The lone Sentinel: Episode 3: The Travel for Accord

Reading the message the king created havoc in his glorified court.

“How could this mere tribal chief dare to defy my orders, Emperor Jairaj’s orders?” thundered the king. Reprimanding his army chief, “Am I harbouring nincompoops and emasculated men in my army? Are you yourself even adequately capable enough?” No one in the court had the requisite courage to mollify the king’s anger. All courtiers were shuddering in fear.

He then ordered his amanuensis to write a reply.

*******

It had been four days since the attack. Vikram was in his chamber, intently looking at the image of the ring with a trident drawn on his upper part of the wrist. Though he wondered what the symbol meant, he never asked anyone.

Just then an impatient Ugrasen entered his chamber with his bodyguard.

“See, what that moron has sent us” said the chief, signalling his bodyguard to read the letter. “Come to my court and we will recognize your freedom. Otherwise get ready for worst consequences” read the guard in a satiric tone.

Jyestha, see the king’s contempt. If you agree, I will go to his court, on your behalf” humbly Vikram asked for the permission. Ugrasena readily agreed and gave him the scepter.

*******

The journey to Adirajyam’s capital Swarg-puri was of two days’ travel and Vikram had to pass through two major cities and many small towns of the empire on his way. He was amazed by the architectural magnificence of the buildings, which created an impressive scene, which was worth admiring. He was amazed by the elaborate underground drainage systems and extraordinarily clean streets. He wondered how they managed to build and maintain such imposing structures.

But amidst all these splendor, Vikram noticed the empire had an appalling affair. He found people chained to wall and being traded. He was horrified by the seeing how they were treated; worse than the animals. Vikram wondered why some people wore an iron bit in their left legs.

“Those who wear an iron bit in their legs are daasha or slaves” clarified the charioteer.

*******

Vikram arriving at the gate of the palace, saw a cryptic sculpture of an ananta, a snake biting its tail, which amazed him. He was escorted to the court by one of the palace’s guard after due inspection. There he saw ministers and courtiers, either sitting or standing on both the sides of the longitudinal hall. King sat at an elevated podium, at the center, of the room’s other end in his enormous throne fanned by court-maids and drinking his madira, an alcoholic beverage.

Vikram bowed before the king, as a formality. The guard introduced him to the king, then.

After the introduction, “I, Vikram, of tribe Maruta, come here on behalf of my chief to negotiate. Oh King, I humbly request you to refrain from attacking and capturing my tribesmen, entering our territory. It would be a wiser and beneficial decision on your part. I…”

“Stop your nonsense, you scoundrel. You despicable creature, you come to me and speak to me with such audacity. How dare you? I will destroy your tribe and take your arrogant chief as my slave. Your women will be the spoils that my army will savor. And then they will be traded.” retorted the king in a demeaning tone. He advanced towards Vikram unsheathing his sword. “I will kill you today. You swine…”

“Shiiing…”

”Ahh…”

But before he could swing his sword, Vikram punctured his heart with the asi, mid-sized sword emerging out of the scepter and the royal blood oozed out. King collapsed onto the linen covered floor and lay there motionless.

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