CLOCK TWELVE: THE MASQUERADER’S EDGE
The cold Air of the Empire moves silently under the eye of the Silver moon. Yaa Asantewaa lay on the roof of the house, in a snipping position As she Targeted her eye towards her unseen Target. I squat close to her placing my left hand on her shoulder. As my strange Eye Activated giving both of us An Incredible vision of the Adal Empire, within The Commander’s room who lay on bed in rest.
” Interesting sight Berima.” She praised as she could see clearly, due to me transferring my vision to hers. The training we did really helped in improving my eye.
“What are you guys aim-“
” Shuuuuuuuuu” Yaa Asantewaa silenced Togbe Tsali, her eyes grew extremely focused on her Target.
” Do you see him clearly??” I asked.
Kpelekpe the Werehyena, the One who slayed my friends back in The Year 1660, was handed the mission to slay the Commander of the Adals. His huge body stood over the sleeping Commander as his sharp evil claws grew from his paws. His sharp teeth grinned with Excitement, as he lifted his claws to strike the Heart of the Commander.
Carmine blood dangled into the air, splattering according to the law of gravity on the Sleeping Commander’s face. As he woke up in haste together with his wife.
Their eyes grew wider in shock. As The Humanoid Hyena fell dead on the bed of theirs, blood crawling from it’s heart. Slowly onto the bed like Marching Ants, Yaa Asantewaa shot right through his heart without missing. Then Both of us saw The vision of his past, like the way I saw that of Kishi, when he was slain by Queen Amina.
A Village in Yoruba land, was were I once lived with both parents of mine, when I was only Six. The last born of six children. Life was fun, as we trailed along Bushes to our farms as a family and harvest cocoyam.
As we bathed in the holy Waters of the gods which refreshed us, our very souls, when Mother told us night stories around the small fire she lighted with old branches.
As the children in the village played during the bliss of the Silver night, when the Atmosphere was cool and calm. I remember that old Iroko tree which stood tall in the middle of our Village. As the young Souls of the Village played joyfully around it’s umbrella shade. I remember clearly when I always cuddled my little body under Mother’s cloth. Looking whiles the Children enjoyed Their play during the Blissful night of silver Rays.
I remember when Mama used to cook Eba for the entire family as we dip our hands joyfully into the bowl scooping the food with our hands, and eating together as a family. I remember fighting with my brother over a piece of chicken, sometimes fighting over a bowl of jollof rice.
And I remember that uncanny afternoon under the blaze of the golden afternoon, when my entire family was murdered before my young eyes. Killed by an Uncle of mine who wished to take over my father’s land, which he struggled to develop and form with his beautiful wife.My mother.
I escaped Into the bushes stranded and left all alone to the strangeness of the forest. Nothing to eat as my stomach growled during the night whiles in hiding from my cruel Uncle. Out of hope I joined a gang, The Thieves of the forest, who trained me, in the art of stealing.
I had no choice, I was only but a child, I was only but a boy who had lost an entire family in just a day, under the blazing Sun.
At my first Attempt to steal, I was Soo afraid, I was Soo scared, But I did it, I stole without being noticed, Anytime I stole I had enough to eat, I had enough for myself, that was the only way I could survive.
My heart was bent in taking revenge upon that Evil soul of my own blood – My Uncle. I stole and stole and stole, Until I stole from a strange old woman. Grey haired, green eyes. Very strange she was.
But that was the end of my life as a human.
I was Cursed. I was Cursed by her very mouth. I believed she to be a witch. But no she was not. A Cosmic Linguist she was. A women well versed in the Knowledge of Ashe and how to alter it.
A curse unable to be reversed. From then I hated the world, as I lived in the forest of lost souls, cursed and stranded away from humanity as if it was the fault of mine to let my entire family die. As if I wished to be a thief.
When I first saw him – he gave me a purpose to live. To Create a world where I would be human again, where I would see My family again.
I could Time Travel and watch them a thousand times- but a beast I was, and I could not save them from their untimely deaths. I killed my Uncle during My Time Travel- But yet they still died, Time itself became unfair to my very soul. Then was when I made the decision to Save the World for those I loved.
How do you intend on saving the world Berima?? If You claim Anansi’s way is not right?? How do you intend on preventing that future from happening???. What I did was for my lost Family.
