Diamond in the Forest


© Amah

Remi and her Squad arrive the kingdom, some of the guards has already gone ahead of them to inform everyone of Remi’s arrival with the prince son who is believed to be the diamond child.
People came out of their houses as the news began to go round that the pregnant maiden who was innocently banished returned with a son she had for Omooba. A Diamond child and a seed of crown.
News travelled so far as every one came out to watch and rejoice, the men came to welcome them with gangan and dundun (talking drum) they played fine music and the happy women dance, some other people came to hug Remi, others came to see the diamond child which was foretold.
They came with different harvest from their farm yard. They gave different gifts, like goats, fowl and so many other gift to Remi and her Squad.
The small crowd gradually turn into a big crowd as different people came to join to welcome Remi and the strangers with her.
Mikai exclaim happily as she saw lots of people gathering up around them as they gently walk down, they greeted them warmly in their dialect, some wanted to touch Ademide, the Diamond child. Who was securely tired on Remi’s back. Some threw their wrapper on the floor in honour to the diamond child.
“Wow, so many people…Pah can you see…I feel like I’m a celebrity…like a princess in the means of all this people…oh my God…I have never seen so many people like this…they are giving Remi the honour of a Queen…this is awesome…see all her people they are huge… Pah, I like it here…I like to be in the means of all this people…they are singing and dancing and is all unique… Pah can we live here…maybe for sometime…please don’t go anywhere….Remi’s people are all warm and inviting…I want to be among them…
“hahaha…this is like a triumphant entry…I never expected it…I like it here too, if you like it here then we all can stay, Mikai, we will stay here together if God wills it, I feel God is giving us another home among this great people…I feel so glad that God Remembered Remi and Emmanuel. We will pitch our tent and bring light to those in darkness…God is giving us another home…taking us away from the forest into this Kingdom…
Remi and the squad went down to her grandma’s place while the remaining guards return to the palace. The prince who was standing with the princess and wondering what was happening outside the palace. The singing the multiple gangan sound.
“My heart want to boast out…maybe Remi has returned…oh the gods be praise if it happens to be true…do you think she will ever forgive me….how do I even approach her now…after all we put her through…oh Remi…I feel so happy yet so scared that she may not forgive me…or allow me to hold my son…well I deserve every of her judgment…I wronged her…the land owe her greatly…I wish I can take her away from those crowd and draw her into a warm embrace…I really miss her…i…I do…I just hope I’m right and I am not ridding ahead of myself…what if she refuse to come back…what if she swear never to set her feet here again what are we going to do…what I’m I going to do without her, I could have gone into that forest and plead with her myself but I can’t leave the throne, is not right. Father and the cabinet men are all done, mother too…I have wanted to go, but it was not a wise decision, that was why I stayed back, everyday that passes without any news of her return gives me heart ache …oh I just hope she is the one…
The princess looked up at his brother and started laughing as he placed his hand on his chest with a confused face
“I’m certain that Remi has return…there is no other way the kingdom will be this lively and happy, she took the colour of this place when she left now everything is coming back, there has being cry of sadness and one bad news or the other ever since she left, now there are shout of joy on her return…I wish I can run out there right now…I am so happy my heart want to boast…Remi is back with your son…relax…she will forgive you…she maybe angry for some time but she will forgive you…le…
The guards who were with Remi came into the palace and the Prince breathed deeply as they came to him with Remi’s return.
The prince scre-med excitedly and also the princess, Ope ran out as the news got to her. She came to the princess
“I was hearing music and singing…I thought is coming from my head because is being a very long time we rejoice over anything in this kingdom…oh the gods be praise…
The princess was happy as she and Ope talked, the prince was rejoicing as he ask the guards
“Do you see my son…how is he…did Remi return with a stranger…tell me more
“The diamond child as people call him has your look, my prince he look so much like you. And Remi came back with some stranger not just one, a very young girl and a tall, huge man, his name is Sipah. He has a monkey on his shoulder, Remi seem to be so fond of him…he is a man with a deep scar on his forehead but strong arms and good looks too.
The prince breathed deeply, he robbed his too sweating palms as he wonder about Remi and the stranger that the guards said she was fond of, Leja has lied to him that Remi was his love and he believed him but not again, he will plead with everything possible even to the stranger to let Remi go, he doesn’t want to take chances again and loose her and he doesn’t care if Remi and the stranger lives as husband and wife in the forest all that matters is that he will fight for the woman he has never stop loving and for his son.
He asked few guard to follow him so that he can go over to Remi’s grandma place, where Remi and her squad were lodging.
The princess and Ope followed happily but the prince chased them back. He asked them to wait when he return they can go and see her. All of them can not leave the palace at once
Oba and the Queen mother may need one of them.
Leja looked out from the breeze block where they were kept, he wonder why there was so much noise. Nike sat on the ground, eating the left over food that a maiden served them earlier.
