BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 25

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Nigeria's leading story blog. Epic Story. battle, machetes, she began to succumb to the fire, warriors, king, thirteen headhunters, the heavens rained blood, men, river, headhunters

As Obioma drew closer to the fire, it grew in size. She could feel heat waves searing through her skin. “How can I possibly stop this thing,” she thought. The machetes in her hands had become so hot she could not hold unto them any longer. Prepared to die in battle, she raised those machetes in her hands and swung them at the fire. The fire didn’t budge. Her machetes were no match for the monster fire. Her feet felt wobbly and she began to succumb to the fire. While the raging fire rose high to engulf her she heard the chant of the warriors of Umueze, they had come out to fight in full force. Far behind her, someone was trying to rally her warriors to take on the warriors of Umueze who had come out to fight. The fire lowered itself over Obioma with great force to finish off what was left of her. Like ash blown by the wind, Obioma felt her life flutter away. She tried to raise her machete in a final thrust against the fire, but her hand was too weak for such a task.

Someone stood before her in the fire with arms spread wide and said, “You have fought bravely. You already have achieved a lot, come home!” The image before was murky; she could not see who that was. But whoever he was, there was something odd about him. Obioma stood to her feet and saw her body on the ground burning in the fire. She cried, “No!!! This wasn’t meant to be!” and the image before her vanished. However, in truth, her body had long been consumed by fire. She saw her machetes on the ground and tried to pick them up and fight, but her hands went through them. Far behind the fire, the warriors of Umueze surged forward with sadistic glee. In a bush nearby, Ikechi and Osondu crouched on their knees toward the fire, they had totems in their hands. They were bent on turning the tide against Umueze. The two of them would fight till they lie cold in death. Ikechi stuck the totem on the tip of an arrow and fired it into the fire. Osondu did the same almost immediately and much to the dismay of king Agadagu and his warriors who stood before the fire, a mighty blast of water erupted from the fire and quenched it.

Ikechi turned to Osondu and said with maniacal excitement, “I told you I saw this! Now I am sure I know how this war will end.” Osondu laughed like a happy mad man, he rose to his feet with machetes in both hands and ran toward king Agadagu and his warriors. Ikechi stood up and followed right behind him. The two of them alone pressed against the shocked warriors of Umueze and announced to king Agadagu that the war was far from over by beheading his warriors like fire raging through a bush in dry season. Far away Nwandu and the others could not believe their eyes, yet again Ikechi had offered them hope when there was no possibility of one. All Obioma’s warriors surged forward in anger, determined to avenge their fallen Princess of war. When her warriors reached the spot where her body was burnt beyond recognition, they went insane. That night a mighty war broke out in Umueze, the sort king Agadagu had not seen all his life. The warriors of Umueze were butchered in every direction. The men of Obolo made it impossible for Agadagu to move a limb from the battle. Though Obioma had fallen, her warriors were willing to finish what she had begun.

Beyond the realm of men, Obioma’s soul felt a pull back to earth. At first it was a gentle pull, but in a matter of seconds, it became a suction, forcefully pulling her back to the abode of men. On the bloody battle ground of Umueze, the charred body of Obioma Udeagu stirred. Nobody took notice. A swarm of spirits hover around her body; spirits both of the dead and gods from Azi River had not quite given up on their princess. The stunt king Agadagu pulled off that night was not part of the ancient oracle which foretold Obioma’s rise. Like stuff from horror movies, Obioma’s body sat up on the ground and stared blankly into the raging battle around her. An Umueze warrior fell next to her and yelled in fear at the sight of her. Obioma put her hand on his neck and tore out his windpipe. As arterial blood fountained from the warrior’s neck, a surge of strength went through her. Picking her machetes, she staggered to her feet and moved forward mechanically. Yet no one took notice. From head to toe, she was covered in dark scales of burnt skin; only her eyes could be seen against the background of her burnt dark skin.

Over her head, a light shower broke out. It was Azi River keeping its end of the covenant with her. For Obioma to be brought back, an ancient seal had to be broken. That is a story for another day. With a few more steps forward, Obioma slowly began to get into her groove. She swung her machete sideways and her arms felt good and powerful, maybe a tad better than how she felt before the fire which burnt her. Bare skinned from head to toe, she announced her comeback with a surging run into the battle - her traditional move. Powerfully, arms, legs and heads were blown off as she moved. This time her spiritual army moved around her, the dead and Azi River were in battle together with her. Azi River drown men while they stood on their feet. The dead burnt on the shores of Azi River, tore the intestines of men out and spread them over the battle ground. The warriors of Umueze who saw what had begun dropped their machetes and bolted from the battle, but not far enough before the men of Obolo brought them down.

