Once upon a time, in a country unknown to most of the world, lived a young woman who was even more unknown and insignificant. At least that was what Vatya thought of herself on the 23rd night of January 2016, the day she decided that she would leave this world. The decision was made three days ago, she just needed to get some strength back to go to the ocean, where she wanted to depart this world. No one would care if she was no more; she had no family left, only her husband and he reminded her daily of what a burden she was on his life.
Vatya was only able to escape the house because Harry went out drinking that night of the 23rd. It was harder than she expected to walk to the seashore. Her body ached all over, her eyes and face were swollen and bloodshot from the punches and the crying. Inside her stomach felt as though something was punctured. Vatya told her husband all of this, but he refused to take her to the hospital, he always refused when he had given her a beating. She had no money of her own and so she could not go to the hospital on her own. Even if she did have money, Vatya would not go, she was too afraid that her husband would kill her for disobeying him. He tried to once, when they were four months into their marriage.
Vatya left the house minutes after Harry, in her night gown and robe. She took with her a torch light and a bag filled with all the tablets she could find, some bleach and methylated spirits. She planned to swallow it all on the beach of Atlantic Ocean, where she always felt peace. Her mother’s ashes and her grandmother’s ashes were sprinkled there. She felt that she would join them in that very ocean that night.
Vatya sat where the waves broke the shore and focused the torch light into the ocean, she took out the bottle of valium and swallowed five tablets.
Unknown to Vatya, she was being watched from the shadows by the Asura Emperor, Aidha. He saw the light she carried when he came out of the ocean and moved as swift as light waiting to pounce. He was filled with rage for not finding the stone which he hid beneath the Atlantic Ocean nearly four thousand years ago. This was the first of the five stones Aidha sought out and it was missing. Its disappearance confirmed his suspicion that there will be an uprising against his rule in Patala. The anger made him feel like killing and taking blood, an anger which he has not felt since he hid the stones.
As she waited for the tablets to take effect, Aidha appeared before Vatya. She struggled to her feet to see him better. The creature that stood before her was nearly seven feet tall. She focused the torch light to his face and it was covered in black hair like the rest of his body. Gray eyes reflected when the light was focused on his face and white fangs protruded from his mouth.
Aidha was waiting for the girl to scream or to run away and he would chase after her and then make her beg him for her life. He would drain her blood dry and he would see through the blood, all of his victim’s life – what made her happy, what gave her pleasure, what she craved for most.
“Are you death, come to take me away?” Vatya asked with a broad anxious smile across her bruised swollen face.
The woman’s question shocked Aidha’s senses back to the present and what was in front of him. The Asura Emperor looked closer at the human woman. He was too anxious to suck the life out of her to ease his own anger, that he did not see her. Pity filled his heart as he looked at her, she wanted to die. She was already dying. There was the smell of stale blood coming from her body; there were open wounds on her face and dark purple marks. Aidha looked to the ground where the woman sat and realized that she was killing herself.
“I’m incredibly worse than death my dear,” Aidha said gruffly and then he expanded his wings to its full span. Vatya was startled and fell to the ground. The valium was beginning to work. Her vision was becoming hazy; all she saw was the outline of the dark creature in front of her.
“Who are you?” Vatya managed to ask.
“I am the one that will be taking your life,” Aidha said, “but not now, I will take it when you want to live.”
Vatya woke suddenly from a deep sleep that felt like it continued for days, the deepest sleep she had ever had. She sat up slowly and was very confused. She was on a very large bed that was covered in what looked and felt like white satin sheets and a duvet. The large room which Vatya found herself in was exquisite, she had never seen anything like it before, not even on the internet. It was white and gold with intricate carvings of flowers and birds on the pillars and edges and paintings on the ceiling.
On the right side of the room, Vatya noticed from her perch on the bed, was a heavy white stone vanity with a mirror framed with more carvings of flowers and birds. There were all kinds of bottles and jars and brushes on it. She looked to the left and saw where the light was entering the room. The entire right side of the room was covered with glass doors that were gently veiled with thin white curtains that fluttered with the gentle breeze that was entering the room.
