Bisringkhal-An Assam Timeline

Chapter 9: Namrup

VVD0D95

Banned

Chapter 9: Namrup​



January 1675


Suhung shifted on the throne, Pakhari’s words echoing in his head. Was he truly as weak as she’d made him seem? Was she right? Did he need to be more active in seeing what was happening in the Kingdom? He did not know. Something inside him told him that Pakhari was right.



However, another part told him that she was a woman and what did any woman know of what it meant to be King? And yet, the part that told him that Pakhari was right also told him that his mother had known what it meant to lead. What it meant to struggle. And would he truly consider his mother less than just because she was a woman?



Of course not!



His mother had been the best. The woman who had built their family back after his father’s execution. She had been deserving of everything and more. And yet there was something inside him that rebelled at the thought of listening to his wife.



Why he did not know. But it was there. He glanced to his right where Pakhari was sat, she was staring straight ahead. She had not looked at him since she had told him what she thought of him. He was terrified that she did not care for him. That she would never care for him if he did not act.



Suhung took a breath and then looked at Debera, the man was stood near the foot of the throne. What was the man planning? What was his game? Suhung had thought he had known. But now he was not sure.



He nodded to Debera, and the man nodded to a guard. Soon enough, the doors to the throne room opened and a guard announced. “His Highness Prince Arjun, Prince of Namrup.”



Suhung felt a flutter of excitement as his cousin walked into the room. Arjun had been there for Suhung when his father had died. Indeed, even before that, Arjun had been there. Ensuring they had what they needed.



Prince Arjun was tall and slim, but he looked like a warrior. He was everything Suhung wanted to be. The man strode forward, accompanied by his household. He knelt at the foot of the throne.



Suhung looked at him, fighting the urge to get up off the throne and embrace him. Instead, he remained seated and waited.



Arjun spoke the words of the oath. “I, Arjun, Prince of Namrup do hereby offer my undying allegiance to His Majesty Suhung, King of the Ahom Kingdom, Dragon of Indra and Chosen of the Gods. My sword is yours from this day to my last.”



“Rise, Arjun, Prince of Namrup and know that you have our everlasting gratitude.” Suhung said.



Arjun rose and Suhung waited a moment before asking. “How was your journey here?” Namrup was a two-day journey from the capital.



“It was pleasant, Your Majesty, thank you. We did not have much trouble.” Arjun said.



“But there was trouble?” Suhung asked, glancing at Pakhari who was looking at Arjun with interest.



“Some minor nonsense from peasants who wanted to know if we were going to Charaideo.” Arjun answered.



Solail.



The name sent a tremor through Suhung. Solail was in Charaideo, and if peasants were asking Arjun about him, that meant they thought he was a serious threat. He glanced at Debera, but the man’s expression was hard to read. What was he thinking?



If you want to break from the man, you must do it now.



Suhung wondered where that thought had come from. He knew what he was supposed to say now. There was supposed to be endless pleasantries and then a dismissal, but he found himself not content with that. Instead, he said. “Everyone but Arjun may leave.”



Suhung saw something flash across Debera’s face, but just as quickly it was gone. Everyone bowed and departed, some murmuring, others going in silence. Once the last of them were gone and the doors were shut, Suhung got up off the throne and walked down the steps, embracing Arjun once he'd got to the bottom.



“Uncle.” He said.



“Nephew.” Arjun replied.



Suhung stepped back and then said. “I need your help.” His mind was made up. If Pakhari said a real King would take steps to not become a puppet, then he would not become a puppet. Indeed, he would do everything he could to avoid becoming one.



And to him that meant involving the one person he could truly count on.



Arjun looked at him with interest. “How may I be of service, Sire?”



Suhung looked back to where Pakhari was sat and saw her looking at him intently. He looked back at Arjun and took a deep breath.



“I am worried that Debera Borbarua means to kill me. I need your help ensuring his removal and the safety of the Kingdom.” Suhung said.



