This one is for Astra & Saya who commented on every Chapter.
Thanks Astra & Saya.
Here is Chapter 9
After few days….
Abhimanyu reached Patliputra within a few days.
A conch shell was blown informing to Samrat Bindusara & Royal Family about his arrival.
Everyone was happy seeing him except Sushim,Charumitra,Helena,Siamak & Mahamatya Khallatak.
Abhimanyu was in Courtyard of the palace when Samrat Binduasara entered with the Royal Family.
Bindusara : Son you are back I am so glad my Son (Hugging Abhimanyu). But where is Ashoka ?
Abhimanyu : Pitaji Maharaj Bhrata is still in Takshshila Keechak is still alive he ordered me to come back so I am here.
Binduasara : You should not have left him alone.
Abhimanyu : I didn’t want to leave him alone but Bhrata ordered me & I can’t deny his order.
Binduasara : But why did he sent back the army as well ?
Abhimanyu : He said he didn’t need the army anymore. Pitaji Maharaj Bhrata Ashoka has asked me to inform you something which I would like to do so in Private.
Bindusara : What is so important that you can’t discuss here ?
Abhimanyu : Pitaji it’s important & not for everyone to listen here.(Eyeing the 5 of them) [You know who 5 right.]
Bindusara’s Private Chamber
Bindusara : What is it Son ?
Abhimanyu : First of all I would like to share whatevere happened in Takshshila while I was there.
Bindusara : I myself will want to know that ?
Abhimanyu : Pitaji Maharaj we reached there by Samudri Marg just Me & Bhrata. The Army took the foot route.
Bindusara : But why didn’t you travelled with the army.
Abhimanyu : The reason was someone in the palace reported to Keechak we are coming from Samudri Marg & we didn’t wanted to reveal our plans that’s why Senapati Bhim Ji led the army.
Bindusara : But where is he ?
Abhimanyu : Bhim Ji was killed by Khurasani Sena led by Meer Khurasan.
Bindusara was shocked.
Bindusara : Meer is alive ?
Abhimanyu : Was Pitaji Maharaj he was killed on the battlefield by Bhim Ji.(He didn’t reavealed what actually happened)
Bindusara : He was a great warrior Bhim Ji.
You told someone from the palace is with Keechak who is he tell me now so I can take the appropriate action.
Abhimanyu : I am coming to that Pitaji . Also Ujjaini Sena led by Senapati Rudra supported us I think Rajkumari Ahankara persuaded him.
Bindusara : That’s great Son.
Abhimanyu : Selucus Nicator was also with Keechak Pitaji Maharaj.
Bindusara was again shocked.(Double Shock)
Bindusara : Son are you sure about this.
Abhimanyu : I am definitely sure & The informer in palace is none other than Rajmata Helena.
Triple shock for Bindusara.
Bindusara(Shouted) : Abhimanyu you are crossing your limits don’t you dare blame Ma for deeds of her father.
Abhimanyu : I know you will not believe so I have a plan to unmask Rajmata.
Bindusara : You are doing nothing Son she is my mother how can you blame her ?
Abhimanyu : She is your step-mother Pitaji & she desperately wanted her Son RajKumar Justin to become the King. It won’t do any bad to atleast listen to my Plan PitajiMaharaj.
Bindusara finally agreed.
Abhimanyu told his plan which was actually Ashoka’s plan.
Bindusara : It would be really dangerous Son & if something happened to Siamak I will have to punish you.
Abhimanyu : I am ready for it PitajiMaharaj nothing will happen to Siamak.
Bindusara : Leave & prepare for the plan.
Abhimanyu left to meet Rani Dharma & Rani Shubrasi.
Rani Dharma’s Chamber
Rani Dharma,Rani Shubrasi & RajKumari Ahankara were discussing about Ashoka.
Shubrasi : Ashoka should’nt have send the army back how will he fight with Keechak all by himself.
Dharma : He definitely would have thought something.
Ahankara : Ujjaini Sena might be with him I talked to Senapati Rudra myself & he promised to protect Ashoka.
Abhimanyu knocked on the Chamber door.
Abhimanyu : Ma Dharma can I come in.
Dharma : Yes my Son we were waiting for you only.
