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Princess Amarachi - Chapter Two


Princess Amarachi - Chapter Two

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.

Amarachi couldn’t just wait to have Olaedo back to the discussion room because she and Chisimdi had been so disturbed with the thoughts of how she knew about the things that were in the same library which Amy read from but couldn’t find.
As they waited, Chisimdi ran out of patience, so she dashed straight to meet Mkpulumma so that she’d allow the girl to come back and finish the gossip she started. As she was about to go, Olaedo came back to the room, making her take a deep sigh of relief.
“Sorry, I took so long,” Ola apologised, “but I had to be fast enough to ensure that I didn’t waste time,” the pretty ebony maidservant said and stood as she waited to be ordered to continue with the information she was passing across.
Amarachi ordered her to come closer, and then lock all doors and windows to ensure that no one was earwigging on their conversation.
“Sorry, which library have you been reading yours from?” Amy asked impatiently, feeling so confused because all she read was about history and not the secrets of the palace which was meant to be read by the king alone.
Ola smiled and patted Chisimdi’s shoulder this time, making Simdi snort because she didn’t understand why the girl was so bold, but amid that reservation, the information being revealed was worth more than gold.
“Go on, but stop hitting people,” Simdi warned politely.
“You read with your eyes open, but the real secrets are read with the mind and not the eyes,” Ola revealed.
Even though Olaedo’s statement was meant to be an explanation, it got them more confused.
“But I read thoughtfully,” Amy argued, “You don’t need to teach me how to read, young woman,” she corrected boastfully, then felt that Ola could be uncomfortable with her tone, so she jested: “You’re intelligent but you need to explain better, nneoma (pretty girl)”
“That was an apology again,” Ola pointed out and frowned but the girls didn’t heed to that correction this time, “even though you didn’t say that you’re sorry but you just did, just to make me feel better,” she added observantly.
“Fine, continue,” Simdi said just for her to keep talking.
“Reading thoughtfully isn’t the same with reading with the mind,” Ola argued, even though it made the entire explanation more confusing to the girls because one can’t separate the mind and thoughts. They simply kept listening to avoid interrupting her, so she continued: “Being that I’m the maid that serves the king, and close to him too, I sometimes hide under his bed so that he wouldn’t know I was around. All I wanted to do was to learn his secrets and use it against him just as I was paid to do,”
That part made the girls so afraid because they felt that they were with a traitor or a mole.
Chisimdi the easily-frightened girl almost summoned the guards to arrest Olaedo but Amy who knows her twin sister well, pinched her to make her keep calm and listen. It was a shrewd move that she made in a bid to get the information first.
“Are you a spy?” Amy asked in a sonorous tone and looked into Ola’s eyes to know if she could detect deceit or fear in the maidservant but the girl sounded honest and cool, except she was professional to have been able to outwit both of them.
“I was, but I am not,” Olaedo answered straightforwardly, “It was chief Omego that sent me,”
The girls were shocked because it was the same chief Omego that revealed to them about the group that parades themselves secretly as Okwatulueze (conquerors of the king).
It sounded incredible but still, it was true.
“How possible is it?” Simdi asked doubtfully still and rested her arm on Amarachi’s shoulder.
“That’s why I said that you shouldn’t trust that man,” Ola averred, “He’s one of them,”
Simdi was just so tired of the whole thing because it was becoming more difficult because it seems that no one could be trusted anymore in Ubulu, especially among the cabinet members of the king.
“What do you suggest?” Amy asked as she kept on jotting some salient points down.
“Go back to the library and read with your mind,” Ola said without mincing words looking bold and daring, “But close your eyes, meditate for about two hours before you start reading,”
“Really, that’s strange,” Simdi asked Sagging her eyes in weariness caused by the entire situation and demands.
“So after the two hours of meditation,” Amarachi asked as her heart pulsated with inquisitiveness and uncertainty, “I should then open my eyes and start reading between the lines for better comprehension, tight?”
“No,” Ola replied and then explained: “After the meditation, your eyes would still remain closed so that you won’t be reading with your eyes this time but with the movement of your hands. Splay your fingers on the book as if you’re using the Braille, and then keep hovering on the scroll as your eyes remain wide shut. At this point, think of nothing, stop meditating but focus your mind on your fingers from where the communication is created between the book and the mind,”
The rigmarole seemed clumsy and boring to the girls, sounding fetish and farfetched, but anything required to locate Eze Omekannaya 1 is worth doing.
