Days passed, and finally the moment Moon longed for had arrived. He couldn’t wait for a single second and there they came at last.
“Howdy my boy?”, welcomed Fred.
“It’s been a delight to see you back guys”, welcomed Moon with a glow and a smile on his face.
“We have been missing you since you left buddy. Look at me, I had even put on some weight being concerned about you”, laughed George with a hug.
While they were on their way, Fred and George narrated things that happened in the village in the absence of Moon, in the most interesting way some one can do. When they had reached the forest that they had to pass through to reach the village, there stood three horses.
“Thanks for looking at the horses you little pumpkin”, said Fred to Humperclamp who stood on one of those horses.
“Who is a pumpki’?”, shouted Humperclamp pointing his tiny sword towards Fred.
Meanwhile, Moon noticed a horse and said, “I never knew that Humperclamp can ride too”.
“That belongs to me dear”, came a voice from behind.
When Moon glanced to see who it was, it was very glad for him to see Baishu back. He welcomed her with a warm hug and an excited expression on his face.
“That was an unanticipated surprise”, he smiled.
The day was too hot and it was past noon, that is when the kids entered the forest floors. The forest’s atmosphere was so calm with no human to ruin it and Moon was very joyful to leave the busy town and glad to hear back the sweet screeches those birds made (Even those songs that we hear now might not please some one the way those birds did).
“How is my village?”, asked Moon.
“You never said that you own a village!”, said Fred who seemed to be surprised.
“Argh, fool he means our village”, Baishu retorted.
“Things aren’t the same like they were when you had last seen it.”, exclaimed George in a sad tone.
“Don’t blabber things George! He is just kidding Moon, the village was never this better”, expressed Baishu accompanied with a fake smile.
That was the last conversation they had on their journey! Everyone were pretending being normal but Moon could notice that something was wrong seeing those glum faces. He didn’t seem to be interested in asking what it was as their dull faces had already brought Moon to an embarrassed state.
Though the path seemed long, the journey wasn’t, as the horses were too fast that they had terminated their journey and reached the village before dawn! Nothing could replace the smile and the joy Moon had when he stepped down from his horse. It wasn’t only joy that came, memories came along!
“Back at home”, Moon jumped with joy!
When he had entered the house, he saw everyone but he had no signs of his Master. He even saw Li who bestowed him the same stare that he always used to give. There was no place Moon had failed to visit in search of the one whom he is searching for.
“I guess some one is missing in the house”, mentioned Moon.
“Yeah, even I didn’t see the servant maid since I was back. Puny guy, he had been already lost a couple of times in the forest. Hope he isn’t there again”, added Fred.
“I am done with all your very funny jokes Fred. Now, it would please me if some one tells me what had happened to him”, retorted Moon.
“There is nothing to be concerned about, he is on some business to a nearby town”, said Baishu.
“You could have said this before”, grunted Moon who lead himself to the main hall of the house.
When Moon was too far and they had no signs of him, George started,”why don’t you tell him the truth?”.”
“Do something that Master had said me not to? Nay, never gonna happen”, she answered with a fierce and a worried look on her face.
Moon was still perplexed, another concern was added to all his unanswered questions! There was nothing he could do, he didn’t even care to have words with his friends! He was so annoyed with those jokes Fred made, as he had already developed a temporary hatred on his friends. This seemed to concern the fellow kids especially Baishu.
Time passed, as it always does and there was no notice or sign of his master that Moon could find. He seemed to be very concerned and there she came with a message saying: “I am sorry for hiding things from you but, I just did what I was ordered and supposed to. Anyway, I guess it is the time. I am gonna take you somewhere and I wouldn’t want you to ask any questions like how you usually do. Just follow me as it is the time Moon.”
Moon was curious to know what it was. And now, it was clear that something was wrong as he had suspected. He didn’t dare to speak and started following Baishu. There was not even a single word between them on their way. Baishu took him far away from the house, and there they were again. It was the same waterfall that Moon had seen before.
“Come in along with me”, she said walking into the waterfall. Moon was shocked as he didn’t expect a secret cave which was hidden by the waterfall. It was too dark and they couldn’t hear any thing else except the large and pleasant sound those waterfall made. They felt very cold as they were already wet, but then they continued. The darkness was ending as there were lanterns placed on either side of the cave’s end. It was too bright soon, as they had a clear view of their path now.
“Welcome child”, they heard a voice. The voice belonged to someone they knew very well as Moon found whose it was soon after he had heard it. The owner of the voice confronted the kids. The bright light gave a clear glance of his face. Moon gasped,”What had happened to you master?”. His face was now something that no one would want to see. No one could explain his horrible face. They weren’t burns, he had no signs of bleeding but, it was something else. There was no face anymore, no one could find where his nose and other organs were. He looked more like a victim who was stuck by a severe contagion.