Arjun said nothing for a moment, merely looked at him, then Suhung felt the tension leave him when Arjun said. “Of course, it will be my honour to help you, Sire. Debera Borbarua will not know what has hit him.”



“Thank you, Uncle. Truly, thank you.” Suhung said. He then cleared his throat and said. “I suppose I shall need to call everyone back in.”



Arjun laughed. “I think that would make sense, Sire.”



Suhung nodded and looked at one of the guards at the far end of the hall. “Send them back in.” He called. He walked back up the steps and took his seat on the throne.



As everyone filed back in, Pakhari leaned and whispered. “That was a smart choice. You did well.”



Suhung didn’t smile, but he did feel a little bit of warmth run through his body at her words. Perhaps things weren’t as bad as he had first thought.



As Debera entered the room, Suhung took some pleasure in seeing how discomfited he looked.



Good, now he will either be more dangerous and make a mistake. Or he will be knocked into compliance. Either way I shall not be his puppet.
 
Chapter 10: Whispers

VVD0D95

Banned

Chapter 10: Whispers​



January 1675


Debera took a sip of water and swallowed. The water tasted sweet which was good to know. It meant that this whole business with the fish mongers hadn’t impacted the water tank that was near the capital. They couldn’t afford to run out of good water. If they did then things would get chaotic. Of that, he was sure.



He put the cup down and looked at the young man stood before him. The man was part of the palace guards and had come to Debera’s nephew late last night supposedly with some deeply important information. Debera’s nephew had then told Debera about it this morning and here they were. His nephew was back on duty guarding the King and Queen, which meant he would not be here to hear what his subordinate had to say.



That was for the best. It meant if something went wrong, nothing could be put onto him, and at least one member of the family would be alive to carry on the work Debera had started.



He pushed that thought to one side and spoke. “Speak.” He commanded.



The young man, a boy with barely any hair on his chin, spoke then, he sounded terrified. “My lord, I was guarding the throne room yesterday when the Prince of Namrup came to offer his allegiance to the King. I remained guarding the throne room when His Majesty asked everyone else to leave and I heard the conversation that the two men had.”



Debera nodded; he had wondered what had prompted the King to dismiss everyone from the throne room for that brief moment. That he too had been dismissed rankled. But he could get over it if he learned what the King had discussed with Namrup. “Go on.” He said, prompting the guard.



“His Majesty asked the Prince of Namrup for help. He claimed that you were a threat to his safety and that he needed the Prince of Namrup’s help in handling you.” The guard said hurriedly.



So, Suhung has some stones then. Debera thought to himself amused. He wasn’t surprised, the King was a member of the Royal Family after all, and the descendants of the great King Sukaphaa always had had some fire in their bellies. Plus, it made sense that the King would approach Namrup for something like this. After all, Namrup was the closest thing the King had to a father.



“What did the Prince of Namrup say?” Debera asked.



“He promised to assist the King. He said that you would not know what was coming.” The guard said.



Debera nodded, suppressing a laugh. Arjun Konwar planned on having him assassinated, did he? He planned on ensuring Debera was struck from power, did he?



Debera would like to see the man try.



He looked at the guard and said. “Thank you for informing me of this. You have done well.” A pause, the guard clearly expected something. “Your reward is waiting for you in your room.” The guard smiled and bowed then departed. Debera watched him leave with bemusement. The guard would be killed, oh, he’d be pleasured first, Debera was not a barbarian. But he would die. Nobody could be allowed to speak of this beyond those who knew. Debera glanced at the man sat opposite him.



His brother, Achuk Borpatragohain was one of those men now.



“What do you think?” He asked Achuk.



Achuk snorted. “I think it is telling that the King has only been on the throne for a few weeks, and he is already planning on murdering you.”



Debera snorted; he could not deny that that was funny. After all, it had taken Suklamphaa some two years before he’d even thought of it.



