfully. In the center was a body of a Suparnas Warrior, his flesh pale from lack of blood. But no trace of the blood anywhere.

"What happened here?" Aryan asked the village elder.

"He was murdered!" the village elder replied, "sucked dry of his Life. Witness said he was dragged from his home, to here. Something killed him and drained him of his blood!"

"A monster!" someone shouted in the crowd.

Aryan examined the corpse. "He is Haman. He was a great warrior." Aryan said, his voice filled with sorrow. He inspected the corpse and noticed two puncture marks on the side of the neck.

"It appeared our enemy has followed us home," Aryan said, gravelly.

"We must burn the corpse!" the village elder said, hysterically.

The Wise Sage appeared from the crowd. "He is a Suparnas . We should honor his life and give him a proper farewell. But we must do so quickly."

The Sage turned to Aryan. "Welcome back, my son. It is a shame that our warriors have returned unharmed in the battlefield, but stolen from us just when our lives were filled with happiness."

"It looks to be the work of a devil," Aryan said in a low voice, not wanting to upset the villagers.

The Sage's eyes harden. "Dark energy surrounds the village. It bore this creature."

Aryan addressed the crowd. "My people! The Suparana Warrior will protect thee from this danger. We ask that you keep to your homes during the night. The warriors will patrol the village and keep everyone safe!"

Narya felt grave. Such atrocity in her village. Her mind was unease and her thoughts went to the Snake Woman who had visited her last night. She contemplated on whether to offer this information.

"I saw a huge shadow, long and thick like a snake!" an old woman said, nervously. "It dragged him from his hut and strangled him with its massive tail! Then it bit him! It drank his soul! Yet, he did not utter a sound. He was still asleep!"

Aryan pulled Narya away from the crowd. "Come, I don't want you to be upset when you are with child, my love."

"Why is this happening?" Narya asked, meekly.

"Perhaps our sins have caught up on us," Aryan replied.

Night approached and Aryan volunteered to be the first Sentinel for the village.

"Don't leave me alone, Aryan," Narya pleaded, distraught.

"My love, I am committed to the safety of our village," Aryan said, hoisting the mechanical wings onto his back.

"You promised that we will not part ever again!" she sobbed. Her emotions running rapid as the pregnancy develop further.

"I promise that, indeed," Aryan said, "But this matter is very important. I am protecting you from this creature, so our lives will go back to normal. I can't fathom the idea of this devil out there, while my wife is vulnerable. I must destroy it!"

"I am afraid, Aryan," she continued to sob, "I am afraid we will be separated. It will be our union that will be destroyed."

He took her in his arms and held her until her sobbing wane. "I will be close by. Just be strong and call for me. I will be there in an instant. My wings will bring me over in a flash."

He let her go and stared into her eyes. He rummaged her hair with his fingers and kissed her wet cheeks. Without another word, he took into the air and his wings flapping into the night. Her fingers ran through her hair where he ran his. A couple of strands fell loose. Her stress was causing her to loose her beautiful black hair.

She heard the whispering again. She had waited for it, and now it has called her. Almost in a trance, she followed the voice to a clearing in the woods. The woman was there. She had her liquid black dress that flowed behind her, covering her bottom torso and feet. Her hair waved in the still air, and Narya could clearly see the shape of snakes in her hair.

"What did you do?" Narya asked, angry.

"I didn't do anything," the woman revealed, swaying in the night.

"You're a monster!" she shouted, even more angry.

The woman's eyes flashed in anger. "There will be more bloodshed if you do not join me. I want to teach you. Why won't you show me the love that I have waited for? Why won't you accept your destiny?"

"You've cursed me!" Narya sneered with hatred. The burning rage was building up inside her.

"You're envy of me, because my husband loves me. You want to bring me down to your level!"

The woman rose upward, the body of the snake lifting her and peeking out of the black dress. Her black hair waved frantically, and hissing with liveliness. "You're very unstable, child. You should worry about that child of yours inside of you."

The woman slithered around Narya, circling her guardedly. Narya's stomach suddenly growl and she felt a dull pain. Her baby must be upset also.

"You must be hungry. You are eating for two now. I can hear your stomach growling," the woman said.

Suddenly, a figure appeared within the shadow. A Suparnas warrior saunter forward. Narya gasps in surprise, her heart beating rapidly. She was fearful that she was caught. But the Suparnas warrior stopped in front of the Snake Woman and Narya. Narya recognize him as Vysna, her husband's second in command. His eyes were in a daze.

"No!" she cried.

"I've charmed him to follow my command," the Snake Woman said, "Now you will drink from him."

Hot rage filled her at the Snake Woman. "I'm NOT like you!" she hollered.

