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Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy - Literature (2) - Nairaland

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Downtown Fairy Tale. genre( urban-fantasy) / ODE: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy (rewrite) / E. Fantasy(short Stories) (2) (3) (4)

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:30pm On Apr 22, 2015
A.N: This part was incredibly frustrating to write that I just to give up and post it like that or I won't have posted anything for a while.

CHAPTER 2


Interlude: The Friend

I am a good friend.

I’ve been told that it is one of my few redeeming qualities, that my loyalty to those I consider my friends is unquestionable and uncompromising. I’ve also been told that it is my greatest flaw and would lead to my downfall. Both statements are things I believe in.

This is why, when Bolanle called informing me of what Segun is planning to do I immediately drop everything I was working on and take the first trip down to Ile-ife. That kind of decision making is why most people say I’m a crazy genius and don’t think about the consequences of my actions. This kind of statement on the other hand, I consider to be ludicrous.

I am most definitely not crazy as all my actions are methodologically planned and considered to achieve the best result, just because some people die or get stuck in time for life and that was just a one time thing, doesn’t mean I didn’t know it could happen, it simply meant that was the best result possible. I am also not a genius, it is just as a result of having all the time in this world and the next to consider my every step before making it.

So my dropping everything at the research centre and coming down here was as a result of several hours of planning and considering all possible scenarios before reaching the conclusion that this was the best path. I simply had the benefit of being able to compress those hours into a single second.

My choice to blast the door off its hinges wasn’t only for the dramatic effect although it was very cool. It also allowed to keep their concentration off the tell tale sign of me applying my time ase. The world freezes in the moment and I slip into the room to observe the people there.

The three kids with their weapons drawn. I mentally check the database I lifted of the centre years ago to match the faces. I register one and bring it to the forefront of my mind. It is the bush babies. They were part of the children taken in the spree of the infamous Ayeni kidnappings. Supposed to be a sacrifice, the children 30 in number were left in the Irunmale forest. There was a lot of calls to find them and the Ode certainly tried, some of the Ogboju Ode even lending a hand but resources where stretched thin back then and it ended quickly. It was 12 years later when only the 3 of them walked out of it. Forever changed and never to age again, the forest had made its mark on them.

I take note of their weapons, the ase brimming in it is extremely dangerous and is the work of a very high enchanter. It might be something of importance later on.

I notice the man next, Bankole, one of the infamous Aja-Orun and I am a bit unnerved when I see despite my actions he seems to have noticed me.

I feel it, there is another person hiding in the room. The skill at stealth is very good and I wouldn’t have noticed it if not for the stillness that I caused. Mysterious. I like mysteries and especially figuring it out. I could unravel it but I don’t want the person to notice I’ve noticed him or her so I let the cloak be.

It is then I focus my attention on the reason for being here, Segun Odeolu. His face as stern as the father he despises, he has the same build as his brothers, very muscular and tall. A true genius, his ability and skill in enchanting marking him out as very powerful person in future. A shame what was done to him, he had the potential to go all the way to Kankanfo.

Looking at him reminds me of simpler times, when our clique of friends would gather at his father’s house. We would play games and when night fell, we would gather our mats and head to the roof where we would count the stars, it was really beautiful.

Now he is cut off from almost all he knows. no longer in on the secrets and jokes, his friends being forced to shun him to avoid being tainted by association. It would have been a very painful decision for him and even though right now he hides it behind a smirk I can see his pain. Such pain can lead to something terrible especially now that all he has is his insane quest to heal his brother.

It is why I managed to quickly wrangle out of the centre. I am here to support him and help him in it before he gets killed foolishly and to kill him before he dooms us all.

I am after all a good friend.

XXXXXXXXX
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 11:08am On Apr 23, 2015
Care to share? Why was this hard for you?
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 11:47am On Apr 23, 2015
The scene I first wrote, I didnt like it at all so I decided to scrap that and go with sade. It was meant to be only her views on the nature of friendship. A reflection of what she was thinking as she sat beside segun in the meeting. Getting the words to write it was didn't come out in a meaningful way so I ended so I just rewrote it to get this which im not satisfied with but I've missed enough days that I don't want to risk missing another one.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 1:54pm On Apr 23, 2015
So, ur saying that these last two updates are the Same scene..just written from two different charactrrs' perspective?
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by kosby001(m): 3:37pm On Apr 23, 2015
Well written and wonderful contribution from the readers. What I just believe is we all trying and know one is perfect at the moment.

Like most commentators have pointed out you need to watch the tense and be careful with the use of some grammatical terms. Secondly,will advice that before you start any write up, itemised the list of your cast nd prolly locations, have then written somewhere for easy reference should in case your settings are beginning to contradict themselves.

