(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
You can read next part of the story here