The Snake Woman curled her tail around Narya and held her firmly. Her demon eyes flashed back with impatience. "Look!" the Snake Woman hissed into Narya's ears. "See for yourself of what you are!"

From the darkness of the woods, something slithered forward. A huge shadow emerged and came upon the still Suparnas Warrior. It lurched upward, standing fifteen feet above the dazed soldier. The shadow opened its mouth and huge fangs glister within the moonlight. Its tongue flicking in the air.

The Snake Woman watched with amazement and glee. Her own mouth opens in a grin, with her fangs lengthening. Narya stared with horror. Her eyes wide with disbelief.

Suddenly, the Shadow lunged downward and chomped into the neck of the dazed soldier. The Shadow lifted the soldier like a rag doll and stretched its neck upward to drain the man, upside down. It drank from the man, and when it was done, the Shadow dropped the soldier on the ground like a discarded banana peel.

Suddenly, Narya was not hungry anymore.

"You monster!" she cried, with hot anger.

"No child," the Snake Woman said, "You're the monster. This thing is a manifestation of your inner Darkness. You've created this beast from your Hatred."

"Hatred from you!" she screeched, struggling against the snake's tail.

"With so much anger," the Snake Woman said, "You are unable to control your powers. I will show you the way of the Naga Bloodline."

The Snake Woman lurched forward, dragging the imprisoned Narya with her. The Shadow followed behind.

Aryan landed upon the clearing where the body of Vysna laid crumbled. Hot flashes of anger burned through him. Vysna was killed the same way, drained of his blood. Someone or something is killing the Suparnas. This, he cannot accept. He asked for the blessing of King Garuda and took flight into the air again. He will call his brothers to arm against this threat.

"My brothers! Long ago, our people were slaves to the Naga," Aryan recited to his four Elite Soldiers that he had gathered before him. "It was not until King Garuda freed us from our bonds. He have given us Wings and trained us to be Warriors so we can fend off the Naga attack. King Garuda fought against the Naga Serpent and defeated the monster. But this new Naga Beast has risen and is now hunting the Suparnas for its vengeance! We ask the blessing of King Garuda as we go into battle with the Naga Beast."

Aryan's four elite soldiers bowed to him. The Old Sage came to Aryan.

"Lord Garuda bless," the Sage prayed, "The Naga are dark worshipers. Take heed that you do not fall into your Hatred."

"How is Narya?" Aryan asked his father-in-law.

"She is well, in her chamber," the old Sage replied.

Aryan nodded, his mind was too preoccupied.

"My child. Long ago, the Naga people were hunted and killed by the Garuk," the Snake Woman recited. She gently placed Narya on the straw bed in the cave dwelling. The young mother-to-be was drained of energy due to her stress. She flop onto the straw bed and curled herself, exhausted from her anger and hatred. But she continued to sob.

"Legends began of two women who made a wager," the Snake Woman continued, "The two women were wives of a great Sage of Heaven. They made a foolish bet to see who shall conceive the most powerful offspring. The loser shall serve the winner. The first woman asked the Gods to bore her 1,000 children at once. And this, she was granted. The second woman on the other hand, asked that her children be born with the knowledge and strength of 1,000. And this she was granted.

"The first woman bore the race of Nagas and they were plentiful. The second woman gave birth to two children. But they emerged from her fully form and powerful. They are Garuda and Arudja. They are the entity of a Sun God and the Sky. They were bird-men, with knowledge of warfare. Garuda himself emerged from his egg womb like a fiery eruption. His energy was unstable and chaotic.

"The mother of the Nagas proclaimed herself the winner, for her offspring were plenty more than the second woman. She captured the mother of Garuda and Arudja and imprisoned her. But Garuda himself was filled with anger and vengeance. He was disruptive and sought to destroy the Nagas.

"Garuda created his race of Garuk, halflings of bird and man. They were trained well in warfare, and know only that. The followers of Garuda, the tribe of Suparanas, the Khrut, and the Khangarid were all worshipers of Garuda. They took arms to aide their Lord into battle with the Nagas. But the Nagas were plentiful.

"Vasarak, the Naga King was later defeated by Garuda in an epic battle. Garuda freed his mother and those who were enslaved by the Nagas. But they continue to hunt and kill the Naga and those who followed them."

"We are the descendant of Vasarak, the Naga King himself," the Snake Woman continued, "The Naga blood runs through us."

Narya felt weak and ill. She was thirsty and she could feel the burning fire erupting inside her. The Snake Woman slither around her and lifted her from her curling state. The woman took her in her arms and hugged her. "My daughter, I pray you find it in your heart to forgive me." Her fangs lengthen and she roughly chomped into Narya's neck. The sudden sting of pain electrifies Narya's body and she gasped from the pleasure.