Vatya came off the bed to go towards the opened doors and her feet met cold stone. When she looked down, she saw that the floor was glossy white stone. When she stood up, Vatya realized that she was able to stand up straight, her limbs did not ache. She had almost forgotten how that felt, but there was still a pain in her stomach as she walked. When she felt the area where hurt, she realized that she was wearing a night gown, but this was very different from what she was accustomed to; it had a deep “v” front with thin straps. This was a silk gown that gently grazed her body; making her feel almost naked. And of course it was white, she thought to herself noting that everything in the room was white.
Vatya limped to the open doors and was in total awe at the sight she beheld. There was a stone balcony beyond the doors, the same color as the room. Vatya was no longer in her homeland, she was sure of it. She was not sure whether she was still on Earth. It was so beautiful, that her first reaction was that she had really died and gone to heaven. Facing the balcony was a garden filled with the most beautiful and colorful flowers and hedges. There were benches and statues of men and women that looked like the Gods Vatya had seen in Temples. In the center of the garden was a pool like a mirror with lotuses that were so big that a person could sit on their leaves. Beyond the garden was a wall of green trees so tall they looked like they existed for thousands of years. To the left end of the balcony, there were green fields that were bordered by mountains that were green at their feet and turned white closer to their peaks.
To the right, Vatya noticed that the balcony stretched further, and she went to see what was on that side. She passed another room next the one which she was in, before she reached the end of the balcony, but the doors were closed. Vatya was more drawn to the what was at the end of the balcony to bother with what was in the room. It was water, crystalline with the sun just risen over it. She knew that it was morning and she looked on as the waves were gently hitting the white sand beach.
“You are awake,” Vatya heard a deep male voice behind her.
Vatya gulped, she did not know what to expect. She turned around slowly to find the most handsome man she had ever seen staring back at her. His hair was full and curled slightly on his head as black as charcoal and his eyes were gray. He was about six feet tall and had broad shoulders. His skin was fair, almost golden, he was dressed in all over white, a linen shirt and what looked like pajamas. Vatya was more convinced that she was dead after seeing him because he seemed not of this world, she seemed to her what she imagined an angel would look like. She felt dumb founded and did not know what to say, but finally she said hopefully, “Am I in heaven?”
“You are quite obsessed with dying aren’t you,” Aidha responded dryly. He had seen Vatya on the balcony from his bedroom which was next to the room he placed her in when he brought her to his palace two days ago. “Sorry to disappoint you, my dear, but you are not dead and you certainly are not in heaven with the Gods, in fact one would say here is quite the opposite,” he grinned and was almost laughing while he motioned with his hands to point out the landscape around them.
“Where am I then?” Vatya asked looking down to the floor afraid to look at the stranger in front of her.
“We are in Patala where even the Gods said is more beautiful than Devaloka and this is my Kingdom, Atala,” Aidha explained.
“Why am I here?” Vatya quickly remembered from the stories she learnt at Temple that Patala was where the demons and the evil beings which the Gods defeated lived.
“Don’t you remember?”
Vatya tried to recall the moments before she woke up in the strange room, “I remember leaving my home to go to the beach.”
“To take your life,” Aidha added.
“I would have died anyway,” Vatya said looking further to the floor ashamed to what her life was, “am I here because I killed myself. Religion teaches that it is a sin, but my life was already hell.”
Aidha noticed her shame and asked further, “Don’t you remember me from that night and what you are to me now?” He realized that she may not have remembered because she was nearly unconscious, so with a thought, he made her remember all that he said to her that night.
Vatya gasped when she saw the creature appear before her mind’s eye and looked up to Aidha, “But, but, you?”
“I know, how can I possibly be the horrible creature you saw, when I look like this?” Aidha was sarcastic.
He moved closer to Vatya to take her hand and as she stepped back. There was a flash of pain in her stomach. Aidha noticed this and placed his palm on her belly. “Tell me where hurts, I fixed the wounds which I saw on your body and face. I didn’t realize that there was internal damage too.”