Welldone...

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:10pm On Apr 24, 2015
Segun
My Father used to tell me “A kì í ti ojú ogun wẹ́fọ́n.” It was one of the few things he remembers from the forgotten Language. A saying that was told to him by Akara-ogun himself during the Battle for Ibadan at the tail-end of the red night. It was loosely translated to One does not wait until the heat of the battle to start looking for palm-leaf midrib. it was funny considering at the time Akara-ogun said it, they were frantically searching for some key that was supposed to be very important to their defense then. It was stories like this that he would tell us when I was much younger.

He would sit down on his big armchair and I would sit on his laps and listen to the deep rumble of his voice as he spoke, sometimes I would put my ear on his chest and listen to the strong steady beats of his heart. Femi would be disturbing Bolanle, my mum would shout to stop him while breastfeeding Biodun and Niyi would look on with a smile on his face as he read a novel. Things were perfect then, the family had its problems but those moments were the best times of my life.

The saying was one of that stuck with me as I grew up, one of the extremely rare pieces of the forgotten language I can say out aloud and for that I cherished it and took it to heart. The importance of proper preparation can never be understated. This is why it was immediately after the meeting I started my preparation.

Most of my already enchanted weapons I managed to retain thanks to the resourcefulness of my sister but some crucial pieces like my hunter’s mask were still missing. I had started the process of making a new one but making materials that broke the laws of nature on a long-term basis were extremely difficult to do even for someone of my skill.

However that is not the only method of preparation available to me, another saying of my father was "All things are ready, if our minds be so."

For him the importance of mental preparation cannot be understated as it was only when one was fully prepared that the true potential of one’s ase can be released to the fullest.

This is why I spent the night in my room meditating, trying to achieve a proper balance of my emi and refirming my right as Olodumare’s chosen creation to rule over all of reality. The meditation turned out to be my longest ever. A total of 7 hours was spent in the trancelike state where balance is achieved. Coming out of it I was fully rested and ready to take on the world.

The surprise on Matthew’s when he wakes up is something to cherish. He has always been the first to wake in the room. His mouths sputters for he is at a loss of words.

“Close your mouth before the flies get in.” I tell him as I chuckle. It is not always one gets to catch him speechless.

“But …But…Bu…….” He continues as he struggles to form a coherent statement. I continue laughing as I open my box looking for clothes that I have not had reason to wear since entering this new phase of my life.

“This is IMPOSSIBLE.” He finally exclaims. His finger pointed at me as he narrows his eyes in suspicion.

“Who are you and what have you done with my roommate?” He asks, before realizing if his suspicion is correct he might be in trouble after which he adds “There are security guards nearby and I’m not afraid to call them.

“Oh stop with your whining, it is me and just because I woke up early doesn’t mean I’ve been replaced. I don’t think I’m that bad.” I say, bringing out the cloth I’ve been searching for.

“Nope, not believing. My legion of alarm clocks beg to differ so again I ask identify yourself.” He says as he stands up and edges closer to the door.

“Eh okay, I’m the great Ajantala come to add your face to my collection.” I reply in as dead a voice as I can manage as I turn to face him, my face twisted up in a likeliness of a snarl and my hands raised up like that of a zombie.

“Oh okay, it’s you.” He replies as he calms down and goes back to his bed. Seeing the disconnect on my face. “Well no-one else can come up with such a ridiculous story, really? Ajantala the face collector?”

“Wait what? You are willing to believe that I have been replaced in the middle of the night at the most secure places in the country but unwilling to believe in Ajantala the face collector?” my voice indignant

“Yup, there is highly improbable and outright impossible, by the way how come you are up this early?” he says waving away my indignation and curiosity shinning on his face.

“Yeah about that.” I say as I begin to put on my hunter’s garb. A forest green material interwoven with enchantments by some of the greatest enchanters in the country to protect the Ode in their missions in the forest. It is ultra-soft to the skin yet will prevent against all but the most powerful physical attack against the wearer and even some reality warping attacks. It is a perfect camouflage as it blends in with the forest. A powerful boon to all Odes.

“I have to go for a while, something personal came up.”

“Something personal that you need to wear a military grade suit for?” he asks with skepticism in his voice. He always was sharp.

“Something like that and no it isn’t what you think. I’m not working for the government or a spy or anything like that.” I reply trying to forestall his next line of inquiry. Ever since my arrival he has assumed I am undercover in the school especially since I beat up a gang that was trying to rough us up that one night.

“Yeah, just a failed student right? A failed student that still has his military attire and hardware.” Disbelief coloring his every word.

