“We must hurry!” The leader called out. They thought that the charm of the oracle was wearing off. But they failed to understand that the moon virgin’s powers couldn’t be stopped by anything. Even her tears were powerful enough to raise a dead child. Her voice was enticing, calling forth the elements of nature to fight on her side. Sadly, Adaora had no idea of the kind of power that she possessed. This was the reason the king of Amabara wanted her as wife.
She straightened on the bamboo bed when she noticed that the men were now running. Adaora’s heart skipped a beat. She ran her eyes over the new environment; she tried to make out the reason for their race but she couldn’t find any. Everything was in place. Everything was calm, except for the whistling of the angry wind. Just as the warriors took her past the dome of trees by the entrance of the kingdom, Adaora’s green eyes glowed with surprise.
“Ikele,” she whispered. She found a bush of special herbs which contained magical powers. The plants had light green stalks and purple flowers. Her mother had treated her patients with it.
Sadly, she couldn’t get hold of the plant. She was in bondage now and she didn’t know how long that her captivity would last. The Ikele herb was potent against evil charms. Anyone that could harness the magic of the plant would become resistant to deadly charms and diseases. A rueful smile played on her lips as she thought of her little friends. Evil spirits loved to attack little children…
“If only I could see them again,” she mumbled in a weak voice.

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She slowly released the powerful breath that she had sucked in when she had heard the sound of a gong. It was accompanied with drumming and the tapping of feet upon the earth crust. The nauseating scent of fresh meat wafted into her nostrils and she felt like vomiting. She could also perceive the yeasty smell of newly tapped palm wine. There was a celebration here, but why?
The answers to her question came immediately her mind had asked.
“The moon virgin is here!” A voice that was loud enough to crack seven baskets of palm kernel thundered into the air. This announcement was followed by clapping and cheering of the few people that had gathered around the King’s palace.
The warriors acknowledged the powerful oracle with a bow of their heads.
“We have brought her back to Amabara as you instructed,” they bellowed all at once.
The man’s eyes darkened with pride. Again, he had proved his usefulness to the king. He expected a promotion, once the battle of the two kingdoms was won.
“Take her to the king at once! I shall join you all soon…”
Adaora had quickly lain back at the bed. She had pretended to be asleep, so she could hear more. Albeit she didn’t see the man’s face, she had a feeling that he wasn’t an honest person and she had pity on those that would put their trust in him.
Praises of the gods followed after the warriors as the moon virgin was being led towards the palace. Adaora forced her eyes closed as she now learned of the purpose of her kidnap. What did this king intend to do with her? How did she become this unlucky?
Eze Chiemelie had been patiently waiting in the largest hut in the palace for the arrival of his bride. Before now, the oracle had given a vivid description of what he was to expect. He had heard tales of her great beauty and he couldn’t wait to see her for himself. He paced the hut like a man who awaited a new born.
“Be at rest son for she is already here…” the queen mother’s lips curled with a fat smile. But the king wouldn’t stop pacing. He thought of the union with the moon virgin and how it would be a great spite to Ikemba. A sadistic laugh poured generously from his lips. Once he got married to Adaora and she was able to break the curse upon them with her powers, nothing could ever stand in his way anymore. Nothing at all! He would raid Ezeudo with his warriors. He would bring Ikemba’s crown to the dust and he would rule the two kingdoms with an iron fist.
“I know that you are afraid that something may have happened, but Igwekala cannot fail us. Can you not hear the cheers of the people? Can you not sense the joy that comes from the entrance of the palace?” The queen mother continued. She had always been by her son’s side in this fight and she would stand by him to the end.
Just then, one of the princesses of Amabara sauntered into the sacred hut. Uli was the eldest princess. She and her mother had never been on the same side. Right from time, she had been against the planned war with Ezeudo. Uli believed that the events of the past were best left there. She had often advised her brother the king, to find a way to please Ikemba who could find a way to life the curse. But her brother, the king, was a man of haughty spirit.
“I see that you two went through with your evil plans.” She announced her entrance with a heart wrenching sentence.
Chiemelie and his mother turned to face her.
“You should mind the way you talk to your brother. He is your king!” The queen mother cut in sharply.
Chiemelie said nothing, he wasn’t about to let his sister’s unruly behavior rub him of this joy. One of these days, he would betroth her to an old chief. Her absence would mean nothing to him.
“You both are treading a very dangerous path. I had a terrible dream of what is to come and I want to share it.” Uli sat upon a bronze stool gracefully. She ignored her mother’s angry eyes and continued.
“Why is everything about you negative? Why can’t you conceive a positive dream for your brother’s big day?” The woman gritted her teeth in annoyance. Sometimes she regretted having Uli as a daughter. She was different from the rest of her sister’s. She had never been in support of her brother’s policies since he assumed the office of the king.
Uli ignored her pained expression.

To be continued…

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