They passed barren lands, thick forests, rivulets and streams. Poonkuzhali lost track of where she was. She had originally felt afraid. The Prince turned towards her and smiled a couple of times. This calmed her down. She returned to her daydreams.
The elephant suddenly trumpeted loudly and started running wildly. It did not care for the trees and branches in front of it. The earth shook. Frightened birds shrieked and flew out of the way. Small animals scurried out of the way. Poonkuzhali felt fear envelop her.
“Parthibendran and I did not know what happened inside the hut. We recently got to know that it was a girl who had given refuge to Veerapandiyan. She had stood between Karikalan and her lover, the Pandiya King. Karikalan had kicked her aside and beheaded the King.”
The General said in a slow voice, “Prince, that girl inside the hut – she was Nandini. “
“There is a reason for this. The Prince is going through a very bad time. Even the Kudandhai Josiyar confirmed this to me. Friends and associates of the Prince would also face hardships. The Prince does not want this. He does not want anyone else to suffer.”
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.”
The queen was pregnant and realised that the mute girl was pregnant as well. Out of compassion, the queen took the mute girl to the palace. The girl gave birth to two children in the palace. The queen offered to raise one of the children in the palace. The girl first hesitated. After deep thought, she decided to leave both the children at the palace and she ran away into the dark of the night.
That was when that the warrior realised that the girl was deaf and dumb. The warrior’s heart broke. Yet, his love for the girl increased. He did not feel that the loss of the two senses was significant. Her expressive eyes compensated for them.”
While the Princess’s mind was flitting between so many of these thoughts, Vaanathi’s clear thoughts were focused on only one person – Prince Arulmozhi. She was worrying about the Prince, and the potential hardships that he was facing in Lanka. She was thinking about when he would return.
“Thirumalai, please tell me what you have seen and heard during your travels. Tell me as is, without hiding anything.”
“Are you asking me to narrate here? Things that I say might shock anyone who hears them – even Vayu Bhagavan, the Wind God, Bhooma Devi, the Earth, and Samudrarajan, the Lord of the Ocean.”