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Dawn came after it looked like it took forever, not one soul slept a wink in the village that night. Some stayed up getting themselves ready for the impromptu trip, some stayed up getting the horses ready, some stayed up preparing the armours of those embarking on the trip, so on, so forth. Finally, all was set and the warriors said their goodbyes, Jakuta said his goodbyes to his wives, Oshun and Obah, Oyah his newly acquired wife included. Bonka said his goodbye to his wife, Ayokah and Thimi also bidded his own wife, Rahyo, goodbye. And so did the fifteen soldiers that were picked out as the best soldiers in the village. They said goodbye to the villagers and the villagers wished them lots of luck, with this they rode out of the village and headed straight to the capital, they rode in lightening speed, the fastest horses were selected for the trip, they rode in one accord, they rode with solely a reason on their minds, they rode for the love and  honor of the land, for the love and honor of Hoyoh empire.

Couple of days later, the council of chiefs were gathered around in the throne room, having one of their heated arguments, as usual.

“How  all these things happened still eludes me, how can the palace of Hoyoh empire be attacked and not only that, they went away with our Emperor and the crown.” One of them exclaimed bitterly.

“Eledua!!! I am sure Horanmiyan will be turning in his grace right now, for we have failed him completely.” Another exclaimed too.

“Speak for yourself,” he was countered by another chief. “From the very onset, I cried to you all that Ajaka was too weak to rule us as Emperor. He practically knew nothing about leading or ruling. I cried but you all said my breath stank and that I should keep quiet. This is the reward of my keeping quiet.”

“Keep shut, my friend.” The chief he was addressing countered back. “What were supposed to do ? Dethrone him for no reason?”

“Ohh at least you have a reason to dethrone him huh ? You have learnt the hard way, our empire that was once dreaded by all has now become a laughing stock. I guess you are happy now.” They kept on barking at each other until Ayangeh who was the oldest of the chief finally spoke a word ever since the attack and the despoil of the Emperor and the crown.

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“Silence!!!” He said and indeed, silence reverberated in the throne room. “If only you all here fought every battle I fought, if only you all fought side by side with Horanmiyan in all of those wars, if only you all know the sacrificed I made, that we made, to give this empire the respect he had, until recently. Then you won’t be here pinpointing hands to blame each other, you won’t be here barking at each other like dogs. My only regret in all of these is that I was cursed with long life. If only I had died alongside Horanmiyan and our fellow warriors that we all fought the good fight together, then my eyes wouldn’t have witnessed this embarrassment of the highest peak,”  Ayangeh spoke and all the council of chiefs felt his words piercing right through their hearts, at that moment, they all realised that they had indeed truly failed the founders of the empire. “How are we sure that Jakuta got our message? Or who else are we banking on to get us out of this mess we got ourselves in ?” There was yet to be a reply to the question asked by Ayangeh when heavy sounds of racing horses rocked the palace. For a moment, they thought the enemies were back to destroy them completely, one of them summoned courage to look through the window and when he saw Jakuta, Bonka and Thimi with the rest of the soldiers, his joy knew no bounds.

“Indeed, he got our message and he is not a bastard, for he has come to save us from our self imposed mess.” The chief announced and they all matched outside to welcome him.

“Father, how have you been fairing?” Bonka went to his father and greeted.

“How do you expect me to be, when all I gave worked for all my life are begonias to drown away before my very eyes.” Ayangeh responded with his frail voice raking out regrets.

“We are here now, and we promise to do our best to control the damages done.” Jakuta’s thick voice vibrated with a high-pitched tone. “Where’s the general ?” Jakuta asked and one of the old chiefs stepped out, barely strong enough to hold himself upright.

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“You are still the General ?” Jakuta asked with a surprising look of how the old man was still maintained as General even after the passing away of the late Emperor three years ago.

“Yes, I am.”

“Why didn’t the Emperor make any changes to administration?”

“We told told him a million times that the administration needs restructuring, especially the security aspect, but he never listened.” One of the standing chiefs replied.

“Ohh woow. Anyways, how many men do we have in the calvary ?” Jakuta asked the old general.

“There hasn’t been an inception of soldiers into the calvary for a while now. All we have is only a handful of semi experienced soldiers.” The old General replied.

“This is going to be harder than I thought.” Jakuta paused for a minute before continuing. “How many of those soldiers can you stake your head out for ?”

“Fifty, maybe sixty men.” The old general replied again.

“And how many were the enemies soldiers that attacked?”

“200,  plus and minus.” Ayangeh quickly replied.

“So it’s safe to say they would have like 400 hundred soldiers in their base ?”

“Exactly.” Ayangeh replied again, with his voice getting louder.

“And we have like seventy-five men now, plus and minus.” Jakuta paused again, “Can I get a map ?” He said to no one in particular but one of the guards around rushed into the emperor’s chambers and came out with a map. Jakuta beckoned on Thimi and Bonka to come closer as they all stared at the map. “There are two entrances to the enemy’s village. The east and the west. Bonka, you will lead the  the sixty soldiers through the east wing, create awareness and then distract the enemies. While I will lead 15 men through the west wing, grab the crown and the emperor and get them to safety. Thimi, you will embark on a trip to Ibiini Kingdom right away, tell my brother, the Ereduwa, situation of things, tell him our brother, Ajaka has been captured. I am sure he would know what to do.”

The Ereduwa of Ibiini kingdom who also his Hornamiyan’s son, first son actually. Although he wasn’t really in accordance with his father during his life but he still sent delegations to come during his burial rites. He and Ajaka had only seen on one or two occasions, but from time to time, they sent pleasant messages to each other, they kept in touch with each other, and at a time like this, he surely needed his help. Bonka hopped on his horse immediately and rode swiftly away to carry out the order given by Jakuta.

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Couple of days later,,  the sixty soldiers had been assembled, together with the fifteen that followed from Bhariba. Only a few of them were on the horse while the rest stood. Jakuta pranced back and forth as he stared right into the faces of the soldiers, the chiefs stood around, also with some of the villagers who came to wish them luck.

“My brothers,” Jakuta started, with his thick and vibrating voice. “This is a rare occasion, we have been summoned by our land, to fight with all our might, with all our strength. We have been summoned, to correct the impression that people have about this great empire, to restore the old glory of this great empire, to instil the fear that our enemies once had of us, to make this empire great again.” Jakuta paused as they all roared harmoniously, he went to his horse and climbed on it. “This day will go down in history, our names will go down in history, your name shall go down in history. Today marks the beginning of the new Empire, the greater empire.” He paused again as he saw all the soldiers vibrating with morales and humming sounds. He realised his words has indeed boosted their adrenaline, he believed now they were ready to face and conquer the enemies. “Soldiers of Hoyoh empire, why do we do this.” He asked at the top of his voice.

“For love and honor.” They all roared in chorus.

“Why do we do this?” He asked again, with a louder voice.

“For love and honor.” They all chorused again, louder.
“We ride to victory, my brothers.” Jakuta roared as he rode onto war.

“We ride to victory.” The soldiers roared back as they all follwed after him, chanting war songs.


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