“My case was a bit special. See, can you cover for me. I have permission to leave but you know how lecturers are.” I say as I put the finishing touches to my attire before wearing a black jacket to cover it.

“Sure sure sure, do take care of yourself on your not government work.” He says as he stands to head to the bathroom.

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” I reply and walk out the door to face the unknown and hopefully achieve my goal



whitemosquito:
So, ur saying that these last two updates are the Same scene..just written from two different charactrrs' perspective?

Not exactly the last two updates, it was supposed to mirror the scene when sade enters the room by destroying the door. Will have to make it clearer.

kosby001:
Well written and wonderful contribution from the readers. What I just believe is we all trying and know one is perfect at the moment.
Like most commentators have pointed out you need to watch the tense and be careful with the use of some grammatical terms. Secondly,will advice that before you start any write up, itemised the list of your cast nd prolly locations, have then written somewhere for easy reference should in case your settings are beginning to contradict themselves.
Welldone...


Thanks a lot. I recently just started keeping a list of the side characters when I realized I was confusing some of them in my head. Like what grammatical terms are you referring to?
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 9:52am On Apr 25, 2015
But Sage,.That's wrong on several different levels. To write the Same chapter from two different perspectives.
It can only work If from Day one you've been telling the story from those two perspectives. And in that case, you'll have to clearly distinguish them. Whenever you want to write from Segun's perspective, you'll title it. Then do the same for Sade. So its clear that two different people are telling the story. With the way you are writing now, esp with the consistent use of the First person(I), noone would understand, much less appreciate that particular scene.
Ok, see how u continued the narration of the last update in the First person, anybody reading will assume Sade is still talking until they get to the dialogue between the roommates and then realize its Segun.

Choi!!!
You have serious work to be done here o. Id like to edit the entire story when youre done. Infact, my fingers are itching for it.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 2:50pm On Apr 25, 2015
The idea was that the first scene of each chapter is from the perspective of another character, to show us things the segun would have missed or can't see due to the first person limitation. Will try and make that clearer. I really appreciate the offer to edit and I'm looking forward to it.

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 8:20pm On Apr 25, 2015
That'll be too complicated, Sage. You should stick with simple Or regular. The story ur trying to tell is complicated enough without you adding that.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 10:50pm On Apr 26, 2015
The journey to the campus gate compound was quiet. Most of the school population were still indoors and there was nobody to disturb me. The chance to get my thoughts in order was something I really appreciated.

The Gate compound was located close to the Male Residency Tower. A squat building with most of its facilities built underground. It provided the school access to the portal network that provided rapid transport across the country and even some international locations. It is another very useful feature leftover by the Orishas during their reign.

It was invented by Ogun to allow the Orishas instantaneous travel across their budding empire. It is one of the most powerful pieces of enchantment created as it fundamentally breaks the laws governing mankind irreparably. As almost all things built by Orishas it was meant only for the orishas, the power flowing through the portals would very easily tear a man to pieces or just lose the person in limbo. Thankfully after the Red Night, enchanters managed to create a loop that stabilizes it enough for human travel so now it serves as a very fancy transportation system. Despite its versatility and speed, most people are still leery of it as the protective enchantments can fail, this means it is not a very popular means of transit.

I soon enter the building and make my way down to the Portal room 4 with thoughts of the fates of past travels on my mind and there I meet the late night shift, an old woman would rather be anywhere else than here.

“Present your papers.” She tells me, sounding like the life has been sucked out of her.

I walk up to the desk to present the papers that Makinde thankfully had prepared for me beforehand. I stand and wait, inspecting the portal as she peruses the papers. It is basically an elevated circular chamber protected by elder glass.

After looking at them, she stands and directs me to the chamber, I enter it as she listlessly goes through the standard procedure before suddenly stopping to ask if I had ever used it before, I reply in the affirmative and she punches in the co-ordinates to the location Makinde gave me.

As she does this, the glass door locks me in and the pressure in there starts to build and I am hurling through a reddish vortex, hearing inhuman screams and my nose assaulted by the smell of burning bodies.

Suddenly it all stops and I fall to my knees, struggling to catch my breath. That is another reason the portal method of transportation isn’t too popular. I pick myself up staggering away from the chamber into another portal room somewhere in Ijebu-Ode.
I manage to sort out my papers here fairly quickly as although it is busier than the campus room, it is still fairly empty. After doing that I leave the building.

Ijebu-Ode had been my childhood home during the time before my father got promoted to a Named Eso that made moving to Ibadan necessary. Its inhabitants are very proud of its history. It was one of the first towns during the Red night to overthrow the Orisha-led government. It became an active outbed for the early warriors then and a constant thorn to the Orishas, noted by the Orishas as trouble makers. If you hear my dad say it the troublemaking did not stop.

