Diamond in the Forest

DIAMOND IN THE FOREST (episode 8)

Diamond In The Forest 
© Amah

Nike saw Remi and one other palace maiden, Ope talking about something and laughing together, there were baskets containing a ewedu leaf in Ope’s hand, and another in Remi as they walk towards the kitchen side.
Nike dropped everything she was doing and ran upto them
“Remi my beautiful sister…where are you going with Ope…I can go with you if you don’t mind…I don’t have much to do around here…
“We are going to the Queen’s kitchen, tomorrow will be the beginning of the full moon, so there will be a great party as the Queen will be adding another year, the party will last for seven days…you can join if you want…
“No Remi…the Queen specifically said only four maiden should start the food preparation…if your sister join us we will become five and the queen may not like that…
“Then you should step aside Ope…Remi is my sister and she is the princess personal maiden which made her higher than all of us, I should be the one helping her and not you, and if Remi said I can join in the preparation who are you to say no…they suppose to pair me and Remi together because we are related…
“Nobody is dragging the sisterhood with you, all I’m saying is that the queen want only four maiden to start the food preparation, Remi, me, Seun and Ayo. We are complete already…maybe she will add you in the next grouping but for now you are not needed…there are still other things to do, like fetching firewood from oja oba, joining the other maiden to remove sand from the ofada rice and washing the wrapping leaves…but we are complete in the queen’s kitchen…sorry…
“sorry for yourself too, who are you to tell me what to do, even my sister Remi, who holds more rank than you here doesn’t order me or anybody around…why don’t you go and fetch fire wood, pick the rice or wash the leave so that I can join my sister in the queen’s kitchen…don’t you ever tell me what to do again…we are all palace maiden here…so don’t order me around…

