Konga and the Path to Divinity
Written by Akintomide Ifedayo Adigwe
Copyright 2012 Smashwords Edition
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author and the publishers.
The path of a man’s life some say is fraught with uncertainties and in some cases endless disasters. These are prophesies that have been handed down by the ancients through the ages; Truths which some say was whispered in their ears by the gods of the world.
Sometimes I wonder did a god whisper about my coming. Utter a prophesy about my life and its intrigues? Was it whispered among men around a campfire? Told to their young and their youth? Did those kings that endlessly fortified themselves, seeking every new source of power; have something reach out to them over the ages? Light up an awakening in their spirits.
Warning them of the trials and tribulations which were yet to come. Did the voices that perhaps may have spoken to them, tell them that we as a people will be abandoned by the gods. Left to trudge on, all our hopes resting on our strengths and how far this pitiful strength would carry us.
Why was I born at such a time? Why did the gods merge the fates to bring my first breath at the beginning of discord? Who do I pray to? Who then will I turn to lead me and the pitiful few that remain to salvation in a world that now burns in everlasting flames? How can we reclaim our lost glory? Reclaim our honor. Who will help us turn our season of sorrow to joy? How do I lead these people to the salvation they hunger for?
Konga at the valley of the Irunmole
Three days earlier
A bright flash lit up the heavens flooding the earth with light and loud roars and snarls rang out in the distance. These roars were so loud that they shook the earth.
“They are coming.” Yetunde cried her voice trembling.
“Yes.” Konga said in a grim voice. “We don’t have much time.”
Suddenly large cracks and fissures began to cut through the earth breaking it up into little bits and thick heavy clouds of dirt, flame and sulphur poured out of the fractured earth. The blood red skies seemed to turn even darker and much redder as the thick swirling clouds poured unabated into the heavens.
With a loud roar, a huge seventy foot tall creature burst out of the earth. It was man shaped with red scaly skin. Its razor sharp nails were over a foot long digging deep long furrows into the ground. It had on its back huge black wings, knobby and scaly looking. Its wing span stretched over a mile in either direction. Its face was long and reptilian with long and fierce some looking fangs. A forked tongue flicked in and out of its clenched teeth as if tasting the air to see what defenseless creature it could devour.
Its eyes were green flecked with lines of red and on top of its head grew a mop of what looked like hair, scattered and somewhat frizzled hanging in all directions. This mop of hair was purplish in color.
”WHAT IN THE NAME OF OLORUN OLODUMARE IS THAT?” Ayomide gasped, his six foot five inch frame quivering in fear.
No one gave any answer because at that moment, the blood red skies seemed to rupture and out of the clouds stepped fearsome looking creatures. Many were the same size as the grotesque beast that had burst out of the earth only moments before. Some of them were even larger; Their huge feet parted the red clouds and thumped down hard shaking the earth so badly that Yetunde and a couple of Ogonka’s warriors were sent sprawling. Ayomide stared at the spectacle taking place before them as if he was transfixed.
“We have to leave now!” Konga shouted turning around and racing towards the palace, only slowing down long enough to pull Yetunde to her feet as he rushed past.
She bit down hard on her lower lip to prevent a scream from bursting forth from her lungs. What came out sounded like a strangled gasp. Ogonka and his warriors quickly followed suit. Ogonka paused only long enough to pry Ayomide from the trance he appeared to be in by pulling on his arm.
“Let’s go!” He yelled.
With a low whimper, Ayomide hurried after Ogonka with sweat pouring down his body. There was a loud crunch behind them. It was so loud that it reverberated almost a mile in every direction. The sound was barely dissimilar to the sound of two large trees being smashed against each other. Ayomide glanced back over his shoulder and saw a tall god like being whose shoulders seemed to part the clouds drive a hard blow into the face of the red beast that had burst out of the earth only moments before.
The red beast gasped and stumbled falling towards them. Ayomide gasped and put on an extra burst of speed. Konga and Yetunde were already bursting through the large wooden gates of the palace which were thrown wide open. He and Ogonka were about five feet away from the gates and closing fast.
They burst through as the red beast’s head collided with the arch of the gate smashing it and part of the mud wall it was joined to into fine brown powder. A few moments later they darted through the wide open seven foot tall doors leading into the palace and Konga immediately shut and barricaded it.