I find the rendezvous point very quickly, Makinde had picked Greenhouse, the country most infamous eatery/club. The food there is amazing and relatively cheap although most of the notoriety comes from the fact that it sells more than just food. It serves as a nexus point for almost all criminal activities in the state. You can buy information if you know how to ask and the right price to pay.

The government has gotten tired of trying to shut it down as that would cause riots in Ijebu since it is treated as a monument and physical representation of the struggle in the people against their gods.

I soon enter there. The greenhouse is empty save for the barman who is cleaning up, bankole who appears to be in discussion with another man

I don’t recognize and Tolu, the bush baby boy busy wolfing down Ofada rice.

“Good morning Sir John.” I greet the Bar man. He glances in my direction and gives a small nod before going back to cleaning the glasses. He is one of the owners of the place, having been there when it was first founded. He doesn’t look a day different from the last time we met shortly before the relocation.

“Please the usual.” I tell him and move towards where the group is seated.

“hey Shegge.” Tolu says practically shouting. I frown. “Can I call you Shegge? I feel like I should call you shegge, It just fits you know, your scruffy dressing and the way you look just screams Shegge and if we are going to be entering the forest of doom together we should be able to use nicknames right? So Shegge it is then.” He finishes with a smile on his face. The frown on mine deepens

“No, don’t call me that.” I say as I drop into an empty seat beside bankole and I nod in greeting to him and the partner.

“Fantastic then, Shegge it is.” He continues intent on annoying me. I debate the merits of reaching over to punch him, as I am going through the cons which are very small I am interrupted when Bankole chooses to speak.

“This is the last member of the crew, James, he is an expert on the Ghommids having served on several of the diplomatic missions to the Ghommid kingdom.” I suppress a snort at the diplomatic, the only diplomacy that went on was the Die or Obey kind.

“Good morning, happy to have you on board.” I say as I extend my hand to shake him. His grip is very strong. I take a closer look at his face which appears to be riddled with scars but on closer examination i see it is the war marks of the Ghommid kingdom given to only those they respect. I can count on a single hand the number of people that the government has on record to have received them and they are all dead. This makes this James fellow very interesting.

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by chikuzy(m): 9:57pm On May 03, 2015
What's keeping the updates? New updates pls
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 8:33pm On May 04, 2015
A.N; This more than a week delay is something hopefully will not happen again. I've managed to write something up to get back into the swing of things so it should be a steady update rate from here on. Any tips on improving the distinction in the characters voices will be greatly appreciated



“So you were part of that expedition?” I say gesturing to the marks on James’s face.

His face blank he replies “Yes, and sorry but I don’t want to talk about it.” he pauses and leans forward to face me turning his face into a frown.

“Is that going to be a problem?”

My hand finds my trusty knife as I relax in my seat, my posture casual in a way as to allow easy withdrawal of the knife in case this turns to a fight.

“Oh not at all, I just wonder is all how someone who is supposed to be dead is sitting in front of me.” I say.
At this he sneers “I could ask you the same thing.”

“Touche.” I reply, my knife beginning to clear its sheathe “but that is not going to be enough for me, you see I have a problem working with someone who thought a whole sale slaughter of an human settlement was a good idea.”

“ And someone who summons an abomination has any ground to talk? Once I said it and now I repeat it Is that going to be a problem.” He says as his voice steadily rises in ase causing the lights in the restaurant to flicker and the sound of metals rattling feels the air.

“oooooooo, this is going to be good” tolu says with a smile on his face. I ignore him like everyone else and focus on how I can take on this James. My Mesh shirt underneath my jacket should provide some measure of protection against his attack. I curse my lack of most of weapons that have been seized by the academy. My trusty blade is all I have on me. It would have to suffice.

“Eh, you see, in that settlement was a friend, a mentor and you cowards butchered him into so many pieces that we couldn’t even properly identify him. The only closure was that all of you bastards were dead. So no it is not going to be a problem as I am going to rectify your situation.”

“Good riddance, I’ll-“That was all he got out before I jump at him, my ase uncoiling round me with the intent of skewering the bastard.
Or at least that was the plan before I am suddenly flying backwards. My ears ringing from the punch that I just received. I manage to stand on my feet. My eye finding the source of the punch that is still causing my ears to ring and a see a blurry Bankole on his feet standing beside a surprised james who already has some kind of weapon out. There is a moment of stunned silence before Tolu’s laughter, a grating sound in my ears.

