The Lost Land

The Lost Land

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Summary

Three high school students go on a trip to explore a abandoned palace and came across some challenges and found something that may change our entire history
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Summary

Three high school students go on a trip to explore a abandoned palace and came across some challenges and found something that may change our entire history

Chapter1 (v.1) - An unexpected adventure

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 23, 2017

Reads: 40

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 23, 2017

A A A

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Preface

 

There was a break in, in the National Intelligence Agency, India. A four men team, fully armed, among which had a computer guy who looked like a grad school student. The guy was very cautious and hid behind his teammates and directed them using his tracking device in his hand. They immobilized every person by shooting them in their kneecaps who tried to stop them. They finally arrived at the National database sector which stored every citizen’s complete information. They blasted the door open and two of the armed men got inside the room and secured it while two were securing the hallway. One of the armed men said,

“You got five minutes”, and handed him a thumb drive and a hacking kit.

The guy was frightened and he hesitated for a moment. He looked at the guy who gave him the thumb drive, he signaled him to get to work. He was pushed inside the server room. As the guy got inside, he looked around and searched for the main patch link. He found it to his left side and planted the thumb drive onto a socket and connected his keyboard and started typing. As he was hacking the national database, there was numerous gun shots fired outside the room in the balcony. As he finished and downloaded what he asked to get, he came out of the room and found at least ten soldiers of Indian Army that were immobilized. One of the armed men asked,

“You get it?”.

“Yes, I got it”, the hacker guy replied.

As soon as he said that they marched down the hallway and turned a right instead of going left. The guy asked,

“Where are we going?”.

“The roof”, one of the armed men replied.

The guy didn’t say anything and followed them. When they got to the roof, there was nobody there. One of the four armed men lit a green colored smoke grenade and threw it to the center of the roof. After a half a minute a helicopter arrived and maintained its height at approximately ten meters. Three ropes were thrown down of the helicopter and the armed men began climbing. While the fourth guy was standing on the roof, he asked for the thumb drive.

The guy got to his pockets and gave it to him. As soon as he gave it to him, the armed men shot him in the knee and said,

“Don’t worry. You will be alright. Tell the cops, that you were threatened by us and you were forced to do this job”.

“Okay, I will do that. You keep you end of the bargain”, the guy replied with a mourning voice.

The soldier nodded back and got the rope and started climbing. As he was climbing the roof door was bust opened and about twenty army soldiers came and started shooting at the helicopter. The pilot told them to hold tight and quickly tuned the helicopter and started flying towards the west shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

 

The space ship was pouring fire power onto his enemy ship according to the orders given by Arwin, who is the ship’s commander. While he was about to destroy the other ship, the school bell rang and Arwin, a tall guy with dark eyebrows and messy hair found himself drooling all over his notebook. He came to his senses and looked above where a boy with glasses is shouting at him to wake up.

Arwin asked, “What do you want, Jagan”.

“Wake up, school’s over, we are gonna be late for Tution, it’s already 4:45”, Jagen said.

“I am not coming, you go”.

“Whaaaat? Why?”

“Just go. I am tired”

“Oh! Do you need a massage?”

“Yeah! Can you ask Nina to give one?”

“Very funny!”

“Oh! yeah, I forgot. She’s you side kick”

As he was saying, Nina, blue eyes, boy cut hairstyle, 5 foot height, who is Jagen’s cousin gave a slap on Arwin’s back head.

Arwin said, “Ow! That hurts”

“I am nobody’s side kick”, Nina said.

Jagan, with dark hair, good looking, and pale dark skin and with a charming smile was laughing out loud and he just remembered that he can’t go to tuition.

“Oh! Damn it. I am supposed to go pack my bags”.

“You headed anywhere? ” , Arwin asked.

“Yeah, I am going on an adventure with my dad tomorrow”.

“What about school?”, Nina asked.

“I won’t be coming tomorrow, so bye bye”.

As he walked out through doorway, Nina found Arwin starring at her breasts and she slapped him very hard to make an impression of her hand onto his cheek.

“Oh! Damn, it hurts. I am like a brother to you”, he said.

“Then stop starring at me”.

They both came to the cycle stand and got their cycles out and Nina went to tuition and Arwin headed to his home.

As time passed, the clock ticked 8:00 p.m. As Arwin was about to go out to buy some snacks, the telephone rang. Arwin’s mother answered it.

“Hey, Arry. It’s Jagan”, she said.

“What does he want?”, Arwin said.

As he got the earpiece and said ‘hello’, Arwin heard Jagan shouting on the other side,

“Please help me, I will buy you Chetos for the rest of the month, please”, Jagan said.

“Really, meet me at the store near my house”, Arwin said and hung the phone.

As Arwin bought some snacks from the store and came out, Jagan made it there.

“Wow! You came here pretty fast”, Arwin said.

“Listen, I am asking you to come with me tomorrow, because my dad can’t make it”, Jagan said.

