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“The wars are over and I am happy to still be alive. I did not expect to achieve this much, and to have as much men lay their lives down for me and fight by my side. My mother must be very happy where she is now,” Obioma said. “You are a blessing which came at the right time. In all the lands men and women had grown tired of the tyranny of the gods and kings. All they needed was leadership to rise, face their fears and fight for their freedom. You provided that, Obioma,” Ikechi emphasized. “I am glad I could help, but the victories came at a great cost and I do not know how long they will last. It has been prophesied by Okiti and Utaka that Amadioha shall rise with venom worse than we have seen in our lives.” “When Amadioha rises, we shall be waiting to crush the kings and priests who will line up behind it.” “Ikechi, I am tired of war. I am a woman; war was not the thing I grew up dreaming about…” Obioma said as she turned to look into Ikechi’s eyes. “…I grew up dreaming of loving a man and being loved back by him. Sadly, gods, kings and priests had other plans. I still hurt when I think of Chume. I loved him for long, yet he could not see it; just when I was hoping he would see how my heart bled for his love, Agadagu took him from me. I fought to avenge him and my mother; now that the wars are over, I don’t know what to do with myself. I have needs only love can satisfy, Ikechi. However, I am afraid I have fallen in love with a man who would not love me back.”
“There are few men who would not love you back, Obioma… But I am stunned by the things you have told me about yourself. Really most of us often do not remember to see you as a woman. The things you do in battle are not woman-like.” “Ikechi, I am a woman and I have all the needs of a woman.” The two of them continued their conversation, heading toward the river where Obioma had her bath the night Udoka saved her from being burnt alive by king Agadagu. When they reached the river, Obioma sat on the bank of it and put her legs in the river. Ikechi did not sit immediately, he stood on his feet, hesitating. “Ikechi, wouldn’t you sit down? Sit and hear the story I have to tell you.” Ikechi sat down and put his feet in the water as well, but withdrew it suddenly. Obioma began to laugh at him. “Why didn’t you let me know the water is this cold?” Ikechi queried. “I wanted you to find out for yourself,” Obioma replied, still laughing. “Now I can’t wait to run back to Ezele,” Ikechi said making sure he kept his feet away from the river. “You sound like a man who has a woman waiting for him in Ezele,” Obioma said studying Ikechi’s face carefully. Smiling from ear to ear, Ikechi said, “Her name is Ugochi. I promised her that when I return from war, I will marry her. I have kept her waiting for long.” Obioma was crestfallen the moment she heard that. Ikechi looked at her wondering why her face became gloomy. It had not yet occurred to him that Obioma’s heart was set on him.
“You are blessed to have someone to run home to. I wish I was in your shoes. Right now I can use a lover bathing me in this river. From my tender years I have been dreaming it.” At that point, Ikechi felt sorry for her. “Your beauty is great and you have made a name for yourself. Soon, men worthy of you would come knocking on Mazi Udeagu’s door.” Obioma was angry that he said that. Ikechi did not just look like Chume; he was also acted like him. There she was, suggesting to him how she felt and he was busy pointing her to some other men. In anger Obioma decided to let him know the reason she brought him out. “Ikechi, there is a prophecy which was given concerning the man whom I shall come to love. It was said of the man that he will capture my heart and when kings shall put pressure on him, he would kill me.” Ikechi was at loss as to why she was telling him about the man. So he asked, “Where is this man now? Do you want me to kill him?” “No, I don’t.” “But if you let him live, he might fulfill the prophecy. Give me the permission to kill him and tonight, I will bring you his head.” Ikechi drew closer and continued, “I would hate to see you come to harm. You have to live long so that the lands you have conquered would not fall back into the hands of wicked gods and kings.”
While he spoke, several thoughts ran through Obioma’s minds. She wanted to grab him and jump into the river and ask him to bath her right there. She had to keep her emotions in check. After drawing in a long breath to douse the emotions surging through her, Obioma announced, “Ikechi, you are the man who has captured my heart.” Ikechi was so shocked by what he heard, that it felt like his ears were stung by them. He moved back a bit and looked at Obioma unbelievably. “I brought you here to let you know about the prophecy. Since you have Ugochi waiting for you in Ezele, I don’t want you to keep her waiting for long. However, when kings begin to look for you, make sure you do not come to Ugegbe to harm me. I am a woman whom love has failed repeatedly, and I am mad about that. If the kings sway your heart against me and you take their money and decide to harm me, I will fight you and I will kill you! I am in league with forces you know not of,” Obioma warned with tears flowing from her eyes.
