IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT
Ere dawn, Princess Sekite set forth on a two-day journey to Azuzo with an entourage of five men and a maid. Among the men were Tasaka – a man of valour whose prowess at the Sekite–contest was spectacular. Though he, at the final jostle was outdone by the Hunter, the King’s delight however rested on him; Iowa – the head of palace guards along with two of his best men, Timbi and Guze; then the Wise Odunda. Odunda was the king’s right-hand servant from childhood, in whose counsel and company the treaty with the sorcerer was reached. Thus, he alone apart from the King knew the way to Azuzo.
The long journey lulled for a rest at night fall, each person exceedingly exhausted. Sekite’s mind smudged with troubling issues.
“Every sorcerer possesses an anchor of their powers upon which when tampered, becomes like everyone else,” had advised her father before the journey.
“Find it and rid yourself of him. You must return!”
Rattling through these throbbed her further, wondering on her capability to such wit.
“At every increasing distance from Ramoja, I think less of myself a princess,” murmured Sekite to her maid who in reply, assured her that no distance from Ramoja will interfere with her loyalty – your Highness, “she added.”
“I command you address me henceforth as Sekite,” retorted the princess.
Their snappy but hearty dialogue transcended into sleep as Sekite’s teary eyes dulled gradually on the view of rising smoke from a quenched muddle of firewood which Odunda had earlier lighted, thinking of how her life was burning.
Dead into the night, the half-dosed princess wallowed in a certain sensation, squirming slightly in her lying position as she dreamt of a sensual engagement with the Hunter. His skilful fondling on her mammalian gland sent waves of short moans while the expedition travelled further on her lustrous thighs, en route her already moistening centre of excellency. This dazzled her into consciousness and she impulsively loaded a weighty slap on Tasara whom she discovered to own the hands that were violating her.
– “Idiot!!!” –
She mustered to the awakening of others and suddenly an object swatted into the stem of a tree at whose root she laid – it was a fired arrow. Tasara energetically made for his bow, slung a shot to the direction of the attack and a painful moan was established at its landing. It was certain he struck his target. Each man at the instance armed themselves and rampaged forward to make do with the assault while Odunda hastened the ladies to a seeming hide. The attackers correspondingly revealed themselves and advanced headlong raging with noise to jostle the combat. Men of Ramoja have been skilled with wars and considered such circumstance as opportunity to display might. Their hands moved swiftly with swords, wriggling and skipping from an opponent’s hurl.
Iowa was the first to clang his steel with that of a rival, repelled his stroke and quickly choking an elbow into his chest, then severed his head at the destabilization.
Timbi gallantly swept his opponents’ footings with a slide-kick while halting their descending blade with an alignment of metals he had fastened round his wrist, then sent spear into their loins as they graced the soil. He was known for his little gadgets – storing daggers at unexpected locations in his battle-suit as an improvised lest he be disarmed.
The skirmish seethed expeditiously with nothing less than the resounding clashes of metals and the roar of men – both of charge and of pain – furnished with blood spillage beneath the brazen full moon that glowed as a candle for sight.
Guze moved with deadly purpose, much with the flexibility of a big cat, slashing through the flesh of whatever gets on his way. He never missed the angle to sever a man’s head.
While Tasara tactfully decimated his opponent, he was outmanoeuvred by the formation a-two who invented a deep cut into his left arm – the arm that wielded his weapon – and was abruptly subverted. He struggled with both sight and balance at the continued pounding of his rivals and Guze made a quick move to rescue him, stuck his sword into the belly of one but fell at an equal response of the other who did not miss the angle of his neck. His head was left rolling on the grassy land. The already disintegrated Tasara helpless with his back on the ground only caught a cursory gaze of the deadly visage of the warrior who just robbed Guze of life as he hoisted his weapon vehemently with both hands ready to send him too to life’s beyond. Breathe flew from him and his eyes shut at that instance with one last memory – his defeat and the Hunter’s victory at the Sekite-contest. His sprawling positions at both event flung out in similar pattern.
– “uuurrrrpppp !!!” – A sharp curtailed sound spewed and his eyes flashed open and behold, his almost defeater fallen huddled by an arrow crashed into his skull. There advanced Sekite graciously with a bow fiercely perspiring – she was the shooter.
It would have been and unparalleled relief to rid themselves of such pestilential attack if they had emerged as equal as they came. They now is to be counted with one man down. Iowa and Timbi wept lavishly kneeling beside the corpse of Guze. The bond of the three was beyond mere colleagues. Odunda with his crunchy old voice advice that they continue the journey at that mid night till at least they exceed the expanse of the unsafe parameter. Thus they did, but not without honouring Guze with a burial in a quickly dug shallow grave.
Not much pace had added to their commencement before a furious stampede began to rage on. Each man charged once again, fully prepared to take the bait but the latter seemed far different. The nearing approach of the stampede revealed an endless mass of mob armed to the teeth. They were caught amidst the tumult with no better escape route.
By: Nnaemeka Chukwukezie (Talesmen)