“What? My parents will never let me bunk school for some geek adventure”.

“It is not some adventure, it is THE adventure”.

“What’s so special about it?”, Arwin asked.

“Remember the ‘Lady with no legs palace’?”

“Yes”

 “Well, this is more adventurous than that”,

“Reeeally?”, Arwin said.

“Because, the last time I came with you, you took me to a garbage dump and said there is a treasure here and it is guarded by a headless ghost”, Arwin said.

“Yeah, well. There is a ghost”

“No! It is a statue with a missing head came for recycling”

“Well, I can promise you that this time I won’t let you down”

“Seriously? ”

“Yeah”

“What about the offer on the telephone?”

“I will buy you chetos”

“For the rest of the month ?”

“Yeah! Sure”

Arwin starred Jegan for a moment and asked him to talk to his parents but not to mention the adventure part. As they marched towards Arwin’s house, they spotted Nina chatting with one of her tuition mates. When they passed by her, Jagan waved his hand towards her and she ended her chat with her friends and started walking with them since her house is near Arwin’s house. She asked where Jagan is going tomorrow.

“Kodaikanal”, he replied.

“Oh! You said an adventure; I thought you will be going to some place…….remote”

“Not that kind of adventure, we are going to a treasure hunt”, Jagan said.

“Treasure Hunt? I wonder how uncle agreed to that?”

“Well he didn’t, that’s why Arwin’s joining me”

“Arwin?!…………Good luck convincing their parents”, Nina said.

When she said that, Arwin and Jagan starred at each other like they are signaling and Nina figured out that they are not going to tell her parents the details of their trip.

“We are going to tell his parents that this is a research trip”, said Jagan.

“What?...........Nobody will believe that”, Nina said.

“Why not?”, Arwin asked.

“Because you are one lazy idiot”, Nina said.

Arwin grinned after hearing that he is called an idiot. But Jagan was very convinced and thinking what to tell his parents. While he was thinking Nina said,

“I will solve this problem, if you are taking me with you”

“No way! It’s dangerous”, Jagan said.

“Dangerous? What can possibly go wrong during a treasure hunt?” Nina asked.

“Well, if you insist you can come along”, Arwin said and winked at Jagan.

“Well then, tell Arwin’s parents that we are going on a treasure hunt and it is sponsored by a private college and if we find the treasure we will be awarded a certificated and a college tour”, said Nina.

Both looked at Nina in surprise and thought “Why does a `A’ grade student helping us to go on a vacation?”

The three of them went to Arwin’s home and said exactly as Nina told them and they got the permission from them and they even got ‘Best of luck’ wish also. They planned to meet each other at the railway station at 7:00 AM sharp but Nina doesn’t know that Arwin and Jagan are going on 6:00 AM train.

 

The alarm rang at 4:30 AM and Arwin woke up and gotten ready to head out at 5:30. When he reached the Coimbatore railway station, Jagan was waiting for him and he waved towards him. The train is yet to arrive and Jagan said, “ I am glad we decided to leave her behind “.

“Yeah, but she will be pissed”, Arwin said.

The train arrived and they boarded it. Since it is a general compartment, they rushed to get a seat. They got a seat near a teenager with a hoodie and they can’t clearly see his face. After 2 minutes the train started to move and they are relieved that Nina is not there.

“Whoosh! Glad that the blood sucking leech is not here. Man! Her slaps hurt”, Arwin said.

As he said that, a hand came at a very high speed and slapped his back head. Hearing the sound of it, Jagan turned towards the strange teenager. When he turned back to Arwin, his cheek had a bright red hand impression.

When they both turned towards surprisingly towards the stranger, they were shocked to find that it is Nina. Nina’s nose was very reddish and she was unhappy. Arwin said,

“Hi!..............Nina, we tried you cell phone, but we couldn’t reach you”

“I DON’T HAVE A CELL PHONE!!!!!”, Nina said.

“O…Oh…..W……We….are sorry”, said Jagan.

“You think you can leave me behind?”, Nina asked furiously.

“No! No!! We thought you won’t bunk school for some freakish adventure”, said Arwin.

“But we are soo happy to have you with us”, said jagan.

“Yeah? Well, you are doing my home work for the rest of the week”, said Nina.

“Why only me, this is Arwin’s idea”

“I expected Arwin to be mean and foolish, but you are my brother”, said Nina.

“Hey guys! I am right here. But I support to punish Jagan”, said Arwin.

As they were arguing about punishing Jagan, a fatherly figure came and sat opposite to them. They stopped their argument and came to normal mode. Jagan looked at the man sitting before him and asked is he going to ‘kodaikanal’.

“Yes”, the man replied.

“I am from Kodaikanal. Where are you going?”, he asked.

“We are also going to Kodaikanal. What is your name?”, Arwin asked.

“I am Kamban”, he replied.

