The Guardians Of The Earth
The Guardians Of The Earth33 mins 343 33 mins 343
I find a trapdoor in the middle of a tar road
It was a nice and cool night. Stars were shimmering even though there was pollution in the air of Pune. Everywhere it was peacefully silent. But here I was, panting and running down the dark alley in the middle of nowhere. My school uniform was already muddy. I glanced behind. 'Oh no. They are still following me', I thought, as I struggled to increase my speed. I wasn't exactly the fastest athlete in my class, but I didn't exactly run like a tortoise (if tortoises ever ran). I jumped over a dumpster and avoided some planks of wood. I ducked behind a corner. I sat down, panting and catching my breath.
I gathered all that had happened in the past one hour. 'Summing all my actions, I can come to only one conclusion: I am seriously stupid.'
A lot had happened since I had got off the school bus, one hour ago. Yeah, we students of 8th Standard had our one day trip to a textile factory. It was interesting and we came back to the school grounds at 7 o' clock. 'Dad had told me to straight away take a taxi back home. I still have the money. Could those creatures be behind my money? Not likely.' I was thinking. 'Though, if you hadn't listened to that woman back on the grounds, you wouldn't have been here, Tara.' My subconscious chimed in. I sighed and told it to shut up.
It was a grave mistake, listening to a stranger. But…the woman seemed so appealing and trustworthy..... 'As if, Tara.' Said my subconscious, 'She was a complete stranger, yet when she said that you can get some taxis on the lonely dark street on the right, you trusted her and frolicked over here.'
'I don't think frolicking means running from strange creatures that follow you on the road.' I retorted to my subconscious.
'Well…you get my point, you could have found a taxi on the main road. Besides it is totally your fault that you got here.'
'It is your fault too, we both belong to the same body.'
'I am just subconscious. I only advise and you are the one who is, and always will be at fault.'
'Well, then advise me on this. From the beginning of my life, I had this question: Can't you just shut up?'
'Okay, then I will shut up.'
'Aw man, okay.'
This was totally normal. I am used to having fights with my subconscious. But yeah, it was my fault (subconscious included). I had come to this dark alley, in hope of getting a taxi. Then I had seen some creatures following me, and long story short, I was running from the past 45 minutes in the hope to lose them. They were horrible creatures, with big fangs and blood-red eyes and thin limbs, making them look like starved vampires. But the fact that they were wearing shiny pink hoodies with cute bears on it was stranger. I mean…I couldn't believe the creatures had a taste in fashion. But… at least some sign of decency.
While I was thinking about their fashion styles, I had unintentionally put my guard down. The next thing I noticed was a pair of red eyes staring at me, blood dripping from long fangs, as it stared at me with a wide grin. A shiny pink hoodie along with the cute bear gleamed in the moonlight. My pink hoodie vampires had found me.
"Okay, you starved snakeheads," I said, gathering the tiny bit of courage I had, "what do you want? I am just an 8th-grade student, you should go and mess with someone more famous. Why me?"
The creatures hissed. I said, "Sorry, my dear starved creatures, I am not understanding anything because I don't have a translator. Wait, I will fetch one!!" I said as I tried to run away. The creatures were starved, not foolish. They surrounded me even before I can take another step. I stumbled back into the center. 'There I go,' I thought, 'tomorrow newspapers will say: A dead body of a 13-year-old student found in a dark alley …..If I consider that they ever find my body. These hoodie vampires will kill me and- WAIT, IS THAT A TRAPDOOR??!! No that can't be possible. A trapdoor suddenly appeared in the middle of a tar road?! But…. that was my only chance.
I bent down as if to surrender. I saw the creatures relaxing a bit. I grabbed the handle of the trapdoor and opened it. I plunged into the darkness, closing the door behind me. The last thing I saw was a pink hoodie plunging at me, shining in the moonlight, followed by some distinct snarls that will now haunt my nightmares.
I hit the base of whatever that hole was, after being in the darkness for almost 15 minutes. It was still dark in there. "Hello? Anyone here? Is it really this dark?" I cried out. No response. "Okay, fine, can you provide me a taxi?" I know I was going insane, "I wanna go home, I am hungry, and mom and dad must be waiting for me."
Suddenly, I saw a green light at a distance. My heart climbed up in my throat. I looked as the light floated right in front of me, and that was when I realized two things- One, the light wasn't floating, it was actually a torch, and the person holding it was none other than the lady who had deceived me. All my fear evaporated, as anger and confusion took place. I got up and tried to pounce on that lady, but she very swiftly tackled me back to the ground. I groaned as she smiled. She said in that same sweet voice, "You are wise enough to listen to me, Tora."
