The story of Pabitra Sundari - Part 4

By NLRC Staff

Since King NLB had been away from the palace for a long time, there was a lot of work piled up for him to do. He started going through each one of them thoroughly. He used to take each and every task seriously, and used to give the things that concerned the people the highest priority. But there were just so many cases to be reviewed and so many decisions to be made. King NLB was confined in his palace working long hours for many days. Weeks had passed by when he finally completed all the things laid out for him to do. After entire two months of nonstop work in the palace, he was finally free from all the burden of completing his immediate responsibilities, and found some free time.

During such free times, he used to go around the palace and around the country and talk to as many people as he could. But this time, the first thing he wanted to do was to meet Pabi. Pabi had been on his mind all the time. He remembered the time he had spent with her before he got back to the palace. He thought of her and wondered if she had been okay all those days since he had left her. He remembered the promise he had given to her as he had left her. He was sure that she was the right person for him.

King NLB decided to go to her home to meet her and ask her hand in marriage. There was going to be one difference when he would meet her this time from the time he had met her before. He was going to meet her as a king and not as a wanderer. He wanted to make the visit special. He gathered up all his horses and men; and with the minister by his side, he got ready to go to Pabi's home.

As King NLB and his men were about to march forward and leave the city, the convoy was interrupted by a messenger running towards the king. "My lord, the bandits have attacked the nearby villages," the worried messenger informed the king, "we need to stop them." Everyone looked at the messenger in surprise. The messenger was one of King NLB's trusted messengers, so there was no doubt that the attack had taken place. The fact that multiple villages were attacked made the situation more serious.

King NLB ordered the convoy to stop. He had now to decide whether to continue his trip to Pabi's home or to go to the villages to fight the bandits. It was an easy decision for him. For him, his country had always come first and it was not anything different this time as well. "All of you, quickly get your arms and weapons, we are going to rescue the villagers from the bandits, my marriage can wait," King NLB ordered his men to get ready to fight the bandits.

Rounding up his men, King NLB with his army marched towards the villages. Four villages were being plundered, so, he divided his men into four groups and led one of the groups himself. Using the fastest horses, they soon arrived at the villages. Everything in the villages was burning; the houses were on fire and the bandits were looting the crops, the food and everything else they could find in the villages.

"Charge!" shouted King NLB, and with all his men, he went after each and every bandit involved in the attack. The fighting went on for some time and soon King NLB and his men successfully drove the bandits off. Even though the bandits had fled, the villages were still burning and many had been injured and lots of things looted from the villages. King NLB ordered his men to help the villagers and he, himself, started nursing the injured and dousing the fire. He tried to bring things back to normalcy as much as he could.

There were so much recovery efforts needed to be done at the villages that no one noticed how quickly time had passed. They were working throughout the night and by the morning, things looked a bit calm and manageable. King NLB left some of his men in the villages, in case the bandits returned back to the villages, and he then went back to his palace. Once at the palace, he called for his minister.

"Who are these bandits? Who do they work for and where do they operate from? We need to find them and capture them," he told his minister, "If we don't, they will attack our villages again and many of our villagers will die if we do nothing about it."

"We will find them at once, my lord," said the minister.

After much digging into the matter, the minister found the hideout where the bandits were staying and soon informed the king about it. King NLB took no time to prepare for an assault of the hideout and soon stormed the hideout with his men. He ordered his men to attack and capture the bandits and also gave them special instructions not to kill the bandit leader and present the leader to him if they could as he wanted to get more information from the leader. As per his order, the king's men fought bravely and defeated the bandits and captured the leader. The bandits were soon rounded up; the bandit leader was brought to the king and others were sent to a prison.

King NLB looked at the bandit leader kneeling in front of him and asked, "Why are you doing this? Why are you killing our villagers and destroying our villages?"

The bandit leader did not say a thing, but King NLB did not give up. He wanted to prevent such attacks from happening again and was determined to find out the motives behind the attack. The bandit leader's silence angered him and King NLB started to lose his patience. Angry King NLB then put his men to interrogate him. After a harsh interrogation, the bandit leader finally spoke his first words.

"King NLB, there is a conspiracy going on to remove you from the throne," the bandit leader revealed, "and worry not, it has already started." The bandit leader then changed his tone and seemed to offer some advice to the king, "Here is my advice to you. Beware of your minister. He is the grand master of everything."

As soon as he finished conveying those messages, the bandit leader killed himself.

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