As she got closer to the buildings, Seleya saw that the buildings here were a lot taller than anything she had seen back home. The tallest building back home was probably her father’s house and it was small in comparison to these buildings.
Tall slender buildings arranged in a very orderly fashion both on the left and on the right creating a path way for people and carts. This wasn’t to say that Ooranyanwu disorganized, but it was just different. There was an air of freedom that was a sharp contrast to the place she was about to enter.
She was out of food and water supply from the night before so her strength was almost depleted. Walking through the gates she could already feel the stares and hear the voices as she made her way through. She still had no idea where she was going but her father had given her a brief description of who she was looking for.
Looking closely at the people it was all too obvious that she was a stranger. Although they all had a skin tone similar to hers and that of her people, that was probably the only similarity they had with her. Everyone here had some kind of tattoo on, black circular rings on their left arms. Some had two and some had three although she noticed that the little children had one. Some other people also had a line that cut across their circle(s) and if that wasn’t distinctive enough, every female she saw had a small ring on her nose.
From the way the sun scorched she could tell that it was about noon already. She passed by a couple of stores and shops which were all somehow attached to the base of the tall buildings, still taking in the view she stopped dead in her tracks by a scent. She wasn’t familiar with it but she knew it was food, hurriedly she traced the scent to one the shops further ahead basking in the scent as she got closer.
“Can I have one?” she said pointing to one of the square looking brown things.
“A Sathi Cake, of course that would be 8 Kanin please?” the bearded man replied.
“8 Kan…sorry I don’t know what that is, I’m just really hungry please” she pleaded.
“I knew your accent was different, you’re obviously not from around here” he said.
“Okay, do you have anything to trade for it?”
She gave him her empty water skin.
“That’s all I have” she said.
“It’s doesn’t look like it’s worth much but…” he began
“I’ll pay for the Sathi Cake, here I’ll take two” a new voice said, giving the shop owner two roughly shaped circular stones.
Seleya turned to find a girl smiling at her. She was almost the same height with Seleya, only about an inch taller wearing a pair of shorts and a tight shirt both as black as night. She had slightly lighter skin and full blown dark brown hair. Her left hand had two circular rings with a line that cut across it and like every other female Seleya had seen she had a nose ring.
“Thank You” Seleya said as she gave her one of the cakes.
“You’re welcome” She said staring intently at Seleya for a few seconds still smiling.
“So, you are lost and you need a place to stay?” she finally said.
“Yes…actually I’m looking for someone but yes I am lost” Seleya said.
“You can stay with me the rest of the day and find your way in the morning” she suggested.
Seleya considered her options looking at the girl as she thought. She looked different even by the standards of the people she had seen so far. Seleya couldn’t quite put a finger on it but this girl was almost more alive than most people. She also had the most intent eyes, almost like she was watching your every move.
No matter how she thought about it, going with this strange girl was the best option. She knew no one and she had nowhere else to go. Besides, her powers were likely to awaken the next day and she didn’t want to be out on the streets when they did.
“Okay, thank you very much” she said.
“It’s okay” she shrugged.
“I’m Keiy” she said.
“Seleya” she replied.
“Nice to meet you Seleya, okay follow me” she said leading the way.
The tribe people had gathered in front of the Udata quarters as the Udata, Uditun and Suluvu stepped out to greet them.
The Shamans were already there waiting for them to arrive. They stood in front of the people as the Udata addressed them.
The Udata said everything exactly as planned telling the tribe that Seleya had been sent out to perform a ritual and that Suluvu called the sword. The tribe seeing no reason to doubt the story especially since Asarade gave a complimentary speech turned that day to a celebration which the Udata approved.
The shamans and the Udata family went back into the Udata quarters to discuss further.
“Well that went accordingly” the Udata said.
“We are not out of the woods yet” Ugosidaya said.
“They are in a celebratory mood today so we don’t have any problems, very soon they would want to know exactly what Suluvu can do and how their future Udata intends to protect them.”
“But I don’t have any special powers” Suluvu said already panicking.
“We are all aware of that, hence why we need to figure something out” Valejiri replied.
“Can’t we just tell them the truth? I am tired of all the lies”
The room fell silent.
This was the first time any of them including the Udata had heard his wife’s voice since the exile of Seleya.
“We cannot afford…” Asarade began only to be silenced by the Udata.
“I think we’ve had enough discussions for now, let everyone go and rest today” he said.
He spoke calmly but everyone in the room knew it was an order so they all dispersed quietly.
The Shamans all got up and started to head to their huts which were almost all repaired now.
“Valejiri” Asarade called.
Valejiri came closer as they walked back.
“I am an old man my child, not much passes me by anymore”
Valejiri was confused at this statement but waited all the same for the head shaman to continue.
“You are probably the youngest shaman to have ever been chosen by the gods and you have grown faster in knowledge than most shamans before you who are older”
Asarade waited to see if he had anything to say but he didn’t so he kept talking.
“It is already obvious to the rest of us that one day you will become head shaman and by the time you get to my age you may know a lot more than any shaman did before you.
That being said I need to tell you two things; firstly, be careful of knowledge for she corrupts the soul and be careful of friendships for he corrupts the heart.
A shaman should always be careful what he learns for what is known cannot be unknown again, and as you have always been told, shield yourself from associations with the world.”
“Okay sir, is this because of my communication with Suluvu?” Valejiri asked.
“These words aren’t just for today my child but for tomorrow as well” Asarade said and walked ahead.
“Thank you sir” Valejiri called after him. “May I go to town to fetch some supplies this once?” he asked.
“If I said no, would that stop you child?” Asarade asked as he turned to look the boy in the eyes.
“Probably not” Valejiri thought to himself as he headed into town.
In town he passed by the supplies exchange market and went further down until he got to a small alley. He then took off his shaman robes and wore a pair of trousers and a loose button shirt.
Walking further down in the alley, he passed a few abandoned parts of the tribe until he finally made it to a small hut.
He carefully checked the perimeter to make sure no one was there and he entered the hut.
Inside the hut were three men. One was dressed like one of the warriors of the Udata tribe while the other two looked like foreigners.
“We’ve been expecting you” one of the foreigners said.