"First thing, I don't know who are you and why you deceived me, and second thing, it is Tara, not Tora."
"Well, I am your tutor, I am your guide. Call me whatever you want."
"So can I call you the green torch kidnapper?" I asked.
The woman scowled, "No. I am a respected person in this world. You are very lucky to be chosen, as you will serve our defense force."
"Defence forces, as in….the Indian army selection? I didn't know they used vampires for that."
"No, Tora. You are going to be a superhuman….or someone who saves the world from the interruptions of the parallel universe."
"Firstly, it is Tara. Secondly, what do you mean by the parallel universe? Does it mean to like something shown in horror movies?"
"Hmm…the horror movies are partially correct. They say that the parallel universe has ghosts and evil stuff only, but that universe does have some good things, like angels, phoenixes and it can even be a resourceful shelter for superhumans."
"Ah, that makes it…. more confusing."
"I know, Tora-"
"Whatever. Anyways, you are not yet a superhuman. Let me make you one." She stuck her hand in her pocket, as she removed a- oh my god- sharp and long knife.
"WHOA, ARE YOU GOING TO KILL ME??!!!" I cried.
"No, please stay still and let me expose your blood in order to make you like us." She said patiently as she grabbed my hand and placed her knife above it.
"CAN'T YOU TAKE A BLOOD SAMPLE LIKE DOCTORS?!! THIS WILL HURT!!"
"You have to get used to this. And it won't hurt much." she cooed as she plunged the knife into my hand.
I attack pink hoodies with glass shards
Man. It did hurt a lot. A heard a scream as soon as the knife contacted my skin. It took me a second to realize that the scream was coming from my mouth. I felt a burning sensation, as I felt the blood flowing like a waterfall. The woman brought her torch near me and muttered something. 'Okay, what is she doing? I guess she is gonna cut my arm off' I thought, 'She will take my hand and feed it to those vampires- WAIT, IS SHE TELLING THAT FIRE TO GO INSIDE MY ARM??!!'
I yelled again as I saw the green fire lift from the torch and swim inside my arm. "WHY IS IT GOING INSIDE MY ARM?! AND WHY IS MY WOUND CLOSING?!" I shrieked.
"Why, do you want me to wound your hand again?" the woman asked.
"NO, NO IT IS OKAY!!" I yelled, "But I still didn't understand who you are."
The woman smiled, like her purple hair and pale skin gleamed in her radiant aura, "You will know. I have to go now. Good luck with fighting the vampires!!"
"WAIT for YOU ARENT HELPING ME-"
I found myself back on the alley. I looked around. I was near my school. There was a taxi on the other end. But yeah, we don't get rewards without a struggle. Between the taxi and me stood a few things with gleaming pink hoodies.
I don't know why I felt more confident this time. 'That lady had put something in my hand, right? Maybe it is some energy ball…but I don't exactly feel like King Kong. Whatever it is, let us experiment now.' I motioned for them to come to me. They hissed and fell upon me. I grabbed a wooden plank on the road and slammed it into one of the vampire's head. Suddenly, I got an idea. 'It won't work, stupid.' chided my subconscious.
I told it to shut up. Then, before the other vampires can react, I hit the same vampire again and again on the head. It shrieked, as a big cut formed on its head, as blood started oozing. I cried, "Hey you, pink hoodies!! You want blood, right? I have just arranged a fountain of blood for you. Dig in!!" The vampires were greedy enough to close in on the injured one, and they started sucking his blood. I stepped back, as I tried to see the limits of my luck. I said, "Um…see…I care for you. I have arranged food for you, without you making efforts. So…can you let me go?"
'Now you die, idiot. You could have just run away.' Sighed subconscious.
'Shut up…they could have followed me.' I told it back.
'Well, it is astonishment that Tara actually thinks correctly sometimes.'
The vampires interrupted the argument by snarling among themselves. Then, one of them came ahead and placed his pale bloody claw on my shoulder. Great, I am dead meat now. But then it did something surprising. It spoke in a screechy human voice, "This time we let you go, missy. Next time we find you in our area, you are dead. Even if Mike will despise us for this, you have provided us a good dinner."
"Wait a minute, if you can speak like a human, why were you snarling all this time? And I was misguided to come here, by the way. And who is Mike?" I said.
"Shut up and go now, before we change our mind." It growled as I ran down the street. The taxi driver was sitting in the cab calmly watching movies on his smartphone as if nothing unusual had happened. I banged on his window, as he opened it, annoyed that I had come just when he was watching an action scene. I told him my address and gave him the money.
I stumbled at the gates of my bungalow. There was a gash on my arm caused by the wooden plank when I was swinging it carelessly. My clothes were now covered with muck obtained by mixing mud with blood. My hair had come out of their braid. I quickly went over my excuse which I was going to give after I faced my parents.
