Sunset remained a few minutes away. There would be no more bloodshed that day thought Paarth, even as blood continued to shed every which way he looked. Momentarily distracted by fatigue and affected by the dryness of his throat as he swallowed a gulp of air, a swift arrow nicked his bowstring. As Paarth turned his neck to examine the damage, another struck the headgear ornamenting his temples. Before he realized that it’s original target was meant to be the bridge of his nose, a third arrow struck his bow with such undaunting velocity, it fell to the ground leaving his hand quivering. Only two men alive were capable of reducing him to this state of embarrassment. One sat a few feet from his feet and was holding the reins of his chariot. The other could be seen in a distance now, shining brighter than the setting sun.

As he bent down to pick up his bow, two more arrows, fired simultaneously flew over his back, missing his eyes by the fraction of a second it took for him to bend. A disturbed Krishna watched in horror as Karna loaded a dart polished with deadly poison on it’s tip. Paarth was struggling with his bowstring like a blind man trying to thread a needle, his heart thumping audibly in his chest. The arrow left the bow of Bhargav, bestowed to his grudged disciple who was holding it now, heading towards the center of Paarth’s forehead as he nervously tied the knot. Krishna pressed the earth with his toe compressing a layer of the crust by 6 inches. The arrow grazed Paarth’s scalp, parting his hair along it’s trajectory, burning the strands it made contact with. A dumbfounded Paarth stood with bow in hand watching Karna retrieve a second arrow from his quiver and load it onto his bow. Paarth discarded his bow, picked up a sword and shield and leapt off the chariot, delaying Karna from shooting the fatal arrow as he readjusted his aim. Their eyes sensed the change in lighting, the sun had just set. Karna’s arrow would have to go back in his quiver. Paarth’s clumsiness of hands nearly cost him his life and presence of mind to get off the chariot had just saved it, right after his charioteer had, a few moments ago.                

        

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