The Legend Of Dayo…
THE LEGEND OF DAYO
“Isn’t that a vexatious statement to make?” Temi asked, and Rose could hear the underlying fury creeping into his voice.
“How so, Prince of Dayo?” the long man asked, as two of his eyes fixed coldly on Temi, and the third one settled on Rose.
“I’m a stranger here, with no knowledge of this godforsaken place, and you ask me to choose which of these two gates leads to The Desolates? Now how am I supposed to do that? You are the Keeper of these Gateways, and you’re mandated to tell me where to go!”
“Ah, I know not where these gates lead to, Prince of Dayo!” the thing said in a calm voice. “I just keep them, and make sure that they are locked once you pass through.”
“If you can be of no use to me as to which gate to take to make my mission fast, then perhaps I will slay you to stop you from locking the gates, so that I can go through one and come back to use the other gate if I hit a dead-end with my choice.”
The three eyes behind the hood shifted fast at the words of Temidayo, filled with a mixture of sudden fury and panicked dread.
“You can’t slay a Gatekeeper!” he said plaintively.
“Try me!” Temi said and held out his right hand, and one of the Swords of Destiny flew into it. “I’ve just about had it with your unreasonableness! You help me out, as I’m sure you’re supposed to, or I slit your throat here and now!”
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“If you put it that way, then I have no option than to give you a hint, don’t I? Indeed, from my perception, the right gate will be of aid to you,” he said softly.
The right gate was the golden one, and the left gate was the silver gate. Rose began to move toward the golden gate, but Temi held her arm.
“We use the silver gate, Roselyn,” he said.
“Oh, you think he’s lying?” Rose asked, uncertain. “He’s scared of you, my Lord, and he said the right gate. I don’t think he lied to you. He wouldn’t dare.”
“He didn’t lie,” Temi said as he strode toward the silver gate. “That vile creature was being crafty. He said from his perception we should use the right gate.”
“And the golden gate is the right gate,” Rose argued as they neared the silver gate. “Temi! You might be making a grave mistake!”
“No, I’m not,” Temi said calmly. “From our perception, as we faced the gates, the right gate was the golden one. But from the perception of that bastard, with his back to the gates, the right gate is the silver one.”
Again Rose paused for a moment, dumbfounded by this young man whose mind seemed to work like a spirit. The silver gate swung open, and as they walked through Rose looked on, and saw that within the golden gate was a wall of fiercely-burning fire, and she could hear agonized voices screaming within, and white eerie figures with red-hot metal floating through the fire and hitting out at the screaming bodies.
She shuddered with fear, and held Temi’s hand again as they walked through a forest with heavy foliage hiding the sky. The ground was not overgrown with weeds but neatly empty of undergrowth, and the colour was black, very black. Rose had never seen such black ground before, and its creepiness made her feel even more afraid.
Soon, the foliage above thinned, and she could see a strange sky. It looked yellowish with a pale square thing that seemed to be the sun, and it was casting a dim light on the forest floor.
Rose looked to her right, and she paused suddenly with a little cry of fear, forcing Temi to stop.
“What ails you, Roselyn?” he asked, and his voice was not harsh.
Without replying, Rose pointed into the gloomy shadows of the forest to her right where a huge square-shaped eye was staring at them. The eye was very close to the ground, indicating that it belonged to someone or something which was very short.
Temi pointed a finger at the blue eye which remained in the trees, away from the path.
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“Whoever you are, I have no war with you,” he said deliberately as he continued walking. “Stay away from me, and I will let you live.”
His hand was holding Rose’s hand protectively as they walked, and that blue eye walked alongside them, staying in the darker shadows, seeming to bump along in a strange kind of way as if it were skipping.
They lost sight of it in a bend in the road, and when the path straightened, they saw it again in its glory.
It was standing in the shadowed part of the trees blocking their path.
Indeed, it was a very hideous creature. It was short, about three feet tall, but had a freakishly muscular and hairy body covered with purple hair. Its face was squashed in so that the forehead, single eye, elongated nose and huge mouth seemed to be in a straight line. Its mouth was extremely huge and green and flapped continuously as if being hit by a strong wind.
It had two arms at each shoulder, making four in total. Its legs were two, but they were very massive and hairy with rounded globules at the end instead of feet, and this made it bounce up and down as it stood, explaining the bumpy movements in the dark woods earlier.
Two of the hands were holding broad swords, and two were holding clubs. It pointed one sword at them and spoke in a surprisingly deep voice.
“Chilikpeee!” it said shrilly. “Kalaput tumana chilikpeee!”
“I don’t understand you, fella,” Temi said gently. “And I don’t want to fight you. Just let us pass. Don’t force this.”
The thing became enraged by that. Its lips flapped harder and its horrible face became even more grim, and it shouted now with rage.
“Chilikpeee! Kalaput! Kalaput tumana chilikpeee! Chokada chilikpeee!”
Temi made a gesture with his hand around his ear to indicate he did not understand, and the thing immediately let out a roar and dropped into a battle stance.
