An Adventurous Story: Treasure Hunter For Hire, Chapter XIV

Treasure Hunter For Hire: Chapter XIV

What are you all looking at, somebody fetch the medical kit. Heal the boy!”, Collin’s voice, shouting orders, broke the ice that had settled over the group. Desmond had fatally wounded Alvy. A bright green beam of light had shot out from his palm and struck Alvy with immense force. The boy’s body lay bleeding under a tree, a couple of feet away from the hunter group. Hearing him groan broke the tension in the group. People ran towards him, some to pull him up and some to provide the healing, leaving Desmond behind who stood dazed. His feet felt like they were chained to the ground and his body was unresponsive.

What? Why is Alvy lying unconscious on the ground? Wait, is he bleeding? Oh heavens, he is bleeding so much. Someone go heal him. But oh, everyone is already beside him. What happened here? Did….did I? NO! NO! How can that be? Why would I harm him? And how? I don’t have any weapons in my hand. I remember seeing something very bright and very green. What was that? I have to ask someone! I have to!”. Thoughts like these were running through his mind. Shocked, he couldn’t completely comprehend that he had hit Alvy.

Desmond! Desmond!”, Collin’s voice and a hand on his shoulder pulled him out of his confused mind. He slowly turned and looked at his friend with eyes wide open.

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What were you thinking? What is with the supernatural power?”, exclaimed Collin.

What power?

Don’t act stupid now, Desmond. You fairly know what you have done.

I’m not acting Collin. I seriously cannot remember a thing.

Do not tell me that you cannot remember hitting Alvy with this supernatural light beam that shot out from your hand.

Desmond was speechless. His hand slowly came up to his mouth in a silent gasp. Realizing that Collin had mentioned a palm, he withdrew the hand and gaped at it.

This is no time to act surprised. We have to think about the outcomes.

Outcomes?

Yes, you fool. You have injured a comrade life-threateningly, there are bound to be some repercussions.

You think?

Yes!!

Collin, I’m in no condition to talk right now. Can you be so kind as to leave me alone for a little while?

Okay. I understand.”. This being said, Desmond withdrew from the forest clearing where all of this was taking place. He went inside his tent, threw a blanket over his head and tried to go to sleep. Only, he couldn’t. Now that the shock had abated, he couldn’t help but think about what he had done. And yes, Collin was right. There will be repercussions and that too bad ones. All of the effort he had put into his team, throughout the years, spending time and acting more like a friend and less like a commander, demolished in just a second. It’s amazing how however huge you build the ship of trust, it takes only a flick of one finger to sink it. Everyone will eye him with suspicion from now on. They will not trust him with big, leadership decisions. They will distance themselves from him, afraid that he might hurt them. What if Collin left him too? What if he also decides to go separate ways? Collin was the only one in the whole world he went to in need of advice, except for Elaine. Although, by this time Desmond had already assumed that Elaine might have moved on from him and must have found another man to woo.

All of these thoughts were on a loop in his mind. He tried to find a solution for them, but couldn’t. He tried to rest, but couldn’t. He just lay there, restless, when suddenly there came the sound of footsteps approaching his tent. He stood up, fully alert when Collin entered.

Did you rest at all?”, asked Collin out of genuine concern.

Couldn’t.

We have to talk about so many things. Take a seat.”.

Once both of them were sitting, Collin resumed, “Where did you get such powers from?

Honestly, I have no idea.

I think I might know something. Can you show me the stone again?

Here.

Desmond searched his pocket where he usually kept the stone but couldn’t find it. Both of them stood up and started searching the tent when suddenly, Collin’s eye caught the stone hanging around Desmond’s neck.

It’s by your neck. When did you wear it? I thought you didn’t want to wear it around your neck and kept in your pocket instead.

I….seriously don’t know. The last time it was in my hands was just after we had captured the tribals. I was sitting just outside the tent looking at…well, nothing in particular.

Was it before or after Alvy came up to you to talk about killing the tribals for revenge?

Before. Definitely before.

I think I know how it got around your neck. Before Alvy came up to you, you were lost in thought just as you usually do when you have the stone in your hands. When Alvy came, it suddenly distracted you and unknowingly you wore it instead of putting it in your pocket.

How is Alvy, though?

Not good but not worse either. He will definitely heal but it will take some time.

Should I go visit him?

No. Not right now. Everyone is in his room or outside it and they are very angry at you. They think it was very unfair of you to react that way. Besides being angry they are also very scared of you now. No one wants to be near you. They fear you.

I had it coming, didn’t I?

Yes. Let me see the stone for a second if you will.

Desmond took the stone and gave it to Collin without even looking at it. His head was drooped in sadness. Hearing about Alvy filled him with inexplicable guilt. He did not even dare meet Collin’s eyes unless he might find something in them that he feared the most.

Desmond! Desmond look! DESMOND!! Look, the stone!

What happened to the cursed stone?

It has changed shapes!

The next chapter will follow soon.

The writer of the story “An Adventurous Story: Treasure Hunter For Hire, Chapter XIII” is Gitanjali Mishra. Connect with her on Facebook.

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