“Kamban? That’s a ……..rare name”, said Nina.

“Yeah, I know. Since I am from a royal family, I have given this name”, Kamban replied.

“Royal family? Like a Jamindhar?”, asked Jagan.

“Yeah, Well, former royal family. We also own a palace in Kodaikanal. It’s commonly called ‘Uncharted treasure palace’ and it is one of the top haunted destinations in South India”, Kamban said.

Hearing that, Arwin and Jagan began to fear that Nina will find out. As they were tremblim inside, Nina asked the question, “Oh! Sounds creepy. Do you live there?”.

“No, It belongs to the government now”, he replied.

“So, you are living in another palace?”, asked Nina.

“No! There is no other palace in kodaikanal”, he said.

Hearing that Arwin and Jagan thought they are finished for good and they slowly turned towards Nina and smiled a fake smile. Nina was shocked and swung her head sideways and she started to stutter.

“A…Arr…..Are we goi……going to that pal……..palace?”, Nina asked cunningly.

They both replied ‘yes’ with fear that made them sit in an upright position wondering what she is going to do this time?

“What are you saying? You are going to that palace. But why?”, Kamban asked.

“To a treasure hunt!”,Jagan replied.

“Treasure?! There is no treasure in that building. How did you get permission to enter the palace in the first place?”, Kamban asked.

“Well, we didn’t. We are said there is no security guarding that palace. So, we thought we could go in without anyone knowing”, Jegan said.

“Please don’t go there. That palace is cursed”, Kambam replied.

“Well we don’t believe in those myths. Moreover we are not going to take that treasure with us, we are only going to have an adventure, right Nina”, Jagan said.

As he turned to Nina she was looking down in her lap and tapping her fingers nervously. Jagan reached her shoulder and tapped. She jumped in fear as she was given an electric shock. Then she asked ‘what?’ Jagan and Arwin starred at each other and started laughing out loud, which alerted the whole compartment.

“You are not afraid of ghosts, are you?”, Arwing said.

“I…..I am not! I am ju…….just sleepy”, she said.

“Don’t be afraid. There are no ghosts. It’s just a myth”, Jagan said.

“Even if there is any, you will scare them away”, Arwin said.

Immediately after that, there was a ‘splash’ sound and Arwin had a bright red cheek with finger prints.

“OW!!!!! Sorry!”, said Arwin.

“Well, I am not going to stop you guys. But, be warned, there are hundreds of people gone missing looking for that treasure. This not some child’s play”, said Kamban.

Nina trembled in fear and tried not to show it. She asked Jagan and Arwin to change plans, but all they did was teasing her and getting slapped.

“We will be alright. We came prepared”, said Jagan.

Arwin was confused and asked Jagan ‘What preparation’ very quietly so that Nina couldn’t hear what they were talking.

As they were talking, the train came to halt in Palani station and the four of them got out and thanked Kambam for his information. Arwin, Nina and Jagan came to the bus stand and boarded a bus to Kodaikanal. They sat near the door and began to think what will be there inside the palace. As they were thinking, the bus reached Kodaikanal around 11:30 AM. The three of them got down and got into a hotel and ordered some lunch. While they were waiting for the food to arrive, Arwin said to Nina,

“Hey, Kamban was not clear in his head. He is just telling stories he heard from his ancestors”.

“Yeah? Well, that stories can be true!”, said Nina.

“Don’t be silly. Gohsts?! In this scientific world? Not a chance!”, said Jagan.

“I say that he is not even a ‘Jamindhar’. I say he is a guy who wants to talk high about himself”, said Arwin.

Nina was not convinced. The orders arrived and Arwin had Biriyani, Nina has some Fried rice and Jagan ordered some Noodles with Egg salad. As they finished eating they ordered some cool drinks and paid their bill and came out of the Hotel. It is a sunny day, but the temperature is around 18 degrees. Arwin called out an auto and asked what’s the fare to go to the palace. After bargaining the price they hopped onto the auto and began to go towards their first step in a great adventure.

They arrived at their destination which is 7 km away from Kodaikanal town and they found themselves at a no man land. There were no shops, no street signs, not even a building other than a majestic brown colored building which is dusty and needed a renewing. They stood before the gate to the palace and it spooked them like they are watched by hundred eyes. The auto driver insisted to pay him faster, so that he could get away from there.

Jagan and Arwin told themselves that ‘it is just an unexplored building and there is nothing dangerous inside it’.

Bur Nina was trembling inside her, and she began to shiver and she murmured a religious mantra to keep her safe. Even though, it is 2:30 in the afternoon, the atmosphere around the place seems like a grave yard in midnight.

“Well, here we are. Do you feel the urge of adventure trembling inside you?”, asked Jagan.

“Yeah! I am trembling inside. That’s for sure”, said Arwin and looked at Nina and she nodded very quickly.