“Seems we have to do this the hard way,” Temi said and held out his hands, and the swords on his back came out and sailed into his hands. “Stay here, Roselyn. Let me convince this entity in a nice way to let us pass.”
Rose, heart beating with trepidation, drew out her sword but remained where she was as Temi moved forward. The moment he got to the shadowed part, the thing let out a roar and attacked.
“Paki!” Temi whispered, and clashed with the hideous creature, swinging his swords gracefully to block the swords and clubs of the creature, then swinging upward and cutting off one of its arms. The arm fell, bounced, and instantly changed into another purple-haired creature like the other one, holding two swords and two clubs.
“Chilikpeee!” this new one screamed and rushed toward Rose, whose terror was increasing and dropped into a stance, but the new monster came to a sudden halt, looked up, and screamed.
It turned back and helped the other man to attack Temi.
As the fight raged on with Temi expertly blocking their blows, he sliced off the head of the first monster and cut off the leg of the second with graceful ease.
The one whose head had been cut off instantly grew a new one, and the second one also grew a new leg. But the leg and head that fell down bounced once and changed into two more monsters.
Now they were four.
“Chilikpeee!” the new once shouted.
“Chilikpeee!” the other two responded, and then one of them pointed at Rose.
“Koblat tupana papaja!” he said.
The two new ones rushed at Rose, but again came to a stop and looked into the sky.
“Kiliweee!” one screamed.
“Chapa!” the other responded. “Kiliweee!”
Then they turned and joined the savage fight against Temi!
“What evil sorcery is this?” Temi screamed as he fought the four beasts. “They’ll only keep multiplying if I cut them up, and then sprout new parts I injure! There’s no way to win against them, and I can’t keep them off forever!”
Rose rushed forward to help him in the fight, and the moment she entered the shadows two turned and bounced toward her.
“Chilikpeee!” they cried excitedly. “Chapa tupana kolochapi apaltusi.”
Rose took two steps back and dropped into a battle stance, but the monsters stopped and looked into the sky again.
“Kiliweee!” they shouted in a disappointed and frustrated voice, and turned toward Temi again.
“Temi, they’re scared of the light from the sky!” Rose cried suddenly when she became aware that they shied away from her because she was still in the strange sunlight, and they attacked Temi in the shadows.
Temi did a backflip and then soared sideways to stand beside her.
“What did you say?” he asked grimly. “Couldn’t hear you.”
“They’re scared of sunlight, of light,” Roselyn said. “They call it kiliweee!”
The four monsters came toward them, but stopped just where the shadows began.
“Kiliweee!” the screeched in agitation.
“Dearest me, you’re right, Roselyn,” Temi said. “Indeed, they’re scared of light. And the sun is going down. In darkness they will kill us! Only one thing to do.”
Temi began to move toward the monsters.
“Chilikpeee!” they screeched and raised their weapons.
“Fuck you chilikpeees!” Temi said furiously. “Give me sunlight on my blades, Swords of Destiny!”
Immediately the Swords of Destiny began to shimmer brightly with the fierce glare of sunlight!
“KILIWEEE! KILIWEEE! KILLIWEEE!” the monsters screamed with terror and turned to flee.
Temi struck one through the middle, cutting it into two, and it burst into flames immediately!
The other three screamed frantically and suddenly slammed into each other, and became one monster which bounced desperately into the trees, hopped high and then sailed furiously away.
“Come, Rose, let’s get out of this accursed forest!” Temi said as he still held the glowing swords.
With a sigh, Rose sheathed her sword and hurried to his side, and they jogged rapidly through the trees.
Luckily, they did not have long to run before bursting out of the forest, and what faced them was a great expanse of brown rocky terrain that rose up steeply. There were no trees and no vegetation. No sign of life. Just that great expanse of brown rock rising up sharply into a mountain.
Temi stopped with a sigh.
Temi let his swords go then. The sunlight vanished from their edges, and they sailed into their scabbards at his back.
“What kind of godforsaken terrain is this?” he asked softly and looked into the deep yellow sky. “I take it this yellow sky means night has fallen here. I think we need to make it to the mountain top because we don’t know what will come out of this vile forest at night, or what might come up from the other side of the mountain. If we can make it to the top, we’ll have modest view of each side of the mountain, and be in a position to defend ourselves better from any danger.”
Rose nodded calmly.
“Yes, Temi,” she said. “I trust your judgements.”
He looked down at her and raised his eyebrows.
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“See who’s talking,” he said coldly. “Since when did you start trusting my judgements?”
She looked right back at him with her beautiful lips slightly parted, and her amazing breasts rising and falling with the sudden emotions building up in her.
“Since I fell in love with you, Temi,” she said.
He chuckled then.
“You’re not so useless after all, Roselyn,” he said as he turned from her and shook his head. “At least, your presence here saved me from the damn Chilikpees.”
Rose smiled broadly.
“Don’t worry, Dayan Prince,” she said. “I got the kiliweees for all the chilikpeees in your life.”
Without turning Temi burst into laughter then, and Rose smiled when she heard the note of wonderful joy in his voice. He had laughed with her, for the very first time since grabbing her and trying to kill her, and it warmed and pleased her heart extremely.
