Monday, 29 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 14)
                   (Please see my post of 26th Dec for 13th part of the story)

“It is Zoran himself; he is very much alive and guarding the post,” said one soldier.
“Don’t be a fool. It is a statue and not Zoran.  He is dead. And even if he was alive why would he stand guard there like a petty soldier. He is the Captain of the post,” Roock said to the soldier.
But Brasian soldiers did not believe him.
Roock said, “Let two of you come with me. We will go to there. You will see for yourself that it is just a marble statue.”
Two soldiers volunteered to come with Roock. They quietly crawled to the place where statue was installed. The soldiers touched the statue and smiled. One of them said, “Yes, you are right; it is only a marble statue. It is not Zoran. We are not afraid of anyone; we will attack the post right now and not wait till sunset. We will capture the post even if a hundred soldiers are guarding it.”
Roock and the fifty Brasians soldiers attacked the post. But the Talavian soldiers were not taken by surprise; they had been keeping a close watch on the Brasains.  Talavians were well prepared and every soldier fought bravely and furiously.
Suddenly a Brasian soldier saw Zoran in front of him. Instinctively he  looked towards the statue. But to his surprise the statue had vanished. Brasian was stunned. He thought that the statue had become alive. Brasian soldier screamed in terror.
Every Brasian looked towards the screaming soldier. Everyone saw Zoran standing in the battlefield, ready to fight. Everyone looked towards the statue. Everyone saw that the statue had vanished. Everyone thought that the statue had become alive. Everyone was stunned and terrified.  
Zoran attacked the Brasian soldiers furiously. Many of them got seriously wounded. They all ran away from the battlefield for they were all frightened of Zoran. They had never seen a warrior fight the way Zoran was fighting. They all ran for their lives.
When the defeated soldiers were leaving for Brasia, they looked towards Eastern Post. They were surprised to see that the statue of Zoran was majestically standing at its pedestal.
“After his death Zoran has turned into a stone warrior. He was standing like a statue on that pedestal but when we attacked the post he became alive and fought with us like a tiger.  By some magic Zoran has turned into a stone warrior. No army can now attack Talavia. Stone warrior is protecting Talavia,” lamented one of the wounded Brasian soldier.
Soon word spread through all neighbouring countries that Zoran had, by some magic, turned into an invincible stone warrior. Every soldier of every army was frightened of fighting stone warrior.
King of Brasia, however, did not believe this story. He shouted at the Brasian soldier who was narrating events of the battle.
“You think I am a fool. You lost the battle and now you are telling me this cock and bull story. A statue of marble can never turn into a man. Talavians played a trick on you and, like silly girls, you fell for the trick.”
But when every soldier told him the same story he became suspicious. He was also very angry with everyone at losing one more battle with Talavia. He decided to lead the army himself and attack Talavia once again.
After a few weeks, five hundred chosen Brasian soldiers led by their king marched towards Talavia. They were all well-trained and well-equipped soldiers. They laid their camp in a forest near Eastern Post. The king sent out his spies on a secret mission.
Next day the spies reported to the king that there were about fifty Talavian soldiers at the post. Zoran was not there. He was dead. His statue had been installed near the post.
“Excellency, we have personally checked the statue. It is marble statue. It is firmly fixed to the pedestal on which it is standing. It could not have changed into a man. It appears Talavians did trick our soldiers during last battle. Our soldiers fell for the trick and ran away from battlefield. We should not fear the Talavians; we can easily defeat them.”
King of Brasia decided to attack Eastern Post. He was confident of a quick victory because Talavians were outnumbered.
Battle started when Brasians attacked the post. Talavians were prepared for the attack. They were aware of the arrival of Brasians soldiers in the area. Though outnumbered they fought bravely and fearlessly.

