is the first place to start ”

”Well, lets go! ” Babalakan said, with impatience echoing within his voice ”the ant never built its nest by sitting down ”


On reaching the shrine they found the Ifa priest performing the evening rituals, to reference the gods. He had a bloody knife and two dead cocks which told the three warriors that he was at present in the middle of the evening sacrifice.

”He must not know that we
e here, ” Ade said cautiously

”Ill go in, ” Osi-Alara said ”after all, Im the one with the covenant of the earth and soil, if the thief came in from another village the soil will know for all living things must pay homage to the soil with their food falls ”

”Go! ” Ade approved ”and be careful ”

Osi-Alara picked his way silently towards the shrine without being seen, it was one of the principal abilities of an Ẹṣọ ”Silent movement ” (stealth – the ability to move in plain sight without being noticed) the moment he reached the shrine he was immediately assaulted with the odour burnt flesh, human of animal he could not tell no one knows what happens in the shrine dedicated to the gods. He found several carved wooden idols and a wooden representation of lord Sangos axe, there were a host of other things that could make a mans blood run cold and the bloodstains on each object he found very unsettling. Osi-Alara had been taught by his father never to lay his mortal fingers on any of the images of the gods, especially if hes not a banner for the gods, such a warning could result in great consequences if disobeyed, so he picked his way carefully towards the vacant space where the mystical stone once stood and chanted.

Ile. Dust, sand and stone

Who walks upon you without your knowledge?

Can a man die when you are not hungry?

Is it not you that drink the blood?

Of both the innocent and the guilty?

You are, as they say, the giver of life

And the one that swallows the dead

All secrets cannot be kept from the earth

Reveal to me

By the virtue of our covenant

Who stood here without the knowledge of the priest?

Ọlẹla (open my eyes)

In an instant, the soil liquefied becoming darker and much more active and then a pair of footprints appeared. Osi-Alara smiled finally they had a clue as to where to begin their search, then he turned to leave the shrine, in his excitement, Osi-Alara forgot to watch his steps and accidentally knocked down a small clay pot filled with palm wine, the crashing pot made such a racket that it disturbed the Ifa priests chanting

”Who dares defile the shrine of Ifa ” the priest shouted angrily

Osi-Alara felt his blood congeal at the sound of the Ifa priests angry voice, he had no time to use the translocation chant and the shrine had no windows to facilitate his quick escape, the only way in or out is through the front door the same door that the Ifa priest was about to use to come in.

”So this is how it ends, ” Osi-Alara thought regretfully the only thing left to do is to go down on his knees and beg like a dog


”Well, ” Ade asked, ”what did you find out? ”

”Hen! ” Osi-Alara exclaimed ”I was, I mean, I ”

”Did you think you were alone in there? ” Babalakan mocked ”the moment you left Ade started the translocation chant just in case you messed up ”

”Ho! ” Osi-Alara exclaimed in a relieved tone ”thank you ”

”So what did you find out? ” Ade pressed ”or don tell me you went in there for nothing ”

”It was a female who stole the stone, a very powerful female ” Osi-Alara replied

”And what else? ” Babalakan pressed

”Black soil ” Osi-Alara continued, showing them a fist full of the soil he had collected from the shrine

”This is from the evil forest close to Akija village ” Ade observed

”Yes! ” Osi-Alara confirmed, ”This soil contains a small amount of Agbara which proves that the exact location is the enchanted forest and not the evil forest ”

”The point where the roots of 3 Iroko trees touch, the meeting ground of witches ” Ade concluded, after a closer observation of the soil

”Well then, ” Babalakan prompted, ”lets go, the stone might still be there ”

To this suggestion, they all agreed and jumped into the trees to embark on a journey to the enchanted forest close to Akija village. A journey that would take them at least 3 days if they use the chant of the Leopard shadowing the trees, throughout that period the only thing dwelling in Ades troubled mind was his beloved wife and his unborn child.

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