An Unexpected Twist… Chapter Seven

Vasusena stared as Krishna walked into the tent nonchalantly. The man might have been walking in at his own front door. He looked calm unlike Vasusena whose mind was in turmoil. He still had not forgotten his last meeting with Krishna when the man had all but destroyed his life.
Vasusena wondered why none of his guards stopped him.
“Your guards are asleep,” said Krishna calmly.
“In the middle of the day?” Vasusena was suspicious.
“Yes. So tough to find good soldiers these days.” Krishna’s tone was bland.
“Of course.” Vasusena could not keep the sarcasm out of his voice. “You are not at all responsible for it. It just happened.”
He smiled sarcastically.
“I have your friend,” Krishna’s voice was conversational.
Vasusena jumped up. “Where is he?”
“You really think I am going to tell you?” There was real amusement in Krishna’ voice, but Vasusena was not feeling amused.
He snarled and lunged at Krishna, intent on getting his hands around the throat of the smiling man. He would choke Suyodhana’s whereabouts out of him.
“Don’t be silly,” muttered Krishna as he sidestepped and tripped Vasusena with his feet. It was a child’s trick and Vasusena was mortified. But before he could rise, he found himself with a blade on his throat.
“I have not harmed him. And I do not intend to. All I need you to do is to carry a message to his father for me.”
“What message?” Vasusena grated out, furious now.
“On the table,” said Krishna. “Be sure to deliver it. And if I were you, I would make sure the King agrees to the terms contained in it.”
“And how are we to convey that to you?”
“I will know.” Said Krishna. “And you shall have your friend back unharmed too. You have my word on that.”
“Why are you doing this?” Vasusena asked bewildered.
Krishna laughed at that, it was a pleasant sound. “Because I can,” he said.
Vasusena found that the blade was gone from his throat and he sprang to his feet. He looked around in confusion. He was alone in the tent. He ran outside. The heat of the day was overpowering. The few soldiers whom he had brought were all there, some patrolling, some standing guard.
He came inside, frowning. Where had Krishna disappeared to so quickly? Or had he imagined the entire episode?
He ran his hand through his hair. He wiped the sweat from his face. He wondered if he was being delusional.
Then he saw the letter on the table. It was placed on the table and held down in place with his own ink pot. Vasusena removed the ink pot and picked it up and scanned it. Krishna had put his name and seal on it. The contents were as he expected. Krishna had demanded that Indraprastha be returned to the Pandavas in return for Suyodhana. And Dhritarashtra was to put his agreement on paper under the royal seal. The agreement was to be delivered to the Pandava camp by Vasusena. Suyodhana would be returned safe on the day the Pandavas re-entered Indraprastha.
Vasusena’s face was grim as he read this last part. Krishna was not leaving anything to chance.
There was a separate letter underneath which was addressed to him. It contained a few instructions. He was to deliver the letter to Yudhistira in person, tell them Krishna’s efforts at peace were successful and Krishna would be rejoining them in Indraprastha.
Vasusena fumed at the peremptory nature of the missive, but he was helpless. He furled the message to the King into a tight scroll and put it into a container. He would break camp and go to Hastinapura. The sooner they got this over with, the better.

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