The Snake Woman drank from her. The Shadow of the Naga Beast filled the chamber and materialized in front of the embracing women. The Snake Woman released Narya and hissed with delight. Narya became woozy from the lack of blood in her system.

The Shadow opened its mouth wide and then took Narya into its mouth, swallowing her whole.

Aryan and his four winged Elite Soldiers flew in the night sky. He led them in a V-formation. Their sharp eyes scouting the ground below for any sign of the Naga Beast.

And then, it was there.

alt

Huge hungry mouth chomp into a flying Suparnas in the air. The Beast had risen over thirty feet in the sky, plucking a Soldier at the end of the V. The Soldier cried helplessly as he was then flung from the Naga Beast's mouth, tumbling in the air onto the opening of a cave. His limp body rolled in the ground and became unconscious.

Aryan commanded his soldiers to attack the beast. They shot at the creature with arrows, and Aryan himself lunged forward with his blade, stabbing at the creature. Its flesh was oily and hard, but the blades punctured through.

The Naga Beast was in the flesh. Its shadow form filled after it had swallowed Narya. The Beast roared with huge fangs protruding from its mouth. Its eyes glowing a demonic yellow.

She woke in a pile of straw, the whispering became hissing in her ears. Her eyes opened and her strength returned. Narya laid on the straw bed, within the cave chamber. Outside, she could also hear the sound of a battle going.

The straw moved, and hissed. It licked her in the cheeks. Narya gasped and stood from the ground. Something slither on top of her shoulder. It hissed and flicked its tongue. She grabbed at it and tug, but it clung to her head. It jerked from her grasp and slither around her neck. Her whole head felt heavy and fill with movement. Something was in her hair! Many things! It hisses and slither all over her head.

She ran her whole fingers over her hair. But there was no hair. Just slithering shapes wiggling and jiggling around her head. She had a feeling of what it was. Her head was full of snakes. They were her once beautiful black hair. Her "hair" was all over her face, massaging her neck and scalp. She moved her head around and could feel the weight shifting. Her heart distressed. Her knees weaken. She slump to the ground, in disgust.

alt

She's a monster. She was crying, but the snake lick the tears from her cheeks. She tug at the moving strand and gripped it tight. The snake's head bulged from the increased pressure. She let go in disgust again and buried her face in her hand so she can cry out all her tears.

She sobbed as the "hair" hissed. Her stomach rumbled and her throat was dry. She felt lost. But her anger was gone. She could not muster the strength to feed the anger and the rage. It was no use. The Shadow Naga had fed off from her those emotions. Now she is just…hungry.

Her dark eyes peered from the fingers that covered her face. They fell upon a body lying at the head of the entrance. She glided toward the body, her movement so smooth and unaware. Only her hunger. She reached for the body and tugged at it with one hand.

The Naga Beast roared. The sound rumble into the cave. Narya looked up at the magnificent beast. Its beautiful coal skin was shiny from the reflection of its scale. It's huge massive head swatted and snapping against the flying buzzard, buzzing annoyingly around it. She hissed aggressively at those "buzzard".

Aryan noticed the shadow within the mouth of the cave. It tugged at one of his fallen soldier. His eyes burned with fire and he darted forward.

Narya was ravenous! She sank her fangs into the warm body of the fallen Suparana warrior. He jerked from the sudden attack, but soon fell petrified from the venom coursing through his vein. The snake hairs nibbled upon the flesh, while Narya herself gnawed at the flesh and slurping the blood oozing freely. Her saliva numbs her victim, but the heart beat rapidly until it gave its final spurt. She fed noisily from the body, enjoying the delicious offering.

Aryan was at the entrance, witnessing the horrible feast. The Snake Woman looked up from its feeding and sneered at him with bloody lips. The snakes upon its head hissed. The Snake Woman's eyes were demonic yellow and glowed with fire.

"Aryan!" the Snake Woman cried out, thrilled to see her Husband coming to her aide.

He zipped forward in a flash. His eyes revealed cold hatred. The blade sliced cleanly through her neck. Those distant eyes were the last image Narya saw as her head slipped from her shoulder. It rolled into the shadows with a sloppy thud. The body limped forward, hiding the round belly of the mother-to-be.

A ghostly sigh came from the chamber as the snakes gave its final breath. The Naga Beast roared with distress and returned into its former Shadow self before melting into the darkness. The Suparnas erupted into cheers as their Naga threat ended.

In the darkness, something slithered from the opening of the body. A shape emerged and disappeared into the shadow.

Elsewhere, the Old Sage dabbed at his eyes. The tears could not stop falling and he choke uncontrollably. "In his Hate, he killed her…"





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