“What will you do?” Achuk asked.



Debera exhaled. “I will see what the King and Arjun Konwar do. They’ve made it clear they want to remove me. But I want to see how they go about trying.”



Achuk nodded. “I can have more men follow Arjun Konwar.”



Debera shook his head. “No, doing that will only raise his suspicion. We need him to act freely.”



“And the King?” Achuk asked.



“The King will be watched. I will see whether he actually does what he has asked Arjun Konwar to do, and I will also make sure that the Queen is kept under significant watch.” Debera said.



“Do you think it is the Queen who has pushed the King into this?” Achuk asked.



Debera nodded. “Without a doubt. The King does not have the aptitude or the foresight to do this. He is nothing more than a puppet to be used by those with greater intelligence and guts than he.”



“So, the Queen is the greater threat of the two.” Achuk said.



“Indeed.” Debera agreed. “And it is her that we must keep a careful eye on. If we can remove the King from her influence all to the good. If we cannot, then they both will have to die.”



Achuk whistled. “Two Kings and Queens murdered within such a short space of time. People will start talking.”



Debera snorted. “Let them talk. With the Borphukan, Borgohain and Burhagohain in Kamrup, there is no one who can lead an effective resistance.”



Achuk nodded then said. “I have had word from my spies. It seems Kalia Gohain managed to travel further than we had thought.”



“Where?” Debera asked, a slight flicker of irritation emerging. Kalia Gohain should have been killed on the day his uncle had died.



“Near Darrang.” Achuk said.



“Near Darrang.” Debera repeated, not quite sure if his ears were deceiving him.



“How did he get that far” He asked.



“The Chief Brahmin. The man knows his way around the jungle it seems.” Achuk said.



Debera sighed. “He must die before he gets to Kamrup.”



Achuk nodded. “It will be done.”



“Good.” Debera said. He had come to realise that the greatest threat to his regime came not from Princes but from the very visible threat that the army in Kamrup embodied. If that army left Kamrup then he was finished. He could not allow that to happen.
 
Chapter 11: The Approach

VVD0D95

Banned

Chapter 11: The Approach​



January 1675


The ground was turning a different shade of brown, Kalia noticed. The closer they got to Kamrup the more the ground started becoming darker. He wondered why that was. No doubt Noban would know, Noban knew all those sorts of things.



Thinking of Noban caused Kalia’s heart to ache. He had not heard from either of his brothers for weeks now. He had not expected to. They no doubt thought he was dead. But that did not mean it didn’t hurt.



Be safe, wherever you are. He thought, saying a quick prayer to the Mother Goddess before pushing the thought to one side.



Kalia looked to his right, where Biswa Singha, the Raja of Darrang rode. Biswa looked even more heavyset with his cloak and turban. He looked like some sort of beast from the stories. Kalia just hoped that he fought like one.



The man was otherwise good company. Kalia had stayed up late over the past few days drinking and talking with the man. He certainly had a lot of stories to tell. Of fighting Delhi, of fighting Nagas, of riding alongside Kalia’s own father.



Kalia found that he liked the man. He was good company. His brother, Sher Gohain, who rode to Biswa’s right, was another matter altogether. Sher did not speak much; all he did was watch and observe. Sometimes he would whisper something to Biswa, but that was it.



“We are close, Your Majesty.” Biswa said, his gruff voice breaking into Kalia’s thoughts.



Kalia blinked and saw Biswa looking right at him. “We are?” He asked in response. He had never been to Kamrup and had never seen it other than on a map.



“Aye, Sire. Another two- or three-hours riding, and we shall be at the outskirts.” Biswa said.



Kalia nodded, then looked forwards, taking in his surroundings. Trees lined the path on either side. The chirps of birds and the whispering of lizards echoed in his ears. He wondered if deeper within the forest there were tigers and leopards and maybe other things.



