~ 4 ~
"Who might you be, man, demon or God?!" questioned the surprised youth, now fully awake and sitting up, "Or, are you the embodiment of the supernal being who glorifies my hebetudinous dream with his visit?!"
"I'm neither demon, nor God," answered Kandarpavarman, totally amazed and terribly thrilled, "and nor am I a dream, I'm a mortal, from th..."
"Mortal!" exclaimed the youth even before Kandarpavarman had finished, eyes wide with disbelief. "Then how come thee here, and how could you possibly cross the terrible forest of goblins and reach the gates?!"
"My horse brought me to the gates of your castle, and I entered the palace..." replied Kandarpavarman.
"But who are you? And from whence have you come?"
"I'm Yuvraj Savitashri Kandarpavarman, of the Varman dynasty," replied the prince, "Prince of Girikshetra, the land of mountains. But, pray, who are you and what are you doing in this deserted palace, alone?"
The youth got off the bed and stood up, majestic in his splendiferous nakedness, "I'm Yuvraj Saumyakoshin, Jyotindronarayan."
Kandarpavarman gasped, "Indeed, you are the tenderest bud, the most handsome... Lord of Light!"
Jyotindronarayan gave a slight, self-conscious smile... with just a hint of flush upon his royal cheeks, "And you, O Prince, you are indeed the Lord of Love incarnate, as lustrous as the morning sun!" setting young Kardapavarman's heart aflutter.
"But Prince," said Kandarpavarman, "why are you here, alone? Where is the King, and your family? And what about your kingdom?"
The shadow of a dark cloud passed over the regal visage as Jyotindronarayan walked over and sat down on a couch, "This is Suvarnabhumi, the once prosperous kingdom of the mighty Poorvendras, Lord of the East..."
Kandarpavarman gasped as he heard the name, eyes wide with awe.
"This is the capital city, Devnagar," Jyotindronarayan made a sweeping gesture with his hands, "or what's left of that once magnificent metropolis...
"And I'm the last of that line, descendant of such legendary ancestors as the noble founder of this dynasty, Bheeshmanarayan... great grand-son of the courageous Jaindranarayan, grand-son of the renowned Bhaaswarnarayan, and son of my own dear father, Aadityanarayan!"
"O Prince," exclaimed Kandarpavarman, "you are the scion of the illustrious House of the mighty Poorvendra! I have indeed heard all the glorious tales of your ancestors as a little boy upon the knees of my nanny, and my tutor!"
Prince Jyotindronarayan gave a wan smile and a small shrug.
"But how did this come about? What happened to you kingdom, and your benevolent father?" asked the Varman Prince, "I did hear about the destruction of the once great kingdom, but no one seem to know the details... or all the facts..."
"It is a long tale, O Prince of the Mountains," answered Jyotindronarayan, with a sigh, "and since you ask, let me tell you the story...
"Fifteen years ago, on the dark night of the new moon, a fortnight before my third birthday, a terrible scourge descended upon my country. At the stroke of midnight, a messenger from the prosperous port city of Tamra, by the seaside, rode up to the castle gates, on the verge of death after four days and nights of travel without rest, and informed the King, my father, that a vast army of the most vile and voracious ghouls and goblins had attacked Tamra from the seas. The horde was led by a ferocious ogre, and in just a single night they had devoured every single citizen and was advancing towards the capital, Devnagar... systematically emptying each and every village, town and hamlet that lay in their path.
"The navy stationed at Tamra, and the garrison was helpless before the marauding forces of evil and had all been eaten even before they could raise their arms... and it was the same with every company of troops stationed at the various towns...
"The messenger said these words, took a sip of water and was dead from exhaustion even before the Royal Physician could help him.
"My father, the King, immediately called his Ministers and the Generals, but before the Council could assemble, or the King give orders to the army, the Legions of Darkness were at the city gates, eating their way right through. My father, the Ministers and Generals, the City and Palace Guards and the garrison quickly rushed out picking up their arms, but there was no battle. The ogre had cast a spell and every man simply stood where he was, still as a statue, as the goblins and ghouls began eating the men, the horses and the elephants... soldiers and generals... commoners and nobles... women and children!
