What if…. Chapter Eight

Vrishasena entered the tent warily. He did not trust any in this camp, in spite of the fact that King Suyodhana had reassured him. His father’s friend he trusted, but not his enemies.
Krishna smiled at him and bade him to sit, which he did. He had not heard much about Krishna from his father, so he had no mental image of the man. The man in front of him was tall, dark, extremely good-looking and looked every inch a warrior belying the cowherd epithet that was frequently applied to him. There was also a great deal of shrewdness in the gaze he directed at Vrishasena.
“Tell me what you wish of me,” his voice was deep.
Vrishasena took a moment before answering. “Can you do anything to bring my father back?”
Krishna appeared to be considering the question. “I can try to arm-twist the god who took him, but it won’t be without repercussions.”
“For whom?”
“For everyone. And above all, for Vasusena.”
“What kind of repercussions?”
“The kind I imagine your father would die to avoid,” Krishna’s tone was dry.
Vrishasena stared at him. “I don’t understand.”
“Are you in your father’s confidence?” asked Krishna.
“Yes.” Vrishasena was confused.
“Did he tell you about the meeting he had with me on the day I went to Hastinapura on a futile peace mission?”
“What meeting?”
Krishna sighed. “If you are in his confidence, you would not need to ask that question.”
“I just want my father back!”
“But are you prepared to pay the price? Is his friend prepared to pay the price necessary to bring him back?”
“What price? What are you talking about?” He was becoming angry now.
“Young people,” sighed Krishna. “You have no patience.”
“Says the greybeard,” muttered Vrishasena inaudibly.
“Impertinent too,” Krishna smiled.
Vrishasena blushed, but did not lower his eyes. “Will you help me get back my father?”
“I can try. But you have to do what I say first.”
“Tell me.”
“I want you to go to your mother and ask her if she knows about the meeting I had with your father on the day I was in Hastinapura.”
“And then?”
“That I cannot say without knowing your mother’s answer. If she says yes, make her tell you what it was he told her. Tell her that without you knowing the truth, there’s no way to bring him back. And when she has told you, come back to me if you still feel the same way.”
“And if she says no?”
“Then, things become slightly tougher.” Murmured Krishna. “But either way, you have to come back to me.”
Vrishasena looked at Krishna in confusion. Couldn’t the man give him a straight answer? What was the need for all this complications? But he nodded all the same since he needed the other man’s help.
He did not stop to wonder why he felt certain that the other man’s words could be trusted.

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