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The Elder Brother - 2
The Elder Brother - 2

© Mangesh Shirke


8 Minutes   19.3K    224

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The next day, as Daniel started his work in the King’s Chamber, he kept thinking of the clue that the Ghost, possibly the Monarch’s elder brother, had given him. The Ghost raising both his hands & pointing his Index Fingers & Thumbs towards the ceiling. What could that mean? A signal? A gesture? Or a code language?

The King was on his writing board, doing his work with a writing quill. Daniel was observing him as he polishing. As the king finished his work, he kept the quill in the ink bottle. Daniel was still observing him.

The King raised his both hands, pointing his index Finger & Thumb towards the ceiling, and then as he brought them down, he crossed them, making an ‘X’ sign.

Daniel stared in horror. He got lost in thoughts, stopping his work .It was the same gesture that the Ghost was using. Did the rude king kill the elder brother? If so, why? Does the Ghost want me to solve the mystery?

“Focus on your work, you filthy cobbler..!” The Royal Guard standing behind scowled at him. Daniel hurriedly got back & started his work, stealing glances towards the king.

That night, back in his quarters, Daniel couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking of how the King could have eliminated his elder brother, just to rule the state. Maybe that was the sign the Elder Brother’s Ghost is giving me, Daniel thought. His thoughts were broken by a sound in the front yard. Alarmed, he got up & peeped out of the window in his quarters, which overlooked the outer lawn outside the castle. Unable to see in the dark, he saw two figures, far across in the courtyard, speaking to each other. In the faint illumination of the flame torches, he strained his eyes & immediately recognized one of them. He was a masked man, wearing a white jacket & a white dress. The back of his jacket had a unique logo, something that looked like the Greek letter ‘phi’. That belonged to Os-Smat-Raet or OSR, a cult which was followed by people & soldiers known for their cruelty & rudeness. They were also known to loot people & kill them; their dominance was always towards the bad side. But what are they doing here? & who is the second person?

Eventually they dispersed. The masked man went on the other side towards the forest. The other person came towards the castle gates & climbed in. As he came into view, Daniel was shocked.

It was Shane; his elder brother. What was he talking with that person? Is he following them? That explained why he had said he goes to work at night, Daniel thought. Engrossed in thoughts, he laid down on his bed but couldn’t sleep the whole night.

“Shane, are you following the guy you were talking to last night?” Daniel asked him first thing in the morning.

“Umm..No..!! He’s just …a friend..!!” Although Shane denied, Daniel could feel the guiltiness in his voice.

That day, Daniel was still thinking about Shane & the cult. Was Shane associated in the killing of the Elder King? Was the cult responsible? He had no answers whatsoever. He finished his work for the day & returned to his quarters. He intended to see the Ghost again, as it may give him some clue regarding the questions in his mind. Still thinking about many things, he slept.

Daniel heard a faint sound. Perceiving it, he realised who it was. As he sat up on his bed, he heard the Chinese chime bell ring. Glancing at it, he again looked at the window.

The Ghost in the Black Robe was standing there, his face covered in hood and darkness.

The Ghost just stood there, with his hands folded behind. “I know you are the Elder Brother,” Daniel spoke to him, “I’ll help you find out who killed you.” The Ghost made no movement. Daniel got up & started walking towards it. The Ghost never moved. As Daniel kept walking, he tried to look at the Ghost’s face. It was dark around & he could only see the Hood.

Suddenly, Daniel heard a loud thumping on the door. Panicked, he opened his eyes. He was in his quarters. Hurriedly, he woke up & opened the door. The Royal Guard was standing at the door. It was dawn outside.

“The King’s going out in the other state for few weeks. Polish & mend his shoes nicely..!” The Guard ordered. Daniel hurriedly rushed in the King’s Chamber. He polished & mended every shoe nicely. The King then left in his Royal Chariot to the other state.

