Sehwag Tales - Chapter 10

To start from the first chapter : 

A lone, broken branch lay discarded on the ground, having no idea how it ended up in the ground. The four friends stood huddled around it with their teacher, Achanandhi, the weight of the previous night hanging heavy in the air. Everything had changed with terrifying speed. Sehwag, brow furrowed in concentration, replayed the events in his mind. A gasp escaped his lips, and he lifted his chin, ready to address the master.

Suddenly, he seemed to have a second thought. Turning to Padhumuk, he spoke in a tense voice, "The three of you, listen closely. You need to find a way back to the village. Once you are there, take Govindai with you and leave. Disappear." His gaze met Padhumuk's with urgency. "I'll help the master escape across the border."

"Escape? But why?" Padhumuk demanded, his voice laced with confusion. "And how did you even get here, Master?"

Nandhattan, ever the pragmatist, cut in. "There's no time for explanations now. We'll fill you in on the way."

Padhumuk, however, was far from convinced. "No! I need answers! What's going on? What happened back in the forest?"

Sehwag's voice grew sharp. "The master needs to escape, that's all you need to know. Now leave!" Sehwag and Nandhattan had made a pact back in the forest. Knowing Govindai's upcoming marriage was already weighing heavily on Padhumuk, they decided to split the tasks: Sehwag would help Achanandhi escape, while Padhumuk focused on getting Govindai to safety. The arrival of Dalpati need not make a big difference to the plan, if only they hadn’t taken the horses. Padhumuk on the other hand was lacking information to even process the situation. His demand was his justice.

"Leave?" Padhumuk's voice rose in protest. "Just abandon you two here in this forest? And what about Govindai? Am I supposed to chase after some buffalo-led horses and steal back my girlfriend? Why should I run from my own village? I deserve to know!"

"Arguing won't help," Anaka interjected, her voice laced with reason.

Achanandhi, his face grim, finally spoke. "Because, Padhumuk, Kattiyankar is after us."

Anaka had hoped to quell the rising tide of Padhumuk's frustration, but her efforts seemed futile. However, what words couldn't accomplish, a sudden rustle in the nearby trees did. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot – an animal, perhaps, or maybe a hunter, a soldier from Yemangadha returning so soon? The group tensed, readying themselves for a fight. But to their surprise, it wasn't an animal or a soldier. It was the very same tribals they had encountered just a day ago.

“Well met, old friend,” boomed a voice from the woods as the chieftain Malladevan emerged, flanked by his tribe on either side, “Looks like you have found some strong students,”

“You have made quite a tribe. You think I couldn’t have trained some warriors myself?”replied Achanandhi walking towards the Chieftain.

“So, the spark of hope isn’t put out yet!”

“I think it is flaming brighter since I have met an old friend.”

A surprising bond emerged from the trees. The leader of the tribals, Chieftain Malladevan, stood before them, a contingent of warriors at his side. Achanandhi and Malladevan weren't strangers. They had served together as personal guards to the young King Kachandan and Queen Vijayamadevi during their honeymoon, a tradition where each kingdom sent their strongest soldiers to accompany the royal couple on visits to smaller territories. Their paths hadn't crossed since the queen's pregnancy. Achanandhi, wasting no time, filled Malladevan in on their predicament. The chieftain's response was swift and decisive. With a curt command, he directed his men to provide horses for the young men.

Malladevan's arrival further clouded Padhumuk's already swirling confusion. Exhausted from questioning, he slumped in silence. Anaka, sensing his despair, placed a hand on his shoulder. "There's someone waiting for you in the village, Padhumuk," she said gently. "Someone who hopes you'll return with the cattle and take her hand in marriage. Focus on that for now, let us help you."

Padhumuk took a deep breath, his shoulders slumping slightly. He met Sehwag's gaze for a fleeting moment, a silent exchange passing between them. Then, with a determined nod, he mounted one of the horses that two tribal warriors had led forward. As Padhumuk and Nandhattan raced towards Rasamapur village, a glint of metal passing through their eyes sent a jolt of fear through them. Two arrows flew into the scene, finding their mark and felling two tribal warriors in a heartbeat.The two Dalpati soldiers who were sent into the forest to find Sehwag earlier had returned and were hiding for the right opportunity to strike. But their presence was totally neutral. Only Padhumuk, with his keen eyes, recognized the trajectory and velocity of the arrows, pinpointing the hidden attackers.

"Into the forest!" Achanandhi barked, urging them to take cover.

"No time for that!" Nandhattan countered. "We'll create a diversion with the help of the tribals. You two, keep going!" Padhumuk urged his horse onward, a determined glint in his eyes. Anaka, perched behind Nandhattan, readied herself for the fight to come.

Chieftain Malladevan nodded curtly. He pressed a royal ring into Achanandhi's hand. "Reach the Nandhimada border. Find Jalandhar in the first village by the river. Show him this ring. He'll assist you." He adjusted Sehwag's straps, then turned to Achanandhi with a grave expression. "Is he who I suspect him to be... this guy?" he referred to Sehwag.

There was no time for elaborate goodbyes or explanations. Achanandhi, however, pulled Malladevan into a brief hug, murmuring a secret in his ear.

Malladevan stood rooted to the spot, a flicker of emotion crossing his face. Tears welled in his eyes, a glimmer of newfound purpose breaking through years of weary escape. He watched, a mix of joy and surprise etched on his features, as Sehwag and Achanandhi thundered towards the border, leaving a plume of dust in their wake. Behind him, the soldiers of Kattiyankar materialized, ready to confront Padhumuk and Nandhattan.


Next chapter :

Vigneshwaran, Senior Correspondent of is both a skilled digital content writer and marketer by profession, as well as an avid independent writer driven by his passion. His literary talents extend to crafting beautiful poems and captivating short stories including the Sehwag Tales series. In addition to these creative pursuits, he has also authored a book titled "Halahala," which can be found

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