She also hærd the noise and wonder what they were celebrating, she and Leja has not being talking to each other, Leja almost slapped her the other day as she provoked him, and ever since then she has being keeping to herself. anytime she want to ease herself she inform the guard station on their door and he will unlock the cell for her to go and ease up and return back, four guards were stationed around the cell, where she and Leja was.
Leja called one of the guards to ask him what the noise was all about
“Remi has returned with her diamond child…a son for the prince…everyone is celebrating her return…
Leja was stunned, he stood puzzled, Nike left the food that she was eating, she quickly lost her appetite, she turned to Leja
“Remi is dead…she was banished and she died in the forest…how come…how possible is it for her to survive the forest with wild animals and return back to the kingdom with a son for omooba…I doubt it…that guard is high on cheap wine…he is lying…
Leja ignored her as he began to think of his life whatever that awaits them, what will be his fate, he had great fear of the unknown, Nike wasn’t his problem and he hates her so much for making him to be in such a mess. He silently prayed to the gods to help him as Nike kept talking to herself….
Remi was seated with her happy grandma and excited Dami, Sipah and Mikai.
Dami collected Ademide from her back, Remi knelt before her grandma as the older woman filled with smile opened her arm in an embrace and Remi went and remained there as her grandma held her like a child, she released her and there were tears of joy pouring from Remi’s eyes. The older woman wipe the tear from Remi face and pat her cheek gently before asking Dami to bring the little boy.
As grandma carried the boy on her laps, she smile and gave a sigh of relief, Remi introduce Sipah and Mikai to her, and Ore the monkey was sitting beside Sipah.
Grandma asked them to come closer and when they did, she showered prayer of blessing on their head in Yoruba dialect, Sipah and Mikai did not understand but they joined everyone to say “Amin” after they stood up, Mikai felt Dami looking at her, she look in his direction but he quickly looked away shyly.
Mikai smile, as she focused on the moment. She noticed Remi’s brother was so homely and so happy, he wasn’t so tall but he was good looking and very shy unlike Remi who is so bold.
Whenever she found him looking at her, Dami will look else where and dodge.
“I thank the gods for their mercy, welcome home Remi and my great grandchild, the seed of crown, birthed in the forest and brought home to his great kingdom where he will mount the throne of the great men in years to come and judge wisely and fairly. He will be the people’s best king….I’m also glad to have you home with us Sipah and your daughter Mikai….feel at home, thank you once again for all your kindness, you are indeed a good man and you are already blessed… This will be your home from now on because you are the answer for the future generation of this land…and our monkey frined…hahahaha, even the animals took likening to you and guide you home…what a monkey with human intelligence…
Ore waves it tail and made a funny noise as if he was saying “thank you” which made everyone to laugh.
Men playing the ganagan increased the volume and singing voices went high as they saw the prince coming with his guards.
When Remi saw the prince and every one prostrating, she did not move from where she sat in between Sipah and Mikai.
Remi looked at the Prince and know that Ademide took after him so much, she noticed that the prince has slimed down, and he was counting his every steps as he move closer to where she was, she was having the wrapper she took from him on her laps, she looked away from him as he was looking at her.
The prince went to grandma and greeted, he looked sty the boy who look so much as him in his younger days. He breathed deeply and smile. He wanted to touch him but decided to make peace with Remi first.
He greeted the man sitting beside Remi and he responded warmly, the tall strong man with a warm smile introduced himself as Sipah and his daughter as Mikai.
The prince welcomed them, he looked at Remi who has refuse to look at him, he breathed again and looked back at the grandma who smiled and urged him to go ahead
He looked at Sipah as if he was trying to take permission and Sipah nodded him forward, the prince greeted Remi and thanked her for Returning home to them, he pleaded for her forgiveness, for the injustice done to her but Remi was sitting acting unconcerned
The older woman spoke
“no wasting time, Omooba you have all the time to beg my grand daughter but right now let’s start with the most necessary, as you can see they just returned from a faraway journey, give her time to rest and think but most importantly first thing tomorrow, the diamond child will be taken to the palace, Remi carry him to Oba’s chamber and allow the Oba to hold the child’s hand, do the same for the Queen. Oba is the ruler of this kingdom and once the ruler is well again then every other sick person will get their healing, the cabinet men inclusive.
The prince stayed behind until the evening was turning into night, he spoke with Sipah on the forest life, Remi did not allow him to touch her son but he was a very patient man, he knows his sin against Remi was heavy and he will try to make it all right. The prince found out that Sipah does not have anything to do with Remi in terms of relationsh¡p, it was a great relief for him as he plan on what to do to gain Remis’ forgiveness and to win her back to himself.
Mikai joined Dami in the kitchen, but Dami was shy and started blushing
“I came to help you make the evening food, hope you don’t mind…please tell me what to do…
“aaa…ok…ay…there is nothing much left to do…thank you…may be you could tell me about the forest life…
Mikai was happy as she started telling Dami what her old environment was like and how to make an arrow and bow.
The prince asked Sipah and Mikai to join him in the palace and they obeyed.

To be continued…

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