The Legend Of Dayo…
THE LEGEND OF DAYO
As arranged, Igwe woke up Temi after four hours to take over the watch.
Temi was also supposed to wake up Rose after four hours. When Rose woke up by herself, eventually, she saw that the darkness was dissipating, and knew with a sinking feeling that Temi had not woken her up as agreed on. She stood up and hurried to the edge of the cave and found him sitting at his post with his back to the wall, slicing little chunks of an apple with a knife and eating them slowly.
She walked up to him and stood staring down at him with tender eyes.
“You didn’t wake me up,” she said softly. “That’s not good enough, my Lord.”
“I wasn’t sleepy,” he replied, and then he looked up at her.
They stared at each other for a while.
“Go and get some sleep then,” she said. “A couple of hours at least and you’ll be as good as new, I guess.”
He got to his feet and stretched.
“I’m okay, Roselyn,” he said. “We better get going. I’ll wake up my uncle.”
He made to step past her and slipped. Instinctively, he reached out to support himself, and she also reached out to steady him, and quite suddenly they were in each other’s arms.
Temi made to step back, but with a sigh of pain and frustration Rose slipped her arms around him and held him tight, pressing her face against his chest. She could hear his heart pounding as his hands slipped down the gentle curves of her body.
She shivered and raised her face, and the love she felt for him was splashed on her face without any attempt at disguise.[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]
Her hands came up his body, over his chest and hooked around his neck. His hands dropped down her silky body and wrapped around her waist. Their kiss was sudden and fierce, borne out of starvation and an acute awareness of each other, a stolen moment of joy in the midst of their evident frailty in a harsh hostile environment. He kissed her sweetly, tenderly, fiercely. She responded, groaning with an uncontrollable desire she had never felt before.
“Oh, Temi, my love, my love!” she moaned against his lips.
He almost swept her off her feet as his desire grew, but then a vision intruded, a vision of the sweet face of Nneka and Daniel Godwin, cradled in his arms, dead…
He had let them down!
In a moment of fear and panic he had let them down, and they had died!
With a grunt he pried Rose away from his body and stepped away from her. She tottered, almost falling, and reached out her hand toward him, her face shattering as tears of anguish glittered in her eyes, stung by his harsh rejection.
“Temi, please, don’t do this to me!” she moaned weakly, tragically.
“Stay away from me, Rose!” he uttered painfully. “Stay away from me! This never happened!”
“It did, Temi, my love!” she groaned with a tortured voice. “It did! You felt it too, yes, I know! You felt the magic between us!”
“There’s no magic!” he groaned harshly. “I loved only two women. First, Neji Helen, and then Nneka Okez! I’ve lost both of them, and I don’t want any other love, least of all your love! You tried to kill me! You’re responsible in part for this calamity!”
“I haven’t denied it, have I?” she groaned painfully. “You can kill me if you want, and if that will make you happy, Temi, but you know I love you!”
“Don’t love me!” he shouted fiercely, painfully.
“Oh, yes, I wish I don’t!” Rose shouted right back. “Oh, how I wish I don’t love you, damn you! Every second of my life is spent with pain waiting for you to forgive me, to accept me, to show me a little love because evidently I’m going to die in this godforsaken place, but through it all you don’t even want to give me a moment of peace!”
“You deserve no peace, Rose Amaefule!” he said in agony. “Perhaps, it will be better if you turn around and go back to your father!”
She tried to speak, but her lips trembled fiercely, and her tears fell silently down her beautiful cheeks. And then, without a word, she turned and began to descend the rock face.
Temi stared after, distressed by the sudden feeling of loneliness he felt at her departure, wondering if she had taken his words to heart and was returning to Brown Rocks.
Igwe emerged from the cave and stood silently beside Temi for a while.
“That’s no way to speak to a lady, son,” he said softly. “Especially a lady who has followed you to the depths of hell, and experienced the horror of a sword struck through her body.”
He patted Temi on the shoulder and quickly went down after Rose.
Temi waited, standing still for some time.
Finally, they emerged, and he let out his breath is a silent sigh of relief.
What was this feeling anyway? He could not be with her, and yet he was loathed to see her leave him.
When she walked past him toward the interior of the cave, her face still filled with pain, he almost reached out to sweep her into his arms. Igwe looked at him, expecting him to speak, to say sorry to Rose, and when Temi said nothing the elderly man shook his head slowly, his craggy face filled with disappointment.
What followed then was the hardest, most painful, arduous week Temi had ever lived through since he became a man of responsibilities.
And it started with the undulating lands!
They had been travelling at a fast pace. Rose had been walking ahead with Igwe chatting.
“So how did you know which gates to choose and which canoe to take when you got to the White Lands?” Rose asked the elderly man.
Igwe looked at her with confusion.
“What are you talking about, Rosie?” he asked, puzzled.
Rose then began to describe the dilemmas they had faced in choosing suitable gateways.
