Nebuchadnezzar Has Returned (04) - Young C.c

Nebuchadnezzar Has Returned (04)

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Obele still didn’t utter a word. He used the whole of the might he could summon to keep his inner self from exploding, and speaking ill against The King who’s right-accusation kept resounding in his inner mind.

“You may rise.” The King commanded.

Obele took his time to stand up, trying hard to hide his mixed feelings of confusion and anger. The King sensed his unease and asked his guards to leave the room before he continued with Obele.

“I remember when I was your age,” The King started immediately he stood on his feet to join Obele.

Igwe Okpunobi was well known over the whole territories. Why? Because he had done the unthinkable in his prime-years.

Ten years ago, there ruled another on the throne of Umuchue, who was not Okpunobi’s father. Igwe Onoja, the third of his name ruled the whole of Umuchue with an iron hand and a fist of tyranny. The whole village was clouded in total darkness that neighbouring villages totally refused to trade or have any form of dealings with Umuchue. Then came the saviour everyone needed – Okpunobi, the 29 years old young man that challenged Igwe Onoja to a trial by combat, and suprisingly won very easily.

‘The One the gods themselves have chosen.’

That was the chant in the entire community that day, the day Onoja and his likewise tyrannical sons were cleared from the face of the earth. And with the blessing of the Chief-priest, a new Royal family was installed in Umuchue, with a man that the masses loved and revered on the throne.

So great was the love and faith in Igwe Okpunobi that when the white men came into Umuchue three years ago and revealed their intention to explore the land to the fullest for its natural resources and The King gave them his support, The People did also, no questions asked; after six extremely prosperous years on the throne, he had earned their full trust to make decisions specifically for their benefit. So great was the trust and believe in him, that at the acceptance of the white men into their lands when he asked everyone to halt the incessant use of their mother tongue for the next five years to learn the white man’s tongue to boost their damaged ego in the market place with the neighbouring communities, no one questioned his decision but resolved in obedience to accept and give it a trial, which today turned out successful.

“I should be your age when I took down Onoja III.” The King further buttressed his point to Obele, who he claimed had the same ferocity as he did at that age.

So great was the love and faith in Igwe Okpunobi that when the white men came into Umuchue three years ago and revealed their intention to explore the land to the fullest for its natural resources and The King gave them his support, The People did also, no questions asked; after six extremely prosperous years on the throne, he had earned their full trust to make decisions specifically for their benefit. So great was the trust and believe in him, that at the acceptance of the white men into their lands when he asked everyone to halt the incessant use of their mother tongue for the next five years to learn the white man’s tongue to boost their damaged ego in the market place with the neighbouring communities, no one questioned his decision but resolved in obedience to accept and give it a trial, which today turned out successful.

“I should be your age when I took down Onoja III.” The King further buttressed his point to Obele, who he claimed had the same ferocity as he did at that age.

“Only the love of a woman can fuel such amount of anger in a man.”

Obele stopped breathing hard for a moment when he realised The King was now talking about himself.

“Onoja laid with my woman… That was the real reason I dueled him… That is my secret,” The King confessed. “Now, tell me yours,” he looked Obele in the eyes and placed a hand on his shoulder to ease his increasing tension.

Silence gripped the palace.

“Igwe, Nebuchadnezzar kidnapped my woman. And you let him go,” Obele finally spoke, he lowered his head to hide the tears trying to escape the corner of his eyes.

“You must understand my giving Nebuchadnezzar the benefit of the doubt. He used to be my best friend…” The King confessed.

Obele lifted his eyes.

“He did me a great favour many years ago, and the least I could use to repay an old friend’s act of kindness was to give him the benefit of the doubt,” The King explained.

“But he kills people,” Obele rudely interrupted, still in pain.

“Mazi Okolo son’s death was a tragic mistake, of which Nebuchadnezzar had paid dearly for!” The King raised his voice, his anger was beginning to consume him.

He summoned his choef-guard, Ogede, to lose the shackle off Obele – he claimed to have an important assignment for him.

“Obele, one thing we both agree on is that the kidnappings in Umuchue must stop… If it is Nebuchadnezzar that is doing it, I want you to be the one to expose him,” The King said.

Obele got the memo – He was to spy on Nebuchadnezzar, and expose him if found guilty of any evil dealing. He prostrated before The King, and hurried out; this was what he most wanted, there was no time to waste. He hurried off into the day.
 
The King rose to retire into his chamber, when a siren blazed into the palace compound. He stood fixed to the spot and stared at the entrance. Sir Bradley surfaced alone.
“O! Great King… I’m afraid I bring bad tidings.” He said.
“What is the matter?” The King inquired.
“As we speak, Sir Thomas and the rest soldiers of Her Majesty are going round the village searching for Nebuchadnezzar… Her Royal Majesty, The Queen Elizabeth I, brings one of the worst of news to your humble throne.”
“Tell me the news.” The King began to sound impatient. He wondered aloud what the news had to do with any of his subjects.
“The Queen wants us to use any means necessary to find the notorious kidnapper as soon as possible. Great King,” he responded.
“That is what we’ve been doing. Isn’t it?” The King inquired, confused.
“Whatever means necessary.” Sir Gregory rephrased.

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