Ala sighed, “I know where she is.” A vision had flashed in her mind. Sara was being covered with a pristine cloth and kept in the middle of a circle, made by men. The table was golden and upon her slender body was a long sword.
“Where is she? Where is Sara?” Angel’s interest was renewed.
“In danger, we need to find her before it is too late.”
Ala lifted the dagger from the ground by a raise of her finger. More thunderclaps would come. Again, she felt it. Olisa was very close to the earth. They needed to act quickly.
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Keina had been alone with Ezemiri’s children in the forest. Now that her powers were gone, she could never live the forest unless the curse upon the god of the two faced river was broken. All day long, Keina floated across the surface of the silver stream, plucking beautiful lilies and attaching them to her hair. The forest was unusually quiet, even for a spirit being. And it made her very lonely.
She wondered where Ala was. She also wondered why it took Ezemiri so long to return.
“He has never been this far gone,” she whispered. She sensed in her spirit, that something had gone wrong. There was only one way to find out, since she had given all her powers to the god of the two faced river.
“Mmirimma!” Keina bellowed in a smooth voice. She was calling her first child; Ezemmiri’s mermaid. The greenish creature glided her fin upon the stream toward her mother. She had been playing with some fishes and her siblings, before hearing her mother’s call.
“Mother? You look worried.” The mermaid whispered.
“Your father and his stubborn wife may be in trouble. I need your help.”
Mmirimma was surprised. Her mother had never asked anyone for help. Keina was one of the most powerful goddesses that ever lived!
“What do you want me to do?” She asked quietly.
“We must connect. I have lost my powers. We need to know what is happening in the physical world.”
The mermaid nodded and waded close to her mother. Seven hands had sprouted from her slimy body. She offered her mother the sixth hand. And Keina took them willingly.
They closed their eyes, and began to whisper, and pray in the name of Ezemiri.
“Ezemiri, we call upon your name. Ezemiri, show us your face!” They chanted for three times, before a spark was ignited between their hands. And a loud thunder scattered three trees in the forest.
They broke their connection.
“Something bad is happening,” Keina was now certain. She couldn’t track Ezemiri’s location. He was in danger!
“How can that be?” Mmirimma asked.
Just in time, the god of the two faced river appeared in their midst. Ezemiri had travelled between two worlds, and he was back to where he truly belonged.
“Go and play with your siblings,” Keina chased the mermaid away before turning her full attention to Ezemirin who looked enraged.
Keina wiped her hands against her golden dress. She didn’t want to speak up first, she sensed great anger emanating from him. Smoke wafted from his nostrils. His lips were fiery red. Something had triggered this.
“Ala is a traitor. I have banished her with an unbreakable curse. She killed Olanma and was prepared to kill the reincarnate. She got into a pact with Olisa to destroy me. Now she would be the one to be destroyed.
Olisa is a vindictive and malevolent being. He doesn’t show mercy. Once he discovers that Ala didn’t keep to her part of the deal, he is going to eat her up with his lower demons. Her bones will rot and her flesh shall decay. Even in death, she will be ashamed.”
Keina was stunned. Yes, she knew how self centered and ambitious that Ala was, but she couldn’t imagine Ala being so stupid. Olisa was a traitor. He betrayed all those who showed him loyalty. What had Ala been thinking?
“Does this mean that she is trapped in the human world forever?”
Ezemiri nodded, “Olisa is returning to the earth. I had to escape because I was growing too weak. I came back for more powers. He would want to destroy the thing that I love most. He will want to avenge Akudo.”
“Akudo?” Keina was confused, but he didn’t have time to explain to her.
“Did you not hear me? I need to renew my powers!” He barked.
Keina shrugged, “I have given you all that I have. I have nothing else left. Perhaps you should forget the human and let us stay with our mermaids.” Sh suggested, but Ezemiri agreed.
“I allowed Olanma to be killed by Ala the first time. She may not love me like she did in her former life, but I would do everything within my power to save her.”
A powerful god like Ezemiri could only be rejuvenated through great sacrifices. Keina knew in her heart that one of her children would die for Ezemiri’s powers to sustain him for the battle ahead. But she didn’t want that to happen. The mermaids were all grown and could take care of themselves.
She was the one without purpose. She had lived her life to serve and please her creator, Ezemiri. Maybe it was time to go. Maybe it was time to lose her godhood totally, for him to succeed.
Keina pulled out a short knife from her dress and handed it to him.
“Take me, drink of my blood. It will renew your strength. I will surrender myself to you.”
Ezemiri scoffed and moved backwards.
“I would never accept such a sacrifice. We have many children. We would slaughter them and make new ones.”
Keina liked the idea, but she couldn’t do it.
“When women cry for children, we are able to grant it to them because we understand the beauty and joy that comes with having a child. Take me instead. Our children have purpose. They are gods and goddesses in the making. But I do not have any powers left in me. Only my blood would renew your strength.”
Her words were accompanied with concurrent flashes of lightning. Olisa had reached the second heaven. It was only a matter of time before he reached the third and last of the heavenlies.
Ezemiri was torn between accepting Keina’s offer and saving Sara with his powers.
“You have done too much for me. I cannot repay you with death. I will go into the battle field, just the way I am. If I do not return, do not allow my name to be forgotten.”
He grabbed the short blade from her, and rushed towards the entrance of the forest. Keina did nothing to stop him. She was awed by his selflessness. Tears stung her eyes as a vision appeared.
In her vision, she saw that the forest which they lived was no more.
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The men of the cult gathered around the golden table where their priestess was laid. She had returned to the temple. She had come to the place where she was being worshipped in secret all these years. She had been reborn in flesh, and it was time for the ultimate sacrifice that would set them all free.
The leader of the cult stood at a corner, away from the circle that the men had formed. He carried a sword whose blade was made of bronze and whose hilt was carved from a rock; the sword of Olanma. It had been passed down from generation to generation.
The men had stood silently for an hour now, watching and meditating as they gazed over the light skinned woman who lay on the table.
“You have done well by bringing her into the temple,” The Holy leader said.
But the professor quickly rejected his words of praise.
“I did nothing. The book which I had given her had drawn her towards the temple. The magic of the book brought her here. Now we must hurry and do the needed, for we have been bound for too long.” Professor Ike replied.
And the Holy leader nodded and began to address the men.
“We have been bound to the curse for many years. We have waited for the arrival of the priestess that was once promised. She was near us, but we thought that she was far away. She had come to us willingly, and willingly shall she be sacrificed.” He moved away from the place which he stood, and advanced towards the table with the sacred knife.
The professor walked towards a black box that stood beside the table. He quickly opened it and fetched an immaculate veil. It had an intricate design of beads and of cowries. The sacrifice wasn’t to begin, until the priestess was properly dressed.
To be continued…