Diamond in the Forest


© Amah

The prince could not sleep that night as judgement was passed on Remi, everything became so still in the palace.
He lay awake all night thinking about Remi and how he will convince his father and his cabinet men to lessen her judgement but they may think he has another agenda
But he decided to try
Early the following morning the prince went to his father to plead, while he was there the Queen mother came in too and started pleading to her husband
“E sa nu ee… Kabiyesi.(please have mercy on her) the punishment was too much and she is pregnant… she will die with her unborn child in the forest…I know you don’t have such a cruel heart… the princess has being so sad and refuse to see anybody ever since the sentence was passed on the maiden, the palace is deadly quiet, is as if the maiden left with the beautiful color of this place when she was banished out of here…please do something…
The Oba looked at his son who was nodding as his mother plead on behalf of Remi who was already sent out of the palace.
He turned to his wife and said
“She did not only sin against me and challenge my kinsh¡p, her sin was against the entire kingdom and against the gods, I did not pass judgement on her, the king makers, the cabinet men did… do you understand the gravity of her offence, they could have make her to eat that poison but I stopped them instead I handed her over to the gods… whenever one is banished is just like asking the gods to deal with him or her according to the person’s punishment… well, my cabinet men came up with the punishment befitting…
“But you put out your seal which makes every sentence on her to stand, you have the power to undo or reduce her punishment… The Queen added.
“I can’t undo what has being done, it only makes me a weak ruler I can only reduce the punishment but if I do such the evil minded ones among us will not learn or have serious fear…I needed to do what I have to do…
The prince spoke to his father with a saddened voice
“You are the king and you can change a wh0le lot of things if you so please, if not for anything please father consider her unborn child, who is innocent of all this..
“Is the child yours… why so much attached to a common maiden…I have not seen you like this before..is there anything you aren’t telling me my son…
“The child is for Leja he confirmed that himself and there is nothing between me and the maiden I was only trying to be considerate… I’m not asking you to undo or cancel the wrongs but to reduce the punishment… being banished is a very serious curse… maybe you should send her away but not to the forest maybe to another kingdom but definitely not to a dangerous forest because she will not survive it, she will die within a month and have you ever thought of she being innocent, I know everything points right to her but what if she was actually saying the truth when she said she is innocent… father, Remi is only a maiden, a young woman who can’t defend herself in the thick forest…
“I don’t think so…do you witness what she did to those guards, she is not afraid of anyone or anything… she have a very strange strong presence if you notice…it took two to three guards to put her down when she attacked one of them…I never knew that she was carrying a child yet throwing hefty men like nothing to the ground… you can’t compare the forest, an abode for animals, the hyna, the antelops, crawling and flying animals and many others, the habitat of many dangerous animals and also the evil spirits, I’m certain she will not be able to survive but her fate has being decided, I could have said if she survived after five years then she can return to the kingdom since you all are pleading for her sake but that maiden can’t survive a year there no matter how strong she is…I can’t do anything more than this…her fate has being decided let us focus on other important things and leave every other thing to the hand of the gods.
Remi sat hærd on a chair and held her head in hand, her mother’s body has being prepared for bury and lying lifelessly in front of her, her grandmother has said they should quickly bury her since Remi is still around and mostly because there was no point in preserving the dead, the dead is gone and has no place among the living again.
Iya Remi’s death was a shock to most people in the kingdom who knows how safeless and kind she was.
Remi couldn’t believe it when she was told until she saw her mother and remembered the dreams she had
Remi has broken down for the first time, she has being accused and tortured in the palace yet she did not cry.
But seeing her precious mother about to be laid to the earth, she weep uncontrollable. she has cried her eyes out until her grandmother came and held her like a child
“Be strong now my child because strength and braveness is all you need for the journey ahead…
