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Thread: Chaturmukha (a Rajini Rewritten Trilogy)

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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    There are many faiths, but the spirit is one ó in me, and in you, and in him. So that if everyone believes himself, all will be united; everyone be himself and all will be as one.
    - Leo Tolstoy (From Resurrection (1899), the last novel of Tolstoy).

    Beyond the Ordinary

    "Future will recollect the three who fought three hundred inside the spectacular Vyuha", Sultan narrated the incidents of the day's battle to Nobleman, "And the rescue team entered right into the mouth of fire and picked them up. Day Zero Eight is an illustration of valliance and miracle joining hands."

    A flicker of smile cracked around the corner of Nobleman's dry lips.

    "Arrangements are being made to cremate the only son of Yesodha Putran who died in the battle along with the Ashta Gajha, who were instrumental in breaking an unboreable Vyuha."

    Sadness filled the awake eye of Nobleman.

    Ayus entered Karmegha pulling huge carts. Even though it was a sad task, the Ayus were glad to pull the carts without any chains attached to them or whipped to force them to do an activity. They felt free and wished to shower their respects to those who had shown them the path of freedom.

    After collecting the bodies of eight elephants and their riders, Ayus transported Ashta Gajah to the campsite where a grand podium was raised to cremate the casualties of war. Nakulan's body rested on the centre of the podium, surrounded by the eight elephants and the riders.

    Vadhana addressed the army of Empires United, "Nakulan, the youngest governor and a sharp strategist of our military has given his life because of what he believed. He believed in you. He believed in us. He believed in himself. Without a weapon, he bravely entered the battlefield holding a flag. And he saved us all from the venomous military formation deployed by the enemy general. He shed his blood to protect us from death. He is our Hero. He is a Star. It just takes one single star to pierce an universe of darkness. Nakulan arises to demolish the darkness that has engulfed us. We take an oath at the foundation of this war memorial that we will garland our saviours, who had let go their life for the sake of saving the warrior beside, with victory."

    There was silence when Yesodha Putran carried a torch in his hand and walked among the battalions assembled before the podium. He was accompanied by the commanders of Empires United. When they reach the podium, the commanders dropped to their knees and held their heads and swords pointed to the ground. The Battalion from Heaven bowed in silence when Yesodha Putran dropped the troch on the podium.

    Fire started to spread circularly, igniting the Ashta Gajha one after the other before reaching Nakulan. The black smoke raised high in the air and joined with the darkness above. Rana walked to Yesodha Putran and aided him to walk back to the pavillion.

    Vettaiyan stood by his window watching the nine cremations performed at the opposite camp. It reminded him of the funerals he had arranged for his nine brothers. A shiver ran down his spine. He walked uncomfortably to his desk. Slowly he started to pound his fist on the table. The thuds vibrated around the ears of The General. Aye, Naga and One Eye, the last of The Generalís captains, stood beside the closed door with their heads facing the floor.

    "A man with your experience can never be at mercy with a failure", Vettaiyan addressed The General. "I would rather count you when you are dead rather than depend on you when you are alive. I am ashamed of you as I believe in you no more. Doubt is a seed of distrust, My General."

    Vettaiyan walked unsteadily as if he was about to fall. Myil was controlling him, and The General knew not to defend himself when the Emperor was under the influence Myil.

    The three captains paved way for their Emperor when he reached the doors.

    The Emperor looked straight at Naga and whispered, "Pigs. He called you pigs."

    Naga could not put a word to the shame he felt inside.

    "On my return, this war should be over. Leave the twins to me and bring the head of the Queen. If you fail, don't bother to visit me again. Bury yourselves elsewhere, as the battlefield is for the brave."

    The Emperor furiously kicked the door open and disappeared into the corridor. At the juncture he was met by Vaithiyar and together they walked down several stairs to reach the King's stable. Vettaiyan stood holding the neck of his horse while Vaithiayar covered him with a black blanket. Throwing the blanket across his face, Vettaiyan mounted his horse. The hounds from hell jogged inside the stable. The footsteps of the horse mingled with the howl of the hounds.

    Shamu lent his ears attentively to the barks of dogs. He turned towards the dimly lit path when he heard a high-pitched sound. He saw a lad whistling, while hopping towards the heap of food. The lad sat down and started to check the food items lying on the ground. Maveeran moved out of his hiding spot. His sudden movement startled the kid. He got up and stared at Maveeran with fear glowing in his eyes. He quickly turned and ran away without looking back over his shoulder. Maveeran could not understand why the kid was so scared to see him.

    "A huge man in the Emperor's military uniform jumps before a kid who had come in search of food and expects him to glitter with smiles !", Littleman spoke ironically. "By the by where did you guys get the uniform ?"

    Shamu explained briefly the plan, the escape and the fire at Fort Ayan, while they followed the running kid.

    "Do not be afraid", Maveeran tried to assure the bunch of salves.

    "Have you come to take us to The Maze ?", one of the frightened woman asked.

    "The Maze exists no more. We have destroyed it", Littleman informed.

    "Believe in us, we are here to take you away from this miserable place", Maveeran reassured.

    "We are not born to be free", one of slaves spoke up, "Itís difficult to explain ..."

    Before the man could finish what he was saying, Shamu hopped on one leg and announced, "The legend is true. I am Dharma. And the time has come to leave this rathole."

    The salves bowed before Shamu. Littleman raised his head and passed a weird look at Shamu. He received a wink from the Prince of Shambala.

    Shamu and Maveeran executed a similar strategy to rescue the slaves of Vettaiyan Palace. They grouped the aged and children and kept them hidden safely in the basement. They took the men and woman motivated to fight along with them. With their assistance, they discovered several dens and liberated every single lost and abandoned souls trapped under the feet of the Emperor.

    The army of Dharma steadily grew in number and strength.

    ... to be continued ...
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  3. #262
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 1/5)

    "We think too much and feel too little" - Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator)

    Victims of the System

    Vadhana Devi watched the giant army of the Emperor assembled on Karmegha. She could not hide her fear and shock to witness the massive military force in front of her. The foot soldiers were equipped with sophisticated weaponry - sharp broad blades, wide shields, armours covering head to toe, long bows and sharpened arrows. The animal cavalry sported superficial protection that shined over the horizon. The elephants were dressed to resemble a monster. Four tusks protruded on either side of the trunks and the legs carried huge rings embedded with sharp spikes. The chariots driven by single, double and quadruple horses looked like blazing high speed machines. The siege weapons of all types and sizes accompanied by indefinite ammunitions set their scary eyes over the campsite.

    The calmness surrounding the greatest army on the face of the earth was chilling.

    "Finally, his army is standing in front of us", Yesodha Putran informed Vadhana Devi. "The moment has arrived. He has decided to end the war."

    "Are we capable of facing such a great force? I feel like a worm invaded by ants!", Vadhana registered her concern. "I am lost, Wisest of All. I sense that we still have time to stop this war. Empires United stands as a dwarf before the Emperor's army."

    "It’s my head they want, I shall lay it before them myself," Vadhana Devi announced sincerely.

    "Fear of failure halts progress. It stops success behaving as a significant danger to betterment of others", Yesodha Putran assured the Queen who found the situation undesirable. "Have faith in our commanders. Allow the wings of hope to carry your burden. It’s not the head count that matters but how strong each one is made of. Collective we advance."

    Vadhana Devi let out a heavy breathe when she saw Rana walking before the Battalion from Heaven. Rana looked at the puzzled faces of the soldiers. He understood how much the warriors were trying to stop themselves from falling into the pit of fright.

    Rana installed faith:

    My soldiers, we are outnumbered.

    But that only means the foe is scared to come at us fairly. They are worthless than the dirt beneath our toenail.

    Remember this - Their number does not bring fear. We'll just have to kill them quicker, that's all.

    Remember this - Every one of you is better than they. Take the uncertainty from your heart and place it as courage on your sword. United, we are greater warriors than them all and we fear no man living or dead.

    Remember this - The coward dies a thousand times, a brave only once. And you will not notice Death when he comes for you.

    And remember this - Don't hesitate to fall back. No, that is not cowardice, not at all. It is prudence, the handmaiden of victory. Show them your back to reclaim their chests.

    My loyal warriors, as the True Men at War, we are going into battle to slaughter the enemy. Beware! The enemy will be merciless. And you show them No Mercy!

    We are not just a group of brave soldiers going to war. We are not just a camp of warriors grabbing our swords. WE ARE AN EMPIRE. And when we return, this battleground should be heaped with heads of the enemy. We push the wheels of garbage and collect all the dirt that once stormed in front of us. With all the dirt wiped out, this world will glitter under the shine of Freedom.

    This day is all that is left in this war. God does not exist. He will not save you this day. Belief does not exist. It will not keep you alive this day.

    My soldiers, The Future exists. And today we lay the path on this battlefield for the future to walk truly, freely and we liberate our fate from the clutches of evil.

    My soldiers, Strength and honour to you all!

    The Battalion from heaven cheered. The soldiers drummed their amours and shields in unison creating a vibration that kicked away fear. Under the rhythmic beats, Sena walked calmly before the warrior units. His right hand was supported by an arm sling and was suspended from his neck. Slow chants started to raise and the entire Battalion from Heaven roared - All Hail The Emperor.

    The unhurried chants gained momentum and turned into a massive choral - All Hail The Emperor.

    Vadhana Devi stood watching the soldiers choose their future leader. Rana walked proudly beside Sena. Yesodha Putran looked at the singing soldiers brimming with hope in their eyes. Kalai, Kacha and Kali joined with the warriors and celebrated their new emperor. Kanakavalli followed Sena who walked in silence. The freed slaves danced with their hands raised high above their head and moving together in tiny circles. Ayus growled loudly.

