38. Apsara

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Please don't skip the author's note at the end!


The royal sanatorium was echoing with huge wails and sobs of women standing around seeing their sons and husbands hurt, soldiers who were injured during the war were brought here as the nearby village's sanatorium halls were too small to accommodate many men. Several men lay on cots and clothed floor senseless, while few lost their arms and legs the others were severely hurt that blood was flowing through every part of their body.

Vikram was actively helping, trying to medicate soldiers with small wounds which might not require a physician's complete presence. Though he was physically present here his heart was somewhere deep inside the palace chambers where his sister lay unconscious, even the healer stood shocked seeing the queen of this great Kingdom in such a delicate state.

The sun has decided to set back and the all around the palace huge oil lanterns were being hung, when the guards around the royal gardens were lighting the lamps, that was when they saw this as they stood rooted and speechless as for the first time they happened to see this, Rajamatha Padma was running with a tensed expression on her face with handmaids tailing behind her.

This day could not be any worse they thought, winning a war comes at a price, a price of the soldiers life and unexpectedly for Abhiras it came at a price of their queen's life.

"Open the doors!" Rajmatha's loud and strained voice commanded the maids who stood on the other side of the chambers.

The doors opened with an immediate flung sensing the familiar royal voice and Rajamatha almost fell to the ground, staggered seeing her daughter-in-law, the queen of this kingdom who lay unconscious and bleeding from neck on a bed with a healer trying to examine her. The sheets around her were pooled with Chitra's blood.

She sobbed hysterically as she walked to her son who stood in a corner expressionless.

"Oh Arjuna," She cried loudly, clutching his son's shoulders pulling him in a hug, "How did this happen to our Chitra?"

And those words melted his strong built walls around his heart. He sniffled a cry as he hid his face on his mother's shoulder, "Ma.." His voice came out broken as the fear of losing Chitra was still alive in him.

"M-my lord." The healer called for him as she was done with her examination.

Rajamatha patted loudly on his son's back rubbing it trying to comfort him.

"How is she now and were you able to heal that wound?" Arjuna asked, running his kurtha's sleeve around his eyes wiping off those tears and sweat on his face, standing near Chitra.

"T-that." She hesitated as she stepped backwards,

"Do not hesitate, healer. Please tell us what is bothering you?" Rajamatha Padma asked, her tone was no more emotional, she can't let her emotions carry her away.

"It seems like qu-queen Chitra is around six weeks pre-pregnant." She whispered the last part, gulping visibly in fear.

Arjuna's eyes twinkled with happiness as a small smile made its way to his face, he is going to be a father! Was Chitra aware about this? She would be ecstatic about this!

"Oh sweet lord! You will be awarded for delivering such sweet news! At Least-"

"But there is an issue, Rajamatha ji."

"What?" It was Arjuna who stepped forward frowning, what now?

"Queen Chitra has already lost a lot of blood and the cut on her neck is very deep, it will be impossible for the child to survive this and it seems like I won't be able to stop this miscarriage from happening." She replied timidly, taking a step away from the king in fear.

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