“That won’t keep anything out.” Yetunde said wearily.
“I know___” Konga said with a sigh his ruggedly handsome face roughened by a worried frown. “But we must do what we can.”
They raced through the palace passing through several long narrow corridors till they reached the throne room. They pulled the door open and a dozen sharp spears were shoved in their faces.
“ERORA (Take it easy)!” Yetunde yelled leaping backwards. “It’s only us.”
The warriors of Ile Ife let down their guard.
“Sorry priestess, we didn’t know who was coming.” The tall well built man in front apologized.
“No harm done.” Yetunde replied.
Everywhere went silent as a loud rumble shook the walls of the palace. It was almost as if something heavy had had been flung against it. A loud roar rang out a few moments later as the part of the palace they were coming from collapsed.
“We are doomed.” Ayomide gasped.
“Shut up!” Konga snapped partly in anger and partly in fear, because he had the terrible feeling Ayomide was right.
“THE TUNNELS!” Yetunde cried in a loud voice. “We must get everyone into the tunnels.”
“What tunnels?” Konga asked a puzzled expression on his face.
“The ones beneath the palace.” Yetunde replied. “Ogonka! You and your warriors move the people into the tunnels.”
Ogonka yelled out instructions to his men who hastened to carry it out.
“AYOMIDE WOULD YOU STOP GAPING AND GO HELP!” Yetunde shrieked at Ayomide startling him from his stupor.
He shouted out orders to his men who began to lead the people through the door behind the throne. The palace shook again and more rocks and stones fell from the roof.
“Hurry up!” Konga shouted turning to face the door leading out of the throne room into what remained of the long corridor which led to the gates of the palace. His brick red ashoke (Expensive ceremonial cloth) trousers rustling with his panicked movements.
There was a loud twang of bizarre sounds. Something was coming towards them at great speeds. In the distance they could hear the thud and buzz of what sounded like wings but with a frightening metallic quality to it. As if something sharp was being drawn over iron. The people hurrying to the doors screamed in their ones and twos and increased their paces. Within minutes Konga and Yetunde were the only ones remaining in the throne room.
Suddenly the roof of the palace was ripped off and Yetunde and Konga found themselves staring into the blood red skies. A few seconds later a huge jet black bird poked its head through the hole in the palace roof. Its black eye fixed resolutely on them.
“Aaaargh!” Yetunde screamed as a pale blue light sprung from the center of the amulet and surrounded her. The light fizzled out after a couple of seconds and completely disappeared.
“It won’t protect me, at least not from that thing.” She gasped pointing at the huge bird.
“Why not?” Konga yelled in a stricken voice pulling out his burning cutlass.
“No time.” Yetunde screamed pulling him towards the tiny door behind the throne which led beneath the earth into a network of tunnels.
The bird lunged forward its beak opened wide. Konga and Yetunde dived through the open door crashing against the hard mud walls on the opposite end of the door and rolled down the long flight of steps. The bird’s beak ripped through the ground at the exact spot they had been only moments before. The force was so great that the ground shook and with an even louder roar the whole palace collapsed.
Obalo stared transfixed over the plains where his warriors and the warriors from Ife had done battle barely over an hour ago. His large obese body swayed slightly on the handsome mount he sat on and his black robes billowed behind him in the strong winds; his plump puckered face frozen in horror. Huge bat like creatures swooped out of the skies and made straight for the litter of mangled bodies dotted over the plains. They were long bony creatures shaped a little like bats in the front, but half way down their bodies turned into something almost serpentine. They were long stretching over twenty feet from tail to mouth and almost ten feet in width. Their mouths were open to reveal razor sharp teeth which were dripping with venom.
Loud thumps shook the ground as a huge seventy foot red creature was sent flying through the air as if flung by something. It crashed into the earth with a loud thump digging a deep furrow into the ground.
To Obalo’s horror, a tall god like being walked with sure confident strides towards the red beast flanked by four stone like monsters whose skins were a dull grey and knobbly. They were almost as tall as the tall being walking ahead of them. They all had four arms attached in a gruesome looking way. Two were attached to their bulky shoulders and two protruded from a point just below the waist.