The huge wooden door opened, as I found myself face-to-face with a woman. She was fair and had black hair tied behind in a ponytail. Her brown irises studied me, as her smile changed to a frown. She said, "I very well remember that I had sent my daughter in ironed clean school uniform."
"Yeah mom, but I can explain." I said, "I was actually coming home, but I didn't find any taxi. I saw some girls playing Kabaddi on the school ground, and I joined them. That is where I got this gash and these muddy clothes."
My mom raised an eyebrow, as I prayed silently that she wouldn't recognize the blood on the clothes. She sighed and let me in, as I rushed to my room and changed my clothes. It was horrible to lie to mom, but I had no choice. Dad scolded me a bit after dinner and said that he will never let me book a taxi on my own. I went to sleep, but the whole time I was tossing and turning, partly because of the incidents this night, and partly because my annoying little brother was crying in the room beside me.
The next day……
"Hi Diya," I said as I sat beside my best friend. It was a sunny day and everyone in the classroom was discussing yesterday's field trip. I wasn't in the mood to discuss it, so we started chatting about movies and stuff like that. Diya was a cheerful girl with shoulder-length black hair, warm skin, and soft brown eyes. She was nice to everyone, even though I always tell her that some people do not deserve it. She is great at academics, but she needs some defense when people go to trouble her. Just like it happened in the lunch break.
"Hey, goody two shoes!!" sneered a boy behind us in the school cafeteria.
"Shut up, Aarush." Groaned Diya.
"Ha ha, always afraid. I don't think you even know the players in our Indian Cricket team…let alone the Australian one." Said Aarush. He was a bit taller than me with slightly tanned skin and brown hair with sharp black eyes. If you ever come to my school, you will first hear his name in the most popular students. After all, he was the school cricket team captain, along with the best wicket-keeper. He is usually okay, but he always finds some reason to fight with me and Diya, and it is our bad luck that he sits behind me in class.
"As if YOU know what is the first element in the periodic table." I snapped. Aarush regarded me with his eyebrow and frowned, "Shut up, Tara. I am okay enough to know that it is Hydrogen. You have no right to interfere-"
BOOM!! The cafeteria's windows burst open. Shards of glasses flew here and there. Everyone was screaming and running here and there until it was just us three in there. One of the shards hit Aarush on his forehead. He groaned, but he was the only one who was calm in this havoc. He removed the glass as blood started flowing. Diya screamed as I dragged Aarush telling him to visit the infirmary. But he kept looking at the window. I followed his gaze and my heart skipped a beat. Amongst the dust, three pink hoodies were gleaming. I stuttered, "Vam-vam- WHY ARE THEY HERE??!!"
Diya yelled, "WHY to DO THEY LOOK LIKE….VAMPIRES?!"
"You know them?" asked Aarush, "Okay, whatever the case, go from here, I will deal with them."
"Hey, crazy man, this is not a movie. Come on, let's leave, they are already eyeing your flowing blood hungrily." I said, dragging him, but he refused to leave.
"Let's JUST GO, let's LEAVE THEM ALONE!!" cried Diya.
"Okay fine, if you aren't agreeing to leave, then I will erase this from your memory afterward." Sighed Aarush. Only a few tables now separated us from the three vampires. One of them came ahead. He was taller than the rest and had cropped blonde hair and large fangs. He said, "Hello, Tara. I see you haven't heeded to our warning. We have met again-"
"Leave her alone, Mike, fight me." Growled Aarush, as a sword appeared into his hand out of nowhere. Diya screamed for us to leave them alone, but Aarush charged. He started dueling with Mike (I guess he was the one those vampires mentioned yesterday). The other two vampires started to advance at me, as Aarush yelled to take Diya with me outside. But….you see…. I wasn't going to let this happen like a typical Bollywood movie, where the male does all the action scenes, while all females do is scream in the background.
I swiftly picked some shards of glass and started aiming them at the vampires. Diya followed me. Diya hit one in its eye, as it staggered back. I picked up a big glass piece and stabbed it in the chest. It howled and dropped dead on the floor. The second one howled and charged, but I quickly stuck the piece in its throat, as it dropped dead beside its companion. Aarush had injured Mike and just as he was about to kill it, it growled, "Not now" and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
We stood in silence for some time. Aarush said, "Whoa, nice job, Tara. I couldn't even kill that scumbag."
"Y- Yeah. Though I- I have no idea how those things came here." Stuttered Diya.
"No problem. Well, I have to erase your memories now." Said Aarush, advancing towards us.
"WHOA, NO!! We won't TELL ANYONE-" I said.
"I have to do this, Tara."
