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~ 10 ~
"You traitor," Prabhanjan snarled rushing towards the Princes, his face an ugly mask, "you betrayed me!"
"Betrayed you, how can you even accuse me of such a crime, especially after what you planned to do?!" laughed Jyotindro. "It was you who betrayed Satana's trust, evil though he was, and it was you who tried to cozen me with your vile and treacherous scheme, solely to redeem yourself of Kuber's curse!"
"Prepare to die, mortal!" growled Prabhanjan crouching low, baring his fangs... the nails of his gnarled fingers and toes expanding into ferocious looking talons!
With a smile Jyotindro raised his arm and in a flash there appeared a macramed staff of gold in his hand - the tall and slim shaft enlaced... the two ends twirled around in an intricate knot. And as the Yaksha sprang, he hurled it at the dwarf...
With a ear-splitting 'whoosh' it shot out and a hundred fine tendrils bound Prabhanjan in a fierce grip... trussing up the Yaksha in an infrangible bond before returning to Jyotindro!
Prabhanjan struggled, but in vain - he could neither move a limb, nor a muscle, snarling with impotent rage.
"And where shall we despatch him?" asked Kandarpa, taking Jyotindro's hand in his, the fingers interlacing.
"Back to the Nether World to serve the remaining period of his thousand years," smiled Jyotindro, kissing his Royal Companion.
There was a flash of brilliant light and the ancient Vishnusharman, Grand Wizard, stood before the two Princes, smiling, "Congratulations, my dear little Princes, you have achieved what even we couldn't!"
The young boys bowed reverently, paying their respects.
"Arise, dear boys," smiled the Magus, "I always knew that I could trust the great House of Poorvendra and Varman, and you have proven me right, and brought greater glory to your two famous House!"
The boys stood up, resplendent in their budding youth and beauteous nakedness.
"Also, congratulations on capturing this escaped Yaksha, the Keepers of the Nether World will be highly gratified," he smiled at the Royal Lads, "and Lord Kuber, greatly pleased!"
"You knew?!" Kandarpa finally asked in astonished incomprehension, "Was all this then part of some grander scheme?"
Vishnusharman smiled once more, "Parighosh, uh, Satana was a mighty wizard, and had also become a powerful warlock. In his journey towards his evil greatness, he had acquired several boons from powerful masters and demigods," he paused for a brief moment, shaking his head regretfully, "and had also acquired from me the boon of never challenging or encountering him. He prayed that I being his Guru, he could never imagine facing me, or using his knowledge to confront me in any combat, wizardly or otherwise. Blinded by my affection for him, I didn't realise it at that moment, but soon after granting him his wish, understood his true reasons. But it was too late by then, and I couldn't revoke my own promise.
"His diabolic act of murdering and drinking the Prince's blood, even by warlock standards, made him lose his White Powers, but the boons, along with the Black Arts, remained, and when he sought shelter in the Enchanted Grove of Eternal Night, I was helpless, bound by my own foolish promise... and could neither enter the grove, nor subdue him..."
Turning to Jyotindro, he said, "Jaindranarayan, your illustrious great-grandfather, brave, wise and benevolent, was well versed in the art of wielding magical weapons. It was on my plea that he entered the terrifying woods and overpowered Satana, binding him with his never-failing Sharpastra (the Lasso-Lance), the same weapon that has now returned to you, my dear Prince, and which you so magnificently used to recapture the evil Prabhanjan. All his magical weapons, which were hidden from Satana and lies safe in the basement of the Royal Temple, now belong to you, along with the secret of using them!"
"When Satana pleaded for mercy at the Grand Assembly of Wizards," he continued, "I could see that there was neither repentance nor regret - he was still vicious and hungry for power.
"Though evil, he could be contained as long as he remained in the Nether World, but unfortunately, I foresaw his association with Barolokkur and Prabhanjan... and along with the boons, my promise and the spells he would spin around himself, I realised that it would be practically impossible for any being to overpower or slay him - other than a mortal, for he would leave them out of his charms.
"I had also foreseen the birth of two brave Princes, and there rested my unwavering trust in the valour of Jaindranarayan's scion, and the Varman Prince's fearless courage... and so gave him what he believed to be his redemptive denouement.
"His spilling of Royal Blood and the resulting ruin that he had to endure, assured us that he would never dare to shed Princely Blood again, and that you two would be safe, while minors...
"But why so much pain and suffering, why the tragic loss and imprisonment for an innocent Prince?" asked Kandarpa. "We could still have done this deed even if dear Jyotindro had his parents and his kingdom!"
Vishnusharman paused for a while and then spoke:
"Once on a hunting expedition, the young Prince Aadityanarayan, Jyotindro's father, got separated from his friends and courtiers...
"His horse had carried him far, and he found himself on the shores of a placid riverine lake, lush and serene. Tired and thirsty he dismounted, looking around, enchanted by the sheer beauty of the place... and as he walked towards the water's edge, he saw a flash of buff amongst the shifting foliage.