“What in the name of the ancient gods is that?” He gasped turning around slowly to face his men. His eyes widened in horror when he realized that they had all disappeared. The last of them was just disappearing over the crest of the hill.
“Imbeciles! Cowards!” He shouted. “You dare abandon your king.”
The bat creatures feasting on the plains turned around slowly at his shout and roared when they spotted him. He realized to his growing horror that none of them had noticed him until he had shouted. Screaming in terror, he whipped the reins of his horse back and dug his heels into the horse’s flanks galloping after his fleeing men.
Five of the bat creatures leaped into the air streaking with great speeds over the plains in hot pursuit. His horse was swift but he knew it wouldn’t be long before they caught him. He screamed again, calling out to his men to help him while the vile creatures sweeping after him inched closer.
When they were two feet away from him, he leapt off his horse in mid stride and dived hitting the ground hard. The horse was snapped up by the creature in front and two of its hind legs were immediately severed. It let out a piercing scream as another two sunk long razor sharp teeth into its flanks. These two were joined by another two. Within a few seconds, the horse had been split into little pieces and completely consumed.
Obalo stared in horror at the gruesome spectacle taking place before him his mouth wide open. He quickly snapped himself out of the morbid fascination that gripped him and raced in the opposite direction. He rounded the crest of the next hill a few short steps later. A hard blow was suddenly driven into his back which flung him several feet forward hitting the ground hard many feet away.
He was immediately set upon by three of the bat like creatures who began to tear into his body with their razor sharp teeth. His dying screams echoed over the plains and in a strange way rippled through the blood red skies.
Mojisola and the rest of the priestesses had struck out due west. They had been traveling for almost five hours when the skies darkened and became blood red. They had taken shelter beneath a thick cluster of mahogany trees when the rain of fire began and miraculously no one had been hurt.
Now they lay flat on their stomachs peering through a thick clump of elephant grass beneath a shroud of mahogany trees watching a set of grotesque creatures, which seemed to have appeared out of no where. They stood poised fifteen feet away and they were all funny looking. They were of average height, about five feet three inches tall with huge boils on their skins which sprouted and burst every couple of minutes.
They had no faces to speak of, only what looked like a huge revolving eye with a large green pupil. They also seemed to possess an almost magical control of their shape and bones. Able to turn into a stinking puddle of what looked like grey mud when the fancy took them and when they tired of it, they would slowly solidify back to the dome headed one eyed entity that they were with painfully thin limbs and a dank putrid smell oozing from their bodies. Ajoke inched closer to Mojisola till they were lying side by side.
“What do we do?” She whispered into Mojisola’s right ear.
Mojisola didn’t respond but kept peering out of the undergrowth examining the loathsome creatures in front. Her wide hazel eyes gleamed in the gloom around them. She raised her gaze to the skies shifting her white robe as she moved, watching several hundred flying abominations streaking through the red sky snarling and roaring.
“I don’t know.” She got out eventually.
Flight seemed impossible at the moment. Even if they were somehow able to escape the vile creatures in front of them, that still left the monstrous entities flying in the sky. Abandoning their cover meant exposure to those creatures in front of them and further threat from the ones lurking in the skies.
“In a few hours it will be dark. We will make our move then.” She whispered.
“But even darkness wouldn’t be much darker than now. The sun is shining with less than half of its brightness.” Ajoke said. She was slim and beautiful clothed in the same white robes Mojisola and the rest of the priestesses wore.
“It is our only chance. Night time might be the only hope we have of escape, unless of course you’d much prefer to stay here.” Mojisola shot back.
“Very funny!” Ajoke said in a furious whisper.
“The underground cave we left behind is beginning to sound more tempting now.” Ajike said in a gloomy whisper; her sparkling hazel eyes looking sad and downcast.
Mojisola turned around slowly to face her.
“You can still go back. It is only a five hour walk back to the cave. I don’t think you’ll find it too difficult to find it.” Mojisola said quietly a broad smile on her face.
Ajike glared at her but said nothing. They all had an unspoken agreement to stay hidden and wait for night fall.
