I watched the drama as the elders got on their knees, I was surprised and dumbfounded seeing them that way, even my mother did the same, I looked at Victor, it was only I and Victor that was sitting, I knew Amarachi was trying hard not to break down and I felt for her been put at the center that way, but something got my attention, Mazi Amadi, that is Ada’s father, he was kneeling without saying a word, there was hatred in his eyes and I could bet he was not happy kneeling down and them apologizing to Amarachi, the shout from the elders got my attention, I turned and saw Amarachi running out of the throne room.
I got up to go after her but the voice of mazi Amadi stopped me.
MAZI AMADI: what an insult, how dare she just ran out that way making us look like fools, this is so humiliating, I have never been embarrass in my life like this before.
I turned to look at him, he was already standing.
AFAMEFUNA: what did you just say, you have no idea what humiliation is because if you do you will go back down and stay on your knees still she comes back.
MAZI AMADI: what.
AFAMEFUNA: I will not ask again because If I do you will feel the touch of been humiliated.
He immediately went back on his knees.
MAZI ENYINNAYA: please my prince forgive Mazi Amadi, please.
AFAMEFUNA: Mazi Amadi, if you have any idea of what you and your household have done to her believe me you will start learning the words you will use to apologize to your future queen.
He looked up at me and there was a little fear in him and I can see that in his eyes, I love it that way, much better, I walked out of the throne room in search for Amarachi, the guards kept directing me to the direction that she went, I saw her at the balcony, how she got there was still something I didn’t know, she was crying bitterly with everything in her, I wrapped my hands around her causing her to turn to me.
AMARACHI: I can’t do this, I thought I could be I can’t.
AFAMEFUNA: yes you can.
AMARACHI: it so difficult, it’s hard.
AFAMEFUNA: I know, I never for once said it will be easy but you have to try and seriously let go, just like father James said you have a heart of gold and that heart of yours is strong enough to do this.
AMARACHI: how can you be so calm.
AFAMEFUNA: because I have you by my side.
I hugged her so tight not wanting to tell her go.
AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine.
She disengaged from me looking into my eyes.
AMARACHI: I believe you.
We walked back to the throne room where the elders were waiting for us, they were already sitting when we walked in, they immediately got up with expectations in their eyes, I looked at Amarachi who in return gave me a smile.
AMARACHI: I know that words can not take back everything that has happened in the past or change anything, it can’t bring my mother back or take away all my pains but yet I am here today standing before everyone that has done me wrong in one way or the other to say all this words, life itself is a lesson and a teacher and I have learnt the little bitter part of that life, for the sake of the innocent ones and the people that has shown be nothing but kindness in all my life I sincerely from the debt of my heart without holding back any grudges and letting go all that has been done to me, both young and old I Amarachi Uzochi forgive Amucha kingdom and I pray the peace that was once here return back to everyone’s homes.
They were screams of jubilation, the queen ran and hugged me and for the first time I felt peace of mind, it was like an heavy burden was taking off my shoulder, it was nice to be free again, Afamefuna took me into his arms.
FATHER JAMES: now everyone.
Father James brought everyone’s attention again.
FATHER JAMES: now that the first step is done the second step will follow.
AFAMEFUNA: and what will that be.
FATHER JAMES: knowing the truth.
Just then a guard ran inside getting everyone’s attention.
GUARD: my queen, my prince, my elders.
LOLO AGBONMA: what is it.
GUARD: its the chief priest, he is outside but there is something wrong with him.
We all was surprised and confused.
MAZI OKAFOR: something wrong with him, what.
GUARD: I think it will be better if you see by yourself.
I looked at Afamefuna, I knew something was off, I pray this doesn’t cause any more trouble for me, we all went outside, Afamefuna held my hand, with him by my side I knew no harm can come to me.
Holding Amarachi hand we all walked outside to see the chief priest but was visited with a site I won’t forget in a hurry, half of the chief priest body or should I say what was left of the chief priest body was burnt from his shoulder to his toe, we all gaze at the horrible site before us, he was sited on the ground shouting for help, there were a lot of murmuring coming from both the chiefs and the servants that were present, amidst the cry of help he was saying something that only him could hear.
MAZI OKAFOR: what is this, chief priest what is this.
MAZI AZUBUIKE: did someone attack the shrine, talk to us we are losing our patients.
CHIEF PRIEST: ohhhh, it is painful ooo, please forgive me ooo, forgive ooo.
He was talking to only God knows who.
MAZI ENYINNAYA: speak to us, who should forgive you.
CHIEF PRIEST: tell Nneka to forgive me ooo, it wasn’t intentional.
I was shocked to hear the name of Amarachi mother on his lip, I looked around and saw everyone was as confused as i, I turned looking at Amarachi, I knew many things was going on in her head right now.
