The Royal Plot

Deepali Singh

June 12, 2022



The Royal Plot's feature image

Maharaj Suryabhan was sitting in his royal courtroom, with his head perched backwards on the rich velvet of the royal throne. There were drops of sweat on his forehead....the person in charge of the hand fan had been asked to leave as the king wanted some privacy....the matter concerning him was an important it related to the continuation of his bloodline....something which required to be discussed secretly.

Suyabhan had been ruling the kingdom of Mithapur for over 25 years now. He was 48 years old and had been crowned after his father, Late Maharaj Gaganbhan had suffered an untimely death in the hands of his enemies. Since then Suryabhan has ruled over Mithapur, though not with great efficiency. He was only a pale shadow of his renowned forefathers who had earned name and fame for themselves through their heroism and good governance.

Suryabhan had ruled all these years as a proxy king, with most of the governance left in the hands of the elderly Minister Motilal and his second wife Hemangini. He had married Hemangini 20 years back when she was only 13 years old. His first wife Charulata had been married to her for 12 years when Hemangini was brought in the palace. Though the news had been suppressed from being released to the public, rumor is that Charulata had committed suicide once Suryabhan married Hemangini. Charulata's grief was not as much at the prospect of a second woman warming the bed of her husband, but more since she could not deliver a son for her husband even after 12 years of marital life. There were allegations against her that she was barren, and she could not bear the ignominy of such allegations any more.

The fate did not alter for Hemangini either, as she soon found out. She was marked off as infertile too, after a few years, though this time more discreetly. That was because of Hemangini's clout over the ruling of the kingdom, and the affinity of the elderly minister Motilal towards her, who used to love her like his own daughter. Hemangini was well educated and she used to preside over the affairs of the kingdom while the king spent off his time over booze and whores. But despite all her wisdom and beauty, she could not deliver what was most desired by the king - a baby. She knew that without a proper heir to the king, the crown would pass on to the king's younger brother Chandrabhan at some point in future. And both Hemangini and Motilal knew that would be disastrous for the people of the kingdom as Chandrabhan was a merciless monster.

Therefore Hemangini had approved the king to marry again - a third time, and then a fourth time too, at his insistence, and in the hope that the subsequent wives may deliver what she could not. But there was no result, apart from her spending less time on bed with her husband.

By then it was known to Motilal that fertility issue was not with any of the wives that the king slept with, but it was the weakness of the king himself. But the king would never acknowledge the fact, and there was no one in the kingdom who would break the news to him.

But what worried Hemangini and Motilal most was Suryabhan's recently married fifth wife - Shailaja, who also happened to be Chandrabhan's wife's niece. Motilal had knowledge of Shailaja being one of the most promiscous women in her own land. There were also some whispers of Shailaja having physical relation with Chandrabhan. So they knew that it was Chandrabhan's ploy of shaping his own destiny. If Shailaja were to bear a child, whose ever it be, then Chandrabhan's plan will be successful.

Suryabhan straightened himself on his throne hearing the sound of the heavy wooden door opening. Motilal walked into the deserted court room and then stood in front of the monarch.

"I hope you have some positive news Mahamantri. You know how important this is for me."....Suryabhan said.....looking keenly towards Motilal.

"I have positive news Maharaj, but do not know how I can say it to you.".....Motilal said, looking down towards the marble floor.

"What makes you hesitate Mahamantri, if the news is positive?...Go ahead and say it without any trepidation.....what did the Wise One say?"

Motilal slowly looked up, then looked down again and said....."The Wise One says that Mithapur will have a baby heir, but for that royal sacrifice will be needed."

Suryabhan was getting impatient now...."Spell it out sacrifice is big enough for this noble cause....Mithapur needs a heir....I will make whatever sacrifice will be required for that."

Motilal did not raise his eyes...."Then so it be Maharaj....the Wise One says that for Mithapur to have a baby heir, the king should consummate his fifth marriage, but on the same night that his first wife shares her bed with two of the most valiant warriors of Mithapur."

Suryabhan clenched his fist....with a look of disbelief and desperation in his eyes.....

Motilal said calmly....."I know how difficult it is for you to accept this Maharaj.....and how can you even ask of this from the Maharani?....I know she will do anything for your cause....but it is such an impossible ask!"

There was silence in the courtroom for a few minutes....and then the king slowly stood up....."I know this is difficult for her.....but she has to accept it....for a cause as big as this....and you will tell it to her Mahamantri....I know she trusts you....and she will listen to you."

Then Suryabhan thought a bit....and said...."But how shall we select the two most valiant warriors of the kingdom?.....and considering something as sensitive as this, we cannot afford this to be leaked to the people."

Motilal said...."Don't worry Maharaj....leave it to me.....I know all the warriors of Mithapur....and I will select two of the need not know of them....just forget that anything will happen in the Maharani's room....anyway as you know Maharani is you just concentrate on enjoying your night with the new queen....and Mithapur will have a baby heir for for the secrecy, I will make sure of it"

A few minutes later....Motilal knocked at Maharani's door....

"Did it go as per your plan, Mahamantri ji?".....Hemangini asked in a wary voice

"Yes, I told you not to worry. He has taken the bait."

"But why me?....There are three younger queens who could have executed your plan."

"Because the gene matters....the royal heir can only be your blood...not theirs"....Motilal an assured tone..

"But why two? Why could you have not chosen one man for me?"....Hemangini asked...

"Because you got only one two shots are better than one.".....Motilal said....before turning to leave...."And I am sure Mithapur's Maharani be able to handle two bulls easily"

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