“He is your elder brother! My eldest son!”
The words never stopped echoing in his ears. Many questions arose. Many confusions bloomed. Yet, he still couldn’t contemplate the fact that he was his own brother.
His own cousin. The elder brother whom he had so desperately yearned for.
To see him lay there bloodied up, arrows protruding from his once magnificent torso was enough to shatter his world. He wanted to go and hug the body of his one true friend.
The words of the queen mother rang in his ears. How will he walk up there when his newly found brother and age-old best friend was surrounded by his family? He may have been his friend but will his living brother nor the queen mother allow him, their enemy, anywhere near? Will they shun him away like they had, throughout their lives?
A tear drop rolled down the cheeks of one of the mightiest Gada warriors of the era.
Unable to stand there anymore, that lone soul walked away to find solitude. Leaving the ground bathed in the blood of the one who truly had understood him behind.
‘Had he known this beforehand? If so, why did he not say a single word about it. To hell with this war! He would have placed the crown on his head with joy and celebrated it as his own success. For after all this petty war was for nothing but the throne. Oh, and he also would have washed the feet of the one he insulted with his blood and accepted any punishment. For what more is important to him. He would be filled with peace as his friend would have finally got the acceptance he craved for. The world would have hailed him as the true Emperor he was. Yet now… All because of this war, this cursed war, his friend was lying there on his death bed.’
“My son. Is it true? What I heard?” The voice of his uncle reached his ears, and he knew what was to follow next.
“I always knew not to trust those low castes. He finally betrayed you, did he not. He deserves to die. He truly deserves to die! How can he do this to my son? Don’t you worry. We can kill those brothers of his and avenge his betrayal. We shall still win this war and show them their place.” Continued his uncle, not at all registering the fact his words indeed fell on deaf ears.
Unable to listen to his uncle berating the one true soul in his life, he moved on.
He was his true friend. He would not have betrayed him. He would have never betrayed him! His uncle was lying. His heart strongly believed that fact.
For he knew. He alone knew the depth of the friendship sown within the heart of the one who lay there breathing his last breaths.
He also knew that his death was near and no matter what anyone may say he will die.
Maybe he will be at peace. Away from this never-ending web of politics. Away from all this greed. Away from all this discrimination. Maybe he will finally be happy. Maybe he should end his life now. Then he will not have to worry about anything. He can be with his friend. Happily, without any pressure. It wasn’t as if anyone was going to bother about his death.
Both of them will be heartbroken. So will his kids. But at least now they don’t need to live under the shadow of being related to a bad omen.
“You are not a bad omen, and you are not a coward. Stop thinking yourself as one. You shall not take your own life but die either of old age or die a warrior’s death in battle.” The voice of the one who was his solace echoed.
Tears continued to pour through the eyes of one of the mightiest warriors of the era. His solace. His true friend. The one who protected him like he protected his other brothers. The one who was with him without any expectations. The one who was shunned by the world yet held no malice for it.
How he wishes it was him who lay on that bloodied field and not his friend.
The one who stood by him during all his hardships. The one who gave him the love which he yearned for. The one who believed in him, even when he did not.
He must have surely known the truth. As the queen mother would have gone to any extent to protect her other sons.
But why did he have to hide the truth from him? Was he scared that he will not be his friend anymore? Was he scared that he would think it as betrayal? Had he known this truth since the beginning, or did he learn it recently? Did his friendship mean so much that he dared raise his weapons against his own brothers? Did he actually choose him, the bad omen, the evil one, over all those righteous ones who were also the sons of revered Gods?
The pain he would have felt. The inner war he would have had. Yet he chose not to show any of it. He hid it so well. He still smiled. He still helped them plan the war. He still did not betray them, nor did he try to sabotage their plans.
O why was he such a man?!
O why did that fool hide the truth?!
How will he ever live in a world without his friend? The one who chose him even when it meant fighting against his own family.
Why was his life so cursed?
Why did all those he loved and those who showed him even a shred of kindness have to suffer like this?
O why lord why!
In an attempt to get away from the bloodied fields, he had reached the borders of the forest on the far end of the battleground.
No one would find him here.
He would have a night of solitude.
A night to grieve over the loss of one of the most precious souls in his lives.
A night which would haunt him till his death.
A night which he would never forget.
A night which showed him what a true friend he had had.
The night on which he had fallen.
Walking into the trees, his legs finally gave way to the sorrow eating him up from inside. Sinking down on to his knees he let out a guttural cry, letting the world finally hear his sorrow.
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