Moldhin Chan was a very beautiful and clever girl who lived with her family on the banks of the Imphal River. One day, on her way back home, Moldhin Chan heard loud cheers coming from a huge crowd gathered at a distance. Driven by curiosity, Moldhin walked over to the crowd, where she met Yan Chan. Yan was a cute boy with shiny golden locks and a lightning-fast speed.

In fact, it was his extraordinary speed that was evoking cheers from the crowd. Yan would throw a ball in the air and, by the time it came back down, he finished seven plates of food. The second time he tossed the ball into the air, he gulped down seven bottles of water before the ball landed in his hands.

While impressed with this remarkable ability, Moldhin Chan suggested Yan Chan to use his super speed for something more meaningful. She felt that he was wasting his talent at childish tricks. Yan Chan pondered over her words and realized that what she said was indeed true.

A few days later, lost on her way back home from the nearby village, Moldhin Chan heard the melodious tune of bansuri. Figuring someone was around, she decided to ask them for directions. She walked in direction of the sound and was able to trace it to a tree. She looked up and asked the person sitting on the branches for help. However, the moment her eyes fell upon the person above, she realized what a grave blunder she had committed. It was none other than the Devil of the underworld. It was notorious for creating mellifluous tunes from human skulls to lure its prey, who, in this case, was Moldhin Chan. Her attempts to flee were in vain as the Devil abducted her.

When Moldhin didn’t come back for several days, her parents’ patience gave out. They began inquiring about their daughter’s whereabouts. It didn’t take them long to figure out that the Devil had made off with their daughter. The story spread like wildfire throughout the village, reaching the ears of Yan Chan. He approached the worried couple and promised them that he would bring their daughter back, no matter what.

The netherworld was true to its reputation. From dark, gloomy skies to eerie, black castles covered with a blanket of black roses and decorated with human skulls and bones, it was indeed an embodiment of the word dreadful. Yan mustered up his courage as he started walking toward the castle. The Devil’s minions saw the approaching human and started attacking him with their entire arsenal. However, little did they know that Yan was the definition of speed. He swiftly dodged every single onslaught and rescued Moldhin Chan. The two were able to escape from the castle, running until they finally stopped under a tree to catch their breath.

Moldhin Chan, however, knew that things were far too good to be true, so she decided to be on the lookout for danger. As she stared into the endless darkness, she noticed that the grass was swaying in the direction opposite to that of the wind. It dawned on Moldhin that the grass was nothing but one of the Devil’s forms. She quickly woke Yan Chan up and asked him to pluck the grass out at once.

The Devil heard her and began to manifest its original form. However, Yan Chan was quicker and, by the time the Devil regained its original form, it was covered in bruises, for Yan had succeeded in pulling out most of the grass. Having lost its strength, the Devil pleaded the duo to let him leave. Yan Chan acceded to the Devil’s request on the condition that it would never lay its eyes on the mortal realm. With no other choice, the Devil had to give in to Yan Chan’s condition.

Moldhin Chan and Yan Chan safely made it back to their village with a promising future ahead.

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya

Ananya loves to both read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Story Circus.