There likely wouldn’t be any elephants here, when he’d asked Biswa why he wasn’t travelling on an elephant as was his right as a Raja, Biswa had given an interesting explanation. “All the elephants that were have either ventured southward or have been taken northward. They avoid this area due to the large number of people.”



That had made sense to Kalia even if it had saddened him.



“What can you tell me of Kamrup and the men we are going to meet?” Kalia asked.



Biswa Singha huffed out a breath before answering. “Kamrup towers above almost anything I have ever seen other than Garhgaon. It has many streets, many people and sometimes stinks of shit, other times it smells like flowers. The temple of Mother Goddess is the best thing about it.”



“How so?” Kalia asked. He wanted to see the temple, legendary Kamakhya where a part of the Mother Goddess had fallen as Shiva had carried his wife back to Kailash.



“It towers over everything. Indeed, it can be seen from the entry gates. It is imposing and formidable. A structure that could only have been made by God.” Biswa said.



Kalia nodded and then asked. “And the men we are going to meet?”



He had never met any of them, for they had always been either away fighting or in Kamrup. Which was a strange thought given the things that had happened.



“Where to start.” Biswa said. Kalia glanced at him and saw that his brow was furrowed.



“Lalusoka Borphukan is a man of great ambition.” Biswa said. “He wants to surpass his brother’s achievements.”



Kalia raised an eyebrow at that. The man’s brother was the legendary Lachit Borphukan who had sent Delhi’s armies running back across the Manas River. How did Lalusoka hope to surpass that?



“He is a capable commander and is admired by his men. But he has the propensity to get into conflicts with his fellow commanders. Foremost amongst them Atan Burhagohain.” Biswa said.



“What do you mean?” Kalia asked. Was he going to have to play mediator?



“Atan Burhagohain is also ambitious, he is also capable, but he is also politically sound. He knows where to turn when he needs assistance, and he knows when to go things alone. And unlike Lalusoka, he has made sure to keep the people of Kamrup happy. He frequents the temple of Mother Goddess.” Biswa answered.



“And Lalusoka does not?” Kalia asked.



“Not as often as he should.” Biswa replied.



Kalia grunted, so, there was more protocol he was expected to follow then. “And what of the Borgohain?”



Biswa chuckled. ‘The Borgohain is a man who likes details and administration. The entire enterprise in Kamrup functions because he has allowed it to. If he was ever turned away from Your Majesty’s side, the entire enterprise would fail.”



“So, he is the one I should focus my efforts on first?” Kalia asked.



“Yes, he is the one who makes everything move.” Biswa answered.



Kalia exhaled. So, he would need to be a politician first rather than a warrior. “Is there anyone or anything else you would recommend I keep in mind before we get to Kamrup?”



It was not Biswa who answered then, instead it was the man’s brother, Sher who answered. “The Brahmins who staff the temple.”



Kalia glanced at the man and asked. “What do you mean?”



The man exhaled and Kalia could see mist form from his breath. “They influence the soldiers. They tell them what to think and what to do when things get tough. The army has been in Kamrup for four years without fighting a battle. The only reason they have been able to stay peaceful is because of the Brahmins.”



Kalia felt his eyes widen. Was it truly possible that that was the case? He glanced back and saw Mohanmala talking idly with one of Biswa’s commanders, and supposed there was a truth to Sher’s words. After all, Biswa had accepted that Kalia was the rightful King based off Mohanmala handing him the Buranji.



“So, the Brahmins then?” Kalia asked looking at Sher once more.



“Yes, Your Majesty. Bring them around and you will have Kamrup.” Sher said.



Time to remember what I know of Mother Goddess then.
 
Goddamit. Why do all the India-centric authors keep getting banned?
I mean, it very clearly says why, in the ban notice.
Incidentally if someone who was dilligently reading this wants to take this as a sign to learn enough Assamese history to realize their own vision of how events continue, this is your sign.
 
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