    Prince Shamu and Maveeran hidden inside Vettiayan Palace heard the song for the new Emperor. So did The General and his men.

    Sultan whispered into Nobleman's ears, "The People’s Emperor has been chosen unanimously."

    Sena halted and raised his head. His eyes were sore and he looked tired. The chants started to drop down steadily and silence ushered itself on the battlefield. Even the war animals became quiet.

    Rana whispered softly to Sena, "Speak."

    "I can't", Sena replied.

    "You must. It's our only Hope."

    Sena looked around him and then, spoke softly:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - remove the social class system that is determined by birth. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

    Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

    The very nature of inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. My voice shall reach millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

    To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

    Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel. Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate. Only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.

    Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery. Fight for liberty.

    In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: "The Kingdom of God is within man" - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men. In you. You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness. You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

    Let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie. They do not fulfil that promise. They never will.

    Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.

    Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

    Silence lingered long after Sena finished his discourse. He stood before the Battalion from Heaven while his words still echoed inside their ears. Slowly the silence was broken by the sounds of metal meeting metal, when the entire military of Empires United along with their commanded bowed before Rana and Sena.

    Sena, along with brother, walked through the thick walls of soldiers who were laying their weapons to their chest when the Brothers of Faith and Hope, walked among them. Sena mounted the platform. He stopped in front of Vadhana Devi. A single stream of tear flowed down her left eye. Her lips shivered when she forced them to smile. Sena fixed his eyes on her. He turned his left hand making his thumb face the ground and he gently placed it on her stomach.

    "I promise you Victory", Sena confirmed.

    The voices of the warriors erupted pushing the sun up into the sky.

    ... to be continued ...

    Author's Note:

    Speak ... It's our only Hope / I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor ...

    Taken from the Final speech in the film The Great Dictator (1940); Chaplin’s first film with dialogue. (My homage to my Master Chaplin).
    Last edited by mappi; 26th July 2017 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Part 1/2 to 1/5
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  4. #263
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 2/5)

    I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things - Mother Teresa

    Moving Mountains

    Huge lightning bolt stuck close to the dome of Vettaiyan Palace as soon as Sena finished his discourse.

    "That's our signal", Shamu whispered to Maveeran, "The thunder of joy from our comrades. Our mission here has started to walk on its final leg. Be discreet and takeout as many palace guards as possible. We have enough man power to climb to the top and take the artillery weapons under our control."

    The General looked behind him at the hollow spiral upper half of Vettaiyan Palace. He calmly rode before his monstrous army. He spoke authoritatively:

    "That lightning bolt has blessed us with thunderous victory. We are soon to see the supernatural phenomenon of Karmegha.

    For men like you who are trained to fight on any tracts - forests, valleys, desert or plains; Who can plunge into ditches and overcome any heights both during day or night; Who can roam over stones and thorns; Who can cross marshy lands, lakes, mountains and rivers riding on horses and elephants; Who can operate on any ground suitable to battle; Who can handle every armament of war.

    For men like you who know the theatricals of war arising out of vicissitudes of battle, the task at hand is simple - This land has to be secured.

    They don't believe in what we believe. We believe in identity. We believe in power. We believe in control. We are superior to them. We have the courage to drive them away. We have the resource to rule them forever.

    We believe in our Great Emperor, our Beloved Leader who has always shielded this formidable land from invasions. The way we chase the enemies will stand as a warning in the history of humans for those who even think to invade our Great Nation.

    We battle for our King who has kept our families safe from marauders. We bring glory to our Ruler who has made the rest of the world to bow before us. We give back to our Majesty glory as a token of our respect for all his guidance he had showered upon us. We will restore fame to the Lord of the Jungle by polishing his throne for him to reign as the Greatest Emperor the human civilisation has ever witnessed. We fight with the Prince of the Future to put an end to independent states and crush them under our feet.

    And this day we shall bring rain to the heart of our Glorious Motherland, Karmegha, flooding the entire battlefield with blood; upon which, breathless enemies shall float and be carried away in the strong flow of our bravery.

    My men. It’s here. It’s now. We repay our Deity who roams among us with Victory.

    The giant army of the Emperor growled in unison erupting as the thunder following the huge lightning bolt.

    The two armies faced each other on the battlefield when the war instruments were blown. The ground trembled as the battling groups advanced towards each other.

    "The dark building breathing out black smoke shall be our turning point", Rana explained to his four commanders - Kacha, Kali, Kalai & Sena - pointing at Fort Ayan.

    "Beyond this landmark, our battalions will be postioned", he continued, "The distance between each swordsmen should be 14 angulas; the chariots stand 42 angulas apart and the horses a 162 angulas from each other - together they form the wings. The successive lines of archers, spearsmen and elephant cavalry should be spaced 160, 360 and 600 angulas respectively - they are the flank division."

    "And the seperation of respective military units must be 600 angulas. The gap should ensure the interspace between the wings from flanks. The length, breath, depth, width and extent of deployment of forces must correspond to this ideal distance to create enough space for movement within the area. The rest of the units will be stationed near the camp and that shall mark the Point of No Return."

    "Commanders Kanakavalli with horse archers and Sultan with chariot cavalry, along with the 19th regiment led by Gudakesha, are setting things in motion on the battlefield as we speak", Rana informed, "I will join them on my chariot shortly."

    The Chief of the Empires United made eye contacts with the commanders and announced, "Our troops must be ready to receive our guests by noon. Minute mistake will lead us all to doom. Remember that it is quicker to destroy than build, being careful is critical."

    Rana looked at Yesodha Putran, "The rest is in your hands, Wise of All. Let courage rise with danger and strength to strength oppose."

    "You absolutely need a charioteer", Yesodha Putran informed Rana while they were exiting the pavillion.

    "I can manage", Rana replied.

    "No, you cannot. You are a warrior and you have to live past this day to become the end ..."

    "If you can manage to ride the horses with a foot", Sena cut off Yesodha Putran abruptly, "I think I can drive the chariot with an arm"

    "But we cannot risk to put you two together ...", Yesodha Putran tried to argue and it was Rana who barged in, "Here is my charioteer, Wise of All. Now, I have got seven horses pulling me towards victory", Rana winked at Yesodha Putran to shut down his worry.

    Yesodha Putran stood watching the Brothers walking away with the commanders of Empires United. The four chiefs met with the respective captains of different military units and briefed them about regroupment of the Battalion from Heaven and the rules to be respected while deploying the forces on Karmegha at the south side of Fort Ayan.

    Rana and Sena rode together on the chariot towards the battle zone.

    Matsya Vyuha versus Acala Vyuha
    Horned Fish Formation versus Mountain Formation
    Rana's Attack versus Vettaiyan's Defense

    Depending on the motive of the attack, Matsya Vyuha is formed either by grouping all the units into a shape of a single huge fish, or splitting the army into several smaller units like shoaling of fish. In both cases, the intelligence of a fish is reciprocated in the battle strategy. The horned fish formation has two captains controlling the respective sides of the military array placing themselves as each horn of the longhorn fish. This strategy of attack gives an advantage over the enemy formation as navigation is quicker on the battlefield. The military units move around like shoal of fish and attack the enemies. They slip past the enemy troops diverting them and taunting them towards a trap. The tiny units move briskly bringing out a confusion effect over the enemy. Instead of just two eyes of the huge horned fish formation, the shoal of fish has several eyes, as each unit operate individually with their respective team leaders. In case of taking heavy damage, the military units dilute themselves and move away jointly from the attack. Mostly cavalry units are used to form Matya Vyuha. The speed of each running unit determines the attack-retreat strategy. Sometimes, physically stronger foot soldiers with spears or swords are concealed at the centre to strengthen the unit's aggressivity.

    Acala means immovable. The Mountain Formation is a huge assembly of different military units. Chained together, they become an indestructible defence force. Standing as a single mountain, it can manage enemy attack, as well as reply heavily to the enemies from all side. Such formation needs a huge army, where the units are layered over one another. While covering a large area of defence, Acala Vyuha stands as a chain of smaller mountains. Getting past the chain of mountains is near to impossible.

    Shoals of chariots circled around the heap of enemy soldiers over Karmegha. The cavalry units of Empires United battled inside Matysa Vyuha against the huge army of the Emperor fighting strongly together inside Acala Vyuha.

    The General stood on top of the single mountain formation as the eye of the mountain. The three layers below him facing the enemy were commanded by Aye, One Eye and Naga. Sena rode Rana's chariot along with eight chariots - two on each side - around him. Sultan managed a bigger group that split and regrouped often before Acala Vyuha. Kanakavalli rode on Nameless with the horse cavalry split into eight and repeated her path around Acala Vyuha hitting the enemies with arrows and spears.
    Scattered inbetween the cavalry units were the nineteenth regiment led by Gudakesha. The foot soldiers weakened the base of the Mountain formation.

    Shamu reached the thrid floor of Vettaiyan Palace. After several moons, Shamu saw day light. Since he mingled as a slave inside the dungeons of Fort Ayan, until the present moment, he had not got out into the open. He watched the Brothers battling bravely against the Emperor's army. Rana was firing arrows like a machine without giving enough time between draw and fire. His raid arrows circled over the head of the enemies like a cast of hawks above a group of rabbits. Watching Sena drive the chariot on Karmegha, Shamu was reminded of the race event where he had lost one of his leg. A flicker of smile escaped his lip - he still admired Sena for his mastery in horse riding. A similar thought ran inside Kanakavalli when she saw Sena dodge the enemy chariots and crush them under the wheels. She recollected the devotion that crawled in her mind when she saw Sena on Nameless for the first time, when he participated in the "Sport of Kings". Shamu and Kanakavalli stopped with time to admire the valiance of Sena on the battlefield.

