Sorry I missed the episodes for yesterday and Tuesday. Didn’t have a story good enough.
By the way, I am yet to sell up to a Hundred copies of Squadi on Okada Books. Weird abi? Seeing as the stats here whenever I published SQUADI ran up to 700 on days it was slow. It’s been two weeks now and I haven’t sold up to a 100. Please download if you haven’t and share with your friends too. Thanks.
Meanwhile, I got a mail from a Reader earlier saying she has still not gotten her account credited after paying for almost two weeks. Like I told her, she shouldn’t even have waited for that long to tell me. Money is money. Abeg, if you’re experiencing same issue or any issue relating to that, send me an email at Tomilolaadeyemo@gmail.com
Download SQUADI: The Originals HERE
Aderopo’s head was buried in the lushness of a woman’s full breasts when his younger sister stumbled into his inner chamber.
Irritated and shocked at the same time, he grabbed the heavy mantle that was made from Leopard skin and shielded his nakedness.
The woman who had been his companion all night made for the covers but he shot her an acidic look. She cowered.
“Our father is dead and you are here seducing a Whore” Adeola was disgusted by the sight before her.
“You disappeared. You do not have a right to tell me what to do or what not to do” he countered. Tapping the naked woman with full curves who sat near him, he said “Get out”
She scrambled out of the room, grabbing her clothes by the door and muttering a greeting to Adeola who ignored her.
“I ran after the Killer”
Aderopo chuckled, “You think too highly of yourself sometimes. You ran after the Killer and let me guess, he ran away?”
Adeola eyed him before she continued, “He caught me and…”
“And because you’re the Slayer of Lions, you’re here to recount the great tales of your journey” he scoffed, reached for his Buba and wore it.
“He is on his way here. He is coming with thousands of men. Oyo will crumble before morning if they get here and we are unprepared”
Aderopo glanced at her before pulling his Sokoto above his knees.
“It is Oyekunle. Oyekunle the son of the late King Oyewale”
Incredulous, Aderopo said to his sister, “News of his death reached us thirteen moons ago. It cannot be that he is alive”
Desperate, Adeola inched closer and replied, “He is very alive, Aderopo. And he is going to be here any moment from now. We on the other hand might not be alive when he gets here because he wants his father’s Kingdom back”
Aderopo’s eyes grew cold as the realization of the truth his Sister’s words carried, hit him like cold water in Harmattan.
Ifaleye threw the Ifa beads on the floor in front of Aderopo, the Queen mother, Adeola and a few Palace Chiefs.
Looking up at Aderopo, he shook his head sadly. “The Princess is speaking the truth. They close in on Oyo as we speak”
Fear jumped into Aderopo’s eyes. He glanced at his mother who sat at his right hand. Until he took a wife, his mother would continue to seat as the Queen in Oyo.
“But you and father told me this man was dead” he said accusingly, “How is it that a man who is dead is coming to kill us all?”
“It was the news brought to us here from Tede, my son. If we knew he still lived, we would have done something about it all these years” his mother said to him, she looked at the Chiefs; some of the men her late husband had trusted with his life. “What do we do?”
“We go to war” Otun said firmly, “Get the Akangun and go to war”
“I agree with Otun” Osi Oba was speaking now. It was he who sat at the left side of the King and who was the second highest placed Chief in the land. “We have won numerous battles without being prepared in the past. We have the skill, we have the numbers and we have the heads of our enemies to prove it. So I say we prepare immediately since we do not have time on our side.”
“Call me Ajagun” Aderopo ordered and one of the Palace Guards, a man who has served since Adesoji was crowned King, ran to deliver his Prince’s orders. He returned soon with Ajagun.
“Ajagun, arrange your men and prepare them for battle. You go to war tonight”
“Yes your highness” Ajagun bowed, stood and hurried towards the exit of the Palace.
“And Ajagun?” Aderopo called. Ajagun turned to face him, “We do not have time. Be fast about it”
Adeola watched as Ajagun ran out of the Palace.
He was putting his Sword into its sheath when she found him, a desperate look in her eyes. He knew what she asked for before her mouth opened and he knew he was going to decline before her mouth ever uttered the words.
