Vandhiyathevan thought for a bit. While he should stick to speaking only the truth, he thought it better to not talk about the Prince to anyone for the near future. He should first consult the Princess and then act as per her suggestion.
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.”
“Ponniyin Selvare, please forgive me. I have sinned.”
“Brave soldier, you did your duty. You need not ask forgiveness for that. For fighting in battle, for the sake of your motherland, you will definitely go to Heaven. There is no doubt.”
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.”
“Listen, there is even more to what he has to say. He claims that you met this young spy outside the Thanjavur gates when you were travelling here. He also says that you must have given him the ring then. He claims that the spy also came into this very palace and met you surreptitiously here. Or, he says, the ring must have gotten to him through that other magician who keeps frequenting this palace.”
“If there is a big calamity that befalls the Chozha kingdom, it would be because of only two ladies.”
Kundavai exclaimed, “One lady is me; who is the other one?”
“The Pazhuvoor Queen, Nandini.”
He turned towards Nandini and hissed, “I hear that Princess Kundavai is planning to come to our palace. And I hear that it was you who invited her. Why does she have to come here? Have you forgotten how she insulted you earlier?”
Mysore Throne. pic src: deccan chronicle The Periya Pazhuvettarayar knew that there was a lot of gossip around him wedding a girl half his age.