As he reached the edge of the forest, he gently dropped his machete and moved closer to the wild plants to urinate.
Unknown to him, he was being watched by unseen eyes.
Queen of Queens – Episode 26
He was cleaning the spot where Ono had hit her; he dipped a piece of cloth into a calabash filled with hot water and pressed it against her skin.
All her life, she had heard stories of how pride and cruel princes and princesses were but Udo had changed her perspective; he was very down to earth and kind.
She wondered if he did this to everyone that he saw or he did it because of something else.
‘Tell me about your lover’? The Prince asked, he knew she was uncomfortable talking about the man that hit her, but maybe she would open up to him if she focused on the positive side of the man.
She licked her lips nervously and stared at the bright sky, they had not yet entered his tent.
A smile covered her face, one that could not be easily hidden in the dark as all the good memories of her and Ono flashed through her mind and she had no option but to gush about the only man that had ever loved her.
‘He made me feel so special; when my stepmother would maltreat and starve me, he was the one that usually gave me food and drinks; he loves me so much and I feel the same for him…’ she stopped and rose to her feet.
She was deeply in love with Ono and it would take a long time to heal from his rejection.
‘Mma….’ He walked up to her, he sensed the love she and her lover shared was very strong and nothing could separate them.
‘What did you do to upset him’? The prince asked.
‘Nothing…he suspected I was cheating on him; she stuttered and quickly dried her wet face with the back of her palm.
‘That’s ridiculous, why would he say such a thing’? The Prince had not known her for long, but he was confident she wouldn’t do something like that.
‘He must have seen us together’ she said.
She remembered she had been holding hands with the Prince when they had gone to see Nkoyo and Ekpo.
‘My prince’ Emana interrupted the conversation.
The prince quickly tore his eyes away from her and faced Emana.
‘Is the prisoner ready to talk yet’? Udo asked.
‘No. This is not about the prisoner, your brother sent word from the palace; he wants you to hide in the bushes and wait for him at midnight; the Nkuku cult may attack again tonight’.
You’re reading: Queen of Queens – Episode 26
‘How did he know this’? Prince Udo wondered.
‘He wouldn’t say, I have delivered his message’ Emana bowed his head.
‘Kill the prisoner, we have no need for him’ Udo ordered Emana in a gruff voice as he was assured they would finally bring to an end the activity of the Nkuku cult.
‘I am coming with you’ Mma said to the prince, she had heard everything that was being discussed.
‘No, it would be too dangerous’ he dismissed her request quickly.
‘Please, they killed my sister; I want to witness their deaths, besides when all the men are gone, and who would be left here with me’? She asked.
He rubbed his chin thoughtfully and realized how smart she was.
‘Fine, you shall come’ he replied and was rewarded by that smile that she had offered him earlier; that smile that could bring the world to a pause.
Regret filled his heart as he stared into her face; her heart yearned for someone else, her heart belonged to someone else and he could never own it.
‘Mmaffiong’ he called her gently.
‘My Prince’ she wondered what it was that bothered him.
‘If Ono was really prepared by the gods for you, you shall have him’ he replied and left for his tent to fetch his weapons.
It was going to be a long night.
His words meant everything to her, and for the first time she questioned the gods.
Was Ono meant for her? Or was there someone else?
You’re reading: Queen of Queens – Episode 26
He could tell by the retreat of the moon back into the skies that time had passed yet the princess had not showed up.
He was greatly troubled as he leaned slightly on the African Oil bean tree that stood proudly at the edge of the forest.
Where was she? His heart raced as he imagined that something had happened to her.
The wind rustled the leaves of the enormous tree; it caressed it and caused the branches to dance in unison. It was going to rain.
Thunder clapped and sang in a loud voice; lightning twinkled and blinked occasionally.
This was it, he would return home; maybe the princess had changed her mind. He struggled to his feet as he was immensely tired, he felt like he needed to get some sleep and so he straightened his entire body and gave a loud yawn but suddenly stopped as he noticed a movement behind the bush.
Maybe he had not see well, maybe the night was playing tricks on him and that was why he had started to see double.
