Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.
- Max McKeown
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“Hey, leave that kid alone” a girl, who was wearing an old armor which warriors used to wear, and holding nunchuks and daggers, shouted.
“Who are you to tell me what I should do with this kid” asked the fat kid who was bulling a small kid. “Go from here, no fancy dress competition is going on here”, the kid and his friends started laughing.
“I am the mask girl” in a thunderous voice. “I am warning you, do not make me angry”.
Fat kid charged towards her in his full speed, but the mask girl was calmly holding her ground, as he was about to punch her on her face she duck and got hold of him and then lifted him in the air and throw him on the ground. His friends face’s entire smile disappeared and they ran away in fear.
Dragon warrior went to the old uncle who stood near them. “How was it, master?”
“You need to work much harder” master said in a sarcastic way.
“Really I have performed so well, what else you want me to do” dragon warrior replied in disbelieve.
One month ago
On a lazy Sunday afternoon where you and I would prefer sipping lemonade and have some good family time, a 16 year old girl was going through a tough emotional period in her life.
The train has just arrived from Pune to Bandhavgarh station. And as soon as Rohini and her mother stepped out of their compartment, the scorching heat of the sun hit their faces. Rohini’s carrying the luggage, less heavy than the emotions in her heart right now. And as soon as they reach their desired destination Rohini busted into tears. Rohini’s grandpa was lying on the floor covered in white sheets and cotton stuffed in his nose. She felt nostalgic and terrified at the same time. No one could ever pay for the loss she was suffering. After the cremation of the dead body Rohini’s mother decided to stay their till all the rituals and other legal formalities were over which were inevitably going to take some time.
“I am sorry for your lose Mrs. Singh”, said one of the guest. “Rohini looks very close to her grandfather and is in emotional pain. We lives in your neighborhood, if you need anything then call us”
“Thank you for that Mrs. Gupta, we are very grateful to you and your husband”, Rohini’s mother replied in a dim voice.
Poor Rohini has no choice but to go according to her mother’s plan. She tried to debate but all in vain. She didn’t want to stay in a place that had memories of her late grandfather. So she decided to take a walk in the garden to distract her from the current situation. She sat on the grass and closed her eyes for a while and as soon as she closed her eyes she boarded the train to her past.
After losing her father at an age of 6 her grandfather was everything for her. She remembered the time her grandfather would play with her and how they would together listen to the chirping of birds in the morning and how he would disappear sometimes and then suddenly appear from nowhere and frighten her. And how he would discontinue the game saying he has work and then how she would insist upon to spend some more time with her but he would never listen and make it up for the next time. She still remembers the day when mother took her away to Pune leaving all the things behind. She was only 7 and how coldly her grandpa reacted like that was all he wanted.
Rohini decided to go to the nearby park, there were some elder boys bulling a small kid.
“What are you doing?” Rohini asked in a voice that didn’t feel like hers, only because she was too angry on what her eyes were seeing.
“What? This! Ohh Just giving this poor kid a ride.” A big fat boy of maybe 18 or so responded with an attitude. He had strong limbs and was holding a small kid in mid air with his one arm and leg in the mid air, horizontally and was swinging him.
“Leave him” commanded Rohini to the bully.
“Or else what would you do? Huh? Kill me with your Barbies? HAHAHA”
The boy was on every nerves of Rohini and just when she could think of her next move, the boy swings the small kid getting off from his grip. Poor kid flew over and had a catastrophic ending.
Rohini ran towards him, his nose was bleeding. She wanted to help him but the kid was too afraid and ran away. Rohini turned her neck to see the bully but just then he was gone too. Rohini needed some peace so she decided to go back to the house. She went into the basement were she made a lot of amazing memories with her grandfather and started to recollected those mesmerizing memories. And just then a tear rolled down her cheek.
She noticed a picture of her and grandpa holding the 7 year old Rohini in his arm, hanging on the wall. She touched that picture with a heavy heart and without her notice there was blood over her finger, her eyes fell upon the pointed pin on that picture which her fingers just touched. Her blood droplets started flowing down the picture and stopped on the watch that her grandpa was wearing in the picture, the watch seemed unusual and started to rotate as fast as possible. It seemed as some kind of a lock was getting open. And just then there were a thunder sound and the wall on which the picture was hung suddenly seemed to shift from its place which was unreal. It was a secret gate, a secret gate to the secret room with a DNA lock on it which got opened by the blood sample of Rohini. It was her grandfather secret room. The room was an enormous hall and for a moment Rohini couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
She stepped into the room and pinched herself because the next thing she saw was next to impossible. There were instrument which she has never heard of, machines that might have been used against aliens. She was very confused and her mind was racing with thoughts. And then her eyes lay on the dusty suit, nunchaks and different daggers which grabbed her attention the most.