    Maveeran witnessed war for the first time after being born as a salve. He admired the organised manner in which the soldiers were battling with each other. His eyes widened when he captured the reality behind the war. He was not able to translate what he spotted on Karmegha. A single blue drop raised towards the grey sky from the soldiers killed during battle.

    "Once the collection of Liberated Souls become heavy for the clouds, it shall rain over Karmegha", Maveeran heard a voice from behind him.

    Suddenly shadowy cats with red eyes started to run around Karmegha. They climbed out of the fallen soldiers from whom the single blue drop failed to raise. They ran awry on the battleground. They rushed towards Vettaiyan Palace and crawled over the walls and gates to get themselves inside desperately.

    "The Lost souls. May they find rest at a future time", Maveeran heard the voice again.

    A dark cat jumped through the hole through which Maveeran was watching the battlefield. Scared, at the same time, startled by the smoky cat, Maveeran fell down on his back. He looked at the corridor and saw the cat skiding and bumping onto the wall. It got back to its feet and ran inside into one of the closed chamber through the locked doors.

    "Get yourself together", Maveeran turned to his side and stared at the speaker. "There is too much death around here", Littleman said. "Don't get carried away by the horrors are war."

    Videha and Sampada stood breathing in anxiety beside Yesodha Putran while watching the fierce battle before them.

    "Easy. Easy", Yesodhan Putran said, "just follow my instructions, and everything shall become right", he adviced his assistants who would carry the flag into the battlefield.

    Yesodha Putran noticed a heavy shift in the Mountain Formation. He analysed that the enemy general was satisfied with the grouping of enemies near his Acala Vyuha and that he was ready to launch a massive attack. The Empires United was ciricling around the enemy defence trying to weaken its base. Looking at the size of the Mountain Formation, Yesodha Putran knew that no army in the entire world could escape from the massacre being face to face with it.

    The strategist gently placed a tiny shark model over the sand table beside him.

    Videha and Sampada immediately rode fast into battlefield carrying a black flag. They flanked Karmegha while waving the flag high above their head.

    Exceptionally, the black flag that signalled retreat had an emblem of a shark embedded on it.

    ... to be continued ...
    Last edited by mappi; 26th July 2017 at 06:18 PM.
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  5. #264
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 3/5)

    Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home - Sun Tzu

    Shark Bait

    The General and Yesodha Putran watched each other under their respective telescopes. The General noted that the enemy strategist had picked up the insignificant change he had brought inside Acala Vyuha. He looked ahead and observed the retreating enemy. He yelled, "Chase them to their camp and slaughter them all". His order was progressively passed down the chain of command and Acala Vyuha was quickly disassembled. The entire army of the Emperor ran behind the fleeing troops of Empires United.

    Maveeran got back to him feet. He was shocked to see the sudden change in the battle. He could not understand why Shamu's army who were fighting valiantly were now running away. He heard Shamu alerting them to move forward. As he crept over the corridor, Maveeran watched the chariot with the two warriors dressed in blue and red armour respectively falling behind the retreating soldiers. Sena was driving the horse driven vehicle, and Rana was facing the chasing enemies shooting rapid fire arrows. Uncountable number of soldiers were trying to catch up with the retreating army. Maveeran moved further into the palace.

    Makara Vyuha versus Pamsukrta Vyuha
    Shark Formation vs Dust Formation
    Sena's Defense versus Vettaiyan's attack

    The Makara Vyuha delivers hefty attack, where units of spears men and archers pierce through the enemy troops like the sharp teeth of a shark. The body of the deadly fish is formed by cavalry units, mostly carrying similar long distance weapon. The Makara Vyuha upsets stability of the enemy units from a distance, and the swordsmen fighting as the fins and tail, rage over the fallen enemies. The tail part of Makara Vyuha keeps the formation advance forward. Chariot archers and spears men stir themselves to either side over the battlefield throwing the enemies to the ground. The tail unit is vital, as it increases the momentum of the units inside the array, at the same time permits the head of the shark to dash into the crowd of enemies.

    Pamsukrta Vyuha maintains no order among the units. The military troops advance towards their enemy in an unorganised manner covering the entire side of the battlefield. It is mostly deployed against weaker enemies and its main purpose is to outnumber them. Known also as Sand Strom Formation, the troops are randomly positioned and almost the whole army spreads over the battlefield like sand particles driven by a storm. They fall on the enemies and coat them as the dust from the wind. Pamsukrta Vyuha is a powerful formation which gives no chance for the enemies to be present on the battlefield alive. The command the units obey is "Kill them All".

    Yesodha Putran observed Makara Vyuha being quickly formed by the Empires United. He recollected the discussion with Rana while devising the new strategy to uproot the giant army of the Emperor from the battlefield. Rana's words echoed inside his ears:

    "The only change, where I will put in place my strategy, shall occur once the enemies defence is penetrated during Makara Vyuha, the shark formation, on the ninth day. According to Putran, this heavy attack will decide the fate of the war. When we come to this point in the battle, we shall not charge, but retreat. Our soldiers will fight their way back, running away from the enemies to create an illusion of being weakened. Makara Vyuha's tail will be strengthened by archers, and not by the pikes men, who shall defend our retreating soldiers while moving along with them on foot and firing rapidly. They will dismiss or try to slow down the mounted troops from approaching our warriors inside the shark formation. The enemy will quickly decode our retreat as their strength and send battalions to ram us over the battlefield. We will hold the enemy at the centre of Karmegha and slowly dismantle Makara Vyuha. Seeing the formation completely destroyed, the enemy will send more forces that will come crawling like ants. We will welcome them all, this time inside the new Vyuha which shall be formed discreetly on the battle field during the battle."

    'Rana's plan to use the deadly attack formation as the escape array to divert The General's army was working', Yesodha Putran thought, 'The bait is taken by the shark. Now it shall pull them to its dwelling place.'

    During the planning days, Yesodha Putran, along with Rana, predictied that they would be chased by The General's units, but they never knew at that time that the entire army of the Emperor would accept to fall into their trap. He moved his telescope and looked at the Fort Ayan, the landmark that the warriors who were running together inside Shark Formation should cross before gaining the support from the stationed Battalion from Heaven. He zoomed to the rear end of Makara Vyuha and watched Rana's Chariot running as the tail of the shark. It was under a massive attack from the enemies.

    'From where they are positioned, the distance to Fort Ayan was too far from reaching', Yesodha Putran calculated mentally, 'Pamsukrta Vyuha shall fall over Makara Vyuha like a huge wave of dust and suffocate the entire army to death.'

    The General's horse cavalry led by One Eye quickly got up with Rana's chariot. Yesodha Putran stuck his vision at One Eye and followed his every moment on the battlefield.

    Aye, Naga and One Eye led the massive army behind the fleeing enemy. The General fell back with a proud smile on his face. One Eye's archer and Naga's immortals riding on horses and chariots ran parallel with Rana's chariot. Rana's powered arrows exiting from Inesh could not stop the circling enemies. Sena stirred the six horses efficiently escaping the enemy attacks. When the enemy chariots hit Rana's vehicle, Sena briskly shifted his chariot's motion sending the enemy vehicles flying into the air. As they fell back to the ground, it looked as though it rained chariots on Karmegha. Even though the supporting chariots around Sena resisted with thier fullest to the enemy's massive attack , on the midway to the marked destination, Rana's chariot was the only vehicle that remained as the tail of Makara Vyuha.

    Gudakesha reacted quickly to the fall of the tail end. Guiding his men safely inside Makara Vyuha and protected by horse archers of Sultan and Kanakavalli, he turned to go to the rescue of Rana and Sena. Sultan immediately shouted out his order. He commanded everyone to keep running forward, irrespective to whatever happened behind them. He turned his horse and rode single towards the tail end. He fought with Naga's men who were posing a threat to Rana's chariot. He battled with Aye's bandits and fell them off their horses permitting Sena to leap his chariot over the battlefield towards Fort Ayan.

    One Eye steadied his moving horse. He aimed and shot a single arrow. The dart pierced the neck of Sena's lead horse. The wounded animal refused to slow down but galloped commanding the other five to run in a straight line. An axe stuck itself to one of its knee. Sena pitied for the animal. The lead horse of the chariot continued to show bravery by not stopping out of pain. The final blow from a zhanmadao discouraged the white horse. Sena slowly started to lose his control on the chariot when the other five horses showed signs of stress and started to pull each other in every direction. Sena tried to put them back on line, but the limping lead horse could not influence the other five horses with its strides. Rana found it hard to aim and fire from inside the dancing chariot. Sena looked at the eye of his lead horse, and at the moment he knew that the horse was going to give in completely.

    Sena knew that the chariot will crash to the ground and if he, along with Rana, would survive the fall, they would be facing the entire army of The General. He turned and directly met with Rana's eyes. The pair of eyes was filmed with the same question:

    What's life, when loss is inevitable?

    ... to be continued ...
    Last edited by mappi; 26th July 2017 at 06:17 PM.
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  6. #265
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 4/5)

    In the divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade, and deeps where the elephant may swim - John Owen

    Lambs and Angels

    The three men watched Sena struggling to keep the chariot running on the battlefield from the corridors of Vettaiyan Palace. Littleman held to the white crystal tightly inside his pocket. From the raised platform outside the pavillion, Yesodha Putran noticed Rana's chariot falling back from the Makara Vyuha and its distance from Fort Ayan increased in every full spin of the wheels. Sultan was unable to reach the Brothers as he had to handle the flood of enemy soldiers. He watched desperately at the damage Rana's chariot was taking while struggling to run straight.

