Hi… It’s been a great story so far and it’s getting hotter… But if you missed the previous episodes, then be sure to catch up quickly before reading today’s story. Here they are
Aafin Daru -Palace in Pieces (1)
Aafin Daru -Palace in Pieces (2)
Let’s get to today’s story quickly
Good news travels fast. But bad news, it’s like flash! Within seconds, the whole village knew of Ooshadipe’s unfortunate demise. All sorts of rumors and gossips flew from left, right and centre. Wasn’t it an abomination for a ruling king to see a corpse? And didn’t that mean that the King would need to undergo a purification ritual by the chief priest? In this case, the chief priest was the corpse and sadly, his only son who was to succeed him was a drunk who knew nothing and had zero interests when it came to matters of the gods.
King Ademoluti couldn’t believe that things would ever come to this point in his lifetime when he would have to kneel before Ooshagbayi. He was the complete opposite of his late father. He couldn’t even stay sober for five minutes. His breath stank of palmwine all through the purification ritual. But for tradition, Ademoluti would have ordered Ooshagbayi out of his sight completely, maybe even banished him from the kingdom.
Weeks passed and things remained fairly at status quo. Maybe the gods were no longer angry at him, Ademoluti thought. His sick daughters had spontaneously recovered and even Adejugba was doing fine. Could it be that Ooshadipe was helping him pacify the wrath of the Curse of Adigun from the grave beyond? Whatever it was, Ademoluti hoped things would remain the way they were. And they did.
For sixteen years the kingdom experienced peace and the palace had so much quiet. Adejugba had grown up into a strong, handsome prince and the king was fairly confident that the gods had finally shone their faces on his family. Even Ooshagbayi had quit drinking completely. He and the prince were now very close confidants and King Ademoluti cherished this, as it reminded him of his friendship with Ooshadipe.
“Kabiyeesi, I have a small request from you” Adejugba said as he approached the King one fateful afternoon. “I would like to take part in this year’s war festival“. The war festival was such that the warlords from the six kingdoms around Ilugbayi came together to sport-fight. Of most interest was the sword fight between crown princes of the different kingdoms. But Ademoluti had prevented Adejugba in previous years from engaging in the sword fight. “It’s too dangerous” “you’re too weak” “I don’t want you to get hurt” or “the time is not right” were the king’s usual excuses. With Adejugba now 21 years of age, the king had run out of excuses and had to give his blessings to his only son. Afterall that was one sure way to prove Ilugbayi’s dominance over the other nations.
The D-day came and the field was set. Village girls flocked the town square to catch glimpses of the muscular bodies of the valiant princes, with hopes of being noticed by them. But Adejugba didn’t come here to notice any Cinderella. His only desire was to show to the world that his absence from the fights in previous years was not as a result of his weakness. He would show that he was indeed a strong Prince, just unfortunate to have been born to an over-protective father. Little did he know that his father’s overprotective nature had always been for his own good.
The rounds were fierce and soon, Adejugba’s strength was put to test. His opponent, Debola, the Prince of Idi-arere, was an equal match to Adejugba and by the fifth round of the sword fight, Adejugba’s patience was running out. In a twinkle of an eye, Adejugba made a drastic move. His zeal consumed him and the sportsman in him disappeared. He knocked Debola’s sword off with all the energy in him and hurray… The crowds went bizzare in praise… Jugba, Jugba, Jugba… The shouts were overwhelming. King Ademoluti looked over to King Remo, Debolas father with that gaze that said “I told you my son would beat yours” but before he could turn back to look at his Adejugba, the crowd cheering suddenly stopped. Adejugba was now on top of Debola with his sword in his hand.
What had come over Adejugba? Had he gone out of his mind? Was he going to kill the Prince of Idi-arere? What sort of rage was this?
Catch the rest of the story in next episode… Only on this blog
…writing stories since Adam