"At the first sign of attack, my nanny and the nursery staff had hid me in a secret chamber in my apartment, while the pages, chamberlains and palace guards formed a protective cordon around my apartment, swords drawn and ready to do battle.
"And as I waited, I heard the terrible screams of terror, and the evil laughter of the ghouls and goblins... and then, suddenly there descended a terrifying hush... a frightening stillness... complete silence...
"It was all over within minutes, and my father, the gallant Poorvendra, Maharaj Aadityanarayan, the once powerful King of Suvarnabhumi, was in the belly of the evil ogre... along with the Queen, my mother, and all the Royal Household.
"As dawn crept over the eastern horizon, the once great and prosperous city of Devnagar lay ravaged... the broad, tree-lined avenues, the parks and gardens littered with bones and soaked with gore... homes and palaces burnt to the ground... not a single living soul anywhere in the vast city...
"I sat in that tiny chamber, alone... a small child barely three, totally powerless, wondering... when the door to the chamber flew open and a most hideous creature entered...
"He seized me by my shoulders and lifted me high, laughing like a crazed maniac... dancing all over the room in great joy. I was ready to faint with fright when his two trusted henchmen - an evil looking man and a deformed dwarf - entered the room.
" 'You'll scare the little Prince to death,' they both rebuked him, 'and then you'll remain as you are, all our efforts in vain!'
"He quickly set me down and turned to the dwarf, 'Prabhanjan, in your care I place the Prince,' he said in a voice like the thunderous roar of a stormy sea, 'take good care and protect him till he's of age...'
"And ever since that day I've remained in this apartment, alone, never having set eyes upon another human being," Jyotindronarayan ended his tale. "They put me to sleep with those magic stobs each night when they leave, and wake me when they return at dawn..."
"Where do they go?" asked Kandarpanarayan.
"To far away lands, to hunt and feed on men..." replied Jyotindronarayan with a shudder.
"And what about your food, and your care?"
"The dwarf, Prabhanjan, takes care of me - bathing me, feeding me and acting as my tutor."
Kandarpavarman sat silent, stunned by the tale, staring wide-eyed at the Prince, before finally asking, "What did they mean about their vain efforts, about 'till-he's-of-age', and why did they keep you alive?"
"I know not, O Prince," answered Jyotindronarayan, shaking his head. "But each morning the ogre comes and wakes me up and looks me over... touching me with his rough hands... checking and fondling my..." he pause for a moment, blushing, "you know what... gives a satisfied smile and then goes away. And each night, before they leave, he comes once more, does the same thing and then puts me to sleep."
"Prince, don't you worry anymore," Kandarpavarman said taking Jyotindronarayan's hands in his own as he knelt before the young prince, "together we shall rid your land of this terrible scourge and reclaim your great kingdom!"
"But how, my dear Prince," asked Jyotindronarayan, "Where the mighty army and navy of Suvarnabhumi failed, how can we defeat the ogre and his horde of evil?
"When I was just eight, and barely strong enough to lift my father's sword, I had stole out of my room and tried to attack the ogre... but he awakened and snatched away the sword... and after that day he had all the arms and weapons, from every room and the armoury, removed and destroyed; and though a prince, I know nothing about arms or warfare, about wielding swords or javelins, the use a bows and arrows. How can we fight them?!"
"First we need to find out more about them, and what they are after," said Kandarpavarman. "Find out why they didn't kill you like the rest, and what they seek... and then we can plan our own course of action."
"Prince, you fill my heart with joy and hope..." responded Jyotindronarayan, looking at Kandarpavarman, into his eyes... an unknown thrill coursing through his young body.
Kandarpavarman released the hands and reached up, taking Jyotindronarayan's face in his hands, their eyes locking, "And you, lovely Prince, you fill my soul with enchantment!" he whispered as his hands tenderly caressed the royal visage.
Jyotindronarayan could simply smile in coy excitement, his eyes staring back, wide and wondrous.
Kandarpavarman's heart had been stolen by the Prince, and he was finally ready to lay... "You are so very beautiful, Prince," he murmured in a choked voice, sensing the raging flame within him... the hardness between his Royal Thighs.