"Stop. It is okay, Major Aarush." Interrupted a voice. We turned. It was a trapdoor woman. She was smiling, her amber eyes glowing.
"Greetings, my lady." Said Aarush, bowing down.
"Lady? Is she your boss or something?" asked Diya.
"Major? Well Miss LADY, I guess you really suck at choosing majors." I said as Aarush glared at me. So now, he is a wicket-keeper and a major in some parallel universe.
"Well, we can change his position if you want, Miss Tara." Smiled the woman.
"WHOA, WHAT? HOW CAN SHE?" yelled Aarush.
"She is the spirit of the Earth we were seeking, Aarush." Said the woman.
"WHAT? FOR A YEAR I AM SEARCHING FOR IT ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND ALL THE TIME SHE WAS SITTING BEHIND ME AT SCHOOL?!" shrieked Aarush.
"What?" I said in confusion.
"WHOA!" said Diya, immediately blushing when she found herself in the center of attention, "Spirit of Earth must be a big thing."
"Yes of course," said the woman, "Spirit of the Earth is the person who Mother Earth chooses herself to guard her realm. We are the guardians of the Earth."
"Wow." I said, "But for me?"
"Yes, the fire which I put in your hand was the power of Mother Earth."
"Whoa, cool!! So, who are you?"
The woman smiled and said, "I am the previous Spirit of Earth, Elisa. And we do need easy-going people like you, Tora."
"Dude, it is Tara."
"But…what about me?" asked Diya.
Elisa narrowed her eyes as she said, "Well, we can recruit you as a comrade, Miss Diya."
"Cool!!" said Diya, "I am honored, Miss Elisa."
"Okay, now Major, you can lead them to our palace." Said Elisa.
"So you are gonna ditch us again," I said.
"Yep, because I am just like an illusion here," she said, dissolving into the air.
Aarush quickly sheathed his sword. He muttered something and a portal opened. He beckoned us to follow him. I took a deep breath, as we three stepped into the parallel universe.
Aarush ruins my Geography knowledge
I don't remember how long we hiked across the Himalayan Mountains. Yes, the Himalayas. Or so I thought. "These are the Western Ghats, dummy." Said Aarush, when I asked him. "Ice on the Western Ghats. Sounds very common." Said Diya, rolling her eyes.
"Nah, the weather imbalanced everywhere." He frowned, "like when I visited Egypt, I saw that Amazon forest had grown there."
"Lol." I said, as Aarush whirled to face me and said, "Look Tara, you know that you are the Spirit of Earth. You have the responsibility of the whole Earth on your shoulders. You should take these things seriously."
"Chill man!!" said Diya, "this boy needs to relax a bit. So I have a question. Who were those vampire-thingies?"
"Vampires of Pollution." Said Aarush darkly, "they are virtually in control of the Earth. Humans are just their tools to destroy the ecosystem. They came 2-3 centuries ago, as travelers from far-off space. We let them take refuge here. But now they intend to destroy the Earth."
"Then shoo them away!!" I cried, "Kill them!!"
"That is not so easy. They are much more powerful than us. Humans are supporting them. But, as humans have started understanding a bit….we can raise an action against them….but not a direct assault."
"Ah…that sucks." Said Diya, as snow stuck in her school uniform. We weren't freezing, I guess because we were immune to all kinds of temperatures.
"So that is the reason you want more comrades." I noted, "You want to attack. But I don't think Amazon in Africa and Himalayas in Western Ghats count as Global Warming."
"No, there is a more crucial problem now." Said Aarush. Okay, I was hating this serious guy. I wanted the one who used to sneer at us, asking the names of Indian cricketers. I asked, "What is it?"
"I am not explaining it to you. Let Andrew himself explain."
"Who is Andrew?" asked Diya, but before Aarush could answer, something dark swept from the sky. 'Okay, what is this?' I thought, 'Are those the vampires again? No, they aren't wearing pink hoodies- ARE THOSE DRAGONS?!'
The dragons jeered at us, as some 9 to 10 people slithered down. They wore sickly sweet cologne which killed my nostrils. These people wore a formal suit and had oily hair neatly combed back. 'Better than Mike's people.' I thought.
"Stay back, lieutenant of Mike." Growled Aarush, "We haven't done anything."
The person with a sharp mustache and a sturdy figure stepped forward. "Ethan, we haven't done anything." Said Aarush, gritting his teeth. I deduced that maybe he is an enemy. "Have you paid the money?" growled Ethan.
