I stared upon the statue of our Hero, Arudja of the Suparana Warrior. Our village honored him for his couragoeus defeat of a Naga Monster that had terrorized the village many years ago, before I was born. Arudja himself was a great warrior of the Grand Garuda Army. At the moment, he was away at a campaign against the Lathos tribe.
The village erected the statue to remind the people of his grand triumph against the threat of the Naga. A tribe I am unfamiliar about, due to our laws forbidding the mention of that topic. We were taught to only Hate them, and never understand why they are a threat to our kind.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw a commotion. Someone cried for help while a mob formed. Helpful as I am, I rushed to the aide.
An old woman was on the ground, while a mob of people beat her with sticks and cursing their hatred upon her. She cried for help, pleading to her punishers. I stepped forward.
“What are you doing?!” I asked the mob of people.
They smashed her legs with a heavy log and I heard the bones crack. She cried with absolute pain. Angered, I grabbed at the weapon and shove the assailant. I weilded the log like a weapon, confronting them. Surprised, they dropped their own weapons and fled. Burning with anger, I threw the log at the departing crowd.
“You’re not worthy as a human being!” I called out to them.
The old woman was sobbing in pain.
“Grandma, are you okay?” I asked, sincerely.
“Thank you…” she whispered, holding onto me. Her skin felt dry and scaly. Her nappy grey hair brushed my cheeks and it felt hard as grass.
I helped her up, taking her weight into mine and dragged her over to where the statue reside. I sat her down. Her legs were swollen.
“Bless you, child,” she said, her sobbing subdued and she look at me with hard eyes. “Your warmth gave me new strength.”
“Why does one fall into such hatred?” I asked, mainly to myself as I felt the anger rising back.
“Because they are blind,” the old woman said, “Their fear feed into their hatred.”
“Why is that, grandma?” I asked, returning her strong gaze.
“Because they are Suparana,” she merely said, “And I am of Naga descent.”
I nodded, but not understanding the difference. In my eyes and belief, we are all Humans. Why does one have to treat the other with lesser respect due to our different tribe?
“Our kinds have been at war with each other for centuries,” the old woman continued, “We are destined to hate one another.”
“My grandfather will tend to your wound,” I said, lifting her from her sitting position. Her legs were limp as she clung onto me. I took her to my back and carried her to my hut-house.
My grandfather is my only family. He is known as a great sage to the village. Wise beyond his years. When he was young, he was once a Suparana Warrior. His mechanical wings hung in our home like a trophy on display. He taught me how to use those wings.
The Suparana Warriors are soldiers of the Grand Garuda Army. They were trained by the Gods and our Lord, Garuda himself. The wings were gift from the Gods and each Warrior have the capablitiy to take flight in the air and strike their enemies from above.
When I got to my home, I found the Old Sage inside.He was in the midst of crying.
“Grandpa!” I called out, “I have brought someone who is in need of help! She is severely hurt!”
The Old Sage stood up with his walking stick and limped toward us. He tried descreatly to wipe away his tears. I had asked him many times in the past, why does he cry? He answered that his heart is heavy and his mind is split between Hatred and Sorrow. The Old Sage always said to me to never fall into Hate, because our Life will be darken and we would never understand what Love is.
He revealed to me that my Father and Mother fell into such dispair that their Hatred was the cause of their broken union. He said that I was lucky he came just in time to prevent me to fall into the Darkness and be lost. I would not have my Life if it was not for the Love of my grandfather.
I seated the old woman on the straw mat, gently. The Sage’s eyes reflected something when he saw the old woman. The old woman’s eyes brighten and she smiled warmly at him.
“What happened?” he merely asked, hiding his emotions from his face.
“A mob attacked her, grandpa,” I said, “I drove them away. She needed my help, and I cannot refuse.”
“You did a kind thing, Vysara,” the Old Sage replied, “Your compassion saved her.” He looked at me and remind me again, “Never fall into Hate, my child.”
“I would never thought of such, grandpa,” I replied, stepping away as he tend to her injury.
I woke up in the middle of the night. My tears were wet on my face. The dream faded and once again, I ponder why I cry in my sleep. Everynight, since I turned of age into a young man, I felt alone. I began to dream of a woman, who called for me with open arms. She whispered my name, “Vysara…Vysara…”
In the dream, I was in a swamp. I was crying with sorrow, my body dragging on the mud. I was alone and I called for my mother. But she does not exist and that is why my heart is heavy.
My grandfather tells me not to fall into Hate, but to know what Love is. But what is Love? I still do not understand, because I am deprived of Love from a mother that does not exist in my Life. I know only kindness, thinking and believing that is what Love is. But I am empty at night. I never heard the soft voice of a mother singing to her child. I never felt the warm embrace. And so, I cry in my sleep, and I cry when I am alone.
