“Go and tell the chiefs to report themselves at the palace unfailingly tomorrow morning!” King Adewale yelled, ordering his messenger after dismissing Alani, the royal spy who had just brought a strange terrific message that moved the king’s throne.
Grave silence filled the palace through the courtrooms as the chiefs heads were casted down at the King’s report. They thought they could do it secretly without staining their King’s hands but their plans fell through. Every other king before King Adelaja only demanded five percent of their land produce as his annual tributes but Adelaja had only made life difficult for them by first increasing it from five to ten and now thirty five percent since he was inducted.
Furious, burning with anger, “How could you all do this behind me? What were you all thinking?” The King shouted “Adelaja will never believe I’m not part of this rebellion. How can I face him?”
“We are prepared for this as well” Otun said, feebly and wouldn’t look at the king in the eyes.
“Ughn?” The King said, raising his eyebrows.
“We’ll have to fight for our freedom and it starts this week.” Balogun tried to explain to the lost King, “we are expecting some supplies from the next village tomorrow and we already sought some notorious bandits to join us in the war. They too will be here by tomorrow evening.”
The King was trying to gather confidence, he was trying to reason with them though he still felt they made the wrong move but he felt incapacitated to punish them at that moment he needed them to fix what they broke.
“Kabiesi” Osi said, “you don’t have to bother yourself on…” A young man ran inside the palace with a small box in his hand, interrupting the discussion. He looked late in his twenties. His hands were shaking and legs trembling in fear. His eyes were filled with tears and body stained with blood, he was dying. He dropped box before the king. The room was suddenly kept in suspense as everyone was wondering who the man was and what was in the box he dropped.
“Please, who is this dumb fellow interrupting our plans for war?” Balogun asked, breaking the longest silence.
The young man nodded his head negatively, bursting into tears. He opened the box and it happened to contain the head of the veteran assassin the chiefs sent to kill King Adelaja.
“Eeewoo, abomination!” Otun exclaimed, using his big agbada to cover up, avoiding the king eyes to see the dead.
“It’s over, my Lord. We are done for.” The young man said in tears, “There’s no time to pick a sword. King Adelaja is much near. War is here.”
Story Credit: Olufunlola Adeola