Read also: Eruka

“Nike, is okay…it hasn’t come to that…Ope please let Nike join us…there are a lot of things to do and Nike’s help will be greatly needed, and after sometime I will be leaving to attend to the princess, I have some other work I have to do later…ejoo Ope…
“Remi don’t beg her…why are you even begging her…she is a nobody, if she want to die let her go and die…anyway, Remi What other work do you have to do aside this….can I join you…you can always call me if you need help with the cleaning or washing…we are sisters and i will be glad to help out..
“No Nike…I don’t need any help, if I need any I will let you now but for now I am fine…
They all walk down to the kitchen together and join the other maiden, every one of them got busy as they talk and laugh about one thing or the other, Remi assigned work for them and they all get started, the Queen came down to check how the preparation was going
“eku se oo (weldone)
They all knelt down in greetings to the queen before getting up to continue with their work
The Queen saw Nike and asked Remi
“isn’t that your sister, Remi, the one you fought and almost killed…I’m glad that two of you are getting along…that’s how it suppose to be…no enemy or fighting in Oba’s place…work in unison…in togetherness…so gbo? (Do you hear me?)
“Bee ni queen mother (yes, queen mother)
She looked at Nike who got so serious with her job so that the Queen can commend her efforts, she was happy that the Queen noticed her presence, she felt so important and adjusted so well as she kept on smiling from ear to ear, she wish the Queen will ask her to come and be one of her personal maid, she will be so happy, she will no longer be ordinary palace maid, she will be like Remi
“Ki ni oruko re? (What is your name?)
“ Oruko mi ni Nike…your majesty(my name is Nike)
“se daadaa ni o wa (hope you are fine)
“Been ni die…mo wa daadaa, ese (yes, a little, am fine, thank you )
“Why little? are you not enjoying your work here in the palace?
“ I am Your majesty, I always want to help out in many ways just like my sister, Remi does, and give my best service but the position I’m fixed in does not allow me to do much, as an ordinary palace maid I don’t always have much to do until I’m assign for it… I’m so privilege your majesty to work here and to be speaking with you…many wish for such opportunity…I wish you can assign me to do more than I’m required to do here, maybe to be one of your personal maid…or something close to that for the period that I will be here…I really want to serve well in this palace and not lazy around like most maiden do here…please don’t take offence in my request…
“No…no offence, is a good thing and I will look into that, I have enough personal maiden but I will see where I can fix you up…
“aaah…may the gods keep blessing you my queen, you will live long in good health and will keep prospering in this kingdom…more years will be added to your greatness…
Nike knelt down and was singing praises to the Queen before the Queen left.
After the Queen left Ope who was not deceived by Nike’s show confronted her
“congratulation hard worker…we have seen how much of a strong girl that you are…the rest of us here are just lazing around…while you are the best worker and you want to be well recognized…now the Queen has said she will consider and place you somewhere…you should be celebrating…you are succeeding…you will soon be rubbing shoulder with your sister Remi…that’s what you have always wanted…I told Remi bringing you here to the kitchen… to join in this preparation was a bad Idea now you have come to make us all look like we are not doing anything and you are the most hard working maid here…
“jealousy…jealousy…go and die Ope and everyone else who is jealous because the Queen herself picked interest in me…I don’t care about anybody I’m only here for myself…so stop talking rubbish, I am very
hardworking and also the most beautiful among all of you here…and that was why the Queen singled me out and asked of my name and well being…she doesn’t even know if any of you exist but she picked interest in me and that’s why you want to kill yourself…
“is unfortunate that the Queen is just noticing you after several months of working here, she knows Remi and she knows me and everyone else and she ask of our well being anytime she see’s us so you should be worried that no one noticed you…if not for Remi is related to you nobody will even know that you exist…people like Remi that are beautiful and well endowed has never talks or boast about their appearance but you…a common palace rat is making noise…
“Ope, am I the one you just called a palace rat…I will beat you up Ope, I will stuff the earth dust into your mouth and make you eat sand…I will beat you blue and black… jealousy…enemy of progress…
“beat me….hahahaha…mtcheeeww… if not that fighting in the palace is not allowed…I would have continued from where Remi stopped on you the other day but on a second thought, I think I will just let you be… you almost died that day because of that small beating she gave you…you just passed out…we all poured water on you before you came back to life… is not in my hands that you will finally die… look for somebody else that will kill you not me…Remi should ha….
“Ope, please stop mentioning my name…and stop all this childish argument…there are lot of things to be done around here, two of you should not spend the rest of the day exchange words and looking for who is the strongest…enough…am going to do some other things for the Princess…I want by the time I will return all the preparation should be almost done, that empty drum need to be filled, Ope, you and Nike should do that, fill the drum from the big tank at the back yard, please no more argument…or I will separate two of you to join others in fetching firewood…I guess that will keep both of your mouth shut…
Remi left the maiden in the Queens kitchen to continue with the preparation
She went to the Princess chamber
“I was almost sending for you Remi, have you gone to clean my brother’s chamber…
“Not yet my princess…I was trying to foresee things in the queen’s kitchen…the maidens are preparing for tomorrow’s day…so I assisted a little before leaving…
“ko si wahala (no problem) are you still busy…do you still have something else to do…
“Yes my princess but every other thing can wait until I’m done cleaning the Prince chamber…the other maiden are attending to most of the chores…
The princess nodded and Remi left with her cleaning bucket and rag to the Prince chamber…
She gently tapped on his door and he responded asking her to come inside, she went in and close the door before kneeling to greet, she looked around the place,
there was much to be done around the big chamber, it will take her time to fold up the wrappers scattered on the chair and bed, using water and soup to clean the ground and dust off every dirt on the floor, chairs and window, she will finish up more fast if the Prince was not in the room, relaxing on his bed and looking at her all over
“I was already wondering if my sister did not give you my message yesterday that I needed your help in cleaning up here…
“Yes…she did, I was assisting in preparing things for the upcoming Queen’s party and the full moon celebration…
“yea…which starts tomorrow…is going to be a full seven days of eating and drinking and getting merry…that’s why I want this place tided up…are you excited about it…like I am…
“Of curse…my prince…I am, let me start with the cleaning right away…
“alright if you can’t finish up today then you can continue tomorrow after the party…don’t over work yourself…sorry that I have to chose you to do this…I feel so comfortable with you doing it than any other person…do you need me to do anything…sorry I don’t really know how to do much chores but I can help with little, if you ask me to…or you can teach me…I will be glad to learn under you…
“no…not at all…thank you, I feel honored my Prince , I can handle everything…but I would have love to start from your big bed but you are lying down on it…never mind, let me not disturb you, I will just start from the tables and wardrooms…
“Remi…is fine…if you want to start from the bed then I will stand up…I will leave you alone in the room…don’t let anybody into my chamber…I will just check up on the queen mother…giving you space for you to be able to work effectively…
Remi nodded as the Prince stood up and walk past her to the door, he turned back and look at her before walking out.
Remi felt relaxed as the Prince walked out, she was happy that her trick worked and the Prince left the room for her, she began her cleaning with a smile, singing to herself, there was a lot to do but it will be faster now that the Prince was out of the room.
Nike and Ope were getting water from the water tank to the Queen’s kitchen drum when they saw the Prince coming, Ope and Nike greeted and stood up at his command
Nike wore a very broad smile, she wanted the Prince to notice her, Ope watch Nike in disgust
“My Prince…E ku abo, that’s a beautiful agbada you are putting on…well crafted with beautiful design…
“ose…(thanks) you are Remi’s sister…Right?
“Bee ni…(yes) Remi is my sister, in my family we are very hardworking, my prince I am one of the most hardworking maiden here followed by my sister, Remi… I a…
“What is your own name…
The prince ignored Nike who was still talking to face Ope
“Oruko mi ni Ope…my prince… (my name is Ope)
“Have you seen the queen mother this evening…looking out for her
Before Ope will say anything Nike replied him
“Yes…yes my prince…I can take you to where she is…I saw her sitting and talking with some visitors at the royal sit out, can I take you there…
“Take me there? …why…when am not blind…your information will do…Ose
The Prince turned and walked away
“Hard-worker…maybe you should turn into a town crier so that you can announce to everyone, go to Oba himself and tell him that you are most hardworking maiden… desperate fool…
“Jealousy…jealousy that is your own problem… go and die Ope…just watch out for me in this palace…you will be surprise at what the future holds for me…nonsense…lazy girl…
Leja walked up to Nike who was still battling words with Ope.
Ope carried her water and left after greeting Leja

“Hey…Nike ba wo ni (how are you)…have you seen Remi…

“What happen…I don’t know where she is…what do you want I may be able to help you if you ask me to…
“you can’t help me…I just want to see Remi, she has being so busy and I haven’t set my eyes on her since today…I got a gift for her and I want to present it to her, by myself…
“Well, keep looking for her then…I don’t know where she is…why do you buy a gift for her…today is not her birthday…what is inside the gift wrap…what is she celebrating Leja…
“Is none of your business, I will find her…thanks for your time…
Nike carried her water and left, while Leja went on searching for Remi.
To be continued… 
NEXT (episode 9)                                                                                    PREVIOUS (episode 7)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button