Labake walked towards the little arena where the warriors were grappling. She watched Adigun grappling with another warrior for a while before he finally threw his opponent on the sand. The other warriors cheered him on while he gloated and showed off his big biceps and ripped body. When he turned and saw the Queen staring at him, his smile waned a bit. With her fingers, she beckoned him to come over and he obliged.
“My Queen.” He greeted, dusting the white sand off his body. “You look extremely radiant today.” He complimented her.
“Well, thank you but I’m in no mood for your flattery, today Adigun… I can see that you are having fun.” Labake told him, glancing at the sandy spot where the other warriors were still grappling.
“Ah!” Adigun smiled and glanced back at the arena. “It’s nothing. This is the food of warriors. This is what feeds life to our bodies!”
“I see…” Labake said then soberly added. “We need to talk.”
Adigun cast a wary glance towards Labake’s personal maid and Labake, remembering that she had come with her maid, turned to say to her: “Awa, give us some privacy please.”
“Yes, my Queen.” The maid bowed her head and walked away to stand close to the arena where she could easily and happily watch the warriors while she flirted with one of them who was sharpening a machete.
“About what we spoke about last night…” Labake began, trying to be resolute so that she didn’t end up chickening out by changing her mind.
“Do you want the charm?” He asked, hope lighting his dark eyes now.
Labake nervously cleared her throat and cast a quick wary look around to be sure that no one was listening to them. “Are you sure it works, Adigun? I don’t want a charm that does the opposite of what it’s supposed to work for o. I want everything to work just fine without any complications.”
“I’ll never lie to you, Labake. I give you my word that this charm is hundred percent potent. My ancestors made it and it has been passed down from generations to generations. When I say that I’m Adigun, the son of the eagle, I wasn’t bluffing!”
“If that’s the case, then I guess I will be needing it.” Labake finally said.
A sly smile curved Adigun’s lips now and he drew closer to her to whisper. “But erm…you know what to do, right?”
Labake glanced around again and quietly asked: “When?” Then she placed a hand on his chest and pushed him back gently. “And please, give some space, Adigun. We are in public. The last thing I want is to be caught in a compromising situation with you. Rumours travel faster than wild fire and they might reach the king’s ears soon.”
Adigun gave a lecherous smile. “I understand your fears, Olori but I shall abide by what you want. Concerning your former question, let’s meet tonight.”
“Tonight?!” Labake asked in surprise. “Why so soon?” She frowned. “Is that how eager you are to sleep with me?”
“Are you not eager to have a man in your arms too? If you were not, you won’t be here right now.” He replied.
“Point of correction, Adigun, I’m not here because I’m eager to sleep with a man. Even the gods know that the crown is more important to me than sex. I just want to remain queen and you can’t blame me for being so desperate to maintain my royal position. What actually displeases me is how desperate you are to take advantage of my situation.”
“Oh please, do not make me feel like an opportunist. You are a lady in distress and I’m only being your knight. If I may ask, how soon do you want the charm?” Adigun asked .
“Definitely before the king goes out to see his lover again.” Labake replied.
“And that will be happening on Tuesday which is three days from now. Do you want to wait till then?”
“No o, I want it in my possession now so that I can better prepare myself.” Labake answered.
“Then let me have what I want tonight. As soon as you give me what I want, I’ll give you the charm immediately. No excuses!” Adigun assured her.
Labake hesitated as she considered his request. Finally, she sighed and asked: “Alright then. Where do we meet?”
“Meet me behind my hut at midnight and I’ll sneak you into my room so that no guard on patrol that night sees you.”
“What!” She stared at him in shock. “Have you gone mad?! It’s one thing to cheat on my husband but it’s another to do right under his nose I the palace. Do you want us to be caught?!”
“Then do you have a better option?” Adigun asked.
“Yes… We’ll go into the thick bush near my father’s farm. Meet me where the tallest iroko tree stands near the old agbalumo tree.”
“Alright then, but when?” Adigun asked.
Labake seemed to think for a moment before coming up with a response. “At four this afternoon. You know that I’m not allowed as the Queen to be outside the palace after six p.m.”
