(Please see my post of 26th Dec for 13th part of the story)
“It is Zoran himself; he is very much alive and guarding the post,” said one soldier.
“Don’t be a fool. It is a statue and not Zoran. He is dead. And even if he was alive why would he stand guard there like a petty soldier. He is the Captain of the post,” Roock said to the soldier.
But Brasian soldiers did not believe him.
Roock said, “Let two of you come with me. We will go to there. You will see for yourself that it is just a marble statue.”
Two soldiers volunteered to come with Roock. They quietly crawled to the place where statue was installed. The soldiers touched the statue and smiled. One of them said, “Yes, you are right; it is only a marble statue. It is not Zoran. We are not afraid of anyone; we will attack the post right now and not wait till sunset. We will capture the post even if a hundred soldiers are guarding it.”
Roock and the fifty Brasians soldiers attacked the post. But the Talavian soldiers were not taken by surprise; they had been keeping a close watch on the Brasains. Talavians were well prepared and every soldier fought bravely and furiously.
Suddenly a Brasian soldier saw Zoran in front of him. Instinctively he looked towards the statue. But to his surprise the statue had vanished. Brasian was stunned. He thought that the statue had become alive. Brasian soldier screamed in terror.
Every Brasian looked towards the screaming soldier. Everyone saw Zoran standing in the battlefield, ready to fight. Everyone looked towards the statue. Everyone saw that the statue had vanished. Everyone thought that the statue had become alive. Everyone was stunned and terrified.
Zoran attacked the Brasian soldiers furiously. Many of them got seriously wounded. They all ran away from the battlefield for they were all frightened of Zoran. They had never seen a warrior fight the way Zoran was fighting. They all ran for their lives.
When the defeated soldiers were leaving for Brasia, they looked towards Eastern Post. They were surprised to see that the statue of Zoran was majestically standing at its pedestal.
“After his death Zoran has turned into a stone warrior. He was standing like a statue on that pedestal but when we attacked the post he became alive and fought with us like a tiger. By some magic Zoran has turned into a stone warrior. No army can now attack Talavia. Stone warrior is protecting Talavia,” lamented one of the wounded Brasian soldier.
Soon word spread through all neighbouring countries that Zoran had, by some magic, turned into an invincible stone warrior. Every soldier of every army was frightened of fighting stone warrior.
King of Brasia, however, did not believe this story. He shouted at the Brasian soldier who was narrating events of the battle.
“You think I am a fool. You lost the battle and now you are telling me this cock and bull story. A statue of marble can never turn into a man. Talavians played a trick on you and, like silly girls, you fell for the trick.”
But when every soldier told him the same story he became suspicious. He was also very angry with everyone at losing one more battle with Talavia. He decided to lead the army himself and attack Talavia once again.
After a few weeks, five hundred chosen Brasian soldiers led by their king marched towards Talavia. They were all well-trained and well-equipped soldiers. They laid their camp in a forest near Eastern Post. The king sent out his spies on a secret mission.
Next day the spies reported to the king that there were about fifty Talavian soldiers at the post. Zoran was not there. He was dead. His statue had been installed near the post.
“Excellency, we have personally checked the statue. It is marble statue. It is firmly fixed to the pedestal on which it is standing. It could not have changed into a man. It appears Talavians did trick our soldiers during last battle. Our soldiers fell for the trick and ran away from battlefield. We should not fear the Talavians; we can easily defeat them.”
King of Brasia decided to attack Eastern Post. He was confident of a quick victory because Talavians were outnumbered.
Battle started when Brasians attacked the post. Talavians were prepared for the attack. They were aware of the arrival of Brasians soldiers in the area. Though outnumbered they fought bravely and fearlessly.
On the King’s direction Brasian spies were keeping a watch on the statue of Zoran. They were to quickly report to the king if the statue changed into a man. Spies were alert and were watching the statue without blinking their eyes. As the battle progressed nothing happened; statue did not change into a man.
(To be continued)
© i b arora
You can read next part of the story here
You can read next part of the story here