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THE LEGEND OF DAYO
SEASON 1: THE EMERGENCE
Trouble At The Riverside
“Ah!” the Igwe said with a relieved smile. “Now I understand.”
He held out his hand, and his weeping wife helped him off the floor. Smiling with immense happiness, the Igwe draped an arm around his wife’s shoulders and looked at Temi.
“You’re indeed an uncouth little dog, but you saved my wife! For that, I forgive you this gross misconduct! Neji, get up from the floor, you and your parents. And I charge you, Neji, to teach this rascal the manners of our land!”
There was great laughter all around, and as Neji and her parents got to their feet, the Igwe turned to the royal fetish priest.
“Great Honourable Adekunle, speaker for the gods, hearer of the voices of ghosts, we do not understand why an obeah can be capable of this wonderful deed of healing my wife, who had been paralyzed for so long! Are the gods indeed saying such a man should be put in a dungeon?”
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The Royal Fetish Priest looked at Temi with apparent fear now. Twice he had tried to get rid of this man, and twice the tables had turned in the most amazing ways.
He hesitated, wetting his lips, and finding a way of twisting the whole incredible healing episode into something to favour himself and discredit Temi. He had been treating the Queen Mother for years, without any improvement, and yet, in seconds, this strange boy had miraculously healed her.
His thin face was twisted with hatred as he looked at Temi, and he racked his brains for a way out of his predicament.
But Jhon Moziz made the decision for him.
The spirit of the Grand Oracle of Dayo suddenly appeared in front of the fetish priest, and made himself visible to Adekunle Oyadepo!
But this time, the space where Jhon Moziz’s head was supposed to be was filled with blazing fire.
Even Neji, who was used to seeing Jhon Moziz, felt a sharp spasm of terror at the sight of this horrifying spectacle of the hanging man with the burning face!
She looked around desperately, but it soon became clear to her that the only people that saw the shocking spectacle of Jhon Moziz with a burning face were herself, Temi and the Fetish Priest.
The Fetish Priest took one look at this terrible spirit, and then he screamed with terror and went tearing out of the palace with fear, shocking the Igwe and all the people present.
Neji Helen almost laughed out loud at the bullying antics of Jhon Moziz, but she forced herself to keep quiet.
“It seems to me that we need to take a second look at our Fetish Priest,” the Igwe said thoughtfully, and the elders of the palace nodded, indicating their acquiescent. “Now, however, we will honour this great young man whose presence in our village is doing such wonderful things for us!”
And that had been the beginning of a royal feast where Neji Helen and her family had been the guests of honour.
For the first time, Neji had met the handsome prince of the village. He was obviously taken in by Neji Helen’s beauty, but of course she had eyes only for her Temi.
And now, everywhere she went, she was with Prince Temidayo of Dayo. Surprisingly, for a full week after the incident, Jhon Moziz didn’t put in an appearance again until that most dreadful day at the riverside.
It happened on a Saturday.
As was the practice in the village, many girls and women trooped to the riverside on Saturdays to wash the dirty clothes of their families.
The river was actually a fabulous waterfall that dropped from a height of hundred feet to a grassy floor. The riverbank was a wide expanse of lovely grass, and beyond that was a growth of tall bamboo trees.
The females usually came early to the riverside to wash.
Those who were early enough could do their washing on the grass around the river, and spread out their clothes to dry, held down by small stones.
Those who didn’t come early washed under the shade provided by the bamboo trees. They normally brought food and pillows because they waited for the clothes to dry before going back home.
Neji Helen was overjoyed when Temi decided to accompany her that day to the riverside. It had come to a point where they could barely bear to be apart for more than a few minutes.
When Neji informed him that she would be gone for about three hours, because she had to wait for the clothes to dry completely before coming back home, he had promptly decided to accompany her, just as she had secretly been hoping for.
The dirty clothing were in white sacks which she put into two huge pans. She carried one pan and Uche Joseph carried the other.
The soaps and perfume seeds were in a little bag that Temi carried.
As the three of them walked along the busy path that led to the riverside, Neji was aware of the jealous glances of the other girls, and it pleased her secretly. As they came out of the cocoa trees and entered the bamboo trees, she felt like the happiest girl in the whole universe.
Temi walked beside her, taking her free hand and holding it for as long as he possibly could. His eyes never left her face, and she saw just how much he cared about her.