On the King’s direction Brasian spies were keeping a watch on the statue of Zoran. They were to quickly report to the king if the statue changed into a man. Spies were alert and were watching the statue without blinking their eyes. As the battle progressed nothing happened; statue did not change into a man. 
                                                                                  (To be continued)
                                                                                           © i b arora
              You can read next part of the story here

Friday, 26 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 13)
(Please see my post of 24th Dec for 12th part of the story)

Statue of Zoran was installed near Eastern post.  Everyone who saw the statue thought that it was Zoran himself who was guarding the post.
Spies of king of Brasia also got fooled. They promptly reported to their king that Zoran was seen guarding Eastern post. He was not dead. He had survived the wounds suffered in the battle and he was back on the post, defending his country from the enemies.
King of Brasia was wild with anger; he thought that Roock had lied to him. After the battle, Roock had told the king that Zoran had suffered fatal wounds and he would not survive.
After a few days he had informed the king that Zoran was dead, “My Lord, I have some spies in Talavia. They have informed me that Zoran had died even before the King of Talavia could come to Eastern Post. The royal doctor of Talavia did his best but he could not save him.”
But when, after a month or two, news arrived that Zoran was alive and guarding Eastern Post, king of Brasia lost his temper. He ordered that Roock be beheaded for lying to the king.
Roock was arrested. He was in a pitiable condition. He did not want to die. He wept and begged the king for mercy. But king was not be mollified by his tears.
“I will remit your death sentence on one condition. You must personally go to Eastern Post to find out whether Zoran is dead or alive. If he is alive you will have to challenge him and fight a duel with him,” king said in an angry voice.
Roock promptly agreed. He had no intention of going to Talavia to challenge Zoran. But he had readily accepted king’s proposal because he just wanted an opportunity to run away from Brasia .
“Don’t even think of running away from Brasia,” king had read his mind, “A beautiful, muti-coloured bird will keep a watch on you, all the time. If you try to run away, you will be killed.”
Roock was shocked. He did not know that Arwiz, the wizard, was assisting the king.
“Arwiz has given me that bird to keep an eye on you,” king said with a cruel smile on his face.
Roock knew that bird would report everything to the king. It would be impossible for him to escape.  He would have to follow the order of the king.
Roock came to Eastern Post. He stayed in Moon’s Inn in the garb of a merchant. He was hoping that someday Traytur would come there to drink beer. He would then try to again entice him. But he waited in vain for the Talavian soldiers had stopped coming to that inn.
Roock hired a greedy shepherd to spy on Eastern Post. His spy was unable to get any information about Zoran. But he did learn that Talavians had installed a marble statue of Zoran near the post.
“What everyone sees is a statue and not Zoran,” reported the spy.
“Why did they install a statue of Zoran?” Roock kept asking of himself. All this time the beautiful multi-coloured bird was always nearby, keeping a close watch on the activities of Roock.
One day his spy told him that Zoran was actually dead. But king of Talavia had decided that this information would be kept secret. His spy had got this information from a soldier who had served under Zoran. That soldier had since left the army and was now in the habit of remaining drunk.
Roock was overjoyed to learn about the death of Zoran. But he did not know that he was falling in a well-planned trap laid by Talavians.
He immediately left for Brasia. He suggested to the king that it was an opportune time to attack Talavia, “Zoran is dead. Talavian soldiers are demoralised. If we strike now they will not be able to withstand our attack. We will win the battle and capture Eastern Post. Our army can then march into Talavia.”
King thought for some time and said, “We will attack but not with a large army. Just take fifty soldiers with you and raid the Eastern Post.”
Roock was scared of attacking Eastern Post with just fifty soldiers. But he had no option. He had to obey the order of the king.

He came with fifty soldiers to Talavia. It was early morning when they reached Eastern Post. They all hid in a thick grove near the post. Everyone could clearly see the statue of Zoran. 
                                                                        (To be continued)
                                                                              © i b arora

                                    You can read next part of the story here

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 12)
(Please see my post of 22th Dec for 11th part of the story)

