“Suyodhana,” said Bheeshma. “If you wish to continue this discussion, then I will have to ask the armies to leave the battlefield for today. We can all repair to camp and continue his discussion there. Provided, of course, that your cousins are agreeable.”
Grandfather sounded eager, thought Bheema. And he had no doubt what Yudhistira would say.
“As you wish, Grandsire,” Yudhistira replied.
Suyodhana looked – torn. But he too nodded. Bheema felt a flash of disappointment. His blood was boiling. But it was only a deferment. He could satisfy his bloodlust tomorrow.
Sahadeva took the orders to Dhrishtadyumna while they all repaired to Bheeshma’s tent, which was the nearest. Bheema could not see what the fuss was all about. What was about that guy that made two devas wish to save him? And anyway, now he was gone, and why was Suyodhana determined to waste all their time trying to get to the bottom of it?
Suyodhana burst into speech as soon as he entered the tent.
“What do you mean they told you? Who told you?”
Krishna sighed. “So impatient,”
Suyodhana glowered, but remained silent till everyone had entered the tent. Bheema felt amused at his cousin’s reaction.
When everyone had settled down, Krishna said calmly. “The sun god paid me a visit in the morning. He told me he had taken Vasusena to his world in order to save his life. He told me to inform you if the opportunity arose.”
“Why did he tell you? And what did he mean, save his life? There was no danger to his life!”
Bheema sighed. How much more obtuse Suyodhana could be!
Krishna shrugged. “Why don’t you ask him? I am only the messenger.”
“We have to get Vasusena back!”
“Good luck with that,” said Krishna as he rose. “If you’ll excuse us, I think we shall be going to our camp. Do send word if you don’t plan to start the war tomorrow!”
“But if you go, how will I find Vasusena?” Demanded Suyodhana.
Bheema snorted. Did his cousin think they cared about finding that upstart?
Krishna sighed. “Suyodhana,” said he. “Whatever you do, you are never going to find him. He’s gone for good. Face it. Accept it.”
“I can’t,” Suyodhana’s voice was anguished. “There has to be a way to bring him back!”
“I’m afraid there isn’t,” said Krishna. “But just out of curiosity, why are you so anxious to have him back? Apart from the obvious reason, of course.”
“And what is the obvious reason, according to you?” Grated out Suyodhana.
“The advantage he provides to your armies.” Replied Krishna. “The undoubted ability and prowess he has. Your belief that he can win this war for you.”
“That’s all you will see,” muttered Suyodhana. “But I will stop this war here and now and give back their Kingdom to my cousins if that would bring Vasusena back!”
Bheema was stunned at the pronouncement. He had known Suyodhana long enough to know that the other man was sincere. But he could see that he was not the only one who was stunned.
“How interesting,” drawled Krishna, as he led them out, leaving behind a fuming Suyodhana.