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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

generalis Julius Caesar

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Haha, I imagine that it must be a harsh transition to go from slave to knight to ruler in the span of a decade.
 
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Hilal is now connected to the royal family. Excellent!
 
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LMaquiel

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CHAPTER 8

The death of a leader generate the need for a new leader, Hilal reasoned. It was the only way to understand what happened after the death of Umar, the doolanid of Bhakkar, the most important vassals of the habbarid, rebelled and the civil war broke out.

Imagen 0.png

The doolanids were the most powerful vassals, ruling vast territories and relied on a sizeable army.

When Hilal found out about the war, he immediately left to be at the disposal of his master. He rallied his warriors and his horses and traveled south along the course of the Indus river.

Imagen 1.png

The doolanids demanded independence, they wanted to displace the Habbarid as the ruling dynasty.

Nizam ibn Umar, the new Maharaja, was still very young, but his enemy Ahmad was also, in fact, they were the same age when the conflict burst out. Many saw in this confrontation a rivalry between Nizam and Ahmad that he had started during childhood. A war between rivals, young and eager to demonstrate their virility and prowess in combat.

Imagen 2.png

Nizam habbarid and Ahmad doolanid.

But Nizam had a problem, his enemy outnumbered him in warriors. Hilal's reinforcements were helpful, but not enough. Nizam had to request the direct help of his vassal Akbar, the brother of his wife and also of Khurshid of Khorasan, Rania had married with this young man after her unsuccessful engagements with the samids. All inexperienced young people, good advisers were vital in these situations, there was Hilal.

Imagen 3.png

The allies.

The coalition led by Nizam had the disadvantage that its forces were divided, but the advantage of being able to attack the doolanid territories from the north and the south. The first to attack were Akbar's afghans, those fierce mountaineers descended attacked from Kalat, looted Ahmad's fields and returned to his mountains, the doolanids wasted too much time going west after them and entered desert foothills where they found only rocks and lack of water. While this was happening the armies of Hilal and Nizam met east of the Indus near Vijnot. When several days later Ahmad's army reached Vijnot they did not find Nizam, he had gone south again to his lands, Ahmad then marched against the southern habbarid cities. However, he had fallen into the trap of Nizam and Hilal, they after going south turned west, crossed the Indus and headed north again to the lands of Ahmad and arrived at their capital Bhakkar. These events lasted for weeks, long enough for Khurshid to arrive with reinforcements from Khorasan, he crossed the afghan lands and there he added more warriors. The Nizam-led coalition was united.
After a few weeks Ahmad arrived to Bhakkar with his army. Both contingents were placed in formation.

Imagen 4.png

The battle of Bhakkar.

The battle began with the classic exchange projectiles. The persian archers and the afghan skirmishers drove the Ahmad's archers back. However, a sudden charge of Ahmad's horses and camels caused great confusion and caused the Nizam skirmishers to flee. The young maharaja did not wait much longer and ordered the total attack, he himself charged in the front line with his shoorveers. At the same time, Hilal flanked his fast horsemen on the left flank. It seemed like a simple strategy, but the enemies were more numerous, Hilal's warriors collided with various detachments of mercenaries hired by Ahmad, fierce indian warriors semi-converted to Islam, many attacked chanting in the language of the Vedas.

The battle lasted all day, Nizam and Ahmad searched for each other, but did not meet. Fortunately, Hilal's horsemen managed to defeat the mercenaries and wrap Ahmad's army, but they were still very numerous. Hilal intentionally left a large space of escape for the enemies, without escape they would fight to the death and cause more casualties to the habbarid troops, which were already exhausted. The victory went to the Nizam coalition.

Imagen 5.png


Hilal's tactics with the cavalry earned him the praise of many other commanders.

Imagen 6.png


After the victory in the battle, Nizam and his army besieged the city of Bhakkar. The poor city militia could not withstand the attacks on the walls and soon capitulated. Next Nizam ordered the sacking of the city, many commanders condemned this action, including Hilal.

The afghan and persian warriors committed various excesses and took many slaves, many of these savages went in search of the young Sad, the Ahmad's younger sister. Luckily for the young woman, Hilal and his guards found her hiding in the doolanid residence. He took her protected with the damapati Junah, the Ahmad's most loyal vassal who hid the young woman.

Imagen 7.png


Hilal confined them in his tent and sent messengers to Ahmad, requested a modest ransom for them in exchange for saving them from excesses and almost certain death. After a few days, some horsemen arrived at night and took them away and left Hilal his pay, they conveyed Ahmad's gratitude.