Yoksah and five of his men that remained scrambled down a rocky gorge leading down into a deep valley which marked the beginning of his lands. Their muscles bulged and rippled as they hurried down the rocky slope moving as fast as they dared. They were dirty rough looking men clothed in filthy robes which at some point might have been white but were now a deep shade of brown. Yoksah was the only oddity being albino and dressed in brown cotton trousers, ankle length leather boots and a white cotton shirt which was relatively clean. Two hundred and fifty of his men had marched out to aid Obalo and one hundred and ninety had been alive at the abrupt ending of the fight. Almost half that number had been decimated by the rain of fire.
The ones who remained now with him were all that was left of his army after their flight through the once peaceful plains stretching from Ife to the outskirts of Igodomigodo. The powder for the fire stick was almost finished. Only one shot still remained. The fire stick had been virtually useless against all the creatures they had come across.
Even as they slithered down the rocky precipice, he could hear loud roars and snarls as the creatures searched for them. Sweat streamed from their body in torrents. They were halfway down the precipice when the enormous head of a serpent peered over the edge fifty meters above their heads.
Yoksah froze whistling a warning to the men who clambered down beneath him. They all froze and for several long moments everyone remained still. Yoksah swallowed looking directly into the eyes of the huge black serpent and praying with all his might that the vile creature couldn’t see him.
In a second he knew that, that was just wishful thinking, because the snake reared up and hissed fiercely exposing razor sharp fangs which were longer than a man.
“Move!” Yoksah yelled beginning to clamber down as fast as he could.
His men followed suit as the huge snake dived down with surprising speed. For an instant Yoksah felt it was falling off the wall of rock till he looked upwards; he could see it had its tail wound around a stout tree trunk.
The snake fell till it was level with his body examining him carefully with dull yellow eyes for a few seconds which seemed like centuries to Yoksah before it struck. Yoksah saw the scales and coils in its body knotting together as it prepared to strike and he let go of the rocky wall he clung to. He pushed his feet hard against it and leaped off into oblivion in a graceful back flipped leap.
He was not a moment too soon, because the serpent’s sharp fangs buried itself in the spot on the wall he had been hanging on only moments before. Bits and pieces of rock, dirt and stones fell all around him like rain as he plunged towards the valley floor.
His men seeing what happened leaped off the wall too. But the last two were not so lucky as the snake swooped down beneath them at unbelievable speeds opening its mouth wide. The two men fell screaming into its large jaws and were immediately gulped down and swallowed.
Yoksah drew the fire stick from a leather holster on his waist. It was already loaded and cocked. He took aim at the snake which was diving towards him once more with its mouth wide open. It angled itself as it moved aiming to swallow him and the three men that fell with him at the same time. They fell in a vee shape. He being the lowest point of the v. The snake swooped to the left and seized the man on the left biting him around the waist and splitting him into two.
It immediately swerved to the right and seized the next one around the chest, breaking his chest cavity into bits before swallowing him whole. It leaped down once more diving towards Yoksah and the man falling above him. It opened its mouth wide to swallow the man falling above Yoksah but missed as providence or is it fate tilted the man’s body and he fell towards his right making the snake’s jaws miss him by inches.
Yoksah found himself staring into the blackened and stinking void of the snake’s mouth. Squeezing down hard on the fire stick he fired a long burst of flame into the snake’s wide open mouth. The snake reared back and gave what sounded like a scream before it shut its mouth.
The snake’s snout struck Yoksah in the stomach making him plummet much faster into the gloominess of the shrub covered valley. He landed in the branches of a tall tree falling through its tangled depths before hitting the ground hard with a dull thud and he knew no more.
The darkness was so intense that it felt very similar to death. Konga could hear the whimper and cries of people all around him. Reaching for his cutlass he quickly drew it and the whole tunnel was illuminated by the flames burning around the blade of the cutlass.
He looked into the dirt smeared and frightened faces of young children, men and women. The staircase he and Yetunde had rolled down only moments before had been sealed with a deluge of mud, dirt and rocks from the collapse of the throne room above. Konga had the terrible feeling the whole palace had collapsed.
“Yetunde!” He called. “Where are you?”
“I am here.” She replied quietly her voice coming from a point a few feet to his left.
He glanced over holding his burning cutlass high and he saw her rise out of the crowd of people wobbling painfully on her feet. His eyes took in her pale wan features not missing her breathtaking beauty. She had an oval face with full red lips and thick eyebrows. Her face was smeared with dirt and her white robe was torn in several places.