Vatya felt the warmth of his hand on her skin beneath the thin night gown. He placed his other hand on her shoulder.
“A rib is broken, it will hurt a bit as the bone and tissue mend,” Aidha saw her try to hold the pain in, she looked like she knew how to do that well and began to distract her, “My name is Aidha, I don’t think I told you.”
“The storm,” he smiled, “there, all finished.”
“How did you do that?”
“Magic,” Aidha said and took her hand and led her back to the bedroom, “This will be your room, mine is next door. Now that you remember our last conversation, let’s set the ground rules for how you will live here. One, you will make no more attempts to end your life. If I find that you have endangered your life in anyway, you will be very sorry.”
At this Vatya remembered how the dark creature told her that he was taking her life, but when she wanted to live, “Am I your prisoner?” she asked thinking to herself whether she escaped one hell to end up in another.
Aidha did not like to think of himself as being cruel because he was always fair and kind, so he worded his response to put Vatya at ease, “You are to live here and you are free to do whatever you wish and to go wherever you want to in this palace and on these grounds except the forest. It is not safe for a human like you.”
Vatya was a mess of confusion at this time, she had so much questions to ask about where she was and what was to become of her so she began with the most burning, “What are you?”
“I am an Asura,” Aidha said but continued when he noticed the confused expression on Vatya’s face “humans sometimes refer to us as demons, they forget the difference because they have forgotten our history.”
Vatya gasped and sat on a divan, “But you do not look like a demon. You are so…”
“You should remember my dear, that the cruelest of demons are the most beautiful creatures,” Aidha said and a shiver went down Vatya’s back.
“Yes, you are right,” Vatya admitted beginning to feel afraid of what was before her. She noticed that Aidha spoke gently and his eyes were kind and he seemed patient with her.
Aidha sat on the divan next to her, “Humans often forget that we were the first to be created; we were there before the Devas. Some of us are even as strong as the Gods; the only difference is that they are immortal but we can die.” Aidha explained further, “The fault of my race is that they always want to have supreme power and to gain that, they want war and they fought among themselves. They never want to coexist with the other races.”
Vatya noticed that a sadness appeared in Aidha’s face as he said that, but asked further as she remembered the stories her grandmother told her, “You are like Ravana who Lord Rama fought?”
“Not quite,” Aidha told her and he tensed, he felt offended that he would be compared to such an evil being, “You must be hungry; you haven’t eaten in two days. Why don’t you have a shower and join us for breakfast downstairs. There are clothes in the closets.”
When he gestured to the closets and bathroom, Vatya noticed that the demon’s hand was as hard and smooth like a stone sculpture which she had seen on television and the internet of Greek and Roman Gods and Emperors; even his face with its prominent jaw line looked like it was carved from stone. Everything about his appearance was perfect.
Before Aidha left the bedroom through the balcony he added, “Remember Vatya, there were some good Asuras in the books.” Aidha did not want Vatya to think that he was like those of his race that tried to rule the three worlds without mercy for the innocent.
“I still feel that I will wake up anytime now and this would have only been a dream,” Vatya said as he left.
Vatya contemplated what he said while she was in the bathroom. The demons which Aidha spoke of were the ones that stood up to tyranny; they helped the Gods and were favored by them. Maybe he was a good Asura, Vatya thought.
The closet was almost as big as the bedroom was. On one side there were rows of clothes, they were beautiful and ancient looking, nothing like the fashions which Vatya was accustomed wearing or seeing on fashion pages and on the other side were all kinds of shoes. She found a black loose fitting black trousers and a red tunic with black embroidery. Like the night gown she woke up in, the material felt rich and soft.
“Are you sure about having the human girl here Aidha?” Dhi ask him as soon as he came into the hall that led to the dining room.