“There will be no fighting here or within this team. And know this, I will personally put down the next person to start something.” His voice rings out with authority. He stares at me challenging me to disagree. I look away, I know I can’t take him, he was after all an Aja-Orun.

“Do you understand?” He continues, his eyes boring into mine. I mumble my acknowledgement much to the delight of Tolu whose hysterical laugh. He turns his eyes to him to which he quickly raises his hands up.

“we are cool, I’m cool, no starting shit at all, I got it.” He says

He then faces James who waves his hands and mutters his reply. It is apparently good enough for Bankole as he takes his seat after that.

I stand and move to take my seat. The awkward silence is very awkward.

It is thankfully broken by the arrival of Sade who is dragging a very large bag behind her.

“Whats with the stuffy tension here?” She asks to nobody in particular.

“You really missed.” Tolu excitedly tells her. “ See your dumb friend and new guy were all doing this really pathetic testorone filled pre-battle showdown but as they were about to clash, this guy that never talk” pointing his hands at Bankole “lays a one punch smack down on the dumb friend and then sent them to their seats like babies. Now they are busy sulking.”

My teeth start grinding unconsciously, I really want to punch that guy.

She drops the bag on the floor with an heavy thud and rushes to where I’m seating. Her hands poking at me.

“I hope the big bad Aja-Orun didn’t hurt you too bad right.” She says as she examines me. I try to push her hands away but she is having none of it. She then slaps me at the back of my head

“hey, whats that for?” I exclaim.

“that is for being stupid were I’m not there to record.”

James and Tolu burst out laughing.

“and stop sulking, I know you think that you are brooding but really its sulking and it does not suit you.”

1 Like

Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by chikuzy(m): 10:38pm On May 05, 2015
The delay in updates is killing this story. I hope you don't lose all ur followers/readers with this.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 11:29am On May 06, 2015
Hey sage, hope ur ok?
Just checking on you...

This last update is rife with plenty typos o...please take ur time with subsequent ones.
Lovely day..
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 5:51pm On May 06, 2015
A.N Yeah I'm fine thanks for asking. it was some RL situations that needed attending to that delayed the updates. The last one was rushed cause I wanted to get something out there to get me back into writing.




I ignore her and turn my attention to the bag.

“What’s in there?” I ask her. At this she gets the extra large smile reserved for when she wants someone to appreciate her.

“Bask in my awesomeness you plebian.” She says dramatically pausing for full effect as she points to the bag.

“In there is all the enchanted weapons and knickknacks you ever made, along with some toys I appropriated for this mission.”

I scarcely heard her before I’m on my feet and opening the bag. The thought of all my years of work lost like that was one of the major reasons of my depression after I was kicked out of the academy. I immediately begin setting them out.

My bow that I charmed to my will to always target my aim as long as I could see it, it was my first professional grade enchantment, the thing that set me apart from the rest of the class and kept me on the fast-track program. It was one of my more memorable piece of enchantment. My ada, ever sharp and even resistant to most magics, a joint collaboration project with Uncle Femi, my mentor before he was murdered. My hunters mask, a piece of red headband that constantly checks the radius around me for life and ase, a sensor device that saves me the stress of constantly doing it for myself, a necessity for all Ode in the forest, my modifications to mine providing additional range and masking my presence from the casual check of ase in the forest. My wrist band, a gift from my father, my only gift from him, it provides a dome shaped shield of ase around me providing a protection against all but the most powerful attacks like say a god decided to attack.

These items were some of my most treasured things from the academy and I could never thank Sade enough for bringing them to me. It puts me even deeper in my debt to her and also makes my plan for borrowing weapons from makinde unneccesary.

A long whistle from James shakes me from my reverie.

“That is some serious hardware.” He says with amazement in his voice.

I smirk as I begin to put them on my person. The bow slung across my back, the hunter’s mask and headband all worn. Sade looks approvingly in my direction.

“Yes, now you look like a proper Ode.” She says.

“How?”

“Well I do have some few strings I can pull and several more I can bribe or blackmail. I am awesome like that.” She answers to my unfinished question.

“Don’t know how to thank you for this.”

“You can just say I’m awesome and leave it at that.” At this a smile stretches across my face.

“you are awesome and the best friend a guy could ask for.” I tell her, sincerity in every word.

It is at this point, Makinde comes in with the rest of the bush babies.

“Okay guys, it is all set.” He announces his presence in that loud voice of his. He takes note of me and nods his head approvingly.

“Take it you will be not be needing the accessories I scrounged up then.”

At this I nod back to him, yeah it feels better to use weapons of my own making than any black market product he would have gotten for me.

“Okay planning meeting everybody.” Makinde says.

