BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 31

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - wedding, entrance to his grand palace, kill, regions, to make him do their bidding, While he did his duty, kings, fighting.

Ikechi had prepared his mind for what was coming. He had seen night after night in his journey down to Ugegbe that Obioma’s heart had been taken. Though he trudged on to Ugegbe to save her, he did it out of duty than out of excitement for his love for her. He rued daily the chance he missed when Obioma confessed her love to him. When he and his men arrived Ugegbe, they made watching Nnamdi, Obioma’s new lover, their prime focus. Ikechi was expecting the kings scheming Obioma’s downfall to make contact with Nnamdi and so had him followed even down to his home town, Obolo. Though he was not sure he could yet find a space for himself in Obioma’s heart, he still attended to the duty of watching over her with unbroken devotion. While he did his duty, he made sure Obioma did not see him by day or night. However, watching Obioma show her love for Nnamdi in physical ways like kissing and holding hands, made his heart palpitate painfully.

Ikechi was planning to return to Ezele when his men spotted Nnamdi in a suspicious meeting with emissaries of the kings who sought to destroy Obioma. Ikechi felt it was time to warn Obioma that her life might be in danger. He was certain that killing Nnamdi without her consent would make Obioma hunt him for life. She had already been through thick and thin in her search for love; to kill her lover for whatever reason would break her heart. However, Ikechi had to put on hold his plans to reveal what he knew to Obioma when her wedding to Nnamdi was suddenly announced. While Ikechi and his men sought to device the best means to let Obioma know about Nnamdi’s meetings with some kings, Nnamdi’s personal fight with the kings intensified.

It was just a week to their wedding, and the kings would not let him be. On her part, Obioma was in cloud nine. She was finally getting married to a man she loved and by her judgment, everything was perfect. “She is a good woman! I would rather die than hurt her!” Nnamdi shouted to the four kings in a meeting with him. The night was pitch dark, many had gone to sleep, but Nnamdi was fighting to keep the love of his life from harm. “We know you love her, but this woman is a threat to all kings alive today. In her name, kings have been sacked and the laws of many lands have been changed. Look around you Nnamdi! How many lands still worship the gods of our ancestors? Ogugu, Ohiajoku, Ekwuigwe, Amadioha, Durugo and all the other gods have lost their places in our traditions. On the lips of our young men and women is the name Chiukwu. A god whom no one knows how to worship or serve! A god who has no shrine or priests! Obioma is an abomination to our way of life.  A woman who has turned an evil forest into a dwelling place for the cursed and for herself. She must die and you will kill her Nnamdi!” Ezeugo, the young tyrant king in the regions around Aja Ala, shouted at Nnamdi.

“And if I refuse what would you do?!” Nnamdi demanded in anger. “We will do just this!” Ezeugo shouted and pointed at the large entrance to his grand palace.  At his cue, guards dragged Nnamdi’s parents and three siblings into the palace bound hands and feet. “…we will slaughter your family members while you watch. And when we are done with them, we will hang you over a burning fire till you dry like roasted meat. Your death and those of your family members will count for nothing. When we will have finished with you, we will find a man who will do our bidding,” Ezeugo continued with a wry look on his face. Nnamdi had not expected things to go this far. He had thought his name and wealth would make the kings back off. Seeing his parents and siblings bound like animal made his heart quiver with fear. “You can’t do this! You cannot harm my family members. This should be between you people and me!” Nnamdi yelled.

A guard removed the gag in Nnamdi’s father’s mouth and the old man began to make a heart-wrenching plea to his son to listen to the kings and save his life and those of his wife and children. Nnamdi could tell he was in a fix, a trap had been laid in his path and he walked right into it. The kings had been working behind his back to make him do their bidding. On the other hand, Ugegbe was turning into some mecca of some sort with Obioma’s looming wedding. The people of Umueze had decided to relocate momentarily to Ugegbe, for Obioma’s wedding. Since she had refused to have the marriage rites performed in Umueze, her home town. Her people gathered loads of gifts and swarmed Ugegbe in readiness for her wedding. Amid the flurry of activities taking place for his daughter’s wedding, Ikechi managed to get Udeagu’s attention. “When did you arrive Ugegbe? I was going to send messengers to all those who fought on our side to grace my daughter’s wedding,” Udeagu said, beaming with a smile. He hugged Ikechi over and over again out of happiness. However, the look on Ikechi’s face told him Ikechi had not come to Ugegbe for his daughter’s wedding.

“You don’t look happy Ike. Shouldn’t you be happy that my daughter has found love at last?” Udeagu asked, studying Ikechi curiously. “Nna anyi (our father) Udeagu, I have been in Ugegbe for a long time. I did not come because of Obioma’s impending wedding to Nnamdi. I was here before the wedding was announced. If you do not rally your fighters now to protect your daughter and yourself against the kings led by Ezeugo, that wedding for which you are happy will be the last thing you and your daughter will do before your blood and hers will be spilled on that day,” Ikechi said with a frown on his face. Udeagu was taken aback by Ikechi’s comment. “What are you talking about young warrior?” Udeagu asked drawing closer to Ikechi. Ikechi tapped him twice on his hip and walked away. Udeagu understood what it meant and waited for Ikechi to walk some distance away from his hut before following him.

“The news you have brought is the last thing I want to hear at this time Ikechi. What is going on?” “Nnamdi has been meeting with Ezeugo and some kings. They want him to kill Obioma. The prophecy for which you wanted to kill me is about to happen under your watch and you can’t even see it coming. Have you forgotten that the man who shall seize Obioma’s heart in love shall kill her when kings shall gather to put pressure on him?” “Nnamdi is meeting with kings to kill my daughter? Where did you hear this? How did you find this out?” “I came down to Ugegbe two months ago. That was after Azi River began to show me frightening visions about Obioma’s death. I would not have come if not for my grandmother’s words. She believes I have been given the burden to save Obioma yet again. In the two months’ period I have been here, I and my men have been watching Obioma and Nnamdi. On many occasions we have followed Nnamdi down to Obolo and watched him on several occasions meet with the kings led by Ezeugo. They are doing everything they can to force him to kill her. Mazi Udeagu, it is time to find your machetes again to save your daughter and yourself.”

“Has Nnamdi agreed to kill my daughter?” “I do not know if he has agreed to do that yet, but the kings are giving him no options. The way we see it, they might kill him and his family members if he says no and still send men to attack you and Obioma.” “If that be the case, I have to let my daughter know what is going on. She is besotted with Nnamdi, if he agrees to kill her, Obioma will not see it coming.”

“I would have killed Nnamdi long ago, but I did not because of Obioma. She would not have rested till she had killed me had I done that. I even went as far as appealing to Azi to warn her about what is coming but the river was mute.” “An old lady can’t be at home while the nanny goat gives birth with the tether around its neck. Send for your fighters. I will send for Nwako and Nwandu to night. We have to surprise Ezeugo and his friends to find out if Nnamdi has agreed to kill my daughter.” “The war men of Ezele are already in the forests of Nsu as I speak. My grandmother delivered my message to Osondu and Anya a week ago, I don’t have to send for them. They have my words to kill any man they see who can fight, trying to enter Ugegbe from Aja Ala regions. Also you can send word to the men of Aja Ala in Obioma’s name, they owe her a lot. She helped to recover their lost farm lands during the battles. Aja Ala can raise a barricade against Ezeugo. We have to do this now. I have the feeling that even if Nnamdi does not agree to kill Obioma, something very bad will happen on that wedding day.”      STORY CONTINUES...

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BRAVE HEART: Blood & Fire - Episode 31
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - wedding, entrance to his grand palace, kill, regions, to make him do their bidding, While he did his duty, kings, fighting. An African Literary Blog
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