Abhimanyu took blessings of Dharma & Shubrasi.
Abhimanyu : RajKumari Ahankara Ujjaini Sena is back in Ujjain because Bharata told them to do so & he has send a letter for you thanking you for the help of Ujjaini Sena.
Abhimanyu gave a scroll to Ahankara.
Ahankara : Dhanyavad Rajkumar Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu : Ma Dharma Bhrata has given a letter for you as well.
He handed another scroll to Dharma.
Abhimanyu : Mata Subhrasi I have a letter for you as well & a wooden sword made of best wood in Takshshila for Drupad.
He handed over the letter & Sword to Subhrasi.
Abhimanyu : I myself would have given him the sword to Drupad but I have to leave to talk to Acharya Radhagupta.
Dharma : What did you talk about with Samrat ?
Abhimanyu : I am sorry Ma Dharma but I can’t reveal it now you will get to know it soon & Don’t worry Ma Bhrata will be here soon.
Abhimanyu left for Radhagupta’s chamber.
Abhimanyu entered & took blessings from Radhagupta.
Abhimanyu : Pranam Acharya.
RadhaGupta : Kalyan Namastu Son.
Abhimanyu told everything to RadhaGupta of what happened in Takshshila & about the plan to reveal Rajmata as a traitor.
RadhaGupta : But it can be very risky.
Abhimanyu : It is Acharya but I have talked to Pitaji as well he is with us & now we should leave immediately so as to return till dawn.
RadhaGupta : Yes but first let me alert the spies.
Sometime later they left for someplace to work out thier plan. Which was noticed by Rajkumar Siamak who was strolling in a corridor.
He immediately left to inform this to Rajmata Helena.
Helena was strolling in the room thinking it is matter of time she will be arrested when Siamak entered the chamber
Siamak : Rajmata I have seen RadhaGupta & Abhimanyu leaving the palace some time ago.
Helena : Were they alone or there were some soldiers.
Siamak : They were all alone Rajmata & I fear Abhimanyu has returned so Ashoka will be returning as well he will not leave us Rajmata.
Helena : Nothing will happen Son go & sleep.
Siamak : But–
Helena : I said go & sleep leave all this to me.
Helena(Monologue) : I will have to send message to Pitaji he has to attack Patliputra tomorrow itself.
Rajkumar Sushim, Maharani Charumitra & Mahamatya Khallatak were discussing about Ashoka & Abhimanyu.
Sushim : Ma how can this Abhimanyu return from Takshshila ?
Charumitra : Don’ worry Son Ashoka is still there he might have been killed by Keechak by now.
Khallatak : Or he might have killed Keechak we all know whar he can do he had killed Dastan, captured Meer.
Sudhim : Mahamatya is right whenever we plan to kill him he returns back more powerful & confident.
Charumitra : Let him return back then we will see what we have to do.
At Dawn the neaxt day Acharya Radhagupta & Rajkumar Abhimanyu returned to palace looking happy.
The Evil 5 were thinking why they had left & at night and have returned at Dawn.
Ashoka, Nayak , Sudama , & Kartika were very near to Patliputra. Ashoka was certain his plan for RajMata Helena will certainly work.
Royal Palace, Patliputra
Everyone was present in dining room for lunch.
The servants served the lunch to all. When a servant served lunch to Siamak Abhimanyu gave him a nod.
Everyone was having thier lunch Abhimanyu was telling Drupad about what all happened in Takshshila. Rani Subhrasi was making Rani Dharma eat second helpings of each thing & Samrat Bindusara was admiring thier bond where as Maharani Charumitra was fuming in jealousy.
Suddenly Siamak started Choking & fell unconcious.
Everyone was shocked especially Helena. Helena rushed towards Siamak.
Helena : Siamak Son what happened to you?
Helena was actually crying which shocked almost everyone except RadhaGupta who had some idea about it.
Helena turned towards Abhimanyu & pointed at him.
Helena : He has done something to Siamak I saw him nodding to the servant who served food to Siamak.
Abhimanyu : You are right Rajmata I have done this I got poison added in his food.
Everyone was shocked.
Bindusara : How can you do this to your brother I will certainly give you a death penalty.
