The Legend Of Dayo…
THE LEGEND OF DAYO
Rosalinda began changing into different hues of blue, white and green, and her eyes flashed rapidly with sudden distress.
“He moves with my daughter?” she whispered, aghast. “The son of that vile King Demi dared put his paws on my daughter?”
“Yes, but that is of little import! After he slew the Ogre, I made him weak, and he should have died at the hands of his cousin, one of my stupid puppets…but your daughter saved his life! I knew then that, indeed, this boy is the catalyst ushering in the Great Purge! If he reaches the Ashes, all of us might perish if indeed the Oracles are right…because this prince wields the Royal DayoSword!”
Rosalinda blasted out of her throne with sudden fury, her fingernails suddenly extending into vicious knife-like claws.
“You have my attention, you vile being!” she whispered with seething rage. “What would you have me do? Kill him? Yes, he will die, but my daughter survives. Don’t you dare touch my daughter, you vile thing!”[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”WARNING”]Exclusive Content to http://www.aaron-ansah-agyeman.com Do not copy or share on any other site. Do not share on any WhatsApp, Facebook or Social Media page. ONLY SHARE THE LINKS TO THE STORY[/stextbox]
“That depends entirely on you, Siren. You kill the prince, your daughter will live. If you fail me, she will die in a most agonizing way, I promise you that,” Leke Olugbade Bally said fiercely. “That prince must not reach The Ashes. Unfortunately, I have not been empowered to face him head on in battle until he reaches The Ashes, otherwise he would’ve been but dust particles by now.
The Oracles prophesied that his greatest challenge will be here, when he reaches The Mist! He comes in a week, at the most, after overcoming all obstacles in his way! Here he must die! You must kill him! Use everything to kill him here, and you will receive a worthy reward when I take over Dayo, and go into Earth!”
“He will not make it past me, rest assured!” Rosalinda wailed, and with a fierce wail she dashed into the lake without a ripple.
Her throne and the sirens followed her.
Leke Olugbade Bally sailed upward slowly.
“You remain her, Somtoo!” he said softly. “Observe and help if you can. And then come and inform me how it went!”
The red-eyed demon blasted high into the mist.
“It shall be done, Master!” he growled.[wp_ad_camp_2]
Temi opened his eyes slowly.
He was sitting on a hard-backed chair leaning against the log wall near the open window. The room was still tinged amber, but it was a darker shade this time, indicating the strange night was approaching. He could still hear the great noise outside, indicative of the fact that the people here were still celebrating their new-found freedom from the ogre.
He was ravenously hungry, and was glad to see that there were covered dishes on the dining-table.
Temi had seen the woman coming in with the food and setting up the table, and that was all. Evidently, he had slipped into a fatigued sleep from that moment.
He yawned, trying to find out what had woken him, and then she appeared in the doorway.
Rose Amaefule, descendant of the sirens.
She was dressed in that coarse sheet, but as she hesitated in the doorway, he was struck by her grace and regal poise…an extremely beautiful woman she was.
With her hair pulled back in a severe bun, the exquisite planes of her face were exposed, and her incredible allure was unmistakable.
They stayed like for a while just looking at each other, and then she flushed suddenly under his frank stare, her heart fluttering because, unlike other men, this prince never hid his true feelings, and she could see the frank admiration on his face.
This moment was almost like the first time he had kissed her on the hills that horrible time she had betrayed him.
Oh, how she had longed to see the hatred in his eyes replaced with such frank appraisal. But still, something was missing from his eyes. Still that light of pure love, pure adoration and unreserved tenderness was still missing, and rightly so, because even she doubted if that innocent Temi would ever come out again.
She had had his trust then, and she had foolishly let it slip through her fingers because she had erroneously believed in a useless drive for passion, a drive of vengeance that had been as evil as it was hollow.
She was now looking at the rest of her life without the love of the only man she ever really loved and wanted.
He got to his feet and approached the dining table.
“Welcome back from the land of the dead, Roselyn,” he said gently. “Care for something to eat?”
“Yes,” she said ruefully. “I’m famished.”
She went back into the room, and came back a few minutes later. She had discarded the rough robe and was now wearing her warrior trousers and vest without the top shirt.
Again, her beauty seemed amplified to him, and he shook his head a little irritably. She took the ladle from him and dished their foods, which was rice and vegetable stew and, surprisingly, it was very tasty indeed.
They ate in silence for a while.
“Your wounds,” he said softly as he looked at her. “They healed?”
She smiled with a mouthful of food.
“Nary a scratch, my Lord,” she said teasingly. “Healed completely by the Creator. Seems to me He, The Blessed Creator, has even forgiven me.”
He smiled at that, and avoided the veiled mocking malice of her implication.