And just then she hears a voice, she step outside the room and went upstairs.
“Where were you Rohini? I was looking for you in the whole house.”
“I’m sorry mom; I just needed some fresh air so I went out for walk and….”
Rohini’s mother cut her mid way and tells her to join for the dinner.
Rohini could not sleep the whole night; she wanted some concrete answer which could rest her imagination to peace. So next day she again went into the secret chamber to discover the mystery. And as soon as she got there she looks at nunchaks and took it in her hand and just then she felt different, strong and uncontrollable power in her when she held those in her hand. This raised a lot of questions in her mind and increased the curiosity to find the answers. She notices a picture of an eagle on nunchaks and remembered the same eagle drawing on the neighborhood gym centre. She rushed to the gym center and enquired to people about that sign, but all in vain. But then there was an old cleaner who was constantly looking at her and as soon as Rohini tuned to leave, the old man approached her and said her to follow him.
Rohini quietly followed the old man as this was her only chance to subside her curiosity, but she was scared too. The old man took her under the gym which was connected to some tunnels. It was very dark and nothing was visible.
“Who are you, and where are you taking me?” Rohini asked.
“Keep on following me; you will get all your answer.” Old man replied.
Old man used the fire light that he was holding to burn the candles, after which they reaches the end of the tunnel and what came next was shocking to Rohini’s senses. It was an enormous room, but not like any other normal room, it was an ancient training centre.
The whole training centre was made above the hot water, and was covered by mountain like big stones, it also had rock statues of some ancient heroes and gods.
The old man started to narrate the whole story as if seeing the desperation in Rohini’s eyes. She too now wanted to quench her curiosity and listened to him.
“This training centre has been created by your grandpa. He was one of the best warrior the history has ever seen. These weapons belong to your family from ancient time.”
“These nunchucks are not any ordinary weapons, they are special and there powers will work only when you will hold them.”
“After your grandfather your father was suppose to have these, since your father has died these belongs to you know, I hope you’ll use it wisely.”
“But how do you know all this?” Rohini asked with utter desperation.
“My name is Aurora, I was your grandpa’s partner, and we were in this mission together. We used to train warriors who can protect the world from evil powers.”
“Are there more people who know about this?”
“No. It’s a secret but your mother does know about this, she once saw this chamber and found out. She didn’t want to get involved or loose you so she took you away to Pune.”
Now it was Master’s turn to ask. “So, are you ready to continue your family legacy?”
Poor Rohini had no choice she had to make up her mind in this situation or rather do or die situation.
“What if I don’t want to, or I want to live like a normal girl?” Rohini had her reasons. There were illusions in her mind of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘why her’
“Don’t you remember the small kid, who was bullied yesterday, in front of your eyes? Didn’t you feel helpless? And do you not remember how that bully made fun of you saying you’ll kill him with Barbies. This is your perfect chance to prove the world wrong. You are capable of everything. Believe in yourself Rohini, just like your grandpa believed in you. You’re capable, I can see. There’s so much wrong in this world and you want to contribute by not standing against it?”
Rohini made up her mind and decided that there was no going back from it.
Master Aurora started to train her. Initially the lessons were easy which made her confident of pulling this training further, but as the days passed the training got harsh.
But then there was no going back.
Her powers were growing day by day and were getting stronger.
Master was now confident of Rohini and wanted to test her in the real world. So he took her to a bank.
“What are we doing here?” asked Rohini.
“There will be a robbery happening in this bank.” Replied the master.
“So, why don’t we call the police?” Rohini questioned again.
“Till the time police arrive it will be too late.”
And just then there were 3 men covered in masks marching towards the bank with some equipments in their hand.
“Go” the master commanded Rohini.
“Alone? Are you not coming with me?” frightened Rohini asked the master with some hope.
“I didn’t train you to work in a team. Now don’t waste time, do something before they harm the civilians.”
And just then Rohini gripped one man from the back of his collar and chocked him. The other two men pointed their gun at Rohini but she hit the man with nunchuks in his stomach so hard that the gun and the man both fell down, Rohini pushed aside the gun far off and grabbed the other man by his neck.
“Finish them” shouted the master.
Rohini kept on hitting those men till they died and she took the mask off from their faces and wore one herself in order to save her identity from revealing.