“You can go home to your village..!! The King will be back after few weeks. You come back after he comes..!!” The Royal Guards told Daniel. Shane was told to stay back, as he needed to take care of the stables. Daniel left the same day, informing Shane that he’ll return after the King’s back.

He reached home 2 days later. His mom & dad were happy to see their son back. He went to his room on the upper levels. He remembered seeing Shane many times going down in the basement & locking something in the cupboard kept down there when they used to stay together. I need to check what’s there in Shane’s room. Also what has he kept in the cupboard in the basement.

That night, Daniel searched Shane’s entire room. Unable to find anything, he got exhausted & went downstairs in the basement. In one corner, he found the black cupboard. Slowly using his tools, he broke the lock. What he discovered inside was terribly shocking.

Daniel heard a faint sound. Perceiving it, he realised who it was. As he sat up on his bed, he heard the Chinese chime bell ring. Glancing at it, he again looked at the window.

The Ghost in the Black Robe was standing there, his face covered in hood and darkness.

Now Daniel almost knew WHO it may be. He got up & started walking towards it. The Ghost maintained its posture, keeping its hands back & standing erect. Daniel, closely observing, neared the Ghost & NOW recognizing the silhouette, immediately realised WHO the Ghost was.

“Grandpaa….!!!” Daniel screamed loudly as he woke up. He was sweating profusely & breathing hard. He looked around. He was in the basement of his home. He had fallen asleep while checking the documents & things in the wardrobe. The wardrobe belonged to his grandfather. His grandfather was a humble follower of a cult group named Aphoten-Khep-Khunum, which translated to ‘Followers of Justice, Truth & Love’. It was a secret organisation which always mended true worships amongst masses.

His grandfather, along with the King & his elder brother were followers of the cult. The cult, however, had some deep secrets which involved hidden treasures, hidden relics and lots of things kept away, making them a target by other evil followers. Knowingly, the evil cult, Os-Smat-Raet or OSR was mentioned in his writings as the most deadly one for them.

Daniel never expected this. So apparently, the Ghost in his dreams was his grandpa. The silhouette that he saw some time back in his dream, resembled exactly to his grandpa’s portrait which he had seen in the cupboard. His grandpa had a unique style of standing with his hands back. The symbol of his cult was similar to the Greek letter ‘psi’ resembling the index finger & thumb finger arched & pointed upwards. That was the symbol grandpa was showing me, Daniel thought. In further portraits, he found his grandpa in the Black Robe, his face covered in hood & he pointing the index finger & thumb towards the ceiling.

Now things became clear to Daniel. His grandpa was a good follower of the cult, the elder King was, too. He wanted Daniel to know that.

But now one question still remained: Who killed the Elder King? Was Shane involved in the conspiracy? Was the younger king involved? He had to find the truth.

Daniel took all of the evidences & left the other day, back to the King’s state. He informed his family that the king had returned back, & he was summoned urgently. He somehow knew Shane was involved in this, as maybe he was following the other deadly cult, the OSR. Questioning him could reveal some important answers, one related to the elder King.

“Again I am asking you, Shane….who was the person you were talking to that night? What cult or group are you following & who’s heading it?” Daniel questioned him. Shane was taken aback on seeing his brother arrive early. Now he was again shocked by the question he was repeatedly asking.

Without waiting for his answer, Daniel informed him of all the things he already knew, including the cult his grandpa followed & every other details of the OSR.

Shane sat down in disbelief. “I knew our Grandpa was a follower of this cult. I had sometimes seen him working late night in the basement near the wardrobe. But I never disclosed this to anyone. The OSRs came to know about me, and they offered me a deal: to provide them the info they asked for & in exchange they’ll give money to me. I keep giving them all the required info they ask for….in exchange for the money…!” Shane told him everything. “But I can’t tell you who is heading the cult & what had happened to the elder king. If I tell you, we all would be killed…!”

“Tell me all that you want to say,” Daniel told him sternly, “we need to solve this & give justice to all of them who have suffered…!”


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