On the top of the palace, there was an open air bath for the king. Varuna pressed Lakshmi into the water, forcing her to absorb the ominous power coming out of his body. Although Lakshmi was painful, he remained aloof and indifferent, for his focus was still lingering on the fight with Shiva.
“Ridiculous! Why did I lose to that boy! I must get his power!”
That day, Shiva broke his thigh with some sort of power that he had never seen before. Varuna was covered with cold sweat after taking the hit.
Since he was born, he had never felt any pain. This was the first time for him to taste a sense of fear, the first time for him to shrink back in horror.
Lakshmi, who struggled to break free, kept flapping and splashing the water with her arms; her fingernails had scratched Varuna’s face to bleed. The stinging feeling brought his attention back. Flying into a fury, Varuna pulled her hair out of the water ruthlessly.
“You bitch, what’s that weird feeling on my face,” he said while gritting his teeth.
“Cough...it’s my fault...Please...kill me”
“Answer me!” Varuna continued pulling her hair hard, as if he wanted to pull it apart.
Lakshmi, who felt dejected, answered desperately, “It’s called pain...Everyday I’m facing this feeling…”
After listening to her words, Varuna was in a bad mood. Therefore, he threw Lakshmi into the water and left.
Pain had been an unfamiliar cognition to him. But now, it wasn’t anymore. Compared with bloodshed and injuries, this feeling was totally a nightmare. It took away his confidence. Because of pain, he could feel fear and death, which stopped Varuna from being reckless and valiant in the battlefield.
Next day, Varuna attended a martial arts competition. All Sinha warriors gathered around to show off their skills on the stage. The winner would obtain valuable rewards and would be honoured with “Sinha Top Warrior” title. Most importantly, the candidates would be able to have a bout with the king. It was considered as the greatest glory as a warrior.
During the fight, they went all out in order to be in the spotlight. Soon it came to the final. One of the warriors was heavily wounded by the opponent; and blood was spilled everywhere.
Cheers were echoing through the stage. However, sitting on a high grandstand, Varuna did not feel any excitement. Instead, he started to feel nauseous after seeing those bleeding and deep wounds. An unpleasant sensation of discomfort spread over his stomach. Then, he vomited.
Agni and a single-eyed eunuch, sitting right beside him, were shocked. “Your majesty!”
Varuna commanded both of them to carry him back to the hall. The winner’s bout with the king originally scheduled was put aside. There were only three of them inside the hall. The eunuch helped clean up the king; Agni was worried as he looked at Varuna.
“Your majesty, may I share your anxiety?” Agni touched his toe with his right hand, and then touched his own head.
Varuna could not believe his cowardice after seeing the blood and painful faces of the warriors. He signalled Agni to come over. When he walked close to Varuna, he choked Agni with both hands suddenly. Agni almost suffocated, showing an expression of pain. Then, he let go of his hands slowly.
“Cough...Your majesty?” Feeling puzzled, Agni knelt down on the ground.
Varuna put his hand on Agni’s shoulder and said, “painful, isn’t it? Now I can feel this meaningless thing! I-I’ll find someone who can heal this no matter what it takes!”