Ikechi still had not said a word. He was in shock about the revelations Obioma had made. Obioma removed her feet from the river and stood to her feet. Her pretty face had been marred with tears. Clutching her machete firmly she headed back to her warriors. “Obioma wait!” Ikechi shouted after her. Obioma stood to her feet, hoping Ikechi would confess to her that he also had feelings for her. Though Ikechi called at her, he did not budge from his sitting position. Obioma turned and looked at him. Ikechi was just a spitting image of Chume. She would give anything to have him love her. “Obi, come back,” Ikechi gently demanded. Like a daughter heeding her father’s call, Obioma walked back and sat next to him. Ikechi braved the cold river and put his feet in it. Obioma did the same, wondering what was in Ikechi’s mind. Ikechi took her arms in his and Obioma shut her eyes, resisting the feelings she surging through her. “If I live a thousand lives, I will never harm you in any of them. Let the kings come with their antics to turn me against you. What they will get is their heads rolling on the ground. I will never see you come to harm. I have made a little name for myself in this war. I can raise an army of my own. Any king who comes after you, wishing to use me destroy you will be beheaded and his head hung on a tree for other kings to know I will never betray you.”
Obioma could see the anger and fire in his eyes. He was sad about what Obioma had to go through find a man to love her. “If I had not given my word to Ugochi; Obi, I would have dared the gods and their prophecy and asked you to marry me right now. You have made sacrifices for others, it about time someone made sacrifices for you.” Obioma did not understand what he meant by someone making sacrifices for her. She had to ask, “Ike, what do you mean by someone making sacrifice for me?” “You haven’t asked me how I and Osondu were able to quench the fire of the dead priests of Umueze.” “Forgive me warrior. Yet again, I owe you my life. May Chiukwu bless you for the things you have done for me; and may he also bless the men who helped you to save me.” “E seh (Amen)!” Ikechi echoed. “I should have asked you earlier, instead I allowed myself to get carried away by my lonely thoughts. Please tell me, what happened.” “Before the fire of the dead priests of Umueze burnt you, I saw a spirit. It was a water spirit. Earlier in our camp, I had seen a similar spirit around you. In fact, I saw many spirits around you in our camp. They made me fear you. Sorry to surprise you, I know there are spiritual forces around you.” Obioma was surprised to hear that. “So you know there are spirits around me?” “Yes, I saw them a lot when we were in the camp, especially the times you invited me to your shed. Are they not the spirits who have taken you as their wife?” Obioma had to laugh about that and explained, “No, they are not. They are the spirits who help me fight in battle.” “Oh! I see. So you have no water husband?” “No Ikechi, I don’t. You said you said you saw a water spirit before I was burnt by fire, what did it tell you?”
“I was going to move back to that subject. The spirit told me that you would not listen when the fire comes and that you would fight the fire but would die in it.” Obioma was struck with awe. “A spirit told you all that?” Obioma asked with her mouth hanging wide open. “Yes, and much more. It told me that I should find anunu ebe na eji ukwu; and the words to say over them before throwing them into the fire. The spirit said to me that the fire of the dead priests would quench, you would return from the dead and that we would have a great victory against Agadagu…” Ikechi suddenly paused. Obioma could tell he was holding something back. “What else did the spirit tell you?” Ikechi looked at her blankly for a moment and then responded, “It said you shall need my help after the war.” “What help did the spirit mean?” “I don’t know. I wish I had asked. But there is more, you may know what it means. It said, ‘when darkness comes after the war, give Obioma the light she would need’. “Ike, I do not know what that means. Please may I ask, the spirit which spoke to you, did it tell you its name?” “No, but the incantations I made over the anunu ebe na eji ukwu were said in the name of Azi River. Obioma’s heart almost stopped when Ikechi mentioned the name of Azi River. “Are you a native doctor or the son of a native doctor?! Why would a spirit tell you this much about me?” “I don’t know my lady. I am everything but a native doctor or the son of one.” “Ikechi, let’s go back to our men. I have to speak to Okiti and Utaka.” STORY CONTINUES...
LINK TO EPISODE 28: http://www.moofyme.com/2016/07/brave-heart-blood-fire-episode-28.html
LINK TO EPISODE 28: http://www.moofyme.com/2016/07/brave-heart-blood-fire-episode-28.html
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