‘He saw the drop descending down the smooth face, treading the ups and downs, hesitant to fall off. Such charming was its journey. The vigorous movement, but, forced it to depart. The move was to save her dignity. Such brilliance and daring nature and the sight adorable!!! I think, I…’ Sudden commotion brought Vikram back to reality. One of his minions, Makardhwaj, came running to him. “Vikram, our tribe’s gone, everything we hold dear annihilated” he said sobbing. “But, here’s a letter from our chief. He told me to give this to you personally.”
Vikram rolled open the scroll. It read-
“By now you must have known the Truth. Your father and I were friends at Gurukul. I am regretful that I had to hide it from you. The circumstances, then, were not in our favour. But my dear You are the last Rudra. Save your countrymen, save the reason of your existence, Prince Aditya!!!”
Reading this he could not hold himself up. He toppled on the ground, contemplating. The letter bore some more information and he thus, assimilated courage to go through its contents, once more.
“We have escaped to the hills of Kavarilli. We will come to your kingdom from south via Trimbak. But the army that attacked us was the army of notorious Jalandhara. He intends to destroy your Kingdom, wipe off its existence from Earth. Save your land, Oh Prince! Hundred thousand men march towards your kingdom, with only one intent. Save your Land!!!”
Vikram was perplexed. He was introspecting. Analyzing. Contemplating.
‘This is no time to waste in futile brooding. I need to act.’ He thought.
“Call Punditji… I need him here immediately, with all details of our army” he ordered with a vigour signifying his belief that he was no more the person he was.
Soon, an anxious Vijaybhanu came running to the royal chamber. “What is it that bothers you so late in the night, my prince? Why do you need the army details?”
“Punditji, we are going to be attacked by Jalandhara. I need to know the details before we device any military strategy.”
Punditji could not suppress his elation, which was manifested as a hint of smile. He could see a sense of responsibility in his prince’s eyes.
“We are in bad shape and stage, my prince. Because of Jairaj’s atrocities, once a well-organized Adirajyam’s army, now has become ineffective.”
“But still how many men do we have Pundit ji?” enquired the Prince.
“Considering cavalry, sixty thousand men, My prince.”
Just then they were diverted by the noise of altercation in the corridors. Pundit ji knew them.
“My prince, I think the twins got the news about their father’s demise. They will now create ruckus in…”
Cutting him in the middle Vikram said, “Pacify them. Tell them you will avenge their father’s death tomorrow.”
“But my Prince, w…”
“Do as I say, Punditji. Add some dose of opium in their drinks and make them sleep.”
“Yes, My Prince”, he was flabbergasted by his prince’s incomprehensible intentions.