Roock, who had cleverly not joined the battle, had been intently watching the battlefield, hidden in a grove of huge trees. Outcome of the battle left him devastated.
Roock could clearly see that every Brasian soldier was terrified of Zoran. “He is such a fierce fighter that these soldiers will fear him even in their dreams. They will never dare to fight him again,” Roock muttered in dismay.
The battle was over in less than two hours. Not a single Brasian soldier could be seen in the battlefield. Most of them had died. Those who were alive had run away.
Many Talavian soldiers had also died. Those who were alive were standing near Zoran, shouting slogans of victory.
“Send a messenger to the King. We need reinforcement. I don’t think Brasian army will dare to attack again, but we must be prepared for every eventuality. And inform the King that Zoran too is dying,” Zoran said to a junior officer.
The officer was shocked, “Why do say that, Sir. The doctor is here and your wounds will soon heal.”
“Don’t waste time; I want to pay my regards to the King before I die. And I may die soon. Let the doctor do his job, but go quickly and inform the King.’ Zoran winced in pain.
A messenger left for the palace. When the King learnt of the grievous wounds suffered by Zoran he became sad. He did not want to lose a warrior like Zoran. He quickly summoned the royal doctor.
“Doctor, you are coming with me and we are leaving now. You have to use all your skill and expeience and save Zoran. We can’t lose him. He must be saved. He is a great warrior. He does not deserve to die,” King said to the doctor.
“If he is critically wounded then we must immediately attend to his wounds. Let us start now,” doctor was ready with his bag of medicines and instruments.
The King and his party left on the fastest horses available in the royal stable. But when they reached Eastern Post they were welcomed by sad news. Zoran was already died.
King was shocked.
“Where have you kept his body?” asked the King.
An officer led the King to the place where the body had been placed. King was surprised to see that every part of the body had received deep wounds.
“How bravely he must have fought? We salute the bravest warrior of our kingdom,” said the King and he saluted in the presence of everyone.
One officer said to the King, “My Lord, before his death Zoran had said that the news of his death should be kept secret. Even his parents should be told that he was alive. He had fought so furiously that the enemy soldiers would fear him even in their dreams. If they come to know that Zoran has died they will forget their defeat and start rejoicing. But if they think that he is alive then this defeat will haunt them for years. They will never dare to attack Talavia.”
“But some day they will come to know that Zoran is not alive?”
 “My Lord, Zoran suggested that we should make his statue and install it near the post. This way we can fool the enemy; they will think that Zoran is alive and is guarding the post.”
While the King was talking to his officers the royal doctor had been carefully examining the body of Zoran. He had also heard what the officer had told the King.
“My Lord, let us honour the last wish of this great warrior,” said the royal doctor. “And if you permit I will take Zoran to my hospital.”
King asked in dismay, “You mean you will take his body to the hospital?”
The doctor just nodded.  King agreed but reluctantly.
After coming back to the palace the King asked the royal sculptor to make a statue. It was to be a majestic statue.
King said to the sculptor, “It should be your finest creation; the statue should look exactly like Zoran; in fact everyone looking at statue should feel that he is looking at Zoran and not at a statue.”

The sculptor did not disappoint the King. He worked continuously for thirty days and then invited the King to his workshop. The King was amazed to see the statue. It was a beautiful creation. The King felt that he was looking at Zoran and not at his statue.
                                                                                  (To be continued)
                                                                                         © i b arora
           You can read next part of the story here

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Eve
It was Christmas Eve
Santa Claus was on leave,
he was hearing noises
 he knew had no choices.

He went to consult a doc
 who would strut like a cock,
doc was somewhat crazy
 his advice was always hazy.  

Doc peered and pondered
he mused and wondered,
 “It is surely very smelly
deep down in your belly.”

 “Your belly has lost its poise
and it is making a noise,
you will have to go on leave
even if it is Christmas Eve.”
“If you choose to ignore it
 then be ready to face it,
 noises can do their worst
 your big belly can burst.”

“What you need is a white pill
and avoid this wintery chill,
light a  fire in your room
 you can’t go out, I assume.”

For Santa it was a  blow
 he had given gifts all years,
 he had not missed to do so
even once in many years.

Then stomach made a big noise
he thought it would be wise,
to go by crazy doc’s advice
not to go out till he felt nice.
 But what of tears in tiny eyes
and kids waiting for surprise,
on this year’s Christmas Eve
 it was sad to be on leave.
When gifts had been wrapped
and all were neatly packed,
it was all set for yearly trip
he wished he wouldn’t skip. 

