Makay approached with exasperating exertion as he stormed into the palace panting. I was seated on my royal chair watching him dare an act of abject lack of manners. Before I could open my mouth for chiding, he had started to talk in-between his forced breathing.
‘We were returning from a hunt when a chorduo showed up, Your Highness. We……’
‘Wait a minute! You mean the real chorduo or something else?’ I replied.
‘The real one, Your Highness.’ He had regained his breath and the initial cackle in him had subsided.
‘God! I thought they were extinct. Go on!’
‘We were four, just as we regularly do our hunting.
The chorduo came from a dense morji mesh, it then gave cadence that wavered between the high shriek and the low squeak. We were frightened. I drew out my dane gun, Bolke his arrow, Mathieu also his gun and Dundee his matchet. The chorduo hopped into the air, tilted and swiveled acrobatically, it then surged down revealing its sharp pout. It was just so fast and fierce that our aim were all shaky and useless. It reached Mathieu first and plunged its pout into his heart. With its hard tubular pout, it gulped Mathieu’s blood. I made a nice aim and it caught it on its back. It screamed and squeaked in its usual cadence. It afterwards did another acrobatic and this time it caught Dundee. I and Bolke started to run, we had almost reached the kingdom’s main gate before it caught Bolke. Your Highness the Chorduo is heading our way.’
‘You mean the palace?’
‘Yes my lord!’
I stood up pacing around.
‘This is my grandfather’s unfinished business, he could have made sure he finished them then. He caused this, making us believe they were all gone. Damn him!’ I cursed. ‘I hope it is only one else we are doomed.’
‘Now we must finish this creature once and for all.’ ‘Guards! I want you to go to my war lord and tell him I need his attention here.’
‘Yes Your Highness!’ They echoed.
As they were about leaving the palace, it was to the face of the Chorduo. It plunged into their heart and sucked their warm bloods. Two of the four guards made it inside. They were totally soaked in blood. The Chorduo, re-ignited fear and unrest into Altra kingdom where they’d sworn peace would reign forever.
I sat on my royal chair wary of ideas. ‘How on earth can we get rid of this Chorduo. Now I am a prisoner in my own palace.’
The kingdom of Altra have had previous dark times, majority of which had seen the palace held in siege. This had led to the constructions of emergency exit tunnels through which an escape can be made. I, Makay and some guards escaped from the palace using the tunnel. The horrid tunnel was wall-lined by slimy cuds of mosses and dark patches of dirts, we went through it and instantly headed for the house of our war lord. Daram the war lord was a sturdy man with black dense mustache around his chin. He was at his study going through the famous Damila war stories his father wrote when I bursted into his house. He was quick to react with a sudden flush of annoyance upon his face. However, the annoyance was short lived as he forced a needed hospitality for my royal presence.
“Your Highness, what brings you here on such short notice?”
“Its the Chorduo, Daram. It just attacked my palace and killed my guards.”
“The Chorduo, how come?”
“Are you asking me? You should rather ask Makay, he found them.”
Makay moved forward with his blood-tainted war gear,
“the Chorduo was just there in the forest and it attacked us with the most outrageous fury I’ve seen in years.”
“Your Highness, our troops trained for such assault are presently on a mission in the Southern province, they combat the surge of the werewolves.”
“Daram, what are you now insinuating? That we shall hide till the chorduo feed on all the innocent men of our kingdom?”
“Your Highness, I shall arrange some men to help slow down the monster, however Your Highness, we can only buy small time because of their incompetence. I suggest you should call on the Zola to consult the oracle, he might find a spiritual end to this ordeal. As far as I know, the chorduo is originally of a dark origin.”
“Well said Daram, get the men set and get me two men to Summon Zola for me.”
“I will do just that Your Highness.”
Daram left the room and returned few minutes later with a palace guard closely behind him.
“Your Highness, I did your bidding. And as I was, I…”
“Gollu, what are you doing here. Where is Princess Tella, where’s my daughter?”
“Your Highness, she lies stranded by the entrance of the new market, we fear for her safety as that monster tears down the market, staining it with the blood of the unfortunate one’s in its path. The princess then sent me a message to inform you to arrange for her rescue. However I met the palace empty and in ruin with the very colour of blood and its stench all over it. Your Highness I was already thinking the unthinkable before I saw Daram’s men. They informed me of your seeking refuge over here. I had begged them to help us save the Princess, I knew delay might be dangerous. Your Highness, I pray they can get the Princess back here safely.”
I watched him talk all those while shuddering with a tight-gripping sense of fear. The terror of fleeing the palace was nothing compared to the gory picture of the Chorduo gulping the Princess’ untainted royal blood.
“Your Highness! Your Highness!!”
“Daram! Where is Zola. where is he, what’s keeping your men at bay? I must not lose my daughter to that monster. Arrange some more men to reinforce the men attempting her rescue.”
“As your highness pleases.” He left the room afterwards.
By: Abd-Hamid Dent Abd-Afeez