At this everyone gathers round the table and a certain seriousness descends on the group.

“So how was your scout mission?” James starts off.

“Scout mission?” I ask.

“Yeah, the usual passage will not be feasible this time.” Tola or is it Tope answers.

“Why is that?” Bankole asks his first question since putting me on my ass.

“Well there have been increased security patrols, which I think it has something to do with the package we are supposed to be retrieving.” Tope, yeah that’s the name, says as she looks at Makinde in a challenging light.

“Yes, it probably does, but still you don’t need to know what is in the package, you are all being paid well enough to not know what is in the package.” He answers her in a way that shows this has been an argument for some time now. Her frown at his reply lets us know this is not the end of the matter.

“Anyway, the scouting work has turned up some results, it is less than ideal but we should be able to skirt past the cordon and into the forest through Fury road.”

“Wait, did I just hear you right?” James said in a disbelieving tone. “You did not just say Fury road, that is literally the worst entrance into the forest. It is closest to some of the nastiest creatures in that forest and to top it off it takes us out of a direct path to the Ghommid village.”

She replies in a calm voice like one talking to a child, and just for that I decide I like her “Well, like I said it is less than ideal, it-“ she is cut off by James.

“Less than ideal, going into the forest without a full platoon is less than ideal, not brushin my teeth in the morning is less than ideal, what you are suggesting is suicide and I want no part of it.” He says this as he stands up and makes to leave.

Or at least he attempts to make to leave, Makinde grabs his hands before he could leave the table.

“You will sit down and do this, or should I take it that you are no longer honoring the bargain.” Makinde tells him, steel in his voice as he looks him dead in the eye. Now I finally see the criminal mastermind that has survived on the streets and risen up.

At the statement, James face pales and he sits down back, hastily making apologies.

“No, no not all, I will never go against the bargain, please forgive my indiscretion.” He mutters out, his voice quaking in fear of Makinde.

I am surprised and I am not the only one, Sade quirks an eyebrow up at the exchange, the bush babies all exchange glances. It is Bankole’s reaction that surprises me, he is frowning. Whatever Makinde has on James must be really interesting and seems like Bankole knows about it and is annoyed. This mission is shaking up to be the disaster kind of interesting before it even starts.

“It is not a problem as long as you remember your place here.” Makinde replies and gestures Tola –err Tope to continue.

“Yes as I was saying, we make it in through Fury road at night when the patrols there at lightest, my sister here has gotten us a path in there but it only appear between 4 – 5am tomorrow morning so it would be a rush job. Hope you can get all you need before then.”

“So what of getting into the village? It changes locations and is hidden from all but official government visits.” Sade asks.

“Don’t worry, that is where James here comes in, also I’ve gotten us all badges of the office of , so it shouldn’t be a problem.” Makinde finishes.

“Any other questions?” He asks and at our silence “ I guess that is all, you can get some rest upstairs, it has been booked or you can do whatever you like. We will be moving at 11pm today. Well this meeting is concluded then.” He says as he stands

“Oh one more thing, Bankole I have gotten you what you requested, it should be waiting for you in your room.”
Bankole nods at him and he leaves the room.

“Okay I guess I can go prepare some of my stuff.” Sade says before disappearing from the room.

“You forgot your bag.” I try to say but she is gone in her time nonsense. One of this days she will learnit is just annoying and not in anyway cool to leave like that.

I carry the bag and leave for my room to prepare. The enchantments on my tools need to be supplemented and my body prepared.

It is time for the first phase of the plan. It is time to breach the Cordon.

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:05pm On May 07, 2015
Chapter 3


Interlude: The Rival

The darkness of the night sky was chased away by the fireball that exploded in the clearing briefly illuminating the warehouse with grotesque shadows.

The mission was supposed to be simple or at least as simple as a mission for the Aganju Guild. Apprehend a couple of thieves that has stolen some highly sensitive data from an Ogboni convoy had turned into an assault on what amounted to a fully armed military base in the heart of the country that nobody knew about.

I quickly jump down from my perch on the rafters twisting sideways to avoid the phantom blades that utterly destroy where I was standing. I send a couple of small fireballs to the general vicinity of the attacker. I hear a yelp, it seems my attack connected so I start running towards the attacker.

Someone screams from the other side of the warehouse. Finally I think to myself, the rest of the force assigned to this mission has begun their assault. I quickly locate the person that threw the phantom blades at me and as I bear on him, he is still trying to put out a fire on his trousers. I draw my ada and silently call on my elemental. My ada is engulfed with spiritual fire. It is time to finish this fight.

