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Backstory

        The courtyard of Rahmin planted with hina, a plant that could weather the extreme environment without much irrigation. Varuni, who was enjoying its beauty, did not notice that her senior apprentice was looking at her with a helpless face.

        “Varuni...hina is banned from our sect, isn’t it?”

        “Yes, but the henna prepared from it is just amazing...Alright, this is the last time. Let’s go to the class.” Varuni buttered her up and held her arm.

        There was a wide open space in front of Rahmin, where all the apprentices assembled and sat cross-legged. Guru Indra, in meditative posture at the center, was lecturing Chakra Theory in sanskrit.

        “Chakra is just like a flower. It will open; it will close; it will wither; and it will sprout. All depends on your consciousness…” Listening to his theories, everyone stayed focus, trying to gather prana within them. Their bodies gradually became transparent. The glass-like form made the flow of prana visible.

        Varuni slipped out when she saw everyone was attentive to their practice.

        She could feel different kinds of prana surging within as Indra said, but her body could not turn into a transparent form nor she could activate any chakra no matter how hard she tried. Varuni was the only one who did not seem to fit in, so she was afraid of being discovered…

        “I hate this...Why I’m the only one here who can’t do it! I may get kicked out of Rahmin if my guru knows...Ahhh, forget it! I hope I cover up well!”

        She sneaked out of the class and slept at a corner alone. “Why should I lead an ascetic life? Why not just seize the day…,” Varuni yawned as she stretched her body.

        Brahma, who just came back, saw her slack off in her study and then left with a smile. “Brahma, please don’t tell guru Indra okay?” She ran close to him and begged for mercy.

        “Do you mean slacking off or being all thumbs with chakra,” asked Brahma.

        Varuni’s secret was exposed. She was trying to pretend not to have listened, but Brahma soothed her nerves as he caressed her head. “Sometimes, when you can’t do it, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the talent. There are always different ways of doing things. You’re already one of us, understand?”

        Varuni was moved by Brahma’s words, wailing like a baby; he gave her a smile, but gazed into the distance, as if he was thinking of something.

        Back to bedroom, Varuni went naked, attempting to circulate the prana again. Two kinds of energy were flowing within. One was fast; one was slow. One was strong; one was weak. However, she could not distinguish their attributes because her body was not in transparent form. That’s why she was unable to guide the prana to the right energy channel.

        At this moment, wind blew over those hina leaves in a basket, fluttering in the air. Attracted by the scene, Varuni took out the henna, dipped a feather in that reddish-brown liquid and drew the flow of prana she felt on her body.

        Soon, henna was all over her body. The pattern of which resembled the meridians. Whenever the prana flowed past, the henna glittered in gold. Then, two blazes of light rushed into her energy channels and opened up two chakras. Finally, she had found her own way of practice. Jumping with joy, Varuni could not wait to tell this good news to Brahma.

        “You’re the first person I want to tell. Where are you?” Varuni’s heart was totally occupied by Brahma.

        When she walked past Shatarupa’s door, she saw the person she has been searching for. “Brahma, I finally——” Varuni was elated.

        However, the scene she just saw had wiped the smile off her face——Brahma put his coat on Shatarupa gently, who was fast asleep in the bedroom.

        “Does Brahma fall in love with Shatarupa...but I won’t give up!” Obsessed with him, Varuni bit her lips and held her gaze...

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