“Are you alright?” He asked worriedly looking her over.
“I am fine.” She said quietly. “But that is beside the point. We are not safe here. We have to keep on moving.”
“To where ..” Ayomide gasped from their left. “All these tunnels lead to the surface and I don’t know about you, but I think we are safer below the ground than we’ll be above it.”
”Not all of them.” A quiet voice said further down the tunnel.
“Who is that?” Konga asked twirling around.
“It is I Bintan. The oldest and most senior of the king’s wives.”
“What do you mean not all the tunnels lead to the surface? Where do the rest of them lead?” Yetunde asked hurrying towards her.
“It is an old secret amongst the members of the royal family. When threatened, the royal household of Ife would flee underground through the ancient tunnels beneath the ground and try and make our way to the surface and out of the city. If there was further threat above ground a tunnel exists where at a specific point on its side a door leads into a long narrow passageway. This passage leads into a huge cave. The cave is so large; it can house all the inhabitants of our village. Our king knew of this, that was why he insisted we enter the tunnels when you…” She said gesturing towards Konga.
“Attacked us a few seasons ago.”
“Can you lead us to this cave?” Yetunde asked leaning towards her.
She nodded slowly.
“Then we better get moving.” Konga said firmly.
In a single file they all began to hurry down the long narrow depths of the tunnel they were in led by Bintan.
Ifa paced through the smoky sulphur filled cavern. He was above nine feet and very heavily built clothed in nothing but a pair of black cotton trousers his black robes long since discarded. The endless burning of hot larva cast a brick red neon glow over the entire cavern. As before the being in front of him stared resolutely into the clear shinning mirror crouched over it his huge muscles tense and rigid in his concentration. With a roar of frustration Ifa ground to a halt and turned to face the being kneeling in front of him.
“You keep peering into that mirror as if your life depends on it. Staring is not going to whisk a solution out for us. Our carefully laid plans have gone awry and all you can do is sit there. Find a solution to the problem confronting us.”
“We may have more serious problems than the invasion of Ikole – Aye.” The being said quietly still peering into the depths of the mirror.
“What problems?” Ifa asked walking towards him. He stopped two paces away from him glancing over his shoulder.
“The evil that has invaded Ikole – Aye (Kingdom of Earth) is but a minute part of what is yet to come.”
“What do you mean?” Ifa asked frowning.
“Something approaches. I know not what it is, but it is despicable and decidedly evil. It comes with great speed and is more powerful than anything I have ever felt in my life.”
“Is it a god?”
“I am not rightly sure. I think an entity would more or less describe it. It puts a face to everything evil that exists in the universe. In both Ikole – Aye and Ikole Orun (Kingdom of Heaven). The creatures and demons that have flooded the earth thus far are his minions. They have come to prepare the way for him.”
“What is he?” Ifa asked quietly.
“He is everything. Evil personified the trumpet of despair. He is the face of all that is wrong and evil in the universe. He is the DESTROYER! He was banished for centuries by Olorun and the elder gods. His prison held in place by the chains of Balance Ogidan ruptured. Now he seeks vengeance and he will bring it down fiercely on the earth realm as well as the spirit realm decimating all who stand in his way.”
“Can he be defeated?”
“That is a question I sincerely do not know the answer to. He is raw power. His power is a match for ten of thousands of all witch spirits and demons put together. How do you stop such an evil?”
There was a long moment of silence after this.
“How soon will he arrive?” Ifa asked quietly.
“I know not, but I know it will be soon, within the next few moons. After that the earth realm as we know it will be decimated and over run with great evil for another thousand years.”
A heavy silence pervaded the entire cavern.
The cave was monstrous. It was everything Bintan had described and more. The walls were black and smooth with vertical lines of what looked like jewels which streamed down from the roof of the cave to the floor. These lines of white shone like fire flies exuding a white brilliance which lit up the entire cave with a soft white glow. The cave was divided into three floors.
The lowest floor stretched for more than five miles in all directions. The other two floors stretched towards the roof in a cone shaped making the last two floors more compacted as it approached the roof. All the floors were connected by a series of hollow depressions in the walls which served as steps for anyone who wanted to climb from one floor to the next.
Konga stepped into the large cave followed by the remaining inhabitants of Ife. Everyone looked around the entire cave struck dumb in wonder at the sheer size of it.
