Sehwag Tales - Chapter 6

To start from the first chapter : 

Enclosed by the dense tropical thorn forests filled with Khair and Khejri trees was the encampment of the tribes. Lit bright with fire, and yet the darkness found its place inside. Above the fire was made a rod ready to cook except it did not have the meat. Around the fire were the tribes celebrating their hunt. As a part of the celebration was a cow tied in front of the deity, covered in red sand, ready to be beheaded.

Head of the tribe was sitting in a corner under a tree on a rock scratching his thighs, wearing a hide of a buck, with a beard and moustache grown rough. The tribe clattered as a man with a huge frame raised his sword against the neck of the cow. A sharp arrow out of nowhere pierced into the scene clashing against his wrist, letting the sword fall. Everyone except the leader looked around for the shooter. The leader alone looked above to welcome the guest.

The leader had noticed the direction of the arrow. Three young men jumped onto the scene from the trees above. Nobody had noticed their presence. They stood around the cow as they jumped, holding their weapon. Sehwag had a sword, Padhumuk a bow and Nandhatta the twin axes. Sehwag was the thinnest, yet built and agile, his eyes were sharp, eyebrows bent and sword pointing at the crowd. All he could think of is saving the cow, no matter what hinders his mission, even the deity itself. THUMPH!!! A group of tribes surrounded them with spheres, axes, swords and mazes. They did not have uniform weaponry, looked like they were stolen, bearing different emblems of different armies. The leader majestically walked through the circle towards them effortlessly carrying a heavy mace.

“After we had destroyed a platoon of Yemangadha army like it meant nothing to us, how could Kattiyankaar trust it on just three young men?” He bore a careless smile on his lips. “What COURAGE brought you three into my den young men?”

“The courage that we are fighting for innocent villagers and not for any master” said Sehwag. He did not relax his posture, his sword was still pointing and his legs were still in position to push or dodge or move if needed. He was also watching the moves of the tribal leader with the most attention. Nandhattan from his left continued, “We three are enough to fight you all”.

“POISE”, the leader said, looking at Sehwag and turned his gaze to Nandhattan as he said “and PRIDE”.

The leader was able to pull the right nerve out. Nandhattan had always felt inferior to Sehwag right from childhood. Though he loved his brother he also thought of him as a rival and competition. Because Sehwag never fit into the family, always stood out while Nandhattan is more like his father Kandhukkadan, wanting to become a tradesman rather than a swordsman.

He had always felt that the family always looked at Sehwag differently, more important, as if he was a gift of god. Not that he was not one. The more Nandhattan thought about his childhood, the more distracted he looked from the attack. Lost in the bitterness, he barely registered the first blow aimed at him. However he managed to clip the approaching sphere between his two axes and swiftly spinned it in air, launching it to the leader’s foot.

The leader realised that he was underestimating the youngsters, yet he was not weak to let go. He struck his majestic blow towards Sehwag while his army engaged other two men. Sehwag dodged, a blur of lean muscle leaping onto the leader's thighs. A sharp kick sent the chieftain sprawling, but he was up in a flash, mace swinging. The camp erupted, steel clashing steel as Sehwag and his companions fought a tide of tribal warriors.

While every man that night was engaged in a battle, Anaka manoeuvred into the camp without anyone noticing, untied the cattle and led them in the path. She did not hesitate to attack a petty tribal soldier on her way. She was sleek, yet agile. Her dancing skills backed her in fights. However she was not enough to manage when four men arrived at her front. She was surrounded and caught. Nandhattan was fighting well, though he killed none but only wounded them. He was against killing unless it was necessary. He was so different from other men in Achanandi’s Military. Padhumuk’s arrows wounded many men. His archery was matchless. Sehwag on his side was almost dominating until he received that one big blow from the leader, while fighting two other tribal soldiers. The leader was about to smash Sehwag in the face before he saw the blazing red ring on Sehwag’s fingers. He recognized the gem and the ring. He stepped back, lowered his maze, and ordered his army to withdraw.

“Who are you? How did you get that ring?” The leader had always thought of the three men as Kattiyankar’s men. Are the not?

Sehwag did not understand a thing. Why did the leader stop his attack? He noticed the leader’s nose pointing to his ring. It was given by his father to him before he joined Achanandi’s military. Gradually gaining ease, he said, “I’m Sehwag, from Rasamapur, son of Kandhukkadan and a student of great Achanandhi.”

“Are you not the men of Kattiyankar?”

“Men of Kattiyankar?” laughed Padhumuk drawing his bow down. “We are revolutionaries of Yemangadha. We came here by the order of our guru.”

“You guys are more than that, my child. That ring belongs to our Princess.” The leader was flooded with nostalgia for a moment.

“Princess?” Sehwag was baffled, so was Nandhattan and Padhumuk.

“We're not the simple tribals you seem to think. Twenty years ago, the attack on Nandhimada made us fugitives. I was Malladhevan, protector of the King, Queen Vijayamadevi’s father himself. Now, we live hidden, plotting Kattiyankaar's downfall. Your ring... it marks you as someone the Queen trusted. Though your reasons are unclear, you may take the cattle.”

“But…Nandhimada attacked Yemangadha first…”

“That’s how your textbooks teach you? Funny?” laughed the entire tribe.

“But… why would fugitives steal cattle??”

“We were plotting to assassinate Kattiyankaar. We needed to sacrifice the cattle before the attack.” Sehwag could not process what the leader said. But the assasination of Kattiyankaar felt alliable.

“I do not understand what you are saying. I am an ally of none. And we cannot take anything for free. We owe you.” He stood up.

“If what I’m thinking is right, we owe you more young man”, said the tribal leader with a smile, “You may leave now!”

Sehwag did not understand anything he said, except the fact that they were against Kattiyankaar. The word ‘ally’ was running inside his head like a warning and an opportunity at the same time. However, it was a successful mission. They returned with the cattle to unfold more secrets to come.


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. In addition to these creative pursuits, he has also authored a book titled "Halahala," which can be found on Wattpad.

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