“No” his response to her unspoken question was firm. She grabbed his hand before he walked away from her.
“Ajagun, Please” she pleaded, “Let me come with you”
Disbelief crept into his face slowly before giving way to anger. “Do you know what you ask of me?”
“I want to fight, Ajagun. I want to fight for my Father’s throne; I want to revenge my father’s death. Please Ajagun, let me” her words carried a desperate plea that almost thawed his resolve.
But he would take a Sword in his heart before he endangered the Princess’ life.
“No, Adeola. You cannot come to War with us.”
“I want to”
“I will not allow you. The War front is not a place for women” he replied, defiant. He knew the words were certain to hurt her but he’d rather that than stand there and listen to her convince him to take her to Battle.
Oyo’s Army was not Tede’s mate by any standard, however Tede had done well by trying the element of surprise. That, could ensure more casualty than they had ever recorded in recent times.
And even though the Princess had done well to inform them of their impending arrival, if they were not careful, they would still suffer the same fate planned for them by the Army.
So he was not going to take the Princess to War.
“I am no ordinary woman and you know that” She spat. Like he had expected, her eyes bore hurt heavier than the steel in his hands.
“A woman is a woman, ordinary or extraordinary” he said to her, “I have to go” he added. He hated that he had to make her feel that way but he was going to die first before he allowed her anywhere near battle.
He was not going to sacrifice her like a goat.
“Ajagun” One of the Warriors in Akangun had joined them now. Dressed ready for war, he had in his hands a Spear, his forehead marked with the blood of the Lion Aderopo had supposedly killed just a day before.
“The Prince demands for your presence”
Ajagun bowed slightly, “My Princess” he said before he strode off with Ogundele.
Disappointed, Adeola made for her Hut.
The glowing light and her Maiden welcomed her into the dimly lit Hut. Collapsing on her bed, she began to think of the war that was about to happen.
Oyekunle was a fierce man. She had never seen him fight but she knew, just by seeing him that he was a man that was more than her elder brother Aderopo could ever be.
His towering height and broad shoulders emerged in her mind’s eyes now; he was strongly built with arms that seemed skilled in driving knives and swords into the hearts of enemies.
She shuddered at how easily he must have murdered her father who did not see him coming.
“My Princess dinner is ready. Can I get you something to eat?”
She ignored her maiden. When she was younger, her mother’s sister had told her tales of war. According to her, she had once fought with the women in a faraway land where she came from. A land where women were allowed to carry weapons of war and allowed to fight like men.
Her mother had disapproved of those tales because she believed it painted a wrong picture to her.
An image of her Aunty’s war clothes teased her memory now. She had just been her age when she wore them and she had slaughtered many sons and daughters of their enemies with it.
“My Princess” Adeola was jolted back to the present by Ajagun’s voice. Rushing to the entrance of her Hut, she saw him standing, waiting for her. “Your brother is not fighting with us…”
Adeola’s brows creased into a frown “Why? All Kings from the time of Sango the god of war fight with their Army at war”
“He is indisposed” Ajagun replied and both exchanged a look that meant that they both knew it was a lie.
But nobody dared question the Prince of Oyo who was soon to be King.
“Stay here with him. Don’t leave the Palace under any condition. You are Princess Adeola, your place is in the Palace not on the battle field”
Long after he was gone, Adeola stood at her door, reminiscing on his words and wishing she was given the same chance given men.
The men stood face to face each other, the battle line uncrossed by their Leaders.
Oyekunle dismounted his Horse and held Ajagun’s gaze, both men unflinching and both unmoved by what the other had planned.