What are you doing this for?? What are you protecting the Timeline for?? Berima?? What is your reason for receiving that eye???
I stood in silence, Unable to answer. Kpelekpe was more human than I could ever Imagine. It seemed the Other legends saw what I saw, but I was mistaken, I was the only one who saw the Werehyena’s Twisted past. heard the Question Kpelekpe asked me, as he took me through his past. I saw everything – I saw the sad Story of the Kingslayer. I only stood silent asking myself wether I was in the right or the wrong?
Yaa Asantewaa held me by the shoulders, and said.
” We didn’t see what you just saw right now – but we felt it.” She whispered into my ears.
The Air became silent for a while, as we saw gold flares ascend into the Skies. – Kpelekpe was gone along with the Ancient winds. The Commander could do nothing but gasp in surprise as the body of the Strange Werehyena turned into beautiful gold dust, which Rose high into the skies.
The way in which Time Walkers died was both painful and beautiful at the same moment. They’d die in a pool of crimson scarlet blood and Later Turn into beautiful glowing solar flares ascending into the skies.
The More I defeated My Enemies the more I came to understand their reason of living, The More I see through their hearts, I felt their pain, their sorrow, their Anguish. And As The Song of Elder Ones said. I was a cursed soul.
As they died and turned into gold flares, their sorrows and troubles left them, For they had died and gone. It seems their sorrows transferred into me, Their Anguish all came into me, their pain.
My Eye, Was indeed both a curse and A Blessing.
I took it to save him, The Time he died when we were kids. I accepted the Power from here. Her face Keeps showing up in my Eyes. The first Time I had the strange Eye, I had no memories about her.
But as Time Went On, my memories came back – As she granted it to me, that cold Hamatthan Night, when I sat quietly all alone at the Backyard. When she fell from the Skies. And the earth shook.
I made her a Promise, I made a deal with her. A deal I cannot escape from, A deal which would be with me till eternity unless I was slain. I made my choice.
” The Shimbra Kura war Begins by Tomorrow, Emperor Dawit has gotten access to the Army of Tree Men Oro created for him. What do we do now Berima.” Shango draws my attention. He stood tall, with his huge Futuristic Gold and white Axe which he tied behind his back.
The other legends were ready for my next plan.
” We have no choice than to join The Adal Empire. However we make sure to take down only the tree creatures. We won’t attack any of the Abyssinians. It is quiet clear that during the War, Oro will be on his way to get The Masquerader’s Edge. But since we can’t separate ourselves anymore we would have to deal with both the Army and him as well.” I informed as I held my chin in a Thinking position.
” Did you just say Masquerader’s Edge??” Tohazie asked.
” Yep, that’s what My book calls it. Created by One Yoruba Mask maker.”
” Interesting.” Shango comments.
” However the Fact is, We would loose One thing or the other in this Mission. Either we fight of The Forest Creatures??? Or We go for the Mask.” I said, trying to think of which decision we would make.
Silence flew among us, as we were all deep in thought.
” Kweku Anansi really thought this plan through.” I said in thought.
” If we go for the Mask, and turn our backs on the Forest Creatures it would change history, Causing a Fault in the Space Time Continuum. And we all know the Results if the Timeline is even slightly changed.” Anokye reasoned.
” Hmm, true, very true. Anansi – that trickey Bastard!” Queen Makeda says.
” What if we get the Mask this very night?” Queen Amina suggested.
” Yh, we all know where the Mask is hidden – we are left with the code to unlock it from King Ezana’s Obelisk.” Togbe reasoned.
” Yh – it’s true, but we can’t do that either. Don’t forget Anansi is the One we are dealing with here. He’s set a trap.He was woven his net of trickery all around us. One mistake and we shall be trapped in it. Hence losing both The Mask and the War against the Tree Men. So which do you think we should choose.” I asked.
” Hmm, Leaving the Mask into the Hands of Oro – will lead to they discovering The Shards Of Time.” Memnon added.
We all stood for silence. Thinking through, until we came towards a decision.
