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Princess Amarachi - Chapter Nine


Princess Amarachi - Chapter Nine

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.

Seeing the faces of the warriors, Amarachi conjured some boldness amid that shivers and said: “I don’t know who you guys are, but as long as you’re still in my land, I command you in the name of my father, King Omekannaya 1 of Ubulu, and I stand on the authority of the princess of this kingdom, to instruct, command and order you to release my friends or we all face the penalty together, and when it starts to burn, you guys would be burnt while I’ll have no bruise or scratch on me,”
After saying that, she slowly unveiled her face by removing the scarf. This revealed her face making her ready to face the best or the worst.
Seeing the face of the princess, the entire warriors all knelt in reverence; with their two fingers in their ears and a continuous nod of both apology and respect for royalty.
One of the warriors among them, who seemed to be their leader, raised his voice and said as he continued staying in that genuflecting position: “We apologise, my princess. We’re allies to the missing king and we are poised to find him my hook or crook because the Ozo bu Iwem group have eaten deep into this kingdom; spread their tentacles and infiltrated many nooks and crannies; therefore, we, the allies to the king formed the group known as Oganihu Eze (The progress of the king) to restore peace. We are determined to find the king. But even if he’s dead....”
“He can’t be,” Amarachi refuted smilingly as he watched the obedient warriors with a heart filled with happiness.
“Yes, my princess, you’re right,” the leader continued, “he can’t be dead because Ugosimba the great forefather has revealed to us that the king is somewhere but we’re considering that option if the worse happens. If he doesn’t come back, we’d ensure that the kingship doesn’t enter into the wrong hands. That’s why we are...!” he hollered and looked back at his group members.
“Oganihu Eze group!” The other warriors echoed in the air raising their heads and brandishing their weapons, and then bow again to remain in their position in homage to the princess of Ubulu.
“Can someone untie me biko (please)?” Onyedika said as he struggled with the shackles that girded him.
“Madman as usual,” Dave murmured smilingly.
“You heard him,” the princess said softly, “untie him, my people of good intentions,”
Without wasting time, the two captives were untied while the warriors remained still waiting for the command and instruction from the princess.
“Sorry if our actions nudged your wrath, my princess,” The leader apologised on behalf of the group, “I am Otaisimbe (the eater of the tortoise’s head) from Eziama village of Ubulu, while my group members were all picked from different villages and clans in Ubulu; especially from the noteworthy families that have the interest of Ubulu at heart,”
“We’re twenty warriors in number,” The second warrior said, “I am Aju une, the second in command, and I am from Umudaranwannu village of Ubulu and the head of the vigilante in my village. We’re here and of course with your permission, to search different houses and locations to know if we’d find Anyamuo who we all know is above a hundred years. Even Ogbuoja (the flutist) the wise twelve years boy that has the oldest man under his care is no more to be found, together with our great-grandpa. So we’ve decided to ransack the entire village to find them because some years back, the king confided in...”
“Me,” the third warrior said and came forward, “I am Ofiakwunti (the bush with listening ears) who used to be one of the guards of the king until I lost my mom because the Okwatulueze group killed her since I didn’t accept to murder the king as they instructed. The king confided in me, saying that whenever he’s gone missing, I should look out for either Anyamuo or Ogbuoja the flute boy. Now, we can’t find them. Since the disappearance of the king, the duo disappeared with him,”
“But I have been meeting with him all these while,” Adaoma cut in with an objection, “the aforementioned is my great-grandpa, and even the flutist is a dear friend to me, the boy of wisdom. So why saying that they were all gone immediately the king disappeared because I’ve been coming to see them until yesterday. It is confusing?”
“Yes, you may be right,” Otaisimbe said and came forward for an explanation, “The evil group called Ozo bu Iwem used abracadabra to confuse the people, planting the wrong old man and the wrong flutist. The more you look, the less you understand. Even if you’re close to the duo, you won’t notice because charms were used to transform them in the eyes of the people, except you’re either a strong man of God or a strong dibia (Diviner), that’s when you’d know that it was the wrong people that were impersonating the people we thought they were,”
Amarachi shrugged out of fear and disbelief. She discovered that the more she tries to find her dad, the more complicated things became. She couldn’t just understand why the marriage ceremony she already planned in a big way with Dave is having the entire twists because her dad was nowhere to be found. It was just heartbreaking for her because, as it was, she was beginning to lose interest in the marriage because her dad wasn’t there. Her love for Dave was still intact but the tinge of happiness that is always inside of her whenever she imagines her wedding day as her dad hands her over to Dave had become dim. She was undoubtedly so sorrowful.
“This is incredible, please,” The princess mumbled her disbelief and fear, held Dave out of fright to gain some comfort and solace, “I never knew that magic or sorcery work but at least, I’m glad you said that a strong man of God can know the difference. So you guys know about God at all in this village with all these fetishism I’ve been overhearing here and there,”
“We don’t just know God,” Aju Une answered, “we’re good Christians but we don’t joke with our tradition...”
