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Princess Amarachi - Chapter One


Princess Amarachi - Chapter One

Theme: And Her Journey to Destiny-Discovery

By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor

Copyright ©:
No unauthorized reproduction, reprinting, 
plagiarising, commercialization, or rewording of 
this fictional work is allowed.

The beauty of the palace was so majestic and royal that Amarachi was lost in thoughts imagining how she finally landed in the palace as a princess. She couldn’t believe she finally ended up in royalty; a dream she never anticipated even in her wildest dream or imagination.
There were many rooms, each decorated to the standard befitting royalty. Lots of guards, menservants, and maidservants roamed as they took care of their duties while serenity remained inevitable due to the absence of the number one citizen of Ubulu Village.
Mkpulumma assumed duties immediately as the queen mother to ensure that the throne doesn’t remain vacant but she was being too cautious because she didn’t know who to trust among the cabinet members. It was really sad thinking of the Okwatulueze group (Conquerors of kings) because the group was so secretive that one would hardly know who belongs to it and who doesn’t. It was like a secret cult bent on dethroning the king and usurping the power of his office but the presence of the queen mother got them all careful and lurking in the shadows.
Amarachi refused to dress as a princess even when the maidservants assigned to her tried to make her know the reason why she should. She was bent on finding a clue to locate her dad and not to be enjoying the luxury of a princess while the king’s presence wasn’t there. To Amy, there is no princess without a king.

