The Magi took Nysa to a little cave in the outskirts of the city. In the cave, they descended a little stairway that led to a small stuffy room which was cluttered with lines of ancient curios. And in one dusty corner, there stood a rusted mirror that had been cracked on the edges but held firmly by a solid silver frame.
He touched the edge of the mirror and explained to her what it really was. It didn’t just show a person’s reflection but was the entrance to a parallel world that was years away from their time. In this, lay the residence of Nysa’s knight in shining armour.
Sparkling with excitement, she asked the Magi how she must enter or find Marquiz from among the teeming millions of yesteryear souls. In her mind, the mirror would take her back in time to when they had existed. The Magi though, cut into her thoughts and explained the details of what was needed to be done.
Though a parallel universe, what lay on the other side of the mirror, wasn’t anything like the life she had seen thus far. To get to the person she wanted, it was mandatory to first lay her palm on the surface of the mirror and then call out his name. The mirror would then take her to a land of ice and mist, with no people around. After this, she must take one step for each year she wanted to transverse.....a 100 steps that meant.
There however were two conditions she must fulfil to complete this ploy.
The first one being, she must walk barefoot throughout the journey.
The second and dicier condition though, was in the event she took even one step more than the stipulated 100, she would be returned to the dungeon in the cave without the ability ever to be able to walk again.
At the distance of a hundred feet stood the man she had wished for. If she must complete getting to him without faltering at any of the covenants, he would return with her to her world. THAT was a promise.
Would she stand the test of love risking her own life? Love for a person she had never even met; and knew not whether he felt anything for her at all?
It was only the power of love that could instil or deter her. And the course she took would decide the face of her destiny.
As those conflicting thoughts entered her mind, she took off her little shiny slippers and felt the scorching heat of the floor in the stifling room. This, Nysa realised, was the first time she had ever kept her foot on the bare ground.
Well this was just the beginning.......the beginning of a lot of un-princessy things that lay ahead.
Somewhere in a parallel universe, a once upon a time prince, with the name Marquiz thought to himself,
“Main toh mehdood se lamhon mein mila tha us-se
Phir bhi woh kitni wazahat se mujhe sochti hai!”*
*mehdood- constrained, lamhon- moments, wazahat- in a detailed/meticulous way
To be continued....