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The White Wizard Episode 3

The White Wizard

Episode 3

It took Eléwì eight days to reach Ìwéré. He spent another day searching for Àjàká, the wizard. The search was tiresome and he let out an audible sigh of relief when he finally arrived Àjàká’s house.

“I have travelled far distance to find you, great one,” Eléwì told Àjàká, afraid that the wizard might prove unfriendly to him.

“What can I do for you?,” Àjàká asked calmly, standing beside the stranger outside his courtyard.

“I came to offer myself as your servant. I have always wanted to serve a great man like you.”

“Servant?,” Àjàká chuckled. “I don’t keep servants or slaves around my house. Man is born free.”

Eléwì breathed heavily, his sweat soaking him. To him Àjàká had acted strangely. Was Àjàká truly a wizard or a sage like Amòye? He could not tell.

“I need your help, great one,” he said at last, eyeing Àjàká cunningly.

“I am a wizard, do you know?,” Àjàká asked.

Eléwì blinked and took a few steps backward, watching the wizard suspiciously.

“I know, great one,” he muttered with trembling timidity, “That you are a white wizard…. I need your help.”

“But you have not told me where you came from, stranger,” Àjàká said.

Eléwì thought for a long moment before responding.

“I am a native of Ayégún,” he said, forcing a smile.

“That is not true, stranger,” Àjàká said sharply, frowning a little. “You are from a more distant town!”

Greatly astonished, Eléwì gazed at the wizard. His heart beat audibly and he felt shaken by what he heard.

“Oh, you are surprised,” the wizard chortled. “The eyes reveal the secrets in the heart! The truth came upon your eyes.”

After a short silence, Eléwì, shaky, forced himself to speak.

“Forgive me, great one,” he said quietly. “I did not mean to lie to you…. I came all the way from Ìgbëtì.”

“You have spoken the truth,” Àjàká said casually and smiled. “You are welcome… Come inside”

Eléwì let out a heavy breath of relief as Àjàká turned and led him into the big courtyard. Striding calmly behind, he looked the wizard over. The wizard, bald-headed, was tall and slightly stooped. His step was slow and measured, but self-assured.

Àjàká stopped at one corner of the courtyard and offered his guest a stool to sit on. Eléwì watched as Àjàká fetched another stool for himself. The wizard’s drooling moustache and beard, all grey, framed his calm face.

“Now, what brought you to my house?,” Àjàká asked, his eyes searching.

Eléwì knew that he would annoy the wizard if he lied again or concealed his true identity. It would pay him to speak the truth.

“I am Eléwì, the surviving son of Qlöwô, the deceased. My father had ruled Ìgbëtì for thirteen years before I came into being. As the king’s only child, I enjoyed many favours and our servants did the chores for me. I could not grow crops or rear horned animals…. I did not know that the chieftains were watching,” he spoke clearly, pleased that Àjàká was listening with rapt attention. “My father died and, a year after his death, the chieftains were still unwilling to crown me as their king. They feared that I would destroy all the good things that my father had laboured to build. They called me a weakling, unfit to rule wise men and great warriors!”

“How can I be of help?”

“In Ayégún, Amòye–”

“Oh, Amòye, the sage,” Àjàká put in quickly.

“Yes, Amòye, the sage. I lived under his roof for seven years. He spoke of the gods and their deeds. He versed a thousand legends to me, taught me a thousand riddles, a thousand fables and five thousand aphorisms. He taught me how to live a good life.”

“Then you are well prepared to rule wise men and great warriors!” Àjàká said teasingly.

“No,” Eléwì countered in a low voice. “I am like the helve without its blade – wisdom is not enough.”

Àjàká stared thoughtfully.

“Well, the helve is wisdom. What is the blade?” he asked, now admiring the young man in front of him.

“Knowledge of the occult arts and the supernatural,” Eléwì replied quickly, getting excited. “I beg you to share such gift with me.”