"Ethan, these girls are new. They are not familiar-"
"I DON'T CARE!! I WANT THE CASH NOW! OR ELSE I WILL KILL THE PRISONERS!" he sniffed at me, "wait….you cannot fool me!! This is Elisa in disguise, I can sense her powers!! You misleading brats!!" he lunged at me, but I quickly sidestepped, making him fall on his face. I said, "Dude, I am the new Spirit of Earth. I don't know how I smell, but I guess it is due to the powers that we both uh…smell similar."
The people gasped, as Ethan sneered, "Then you should pay more than these filthy soldiers, missy."
"Nah, I won't pay. Fight me if you can." I said beckoning him to come forward. It was after a millisecond that my subconscious reminded me, 'You stupid girl, you don't have any weapons….nor do you have glass or wood. So how are you going to fight? Are you going to stuff ice in his mouth?' Honestly, I had no idea. But I couldn't back off now. I quickly took an ice ball and hurled it towards Ethan. But, before it can touch him, one of the dragons blew fire on it, so all that remained were water vapors. 'Excellent' groaned my subconscious.
"TELL ME SOMETHING THAT WILL WORK, THEN!" I yelled at it, but Aarush thought I was told to him, so he said, "Of course, dumbhead, summon your weapon." That was…very helpful. If I knew how to summon a weapon. But instead of asking Aarush, I took a deep breath and prayed to the gods, 'Please gimme any weapon, though I guess a sword would do fine.' I opened my eyes. 'Okay, this isn't exactly bad….' I thought, looking at the bronze spear in my hands.
I roared, as they do in movies, and charged towards Ethan. He quickly sidestepped, but I flung my hand such that the spear wounded his right leg. He hissed, as his men roared a battle cry, but then Ethan said, "Stop. Let's not deal with them now. After all, they can't kill us." They all laughed, as I and Diya looked at Aarush, confused. He had guilt and anger on his face. The men mounted on the dragons, as Ethan yelled, "DON'T FORGET YOUR CASH!!"
"What money was he talking about?" asked Diya.
"Le- let's go. I told you Andrew and Elisa will explain at the palace"
"WHY KEEP SUSPENSE?" I groaned. We hiked for some more time. Then, finally, as the sun started to set, Diya groaned, "Hey, how more? Do you hike like this every day?"
"Nah, I have a phoenix most of the time….but I don't think it will be able to carry us three," answered Aarush, earning groans from me and Diya.
When the stars started to appear, we finally reached a palace. It was a huge house made of concrete. It had many large windows, mostly facing the front side. Beside me, Aarush whispered, "No, not the right palace, let's go ahead." I started to follow him, but Diya remained rooted in her place, looking at one of the darker windows. She said, "Whose palace is this? And why have they kept prisoners here?"
Aarush looked at her, then at the window. 'Oh my, they are prisoners' I thought. Three figures were hunched sadly in the dark. A man came forward, as I noticed that he had his clothes and hair on fire, but didn't seem to bother. He cried out to me, "GUARDIANS OF THE EARTH, SAVE US, PLEASE!!" some voices also started coming from inside, chanting the same thing.
I looked at Aarush confused. He told that fireman, "We are trying to. Hopefully, we will rescue you soon."
We hiked ahead, as I said, "That was the palace of Ethan, right? Those were the prisoners he was talking about."
Aarush nodded his head and said nothing. When it was finally dark, we arrived at a bigger palace. It was magnificent, with smooth shiny bronze towers and shiny golden roofs. Fire torches illuminated every hallway and window. There were guards with metal armor on each entrance, who bowed as we passed. Aarush told us that we are newbies, and so they let us in. he ushered us to the right end of the palace.
It was a huge combat arena with more than a hundred people ranging from children to grown adults. Aarush explained to me that as I had summoned a spear, it was my spirit weapon and so I should go to the spear training section. But before that, I asked Diya to try to summon her weapon. She closed her eyes, as I saw a bow and a quiver materializing in her hands. As soon as the others saw it, they gasped. "Whoa, a bow and quiver!" exclaimed one of the people there, "those are rare and respected weapons."
"What?" asked Diya, hating that she was the center of attention again. We were explained that along with Diya, only Andrew and Elisa could summon bow and arrows for a century. "Now, who is Andrew?" I asked.
"I am." Said a deep voice behind me. I turned to see a tall boy of maybe 16 years with blonde hair and emerald eyes. He extended his hand and said, "I am the Army Commander of us Guardians. I heard you are the new spirit of the earth."
"Oh yeah," I said shaking his hand, "but now can someone kindly explain to me why you people give money to pink hoodie vampires?"
I felt the air turning serious. Andrew said, "Come on, let's go inside. I will tell you how our elements of earth are held captive with Ethan, the lieutenant of none other than Vampire Mike."