That clement morning, the dews greeted the shrubs with their watery presence, making the entire palace cloudy and moisturised, but still ominous due to the absence of the great Iroko of the village, Eze Omekannaya 1 of Ubulu.
Amarachi, dressed in her simple pyjamas, went straight to the Obi (palace) and kept her eyes busy as she went around the Obi and continued taking closer looks at the entire pictures of her handsome dad; memories were created, silent tears rolled, imaginations evident, while gentle sobs droned on.
It was disheartening that Amy couldn’t behold her dad and wasn’t even sure if he was still alive or dead but she never wanted to believe that something bad had happened to the king. As she walked around, she discovered that the staff of the king wasn’t there, and no one had ever said anything concerning it. She wasn’t even sure that the king left with it or it was missing.
Being that everything about the village and clan was still obscure to her, Amarachi went to the palace library and sat down there. She started reading everything about Ubulu concerning its history, cultures, norms, values, and etiquettes. It was really a busy day for her but she took her time to read through every page to ensure that she missed nothing. Reading between the lines has always been Amy’s reading culture, so it was no stress to her but a mastered behaviour that you could call a habit.
As she was still there in the library, she didn’t know that it was evening already and the sun was about heading west while the duty of the nightfall was fast approaching. Amarachi didn’t want to be disturbed, so she ordered the guards and maidservants not to disturb her or come into the library to take her mind away from what already got it engrossed. It was almost an indulgence to books, making her feel as if she existed in the history of Ubulu she was reading about. From morning till evening she ate nothing but hunched over written works and studying; to get her head wrapped around some salient points concerning the history of the village.
As Amarachi read on, the door creaked but she didn’t even bother to swerve to know who or what was at the door but kept reading, with her attention enveloped completely in a thoughtful reading. Her entire attention was sunk in the books, so she didn’t even notice that someone’s presence was being announced.
When Amarachi felt that a hand was resting on her shoulder she got touch with reality and was startled. Swivelling her head she then looked.
“Amy,” Chisimdi called fondly, dressed in the royal apparel, “don’t you think that you’re being hard on yourself by this food fast that makes you go without meat and cursing the bread?”
“Am I?” Amarachi asked and looked through Chisimdi as if she wasn’t there.
“I hope you know who’s here?” Chisimdi asked and tried to collect the book from her but Amy held firmly to it.
“It’s my baby, of course,” Amy said as she became fully conscious. She then pulled her to sit beside her, “You’re befitting of a princess; adorable, cute, elegant, shapely and...”
“Hey, twiney,” Chisimdi called out blushingly, “don’t flatter me or make me digress from the question I asked, but all the same, thanks, my angelic baby,”
Chisimdi obeyed her and sat beside her sister as she demanded but not interested in lots of reading like Amarachi who’s a book worm.
“Thanks for the compliment too,” Amarachi replied meditatively as she kept gazing on the lines of the written works, “but I’m cool here,” she added to make Simdi believe that she hadn’t her full attention buried in books anymore.
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Amy observed the floor-length royal gown of Chisimdi, adorned with beads, and then smiled.
“I’ve checked in your room severally but you kept meeting an empty room well-kempt, showing that no one had dwelt in it for a couple of hours. Right there, your food remained untouched,” Chisimdi said with concerns as worries coursed through her, “You need to eat, my dear sister,”
Amy pulled her closer fondly, smiled and said: “You need to start getting used to the kind of person I am. I don’t ever relent until I get the answers that I seek...”
“But not to the detriment of your comfort and health,” Chisimdi advised, “If you end up having ulcer ailment, how would you feel about it, or how will you expect me to feel?”
Thinking through her sister’s statement, Amy smiled and pulled herself up on her feet. “I think you have a point here,” she said and smiled, “you look more beautiful every day and I wish that a very decent man comes for you to marry you soon,”
“What about you with Dave’s ring on you?” Chisimdi asked and dragged her out of the library into her room for her to eat; at least to have the first meal for the day, “I hope you guys do it quickly and call us together for marital gathering and merriment,”
Amy smiled consideringly and nodded ad she thought about the entire romantic wedding eve and wedding night.
Getting to her room, Amy ate as if she hadn’t eaten for days. She was so famished but didn’t notice it until she started eating.
As she ate, quietude stole the moment while Simdi just kept her eyes affixed as she admired her sister eating. Lots were on her mind as she imagined life without her twin sister throughout her life until she grew into an adult not knowing that she had a twin.
With the tail end of her eyes, Amy observed how keen her sister was as she watched her eat. It was time to talk, so she took a sip of water from the glass cup and cleared her throat as an incoming question possessed her lips.
“But Simdi, what do you think about dad’s current situation?” Amy asked as Chisimdi watched her eat.
Chisimdi saw it coming, so she was already prepared for an answer to give to her. Amid that preparedness, she didn’t just drop an answer but waited, thought over it and shook her head with surprise.
“We need to have a meeting with the elders for a way forward,” Chisimdi suggested, “but who are we to trust, especially after hearing from Chief Omego who said that a group known as...eer...mm...”
“Okwatulueze...” Amy reminded.
“Yes, Okwatulueze, thank you,” Simdi appreciated and crossed her leg, still feeling dismayed, “do you have a suggestion?”
Amarachi smiled, nodded twice and said: “I will meet mom and talk to her, or rather, we will meet her and make her understand that she needs to take some risks like meeting the elders. Even though there could be other devils amongst them, angels could dwell there too,”
Chisimdi concurred and smiled.
“But do you think that we need any external person into the family to help?” Chisimdi asked, making Amy confused.
“The cabinet chiefs are already external and not part of the family?” Amy responded prudently as she thought through the entire situation, “Or is there any other meaning you have for the word ‘external?’”
“I mean like friends and well-wishers,” Chisimdi hinted.
