Once upon a time, before Appaji became the esteemed minister of King Krishnadevarayar (KDR), he held the position of a minister to a tribute-paying petty king. Unfortunately, the petty king had been unable to fulfill his tribute obligations for several years, and he lived in constant fear of incurring KDR's wrath. Rumor had it that KDR would subject the defaulting king to a severe beating with a cane in private, followed by rubbing salt into his wounds.

Appaji, concerned for the safety of his king, devised a plan to protect him. He brought the petty king to meet KDR but advised him to remain hidden unless explicitly summoned. Appaji proceeded alone to meet KDR, who, recognizing his exceptional talents, decided to retain him as his minister.

A few days later, KDR and Appaji found themselves strolling through a country fair. In the midst of their leisurely wanderings, KDR inquired about the whereabouts of Appaji's king, expressing a desire to meet him. Appaji assured KDR that he would make the necessary arrangements for the visit but secretly dispatched a messenger to the petty king, urgently instructing him to return home without delay. Following Appaji's message, the petty king hastily rushed back to his kingdom.

Curiosity got the better of KDR, and he raised the question of the king's absence once more. Appaji then revealed the truth, recounting the events that had transpired. Surprisingly, KDR responded with unexpected understanding, acknowledging Appaji's efforts to safeguard his king. In fact, KDR confessed that his initial plan had been to whip the petty king, but Appaji's intervention had prevented it. He marveled at Appaji's ability to discern his thoughts and inquired how Appaji had deduced his intentions.

Appaji explained his astute observation to KDR, noting that as KDR's eyes fell upon the butchered sheep in the stall, he saw a flicker of connection in the king's mind, associating the sight with thoughts of the petty king and KDR's enquiry about the petty king. It was this association that had raised Appaji's concern for his king's safety from the beginning.

Impressed by Appaji's perceptiveness and loyalty, KDR reaffirmed to appoint him as his official minister. Appaji had proven himself to be a valuable advisor, navigating the treacherous waters of royal politics with the utmost precision. Walking among kings, he knew, was akin to treading on the sharp edge of a sword.  

And so, Appaji's wisdom and quick thinking not only saved his king from KDR's wrath but also secured him a prestigious position at the heart of the kingdom.