WHAT IS IT? TELL ME !! WHAT IS YOUR NAME !?
My voice was hoarse cause of a mix of the sweat and dust that was on my face. My arms were tired from swinging, my legs weary from running. I was drawing on the last reserve of strength i had. And yet my trainer kept shouting at me.
“ WHAT IS YOUR NAME MY PRINCE!? TELL ME!”
My trainer Kashorun, was an elder Balogun. A former chief of warriors and one of the most feared of his days.
He was a huge man……… his shoulders were so large he had to squeeze him self through the doors when entering the Royal Palm Storage huts. He used two huge idadudu, the giant of the obeiku line of swords crafted with black iron. Men had problem carrying even one. The huge man in front of me carried both effortlessly and he wasn’t actually shouting at me, i just always heard his voice so loud in my head especially now where he had beaten me half into exhaustion across the Royal Training Yard.
“What is your name my Prince?’ Kashorun repeated.
With sweat dripping off my chin as i leaned over my obeiku who’s silver blade was thrust in the hard dusty ground, i fought for a few gasps of breathe then i answered him while still leaning.
“ I ….am an Adeduro”
His arms hung at his sides , the two idadudu looking like an extension of him instead of a pair of deadly weapons in the hands of a deadly warrior. He was some distance from me and did not move a foot.
I wore a tight leather greave on both of my wrists covering up to my elbows. A similar length greave adorned each foot up to my knee. A tiger-hide vest graced my upper body, yet it was not enough to lay even one scratch on Kashorun.
I moved my shield - barely remembering it was there - strapped to my left arm. It was precariously scarred and battered after Kashorun’s ceaseless hail of attacks.
Why couldn’t i defeat him? Why? Not even one scratch?
I watched him as he stood still, idadudu in both hands.
A feared warrior. A loyal Balogun to the Throne. A true fighter…. and i.
I turned my head away from staring at him.
A royal prince and i couldn’t even land a hit…
His voice snapped me back into the present. He was looking intently at me.
“Who are you? What do you truly stand for? “
He moved one feet and the ground shook. He pointed one sword at me.
“ You want to be a feared warrior don’t you? You want to stand and defend your people on the battle ground isn’t it? Isn’t that why you are an Adeduro? Isn’t that why the Royal Family exists?”
That was right. I had defeated my former trainer , a classic spear fighting ‘Baba’ — a master — and that was why they had given me Kashorun. But i could do it. Be a defender of my people. The strongest warrior ever to lead the land. In other words…………….. an Adeduro.
My weary arm resting on the hide covered hilt of my obeiku throbbed.
I do not wield an obeiku forged from silver or nothing i realized.
He spoke to me “ Do you want to wield two swords or not?”
A normal warrior carries a sword and a shield. Only the strongest warriors in the land wield two swords to battle. The art of attack and attack. Ihad asked to be trained in the ‘Owomeji Idameji’ but i had been asked to defeat three trainers. Three Babas. Three top warriors.
I stared at Kashorun.
“ Do you want to become a Balogun or not ?” he asked, a strange calm in his voice.
The sweat dripped from my towering afro into my eyes, down my dust covered face and unto the royal bead necklace on my neck, my ileke-ade.
Kashorun was the third trainer. He was the third warrior.
I shored up all my will and pushed my body of fourteen seasons to my feet, swung my shield into my front, and split my feet in the appropriate stance.
One of Kashorun’s eye brows went up
“ You tried the asa to pariwo — Screaming Hawk — and the ekun to rino — Tiger That Sees Fire- stances and you did not lay a single stroke on me”
“ Do you think you can use that properly?” he asked in that strange, calm low tone.
I had entered the stance of my father, and my grand father, and my grand fathers before him .
“Ariwo kinihun- Lion’s Roar -” I whispered.
“ I can because of who i am. An Adeduro” Ispoke imitating the calm of Kashorun
“ For my motherland and for my future throne…..”
I swung my silver forged obeiku into place and completed the stance.
“ I will defeat you Kashorun!”
And summoning all the divine will of the Adeduro bloodline, i flung myself into battle…..
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That day, i received the greatest beating of my life. I am the son of the AdeOba. I am the next defender of all YorubaLand and heir to the greatest royal bloodline. I AM ADEDURO.
THE ADEDURO CHRONOLOGIE: Legends of an Empire
By Onibudo Oluwaseyi