‘The issues that divide Mirivrah must be resolved at the earliest,’ said the scroll in Raja Apeksharan’s hands. His eyes inspected the royal seal on top – an extremely thin layer of hardened clay which depicted a star with a vertical sword driven through it. Setting aside the scroll, he gazed at his trusted lieutenants seated before him, all born to Debojayan descent and hence powerfully built warriors. General Bhavanu, a man of taller and leaner stature, stood a little away, arms folded with the brown cape that was attached to his back.
“Word has come Avanti,” Raja Apeksharan said. “His Excellency requires our attention to be diverted to Mirivrah – the house of Mantri Asmukh Kheri and Mantri Tavishur Gillan.”
The lieutenants did not flinch. Neither did General Bhavanu. They knew Raja Apeksharan would speak the words they had in mind.
“It is a ploy, an open one,” Raja Apeksharan continued. “Ameeran is about to turn hostile and Bar-Husha does not require the southern winds to sow seeds of intolerance amongst their own. Our focus on Dheya is essential, or this will mark the beginning of the end; Avanti will lose three of its strongholds. Can I hear your say?” he said, gesturing his lieutenants to speak.
“Being the Shield of Hanuman we bear the duty to fight, as well as the right to refuse,” said Abayesh.
“Is there an opportunity to explain the situation to His Excellency?” Vakur asked.
Raja Apeksharan shook his head.
“From what I have heard Mirivrah does not require our immediate intervention. This is a personal feud between two administrators,” Baheera said. “Would it not be enough if only a few of us went there?”
“What are you suggesting?”
“I volunteer to go to Mirivrah,” Baheera said. “I am certain Vakur will accompany on this duty as well.”
Vakur gave his consent with a simple nod, but Raja Apeksharan was yet to be convinced. “But I leave for Dheya at the first break of light tomorrow, and I cannot predict the time of my return.”
“In that case, may I suggest that our Prince Arjuna should carry the word of Avanti to Mirivrah?” General Bhavanu asked, and the recommendation took Raja Apeksharan by surprise.
In that moment everyone’s eyes darted towards an astonished nineteen year old who was quietly standing to one side of the courtroom.