BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 16

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Nigeria's leading story blog. Epic Story, Love, Warriors, Blood, Machete, Victory, Head Hunters, Battle, gods, Tales.

When Obioma found Nwandu and his three head hunters, they were having a bloody feast against the warriors of Nsu. The four of them had taken life threatening blows from the machetes of Nsu warriors. However they showed no sign of slowing down their killing spree. Obioma and Nwako had to move in-between them and Nsu warriors to stop them from dropping dead through exhaustion and over bleeding. Far behind the warriors of Nsu who withstood Nwandu and his head hunters, a few warriors hurried back to Nsu with the mortally wounded Eze Nsu. Just about the time the warriors of Nsu thought they had seen it all, Mazi Udeagu arrived with his hundred warriors and Utaka. There was a momentary confusion as to who the new group who entered the battle ground were for. When the war men of Nsu spotted Utaka they assumed he had brought them support; but when he and Mazi Udeagu pounced upon Nsu warriors, a horn was sounded, signaling to Nsu warriors to retreat. They could tell that the tide was against them. That day they had seen many warriors from Nsu like Nwako fighting on the side of the enemy. To see Utaka, a highly placed dibia (native doctor) from their land join the battle against them, was just one too many for them to bear. Repeatedly Nsu horns were sounded calling their war men to retreat from battle.

Obioma saw men join them in battle, but she did not know who summoned them. She did not know that her father whom she was not sure whether he was alive or dead had come to help them with the men she saw. Her thoughts were that the dead and Azi River may have sent for the men who just joined the battle. Raising a battle cry, she called on her men to pursue the men of Nsu until every one of them was slain. The chase after the warriors of Nsu lasted till they reached Osisi Achi Asa (Seven Achi Trees). There the warriors led by Obioma showed signs of weakness. Obioma had to raise a cry for them to stop chasing the war men of Nsu. To demand they chase the warriors of Nsu into Nsu land would have amounted to leading her small army to slaughter. Already about fifty men from Ugegbe had fallen in the battle. They should not have come out to fight; they were still too weak for battle. Most of them had not fully recovered from Kitikpa’s affliction.

Mazi Udeagu was not happy that they stopped chasing after the warriors of Nsu. He wanted every one of them killed, including the king who posed a threat to his daughter’s life. When Obioma saw her father barking orders to his men, she stood frozen. Since the day her mother was burnt to the gods, they had not seen each other. How did he locate me? Who sent him? How did he raise this much fighting men? All these thoughts and more were Obioma’s thoughts. “Papa!!!” she shouted and ran toward her father. There was no mistaking his daughter’s voice. In equal excitement, Mazi Udeagu sprang toward the direction of the voice. When he saw his daughter, he was forced to stop running toward her. He could not believe the sight before him was his daughter.  Obioma was covered in blood from head to toes. The look of his daughter conveyed none of the dreams he had for her. Becoming a human butcher was the last thought on his mind for his pretty daughter.

As they hugged each other, Udeagu began to cry. He did not cry for the joy of seeing his daughter alive, but for what she had become. The cry of a man of his age hushed both his jubilant army and his daughter’s fighters. All stood with their heads bowed. “Papa stop!! Stop crying! I am alive, and so are you. Those who turned us into this shall pay with their lives, every one of them. Stop! You break my heart with your tears.” Still holding unto her firmly, Udeagu whispered into her ears. “The battle ground is not a place for a lady like you. I brought you up to be a good woman and a wonderful wife to whomever that will marry you. I will take over from now henceforth. I will kill all who did this to us. I will avenge your mother’s death. I will burn those who killed Chume, the love of your youth. You must promise me you will never bear arms again to battle.”