And only in dreams do I hear the voice of a mother calling to her child.
“Vysara…” the voice whispered. I am awake, but I hear the voice calling me.
A shadow appeared in the doorway. I sat alert. He limped toward me, my grandfather. His eyes were warm and his smile soothed me. It is only his familiar presence that sooths me for the moment.
The Old Sage sat himself upon the straw mat-bed.
“What you did today was honorable,” the Sage said, in a hoarse whisper that fell into a stern lecture. “But be warn, my child. A dark aura surrounds this village. Something wicked this way comes. But no matter what, never fall into Hate.”
His demeanor revealed a secret that wants out. And I have an idea of his concern. I asked him what was on my mind.
“She is Naga,” I said, referring to the old woman, “Why must we hate her? Your concern is that you harbor an enemy of our village. Thus you are warning me of the perils ahead.”
“Be careful of her ideas,” the Old Sage said, “She will try to influence you into her belief.”
He gets up with the help of his walking stick. But before he leave, he turn to me and added, “Your Father fell into Hate because of the Naga. But it was your Mother who fell to her Death because of THAT woman.”
My heart sank as the old Sage departed into the shadow. He left me with a cold dread. For the first time, I almost fell into Hate.
* * *
The farmer awoke with a start. The ground in which he slept upon with his straw mat, trembled. He hears a whispering sound. Something had disturbed the cattles. In the darkness of night, he crept toward his fields. The trinkling of cowbells echoes noisily in the shadows. A huge shape emerged from the fields and a cattle cried out desperately.
The Shape hissed with hot breath. Its opens its mouth with glistering fangs. The Shape chomp into a cattle and lift it in the air, swallowing it whole. The night air broke with the scream of the farmer. The Shape turned its direction toward the alarm. The Shape hissed with the cry of the man. It glided toward him swiftly and took him into its curling body.
The farmer’s cry of fear trailed behind.
* * *
I woke up to the sound of the cocks crowing. I went to wash up and noticed the Sage’s room was empty. He had already gone to the monastary for his morning prayers. It was the old woman who still stayed. She had waited for me while I washed up. I walked past her lying on the straw mat. Her eyes bored into me, watching me like a snake, almost mesmerized by my movement.
I put the pot on the stove to start some tea and made pouridge.
“How do you feel, grandma?” I stiffly turned to her, addressing her before returning my attention to the stove.
“How was your sleep, child?” she asked in a voice almost teasing.
I gave a shrug and said, “Dreams are like whispering wind. They linger only for a few moment, until they passes through.”
“Oh but, if the whispering of the dreams are heard over and over again,” the woman said, “it is trying to tell you something.”
When the tea and the pouridge was ready, I served it to her and one for myself. We stir the hot meal with wooden spoon, and our conversation began to turn into something more.
“Why do we fear the Nagas?” I asked, boring my eyes into her, digging for some knowledge.
She swayed her grey head this way and that, almost trying to listen to the wind. Her mind drifting elsewhere, but then, her eyes returned and they fell sharply into mine. Her attitude changed, then.
“King Garuda waged war on the Naga,” the old woman recited, “His hatred for his blood cousins was far greater than the Devil and God, themselves. King Vasarak of the Naga, released Garuda’s mother in good faith. Hoping to end this bloodshed, even though the Naga were plenty. But even with honorable intentions, the Naga was still viewed as wicked and Garuda campaigned with the Heavens to eliminate the Naga Bloodline.
“The Naga, fueled by anger of this prejudice, dwell even further into their hatred and fed into their vengenance. Their own darkness created the Naga Beast, a giant Serpent of Chaos, fueled only by Hate and hungers for destruction.
“The followers of Garuda witnessed the chaos of the Naga Beast. They cry out to their lord for a saviour. But Garuda lies within the Heaven. Only the mortal men of Suparana, Khrut, and the Khangarid tribes took arms against all of Naga tribes. For centuries, the followers of Garuda have waged war with anyone who are of Naga descent. Their hatred and their fear of the Naga and the chaos of the Naga Beast have fueled centuries of repugnance.”
“Centuries of Hate,” I muttered, almost in disgust.
“It is Hate that brings the Darkness of Man’s heart,” the old woman commented, “The Naga Beast was the outcome of the Naga people. But the Suparana feeds into that Hatred, thus attracting the Beast’s hunger.”
A cold dread filled the morning air with all this talk of Hate. Outside, a rumbling is heard. Something hurled into the hut with intentional aggression. It was a rock.
A sharp voice called out. “Show yourself WITCH!”
Such hostility violated my spirit, and I charged out from my hut with eyes burning with rage.
“How DARE you infringed on my property!” I exclaimed.
