Dressed in a loose lower garment that was tightened around the ankles, and a cotton headband to tie up his long hair, the lanky teenager barely broke a sweat while running through the crowded alleys of Bishamda.
The elders smiled at the sight of Kanha while the men scoffed; surely the boy had got into some kind of trouble. Young women, enchanted by his sandalwood perfume, turned around to catch a glimpse of Kanha leaping over the vegetable vendor’s cart. They smiled admiringly, only to be cautioned by their mother’s glares. “Keep your eyes off that boy!” they cried in unison.
Soon, Kanha was outside the village, no longer protected by the warmth of fire-lamps but engulfed by a cold breeze and the shine of the moon. Barren land stood to all sides, but his gaze was fixed at the heavens. Smiling, he watched a luminous streak of white light travel through the tiny crystals that were embedded into the night sky.
“We are fortunate to be witnessing this,” said a voice, and the woman removed the hood of her cloak. Puvara was much older than Kanha, strikingly beautiful and watching him with lusty eyes.
Kanha, however, was still admiring the starlit night sky. “Yes, we are,” he said, awestruck in his words.
Puvara lost a little of her smile; she was not used to being ignored. She moved closer with the intention of seducing him. First, she would kindle that fire within him, overwhelm him with passion that would drive him insane, and then she would reveal her prowess with an Aranian dagger.
“Watch your step,” he whispered, still without looking.
There was a faint hiss, and Puvara let out a piercing cry before dropping to the ground.