“The Saviour”

Chaitanya Garg, Class 7, La Foundation School, Sangrur

Once lived an audacious bounty hunter. He had a clandestine and never say die nature. If one gave him money, asked him to do a job, he would even go to the back blocks to do it. He wasn’t a heartless person, he had feelings and emotions unlike other bounty hunters.

Once a village head priest promised him handsome reward for finding and bringing him the renounced cloaked jewel, that other expeditioners couldn’t even find as they were scared out of their wits to enter the pronounced and forbidden ‘cloaked forest’ which stretched over 100 miles! The priest told him that a curse had befallen their village and by placing the jewel on “the pedestal of ancients” would lift the curse. The most astonishing thing was that through satellite imaging it looked that it had a radius of 10 miles! Anyone who ever wandered in, had never returned. The hunter after hearing the name of the ‘cloaked forest’ at first was trembling at the thought of going in but the priest’s plea made him agree to the task. It was in his knowledge that the jewel rested in the centre of the forest, as the eye of the cloaked jaguar statue, guarded by vicious creatures and a tree cover.

He came to know from some villagers that if he was lucky, he will be able to come across a special passage which open only for few days once in a decade and it shall allow him to pass most of these creatures safely.

The bounty hunter had packed up his rations and carried with him some heavy-duty guns. Before entering, he paid visit to the village soothsayer. As he set foot into the jungle, all of his family, friends and relatives prayed to the Almighty for his safe return. According to the soothsayer, “After travelling for 13 days and 13 nights, there will be a message written on the trunk of a humongous redwood tree, but it will be in an ancient language, CLOAKODIAN.” The hunter thought that it was one of her other stories.

After travelling for 26 days (he rested at night) the hunter was shocked to see that the soothsayer had told him the truth. The message written was “Jo koi bhi is jaguar ko andha karega who marega!”

The soothsayer had given a piece of paper to the hunter, which when placed on the message will translate it. The hunter translated the message to only get more frightened, but he didn’t lose hope and continued his journey. He ignored it by saying it was a message to scare people away, written by the ancestors of this place. So instead of being spooked, he showed courage and moved on.

The soothsayer also had said “after the 3-days of journey you will be exhausted, rest for two days because after two days the secret passage shall appear. You need to regain your strength before entering the passage because the passage will be of mere 2 miles but after that lies the great danger. There will be all types of animals that were, are and will be there in the multiverse!”

After the second day he started his journey again by walking through the passage even though he was scared out of his wits. When he was just a mile and half away the passage, which was just a gap between two rows of bushes, ended with an inscription translating “Don’t be greedy for the jewel be greedy for your life, O SEEKER OF THE JEWEL !!!”. He ignored it completely and also forgot to check the back of the stone where a prophecy stated, “If you seek the jewel to be placed on the pedestal, just squeeze a jaboticaba fruit on the jewel.” As he ventured further into his doom, he felt that something or someone was spying on him. He shouted to alert them that he would not let a single obstacle stand between him and the jewel, so he yelled, “Do Your Worst, I Am Ready for Any Obstacle.” Then immediately to his surprise appeared a huge centaur and a humongous sabre tooth lion, shocking his wits out. He took out his gun and started shooting. After almost an hour of continuous dodging, shooting, and climbing trees, he finally shot both the myths but was scared as these creatures were believed to be only a myth. His gun’s trigger came off due to continuous shooting so it was of no use now, he threw it as hard as he could into the river, flowing just few yards away from him.

He knew that the dangers that lie ahead were not anyway like the ones he had faced earlier in his life. He continued his journey but this time not with overconfidence but with caution and fear. When he was just few miles away, his map and compass flew off his hand. The map tore itself into pieces and the compass burst. He was now appalled.

As he neared the river, to splash his face with water, the river was full of skeletons of humans, animals, and birds. The river was as red as blood.

The bloody river made him petrified; he fainted right there and then. When he woke up, the river was as blue as the sky above. He thought that it was just a nightmare. He had already memorised the route on the map just in case. While checking his rations and ammunition, he found that all his guns were missing but one. With a single gun to his protection, he ventured forward into the unknown.

While walking this time, he again felt as if someone was spying on him. He looked around but to see none. Then a place with knee heighted grass came and he noticed that at about a mile away stood the statue. As he placed his first step into the grass, a rustling- hissing sound was heard. He was very scared and shot a bullet or two into the air. Then emerged a filthy and ginormous guardian creature which looked a mix of snake, lizard, and a crocodile. The ‘Snazardodile’ hissed, it spat a green slimy liquid which burnt the bark on the trees. The hunter shot at the “creature” but none of the bullets even grazed it. The creature with great speed went to him. The hunter managed to dodge its ‘tail swipe’ two or three times. He came near a pile of dead bodies and slipped. He fell next to a gun with the inscription stating, “If you want to wound the creature or even make him lose his consciousness, just shoot at its forehead.”

The hunter picked the gun and noticed there was only a single bullet left, he knew that it was now or never. As the great beast came closer, he picked up the gun, aimed it and let the bullet fly and pierce into the creature’s forehead. The creature immediately became drowsy and fainted. He tried to climb the statue as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, on his way up, a large rock fell and hit the creature which woke him up. The hunter saw the creature waking up and ascending even more quickly. The creature saw the hunter and rushed towards him quickly. Suddenly there was lightning in the sky and ‘Snazardodile’ got struck. It absorbed more and more lightning and when it came face to face with the hunter, he had already pulled out the jewel. The creature spat lightning on him in hope of killing him. The creature was the statue’s guardian. The hunter found a reflective stone lying on the ground that bounced off the lightning spat towards the creature. The body of the creature tried to absorb it, it started to glow brighter and brighter till it burst into a ball of flames. The hunter managed to escape well before the great explosion.

He picked up the jewel and squeezed the jaboticaba fruit. That moment the jewel changed shape and colour. Its shape was like that of ancient rock while its colour turned as red as blood. The hunter could now even see the village as he was standing at a great height. He ventured back to the village but on the way, he saw that the centaur and sabre tooth tiger that he had killed came back to life and spoke in a thankful voice, “You have helped to lift our curse. We are indebted to you. Tell us what do you want to know?” The hunter asked them about the curse over the village. They told him that the village was given the blessing that as long as the jewel stays on the pedestal, its fields, businesses etc shall flourish. Once some men from that village offended the god during their rituals. The god gave the villagers the curse that till someone brings back this jewel from the cloaked forest, squeeze jaboticaba fruit on it and place it on the pedestal, the village will suffer from scarcity of food, decrease in crop production, and hence suffer from drought.
The hunter then thanked the tiger for answering him and continued his journey till he reached the village. The villagers were rejoicing his return and lead him to the shrine where the pedestal stood. The hunter placed the jewel on the pedestal, squeezed jaboticaba fruit and immediately the fields started to become green and water came back to the streams. The priest of the village gave him the blessing that the hunter would always be prosperous in his life. The priest also gave him the promised money. The hunter had left the place as a saviour and hero. The villagers made a statue of him out of respect.

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