My Eyesight Was All Blurry As I Slowly Woke Up
I was sitting in the dust, crowds of people sitting beside me likewise and i dimly became aware of the din all around me. My hands were all dirty… my entire body was dirty. I was naked except for a loincloth around my midsection and someone had left my wooden war foot-bands on.
What is happening? I wondered.
Someone roughly thrust something iron in my hands. I blinked at it. A fat curved sharp blade. An animal hide hilt. An obeiku.
The man who pushed it into my hands gestured for me to hide it. He was sitting on the floor beside me too, suspiciously glancing around…..around…….at the guards.
I groggily stared up at the menacing figures standing over us. Warriors from Ile-Ogun. My head began to wake. We had lost the battle.
I looked around now with more awareness, smoke all around us, dead bodies piled up in heaps. My face went grim. Dead bodies of my tribes men.
“Hide your weapon well soldier”. The dodgy man, obviously a warrior from my tribe whispered when the closest guard strolled pout of earshot.
“The Baale Arigbo’s son is still alive. He will signal when to make a break for it.”
I stared at him.
“Look “ he said to me still looking out for the guards. “ I can see you are in no condition to fight . Your palms are bleeding, your left leg is heavily bruised and there are three large slash strokes on your back, but there are only four of us armed here and with the Adeduro dead in battle we will have to make a last run”
Even he’s own face betrayed the impending fatality.
I was furious inside me. I pushed one hand to the floor… yes it was bleeding. That did not matter now. I grabbed the obeiku with the second and began to slowly drag it out. The closest guard was turning now and was starring quizzically at me.
“How many guards are there?” . Even my voice was still groggy .
My tribes man stared at me, trying to understand but he could sense the authority in my voice.
“Twenty one guarding the entire line. We are about sixty people in all, about half are women and a few children. I’ll guess about sixteen men, ten able and fit enough to run. Barely half that number can hold an obeiku properly”
“That is enough” i said. I saw one of the guards whip my fellow tribes man. An old woman, barely old enough to walk. That finished every thing for me. I pulled out the obeiku full length. My tribes man was agitated.
“It’s not yet time! The Baale’s son will give the order! We can’t fight without the Adeduro……”
I struggled to a crouching position. Now the guard was raising an alarm at the sight of the obeiku and racing at me.
I stood full length and cut off my tribesman without looking down at him.
“ I am the Adeduro”. I could hear him go speechless. I could feel the eyes of my people looking up at me as i stood over them all crouching in the dust. The guard reached me and swung his ada.
“Die!” he screamed spittle spraying out of his mouth as he screamed with a mix of hatred and adrenaline.
Sliding my foot to gain a rooted stance, i blocked his ada with both hands on my obeiku, one hand on the hilt, the other on the black iron blade. No ada was as well forged as the obeiku of my motherland.
I could feel the eyes of my captured tribes people on me as i halted the guards charge completely. I stared into his hate filled eyes …. and pushing him back swiftly, i swung my obeiku. Just once.
It was more than enough. Blood splaying about,his unbelieving gag resounding in my ears and suddenly………. my people were on their feet and shouts of “ the Adeduro lives!” filled the air.
I spread my feet on the dusty floor, shifting to another stance, my tribe crafted obeiku in one hand, the fallen guard’s ada in the other. Owomeji. AdameJi.
The enemy warriors charged at me. The men of my tribe with obeiku rushed to my side, women and children running behind us.
“Your highness!” my fellow warrior who had spoken to me earlier stood at my side with his obeiku at the ready as we faced the oncoming rush of enemy warriors.
“ Your highness! They are to many ! With respect we cannot ……!”
I stared at him. Even as the blood-lust cry of the enemy filled the air and the sound of their stampeding feet came closer, he became silent.…….. and recited the tribe code of honor.
“For our mother land……”
I turned to face the oncoming onslaught. Flashes of pain filled my back. My left knee hurt badly so i knew i wouldn’t be able to use any mobile stance. The blood from my palms dripped unto the hilt of my borrowed weapons. They were no silver forged obeiku……but they would do.
The warrior tribes man shouted the motto again as the faces of the enemy were now so close i could trace the lines on their ada. My small group of defenders echoed it.
“For our mother land!”
Within me i felt hope surge even more. Fear silently died in me. I gripped the slipping weapons and prepared my self.
Let them come.
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THE ADEDURO CHRONOLOGIE: Legends of an Empire
By Onibudo Oluwaseyi