The beasts and foot soldiers of the dark lord have unleashed chaos in Kan in revenge for the Dark Lords demise. The city knights led by Wild Dart have woken up to battle the ugly situation while Bald Nugo,a mighty magician of the second order finally turned the beasts into heaps of chocolate cake using the magic words "contuvertute tu catuke".
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Wake the Knights
By Emeonye Chidiebere Rex
Partridge AfricaCopyright © 2015 Emeonye Chidiebere Rex
All rights reserved.
A once peaceful city-Kan
The sun rose gradually over the horizon, with its rays illuminating the beautiful city of Kan. The birds chirped as they emerged from their nests. The people yawned in bed and their door chimed as they emerged from their individual houses.
It was a pleasant day. A sweet feeling of freedom, a touch of fresh air and the joy of community life swept through the hearts and minds of all the people of Kan in Tranquil.
Neighbours exchanged greetings with smiles. The men went off to work while the women prepared their baskets and babies and went off to the market for shopping in preparation for the great feast.
Kan is a semi urban city with a relatively large population.
It is the hub of all economic, religious, and social activities in tranquil. It is a very busy city filled with people from every corner of tranquil and beyond.
Cart drivers were notorious in the city due to their role in the movement of people and goods from one part of tranquil to another.
In Kan, Vehicles were an exclusive preserve of the rich.
At the busy cart park in the heart of kan, people boarded carts to convey them to their various places of work, market and worship temples.
The traditional worshippers of Diala were the predominant religious sect in kan.
The roads were tarred in some areas and unntarred in some other areas.
Kan has a beautiful landscape with lowlands, hills and rich vegetation, and is richly endowed with human and natural resources.
However, over the years, Kan has been known to be terrorized occasionally by criminals who come from the woods close to the community.
Kan had had a myriad of problems in the dim past ranging from cut throats to armed robbery, from fear of the unknown to attack of the unseen.
Meanwhile, a group of local vigilante charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order were busy parading the woods in case if any breach of security occurs during the festive season.
During the feast of the moon-star, the moon and the star come together to form a giant twinkling object in the night sky.
According to ancient myths, this feast was usually observed by the demised dark lord of unblessed memory in secrecy not because he loved it, but because at this feast, he is powerless and prone to attack.
More so, this feast should be a sign to mark the freedom of the people from the tyrannosaurus rule of the Dark Lord. Thus at each feast, the dark lord resorted to conjuring magic to create a dark cloud that covered the moon-star so that the people of the city won't see the moon-star thus they would remain slaves under his power.
Unfortunately for the dark lord and fortunately for the knights, the dark lord met his demise the night he forgot to cover the moon-star because he was in bed with his queen. So the knights took him unawares and killed him, but something strange happened that night. The beasts and some of the foot soldiers of the dark lord disappeared without trace.
According to local myths, they have gone to the underworld to reinforce for revenge, hoping to return when the time is right.
The city was busy and festive, and it was just a few days to the feast of the moon-star. The city chief Kono, convened a meeting with all the stake holders of the city which include-mayors, district directors, and clan chiefs. The knights were revered and powerful. They are only seen in the face of trouble.
In the laws of Kan, magic is seen as an ancient black art thus it was forbidden. People who wield magic hid it and thus walked unnoticed.
This period in the history of Kan marked a century after the city was reclaimed from the tyranny of the Dark Lord.
The feast was synonymous to an Independence Day celebration. Various families were returning for the celebration of the feast of the moon-star.
Maggie, an elderly widow popularly known as "first lady" because she was the wife of the first city chief who died while fighting alongside the city knights' on the night of the Dark lord's demise, gently locked her door and walked down to the railway station to welcome the arrival of her children and grand children.
She sat down on the wooden bench at the train station and waited earnestly and anxiously for their train to arrive.
She stood up severally, especially when she felt numbness in her legs.
She paced up and down the station. The first three trains that arrived were all filled with passengers and goods but none of her people were there.
After having spent several hours waiting, she looked at the wall beside her, and using the old timing system she knew that the sun was setting and it was roughly about 6:00pm because the rays of the sun hitting the wall occupied only the lower one-third of the wall.
She stood up, turned and began to walk back home.
After having walked several meters away from the train station, she heard the horn of a train from a distance, and then she knew that another train was coming, probably the last one plying the route for that day.
She stood aloof, and watched from a distance, as the train came to a halt and the passengers began to alight.
Immediately, her children and grand children emerged from the train.
She was excited.
She waved continuously, and shouted severally, calling them by their names. But the noise of the locomotor engine masked her little feeble voice.
Incidentally, one of her grand daughters turned and saw her waving.
Grand ma! She shouted and ran towards her direction.
Maggie spread her hands and embraced her. She kissed her on the forehead and carried her. The children walked up to her, embraced her and accompanied her home on a cart.
At home, the community welcomed them with a spell binding party. Items of clothing, jewelries, and food were presented to the people.