“Now, if I understood you well,” Amarachi asked and let out a faint smile, “I have to act like Louis Braille?”
“Exactly,” Ola replied forthwith.
“But if what you said is true, then this is supernatural because I can’t imagine touching the pages of the book and be reading with my mind even when there were no patterns of raised dots like that of Braille of the blind,”
At this point, Simdi was totally lost because she didn’t even understand what they were talking about. She became uncomfortable but didn’t want to ask for clarity so that it wouldn’t seem as if she knew nothing or lost. The level she stopped academically affects her sometimes but she was still the smart girl that covers a lot in her beauty and cleverness.
“Go back there and read,” Olaedo said insistently, “if I could learn the reading with the mind from your dad, I believe that if you try it out, it’s possible that more would be revealed to you because you have his blood inside of you,”
Amy stood immediately in a bid to go back to the library but Chisimdi stopped her knowing full well that Amarachi would stop at nothing to ensure she starts reading the books like a shot, even though it was already nightfall. “I guess you need a break till tomorrow morning. It’s already evening and you need to rest. We can go together and read,”
Amy needn’t be stubborn this time, so she smiled and sat back on her position. She kept looking at Olaedo and imagining how she knew a lot about the kingdom and still said she wasn’t a spy.
“So why did Chief Omego send you even though you’re just one among the numerous girls working in this palace?” Amarachi asked religiously still looking intently into her eyes.
“He’s the leader of the Okwatulueze,” Olaedo replied, “even if you confront him, he wouldn’t tell you the truth or accept being involved because you have no evidence to back up your allegation and claims,”
Confusion escalated between the twins because thinking through Ola’s logic, she was right, being there was no evidence that could be used to indict Chief Omego or prey on him in that case.
“How are you so sure that this man isn’t innocent of your accusations?” Amarachi asked trying to get a concrete point from the reporter.
“Because he was the one that asked me to poison the king,” she replied unequivocally.
Simdi on hearing such thunderbolt from the mouth of the maiden, the words rumbled in her head, making her lose it, so she tried devouring Ola like a voracious tigress but Amy rushed at her and held her hands already brandished in the air.
Amy just succeeded from Simdi from slapping Ola because the angered and badgered princess couldn’t take it any longer; especially imagining how her dad would have reacted to the poison.
“I think you’re being too sensitive here,” Amy said correctively to Simdi, “But, Olaedo!” she hollered, having Ola’s attention with her commanding tone, “why did you poison my dad and where is he now?”
Olaedo with tears in her eyes accompanied by a knitted brow knelt before them and swore: “By my mother’s grave, I swear that I didn’t poison the king but made it seem as if the gods protected him from the malicious act of Okwatulueze group. I simply said I was asked to do it but I didn’t do it and I swear on it,”
Amy believed Olaedo, having been assured that she was saying the truth.
In Ubulu, it’s hard for one to swear, but once the swearing is done with reference to the womb that gave birth to the person swearing, it’s considered a serious matter and treated like one.
“Are you sure that you’re not still working for...”
“I never worked for them,” Ola interrupted Simdi.
“I’m sorry for that abrupt response, but if my intention is to hurt this family, I wouldn’t have approached you, my princesses, to reveal these to you. I’ll join forces with you and bring down this group that has eaten deep into the membrane of Ubulu people. I’ve been wearing this pain-stricken shoe in this kingdom,” she said and turned to leave even without being permitted, “therefore, I know where it pinches,” she concluded, bowed and left.
The twin sisters kept looking absently at the exit door as if Olaedo was still there. They wished to call her back to explain about the Odimegwu shrine and the fraternal relationship between Oji and the Staff of the king but they were numb to words and couldn’t even call her back. Confusion and speechlessness loomed as they kept gazing absently at nothing. They were left in a limbo of thoughtfulness, awe, obscurity, and anxiety.
Amarachi and Chisimdi didn’t even understand fully what Olaedo meant by reading with the mind, but Amy was willing to give it a try because the effect and response she gets from the trail would be the best explanation to the palace jargons.
After a while of that deafening silence flaring between them, Amy smiled thoughtfully and said: “This girl knows a lot, and I’ll want to learn from her too,”
Tapping Amy on the shoulder, Simdi said: “I think we just met a smart one but didn’t you notice that she didn’t complete the story about Odimegwu shrine before leaving. What’s she hiding?”