The wall adjacent to the majestic gate appeared to have a hole hidden behind a bush big enough to let kids to crawl inside. Jagan spotted it first and cleared the bushes around it and looked at the two, like he was asking who is going first and they turned their faces and looked down. Jagan took a deep breath and started to crawl through the hole. He fitted tight, but he managed to get inside the palace’s yard. Following him, Nina and Arwin also got inside. Nina was still frightened and still shaking. Nobody spoke a word because they are awed by the delicate architecture of the palace and also the feeling of someone watching them. Nina started to chant a mantra that her mom taught her. Jagan overheard Nina and said,

“Don’t worry, there is no ghosts inside this palace”

“Yeah, you don’t need to worry, because…”, started Arwin and Nina intervened,

“Because?”

“Because……….....there are no ghosts!”, said Arwin.

“Okay, here we go. Everyone have your flashlights on”, said Jagan.

Everyone got the lights out of their backpacks and switched it on and got to the palace front door. Jagan slowly opened the door and it made a squeaky noise. The three of them entered the palace and pointed their flashlights in different directions.

They were awed by the huge palace when they got inside. It had a huge courtroom with majestic pillars aligned by two columns with ten pillars each. Beyond the pillars there was a platform where the King’s seat used to be there, but the government had it removed due to some theft warnings. Beyond the platform, there was a pathway with no doors which lead to two oval staircases at each direction and at the first floor; the king’s bedroom and other rooms like dining room and a balcony with a wonderful view of the Western Ghats were placed. Beyond the courtroom and below the first level, there is literature hall, where the history and their country’s heritage have been written. When they entered the literature hall, they found stuffed animals like deer, wild boar, and bull hanging onto the walls and they also found that everything is covered by dusts and spider webs. The floor is full of dust and their shoe prints are made onto that dust.

Most of the writings on to the wall are either full of dust or destroyed due to erosion. When they finished seeing the writings in the literature hall and decided to go to the first floor, Jagan just remembered something he saw in the internet.

“Hey guys, I just remembered something. I read a blog posted by a famous treasure hunter and that blog mentioned something about this palace”, said Jagan.

“What? Do you remember?”, asked Nina.

“I have it on my cell phone. Just a minute”, said Jagan and took out his cell phone and read the blog he downloaded.

“Hey guys, it says ‘Don’t be fooled by the stairs, it is only a contingency’ “, said Jagan.

“Contingency? What does that mean?”, asked Arwin.

“I don’t know. Maybe one of the stairs is meant for going up and one for coming down” , said Nina.

“Come-on, we have look at the stairs”, said Arwin.

The three came to the oval stair at the left and stepped onto the first step.

“Looks like it’s okay”, said Arwin.

“No! Look at the top stair, it is now like a slope”, said Jagan.

As Arwin stepped onto the second step, the second last step became a slope.

“So, we can’t go up above halfway beyond using the left stairs. I wonder how they attained it thousand years before?’, said Nina.

“Come-on, let’s check the other stairs”, said Jagan.

But unfortunately, the right side stairs also tend to create slope upon stepping on the steps. The three of them were confused. Jagan repeated the riddle,

 

‘Don’t be fooled by the stairs, it is only a contingency’

 

Nina suggested stepping onto the steps simultaneously, but it also didn’t work out. They thought that whatever this palace is holding, it needs to be on any one of the first floor rooms. As Nina and Jagan were thinking, how to solve the problem, Arwin wandered looking for answers in the literature hall. He found a section of wall covered by dust, but there was something different about it. He noticed that, the wall had a line at the center of the section and it seemed to be that the wall has been dented or it is intentionally bended. He called the other two and mentioned what he found. Nina took a closer look and said with excitation,

“It is a bent wall, that’s for sure. But it is not bent to the entire length of the height rather it is bent only till this height”, and Nina pointed a thin line, beyond that there are no dust present onto the wall.

“So, the wall is bent intentionally for a reason?”, asked Jagan.

“Oh! Yeah, to hide anything on it!”, said Arwin.

“How?”, asked Nina.

“Look! The dust! The wall is bended to accumulate dust, so that it hides the content of it”, said Arwin.

“So, let’s clear the dust and look what it is hiding”, said Jagan.

“Not so fast. See the cripples all around it? If we try to disturb it, the wall will shatter”, said Arwin.

Adjacent to the bent wall, there was a hole for keeping ‘Vilakku’ , but Nina noticed that the walls of the hole is not at all dark which should be, due to burning flames tends to deposit carbon all over it. And Nina suspected that, the means for restoring the wall lies inside the hole. She told Arwin about the hole. He decided to find out what’s in the hole. Arwin left his hand onto the hole and he found a rotating disc with figure hole onto it. He inserted his figure inside the hole and started rotating the disc. Upon rotating the disc, the wall tended to restore to its original flat shape. Arwin kept rotating the disc and the wall tended to bend toward them and finally it seemed like a locker with no handle for opening it. Then Arwin said,

“Well, we thought it is a wall intentionally bended. Who would have thought it is a locker”,

“Actually, over locked”, said Jagan.

