Scroll down to read M1 and M2 before proceeding.
13 months ago, Kaumudi Bhavan
“Sardar Trikoot is here, Senapati”, the dwarpal announced.
“Send him in”, said Mayant. He was standing near the parapet on the second floor, shadowed by the presence of large cannons facing the Sattvi river. These cannons developed by the scientists of Vishala were capable of shooting fireballs to a distance of nearly 10 miles. What more, the accuracy was 10m radius and they could be reloaded within no time. Bramhakush was the only country in Aryan Habitat who had achieved this technical feat. Other countries who were able to develop their share of Columbiads, none could match the prowess of the cannons, what Maharaj Shivchandra liked to call GajGamini. He had 10 of them in the army. On Mayant’s behest, he placed 4 at the Kaumudi bhavan.
“Pranaam Senapati Ashtabal.” A rather loud and coarse voice greeted Mayant. Trikoot, a stoic looking deputy general of the Pindharis stood behind. He was average height and rather heavily built for a warrior. Anyone could mistake the round face and fair complexion for a trader. However those who went by his looks had to repent later, for no one wielded a sword like him. He was astute, ambitious and most importantly the son of Pind Raj’s sister. Mayant needed him for his plans to succeed.
“Welcome Sardar Trikoot. I hope you were able to find this place easily.” said Mayant.
“This is a fortress, Senapati Ashtabal. It is visible from miles away. Even from above the mountains… and my eyesight is good.” remarked Trikoot. He knew Mayant had some plans cooking in his evil brain. Otherwise the commanding general of the Bramhakush would not take pains to send for him for a personal meeting.
“Indeed it is, Sardar. And I want the whole of Aryan habitat to see what it is capable of… and with your help, the world will notice.”
Trikoot glanced at the Gajgaminis. He had only heard of them. For the first time he was witnessing the massive war machines Bramhakush had developed. They were much bigger than what he had heard of them. Strangely, all four of them were pointing towards the river, and beyond. But their mouths were sealed and camouflaged. Even if any one had an eagle eye, Kansar could never know when they would fire.
“I see… looks like a sinister plan already in place. Is it?” Said Trikoot curtly, without removing his eyes from the cannons.
“A plan is as good or bad as the strategist, Sardar. In a dwandwa yudhha (dual fight), one yodhha has to win. It doesn’t matter who is noble and who is sinister. One who wins the dual gets the crown. History only remembers the victorious.” said Mayant, looking in the eyes of Trikoot. “A capable man such as yours is worthy of more than just passing remarks. Imagine, what will it be like to rule the land north of Sattvi. There will be abundance, there will be power and prosperity. No longer will the King of Pindhar wait for the waters to be released from the river. Imagine, Raja Trikoot?”
A wryly smiling Mayant was now towering over Trikoot. Yet, he was unmoved. “My country’s resources are already depleted. For decades we have been surviving on minimum available means. And yet, we have prospered. Every minute I breathe is for the betterment of my country. I cannot compromise the security of my people for personal ambitions.” said Trikoot.
“… and you can’t risk an open war too… Trikoot. Can you?” said Mayant, raising his voice. He turned around and clapped twice. Within a minute, a beautiful maiden came out carrying a large plate in her hand. On the plate was placed a carved silver bottle, possibly containing wine. Tied to the bottle was a beautiful Brami knife. It was supposedly forged in the mines of Bramhakush, to the west of Vishala. Considered to be one of the finest, it was also rumored that the edge of the knife was laced with poison. But Trikoot could not take his eyes of the maiden. She was fair with golden hair and radiating skin, didn’t look aryan at all. The Pindhari sardar, who was used to looking at mountain women, had never seen someone as beautiful as her. Mayant sensed it.
“So sardar… what do you think?”
Trikoot regained his composure. He picked up the knife from the plate and looked at it in admiration.
“If you join hands with me, all three could be yours.” said Mayant pointing towards the maiden.
Trikoot looked at the maiden again and turned to Mayant. “Maharaj Shivchandra knows about all this?”
“Maharaj knows what he must know.” Mayant retorted.
“What do you want from me?” asked Trikoot.
Mayant grabbed Trikoot’s hand hurriedly walked him inside. There was a green colored cloth laid out on a large granite table. He hurled it away and held it against the burning lanterns. As the light percolated, Trikoot could make sense of what it was.
“Oh… this is the map of Kansar?”
Kings Chamber, Kaanchi
“No it is not possible. I don’t believe it.” Raja Namandev was talking to a silhouette figure in his chamber.
“Nath, I have seen the Pindhari Sardar cross Sattvi this morning. He was making his way towards the Koumudi Bhavan. We must be careful.” said the silhouette.
Bramhakush will not entertain the Pindharis, Namandev thought. Then he turned to speak. “Hmmm, I see. You keep an eye. Although I don’t see any thing alarming yet. But we will be careful.”
“Okay Nath. Jai Kansar” and the figure disappeared in the dark.
… to be continued