He asked her questions, and he listened attentively to her answers, hanging on every word she uttered, his eyes never leaving her face.
Soon they came to the huge grassy plains along the river, and Neji set up her washing pans. She washed from one soapy water to another. Uche Joseph rinsed them and put them into a clean water. Neji rinsed in the clean water, and then carried them to the grass patches to dry them.
Temi wanted to be a part, but he spilled more water than was necessary, making everybody laugh at him, but he was unperturbed.
He seemed to be enjoying himself a great deal.
He helped her dry the clothes, finding fine pebbles and putting them at the edges and in the middle of the clothes to hold them down.
Neji was aware that a lot more girls were washing close to her, most of them engaging her in conversation. She knew, however, that they were all putting on a show to grab a bit of attention from Prince Temidayo of Dayo.
The clothes were drying, and the sun was now a little bit hotter.
They all began to move toward the cool shade provided by the bamboo trees to wait for the clothes to dry completely.
Neji was walking with Temi.
He had one arm around her shoulders, and her arm was around his waist.
“You’re so beautiful, Neji,” he whispered, looking down at her.
And suddenly she was so aware of him that it was painful.
“This…that kissing thing…can we try it?” Temi asked softly.
She smiled up at him.
Suddenly she felt so weak.
All she wanted to do was turn fully into his arms and kiss him till forever. Her breath came like little gasps, and suddenly everything seemed to diminish into nothingness. Suddenly, all that mattered was the moment, that magical moment where only the two of them seemed to exist in the world.
She turned swiftly to face him.
With a little sigh his arms dropped to her waist, and he pulled her toward him. Neji put her arms around his neck, feeling his powerful body next to her. She could hear his heartbeats hammering through their clothing.
“Hey, what do you two think you’re doing?” Uche Joseph said suddenly with some trepidation as he looked around anxiously, aware that many of the girls and women present, and a few of the boys and men too, had stopped all that they were doing and were looking intently at Neji and the stranger.
Neji and Temi didn’t appear to hear him.
Uche moved toward them with concern, intent on forcibly pushing them apart. He wanted to avoid the resultant gossiping and teasing Neji would be put through.
Neji Helen’s lips quivered as Temi’s head began to descend, and then he stopped suddenly. She felt him stiffening against her, and his head lifted, his brow puckering in a little frown, his face worried suddenly.
“Temi?” Neji whispered with concern. “What is it? Are you okay?”
“I heard someone calling my name,” he said, looking absolutely confused. “It came from all around me, like a voice in the air!”
“But I didn’t hear anything,” Neji Helen said with increasing fear.
And that was when it happened!
An invisible force seemed to grab Temidayo, and then he was forcibly pulled backward through the air!
His arms flailed as his body soared into the air, dragged furiously back from Neji toward the river!
Neji screamed with fear and began to ran toward him.
Temi’s body smashed horribly down on the hard grass, and he lay there, winded, barely moving!
“Temi!” Neji screamed as she raced forward, reaching out frantically to hold him.
Before her hand could touch him he was hurled into the air again!
And now other people were screaming and running toward them too.
Again Temi’s body crashed to the ground several metres away from Neji, and quite close to the edge of the river!
Neji was weeping pitifully as she ran hard.
She could see Temi on the ground, thrashing as if he could not breathe!
“Teeemiiii!” she screamed, running harder, her tears falling harder!
Again, just as she was about to touch him, he was dragged backward!
This time his body didn’t soar into the air…
He was dragged ruthlessly along the ground, across the rocks on the riverbank, and then pulled into the gently flowing river!
Neji Helen knew Temi couldn’t swim!
The young prince’s body was dragged through the river toward the riverbed, sinking furiously under the surface of the water as whatever evil force was dragging him made its intention of drowning him quite obvious.
Neji could see Temi struggling for air in the river as he was taken downward.
Screaming, she was about to dive into the river too when she felt a massive invisible hand smashing into her, and sending her spinning backward straight to the grass!
She landed on her back, dazed as she fought off the darkness that was trying to claim her. She had been punched back so violently that she could taste blood in her mouth!
Neji could barely breathe, but she fought off the unconsciousness with all the power she could muster.
She suddenly terrified by the obvious!
Temi was drowning!
Temi, her Temi, was dying!
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