” The KENTE RITUAL is what Anansi calls it. Also known As Anansi Ntontan. An ADINKRA Symbol of the Akan which means creativity, Wisdom and the Complexities of life. Looking at the Symbol of the Anansi Ntontan, I can tell clearly the Number of Shards of Time Anansi Needs in Completing the Ritual.” I informed.
” Interesting – tell us about it. Berima.” Anokye said.
” Well looking at the Symbol of Anansi Ntontan – It has seven legs around it. Representing Seven of the Shards of Time Anansi is after. Anansi intentionally attacked the Kings, believing that Clockwork Shrine will have a way of repairing the Timeline.
Before such Ritual can be made – the base of the Timeline needs to be strengthened. And that was where I came in. Revering all Anansi’s Deeds and strengthening the Timeline for such a ritual.
However it seems it’s going to take time before he gets all the Shards of Time. Anansi’s plan is to arrange the seven Shards exactly like the Anansi Ntontan Symbol around the Space Time Continuum, hence weaving the Timeline, and preventing it from Moving any further.” I said.
” Really?? How did you come up with this Intel Berima? ” Tohazie asked.
” When I read on the Masquerader’s Edge in connection to the shards of Time. Basically my book kind of gave me the idea.” I replied.
” We will have to rest now. Tomorrow we take our plan.” I ordered.
The sun Rose to it’s highest peak, The land on which we stood on, was rumbling, as the winds also blew on the chicken pea swamps of the field. My heart striking against my mortal chest. My eyes watching through the distance before us. The day had come.
We stood before an army of twelve thousand six hundred men several infantry and Calvary. Their hearts, Their soul and minds doomed for war. The Field smelled of swamp. This was my first time about to engage in a bloody war. Have been watching all sorts of war movies on T.V.
But this was far more scarier than expected. My hands gripping tightly The Water Akrafena of the Time Walkers. Grandfather trained me in using it. But I was not perfect at it yet. He told me my main training would begin after this mission. The training where I would fight against the Eighth Order.
A leader is not fit to rule over men Stronger than he is. Being wise and strategic is not the only way of ruling. That’s what he told me. I could remember clearly. If only I will survive this bloody war about to take place.
From behind us, some soldiers stared at us with strange eyes. We changed to our Original outfits. Me in my school uniform and the Other Eight In their Ancient Attires.
” I hope what you are saying is true, Young Commander – Because if it turns out to be false I shall have your Head.” Imam Ahmad Gragn threatened as he spoke in Aramaic. He sat on an all white horse. As he was dressed and prepared for war.
His eyes were Soo stern and serious, As he walked up and down before the Army. Waiting upon the enemy forces of the Abyssinians. There we saw afar – as they watched back at the Adals with deadlock eyes.
” Where are the tree men???” Togbe asked in shock. We were expecting to meet them head on, but only the Adal soldiers appeared before our eyes.
The Commander turned to look at me with stern dark eyes. But I in turn made his heart Jump when I activated my strange right eye.
” ANOKYE!!!! DO YOUR THING TAKE MAKEDA ALONG!!!!!” I Alarmed, for my eyes revealsed clearly to me the Strategy of The Abyssinians to win the war, without loosing blood. Anokye understood my order as he slammed the floor with his palms.
Teleporting all twelve thousand six hundred Soldiers from the field, immediately he did that the earth began to crack rapidly as the tree men, began to appear from under ground. Anokye teleporting the entire Army in gold flares lost consciencness after this weighty attempt.
The Adals were teleported to appear behind the Abyssinians on the Battle field. That was when the great war began. My plan worked perfectly.
The Adals raced from behind with rage and a shout of war, the Air was filled with anger. Queen Makeda placed her palms on Anokye as she spread Through ANOKYE’S body strange turquoise veins which began to heal him, he had over used his Ashe.
Teleporting a thousand soldiers was no easy task. Anokye was a Boss.
He had not yet even revealed his true power.
It was left with only seven of us now, and the Army of Tree men. Two wars taking place at the same battle field. The ground shook as the Tree Creatures attacked. I held my Water Akrafena with all my strength. Beads of sweat dripping from my face. The ground shook like an earthquake as shouts of War cut through the dark air.
” Guys!!! You ready????” I asked. As the Legends surrounded me, as if they were protecting me. It was kind of the law of war. If I was taken down the Tree Men would win. They stood tall to seven feet, their Mahogany skins smelled of rot, green surge of lights walking around their Mahogany bodies.