When word reached king Agadagu that Obioma may perhaps have come back to live with ghosts and gods, he doubted it and took his finest men to go pick up her body to show his men that she was dead indeed. He didn’t go far before he meat Ikechi and Osondu. That was his real chance to see what his men told him about Ikechi. Right in front of him, his seasoned fighters were butchered by the two men as though they goats for the new yam festival. Agadagu should have stayed back where he was, now Obioma had spotted him, from where she was, she raised a cry. For a moment, the battle ground stood still and all turned to look upon her. Both her warriors and the men of Umueze, could not believe their eyes. The sight of Obioma standing on two legs was unbelievable. While her men rejoiced that she was back, the warriors of Umueze deserted their king en mass and ran home. Seeing his men desert him, king Agadagu invoked another fire to protect him. He would have disappeared from battle at that point if the men of Obolo had not made it impossible. The fire he invoked was quickly doused by Azi River. King Agadagu could see it was over and so he joined his warriors and ran for dear life. However, Obioma was not in the mood to spare anyone after what was done to her. She ordered her warriors to chase after king Agadagu and his warriors until the last of them was slaughtered.

There will never be a night like that in Umueze, the warriors of Agadagu were dragged out of their houses and beheaded in front of their children and wives. Some were killed by their family members for lending their support to Agadagu in battle. All over Umueze, it was as if the heavens rained blood. Seeing there was no place for him to hide, Agadagu abandoned his family and took off into the evil forest with Azunna the chief priest and some warriors. Obioma took her thirteen head hunters and went after him. In Umueze, Ikechi went insane with killing men. Mazi Udeagu had to kneel before him to ask him to stop. “Please leave us enough men to take wives and rebuild Umueze,” he pleaded, “These ones are innocent. They are not with Agadagu or Ogugu,” Udeagu continued. It took a lot of pleading and many warriors to get Ikechi to listen. When he braced his body on a tree to rest, it was noticed that his hands had glued to his machetes. They did not come loose until morning. Stopping Ikechi was difficult, but stopping his men was far more difficult. Mazi Udeagu who was meant to lead the last rout against the warriors of Umueze found himself pleading all that night till morning for Umueze to spared.

If the killing spree had continued, perhaps Umueze would have become a land full of only women and no men. At the palace, Nwako secured the royal family; keeping them hostage until Obioma would return. Across the land, shrines belonging to several gods were burnt to the ground. In some corners of Umueze a few men were seen drowning to death on their feet. Azi River was still killing men, particularly those who funded the wickedness which reigned over Umueze. In the evil forest, Nwandu was forced to strip some of the warriors they had killed and handed their clothes to Obioma to cover herself. Throughout that night, Azi River was slowly healing her skin, using the shower over her head. About the first light of dawn her skin had almost healed completely. She was so overtaken by rage that she did not notice that she was bare skinned and that her nudity was getting in the way of her men. When she took the clothes from Nwandu, she looked at herself, realizing she had no clothes on, felt ashamed and ran behind a cluster of shrubs to dress herself.

By full dawn, Obioma and her thirteen headhunters pinned Agadagu and his few warriors to a corner of the evil forest. There his warriors were beheaded while he watched. Azunna and Agadagu tried to take their lives but Nwandu and his men stopped them. Like a cow being led to a slaughter, king Agadagu was bound up and led back to Umueze. Obioma held the rope herself and did not let her men do it for her. Azunna was dragged back to Umueze by one of the head hunters. Obioma had to send two of the headhunters to the palace to inform Nwako that the family of Agadagu should be led to the shrine of Ogugu. Right at the place where her mother and Chume were killed, Obioma will unleash her vengeance on Agadagu and his family members.  STORY CONTINUES...

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BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 25
Nigeria's leading story blog. Epic Story. battle, machetes, she began to succumb to the fire, warriors, king, thirteen headhunters, the heavens rained blood, men, river, headhunters An African Literary Blog
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