    Sena turned and saw surprised to see Kanakavalli trying to catch up with his chariot. She neared the wounded lead horse and rode parallel with it while galloping Nameless to gain the needed momentum. Griping the nose band and brow band of the lead horse with her respective hands, Kanakavalli bent towards the injured horse which refused to give up after the pain it had to take. With one elegant swing she threw herself over the tired white horse and quickly slipped to her side to land on the shaft. She firmly held on to the reins of Nameless while she performed the acrobatic across the running horses. Nameless started to rebuild the missed beats of footsteps - a natural communication it tried to establish with the scared team of horses. The other five horses slowly regained confidence when Nameless produced regular strides with its hind foot. Kanakavalli made a lip trill and pulled the reins to guide Nameless enter and share the yoke with the wounded lead horse.

    Rana turned and witnessed the horse exchange happening in front of his chariot. He reached the crossbar and watched the lady on the shaft attentively. Sultan held his position to the left of Rana's chariot. Rana quickly positioned himself to provide defensive cover to Kanakavalli by eliminating the enemies trying to catch up from the right. Inesh protected the brave damsel who was trying to regain herself on the fast moving chariot amidst the rain of arrows and spears.

    Once Nameless was in position, Kanakavalli used her knife to release the cheek piece of the wounded lead horse. At the same time, when the lead horse was liberated and stumbled on the ground, she quickly jumped on to Nameless holding to the reins around its neck which supported the yoke of the chariot presently. Nameless replaced the fearless lead horse which was run down by chariot that it protected until its last breathe. Sena elegantly controlled the woggle when the chariot wheels ran over the fallen lead horse. Rana turned and saw his lead horse being mowed by the enemy troops.

    Kanakavalli quickly buckled Nameless and checked the connecting bands with the other horse sharing the yoke with it. Satisfied with her tacking, she checked whether the four other horses were trailed behind the lead correctly.

    The five white horses accepted to follow the black lead horse. Rana's chariot was back into perfect motion racing through Karmegha.

    The Princess of Karimedai turned over Nameless to face Sena. She got on her feet and rigorously jumped on the horse behind Nameless. Balancing herself on the second horse, she jumped onto the third one before landing on the carriage where Sena was stirring the chariot to regain control. She slipped and fell down to the right side of Sena.

    With his right arm bandaged, Sena was unable to lend her his hand and rescue her. Instead, he shouted her name in distress. Sena calling out for Kanakavalli echoed in her ears. She smiled while falling from the chariot with both her hands stretched towards Sena. She imagined to embrace Sena inside her arms for the last time. The fast moving ground prepared itself to accept Kanakavalli, while the wheels of the chariots were spinnig fast to receive her.

    Suddenly, when her head was close to the ground, she found her hand griping onto a rigid material in mid-air. It was neither wood nor metal. She found herself holding onto Inesh. Bending over the crossbar and clutching his bow to support Kanakavalli, Rana lent his right hand to the falling princess, while holding her left foot firmly with his knee. He pulled her up back onto the chariot.

    Under the direct instructions from Sena, his rebelious horse, Nameless, pulled the chariot along with its team of five horses like a wild fire on Karmegha. Sultan managed to pass a bow to Kanakavalli. Standing close to each other and facing the opposite directions, Kanakavalli and Rana danced with thier bows and arrows. The darts flew out of the chariot neutralising anything that tried to close in with the flying chariot.

    The four anxious men saw Rana's chariot rejoining Makara Vyuha. Even though the distance apart, they shared a sigh of relief. Shamu and Maveeran, along with Littleman, disappeared into the unlit parts of the palace, while Yesodha Putran fixed his telescope on One Eye.

    The Shark Formation elegantly fought its way while retreating. As soon as they crossed Fort Ayan, several explosions occurred over Karmegha. Makara Vyuha was completely taken apart by the explosion. Scared horses ran to every direction. The captains of The General found it as an oppurtunity to ram down the enemies.

    Eventhough the smoke from the blast reduced their visibility, the army of the Emperor advanced towards the thick whiteness, into which Rana's chariot had disappeared.

    As soon as they entered the white screen of smoke, they noticed calmness and military units assembled in an organised manner. One Eye saw several chariots scattered inside the small area. Aye looked to her sides and noticed the stationed dense elephant cavalry. Naga watched in front of him at several units of archers standing in a layered formation aiming thier bows directly at them. Beyond the archers was the campsite which looked deserted. Vadhana Devi and her two bodygaurds were the only members standing at its entrance. The captains of the Emperor's army commanded their respective units to charge forwards ignoring the elephant cavalry which were blocking the sides. They ordered to attack the weak archer defense and claim the Queen's life. The entrie army of the Emperor marched between the wall of elephants to capture the Queen of the Alied Forces.

    Thus, they totally landed at the center of Rana's secret Vyuha.

    Yesodha Putran blew his conch and activated Nihzreni Vyuha, the ladder formation devised by Rana by uniting the four army types into a single array of destruction. The unbeatable four Anikini, Gaja-Ratha-Turanga-Padati, were deploied at their fullest form around the enemy soldier.

    Yesodha Putran watched Nihzreni Vyuha being installed flawlessly on Karmegha. As Rana had predicted, Ladder Formation filled the minds of the enemies with false fears.
    They skipped the elephant cavalry and walked straight into the trap. From the highest position in the battlefield, the strategist looked over Karmegha and identified the six Gana flanking both sides. He turned and looked further towards the camp site at the Point of No Return where the enemies shall be assembled by Vahini and Pratana before the stationed Camu. Yesodha Putran admired the Battalion from Heaven for the orderliness and felt proud of his commanders who effortlessly guided the warriors of Empires United to fight inside the layered Vyuha by forming multiple arrays within an array.

    One after another varied types of military units launched continuous attacks at the massive army of the Emperor:

    - Siddhi Stupa (The Pillars of Success)
    - Duddhara (The Rope of Strength)
    - Svargasa Gkrama (The Bridge to Heaven)
    - Groups of Three Patti
    - Ksamavarta (Whirlpool of Calmness)
    - Avarsjati (Thunderbolt)

    And as the sun dipped in the sky, the array of Empires United military units pushed the clueless enemies into the Point of No Return.

    Rana was right, thought Yesodha Putran. The panicking enemy troops stood before the mercy of their Creator.

    The commanders fought like the angels. Kalai commanded the The Pillars of Success with the Katrupuzha infantry. Kali controlled the elephant cavalry. He was responsible for the tiny explosions that occured inside the battle zone that surprised the enemies and channeled them as lambs running towards the slaughter house. Kacha formed the The Rope of Strength with his swordsmen. Rana led the Bridge to Heaven. Sultan savaged the enemies controlling the Whirlpool of Calmness. As they pushed the enemies further towards the campsite, the three Pillars of Success closed one after the other trapping the army of the Emperor between the Point of No Return and The Rope of Strength.

    The troops led by the commanders sealed the exit completely when the enemy soldiers reached the campsite. Sena lifted Arha above his head with his left hand and brought down the Avarsjati over Karmegha. The entire foot soldiers and the group of Ayus under the direct command of Kanakavalli rolled over the enemies.

    Queen Vadhana witnessed the totality of horrific massacre.

    ... to be continued ...
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  7. #266
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 5/5)

    The Divine Light is always in man, presenting itself to the senses and to the comprehension, but man rejects it - Giordano Bruno

    Devine Disc

    Naga and the immortals were completely surrounded by Sultan's men. Naga, guarded by his faithful warriors, tried to hide and dodge the enemies aggressive charges but could move only in circles as the exit was walled by three thick lines of elephant cavalry. The straight path ahead towards the mountains was where the demons partied.

    Sultan chased Naga inside the battle zone. He kicked him on his back and Naga fell face down on the ground. He turned to face Sultan who was in mid-air above him. Placing Naga in between his spread legs, the merchant tore his flesh and left him to die bleeding. None of the immortals were able to near their leader who suffered in pain. Naga swam over his own blood. His heart finally stopped his agony. The Immortals threw their weapons to the ground. Some were killed by Sultan's men, and the rest slit their own throat and died along with Immortal Leader.

    Kacha ran beside a running horse and pulled the rider to the ground. Aye was surprised by the fall, but quickly got up on her feet facing Kacha. Her red bandanna covering her face was soaked in blood that belonged to the men she had slayed with her twin axe. She gripped her weapon and threw the one she held in her right hand at Kacha. She missed. Fear twisted her aim. Kacha had enough time to move to his right and dodge the flying axe. Aye picked up a sword lying on the ground and charged at Kacha. With the short sword held with his powerful arm, Kacha blocked her attacks. He looked for an opening and when Aye gave him one, he struck his sword hard breaking the rapier she held in her right hand.

    The son of Vrkoda kept punching his nemesis on her face until she fell back on the ground. He sat over her stomach and held her right arm with his left leg. He pushed her left arm that held the axe with his right hand. Fixing his sword between his lips, he moved his left hand to remove the bandana that masked her face. He stopped midway and closed his eyes. He decided to grant Aye a warriorís death and not inflict insult by unmasking her. Instead of reaching her face, he reached for her axe. With a strong blow, he planted Aye's axe on her forehead. Aye's lifeless eyes above the red bandanna stared at Kacha as he got up and walked into the fierce battle zone.

    Yesodha Putran kept his eye on the archer. He slowly got down from the platform and walked into the grim area. He did not mind the enemy soldiers running towards him raising their swords. His eyes were fixed at the archer dressed in white uniform wearing a red eye patch. Each time an enemy tried to near him the attacker was either shot by an arrow or brought down with a spear. Yesodha Putran walked unhindered amidst the violent and controlled battle happening on Karmegha. He stopped at the heart of the battle; his eyes fixed on One Eye.

    Yesodha Putran took out four sections resembling coned metal objects that were hidden under his belt. He removed the first piece that was ducked beside the belt buckle; the second directly behind above the tail of his spine; the remaining two chunks from either of his side near his hips. He placed the four metal slices over his left palm. The segments started to tremble in togetherness. They attracted themselves towards each other and formed a saw tooth disc blade.

