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DIAMOND IN THE FOREST (episode 22)

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DIAMOND IN THE FOREST. Episode 22
© Amah

They got to the boundary between the kingdom and the forest early the next morning and stop
Leja the chief guard who was among them stepped forward to where Remi was standing
“Uhmmm…Remi… I know how difficult this most be for yo…
“… Leja I don’t need your sympathy, you have done your job go back with your men and leave me to the gods…
“I’m sorry Remi..I never knew things will get so sour… this is like death sentence, Nike supposed to be the one getting banished not you…you are innocent of all this trouble…I wish I could go with you or correct the wrongs… I’m deeply sorry Remi… please forgive me for…
“Enough… take your plead and remorsefulness to the gods to preserve it for you Leja… because you will be needing alot of it in the future to come…go back with your men…I will continue my journey from here…
Remi looked straight ahead, crowded bushes and tall trees, she put her little bundle on her head, she will need a cutlass to clear her part as she proceed, Leja sensed it and offered her his sharp cutlass.
“Here… take this…it will be very useful for you in the main time…I pray the gods…
“…in the main time before I finally die right?… that is exactly what you wanted to say… Because non of you believe i can make it alive here, but is not in your place to say…let the gods decide that.. keep your cutlass and also your prayers…I don’t need anything from you…
Remi placed her wrapped up bundle on her head properly before proceeding, the guards wanted to start going back but Leja asked them to wait
Leja and his men stood watching Remi as she gently walked into the deep side of the forest, she picked up a strong stick from the ground and held it like a weapon, she kept walking until the over grown plants covered her and they couldn’t see her anymore.
Leja waited a little maybe Remi will scream for help and he will rush to her rescue but when he did not hear anything, he looked around the forest boundary, bushes, trees and sound of forest crickets every where
It was as if an invisible eyes was watching them and just thinking of that alone he felt cold and goose pimples all over his body, one of the guards came to him
“We need to leave this place now, we have done our rightful duty as the Oba assigned… this place spells of evil… is an ungodly place, we have journeyed all day and night, which we don’t suppose to go this far but you insisted we follow her this far, the maidens fate has being decided, she will die anyway… she can’t survive it here and you can’t save her either… let’s return back to the palace… can’t you feel this… this strange feeling moving around here… this place is an abode for the evil spirits… that maiden will not last two days here…
Leja quickly turned and his men followed immediately with speed, they all left.
Remi walked with her stick in hand and her small wrapped load secured on her head.
She just kept going ignoring all the strange noise and animal cry coming all around.
She used the stick in her hand to clear the bushes and thorns on her way, she have a bottle water which her grandmother gave her and the water in the bottle has almost finished, she drank up the remaining one up but still needed more
her journey was far yet she doesn’t have a destination it was as if something wanted her to keep going and none stop
As she move she kept looking around for fruits or eadable plants
She got some wild fruits and sat under a tall palm tree to eat
She looked around and saw dry palm fruits scattered around, she started gathering them together after which she found two strong rock and began to break the palm kernel
Remi ate out of the palm kernel and left the remaining for later
She need to look for any near by river, where she can get a drinking water but she felt tired as evening came she decided to pitch tent close to the palm tree and sleep for the night.
She gathered dry sticks, both big and small, palm dry branches lying carelessly all around, she spread the palm kernel waist on the place that she planned to set up fire before removing the two shining stones that her grandmother gave her from her load, she strike the stones together severally on the fire woods but it did not catch up immediately with consistent trial the fire was set
Her grandmother has said that night fire in the forest scares off animals
Remi couldn’t pitch a proper tent so she spread out the prince stained wrapper which she took along on the floor close to the fire that will keep her warm all through the night
She used another one to cover up properly
She planned to look for a near by spring or river first thing tomorrow, she plead to the gods to grant her favor and not allow her to die of taste
As night settled the cry and sound of different animals increased, the big stick which she used for weapon was lying close to her.
She felt a warm presence right there with her, Remi wasn’t afraid as she shut her eyes and imagined her grandmother sitting with her and telling her tales by the moon light, her grandmother seems to always have an interesting stories, despite that she sometimes speaks in riddles
Remi quickly opened her eyes and grabbed her stick, there was a strange noise coming towards her
She looked at the angle where the strange noise filled and saw four yellow shinning big eyes staring right at her in the dark, Remi cleared her throat and held unto her stick, she was tired from the long journey but still not scared of anything
The strange creatures moved towards her she removed one of the big fire wood that has hot burning coal, she quickly threw it straight at the creatures and their strange cry filled the night cool air, she stood and walked to the spot where whatever creatures it is was crying, Remi used a burning stick as torchlight
She saw that it was a very big hedgehog covered in sharp spikes, it look so much like a grass cutter, they were two but one ran away while the other was struggling with it’s life, Remi hit it over again before dragging it back to her fire place
She smile to herself because the hedgehog which she believes was a grass cutter was a big meat that Will last for a long time
The animal has a very sharp spikes all over which was like a weapon and it was so heavy, Remi engaged herself in working. this will keep her busy through the night, with the help of the fire she pulled out all the sharp spikes from its body and set them all aside