And after that Rohini became unstoppable and learnt how to fight back. And soon this news was all over the local newspaper highlighting the ‘masked girl’. She was becoming very brutal and blood thirsty. After seeing her like this, there was a strange smile on the face of the master, as if he has some other plans for her like he was not training him to be a hero, but to be a monster.
On the other morning when Rohini was training alone an eagle flew past by Rohini in a manner that scared her. Rohini noticed that the eagle had some stuffed paper inside her beak so she jumped over and leaned in to get the paper out after which the eagle flew away.
“War” The message read.
Rohini had no clue if it was a prank or some serious warning. And just when the master entered he noticed the tensed face of Rohini and asked her what was bothering her.
And Rohini narrated the whole story of the message and how the eagle came and carried the message. The master’s face turned pale like suddenly he has seen a ghost in front of him.
“What happened?” Rohini asked.
The master gulped and began to answer.
“There is a secret about me and your grandfather which you must know. We both used to work for a secret society. An ancient society whose job was to protect the earth and mankind from all kind of evil powers. You were supposed to be a part of this society too, but your mom didn’t want that to happen so she took you away from here.
But there is some problem in the functioning of the society. The current leader is using this society to rule the universe. With the use of their magic and ancient knowledge they are preparing weapons of mass destruction.
Your grandfather did not die in the tragic accident, we lost him during the war against the king. We tried to stop the king but he is very powerful. He has a dragon ring which increases his powers 10 times and makes him invincible.
This seal on this message belongs to him and now since he might have heard about you from newspapers he wants to fight with you.”
Rohini could already see her world collapsing.
“But how did he know it’s me? Nobody knows about this besides you and me, not even my mother.”
“He is the king now; it’s not too difficult for him to find out.” Master Aurora replied.
“I will revenge my grandpa death.” Rohini’s face turns red in anger.
“You will, but not now. You’re not ready yet.” There was a tinch of sadness in master’s voice.
“He has an army, and we have only handful of warriors. He is powerful more than you can ever imagine.”
“Then what are we going to do?” Rohini had no intension of calming down.
“We’ll think something. Go home right now.” The smile on the face of master after Rohini left tells a totally different story.
Rohini couldn’t sleep that night. And was only thinking about how she could solve that problem. She thought how easy it would be if he came here. And just then an idea popped in her head.
The next day she decided to discuss this idea with the master who too couldn’t sleep at night due to the current situation.
“What if we call him here?” Rohini said
“What do you mean?” master asked.
“I’ve an idea. What if I send him a message back that I’m ready to fight, but if he thinks that he is such a great warrior then he should come and fight me here, and once he come here to attack us with his army, we can use these deep, small and dark tunnels to our advantage. His numbers will also won’t count in these small tunnels.”
Master sees some rays of hope. “The plan seems okay, but how are we going to deal with the king and his dragon ring.” He asks in the low voice.
“Grandfather will help us in defeating him. This is my grandfather book which I found in his secrete chamber. This books tells that we have a secrete room in this training centre, which have a magical cage in the centre of the room in the form of a circle, if we can get the king inside that circle then the dragon inside his ring will get trapped and the king will be helpless.”
Master had no second thought about the plan. It was perfect. And so they decided to go according to the plan. Master sent the message through the eagle and everything was going according to the plan.
After reading the message, king arrives in Bandhavgarh. Rohini and her companion were hiding in the basement with their weapons, they silently waited for them till they came in there range. Rohini and her master blows off the fire lights and wore their radium glasses and just when the men entered, they started firing there arrows. Before they could understand what was happening and who was shooting, half of the men were already dead. And their number was few of what they expected. Other men started shooting aimlessly because of the complete darkness, but all in vain. . There were more number of men killed and just then the king arrived with his guards, he noticed the dead bodies in front for him and was awestruck. He didn’t expect this. All of them were dead. He realized it was a well planned trap. And then the Master lighted the fire candles.
“So you are the blood warrior or the mask girl, who is using her powers to take innocent life.” He shouted, while looking in the direction of Rohini.
“You are the only one here who takes innocent people life, as you took my grandfather’s life.” Rohini replied to the king.
“Who was your grandfather?” King asks this in confusion.
“He was the best warrior this world had ever seen, known as the Eagle prince. The person whom you back stabbed.”
“You are Prithvi’s granddaughter, I didn’t know he had such an intelligent and amazing warrior and I have not killed him, I heard that he died in an accident.” King tells in disbelief.
Before Rohini could get some understanding someone shoot an arrow on the king, the kings guard attacked Rohini and her warriors. Rohini started to land some punch on king face and tease him and then ran toward the secrete cage. This provoked the king and he started to chase Rohini.