    The strategist of the Empires Unites raised his right index finger and inserted it inside the hole at the centre of the disc. He carried it balancing it on the tip of his finger while mildly rotating it to install momentum. Once the metal saucer was at his side beside his temple, his eyes sharpened to bestow a single straight vision at the man concealed inside his eyes.

    Yesodha Putran stamped the ground of Karmegha with his right foot. Sand particles raised above his feet and stayed suspended in the mid-air. A mild thunder reacted from above. The warriors inside the battle zone froze. The nearest warrior had almost brought his sword to the neck of his enemy. They both stood motionless starring at each other; with fear in the enemyís eyes and rage in the soldierís eyes.

    Except One Eye and Yesodha Putran, none were active on the battlefield. They were momentarily turned into human statues.

    One Eye looked around him and his stare fell on Yesodha Puthran. He aimed and fired his arrow at the mysterious man on the battlefield. Yesodha Putran released his saw tooth disc blade at the same time.

    The circular weapon flew towards One Eye and on its way it met with the arrow shot by the archer. The Devine Disc sliced the dart into two and carried itself forward by spinning vigorously towards One Eye. The disc separated the head of One Eye from his body. The detached head remained floating beside the severed neck which had turned into a fountain of blood. The two pieces of the arrow flew past beside the ears of Yesodha Putran.

    The Devine Disc returned back to its Master. As soon as Yesodha Putran caught his weapon; disassembled it into four segments; and tucked them into position around his belt, the sand particles above his feet fell back to the ground. Battle resumed. The soldier beside Yesodha Putran brought his sword hard around the enemy's neck.

    Blood sprinkled on Yesodha Putran's face when the head of One Eye fell to the ground before his body had hit the floor.

    The Father of the Innocent silently walked back to the pavilion.

    The visibility of The General was disrupted due to the dust sporting out from the ground when the feet of the warriors danced over Karmegha. The tormented cries raising from the battle zone defended his ears. The last movement that he made out was the herd of elephants from either side joined together at the centre. After the third set of combat elephants were positioned in a semi-cirle sealing the campsite, the General had no clue about whatever was taking place inside the circular wall of elephants. He watched the sun sinking towards the west impatiently.

    The mahouts applied good use of the prodigious size and strength of their elephants. The large mammals killed the enemy by trampling them under their feet and crushing the victim's armour along with their bones. They inflicted a terrible death by lifting the enemies aloft with their trunks, which they twisted round their bodies and then dashed them down with great violence to the ground. They dashed on the enemies and gored them through and through with their tusks.

    The panic among the enemy soldiers increased as they fought their way towards the Empires United campsite. Each step they made, a tiny unit of chariot cavalry attacked them. Before they could react, the horse cavalry quickly changed its positions. Not following the real strategy behind the attack and retreat, The Generalís men dived forward in frustration. As they leaped towards their target, thick shadow fell over them. They were surprised to notice the elephant cavalry were moved in to seal their exit.

    When all their captains were slayed in front of them, they ran in unorderly circles demonstrating the lack of guidance. They were trapped inside Nihzreni Vyuha and found themselves to be at the mercy of the enemy commander Sena who controlled a mammoth order of foot soldiers. Before them and beyond Sena was the chain of mountains. Behind them was the wall of elephants. Neither were proper routes to escape.

    The foot soldiers of Empires United grouped into small units of eight and went on a killing spree. They murdered the enemies with swords and spears, and at times with their shields that dashed and smashed the jaws of the clueless enemies. They failed to show mercy to the ones who fell on thier knees.

    Gudakesha and his men showed them ruthlessness. Ayus crushed them under their feet. They picked them up and tore them into two halves. Each time when they were bathed with enemy's blood, they found deliverance. Swathi fired her arrows at random, and Swetha made sure none could answer to her sword. Kanakavalliís archers sprayed arrows from their bows. The showering darts nailed its victims firmly to the ground.

    Rana and Sena walked among the enemies introducing their swords to the few last walking military men of the Emperor. They fought together creating a deadly mechanism between their sword play. Rana blocked with Vajrastra, and Sena punctured the heart. Sena pushed the enemy to the ground, and Rana inserted his sword into the fallen enemyís throat. Together they brought terror over Karmegha which was scarier than death.

    Blue drops rapidly rose towards the sky. Few shadowy cats ran under the elephants and escaped through their huge feet towards Vettaiyan Palace.

    The sound of metal dashing with metal fainted as the sun buried itself behind the hill. A dim darkness took over Karmegha when the instruments of war were engaged by both warring groups.

    It took a moment for the dust to completely settle down and The General saw a handful men running out of the enemy camp when the array of elephant cavalry was deconstructed. Few other followed shouldering the wounded. The General's eyes widened when he realised what was left of his giant army. He turned back and saw all the abandoned artilery weapons standing tall on the empty battlefield near Vettaiyan Palace.

    The General's attention was brought back to the campsite when several wooden torches were lighted. His head spun in confusion when he witnessed the ground coated with dead bodies. His men were lying motionless as the settled dust over the floor of Karmegha. The pungent death brought a scary calmness around him and in that silence he heard someone approaching him.

    Rana's shoe buckles clattered producing a chilling sound effect as he walked over the floor of dead. His armour was covered with blood. Dazzling red under the light of the torches and glittering blue from the shine produced by the stars embedded in his military suit, Rana walked towards the General holding his sword in his left pointed towards the ground.

    Watching the bloody chief's sword still dripping blood, the tiny unit guarding The General backed off terrorised. The General's horse reared up throwing its master to the ground when it got the glimpse of the original Chief. It let out a stressful neigh when the heavy strides echoed inside its ears. It leaped and picked up towards the vaccant battleground.

    Rana stood before The General who looked up at him from the ground. His eyes behind the mask flamed in fury. Driven by the sudden change of events, The General silently stared at Rana.

    Rana raised his left hand and pointed his sword at The General. He closed in and wiped the blood sticking to Vajrastra over the right shoulder of The General. He flicked the sword up in the air and Vajrastra found its way back to the scabbard hanging down from Rana's right hip belt. Rana made a crooked smile at The General. He placed his right hand on the handle of his sword and his left hand on his hip. His legs stood straight with a minor distance between his feet.

    Rana looked at The General and making a serious face he summarised:

    "The dirt and dust which have accumulated within have now faded away in my Creation - Chaturmukha."

    ... to be continued ...
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  8. #267
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Unmasking the Mysteries (Part 1/2)

    The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly - Richard Bach

    The Beautiful Blue Butterfly

    Vettaiyan reached Malliga Mountains just as the darkness fell as a blanket upon the forest. He got down his horse and pushed his hand to the ground. The four hounds from hell that accompanied him through the deadly jungle laid on the ground. Vettaiyan briskly entered Deadly Caves alone. He recollected the day he had put the end to his fears and entered into the same darkness with Antha, his one eyed dog. Since then it was believed by everyone in his kingdom that the King had passed the passage where a mysterious monster slept on the path. Vettaiyan smiled in the dark. He breathed in the silence when he entered the Iravigraha, the pit at the centre of the Deadly Caves.
    He neared the swamp of still blue water and the memories of his brothers flooded inside him while he approached Thelivapara. The voice of his sixth brother resonated inside the pit. He looked around the dimness capturing the tortures and torments that coated the slippery walls of the Deadly Caves.

    'A mysterious cave under a mysterious mountain found inside a mysterious jungle which is accounted for many mysterious deaths and where a mysterious monster was put to sleep by a mysterious man from the sea' - Vettaiyan smiled again while knelling beside the pond of blue water.

    "Who shall unmask the mysteries!", The Emperor chuckled to himself.

    Vettaiyan saw his reflection in the still blue waters. He admired himself.

    A tiny rain drop from the rock above fell onto the water creating a ripple. Vettaiyan saw his reflection dancing with the broad ripples of time. It slowly was replaced by a younger version of himself, and Vettaiyan stared back at Dashakantha. The ripples moved uniformly outwards and joined the waves that formed the principle background of a sea shore behind Dashakantha:

    The tenth son of King Sama Suyodhana hid behind a tree watching the docks. He was anxious to see the man whom everyone called The Hunter from the Sea. His father who was the king of the independent state had sent out a word to the Saviour through his messenger seeking assistance to wash away the danger prevailing in and around the Deadly Caves of Malliga Mountains. Rumours spread like wild fire that The Hunter from the Sea had blessed their land with his foot prints and shall slay the monster that had plagued the jungle.

    Monster stories interested the young prince. He watched the majestic vessel Anagha anchoring at the port and a dazzling man with shiny skin and a divine countenance walked on the sands along with his six heavily armed escorts. The kid noticed all the peculiar jewels - from finger rings to neck chains to leg bangles - decorating the charismatic personality. After a brief discussion with the King, the Savious walked past the Port's corridors. Suddenly, The Hunter from the Sea turned towards the tree, behind which Dashakantha was hiding. Their eyes stuck on each other and after a brief moment Kochadaiiyaan smiled at the kid and walked away.

    The following evening, the prince hid inside a supply wagon. He watched the entrance of the Deadly Caves through the hole in the canvas. The Hunter from the Sea walked inside the cave alone whose entrance was guarded by his protectors. At the mouth of the entrance he stopped briefly and spoke to a short man who held on to his wood-cutter axe.

    The kid slipped into the darkness following Kochadaiiyaan. He roamed aimlessly inside and stopped beside a pit which had a sparkling blue water source at its opening. Thin rays of moonlight creeped through the hole in the rocks above. The blue water glittered in the shine of the moonlight. Dashakantha walked further into the pit and arrived at a spot that glowed under a single burning mud lamp. The prince had had never witnessed such a peculiar brightness - the lower part of the pit was still dark, while the upper half was shining brilliantly. He fell onto his back frightened when he saw the mysterious man suspended in the mid-air above the dark area. He stood on his right leg, while the left foot was placed over his right knee. He held his left hand high above his head and his left hand was pressed towards the darkness. His eyes were firmly closed and he was holing a glowing object inside his right palm.

