When he let go of her shoulder, she vanished right before his eyes. At first, Ikemba had felt confident that the gods had answered his prayers. He had been very certain that he would find the right woman that would bear him a son.
“It seems the gods are about to abandon me…”
He had a feeling that something terrible was about to happen in the Kingdom, but he couldn’t place a finger around it.
“Everything will be alright my King. We will continue to offer sacrifices to Ala and Amadioha. They will be pleased. They will grant you your heart desire.”
“I hope so,” he muttered weakly.
***
Obiajulu couldn’t believe that Oriaku had done this to the man that she cared about. Her hatred for the ugly woman was increased. How could Oriaku lay her filthy hands on Anosike? What was she thinking?
“You grow weaker by the day. You are allowing that witch to control you. If I didn’t know you better, I would have assumed that she had bewitched you.”
When Oriaku had left, Anosike had not been expecting anyone else. He had been terribly shocked when Obiajulu had walked in right from the door. His heart had leapt with joy, and she had felt the same way. But her mood changed when she noticed his wound. It wasn’t the injury that upset her. Obiajulu was mad that Anosike had allowed Oriaku to go scot free.
“I am not a weak man. You know me. Oriaku ambushed me in the dark and she will pay for it.”
Obiajulu spotted a glow in his eyes, it was determination. One good thing that distinguished Anosike from the weakling of a husband that she had married was his strong will. From the look of things, Oriaku had lost favor in his eyes. She needed to use this to her advantage.
“If you are not weak, why did you allow her to go free? You should have reported her to the members of her family. She deserves some beating as well,” Obiajulu hissed.
“She knows about our relationship. Okeke had told her everything about us. If I do not play by her rules, we could both get into trouble. There’s only one way to end all of this.”
Of course there was only one way, but Obiajulu didn’t want to voice it out. She wanted the man to take the lead, while she followed. Another person that deserved to be punished was Okeke. His nosiness had gotten them into trouble.
“That ungrateful fool! I find it difficult to believe that Okeke would fight you after everything you did for him. You bought a slave with your hard earned money and gave her to my husband as Okeke’s debt. Has he gone mad? Why has he forgotten those who helped him when he had nothing?”
To this, Anosike was quiet. He needed to tell Oriaku everything that Okeke had said about her slave.
“Well, you should be glad that you will soon be a relative of the King. Okeke came here with the most ridiculous information that I have ever heard.”
When Obiajulu heard this, her eyes narrowed. What was Anosike talking about?
“I don’t understand you.” She was yet to tell Anosike about her plan to take the throne of Ezeudo. Where was this coming from? Did Okeke get wind of her plan? If he did, how come?
Briefly, Anosike told his love everything that Okeke had told him and in details. At first, Obiajulu thought he was joking, so she guffawed. When Anosike didn’t return her guffaw, she realized that he was serious.
“That can never happen! The gods can never choose a slave to be queen of this land.”
Obiajulu gritted her teeth angrily as she thought of the prospect of the slave girl ruling over her. She had always known it.
“I knew there was something evil about that slave from the first day that I set my eyes on her. She wants to charm her way into the King’s heart!”
Anosike was surprised at Obiajulu’s reaction. Unlike him, Obiajulu believed Okeke’s story hook and sinker.
“Oriaku knows about it and she told me that she was the one that recommended the slave girl to the king. She was really happy about it.”
Obiajulu hissed, “She knows about my plans to become queen of Ezeudo. She only spites me. But I will teach her a lesson.”
Anosike raised a brow, “You want to become a Queen? I think we should find a way to deal with my wife, we can talk about your plans later,” he chuckled.
“I am not joking! Your wife must pay for all the evils she had unleashed against me. You need to put Oriaku in her rightful place or she would be the death of us. If she didn’t succeed in reporting us to Ikemba, she would the next time she pays the King a visit. Please do something about her.”
There was only one thing that came across Anosike’s mind right from the time that Oriaku had hit him.
“I want to sell her off at the slave market. What do you think about that?”
Obiajulu rubbed her chin thoughtfully, “That sounds like the perfect idea. I was thinking we could slip something into her meal, that way, we’ll end her forever.”
“No, I don’t want blood on our hands. Selling her off to another kingdom is the best.” Anosike countered her.
Obiajulu was pleased with her lover’s desire to get rid of his wife.
“When do we sell her off?”
He ignored the burning pain in his shoulder.
“Oriaku will pay for all her sins. I will arrange a kidnapping tonight. Be prepared.”
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When Adaora arrived at the stream, she noticed that it was empty and lonely. This was the second time that she would be coming to the Ezeudo stream to fetch some water. The absence of people baffled her. She was about stepping into the clear running water when she felt a strange presence. She paused and ran her eyes over the thick vegetation that surrounded the stream.
Something was wrong. Somebody was here, but she couldn’t see or recognize the person with her physical eyes. The hairs on her back were rustled by the wind of paranoia. Adaora pulled in a deep breath and quickly dipped her pot into the water. The moon goddess had appeared to her the night before, but nothing of danger had been mentioned.
“She only said that I would have many enemies…” Adaora trailed off.
“But why will I have so many enemies? I am nothing but a slave. I am a stranger to these lands.”
With determination to reach home on time, she pulled the pot out of water and stepped out of the stream. She was about placing the pot on her head when a cold hand touched her shoulder.
“She is the one! The mark of the crescent moon is on her!” A gruff voice screamed.
Before Adaora could turn around and see the face of the man who had intruded the sacred silence that the stream spirits enjoyed, her water pot was pushed from behind. And her head was smashed with a club. Blood trickled down the sides of her face. Her slender body fell to the ground.
The strange men didn’t waste time. They lifted her body and scurried into the nearby bush.

To be continued…

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