Chapter 11: The First Confrontation

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The next morning, Viaan woke up early. He was bordering on less than six hours of sleep every day. But that didn't diminish his confidence. He got ready in the navy blue robes of apprentices and went down to the kitchen. He picked up two apples and a glass of milk and moved towards the herb garden. He could identify most of the herbs because he loved to study about them. He knew their uses and how to use them. That thought calmed him. In the world full of self doubt and chaos, he was confident about one thing. It wasn't important that the thing was considered useless by everyone else. He slouched and then straight. He wondered if his friends were up. Nairiti would be exercising or practicing with her weapons. And Vidyut would not be sleeping in the room.

He stood up and plucked a leaf of the Tulsi plant and pocketed it. By the time he was in, the household had woken up. The servants were cleaning, and he took a detour to the assistant's office. It was his superpower, the power which made him remember the layout. He stood by the locked doors waiting for the man to show up. The assistant was a guy in mid thirties with a tired expression and midnight black hair. Viaan could see the stress on his face and his dim blue eyes. The assistant took a long glance at him and Viaan prayed for his makeover to hold. The guy gave him an imperceptible nod and open the doors with a brown key which looked older than the palace.

The inside was clean, and Viaan had a hard time imagining the guy cleaning his room. He supposed the servants did that because there wouldn't be any important information in the assistant's office. He opened the curtains and the sunlight streamed in, highlighting the paintings and the black furniture. The papers were kept on the desk carefully and a shelf full of quills and ink captured Viaan's attention. Viaan was definitely coming back for the invisible ink later.

The assistant gave him a stack of papers for filing with a permission slip to enter the palace library. Viaan was overjoyed at the prospect of going to the palace on his first day. He had to thank all the people who had given up the researching department for this. No one would glance at a person in a blue robe even if the person was a runaway prince. He thanked the assistant and went towards the stables where he knew his friends would be now.

Nairiti and Vidyut were sitting across legged on the hay and Viaan found himself smiling. He produced the slip and they were shocked on reading the words on it.

"That is easy. We can work on our work now. " She was right in her assessment.

"We should go at once."

Vidyut was up and moving. He brought his satchel which was filled with whatever be thought would be required. Viaan required only a few things. And Nairiti wasn't taking any extra satchel. Where was she hiding her weapons then?

The palace guards barely glanced at them and ushered them in. The main guard read the slip and grunted. Viaan was honestly exasperated and angry at their behaviour. Even if that was helping him, they would allow any enemy to get in with this kind of attitude. The palace looked the same. Bright white walls with many secrets buried in it. The main crossroad was empty and Viaan now saw it from an outsider's perspective. The roads lead to different kinds of buildings. The centre one to the main royal residence and the right one to the administration. The left one to the staff area. They turned to the right and walked slowly. The trees lining the path were blooming with pale pink and purple flowers. Viaan liked walking under the moonlight on this particular road.

The main building was flanked by serious guards who looked at their every little movement. This was the hardest part. Viaan knew if he could be recognized anywhere, it was this place. No one paid attention more than these guards. He held his head straight and walked with confidence unlike his normal distracted self always reading something. The guards didn't move a muscle and Viaan's heart thudded.

The main guard was saying something. Viaan didn't know what because he could only hear his heartbeat. Vidyut snatched something from his hand and then Viaan realised that the guard had asked for the permission slip. The guard then allowed them access.

"You okay?"Vidyut murmured this only so Viaan could hear. Viaan nodded and kept walking forward. He knew he had the worst luck so he prayed for something good to happen. Someone must have heard him because the doors at the right opened and stepped out the royal security personnel. Viaan instantly reacted and backed away. He stood behind his friends so no one could notice him first.

His gears were confirmed when his brother emerged next. Vivaan was same, but only he looked older than he was. Viaan felt pain when he saw his dearest brother. He knew it was good that his brother didn't notice him when his eyes swept over him. But he was miserable because his own brother hadn't recognized him.

All of them left the hallway and Viaan finally emerged from his hiding place behind his friends. He took them to the palace library where they checked in with their fake names. Viaan took them to the secluded area in the herbology section.

They sat beside each other in a circle.

"You notice anything strange?" Nairiti broke the silence.

"Like how Viaan hyper ventilated when he saw his brother?"

Nairiti looked at Vidyut in annoyance.

"We shouldn't use brother or anything. I was talking about appearance."

"No. I didn't. He looked the same. " Viaan muttered.

"I meant magical appearance. It leaves a mark on the user depending on how much they use."

Viaan hadn't known that.

"The sun was dark. Why would the sun be using that much power if he was not trained?"

The sun was Vivaan, Viaan got that interpretation. And the question that needed answering was what was Vivaan hiding?

Author's note:
I'm back. How are you guys?

What did you think? Any theories. Next chapters will be exciting.

Please tell me what you think will happen. I love reading your comments.

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