    The Hanging Man opened his eyes and stared at the nothingness before him. Looking at the eyes blazing red, the kid took off on foot and ran away searching for the exit. He reached the pond and greedily drank water from it. He was panted heavily while water dripped out of his mouth wetting his white cloak. Dashakantha promised to himself that he would never set his foot again inside the Deadly Caves. He wished the moment to be just a nightmare and that he would wake up soon, when he felt a warm palm gently touching his right shoulders. Startled, he turned back and the Mysterious Man was standing above him under the ray of light holding a generous smile on his scarlet lips.

    Dashakantha quickly moved backwards crawling on his rump. He wept and cried out, "I didn't intend to follow you Mister. I didn't disobey my father."

    Taking a deep breathe he confessed, "My apologies to you Mister, I didn't expect to be detected either. I am guilty and I accept whatever you thrust upon me, provided it is carried out inside this cave. I beg to you my father is never informed."

    "Do you like to hear a story, Child?" the shining man replied. The words, the articulation, the voice slipping out of the huge form with its hair bundled over its head, calmed and soothed Dashakantha. He nodded his head mildly while blinking at the brightness before him. The Mysterious Man narrated a tale to the scared prince:

    An infant noticed a glitter on the grass while he was playing alone in the forest. He approached the shine and saw himself looking at a golden caterpillar moving on the grass. He befriended the caterpillar as it was the only one that showed affection towards him.

    "You are the most magical creature in the world", said the golden caterpillar, "I shall have two just like you - a red and a blue."

    The kid's eyes brightened when he heard to the kind words his new friend had to say about him.

    "You three are born under the same solar, lunar, and planetary positions. I admire the striking similarities you three share."

    "How shall I find them?" the kid questioned.

    "While working in the forest you shall play with the Twins", the golden caterpillar replied.

    Few days later, the kid forgot about his friend in the forest when four goblins landed on his laps. He started to spend more time with his new pets forgetting about the meeting a caterpillar.

    One day, while sleeping he heard the golden caterpillar whispering in his ears. It asked him, "Are you dreaming?"

    The kid opened his eyes and found himself inside the forest. He saw a golden butterfly flapping its wings in front of him sprinkling golden dust on his face. The child giggled and started to chase the golden butterfly but soon got lost. He reached a dark cave and noticed a glittering object at a distance. He ran and reached the spot. His heart felt heavy when he found the golden butterfly lying dead on the floor beside a pond of blue water. He carefully placed his forest mate on his palm. His eyes sunk into deep sorrow when he found its wings tampered. He rose his left foot and checked the sole marks. They matched to the ones imprinted on the golden butterfly’s right wing. He left out a cry of agony. He had marched over his forest friend while pursuing it. He threw the golden insect to his side. It fell on to the blue water and remained floating on the top.

    Pierced with sadness, the kid ran out of the cave shouting, "I hate this forest, nothing makes sense here."

    He tripped and fell down as he did not bother where he was stepping into. A raging red butterfly shared the grass with him and above them a beautiful blue butterfly was flapping its wings. The rays of the sun escaped through its flaps.

    The child remembered what his forest friend, the golden caterpillar, had informed him, "I shall have two just like you - a red and a blue."

    Choice, the biggest task of life presented itself before the kid. The lad should either save the red one by killing the blue one, or stay with the blue one and let the red one die.

    The mysterious man stopped abruptly and questioned Dashakantha, "What shall it be, Child?"

    Dashakantha whispered, "The Beautiful Blue Butterfly."

    "And should you give a name to the kid who ran over the wings of his forest friend, what shall you call him?"

    Dhashakantha thought for a while and then said out loud, "Vettaiyan."

    The mysterious man smiled and walked towards the exit. Dashakantha stopped him and asked his curiously, "What happened to the Twin butterflies, Mister?"

    "It is for you to find out, Child."

    The Hunter from the Sea bent down and whispered into the ears of Dashakantha. Leaving the prince in the dark, the Mysterious Man walked out of the cave.

    ... to be continued …
    Last edited by mappi; 28th July 2017 at 06:31 PM.
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  9. #268
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Unmasking the Mysteries (Part 2/2)

    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato

    The Light of all Lights

    Vettaiyan saw his reflection in the still blue waters. He admired himself.

    A thick dark mist started to coat over the blue water making his reflection to disappear. He cleared the mist by waving his left hand above the pond and the dark cloud paved way making Vettaiyan face to to face with Dashakantha once again. The dark mist above the blue water pond diluted into grey fog that surrounded the young prince who stood facing the lustreless forest.

    The wooden torch light held by the soldier casted their yellow shodow on the face of the young prince. His father shot an arrow which pierced through the left eye of an hare. The rabbit ran away and in the process of crossing a bush, the arrow fell, plucking its eye off. Leaving traces of blood and agony cries, the bloody little animal disappeared into the woods. The father instructed his son to find and bring back the wounded animal. Dashakantha, afraid of the dark, looked at his father, who waited for his son to move forward. Slowly creeping inside the woods, scared of anything moved by the wind, even his own shadow, Dashakantha reached the wounded animal. It did not move, but was still breathing. He approached the bunny and could see a red hole in the place of an eye. When he was quite close, the hare turned its head towards him, its nose gasping rapidly for air. In the moon light their eyes met, one filled with terror and the others with horror.

    "Don't be scared, my Child", the one eyed rabbit spoke to Dashakantha.

    "I don't know. It’s dark and I don’t like to be in the darkness. And a rabbit is speaking to me. How can I be not scared?", asked the prince.

    "Seek what you want. I shall grant them all", the hare turned the scary suituation with its sweet proposition.

    "I don't know what I want", the young prince replied in a relaxed but dejected voice, "I was never given an opputunity to be what I am."

    "Then, let me help you. Does ruling this world interest you? Do you seek retribution? How about not being afraid of the dark? Can you handle the immense power of Light? Not just light, the light of all lights?" asked the rabbit.

    "I am weak and my brothers won't allow me to be the King. I don't have vengeance in my heart. I know nothing about light", Dashakantha replied with sincerity.

    "Life is a race. The winner sees the rest. You will become the Emperor and rule the earth", declared the rabbit.

    Dashakantha opened his eyes wide in surprise.

    "Love you have for your mother is eternal. Vengeance will be served", assured the rabbit.

    Dashakantha blinked in confusion.

    "And my child, I shall speak about the light", the rabbit continued, "Not long ago I was at the stairs begging to the one who calls himself the Creator. I was cheated by them, but I know the way to acquire the Light which can make your fears disappear forever."

    Dashakantha had no clue of what he heard and that he understood. He stood frozen in the darkness.

    "Sign a deal with me", taunted the rabbit, "Once you become the Emperor and have bathed yourself with the blood of the nasty people who brought injustice upon you, who treated you like a moth, then, we shall work together. I will guide you and show you the Path of the Light. Fetch it for me. Thou shall be free."

    Dashakantha nodded his head in agreement without being aware of his action. The Voice of the One Eyed Hare was convincing during the darkest times.

    "Wise of you my Child. There is an important duty at hand, the task of removing the Twin Thorn that protects the Flower. Destroy the flower; the thorns shall wither in guilt of not protecting their master."

    The speaking rabbit led Dashakantha deep into the forest, narrating to him the Tales of Darkness.

    The prince was no more afraid of the dark. He had completely embraced the darkness. He felt light inside the deep dark forest.

    King Sama Suyodhana slapped the dreaded Dashakantha, as his father was not happy with his pawn returning empty handed. He roared at Dashakantha - 'If one hunts, he wins the prey'.

    His father's footsteps echoed around him. Through the gap of door he witnessed the cruel murder of the only person whom he ever loved. His face reddened. A palm hung over his shoulders and whispered, "As You Think, So You Become."

    Vettaiyan saw his reflection in the still blue waters. He admired himself.

    A whirlpool formed at the centre of the pond disturbing his mirrored image. Vettaiyan saw his own reflection turned away from him. It got up and walked into the mouth of the whirlpool that converted into the entrance of the Deadly Caves.

    Young Prince Dashakantha climbed the steps of power, yet, Deadly Caves still remained a mystry to him. After slaying all his traitors, he still did not find courage to enter the jungles surrounding Malliga Mountains. The golden butterfly and the one eyed rabbit haunted him in his sleep. Finally he decided to break the fright and reached the blue water water source inside the Deadly Caves. He noticed a golden butterfly floating in the water. When he reached to pick the insect from the water, it drowned itself inside Thelivapara. Dhashakantha pushed his hands into the water and when his entire arms were completely dipped inside; his fingers came in contact with something cold and rigid. He gripped it and lifted what his fingers had found out of the water.

    Dashakantha was staring at a fabulous sword with serrated blade siting over his palms.

    The same evening Dhashakantha graduated from the secret university called Pachonthi Guild. When asked to choose a pseudonym, an important custom practiced at the Assassin's University, Dashakantha whispered Vettaiyan three times before the sacred fire of oath. The flames transformed into the crown on Vettaiyan's head, and he was pronounced the Emperor of the five Kingdoms. He got up from the throne and got down the stairs. At midway, he started to sprint down the stairs. Just before reaching the final step, he was already running inside the jungle in his sparkling white dress. His guards failed to protect him from the attackers. Vettaiyan was forced to hide inside the Malliga Mountains. He spent the night there, as none dared to enter the cave. Legend states that the Hunter from the Sea had subdued a monster that slept inside.

