There was something about the King of Mahishmati that disturbed Kumaravarma, in a good way though.
The smirk on his face as his chariot passed the Kuntalan delegation stamped itself on Kumara's heart like a brand. It held such self satisfaction in it, such pride.
When Devasena complained to Sumitra about her new brother-in-law's cruelty, Kumara had silently left the room. He could not bear to hear it.
At the seemantham ceremony, he wished he could delay presenting the tiger skin to Devasena until the King arrived. He yearned for a glance, a surprised smile. At the very least, he would have settled for a smirk of arrogance.
When Jayasena talked about bringing Devasena and Amarendra back to Kuntala, Kumaravarma excitedly volunteered to go.
Then the Rajmata banished them. Kumara kept his gaze on the King's face. He thought he glimpsed a small frown, a sympathetic glance towards Amarendra. There, and gone in a flash.
And as they walked away, Kumara did glance back and saw how the King stood behind his mother, his face filled with longing.
And he understood.
He understood how destiny played a fool of them all.
And later when he followed the knife wielding assassin back to the secret spot on the rocks and saw the worst of what could happen, Kumara knew true heartbreak.
But he was brave. His bravery earned him the respect of his family and for them he would sacrifice it all.
As the knife held in his hand tore the skin on the King's face, Kumaravarma screamed inside.
I thought I loved you!
The King was stoic. His eyes locked on Kumaravarma's.
I thought you did too.
As the knife plunged into his heart, Kumara blinked.
Yet here we are..
The King seemed to say.
Here we are!
Kumaravarma thought he saw a drop of tear mingle with the blood as it flowed down the King's smirk.