“I see your Princess brought you good tidings from us” Oyekunle said with a mocking smile. “You should thank her, I did not intend to spare you traitors tonight. The Blood bath would have been so plenty, Ogun would have come down from heaven to give me a medal himself”
“At least we see on whose side the gods are.” Ajagun replied, he glanced at Oyekunle’s men before he continued, “If you were not taken away from Oyo before your first cry, you would have been taught that one of the greatest gods, Sango ruled this Kingdom and he has never allowed us lose a war”
“Yet he watched your King die in my hands on a night the Kingdom had many guests. He either went to get himself a drink because he was tired of your treachery or you are incompetent”
There was tensed silence, each eyeing each other before Ajagun said, “I am a man of peace. Go home and I will forget this travesty ever happened”
“I have heard about you, Ajagun. I hear you are a man of integrity and common sense. So you know the Throne is rightfully mine. Now, go tell your Prince to vacate the Throne of my fathers or he will not live to see dawn”
“Aderopo is the rightful heir to the throne”
“I am the rightful heir to the throne”
Ajagun drew out his Sword. “It seems like your dog is insistent on not hearing the horn of his Master tonight”
Oyekunle drew out his Sword, “I could say the same for your dog” then, bellowing he added, “Sons of Tede, waste these people’s blood and bring back our Throne!”
The sounds of steel hitting each other drowned the voice of Ajagun as he gave his command to his men; screams of pain and men trying to save their own life by killing the other soon joined, each side adamant on winning the battle.
Ajagun realized that as much as the young man he was fighting with was, he matched him in fighting. Sharp pain seared through him as the piercing blade of the sword cut his skin, before he could launch an attack he was on the ground, Oyekunle in front of him.
A smirk formed on his face, “I could kill you now but I have a better idea”
Ajagun made to get up but he was kicked back into the sand by Oyekunle’s foot. Grabbing someone Ajagun could barely see, Oyekunle placed a foot on Ajagun’s chest.
“I have lost men. But I have gained your stubborn Princess. Leave the Throne or lose her” he marched quickly to his Horse, calling his men to follow suit.
He was unwilling to lose more men and maybe it was not noble to head back home, but it was wise to leave before he lost more and was taken prisoner.
Ajagun was hot on his heels when he found Adeola held tightly by him with one strong grip.
She was fighting for her freedom but he was not going to let her. She cost them the battle and she was going to pay for it. Nudging his Horse forward, he rode quickly through the Forest and made for Tede.
Ajagun was weak and he had not sighted the Princess when he had. That should buy him enough time.
“Oba Lola” one of his men called, “I think we should make a detour”
Glancing back at the man who was bleeding profusely but who still managed to ride as furiously as he, Oyekunle asked, “Where?”
“Saki. They would not think to find us there and we can stay there until we decide our next move.”
Oyekunle nodded and veered his Horse in a different direction, one that led to the mighty river of Osunbo, the river where many sacrifices were placed to the Osun goddess and which would lead them to the town of Saki.
Unwilling to think about his loss at battle, Oyekunle rode tirelessly towards the river and thought of his next move.
They had lost men in battle, only few out of the thousands he had taken with him were currently alive and half of them were wounded.
Still, he was not willing to leave the Throne that was his.
He had to hatch a plan and he had to hatch one fast.
Meanwhile, he was keeping their heady princess with him until then.
She dug her teeth into his skin, startling him just then.
Angry at her audacity even in that moment, he pulled the Horse to a forceful stop and almost threw them off the Beast.
“Get me a rope somebody!” he yelled, his eyes roaming her body. Where in the name of the gods had she found that flimsy thing she was decked in?
She did not seem like one off to war, rather she seemed like one of the maidens that danced for the Goddess Osun during the Osun festival in Tede.
Robust boobs; fleshy like the Pear, narrow hips like the road that led to the Shrine of the goddess and firm buttocks which stood proudly like the branches of the Iroko were some of the striking attributes of those maidens.
The beads that usually adorned their waist – emphasizing the sensuality of their beings when they did their spiritual dance before the Priestess came out and blessed their sacrifices – were particularly his favorite to see during the festival.
That was what this Princess seemed like now. What was she thinking stepping out in animal skin and a head covering to match?
Surely, she did not think she was going to go unnoticed by the men, did she?
Or was she just basking in the belief that nobody dared touch her because she was royalty?
He dragged his eyes away from her body. He did not want his thoughts to trail in the direction it was already headed.
He was not going to think of her like he thought of a woman who made his blood boil. He was going to think of her as a Prisoner.
Grabbing the rope one of his men provided, he drew it in between her mouth and tied it tightly at the back of her neck.
Her hands suffered the same fate.
“Now, you will behave or I will have you dealt with” he said gently but firmly as they resumed their journey to Saki.