The King Makers

Hu Chen-9fe9e4ac

Ep. 2

The following morning’s sun squealed and smiled on the greens of Ajégúnlẹ̀ town; people were finding their ways to the palace. Àyànwálé, the drummer and his gangs had been mesmerizing the chiefs. Waves of laughter filled out the space. Soon, the bevvies of Lady troop out, donning Àrán – the mother of fabrics, singing different songs of coronation. The village hunters took up the floor piping ìjálá and demonstrating magic. The women and the small children were tramping and rejoicing, stepping on the wind of dust with their bare feet.

The chief Priest came out from the chamber, he whispered into Ọ̀tún’s left ear, and he smiled and sat down beside him. Baṣọ̀run came along with his drummers. They were lauding him until he reached the entrance of the palace. He sat on the stool beside the throne without saying many words.

Ọ̀jẹ̀labí, the stuntman, took up the floor. He was displaying different skills. People were hailing and cheering him up. He did this for some hours until the two young boys whose ages were around sixteen and seventeen years came up. One was big and the other boy was thin. The difference was clear in the eyes of the people.

“Gídígbò gídígbò” a man shouted from the back.

“Heeeeh” everybody replied.

Ajégúnlẹ̀ people were known widely for their seamless love for Ìjàkadì. Their wrestlers had never been defeated in any external tournaments and they were very proud of this. They would train their children either females or males how to wrestle immediately after they were three years old, stuffing their infant stomachs with some energy-giving foods to make them stronger than their opponents. It was their tradition to organize a wrestling game for every function be it a naming ceremony, funerals for elders or a coronation.

A circle was formed by those who wanted to gawk at the battle between the two popular young wrestlers. The wrestlers appeared in the centre of the field. They lurked arms like two deers fighting over a pot of water in the jungle. Their legs entwined, jabbing each other forth and back like two festival rams set against each other. Everyone was looking for a chance to lob his opponent. Then, a cloud of dust filled the people’s eyes. The thin boy had flung the big one like an ìrókò tree struck by the thunder. He was cheered. He was carried on a neck by his supporter. He went to where Baṣọ̀run sat and prostrated and he threw his hand on him.

The king’s presence was declared by the palace chanter. All men went on prostration and the women were on their knees shouting “Kááábìesí ooo”.

King Adégòkè was coming out of his chamber accompanied by guards, his Queen, his mother, Oyèrẹ̀mí’s mother and his wife. He sat on the throne majestically and threw the horsetail on the people bidding them rise.

“Now! This is a new Era that we have been dawdling for in Ajégúnlẹ̀. ” it was Aṣípa would say this as an announcement. “I believe we are very happy to see our dearest heir prince becoming the king.”

“Bẹ́ẹ̀ni ó” the people screamed.

“I pray that the king lives long enough to rule over us. Kááábìesí ooo!” He was prostrated and the people followed him.

“Now, let me call on the highest chief of the Ajégúnlẹ̀ town in person of Ọṣọ̀run Àjàyí to have some words with us. Kara ó le, baba!” he bowed and left the stage.

“I greet the good people of Ajégúnlẹ̀ town.” Baṣọ̀run Àjàyí, an old man in his late eighty but with healthy skin and a young face said with his trembling voice.

“Oooh”

Àyànwálé’s eyes and Oyèrẹ̀mí’s mother’s collided in scanning the whole space. She squinted at him and he understood the message. Oyèrẹ̀mí’s wife stood and entered the chamber.

“It is very painful to every one of us in Ajégúnlẹ̀ that we lost our lovely king. And, his son who was deemed to be on the throne before our Adégòkè also grew wings without a trace.” he cleaned his eyes with his left hand. Oyèrẹ̀mí’s mother’s eyes swivelled red like the furnace in the smith room. She was boiling with an ocean of resentment inside herself, felt like turning into a tornado and swallowing him.

The night before her son would leave the palace was so dark. She was with their husband who had been sick for a very long time. His sickness was not known until when, Àlàbí, the great king’s physician detected that he had been poisoned. They did not know who did it.

Basọ̀run Àjàyí came in after he had met with Adégòkè’s mother in her chamber. The king’s physician told him and he said he would bring out the culprit. He told Oyèrẹ̀mí’s mother to be calm.

While he was going home, he met Àbẹ̀ní, a maid who was working in Oyèrẹ̀mí’s quarter. He assured to give her some money and set her free from slavery.

“Take this Àdó. Go and put it in Oyèrẹ̀mí’s room. I will finish off the rest of the job.” He left.

The maid perpetrated as she was instructed. She went back to meet him for his promises. When she collected the money and headed back to the palace, she was entrapped by three unknown men. They raped and slew her. Her corpse was then taken to the backyard of Oyèrẹ̀mi’s quarter.


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