“I have been drowning in these thoughts, day and night, Thambi. I think there are two people who might know about all this. One is the Royal Matron Sembiyan Maadevi. I feel she knows some parts of this story. The other is our Chief Minister, Aniruddha Brahmarayar. I think he knows everything.”
Poonkuzhali did not open her mouth. Amudhan mentioned that it was the Princess Kundavai and the Kodumbalur Princess Vanathi, who were waiting at the Nandi Mandapam, at Aanaimangalam.
The elephant continued its majestic gait. There were soldiers in front and at the back of the elephant. The rain stopped. She saw the clouds disperse and the stars come out. She wondered if the astrologer’s words of her son, who would rule the three worlds, would be true. She drifted off to sleep.
“I had received information that a girl with knowledge of a very important information related to the state, was traveling on this stretch of road to Nagapattinam. She knows information about someone who is a great threat to the kingdom. I had given orders to my men to capture her and bring her here. Perhaps they might have gotten the wrong person.”
Vanathi said in a trembling voice – “Do you know who I am? I belong to the Kodumbalur Velars. If you harm me, you will be vanquished completely.”
He hissed back, “Yes, we know about you. That is why we were waiting for you. Keep quiet for a while.”
I intend to wait for no one. I do not need wise counsel from any elders. I need a favour from you. I would like you to accompany me to the Nagapattinam Choodamani Viharam, which is where I intend to go.
Vandhiyathevan shuddered thinking about the bed-ridden Sundara Chozhar in Thanjavur, the Prince Arulmozhi suffering from the tropical fever in Nagapattinam, Prince Aditya Karikalan meeting the Pazhuvoor Rani in Kadambur, and Madhuranthakar, whose recent lust for the throne had angered the people.
He had visited the great cities of Thanjavur, Pazhayarai and Anuradhapuram. He had befriended the love of this land, Prince Arulmozhi, and assisted him. Above all, he had found a place in the heart of the Princess of this land. How lucky was he? Yet, for some unexplainable reason, he was sad.
Akka, the four warriors and the palanquin bearers who brought me here, have been resting here for years. They can take me back. No one would dare touch Vanathi of Kodumbalur in this kingdom, especially since everyone knows that I am the Princess’ favourite.
“Ammani, perhaps the Prince might listen to everything else that you might advise him on, but on this matter, I think not. He was also telling me that he would never want to sit on a throne, even if you tell him to. He refused the Lankan throne right in front of me.”