A handful of people stood couple of feet from the entrance to my territory. Their face twisted with unconcealed hatred. The old woman dragged herself to the doorway.
“Stay back, grandma!” I yelled at her, almost angry at her own stupidity.
The mob of people threw rocks at her. I moved in front of her, blocking the oncoming stones. One of the stone strike at her temple, and she toppled backward. I quickly picked up the fallen stone and hurled it at them with angry vigor. I returned their stones as fast as they sent them.
Behind me, the old woman moaned and struggle to get up. She was at the doorway again. And again, a stone met her chest and she cried out in pain, falling back.
“Stop this!” I yelled at the mob, and also at the old woman who is getting to her feet again, coming toward the attack.
They held their stones in balled fist. One of them stared accusingly at me. “Why do you protect that scum? That filth is not worthy to call Human!”
“Why do you judge her?” I asked, “Does God not want you to Love and Forgive your bretheren?”
“Our God command that we strike at those who follow the Serpent!” hissed the villager.
“So you strike at me as well?” I challenged.
“You are a Snake in Eagle’s clothing,” replied the villager, “You do not follow the commandment of Lord Garuda!”
A thundering voice broke our engagement. “Enough of this!”
The Old Sage limped forward with his walking stick. The old man was ancient, but his voice was commanding. The villagers lost their twisted face. They bow respectfully at the old sage.
“Lord Garuda bless,” the Sage calmly said, “Indeed our Lord have commanded that we treat our bretheren with Love and Forgiveness. Take heed, my brothers. Do not fall into Hate! For the Serpent tempts you into its darkness.”
The villagers grumbly agreed and they sauntered away with their head low.
I helped the old woman up and carried her back to the straw mat. I gently laid her down and tended to her wound. I was still heated from the encounters with those villagers. I avoided my eyes from my grandfather.
The Old Sage peered down at me, waiting patiently for me to comment. But I did not feel like talking. Filth would have fallen from my mouth, and I would have shamed him.
“Know what Hate is,” the Old Sage advised, “Once you stumble upon it, you will know not to Fall again into such sentiment.”
He then limped out of the hut, and calmly took his stroll through the dirt path.
* * *
He appeared in the twilight sky with two of his Elite Soldiers. Arudja lead the pack with his golden mechanical wings spread magnificantly. The setting sun trailed behind them.
They finally came upon their home village by the darkness, landing gracefully at the village square where the statue of the Suparana Hero dispalyed. The man in the flesh, stood proudly before his image.
“Dark aura surrounds this village like a horrible stench,” Arudja said with disgust, “The threat of the Naga lingers.”
“Let us rest, my brother,” said Armand, Arudja’s second in command, “We are restless from our flight.”
“The Serpent does not rest!” Arudja growled, “We made a promise to this village many years ago that we will protect our people from this Devil!”
“Our presence will be noticed if we remain here longer than the sun’s descent,” Prasadj said, his eyes scouting the woods, “Let us seek shelter first, and refuel.”
Arudja’s grumbly agreed. Their return was to be secret, for they heard from a source of this village that the Naga has resurfaced.
* * *
I was crawling on the mud, my tiny arms dragging my body. A cry was heard like a squeal of a pig. I realized it was my voice.
The swamp was lit by a mysterious green glow. The water was pitch black and in the middle of the swamp was a mound of land.
In the center of that tiny island, a shape emerged and was sihouletted by the green glow. Through my own crying, I heard a deep voice calling me with a strong tone.
My voice trailed into silence, the sound fading like an echo. My tiny arms lifted my body from the mud as I peer into the shadows at the shape.
She held out her arms to me, beckoning me to come to her. Her body within the shadow was grey. Her upper torso was naked and her chest stared at me with huge mounds of flesh. Her face was a beauty, with green eyes and ruby red lips. Her hair was thick and the color of Grass.
She was sprawled on the mound, her bottom torso hidden in the darkness.
I opened my mouth and cried again. I drag my body into the pitch water, feeling the cold rushing into my spirit. I cried to her for help, but she stayed where she was, encouraging me to come.
“Come Vysara…” she rumbled her deep voice into my subconsiousness. “Come to Mother…”
“Mother…” I mumbled, the word waking me from my sleep.
My eyes focused in the darkness. Something stirred in the shadow. I instantly became alert. I heard a whisper.
The Old Woman dragged herself to me. I quickly took her into my arms to aid her.
“What are you doing awake in this early morning?” I asked, seating her on my straw mat.
“You were mumbling in your sleep, child,” she said, peering into my eyes.
“I’m sorry to have waken you,” I said.
“It is no problem,” she merely said, shaking her dirty grey head, “You were dreaming of Her.”
“How do you know?” I asked, curious.
