“Patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast”
This time it was like a silent whisper of the wind.
She startled a little while looking around her
“Are you alright…?
Concerned Yuri who had not stop staring at her asked.
“Yeah… I’m okay. Thank you Yuri for going out of your way, risking your life for my people’s sake just to get a cure for them. Thanks alot for the tekah, i had one of the best feeling when it was delivered to me. I really can’t thank you enough. May the gods reward you richly for your kind deed…
Yuri nodded, he look from Kaya’s eyes down to mouth while different things run through his mind.
Night has settled in, it was obvious Kaya can’t return to Zukumo that night.
A messenger from the chief of Fiji kingdom came to inform her that the chief will be pleased to have her pass the night in the palace.
Yuri frowned at the messenger.
He boils inwardly but didn’t react.
Kaya replied with a smile
“Tell him I feel honored, I will be…
Yuri quickly interrupted
“She will be spending the night here. Tell chief Utob that princess Kaya will be spending the night at my place but will come over tomorrow to see him before leaving…
The messenger took a bow and left.
Yuri tried not to look at Kaya, he went ahead of himself in dismissing the chief’s messenger without asking Kaya if she really wants to stay at his place.
He felt the need to apologise and quickly did.
“I’m sorry… Kaya. I didn’t even ask you if you really care to stay here before dismissing the messenger.
“Is fine Yuri, you answered on my behalf which was the exact thing I wanted to say. So is okay. We spent nights together in the wood, spending another night here with you will be a delight. By the way you got a nice place… quiet impressive and lovely.
Leni came inside with a burning lamp, followed by another female servant.
She looked unhappy as she placed the lamp on a lamp holder.
While the other servant left, Leni stood looking at Yuri.
He turned to her and said.
“Leni, what is it? And why are you the one bringing my lamp? Where is phtranaj and uleik?
Leni moved a bit back from him.
“Ranaj … hurt his toe while Leik is checking the animals with Jado…
“Go and fetch both of them. Tell them to report here immediately…
Leni moved to the door and returned back.
“I’m sorry my Lord, I begged Ranaj to let me bring your lamp to you. I wanted to use the opportunity to ask if your visitor will be staying for the night so that I can prepare a room for her”
“Leni, never you lie to my face next time. Please leave and close the curtain carefully, anytime I decides for a room to be made ready for her I will announce it.
Leni quickly left after apologising.
Kaya noticed that a human figure was hiding behind the curtain but the person later walked away.
Is obvious that there was more to Leni than one can tell.
Kaya’s eyes returned to Yuri’s hand.
Yuri halts her wild thoughts
“Those days in the wood, alone with you were the most cherished moment of my life Kaya…
Kaya didn’t respond as he continued.
“I never knew you were the daughter of a chief neither did I care if you were the daughter of a piper. Your rich and famous status or being poor and unnoticed didn’t matter to me. Kaya…I…I..
He stammered and suddenly stopped
“Why did you do it?
Kaya asked, Yuri who didn’t understand the question and looked at her confused.
“….I mean why did you risked your life for my people sake or for my sake. You could have gotten yourself killed. The lioness will add your skull and skeleton among the piles of human remains in it’s cave. Yuri, it was too much of a risk you took for me. I can’t fathom why you will do all of that…
Yuri gasped out before replying.
“Because I care, you were so worried about your people dying and all you kept talking about is the sick people. I needed to do something, I care about you and about your people. Whatever saddens you affects me too Kaya. Your people are like my own people. I can do anything for them… even more for you. Because…I.. I’m inlov… well, that’s the truth. The reason is because I care…
Yuri bite his tongue. He almost beat himself up for trying to express how he feels for Kaya.
Been in the same room with her makes his emotions boil.
He wish he can hold her in his arm,
Cup her beautiful face in his hand and kiss her like he has always wanted to do.
Drink deeply of her until his taste is satisfied.
How can he even express the exact way he feels about her when her wedding to a prince is around the corner.
He will sound stupid and she may take offense and hate him.
Kaya noticed he was stammering alot and knew he had something he really wants to say but holding back.
She wish he can say it, is probably what she needed to hear and have always wanted to hear.
A man who took a whole risk for her is worth her every heart but Dhaki, her husband to be haven’t wronged her in anyway but showers her with love.
Dhaki may not be able to risk his Life like Yuri did but he will never stop singing beautiful poets to her… probably for the rest of their married life.
Dhaki is very eager to rule Zukumo alongside her, he never stopped fantasizing over how beautiful it will be to rule the entire kingdom of Zukumo with her.
Is a good ambition but it troubles her that when her heart was worried over how to get a cure for the remaining sick villagers Dhaki wasn’t really concerned. He was more into saying that death is certain, if the sick villagers doesn’t die now they will definitely die later.
which is a good point but there was no iota of human feeling when he makes that statement.
She didn’t count on that for his mistake but still focused on the good side of him because Dhaki wanted everyone to know how much he loves her.
Yuri on the other hand was right in the wood, alone , fighting the most dangerous beast in other to get a cure for her people.
He even loose a finger and deep wounds in the process of it all.
