They came out of nowhere. Bhaskara frowned as he saw that their faces were covered. They were armed with swords and daggers. And he was unarmed.
His eyes swept the area just as the men closed on him, their strides measured. The temple was deserted at this time in the evening. The sun had already gone down.
They were very near him now.
"Who are you? What do you want?" He asked.
"We are your death!" one of them said even as he lunged at Bhaskara with his sword. Bhaskara caught the blade with one hand. The enchantment on him prevented injury to his palm, but the pain was there. He grimaced but did not relax his grip as his other hand clenched to a fist and slammed into the man's jaw in the same instant. The man's grip on the sword slackened and Bhaskara yanked it from his hand, transferring the hilt to his palm and taking a defensive stance. His attackers hung back a bit, since he was armed now. The owner of the sword snarled and lunged at him and Bhaskara slashed him across the chest.
With a shriek, he went down. One of his fellows bent down and slit his throat with his dagger.
"We don't want noises, here!" He said as he rose.
"Why are you after me?" Bhaskara asked. "Who sent you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" another one jeered.
They attacked together, with sword and dagger. Bhaskara had no time even to think as he fended them off with everything he had. But he knew that he would not be able to sustain this for long.
"Hey!" There was a shout and then an arrow pierced the heart of the man on the right flank.
"Run!" One shrieked, as they fled from the arrows.
Bhaskara thrust the sword into the ground and stood with his hand on it, breathing heavily.
"Are you all right?" Arnava sounded anxious as he came running to his brother.
Bhaskara nodded, too winded to speak.
"Who were they? Why were they attacking you?" Arnava asked.
"I have no idea," Bhaskara said as he straightened.
He looked around him. There were five corpses there, including the first man and two had arrows sticking from their bodies.
"Thank you," he said.
"Don't thank me!" Burst out Arnava. "I am sorry I didn't get them all!"
Bhaskara bent down and ripped the cloth covering the dead man's face. He frowned. The man was a total stranger.
"Do you know him?" Arnava asked.
Bhaskara shook his head.
"Let's go home," Arnava spoke, pulling at his arm. "It's getting dark. We shall send some of our guards here to remove the corpses and to examine them. There's nothing we can do here."
They walked away from the temple.
"Kill him! Why did you save him!" A voice echoed in Arnava's head.
"No! He's my brother!"
"He's your death! Kill him before he kills you!"