“She is our Queen,” the old woman said, smiling with confidence, “You are blessed, for she has revealed herself to you.”
“Who is she?” I asked.
“She is the Naga Mother,” the old woman replied, “She gave birth to the Nagas. Our race have been declining due to the slaying of our Naga King by the Garuda. Our race of 1,000 have dwindled, and the Naga Mother can not conceive more of our kind.”
“Why then am I visited from her?” I asked.
“She’s looking for her Naga Prince,” the old woman said, looking into my eyes with deep penetrations.
The cocks crow brought the morning to life. But Chaos met the villagers. They gathered in front of the square, where the crumbled statue of Arudja laid in rubbles. Whispers of murmer buzzed around the ruins. The statue was in pieces, but the head of the image was intact in a decapitated position. It was the Old Sage who limped forward with his walking stick, to examine the destruction.
“Who would do such a thing?” asked the elder of the village.
The Old Sage started to reply. But a voice cut in.
“Dark aggressions to bring upon confusions and panice among our people,” Arudja appeared quickly in a flash from the morning sky. Two of his men followed behind.
“Arudja!” the crowd greeted with excitement.
The Old Sage straighten up and faced the Suparana Hero.
“Aryan…” the Old Sage greeted.
Arudja flinched with disgust from the greeting of the Old Sage. He greeted the villagers, instead.
“My people! Only when Darkness threaten my home, do I return to confront this evil. Something wicked has surfaced, and wish to bring destruction upon the Suparana.”
The crowd gasped, and the whispering continues. “Why? Why is this happening?”
“Arudja has returned to save us!”
“Our Hero in the flesh!”
“Hatred destroyed your image,” the Old Sage said, “I am not refering to this idol, but to the man in flesh. The Darkness is from your own heart, Aryan.”
“A message was sent when this wicked devil destroyed my stone figure,” Arudja replied, “A clear message that Darkness have surfaced and is threatening my home.”
“Last night, I heard a rumbling sound and a loud clap of noise!” a villager spoke up, “I thought it was Thunder! But now, I see this rubbles in front of me. Something lurks in the Shadow!”
“This Something is our enemy!” Arudja spoke up. “Take heed, for the vile creature of the Naga has returned!”
The crowd went into a frenzy murmers. “Naga? How could this be?”
“The Devils have resurfaced!”
“I knew it!”
“What’s a Naga?”
One villager step forward.
“My Lord Arudja,” he greeted, “There is a woman in this village who is of Naga descent. Since she has appeared, our livestocks and our farmers have been encountering strange occurance.”
“My cattles are ill!”
“My fields are ruined!”
“The Farmer, Kisan is missing,” a woman stepped forward, “His cattles are gone also.”
“Do you now see that our village is being threatened?” Arudja challenged, “Where is this Naga woman?”
A portly man nervously stepped forward. “My lord, she is last seen at the foot of the mountain that leads to the monastary.” His eyes nervously darted toward the Old Sage, who calmly stood with his walking stick supporting his weight.
“The hut by the foot of the monastary…” Arudja slowly aknowledge. “Yes, I do remember the place.”
I heard a terrible cry of horror that caused my spine to twinged. Outside the hut, loud voices barking Hate as a man dragged the old woman from her place.
“HEY!!” I called out.
The front yard was a gathering of people, their face twisted with loathing venom. The man with the golden wing and the face of the Suparana Hero dragged the woman like a rag doll. He grasped her head and a blade appeared at her throat.
“Wait!” I cried with desperation, charging from the hut-door.
The golden-wing man looked up at me with detest. The old woman pleaded for help. She whimpered underneath his grip.
“Who are you?” he asked, the blade burning close to the old woman’s skin. “Those who aide the Naga will be dealt death! Anyone who are NOT Suparana is not welcomed in this LIFE!!”
“Let her GO, you DEMON!” I hissed at him, the burning anger inside of me coming to a boil.
“You will be NEXT!” the man hollared. His two assistant came at me and held me at both side. I struggled against them, but they had a strong hold on me.
“Careful, Aryan,” the Old Sage warned, stepping between the both of us, “Your hatred will lead you to misjudgment. Be warned. You may have changed your name, but your blood and His shared the same.
“He is your son.”
The revelation of the Old Sage meant nothing to me.
But the man’s face twisted with fury. “Blasphemy!” he spat in disgust.
“You are mistaken! I lived my life with purity and celibacy. I have NEVER coupled with a woman! YOU SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE!”
In his fury, he grasped the old woman’s hair and with a quick slice, severed the old woman’s head cleanly from her body.
“NO!!” I hollered with great rage! My eyes burned with red fury as I witness the man lift the woman’s head into the air, and the villagers around him cheered with joyfulness.