An idea came to her, by tomorrow she will look for a bole, a tree trunk to make a bow and she will convert the spikes into an arrow
She will make a bow and arrow, and practice with it until she perfect in hitting the rightful target without missing
It will be a strong weapon in defending herself, she knew the gods are protecting her but she also needs to protect herself from dangerous animals.
She wanted to roast the animal but she need to make a bigger fire
Remi was too tired and slept off
She woke up when something ran past her leg, she thought it was a dream but the creature ran past again this time around it jumped on her body and disappear
Remi woke up immediately and sheild her eyes from the harsh reflection of the sun light
It was day already and the sun was up, she robbed her eyes to understand where exactly she was as she wonder what she was doing in the bush
She saw the dead bush animal and
the fire she set overnight which was off by now, she Saw the spikes from the animal and breathed deeply
The environment became familiar to her and the reason why she was there, she silently thanked the gods for keeping her safe through out the night
She wondered the kind of creature that jumped on her body severally while she was asleep,
Remi did not know what to do as she sat staring at the animal and how to get water to drink and wash herself, she stood and move faraway to go and ease herself
When she returns she saw a monkey scattering her things.
“Whaaaat… you are so dead today… do you see this dead grasscutter I killed it last night and that is how I will kill you now if you don’t disappear from here… do you see bananas or fruits here… leave this place before I roast you alive…
Remi picked up a stick and gently throw it at the monkey with no intention of hurting it, just to scare it off, the monkey laugh and ran away and later returned again, it sat on a branch right opposite the palm tree that Remi was.
Remi saw an opportunity to talk as the monkey sat there eating nuts
“I wish I can get water around here… I’m very tasty…my throat is dry and I need to wash myself… you don’t have to say anything… you are just an animal… you don’t have sense…I need to roast this big meat but I need a big fire…hmmm…
The monkey started laughing, Remi shakes her head before going to gather dry stick and leaves to make big fire, she was surprised to see as the monkey joined her in gathering dry sticks
It later disappear and came back with fruits and dump it far from where Remi was before disappearing again, Remi went and picked up the fruits
“Thank you… that was very thoughtful of you…I thought you don’t have sense but I can see that you have little…
She started eating the fruits which was very juicy, and it helps in reducing her patched throat
She went back to work and the monkey came making some strange noise that Remi couldn’t help but laugh out
“Hey…I don’t speak animal language…I speak human… and I understand little sign language but definitely not animal noise…
She sensed that the monkey wanted her to follow him and she did
She kept on following while wondering if she was stupid by following a common animal but something kept pushing her forward as the monkey took the lead, jumping from tree to tree while Remi followed, clearing bush track and cobwebs
She hard sound of water and rush in the direction of the noise
Remi happily exclaimed joyfully as she saw water gushing out from a spring, she spread out her hands and danced around
She noticed the monkey was also laughing
She rushed to the spring and had her fill, she drank deeply as she cuped her hand and drank from there, she turned to the monkey
“I will call you Ore, it means friend in my dialect. Thank you Ore, let me wash up and…
Remi noticed a pieces of cloth spread not far from the spring, she moved closer and saw a basket, a pot and a charcoal, she knew that those things belong to a human
She has thought she was the only human in the wild forest but seeing those things worries her and same time gives her joy.
“What could a human be doing here… is the person insane… who in his right mind will want to live in a forest,”
Remi quickly Wash up and took the pot she found there to take some water back
The monkey was already waiting for her as she came back
Remi quickly looked for a three trunk to start her bow and arrow making, the monkey stayed with her, closer now not far again
“Ore… move those things closer to me… and come and sit on this rope… don’t stand up until I ask you to…I don’t know the kind of human living in this forest…I don’t want to be taken unaware… let me get my weapon ready… move those things closer to me..Ore..
The monkey stayed where he was without moving, Remi repeated herself before using her hand to give sign and the monkey did exactly what she said
After she was done, she created a strong arrow with the spikes from the animal she killed
“Ore, is time to set up our real fire and roast the meat before it will spoil.. step outside… Ore… move…I said move away from there…
The monkey later obeyed
Remi set up the big fire and move her things away from there, she sat with her bow and arrow opposite the big fire as she watch it go up in flames
The monkey sat on top of a tree far from the fire but close to Remi
It later started making a strange noise
“I told you that I don’t speak animals I speak humans… stop making those noise Ore, I don’t understand what you are trying to say…I would have love to share this bush meat but you don’t feed on animals just fruits and nut…
Remi hard a noise coming from a bush close to her she stood up and station her arrow in that direction
She opened her eyes in shock when she saw a little girl not more than eleven years, bare footed, beautiful with a weaved back hair, Remi lowered her arrow as fear griped her,
She noticed the girl also have an bow and arrow striped across her chest
She approach Remi
“I saw the fire and wondered how possible, and my pot is missing from the spring too, I told my father he said we are the only one here untill I saw the smoke coming in this direction…my name is Mikai, I live here with my father at the other side of the forest…he has gone hurting… who are you and what are you doing here…
“Remi… is my name… I’m roasting a bush meat and that is my friend Ore… on top of the tree…
Mikai looked up the tree and smile when she saw the monkey, the monkey jumped down to stand with Remi
Mikai moved closer and came to stand beside Remi and Ore the monkey.

To be continued …

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