“You will know child, you will know”, the old man started,”Before that, I would like to tell you something else, something that might answer all your questions Moon”. As he said this, the two kids were already excited and bestowed a curious look. He had narrated everything about the witch and the King Caspian. (The story that you and the kids would have already known, I suppose). The two kids weren’t much surprised listening to this story as they have heard that a thousand times, Fred and George saying it.
Then, he continued:
“I suppose this isn’t where the story ended, moreover this is where the story had begun. There was something that Caspian couldn’t find that instant when the witch was killed by his own sword. There was something that the King failed to collect that moment which has probably passed as his legacy. There was something more hazardous that no one could dare to find a solution. The King’s suspicion was right, that the witch was trying to succeed in casting a spell on him. But, as in every stories the witch didn’t fail, it was Caspian who probably lost on that day. He drove her sword straight through her neck but, it was already too late. That last word that would finish and bring her spell to power was spoken. The words that might bring an end to Caspian and his ancestors were casted. The power that could destroy everything that the King had was brought. Yes, Her spell had made the King, ‘THE CURSED MAN’. The witch might have lost all her powers but, she had already given an unanticipated fate to the King. When the King was happy with his wife and new born Prince, thither started everything, something made the King sick. No one could find what it was, not a thing passed in curing it. The disease as everyone called it, was nothing else but the witch’s curse. Each and every day took the King to death. He flew his country in search for his cure which had a result that couldn’t give a positive outcome to fit in the stories. Nothing worked and like how all those stories say, the King had his worst and the fateful death that no one had even thought of. It wasn’t the end. Caspian’s son was put to throne and he was a good king alike his father. The whole nation spoke of his glory and he had the same worse death that his father had. Many of the Caspian’s ancestors had their death, the same way like the great king did. No doctors were useful, rather the help of Gods and saints went in vain.”
The children had no interest in history, but this time they didn’t dare to miss a single word that their master spoke. The old man now made them reckon in something that they didn’t believe at.
“There ought to be something that could have ended everything, oughtn’t it?”, asked Moon.
” Nothing could stop their death and so mine, as the blood I carry now belongs to the Great King Caspian.”, said the old man. The kids were so deep into the story that they had totally forgotten the thing that the old man’s disease. They failed to interrelate it and the words that the old man said at last were too intense for the two kids that Baishu had already broke into tears. The two kids didn’t know what to do and they were forced to get out of the cave before they even dared to ask any questions. Moon wished he could do something but those words that the master said showed him that he was useless.
The old man turned very ill as days passed. Thither came the day where the two kids saw their master walk for the last time. They knew that the days for his departure were too soon. The old man’s curse and Baishu’s tears seemed to have no end. They never thought of leaving the cave as they didn’t want to miss those last days with their master. They gave him good care and love.
“That is it my son, I can see the end”, exclaimed the old man.
“Everything in this world has an end master and so the curse, there has to be some way to save you. I will do what ever I can to save you”, cried Moon.
“Of course everything has an end boy, so is my life”, added the old man with tears on his face.
“I never wished to see tears on your face master and I never knew that a filthy death could bring them to you”, said Moon who probably broke into tears now.
“It isn’t my death dear, it isn’t my death, it is you that I am concerned about”, he said.
“What is it with me master?”,asked Moon curiously with those tears still on his face.
“It’s not about saving me anymore my dear, it is now saving yourself”, muttered the old man who was probably very weak. “I might have been a good master for you but I have been a worst grandfather that no one ever had. There is nothing that hurts someone more than knowing that his grandson would die a severe death like they did due to a deadly curse one day.” cried the old man. Moon at first couldn’t find a clue about what his master was saying and he looked more perplexed than ever. The old man continued,” Save yourself son, save yourself from the curse. Find your father”.
“Mr. Smith?”, he asked.
“He was never your father. Find the real one. The red trunk would give you a clue about your journey. Find your father son, find your father as soon as you can”, the old man muttered who was nearing his death.
“I don’t understand anything master. What should I do now?”, questioned moon for which he failed to get an answer. That was it, his eyes were blurred with tears. His hands that were on the old man’s chest trembled like never before. Tears wept from his eyes and heart. That was probably the first death he saw and that was the second time he cried in his life. The last look the old man gave him showed all the love he had on the boy. He sat helpless. Everything he did was nothing except wiping his tears as he knew already that the old man was dead. That day was a nightmare for him. He didn’t even try sleeping that night. His mind was filled with those memories he had with his GRAND FATHER and his eyes were filled with tears. Each and every time he tried to put an end to his cry, it ended up in vain as he would burst out into a larger one. He then understood that memories sometimes doesn’t help you with a smile but rather can get you tears too.
It took time for both the kids to get through it, but they weren’t completely out of it. Moon was sitting alone by the end of the waterfall one day and thither he heard his grandfather’s voice saying: “Save yourself child, save yourself”. He looked around to see where the voice came from and could find nothing but vain. He at once remembered about everything the master said that he had forgotten all these days and rushed to the red trunk at once.