THE HALO BREED
She scowled slightly with confusing as she watched his profile, and for a moment she did not hear Queen Derbie inviting her to sit down. She was a bit startled when her mother touched her arm.
“Dear, a space is reserved for you beside the prince,” Queenminor Laza Boateng said.
“Oh, yes, thank you,” Aya said with a brilliant smile and stepped forward.
As was the norm, Sap Palo made to follow, but Queenminor Laza quickly addressed him.
“My dear Sap, seems all the spaces are taken! Why don’t you make yourselves comfortable with the other soldiers?”
Sap Palo looked at his master’s wife darkly.
“But the princess…” he began.
“Oh, Sap, Connie is alright, dear,” Queenminor Laza said quickly. “Do find a place to be comfortable!”
Sap Palo’s anger soared.
He knew Laza did not particularly like him and the fact that there is an attraction between him and Princess Aya. It seemed that, having seen Sena, Queenminor Laza was suddenly having fancy thoughts.
For a moment, Sap Palo almost screamed into her face that Sena was two years younger than Connie, but he kept his composure and turned abruptly.
As he descended the aisle, he looked back up and saw Aya speaking to Sena, but the prince was raisng a glass of palmwine to his lips.
Sap Palo’s hatred of Prince Sena was instant and full.
It was a great occasion that was filled with happiness and merrymaking. Later, when they returned to the palace, Gus Kukah and his children went to the great garden to enjoy the remaining daylight. Gussy and Liz were now so attached to Sena and did not want to leave his side.
As he played hide-and-seek with them, George Simpson, the Spiritual Sage of Halo, came to stand beside a proud and happy Gus Kukah as he stood watching his children.
The Sage grasped his rod tightly and looked almost sad as he looked at the king.
“May the Spirits bless you, my King,” he said gently.
“Are you, perchance, bringing me bitter news, Wise Sage?” Gus asked quietly without turning his head.
The Sage sighed gravely.
“Today is a happy day, indeed, not only for the Royal Family, but for Halo as a whole. So, it is best we leave it be, for now, my king.”
“How long do I have with him?” Gus Kukah asked bitterly.
“Precise information lies with the Spirits, oh King. But, let me say the scourge of the earth has began for what you earthlings call three years, aye. And, alas, much damage has been done, and many have been decimated by the Armageddon. I fear that a saviour is needed, and so the call for the Breed of the Halo shall be swift.”
The king nodded and tried to keep the fear and the pain from his voice.
“Will he survive his call?”
“That I do not know, my Lord.”
“Will he return to us?”
“That, I do doubt, Honourable King.”
Gus Kukah sighed deeply and nodded.
“I do understand, for I was a warrior of my people in my time,” he said in an unsteady voice. “Thank you, Honourable Sage.”
The two men watched as Sena walked towards them with Liz and Gussy held in his arms like play things, without much effort.
He set them down.
“Let’s play, let’s play, please, Sena!” Gussy cried.
“It is late, little brother,” Sena said quietly. “The vile ticks abound. Let’s turn inside now. We’ll continue tomorrow!”
“Aww, alright!” Gussy said and hugged Sena tightly.
Liz also hugged his legs.
“I love you, brother!” Liz said, and Gus did not notice the startled look on Sena’s face at the little girl’s words. As the children ran ahead, Gus clamped his son on the shoulders and they began to walk more leisurely indoors.
“This love thing,” Sena said quietly. “It goes beyond liking?”
Gus Kukah smiled.
“It does, son, it does,” he said gently. “Like you will feel towards the women. You will love one so fiercely that you cannot live your life without them.”
“May the Spirits curse such a thing,” Sena said softly. “They’re evil, filled with heinous and diabolical deeds, these women.”
Gus was startled, and he paused and looked at his son, appalled.
“You have known women?”
“Scourge of living things!” he said softly. “Nothing good comes out of them.”
“Sena, son!” the king cried, appalled. “Now where did you learn such nonsense? Surely, you don’t see your mother as such, do you?”
“She is of a different ilk, perhaps cowed by your punishing hands.”
“I do not hit women!” Gus shouted. “They must be protected, my son! Stop such evil thoughts! You have much to learn, and alas such inadequate time to learn.”
“I’ll do just fine, Papa,” he said gently.
Sap Palo was seething with rage.
Always, when they came to the palace, they were hosted in the Southern Wing. Well, the Sub-Chief of Halo-Quilo stayed at the main palace, but Aya always preferred the Southern Wing where she would have relative privacy, and have some fun times with Sap Palo free from the tension of the royal people in the palace.
The fact was that as a warrior – albeit a champion – Sap Palo was not deemed fit to stay at the main palace. He did not mind, though. He knew that one day he and Aya Boateng would be married, and he would become the new Sub-Chief and get to stay inside the main palace. Secondly, he preferred the Southern Wing where real delight with Aya always took place.
That was why he was chagrined, to say the least, when Aya accepted accommodation inside the main palace for once!
And Sap Palo knew the reason was because of the new prince!
That handsome lost prince with the glow around his pupils!
“Princess!” Sap Palo hissed furiously as they stood in the main hall of the palace. “What is this?”
Princess Aya moved closer to her mother and Queen Derbie and smiled gently at Sap Palo.
“Ah, I prefer to stay here this time, Sap Palo!”
“Oh, wonderful, wonderful!” Queen Derbie said. “That’s wonderful, my child! I’m so happy you chose to stay with us this time! They will take you to your room very soon. Mindy, get some servants to help the princess!”
Sap Palo looked at Aya with ire, but in the sight of the women and the King, he could not do anything and watched with impotent rage as the servants came to Aya and accompanied her through another door and up the golden staircase.
And Aya did not once look behind at Sap Palo!
It was another moment of hatred in Sap Palo’s heart for Sena as he watched helplessly. He vowed to find a way to draw the prince into a fight, and show Aya who was really a man! He waited for some minutes, hoping Aya would come down and say goodnight, but she did not.
Finally, Sap Palo was forced to leave the palace and contemplated the lonely nights at the Southern Wing.
Aya was taken to the luxurious room on the third floor where Sena was, and this was a planned allocation by Queen Derbie who had seen that Aya could be the perfect mate for Sena, and for whom Sena could be forced to return to Halo, and back to them.
Heart beating with excitement, Princess Aya took a long bath and put on perfumes. She slipped into a provocative, filmy gown and slipped silently out of her room, glanced down the corridor to make sure there were no maids around, and then crossed quickly to Sena’s door.
She needed not to have worried about maids because Queen Derbie had given strict orders, unknown to Sena and Aya, and the maids had all left the upper floor.
The princess raised the knocker and let it fall a bit gently on Sena’s door, and then she waited. She raised it a second time after some minutes, but the door opened just then, and there was Sena, the most handsome man she had ever seen.
For a moment as she stared into his eyes, Aya was lost for words. Her heart beat insanely, and her lips were dry as she waited. She was angry with herself for behaving like a child at the sight of this cold man.
The prince was wearing only a pair of dark shorts, and his feet were encased in fluffy slippers.
Without a word he stepped into the corridor and closed the door behind him, and then he took Aya in his arms.