CHIEF PRIEST: Amarachi please ooo forgive me ooo, please tell her to stop, tell her to stop ooo, it is painful, ahhhhhh, I am finished oooo.
FATHER JAMES: confess what you did and the pain will stop.
CHIEF PRIEST: I will confess, I will confess oooo.
AFAMEFUNA: we are listening.
CHIEF PRIEST: it all began few months ago, I was in my shrine when Mazi Amadi came to meet me.
With surprise we all turned to look at Mazi Amadi.
MAZI AMADI: me, not me, what are you saying, when did I, don’t dare add me to your downfall.
AFAMEFUNA: will you keep quiet or you want the guards to do that for you.
He immediately went silent, I never liked this man anyway.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants me to do something for him that he will give me a plot of land as a gift, I asked him what that might be, he said he wants the prince to marry his daughter.
There where loud whispers among the elders and the servants.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants the prince to fall in love with his daughter, I told him it was impossible because the prince was protected by the gods, who so ever tires to harm him will surely die, that was when he brought anything request that I should kill Amarachi the one that is making the prince not to look at his daughter.
I was growing in anger but I had to remained calm if I want to hear the end of this confession.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he will add a million naira to the land he has promised if I succeed, the money was tempting so I agreed but killing her was now the problem as she doesn’t have any friends that I could use because she was always alone most of the time, so I had to do it myself, I went to her house in the intention to lie that I am doing house cleansing then I could use that opportunity to put a charm that will kill Amarachi anytime she come across it but fortunately for me I got there and saw no one at home, I called out still no one so I went to the back yard to see if I could see anyone of them that was when I came across the pot of soup on the floor in the kitchen, I think the pot was just brought down from the fire, so I knew it make be one of them that just finished cooking, without bothering if both of they dies I poisoned the food, when I heard she didn’t die but her mother did and she was taken to the king I knew I will be summoned, I was already planning to turn her oath against her in case she swears but was later told the king passed his judgment to have her executed without the oath taking, I thought everything was settled but the gods stopped communicating with me, that was why I couldn’t tell anyone anything when disaster starts happening.
There were shouts from the people around me.
MAZI OKAFOR: you, chief priest, you of all people, so the king was used without him even knowing, Abomination
AFAMEFUNA: if the food was poisoned how come Amarachi is still alive.
AMARACHI: because mother ate before me.
I looked at Amarachi, we all did, her cheek were already covered in tear, I rushed to her before she could meet the floor, I saw that one coming, I knew her legs will fail her, I held her close to be as she sobbed on my clothes, I was angry now, if I get that old fool I will kill him myself.
CHIEF PRIEST: please I have confess oooo, I have confess, please for give me oooo.
My mother came to me and took Amarachi into her arms just what I needed, I allowed my mother to console her while I go deal with those fools.
GUARDS: yes my prince.
AFAMEFUNA: arrest that old fool.
MAZI AMADI: my prince, I didn’t do anything please.
AFAMEFUNA: you will soon once I am done dealing with you, I will make you pay for everything you have done, you and your family.
He immediately went on his knees.
MAZI AMADI: please my family did nothing, it was I please spare them, please my friends help me to beg him.
MAZI OKAFOR: who is your friend, you are a disgrace to this community.
AFAMEFUNA: guard, go to his house pack any living things you see there and take them all to the community police, tell them no bail until I say so, Mazi Amadi, You will rot in jail, I will make sure of it, take him away.
The guards began to drag him out as he continued pleading for mercy.
AFAMEFUNA: and take that thing that is call a chief priest out of this palace, I don’t want to continue seeing his face.
The guards went to the chief priest that was laying on the ground, he has stopped shouting all of a sudden.
GUARD: my prince
GUARD: he is dead.
I opened my eyes and saw myself at my house, how did I get here, I called for the prince but no response, I called for Victor but still silent, I came down from my bed heading to the sitting room, everything was just the was it was before my mother died, that was when all the event that took place at the palace came to me, I broke down in tear again but this time with fear all over me, how I got to my house was a mystery to me, everywhere was so cold that I wondered if they connected a air conditioner to the house, so my mother was killed by no other person than Ada’s father and the chief priest, how cruel can the world get, now I am back at the same house it all happened, was this part of the step to free the people from my mother’s ghost but yet Afamefuna couldn’t have left me here all by myself, he said he will be with me always, but now where was he, there was no one in the sitting room as everywhere was dark and this increased my fear, with the light coming from the full moon I used it to find my way outside that was when I saw a figure standing close to what seem like a grave, I wasn’t seeing the figure clearly but I knew it was a person, I called out to him or her but the person refused to turned his face to me or even answer to my calls, I swollen hard and approached the person, as I came closer I knew it was a woman that was dressed in a white long dress.
AMARACHI: hello, please answer me, I just want to know how I got here.
UNKNOWN: because I brought you here.
The person turned and I almost lost my breath as I looked into the person eyes.
To be continued.