Chapter 3 — A Planned Escape
The high pitched sound of the conch traveled through the air making the loud procession to go still. But, the very sound had made Sukh and Ghazan smile at the same time.
Out of the corner of his eyes, Sukh exchanged a glance with King Ghazan, the single gesture speaking volumes. The group of men who had accompanied Sukh to see the latter humiliate his king were totally baffled at the sound, in the moment of distraction they failed to notice the silent exchange between the former king and his subject.
“Old sir, what is happening? Aren’t… ” One of the man started but he did not have the chance to finish as his throat was sliced by something cold.
As soon as the man started to speak, Sukh knew that this was his chance- to free his king and lead the enemy to their lands.
Without any second thoughts, Sukh unsheathed his twin swords. With a single majestic twirl of his body he managed to free the king from his bindings, while the sword in his other hand sliced off the enemy’s throat in a swift but accurate movement.
The man who was now lifeless fell onto the ground with a thud. The other’s who accompanied the man were dumbstruck initially but they soon recovered from the unexpected shock. It did not take a genius to understand that they were played by Sukh.
After killing one in the group, Sukh did not give any time for them to recover and counter attack in time. He soon killed two of the others in a single swoop but he did not manage to kill the remaining fellow in time as the man let out an cry of alarm before his sword greeted him.
The sound had attracted those at the rear of the procession. As they turned around and took in the scene behind, expressions of complete rage and madness flashed in their eyes. While a few of them raced forward alerting all of their companions, a few of them rushed to the scene to capture Sukh.
Just when Sukh was prepared to fight them, he heard King Ghazan’s voice from above.
“Enough! Get on the horse, we do not have any more time to waste.”
Acknowledging his king’s order, Sukh immediately climbed onto his horse following which they dashed into the woods, in the direction leading to the lands of their tribe.
Both men and women of the Shono tribe are known for their expertise in horse riding, so it had not been that difficult for Sukh and Ghazan to ward off those who were hot on their trail. They threw their enemies off the track but they left enough traces for them to know where they headed.
Thinking that the two were in such a hurry that they left traces behind, the men who entered the forest rejoiced before they followed the trail.
After ascertaining that they traveled a safe distance, Sukh lighted up a flare and shot it into the sky, the light not glaring but bright enough to send a signal to the intended party.
On seeing the flare go up successfully, Ghazan grunted in satisfaction. Turning towards his subordinate who had worked together with him to fool the enemy, he gave his final orders.
“From this moment, I relieve you of your duties. Go to the west where I’ve hidden my sons and your progeny, the king of Naran tribe will welcome you with open arms.”
While Sukh was stunned, acting oblivious King Ghazan continued, his tone resembling that of a plea “Along with your children, please take care of my sons. Tell them that their father and mother loved them dearly and that they will be watching them from above.”
Pausing for a while, Ghazan sighed “I wish for your wife to be alive and I sincerely hope that you meet in the future.”
As he digested the words of his king, Sukh felt a lump in his throat. His wife Tsetseg, was under the service of the Queen while he was the King’s servant. As servants of the royalty, they had no choice but to obey the orders of their masters. But, both Husband and wife held the King and Queen on reverence, voluntarily devoting themselves to duty.
They had clearly vowed to put love after duty, but the possibility of his wife being dead brought more pain to his heart that he imagined.
Love is indeed cruel…
Ghazan sighed as he took in the broken expression of his subordinate. But, he was in no position to comfort the man.
Tragedy is the fate of royalty and their subordinates, it was a proven fact. He could only wish for Sukh to stay strong.
“This is where we part. I wish you a good life. Leave now!” Leaving his parting words, King Ghazan tightened the reins on his horse as he galloped forward.
Staring at the back of the king who was bravely walking towards his death, Sukh felt a deep respect in his heart.
Falling down to his knees he placed his clenched fist against his heart, with his head bowed down, Sukh chanted a quick prayer for the king in his heart.
‘Oh Almighty Tengri, he who knows all…
May your grace shine upon our kind and benevolent king.
Oh Almighty Tengri, he who knows all…
May your strength and power protect our king.
Oh Almighty Tengri, he who knows all…
If death is what lays in front of our king, then may you guide his soul through the realms of the underworld.’
As Ghazan marched forward, he shot out a second flare into the sky.
On the other side, as soon as the faint light of the second flare fell into Maral’s eyes, a feeling of relief coursed through her body.
The similar feelings of happiness could be seen in the soldiers behind her.
Tightening the hold on the conch hanging on her waist, Maral stared at the land laced with green canopy of trees for any sign of her husband.
NEHA: Hey Guys, I’m back with a new chapter.
Tengri: Tengri is the god of the one of many religions of ancient Mongolia. Worshipers believed him to be the supreme god who knows everything. Thus, comes the saying ‘he who knows all’.
I used the religious saying in the prayer, which is entirely a product of my imagination. The prayer has no relation to the original religion.
Please comment your thoughts or leave a vote down below.
Also, the length of each chapter varies from 1000-2000 words based on the scene.