Imagen 8.png

Ahmad paid for the ransom of his sister and his vassal Junah.

The war between Nizam and Ahmad was far from over. But things were going to get more complicated, the samids declared war on the habbarid and claimed the lands of Karor, where Hilal had his residence and where his wife and his little son were. Hilal quickly asked Nizam to allow him to go north to defend his land, Nizam did not want to lose the support of Hilal's horsemen, but he had no choice but to let him go, otherwise he risked losing all north of his kingdom.

Imagen 9.png

A new battlefront for the habbarids, the samids were attacking in the north.
 
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Nizam and Ahmad were well matched. Both 18, Nizam had one extra prowess, but Ahmad had an extra stat point. My Lord @LMaquiel, thank you for updating and please be safe.
 

HistoryDude

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The Habbarids are in dire straits...
 
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LMaquiel

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CHAPTER 9

Hilal arrived with his army just in time, the samid warriors had reached the outskirts of Karor recently and were already camping in front of the city walls. Hilal's army consisted mainly of cavalry and some light infantry, it was not difficult to fall by surprise.

Imagen 0.png

Initial disposition of the battle.

The samids made their archers advance, but they did not form, a quick cavalry charge commanded by Hilal dispersed them. After that a fight began in the samids' own camp. At a certain point it could be said that the samid warriors were fighting mainly for their life and not for victory, everything was a great disorder for them. Soon they began to flee in all directions while being pursued by the horsemen.

Imagen 1.png

A landslide victory.

Hilal entered his residence in Karor, he could see that his wife Hafsa had organized an iron defense, in Karor were not caught by surprise, the militias were ready for an eventual battle on the walls.

Hafsa was taking care of and educating little Ambar, the kid was growing fast and that was more evident to Hilal due to the absence of him due to the war in the south between the habbarids and the doolanids. The kid was forming a leading personality and his father liked that. With adequate guidance in his education, this facet could be polished and he could become a great leader for the future of the house.

Imagen 2.png


A few days later a messenger arrived from the south bringing bad news. Nizam ibn Umar had died in a battle against Ahmad, both young men fought on the battlefield and the doolanid killed the habbarid, the messenger described that the duel occurred in the middle of the battle, all stopped the battle and made a round around Nizam and Ahmad. The fight was very even, but ended in a narrow victory for Ahmad when he tore the Nizam's throat with a quick movement. The messenger was a member of Nizam's personal guard, he had seen it all. Sufyah ibn Umar, the Nizam's brother, inherited the Habbarid throne and continued the war for the memory of his brother and for the glory of his father's kingdom.

Imagen 3.png

Nizam died fighting. His wife Beyan passed away shortly after during the Debul siege.

The habbarids were in trouble, the house now was in the hands of Sufyah, still inexperienced. Hilal thought a lot about what to do. The most logical thing to do would be to make the peace with the battered samids and rush to assist Sufyah in the war against the doolanids. But the situation could be even more twisted, if Sufyah died in the habbarid state the chaos would be enormous, but it could give Hilal one chance for independence. It was a fleeting thought, he only discussed it with his wife and his friends. In memory of Umar, his first lord, Hilal did not conspire against Sufyah. But he did not travel to the south, he stayed in the north to continue the war against the samids.
After the landslide victory in Karor, the samids not attacked again, Hilal was dedicated to reorganize his army and train new recruits with his commanders. Amid so much war one vitality surprise, Hafsa was pregnant. A few months later born a girl, Karima, Hafsa chose her name.

Imagen 4.png


A few days later another news came from the south, Ahmad doolanid was dead, he fell in a battle against the afghans of Akbar kalatid, he himself executed Ahmad after capturing him, he executed him in revenge for the death of his sister Beyan, the wife of Nizam. Ahmad looked like he was going to win the war, but it had taken too long and he did not honored his commitments with his mercenaries, he had run out of money. The mercenaries abandoned him shortly before the final attack on Debul, Sufyah habbarid had locked himself there. With a small army, the afghans surprised and he couldn't defeat them. Then the war ended.

Imagen 5.png

The rivalry between Ahmad and Nizam nearly destroyed the kingdom built by Umar habbarid.

But Ahmad had set an important precedent. Suddenly, the balochis who guarded the western frontier rebelled against the habbarids. Sufyah began his reign with many problems, but he did not request the Hilal's help.

Imagen 6.png


Hilal had his own business up north. After making peace with the samids, he reorganized his army and declared war on them, tit for tat.

