“Praise to the gods of our land that led me to this ancient relic…” he allowed the tip of his sword to touch the box which carried the dagger of the ancient moon goddess.
“With this dagger, our victory is assured. Just as I expected, thieves are coming into our land to take this glorious knife away. This vermin broke his vows to work as a royal guard and attempted to steal it, but he was caught. Justice is given…” he pointed at the head of the man.
He sighed and ran his eyes through the men until they met Uli’s.
“Today we must enter a covenant of loyalty. Anyone who tries to steal this dagger or share the location of it a secret, shall be killed.”
The men applauded the King’s move but Uli wasn’t happy. Chiemelie was cruel and smart as a fox. She wasn’t comfortable with her brother’s new decree because it meant the whole Kingdom would swear the oath of loyalty. Once she did this, she could no longer help Adaora or work against her brother.
“Devil,” she gritted her teeth.
“With this dagger, I shall bring Ezeudo to its feet. I will invade their land and make Ikemba a slave. I will severe his already useless manhood. I have spoken. The great king of Amabara has spoken!”
The princess realized that the ancient dagger was the one she had seen in her vision. She had to tell Adaora about it!
He quickly returned to his throne while the people cheered on. Soon, the oracle stepped forward with a life chicken and a calabash. Igwekala slowly explained the instructions from the gods.
“Dip your finger into the blood once and touch your feet with it. As you walk upon Amabara soil, you cannot betray the king.”
Swiftly, he fetched a sharp knife from a raffia bag which he always had with him and slew the chicken. Hot red blood splashed on the old man’s dirty brown garment, before he directed it to the proper place; the calabash.
Uli swallowed and bit her lips. Her eyes clicked with her mother’s but she quickly looked away. She had a feeling that the woman was behind this. When she stepped outside, she met Adaora.
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“I think we are in trouble…”
“Trouble?” Adaora didn’t like the sound of Uli’s voice.
“There is no time to explain. You must find a way and leave Amabara before it is too late. I always underestimated my brother but he has proven himself to be a true son of the devil. You have to leave or I may not be able to save you from what is to come…”
Adaora was confused, “What is really happening?”
Uli’s voice was broken, “My brother is binding everyone by a blood oath. He has declared war on Ezeudo and he intends to win by a golden dagger. He is possessed by power lust. You must run before he finds you and binds you to the oath. You must trust and believe every word I have said. I saw a dagger in my vision while I took you to the dome of the dead; it is an ancient and mystical dagger left behind by the goddess of the moon…” She stopped to catch her breath, hoping that her words would have a strong effect on Adaora.
Things were happening very fast. Adaora had never heard about the ancient dagger of the moon goddess. Then it suddenly dawned on her why the gods had brought her to Amabara.
“What does your brother want with the dagger? What powers does it possess?”
“I don’t have any answers for you. All I know is that it belonged to the moon goddess and was trapped on earth. I have a feeling that he intends to twist the powers in that dagger for evil.”
Adaora was a bit worried by this revelation.
“If the dagger once belonged to the moon goddess and I am the moon virgin…”
Tears stung her eyes as she realized what her fate would be if the gods didn’t intervene.
“You will be sacrificed when the full moon comes. Your blood is rare. It would give my brother so much evil powers. You must not let that happen. You must go into hiding until a set time when things are clear.”
Though Uli’s words were very inviting and convincing, Adaora refused to give into fear. The goddess of the moon, Ituri and the sun god, Anyanwu had not told her otherwise. There was no need for her to turn from Chiemelie.
“No, I will stay. I must find a way to take the dagger for myself. When I have done this, I will flee.”
Uli scoffed, “How do you intend to do that?” She couldn’t believe that Adaora had taken such a foolish decision. Angrily, she walked away from the moon virgin and decided to leave the palace for some time. She needed to clear her head and the best place she could think of was the outskirts of the kingdom. One of her best friends, Nkechi lived there with her mother who sold bush meat. She believed Adaora would change her mind when she returned.
“My princess! My princess!” Adaora called to her but it was too late, she was already gone.
To be continued…