Chapter 12 : An Evening with Mitra

The rain continued to pour, and the storm was not going to __abate. Kiaan was stuck inside the palace study tonight with minister Mitra, who was done checking the monthly financial __logs. Though not particularly __loquacious usually, this evening, Mitra was happy to entertain the young 12 year old prince’s questions.

Kiaan soon brought up a question which bothered him. “Mitra, what lies on the other side of Neem river? I’ve only seen the parts on one side. Can we build a bridge going there?”

Mitra shifted in his chair and asked for the map on the shelf behind Kiaan. They both stood over the map, and Mitra traced his fingers on the paper, __delineating a green patch and said “All of this, to the west of our border is Amritvan. Don’t let the name fool you. It is our most dangerous neighbor.”

Kiaan was surprised, “Whoa! Is it? We never learnt about Amrtivan in school!”

Mitra sighed “The __contentious topic of the terrible war between Salimpur and Amritvan was judged too sensitive for young children. Probably that’s why.”

Kiaan got a shock! “What? We were in a war?! When? How? Why?!”

Mitra continued “Patience, Kiaan. The __craven inhabitants of those jungles settled there a few decades ago. __Effrontery is __endemic to those people. We tried to be good neighbors and provided them with food, during young king Samar, your father’s reign. Their refusal to follow __stipulated codes and __defaulting on taxes was just the starting of our __discordant relationship. They __flouted the rules of decency, Kiaan. They kidnapped and killed our citizens and __fomented riots, trying to weaken our ancient kingdom. Don’t remind me of those terrible times, young prince. We are safer now. I’ll tell you more about the old war tomorrow night. The rain is letting up, and I must take leave.”

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