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🍂Jarha, India 🍂

Aadi took a look at the four faces, he could see the hostility and disapproval beneath their smiles ,there was only one person whose face portrayed sincerity and it was Sharma, the old Royal scholar.

Bhilal•the royal advisor, Roshan•the tax officer, Siddhu•the Prime Minister and Sharma, these four people makes up the Royal Court, although the Raja is the highest symbol of authority in Jarha, members of the court can object to any unsuitable law by the Raja if all four of them are in agreement.

The court was built like a cathedral, it's high arched ceilings and antiquated Furniture gives it a sacred look.

" Maha Raja ( *the great Raja), the villages of Paltik and Jaram has refused to pay thier taxes, should we order the knights to inflict them with pain " Roshan stated

Even though the people weren't ready to accept him, he had always had thier best interests at heart, he had always been concerned about thier welfare and he had always taken thier hardships into consideration, the villages of Paltik and Jaram had suffered a huge rainfall that had affected the growth of their crops, for five years now, the climate of Jarha had been irregular, it was either the sun would be so scorching or an abnormal downpour of rain.

" let them be, give them time to get back on their feet, for the rest of this year, do not disturb them to pay thier taxes " he said and saw the anger that flashed over Roshan's face for a second, Bilhal and Siddhu grumbled beside him.

" Maha Raja ------ Siddhu, begins, making the short syllable sound more like an insult rather than a respectful greeting -----the people are saying that you are weak, they are saying that they would not allow a weak Raja to rule over them, they believe a Raja that is not man enough to choose a bride is not worthy to rule over us, they plead for the release of Malek, the rightful heir to the throne of Jarha "

Bilhal finished with a bow

Aadi clenched the crystal wine glass in his hands so tightly that the veins in his arms became visible, these were the same people that had pushed his father to his ruin

" Bilhal, didn't you swear your allegiance to me the day I became the Raja?

He let the question hang in the air and he could see the fear in Bilhal's eyes as he struggled to regain composure

" yyyess. Maha Raja, I did... I was only concerned about the people...

" you took an oath that all the advice you would give would only be for my good so why do you speak such blasphemy before me?

Bilhal flushed guiltily and Aadi's eyes turned a darker hue

" if you decide to turn against me ------- unsheathing his sword and placing the gleaming silver tip close to Bilhal's neck who trembled with fear --- then I'll kill you the way a Raja kills a treacherous member of his court "

He ended before sheating his sword

Silence fell upon the room and the rest of the activities were discussed, Aadi could tell from thier faces that they were plotting against him, it had taken all his wits to survive in this den of wolves, he had gotten to realize that he couldn't trust them a bit, he couldn't trust the advice of his advisor neither could he vouch for his tax officer's sincerity, and the Prime Minister was nothing to write home about, the only reason why he hasn't disbanded most of them was because of the strict laws and customs of Jarha but he was determined to abolish those customs.

There was only one person that had always accepted him and he was the only person Aadi could trust, Sharma, the old Royal scholar, his hair was covered with more grey than black, his skin was wrinkled and his shrunken eyes shone with all the knowledge and intelligence of this world, they were the only ones left in the courtroom after the others had dispersed

" the Raja should care..ful because he is surrou..nded by wolves in sheep's " Sharma began in his wavering voice

" how is the. princess faring"

Sharma was one of the few people that knew about the princess existence and the scandals surrounding her birth

" she is well taken care of " Aadi replied in a tone that he hoped was convincing enough

"you do not convince me Aadi, the princess should be more than well.. taken care of, she has a huge role to play in the future and if you treat her with hate, she would only choose to help the wrong kind of people" Sharma continued, staring right ahead as if he was actually seeing the future through a thin veil of air

" it would be very unfair to judge someone because of the situations surrounding thier birth, you want the people to accept you as the Raja yet you are judge the princess simply because she happens to be...

" Enough!-----

he hadn't realized his fingers were trembling, he didn't want to think about those scandals and the nightmares that still plagues him at night, it wasn't something he could forget, it was something he would remember for the rest of his life

------ Enough Sharma!, the Princess and I are two different cases and I do not treat her with hate "

The old man stared at him unfazed, " go to Aarush... " he started to say something more but he shook his head ,decided against it and walked out of the courtroom, the sound of his feet echoes on the dark marbled floor.

Sharma was the only one Aadi could rely on to give him good counsel and deep down he knew that the old man was right, his head was burning with thoughts as he knocked on the old priest's cottage and the door swings open by a magical force.

" Maha Raja, you have come "

Aarush, the head of the priests, an old man that was bent in shape, his back was hunched and he walks with the support of a bronze staff, he looks straight into Aadi's eyes and suddenly Aadi could see through his eyes, he could see the vision of a bright flaming star in Aarush's eyes, he sees the flickering and dimming and at once, realization dawned!

" the demon star! " he exclaimed, Aarush rubs his eyes with his hand and he could no longer see the star but his words were the first to give him hope after all these years

" yes, Maha Raja, the demon star, I can sense the bearer's wish, she wishes to return to Jarha "

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