Chapter 13 : Salimpur vs Amritvan

The day could not pass quickly enough for Kiaan. Mitra arrived late in the evening, made his rounds and asked for Kiaan to meet him in the study.

“Well, aren’t you eager! Where were we, my boy? Yes, the old war. The war happened recently, around 30 years ago. After peace talks seemed __futile, we declared war on Amritvan. The war lasted for 2 months and since then, our paths have not been crossed. No trade. No contact. Occasional spying that I oversee for national security.”

Kiaan remarked “Oh! That was short. I thought war was more dramatic. Like in the stories!”

Mitra chuckled “Kriti would __deride you for being __facetious but you are merely __artless. You seem disappointed that we did not have a bloodier war. I misled perhaps. It was your father’s first battle. He was 16 at the time, and I was his personal advisor. Amritvan was beaten to a pulp. Salimpur won. That’s your story. Now off to sleep you go.”

Kiaan was not done yet. “What happened to Amritvan then? People still live there?”

“Amritvan’s __intransigence was right punished. They __denigrated our beloved kingdom, kidnapped our citizens and their __truculence was crushed in battle. They had no resource, yet they wanted to fight. Note this, prince, the war is always won by the side with more supplies. Amritvan was and is a village of angry fools who live in __penury. Their food is __insipid, and their air is __pungent with the smell of rot everywhere. They are savage criminals who live like cavemen and have no rules. They thankfully have no friends after we __occluded our trade routes. Who wants to be friends with __zealots?”

Mitra paused and saw Kiaan’s innocent face. “Indeed, they are an __aberrant set of crazy people who live besides us. I don’t mind your trekking hobby, Kiaan, but promise me this, for your own safety. Stay away from there because there is a ban. Nobody from Salimpur has ever left Amritvan alive. How’s that for a bed time story?”