Could it be that Yuri is the man that the gods meant when they said “patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast”
Everything was begining to make sense but her marriage to Dhaki is in few days from now.
Preparation is far gone into the wedding. Turning it all round will be heart wrenching for Dhaki.
What if Yuri never speaks up and how can she even force him to say what he refused to say out.
How about Leni? What if Yuri has a thing for his beautiful slave girl who never stopped showing attitude since she came in…
The room was quiet, they were both silent as the night wears on.
People were retiring to bed and a cool night for couples to cuddle up.
Kaya lifted the wine glass jar placed beside her.
She wanted to pour into a cup when Yuri came to take the drink from her
“Please permit me to pour…
He said quietly as he began to pour into a cup which he handed over to Kaya.
He took another cup and pour for himself, he gulped it down at a goal as he tries to calm his heart beat and emotions running through his veins.
He took another cup of drink followed by another.
“Yuri… Yuri… take it easy with the drink.
Yuri didn’t respond as he drank deeply again.
As he tries to take another Kaya held his hand.
He paused and all he could think of was her fine smell that greeted his nose, her beautiful eyes, her attractive lips and soft palm holding onto him.
She was standing on her feet beside him.
All they did was to stare at each other.
Yuri slowly bent over and kissed her.
She didn’t resist, she responded and later break free from him.
“I have always wanted to do that Kaya. I’m going crazy because of you…I can’t think or do anything. I don’t even know how to express myself because I don’t want you to hate me. How do I tell you that I have always loved you… deeply far more than I can express and how much my heart was shattered with the news of your marriage. Kaya…is it too late for you to change your mind over this wedding? I don’t know how I will survive if you get married to another man. Please don’t think I need a reward for the tekah I gave you. No Kaya. Don’t think that way. The gods kept me alive and saw me through my journey because they knew my intentions are pure towards you. Tekah leaf can not enter the hand of a bad person. There’s a consequence for that. Kaya, getting the tekah, loosing a finger or my whole arm didn’t matter…all I cared about was your happiness. The gods sees my heart and bear me witness this day that I deeply love you Kaya and I love your people too…
Kaya took another feet away from him.
“Yuri…i wish you had say all if this before now. The gods gave me a riddle to solve, I just got the answers to it all. I don’t know what to do now that I’m getting married in few days…
“I don’t want to sound selfish Kaya but everything is up to you. If you are actually happy with this prince you are getting married to then you will always have my blessings but if you are not happy…is still up to you to settle where ever you find happiness. When I kissed you… you didn’t resist which means you have… feelings for me too. Please… let’s be happy together if you find happiness with me. I really don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to force myself and decisions on you. I will let you decide…
Kaya told him that she wants to go and rest.
He showed Kaya a room next to his.
As they stood at the door, he tried to kiss her again but Kaya walked into the empty room and shut the door leaving him outside.
She sat on the bed thinking over everything that just happened, while Yuri later retire to his room praying to the gods to be kind to him.
The following day Kaya was up early, Yuri was also ready and waiting for her.
They didn’t talk about the kiss or discussion last night.
Leni greeted Kaya as she was getting ready.
“, my Lady, Please, do not take my master away. I’m nothing without him. I love him so much. He loves me too because of the way he admires me. I mean he has summoned me to his chamber twice and I wish it to continue that way. But ever since he returned from his journey before this last one he stopped noticing me. I went to him but he sent me away…
She was talking when she hears Yuri coming.
She quickly left Kaya and walked away.
Kaya couldn’t digest all that Leni was saying at once neither did she ask Yuri.
They rode over to the chief’s palace together.
After spending some time, Kaya announce that she was going back to Zukumo kingdom.
She asked Yuri to go with her because her father will like to thank him for his kindness.
Yuri agreed wholeheartedly.
They left together.
Mario and Tira wondered how to use the tekah.
Tira decided to cook it so that all of them will eat and never fall sick through out their life time.
She prepared it, Mario was very happy as he also invited few of his supporters which includes Didi.
He told them of the good news. How his wife managed to get hold of the almighty tekah and how they have prepared it and is ready for consumption.
His supporters cheered at him and his braveness as they sat around a table to eat and merry as they strategies another way to take over chieftaincy from Dre.
Only Romo refused to join them, he’s father asked him to eat but he felt awkward the way they were misusing the healing leaf, with all the story he has heard surrounding the leaf he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
He’s father remained one leaf blade for him whenever he’s ready.
They went on laughing, drinking and eating.
Dhaki stood up from his feet when he saw Kaya return with a strange man.
He didn’t wait for Kaya to enter and greet her father, he pulled her aside and said.
“I waited all through yesterday for your return but you never did. Who is the stranger with you…
“He’s name is Yuri. A great friend of mine.
The way Kaya said his name annoys Dhaki.
“I was worried sick my lady. Did you sleep at his place… where exactly did you spend the night Kaya?
Kaya sighed with the way Dhaki was getting agitated.
“I slept over at his place Dhaki… but nothing happ…
Before she could complete her statement Dhaki angrily left to confront Yuri.
To Be Continued….. . . .
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