Diamond in the Forest


© Amah
Remi has seen the Prince looking at her severally, she was wondering why he looks at her the way he did, today as she was out spreading the princess cloth on the hang line, she felt like somebody was watching her from somewhere, so she turned but did not see anybody, she went back to what she was doing and suddenly hærd a strong voice behind her which startled her, she quickly turn and saw the Prince standing very close to her, she knelt and greeted him and he asked her to stand up she did and stood still with her head bend
“Bawo ni o wiwa awọn ààfin lẹwa ọkan (How are you finding the palace beautiful one)
Remi thought within her why the prince addressed her with “beautiful one” he could have called her “omidan” (Maid) which seem to be a normal way they address female workers in the palace and some use their names if they know the name
Gan daradara omo-oba “(Very well my prince), I’m glad to be here, picked out among many to be the princess personal maid…please what can I do for you my Prince…
“Don’t rush my dear…relax and look up at me…I don’t bite….see me as one of your friend…am only here to say hello, you don’t have anything to do for me, you belong to the princess not to me…maybe for now.. my sister owns you for the period you will serve her, I have being seeing you around and looking for an opportunity to talk with you, you are always with my sister and she seem to be so fond of you, she always want you within her reach…you are enjoying the role of serving the princess…right?
“bee ni, you are right…i feel so privileged to work here
“Iyen dara, (that’s good) you are beautiful Remi…and also a good dancer, I watched you dance at the festival, whining your wa-ist and throwing your legs with so much energy…
Remi looked up to him, she was surprise that the prince called her by her name and it sound so sweet to her and also the way he compliments her, she smiled and the prince continued,
“Who do you take after in looks and strength, iya rẹ abi baba (your mother or father)?
“ni mi iya iya, (is actually my grandmother) I look so much like her when she was at my age…and she was also a good dancer in her own time
“ I see, it runs in the blood, you are very special for the gods to have blessed you with your grandmother’s nature and I’m happy talking with you…finish up with the cloths, I will sit and wait at the royal shade, come and sit with me when you are done…I will like you to tell me about your grandma…she sound like an interesting woman and I will like to hear more about her…hope you don’t mind…? Will my sister be needing you…what is she doing?
“She was having her siesta before i left to do her laundry..
“Good then…so will you sit with me for a while…please…
Leja came out and saw the prince talking with Remi, he got angry and decided to hide and watch them, he watch as Remi laugh over whatever the Prince said, his stomach tightened and he tightened his fist, he wish to go there and drag Remi away, he gets angry at every passing minute, he watch Remi and the Prince talk about something and laugh out together, he wondered what they were talking about and wish he can eavesdrop on there conversation, Leja was thinking of how to distract them and take Remi out but no Idea came, he was deep in thought when he hærd a voice behind his ear, he turned and saw Nike
“why are you hiding and looking at the Prince, hahahaha…you look so funny hiding here and watching the prince talk with that cheap good for nothing girl..
“Don’t call her names….Remi is the woman I love but the Prince want to take her away from me and I won’t let that happen…do not say anything bad about her… I thought she is your sister…
“I don’t have a sister…am the only child of my mother…so I don’t have a sister…I thought you are smart, you think Remi will leave the Prince and follow you, you are day dreaming Leja. she will do everything she can to have the Prince, you are just a guard to her and she will never have anything to do with you…don’t you know she is the daughter of a witch, she is evil and will have anything she desired to have…well I showed interest in you but you refused to reciprocate so I moved on…if this is how you will live the rest of your live then continue…but it won’t end well with you because that girl is capable of doing anything, her target was on the prince that was why her witch mother worked it out for her to be at the palace…
“She was the best dancer…she thought you how to dance and also pleaded that you will be chosen to serve in the palace if she wins, she is a good girl and dances so well more than you and was also very smart and intelligent that was why she was chosen to serve the princess, nobody work anything for her, the kingdom chose her…
“Who run the kingdom…the king and the queen then you and I, don’t say the kingdom chose her just say her witch mother did everything possible for her to be here… don’t give her credit for my effort, I danced my way into the palace and not only that I am very beautiful and smart too and I got to work in the palace because I deserved it…she didn’t teach me anything, I can dance very well even from my mothers womb… I can help you get her out from the Prince on one condition…
“How do you intend to do that? And what is the condition
“Don’t ask how just agree first…do you want me to help you or not? The condition is that you will have to pay me
“Okay…go ahead. I’m listening…
“I will go over there like a good girl that I am and tell Remi that the princess is looking for her so that she will disappear from the prince…
Leja gave her a go ahead and she went over to where Remi and the Prince were sitting and talking, she knelt down and greeted the prince before saying that the princess was looking for Remi.
Remi quickly stood up and bow to the Prince before running to the princess chamber, when she got there, the princess was still sleeping, she wondered why Nike has to come and lie to her that the princess was looking for her
She stayed in the chamber and did not bother going out again, few days later she ran into Leja and he dragged her into a corner
“What is wrong with you Leja…why are you dragging me?
“Talk quietly, somebody maybe passing… Remi..you have being talking with the prince of recent..
