Oden played around and joked a lot with everybody. He was well known and liked by the Purican mates. When I got back, he handed me a new sword, but it was lighter compared to my old sword. I liked the old sword better because it had been used by my father and my father’s father.
We had a great bond, my sword and I, but I could not afford to disappoint Oden, so I accepted it and hugged him. However, I would never use the sword he gave me to fight. After that, all he wanted was for us to go chase the Purican mates. He also tried to persuade me to marry the chief’s two daughters. As heavy as my sword was, it was swift and sharp and in my arms. The sword was like an extension of my bones and I wielded it with ease.
“It will make us wealthy and in time, all the Puricans will respect us. After the chief dies, we will rule the mountains, Buga, you and I. They fear you, you are a god,” he said, “When we um … I mean, when you rule the mountains, we will transform this place and we shall mine precious stones just like the Redicans and even build a greater kingdom than theirs!”
We headed out to the chief’s palace to watch the game; the players would wear head armour plates then run from two extreme ends and knock their heads together. They would repeat it until one of them fainted or died, and the Puricans would cheer such imbecility and ego.
While we watched, my mind was with the human woman. I sighted the chief’s two daughters making their way through the crowd toward me so I left. I did not get far before they caught up with me, pushed me to the walls of the palace and began to ask me why I did not find them attractive. They wanted me to take them both as my brides on the same day. It sure was a bad idea.
I could not tell who was crazier, their father the chief, or the demented mates who just didn’t want to understand that I would never take them as my brides.
I had always tried to stay away from the chief’s daughters but they did not care. Mother did not like them either, even though she badly wanted me to give her a play friend.
The daughters started to cry and soon the chief arrived. Laughing at me, he took a big bite from the large piece of meat in his hand and gestured to me to follow him.
He invited me to his chamber once again and I walked with him without question. He then sent for his two daughters. The chief displayed his swords for me to see and made my ears burn with his war stories and how he was crowned chief by the elders for killing a beast that troubled the mountains after the last chief died. However, he also made me understand that every Purican must have a secret.
“Your secret is the key to your survival,” he said looking straight into my eyes, “What’s your secret, my young warrior?” he asked again.
I did not say anything.
“This is why I like you Buga. You do not talk, action! Only action, my young warrior. Guess what? I want us to take over the lands of the Redicans and expand our rule, and then give you more than a quarter of the entire lands to govern. Tell me, eh, what do you say? But hey, you must take my daughters as your brides, my young warrior!” He added, as we both laughed and shook hands.
The only thing that truly made me laugh was the sound of the chief’s laughter; he laughed like a sick elephant.
Some of the Puricans wondered how I was able to slay the many thousands whom I sent to the abyss. Most of them believed that maybe it was the no-meat custom I embraced. Some even tried to go on a vegetarian diet like I did, but meat was the true Purican way. What they did not understand was that I had become tired of living and looked for ways to give meaning to my life. Therefore I went about seeking for death in the eyes of my enemies on the battle grounds and in anything that could define my role on earth. I had slain kings and chiefs and heirs to kingdoms ever since I had held my first sword, because I sought to end my own miserable life.
They just did not understand me and neither did I. Mother always smiled at me and said a few words because she knew I wasn’t much of a talker.
They called me Buga. In my tongue, Buga means the destroyer; whatever stood before me, I conquered and whatever stood behind me was but dead. However, when I met the two humans, they totally changed my life from wanting to kill or be killed to appreciating the littlest things in life. Being around the humans excited and thrilled me within.
By that time the chief’s two daughters had arrived. We sat down together and the chief entertained me with beautiful fruits. Soon after the arrival of his daughters, he locked me up with them and laughed as he walked away to go watch the game. As wicked and heartless as he may have seemed, who would have thought it would take him a short period to forget about his dead son? No-one could really tell whether he had truly forgotten about his son, and the new ordained elders still did not seem to enjoy their new position, something which I could understand.
The chief’s two daughters were wild mates; they stripped before me and began chasing me around. One of them squeezed some fruits on her skin and ran after me round the table. The guards outside the door laughed as well. I had to find a way out. The chief’s daughters were very skilful with their hands.
‘Okay! Let us espouse six sunrises from now!’ I said.
Yes, those words actually came out of my mouth.
“Oooh! Buga we will make you happy!” They both said in unison.
“But six sunrises is too long for me, that is like twelve moons away, Buga,” said Yossandra, as she pushed her body against mine in a tempting manner.
We chatted for a while before I was able to convince them. They were so happy that they ran out of the place without putting their clothes back on. I ran out and straight home I went. I could hear the guards laugh at me.
On reaching home I told Mother what happened, she laughed too.
“Just get me a play friend,” she said, “Have you seen your brother Oden? I need to know who has been stealing my fruits and garments. Some of my ropes are missing too, Buga!”
I scratched my head.
‘Oden didn’t do it Mother, I did,’ I answered.
Mother shook her head and walked away without asking why I had stolen them.
“I just hope you do not have a mate and an offspring hidden in a tent somewhere because you have been acting like your father when I conceived your brother!” Mother added, “If you do, Buga, please say it and … make your old Mother happy, my son!”