My subconscious appreciates me for the first time
We went to the throne room. Elisa was sitting on a big golden throne decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. She motioned me to come forward. I knelt along with Andrew, Aarush and Diya. She gestured to the throne beside her. It was a smaller one, but was adorned with emeralds. She said, "Tara, you will train as the Spirit of Earth, till the time you are fully trained, I will pose as the ruler."
"Yep, no problem about that," I said, "but can someone at least explain to me why Ethan is keeping prisoners why he is blackmailing us using them?"
"Well, let me tell you from the start." Said Andrew, sitting on a silver seat beside the throne, "Do you know the elements of nature?"
"Do you mean earth, air, water, and fire?" Diya asked.
"Yeah. A decade ago, air, fire and water were weakened due to careless use of their powers by the humans." explained Andrew, "They were lured into a trap set by Ethan and Mike. Only Earth, that is Elisa, was saved just because she overslept-"
"That is not important, Andrew." Said Elisa.
"Ah yes of course. So, they have been saying that if we want them to be safe, we have to pay Ethan money. He and Mike had an alliance years ago for this. The cash is then divided between Ethan and his people and Mike and his vampires."
"Why can't we attack?" I said, but I knew the answer, "Is it just because we don't have enough army?"
"Do you mean that without army, we can defeat them?" sneered Andrew.
"Can't we just rescue the elements? Won't this make us more powerful? If done so, soon we will be powerful enough for a war." Said Diya thoughtfully.
"We have tried that, but…" Andrew didn't need to complete the sentence. 'They must have been killed' I thought. "So all we can do is train for now." Concluded Elisa.
Next morning, I went to the spear training section of the arena. I made a few friends there, like Reena, Mia and Jake. Apparently, everyone around the world was in this kingdom. I was asked to take an animal as my ride. I chose a white stallion named Erika. She was a bit snob and threw me off her in the Alps Mountains twice, but soon she became nice to me. We didn't pay the cash to Ethan, according to my order. I was even thinking of rescuing the elements and starting a war, but I knew that wasn't possible.
It was a week since then. I was training and studying maps and models of our kingdom as well as the enemy's. Andrew told me and Diya that our parents have been informed that we are staying here. I was exercising in morning, when I spotted something in the bushes circling the arena. I pretended that I didn't notice it, but suddenly, an idea started brewing in my mind. I smiled to myself as my subconscious said, 'Whoa, this time maybe your plan will work, Tara.'
"HEY ANDREW! COME HERE, NOW!" I yelled. He ran towards me and said, "Yes, my lady?"
"I have decided to announce a war on Ethan," I said loudly.
"WHAT? This is illogical, my lady." He protested.
"I announced a war, means I announced one." I said sternly, "We can rescue the elements, but the obstacle of Mike stands in our way. So, instead of attacking Ethan, we attack Mike. I see that we are well prepared. We will attack tomorrow."
"Tara, this is suicidal-"
"Go, Andrew, this is not my suggestion, this is my order. Go, spread the word."
Andrew huffed angrily but stomped away. I glanced again at the bushes. I smiled. It was going well.
I walked into the throne room. I saw that the atmosphere was solemn, which meant that Andrew had spread my announcement. I went calmly stood in the centre, as some guards brought in a model of Mike's house. It was another concrete bungalow with large windows facing the front, along with two huge balconies. There was long grass and wilderness surrounding the house. I waited for my comrades to say something. Finally, Aarush broke the silence, "Hey, so we are gonna attack Mike?"
"Tara, this is illogical." Said Diya, "We just have the almost the same force as Mike's, but he has the additional force of Ethan."
"Well, Mike is gonna get attacked." I said, with a smirk "but not by us."
"What?" asked Elisa, "but didn't you say that we are attacking?"
"Well," I said, "I said that because Mike was spying on us from the bushes, but I guess he doesn't know that pink hoodies don't match with green bushes around our arena. As Diya said, our forces are just enough to clash with Mike's vampires. So, he will recruit Ethan's guards tomorrow, as he won't want us to have a clue about it. Besides, Elisa, have you heard of the saying that Kill a Poison with Poison?" I saw a look of realisation and surprise on Elisa's face, as I continued, "Yes Elisa, Ethan's soldiers will attack Mike."
"How?" asked Jake and Mia.
"Well, that is where my plan comes in the picture," I said with a smirk of satisfaction, as I leaned over the model of Mike's house. 'Just wait till tomorrow, Mike and Ethan.' I thought, 'Without you even knowing, I will extinguish half of your army and rescue the elements, without even spilling my blood.'
I get respected by Aarush for the first time
I was hiding in the long grass near Mike's house, watching the sunrise, as I stroked Erika's mane. I cooed, "It's gonna be okay, we are just going to show ourselves for a few seconds only. When we get the signal, you know what to do."