My knees buckled under me, and I fell to the ground. My heart ached for the old woman, who stared at me with half-lid eyes fading into emptiness. Blood drips from the decapitated neck, drenching the ground with her stains. Her headless body toppled forward and it jerked in Death.
The two Suparana Warriors unsheathed their blades and I felt the cold steel on my neck.
“STOP!” I heard the Old Sage cried out.
Rage filled me and I let out an angry wail. My voice was drowned by another Roar, coming from the woods. The crowd grew silent and their attentions turned toward the sound.
The trees parted and a huge Shape emerged, blacker than night. It hissed with vengance and each breath came out with violent gust.
“The Beast!” one of the Suparana Warrior called out.
The crowd departed with fear. The three Suparana Warrior took into the air. The Shape roared with Fury and snapped at the flying warriors.
“Vysara!” the Old Sage was at my side, putting a firm hand on me.
I snapped away from him, shoving at the warm hand on my shoulder. I did not want to feel his warmth. He could not Calm me, as I brought myself into despair. My teeth clenched and my body tremble with something hideous..sssss!
I shook with RAGE!! The Shape lunged upward at the flying warriors. It’s black shape started to fill into flesh. My breathing became frenzy as I continue to feed into my Anger. I grunted with thunder. Each temper brought the Beast closer to fullness.
“Vysara, come back to me!” the old Sage shook me with caring hands.
My body boiled with rage, my head fuming with intense craze. My eyes became blinded with fury. I howled viciously as I lost all of my humanity. The sickness was rising, and I did not try to hide what I felt!
Hatred. I fed the Beast with my Hatred, and the Naga Serpent was complete.
“Vysara…” the old Sage pleaded with defeat.
I found him underneath me, my clawed hands upon his throat. My eyes returned its vision, and revealed what’s left of my humanity. My breath caught in my throat. My fingers released its harden grip, and I fell away from the remains of my grandfather.
“Love….” He commanded with his final breath. His eyes fading into emptiness.
“No…” I whispered back.
* * *
The Beast was a glistering Serpent with skin of diamond, reflecting the blue sky. It was a beaut! Its head was twice the size of the flying Suparana. It snapped at the flying men in the sky with fangs six feet tall. It blew its hot breath in the air, causing the winged men to tumble through the sky.
From the hut-house, a figure shot into the air from the entrance. He had donned the wings of the fallen Sage, his eyes burning with hatred. Those eyes reflected back something wicked.
Arudja steadied himself in the air. From the corner of his eyes, he saw the young man flying toward him with intense speed. Arudja met the young man in mid-air.
Vysara lunged at the Suparana, taking him against the current. Arudja jammed an elbow into Vysara’s back, and then lifting the young man’s head to introduce his fist. Vysara felt the numbness as his face stung from the blow. His eyes seeing spot of white in his visions.
They wrestled in the air, with their wings beating and trying to stabalize their body in the air. Arudja was strong, striking with forceful punches that pushed Vysara against the air current. The young man was wobbling in the air like a chick trying to fly.
Vysara’s vision cleared, for just a brief moment. He bored into those dark eyes that was filled with Hatred. They reflected his own, . . and they were identical.
"For that brief moment, I saw myself in his eyes.
For a brief moment, I thought I’ve lost the Hate.
But wait…I have no son! I am Arudja! I am Suparana!!" --Arudja
Arudja releashed the force of his Hatred and all of his energy into his fist. It accelerated toward the young man with great velocity.
"Time slowed briefly and I was floating in the air. My mind was but a dream and my body carried by soft hands.
I don’t quite remember who I am. Darkness had taken over, and I lost myself.
I thought I was dreaming,
But the roar of reality came thundering by
And I remember….
My eyes focused upon the energy surrounding the Suparana. They were fire red energy.
I would not describe the energy as dark.
I would say, the energy he unleashed upon me was…..Chaos." --Vysara.
The ball of energy shot forward and bathed Vysara in its force of disorder. Vysara’s body jerked from the impact, and the air current blew the young man from the sky.
I was floating again, but this time at an incredible speed. Flying backward, without my wings. My eyes staring into the sky that was breezing by. I was falling rapidly, and then…I felt the ground striking against my back. My body bounced from the ground and continue to skid, backward.
The sudden force of the ground breaking the speed of my fall, jolted me from loosing consciousness. I flipped a couple of time during the skidding and the bouncing. My whole limbs, paralyzed.
The light around me became dimmed. The sky cluttered with trees. And then, when my body came to a halt, I felt the cool damp ground. The swamp soaked into my clothes. My mechanical wings, broken and pieces of the shards stuck into my back.
This time, without the sudden jolt of the ground against my body, I began to loose consiousness.
