Quest and Crusade of Manu, III

Chapter three: Confrontation with the demon

Click here for Quest and Crusade of Manu, Chapter One

Click here for Quest and Crusade of Manu, Chapter Two

Manas walked back as Manu saw a shadow.
Gulping his fear, he remained unmoved,
even when the shadow grew bigger and clear.
Never did he closehis eyes, they were so open.
Out came the beast with its sparkling red eyes.
Surprising to Manu, it was just a wolf.
But a wolf like he had never seen,
for it is so big and fierce.
Saliva dropped through its jaws, and its walk was weary.
Clearly, he can see that it has gotten a lot older.
Even being a wolf, it was big and full.
Maybe demons are just images of animals.
He sat on his knees and started looking at it.
O’ demon full of hunger,
have you ever seen God?
Is he cruel and bad for the deeds he had done?
Why the need to kill us all,
his dear creation.
Is it not best not to create us at all?
The beast was irked; close it came and growled so hard.
Neither did he fear nor did he hesitate,
answer me quickly before you eat, he yelled.
It irked it more and made it pounce on him.
Grabbing his neck, it dragged Manu,
as he screamed with the pain and bled through his throat.
Are you just a beast who has fully grown?
Will you do not die if I tried to kill?
He faintly asked before it chewed his arm.
The bite freed his arm, and he was quick on legs.
Picked up a stone and he pierced it in its eye.
Squealed the beast with bleeding eye,
And Manu knew that this was just an overgrown beast.
Numb felt his arm, but his neck was at pain.
Gathering his wits, he stabbed its other eye.
Angry but old, the creature pounced blind,
only to miss the target and become vulnerable.
Manu lifted a rock and smashed its head.
Crying with pain, he peeled its skin.
Cleaned his wounds and tied them with its hide.
Dragged it to the cart and started pushing it down.
He went down the hill, gathering his fainted breath.
He felt he was to faint and wise was his thought.
He kicked the cart hard and jumped on top of it.
Falling on the sliding carriage, he fainted out of mind.
The cart hit the gates of the tribe, and Manas saw it fall.
Opened his eyes in a medic’s hut, Manu saw the tribe,
that gathered him around.
The smile was there, and the love was spilling out.
They lifted him out and jumped with joy.
They called him the gift of God and worshipped him so.
They never listened to his words that said,
it was just a beast.

He was soon flowered with gifts,
offerings of food and pleasures.
He rejected them smoothly and hated their thought.
He knew it was mere luck, the beat grew old and weak.
In search of gods, he had become one.
But glad was he not for the holy treatment.
The prayers seemed blabber and the people so foolish.
You need not a god, but a hunter with a sword.
Taught them his skills, made them wooden swords.
He set foot once again to find his real questions.
True peace is what I look up to,
and not ignorant bliss.
I will remember you forever and ever,
for you have been more than my family.
He parted his ways and waved goodbyes.
He rode on the donkey, they also gifted him some rice.
He set foot once again, to quench his questions,
which just grew in number but not one solved.

Out of the Cave, Came the Hermit

Ossas was sitting on top of the Untow mountain looking at the stream of the river. And the women cleaning the pelts were grabbing his attention. A hand with furry cuff fell on Ossas’s shoulder, but he didn’t turn like he knew who it was. “Hunting’s done?” he asked the visitor. “Your fantasising is done?” the visitor asked and laughed as Ossas punched him in the belly. “So, the hunting is not done?” Ossas asked him again. “The dogs are dying, Ossas. Our tribe is at its decline. Men like fucking more than hunting these days” he answered. “I know that you are referring to me, Oruku. But it is not because of women that I am not interested in hunting. I like to sit here, look at the river, get lost in thoughts and be distracted by women. This is what I want” Ossas replied. “You are not a child, Ossas. A child help women clean our pelts and cook at least. But you, you desire to do nothing. You are lazy, my friend” Oruku grabbed his shoulder tightly.

“The word is that leader has already observed you being lazy, and he might lecture you” Oruku stood up. “Father sent you, didn’t he? I have aged 100 seasons by this winter. So he wants me to man up and start hunting boars?” Ossas yelled. He looked around and found his father, the tribe leader peeping at them from behind a tree. Ossas feared that he is going to get bashed by his father. But still, he went home and found his father waiting at the entrance of their cave. “You are going to bash me?” Ossas said monotonously, “Is that it leader?” he said as his father gestured to loosen the pelt on the shoulder. Ossas opened the thread that tied the hide he was wearing, and he stood bareback. Uldun was holding a branch of a tree. He swung it and bashed Ossas till his back bled.

Indik rushed from inside and stopped her father. “He is a disgrace to me!” Uldun yelled. “His friend passed all the requirements and might even challenge me to a battle to overthrow me. But my son, who is supposed to be my heir lurks around the river looking at women. You are going to rot in wooden huts, Indika! All 7 of your sisters are going to rot out there while I will be beaten to death. And those men will be on you enjoying your flesh because your brother is an incompetent piece of junk who is not fit to lead” Uldun yelled and left the cave to go drink some palm wine.