When the locker is fully opened, the three of them eagerly directed their flashlight into the locker and were shocked by seeing what they saw. There was a skin which had an unfinished writing on it, a sealed bottle of natural ink and a feather used for writing. All the items found inside the locker is covered with dust but not as much as the outside. Nina took the skin writing, Jagan took the sealed ink and Arwin took the feather. They searched if any other thing is left beyond, but all they can find is a symbol on the wall of the locker. The symbol is like an ‘M’ enclosed inside an oval circle and shaded the outside of the ‘M’.

Nina read the writing out loud,

‘Though who seeks the key will get the eternal truth,

But for getting the truth, one needs to have a truthful friendship,

Solve the riddle on your hand to get an unexpected visit from a forbidden devil,

A blue river reaches a lake, but a giant tree sucks all the water,

When the tree is placed on center of the eye,

It will revel’

 

“That’s all it says?”, asked Jagan.

“Yeah. The devil thing creeps me out, though”, said Nina.

“But, what does it mean by ‘Eternal truth’?” asked Arwin.

“I think we will find it when we solve the riddle”, said Jagan.

“But, it is only partial”, said Nina.

“So it seems. They intentionally let the part what the riddle reveals “, said Arwin.

“Yeah. That’s what scares me”, said Nina.

“Okay, okay, let’s solve the riddle and find the truth”, said Jagan.

Nina repeated the riddle, ‘A blue river reaches a lake, but a giant tree sucks all the water’.

“I haven’t seen a tree in middle of a lake. Have you?”, Arwin asked Jagan.

“No, but I don’t think it refers to an actual river!”, replied Jagan.

As soon has he said that, Nina’s eyes widened when she looked at the skin paper. Nina said,

“Hey guys? I know what river it refers!”.

Arwin and Jagan turned towards Nina and saw her holding her flashlight under the skin. As they got to her, their eyes also widened and they chanted ‘Wow’.

The flashlight under the shin revealed an ancient city’s map in art form, but they are sure that it is not Kodaikanal, because there are no mountains seen in that map. As they were amazed by the incredible art, Jagan said,

‘I think, I solved the riddle!”

“What? How?”, asked Arwin.

Jagan pointed a zigzag channel carved onto the skin paper and said,

“See that channel, that’s our river and the sealed ink is our blue water the feather is the giant tree”, said Jagan

“Oh! Yes. So all we need to do is to pour the ink in the channel, right?”, asked Arwin.

“Yeah”, said Jagan.

They placed the paper on the floor and opened the sealed ink bottle and began to pour the ink. The pattern in the paper stated to fill with the blue ink, and it revealed three round features with three different colors. The three round features resemble the lake, but they were confused where to plant the ‘Giant tree’.

“Okay, we have three differently colored lakes. Blue, Red and Black. Where do we plant the feather?”, asked Arwin.

“Um……….I think it will be the black lake”, said Nina.

“Why?”, asked Jagan.

“Because, the riddle says something about a ‘Devil’, so black color represents devil”, said Nina.

“That’s one theory”, said Arwin.

“No, I think it is red lake. Because, the riddle says we place the feather in center of the eye. I presume it is the eye of the ‘Devil’, so it should be red”, said Jagan.

Nina thought that Jagan’s point is somewhat logical than hers. So, Nina agreed to go for the Red lake. As they were going to place the feather on the red lake, Arwin stopped them,

“Wait! It’s the wrong lake. I think we must go for the blue lake”, Arwin said.

“And why do you think that?!”, asked Nina.

“Because, the riddle explicitly says that ‘Giant tree sucks all the water’, so I presume there was no black or red water in ancient India. So, the tree goes on the blue lake”, said Arwin.

“Yeah. It is appropriate, theoretically”, said Jagan.

“So was yours and Nina’s”, replied Arwin.

Jagan and Nina starred at each other for a while and Jagan took a deep breath and agreed to Arwin’s idea. Arwin got the feather and held it for a while and starred at the map. After a while, he placed the feather inside the blue lake.

Initially for a moment nothing happened and Arwin feared, if he had made the wrong decision. Then, the feather’s stem started turning blue. Until then nobody released a breath, and suddenly all three of them relaxed. Jagan said,

“Phew! Now all we need to find is the ‘Devil’s eye’ “.

“Any idea where to look?”, Nina asked Arwin.

“Why are you asking me?”, asked Arwin.

“Nothing. Just, you seem to be good with these things”, replied Nina.

“I…………don’t know!”, said Arwin.

“Okay guys. Now, what does the last part of the riddle says?”, asked Jagan.

Nina looked at the skin paper she had in her hand as chanted, ‘When the tree is placed on center of the eye, It will revel’.

