(Hidimva-vadha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Roused from sleep, those tigers among men, with their mother, beholding the extraordinary beauty of Hidimva, were filled with wonder. And Kunti, gazing at her with wonder at her beauty, addressed her sweetly and gave her every assurance. She asked, 'O thou of the splendour of a daughter of the celestials, whose art thou and who art thou? O thou of the fairest complexion, on what business hast thou come hither and whence hast thou come? If thou art the deity of these woods or an Apsara, tell me all regarding thyself and also why thou stayest here?' Thereupon Hidimva replied, 'This extensive forest that thou seest, of the hue of blue cloud, is the abode of a Rakshasa of the name of Hidimva. O handsome lady, know me as the sister of that chief of the Rakshasa. Revered dame, I had been sent by that brother of mine to kill thee with all thy children. But on arriving here at the command of that cruel brother of mine, I beheld thy mighty son. Then, O blessed lady, I was brought under the control of thy son by the deity of love who pervadeth the nature of every being, and I then (mentally) chose that mighty son of thine as my husband. I tried my best to convey you hence, but I could not (because of thy son's opposition). Then the cannibal, seeing my delay, came hither to kill all these thy children. But he hath been dragged hence with force by that mighty and intelligent son of thine--my husband. Behold now that couple--man and Rakshasa--both endued with great strength and prowess, engaged in combat, grinding each other and filling the whole region with their shouts.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing those words of hers, Yudhishthira suddenly rose up and Arjuna also and Nakula and Sahadeva of great energy and they beheld Bhima and the Rakshasa already engaged in fight, eager to overcome each other and dragging each other with great force, like two lions endued with great might. The dust raised by their feet in consequence of that encounter looked like the smoke of a forest-conflagration. Covered with that dust their huge bodies resembled two tall cliffs enveloped in mist. Then Arjuna, beholding Bhima rather oppressed in the fight by the Rakshasa,
slowly, said with smiles on his lips, 'Fear not, O Bhima of mighty arms! We (had been asleep and therefore) knew not that thou wast engaged with a terrible Rakshasa and tired in fight. Here do I stand to help thee, let me slay the Rakshasa, and let Nakula and Sahadeva protect our mother.' Hearing him, Bhima said, 'Look on this encounter, O brother, like a stranger. Fear not for the result. Having come within the reach of my arms, he shall not escape with life.' Then Arjuna said, 'What need, O Bhima, for keeping the Rakshasa alive so long? O oppressor of enemies, we are to go hence, and cannot stay here longer. The east is reddening, the morning twilight is about to set in. The Rakshasa became stronger by break of day, therefore, hasten, O Bhima! Play not (with thy victim), but slay the terrible Rakshasa soon. During the two twilights Rakshasas always put forth their powers of deception. Use all the strength of thy arms.
"Vaisampayana continued, 'At this speech of Arjuna, Bhima blazing up with anger, summoned the might that Vayu (his father) puts forth at the time of the universal dissolution. And filled with rage, he quickly raised high in the air the Rakshasa's body, blue as the clouds of heaven, and whirled it a hundred times. Then addressing the cannibal, Bhima said, 'O Rakshasa, thy intelligence was given thee in vain, and in vain hast thou grown and thriven on unsanctified flesh. Thou deservest, therefore, an unholy death and I shall reduce thee today to nothing. I shall make this forest blessed today, like one without prickly plants. And, O Rakshasa, thou shalt no longer slay human beings for thy food.' Arjuna at this juncture, said, 'O Bhima, if thou thinkest it a hard task for thee to overcome this Rakshasa in combat, let me render thee help, else, slay him thyself without loss of time. Or, O Vrikodara, let me alone slay the Rakshasa. Thou art tired, and hast almost finished the affair. Well dost thou deserve rest.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of Arjuna, Bhima was fired with rage and dashing the Rakshasa on the ground with all his might slew him as if he were an animal. The Rakshasa, while dying, sent forth a terrible yell that filled the whole forest, and was deep as the sound of a wet drum. Then the mighty Bhima, holding the body with his hands, bent it double, and breaking it in the middle, greatly gratified his brothers. Beholding Hidimva slain, they became exceedingly glad and lost no time in offering their congratulations to Bhima, that chastiser of all foes. Then Arjuna worshipping the illustrious Bhima of terrible prowess, addressed him again and said, 'Revered senior, I think there is a town not far off from this forest. Blest be thou, let us go hence soon, so that Duryodhana may not trace us.'
"Then all those mighty car-warriors, those tigers among men, saying, 'So be it,' proceeded along with their mother, followed by Hidimva, the Rakshasa woman.'"