Imagen 7.png


In Multan the samids had his residence, Hilal went there with his army. Charat samid tried to defend himself with a handful of loyalists, but he was captured. He was just a foolish boy, he gave the city of Multan and then Hilal let him run away, he didn't want to get his hands dirty executing an inept.

Imagen 8.png


Imagen 9.png


Imagen 10.png

Hilal conquered Multan at 40 years old, 20 years after his arrival at Umar's court in Debul.
 
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generalis Julius Caesar

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I agree with the duke here. Quite a journey indeed.
 
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Hilal seems to be doing well. Perhaps he can become an independent king in due time?
 
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KiratRawr

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Amazing read. Please continue keeping the Somali culture. Really glad to know you took inspiration from Malik Ambar.
 
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LMaquiel

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Hilal seems to be doing well. Perhaps he can become an independent king in due time?
Possibly, we should wait and analyze the events!

Amazing read. Please continue keeping the Somali culture. Really glad to know you took inspiration from Malik Ambar.
Interesting, but that has cultural penalties in the relationship with local characters. Malik Ambar is a great source of inspiration!
 
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LMaquiel

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CHAPTER 10

As their domains grew Hilal had to spend more and more time on matters that were beyond his great abilities, after all, he was a warrior, many tasks he derived to his council or his wife Hafsa. She was very good in administration, organization and logistics was the principal planner of the reforms that were made in the city of Karor, the capital of Hilal increasingly grew more and it required the right direction. She also excelled in diplomatic matters, in fact, the chancellor reported to her and not so much to Hilal. But above all else, Hilal and Hafsa got along very well as a couple, they loved each other and the children they had were the fruit of that love. Hilal had no more wives.

Imagen 0.png

Hilal and Hafsa.

Imagen 1.png

Ambar and Karima.

One day a messenger came from the south with sad news for the family. Zainab Tari, Hafsa's mother, passed away at her residence in Debul. Rumors indicate that she died of sadness, her husband had passed away, and her family later split as her daughters had to travel to distant places. Then came the death of Nizam and the tumultuous start of Sufyah's reign. From a low birth, Zainab Tari stood out as a dancer, that's how Umar met her and fell in love with her. She was a sindhi who reached an impossible position at a time when arab and persian women were more privileged.

Hafsa and Hilal traveled south to honor her funeral. The ceremony lasted a few days, Sufyah did not even appear, he was in the west fighting against the balochis.

Imagen 2.png


A few months later, Hilal undertook a new military campaign, this time against the small state of Dipalpur.

Imagen 3.png


Shamsher Jhuti was the governor, a vindictive craven who lived in hiding for fear of one day being attacked, it turns out that he arrived that day. The problem for Hilal is that Shamsher had woven some alliances with neighboring governors. One of them was Salah Bhambhanid, a recently dominated vassal of Sufyah, he was the son-in-law of Shamsher. On the other hand, there was Vakpatiraja of Tribandapur a vassal of the Tomara dynasty, a rajput clan from the west. Hilal was surprised to learn that Salah, his brother in faith, decided to privilege obligations to men over obligations to Allah.

Imagen 4.png

Shamsher Jhuti and his allies.

Hilal relied on the vast experience of his cavalry. The first battle was at Pancapur against Shamsher's army, they were taken by surprise, his allies did not arrive in time.

Imagen 5.png

Initial disposition of the battle.

Without cavalry, Shamsher's forces dug trenches and barricaded themselves with their archers and infantry waiting for a cavalry charge. And that happened, Hilal charged with his horsemen, several perished skewered or decimated by the archers. Next, Hilal ordered an orderly retreat, the indians cheered victory and began to pursue their enemies, leaving the trenches behind. Then Hilal ordered his horsemen to turn around and charge his pursuers. It was a great victory.

Imagen 6.png


Within a few days, the armies of Vakpatiraja and Salah caught up with Hilal's army at Kabirwala.

Imagen 7.png


This battle was more even. Hilal and his men were struck by the fact that a woman led the enemy army, a brave warrior, but she could not avoid the defeat.

Imagen 8.png


After these victories Hilal laid siege to Dipalpur, a long siege was envisioned since the city had very large walls. Fortunately, Mohri, the Shamsher's son, made a failed surprise attack on the besieging camp and was captured.

Imagen 9.png


Hilal took the battered young man and brought him close to the walls, asked Shamsher to come closer. The offer was clear: save the life of a child or maintain their dominance, at least for a few days. Shamsher chose his son and surrendered his city. Hilal granted him a safe-conduct so that Shamsher and his family could go safely. This campaign was over.