“So, it just says ‘The Eye’, not the “Devil’s eye’ “, said Jagan.

“Okay, now it became even more complicated!”, said Nina.

“No! It is simple. Look inside the locker”, Arwin said.

As they looked inside the locker they noticed a symbol like an ‘M’ and when they looked closer they found a small hole at the center of it. Jagan said,

“There is a hole in it”.

“Yeah! So that’s ‘The Eye’ “, said Nina.

“Yeah. All we need is to place the feather on the eye”, said Jagan.

As they said that, Nina got the feather from Arwin and reached the Locker’s inner wall and placed the feather’s end on the centre of the eye and she pressed it. There was a click when she pressed the feather.

They were standing there starring at the wall for a moment and nothing happened. After a while, the bluish feather started turning to its original color. After the feather turned completely white, there were serious of click sounds that emerged for all the four walls of the literature hall. After a few seconds, the sounds stopped and all the outer layer of the wall started to rip off revealing beautiful paintings all over it.

They were amazed by seeing it happen and they all chanted ‘WOW’.

“Wow!! How is this even possible?”, asked Arwin.

“My best guess would be that, the ink is some kind of catalyst and when it is feed into the hole on the eye, it reacted with some sort of dilute acid making it concentrated. And when it is feed to all the outer layer of the walls, I don’t know how, managed to shatter the brittle concrete”, said Nina.

“Whoa!!! That’s…………..AWESOME!!!!!!!!”, shouted Arwin.

They were all pumped up and ran to every corner to explore the painting on the wall and they all were amazed to see the extraordinary things it revealed. After 30 minutes, they came to rest on the King’s mould in the courtroom and started having some snacks. While they were having coffee and some biscuits, Arwin asked,

“Hey, can any of you guess what the truth might be?”

“I don’t know! Maybe some information about some lost treasure?”, said Jagan.

“Treasure, treasure, treasure! All you brag about is Treasure! I think it will be something about alien invasion”, said Nina.

“Yeah? Well, to find the truth we need to find the ‘Devil’ “, said Jagan.

“But there is nothing said about Devil in any of those paintings?”, said Arwin.

“Then, I suppose we have some thinking to do”, said Nina.

As they finished their Coffee break, it is about 5:30 PM. When Arwin saw his watch, he said,

“Hey, its 5:30. Shouldn’t we get going? Let’s find the truth before it gets dark”.

“Yeah, let’s take another glance on those paintings. We could have missed something”, said Nina.

They got up and went to the literature hall and stared to examine the paintings on the wall. When Jagan was examining the west wall, he said,

“Wow! That’s on scary face!”.

“Huh? What?”, said Arwin.

“Nothing, there is a very angry women in this wall”, said Jagan.

“Well…..I got a very sad women on this wall”, said Arwin.

“Whoa! Guys, I got a happy woman in this wall”, said Nina.

They all thought for a moment and turned and faced each other. All three of them were overwhelming with joy, and Nina said,

“My woman is dressed like an Ancient Indian groom. What about yours?”.

“I think my women is mourning for her lost husband”, said Arwin.

“My women is very angry……………like a devil!!!”, said Jagan with shock.

Nina and Arwin gathered in front of the west wall and wondered what the connection between these pictures is. While they were thinking, Nina said,

“We have an angry women in west, a happy women in north and a sad women in east and all the women are one. What is the connection?”.

“Maybe, it tells about incidents happened during different times in her life?!” said Jagan.

‘No, it is not! All the three pictures resemble same age”, said Nina.

“What do you think, Arry?”, asked Jagan.

“I don’t know! The woman on the west can be our unexpected devil, but why do we have the other two women?”, asked Arwin.

After a moment of silence,

“Maybe, it is a trick”, said Jagan.

“What? How do you know that?”, asked Nina.

“Have you ever heard of High IQ complex?”, asked Jagan.

Nina and Arwin shook their head signing ‘no’.

“It is commonly seen that, high IQ people tend to complicate a very simpler problems by over thinking. So, I think we are over thinking our current situation”, said Jagan.

“No! How can this be over thinking? There are three identical figures and it is explicit that they are connected by some sort of riddle”, said Nina.

“I never said to neglect the three figures, rather they may possess a much simpler connection”, said Jagan.

“Such as?”, asked Arwin.

“Maybe, the three pictures represents the devil in three………..modes”, said Jagan.

“I don’t get it!”, said Arwin.

“Let me explain. If we assume the lady in these pictures is the devil. Then, the first is angry which may tell that, an unexpected thing happened. Second, we have a happy face, which may be because of some answers. The third mode could be because the answers she got may be bad”, said Jagan.

“I am even more confused now”, said Arwin.

“Okay……………..let’s just say that, the angry picture is out unexpected devil”, said Jagan.

“Maybe she is. We found the devil, now what”, asked Nina.

“I don’t know”, said Jagan.

