Book 2: Chapter 1: Suhung
Chapter 1: Suhung
Kamjang took a deep breath and shook his head. He was no longer Kamjang, that name had died the moment he had accepted the offer from Debera. He was now Suhung. He was now the King.
How this had happened to him when the only reason he had come to Garhgaon in the first place was to marry the former Borpatragohain’s daughter, he knew not. But this was his fate, and he supposed he ought to make something of it.
The how of it all still amused him slightly. As Suhung waited for the time to come, he found himself thinking back to it.
There was just one man waiting for him as he entered the courtyard of the Royal Palace. The palanquin stopped and was lowered. Kamjang got out and saw the man standing there.
He frowned. This was not the Borpatragohain. Indeed, this was not even the Borbarua. This was some other man. Who he was, Kamjang did not know and he did not like it.
“Your Highness.” The man said bowing low. “Welcome to Garghaon.”
“Who are you?” Kamjang demanded.
“I am Achuk, the Bhitarual Phukan. His Lordship the Borbarua has sent me to escort you to him.” The man, Achuk replied.
Kamjang frowned. Why was the King’s chief guard here? Why was he not with the King? Kamjang decided to ask this and got a laugh for his efforts.
“His Majesty has no further need of me for today.”
Kamjang frowned, but decided to follow the man, to see where this would all go.
The man led him into the Palace proper, passed guards who lowered their eyes as they passed, down one hallway and then another. There was a strange atmosphere about the place. What it was exactly, Kamjang did not know. But it made him feel incredibly unsettled.
After what felt like an age they stopped before a door that had two heavy and muscular Nagas standing guard before it. Achuk whispered something to one of the guards, and they turned, opened the door and said something. Clearly the answer pleased whoever was on the other side of the door, for the guards stepped to one side, whilst the door was kept open.
“Let me go in first, Your Highness.” Achuk said, his tone simpering.
Kamjang grunted and watched as the man entered the room, he could vaguely hear some words being exchanged. What exactly was said he did not know. But that did not matter, for the next moment, Achuk was there before him.
“Please, the Borbarua wishes to see you, Your Highness.”
Kamjang nodded and strode into the room. The first thing he noticed was that it was brightly lit. There were candles everywhere, which surprised him given the hour. But then his attention shifted to the man who was approaching him.
The Borbarua was dressed in his finery, gold and silver on his arms and body. His clothes were spotless. Kamjang noted all this with approval. He could not stand servants who did not maintain themselves.
The man bowed. “Your Highness, please have a seat.”
Kamjang followed the man and took a seat opposite him. He noted the papers that were spread out before the man on the table but said nothing about them.
Instead, he waited for the Borbarua to speak.
After a brief silence, the man spoke. “How was your journey here, Your Highness?”
“Fine.” Kamjang, was this all the man wanted to ask him? Mere pleasantries?
The man clearly sensed Kamjang’s annoyance for he changed his tack. “My apologies, Your Highness. I know the journey will have been tiring, but I felt that I needed to speak with you to inform you of changes that have occurred at the capital.”
Kamjang frowned. “What changes?”
“The Borpatragohain was executed for treason not too long ago. It was found he was conspiring with Delhi to try and cause another war.” The Borbarua said.
Kamjang felt his frown deepen. The Borpatragohain conspiring against the throne? That could not be true. The man was fiercely loyal to the King. Whenever Kamjang had met him, all he’d done was discuss the plans the King had for improving the Kingdom.
The Borbarua clearly read his silence as shock. “I know that it is surprising. I could not believe it myself when I was told by His Majesty. But the evidence was overwhelming.”
Kamjang nodded, but then asked. “What will become of my betrothal to the man’s daughter?” He did not want to be associated with a traitor’s family, no matter if the man’s daughter was beautiful.
“Before he died, His Majesty had considered this and had decided that you were to marry King Sutmala’s daughter Pakhari.” The Borbarua said.
“Pakhari…” Kamjang said. He had met her once or twice before. She was a beautiful woman. Then something else that the man had said came to his attention. “The King is dead?!” How could such a healthy man have died so suddenly?
The Borbarua nodded. “Yes, unfortunately so. It seems that the Borpatragohain’s followers decided to take revenge and poisoned the King. They have been dealt with.”
Kamjang stared at the Borbarua in horror. Someone had poisoned and successfully murdered the King! What was happening here?!
“Who… who will succeed the King?” Kamjang asked, his voice hoarse.
“You, Your Highness.” The Borbarua said looking right at him.
“Me…me?” Kamjang asked amazed. Why was he being chosen to be King?
“Yes, His Majesty felt that you were the right person to take the throne. You do not have the taint by association with the Borpatragohain that someone such as Kalia Gohain has. Nor are you someone who is constantly hounding for war, as someone such as Solail Gohain is. You are free to make your own way.” The Borbarua said.
Kamjang stared at the man, completely at a loss for words. He did not know whether this was happening, or if it was just a dream. Either way, he felt as though he would wake. “Has this been approved by the Council?” He finally asked when his words were able to come out.
“Yes.” The Borbarua said simply. “The only thing that remains is whether you will accept.”
Kamjang thought on that, did he want to be King? Or did he want to remain in obscurity? There were many things that he had always wanted to change about the way the Kingdom was run. Things that he could only change as King. Then he remembered the promise he had made his father all those years ago….
“I will accept.” Kamjang said.
The Borbarua smiled. “Excellent, thank you, Your Majesty.”
“Your Majesty?” A voice pulled Suhung from his thoughts. He blinked and found the new Bhitarual Phukan standing before him. The man was the Borbarua’s nephew, and Achuk-who Suhung had confirmed as the new Borpatragohain-son.
“Yes?” Suhung asked.
“It is time, the priests are ready for you, Sire.” The man replied.
Suhung nodded and stepped forward, preparing himself to be crowned and to become King and God’s representative on Earth.