“What has led us to this day, where we feel Mathura needs to take the path of treason to live up to its true glory,” asked Mantri Ahambuj. The young minister sat up in his bed, his words beyond his years, his voice far from suggesting any panic.
The men surrounding his bed were soldiers of the Royal Guard, silhouettes in the dark of the room. However, the man who had led them into Ahambuj’s chamber had no inhibitions about revealing himself. General Tashkarna, a robustly built warrior, was gazing at Ahambuj with cold eyes.
“Your efficiency is unquestionable, and hence you have tasted success at such a young age,” Tashkarna said. “But young you are, yet to savor pleasures from a woman, yet to embrace the heartbeat of a newborn. Join us and live a life befitting a prince.”
“I am already on your side, General,” Ahambuj said with a smile. “We are all one under the command of His Majesty Raja Kedaavar…”
“Our King is not a visionary. Pledge your alliance to His Royal Highness Kamsa Nanda.”
“Not in this lifetime, General.”
General Tashkarna took a deep breath. “Be wise and be sure of the words you speak. The future of Mathura belongs to His Royal Highness Kamsa Nanda, and there is no stopping us.”
Ahambuj smiled in reply.
“Mantri, not all are being given this chance to reconsi…”
“Let us get over with this, General.”
‘A mighty shame,’ the General thought, gritting his teeth. “As you wish,” he said, and then stepped back as the soldiers came forward, drawing out their swords.