The Ifa priest led Ade, Babalakan and Osi-Alara towards his shrine, their captive an attractive looking Witch who was still unconscious and recovering from Osi-Alaras lethal attack. The Ifa priest immediately got to work placing wards around the shrine and enhancing all the enchantments to contain the Witch and to drown her powers.
The Witch was then tied to a long pole by her wrists and her ankles, then the Ifa priest placed a boundary around the witch using white salt to indicate the circle, and finally, the Ifa priest used a Calabash filled with powdered white chalk mixed with water and a few herbs to anoint her head and several other parts of the body.
”Is all this necessary? ” Babalakan inquired
”Shes a witch ” the Ifa priest replied ”she might even be more powerful than the chants Im using now; this is just a precaution ”
”I guess this means that we are going to wake her up ” Osi-Alara groaned
”No man can question a corpse, and no man can make a cat bark like a dog ” the Ifa priest scolded philosophically
”I think he means that as long as she is sleeping we would never find out where the mystical stone is ” Ade clarified
”Hmm! ” Osi-Alara acknowledged
With all the preparations finished the Ifa priest decided to dare fate by rousing the evil witch from her slumber.
”Awaken daughter of the forest
Great witch of sickness and wickedness
I, the Oracle of Ifa summon you ”
The watch woke up with a start and then she growled like a monster evoking fear in the hearts of all those who were close to the shrine. They could tell that even though shes captive, shes not afraid. She growled in defiance, cursing the Warriors who had captured her and promised the total destruction of the village and the death of all their loved ones. While all those around the witch recoiled at the sudden outburst of rage, Ade took a step forward trembling with suppressed rage. He still hadn forgotten about the village, they had been to, where they had first encountered her, the death of all those innocent people still weighed heavily on his heart.
”Before the next market day, ” the witch continued ”this village will become a sacrifice for the forest, we will kill everyone, yo! You are all dead ”
”Dake! (Quiet) ọmọ Igbo (child of the forest) ” the Ifa priest chanted
”You dare to rebuke me, you are nothing but rats in a womans kitchen, how dare you, Anyone that dares to lay his axe at the base of an Iroko tree, that person will die a painful death ” she shouted
Instantly the earth beneath the shrine began to tremble, small plants began to spring up from the ground growing at an alarming rate. The Agbara the witch had at her disposal was far more potent than that of the Ifa priest.
”If we don do something to stop her, she will crush this shrine in a moment, ” Osi-Alara said in a panicky voice
Ade was the one who responded, with the tip of his index finger Ade reached out and touched the witch in the centre of her forehead and for an instant, the monstrous look on his face flashed a hidden dread in the hearts of all his companions.
”So, you enjoy giving out pain and suffering ” Ade growled, still remembering the village with all those who had been killed ”now I will give you pain ” he shouted
His finger began to glow in strong greenish Agbara as soon as his finger touched her head, her entire body reacted in overwhelming pain. This witch had already slain an entire village, there is no need to pity her hes not going to allow her to insult the Ifa priest or any of his friends, ever.
”Perish ” he chanted in rage
At first, the Witch endured the pain with stubborn pride, but then Ade could sense her determination and kicked up the intensity of his painful assault. In an instant, the ground trembling stopped and the plants that threatened to crush the shrine withered away. The only thing anyone could hear is the mind splitting scream of a witch in unimaginable pain.
”Please stop! I beg you, ” she shouted
Ade smiled, he finally had her attention ”no! I will torture you to death, ” he growled, ”after all you enjoy killing so its only right that you die in pain ” and then he intensified the assault and this resulted in an ear-splitting scream.
”Stop! I beg you in the name of the Iroko ” she said in between gasps
”Not until you are dead ” Ade responded, clearly enjoying the way he tormented his victim.
Now she started to cry every last brick that once made up her subconsciously unbreakable wall of pride had been shattered. Ade smiled one thing about witches, they may be evil, but their resolve was quite easy to break if one knows how to smash it. The Ifa priest and the two ẹṣọs stood with their jaws hanging as they watched the hunter torment the witch into submission. Even though it was the only way to find out how to get the stone back they were still surprised by the way Ade handled the Witch. Its as though their friend had changed into an untamed animal.
”Please, ” she pleaded ”stop! Or Ill die, ” she struggled to say in between the tears and the pain
”I see, ” Ade sneered ”so even witches fear death, ” he reduced the power, giving her a momentary relief ”it is my wish for you to die, for all those innocent people that you have killed ”
”Please don kill me, ” she began to beg
”Your life is in your own hands, tell me are you with the magic stone, stolen from the Ifa shrine two market days ago ” Ade inquired
”Yes! Yes!! We stole them, ” she screamed
”Where are they now? ” Ade asked
”I don know, ” she replied for just a moment Ade forced his Agbara into her body, unleashing it without holding back, her scream could be heard a mile away
”I know! I know!! ” She corrected immediately
”Don ever lie to me again, now tell me where the stone is ” Ade growled
”I can tell you if I tell you I will die ” she wept
”This is true, the forest witches trust no one, not even their own sisters, such is the curse of the witch. An oath seals their tongues, the oath is sealed with their blood, part of the initiation process ” the Ifa priest observed ”Oju-aye, we will get nothing from her ”
The information could have discouraged anyone else but not Ade, he simply smiled, hes not the kind of person who would accept failure. He needs answers and he needs them now. Ade turned to the witch expressing his most frightful look and then he intensified the torment once more, this time everyone present could tell that he had every intention of killing the witch, her scream now expressed the emotion of the fear of death. The witch looked into Ades eyes and saw how much he was enjoying the moment, her resolve to save herself doubled.
