ADVENTURE OF KADURA
(The Chosen Bride)
Written by Author Nath.
It became dark in Ukra. The royal castle especially the palace was as quiet as a grave yard. The king’s throne was vacant like an empty hole looking for what to swallow. Candle light from every corner reflected on the tiled floor likewise the dim image of King Corbatt at a corner where he meditated critically. He wore a milky garment that was knotted around the w–st. It flopped on the thorax, hence exposing the full hair on his chest. Suddenly, from behind, Julius’ footsteps echoed in the quiet palace. He met the king with a metal chalice cup and a jug of wine. “My King.” he called his attention.
King Corbatt turned and collected the cup from him. Julius did Justice to it by filling it with a red wine. The sound of the wine while entering the cup circulated the palace. It was like an inspiration catalyst. From the sound, one could tell that the cup was filled halfway. Notwithstanding, the king sipped it and took a few step away from the corner towards his throne while Julius observed him.
“My Lord, is anything bothering you?” Julius asked him.
The king looked at him for some time then replied saying. “A king is always bothered about his kingdom. He must think in order to protect his people from external forces.” he finally walked to the throne where he sat down majestically.
“Does it also has to do with the coming of Kadura?”
Hearing that, the king looked up at his servant boy and suddenly looked down, staring at the gate of the palace without words. Julius exhaled heavily. He decided to leave since there was no response to his question. But as he turned to leave, the king’s voice stopped him saying, “I’m not only bothered who Kadura might be, I’m also bothered why he decided to make himself unknown even after, I, the king commanded that he should show himself. Is that the type of man that will assume my throne and rule my kingdom? A man that ignores the king’s order?”
“My lord, may be Kadura didn’t ignore your order intentionally. May be Kadura doesn’t know he’s Kadura.”
“Is that possible, Julius son of Bruce?”
“I dwell in possibility, my lord.” the king surprisingly, once again, looked up at his cup bearer as he continued, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Silence returned to the palace after Julius’ statement. The king thoughtfully stood up from the throne, sipped the wine and walked down two steps in a way Julius could only see his back. “You’ve spoken wisely, Julius son of Bruce, but Kadura might not be the best for my daughter and the kingdom at large.”
“He is more than the best, we’re meant to believe that he’s a perfect man.”
The king turned, intensivelty gazing at Julius. “You speak of this Kadura like you know who he is, don’t you?” she asked.
Julius swallowed hærd, thinking wether it was the right time to let the king know that he was Kadura. Maybe, just maybe he would reconsider not to take his life. On the contrary, he might kill him instantly. Just as he wallowed in that thought, the king approached him fiercely saying again. “Do not lie to me, boy. You know who Kadura is. Who is he?’
His voice triggered fear in the mind of the boy. The jug in his hand was about to quiver out of tension when he quickly held it with two hands, breathing heavily. His mouth opened to speak, luckily for him, the gate of the palace opened thereby disrupting the tention. Both turned to the gate to see Adriana walking in like a bride walking down the aisle.
“My princess.” the king called her.
“You summoned me, father.” Adriana stopped at the centre of the palace. Her eyes caught with Julius’ but she concentrated on her father who walked up to her.
“I summoned you to have a heart to heart talk. I know I’m not a woman whom you can easily confide your feelings and secrets.” he stopped before her and continued while Julius listened at a corner. “You must have felt the presence of someone at the cliff of ora, and your heart told you who the person is. So tell me, my love, who do you think was there?”
Adriana by-passed the father to her small throne where she sat down, looking at him and thinking of what he would achieve with the answer to the question he poised to her. The king, being so wise knew what he was trying to achieve; he wasn’t only after the answer to the question, he was also after Adriana and Julius’s reaction to the question to analyze his observation and suspicions. Therefore he continued.
“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings, and feelings are by-product of our mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace. They are things we cannot see; though we cannot see them, but we can feel them. Sometimes we do not have to speak but we finds out heart speaking more than we could speak. And when the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. My princess, I do not want to listen to you. I want to listen to your heart.”
“I still do not know where you’re driving at, father.” Adriana placed a hand on one side of her cheek..
“Adriana, you may not have seen who saved you at the cliff of ora, but you felt a presence there. The presence of someone you think you know. Who was that?” he asked.
Adriana first glaced at Julius at a bar where he pretended to drop the jug of wine. His heart accelerated because Adriana had once confessed to him about how she felt his presence at the cliff. He actually thought his secret was about to be revealed, so he became unease.
“Yes, father, I felt a presence there.” Adriana replied.