Suddenly and loudly Santa belched
 noise in stomach was squelched,
in a jiffy he felt happy like a lark
quickly he set sleigh on the mark.

 He was already very very late
 he didn’t want children to wait,
 Christmas Eve was about to end
all gifts were delivered in the end.
© i b arora

Monday, 22 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 11)
(Please see my post of 20th Dec for 10th part of the story)

The Captain was fooled by this brave talk of Roock and he decided to attack Eastern Post. It was decided that the attack will begin one hour before sunrise.
Early next morning Brasian soldiers attacked Eastern Post. Talavian soldiers were taken by surprise. Many of them were dejected and demoralised because of the events of last evening. Zoran and Traytur had fought a duel. Both were seriously wounded. Traytur was running high fever. Doctor had administered him strong drugs. He was unconscious under the influence of the drugs.
Zoran was also seriously wounded. He was not unconscious but he could not take part in the battle. A young officer said to him, “Sir, you don’t have to come with us. We are good enough for these coward Brasians. The battle would be over sooner than they think. This time we will not spare them and we will kill all of them. We will show no mercy this time.”
Battle began. It was a fierce battle. Zoran was not with Talavian army. Roock shouted towards the Captain, “You see, Zoran could not come to the battlefield. He is as good as dead. Let us fight like brave heroes of the past and win this battle.”
Brasians were well trained and well equipped soldiers. When they did not see Zoran in the battlefield their confidence rose. They fought bravely. Slowly but surely they started gaining ground. Talavian suffered heavy losses and started retreating.   
When Zoran learnt that his soldiers were on the verge of a defeat his anger rose like hot lava in a volcano. He quickly got ready to join the battle. He ignored the doctor who was saying that it would not be good for him to leave his bed.
“You have lost a lot of blood in that foolish duel that you fought yesterday. If you get wounded in today’s battle you will surely die. We all need you. Even if we lose this post it would not matter. We can always win the post back. But if die in the battle it will be a great loss.”
“No, as long as I am alive we will not surrender the post. You are making too much of my wounds. I had suffered worse wounds in the last battle and still I survived. You don’t worry; nothing will happen to me.”
Thus saying he brushed aside the doctor and left for the battlefield. And what he saw there made him angry; rather very angry.
His soldiers appeared tired and dispirited. They had not yet left the battlefield. But Zoran could sense that any moment his soldiers would be running away from the battle. He felt he was staring at an impending defeat.
Zoran was a warrior who would not accept defeat, not as long as he was alive. He forgot his wounds, he forgot his weakness and he entered the battle like a wounded lion. He moved like a raging storm. One moment he was here, another moment he was there; one moment he was fighting with a sword, another moment he was fighting with a spear; one moment he was thundering like an angry cloud, another moment he was exhorting his dispirited soldiers to fight like tigers.
But brave Brasisans were not to be cowed down. They kept suffering wounds and death but they kept fighting heroically. Talavians were outnumbered. They had underestimated the courage and desire of Brasians to win. They began to retreat.
One by one Talavian soldiers got wounded and killed. Some of them ran away from battlefield. Only Zoran remained on the battlefield fighting the enemy. The numerous wounds suffered by him did not slow him down. He kept fighting. He was unstoppable. No Brasian could match his strength, ferocity and bravery.

Brasians soldiers fought bravely but eventually lost heart. Many of them got killed; many got seriously wounded; many ran away from battle. It was an unbelievable situation, for they had almost won the battle. But Zoran had almost singlehandedly fought the Brasian soldiers and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
                                                                               (To be continued)
                                                                                       © i b arora
                 You can read next part of the story here

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 10)
(Please see my post of 19th Dec for 9th part of the story)