When Hilal returned to Karor his wife welcomed him with great news, a little boy had been born, they named him Zahir.

Imagen 10.png
 
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A new city added to our domain, more soon to follow I hope.
 
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Hilal is now becoming a conqueror in his own right...
 
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LMaquiel

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CHAPTER 11

In the winter of 272 after the Prophet's Hijra a delegation from Sufyah arrived in Multan. The emissary went to Hilal and handed him the letter. Dumbfounded, Hilal called his wife and summoned his council urgently. It was a great surprise for everyone, Sufyah gave Hilal the title of raja de Multan.

Imagen 0.png


This was a bit strange since Sufyah was never much of a fan of Hilal, in fact, some rumors say that he envied his fame as a warrior. Sufyah never made explicit the reasons for this action. Hafsa and Hasan the chancellor said it was a maneuver to bind Hilal as a servant of the habbarids. who could rebel after receiving so many gifts? Sufyah thus earned the loyalty of his most powerful vassal, just after being defeated in the war against the balochis and after the traumatic rebellion of Ahmad doolanid.
Be that as it may, Hilal was no longer a mere thakur, now he was a raja.

Imagen 1.png


This event also brought new responsibilities. Such a vast territory would not be easy to govern, Hilal needed vassals and for that he had to designate certain people to govern certain territories.
First of all, it should be noted that Sufyah transferred the vassalage of Salah Bhambhanid directly to Hilal. Salah ruled over the thikanas of Uch and Hasilpur.
Next, Hilal gave the thikanas of Dipalpur and Shorkot to Samir, his friend and companion in adventures, they had been together since the piracy in Oman.
And finally, Hilal gave the thikana of Bhera to his chancellor Hasan, he was ambitious and had excelled in various diplomatic missions.

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The vassals of Hilal.

The possessions were now many, Hilal ruled over many cities, but he did not forget his first residence in Karor, this city had great symbolic value. Hafsa had the idea to make significant investments in the city to remodel some streets and squares and translated into concrete actions and prosperity in the region.

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Hafsa suggested investing in Karor to benefit trade and business.

Meanwhile, Ambar continued his education with his father Hilal, the young guy liked martial affairs and saw the powerful faris of his father's court as examples.

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One day Salah, recently appointed mufti at court in Multan, informed Hilal of the possibility of claiming the lands of Kafirkot which were west of Karor, across the Indus river. It seemed that Salah wanted to gain the trust of his new lord, Hilal and Salah had previously faced each other in the battle of Kabirwala, something embarrassing for Salah as he had fought alongside the hindus.

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The lands of Kafirkot were ruled by Kallar, the lord of Kabul, a prominent afghan king who worshiped the Indian gods. This man had managed to unify several afghan valleys, the problem for him is that certain lords recently converted to Islam were invading his territory from the north and northwest. It was the perfect opportunity to attack.

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Kallar, lord of the Kabul valley and king of many afghans.

Before leaving, Hilal decreed additional taxes in order to obtain extra income since the treasury was running low.

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The army crossed the Indus river and laid siege to the city of Kafirkot, it fell a few days later, then they took possession of the nearby villages. After a few weeks Kallar appeared with his army to recover Kafirkot, to avoid being locked in a siege, Hilal faced the afghans in the open field.
It was not an easy battle, the afghans fought fiercely. The key to victory was again in the use of cavalry. Hilal chased Kallar into the mountains, but the elusive man escape. This allowed the hilalid army to take other cities in the area and the war ended, Kallar did not fight back.

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The victory against the Afghans was celebrated in Multán, Karor and the other cities and villages ruled by Hilal. The slave-turned-raja seemed invincible, his successes were known in all directions, and no one dared to confront Hilal, at least not until that fateful day.

One morning while everyone was still sleeping in the residence in Multan, a messenger burst into the great hall requesting Hilal vehemently. The raja was quickly introduced, such insistence should not be for something inconsequential. The messenger came from the city of Pancapur, the Gurjars had arrived with a huge army, they were claiming possession of several territories that belonged to Hilal. The raja prepared his army and dispatched another messenger to go to Debul to inform Sufyah about these events and request his help.

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When Hilal and his army reached Pancapur they found that the city had not yet fallen, but the size of the enemy army was immense. The next battle was terrifying.

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Initial disposition of the battle.

