It was a dimly lit, curtained chamber. The interiors harbored a silken divan and numerous canvases, portraying the expectations of the habitué of the place. But then, who would not pick a better choice as the connoisseur, who preferred to adore the tenderness of the shapely body of the ganika – prostitute, Vishakha, quenching his carnal desires with the elixir from her ambrosial lips, rather than admiring the smooth bed, an inanimate. It was a blissful experience for the man, but it was an obligation for Vishakha.
A sentry of the house arriving at the threshold of the chamber, signaled Vishakha to come out.
“My lord, would you please let me go off your formidable arms? I will be back in a moment” asked a subservient Vishakha.
“Why?” retorted the man.
“It seems, it is somewhat urgent, my lord, otherwise, I would not have been called up in the mid. It is against the policy of the house, you know, my lord. I will be back in no time.”
“Okay but be quick” sighed the man and Vishakha was elated at her temporary respite.
“You will have go to the royal palace, it is the new king’s order” said the head mistress in a monotonous voice.
“King or a mere guard, all they need is, their lust pangs gratified. I will go but after I complete my duties here. I will go tomorrow, not today” said Vishakha.
“As you wish.”
The next day, Vikram had called Vijaybhanu, the only person whom he trusted, for a meeting to discuss the future course of action.
“Pundit ji, I have eliminated Bahuruchi and his associates” coldly said the king, to which Vijaybhanu merely responded. So, he continued his monologue, “The state of the army is appalling. We need to forge new weapons, need more recruits, discipline the present men. So much to do, in so little time” stated a perplexed King. Vijaybhanu nodded in agreement and then replied, “But, I have managed to keep intact the competence of our spy network.”
“Yes Pundit ji, that is the only respite. What news they bring? I have some instructions for them.”
“The army of Jalandhar will reach our frontiers in three months. Total of one hundred and twenty thousand men comprise the army. We are outnumbered, effectively, by ratio three to one. They had seen a massive army, eager to plunder the riches of Adirajyam, loot the lives of the denizens of the kingdom. My king, please tell me about the instructions, I will pass it to them.”
“Oh…” sighed the king but continued, “Tell their commander to see me. I have a word for him.”
“As you command, King” said a puzzled pundit.
“There are other state matters that need your attention. Such as…” the pundit stopped, as he saw a guard enter the chamber.
“My King, the ganika – Vishakha has arrived and is waiting” informed the sentry.
“Pundit ji, we will discuss all these later. Please excuse me. I need a break, now” Turning away from Vijaybhanu, he ordered, “Send her in.”