"Taking it to be a crouching tiger, he immediately raised his bow and let the arrow fly...
"There was a piercing cry - not the roar of a wounded or dying tiger - and rushing forward Aadityanarayan found a cervid couple - a deer and his doe - nuzzled close, a little fawn between them, happily suckling his mother's teat.
"Alas, the single arrow had pierced both adult hearts, killing the loving couple instantaneously.
"And as he stood with bowed head, awash with shame and regret, the bodies of the dead deer mates slowly, right before his horrified eyes, transformed into a Gandharva couple... the little fawn changing into a Gandharva boy, a mere child!
"The little boy rose, and in his sorrow cursed your father: 'As thou have deprived me of my parents' affection with your cruel kingly pursuit, leaving me orphaned, so shall your little son, the Prince to be born to you, be denied his parents' love and care when he is a mere child...'
"Aadityanarayan, repentant and sorrowful, quickly interjected, 'Pray, please don't curse my unborn child for my unforgivable sin. Please take back thy curse...'
"The boy replied, 'What I have already spoken can't be taken back, but do not worry, your son will be safe and on attaining majority be rescued by his true love from another land!'
"Saying as much, the child vanished with his parent's bodies and the Prince of Suvarnabhumi sat there, remorseful, till his companions and attendant finally found him."
The Magus was silent for a moment, then turning to Jyotindro said:
"In a previous birth, you were a rich and prosperous merchant - young and handsome, with a pretty wife and a small child. You travelled the world over trading in spices and silk, and various other curious and unusual objects. You were kindly and generous, true and devout.
"Once, when you had just returned from a voyage, you noticed a young lad, barely past his teens, poorly clad yet graceful and beauteous, sitting in a corner of the courtyard of your office, keenly watching you.
"He was there the whole day, arousing your curiosity, and as you left that evening you offered him a gold coin. He smiled, but refused the offer with a silent shake of his head -- 'What do you seek?' you asked. 'To serve thee,' he replied with a timid smile and a bow, lowering his eyes.
"Unbeknownst to you, Amish, the son of a poor widow, had been besotted by you ever since the first secernment of his adolescence surged forth... silently following you, constantly observing you sitting outside your home and your office, with the one single intent of never being away from you... of serving you in which ever way you may so desire!
"You took pity on the poor lad and engaged him, slowly training him in all aspects of your trade.
"Amish was intelligent, hardworking and honest, and within a short two months mastered everything that you had to teach...
"Pleased, you began giving him small duties, and was soon assigning him more responsibilities, before gradually leaving all accounting to him, handing him even your cash and the keys to your safe and warehouses while you began to travel more often to distant and exotic lands.
"There was another assistant, Dhoomralochan, who had been with you for long - a cunning and crafty man of immoral character, unscrupulous and a fainéant. Seeing your trust in Amish he was besides himself with envy and resentment, hatching a devious plot...
"He befriended the lad, slowly winning his trust... and one evening came running to him while the boy was going through the ledgers at one of your warehouse: 'My dear boy, Amish,' he panted, 'a terrible disaster has overtaken us, news just arrived that our master's ship is lost at sea, and he is no more!'
"Amish fell to the floor in tears as he bemoaned not only the death of his benefactor, but also the demise of the only man his young heart had ever desired; unaware that the message was actually from his Master, informing them of his return the next day. 'What shall I do now?' the youth wept in sorrow.
"Dhoomralochan smiled slyly: 'Everyone knows that you have the keys to the Master's warehouses, and you also have the keys to his safe. His evil brothers are planning to scupper you and rob the Master's little son of all his inheritance. So,' he reded Amish, 'take all the money and jewellery, and the keys to the warehouses, and come with me. I know of a secret place where you'll be safe till I can contact the King and make sure that our Master's son doesn't get deprived of his rightful patrimony.'
"The poor, innocent boy, unsuspecting of Dhoomralochan's wicked scheme, complied and the man led him to a dilapidated manse outside the city, telling him not to venture out, nor contact anyone till he returned with the King's emissary.
"And there he remained for a day when your private guards came and arrested him!
"On your return, Dhoomralochan had filled your ears with wild tales of betrayal and treachery, informing you that as soon as your letter informing them of your return arrived, Amish decamped with the keys and everything else: 'I tried to stop him, fight him, O Master, but I'm an old man, and he is young,' he said, hanging his head.
"In one of those moments of weakness, when righteous senses fail even the most worthy of men, you believed every bit that Dhoomralochan said, never even questioning him, furious as you asked: 'Where hides the thief?!'
"Dhoomralochan led your men to where he had hid Amish, and you had him clapped in iron and thrown in the dungeons under your main warehouse.
"The poor lad languished in solitary confinement for fifteen days before his mother came to know of the terrible disaster that had befallen her dear son and rushed to you for justice...