I had explained the plan yesterday to the guardians. They had agreed and cheered. Now, I had Mia stationed near Ethan's house, who will send a signal through trees to Reena when Ethan's soldiers will leave for Mike's house. Reena will then send a signal to me when they will be just reaching Mike.
I saw in the wilderness ahead of me. Jake, Aarush and Andrew were in full armour. They smiled at me, giving me a thumbs up. I smiled and looked at Mike's house. As I had predicted, Mike was in full battle armour with a huge army stationed in front of his house. I mimicked a cuckoo's cry.
Two vampires in full armour and a bow slung on their shoulders ran to Mike. Mike asked, "Why haven't troops of Ethan not come yet? Did you see them?"
"No, master" said the vampire on the right. The other one said, "They must arrive now. Though I saw some troops on the western side. They must be Tara's troops!!"
Mike yelled at them and told them to station at the right balcony. Soon, they were there, their arrows nocked. Now all we had to wait was for the tree signal from Reena.
BEEP! BEEP! I looked at my right, as I saw a tree growing. I pressed on it, as I saw Reena's face. She said, "Tara, Ethan's troops arriving. Within ten minutes, they will cross the hill on their horses."
"Okay cool," I said, cutting the connection. I turned to Erika and said, "Come on, we need to go and station ourselves in front of Ethan's troops. Come on!!" I said tugging onto her seat straps as she started galloping towards the clearing.
We hid behind a large oak tree, from where I could see the advancing troops as well as Mike. 'Ethan isn't guiding the troops. This just makes us luckier.' I thought, 'Within a minute, they will cross that hill and Mike will see them. Before that, he should see me. He should think that I am leading the troops.' I roared a battle cry as Erika galloped into the clearing. I summoned my spear as Mike widened his eyes and asked the guards to take position. I roared a bit more as I saw Mike nocking his bow. 'Now I need distraction.' I thought. "SIR! LOOK THERE! SUCH AN IMMENSE ARMY TARA HAS BROUGHT!!" cried the vampires on the balcony. Mike and his soldiers turned to face them, as I quickly hid in the nearby bushes. Mike turned back as he roared, "WHAT? WHERE HAS THAT PUNY GIRL DISAPPEARED?! SHE WAS HERE JUST NOW!!"
"Sir!! We should first destroy her army!" cried those vampires. Soon, Ethan's army came into view. 'Now the fun begins' I thought. Just as I thought, favouring our plan, Mike yelled, "SOLDIERS, ATTACK THE GUARDIANS!!"
A volley of arrows flew from his side, surprising the other army. 'Now the next part' I thought, going to Andrew, Jake, and Aarush. "Great job!" Jake appreciated, "the vampires are seriously dumb to think Ethan's army as ours. Like, who wears that sweet cologne?"
"Ethan's people and you?" I said as we all laughed. "Okay, now." I said, turning serious again, "Now you have to convince Ethan's troops to attack back."
"It will be done, my lady!!" said Aarush. I must have seriously done something good to earn respect from him. The three were dressed as Ethan's troops with sweet cologne. I remembered that in the morning, Aarush had gagged when he had sniffed his outfit. They joined the battle, as they attacked back.
"WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING, MIKE?" cried one of the soldiers. Half of their army was already dead.
"Don't you understand? All this time, Mike was lying about the attack!! He wants to destroy the army and take all the treasury for himself!! Such message has come from Ethan's spies!!" cried Andrew, as Jake and Aarush did the same and spread the word all over the army. They started attacking back, as a full scale battle started.
"FIGHT!! DON'T LET THEM GO ALIVE!!" roared Mike. I galloped deeper into the forest, where we will be safe. "Bunch of fools!!" exclaimed Aarush. They had escaped the battle and followed me to our meeting spot. He got off his horse as he lay on the grass. "Wow! Your plan really worked!!" said Jake and Andrew.
"It is not yet completed." Said a voice behind us. It was the two vampires on the right balcony. But the only thing was that they weren't vampires. They held their fangs as they removed it. They removed their wigs and grinned at us.
"Even without fake fangs, you look like a vampire, Diya." Said Aarush.
"Shut up Aarush." Diya and Elisa said together, removing the pale makeup from their face
"Excellent job, all of you!!" I cheered, "Not a scratch!! But we have to leave. Our troops await us near Ethan's palace. We will raid it before these people understand what's going on…."
"There is it!!" cried Andrew. I saw the palace we had seen a week ago. It was standing wickedly in the midst of the wilderness. This time, the weather was hot and humid like the Thar Desert rather than the icy Himalayan weather.