“She is harmless, pitiful mostly. You don’t need to worry about her. I’ve tasted her and she has an innocent heart. She is just running from herself,” Aidha quickly added when he saw the raised eyebrow on Dhi’s face, “just a drop of blood from her finger, to tell whether I should bring her here. Her husband did it all to her. I was about to kill her when I realize that she was already killing herself.”
“Since when do you kill innocent people?” Dhi was stern now, “Your parents did not raise you like that.” Dhi always worried for Aidha, she had been in his life even before he was born. She lived with his family for thousands of years and she thought of his mother as her own sister. She knew though, that there must have been something that would trigger Aidha to want to kill someone for no reason.
“It was a momentary lapse and rage consumed me. You know me, I would not otherwise do anything like that. She was the first thing I saw when I came out from the ocean after searching for the first chintamani. The box was there but there was no stone. Whoever took it knew the exact coordinates and was able to break the seal. There are not much sorcerers alive to break your seal,” Aidha went on with a sigh, “this confirms the suspicions; they want to usurp my rule.”
“That is just one of five. We cannot be sure if they have the others which you scattered across the world,” Dhi tried to assure him, “you will have to seek them out and quickly.”
“I know; I leave in the morning again.”
“I am still unsure why you would bring the girl here with all that is about to happen.”
Aidha softened and placed an arm around Dhi, “She has nowhere else to go and perhaps I envied her. She could have left this world because she wanted to; and I, I have to stay in it to maintain it, to keep it safe from my own race.”
“You choose to live the way you live. There is no need for you to be this alone,” Dhi kissed his cheek, “but you keep punishing yourself.”
Aidha was about to respond to Dhi when he noticed that Vatya was standing at the door, “Come Vatya, join us.” He noticed that the human girl hesitated so he went to where she stood and brought her to meet Dhi who outstretched her hand to be introduced to Vatya.
Aidha explained to Vatya that Dhi had been in his family even before he was born and that she is like a mother to him. He told her that Dhi was an Asura like him but she could perform magic or maya far better than he could. He told her that Dhi was more of a sorceress while he was a warrior.
“And here comes the greatest warrior of Atala,” Aidha said noticing that the General of his army had entered the dining room, “Carin, this is Vatya, Vatya meet Carin.” Carin was a graying tall, strong man with broad shoulders. The General served Aidha’s father as well as Aidha loyally for millennia. Aidha noticed his soldier’s hesitation when he observed that Vatya was a human, “let’s eat,” he said to calm the mood.
Vatya was led by Aidha to sit to his right at the long grand table in the dining room. Like all that she had seen of Aidha’s palace, the dining room was grand. It was white and gold like the bedroom and the halls. There were intricate carvings on the ceiling with a mural that seemed to be alive. There were peacocks in a garden and swans in a pool and children playing happily. Vatya was interrupted from the trance of the beauty of the mural by a woman laying a plate in front of her. There were four women in the room who had entered silently and began serving. She was given eggs, bread, fruit and tea, just like human food which surprised Vatya because of where Aidha told her she was.
“Aidha, I know we have company but I am anxious. Was your journey successful?” Carin asked.
Aidha finished chewing and answered, “The stone was gone from the box. I will be going to check on the others in the morning.”
“This is not a good sign, let me come with you,” Carin was stern now.
“I need you to be here,” Aidha said and placed a reassuring hand on Carin’s shoulder.
A silence that had taken over the room because of the missing stone and because of Vatya’s presence. Aidha felt it and began to speak, “Vatya, I did tell you that while you are here, you can do whatever you want, but I would like to suggest that you learn to fight.”
Vatya was caught by surprise and she hurriedly chewed the food that was in her mouth to answer, “Me? Aidha, I don’t think I could fight.” At her calling the Emperor of Patala’s name, everyone in the room including the servants gasped. Aidha made a gesture with his right hand to assure them all that he approved.
“Non sense, Carin will teach you. Right Carin? Start with hand to hand combat for defense and she should learn how to use a dagger. Help her to be strong,” Aidha instructed his own teacher. He felt that learning to fight would help Vatya to transform herself to a strong woman, both mentally and physically. He was also helping Carin to fill his days. His army hadn’t fought a war in four thousand years.
