It is part one of the story "The legend of a slave-girl". Because of its length i decided to put the story in two parts.
It was a chilly night but the sky was clear. The rugged land with low lying barren mountains scattered here and there was beaming with the brightness of full moon. Down on one side was a valley, green with vegetation and flooded with small canals. On the west of the mountainous region was a less frequently used road, where people coming from the plain areas usually traveled for adventure’s sake. From the top of a barren mountain two shadows could be seen approaching the group of men encamped near a bonfire, probably lit to relieve them of the cold. When viewed closely one could notice from their wide glittering eyes and pronounced body movement that the two newcomers were youngsters, most likely teenagers full of energy. Also the wonderment about the world around them could be easily read from their manner. This could lead a keen observer to take into account that despite they been very energetic were lacking direction in life.
They reached the peak breathing heavily, and it was not before one of them spoke that the presence of a female was noticed. The newcomer who spoke was undoubtedly a girl of pretty features and her purple shirt with black jeans and the hair-do were the true depiction of the trends among the teenagers of her gender, in every respect. She was the focus of all the ten men sitting near the fire. But their manners and appearances showed sophistication.
“We were traveling from the road west of this mountain when we got something wrong with our vehicle. This fire attracted us to you.” The girl talked to the men in a slight shrilly voice after which she turned towards her companion who now got attention from all the men.
He seemed a guy of the same age group as the girl, and was dressed in brown trousers and a loose brown shirt on top. Dressed more like an adventure seeker from the thrill-movies of the day, the guy seemed a perfect match for his surroundings. It was now his turn to speak.
“Actually, we are travelers and have been to these mountains before too, but such sort of thing has never occurred before.”
Men could be seen looking at each other before one with curly hairs welcomed the newcomers with a little laugh and mockingly addressed his companions
“Who is there now who says that they came here for the sake of ‘legend’? No my dear friends, it’s an outdated story and only helps men to think something other than cold.” Saying this he started rubbing his hands, as if trying to get rid of any unwanted thought. A man with brown moustaches started looking at the other end of the mountain unpleasantly, as if the remark was directly meant for him. The newcomers were surprised, and kept looking at each other before another man with grey-ish hairs brought them food from a small tent.
It was only then that they could hear something of the ‘legend’ again.
“It’s the first time I am out hunting with you guys on these mountains at a full moon. Though I myself do not believe in such tales but the atmosphere here is mesmerizing” replied the man with moustaches, facing up to look at the moon.
“A legend?” the girl asked. “What sort of legend is it?” the guy added.
Both of them were getting impatient to know and their eyes went gladder on asking about 'the legend'. This was the time when the whole company exchanged glances before the oldest member of the group replied
“You both are so young that the story might have never reached your ears. Nobody now consider it a truth but we can’t deny that it is interesting to be told.” When saying this even the old man’s eyes had got some glitter in them.
“Yes yes, I want to hear it again too. It can be entertaining for all of us here” replied the youngest in the ten men who was dressed in black.
The one with black curls had his nostrils moved a little on hearing this.
The old man started speaking again, but a noticeable change could be felt in his tone, which sounded him several years younger than what he actually was.
“Those were the days when the villages nearby first breathed the chimney smokes of the industries. The then ruler took control of every business flourishing in the land, and all the villagers were bound to serve him. In such a background the nearby valleys heard songs of hope and freedom coming from the lips of a slave-girl.”
“A slave-girl?” asked the girl in surprise.
“Yes, she was a slave, but things were different when she was born. The girl was a young princess when her father’s kingdom was attacked by a treacherous ruler from a neighboring state. The king was killed, and the daughter was made a slave. But slavery could do nothing to her enchanting features and mesmerizing voice. Her eyes would speak of a promising future for all the villagers.”
“What was her name?” the girl could not resist asking.
“It was a tradition to give no names to the slaves back then and so she was just called slave-girl” the old man replied, irritated at her untimely question.
“Please carry on with the story.” the guy impatiently said. So the old man started again.
“The people of that region had a different concept of slavery than ours. The slave-girl used to dress up as a princess and was given a life-style equal to all her age fellows, but when it came to ideas, she was forced to bow down in front of her masters. The king wanted her to shun off all what was taught to her by her righteous father and pious mother, and surrender to what they had for her. She had no power to take a stand against the king but it was equally disturbing for her to kill her own beliefs and principles. The slave-girl knew that if she truly surrender to their ideas the whole kingdom of her father would have to pay generation after generation for the loss.”
“What did she do then?” asked the young man in black.
“She never let her true spirit die but she had to hide her beliefs for the sake of her protection, from the king as well as from the villagers as all of them had surrendered before the alien king. It was only when she would be out singing in the forests near the valley that she would let her feelings come out in words.”
Everyone continued listening to the old man in silence and suspense.
FOR NEXT PART READ: The legend of a slave-girl (part2)
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