And suddenly Traytur accepted defeat.
He surrendered before Zoran and pleaded for mercy. But Zoran was furious and he decided to kill Traytur. He snatched the magic dagger from Traytur.  He was about to stab him to death with that dagger.
But he could not do it for he respected Traytur, who was a brave soldier and had fought many battles for his country. Zoran was angry with himself. He left without saying a word. Traytur remained rooted to the ground, broken and beaten.
Roock knew that his ploy had not worked. The magic dagger had failed.  Zoran had not changed into a statue of stone. He was alive and fighting fit. He thought it would be wise of him to run away before Traytur exposed him and told the truth to Zoran.
When he turned back to leave he was surprised to see Arwiz, the wizard. He was dumbstruck and stood there like a fool.      
Arwiz glared at him, “Did you challenge Zoran to fight a duel with you?”
Roock could not even utter a word. He was so scared that could not even think of an excuse.
“You think I am a fool. I knew all along that you would never dare to fight a duel with Zoran.”
“No, it is not true...”
“It is true and I knew it. That is why I gave you an ordinary dagger. But it was a dagger that would have acquired magical power if you had challenged Zoran. Your courage and bravery would have done the trick. Even if you had died fighting Zoran, you would have died a hero’s death. Now you will die a coward’s death.”
“No Arwiz, it was not my fault. I had decided to challenge Zoran. But Traytur, that Talavian soldier, wanted to kill Zoran for all the injustice that Zoran had done to him. He sought my help; he pleaded with me and, just out friendship, I helped him. I gave him the magic dagger,’ Roock tried to fool Arwiz with a false story.
“You are not only a coward you are a liar also. You think I was not aware of what you were doing all these days. Did you not see that beautiful multi-coloured bird that had landed on the window of the inn?”
“What about that bird?”
“He is my spy. He was keeping a watch on you. Everything you said and everything you did was reported to me. Even now that bird is sitting on the tree and keeping an eye on you.”
Roock was shocked. He looked up and there was the beautiful multi-coloured bird sitting on the tree; attentively looking at Roock.  
“You are a cunning person and not a brave soldier. You will die an inglorious death,” said Arwiz in anger.
Roock tried to say something but Arwiz just vanished in thin air. He looked at the bird. The bird had also vanished.
Roock was dismayed, disappointed and dejected. He had been dreaming of a glorious future; he had been dreaming of becoming an officer in Brasian army; he had been dreaming of the day when he would rise to become Commander-in-Chief of the army. But all his dreams had come to a naught.
Suddenly a devilish idea struck him. He did not want the king of Brasia to know the truth. He fired a fire arrow towards south of Eastern Post of Talavia. King had asked him to fire this arrow after killing Zoran. This was a signal for the Brasian soldiers hiding in the forest to attack Easter Post.
Brasian soldiers saw the fire arrow in the evening sky and thought that Zoran was dead. It was a signal to attack Talavia. They promptly started marching towards Eastern Post.
When these soldiers reached Eastern Post it was almost dark. Roock had been waiting for them near a grove of pine trees. He came and met the Captain of Brasian army.
“I had challenged Zoran and today, one hour before sunset, we fought a duel. I had fought bravely and I had grievously wounded Zoran. I was about to kill him when some of his friends intervened. They forced me to stop the duel. They took the wounded Zoran with them”
“If Zoran is not dead then you should not have fired the fire arrow. We are to attack Talavia after he has been killed.”

“I know, but he is seriously wounded. He will not be able to take part in battle. He is alive but he can’t fight. In fact they will have to detail some soldiers to protect him.  And my spies have told me that there is a small contingent of soldiers to defend the post. We  can easily defeat them, now that Zoran is wounded. We can attack and capture the post. We will never get such an opportunity again.”
                                                                  (To be continued)
                                                                           © i b arora
                 You can read next part of the story here

Friday, 19 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 9)
(Please see my post of 17th Dec for 8th part of the story)