"So are you," murmured Jyotindronarayan in reply, his own hands reaching up... touching and caressing Kandarpavarman's face... thrilled by the feel of the silky smooth skin under his fingertips... the warmth of living flesh, so different from the cold touch of those ugly hands of the ogre and the Yaksha.
Almost simultaneously they both leaned forward... their lips parting as their mouth joined in a tender kiss... Both gasping at the incredible sensation it created in their young body... their heart beating violently with the impeccant joy of their first, young love...
They moaned into each other's mouth, their arms wrapping around one another... the passion of their gentle kiss suddenly ferocious... the lips and tongue working desperately as they sought out new areas to explore... a new taste to gather...
Abruptly Jyotindronarayan pulled back, flushed... he was feeling things that he had never felt before... experiencing emotions that he never knew existed... and it made his heart slam wildly as he sensed the weird tautness in his loins... his Regal Staff painfully rigid... flexing and twitching like a tormented beast with some mortal affliction...
Kandarpavarman looked down between the royal thighs and smiled, "You are not alone, O Prince," he said standing up and undoing his jewelled belt... placing his sword upon the couch.
Then discarding his adhivasan, he began undoing the gold buttons of his bright silk atka, richly embroidered with gold thread and set with tiny pearls and honey garnets... shedding it, before finally undoing the knots and dropping his dhauti, standing back naked... displaying his own Regal Organ before the awestruck eyes of the prisoner prince, "You too have awakened the same love in my heart..."
And as they embraced, their hands groping and fondling the naked flesh, touching and feeling the Royal Arousal... their mouth rejoining with passion... the eastern sky, which had just begun to blush with the approach of dawn, suddenly turned dark... and they heard the rumble... a terrible disturbance like the squall of a fast approaching dust storm...
"Quick, Prince," cried Jyotindronarayan in horror, pulling back, "the ogre and his hordes are returning, quick, put me to sleep and hide!"
"Where do I hide, O Prince?" Kandarpavarman asked, his hands still caressing the face, his heart feeling neither fear, nor dread.
"There is just one place that this ogre and his legions dare not enter - the Royal Chapels and the Royal Temple," answered Jyotindronarayan. "As you go out of this room, the door to your right in the antechamber is my private chapel, hide there."
Prince Kandarpavarman nodded, his hands reluctant to let go.
"There are two rooms, an ablution chamber and the inner Sanctum. Freshen yourself and in the sanctum, upon the Altar you'll find the fruits and sweets I had offered last evening, eat them and rest. When I come for my morning prayers, I'll bring food for you. Now hurry, and please don't make a sound!"
"Sure, I'll do as you say, my dear Prince," replied Kandarpavarman, "But you need to do your bit too, ask Prabhanjan who this ogre is, and what he seeks? Why have they imprisoned you?"
The distant squall was now a fierce roar, closer to the palace... and then followed the sound of great, big splashes...
"Quick, Prince," pleaded Jyotindronarayan, "they are now bathing at the Royal Pool in the rear courtyard, and will soon enter the palace, hide, Prince, hide!"
Through the din and the tempestuous commotion, they heard the excited screeches as a thousand voice rose in joyous unison:
"Splosh, plash, plesh,
We smell human flesh;
Lash, slash, slish,
We'll eat and relish!"
"God," exclaimed Jyotindronarayan in horror, "they can smell you, they know you are here, run, Prince, run and hide!"
They quickly went up to the bed and as Jyotindronarayan lay down, Kandarpavarman flipped the stobs, placing the silver one above the head and the golden one at his feet... and even before he could look up, the Prince of Suvarnabhumi was in a dead slumber, like when he had first entered the chamber.
Kandarpavarman could already hear the terrifying din below... the excited shrieks and screeches as the goblins and ghouls entered the palace... doors being slammed and windows rattled... while the gleeful chorus continued to rent the silent air:
"Splosh, plash, plesh,
We smell human flesh;
Lash, slash, slish,
We'll eat and relish!"
Looking over the room once more he swiftly made for the door when suddenly he remembered his discarded garments, quickly running back and gathering up the clothes before rushing out of the bedchamber and into the Prince's private Chapel.
He had barely shut the door when he heard the heavy footsteps... the outer door to the antechamber open...
to be continued...
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Copyright © Author, Nov, 2011