”Oro-Ifa, if shes useless to us alive then she will be useful to us dead ” Ade growled
”My sisters! My sisters! They kept it under the roots of the Iroko tree ”
”Which one of the trees? ” Ade roared in rage
”The tree planted with blood in the centre of the evil forest ” she panted
In a moment the pain stopped and the shrine was quiet once more, the witch had fallen unconscious due to the pain, her spirit was spent, no one could tell if she would ever recover from such an experience.
”Shes supposed to be dead ” Babalakan observed, still shocked by Ades ferocity.
”Yes, I used my hidden chant to seal her spirits inside her body, and then I tormented her mind, she will forever remember me but not what she said to me ” Ade replied.
”Ade ” Osi-Alara called ”is everything all right? ”
”Yes, ” Ade replied, ”why are you asking? ”
”Nothing, its just that I didn recognize you for a moment, are you sure you are Ade ” Babalakan mocked
”Well, I guess I did get carried away while harming that witch ” Ade observed
”When do we go after the stones ” Babalakan growled, obviously thirsty for another fight
”As soon as the Balogun approves ” The Ifa priest responded ”for now go home, Im sure your wives and children have been expecting your arrival, the gods are impatient ”
”And the reward? ” Babalakan pressed
”Young men and their impatience, ” the Ifa priest growled ”ask the Balogun, as you well know I am not involved in your pointless bet, the agreement of men have no concern for the gods ”
”Forgive me babe Ifa I got carried away ” Babalakan apologized humbly.
The three warriors ushered themselves out of the shrine, Osi-Alara grateful that the Ifa priest did not refer to his earlier offence of sneaking into the shrine. The Balogun had entrusted 4 men of the selected warriors of the village to watch over the witch, by the time they reached the Baloguns hut they found him waiting for them with Ogunlara standing by his side.
”It seems like youve won the bet, Ade, Babalakan and Osi-Alara ” the Balogun observed with a grin on his face ”you are truly men and warriors of this village ” then the Balogun began to chant.
”The three rocks that all other rocks fear
The trees, feared by the Iroko
The arrows which always hit their mark
We greet you ”
”And this is the reward (giving Osi-Alara the bag of money) as the bet dictates, for any man able to find out where the stone is and how to retrieve it ”
Babalakan smiled in exhilaration; finally, he had won a place of honour among the warriors of the village, something that eluded his family for many years.
”Free palm wine for everyone! ” Ade shouted in joy
”Haaaaaaaaa! ” The other ẹṣọs cheered
Even though its a celebration among men, it wasn a big celebration because no one got drunk, but everyone was happy except those counting their losses. Babalakan and Osi-Alara enjoyed themselves while having a big laugh about how Ori-Alara had himself publicly humiliated by the Ifa priest
Unknown to all the warriors who celebrated below a black vulture hovered above the village, its red eyes illuminated with pure rage, the vulture had been watching the warrior ever since they returned to the village. Though it could not listen to what they were saying, it had seen all that happened and what made it so angry, was how Ade had tormented its sister. It returns to the forest to report all that it had seen, the vulture had evil plans concerning the hunter that had tormented its helpless sister. The nature of Witches has always been the same, a Witch never forgives a trespass and will never forget there will be retribution.
After 3 hours of merrymaking, all the ẹṣọs left the Baloguns mud house for their home. Ade, Babalakan and Osi-Alara shared the prize money or what was left of it equally before parting ways towards their various homes.
Ade felt a constant burning sensation of excitement, wash through his entire being, has she already delivered my child? He wondered he had already started to feel the warmth of his wifes loving touch and the pleasure of her surrender to him. The door opened long before he had the opportunity to knock and there standing before him was his wife, still heavy in pregnancy but as beautiful as ever
”So youve finally returned home to your wife, ” she nagged
”Bisi, you are as beautiful as you can ever be I… ” Ade said, fumbling with the words as he usually did any time he suspected that his wife was furious at him
”And you think soft words will liberate you from this situation ” she continued
”Im sorry, ” he said, trying to figure out how he had offended her
”The next time you return to the village without seeing me first, then you will never hear the end of it, after all, Im your wife ” she scolded
”Yes, ma! ” Ade mocked, then Adebisis face cooled, she threw her arms around her husband and gave him the welcome kiss that he deserves, washed his feet, served his meal then forced him to bed.
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