At the last second he notices me and parries my blade with a summoned blade of his. Dressed in a black camo with runic protections inscribed on it and the level of power he is displaying. This puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that we were dealing with ordinary thieves. He is more likely to be a black ops soldier which begs the question of who sent him.

That however is a question for another time as I quickly make space to prevent him from taking off my head with his blade. I move back in and we exchange a couple of blows, he is stronger than me but I am faster. I dance around his strikes and manage to score a minor hit on his shoulder. His hiss at the burn from ina brings a smirk to my mouth.

He sees the smirk on my face and it annoys him and he charges at me, his blade gaining an ethereal sheen, I easily parry his thrust using the momentum from my motion to bring my ada in a slash at his neck. He manages to be faster and dodges it but not fast enough to prevent the ada from opening his cheek. Ina immediately sets on the open wound burning at it. I immediately follow with a strike that cleanly takes off his head.

“Akanni, Watch out.” I hear a shout before I am flying through the air, my chest in pain. I hit a wall and slid down to a heap on the floor, my blade away from my hands. I am in some much pain that movement is impossible. I then notice what did that, the most misshapen dog I’ve seen that stands easily taller than horses with horns. The bigger, uglier cousin to the Aja-Oro I fought in the forest with the idiot on the day of my initiation.

It begins to run at me intent on finishing me up. At this I summon all my ase shaping it as fast as I could. My entire body erupts in fire which provides a refreshing coolness to me and begins to set at healing my wounds. I also begin to throw fireballs at it hoping to stop or at least delay its charge but it ignores all of my attacks like it was nothing. I shape the fire surrounding me into a blade of some of the hottest fires I can manage under my present conditions. It is still very hot.

A wall smoothly rises infront of me and I hear a couple of shots ring out then the painful pitter of a creature in pain. The wall crumbles and I am left with a beautiful sight.

The dead creature and on top of it holding a smoking shot gun is Bisi dressed like I am in the stealth regalia of the Aganju Guild. She is perhaps the most beautiful person I know and she never looked better than right now saving my life.

“Well, get up we don’t have all day.” She says with a smile on her face. “Fun as it is saving your life, we do have a job to do.”

I am about to reply before I see him. Another one of the bandits, standing behind her as he is about to take a shot. She notices the change in my expression and is turning around to face the threat but she would not be fast enough.

I tap into my emi, changing my emi into ase and instead of fire I bring my authority on time itself. I will never be as good as Sade but I can manage to stretch time out for myself for a few seconds. Those seconds make all the difference as I hurl the already shaped blade of fire at the target. He sees it and panics, his shot going wide before the lance consumes him leaving nothing but ashes in its wake.

“Even.” I tell her as I stand and banish the firery state I was in. Nothing good comes from staying in that state for longer than I can hold it. I am fully healed and ready to get into the fight.

“What are you even doing here, you are supposed to be at the entrance.” I ask her as I scan for other enemies.

“Martins said to check on you, you had not reported in.” she answers as she adjusts.

That is as far as we got in our conversation before we hear a loud explosion from outside the warehouse. We hurriedly make our way to the entrance and is stop dumbfounded by the sight.

A giant armored man or creature standing at easily 30 feet is fighting all the rest of the Agaju guild that were positioned outside. In the few seconds we spent making our way outside 3 members of the guild already lay dead.

Martins is jumping around the thing, sending sword strikes and flowing around its attack keeping it distracted as the rest of the guild are moving away from its direction, trying to get their bearing from what was clearly a surprise attack.

I immediately gather all of my ase available for my strongest strike, blending myself with my elemental and utter a single word.

“Ina.”

The world explodes in white light and a laser emanates from my body to strike at the giant at its calf, it brings it down a knee. I stop and stumble exhausted from the power behind that attack. The sheer durability of the giant disturbs me. That power should have burnt it to crisp. It however seems to have bought the rest of the guild some time.

Beside me Bisi is shooting her shotgun at it ineffectually too. Others are throwing their best long range attack at it generating some very exotic effects as the ground rumbles, the very air around it twists and turns in varying shapes.

I then notice Oyabi standing on top of the buildings. He says a single word not louder than a conversation and somehow I and everyone else hears him.

“Stop.” He says and everyone jumps back, nobody moving to attack the giant any longer.

The Giant then focuses its attention on him and takes a step towards him.

That is all it manages to do before Oyabi’s sword flashes out and the head of the giant rolls off.

The fight is over.



After the fight. We all gather in one of the buildings that remains standing. 20 of us were sent to on this mission, only 13 remain. This is perhaps the biggest loss of life since Oyabi took over as head of the Agaju guild. Everyone is acutely aware of this, even us the rookies. The tension weighs heavily in the air.