“My grey and wrinkled face speak that I am well over seventy. Fate drove me to my master’s doorstep at the age of five… Know that I have been in this for seventy years!,” Àjàká confessed.

“Seventy years!” Eléwì exclaimed in disbelief, eyed the wizard widely that he was left breathless.

“Your desire is to become a king. Do not waste your time learning the occult arts, for a lifetime could be spent in a bid to become a wizard,” Àjàká explained.

“I do not wish to become a wizard, great one. All I ask of you is… your help. In Ìgbëtì, the chieftains are fearless, the warriors strong–”

“Win their loyalty and support,” Àjàká cut in.

“But how can I prove to them that I am no longer a weakling?,” Eléwì asked after a thoughtful pause.

“Now I understand what you seek…. A fair measure of strength will humble the chieftains and rattle the warriors,” Àjàká pointed out. He rose to his feet. “Wait for me; I’ll be back in a moment.”

The wizard walked slowly into his house, Eléwì staring behind him. Then it occurred to Eléwì that he hadn’t eaten all day. He stopped and groped inside his bundle, fetched an edible fruit and sank his teeth into it. He wondered why the wizard did not offer him food or drink. Chewing

quietly, he looked around the courtyard and paused to hear the voice of a woman or childish giggles of children. The surroundings were silent and the only audible sound was that of Àjàká’s pacing limbs.

Àjàká came back into the courtyard carrying two bowls with him. He lay the bowls before his guest.

“Eat, you must be hungry,” he said fondly to Eléwì. “I’ll get you some water…”

“Your wife and children?,” Eléwì asked, lowering his voice. “The sun has gone down; they should be back from the farm.”

“Wife and children?,” Àjàká chuckled. “It’s a long story…. Well, this is a world where the just are treated with contempt!”. He left Eléwì and went inside. “We shall talk after you ha

ve finished eating.”

Àjàká left and, alone, Eléwì began to surmount the mountain before him. He ate ravenously, wondering how an old man could prepare such a good food. Perhaps, a wizard could do virtually everything! He thought as he emptied the bowls. He rose to his feet and walked to a doorstep.

“I have finished eating, great one,” he called out.

He listened, heard some movement and went back to take his seat. He watched as Àjàká appeared carrying a burlap sack. The wizard joined him and took his seat.

“I thank you for the food, great one,” Eléwì said, letting out a pleasant smile.

“I am alone…. And maybe the era of the white wizards is coming to an end,” Àjàká muttered sadly.

“Do not utter such words, great one. The gods favour the just,” Eléwì said and watched with interest as Àjàká delved in the sack and brought out an egg.

“This,” Àjàká said quietly, holding the egg delicately in his hand, “Will bring the people of Ìgbëtì down on their knees.”

“Thank you, great one,” Eléwì said quickly, fascinated. “What can the egg do?”

“Hold it with care…”, Àjàká handed the egg to Eléwì who took it, trembling. “Stand before an assembly of men and break it. Your people will crown you without delay…. This I have done because the stool is truly your birthright.”

“What can it do, great one?,” Eléwì asked again, his eyes wide with impatience and curiosity.

“Be patient and you’ll find out its power,” Àjàká assured. “You have to leave in the morning. I can see that your wife and children are in great grief. They need you around now.”

Eléwì was stunned. He couldn’t explain the strength of the wizard’s sight. Àjàká could see things, past or present! Or, how did he know of his wife and children?

“You are a strange man,” Eléwì said, excited by what he heard.

“Handle the egg with care,” Àjàká warned. “Ìgbëtì is very far.”

Eléwì hid the egg inside his bundle and cast his mind back to the day he left Ìgbëtì. He remembered Alápó, the chieftain, and the oath the latter took before him. Could Etíyvrí be that faithful and wait for him after all these years? Oh, his two sons would be asking after their father! He was overcome by a gnawing nostalgia as Àjàká led him into a room where he would spend the night.

To be continue.

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Posted by Ms Dos On November 15, 2017

Categories: Episode

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