�Greetings, Father.� Jakuta bowed before his father, the Emperor who was seating on the throne, conversing with one of his cabinet member.
�What worries my fearless cub?� Horanmiyan said as he signified for him to come closer �Excuse us for now, I will summon you later� He said to the Cabinet member who obliged immediately and left Jakuta and Horanmiyan in the throne room.
�Father, there’s this dream that I have been having repeatedly for a while now and I don’t seem to understand it at all.� Jakuta started, while the Emperor nodded along. He explained all what he saw in the dream and how the dream always played out.
�Jakuta,� His father called him softly and smiled for a while �I don’t know what the gods have in store for you but what I do know is that your appointed time is almost here, and that forest you saw in the dream is the forest of Lahkiritah. The forbidden forest along the path that leads to the village square.�
Jakuta made a deep sound to the realisation that the place he had been dreaming about is even closer than he had thought, he passes by the forest each time he goes for his training, though everyone in the village were commanded not to go into the forest but on one or two occasions, he had been tempted to go into the forest that was tagged forbidden. On those occasions, he had been stopped by his two bossom friends, Thimi and Bonka. �Father,� he said again, �Does it mean that the gods wants me to go into the forbidden forest of Lahkiritah?�
The Emperor hummed before replying, �If the gods wants you to embark on a trip to Lahkiritah, they will find a way to communicate it to you, until then, just tarry patiently for their instructions and directions.�
�Alright, Father. Thank you very much, I have to go now.� He bowed again and the Emperor waved his staff of office at him in blessing. He was almost at the door when the Emperor called his name.
�Do you know what today is?�
�What is ?�
�It’s the rememberance day of the queen, my mother.�
�Glad you remember, and do you also remember that today we will be witnessing a combat between skilled swordsmen ?�
�Good. Today, one of those skilled swordsmen will be you, my son.�
Jakuta couldn’t do well to hide his surprise, he had never in anyway expected such, but as he was taught, nothing should catch him off guard. �Who will be the second swordsman?� He asked
�When you get to the arena, you will find out�
****Later That Day****
The arena was filled to the brim, everyone waiting for one of the most important combat of the year in which the best of the best in the whole empire were always being selected to fight. The weather also seemed to be in agreement with the great joy and anticipation that filled the atmosphere as the sun shone it’s light bright enough to illuminate the whole arena even at dusk. Jakuta who had been training real hard since dawn when his father had informed him about the fight, was the first to enter into the arena. Loud jeers and noises rocked the arena as he walked majestically, knelt on one leg before his father, the emperor whose throne was mounted high by the arena. The emperor waved his staff in blessing, Jakuta then went ahead to take a little bow for his brother, Ajaka who was the crowned prince, right beside Ajaka was his bethrothed, Rola and right behind Rola was the maid that had caught Ajaka�s fancy. She smiled widely at Ajaka who nodded his head at her, Rola who thought he nodded at her, waved back cheerfully. Jakuta then walked to the middle of the Arena. Few moments later, a masked man emerged into the arena, Jakuta who had been curious to know who his opponent would be was surprised to see a masked one. The masked man went to where Jakuta was standing before and paid his own homage to the Emperor and the crowned prince before then walking to the middle of the arena and after which, he took off the mask. Jakuta was reflexively taken by surprise at the sight of who the face behind the mask was,he had never even thought about it for a moment that it would be him, someone that knew him well, that knew all his skills, someone that he had never won in a combat before, though he has never been defeated by him too. All their matches had always ended in a draw but knowing fully well that this match, a winner must emerged, he knew he was in for one hell of a fight, against his bossom and beloveth friend, Bonka. .