An Unexpected Twist…. Chapter Three

Duhsasana tried not to display the worry that was eating him. Under normal circumstances, Suyodhana’s disappearance would have gone unnoticed till the morning. But a passing attendant had seen the unconscious guards at the door and had alerted the King.
The room was bolted from the inside and they had banged on it. It was a heavy door, all carved wood and breaking it down would have taken time.
The guards had reported that the window was open. It was Sama who climbed up and entered the room. He had opened the door, looking pale as death and they had all rushed inside.
Duhsasana thought he would never forget the nightmare that the room was. The room was in shambles. The chairs had been flung aside haphazardly. The bed was pushed to the far corner. A big space was cleared in the centre of the room.
In that space lay two swords and two maces. Duhsasana recognized his brother’s sword and mace. The other two were the ones he kept in his room for practice. Both maces were heavily dented. The swords had been nicked as well.
But the room was empty. No one was there in it.
There was also a curious absence of blood stains on the weapons and in the room.
From the weapons, it seemed as if a fierce fight had ensued but if so, there must have been some blood.
And in spite of the unconscious guards in the corridor, someone might have heard the noises. It was inconceivable that no one heard anything.
He cursed the circumstance that had caused his sister-in-law to be away on that night. The ladies of the palace were having a vrata and they had all spent the night in the Siva temple. If Bhanumati had been there, she might have raised the alarm at least.
Vasusena too had not returned yet. It was an added worry for Duhsasana. He was not good at this. He was not a natural leader. Responsibility was something he shirked as a rule. With Suyodhana and Vasusena around, it had never been a problem.
He wished he knew what to do. Pitamaha and Uncle Vidura were alerting the spies and Uncle Sakuni was trying to comfort his parents and reassuring them. His wife was comforting his sister-in-law. His brothers were also planning to scour the Kingdom.
He felt so useless. His brothers, son and nephew, all were looking at him for guidance and directions. And other than telling then that Suyodhana had to be found at any cost, he had not been able to give them anything useful.
Duhsasana felt like weeping with relief as he saw Vasusena running towards him from the apartments allotted to him.

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