King fall into their trap and got stuck in the cage, Master Aurora was waiting there for the king and started doing magic which bound the king inside the cage.
“Logan!” The king shouted, looking in the direction of the aster.
“Yes! It’s me.” The master replied to the king.
“But I thought you were dead.” The king said to the master.
“I didn’t die. I was waiting for a day like this so that I can take a revenge on you. But now no more. This has to end with your death.” The master replied angrily.
“Revenge, for what? I have done nothing wrong. It was you who betrayed me and Prithvi.” King asked in a confused voice.
“You took my love from me. She chose you and not me only because you were stronger than me. Now the whole world will know that I was more powerful and intelligent then you.”
Rohini was unable to understand that what was happening, she was very confused and could not understand what Master Aurora was saying.
“I send you the letter which reads that Bandhavgarh needs to be saved from the mask girl. I knew after reading this you will definitely come. It was me who trained Rohini to be a monster so that her story of brutality will reach your ears.”
Rohini could not believe on what she was listening. “You were just using me, and who killed my grandpa then.”
“Yes I was the one who send you that letter and framed you into doing this and tell me how to use this cage. I asked your grandpa to help me, but he didn’t listen to me, that is why I have to kill him, yes you heard it right I was the one who killed him.” Master Aurora tells Rohini.
Rohini was heartbroken, she could not understand how to react to the truth that Master Aurora has just told him. Before she or kings guard could come and save the king, Master Aurora stabbed him with his dagger and took the dragon ring from his finger.
“This dragon ring belongs to me now, I have become invincible and will rule this world.” Master Aurora shouted.
Rohini was standing their all quiet and terrified. The guy who killed his grandfather was standing right in front of her. And suddenly an ocean of emotions gulped Rohini, she was in tears. Master Aurora looked at Rohini.
“You were weak back then, remember how ordinary people use to make fun of you. I was the one who trained you, helped you to realize your potential. Together we could conquer this world, come help me in this quest.” Master Aurora said.
“You have killed my grandfather, so many innocent people had to die because of you, and I have already done wrong things for you, but not anymore.” Rohini said in anger.
Rohini face turns red in anger, there was no trace of tears now, not in her eyes or in track marks on his reddening face. She clinched her fist ready to strike. These swings from most loved to most hated would be the end of Master Aurora. Her states had no greyscale, only the polar extremes existed. Master Aurora drew in a deep breath, the hard stare would last only as long as it took her to think of the most brutally cutting things she could tear Master Aurora down with. And after that he could kiss anything breakable goodbye, which right now might just be his nose. She charged towards master with her whole force behind her and gave master a punch on his beautiful face.
The force of the punch was so hard that Master fell to far away. She started to land punch on him, continuously nonstop blows. The fight lasted for a day, Master Aurora was taken off guard, he could only defend, and a final attack by the nunchuks gets the master stuck in the walls.
This seems to be the end of master. Rohini breathed peacefully.
But just then appears a creature, he was the colour of the night, his eyes were looking like fire. Smoke poured unseen from her nostrils but to anyone near the cave entrance there would be a sulphurous odour. With little sound he rose, silvery scales sliding over one another. He kept her wings tucked in tight so as not to graze them on the rough rock walls, waiting until he stepped into the night air. It was a dragon big as mountain.
Master awoke the dragon of the ring. “Finish her.” He commands the dragon.
Rohini was terrified after looking such a creature, as the dragon approached Rohini, her heartbeat kept on increasing. She could not know what to do.
As dragon was just about to burn Rohini alive and breathe fire, he bends in front of Rohini in respect.
Master Aurora could not believe on his eyes. Rohini was just speechless and went ahead to touch and feel the monster.
“This is your grandpa’s dragon, he made this ring and gifted to my father.” One of the kingsguard said.
Dragon recognized the blood of his old companion in Rohini.
Rohini went ahead and sat on the dragon. “Thanks master Aurora for making me realize my potential, and I promised you that I will kill my grandpa assassin, so I have to complete that.”
Rohini merged her nunchuks power with the dragon fire and aimed in the direction of master. The blow was so hard that master could not even shout in pain and died instantly. Master Aurora ashes could only be seen on the spot now.
The war ends. Everybody took sigh of relief.
“This ring belonged to your father and now it is yours, he died because of me and I am sorry for that.” Rohini said in grief.
“The dragon bow down to you, you are a real hero. This ring belongs to you now and today we see the rise of a dragon warrior.” Eva (daughter of the king and a kingsguard) said.
Rohini bends in front of Eva and promised her that whenever she will need the help of the dragon warrior, she will be there.
Dragon breathes fire in air in the gesture of happiness.