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

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