That was thoughtful of Simdi but Amy was more engulfed with the desire to go back to the library, believing that all she’d read previously were just a waste of time because she just discovered how the real reading is done.
“But tell me, twiney,” Amy said to Simdi, “did you really mean to hit that girl if I didn’t stop you?”
Chisimdi smiled and shook her head disapprovingly: “That would be malicious and ignoble, so I didn’t mean to,” she stated and grinned, “I already knew that you would stop me, so I tried to make her so afraid. Two of us shouldn’t be soft on her. It could wrongly send a signal of cowardice and weakness,”
Amarachi heaved a sigh of relief and chuckled. “Thank God it was just feigned,”
“But seriously, that girl is fearless.” Simdi said and shrugged, “she looks too bold for my liking,”
“And I admire her for that,” Amy added, making Simdi surprised.
“But I’m afraid of her,” Simdi said with uncertainty, “I just feel that she has a force inside of her,” she added and shrugged, “but I know what I’d do. Even if I’m not as intelligent as you, I have the power of dreams and revelation. I just need to sleep and wake up for the realness of her personality to be revealed to me,”
“Then why haven’t you been able to see the location where our dad is, even if he’s not okay there, we should have known?” Amy asked intelligently, “I dream too; a gift we inherited from mom but I’m so stormed that three dreamers put together haven’t even seen where the king is. This vagueness kills me slowly inside of me as if there is a force clouding our vision,”
“If not that you came to the palace and saw some of Dad’s portraits and pictures,” Simdi said and wrinkled her nose, “do you think that you’d have known him if you see him in your dream?”
“Let me read first,”
Amarachi said, “you should try too,” she suggested to Chisimdi whose face just sagged out of apathy because the complications embedded in the quest were beginning to introduce monotony in the entire hide and seek venture.
“I don’t want to read anymore,” Simdi said pouting, “I know where I belong, so I shouldn’t bother myself reading. I can fight, I can get angry, I can dream, and I can holler at anyone without fear, but for me to read and comprehend as you do, I may not be able to do...”
“Have you ever tried?” Amarachi threw in and pulled her sister into a hug, “come here, twiney,”
“Hey, don’t bribe me ooo, anaghim agu (I won’t read),” she said pigheadedly as she rested her head on Amy’s shoulder. “But go on, I can hear you,” she added, demanding special attention.
“I’m glad I later found you in my life, and I believe that we’d end up unravelling this mystery together. Do not underestimate your potentials without giving it a try. We’d go back to the library, practise what we’d been taught. Who knows who between us would be getting the revelation of dad’s location as Olaedo suggested? This isn’t about intelligence but connection to the supernatural world,”
“Isn’t this fetishism?” Simdi asked looking gutless and pessimistic, “Seems that coming back to this village and royal blah blah blah will make us chief priests or diviners,”
Amarachi burst into laughter and jabbed her neck with her finger.
Simdi didn’t join in the laughter even though she was smilingly trying to appear serious because she meant her words.
“I think you could be right,” Amy as she continued giggling, “but do not underestimate the powers of the supernatural in matters like this. This isn’t fetishism but a reconnection to the spirit world that can make us find out what really happened. I don’t want to believe it too, but this is daddy we’re talking about, and he’s the traditional ruler of this clan, so we shouldn’t expect anything that isn’t traditional from a traditional man,”
Chisimdi tried to wrap her head around that explanation but she still couldn’t so she advised: “But I think we should just be careful with all these traditional things,”
Amy was so perplexed and happy that Simdi was gradually metamorphosing into a very prudent woman, and not the nasty girl that Uremma used to talk about.
“Let’s just be careful with them here,” Amarachi said to make Simdi know that she concurred, “I think that mom may be needing our attention us right now, so we need to go and meet her,”
“Yeah, you’re right. I miss her too already,” Simdi said and chuckled while they parted in that prolonged embrace, “Is mom not your twin sister?” she added and they started laughing, “But seriously, Amy you and mom look so much alike as if I’m the elder among you people,”
“Hey, younger biko (Please), not elder,” Amy contested, “you don’t know you’re the younger one here,”
“Big fat lie,” Simdi objected and laughed, “we were born the same day jor, so spare me that detail of who the elder and younger is here. Twins are born the same day, so they are of the same age,”
“Okay...ooo, but I still maintain that ibu tata (you’re a child),” Amy maintained, “so try and know when elders are talking so that you’d keep quiet,”
Simdi playfully hit Amy on the head and tried to run but Amy held her back and collected the royal crown resting casually on her head.