The Gurjar archers were very numerous, Hilal relied on his cavalry in order to make a charge that broke the enemy lines. Unfortunately, the charge was not as successful as expected, the hilalid infantry soon arrived to help, but the enemies were too many. The flanks soon overflowed. Hilal thought of dying there, fighting alongside his warriors, but the memory of his family prevented it.

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The bitter defeat in Pancapur.

During the retreat Hasan was killed by an arrow and Samir, after fighting surrounded by enemies, fell dead in front of Hilal's eyes. In a single day Hilal lost two vassals and half his army. And the war was just beginning.

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generalis Julius Caesar

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Your first defeat my lord. However, you can still lose a battle and win a war.

Hilal ages seems to be catching up to him. Looks nowhere near as young.
 
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Chapter 12 New

LMaquiel

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CHAPTER 12

The defeat in Pancapur was followed by the fall of the city, then Abohar, Ajodhan and Shorkot also fell, the gurjar army razed the fields and many peasants were taken as slaves to Lahur. During these events, Hilal was reorganizing his army and practicing sabotage tactics against the enemies, they were very hard weeks where he was going and coming from here to there. As for the rest of the family, Hafsa, Ambar, Karima and Zahir left the residence in Multan, could not risk staying there and being caught, took refuge in the mountains to the west of the Indus. Meanwhile, there was news that Sufyah had dispatched an army to help Hilal, but the exact location was not known. Be that as it may, the habbarid army was taking a long time, many cities had already fallen into enemy hands.

After a few weeks, the gujar army began the siege of Dipalpur. Hilal had reorganized his army, added new warriors, especially those who owned mounts as horsemen, were vital. When they arrived in Dipalpur they camped opposite the gujars on a hill near the city. For several days there were only skirmishes, until finally the Hindus decided to attack.

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Prithichand, the old lord of Bhera, commanded the gujar troops, he was raja Jatan's father-in-law and surely he longed to regain his lands. This raised Hilal's hopes, as Prithichand was an inept commander. The gujar archers rained arrows on the hilalids but were not very successful, on the other hand, the horsemen of Hilal made several withering charges that overwhelmed dozens of enemies, but these were too many. After a time the gujars had completely surrounded the hilalids, the cavalry could no longer maneuver properly, defeat was imminent. Suddenly, someone began to shout pointing to the south, some flags loomed on the hills of the horizon, they were the colors of the habbarids.

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The habbarid army was added towards the end of the battle.

Sufyah had arrived with his army. The gujars tried to face them, but it was impossible since their men were tired, they soon began to flee, they could not fight on two fronts. Hilal again lost almost all of his army, he was bruised and covered in blood and dust, but the victory over the gujars had been total.

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Prithichand managed to flee, but others fell during the persecution. It was about Karnpal, Jatan's ally, and his vassal Narpal. In this war many companions and friends had fallen, Hilal took his revenge executing these two infidels.

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Karnpal y Narpal were executed by order of Hilal.

Weeks later the towns and villages under gujar control were retaken, the war ended later as Jatan decided not to carry out any counterattack.

In summary, the war was tremendously negative for Hilal, not only because his army was destroyed, his treasury was empty, he was bankrupt. Hilal and his family sold a lot of personal property to save, but the situation was still difficult.

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The question of the vassals also had to be solved. Samir and Hasan died in the battle of Pancapur, both left behind two sons, Jabir and Ahmad, respectively.

Jabir had a bad opinion of Hilal since he considered him the cause of the death of his father, and somehow this was so. His father had bethroted him to a sindhi girl. For the next few years Hilal strove to please the young man through his influence.

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Ahmad was younger, her mother was the regent in the thikana of Bhera and influenced the child to make a bad image of Hilal since childhood. One way to project influence onto a potential future rebel vassal was to betrothal Karima with young Ahmad. She was older, but it didn't matter. In the future Karima was to be a deterrent possible rebellions.

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In Bhera they accepted the compromise. Ahmad sent his reply, although it was surely his mother who wrote in thanks.

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The betrothal improved the opinion about Hilal in Bhera.

Everything seemed to go remediating, they spent a couple of years in peace. One day Ibrahim, to whom Hilal had entrusted the position of spymaster, approached his lord with alarming news that someone was plotting to assassinate him. For this reason, more guards were posted at the residence in Multan and more men were added for Hilal's personal guard.

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Added to this was a rebellion by a certain Damodar, many peasants refused to pay taxes, these had increased after the last war. Hilal did not want to attack the peasants who had previously helped him in his fight against the gujars, he understood that the situation was difficult for everyone and he lowered taxes in all his domains.

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There was no need to face a rebellion, at the least not at that time.
 
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