That was the last time Ossas saw his tribe and his family. The very night his father bashed him, he ran away to the wild. He went towards the city that his fellow tribe feared. He believed that he is superior in thought from the other tribesmen and the city is the place where he belongs. Ossas walked for 27 days, and he finally saw a horse going. He was shocked to see a man riding a horse, and he ran down the hill and yelled at the man. The Horseman stopped and looked at Ossas with utter disgust. He pulled his sword as Ossas neared him. “No harm” Ossas said. “How is that you hillbilly are talking in our language?” the Horseman asked curiously. “We have separated with Kataki tribe 255 seasons ago. Do you belong to the Kataki tribe?” Ossas asked curiously. Horseman burst out to laughter. “It is Kataki kingdom now, son. We are not a tribe anymore. We conquer the seas and land now” Horseman said proudly. “What is a kingdom?” Ossas asked. “Say, where are you headed to?” Horseman asked, and Ossas said, “City, I was banished from my tribe, and I want to go somewhere I belong”. Horseman laughed and said “You can accompany me, I need protection too” Horseman said. “See, I trade pelt, swords and medicines to travellers, but sometimes I get attacked by outlaws and thieves. You are a muscular man and from a savage tribe. I want you to protect me till we reach the city” he continued. “I’m afraid, sir. I can’t even hurt a wasp!” Ossas cried. “Oh, man! No wonder you were banished. It is okay though, you might be a softie inside, but you look like a brute to me. I was scared enough to take my sword out, so I guess any city folk will be” Horseman laughed. “My name is Hakt. Here hold this sword” he threw the sword and Ossas held it. “My! My! with that pelt and sword, you look straight out of a nightmare, young lad!” Hakt laughed once again.

Both started moving, Hakt on horse and Ossas on feet. After a while, Hakt offered Ossas a pair of shoes, and it took a long time explaining the benefits of shoes and making Ossas wear them. After a camp of night and walk of the morning, they finally saw smoke in the air. Ossas could feel the different smell in the air, and there the trees stopped. Ossas was standing on the edge of the forest and was shocked to see a large rocky structure in front of him. It was gigantic and noisy. He never saw people in those high numbers. He started panicking and shaking, looking at all these people standing in a queue. “Why are they standing in line, Hakt?” Ossas asked. “To enter the kingdom, we have to pass through guards of the kingdom. Don’t worry as long as you are with me, you are safe. Here wear this” Hakt offered some clothes to Ossas. “Do I have to wear these weird full covered clothes? Won’t I get suffocated? Even women in my tribe don’t wear this heavy clothes” Ossas complained. Hakt forced him to wear it finally.

Hakt entered the kingdom with Ossas, and it was beautiful. Hakt took him to his house and said “Wander anywhere, pilgrim. But return here by nightfall” Hakt went in. Ossas started looking at houses of stone, shops and people wearing different clothes. He was attracted to almost every woman. They were wearing different things, and the kids were more cheerful. He saw a kid playing with a miniature sized boat in a wooden bucket of water. Ossas wondered how a kid’s mind constructed something so tiny and floating on water. It took ages for their tribe to build a raft. “What is it, tiny creature?” Ossas asked the kid. “It’s a paperboat,” he said, and Ossas kept repeating it. “Paperboat, paperboat, paperboat” and his jaw dropped when he turned around. There was a massive ship on the bay, and it blew his mind off. He was joyous, and he saw a woman signalling him towards her. He couldn’t control his desires and went close to her. “Do you want my babies, lady?” Ossas asked. “What the fuck? No! Do you want my hidden treasures?” she asked. “Does the treasure have radish?” Ossas asked, and the woman felt embarrassed. “I’m asking if you want to have sex with me, you moron!” she explained herself embarrassingly. “But you said you did not want my babies. What is the purpose then?” Ossas asked curiously, and the women had enough. She started to turn back and started finding a new customer. Ossas was seduced and couldn’t let her go. “Okay, fun fun. Let’s do it!” Ossas demanded her. She smiled and came back, opening her palms “Coins first” she said. “What coins?” Ossas asked. The woman was in total disbelief. She pushed him away and went to other people avoiding his repeated calls. Disappointed Ossas returned to Hakt’s hut.

Hakt was sitting outside, smoking tobacco. “Why are you so sad?” Hakt asked, noticing Ossas dull. “I got rejected for sex” Ossas said with a long face. “You should have gone to the prostitute that stay three blocks away” Hakt advised. “Three houses away? She is the one who seduced me and then asked about some coins. She didn’t even reveal what her hidden treasure was” Ossas replied. Hakt choked on smoke with laughter, and his face got red. “You idiot! The hidden treasure is a metaphor *cough* *cough* Here, take these coins” Hakt handed few coins. “I had to pay you for escorting me somehow” he explained. “What should I do with metal this small? I can’t even use it as weapons!” Ossas moaned. “Oh, man! You don’t know the concept of the capital!” Hakt sighed. “Capital?” Ossas asked. “Look here, these little metal coins have some value. There are different metal coins, bronze, copper, iron, gold and silver. Each has a different value. We, the workers and traders, rarely get in contact with silver and gold coins. We buy things using these coins. We sell things for these coins.” Hakt explained. “But how can few dumb iron coins value the flesh of a woman?” Ossas asked, and Hakt sealed his lips in confusion. “Her name is Chalis, and there are women like Chalis who sleep with people for these coins. It is an easy way out” Hakt tried to explain. “So, Can I earn coins by sleeping with people too?” Ossas asked curiously. “You are a man!” Hakt sighed. “Men don’t sell their bodies. Because no one wants to buy them!” Hakt explained. “Women here don’t like sex?” Ossas asked doubtfully. “They do, but they don’t need to buy a man. Men are plentiful and always horny around here. When something is very much available, no one will like to purchase it.” Hakt explained and tried to shut Ossas off when he was about to ask another question. “Enough questions for one day, Ossas. Either sleep here, in front of the door; I have arranged you some blankets. Or take these coins and spend the night with Chalis.” Hakt said. “I will go to Chalis, thank you” Ossas took the coins and rushed to Chalis’s hut.

Due to the non-stop flow, author has realised that this might not end soon. It was a spontaneous decision to take this up to many parts! Feedback is awaited, wait for the second part is expected!