An unexpected Twist…. Chapter Five

Vasusena wiped the sweat from his brows. The day was not all that warm, but he was perspiring more than ever. He knew worry had more to do with it than climate.
It had been two days and no news had come of Suyodhana. Their spies had brought no news either. The Prince did not seem to be in Hastinapura or in any if the neighbouring Kingdoms.
Vasusena was scouting the forests on the border. He had set up camp at the edge of the forest. He and a few soldiers had already made a few searches in the surrounding area, but could find nothing out of the ordinary.
“My Lord,” the man bowed respectfully.
Vasusena recognized him. He was one of his own spies from Anga. Vasusena had sent him to the Pandava camp with a few specific instructions. From the man’s expression, Vasusena could tell that he had some news.
He dismounted from the horse and went into his tent, accompanied by the man.
“Tell me,” said he, once inside.
“I went to the place where the Pandavas were living as you instructed. From the spies already there, I came to know that Prince Yudhistira and his brothers are as yet unaware of all that has happened. I think we may safely rule out their involvement in this affair.”
Vasusena nodded, noticing with irony that his own spy seemed more relieved than disappointed that their enemies were not involved in this.
“Did you enquire about Krishna?” He asked.
“Yes, my Lord. And I received a rather strange report.”
Vasusena leaned forward. “Tell,”
“Lord Krishna has not returned to the camp of his cousins. Those who came with him to Hastinapura had gone to Dwaraka with instructions to join him once he reaches the Pandavas. They are still in Dwaraka,”
Vasusena frowned. “Have we spies in Dwaraka?”
“Prince Suyodhana is not in Dwaraka, my Lord if that is what you want to find out. I do have a few sources there.”
“Any news of Krishna’s whereabouts?”
The man shook his head.
“Lord Balarama had postponed his pilgrimage, my Lord,” said the man. “That is the only strange news I could glean from my sources in Dwaraka.”
“Strange indeed!” Murmured Vasusena. “He was opposed to this war and said he had no desire to see the certain blood bath or to be a part of it.”
He looked at the spy. “You have done well. Go back to Anga and give my ring to the Prime Minister.” He removed the plain gold ring he was wearing and gave it to the man.
The man beamed. The gold ring meant he was to receive gold in return for his services. He bowed and left.
“What are you up to Krishna?” He spoke aloud. The return of Krishna’s companions to Dwaraka, the postponement of Balarama’s pilgrimage all pointed out to one thing. Krishna was involved in Suyodhana’s disappearance.
Vasusena did not hazard any guesses as to Krishna’s purpose. There was no need to guess. He could have only one purpose. But how that purpose was to be served by remaining silent puzzled Vasusena.

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