Their eyes were emerald and dark. They rained down on us. That was when the true War of Two began. There were many of them, just too many. We stood on the line to protect the Shimbra Kura war, as the Adals and the Abyssinians fought in a blood bath, we also fought a Time War.
They ran towards us. ” Don’t worry child, this is your first time huh???” Memnon patted me by the shoulders ever ready for the incoming attack.
“Hahahaaa, Child is probably Praying to all the gods he can find in his head. Hahaha” Asebu teased.
” Don’t worry child, haha this is Going to be lit” Yaa Asantewaa said.
These guys were Soo happy, Soo happy for war, So charged for it. I was no more scared, I shook no more, I feared no more. My blood began to grow hotter, ranning through my veins, happiness and fear mixed into one.
The huge Creatures approached as the grounds shook to every step they took, Asebu took out his Long Strange Cutlass, which had Ga Samai Symbols engraved on it.
Yaa Asantewaa held on to her sleek Snipping Gun. Tohazie held on to his bow, Togbe kept flexing his muscles, Memnon cracking his Knuckles, Amina gripping tightly to her sleek sickles in both hands, the wind of war flickering our cloths. My Strange eyes saw through their strange Ashe.
Shango Gripped his Plasma looking Axe with one arm, Smile drawing on his face, All the legends had a smile on their face.
” The child is way too scared, send him to his Mama to suck some Breasts, if possible some Koko.” Amina said in hausa, teasing me with a smile. The enemy kept drawing closer and closer. My heart kept Pounding faster, slamming against my chest, my hands gripping thightly the pommel of My Akrafena.
I stood before The order.Anokye and Makeda were somewhere else. Makeda had to heal Anokye completely.
Tohazie rushed to stand before me, excitement on the faces of the legends. It was Soo awesome, I felt Soo safe. And shouted.
” ATTACK!!!!!!!!, Tohazie crush into them!!! Yaa Aim as usual, Shango take the Skies, Togbe Assist him, Memnon do your Magic. Amina crush through their wooden souls, Asebu Rip them to shreds!!!!!!!” I ordered as Tohazie rushed into the tree Army as he did something I had never seen before, I was drowned in both shock and excitement. He shapeshifted into an extremely huge cat like Creature.
It’s fur was bright scarlet, golden luminous Markings all over it’s scarlet fur. Teeth protruding, paws of bright gold. It stood to Ten feet, the height of Asebu. It had two fiery colored tails, as it crushed through the Tree men with his paws, crushing through their skin. He shapeshifted back into his true form throwing Powerful Arrows and shapeshifted back into his beast mode.
Asebu using his superhuman strength to smash and crush through the Army, as he swang his sword back and forth, cutting through The army, The legends used their skills in war. It was remarkable it was amazing to see the legends in action. Yaa Asantewaa, Shango and Tohazie exchanging weapons as they fought in the war. Their skills were unmatched.
Suddenly the clouds began to darken, As Thunder and fire began to rain down on the Army. Shango was seen suspending in the clouds Commanding fire and thunder to rain down.
The field became hot, and scorched by the power of the Thunder, the tree men burned into Ashes.
As if that was not enough, A wave of gold dust spread all around turning A number of the Tree men into solid gold, As Makeda Mind controlled the creatures into fighting themselves. As I raced through the army remembering the skills Grandfather taught me. I slice through the Tree men, Dodging Dangerous attacks , and cutting through the Golden statued Trees which broke to the ground in pieces.
My lips arched with joy, when I beheld him. Anokye was back to his feet Using his Hot gold power to freeze The Tree Men.
” Yes!! An Anokye…….. Gold them.” I said confused of what words to use.
” You are doing good Child.” Anokye praised. Amina Ranning her Sickle though the Army together with her Energy formed Warriors.
We ran through them, preventing them from. Crossing the line into the Shimbra Kura war.
Togbe Tsali began to rise into the Air. Doubling the Darkness Shango created. A powerful mighty Tornado began sweeping The Creatures. The war had been decided.
The legends were too powerful. My face and uniform was covered in dirt. We had a choice, either to protect the Shimbra Kura war or to follow Oro and take the Masquerader’s Edge.