“Well, let’s say that the situation would take care of itself with time,” Amy assuredly said with resolve as she gulped down the water in a glass before her, “but since we don’t know who to trust, we’d have to be discreet and prudent about this, trusting only Chief Omego as the only ally we have,”
“I don’t trust Chief Omego,” Olaedo one of the palace maids intruded on their discussion as she stood by the threshold of the door, “you shouldn’t too,” she added and leaned by the door.
Chisimdi became angry because they never expected anyone, let alone a maid. Her face became flushed with anger, changing its rosiness to being enshrouded in mixed feelings.
“Why did you enter without being invited?” Chisimdi barked, “Were you eavesdropping on our conversation or what?”
“No ma,” she said with a curtsy and came into the room even without being invited in.
“Oh, you still have to come in!” Chisimdi blurted and got up angrily but Amy held her back.
“Olaedo,” Amy called with gentleness and beckoned her forward, “you shouldn’t do that next time because you need to understand that this room is now being occupied by princesses and no more the past years when the king was alone, and the rooms vacant,”
“I’m sorry, ma,” Olaedo apologised with gentle reverence, “I’m sorry my princess,” she apologised to Chisimdi with a curtsy too, “but I feel so angry when people who should be on the helm of affairs are helping out to bring chaos and destruction in this land,”
“Can you elaborate, my dear,” Chisimdi encouraged feeling better and admiring the boldness of the maidservant. “Alright, I’m sorry I shouted at you but...”
“In royalty and its dynasty, there is no need to use that word ‘I’m sorry’ to lowly servants like me,” Olaedo corrected politely, “even when you’re wrong, don’t apologise,”
Amy suddenly discovered that she just met another bold and intelligent fellow, so she became more interested to know her. Even Simdi was taken aback as she kept gazing with awe thinking and imaging why Olaedo was so bold to correct her in that manner even without fear or considering her status as a princess.
“Well, we’re not such kind of princesses,” Amarachi reminded Ola, and then turned to Chisimdi and said: “Simdi, don’t be mad at her because...”
Simdi waved in the air for Amy to stop talking. “I think I like her too, even though she’s too bold, but she's the kind of girl we need here,”
Smiles curved Ola’s lips, making her bashful and blushing.
“But not when she goes to an extreme with it,” Amy interjected a clever remark, “Olaedo, tell us more. That’s if you know anything that could help us,”
“Come closer,” Simdi said and beckoned Ola forward, “sit with us, and feel free,”
Olaedo didn’t sit but remained standing as a sign of respect to royalty.
“It’s an order,” Amy added, making Ola come closer but still, she didn’t sit.
It was an anomaly for Olaedo to sit even though she’d naturally audacious and daring.
“I’m sorry, I may not oblige that order, ma’am, but I have some secrets to spill,” Olaedo clued, making the two ladies listen with a heightened sense of hearing.
“Go on,” Amy urged and stretched her neck that’d suffered some aches due to long study in the library.
“I have been reading here too,” Olaedo began while Amy and Simdi listened, especially Amy who dropped her food took a pen, and ready to jot points down.
Amy never wanted to miss any point in the discussion, so she adjusted herself in her position to be able to get more from the maidservant who seemed to have some things to reveal.
“You’ve been reading what and where?” Simdi asked with curiosity.
“I always tiptoe into this royal library to read, even when the king had warned me not to come near it,” Olaedo replied with a faint smile, “there is a shrine called Odimegwu shrine which is known only to the king and no other knows that, including its location,”
Chisimdi tapped Amy gently on the lap immediately the name was mentioned. She’s the kind that is easily frightened so she shifted closer to Amy so that she could enjoy the story without feeling that she was alone.
“What’s the location of this shrine?” Chisimdi asked curiously, shifted her weight to a side, and then crossed her legs, “maybe the king took refuge there just to run away from the Okwatulueze group,”
Amy shook her head disapprovingly because she didn’t believe what Chisimdi said. Thoughts of the entire assumed event wafted through her.
At a juncture in her wild
imagination, she shook her head, believing that Chisimdi was wrong with her conclusions.
“The king can’t flee for any reason, according to what I read,” Amy disclosed, “If he’s at Odimegwu shrine, he’s there for a reason but running away from the Okwatulueze group is the least she could do which could be his last resort,”
Olaedo nodded with a feeling of pride for what Amy’s submission. She smiled and then patted Amy on the shoulder making the girls surprised because she wasn’t even meant to touch Amarachi the way she did let alone patting her on the shoulder as if they were mates.
It was obvious to the two girls that Olaedo wasn’t the girl that’s easily frightened or cowed but they had no choice than listen first because she was already divulging important information that could be a clue to them. Correcting Ola’s excesses would come later, therefore, can wait.
“You’ve been studying, ma,” Ola said to Amy and smiled, “the king can never run away from these people, and I know it,”
“Then where is he?” Simdi asked looking worried and frightened, “where could he be. I need to see daddy,”
“The staff of his kingly office is missing,” Ola hinted.
Amy nodded hastily.
“Yes. We know about it already,” Chisimdi hinted, “tell us more,”
“Tell me about the staff and Oji (authority of the king)” Amy demanded inquisitively and belched covering her mouth, “excuse me,”
“The Staff is self-sufficient, self-defending and self-protecting,” Olaedo revealed, making Amy wonder if it was the same story and history she read that Ola had been reading, “The staff and the Oji are twins in the land of the spirits,”
She continued, “The staff used to be the younger brother, while the Oji, the elder brother,”
That part confused the girls more because the last time they checked; all the mentioned artefacts weren’t humans but just either pieces of woods or welded iron but being personified gave them mental torture.
“But I think I’m more confused with this explanation because I’ve read a lot and didn’t see anything concerning the staff or Odimegwu shrine,” Amy said looking so confused and numb.
“But where are these books located in this....”
As Amy was still trying to make the girl explain herself, the queen-mother summoned her, making the maidservant take a bow and leave, leaving the twins in confusion as they thought through the relationship between Oji and the staff of the king and why they disappeared mysteriously.

To be continued...

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