“I see,” Igwe said with a smile. “Shows indeed that my son is a great king, doesn’t it? Well, I didn’t have to make choices like that. I guess none of the other folks did either. The white guard who trapped me with his damn globe in his staff brought me straight to the Brown Rocks. The same applied to the others. But there are several men I thought were at Brown Rocks too, but they weren’t. I suspected they were taken to other parts of the White Lands.”
“What other men?” Rose asked.
And before Igwe could answer, it began!
They had left the forested beauty behind them, and had come abruptly to a great expanse of bare land. There was no vegetation of any kind…just a long, huge stretch of white ground!
The huge white landscape alone was horrible to behold indeed, but as they began to walk across, it began to undulate!
Suddenly, it was as if they were walking on water!
The land bulged and contorted, expanded and converged!
When it moved at first it bulged and expanded, toppling them heavily and causing them to roll far apart! Temi was filled with great fear as he saw Rose being taking far away from him! The contortions carried her farther, and he saw her screaming and reaching out for him. Temi got to his feet, trying to be steady, and then he launched himself into the air in her direction.
Still, the land contorted and bulged, shook and spun!
He used the movements, struggling hard, and finally a huge lunge brought him close to Rose. He caught and held her hard with his left hand as he drew one of the Swords of Destiny and stuck it in the ground. Temi held on to the sword, and then looked around!
And then far away to the side, he saw Igwe being taken away.
“Temi, let me go and save him!” Rose cried, and tried to leave Temi’s arm, but he held her tightly. “He’ll be of more help to you. Just save him!”
“Stop struggling!” he told her firmly as he gazed into her eyes. “I’m not letting you go.”
She stopped struggling as the enormity of his words sank in, words that meant more than their literal expedience at that very moment.
He looked in the direction of Pedro, and saw him being drawn away relentlessly by the crazy ground.
Temi’s mind raced!
How could he save his uncle?
“Hold on, Papa!” Temi cried. “I’m coming for you!”
Pedro screamed out a response, but Temi could barely hear.
“What? What did you say?” he shouted.
“Yo sword!” came Pedro’s voice faintly to his ear. “Soo dar dasossor!”
“Soo dar dasossor?” Temi whispered, and then in a blinding flash it struck him!
“Oh, he means use the DayoSword!” he said. “But how, how?”
He drew the Royal Dayosword from his waist scabbard.
The sword was shining brightly, and then an awesome blast of light shot out from it, seemed to hover, and then blasted off in the direction of Igwe!
It enveloped the man, and then began to reel him in!
“My goodness!” Temi whispered with great awe, not believing his eyes.
Eventually, the flash pulled Igwe to their side.
And then began the real battle of crossing this living land!
“Let’s hold each other!” Temi shouted. “I’m going to point this sword toward the other side, and hope it will do its magic trick again!”
He pointed with the Royal DayoSword!
Again the blast of light shot outward and disappeared over the crazy land. A moment later, there was a tug, and then it began to reel them to the other side.
They held each other tightly as Temi kept a firm hold on the sword, and eventually they moved off the vast white land on to a grassy surface at the other end.
They lay on the grass, tired and absolutely out of breath.
After a while, Temi sat up and looked at his uncle who was breathing fast. He held out the DayoSword.
“More than a sword?” he whispered dazedly. “You knew it could help?”
“The Royal DayoSword is filled with the spirit of the Creator, my son,” he said quietly. “It protects the true heir, and the king, in times of great strife.”
Temi nodded numbly, and then he turned and looked at Rose.
She was drinking water from her gourd, and as she set it down their eyes met. He looked away quickly, quite disturbed by the urge to hold out his arms to her.
He remembered her words, willing to sacrifice herself so that he could rescue his uncle whom she thought was better placed to help him in his quest.
In the White Lands, she was exhibiting a character he found hard to associate with the Rose he had known, and it was affecting him greatly. Igwe had been right, of course. She could have chosen to stay in Dayo, and she could have chosen to stay with her father whom she had not seen in many years.
But she had not, no.
She had just wanted to be at his side, and ride through hell with him.
He sighed dejectedly.
Everything screamed out for him to try and reach out to her, to say sorry to her for his words, but something deep down inside him would not allow him.
Eventually, after catching their breath, they moved on.
And, two days later they were hurrying through a marshy kind of land when they were enveloped by a thick acrid smoke so horrible that they almost could not breath!
They eventually fell down on the ground, barely able to see each other, fighting for air to breathe as their lungs laboured!
Igwe was almost dead and it took Rose’s choked cry to save him.
“Turn your back to the smoke!” she wailed. “I can breathe with my back to it!”
Temi turned his back immediately, and found that he could indeed breathe a bit freely. He picked up Igwe and held him to his body, turning him to face opposite the flow of the smoke, and a moment later the old man coughed badly, and gasped air into his lungs.
They moved on like that, going backwards, until they cleared the marshy, smoky land.
They were two more really ugly plagues they faced on their way to The Mists.[wp_ad_camp_3]
First, they came to a sandy stretch, and the moment they began to cross, they began to sink relentlessly into its core!
Luckily, Temi used the Royal DayoSword, and it dragged them out to the other side.
The second life-threatening moment occurred a day later. They were hurrying through a swampy place when everything simply went pitch black!
