In the main courtyard at the palace of Patliputra the Magadha Sena were on standby. Waiting for the arrival of their leaders, Rajkumar Ashoka & RajKumar Abhimanyu.
Bindusara walked out of the Palace door donned in his magnificent robes , Rani Dharma was walking next to him, with Rajmata Helena, Rajkumar Siyamak, Maharani Charumitra, Rajkumar Sushim, Rani Subhrasi and Rajkumar Drupad trailing them.
Mahamatya Khallatak was waiting for them near the stone steps that lead to front court of the palace. His vulture like gaze scanning the surroundings. His eyes widened as Ashok walked in pulling Kulbhushan(Horse) with him & Behind him came Abhimanyu pulling another Horse.
Not just his, but every eye turned towards the Rajkumar.
He was no longer in his commoner garbs. But instead he was wearing a majestic golden armor and bright red robes. The emblem of Maurya etched on the armour was shining gloriously. His hair was neatly tied back and a golden circlet was wrapped around his forehead, from which the sun rays glared brilliantly. Abhimanyu looked the same he was also wearing a armour with the Mauryan emblem lion etched on it & bright red robes . Ashoka placed Kulbhushan just ahead of his royal guard. He then turned and scaled the steps quickly, moving towards his family. Abhimanyu did the same.
Bindusara’s chest swelled with pride as he saw his son coming towards him. Ashoka touched his feet and Bindusara pulled him into a hug.
Bindusara : Now you look like a Prince & never wear those rags back.
Ashoka : Offcorse pitaji I am your Son & for the rags we will see.
Bindusara handed him a coin with Maurya emblem etched on it.
Bindusara : Son, This gives you the right to become the Prantapal of Takshshila never lose this coin.
Ashoka tugged it carefully in his robes.
Abhimanyu also took blessings from Bindusara.
Bindusara : Vijay Bhava. I know you are angry with me but trust me son I did what I thought better for you.
Abhimanyu : I know you must have your own reasons but I wanted to stay here pitaji but I will certainly make u proud.
Ashoka took blessings from her mother.
Dharma : Son, you are going on a difficult journey keep sending letters & my blessings are with you always.
They shared a hug & Ashoka moved towards Rajmata Helena.
Abhimanyu took blessings from Rani Dharma .
Abhimanyu : Maa bless me you are my mother now I need your blessings for this difficult abhiyan.
Dharma : My blessings are always with you Son.
Abhimanyu mounted on horse after taking blessings from Acharya Radhagupta & ignored Charumitra, Helena, Khallatak , Sushim & Siyamak.
Ashoka’s conversation with Helena , Charumitra , Sushim
Ashoka : You guys don’t worry I will soon come back don’t think I am leaving forever.
Ashoka to Siyamak
Ashoka : You have to take care of the family in my absence.
Siyamak : I will certainly do it bhrata Ashoka.
Ashoka : I will return soon.(Hugging him).
Siyamak(Monologue) : I hope you never return from Takshshila.(Hugging him back).
Then he left towards Acharya Radhagupta.
Ashoka : Acharya Radhagupta bless me to be successful in this abhiyan.
Radhagupta(Whispering) : Listen carefully Ashoka I will send you a message & you should read it in private only no one should guess you are travelling In a ship.
Ashoka : I will make sure of it Acharya.
Radhagupta : Vijay bhava.
Ashoka mounted on Khulbhushan & left from the gate of palace towards Takshshila with Abhimanyu & Magadh sena.
At the outskirts of Patliputra
Ashoka & Abhimanyu were talking with Bhim ji the senapati chosed by Acharya Radhagupta.
Radhagupta : I have a perfect person for this Bhim ji he is loyal to Samrat & he was on good terms with Acharya Chanakya as well.
Ashoka : I trust you Acharya do as you see fit.
Ashoka : Bhim ji its all upto you now you have to lead the sena on land.
Bhim ji : I can do anything for you Rajkumar.
Ashoka : Bhim ji handpick those soldiers who you can trust more than yourself & send them in a different direction & you lead the rest of the sena & go in other direction.
Bhim ji : Why so Rajkumar ?
Ashoka : I think the army is being infilterated so & only you know we are going by samudri marg. So I want the soldiers to think we are going in different direction with those handpicked soldiers .
Bhim ji : The plan is fantastic Rajkumar .
Ashoka : Do the proceedings fast Bhim ji I want to reach takshshila as soon as possible.
Bhim ji handpicked the soldiers & these soldiers will be lead by Saroj.
Ashoka (Whispering) : Saroj kill them if you think they are betraying us I give you the authority.
Saroj : Ji Rajkumar.
Soon all left for their destination via different routes.
Kasturi entered the chamber & saw Ahankara making her brother sleep.
Kasturi : Rajkumari Acharya Radhagupta wants to meet you.
Ahankara was in deep thought as to why Acharya Radhagupta wants to meet him as they have never talked to each other.
Ahankara : Send him in.
Acharya Radhagupta walked in the Chamber.
Ahankara : Pranam Acharya.
Radhagupta : Kalyan Namastu.
Ahankara : Acharya what do you want to talk about.
Radhagupta : Ashoka has done a great deal for you in these months now its time to payback.
Ahankara : What do you mean Acharya ?
Radhagupta : You might not be knowing but you have succeded your mother as the Rani of Ujjain & the army has taken oath to serve you until you pass the legacy to your brother.
Ahankara : Acharya I know but I remembered that Samrat has appointed a Prantapal for Ujjain until my brother is ready to take on the throne of Ujjain.
Radhagupta : Its true but the Army will do your bidding & the prantapal is none other than Senapati Rudra.
Ahankara : What do you want me to do Acharya ?
Radhagupta: You have to persuade him to join Ashoka in Takshshila.
Ahankara : But why don’t you think Magadh Sena capable of defeating Keechak.
Radhagupta : They are capable but Keechak is not alone he has the support of Unani & Khurasani.
Ahankara was Shocked.
Ahankara : When I have to meet him ?
Radhagupta : Soon I have send him a message we will meet him outside the palace because I don’t want any one to know we are taking his help not even Samrat.
Ahankara : But why ?
Radhagupta(Smiling) : There are enemy spies in the palace. Ishwari will escort you to the place when its time for the meeting.
Here Ashoka & Abhimanyu board the ship as ordinary people there armour & swords were packed in a trunk which they were carrying with themselves.
Credit to: Abhinav