Osadebe’s search for answers led him to Isele Mkpitime and brought him to the shrine of Agamevu, the legendary second son of Duduyoyo, who did all he could to excel at the things his father failed in. It was rumoured that for power Agamevu wrestled with spirits for twenty days and nights without food or water at Ikenegbu, the place of his mother’s birth. At the end of his gruesome duel with those spirits, the power he sought was given to him. From the day Agamevu returned to Isele Mkpitime, he made it clear that his services were for the rich and powerful. Only Orimili could go as far Agamevu went in the spirit, and saw what Agamevu could see in the spirit. He sat before gods and negotiated life and death, and in collaboration with the gods he decided the fate of slaves and the freeborn. Agamevu was amongst the favourite messengers of the gods. Some even said he was the most favoured, his eyes searched the spirit world like beams of hydrogen light and revealed even the secrets in the minds of the gods. His mother was born in the middle of Abadaba River and on the day of her death she returned to the river and her body was swallowed by it.
As was his custom, twenty pieces of Ejema must first be dropped into a large water pot in front of his shrine before anyone would proceed to seek his services. When Osadebe reached the pot, he did as he was required to do. As soon as the last piece of the Ejema from his hand hit the bottom of the clay water pot, Agamevu began to make known what he had already seen about Osadebe. “You are a great warrior who loves his land. For the love of your land you gave up your pride as a man. You gave to Orimili my esteemed colleague your strength as a man. For years bareness ruled in your house and shame covered your head in the public place. At night you labored greatly only to plant your sterile seed in a fertile ground. Though the ground was good, yet it could bear you no fruit because your seed was dead. However when your wife, the princess, helped the amazons of old reclaim their long lost stronghold, your debts at the shrine of Orimili was paid and your locked loin was set at liberty. I see three sons in your house. Two are far from you and one is yet to be born…” “Did you say three sons, Agamevu?”
“Shhh! Speak no word while Agamevu is still speaking… Hmmm! Why have you turned the blessing of the gods to a curse against you? You and your wife are guilty of bloodshed! I see bloodshed by the hands of you and your wife in Onitsha Ugbo, I see bloodshed in Sapele. I see bloodshed in Asaba. I see bloodshed in Igbuzo. Chai! And all of the victims are innocent! By that which came from your house shall your downfall come. By that which came from your loin shall destruction seize your wife. Once many were they which loved and cared for you in the land of the spirits, now many are they which seek your fall in the land of the spirit…” Agamevu paused and looked intently into small clay plate in front of him which contained some water.
Osadebe was in deep thoughts. Though Agamevu had been speaking to him in parables, yet he could make so much out of it. I only killed a slave girl in Onitsha Ugbo… Okay, the zealousness of my men led to the death of a few more slaves the night the slave girl was killed. Who then shed blood of the innocent in Sapele, Asaba and Igbuzo? It has to be Awele. Agamevu said by my hand and the hand of my wife was the blood of the innocent he mentioned shed. What has Awele been hiding from me? Agamevu did not say my sons were dead; he said they are far from me. What does that mean? Who are these sons? I know only Edozien who died not so long ago. Who then is the other son?” The moment he raised his head to ask Agamevu if he could speak, Agamevu continued from where he stopped.
“A bosom you once embraced, a bosom which once made you glad by night, a bosom in which you once deposited your strength and seed shall return to Asaba with two arrows. The hands of the gods shall rest on one of these arrows and by him your glory shall be taken from you. Instead of blessings, they will bring you curses. One of these arrows shall point at you; the other shall point at your bloody wife. One of these arrows is unlike any arrow ever made amongst them. Your love for Asaba shall be in him, but when he shall rise in anger, death will follow him. I see a third arrow, he shall rise in your strength and wisdom, but his foes shall be mightier than he. When he shall see this, he will submit to preserve you a name…”
Agamevu was forced to stop by the entrance of a big vulture. Osadebe had not seen a vulture as big as that in all his life. Its eyes were enormous and when they moved, they made the sound of a river running amongst the rocks. The vulture stared coldly at Osadebe and made his heart to skip a few times. Turning its attention toward Agamevu the vulture fixed its scary gaze on him. Agamevu was unflinching. By his boldness in front of the vulture, Osadebe could tell he had seen the vulture many times. For what seemed like forever to Osadebe, the vulture and Agamevu held each other in their gazes. He was afraid that perhaps a fight might break out between the two. When Agamevu shook his head violently and uttered, “Speak on messenger of the gods! Agamevu hears you clearly! Speak on wise one!” Osadebe relaxed.
At that, it dawned on Osadebe that the bird had come to relay a message to Agamevu. When the bird was done, it flapped its massive wings and disappeared into the thin air. “Osadebe, there is a chance you can avoid the storm headed your way,” Agamevu announced. Osadebe came alive with excitement. “Tell me about it,” he said sitting up. “Take three young goats to the ancient shrine of Odogwu Ozala and offer them to the gods by night.” Agamevu had hardly finished speaking when Osadebe rose to his feet and headed out of the shrine. His face was wrapped up in palpable fear. His entire body shook visibly in nerve-racking dread. What he had been asked to do was far much worse and dangerous than taking his own life or his wife’s. In fact giving the blood of his family members was way much easier than the new proposition.
“No one comes to my shrine and walks out without being dismissed!” Agamevu barked. “How could you ask such a thing of me?! Ask me to go home tonight and strangle my pregnant wife and I would prefer it instead of what you have just proposed!” Osadebe barked in return. “When you see what is coming your way, you will wish you had obeyed this instruction.” Osadebe pondered the words of Agamevu and broke down crying. He wished he had not come to see Agamevu. In fact he was much more confused and in bigger trouble than he was when he came to see him. So much had been revealed to him and yet he knew too little. He had too many questions to ask, and sadly, he knew the answers would not be given to him.
At the shrine of the seer in Asaba, it took two days before the dark cloud which settled over him could lift. When he woke from his unconsciousness, his mind had been wiped clean by the gods. He could not even remember his name or the place where he was. Like a moron, he staggered out of his shrine with no clue to where he was headed. In his desperate search to find out that which the gods hid from him about Awele and her family, he had crossed the line and the gods served him a swift judgment. No mouth would be allowed to speak what it knew about Edozien until he would make himself known in Asaba.
Awele was saddened greatly when she heard that the seer was wandering through the streets of Asaba with no memory of who he was. For his help to her, she did her best to help take him home to his family. Sadly, for Awele, there was a problem, a big problem. Everyone in Asaba including Awele knew the seer’s condition was an act of judgment from the gods. In such cases only the Asagba himself could intercede for the seer before the gods. Awele’s fear was that if her father, the Asagba, began the ritual of interceding for the seer, her secrets with the seer might be uncovered. The aspect she feared most was Chiedu’s ancestry. Pacing about her hut desperately Awele whispered to herself, “He will burn me alive for failing to tell him that a seed of Odowgu Ozala lived amongst us. A seed whom I had sex with and bore a male son for. Surely the gods have turned against me. I should have let Chiedu and his son live.” As tears pooled from her eyes, she knew it was time to kill again. The seer must die for her secret to remain hidden.
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