She sighed a sigh of relief when the Pazhuvettarayar climbed aboard the ship. “I was worried till he reached the ship safely. He is getting old. Did you see how much loyalty that he has to the Chozha kingdom? Did you see how he got broken when he heard the news about the Prince from you? Do you think the Prince could have escaped?”
“Devi, my name is Parthibendra Pallavan.”
“Parthibendra, why did you just stop with your name? Why not your titles? Why the sudden humility? Parthibendran is the conqueror of Venganaadu and Kalingam; and is the one who beheaded Veerapandian.”
Is it really true that the Pazhuvettarayars have sent forces to arrest and capture our Prince? Why are we still calm and sitting here? We should start immediately, take on those two boats first, and vanquish those forces. We will bury them right here in Lanka. And then we will go after the Pazhuvettarayars.”
They moved on to the dilapidated mandapam. Vandhiyathevan whispered into Nambi’s ears, “This friendship with the Prince is becoming dangerous by the day. The other day he got into a fist fight with me, and today, a fierce sword fight.”
Parthibendran had been devoid of emotion until now. But now, he wiped off a tear, proving that he was a human too. He could not believe it himself. He was choking.
It looked like the cultural program had ended. There were loud cheers praising the Emperor and the Crown Prince.
The three warriors decided to stay in a royal guest house in Maamallapuram. After dinner, Malayamaan went to a cultural program that he heard was happening in the town. Parthibendran and Karikalan went to the terrace. Karikalan was looking at the beautiful night view of the city.
After hearing what his grandfather had to say, Aditya Karikalan stood rooted to the spot. He could not think straight. Parthibendran also stood staring into nowhere. The waves seemed to suddenly become silent.
We wish to take the reader to Maamallapuram. This port town was built by Mahendra Pallavan and Maamalla Narasimhar. Three hundred years later, the town was not the model city that the founders had planned it to be. The market places and the streets were empty.