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AZARA - By Destiny Bassey

‘In a land torn apart by war, greed and lust for power; love, loyalty and courage quickly eroded. Men had become beast, drunk with the blood of the innocent; then came: the girl, the prince and the tears from a broken heart.’

To the rest of the world, it was believed that Guyanga was annihilated from the earth; little did they know that, before the war king Kasoni had secretly made an escape for all women and children below the age of 16. However, there was a twelve years old girl who stayed back; she would not leave without her sick father, Vesha.

 In the dead of the night, came the burning heat of battle; brave men fell by the edge of unbridled swords. In his murderous lust for gold and glory king Zohan of Luzanga and his vast army had started the war. While men of Guyanga fought and died to defend the land; Vesha fought till his last breathe to save Azara, his beloved daughter.

            Days after the horrendous battle, her dear friend Jamin, the prince of Guyanga broke all rules searching, until he found her under a pile of rumbles; her legs were badly broken nevertheless she still breathed. Far into the east of Guyanga, Jamin, the girl and Kaz his horse, rode steadily until they arrived Kuush; their new home.

 Knowing Azara was the only survivor, the entire camp was stared to grief, their wailing reached the sky as all had lost dear ones; months passed, still the mourning continued. In the sixth month, Azara was fully recovered and so she recounted the bitter tale of how great men of Guyanga, fought and died for their land. It then became a law that, this story must be told to the future generation. It would serve as a reminder and inspiration to avenge their loved ones and regain their lost land.

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Bazani the leader of the camp organized and trained all the males and few female, into a strong army. Azara’s goal of becoming a warrior in order to avenge father’s death was thwarted as her fragile legs were unfit for a warrior, nonetheless, she could use the bow and arrow skillfully. To compensate for her lack, she invested all her energy into a skill she had learnt from her father, the physician, thus becoming the greatest physician of her time. Alongside her was Zoya the sorceress, she helped Azara in making healthy as well as deathly portions; indeed in her hands was life and death.

Ten years later, Guyanga’s warriors had grown powerful. Over the years, they had survived by stealing food, gold and weapons from Luzanga. On his 23th birthday, Jamin was crowned king of Guyanga and on this day he asked Azara to marry him and gladly she accepted him. Their celebration did not last long for it was time to avenge their dead and take back their land.

 After much planning, their strategy was surprise, divide and attack. At first they trigger confusion. On an auspicious day, Jamin along with a dozen men attacked in disguise and burned down Luzanga’s food reserve and their armory, sadly five of Jamin’s men were lost. The entire camp mourned them for weeks.

 Acting on Almin’s his diviner’s advice; Zohan had refrained from leaving his kingdom, the men he had sent out brought no good result, still his enemy’s identity was unknown. Lead by Azara, the water source of Luzanga was poisoned, leaving hundreds dead.  At this king Zohan rejected all advice to wait. So he set out, from kingdom to kingdom destroying his suspected enemies; this was indeed his greatest folly for his absence made his kingdom defenseless and vulnerable.

            During this time Jamin and Azara had allied with king Arzua of Marki, together they attacked Luzanga and captured it. Somehow the Zohan was informed that his kingdom was under attack and so he returned much earlier than expected.

            Jamin was taken aback by the sudden turn of event. The vast army of Luzanga stormed their enemies like wild fire. In the heat of battle King Zohan noticed that his enemy’s weapons were poisoned, at that, he ordered his men to shield themselves and encircle their enemies. Shortly, Zohan was triumphing; without delay Jamin ordered his men to retreat, he could tell it was the end for the kazzo warriors he was expecting were not forth coming. His mind raced over all the years, Azara, the pain and the promises; in that moment he concluded in his heart to search out and kill Zohan.

            When he found him, they fought fiercely till both lost hold of their original swords, incidentally switching swords. At this point Azara called out in ecstasy informing all that the kazzo warriors had arrived. At the sound of her voice, an upsurge of joy and refined hope rush through his spine. At this momentary distraction Zohan viciously jabbed his flank with the poisoned sword. Right in front of her was the man she loved and her demon, she watched helplessly like she did ten years ago, but this time her mournful scream reached the heavens, in this hellish rage she let off an arrow and it struck him from behind cutting through his heartbeat as life departed from Zohan. The war came to an end and Azara was gone.

 Fueled by hatred Azara had poisoned Jamin’s sword with a magical potion made of the iris flower (Queen of poisons) bounded by the spell of vengeance. She had hoped that Zohan would die at Jamin’s hand; since the reverse was the case, she had gone in search of the antidote; Unknown to her that the spell of vengeance cannot be broken.

Like and enraged vixen she rode, searching all day long until she found it. On arrival she could sense the tense air of grieve and her heart melted she would not accept that he was gone until she was told, swiftly her fragile heart disassembled into many broken pieces, waves of tears gushed out like a broken dam turning her into a grief-stricken lunatic. She mixed the antidote and asked Zoya for the breaking spell but Zoya could not help. Azara ignored everyone, crouching by his side she dripped the antidote into his mouth and kissed him passionately wetting his face with tears she kept speaking to him saying “don’t die; live and live for me”

A while later his heart softly beat, increasing by the moment. Bubbles of ecstasy spread into her very soul like a volcano swiftly overwhelming her; he was alive. It dawned on Zoya that the tears from a broken heart bounded by the antidote could break the spell of vengeance. News spread to all and their joy was boundless; Jamin lives.  

5 years later king Jamin rides with his lovely wife Azara back home. Gunyanga was rebuilt, for generations, it flourished in peace and prosperity. Loyalty love and courage were the foundation of this great kingdom.

THE END.


ABOUT THE WRITER

I'm an aspiring writer, greatly interested in poetry and fiction, a student of English education, university of Abuja.

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