New leaf had been planted in the Apemso Kingship. Foes of the King were fast gathering and looking for ways to oust him out. Their sole line of changing minds of elders was “Do you want another man to take over our land?” For over a decade, they had always operated in secrecy, planning on how to overthrow the present power. They had studied to know where Kumnipa spent most of his solitary nights and had prepared the ambush to silently eliminate him and force the king to choose their representative as the crown prince. They sent four people with the sharpest swords and skills. They were paid in lands and were told to be on their own or kill themselves if anything went wrong. They wore straw sandals with black bente so as not to attract attention. Ohene Asaa had heard of their affairs and had few informants there but no concrete evidence to pin them down. Of course this operation was very important so only key people knew. Ohene Asaa’s people had no clue.
Ama and Kumnipa watched as the four men looked for him in the Adukrom. “But this is where he sits always. Our person told us he was here.” “Then where is he now? See how you’ve wasted our time? We are supposed to eliminate him today.” “Look at the foolish boy, what if someone is listening, how can you say that?” The assassins fought among themselves. Ama allowed them to be deep into their argument before attacking. Kumnipa who could not feel his legs still watched from the bush as she took on four men, slayed two and battled with the rest of the two. Then he joined her with his sword. It must not have been his night, for he tripped and fell flat by the feet of his opponent who took the opportunity to aim a heart dig from his back. Ama fetched sand with her feet and splashed it in the air, cut the hand of her opponent holding the sword and used it to block the aim on Kumnipa. She quickly killed her opponent and proceeded to cut both hands of Kumnipa’s opponent.
A frozen Kumnipa stood watching her as she cut both legs of the only person left to completely cripple him. “Let’s get out of here.” She said after lifting the bleeding and screaming man.
Nyamekye had had her first argument with Boadu. She had told him of the blessing of being with child. He had been happy before suddenly going cold and complaining about some other man taking over his children and making him feel like a chicken. She did not know what to do. She had married for two things: love and queenship but she lived like one who had sold poison to two men. She could understand the anger of Kumnipa because he was forced to accept her with her love but could not understand Boadu who also loved her entirely. She saw the hatred oozing from both men whenever they met. Almost as if to kill each other. In fact, Kumnipa does not speak to her at all if it is not in front of the elders. Now Boadu acting up, his mood swings getting more than hers compounds her problems as a young pregnant woman. She thought of confiding in her mother to tell her the truth but was hesitant. She wanted to postpone the news to the farthest future possible to decrease the tension in the palace. It is for that reason she wore her clothes to cover her neck, used lots of sheabutter to battle the frail and shadowy look and tried to be active at all times. She was beginning to feel uncomfortable in her skin.
After listening for a while, Ohene Asaa spoke. “Listen young man, I know your family and your entire lineage. You can decide not to talk, can also decide to bite your tongue and die. Know one thing, I will personally make sure that all your houses in Apemso, under Apemso and elsewhere are cleared of all things from humans to animals. I will kill every living thing in your family…” He did not finish before the sobbing assassin who had been identified as Obeng, pleaded to talk. He mentioned the names of all the elders who contracted them, mentioned the name of the royal around whom they were building their hope and some of the key members of the group. Ohene Asaa was shocked that his own cousin was part of it. He sent few of his trusted soldiers to clear the Adukrom and started plotting on how to eliminate his enemies one after the other.
The Fotosanfohene was the first to taste the wrath of Ohene Asaa. He always knew he inflated cost of things to enrich himself. He was in charge of all the financial dealings in the palace. Ohene Asaa took particular attention and started his investigations for specific evidence which he got within two weeks. He then called for a council of elders meeting and brought him to book. His followers tried everything they could but he ended up banished. Ohene Asaa sent few assassins to eliminate him on his new land which he pretended not to have known because he asked his own people to choose the place. According to Ohene Asaa, if you cut the head of a snake, what remains is just a rope. Kumnipa marveled at how the king found ways to eliminate the people one after the other. He even poisoned his own cousin. “A king is a king not because of sentiments but because he needs to drink the most bitter of medicine in order to heal the land. You are the crown prince and need no rival. Imagine what would happen if you battle for the crown. Many will lose their lives, so we needed to do this.” Shaken, he decided to take a stroll.
Ama withdrew for a while after her encounter with Kumnipa. She was sleeping when she felt a shadow creeping on her. She held her sword, which was in her cover cloth, and waited until the intruder made to peep at her closely, then held his neck, threw him on the floor and aimed her sword at him. She looked and realized it was Kumnipa. She withdrew and in shock, shouted “My prince!”
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018
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