“Is there anything wrong in talking with the Prince…he is a good man…and he has being nice to everyone not just me…
“ooh…I see, he is a good man right…? You act like you don’t know what the prince want from you, I wanted you first…I made my intention so clear to you…you told me that you don’t want to have anything to do with men because your mother has not approved of that…you saw the prince and now you want to have everything to do with men… aren’t you a hypocrite and a liar
“I don’t have anything to do with the prince, I talk with you sometimes too..
“you talking to me ever since you came to this palace has only being just greeting, good morning Leja, good afternoon Leja, well-done Leja” and the rest…you have not sat with me and talk or laugh at anything I say just as you were laughing with the prince the other day….
“I see nothing wrong in talking with prince, opportunity hasn’t come for me and you to sit and talk, and that’s why it has not happened yet, you are always busy so am i…the prince asked me to tell him about my grandma whom I love talking about and I did..
“hmmm really…you love talking about your grandma so tell me about her…I also want to hear about her…
“Leja, this is not a good time, the princess need her dinner and I want to make sure that is ready…how do you want me to start talking about my grandma…with a whisper and also we are standing…we will talk next time…now is not a good time..
Nike who has being listening to their conversation came out from nowhere and started abusing Remi…
“so now is not a good time because Leja is not a prince…you cheap wh-re…you are here to use your charm to get the prince to yourself but your plan won’t work, my eyes are on you…you and your witch mother will be exposed and disgrace In this kingdom let’s watch and see…witch
Remi tried to leave but Nike pushed her back, telling her she wasn’t done talking with her, Leja who was still angry with Remi just stood and watch Nike insult her, Remi tried not to get angry with all that Nike was saying, Remi knows that anger is her weak point, ones she is angry she is ready to tear down the person no matter who he or she is and she has tried to keep her emotions in check and harken to her grandmother’s advice but Nike insulting her and her mother was like pushing her to the wall.
“Nike, let me go…you are looking for my trouble…I was talking with Leja and not you…leave me alone…stop calling me names….i am warning you…this is not home… this is the oba’s palace…respect yourself and the environment that you are into..
“or what…what will happen…what will you do Remi, witch and useless fool, show me your power and I will render you powerless…I have being waiting for this kind of opportunity and I thanked the gods is finally here, show me your witch power…what can you do…you are taking all the strong and good men to yourself, I told Leja that you are a cheap wh-re but he won’t listen…now he has seen it all…show me what you can do…if I won’t give you an everlasting mark on your body…try me and see…witc…
Before she will say another word, Remi pounced on Nike like a prey and threw her to the ground with so much ease…she sat on her and started beating her, no matter how Leja pulled at her she was so angry, anger consumed her as she kept punching Nike like a punching bag, strength she did not know where it came from descended on her and even Leja couldn’t pull Remi up, Nike was shouting and crying for help but Remi was not letting go, Leja was shock as he realised that he couldn’t pull Remi up, he called other guards and they all came and lifted Remi from Nike who has already fainted.
They started pouring water on Nike and also fanning her, the Prince was informed and came to the seem so also the princess, Remi was breathing heavily as she watch the palace worker gather to revive Nike
Leja stood and was looking at Remi as if she was a ghost, Remi bent her head and walked away, she went outside to a quiet place to cool off, she did not even understand herself again, it took time before she was calm enough, she knows fighting in the palace is prohibited but she felt at peace with herself, Nike’s cup was full and she needed to teach her a lesson.
She wasn’t afraid of whatever the outcome will be she was ready for anything.
The King hærd of the fight and summoned Remi and Nike, and they were suspended for three days,
The princess likes Remi and knew that she was a good girl and Nike must have done something bad for her to be beaten up by Remi, the princess did not want Remi to go but she must obey her father, Remi and Nike need to sort their selves out, three days is not much, she will patient manage with her other maidens until Remi Resume back, it was a normal punishment for a law defaulters.
As Remi picked up her few things she saw the prince looking at her from his chamber as she stood outside, she bowed to him before walking out of the gate
The prince was not happy that he won’t see Remi for three days, he wish she has not engaged in a fight, he doesn’t know what caused the fight between her and her step sister maybe he will find out from Leja,
The prince knew that three days is few days from now but it seem like a year of not getting to see Remi but he will wait.
Nike’s face was swollen and her body was filled with bruises, her hands had a fracture, she couldn’t even walk properly, it seem like ten hefty men was beating her up but it was only Remi, now she has no doubt that Remi is not an ordinary person, she can’t wait to go home and tell her mother what happen so that her mother will deal with them.
Remi intend spending her three days off at her grandma’s place, she knows her mother will be very angry with her, but Remi was happy for the three days off, she will get to see her grandmother who she has not seen for four weeks and if Nike’s mother attack her or her own mother she will give Nike another dose of beating.
is high time they stay on their lane and leave her and her mother alone.
Leja was confuse, if he knew that a fight will break out for the two sisters he would have stopped Nike from insulting Remi but he was angry and jealous, he wanted Nike to insult Remi but he never knew that Remi has so much power.
the way she handled Nike was as if Nike was ordinary feather,
he doesn’t know if he still have a chance with Remi, maybe it will be better to go for Nike who has being dying to have him.
No matter how he thinks of it his mind was still on Remi, it was at this time that he got a message from another guard that the prince want to see him.
To b continued… 
NEXT (episode 5)                                                  &nb
sp;                                    PREVIOUS (episode 3)
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