“I was waiting for you to come out,” he said carefully. “I thank you for the sacrifice you made for me. You saved me, with your life.”
She nodded and shuddered as she relived the horror of Anubi’s sword running right through her.
“Glad to be of help,” she said softly. “Although I don’t understand why I survived that attack. My wounds have healed completely without a scar. That, indeed, is very scary.”
“Quite scary, I agree,” he said thoughtfully. “But quite normal here, according to what they told me. Evidently, you survived because it wasn’t your time to die. Well, I’m happy you’re still alive, Roselyn, and I’m happy you found your father again.”
She froze for a few seconds, and then she put her wooden spoon down and looked at him.
“What’s that supposed to mean, my Lord?” she asked softly.
“It means that my uncle, Pedro Igwe, has offered to accompany me to The Desolates. So, you can stay here with your father. You’re not coming with me anymore. Can’t risk your life again.”
“I didn’t come here to look for my father,” she said, her voice suddenly unsteady. “I came here to help you in your mission, and also to find a little happiness in your company because I love you. And, after you get the Dead Olive, you can go back to Dayo, and I’ll remain here. That is the roadmap, my Lord.”
“Now look, Rose…” he began desperately.
“I’m coming with you, Temi,” she interrupted him with flashing eyes, and he knew that short of binding her, she was determined to go with him.
Temi was amazed at how secretly happy he was by the fact that she had chosen to continue with him. He had thought she would prefer to remain with her father, and he was surprised how that prospect had filled him with sudden bitter moods.
He was supposed to hate her, yes, so what was this alien emotion he was beginning to feel for her?
And so, as the shadows began to deepen, Temi left the Brown Rocks with his uncle, Pedro, and Rose.
The people in the community screamed and applauded when he came out, and they exhibited real admiration with no sign of acrimony for being imprisoned in such a terrible place.
This touched Temi very much, and he promised them to do all that he could to make sure that their lives were made a bit more comfortable when he became king.
The most painful moment for him was the agony he witnessed between Rose and her father, Kehinde. The man tried to persuade her to stay with him, convinced that his daughter would die in the quest she was on, but although she cried so passionately, Rose would not listen to him, and was quite determined to remain with Temidayo.
Finally, with both crying, the old man kissed his daughter’s cheeks, prayed for her and hugged her tightly.
And then they left the Brown Rocks with Igwe Peter Pedro showing them the way.[wp_ad_camp_3]
The path took them through the stream beyond Brown Rocks.
Most of the people followed them because they had never ventured very far from their habitat because of the ogre, and this was as good a time as any to find out what mysteries lay beyond the clear pool of water behind the rocks.
After going a little distance from the Brown Rocks, they came across an incredibly enormous area filled with an unbelievable array of fruits, vegetables, assorted grains and amazing tubers.
Temi was touched when he saw the people, both men and women, coming to complete stops and gazing at this stretch of good life with tears falling down their cheeks.[wp_ad_camp_1]
That a paradise like this existed, and that it had been kept away from them because of the ogre, was more than most could believe.
And then, with cries of ecstasy they fell on the farms, bringing down ripe pawpaw, bananas, oranges, sugarcane, pears, apples and other edibles. It was old Babangida, his mouth filled with mango, who approached Temi and slowly bowed down to him.
“Thank you, my Lord, for this saving grace,” he murmured with tears in his eyes. “Now, I can die knowing that my belly will not feel a pang of hunger again, and my throat will never be parched again. Thank you, for saving us.”
And then, in singles and in groups, they bowed to Temi despite his appeals to them not to. They hailed him as their king, and many of them hugged him with tears in their eyes.
It was an unnerving moment for Temi to witness such a breaking down of souls who genuinely loved him. It struck him forcibly that most of these people were now pure of heart, cured of whatever sickness that had attacked their souls. The harshness of life in the White Lands had taught them a lesson nothing else could, and had given them the perspective to see life through a different kind of lens, and to appreciate the basic things in life.
These were people who deserved a second chance. Although some might indeed revert to their sinful ways, he knew most of them were of changed hearts and minds, and might be very useful citizens of Dayo once again.
They all fell on their knees with gratitude and chanted his name.
“Hail King Temidayo, the Greatest and Kindest of all Dayan Kings!” they roared with sheer gratitude.[wp_ad_camp_2]
Finally, Rose said farewell to her father because it was evident none of the people would follow them beyond this paradise. They waved, and then the three of them left Brown Rocks behind.
They had gourds of water at their waists, and travelled quickly.
When the shadows became too dark, they camped in a cave-like enclosure. Igwe went for some of the glowing rocks and dry twigs to burn at the entrance, keeping them warm against the sudden and unexpected chill.
They decided to keep watch against any unforeseen attacks, and Igwe elected to keep first watch, and would wake up Temi after four hours to keep the next watch.
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