Arwin got near the angry women and looked closer and noticed something. He touched something with his index figure and it revealed something. He turned towards the other two and said,

“Hey guys, I thing I found something”.

Nina and Jagan came near the picture and asked Arwin, ‘what has he found?’

“I think the paintings is made of glass”, said Arwin.

Jagan scratched the painting using his nail and it made a glassy sound and some of the painting came off.

“Yes, it is glass!”, said Jagan.

“I think there is a pathway behind this painting”, said Arwin.

Nina thought for a moment and suddenly remembered something and said,

“I think, it will lead to the first floor”, said Nina.

Arwin and Jagan told Nina to step back and turned their flashlight to the rear and broke the glass. The glass shattered into thousands of pieces revealing a dark and a narrow pathway. They splashed light into the tunnel and found lots of dust and spider webs. Arwin cleared the spider webs and stepped slightly inside the tunnel and inspected it, and said,

“It seems pretty rigid. We will be safe, I think”.

“I think I will be staying here”, Nina said.

“Come on, it is just a few steps into a tunnel”, said Arwin.

“Yeah! It is creepy and it is already 5:45. It will be dark soon. So, I am not coming”, said Nina.

“So, you are going to stay alone in a vast courtyard in the late evening rather that coming with us?”, asked Jagan.

Nina’s fear still raised and she turned away and looked around the literature hall, it became super large and like a haunted house. She said,

“I……..I will come with you. You boys don’t know how to think yourselves”, and walked into the tunnel.

The tunnel was very dark and they only relied on their flash lights. There are no concrete on the walls and on the floor of the tunnel. After stepping a few steps, the pathway inclined and there are step like craving made on the sand. After a few minutes, the pathway led to another glass wall and Arwin broke it and stepped out of the tunnel and found himself in the first floor. Following Arwin, Nina and Jagan came out of the tunnel. They found a carpet beneath their feet full of dust and they found themselves in a bed room with a hand craved king size bed with curtains on its top and a sealed window. They also found a dressing table opposite to the bed with two drawers and a bowl with three wooden pieces in it. There are also some stuffed animals hanging on the wall, and a tea table with two chairs placed on a separated carpet and wardrobe next to the bed which is empty.

“Whoa guys! So this is the king’s bedroom”, asked Arwin.

“I don’t think it is”, said Nina.

“Why do you say that”, asked Jagan.

“Do you see any door for this room?”, asked Nina.

Jagan and Arwin looked around and didn’t see a door.

“That’s strange! How would anyone come here without a door, other than the dark passage?”, asked Arwin.

“I think, this room was never opened until we broke that glass wall”, said Nina.

“That’s strange, this room is fully furnished and it eve have a window”, said Jagan.

“This room must be sealed for some reason”, said Arwin.

The three of them searched different part of the room and they found noting. The wardrobe, the table drawer and all other things are empty.

“There is nothing here”, said Jagan.

Nina lifted the carpet under the tea table and found nothing there as well. Arwin came near the dressing table and took a wooden piece from the bowl and said,

“Hey guys, there is something here you want to see”.

Nina and Jagan came near Arwin and found that, the wooden pieces had some strange carvings and there is something written on the inside bottom of the bowl. It said,

Believe

 

“ ‘Believe’ ! On what?”, asked Jagan.

All the three pieces are about two inches long and about an inch thick. Nina asked for a piece and Arwin handed her one.

“Look, there is a symbol”, Nina said pointing the wooden piece to Arwin.

“It looks like a fish”, said Arwin.

Jagan also had a close look and said, “Actually, there are two fishes opposite to each other”.

“Ah! A Pandian flag”, said Nina.

 “So, this a pandian palace?”, said Arwin.

“Yeah, it looks like. But why this is secretly placed, in a secret room?!”, asked Nina.

All three of them looked closely at the other two pieces. While Arwin and Nina examined the second piece, Jagan looked at the third piece. While Arwin examined the wooden piece, he noticed something. He noticed a thin like in the wooden piece and rotated the piece and noticed that the line flows all over the wooden piece and divided it into two. As soon as he saw that, Arwin said,

“Hey, I think this is a box and there is something hidden inside it”.

Arwin tried to open the box by twisting the piece, but he could not succeed. Nina got the box from Arwin and smashed it against the floor with full force, and the box opened in two, revealing a violet colored silk cloth along with a skin paper in it. They both called Jagan, but he was unresponsive. Arwin and Nina looked in the direction Jagan was standing and found him in a frozen state. Arwin got near him and taped his shoulder. Jagan looked up and his face was very pale and his eyes were wind open. Arwin asked,

“Whoa! man. Are you alright? You look like you have seen a ghost”.

Jagan tried to speak, but words got stuck in his throat. While he managed to come to normal mode, he started stuttering. He said,

“I……I……..thin…..think we found some……..something incredible”.

“What? What did you find?”, asked Arwin.