    Vettaiyan laughed to himself in solitude. Myths about Monsters amused him. He laughed loudly as he never came across one during all these years when he used the Deadly Caves to carry out his murders. A snort threw his loud laughter into the pit of silence. Vettaiyan slowly walked towards the source of sound. He reached a large area where the Mysterious Man was suspended in mid-air over the half lit environment. He observed the rock in front of him. He was taken aback when the stone hinted traces of mild movements. He stared at the breathing rock. He neared the huge structure and felt it with his palms. It was warm and not cold as a rock should be inside the dimly lit cave. It was slippery and thick slime attached to his palms. He shook his wrist to remove the slippery substance that was glued to his palms. The fast rhythmic movement of his wrists made him remember the verses that The Hunter from the Sea had whispered in his ears. As soon as he recited them, three pairs of curved eyes - green, red and yellow - glittered in the darkness above him.

    The ripples vanished and the blue water returned placid. Vettaiyan saw his reflection in the water. He admired himself. He got up and walked further into the pit. He sat beside the breathing rock. He carrased the rock and whispered:

    "My Clown, rise to run around, knuckling everyone down."

    ... to be continued ...
    Last edited by mappi; 28th July 2017 at 07:49 PM.
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  10. #269
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration - Nikola Tesla

    The Awakening of the Clown

    Vettaiyan stood up and walked to the center of the pit. He slowly removed the band that attached his hair together. He let his hair flowing down freely over his shoulders. He shut his eyes to adapt to the dimness present inside Iravigraha. The single ray of the moonlight reflecting from the blue water fell upon his white full dress, making it glow bright in the darkness. He took a deep breath and held it tightly inside his lungs. He brought his palms together and placed them before his chest. He pressed them together and slowly started to manipulate his fingers. He joined his thumb and pushed them towards the floor of the pit. His index fingers were bent inwards so that the knuckles touched each other. Together, the index fingers and the thumbs formed the shape of the heart. The tips of his middle fingers were erect and touched each other at the tip. The other fingers were bent to make their knuckles meet.

    Once Vettaiyan established the Ajna Mudra, he slowly raised his hands towards his face. He guided the erect fingers straight up his septal cartilage. When the tip of his middle fingers crossed the nasal bone and his joined thumps curved around his chin, Vettaiyan halted moving them further. With the tip of his middle fingers stuck between his eye brows, Vettaiyan breathed out through his mouth forming a oval shape by seperating his lips. A vibrant sound emitted through his throat.

    He, then, started to dance around the breathing rock reciting the verses that the Hunter from the Sea had whispered in his ears :

    AUM ...

    Yam Yam Yam Yaksha Roopam Dash Dishi Viditam Bhoomi Kampaayamaanam,
    Sam Sam Samhaara Moortim Shira Mukuta Jataa Shekharam Chandra Bimbam,
    Dam Dam Dam Deergha Kaayam Vikrita Nakha Mukham Jordhvaromam Karaalam,
    Pam Pam Pam Paap Naasham Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Ram Ram Ram Rakta Varnam Katikatitatanum Teekshna Danstra Karalam,
    Gham Gham Gham Ghosha Ghosham Gha Gha Gha Gha Ghatitam Gharghaaram Ghoora Naadham,
    Kam Kam Kam Kaala Paasam Dhruka Dhruka Dhri Kritam Jwalitam Kaamadeham,
    Tam Tam Tam Divya Deham Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Lam Lam Lam Lam Vadantam la-la-la-la Lalitam Dheergha Jehvaah Karalam,
    Dhum Dhum Dhum Dhumra Varnam Spoota Vekata Mukham Bhaskaram Bheemaroopam,
    Rhum Rhum Rhum Rhumdamalam Ravitanum Neyatam Tamra Netram Karalam,
    Nam Nam Nam Nagnabhoosham Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Vam Vam Vam Vaayuvegam Natajana Sadayam Brahma Saaram Param Tam,
    Kham Kham Kham Khadga Hastam Tribhuvana Vilayam Bhaskaram Bheema Roopam,
    Cham Cham Cham Chalitva Chala Chala Chalita Chaalitam Bhoomi Chakram,
    Mum Mum Mum Maayi Roopam Pranamata Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Sham Sham Sham Shankha Hastam Sashi Kara Dhavalam Mooksha Sampoorna Tejam,
    Mum Mum Mum Mumahantam Kula Macula Kulam Mantra Guptam Sunityam,
    Yam Yam Yam Bhootanadham Kili Kili Kalitam Baalakeli Pradhanam,
    Aam Aam Aam Aantariksham Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Kham Kham Kham Khadga Bhedam Visha Mamruta Mayam Kaala Kaalam Karalam.
    Ksham Ksham Ksham Kshepra Vegam, Daha Daha Dhanam Tapta Sandeepya Maanam,
    Houm Houm HoumKaara Nadam Prakatita Gahanam Garjitai Bhoomi Kampam,
    Vam Vam Vam Vaala Leelam Prana Matam Satatam, Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Sam Sam Sam Siddhi Yogam Sakala Guna Makham Deva Devam Prasannam,
    Pam Pam Pam Padmanabham HariHara Mayam Chandra SuryaAgni Netram,
    Aim Aim Aishwarya Nadham Sata Ta Bhaya Haram Poorvadeva Swaroopam,
    Roum Roum Roum Roudra Roopam Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Ham Ham Ham Hamsayaanam Hapitakala Hakam Muktayogaatta Haasam,
    Dham Dham Dham Netra Roopam Seramukuta Jatabandha Bandhaagra Hastam,
    Tam Tam Taamkaa Nadham Trida Salata La Tam Kaama Garvaapa Haram,
    Bhrum Bhrum Bhrum Bhootanadham Prana Matam Satatam Bhairavam Kshetra Paalam.

    Vettiayan stimulated regeneration and creativity, a dance exactly opposite to the one performed by Kochadaiiyaan to subdue the monster. The Hunter from the Sea used the same Mudras to deactivate the energy of the evil being, thus, allowing it to be in the state of eternal sleep. Vettaiyan reversed the steps to awaken the Clown.

    Vettaiayan opened both his eyes wide while emitting the vibrant sound AUM. His eyes sparkled as bright pearls as the mystical third eye was activated. Reciting the verses, he lifted his right leg high and forced it to fall onto the floor of the pit. He did the same with the other leg. He created a rhythm by stamping his foot into a rise and fall movement. Once the continous pulse was established, he started to twirl around the breathing rock. He brought his hand down from his face. During the vibrant chants, he altered the Mudra with respect to the Mantra his mouth pronounced.

    Vettaiyan whirled around the sleeping monster and when he was exactly at the back of the breathing rock, he coupled his fingers and extended only his middle finger outwards. His thumb and the index fingers were interlaced to form two rings around each other by allowing the respecive tips to touch. Vettaiyan energetically inserted his pointed middle fingers of Muladhara Mudra to the bottom of the breathing rock to energize Muladhara, the root base.

    The Dancing Emperor rushed to the front while locking his thumb inside the bent index and middle fingers, while the ring fingers and the small fingers pushed outwards and touching their respective tips. When he was before the center of the breathing rock, he dashed the knuckles of Shakti Mudra directly at Svadhisthana, the sacral vertebrae.

    Vettaiayan gradually changed the pattern and tempo of the thumping sound he made with his feet. He moved backwards, busily making Rudra Mudra by touching the tips of his thumb, index and ring fingers together and straightening the small and middle fingers. He rushed towards the sleeping monster and punched the Manipura, solar plexus with Rudra Mudra.

    Vettaiyan moved around jumping on both of his legs. The distance between the floor and his body grew as he vigorously pushed his legs to both sides. Each time he moved high in the air, he reassembled his fingers. He joined his palms and pushed the fingers outward. He gradually pulled the small and the thumb fingers to touch each other. During the fall of his final jump, he hit the Anahata, the heart of the breathing rock with Padma Mudra.

    Vettaiyan started to climb the breathing rock. He danced over the tube like path and halted at the center. He bent his legs and sat on his feet toes. He squatted on one leg and kicked the other in front og him. He continued changing legs while reuniting his fingers into Granthita Mudra. He interlaced the small, ring and middle fingers tightly. He interlocked his index fingers and made the respective tip connect to the center of other finger. He roped the thumb fingers over each other. He collided Granthita Mudra onto Vishuddha, the throat.

    The dance movements became violent as Vettaiyan climbed further over the breathing rock. He hair floated by his side not finding time to settle back on his shoulders as Vettiayan forcefully shook his whole body. He reached the top to the exact spot where Kochadaiiyan stood on one leg with his right hand raised. Vettaiyan positioned himself into Vrikshasana, the tree pose. He pressed his right foot evenly on the Sahasrara, the Crown, while placing his left foot on the inner thigh of his right leg. His hips were even under his flat chest when he raised both his hands and joined the palms above his head.

    While Kochadaiiyaan, held his left hand grounded to shutdown the Crown, Vettaiyan performed an opposite action. He separated his palms and made the Mudra of A Thousand Petals. He spread his fingers and brought his palms forward. He slowly allowed the tip of index and thumb fingers to touch each other respectively forming a pyramid shape. He bent his body and released his left foot. At the same time he pushed his right leg to the side.

    Vettaiyan landed the Mudra of A Thousand Petals on the Crown of the Clown.

    The Emperor got back to his feet and placed both his hands on his hips over his flashing white dress. He hair was blown by a heavy wind. The loose strands rushed to hit his face and run back again like dark waves. Vettaiyan slowly started to rise towards the roof.

    ... to be continued ...