Traytur did not realize that Roock was trying to use him against Zoran. He was worried about the duel that he had to fight one hour before sunset. He did not want to lose the duel. But he was not very confident of beating Zoran. In fact he was a bit scared that Zoran would beat him; he could even kill him.
“I know you are my true friend, I will take your help. Give me that magic dagger but promise that no one will hear of it.”
Roock gave him the magic dagger and said, “My friend, I promise on the souls of my ancestors that no will know about it. But you must also promise that you will not let anyone know that I had given you this dagger.”
“I too promise on the souls of my ancestors.”
While these two were talking the strange beautiful bird had come from nowhere and quietly landed on a nearby tree. The bird was looking at Roock with his unblinking eyes.
One hour before sunset Zoran and Traytur fought a duel. There were two judges to oversee the duel; one chosen by Zoran and other chosen by Traytur. They started fighting with swords. Both were brave and strong  and they fought fiercely. They inflicted wounds on each other but no wound was deep and serious. Then they fought with spears. Zoran inflicted a few serious wounds. But Traytur fought back like a wounded tiger. Zoran momentarily lost control of his spear.
Traytur thought that time to use the magic dagger had come. He could finish the duel by inflicting one deep wound on Zoran. For a moment his hand wavered for he felt that it would not be fair to use magic to win the duel. But he knew that he was not strong enough to beat Zoran.
He was desperate to win. He took out the magic dagger and attacked Zoran. But he was not able to stab him. He kept trying and failing. Zoran was also fighting with a dagger. Zoran stabbed Traytur in the shoulder with his dagger. Traytur staggered back. He was losing his heart.
But then Zoran slowed down.  He stopped attacking Traytur for did not want to kill him.
Traytur seized the opportunity and attacked Zoran with all his strength. He succeeded in stabbing Zoran with his magic dagger. He felt a sense of relief; he had stabbed Zoran with the magic dagger. He thought Zoran would now lose his strength and he would not be able to move any part of his body.
All this time Roock had been hiding behind the trunk of a huge tree. He had been secretly watching this duel hidden behind that tree.

When Traytur stabbed Zoran with the magic dagger Roock almost shouted in happiness. He knew Traytur had succeeded in inflicting a deep wound. Soon Zoran’s blood would fall on earth. Soon Zoran would for ever turn into stone.
Blood from the wound inflicted by Traytur fell on earth. But to Roock’s shock he did not turn into stone. He kept on fighting vigorously. Roock could not believe his eyes.
“It will happen; it has to happen; it must happen; the magic dagger cannot fail. He will turn into stone,” Roock kept gazing at the two warriors. A wave of fear was rising in his heart.   
Traytur was also shocked. Zoran had neither lost his strength nor did he become immobile. He was now fighting like a giant tiger. Traytur himself was losing his strength. He was also losing his nerve and confidence.
                                                                                (To be continued)
                                                                                       © i b arora
           You can read next part of the story here

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(Part 8)
(Please see my post of 15th Dec for 7thpart of the story)

Zoran was taken aback but he had no option but to accept the challenge. In those days and in that country no brave man could refuse to accept a challenge to fight a duel. A man who refused to fight a duel had to bow to the man who had given the challenge. He had to remove his headgear and had to lay his sword on the feet of challenger. For every brave it was dishonourable to refuse to fight a duel.  
Zoran reluctantly accepted the challenge. It was decided that they would fight a duel next day, one hour before the sunset.
Next morning, when he was no longer under the influence of alcohol, Traytur felt that he had made a mistake by challenging Zoran. Not that he was scared of fighting Zoran; he thought that it was foolish to fight because Zoran was a decent person who always respected him. And he was worried that the King would be displeased if he killed Zoran in the duel.
He was angry with himself; he thought he had acted rashly and foolishly. He came to Moon’s Inn for a drink. There he met Roock and said, “I have done a foolish thing; I have challenged Zoran to fight a duel.”
He did not recall that it was in fact Roock who had cleverly incited him to challenge Zoran. He believed that Roock was a friend.
“My firend, I had cautioned you last evening. You had taken a drink too many. But now is not the time to regret. You can’t back out from duel without losing your honour; and what is a brave man without his honour,” Roock kept on inciting him.
“Yes, I know have to fight the duel for I cannot lose my honour.”
“I think I can suggest a middle way. You fight the duel for you can’t run away from it. But you don’t have to kill Zoran. Just inflict few serious wounds on him. That would be enough to prove that you are stronger than him,’ Roock said cleverly.
“But he will not give up easily. He will keep fighting till he has beaten me.  I fearthat none of us will accept defeat. This duel will end only after one of us is dead,” Traytur said. He was appearing sad and remorseful.
“If you wish I can help you. I have a magic dagger. If someone is inflicted a wound with that dagger that person will lose his strength. He will become weak. He will not be able to move any part of his body.  If you want I can give you that dagger. If you stab Zoran with that dagger he will not be able to continue the fight. He will lose the duel and you will be the winner.” 
“But that will not be a fair fight?”
“You were also not fairly treated by the king. You have to just prove to the king that you are stronger than Zoran. You can do that without killing him or getting killed.”
Traytur got influenced by this smooth talk of his friend. He agreed to said he would use the magic dagger but Roock was not to mention this to anyone.