"Alas, the boy was no more, and in the tiny cell lay his deceased body - the shame, the pain, and the dishonour having broken his young heart. But the greatest blow had been his beloved Master's distrust of him - of never even asking him, questioning him, simply believing what Dhoomralochan said, and confining him!
"The devastated widow was inconsolable in her grief, reminding you of her son's loyalty and dedication... accusing you of allowing yourself to be beguiled and doing injustice to her innocent son... producing the letter he had written her, detailing where he was, and what his aim was... informing her about his and Dhoomralochan's plan for saving their Master's wealth for his family: 'You incarcerated my innocent son for fifteen days,' she wept, 'without fault, and without trial, I curse that you too shall be imprisoned for fifteen years for no fault of yours, and your parents taken from you as you have taken away my dear son!'
"Your eyes finally opened and you saw the truth: 'I'm your offender; your barrator,' you replied, 'and I accept your curse with bowed head, O lady. And let it come to pass that in a future life, when I lose the love of my parents and remain imprisoned, your son shall come to my rescue and release me from my captivity, and your curse!'
"The widow relented - 'So be it,' she said, departing with her dead son.
The two Princes looked at each other and then back at Vishnusharman.
"Prince Kandarpavarman is Amish reborn, and the evil Dhoomralochan was Barolokkur, the warlock."
"Now that you have vanquished Satana," Vishnusharman counselled Jyotindro, "reclaim your ancestor's great kingdom, repopulate it, and rule justly and wisely, like your illustrious forefathers!"
"Dear Kandarpa," Vishnusharman smiled, turning to the Varman Prince, "your parents, and your kingdom impatiently awaits your return. I've informed them of your bravery and your glorious deeds here, and they can barely wait to receive you, along with the Prince of Suvarnabhumi."
The Princes looked at each other and then back at the Grand Wizard.
"Here..." he smiled, offering them an identical pair of gorgeous robe - of the finest white silk, intricately worked with gold threads, and encrusted with sparkling little rubies and pearls, "your robes of Victory. Bathe, offer your prayers at the Royal Temple and then return to your land...
"You two shall wed the two beautiful, twin daughters of Maharaj Jambulochana of Kashyapameera, and beget worthy sons. I've already spoken to the King, and he is sending his trusted Prime Minister to Maharaj Keertivarman with the marriage proposal.
"Your two land will now be united, as you are united in impeccant love, and come to be the most glorious kingdom upon all Earth..."
The young boys bowed once more, taking each other's hands as they looked back at the Wizard.
"Now hurry, my dear boys, Girikshetra awaits you. The horse that brought you here will take you both back within the blink of an eye. And once the rituals of your birthday, and your Coronation is complete, you shall help your friend here in his mission to regain his lost inheritance.
"It will need hard and dedicated work, to resettle this once vast and prosperous realm, but I know that it can be achieved, and you two will succeed!"
"It will be done as you say, O Master," answered Kandarpa with a reverential bow.
There was great rejoicing in the mountain kingdom of Girikshetra at the triumphant return of their adorable Prince. The grand occasion of his Birthday and Coronation doubly enhanced by his stupendous victory over the forces of evil, and excitement reigned supreme as the whole country, the euphoric populace, celebrated joyously.
After the ritual bath and private prayers, Savitashri Kandarpavarman went to the Royal Temple in a glittering procession of bedecked elephants and horses, courtiers and attendants, soldiers and guards - radiant as the noonday sun upon his golden chariot, Saumyakoshin Jyotindronarayan by his side - to pay homage and seek blessings.
Both Princes cheered by the exuberant multitude that thronged the streets of the capital.
At the stroke of the auspicious hour, amongst chanting of scared hymns and prayers, Prince Kandarpavarman was crowned Heir to the Throne... and then began the delightful festivities!
It also being Prince Saumyakoshin Jyotindronarayan's birthday, the same rites and rituals were performed for him - Adripati Maharaj Keertivarman showering the Suvarnabhumi Prince with robes, gifts and jewels; Maharani Suvarnamati embracing him with tearful joy for having protected her precious son from the vicious ogre and goblins; both blessing him with eternal happiness.
The citizens of Girikshetra bowed before him in heartfelt gratitude for bringing home their cherished Prince.
That night, after the conclusion of the Royal Banquet, the two Princes, tired but terribly excited, finally consummated their vestal love in the tranquil seclusion of Kandarpavarman's private chambers.
Gently, with tender care, breaching each other's virgin portal... slowly entering, and exploring the hitherto untouched Imperial Depths... taking turns as they repeatedly fecundated one another's Regal Bowel with their plentiful Royal Succus of Love.
Insatiable in their youthful desire as they sought to discover and experience every single delight that Love had to offer... grunting and groaning the night away in euphoric celebration!
As per the instructions of the Grand Wizard, they soon reclaimed the land of Suvarnabhumi, clearing away the jungles and repopulating Jyotindronarayan's lost Kingdom. Uniting the two realms and jointly ruling in benevolent splendour.
And they lived happily ever after...
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Copyright © Author, Nov, 2011