    1/ LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, AUM, ANG are Vija (also pronounced as Bija) Mantras. Vija means seed, as it is the starting point of siddhi (fruit of enlightenment). Hring, Shring, Kring, Hung, Aing, Phat are the other monosyllables included in Vija Mantras, mostly involving both nasal and throat congestion. When uttered in certain order, these vibratory sounds kindle the network system of the body called the Nerves (Nadi). Each mantra, when recited, has the spiritual power to purify the body (mukha-shodhana, jihva-shodhana, ashaucha-bhanga, kulluka, nirvvana, setu, nidra-bhanga,mantra-chaitanya) as well as, assit in developing the Image of Divinity within (as I like to describe it as The Devine Dancer) => Mantrarthabhavana.

    2/ The Vija Mantras, along with the respective Mudras, aide in cleansing impurities and help towards eliminating unnecessary emotions. As described in the above chapter, the Vija Mantra is associated with a Mudra which are directly related to the seven Chakras, the principle energy source spots inside a body:

    Chakra - Mudra - Vija Mantra

    Muladhara (Base of the Spine) - Muladhara Mudra - LAM
    Svadhishthana (Hips) - Shakti Mudra - VAM
    Manipura (Naval) - Rudra Mudra - RAM
    Anahata (Heart) - Padma Mudra - YAM
    Vishuddha (Throat) - Granthita Mudra - HAM
    Ajna (Mystical Third Eye) - Ajna Mudra - AUM
    Sahasrara (The Crown) - Mudra of A Thousand Petals - ANG

    3/ The above verses are from 'Teekshana Danstra Kalabhairava Asthakam'. It talks about Kaal Bhairav (an important phenomenon for the Title Chaturmukha). The descriptions are about a Supreme Power transforming into another equal force. The Supreme Power which is the purpose of Beginning and End; garlanded by a serpent; the twisted hair locks bundled as the crown upon which a crescent moon shines. This unlimited power source forms into its own guardian, Kaal Bhairav, to protect the Universe. The planets shake when the Supreme power turns reds, growing tall and fierce with a face as ferocious as a lion. In its fullest developed form, it reveals its teeth that push out of the lips as the deadly teeth of a wild tiger.

    Author's Note: The elements in spirituality were used for fictional purpose only. The verses depict the transformation of power into energy, which was applied in the story to demonstrate the action of an evil awakening a bigger evil, purely on the basis of imagination. Mistakes in descriptions are mine.
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  11. #270
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    All things are ready, if our minds be so - William Shakespeare (Henry V - Act 4, Scene 3)

    The Palace of a Thousand Balls

    "How much do we know about our Father?" Sena asked to himself. Kali removed the bandage soaked in blood and cleaned Sena's wound around his right shoulder. He gently started to dress it with a clean white cloth.

    "Don't start ..." Rana replied crudely while packing his military gear. The three men were the only occupants of the infirmary.

    "Several decades ago, Our Father had visited Central Kingdom. He could have possibly met the Emperor who was a scared lad at that time."

    Rana made a curious face, "You have my entire attention, Baasha", Rana winked at Sena.

    Disregarding the witticism, Sena pursued his detection, "The prince was found unconscious inside a cave shortly after our Father had visited the place. If my predictions are right, it was the same period when Our Father forsakened his title 'The Hunter from the Sea' and abandoned his majestic multi-functional ship Anagha; the whereabouts of the vessel, its crew members and the treasures are still unknown. I can't pronounce the reasons behind his decision, but I am certain that it was the same stretch in time he had met our mother and started to raise a family. Upon the request of late King Rishikodagan, he became the military advisor for Kottaipatinam."

    "What makes you wonder about it now?", Rana inquired.

    "What happened inside that cave?" Sena exclaimed and continued, "Soon after they rescued the scared prince, his father king Sama Sayodhana was ashamed of his eldest son, the heir to the throne. He pulled the frightened kid and forced him to participate in a hunting expedition during nightfall. He sent his son alone into the dark forest to bring back the hare that he had shot with his arrow. The prince returned empty handed."

    "It was dark, which did not permit him to find the prey!" Rana stated firmly.

    "The prince was afraid of the dark. How did he make it back alone through the darkness without getting wandered away?" Sena wondered.

    "Just after the hunting episode", Sena looked at Rana to see whether he was following him, "the queen Dasa Radha died in mysterious way. This incident initiated the construction of a staircase to power. One by one the nine princes died in mysterious ways too. Natural deaths, but an act of murder cannot be ruled out. The remaining One claimed the throne overthrowing his father, king Sama Sayodhana. He annexed all the forestry and created his own realm. His empire grew multiple times when all the jungles were included with Central Kingdom. With such an enormous landscape that created a natural defence for his kingdom, he started to build his military strength. Most of the soldiers were thieves and barbarians put under control through a generous offer of perks - wine and woman. Thus, he terrorised the other states compelling them to obey him. He brought all the thirteen tribes under his control. Those who refused or resisted disappeared permanently in the forest. The four independent states were forced to accept him as their Emperor. Vettaiyan started to rule the world."

    "His cruelty knocks the doors of hell and the demons refuse to open them - The Rise of an Emperor. What shocks you about this known event in the history of the five nations?" Rana pumped out his frustration.

    "Someone else is supporting him", Sena replied, "abling him to become whatever he wishes to be. A single man with just the help of handful think tanks cannot achieve such greater heights in short time and reign undisputed over the throne for such a long time. Not a person, maybe by a force, which is providing him the power."

    "A wizard from the sorcessor's club ...", Rana laughed dismissing the theories his brother fabricated.

    Sena ignored the ignorance of his brother and thought loudly, "What price would he have paid for such a collaboration?"

    Rana collected his military accessories and left the infirmary nodding his head in disagreement to Senaís absurd speculations.

    "I am done here", Kali shouted beside Sena's right ear. Sena shut his eyes to clear the continuous rings drumming inside his ears. He turned and looked at Kali.

    Sena smiled.

    "There is nothing much to be done either", Yesodha Putran briefed the military men around him inside the pavilion. He pointed at the miniature of Vettaiyan Palace on the sand table and said, "We will be facing a small resistance at dawn, but we should not under estimate the defence system of Vettaiyan Palace. The palace was designed by a chief architect who is known for cunningly concealing fatality within his creations. When he remodelled the stately home for the Emperor, he gave it a tagline 'The Palace of a Thousand Balls', jovially punching a threatening message to the invaders."

    "After going through few documents that were obtained from the architect's locker, I presume that a six nosed multi-cannon might have been camouflaged as the dome of the Palace. Of course, a classic setup of smaller artillery weapons surrounds the top of the building and they can be taken down from the ground using our siege weapons. The main problem with the multi-cannon is that, it is directly rooted with the palace, meaning, a part of the building should be demolished to take the heavy artillery down. We all know that it is not going to happen. As long as the six cannons are firing, we don't stand a chance to even near the shadow of the gates."

    "Is there a solution", someone asked from the crowd of captains.

    "There is always a solution for every problem, else, we would not be standing here facing each other being what we are", Yesodha Putran replied calmly. "The multi-cannon is operated from inside the doom. A small shaft permits a single person to enter into the control room. The ammunitions are preloaded and the multi-cannon can fire a thousand cannonballs without interruption. Destroying it is not the solution, but capturing it could turn events to our favour. But ..."

    "But ... What? Be clear Wise of All?" another voice shouted in anxiety.

    "To capture the multi-cannon, we should have someone who is already inside the palace and is currently in a position to take control of the cannon room."

    The room went silent. Yesodha Putran smiled and said, "There is always a solution of the highest good."

    Littleman whispered, "This is the Emperor's Chamber." He peeped through the crack in the double door and said, "Its empty."

    The group of warrior led by Shamu climbed the stairs discreetly to reach terrace of Vettaiyan Palace. When they reached the top, they scattered around the large plateau hiding themselves in the shadow of the palace doom. They went around neutralising the night guards. Stealing the military uniforms from the dead soldiers, they hid the bodies in the corners. They disguised as the Emperor's army men and positioned behind the single cannons lined around the small protective wall on the top of Vettaiyan Palace.

    Maveeran joined Littleman who was looking at the huge fire rising to the sky from the bed of the mountains behind the campsite.

    "You witnessed the cruelty of war. You experienced the horrors of war. Now, get the scent of war", Littleman pronounced the ugliness of war to Maveeran. The bulky man along with the little master watched the heap of burning dead bodies. The pungent smell brought sadness in the air. Whoever were the dead, they fought to save their motherland - some led by true leaders who wish to polish the future, others ditched by their cruel bosses who wanted to be always in power. The raising black smoke settled under the dark clouds above Karmegha.

    Shamu checked the captured terrace of the palace. He moved from cannon to cannon and assured that there were no suspicious details left behind by mistake. The General or someone higher in authority might visit the palace defence at dawn and he wanted to be prepared to meet them. Shamu walked around the dome. He examined the vertical lines rising from the bottom and joining together at the top of the rounded vault roof of Vettaiyan Palace. With his finger, he traced the uniform cracks which were cutting the doom into six equal halves. Shamu's eyes widened when he found the answer to his own doubt. He turned and checked on Littleman who was watching the campsite along with Maveeran. Shamu limped hurriedly towards them.

    "Thus, our Chief led us to a tremendous victory that shall resonate throughout the history of mankind", Sultan spoke into the ears of Nobleman who was lying on the cot inside the private tent. Kanakavalli sat on the other side near the cot wiping the fluid flowing from the wounded man's eye.

    Nobleman made the first gesture since he had been paralysed by pain. He brought his chin down towards his neck. Sultan captured the sign and quickly brought his ears near to Nobleman's lips. After holding his ears attentively, he came back to his sitting position beside the cot. He looked at Kanakavalli who watched him with a curious face. She tilted her head as though waiting for Sultan to tell her what Nobleman whispered in his ears.

    Sultan smiled and said, "At dusk, Karmegha will be wet."

    ... to be continued ...
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