The room was a lushly adorned renaissance library complex, complete with inlaid bookshelves, animal skin carpets, and colourful paintings…. and yet it looked so dejected and unwelcoming.
Young crossed the room to the bookshelves and studied its array of content. “This is all ancient history preserved in writing. But how come they are here and locked up away like this?” he asked. “It started two or three centuries ago, about the same time as your King Basa’s rule began”, the old man narrated. “A few well-educated men washed ashore our land by a powerful storm. They were from a land far away from here; one we had never imagined existed. They stayed in our village to rebuild their ship and get some rest.
They loved us as people and offered to leave some of their possessions with us before leaving; they were mostly books and scrolls. We had no place to house them for they were priceless. The men stayed some more, and erected this building, taught our people a lot and finally married some of our maidens away with them. Our king and your king were very good friends. People came from your village to our village to read and study. It was peaceful and beautiful until King Basa joined his ancestors.” Young listened earnestly, while mentally skimming through the hundreds of documents before them.
“Your succeeding king, Kong, was like his predecessor. He had a beautiful heart and a warm smile. He had a good nature and was very charismatic. He sought to carry on with his father’s legacy and relationship with our people. He was well-loved by our people and yours. That was why when rumors spewed of plots of a “New Village Order”, King Kong brought the sacred ‘Offor’ that gave authority and immense power to the rightful king, to this building for safekeeping”, the old man continued.
“New Village Order?” Young asked. The old man who by this time had found himself a rickety chair, perched on it, and nodded. “New Village Order”, he repeated. “The usurping of legitimate power and creation of a new government” he further explained. “The opponent was no other than Prince Kang and his disgruntled mother, for they claimed they were the right ones to reign. They said that the academician and humanitarian stance of the deceased and the ruling kings were detrimental and unbecoming of their culture and beliefs as a people”.
“The morning your former king came to our village, he was unlike himself, concerned and scared. He was right too, for his brother came looking for the ‘Offor’ with an army, against my village. The state of this building was due to that day. Kang captured and banished your king, Kong – thanks to some traitors among our people who aided him and his army. Before that, King Kong hid the ‘Offor’ in this room, ordering it to search and locate the rightful king when the day comes. After that day, we have heard that cry night after night. No one has ever been able to see it or find it. This village had known no happiness thereafter. We have lived in fear and sorrow waiting for the day the ‘Offor’ would depart from us and find its king.
To Be Continued……..
[Author: Alex Bruno (Ghana), ©The Telescope International. All Rights Reserved.]
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