He had been sure that after death, he of all people, would be bestowed with a place in heaven.
And why not?
He had been a noble and a gallant ruler. Was tolerant and humane even to the prisoners of war and had been more victorious than any of his predecessors. The people and his kingdom touched new boundries under his leadership. He was showered with blessings, not due to fear but out of sheer respect and admiration. His people still idolize and worship him, generation after generation; and he knows that he does not deserve it.
If only they knew, that Sultan Ibrahim Suleiman was here, stuck and rotting in the 2nd circle of hell. Who would believe that the invincible and gallant Sultan is facing a raging tempest that makes him swerve everytime like a dead leaf..?
They wouldn't believe, because in their eyes Sultan Ibrahim had been nothing but an ideal ruler. He had won wars spreading his territory. Took measures which ensured the betterment of his subjects. What more was expected from a king? It seemed certain that he had made his forefathers proud and thus would be received in the heaven with a great pomp and show. Sure he had the tendency of being supercilious, but it was a customary character trait among the people belonging to his stature.
However, no one knew what went through the Sultan's psyche. No bets on the reasons behind his every action; the ulterior motive behind his every move.
On the contrary, it didn't take him long to understand why he was here.
He always knew, deep within, that he had been a great king but a pathetic human being. His God was making him pay for his deeds. Deeds which he was guilty of, but never thought them to be equivalent of a sin.
He wasn't aware of the fact, that, in the eyes of that Supreme Leader, hurting someone intentionally was no less than brutally killing them.
And he had wronged and hurt someone. Someone very close to his heart. Someone he very dearly loves. He still remembers all those beautiful moments he had spent with Zari.
Zaryab Sulatana was his best friend, his childhood sweetheart, his first wife and the woman who gave his Sultanate their next leader.
Zaryab and Ibrahim were betrothed at an early age and grew up together. They were inseparable since childhood, as thick as thieves roaming and stirring trouble around the castle.
Ibrahim didn't allow anyone to separate his Zari from himself. That was the reason why Zaryab Ibrahim Suleiman excelled in politics and swordsmanship. She was a skilled female equestrian and had a vast knowledge about astronomy and medicinal herbs. She was a better warrior than any of Ibrahim's brothers.
No wonder, when Ibrahim took over the throne Zaryab turned out to be his most trusted confidant and advisor.
Like the intricate work of 'Zari', she too was delicate, her beliefs woven with gold and silver, royal yet impactful. She understood Ibrahim like no one else and was never afraid of pointing out his mistakes on his face. She was his backbone, his home.
Her slender figure and ivory skin. That diamond stud, sitting on her dainty nose, which sparkled under the sun. Her long straight black hair which swayed on her thin waist. All this managed to leave him spellbound, always.
As his power and realm grew, so did his responsibilities and pressure. Soon he started loosing control and lashing out at anyone and everyone. He stopped taking advise due to the fear of being judged as an incompetent ruler.
He started favouring the company of sweet-talking crafty men who flattered him with praises and complements, over his wise and loyal courtiers. With no sensible advisor by his side, he started making impetuous decisions.