The giant Serpent chomp into Prasadj, taking the Suparana into its huge mouth and crunching the mechanical wings with its massive jaw. The Suparana let out a cry of horror as he slipped into the deep cavern of the Beast’s throat, tumbling into its stomach.
Armand zipped forward with his war-hammer and forcefully brought it down onto the skull of the Beast with a thundering clap. The Beast’s head felt the powerful blow and wobbled in the mid-air.
Arudja zipped forward and pierced the Naga Beast’s throat with his sword, and then cutting downward toward its stomach. The flesh parted and a digested Prasadj slipped from the cut, tumbling toward the ground.
The two Suparana sliced and blunted the Naga Beast until it tottered in the air, loosing its own strength.
Arudja reeled back and brought forth his chaotic energy blast, once again.
HATE! Feast on its power, you Naga Devil! You shall know the wrath of Garuda!
The powerful blast of Chaotic Energy engulfed the Naga Beast, tearing into its diamond flesh. The Naga Beast roared with a final force as its flesh deteriorate into the wind. The Naga Beast’s Shadow linger for a brief moment, until it too faded into the air.
The breeze took over the diamond flesh of the Naga, and it traveled toward the swamp where a body laid unconcious. The sparkling essence of the Naga rained ontop of the proned body, illuminating the remains.
My body laid prone on the swampy mud, my face buried in its muck. Something slithered around me, tiny bodies squirming in the soggy ground.
I stirred with Life, mustering the tiny bit of energy left in me. I pushed against the mud, barely lifting my body from the ground. I could not feel my legs.
My bottom half felt numb, as my spine was shattered from the fall. I lifted my head out of the sludge and blink away the blur. Wiping the filth from my eyes, I peered into the swamp. Visions blurring, but refocusing once again at the marsh lake.
The mound of land was at the center of the lake. It moved, squirming actively as if it was a living body. Then, her figure appeared from the center. Only her upper half came into view, sihouletted by the green glow of the swamp mist.
“Vysara…” her voice brought me into awareness.
I must be dreaming again.
I dragged my body through the sods, moving only inches in a slow pace like a snail with a broken shell. I grunted with effort and whimpered from the feeling of uselessness. The image of the old woman’s head being raised in the air and the cheering of the villagers came back to me like a movie reel. I cried out in frustration and I growled with sudden anger.
Those emotions renewed me with a bit of strength, and I continue to crawl toward Her. My visions blurred again, but with tears as another image of my grandfather came into my mind. I cried desperately to be released from these images. They were spears forcefully prodding into my heart. I cried with sorrow and anger. I wailed into the swamp for deliverance.
She continued to beckon me into her arms. I continued to crawl toward her, crying the voice of a child calling for his mother to take away the pain.
I wriggled into the black water, feeling the cold engulfing me. I pushed forward until the water came to my face. My weary body limping into the watery grave. My arms were tired and I released the support, causing my body to fall into the shallow flood.
The icy bank overwhelmed me as my head dipped into the water. But something supported me. Wriggling shapes slithered to my aid, gathering below my weak body and lifting me above the water line. I gasped for air as I floated toward the mound and the half-shape woman.
My fingers reached for the mound of land. I clung onto the scaly earth. The slithering shapes that had supported me, squirmed from my presence. I looked up at the shadow woman.
“Vysara…” she greeted, with glowing eyes and a welcome smile.
I made an effort to crawl over to her. The ground underneath trembled. It squirmed from below me, and I came to the realization that indeed, the mound of land was alive!
Her upper torso was connected to the mound of land, for they were her remaining body. Her bottom torso was a giant snake’s tail, curled around on top of the swamp bed.
The giant tail lurched upward below me, lifting me closer into her arms. She held me, my limp legs dangling below. She was a huge Beast, as she held me between my arms as if I was still a baby. She wrapped those heavy arms around me and brought me close to her giant bossom as she cradled me. She whispered her strange language into my ears, singing a sweet lullaby.
My head felt heavy as the numbing of my body waned. The dull ache of my body reminded me of my perils. I fell asleep in her arms.
“This will end, now!” Arudja growled with forceful vigor.
The two remaining Suparana fluttered in the air, after the defeat of the Naga Beast.
“The young Naga boy must not Live!” Arudja revealed.
“My lord, I don’t believe he would have survived that blow you’ve delivered to him,” Armand said.
Arudja grabbed at Armand roughly with clawed fingers. His eyes burned with incredible Rage.
“Don’t underestimate those Devils, Armand,” the Suparana said, “Those Snakes have ways of re-emerging from extinction! There will always be more of their kind.”
Arudja dashed forward, toward the swamp where the young man disapeared to.
* * *
When I woke, I found myself lying upon squirming bodies. I was in a nest of slippering flesh that was silky and soft upon my own. The “snake-bodies” brushed upon my injury and tended to the wounds. Nipping teeth snatched away dead flesh on my body. They stripped me of my mortal being.