Carin who did not have a student of his own in more than five thousand years became excited at the prospect of teaching Vatya, “We start tomorrow at 7am sharp.”
“Okay, thank you,” Vatya did not know what else to say or what it would be like to learn to fight. She always thought about how amazing it was when the heroines in the spy movies fought but had no idea what to expect tomorrow, she had no idea what to expect for the rest of the day.
Carin and Dhi left the room together when they finished their breakfast and Vatya was alone with Aidha again. Vatya found him looking at her with his gray eyes every time she looked at him. Since she was a teenager, she had always been nervous when good looking boys were around and she would avert her gaze from them. For Vatya, this was so much harder because Aidha was so much more handsome than any of them. “Come, let me show you around” Aidha said eagerly. As he walked with her and the servants looked at her curiously he became unsure of how Vatya would fit into Patala. At least the training would occupy her time, but he was also thinking of how the other beings would react to her. Once she is here in Rusat, she will be safe, he thought.
Aidha led Vatya from room to room, some grander than the other. On the west wing there were eight bedrooms, one was Dhi’s and one was Carin’s; they lived in the palace with Aidha. The servants had their own quarters on the grounds.
Every room, every step and every pillar was white with gold trimmings. Like the dining room, there were intricate carvings and paintings. There was an atrium at the center of the palace where each stairway that led to the varying wings of the palace met. On the east wing, there were just the two bedrooms which were Aidha’s and the one that he placed Vatya. There was a meeting place called a Sabha, which looked like a throne room. There was a pool through its center that stopped at the throne that was made of gold. This was the only room which was not white. It was red and gold, which Aidha said are the colors of Atala. There were several paintings on the wall of battles. There were men with swords or bows in hand dressed in armor and flying creatures and beasts. Vatya wanted to look at these closer but Aidha called her to go to another room.
“This is the hall of mirrors,” Aidha said as he opened the doors to a room that was an annex to the palace.
Vatya was in awe of what was behind the door. The ceiling was domed and a grand crystal chandelier dropped from the center. This room was an annex to the palace. The floor was so smooth; it looked as though it was wet. On the domed ceiling, there were panels with paintings of women dancing and men playing musical instruments. They were so beautiful, they had to be Asuras like Aidha, Vatya thought. Like the other rooms, this was also white but there was more gold in this room than the others. Woven between the gold trimmings were mirrors that reflected the light that came in through the ceiling to floor windows. This light was then reflected from the chandelier which gave the room and everything in it its own glow.
“Do you like it?” Aidha asked after giving Vatya time to take in the room.
“This cannot be real, I am going to wake up and be back to reality.”
“This is very real, my dear and I am afraid you are stuck here.” Aidha said grinning.
“What’s next?” Vatya said grinning. She was beginning to feel less tense with Aidha, the more she spoke to him and observing how Dhi, Carin and his servants behaved towards him.
Aidha took Vatya to the library where there were volumes from millennia ago, volumes before he was born. There were books on the history of the word and of its races and its kingdoms, “I also collect volumes written on Earth.”
“Earth? We are no longer on earth?” Vatya felt confusion step in again.
“That’s right, I did not explain properly, I thought you understood Patala,” Aidha saw the bewildered look on Vatya’s face. “There is Earth or Bhumi at the centre, Devaloka where the Devas or Demi Gods and other races of beings live in the heavens and Patala where we live. Patala is the world below the Earth. It is like different realms existing with different beings in their own place.”
Vatya remembered the famous stories again of the Avatar killing the demon, “Didn’t Auras live on the earth as well. The epics I learned in Temple said so.”
“At one time yes, in the ages before, when all beings coexisted. Asuras at more than one time in the past ruled the Earth, Devaloka and Patala or they had their own kingdoms on Earth. But this is the age of Man and the Devas stay in their own kingdom and we stay down here in our own realm as well.”
