(Please see my post of 9th Dec for 5th part of the story)
He knew that he will have to stab Zoran with the magic dagger by treachery. He would have to deceive Zoran. And he would have to inflict just one deep wound; deep enough that his blood should fall on earth. Zoran would change into stone when his blood would fall on earth.
“But how am I going to do this? How can I stab him without going close to him? I don’t want to get killed? He is so quick and clever? I won’t be able to even touch him. What can I do to deceive him?” he kept asking himself. But he could find no answer.
There was soldier in Talavian army who was strong and brave. His name was Traytur. He had fought many battles and won many honours. He had a desire to become Captain of Eastern Post. But the King ignored him and Zoran was made Captain of Eastern Post. Zoran was young and had fought only two battles. Traytur was not happy. In fact he was very angry. He thought that Zoran did not deserve this promotion. Zoran was too young and inexperienced to be a Captain. It was he who deserved to become Captain.
Traytur became jealous of Zoran. Later when he was sent to the Eastern Post to serve under Zoran, he felt hurt and humiliated. He felt that the King had insulted him by sending to the Eastern Post.
Not far from the Eastern Post there was an inn, called Moon’s Inn. Roock was staying there in the garb of a merchant. He had hired a few shepherds as look outs. These people were keeping a watch on Eastern Post, and particularly on Zoran. Two of these look outs were remarkable spies. They had collected a great deal of information about the soldiers in Eastern Post and their daily routine.
But all this information was of no use to Roock because he had not been able to devise any plan. This made him desperate. He decided to challenge Zoran. But his courage kept failing him.
Eastern Post of Talavia was well protected. Every soldier of that post was a brave warrior. All were loyal to Zoran and they remained on alert every hour of the day. There was no way he could go near the post without being detected. Every bit of information that his spies had brought to him had disheartened him.
He was realising the folly of his plan. He could not stab Zoran without getting close to him.
“If I can’t even go near the post, then how can I go near Zoran? My magic dagger is of no use to me. I think I will have to go back to Arwiz. I must request him for such magical power as would help me to kill Zoran without going near him.”
Roock was losing heart and he was now certain that he would fail in killing Zoran.
Lost in such thoughts he was one day whiling away his time sitting in the inn, drinking beer. He was sitting in one corner of the hall. There were a few travellers having their food and drinks. It was quite a busy inn.
Couple of Talavian soldiers were also present in the inn. They were all drinking beer. Talavian king had forbidden use of alcohol by the Talavian soldiers. He believed that alcohol made the soldiers weak and slow. No Talavian soldier drank when he was on duty at his post. But there some soldiers who could not resist the temptation of drinking. These soldiers would sneak into some nearby inn or tavern and drink.
Soldiers who were drinking at Moon’s Inn were from the Eastern Post and one of them was Traytur. They were drinking and they were talking animatedly among themselves. It appeared that Traytur was a bit agitated and his friends were trying to pacify him.
Roock was sitting on nearby table. He overheard what these men were saying to one another. He could guess that these men were Talavian soldiers and that one of them was angry and unhappy. He could sense that unhappy soldier was jealous of Zoran.
Rock smiled and came to the table where Talavian soldiers were sitting. He introduced himself as a rich merchant who was on his way to Sxandavia on an important business trip.
“Would you mind if I share a drink with you all?” he asked politely.
Talavian soldiers were suspicious of him. But before they could say anything Roock offered them the most expensive drink available in the inn, “This the best that I can offer you at present. On my way back from Sxandavia I will offer you the best wine available on earth.”
Talavians could not resist the temptation of tasting an expensive drink. Soon they were all drinking and gossiping like old friends.
When they were busy talking, a beautiful multi-coloured bird came from somewhere and landed on the window of the inn.
(To be continued)
© i b arora
You can read next part of the story here