“Why do the gods chose to punish me this way, wasn’t it enough trouble that I was banish why will they also struck maami with death, she was a good woman and hates trouble, she can give you her cloth and go unclad, her last meal to go hungry, her only sin was being who she is…so maami is really gone and I’m being banished for a grave sin I know nothing about iya…iya why do the gods chose me to pass through this… why me… why will they struck me so hærd and stripe me of my skin…
“The gods are wise Remilekun…and they alone knows why… you and your mother has a common enemy and the rot of the gods will decend on them just at the right time… whatever hidden can not be hidden forever… the gods are always with you and even right now they are watching over you, the strength you posses is to be used for a time like this… you will be fine…
“I don’t know if i will ever be fine Iya… I’m sent to the forest to die for a sin I know nothing about…I will never be able to call anyone Maami, the only one that I have called such is lying in State about to be put into the ground…why… they would have focused on me and hurt me all they could but they should have left maami alone… anyone that has a hand in this it will never be well with them…ko ni dara fun won…(it will not be well with them) oju ma ti awon ota mi (my enemies will be destroyed) mo fi ifa mi bura wi pe…won o jiya… Won o so ku… won o kabamo…iyaiya yoo wa fun ille ita…mo koirira gbogbo won.. aaah(I swear by the gods of my ancestors, they will suffer, they will die, they will regret, the land will bleed…I hate them all…all of them)
“Otito omo mi, (is okay my child) Olorun a maa so e(the gods will protect you) maa beru (do not be afraid) gbokan le Olorun maa gbo kan le eniyan (trust no one except the gods) Olorun maa to e Sona(the gods will direct your path) you will not die… nothing will happen to you or your child… you are carrying the seed of crown…a precious diamond that will only be found in the forest where you will pitch your tent…you are safe my child… and you will return a hero…it will take time but it will happen…
“Will you still be here when I return… will I meet you iya or do the gods has another plan…
“Me and your brother will be here… patiently waiting for your return…I will meet the crown to the throne which is the seed you carry, you and your unborn child are precious diamond which will be sorted for… your name will be engraved in the sand of time because you are a great woman chosen by the gods.
..cry no more and get ready for the journey ahead…
Dami sat at one corner of the house, far from everyone, he was tired of crying and watch as his mother was laid to rest, he has being blaming himself for not following his grandma’s instructions, he had delayed and even bath at the river when his grandma had asked him to rush home with an antidote which could have saved his mother
He felt worst, knowing his mother could have being alive if he had hurried up as his grandma instructed
He knew who killed his mother despite how she tries to cover up her track, Dami knew that it was because of the food iya Nike gave his mother and she happily collected and it and ate killed her and he could have died too but the gods spared him and his grandma made him to vomit all the black thing that could have killed him
His grandma has asked him to leave vengeance for the gods
Remi his sister was also being banished for a crime she did not commit his grandma said that Remi will be fine that he shouldn’t cry over her yet all he wanted to do was to cry
His mother has trusted iya Nike, enemy who suddenly became friend with a hidden agenda, and that has taking her to the grave.
Iya Nike was crying so loudly as few women console her, tears poured down from her face
“Aaaah, iya Remi… why do you have to go now… now that peace was finally restored in our homes… we were together that night, I even prepared food and we both ate just as usual… we ate and talk about how strong our husband was when he was alive… before I went back home that evening, it was in the mid afternoon when I didn’t see her… or hear from her I started wondering what could have happened, I even thought she has gone to the market…aah, Dami started scre-ming that afternoon and I quickly ran over to her place only to see iya Remi lifeless body… aah… whoever that has a hand in this…aah..I just don’t know what to say to that person… aah, so iya Remi is finally gone… and Remi was caught trying to poison the Oba… and she was banished…why has calamity decided to visited this family and wipe them all off…aah…iya Remi… why… why do you have to go… please somebody should tell me this is not true… all this is not happening… iya Remi oo..
Dami watch from a distance as iya Nike kept on performing, he held his fist in anger as he watch her, she acted as if she was more pained than everyone else.
she sat on the ground crying so loudly, people kept on rendering their sympathy to her, they console her as she put up her fine performance.
After the burial Dami moved to stay with his grandma
The Oba’s guard came the third day and esc-rted Remi out of the kingdom into the forest.

To be continued…

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