I remained mute, shook my head and walked into my room. I decided to rest for a while because I felt exhausted but sleep took over me and I dreamt. In my dream, I saw the human woman escaping from the cage with the little human. While they were running, a beast attacked them and killed the human woman and as it turned to devour the little human… I woke up from sleep. My heart was pounding, so I quickly picked up my sword and headed straight out.
“You’re going hunting without me, brother?” asked Oden.
‘No brother, I will be back. The chief asked me to do something for him and told me not to let anyone know about it, so stay home and look after Mother!’ I replied as I ran.
I didn’t follow the usual route because I wanted to avoid anyone becoming suspicious of me. When I got to the waters, I dug in the sand and buried my sword. If Mother had been there she would have slapped me but like I said; if Mother had been there.
I dived into the waters and on reaching the underwater cave I found the human woman asleep. The cave was quiet but the little human was awake and playing on its own. I moved close to have a good look at it. When it saw me, it smiled and chuckled. While the little human made soft noises, I could hear it blab my name.
“Gagaaa, Boga-Boga, Wuga!” The little human gabbled.
I got excited and then opened the cage gently, so as not to wake the sleeping woman. I slowly moved my hand closer. At the moment when my hand touched its garment, the little human started to laugh, so I gently dragged it closer to me. Before I knew it, the human woman woke up and dashed a sharp object into my arm. It hurt so bad that I gently placed the little human down and quickly moved back, dragging myself away from the cage and managing to lock it. However, I had not secured it properly.
I began to feel dizzy and my vision divided into two. I became confused and lightheaded. While I was trying to get myself on my feet, I watched the human woman use a tool to open the cage. I then checked the small knife which I always kept around my waist and noticed that it was not there. I could not tell what she had coated the sharp object which she had stabbed me with but it made me lose my vision.
Before I lost consciousness, I could see her pick the little human up, wrap it tightly and hold it to her bosom. She then used more garments to tie herself and the little human together. She looked at me and without fear dived into the pool. I crawled my way towards the pool and washed my face but still felt weak. All of a sudden, I could hear my heartbeat slowing and stopping. I saw total darkness. The pain was gone and so were my senses. I could feel my body but was too weak to do anything.
I woke up like a mad beast. My heart was beating heavily and without giving it any thought, I dived into the pool and made my way to the other side. I did not know how long I had been unconscious. Even though some parts of my body still felt numb, I was able to force myself through the water and get out. By the time I dug my sword out of the sand, I could no longer see the human woman.
I saw her footprints on the sand and traced the direction she had followed. I ran through the tall trees and went round in circles but I could still find no sign of them. My heartbeat became heavy but the fear for her safety kept me going. I was angry at her but I had to find her before any Redican or Purican did. As I leaned against a nearby tree to rest, I heard her scream from a distance, so I ran in the direction where her voice was coming from.
I jumped off and landed right behind the human woman. She was already lying on the ground holding the little human. They were surrounded by four of our scouts. When they saw me, the Puricans chanted happily and told me how they had bumped into her and chased her down here. They didn’t know what was going on. The human woman then quickly ran behind me. The four Puricans became confused at seeing the human woman seeking my protection. I didn’t want to make matters worse so I pushed her to the ground and joined the four scouts laughing. She was filled with fear and I understood the depth of it.
The little human started to cry so I moved away from them and stood behind the Puricans. I waited for the four scouts to advance a few steps ahead of me, then I lifted my sword and struck the two on my right. As their bodies fell to the ground, the first one on my left turned to attack me. However, I was faster; my sword pierced through him and he fell to his knees.
The fourth one dropped his sword and began to run, so I pulled out my sword from the body of the third and flung it at him. It cut his right leg off and he also fell to the ground.
I picked up the sword from one of the dead Puricans and walked majestically toward the fourth and without mercy I thrust it into his stomach. He took his time and looked straight into my eyes wondering. He did not have enough time to ask me why but my spirit heard his spirit questioning me.
He died with his eyes open, still staring at me. I took some time to look into his eyes as well and an inner voice spoke to me.
“What are you doing Buga?”
I ignored the voice, picked up my sword and left the other sword in his body. I turned to the human woman with anger and started to walk fast to where she was lying down. She was panting as she held the little human tight, for she was filled with dread by what she saw. I picked up another sword and lifted it as though to strike her. She cried out. I then lowered my arm, grabbed her and the little human and took them away.
I took them back to the underwater cave, for it was the only choice I had. She cried loudly along the way but I shut down my heart and forced her back. I knew that I was hurting her with the way I handled her, but it was for her own good. It was the best thing to do.
I could tell she regretted leaving the cage. I sat down, still feeling very angry, and thought of fixing the cage in order to put her back in it. However something told me not to. I stood up and broke half of the cage down. Feeling worried, I then sat back down again. The little human began to cry out loud. I then stared at the human woman. She quickly rushed for its food and rubbed it around her breast and tried to feed it. The little human refused and continued to cry. Tears ran down her cheek as she tried to feed it.
The human woman then came and handed the little human to me. She tried to communicate with me but I refused to talk to her. I wonder if the one that gave me the little human survived the attack, I thought. When I turned and looked into the eyes of the human woman, I became afraid that she might not last long in her current situation. I knew then that she must be set free, but her freedom must come with an assured protection … from me.
“She doesn’t seem to need you in her life and no matter how much you love her, you must let her go” whispered the voice in my head again.