“Oya, give me back my crown or...” Simdi said and pulled Amy’s hair gently.
“Ha-ha,” Amy laughed out loud, making the maidservants to imagine what could be making the sisters laugh so loud and play as if they didn’t care.
“But on a serious note,” Simdi said as the teary smiles on her face dwindled, making Amy a bit serious too, “what about the Braille thing Olaedo talked about,” She asked and then crosschecked the spelling of it that she jotted down, “Yes, I think I got the pronunciation, “I really didn’t want to act as if I dropped out of school and didn’t understand the entire abracadabra,”
Amy smiled and pulled Simdi closer, and then held her on the nape, “It’s simply a point system of writing in which patterns of raised dots represents letters and numerals. It’s used by the blind or visually impaired to read,”
“Oh, I now get it,” Chisimdi said and laughed at her ignorance, “I’m glad I didn’t ask Olaedo but waited until this time,”
Amy slowly fixed the royal crown back to Simdi’s head and admired her cute sister.
“I think you should understand that no one is an encyclopaedia of knowledge. That girl knows a lot and I’ll still learn from her,”
“But won’t it be...”
“It won’t make me have any shame, cutie,” Amy went on and then patted her cheek, “Braille was invented by Louis Braille, a French man who lost his sight as a result of childhood accident at the age of fifteen, which was in 1824. He developed a code for the French alphabet as an improvement in his night writing and learning. This was how this reading method for the visually impaired started,”
Simdi started clapping for Amy until Mkpulumma entered their room with the intention of ascertaining what was making her children happy amid the decorum expected in a palace that should be in a mournful mood.
The girls were startled when she entered, so they stood to greet her but the beautiful queen mother simply smiled and said: “I keep thanking God for giving me wonderful children like you. I’m glad that you all are here with me,” She added and paused for a while as the children watched. She continued solemnly: “Even though that I miss my hubby so much,”
Saying that part ushered in tears that started clouding her eyes, so the children rushed at her and held her in a warm embrace to give her the solace and comfort that is soothing.
“Mom, we’ll find him,” Amy said promisingly and wiped her tears with a napkin, “The library will lead us to him, or at least give us a clue,” Amy assuredly reassured her.
“Just read as much as you need to learn but never exceed your limits,” Mkpulumma said to their bewilderment.
The twins winced and looked at their mom with surprise.
“What are our limits?” Simdi asked.
“I’ve been in this kingdom and I’ve been reading too,” she said and turned to leave.
“But do you read with the mind or the eyes because we need to know about Odimegwu shrine?” Chisimdi asked even before Amy could shush her from talking about it.
Mkpulumma suddenly served and looked at them with surprise.
The girls were startled with the way she looked back at them as if they just uttered an abomination. Then stood side by side leaning on each other but uncertain about how their mom would react next.
“Why did you ask that,” Amy whispered into Simdi’s ear, making their mom more curious.
“Who told you about Odimegwu shrine,” Mkpulumma asked sternly, “have you people been reading with the mind?”
Simdi looked at the fury on her mom’s face and became restive, she then said unwittingly: “Not really but Ola...”
“We never did that,” Amy intervened so that Simdi would mention Olaedo’s name, “I was the one that discovered that when I was reading,” she lied, “As I was reading,” she continued as she fabricated more lies to convince her mom, “I suddenly fell asleep reading, but when I woke up, I discovered that there is a place called Odimegwu that I saw in a trance but the more I tried to understand it, the more obscure the entire knowledge became, so I shared my experience with Simdi.”
“Yes, she did, er...mmm...that’s all” Simdi entered stutteringly, “we’ve been debating on it but unsure if it’s true or false, that’s why we want to meet with you and ask you,”
The twins weren’t sure if their fabricated story made sense to their mom at all but they just had to bank their hope on it.
After a while of looking sideways as she reminisced on what the daughters said to her, she snorted and left, leaving them more unsettled because they couldn’t understand what was so scared or bad about Odimegwu that made their mom not to say anything further about it.

To be continued...

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