The legs that were immobile, peeled away as the creatures devoured the useless limb. I did not fell into horror when they tore by bottom half. My body felt numb and my mind was away, dreaming.
Strong jaws of a serpent bit down upon my shoulder like a powerful hand gripping on me. Those jaws massaged my weary shoulder, and I felt at ease from the kneading and care that was provided to me.
The nest was dark, and only the dim light of moonlight reflected from the scaly bodies offered me illumination. Yet I still could not see those dark creatures inside the nest with me.
They continue to peeled my human self, until a huge shadow appeared at the mouth of the pit. She appeared like a majestic queen, returning from a hunt. Her mass was huge, blocking most of the sky, from where I laid inside the pit-nest. She glided downward toward me, slowly and cautiously. Her face was warm and filled with Love.
“Vysara…” her deep voice came into my head, “Welcome home.”
The Squirming bodies departed from my half form, and I already missed their soft flesh next to mine. I felt cold, without their nurturing.
“My prince,” she continued, staring deeply into my dazed eyes, “I will make you whole again. And you will be reborn as the rightful heir of the Naga!”
She took me into her arms, wrapping her tail around me. Even with the numbness and the cold, I found my way into her womb and I entered into her warm dwelling. She wrapped those tails around me, supporting me and I felt my soul being released into her.
She hissed a sigh of pleasure, and then, chomped her fangs into me. She drank my mortal being, and I was offered the visions of Truth.
“For so long, I have waited for my Prince to return to me. The death of King Vasarak by the hands of the ruthless Garuda, have left a void in our existence. A garden will not be fruitful without a Seed being plant.
For many years, we’ve sent out Scouts to find the One who posessed the Blood of the Naga King. The Heavens were treacherous in hiding the essence of OUR King in the midst of our enemy’s territories.
Many Naga Scouts were murdered by the hands of the Suparana. But…we suddenly changed our tactics. Knowing full well that we are Hated, we push for our adversary to feed that Hatred, thus bringing forth the Naga Beast.
The Naga Beast, itself is the only remains of the Naga King. It is a shadow of our Lord, Vasarak. Only when we find the one who possessed his Blood would the Beast itself became whole.
Vysara, your Mother; the one who bore you was a child of royal Naga descent. Her own blood was of the last line to the Naga link. Her powers were just evolving, but they were chaotic and unstable.
She was murdered by the Man with the Golden Wing. He will seek to destroy the Naga and our Bloodline! You will STOP him!”
* * *
Arudja landed by the swamp bed. His sharp eyes survey the surroundings. He wanted to make sure that the Naga boy is dead so that the Naga bloodline will be annihilated. Arudja realized that the boy is the only male desendant of the Naga Blood, and through him and his venom would the Naga be complete again.
Something slither in the damp ground. The shadows grew darker. Arudja became alert. The steel blade ring in the silent fields, as he unsheathed his sword.
Suddenly, there was a voice, whispering. Arudja zipped forward to the shadow, and the blade cut upon flesh. The shadow lifted and Arudja stared into the shock face of Armand, who’s eyes reflected confusion before his head severed from his body.
Arudja growled in anger and devestation. He dropped the sword that was stained with Suparana blood. He clutched his head in distraught. He howled into the swamp air.
The Shapes slither toward the sound like a predator attracted to a wounded prey. The swamp became a murmer of hisses. Arudja confronted the army of slithering shapes. Through the dim-lit swamp, he could make out their features. Glowing yellow, demonic eyes piercing through the shadows. Their heads were double the size of any serpent, and their body were twice as thick. Yet, they were only seven feet long. They could not be normal serpent.
They are the real Naga Serpent. They surrounded him in a circle. Arudja slowly reached for his fallen blade. One Naga approached him, cautiously. It reeled upward to meet him eye to eye. The Naga Snake’s eyes reflected recognization, and Arudja’s himself stared at one of his.
The Naga Prince hissed with caution at Arudja, who flinched from the sudden action. The Naga Prince veered to the right, and once again hissed at the Suparana. Arudja kept his stand in front of the Snake Beast, to avoid the creature from attacking him from behind. The Naga Prince beckon for Arudja to follow its directional suggestion. It pointed toward the swamp.
Arudja cautiously staggered toward the swamp, where a shape slowly ascend from the swamp bed. The Naga Serpents stayed behind, creating a wall of bodies to prevent the Suparana from turning back. Although, Arudja still donned his mechanical wings.
“Aryan…” whispered a voice into his subconsiousness.
He flinched again from the reminder of his Old Name. He stepped cautiously toward the Figure in the swamp lake.