“You were on Earth when we met.”
“I was searching for something I left there four thousand and one years ago,” Aidha saw bewilderment of Vatya’s face again. “I chose your country because it was so far away from civilization, its existence was unknown. Now the entire Earth is populated.”
“I thought you said Asura’s were not immortal,” Vatya was thinking that Aidha did not look more than thirty-five.
“Oh no, we can be killed, just not very easily and it is even harder to kill some of us.” Aidha explained. “Let’s go outside now.”
To the East of the palace was a river. The sand on its shore was white and the water was clear as glass. The river was called the Abhasa, which meant reflection.
Aidha led Vatya through the garden she saw from the bedroom. When she reached the center, she turned to look at the palace that was now her home. It was the most magnificent sight she had ever seen, white and gold surrounded by four towers. It was so beautiful she thought that it looked unreal. It looked alive with a glow of its own, it was like if an invisible energy was being emitted. “Why is it all white?”
“The palace is called Rusat and it is the creation of Mayaa, the master builder of the three worlds and great sorcerer,” there was glint of pride on Aidha’s face as he spoke of his home and the sorcerer, Mayaa, “Rusat means white by the way.”
As they moved closer to the edge of the garden, they approached the forest which Aidha had warned Vatya of earlier, “Remember do not go in there. There are creatures in there that would eat you.”
“Are they like you, I mean when you are…”
“A monster?” Aidha cut her off, “I’m sorry, my dear. But they are not like me. They have only one form and it isn’t like how I look now. They are stupid and are driven by an animal instinct to prey after those that are weak.”
“Then why do you have them live so close to you?”
“They will not harm anyone that lives here but they will harm you. Every creature has its own place, once their territory isn’t intruded, they won’t attack,” Aidha was serious now and placed both his hands on Vatya’s shoulders and looked at her seriously, “Promise me you will not go close to the forest. I will be away from tomorrow for a few days so I need to hear you promise me.”
“I promise,” Vatya assured him and added, not knowing how or if Aidha would respond, “why is finding the missing stones so important to everyone?”
Aidha tensed, unsure if he should tell this human girl he had just met about the stones that he was seeking, “Very perceptive of you.”
“I’m not stupid,” Vatya quickly defended herself and withdrew her question “you don’t have to tell me. It doesn’t involve me.”
“I did not think you were,” Aidha sensed that this was how Vatya was made to feel by the man that beat her and because of that he decided to tell Vatya of the stones. He led her to a bench in the garden and explained, “There are five chintamanis or stones which individually can give great power to whoever should hold it. When these five stones are together, it can draw the power out of the being before it.”
Vatya noticed a change in Aidha as he spoke of the stones, his faced tensed and his hands were cuffed so tight that his knuckles became white. “Who wants…”
She was cut off by a man approaching, “Aidha, I was looking for you all over the palace and here you are charming a…human woman.”
“I am not charming anyone, I am simply showing my guest around,” Aidha explained to the man. “Adam, this is Vatya, Vatya meet Adam, my mostly human relation.”
“Nice to meet you,” Adam said and he held out his hand and continued sarcastically, “And there I thought that I was the only human that visited you?”
“Why are you here Adam, shouldn’t you be looking after my Earthly affairs?” Aidha tried to avoid answering Vatya’s presence.
“No matter how much work I do, you know it does not run without your signature, Uncle” Adam said still staring curiously at Vatya.
She thought that it sounded strange that a man that looked older that Aidha should call him uncle. She felt uncomfortable by the way Adam watched her, as though he was taking her in completely, from head to toe. His skin did not glow like Aidha’s or even Dhi or Carin’s, instead it was pale. He was a good looking man with high cheek bones, deep blue eyes and dark hair, but he was thin and had a frailness about him.
“Out of all the Asparas, the Asuras, from commoners to Queens and Princesses that give themselves willingly to you, you have a human woman?” Adam asked Aidha, when they were in the office behind the Sabha’s main hall.
“Do you have to make everything about sex Adam?”
