The Man With Three Eyes
Pranjal was called Triambakam, in his time. Triambakam, The Three Eyed One. It was a name for Shiva, the all-seeing, He Who Has An Eye In Each Of The Realms. While Shiva knew all that went on in Swargam, Bhulokam, and Patalam, Pranjal was content with omniscience over Kosala, Videha, and Kekeya. Not a sparrow took flight without word of it reaching the spymaster of Ayodhya. But Triambakam was also Shiva, the destroyer, He Who Possesses A Third Eye. Pranjal was a destroyer, but not in the direct fashion that Shiva favoured. He destroyed using lies, and rumours, and shadows. There was never any evidence that he or Ayodhya ever had anything to do with the several dozen assassinations that he'd recommended, or the five rebellions that he'd toppled. To catch his attention was to risk annihilation. But fear was not Shiva's only aspect. Triambakam also inspired respect. Why else would Ravana be a solemn devotee of Mahadev? And in turn, he respected everyone who showed themselves worthy of it, regardless of their previous associations. Why else would Shiva bless Ravana?
And so, right under the Sage's nose, Pranjal made deals with Ravana's spymaster. He traded secrets, improved on sketchy intelligence, gave away the locations of petty outposts for details about the armies of the southern kings, and while doing so his esteem for the cunning of the rakshasas began to eclipse his fear. Even as his king went to the aid of the Devas, he met personally with the Asuras, and plotted with them, and plotted against them. Their clandestine arrangement stopped only when his king had won a decisive victory, his enemies beaten back to their island kingdom.
In his spare time, he often wondered who his demonic counterpart was. He had received reports of a sect of brahmin rakshasas, ideal for infiltrating the kingdom, but they had never been seen leaving their home. Equally implausible was the idea that it was one of the hulking beasts that were the kumbha rakshasas who was avoiding him so deftly.
He would never find out that Ravana's spymaster was, in fact, his brother Kumbhakarna, the largest of them all. Even the gaze of The Three Eyed One could not pierce that veil, and it would be one secret he would not be privy to until he reached his grave.
omake is japanese for extra, an aside to a story that has little to do with the main arc, but is useful to distract you while i try to get over my writer's block. this little bit is, inexplicably, my favourite of anything i've written in this series so far!