In the meanwhile, Rutas, with his twelve thousand sorcerers, arrived and bivouacked near Mahrukh Magic-Eye’s camp. When Mahrukh received the news she too, alerted and warned her camp. The tricksters and trickster girls also witnessed the arrival of Rutas’s forces and began planning their respective strategies.
Rutas rested for a day. The next evening, when King Sun retired to his western post after making his round of the sky, and the torch of the moon was lit in the heavens, the heavens’ old farmer, carrying the mattock of the Milky Way, arrived in the field of sky to water the crop of stars.
The beating of the drums of war and trilling of the magic bugles was heard from Rutas’s camp and the air was rent by the cries of “Slay! Slaughter!”
Magic birds flew into Queen Mahjabeen’s court and proclaimed with great decorum, “THE ENEMY HAS STRUCK THE DRUMS OF WAR AND HARBOURS IMPIOUS INTENTIONS.” Mahrukh Magic-Eye said, “Order the drums of war to answer from our camp. God is our Protector.” Immediately, her officers struck the drums of war and martial music from the Turkic flutes began floating on the air.
Every warrior became alert and busied himself in preparation for battle. For four watches of the night the air was filled with the noises of sorcerers preparing their spells and the din of the braves readying their weapons. Finally it was time, when the Beautifier of the World held up the mirror of sun before the lovely face of the beloved morn and, filling the parting of the coiffure of World’s Bride with dawn’s sandal dust, displayed its luminous face to the world.
At the break of dawn, Mahrukh, Bahar and Nafarman began marching toward the arena with their armed contingents. Queen Mahjabeen arrived in the battlefield with great fanfare in the company of Prince Asad. At that moment, the enemy forces also entered the arena. The sorcerers arrayed themselves. The warriors made ranks. The battlefield was readied and the criers proclaimed, “O braves, this world is the abode of grief and admonition. This field of carnage is the domain of honor and distinction. You must barter your valor to take away riches from this field. None has remained and none shall remain but the name of the brave and valiant alone.”
After the criers became silent, Rutas himself came forward and displayed his magic by creating a shower of stones. He then called out, “O ingrate rebels, is there anyone among you who dares to face me and withstand my magic?”
While the sorcerers loyal to Mahrukh stirred to answer his challenge, Rutas recited a spell and clapped. Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of magic birds came flying from the direction of the wilderness and began perching on the heads of Mahrukh’s soldiers. Whenever a magic bird landed on someone’s head he immediately turned into a tree, shoots sprouted from his body, green leafs covered him, branches protruded swaying from his trunk, and birds made their nests in them.
Mahrukh, Shakeel and other renowned sorcerers recited counterspells to ward off Rutas’s magic.
The charming Bahar gave audience with utmost glory on a peacock throne. She surmised that by displaying his magic and turning her soldiers into trees, Rutas indirectly challenged her.
She descended from her throne and, adjusting her mantle, arrived before Rutas. She undid her hair, took out a small box and opened its lid. Inside it was a small, beautifully carved ivory figurine. Bahar cut her finger and let fall a few drops of blood onto the ivory figurine and said, “O magic slave girl of Sameri, regard the magic birds that perch on my men and turn them into trees. Is this how you recompense me for bestowing you the honor of placing you on my head?”
The magic slave girl laughed, leapt out of the box, and disappeared.
A few moments later everyone noticed a colossal net spread over the length and breadth of the sky. They saw flocks of Rutas’s magic birds struggling inside the net. The magic slave girl, with a knife in her hand, brought the birds out from the net and slaughtered them. Their blood splashed on the trees and returned them to human form.
When Rutas witnessed this scene and saw Bahar standing before him he realized that she would, momentarily, cast a spell over him too; he would be unable to break it and it would bring an inglorious end to his mission.
Rutas took out Jamshed’s mantle, flew up by magic and snapped it in the air above Mahrukh’s army, releasing the soil of Jamshed’s grave…