Obiajulu’s heart rejoiced as she stared after the group that headed towards the palace. She needed to inform Anosike about the latest development, there was no more need for them to get involved. Adaora had met her waterloo. It pleased Obiajulu to know that everything that had stood against her ambition to become the next queen was out.
“Although the slave is gone, the throne is still for the taking…” She caressed her chin as she pondered on this. She knew her husband quite well. She had shared a good portion of her life with this man, Chinedum. Her husband was a true man. He was a man that could be taken by his word. Chinedum detested the idea of becoming king while Ikemba as alive. There was only one way for Obiajulu to become queen. She sighed as she thought about Anosike, her preferred man. Chinedum was good to her and the children, but she didn’t love him enough. What she felt for Anosike was strong and of the heart. One person had to die from the plan that stirred within her. It wouldn’t be Chinedum yet. If only there was a way to get closer to the king.

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She snapped her fingers after carefully planning her next act. She wouldn’t let Anosike into her plans just yet. But she would try to plant the desire to be king in him. He had prospect. He was a true ruler that would be feared by all in the land. Obiajulu decided to check on her children before joining the others at the palace. Showing up there could cause Ikemba to notice her more than a sister-in-law. She was a woman of great charm, all she needed was a little touch to her shiny black skin.
A wicked gleam filled her eyes as she turned around and marched towards her compound. Unknown to her, Ifeyinwa hadn’t been sleeping like Chinedum assumed. The older woman had been awakened by the noise from Oriaku’s wailing, after Okeke announced what he had seen at the streamside. Though she couldn’t hear much, Obiajulu’s aunt could tell that someone was in trouble. She was about leaving the hut she shared with the children, when she noticed Obiajulu from the window. She observed that her niece had been murmuring to herself for quite a long time. Ifeyinwa didn’t like it at all. From the moment of her arrival, she had sensed a friction on Obiajulu’s relationship with Chinedum. She vowed to fix things before she left.
With one deep breath, the fat woman rose to her feet and strolled outside. Obiajulu’s heart skipped as she came face to face with her aunt.
“Aunt?” She bit her lip recalling how she had lied to Chinedum.
Ifeyinwa on the other hand, couldn’t help but notice the guilt on the sinner’s face.
“Your mother, my sister, never thought you to lie. What is taking place in your home?”
Obiajulu’s eyes fell to the ground. She was afraid of staring Ifeyinwa in the face. She had never been comfortable around the older woman. When she was a child, she had heard stories of Ifeyinwa’s abilities to read people’s minds. It was this gift that had fetched her much envy from the priesthood at the time. It was rumored that the priests and priestesses of the land had connived to kill her husband and make her barren. Ifeyinwa had been cursed from that day.
Some parts of the story were true, but Ifeyinwa couldn’t read minds. She had the gift of foretelling the future, but it only happened on certain full moon nights or when the sun was at its brightest. The part of her being accursed was true. Ifeyinwa knew this. A spell in her disfavor and dishonor had been carried out in the presence of the earth demons whose major aim was taking blood. Those that had sealed her womb were dead. From the dreams she had and the signs she witnessed in her body, she only had seven moons left before she joined the order of the women who no longer saw their blood.
“I do not understand you…” Obiajulu sighed. The woman hadn’t stayed a long time but she was already getting weary of her company.
Ifeyinwa ignored her.
“I don’t know what problem that you have with your husband. But you cannot leave your children at home like this. Your slave left for the stream and hasn’t returned yet. Who watches over Adaugo and Ikenna when you are away?”
Obiajulu was irritated by this question. Many women out of envy considered her a bad mother. How could her own aunt criticize her?
“What is it you want in Ezeudo? What brought you here?” Obiajulu snapped at her, unable to control the rising anger in her veins.
Ifeyinwa laughed. She always knew that Obiajulu’s beauty was a cover for her extremely selfish nature. But she didn’t care.
“I don’t usually speak about my purpose or the reasons behind my action. If you must know, the gods have revealed a secret to me. I do not fully understand it yet. But I am destined to be delivered of the curse placed upon me many years back in Ezeudo. Secondly, I was shown a vision where royalty arose from this compound. I do not pay you a visit for the fun of it, or because I missed you. I have come to fulfill a purpose.”
Obiajulu didn’t care about the first part. Her aunt was old and haggard and could never be free from barrenness. About that part, Ifeyinwa had probably been hallucinating. It was the second revelation that touched her. Obiajulu’s heart fluttered as she listened. If royalty was in her husband’s compound, it meant that Chinedum was favored by the gods. He would be king!
“You must tell my husband about your vision!” Obiajulu tried to hide the excitement in her voice but the glow in her eyes betrayed her.
Ifeyinwa lowered her eyes to the ground and smiled.
“I cannot do that because I wasn’t asked to. I only came here to seek answers.”
Obiajulu laughed, “You can stay as long as you want. But you must tell me how Chinedum would ascend the throne. It is now revealed that I will be the next Queen of Ezeudo. My feet shall never touch the ground. My eyes shall never see commoners. My lips would drink from royal fountain.”
Ifeyinwa rolled her eyes as she listened to Obiajulu’s vain confessions.
“Where is your slave by the way?”
The mention of Adaora killed the excitement in her. The name of that slave increased the bile in her belly. Adaora was a threat to her, so was Oriaku. Now that the gods were on her side, she needed to find a way to eliminate them.
A bright idea popped into her mind.
Instead of asking Anosike to forget about the plan, I can manipulate him to get rid of his ugly wife so we can have our privacy! She thought.
“She was kidnapped by the streamside. My husband is looking into it.” Obiajulu dropped the swift answer before rushing into the adjoining hut.

To be continued…

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