The only bespectacled moskit in the kingdom, Keechad had a black bulky body with orange wings. A bandana headband added to his look and erstwhile identity of a spy. The tie—a recent addition—added to his teacherly persona. The mismatched appearance looked too zappy to Rogaanu but Kitaanu found it to be stylish.
Sent on foreign missions to every kingdom, Keechad had seen the world. Annukulpuram’s spy network was weak when Yatoosh first sat on the throne. It was Keechad who helped strengthen it. He now trained new spies and had shown a keen interest in tutoring the future king. The Maharaja had heaved a sigh of relief. The specialized training was important to run the kingdom.
Moskid hours flew by in learning history, political science, geography, and becoming smarter than their fellow moskits. Kirumi was still alive. So were his gobbledygook predictions. Burping and patting his belly fat, he kept on repeating a word—‘watershed’. Nobody knew what to make of it. But the Maharaja simply nodded, taking the hallucination as a good sign. Kirumi was rewarded again. It was a paid membership to the moskit gym, though.
Even the glowy Maharaja Yatoosh had grown old since that ‘once upon a time’ day he had met his successor. Kitaanu’s tutor described him as a ‘pacifist’, something that irked the warmonger Yatoosh. All throughout his reign, the Maharaja had picked fights and kicked off short-term clashes and campaigns. He had even publicly condemned most of the neighbouring kingdoms, particularly the one led by Queen Malariasa—the legendary female anopheles mosquito. She had agreed to withdraw her deadly parasites from a few human countries in exchange for new breeding sites. Those countries were later certified as ‘malaria free’ by some important human organizations. This ceasefire agreement with humans had enraged Yatoosh. His hatred for Queen Cheeti’s hardworking kingdom of ants and its orderliness was well known. Maharaja had never enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep, and used to sleep talk about crushing other empires.
Kitaanu wanted to reign differently. He wanted Annukulpuram to go global but in a friendly way. His fanciful lists of how to change Annukulpuram had now transformed into serious blueprints. And consequently, duty came calling. Choices had to be made. One of the two corps—boffins and troopers—had to be chosen. For Kitaanu and Rogaanu, the choice had been made long ago, when Sir Soupakki had told them about their parents.
Recipients of a bravery medal, Kitaanu’s parents had died saving a moskid from a mosquito killer racket. The medal was kept safe in Kitaanu’s cupboard. He had decided to wear it as a locket the day he would need strength for a big cause. Rogaanu’s parents were intelligent boffins who had died in a human laboratory while collecting blood samples of scientists working there. The blood they had sucked caused a deadly allergy. All Rogaanu got as part of their belongings was a notebook that was full of scientific theories, notes and experiments. He often browsed through it for inspiration, determined to carry their legacy ahead.
A challenge awaits Kitaanu and Rogaanu. Find out how they face it in chapter 12 of The Legend of Kitaanu!