Obioma looked into her father’s eyes, shook her head in defiance and said, “It is already too late papa. I did not know you are still alive. I have become one with the dead and Azi River. Our bond shall only be broken when I will have avenged the dead burnt to the gods in all these lands. I have taken a vow not to stop until all the evil gods and kings are destroyed.” Udeagu held his head with both hands and wailed bitterly. He had hoped to save her from the man whom he was told was coming by persuading her to remove herself from battle. “I will have words with the dead and Azi River. I will ask them to free you and take me. You must not fight again.” “No papa, you cannot take my place. It was my will to seek help from the dead and Azi River. I know you fear for me; you should not. I am not easy to kill. I can see your fears and I have heard whispers of it by night. However, nothing will scare me from battle. You have heard prophecies, have you not? The prophecies are from the very gods whom I have promised extinction. I will not heed their words and you should not.”

Pulling away from her father, Obioma raised a cheering cry, “Victory!!!” “Victory!!!” replied her men and her father’s warriors. “We did not prepare for war this day, but when war came to us, we stirred ourselves like lions and charged to meet it head long. Let us hope that in a few days when we stomp out of Ugegbe to take war to our enemies that they would be ready for us. If we find them unprepared for battle, it might not be a very tasty battle. Victory!!!” shouted Obioma yet again. “Victory!!!” replied the combined army. “Late last night, I and my warriors went out to rescue those held as prisoners to be burnt to Ogugu in Nsu. When we did that, we had no clue it would encourage the enemy to come after us. He did and got a good taste of our soup. It was a soup served hurriedly to an unexpected guest. Nonetheless, that soup tasted nice from what we can see. Now I say let us go home and plan for a better soup to serve our enemies in the next seven market days. When the news of what we have done this day reaches lands far and near, many oppressed men will join us and our number shall grow.

“We shall be feared more than the gods, the kings and the priests. We will make the finest warriors who serve kings lose sleep by night. Fear not, for I have an army none of you have seen, but in the next seven market days, you all shall see them. They are dead and fearsome, no one can kill them. Victory!!!” “Victory!!! Victory!!! Victory!!! Victory!!! Victory!!!” the men began to chant. Their voices went far like the sound of many waters and sent fear into the lands nearby. Udeagu could not believe what he witnessed that day. A woman, not just a woman, his little pretty daughter was leading men in battle. He would hate to lose her, but she was doing a good job of motivating men to end the tyranny in their lands. The gods will test them, kings and priests will test them. Udeagu hoped that they would be ready when they all come with their schemes, manipulations and death.

From Osisi Achi Asa the men chanted as they headed back to Ugegbe. When they found any of their own who fell dead in battle, they carried their bodies. When they reach Ugegbe, the dead would be given proper burial. Their return was given a thunderous reception. An army of the rejected had stirred from an evil forest and gave a feared king and his warriors a thorough beating. The dead they brought home were given befitting burial with many gunshots. Tales of their valor in battle were told in many versions and in several exaggerated forms. Some claimed that Obioma’s eyes burned like flames in the battle and that she moved with the wind. It was said of Nwandu, his head hunters and Nwako that they killed so many Nsu warriors that when they got hungry in battle, they devoured the flesh of their enemies and drank their blood. Though those tales were not true, they however found their way out of Ugegbe after a few days.

The tales troubled kings and priests around Nsu. In far away Umueze, king Agadagu was beginning to think that when the gods sent them an omen as sign of troubled times to come, they were mistaken. His warriors were beginning to grow weary with watching their borders for an enemy who would not show up. In Nsu, nearby kings visited Eze Nsu, to hear from him if indeed the tales they were told were true. Sadly Eze Nsu was tongue tied. Shame and anger of being humiliated in battle by a woman hurt him deeper than anything had in all his life. The news of some of his warriors fighting on the side of the enemy made him sick; especially the news of Utaka his seer, who had assured him of victory, fighting on the enemy’s side. Eze Nsu’s silence when his fellow kings demanded to know if the tales they heard were true was confirmation that perhaps the tales they heard were as they heard. More so, the condition in which they found Eze Nsu spoke more than anyone could have told them. On his chest was a deep machete cut, and on his neck was a wound. They knew the cut on his neck was from a blow which was intended to take his head off. The kings were much more scared when they left Eze Nsu than they were before they went to see him.

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BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 16
Nigeria's leading story blog. Epic Story, Love, Warriors, Blood, Machete, Victory, Head Hunters, Battle, gods, Tales. An African Literary Blog
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