She emerged from the water, fully naked and in the Flesh. Her caramel skin glowed vibrantly in the shadows as if the moonlight’s rays emits from her body. Her silky black hair danced in the air as if a breeze was blowing gently.
Her face was beautiful and her eyes was the perfect almond shape. But those eyes had no irises, they were pitch black and hallow. Her lucsious lips was curled into a smile, but they did not emit warmth. Those lips parted and revealed glistering fangs.
The ghostly woman took a step forward, walking upon the water’s surface. Her approach appeared cautious, but a threatening dread fell upon Arudja and he felt something that he had not felt for a long time.
Arudja took a step backward. Behind him, the Naga Serpents hissed their disaproval. The Naga Prince slither forward and pushed him from behind, toward the approaching woman. Arudja twisted and brought the sword upward in a slice. The Naga Prince veered away from the blade, and took the SUparana into its coiling tail. The blade fell from his hand as the tail squeezed him with a strong grip. He cried out in agony.
The Naga Prince hissed with anger and it spoke. “Retribution for the Naga… Justice-sss for Mother!”
The Naga Prince upper torso materialized into the form of Vysara. His human body was a geen hue, and his face was ashen. He sneered with glistering fangs, and hissed his anger at the man who shared his blood.
“Deceiving devils!” Arudja sneered, “Lord Garuda will settle my vengeance upon all you Serpents!”
“Look at what you’ve caused!” Vysara sneered, pointing to the ghostly woman, whose own neck had a ring around where a blade once sliced through.
“And look around you!” Vysara hissed with even more anger.
The Naga Serpents dissolved and took form of young children, women, and old men who died upon the hands of the Grand Garuda Army who had murdered the innocent lives of the Lathos and all other Naga worshiping tribe.
“Your own Hate killed those who were innocent,” Vysara pointed out, “And with their suffering and death, their essence fed into the Naga Beast. The more they suffer and many who will suffer even greater by the command of Lord Garuda, the Naga Beast will forever terrorize the Suparana.”
“This Hatred must end for both our kind to live in peace,” Vysara continued, “Thus you must spread the word…”
Vysara released Arudja into the ground, where he tumbled toward the ghostly woman, who had stood patiently. He slowly looked up at her, and finally recognize her face.
“You should settle your amends first with Her,” Vysara commanded.
Arudja slowly stood up. His face was conflicted with emotions.
“Aryan…” her voice was a ghostly echo.
His eyes reflected something, but it soon grew cold.
“I am Arudja,” he said, turning to the Naga Prince. “I am Suparana! Lord Garuda forbids the union between Naga and Suparana. The outcome of such is an abomination to the Heavens.”
“You spit your venomous Hate without conscious,” Vysara hissed, “I offer you compassion, hoping you will understand the sins you’ve commited.”
Arudja laughed, spitefully. ‘You dark serpents don’t know what compassion is! Your kinds are the follower of Darkness! You try to Deceive and tempt me into your immoral belief and your false compassion. I would rather die and offer my soul and body to the Heavens, than to be a Slave to the Naga!”
The Naga Serpents around him hissed with agitation. Their heads ducked low on the ground, yearning to pounce on the Suparana.
Vysara’s face revealed defeat. His eyes glowed vibrantly, and his breath came out into hisses.
“What more can I offer you…Father?” Vysara asked, softly but menacingly, “Why won’t we end this continuous conflict? What is it that you want from us?”
The Suparana’s eyes grew cold and something wicked flicker in Arudja’s soul. “I want your head..” Arudja replied, loathingly.
The Serpents hissed, and was on him in an instant. Fangs piercing flesh, and venom spurting as they chomp into the Suparana with anger and hate. Prince Vysara stood frozen and numb, as he witness the Nagas tearing the Bird-Man into strings of flesh. The woods became a jumble of noises from the screaming of the Suparana and the hissing of the Naga.
Vysara bowed his head in defeat, and slithered away from the feeding. He felt disgusted with himself and with the Hate that ran its course into this entire saga. He was empty of the Hate, but it still lingers from others who wish to push the feelings onto him.
Reborn and reformed, the Naga Prince offered the Suparana forgiveness instead of waging full war on the entire people of Suparna. But the Suparana Arudja was overflowing with HATE. And he denied the Naga Prince’s resolution.
Vysara slithered toward the Naga Mother, and cuddled between her giant tail for warmth. She wrapped around him, offering her protective embrace.
“You can’t change what have been destined for so long, for so many centuries,” the Naga Mother said, softly and offering a bit more humanity. “Who are we to offer this truce, knowing well that Suparana and Naga are mortal enemies?”
“Then they shall know the Fury of the Naga Prince!” he said, sneering with abhorrence.
End. © May 2009
© Copyright 2017 Sammy Wang Yang. All rights reserved.
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