Kanha gazed at the snake that slithered away quietly, and then looked at Puvara who twitched and twisted on the ground as life slowly vacated her body. She was still within no time, her face pale, and the dagger that was tied to her leg now revealed itself.
“May you find respite in your next life,” he spoke gently. For a commoner, the meaning of the words would have been lost somewhere between a curse and a blessing.
It was well past midnight when he returned to his hut; the flickering lamp that hung from the ceiling had cast a spell of dim light and darkness in the small room. The thin, old man Ebbyan – his foster father- was seated upon the only cot in the room, waiting for Kanha.
“They sent another one, didn’t they?” he asked in a wavered voice.
Kanha smiled, partly out of compassion. “Father, I believe the time has come for me to leave,” he said.
Sighing, Ebbyan leaned against the wall.
“All this while I went in search of my assassins before they brought trouble to Bishamda. Father, I can no longer put you or the people of this village at risk. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
“So you are going…going to Mathura?” Ebbyan asked, his voice choked, his eyes closed so that tears would not stream freely.
Kanha looked at the flickering lamp; his eyes had the brightness of a star in the night sky. His smile suggested it was time Mathura was brought to its knees.