“Once the tradition is for good and devoid of evil, and we call it enculturation of tradition to our Christian faith once it’s not diabolic like the killing of twins and some other deadly practises of the old religion” Otaisimbe added, “evil seems to be overpowering moral excellence and admirableness, so we need to find a solution and get ourselves emancipated from such calamity and impunity,”
“So, how did you know that the Anyamuo and the flutist that the woman talked about weren’t the original ones since she’s the great-granddaughter?” Dave asked looking perplexed.
“I made them know that,” the third warrior looking so tall and handsome said, “I am, Oduenyi (the elephant tusk) from the lineage of Ugosimba, and we all have that gift. Even the king never knew of my existence but I’ve always been praying hard for this kingdom in my secret chamber being my heart. I am studying law at the University of Ibadan but the inevitable call to serve my village keeps me awake every night until I decided to use this holiday period to come home and help look for the lost king. I am here to serve and I’m already on the paperworks concerning the deferment of my schooling until we find the king,” he added and genuflected.
“What a handsome dude,” Onyedika said observantly and smiled, “If I’m a woman eh, I’ll just...”
“Mumu, ode (dunc),” Dave called and knocked Onyedika on the head.
“That’s my baptismal name nah,” Onyedika said admittedly and touched the painful part of his head, “Chai! This hurts ooo,”
“That’s for talking rubbish when men are talking,” Dave added and pulled him closer to comfort him.
“What’s the way forward now?” The princess asked, still having some smiles on her lips as a result of Onyedika’s jokes and Dave’s response.
“We need to take you back to the palace,” Otaisimbe said and genuflected with his fingers in his ears, “your stay here is dangerous both for you and for us because it would not only delay our actions but thwart our efforts. When men fight, women take to hiding and that’s how it should be. When we’re done fighting, they can embrace an unavoidable gossip,”
“Funny but true,” the princess muttered thoughtfully, “but I’ll prove to you that Amarachi is different,” she boasted.
“We have stationed four of our strong warriors to man the gates and patrol around the palace for stronger security,” Otaisimbe continued looking so unsmiling and dogged, “So we need you to be in the palace and watch your movements because we may not always be there with you,”
“But Oduenyi will personally be your guard,” Aju Une said making Oduenyi kneel as he waited for the princess’s blessings.
Dave at this point wasn’t comfortable with the decision because the handsomeness of the appointed warrior got him jealous and he needed to protect what belongs to him.
“Sorry, she doesn’t need a bodyguard,” Dave contested, “I’ve always been doing that even when you guys were all in your rooms sleeping and enjoying the calmness of the night thinking that the wife of the king and the entire family has perished. Now isn’t the time to hand her over to another if not the person that knows everything about her even more than the king who never met the daughter,”
Amarachi was so proud and happy for Dave’s intervention. She felt like kissing him before everyone but she wasn’t sure if the tradition of Ubulu permits such or would consider it a taboo.
“Come here,” Amy said and pulled Dave into a hug with a lobbing gaze into his eyes, “I love you always and will forever be proud of you,” And to the onlookers, she said: “He is right; he’s been my guardian angel, from the unknown to the known. Even though he has his share of weakness as we all do,” she stressed pointing at each of them, “he’s still the best and will never allow me to get hurt. I’m safe in his arms,”
“But he isn’t from this...”
“I know he isn’t from Ubulu,” Amy entered sharply shushing Aju Une’s objection, “the person next to me is the reason why I’m breathing, the pillar behind my success, a multi-millionaire whose reputation speaks louder than his personality but he doesn’t brag about it, the man who obeys my good counsel and treats me like his queen. And to crown it all, he is the heir to the throne of Okporo kingdom. So don’t panic because I’m in safe hands,”
The people were all wowed because they never knew that Dave Handsome was a prince.
The respect they had for him skyrocketed, making them bow in reverence, even Onyedika who was already his close friend.
“Apologies, my prince,” Oduenyi said and laid prostrate before Dave.
“Hey, you guys should stop all these because I’m not used to it,” Dave said and started pulling them all up one after the other. Getting to Adaoma’s position, he didn’t know how to touch the woman, so he said: “Madam, just get up because I may touch the wrong places,”
The people burst into laughter at the comic remark.
“What a funny prince,” Otaisimbe said, “well, that settles it,” he added, “but please, sir,” he emphasised looking directly into Dave’s eyes without fear, “This person you see,” he said pointing at the princess, “is the jewel of this kingdom, the wisest of the entire women we know, and the great seer who is yet to know the gifts she has inside of her. As you’ve been guarding her personally, keep it up, but know it now that you have to tighten your security because even though you’re a prince, we don’t joke with the priceless jewel. If anything happens to her, the respect and honour we have for you would be set aside, then you’d have us to contend with. And when this is done, that sweet love existing between you guys would birth a full-blown war between Ubulu and Okporo,”
“And I wouldn’t want that,” Dave concurred, “And to avoid such war,” he added raising his eyes to the constellation out of solemnity, “I’ll do everything possible to keep her safe and secure,” he promised; with his hand placed on his chest.
Dave’s statement and vow to keep the princess safe led to a round of applause from the observers.
It was about 5 am and an announcer was already heard from afar announcing the disappearance of the princess and attaching a reward to anyone who finds her. It was then obvious to Amarachi that she’d crossed boundaries of her freedom and caused troubles for her household and the entire village.

To be continued...

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