The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
IN THE HALOS
A WEEKEND STORY
Densua was in an uproar!
The victorious warriors had returned and as usual the happiness in the town was massive! Husband, sons and brothers had returned safely home and although some had lost their lives, it was still a time to be grateful for life and continuous peace.
The drums beat and the trumpets sounded!
Animals were slaughtered and feasts were made!
The dead were mourned and emissaries from the palace were sent to their families with special messages of commiserations from the king, and bars of gold as compensation for the loss of sons who laid down their lives to save Densua.
Densua Plaza was the scene of celebrations and joyous fanfare as most of the warriors gathered there in the presence of their king.
It was a time to live and breathe free, a time to enjoy the fine processes of breathing the free air knowing it could have been a different story; if Densua had lost the war, these same people would have been mourning now under the yoke of new torture, of being driven from their homes, of being made slaves and taken out of their beloved town!
This was life, and it was worth celebrating!
And then, getting to the end of the day, Gus Kukah strode through the beautiful royal gardens of the palace beside the king.
“It is goodbye, for now, I gather,” the king said with a smile as he raised his wine glass to Gus.
“My heart does miss my farm,” Gus said calmly as he paused by the side of the beautiful lake to watch the lovely ducks and swans gliding majestically across.
“And I daresay your heart does beat for a sight of the beautiful Sarai,” the king said and chuckled softly.
Gus Kukah smiled.
“You have the sight of the wise, Your Majesty,” he said solemnly. “My heart is indeed a tad troubled. She’s always been here to welcome me back. I do not know why she was absent this time around.”
“Ah, I perceive a worry in your heart, my son, but do not despair. The fair Sarai is of sound health. I made it a point to enquire about her when I saw your melancholic countenance this afternoon. I was informed she waits for you at your farm.”
Gus Kukah smiled with sudden relief.
“She must have her reasons then,” he said and bowed low to the king. “If so, then I must make haste to find her for indeed I have missed her sore.”
“Love is a beautiful thing when it is pure and in bloom,” the king said thoughtfully. “That is why I have never been able to find a replacement for my dear queen after she passed three years ago. Her space in my bosom cannot be filled.”
“I do understand your feeling, Your Majesty,” Gus Kukah said. “I do relate to a love like that. To me, my heart only beats for Sarai.”
“Godspeed then, my son,” the king said fondly. “Find her, be happy, and come back. The wedding expenditure is on the palace as I told you. And your place of abode is fixed!”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Gus Kukah said.
The two men then embraced briefly and the younger man turned and hurried towards the entrance. Gus Kukah did not see the look of sheer despair that crossed the king’s face as he watched the commander leave.
Gus Kukah met Prince Dan Baffour Koduah at the entrance of the royal garden.
He was the only son of the king. He was thirty years old, tall and brawny. The prince had his father’s stature but his florid and almost feminine looks were from his late mother.
The prince stopped abruptly and scowled darkly as he looked at Gus Kukah. There was no smile on his face and his eyes twinkled with dark hatred as he regarded the mini giant.
The prince’s face was round, almost cherubic, with a dark well-groomed beard on his chin. He was dressed in regal clothes of fine white and gold linen, and on his head was a golden crown.
He smiled darkly.
“Gus Kukah, again,” he said softly. “Still slinking your way like a nasty little worm into my father’s affections and graces!”
Gus fixed the prince with a dark scowl of his own.
“Perhaps, if you could be more of a man instead of a coward, and find your way to the battlefields more often instead of hiding in the palace like a nasty little worm, nobody would dare come near your precious father!” Gus Kukah said softly but with menace in his voice.
“Watch your mouth, you damn piece of turd!” the prince hissed explosively as his hate-filled eyes bored into Gus. “I am the Prince of Densua, higher than all men except my father! Don’t you dare incur my ire, soldier, for I can have you thrown into the den of lions!”
“That would be the day, Dan,” Gus said with sneering disdain. “Kings and princes fight wars, do you hear me? Your father, as old as he is, still walks the battlefields! But you just prefer to hide behind these walls and enjoy your life of decadence! Grow up, Dan! You better grow up!”
The infuriated prince took a step closer to Gus and spoke with sheer hatred.
“You’ll never be prince, soldier!” he said darkly. “I’ll be the king soon and you will still be a bloody servant of the sword!”
“My time and my sword are only for your father to command and rely on, Dan,” Gus said softly. “The day you become king is the day you will receive my resignation from the army! I ain’t serving you.”
“And I’ll have you beheaded!” Prince Dan hissed with hatred. “The likes of you do not address the prince of Densua with disdain, Gus Kukah! My father may love you but in me you will only find bitter gall! Don’t you dare me!”
“I tremble before no man, Dan,” Gus said softly. “I live under no authority. Indeed, I have love, respect, and commitment to your father because he is a good king. To you, I’ll owe no allegiance and your threats are like wheat chaff to me.”
“Foolish words that would come back one day and decapitate you, Gus Kukah,” the prince hissed furiously, and then he walked past the furious Gus into the garden.
Gus Kukah continued walking without another word or without turning around.
“Go hurry home, soldier boy!” Dan shouted over his shoulder with a hint of laughter in his voice. “My regards to the delectable Sarai.”
For a brief moment Gus Kukah slowed his steps and his shoulders bunched up dangerously but he took a deep breath and continued to walk.
“Asshole!” Prince Dan murmured under his breath with deep hatred and then he walked leisurely into the garden in search of his father.
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