(please see post of 7th Nov for second part of the story)
Zoran had now acquired a formidable reputation. Even in far off countries people knew of a fearsome warrior who was invincible; who fought like ZZaraan the legendary warrior of times gone by; who could not be defeated even by hundred soldiers.
The king of Brasia was wild with anger. He could not believe that his army had been twice beaten by Talavian soldiers. He was angry because the attack had been planned for months. Still his soldiers could not even capture one post. They had all been badly beaten. When he saw his soldiers he was shocked; they did not look like soldiers, they looked like dirty street urchins.
The king of Brasia was thirsting for revenge. He wanted to teach Talavian army a bitter lesson. But he knew that as long as Zoran was guarding Talavia his army would never succeed. Zoran had to be killed before his army attacked Talavia again.
There was an ambitious soldier in Brasian army. His name was Roock. He was not a brave soldier; he was not even well-trained. He had fought Talavian army; but every time he was sent to the battle he had managed to cleverly run away from the battle field; every time he escaped being killed or wounded.
Roock was a wicked and a dishonest person. He wanted to rise in the esteem of the king but did not want to work hard. He did not want to face any danger; he did not want risk his life in the battle field. He wanted rise in the Army by deceit.
He had befriended a wizard, Arwiz, who lived in an old palace in a dense forest. Arwiz, the wizard, knew every type of magic and sorcery. But he was a kind man and did not hurt even a fly. He spent all his time in his forest palace, experimenting with magic wands and magic potions and concoctions and with fiery dragons and what not. He had some faithful and loyal assistants who stayed with him in his palace.
Roock was son of one of these assistants of Arwiz who had, unfortunately, died young. Arwiz had looked after Roock after the death of his father. But he was not happy with boy’s unruly behaviour and bad manners. He advised and admonished Roock many a time but the boy was not willing to change himself. One day Roock asked him to leave his palace and join the army. He thought that military training and discipline will do him some good.
Roock joined the army. He remained in touch with the wizard. In time, he learnt to pretend that he had become a brave and disciplined soldier. Arwiz was pleased with this change. They became good friends, even though Arwiz was much older than Roock.
Roock visited the wizard in his forest palace. He pretended that he was badly wounded and some rest to recover from his wounds.
“What happened?” asked the worried Arwiz.
“Did you not hear? Our army fought a battle with Talavian army. It was a fierce battle. We had almost beaten the enemy who were trying to capture our country. But then they played a dirty trick. They took help of a vile magician. We fought like true and brave soldiers but enemy fought us with magic and sorcery. All of us lost our vision in the battlefield; we became blind temporarily; we did not know what was happening to us. And soon we were badly beaten. I too was badly wounded. But I refused to give in and kept on fighting till my friends dragged me away from the battle field,” Roock lied smoothly.
“That’s very unbecoming of Talavians. They should have gallantly fought like soldiers. But I hear they have a brave and a great warrior in their army. I think his name is Zoran. Was he there in the battle?” Arwiz asked.
“Yes, and he was leading the enemy. It was he who took help of the magician. No doubt, he is big and stong, but he is not a brave soldier. Now that they have an evil wizard to help them we can never beat them. They can attack us any time they want. They can capture our country whenever they want. It is so disgusting for us, any day our women and children will become slaves of Talavia,” Roock spoke as per a plan.
He wanted to take help of Arwiz. But he knew that old man would not help him to fight an army of brave and chivalrous soldiers. He was too decent to help him in the treachery he was planning. He had planned to deceive Arwiz and take his help in killing Zoran.
Arwiz was fooled by false story that Roock had told him. He thought that Roock was speaking the truth and that made him angry. He was angry for he believed that magic and sorcery should never be used against soldiers in a battle field. Magic could be used only to fight and crush evil forces.
(to be continued)
© i b arora
You can read next part of the story here