“But how will you leave the palace at all? You hardly go out. Won’t the king be suspicious?” Adigun asked.
“I’ll simply tell my husband that I need to visit my sick mother and we will meet and get this done with before you know it.” She explained.
As Labake set to leave, she paused and implored: “Adigun, nobody must know about this o.”
“I give you my word.” Adigun assured her and Labake summoned her maid and they both walked away.
5:30 p.m., Labake who was just returning from the forest, quickly made final adjustments to her clothes before she walked into the palace. When she snuck into her room, she was pleased to discover that the king was not in the room. After securing the door, she pulled the little gourd of charm from inside her native blouse and grinned at it as she held it out before her.
“So now…” She began to herself in a soliloquy. “…this mystery will be solved finally. I shall now find out who the king is going to see and I shall put an abrupt end to it. Once I get rid of this rival, I’ll have the king entirely to myself. He will be all mine and mine alone. Ha! This charm better works o or I’ll never forgive Adigun!” Then she winced in pain and put her hand to her crotch. “Kai! That useless hegoat almost broke my waist despite being on the small side. Who would have thought that with all his big chest and muscle that his member would have been as small as a young carrot. Well, I’m glad that I didn’t feel much pain. If he was as big as Kabiyesi is, I would have died with the way he handled me on the forest floor. Well, I’m glad that’s over and I’ll never have to sleep with him again.” When Labake heard the voices of the king and his Otun in the outer room, she quickly got on her knees, pulled out a basket full of clothes from under the bed then slipped the charm under the pile of folded clothes.
As the days passed, Labake was extra sweet to her husband. She stopped giving him an attitude. She laughed and kept his company and never brought any issue concerning his secret lover. Even the king was impressed that he was very pleased with her and showered her with gifts of new wrappers and new beads. However, the night he was to go out to his lover, approached and when he snuck out of bed and crept out of the room that night, Labake, got off the bed, fetched the charm from the basket under the bed and rubbed her eyes with a red powder from the gourd, then she grabbed a shawl and followed her husband out into the dark. As she followed him through the palace, it was as if her senses had heightened. She could hear, see and smell things from a mile away.
She followed her husband until he got to the same garden again. Labake watched keenly and heard her husband say some incantations to the statue after opening the bamboo gate and stepping in; and before Labake’s very eyes, she saw the statue begin to move. The statue dropped her arms, bending down to place the earthenware and horn cup on the pedestal surface near her feet. Then she stepped down from the pedestal, turning into a very beautiful slender woman with long flowing black hair that reached get waist. She had such a graceful physique that Labake felt that she looked like a nobody compared to this majestic being. Was that why her husband preferred her?
As Labake watched, she saw her husband lay on the grass on his back, then the woman took off her cloth and let it slide off her body to the grass. She straddled the king and lowered herself down on his erect member standing and ready to be impaled. Labake couldn’t believe her eyes that when she even wiped her hand over her face to be sure that she was not imagining any of these, she still found the strange woman riding her husband with such vigour that the king was grunting almost too loud while the woman moaned and moved her hips on him, making love like she was built specially for that purpose.
Labake was trembling with rage as she watched another woman make love to her husband. So this was what all these was all about? Her husband was always busy making love to a statue while he kept denying her of sex for the past five weeks. He preferred pleasing this strange woman at her own detriment! How could he do this to her?! Labake began to pace around the tree. She thought of going to confront her husband but changed her mind. She began to think of what else to do. Soon, she hid again when she heard the king step out of the garden while the statue resumed her position on the pedestal once again, taking her form and holding up the earthenware and horn cup. As the king approached, Labake moved to hide at the other side of the tree as the king walked by. When the king was far gone, Labake thought of setting the statue on fire but knew that it would be hard for fire to quickly consume the statue since it was an inflammable object. As she checked around in the dark, trying to reach a decision, her eyes caught a glint of something hanging on the outside wall of one of the guardsmen’s hut which was nearby, and without the slightest hesitation, she stalked to the hut to get the object glinting in the dark.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa