It took some time, but Rahu was finally able to get his grandparents off his back about getting a wife. Once he returned to his room, he booked a flight ticket, cursing in response, "Damn, it's almost full."
He was looking for a same-day flight, so only a few airlines had any available seats. Moreover, they were batshit expensive, "Forty-two thousand rupees for an economy class ticket? Why don't you just rob my kidney at this point."
If booked in advance, the fare would be well under five thousand rupees. So, he complained. To be honest, considering his salary, the ticket fare wasn't much. But he had severe miser tendencies. Rest needn't be explained.
Once he booked his ticket, he contacted a shipping company to send his cycle and umbrella to Chennai. Once that was done, he finished packing his luggage and arrived at the living room, informing his grandparents, "I'll get going now."
"Take care," His grandfather waved at him. His grandmother had just taken medicine and was resting at the moment. So, she couldn't come to see him off.
Just as he was about to exit the house, a video call arrived on his uVR Earth. He pulled up the scene shown by the security through the call.
[Sir, a woman has arrived at the house. Do we allow her entry?]
"No, keep her there. I'm exiting the house myself." Saying so, Rahu disconnected the call. To prevent anyone from targeting his grandparents, Rahu had installed a dedicated team of security.
His grandparents disliked having any bodyguards. As a result, Rahu rented out the neighbouring houses and made the security live there. Now, they were just nosy neighbours concerned about the two senior citizens.
This was how he ensured his grandparents were safe. It was why he wasn't in the least flustered when the gang of motorcyclists camped before his home. He had already been notified of it beforehand.
'The cab will arrive in two minutes.' Seeing the notification, he exited the house and stared at the car parked at the entrance. His girlfriend was seated inside, irritated, her eyeliner had smudged. Her uVR Earth was blinking nonstop as she was calling Rahu repeatedly.
"I'm here, you needn't call so much," Rahu said softly once he arrived before her.
"You..." His girlfriend glared as she opened the door in a hurry and grabbed him by the collar, slapping him, "What the heck is wrong with you?"
"Wasn't everything fine until yesterday? What's with the breakup now? And..." She stared at his luggage, shouting in a fluster, "You're going somewhere?"
"Yeah," Rahu nodded calmly as he felt the sting on his cheek. She truly hadn't held back with the slap.
"You're leaving me behind?" She wiped her tears and asked.
"Yeah," Rahu nodded.
"That's it?" She looked around as if in disbelief, inhaling sharply as she stared at him in pain, "You don't have anything else to say? If I was the reason, tell me. I'll try to change myself."
"There's nothing wrong with you," Saying so, Rahu noticed the cab had arrived. He bowed lightly towards his girlfriend and left, "I need to go now."
"Two months..." She grabbed him by the hand and laughed in anger, "I thought you were just retrained in nature. So, even though we didn't even hug once, I thought it'll naturally happen if I waited a bit longer. But you..."
"Did you ever love me?"
"I'm not sure," Rahu said honestly, "But that doesn't matter now. We can talk at a later date."
"This fucker..." She glared in disbelief as Rahu boarded the cab and rode away, screaming shrilly, "Asshole! Dumbass! Rot in hell!"
She boarded her car and drove away in a fit of rage.
"Girlfriend problems?" The cab driver asked with a knowing smile, intending to make small talk, "Women these days...sheesh."
"Just focus on the road," Rahu spoke curtly as his eyes were peeled on his surroundings, 'No signs of attacks until now.'
Since he shipped his cycle, he had no other choice but to use a cab. So, he was on high alert, for he had been targeted pretty much every single time he had boarded a public transport.
He was ready to prevent any harm from being done to the driver, having already used his uVR Earth to take control of the cab's motherboard. It was better to be safe than sorry.
This was also why he behaved like an asshole towards his girlfriend. The fault lay entirely on him anyway. After all, he only used her as a cover.
Having and changing girlfriends one after another made him give a false persona of a fickle man who cannot be in a serious relationship. This prevented his enemies from using a honey trap on him. It was annoying when they used that in the past. Thankfully, it stopped now.
As the cab rushed past a house, an old man sitting on the portico there, holding a newspaper while sipping some tea smirked. He then took out a burner phone and dialled a number, "Target is heading out with a lot of luggage. Note down the cab's number plate...Alert everyone in the public transport sector. Also, he has broken up with the latest girl."
"Got it," Came the reply from the other side, "If they don't have any contact in the future, we'll stop monitoring her and transfer the personnel. Judging by his character, he'll find a new woman soon enough."
"What about our lady? Is she ready?" The old man asked calmly. Even though it seemed like he was relaxed, his son was spying on the entire region, having connected-through his uVR Earth-with all the CCTV cameras they had installed throughout the house. Only after he gave the green signal did the old man even dial up the call.
"Not yet, but she'll be ready soon. We have trained her to be an expert in a variety of fields. She knows everything about the target. She'll capture his heart without fail." The person on the other side said with pride.
"I'm looking forward to it." Saying so, the old man disconnected the call, "Create a new contact means for me."
"It'll be done ASAP."
Once the call disconnected, the old man casually dropped the burner phone in a pot of reddened charcoal, watching it slowly melt.
The charcoal pot was used to ward off insects, especially mosquitoes that grew in numbers during this time of the year. By placing some herbs in a fist-sized earthen pot and set above the reddened charcoal, a faint smoke would be generated, which would cause the mosquitoes to drop to the ground, unconscious.
The house lizards would then engage in a pleasurable feast. It was a symbiotic relationship, all to survive against the mosquitoes.
"I want to return to Shimla." The old man sighed, stating with a tone of longing.
The cab arrived at the airport as Rahu got down, masking the sense of confusion he felt, 'They...didn't attack me.'
He paid the cab driver, grabbed his luggage, and entered the airport. He arrived before the check-in counter, dropped off his luggage and grabbed his boarding pass.
A couple of minutes later, a man in his early thirties, wearing a pair of sweats arrived at the same counter. He took his boarding pass and walked away. Once he arrived at a lounge, he adjusted his cap, covering his uVR Earth.
Closing his eyes, he entered his private Virtual Space and invited a couple of people there, engaging in a short conversation, "I found Rahu. I'm boarding the same flight as him."
"Shall I rough him up?"
"Don't go overboard." One of the figures, appearing no different from the mannequins-a female one-used in clothing stores spoke, "Even if you risk your life, you can't defeat him. There's a reason he's ranked sixth in the entire country. But,"
"Try it anyway. As long as your identity isn't leaked, you can do whatever you want."
At this time, the male mannequin standing next to the female mannequin interjected, "How many passengers on your flight are equipped with an uVR Earth?"
"I'm not sure about the exact number, but based on what I saw in the lounge, there's at least thirty to forty of them." The man spoke.
"Then be careful. Rahu will figure out your identity eventually." The male mannequin said and vanished.
"It's absolutely necessary to kill Rahu, but as long as he's in an optimal state of mind, it's impossible. He's too strong." The female mannequin sighed and vanished.
"As long as he's in an optimal state of mind huh." The man grinned, shaking his head as his lips curled up, "Then I know what to do next."
He exited his private Virtual Space and opened his eyes in reality. Soon, the announcer signalled the start of the boarding process.
The man boarded the shuttle and peered out from the window. Through the reflection shown on the window, he observed Rahu's face, only for a moment, acting casual.
And once they arrived before the aeroplane, he smirked. Hidden underneath the cap, the colour of his uVR Earth changed, from blue-meant for civilian use-to jade-only wielded by DOVA Agents. His jade colour was a tad paler than Rahu's.
While he was boarding the plane, the man calmly sent an electromagnetic wave into the cockpit and gradually began to connect with the flight controls. But a moment later, he retracted the transmitted signals, staring at Rahu's back in alarm, 'This bastard!'
'He already took command of the flight's controls.'