He began to walk up the brown mountainside, and she followed behind with a sad smile on her face.
“You know there’s no way I’ll be able to leave the White Lands, right?” she asked.
“Roselyn, how many times are you going to mention that?” Temi asked without turning, his voice sounding strangely subdued now.
“As many times as it will take to sink into your big head, my prince!” she said hotly. “Perhaps, it is about time you started making my final days with you a memorable time, because once you leave me here, I’ll never see the man I’ve fallen in love with again! After this mission you can safely leave the White Lands, search for your Neji Helen and marry her. You will be happy with her, Temi. That is alright. I’ll make my atonement with you here, and sacrifice my life to make your mission a success. And, when that is done, I won’t be able to leave this place, no, and I will stay here, and die here.”
“What do you want from me, Roselyn?” he stopped and turned to her, his face troubled. “You damn well know I don’t want you to die! The thought of you staying the rest of your life here is killing me, yes, after the few things I have seen! And yet, I feel your presence here is needed! Don’t make me feel this bloody guilty!”
Tears came to her eyes as she came close to him.
“I’m genuinely sorry, Temi,” she whispered. “I was a monster, I know, driven purely by the filth my brother and Temitayo fed me. I was a horrible beast whose actions hurt a lot of people. But that was before I knew love, real love, and knew just how much I hurt you! I don’t want you to marry me, or make love to me, or even love me! I just want your forgiveness, Temi. That is all I ask. Before you leave me here and return to Dayo, I just need you to forgive me, and be kind to me. Make my final days with you happy, my love, please. I beg of you.”
She stepped past him them, wiping tears off her face.
For a moment Temi stayed where he was just staring after her, his face extremely emotional. With a sigh he walked rapidly toward her, and without saying a word he reached out and took her hand.
They looked briefly at each other, and then they began to climb the mountain hand in hand.
They climbed for a long time, and by the time they got to the top, the visibility was bad because the sky was such an appallingly yellow that everything had an eerie tinge of deep amber.
Rose was struggling for breath now. The ascent had been an arduous one, and they were both tired.
“I need water, my love,” she gasped. “So tired!”
“Sorry, Roselyn,” Temi said calmly as he looked down at her flushed face. “I thirst too. Look, down there, seems to be some settlements of sorts. Perhaps, we can find water there.”
Rose looked down the other side of the mountain, and indeed she saw some dull glints that looked like roofs, and farther down from the settlement was a bigger sheen that looked like a lake.
“Yes, my love” she said with a weak nod. “Going down will be relatively easier, and we can find water there, I hope.”
“And since when did this ‘my love’ thing begin?” he asked gently. “It has been going on for some time, and I don’t remember encouraging it, you wicked girl.”
Rose smiled weakly and wiped sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand.
“Because I love you, Prince David Temidayo, and I’ll make my final days with you memorable even if you continue to treat me like dirt.”
He looked into her beautiful defiant face, and then he began to descend the mountain without another word.
“And I like it when you call me Roselyn,” she said softly behind him. “Why did you start calling me Roselyn anyway?”
This time a smile creased his face, but she was behind him so she did not see it.
The community below the mountain was far larger than they had imagined from the top of the mountain. The buildings were mostly built from logwood lashed together and strengthened with some black clayey earth. The roofs were made from a taut sheet-like material that was alien to Temi. The surroundings were mostly unclean and littered with several things made from wood.
Some of the structures were elaborate, consisting of three or four log structures with porches and verandas. Most, however, were single. The slum-like surroundings became a little bit more refined as they walked farther into the community, and a kind of class began to emerge. The buildings that were nearer to the sheen of water in the distance were bigger, neater and generally more homely.
There were lights burning around the door frames, but each door they hammered on remained closed. No one answered them no matter how hard they knocked and called. They moved from door to door, house to house, knocking and demanding water, but no one answered them.
They did not see anybody around too. It looked like a dead town.
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When they were almost at the outskirts of the strange town, nearing the outer fringes that led to the pool of water in the distance, they approached another log house that was slightly raised than the others, and had a porch. The house was shaped like a C, and had four chairs facing outward near the banisters on the porch.
Rose stopped walking and stared at the house with bulging eyes. She put trembling fingers to her lips and when she looked at Temi he could see tears bubbling like diamonds on her lashes.
He stood close to her and looked into her eyes.
“What now, Roselyn?” he asked, and his voice was gentle.
She pointed a hand at the log house.
“Please, the steps that lead to the porch…can you see if some words are carved on them?” she spoke, her voice trembling badly.
Temidayo moved carefully to the logwood steps, still at a loss why she was behaving so mysteriously. He bent and peered at the steps, but it was so gloomy that he could barely make anything out. He slid out one of the Swords of Destiny and shone its emerald glitter on the step, and now he could make out the words clearly:
Welcome To Our Home
“Welcome to our home, it says,” he said to Rose, and she gasped.
“On the porch…just before you enter, there would be other words…and names!” she whispered quaveringly.
Temi mounted the steps carefully, still holding the sword, and yes, just before stepping onto the porch proper, there were words carved in a squared shape on the porch!
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