It was fun to be home, to sit by grand ma's fire place. The most popular venue for folklore stories and night time entertainment since the days of yore.
Little children came out and played in the night moonlight.
Everyone in the city was waiting for the moon-star to appear.
Meanwhile the maquerade dance was already going on at the city town hall which was located at the far end of Kan city. The town hall was decorated round with fresh palm fronds in a circular fashion. Camp fires were set at the centre, the musicians were at the extreme right while the people gathered on the opposite sides and every one danced to the spell binding melodious tunes of the musicians.
The masquerade waltzed to the left and right and danced in an acrobatic fashion, those playing the drums did so with enthusiasm. The men playing the flute blew endlessly and with passion such that their cheek bulged out and their neck veins distended.
The young women danced graciously and happily. The dance ended on a happy note and everyone dispersed. That night was splendid as the city was filled with gossips about the masquerade dance.
At home, parents and grand parents told folktales and moon light stories about the history of the city to their children and grand children.
Later that night, the city bell rang and the city chief with his guards took a tour round the city. He encouraged the people to exchange gifts with their neighbours as it is practiced in their age long custom.
The night was already far spent, both the adults and children were exhausted from dancing and playing.
The night was cool and seductive for sleep to take place.
A cold breeze blew and all went to sleep.CHAPTER 2
The Dream Of Nuco
The night was cool and the city was quiet. Everyone had gone to sleep, except Bald Nugo in his old fashioned magically built house.
Nugo lay in his hammock bed and enjoyed its swinging from side to side.
He looked through his window and saw the numerous stars littering the night sky.
The moon shone brighter and brighter, and the cold associated with it froze Nugo to sleep.
While asleep, Nugo had a terrible dream. In his dream, he was outside his magical house when suddenly the ground began to shake, he saw the underworld portal open before him and several beasts and foot soldiers emerged. They were heading for the city chief 's palace, and they destroyed everything in their path.
He then saw the back of a man dressed in a black robe – this looked like the Dark Lord himself. He heard the man telling the soldiers to go and kill them all and spare no one.
But in the dream, the man's face was not seen and the city knights were not there.
Immediately, Nugo opened his eyes and sprang up from his hammock splint bed.
"What tu!" he shouted.
He exhaled and looked around the room but everything was alright.
He then began to recall the dream.
No! This cannot happen, not in this generation.
But the dark lord is dead. ... huh. May be the beasts and the foot soldiers have reinforced enough from the underworld to come and revenge the dark lords death.
Yes!! They were heading for the city chief 's palace and the city knights were not aware of the uprising. This is a looming danger, something's not right.
Nugo got out of bed, he put on his magic coat and his small hat to cover his bald head. Then he carried his crocodile hand bag and his rickety magical umbrella and set out for the knights temple headquarters.
On getting there, the atmosphere of the place was quiet and serene.
Where are the knights? He asked
The walls were impregnable and formidable.
He looked up and down and sideways, no idea was forth coming. He never knew that the knights were wide awake and alert and watched him advance into the temple premises.
As soon as he entered the restricted section of the knights' headquarters, an arrow flew past him and hit the pillar adjacent to him.
He stopped and quickly drew his magical umbrella.
He sensed a presence around him but he stood still. Immediately, a thunderous voice came from around him saying "who are you?"
He looked back and sideways and saw no one. He then answered "I am Nugo of Kan".
Then the voice came again, this time stronger and harsher, "why have you come?"
Then Nugo answered saying "if you are bold enough to be a knight, then show yourself."
"How dare you show such arrogance and disrespect here" the voice retorted.
At that instant, Nugo felt a cold rush through his veins as he saw a long sword placed on his neck from behind.
"Please forgive me my lord" Nugo said and fell on his knees.
"Rise and turn slowly" the voice said.
As Nugo turned, lo and behold he was facing a giant knight with widely alert green eyes in the dark night. It was Wild Dart the knight leader.
Nugo bowed and worshiped him.
Immediately, Wild Dart took him into the temple and questioned him.
What exactly brought you to this most revered place? Wild Dart asked.
My lord, I had a terrible dream Nugo replied. Nugo then went ahead to narrate the dream to him.
After narrating the dream, Wild Dart stood up from his seat and told Nugo that the interpretation of his dream meant only one thing- revenge.
Wild dart quickly whistled and his black hawk flew in and perched on his fore arm. He scribbled a letter on a parchment and fixed it on the leg of the bird. The bird then flew off to deliver the message to the city chief.
Wild Dart then dismissed Nugo.
As Nugo was leaving, he saw knights emerging from every corner of the temple. All of them were heading towards the throne of Wild Dart. They all came and stood before him for briefing.
Then wild dart addressed them saying "Brothers, I have woken you up because there is trouble. The dark lord's beasts and foot soldiers are planning revenge. I want you to stay alert, keep your eyes crossed and your brothers close because any moment from now we will be expecting these visitors and we will slay them all." Wild dart shouted.
"Shed their blood, shed their blood. ..." The knights shouted in reply.