They could not see each other.
This time Temi had to use the Royal DayoSword as a reeling rope, and the Swords of Destiny as a source of light to pull themselves out of it.
And, two days after that, they were crossing a green rocky range when, without warning, the two sides fell away and revealed great pits of flaming lava on each side!
What was left for them to walk on was a horribly tiny strip of rock meandering its way toward the other end which seemed out of sight.
This was really a fiercely dangerous moment, the closest they had come to death! Temi tried using the Royal DayoSword, but for one reason or the other, it failed to work this time! To make it worse, the strip of rock began to melt behind them faster than they were travelling.
“Son, you must leave us behind,” Igwe said grimly as his eyes bored into Temi. “This seems to be it. Go, son. You’re important. Only you can get the Dead Olive. Leave us. We’re slowing you down, and all three of us might die if you stay.”
Rose smiled sadly. The lava was so hot that her face was filled with sweat.
“He’s right, my love,” she said tenderly. “Seems the elements here want only you to make this journey. Go on. And remember, I love you with all my heart.”
“Shut up you two, would you?” Temi asked harshly. “Enough of the pessimistic tendencies already!”
But he himself was getting desperate because the strip was melting, and had caught up with them. And then, out of desperation, Temi pointed the Royal DayoSword into the yellow sky!
There was a rumbling thunder and horrible flashes of lightning, and then the sky parted, and a gigantic hand appeared through the sky, and grabbed the flash of light from the Royal DayoSword.
Rose was so terrified by the huge hand cracking the sky that she grabbed Temi and almost toppled them into the lava. He held her tight, and Igwe also held on as they were lifted off the melting strip, and the hand dragged the white flash of light from the sword to set them down gently on the other side as the thunder continued to boom and the lightning flashed.
The moment they were on safe ground, the hand disappeared, and the sky cleared…and right in front of them were the two gates!
One was blue, and the other was golden.
Manning them, as usual, was another tall, three-eyed gawky figure in a white hood holding a pale staff.
“Welcome, Heir Apparent of Dayo,” the Keeper of the Gates said. “Two gates, Blue and Gold. Both lead to The Desolates, and the Dead Olive you seek. However, one of them leads through a long journey that will take you one hundred days to complete which, I know, is undesirable for you. The other will bring you to The Desolates in just a day, aye. You choose in three beats of a minute.”
Igwe looked at Rose with horror all over his face.
“Is this what you were speaking of?” he asked, and Rose nodded sadly.
“Yes, it is, indeed,” she whispered. “But Temi is a sort of expert in this. Always chooses the correct gate.”
“And you won’t give us any clues, would you?” Temi asked calmly.[wp_ad_camp_2]
“Alas, I say what I’m supposed to say, and doesn’t waste my energy on frivolous barter banters, dear prince. And you must know you have two beats of a minute before the gates disappear.”
“A hundred days?” Igwe whispered, horrified. “That would be too long, son. Dayo would be totally razed to the ground by then! How would you know the right gate?”
“Any ideas?” Temi asked desperately.
“One beat of a minute left, dear prince,” the Keeper said in his moaning voice.
“Shut up already!” Temi said irritably.
“My love?” Rose whispered, suddenly scared by Temi’s hesitation.
It seemed he was really stumped this time round.
“Temi, the gold gate is directly in line with our route here!” Igwe said excitedly. “I propose we choose that one because the blue gate is off the main route!”
“Thirty beats of a second, dear prince!” the Keeper said.
And just then another blast of thunder rocked the sky, and a horrible slash of lightning glittered around them, throwing everything into an acidic blue relief.
“Blue,” Temi said finally. “We’ll use the blue one.”
“Son?” Igwe whispered, his voice uneasy.
“Is that your choice?” the Keeper asked.
“Indeed, it is,” Temi said quietly, and immediately the blue gates swung open for them.
“I wish you well,” the Keeper said. “If you choose correctly, be successful. If you chose wrongly, let your journey be filled with the fruits of your folly.”
Temi walked toward the open gate and entered.
Igwe and Rose looked at each other with terrified expressions, and then they reluctantly followed.
“Son?” Igwe said as he caught up with Temi, and his voice was unsteady.
“Fret not, Papa,” Temi said calmly. “I know you wanted us to take the gold gate, but I noticed something.”
“And what was that?” Igwe asked softly.
“When the lightning flashed, it threw our shadows on the ground,” Temi continued. “The three of us, the Keeper and the blue gate all cast shadows on the ground, away from us because the lightning was behind us. That gold gate didn’t cast a shadow outward like all of us. Its shadow was inward, toward the lightning.”
Igwe stopped walking and just stared after the young man.
Rose looked at Igwe, and smiled to herself. She rushed forward and linked her hand through Temi’s, and he gripped her hand hard.
And, as they walked, they did not see that on several blades of grass covered with dews, silent horrible cat-like eyes watched them with evil intent, and neither did they notice at first that a strange blue mists was flowing around their feet.
They had arrived inside The Mists of the deadly sirens…[wp_ad_camp_1]
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