“How did the royal family keep this place a secret for so long?” Ayomide gasped in wonder.
Bintan shrugged her face heavy and sad. Even in her obvious distress her breathtaking beauty and light coppery skin was impossible to ignore.
“But why? To what end?” Yetunde asked.
“I don’t rightly know …” Bintan began slowly, her skin turning slightly pale and her eyes filling with tears.
“I asked Babatunde time and time again. There were days I begged him to let others into the secret, but he always told me I shouldn’t bother myself with such trifles. He said he even committed a big sacrilege by telling me about the existence of the cave. Every new king he said had been sworn to secrecy.”
“Then why did he tell you?”
“I don’t know..” She said quietly her tears streaming down her cheeks. “Though he did say something I found pretty strange at the time.”
“What did he say?” Konga asked stepping forward; the light from the walls seeming to reflect on his bald head.
“He said that a day may come that the city of Ife would be glad that another is in the possession of the secret.”
“He didn’t know how right he was.” Yetunde murmured.
“But looking back now, I realize he KNEW! He may not have realized what he knew at the time, but they all knew.”
“They??” Ayomide asked frowning.
“All the kings. Somehow I believe they might have sensed a day like this would come.”
There was a heavy silence in the large cave for several long moments.
“So what do we do now? Ogonka asked breaking the silence.
“What do you mean what do we do? We wait here of course and hide out.” Ayomide snapped.
“What do we do for food?” Yetunde asked. “Food and water.”
“The upper floors have been stocked with food. Mostly dried fruits and berries; a few meters down the tunnel there is an underground pool where we can get water. Babatunde also told me that another cave exists much deeper into the earth which is filled with food. A preservative Ofo (Spell) has been placed on the food. It could lie there for a hundred years and still be good to eat when it is needed.”
”So it’s settled.” Ayomide said clapping his hands.
“Will those food supplies last forever? How long will it feed a whole city full of people?” Ogonka asked.
“What else can we do? For anyone to try and venture out unto the surface will be suicide for sure.” Yetunde said quietly.
“We must have a plan. There must be something we can do. The gods cannot just abandon us like that.” Ogonka said.
“There is something ….” Konga said reaching behind his back.
“What?” They all chorused turning to face him.
“This!” He said bringing out the staff its smooth ivory surface gleaming in the soft white light.
“What is this?” Ayomide asked coming closer to take a better look at it. They all crowded around to get a look.
“The Staff of Obatala.” Yetunde said in a breathless whisper.
“How do you know?” Ogonka asked turning to face her.
“Because I lost it in the waters of strife when I fell from the hillside boundary of the other realm.”
“What is this staff going to do to save us?” Ayomide asked.
“I must learn how to wield it. Only when I learn how to unleash its true power will I be able to drive back the evil that threatens to overwhelm us.” Konga replied.
“Who told you this?” Yetunde asked quietly giving him a piercing stare.
“Obatala did. It is the only way of saving our world and our people from the evil that surrounds us.” Konga replied turning to face her.
“The Staff is a weapon that can only be wielded by a divine hand. No mortal can unleash the true power of the staff.” Yetunde said.
“But you unleashed the power in the amulet.” Ayomide said. “It answers to you.”
“The amulet is different. The power in the amulet is to protect the person that wears it. It has no other function that I know of. And I do not fool myself that I have learnt of the true secrets of it. I don’t think since it came into my possession I have utilized up to a tenth of its true power. We are mortals, Konga and I. Through a queer quirk of fate these items happened to fall into our hands. They are weapons for the gods.”
“To my way of thinking the only way a mortal can effectively wield the power in the staff is if he found a way to cross the threshold of Divinity.”
“You can’t mean …” Ogonka began flabbergasted by Yetunde’s words.
“That to effectively wield the staff the holder must become a god?” Ayomide finished with a gasp.
“That is exactly what I mean.” Yetunde said quietly.
“I think you are losing your mind priestess.” Ayomide said bursting into laughter. His laughter was so high pitched and shrill that for a second Yetunde thought he had lost his mind.
“But if that is the solution, how does a man leave the realm of mortality and enter Divinity?” Bintan asked.
“That I think is what we have to find out.” Yetunde said in a grim voice.
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