“I’m just saying, can a human be as satisfying as an Aspara? She is beautiful though, maybe she would be.”
“Enough!” Aidha raised his voice and Adam knew that signaled the finality of the discussion, “what is it that you need my signature for?”
Adam quickly took out three files from his briefcase and placed them before Aidha, who began to read what he was required to sign. Aidha came into Adam’s life in 1979 when both of his parents died in a car crash in New York and Adam was seven. Aidha told him that he was a distant relative of his mother and that he is was his legal guardian. Aidha had an apartment in New York overlooking Central Park set up for Adam with a nanny and full complement of staff including a nurse to look after the child. Adam was not very strong but frail and easily fell ill. Sometimes Aidha spent weeks and even months on Earth with Adam attempting to be a parent to the child. He thought Adam the values which his own parents had passed on to him but he held back the greater details when Adam was still too young.
At the age of seventeen when Adam finished high school, he had his first visit to Rusat, where Aidha explained to Adam his true ancestry. Adam was told that he was descended from Aidha’s oldest sister, Ana who was married to a human king and lived on Earth. After his sister’s death Aidha kept a close watch on her descendants, always ensuring that his blood line was safe. Adam was now the only one that remained.
Upon telling Adam of his ancestry and of his own power and wealth, Aidha noticed a change in the sweet boy he raised. Adam became arrogant and reckless, he spent Aidha’s money and partied wildly. The behavior worried Aidha so badly when Adam reached twenty-five, he had to threaten the young Adam in a manner that still haunted Adam’s dreams.
“I signed the first contract,” Aidha said and handed it to Adam, “the due diligence was not done on the proposal for that acquisition and I am not firing a man who worked for more than thirty years for me.”
“That company will make a lot of money,” Adam protested.
“Yes, it may, but there are no facts to back that claim, just glamourous words by a scientist. No due diligence, no acquisition,” Aidha handed the contract back to Adam.
“Fine! The mighty Aidha has spoken,” Adam said sarcastically and he added before he stormed out, “remember that I will be on vacation next week.”
Throughout the rise and fall of the empires of Earth, Aidha had always maintained a financial interest on Bhumi, never too large to draw attention to himself, yet large enough to amass great wealth by man’s standards. He particularly enjoyed the industrial revolution and enjoyed the thrill of the gamble of the stock market in the earlier days. He knew when to buy and when to dispose. Eventually he stopped selling but kept his influential stakes in most of the largest companies in the world and to manage those investments, he formed a holding company. In that company, Aidha found a place for Adam when he was at his worse.
“You are taking Arka with you?” Dhi came to see Aidha before he left to find the other stones. He was standing with his great long sword in hand in the center of his bedroom.
“This sword has shed so much blood in its life. I am hanging on to the hope that it does not have to face another war,” Aidha’s mind was in another time, when his sword struck the heart of the one that almost killed him, the one that took his entire family from him.
“If it comes to war, then we face it together, you, me and Carin. You have never lost, and you never will.” Dhi placed her palm on Aidha’s cheek just like his own mother did when she was alive.
Aidha took her hand in his drawing strength from Dhi’s touch, fearful of not finding the chintamanis, “I should be gone for a week. Dhi, please do me a favor,” Aidha placed Arka in its sheath on his waist, “take care of Vatya; she has a good heart.”
Dhi’s face was filled with concern for what Aidha will find. He was dressed for fighting, black leather pants and his black leather coat that protected him like armor, “I will, because you asked me to.”
 Devaloka – Home of the Demi Gods or heavens
 Asura - Demon
 Deva – Demi God e.g. Suyra is God of The Sun, Agni is God of Fire, Varuna, is God of Water, Indra is Ruler of Devaloka and his weapon is a thunderbolt
 Chintamani – also referred to as the philosopher’s stone, stone that grants power to those who possess it
 Maya – Magic, sorcery, illusion
 Aspara – female mythical being gifted in the performing arts and sensual pleasure, nymph, celestial maiden
 Arka - Fire