“The presence of…” The sound of a fallen chalice from Julius at the bar interrupted her. The sound echoed severally in their ears enhanced by the silence of the hallow palace. Both the king and Adriana swiftly looked at him. The young boy quickly picked the chalice up not to make further noise.
“I’m sorry” he apologized.
Nobody talked to him. The king exhaled, while Adriana returned to her initial mood and posture. “By the way, father, why do you seek the thought of my heart over the incident?” she asked.
“To reward the young man handsomely.” he replied passionately. He was surprised to see his daughter standing on her feet and walking to him as quietness trailed. She stopped before him.
“Young man, huh.” she began with a mean voice. “You already expected a young man to save me, making me think that my falling at the cliff was a set up. Why can’t a young woman save me? Why must it be a young man?”
“You’re getting it all wrong, my love. How can I subject you…”
Adriana by-passed him again, walking out of the palace. She suddenly stop and said, “For your information, father. I felt the presence of someone but I do not know who.” she concluded and left.
Unrest spirit is a mark of life. Adriana’s spirit became unrest after her encounter with the father. Though she laid on the bed but sleep never called her. She was beginning to wonder the meaning of what had been happening recently. She fell in love with Julius, same man she feels his presence at every point she was in danger. Now, her father seems to be on a quest to know who that person is, like he knew they would be someone to always save her. Adriana couldn’t bear the thought, so she stood up from the bed, sneaked out of the kingdom with a horse.
The horse journeyed through a forest that night to the house of Cres, a secred place inhabited by a powerful soothsayer. Adriana entered into the weird hourse, well covered that nobody could recognize her royal identity. Cobwebs in the building was like a decorative fabric, very nasty and horrible. Adriana watched her steps.
“Hello!” she called out.
“The night is weary, the moon worries never to have shone to clear the weary, yet humans travels through the night without worries of the weariness. What have you come here for?” A voice startled Adriana from behind. She quickly turned to see an old nasty blind woman. She had a few teeth left in her mouth, her hair scattered around her face like a mad woman and her face had wrinkled up.
“You’re a soothsayer. I can to inquire about my future with the one I love.” Adriana replied.
“And what do I get in return?”
Adriana brought out a tied fabric, located the woman’s hand and handed it to her. The woman untied it. She ran her hand over he content of the fabric and smelt it. “A bixbite!” she surprisingly looked up at the princess even though she couldn’t see her. “This valuable cannot be possessed by ordinary people. I smell royalty here.” she added.
“I’m Adriana, the first and last child of King Corbatt” Adriana concured.
“My princess!” the woman blindly passed her. “I hope this is not about Kadura because it’s beyond my abilities.’
Adriana face her. “Like I said I’m here to inquire about my future with the one I love.”
“You’re ment to love only but one man, my princess, and that’s Kadura.”
“So I should just go home and believe that the man I love is Kadura?”
“Give me your hands.” the soothsayer stretched forth her hands. Adriana gently held them, staring at the woman who became quiet. Sooner did the hands became tightened and hurtful thereby getting Adriana scared.
“You’re hurting me.” she said, yet the woman never left her. “You’re hurting me” she repeated, wanting to withdraw her hand. Before she could succeed, the woman left her, breathing heavily.
“I’m sorry, my lady.” she apologized, walking out of the place.
“What did you see?” Adriana’s voice came more like a command.
The woman turned. “Trust me, you do not want to know.”
“I demand to know and I cammand you to speak!”
The woman exhaled. “The man whom you’ve chosen to love will lead you to tears. You’ll be broken emotionally, you’ll live among animals and beg to feed on their excreta. You’ll be a slave to your own people.”
Adriana became emotional, battling with unseen tears. “Does it mean he isn’t the man I should love? What do you suggest I do because I love him so much? I feel his presence at my point of death and I feel him in my heart and soul.”
“Falling in love is like holding a candle. Initially it lightens up the world around you. Then it starts melting and hurting you. Finally it goes off and everything is darker than ever and all you are left with is the burnt.” the words of the woman triggered tears in Adriana’s eyes.
“Are you saying he’s the wrong man to love?” she asked in tears.
“No!” The woman tried to locate her hands to hold them. Adriana made it easier for her then she continued. “The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy. The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it. But the question is, can you step on thornes to get to the thorns?”
“Thank you.” She began to dry her tears. “I must be on my way now.” the woman watched her leave the house. The next thing she heard was her horse galloping away. Truly, she saw Julius as Kadura and never wanted to mention it to Adriana. Therefore, she became another person who knew the true identity of the young boy…….
TO BE CONTINUED