Abhimanyu : You can give me any punishment Pitaji but Siamak is still alive & I have the antidote of poison with me.
Bindusara : Then what are you waiting for give that to me.
Abhimanyu : What’s the hurry Pitaji I will give it if Rajmata answer some of my questions truthfully.
Helena(Crying) : I will do anything but just save my Grandson.
Abhimanyu : Ok. So first question. Who attacked Pitaji 14 yrs back when he went for hunting ?
Helena : Unani Soldiers on my orders.
Everyone was shocked.
Binduasara : Ma say this is a lie & you are doing this to protect Siamak.
Helena : This is the truth Binduasara.
Abhimanyu : Second Question – Who planned the Lakshagraha with Raja Jiraj ?
Helena : I did.
Abhimanyu : Who Killed Acharya Chanakya?
Helena : Dastaan did.
Abhimanyu (Shouting) : This is a lie. Dastan himself told he didn’t killed Acharya Chanakya tell the truth Rajmata.
Helena : Then I don’t know.
Abhimanyu : I don’t believe you but still next question – Who gave Keechak the information that Bhrata Ashoka is coming via Samudri Marg.
Helena : I did.
Bindusara was beyond shock now he was petrified listening to all this.
Bindusara : Ma how many attempts have you made to kill me & my Family.
Helena : Many attempts Bindusara but everytime you got saved because of Chanakya & then because of that Ashoka whom I wanted killed since he has arrived here.
Dharma : But why did you do all this?
Helena : I wanted Throne of Magadh for my son Justin.
Bindusara : You let Bharata Justin die for the deeds you have done shame on you Helena you don’t deserve to be called a mother I hate myself for calling you mother all these years.
Abhimanyu : Last Question – Why so much sympathy for Siamak ?
Helena’s face turned pale.
Helena (Monologue) : I can’t reveal this or how will my Grandson will become Samrat of Magadh.
RadhaGupta was observing Helena closely for the reaction & his doubts became clear.
Helena : I hated him too i wanted to kill him as well but he lost his mother & i lost my Son so I came to regard him as Son nothing else.
Abhimanyu : Pitaji I have done my job.
Binduasara : Arrest Helena I will give the judgement once Ashoka returns back.
Sushim , Charumitra & Khallatak were relieved that Helena didn’t reveal thier evil work to Bindusara.
Sushim : But Pitaji Abhimayu should also be arrested for an attempt of Murder on a RajKumar.
Bindusara : I already knew about this plan Sushim & Siamak is just unconsious.
Everyone was shocked especially Sushim ; Charumitra & Khallatak.
Bindusara : Make him consious Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu gave him something which brought him to consiousness.
He sat up straight with a jerk.
Siamak : What happened to me ? Why is everyone surrounding me ? What happened?
Bindusara left without answering.
All left the Dining Hall except The Evil 4.
Siamak : What happened here & Where is RajMata Helena ?
Sushim told him everything of what happened when he was unconsious.
Siamak was too shocked to react he just left from there.
Sushim : He is all alone again this is the time to instigate him against Ashoka again.
Charumitra : You are right Sushim go & talk to him.
Sushim left the hall.Charumitra & Khallatak left as well.
After a couple of days…..
Another beautiful day in Patliputra but inside the palace it was all gloomy.
Sound of conches blowed at the entrance of the palace the people gathered in the courtyard to welcome thier beloved Rajkumar Ashoka who has been victorious in Takshshila.
The Royal Family awaited him in the courtyard.
He took blessings from Bindusara , Dharma, Subhrasi & Charumitra.
He moved towards his brothers. Sushim was standing away from all the proceedings.
Ashoka embraced Abhimanyu & Drupad. Siamak was nowhere to be seen.
Ahankara was standing there with her little brother. Ashoka smiled at her & she returned the smile although a blush crept her face.
Ashoka : Pitaji Rajmata Helena ?
Bindusara : She has been arrested son we await you for her judgement.
Ashoka : Where is Siamak ?
Abhimanyu : He has not been talking to anyone for last couple of days I think he is shocked because of RajMata Helena.
Ashoka : Pitaji Maharaj I will go & meet Acharya Radhagupta first .
Bindusara : Ok Son. Then come directly to Raj Sabha.
To be continued………