As the black hawk flew closer to the window of the city chief, it gently perched and chirped to draw the attention of the city chief.
The city chief rose from the bed and stepped close to the window.
He was shocked to see the black hawk from the knights' temple headquarters.
"Something's wrong" he said.
He pulled out the parchment and read it.
No! He shouted. It cannot be. They will not come.
"It must be a mistake" he said.
Instead of heeding the message of the knights, he decided to shun the knights and their intelligence reports.
With this development, Wild Dart now knew that the security of the city lies in his hands. He then began to make preparations to pull together his knights scattered in different parts of the city.CHAPTER 3
Waking The Night
The night was bright and illuminating but frankly, this is the dooms day in disguise.
The people went about their businesses that night.
The local vigilante and other security agents of the city stood guard and sealed off the city.
As the night progressed, the city drew nearer to its doom. But the knights were reinforcing harder and harder.
They called for an emergency meeting in their headquarters and planned ahead of the dooms day.
The squad captains namely; Flying Phoenix, Crane, Stone, Commotion, Penetrator, Eagle Eye, Green Bat, Thunder Bolt, and Storm Destroyer, strategized the attack formation and possible point of the underworld portal opening.
Meanwhile, far off in the heart of the city, the moon-star appeared.
There was a massive uproar from every quarter of the city. The long awaited moon-star has shown up.
It was a sight to behold.
It was glittering in the night sky, shining like an orb suspended in the sky, a natural chandelier in the heavens.
The people saw this and were happy.
Even those who were in the tea inn, peeped through the glass to see the moon-star.
There was merriment in the whole city. Barbecue spots were set up. Young men with their ladies walked in and out of the spots, gulping down their roasted chicken with chilled beer.
As one of the city's local vigilante officer raised his bottle of beer to gulp down his roasted chicken, with his mouth wide open, saw that the moon-star being covered with a dark cloud slowly.
He then quickly alerted their commander who dispatched the local vigilante to every corner of the city to search for any sorcerer who may be conjuring magic.
As the local vigilantes embarked on the search, the ground began to shake.
Meanwhile, Nugo was outside his house eating chokompiokom with magic beer, a nutrious meal that does not form stool, when suddenly the ground began to shake.
His beer toppled over and spilled. He looked up, only to see the underworld portal opening right in front of him. He quickly sprang to his feet, left his chokompiokom and magic beer and ran into his magic house which disappeared from the site immediately.
The ground shaking subsided and an earth quake took over. The ground broke up, the rocks crumbled, a strong breeze blew and the silent dust of the city was provoked.
The beasts began to emerge from the underworld portal together with the foot soldiers of the dark lord.
The beasts roared and began to destroy peoples' houses. People screamed their head out as houses crumbled and their loved ones were killed. Even those in their deepest sleep woke up and stood still, confused as to where to run to.
People ran helter skelter in different directions.
There was massive stampede.
Some of the beasts and the foot soldiers began to head to the city chief 's palace while others headed for the knights temple headquarters.
They matched with boldness and arrogance, killing people and destroying everything in their path.
Meanwhile the knights were not aware of the uprising.
The commander of the beasts used his magic wand to intensify his spell of covering the moon star.
As he was chanting the magical words, Nugo heard him from his magical house.
Immediately Nugo began to search for his magic books because his knowledge of magic was getting rusty. He used the search spell "Tu searchi tu". He found the books which were covered with dust and cobwebs. He quickly searched for the appropriate spell to deal with the situation.
He saw the spell and conjured it. He quickly grabbed his wand from his old crocodile hand bag. He removed the cob webs around it and tested it for efficacy. It blasted a powerful fire.
"Good" Nugo said
He then crept stealthily from his invisible house into the woods. He hid behind the tree close to where the commander of the beasts was conjuring magic to cover the moon-star.
Nugo then casted a spell of invisibility saying "Tu invisible".
He became invisible and then he approached the beast commander from behind, positioned his wand on him and waited patiently.
As the beast commander was about to perform the last magical spell that will finally cover the moon star and engulf the city completely, Nugo casted a freezing spell on him saying "Tu freeze tu".
The man froze instantly.
The foot soldiers that accompanied him became afraid.
They looked in different directions and found nothing. They searched the woods but could not see anything.
They then moved on with the beasts to accomplish their tasks, leaving their frozen commander behind.
Half of the moon-star was already covered with a dark cloud.
Nugo felt bad because to uncover the moon-star, he needs a more powerful magic to clear the dark cloud but he did not have such magic so he resorted to informing the knights about the situation.
Excerpted from Star Hero by Emeonye Chidiebere Rex. Copyright © 2015 Emeonye Chidiebere Rex. Excerpted by permission of Partridge Africa.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsAuthors note, i,
A once peaceful city-Kan, 1,
The Dream Of Nugo, 9,
Waking The Night, 17,
Waking The Knights, 23,
Nugo Travels To Magic City, 31,
The Portal of Tas, 41,
The Final Battle, 47,
Merry Making, 57,