He quickly fetched his machete and attacked it underneath his arm while heading back home.
Out of the darkness arose three hefty figures.
He was afraid at first, why had they showed up at this dark hour? Where they human or spirit?
But his fears were quickly dismissed as he recognized one of the faces; it was familiar and he realized where he had seen the men.
Had the princess set him up? Had she lured him into a trap? His heart was a whirl of thoughts as he did not know what to make out of this.
‘Stand right there’ Ekpo said in a stern voice.
‘Where is the princess’? He stared at the man who had killed their former leader and disrupted their first mission, which was to kill the princess. He recognized him instantly.
‘I have no time for your kind, get out of my way’ Ono snapped at him. He scanned their faces and realized fighting them wouldn’t be a problem; there were just three men.
‘I guess she is not coming after all, get on your knees’ Ekpo commanded.
A feeling of shock overwhelmed Ono as the words came from his attacker; how had they known he would be meeting with the princess at that very hour? His heart raced as he thought about the princess, he hoped she was okay.
‘I would never bow to you or anyone else, now get out of my way before I cut your head off’ Ono drew his machete from the scabbard and raised it upwards.
‘You think you can scare us this time? You are human and no spirit and tonight shall be your end’ Ono reached for his spear.
He knew how important his mission was to Afiama but vengeance for their leader was more important, besides he wasn’t answerable to her as he had pay her debts.
Ono moved closer to the men, he launched his machete at the first man but he dodged successfully.
‘Surrender now you still have the chance else we will kill you like a dog’ Ekpo rained down curses upon him.
‘You curse your mother and your whole generation’ Ono replied and launched his machete closer, it almost landed on Ekpo’s chest but he dodged.
Ekpo’s eyes scanned Ono briefly and noticed his ankle was an easy target. He plunged himself closer to him and directed his spear towards Ono but he noticed his plan and moved backward.
For some moments, the men battled; hitting their machetes together; dodging, breathing and groaning but no one was killed.
‘Run like you did the first time and I shall spare your pathetic lives’ Ono said in a confident voice as he retreated backward.
‘I guess you prefer dying like a dog’ a mischievous smile appeared on Ekpo’s face as he stared at Ono.
Ono noticed his smile, even the moon was afraid of it; he quickly turned around and found two men behind him.
He felt a sharp pain in his chest as he realized he had been surrounded? How would he get out of this alive?
Without hesitation, one of the men raised his machete and plunge it into Ono.
The pain he felt was immense; he was in agony as he felt his own blood flowing to the earth.
Tears welled up in his eyes as he thought of Mmaffiong and how he had hit her; was this the way he would depart from the world without making peace with her.
‘My blood shall haunt you’ he whispered and fell on his knees.
‘Your blood shall not haunt anyone’ Ekpo came up from behind and struck the base of his kneck with the spear; Ono fell on the ground but not before screaming with everything that was left in him.
‘What next master? Okon has not returned from bringing, Nkwaette’s body, what should we do next’? One of the men asked Ekpo after they had successfully conquered Ono.
‘We disperse, tomorrow we shall find him’ he replied.
You’re reading: Queen of Queens – Episode 26
The prince and his warriors were almost at the edge of the forest when a loud scream filtered towards them and had everyone halting.
‘My prince, are you sure about this, there’s still time for us to turn back’ Emana moved towards the prince. He wasn’t sure of what was ahead and his job, foremost, was to see that the prince was unharmed.
Mma clutched tightly to the prince, she felt afraid as she heard the loud scream; the hairs on the base of her neck tingled as she stared into his face.
‘We continue, we must get rid of these cultists, once and for all’ he grabbed Mma’s hand firmly and they both continued walking.
He loved the feel of her soft palms; he loved the way she held unto him like he meant everything in the world to her; a sad feeling creased his chest as he stared down into her beautiful face.
She was truly a moon goddess, for her dark beauty was further enhanced by the light of the moon.
She could sense his eyes over her; her skin tingled just like the way Ono made her feel. Slowly, her eyes traveled up to meet his. They stared at each other for some moments and then looked away briefly; each to their own thought.
To be continued….