"Remind me to invite you to join the school cricket team, you will do well as a strategist," Aarush said to me, as I smiled in reply, nodding my head. Just as we had expected, the only guards stood at the entrance. We mounted our horses as I again shouted a battle cry, but before guards can attack, the archers shot them down. I went inside the gates along with the other guardians. I got off my horse, followed by the others.
Ethan came out. He was in his pyjamas, as if he had just woken up from his bed, but the big sword in his hand was still quite intimidating. I guess he wanted to make a heroic scene, as he lunged towards my horse, but he slipped because of his pyjamas and fell face-first on the ground. He spat the mud, as we laughed. He roared, "GUARDS!! WHERE ARE YOU??"
"Uh, I guess you sent them to Mike?" asked Diya.
"UGH!! NO MATTER, I WILL KILL YOU ALONE!!" roared Ethan, as he ran towards me. I stepped back, as Elisa tackled him to the ground and took the sword from Aarush. She pressed it on Ethan's throat, drawing blood from it. She growled, "Alive or dead?"
"Alive." I and Ethan said, but Ethan said in a squeaky voice. "What? Tara, this man is a monster." Protested Jake, Mia, and Reena.
"Ethan, I can kill you if I want." I said, ignoring the comments of my friends, "But I won't do so. You are known for your sword skills. Join us. Help us in saving our Earth. I will give you the post of a Major in our army. Think about this."
Ethan blinked his eyes twice. There was deadly silence for some time. Finally, Ethan said, "Why didn't I think of this before? Mike…he was using me all the time. He- he lured my army into his trap and started killing it."
Then he roared, "SOMEONE GO AND ORDER MY ARMY TO RETREAT!! WE HAVE BROKEN OUR LOYALTIES WITH VAMPIRES. WE HAVE SIDED WITH THE GUARDIANS!!"
A cheer went up from our army. Elisa released him, as she smiled at me. Ethan released the earth elements. I saw that Mr Fire, Ms Water and Mr Air were very weak and starved, but happiness glowed on their face. 'As soon as they reach the palace, their powers will be regained.' I thought, as we rode towards our palace.
Walking through the Western Ghats is better than speedy winds
"THANK YOU!!" cried Fire. He came ahead and hugged me. Okay, this had two problems. First, I wasn't open to hugs usually. Secondly, it was…Fire. So when he stepped back, he left my clothes on fire. I howled, jumping up and down like a rabbit, until Water extinguished the fire on my clothes by summoning a waterfall above my head. But before I can ask her to summon Pacific Ocean above Fire's head, Aarush barged in and said, "Mike is complaining about the assault- what's up with your clothes? Why are they…wet?"
"Apparently I just realised that these elements were better off at Ethan's palace," I grumbled.
"HEY! I haven't done anything!" protested Air, scowling at Water and Fire, "Besides, why does your voice sound like a gloating hippo?"
"Well, I guess I yelled too many battle cries today- STOP LAUGHING AARUSH!!"
Mike was mad that we had tricked him. But, as he had no solid proof, he had to back out. We were happy that now our kingdom had a strong defense with all the elements together. Ethan switched his loyalties from vampires to us, just as he promised. He was now a powerful Major.
I was sitting in the flower garden when I saw Aarush come and sit beside me. It was a peaceful evening and it was 2 days since the battle was over. We were done celebrating (In Fire's case, blowtorching).
"What happened, huh?" I asked, "You look angry."
"Then how do you expect me to be?!" he exclaimed, "We have to hike again through the Western Ghats, that too now!!"
"What? Why can't I take Erika?"
"Animals need tending for a few more days. They have been exhausted from our long trips. So we have to hike."
"Okay, then let's wait for a few more days?"
"Even I am saying so, but Diya is insisting to leave today."
"Yes, I am, because I guess you dumb heads forgot that we have our Semester exams day after tomorrow." Said Diya.
"What?" me and Aarush cried, "Now what? Hike through the night?"
"Well, I can do you a favor." Said Air. He was behind us, smiling. He continued, "You can pack your things and meet me here."
In half an hour, we gathered there again, but this time all our friends had come to say bye. Before I could ask what Air is going to do, he summoned a gust of wind which picked us up. We barely had the time to bid bye, before the wind picked up the speed of more than two hundred kilometers per hour. We screamed and thrashed, but we were helpless. Miraculously, we reached Diya's room without a scratch.
"Well, one thing is good." Said Aarush, "We landed in Diya's room."
"What is good in that?" asked Diya.
"We get to copy your notes!!" I yelled and lunged for the notes along with Aarush.
'After this exams,' I thought, 'the guardians need me. Till that time, I should do everything to protect the nature, so that Mike and his men don't get to attack again. And the elements will get stronger….'
You will help me, won't you?