“How can I mention this to anyone? Besides the dagger will lose its power if anyone comes to know about it. And mind you this dagger can be used only once. After that it will lose its power; therefore, use it with caution. When you are confident that you will be able to inflict a wound, use it and stab him. One stab and you will win the duel.”
                                                                         (To be continued)
                                                                                © i b arora
           You can read next part of the story here

Monday, 15 December 2014

Stone Warrior
(part 7)
(Please see my post of 12th Dec for 6th part of the story)

“What a beautiful bird it is!” said one of Traytur’s friends.
“Is it a parrot?” asked other.
“No, it is not a parrot. It is a strange bird, I have never seen such a bird in this area,” said the first friend.
Roock did not even look at the bird. He was eager to befriend Traytur. He had learnt that Traytur was a brave and powerful man. He had fought many battles. But he was jealous of Zoran. He was unhappy because he had to work under the command of Zoran. Roock thought that he could use Traytur to kill Zoran.
Roock incited him, “But it is unfair; it is really unjust of your king. How could he ignore you and make that young boy as the Captain? It is insulting for any brave and experienced soldier to serve under man who has not fought even two battles.”
“Well, that is what has happened and I feel so bad.”
“Did you not protest?”
“Protest? How can a soldier protest?”
“But how can you accept this injustice?”
“But what can I do…”
“You need to fight for you honour; honour is the only thing that a true soldier values more than anything else.”
Traytur was just confused and did not know what to say. Alcohol had clouded his thinking.
“I think you need to prove that you are as brave and strong as Zoran.”
“I am more brave and strong than Zoran and everyone knows it.” Traytur shouted arrogantly.
“Yes that is what I was saying; but you need to prove that and your king must realize that he made a mistake by ignoring you. Why don’t you challenge Zoran to fight a duel with you?”
“Duel with Zoran?”
“Yes, and you will surely defeat him. You don’t have to kill him, just inflict a few serious wounds and beat him. King will realize his mistake. He will make you the Captain and Zoran will serve you as your soldier.”
By now Tratur was drunk and could not think clearly. He got incited and decided to challenge Zoran.
“Yes, you are right; I will challenge Zoran and I will kill him. He thinks he is the strongest person on earth. But he is a fool. He has only fought Brasian soldiers. But all Brasians are chicken- hearted; they are scared of dying; they only run away from battle. Zoran has never fought a fierce and a brave soldier like me. I will teach him a lesson. Yes, he needs to be taught a lesson. My friend, you have done me a favour; you have shown the right way; I must thank you.”
Roock smiled at his cleverness; he knew that he had found a chink in the armour of Talavian army; he was sure that he would be able to achieve his goal. But he hid his happiness and said in all seriousness, “My friend, you need to think carefully before doing anything.  Zoran is undoubtedly a great warrior and he has killed many brave and strong soldiers. He is your Captain. If you act rashly you would do a great harm to yourself. I don’t want to lose a good friend like you.”
“You think I would lose to him in a duel; you think so because you have never seen me fight the barbarians of north. Had you seen me fighting those brutes you would have never doubted my strength and bravery. Rest assured my friend, I will win and the King will realise his mistake. He should have made me the Captain.”
Traytur left the Moon’s Inn in anger.  
All this time the strange beautiful bird had been sitting on the window. It had been looking at everyone who was present in that inn. And it had been attentively watching Roock. It appeared that the bird was trying to read the mind of Roock; that it was carefully listening to what he was saying to Traytur.

 When Traytur reached Eastern Post he was still angry. He went straight to Zoran and challenged him to fight a duel.

                                                                                (To be continued)
                                                                                © i b arora
           You can read next part of the story here