It seemed Tokoloshe and Oro had escaped with the Mask during the War.
We succeeded in defeating the Army. As Memnon ushered the Final blow. My heart pounding, we did loose the Mask. And for once I needed to train harder. We could see from afar, the Adals marching to the Abyssinian Kingdom.
We succeeded in protecting the Timeline, just for some time. Cause we did fail, And Anansi did win against us. Even tho Happy I was sad. I lost to Kweku Anansi again.
Yaa Asantewaa held me by the Shoulder.
” You did great kid, we are glad you are our Commander.” She said, with a smile, even tho she had covered her mouth in bandages I could see it from her eyes.
Smoke filled the Air, the floor was bathed with dead tree men. The only ones standing were us. From afar, the Adals jubilated their victory as they won, for the war had not ended. They were marching to The Kingdom of the Abyssinians.
We had to go back to Clockwork Shrine. Our job even tho failed had been done.
I drew A Ga Samai Symbol which sent us back to Clockwork Shrine, as we appeared from the sand pit.
The memories of the Kingslayers we defeated kept flashing in my mind.
” Child? Are you okay??” Amina asked. As I shook my head with a smile.
” Hmm, Can’t wait to train with you. Berima.” Anokye said, as arrogant as always.
There was more ahead, more to face. I had to be stronger. I had to be.
” See you Tomorrow, Young soul.” Asebu Shouted, as I drew the Nyame Duah Symbol in the red Earth, causing the strange flower to send me back to The Present.
” You did well son, Don’t forget to pass by tomorrow. We need to stop Anansi from getting access to the shards of Time. But before you can embark on that journey you need to be stronger. See you later.” He waved as I left with the strange flower.
School bells rang for start lesson immediately I got to the school gates. I missed school for a week, Mother and father believed I stayed along with My uncle Nii for the week. I had never stepped into his house before either.
Home was fine. And non complained about me not being around. As I stepped into the school, all eyes watched as I walked to my class.
Everything was Soo normal, so present, so boring. At least I had saved the Timeline for the meantime. My hands fixed into my pockets as usual.
I wondered why I could not Time Travel back to the day I left school. Well since I didn’t use the The Nature’s of Time. I guessed so.
” So you won’t say anything to us huh??? You just see us and walk by!” Aranaa said as she approached my desk. The entire class starred.
Could see clearly that she was worried about me. Than anything else.
I could say nothing, I only turned my eyes somewhere else.
” Ohh, that attitude again huh??? I swear you will answer me !! Before I leave your desk today.” She said holding me by the collar.
” I know you guys, Introduced me to this world. I know you Know why, I am scared to speak to you guys.” I answered softly.
” I’ve been worried about you ever since you had your eye powers. Ever since I heard if the Kingslayers, we all are worried about you Berima.” As she said these I could see it in her Strange green eyes.
Suddenly A beautiful student appeared before our class summoning me.
She was Light skinned like Aranaa, but her hair was strange and white, with red in it. Very long white hair. She had scarlet eyes.
As soon as she called for me, all guys began to make all sorts of noise.
” Who is she?” I asked Aranaa.
” Yh, You have been out of school for some time I guess. She seems to be The New school prefect. We also have a New Headmaster. He has white locks like hers. That’s what everyone is talking about now. The hot Headmaster and the girl as Well.” Aranaa informed me.
I moved towards the girl at the door, she smelled of roses. She was cute, Exactly my height.
” The Headmaster wants to see you” she said. I only followed her to the Office. My heart was pounding Soo fast. I knew the reason why I was summoned. My absence from. School was too much I guess.
I spent most of the Time In Clockwork Shrine and Time Traveling.
The Office was all clean and white, every Design was of a minimalist art. She closed the door behind me as she entered with me. The Headmaster stood watching outside his window, I only could see his back. The Office was cold, due to it’s extremely cold Air condition.
Then Something dawned in me when the Headmaster turned his face to speak to me. My heart slamming Soo fast, sweat dripping from me. My blood and bones began to quake. I felt my stomach reach my throat. My eyes opened in shock.
My headmaster was KWEKU ANANSI...
WRITTEN BY DARIUS KWABENA PARTEY.
Copyright © 2019 by Darius Kwabena Partey
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