As they were talking, Nina took the skin paper out of the box and read what’s written on it. Her eyes also widened and she is very excited that she started trembling. While Arwin turned to get Nina’s attention, he found that she was holding the skin paper and looking very closely. He asked,

“Nina! What is it?”.

“Jagan’s right. This is……………..incredible!!!”, said Nina.

Arwin was confused and asked Jagan and Nina, “What is it?”

Arwin snatched the paper from Nina and read what’s written in it and said, “A letter?! Guys! You are freaking out for nothing. It is just a war declaration letter”.

“No! Not just a letter. It is a proof for a lost continent!”, said Nina.

“What are you saying? It does not mention any lost continent”, said Arwin.

“Give it to me, I will read it”, said Nina and got the paper from Arwin and read the inscription out loud.

“Since, the war is beyond our control, we should take measures to save our nation from Lord Karubanan. To achieve that, we should destroy his country completely. I, Raja Phusvardhana Pandian need the Chola and the Chera kings to join me. Together we can destroy Lord Karubanan”.

 

“I don’t understand. It is just a letter sent by a Pandian king”, said Arwin.

“Yeah? For what purpose?”, said Jagan, who until didn’t utter a word.

“To stop a war!”, said Arwin.

“Do you know who is Lord Karubanan?”, asked Nina.

“No!”, replied Arwin.

“He is a lengandary myth, who ruled the largest and smartest territory that prevailed south of our country. Numerous theories have been proposed by various geologists and historians that, there may a lost continent whose existence completely vanished”, said Jagan.

Arwin couldn’t believe what he just heard, ‘south of our country’. He said,

“You mean, the conspiracy of ‘Kumari Kandam’ is true?!!!”

“Yes! And this confirms it”, said Jagan and showed what he found in the wooden piece he examined.

He got the round piece that Jagan found inside the wooden piece. It is blue in color having green inscriptions. It resembled the world map, except there was a land mass that connected India, Australia and Madagascar. Seeing that, Arwin was speechless. Finally, he came to his senses and said,

“Yes, this really confirms it. But, how do they manage to gather other countries details?”

“That, I do not know”, said Jagan.

“But, these all could be faked, right?”, asked Arwin.

“No, there is seal in this letter and moreover an etching test will confirm its life time. I think we leave it to the professionals”, said Nina.

“Okay. So, now all we need to do is to get out of here”, said Arwin and looked in his watch.

It is already 7:30 and they could here thunder outside.

“Guys, hurry. We need to catch the 9:00 PM train”, said Arwin.

As Arwin said that, Jagan was standing on the tea table carpet and he suddenly turned to gather his bag. As he turned, he didn’t notice a small hinge on the floor. He slipped by stepping on the hinge and fell on the floor. It made a loud noise, but it also made a cracking sound. Arwin helped Jagan to get on his feet. Jagan said,

“There is something down there”, said Jagan.

Arwin and Jagan removed the carpet while Nina looked what is under it. She found that, the floor is made of wood and a piece of wood is broken. Nina removed the piece of broken wood and flashed her light to see what is inside it.

There was loud cry by Nina and she fell backwards, that alerted Arwin and Jagan. They rushed to see what happened and they were also shocked. They found numerous skeletons buried underneath the wooden floor. Upon seeing it Nina started to cry and said,

“I want to get out of here!!!”.

“Come on, we need to go. Quickly!”, said Jagan.

They turned and grabbed their backpacks and Nina got the letter and Jagan got the earthpiece. They rushed through the tunnel and came to the court yard. When they saw the palace’s entrance door, there was a very bright white light that made them to cover their eyes. When they came out of the palace it was pouring down like hell, they came to a halt and looked around fearfully.

Arwin said “Whoa! What is this?!”

There were two beams of high resolution lights that were pointed at them from two separate helicopters. They could count at least seven armored military vehicles among which two vehicles had a machine gun pointed at them. In front of the vehicles, there were armed men in a circular military formation and Arwin, Nina and Jagan could see a man with glasses whose face was not clearly visible due to the bright light from the vehicle behind him is standing at the center.

The man took a step forward and spoke with a British accent,

“Destiny, it’s a funny thing”, and he looked away from them and nodded.

Three soldiers came at them and pushed them to the ground and snatched their bags. A fourth soldier brought the bags to their leader. He looked inside the bag and looked at the three soldiers who got the kids and nodded again. Arwin grinned and asked,

“Who are you people?”

The man in glasses came near the kids, bent down and said,

“We are the keepers”.

As soon as he said that, their hands were zip tied and their faces were covered with a black bag.

The helicopter comms murmured, “ Package is secure, clear the area”

The pilot replied, “Roger that, clearing out”.

The two helicopters turned off their lights and headed west. The soldiers got into the armored vehicles and the kids were seated in one of the vehicles and they headed uphill.


© Copyright 2017 Ramvas sarman. All rights reserved.

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