“So what were you able to extract from the prisoner?” Oyabi asks Martins.

“Well boss, not much. I can determine however that the package is no longer with them.” He answers. Oyabi’s eyes sharpen at this.

“Explain.”

“Seems like they themselves were robbed of it, seems like the Ghommids group Hanged Jackals waylaid them during their transport here and took it from them.” He replies as he moves to rest his back on the wall.

“The Hanged Jackals? They grow so bold as to attack humans. The lesson we taught them so quickly forgotten.” Dapo says with consternation in his voice. He along with veterans alongside Oyabi, Martins and a few others that was there when the first purging of Ghommids took place.

“This whole situation is stranger than normal. We just assaulted a mini military base that nobody knew of in Ijebu-Ode. The men we fought are no small fry either, they will fit in right with First Legion. This can only be the work of-“Dapo continues in his rant as his paces across the room.

“Stop” Oyabi holds his hands up, cutting him off mid-sentence. “That unfortunately is not our mission, I will send a high priority message to the
Kankanfo informing him of what we saw here, and he would deal with this. The package in the hands of the Ghommids changes things and we must hurry to get it back.” He stands up at this point and moves forward, taking his time to look us in the eyes. I unconsciously stand up straighter.

“However our mission is not completed. We are the Agaju guild and we must complete this irrespective of the loss we received here. There will be no time to wait for backup as time is a huge factor here. Our mission is to retrieve the package so now we must enter the Irunmale Forest, retrieve it and destroy the Hanged Jackals and all who will seek to get in our way for the very safety of our nation depends on it.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by Elemental(m): 6:31pm On May 08, 2015
5 stars...
PS: The story could benefit from editing, though better unedited than late. Can't wait for the next update grin
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:13pm On May 08, 2015
A.N: This part pushes this story to over 20k words. it came as a surprise to me considering I've never started a story that passes 1k before. So I want appreciate everyone here reading or commenting on this story. It is very encouraging to see it recieving this much reception
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:26pm On May 08, 2015
A.N: This part pushes this story to over 20k words. it came as a surprise to me considering I've never started a story that passes 1k before. So I want appreciate everyone here reading or commenting on this story. It is very encouraging to see it receiving this much reception and that has been one of the things pushing me to continue the story. This new chapter also moves the story from the Introductory part to the first major arc of the 3 planned arcs in the story, the tale has grown on me while writing as originally I was looking at most 50k words, obviously that will not be possible now. What started as an exercise in discipline has changed into a story i very much would like to read and I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am enjoying writing it.
On the editing thing, I fully agree. I am not doing beyond the most basic spell check on the story to prevent me from being bogged down like in the past. The main aim of this story is to force me to write a full-length novel with every other thing secondary. I am planning to wait till the end before rewriting and editing it. Now on to the story



Segun

Our journey past the cordon was surprisingly uneventful.

The Cordon is one of the largest pieces of protective enchantments in the country. Built to surround all the Great forests that sprung up around the Gates in the aftermath of the Red night. It is maintained by the Border Guards who constantly channel their ase into the enchantment to maintain its strength against all creatures that wish to leave to the forest.

It however has weaknesses that can be exploited, first of all it was created to keep things in not out so getting in is not in the realm of impossibility if you knew where to look. Evidently the bush babies knew where to look. Secondly and perhaps most important, the border guards were stretched thin, the Hanged Jackals being able to exit and re-enter the forest spoke of exactly how thin they were stretched.

The moon was full tonight, the midnight sun illuminating our way as we walked through the trees beside the infamous fury road. The forest here was unnaturally quiet, no chirping crickets or stinging mosquitoes, the hoots of the owls and songs of the birds missing as if no animal lived here.
It made for a very disquieting trip.

“The animals here know what lies behind the cordon, they know and are afraid so they have fled. You would be hard pressed to find any animal of any level of sentience still living in this parts.” Tola, the usually quiet one of the bush babies says as she answers my unasked question.

She and her sister are walking beside me and Makinde, while Sade and the brat Tolu scout out in front. Bankole and James at the rear to round out the group. This arrangement was what was agreed on to prevent any stupid fighting in group by separating those likely to cause trouble. i.e Myself, James and Tolu. My quarrels with both of them already known. Tolu though had taken to needling james every opportunity he got and the only person in the group apart from his sisters that could stand his presence was Sade so he was paired with her.

“How do they know this? The cordon has been up before any forestry appeared on this side.” I ask.

“Animals are more attuned to things of the spiritual realm than humans recognize,” This time, it is Tope, the louder sister with braids that answer. Her voice gaining a smooth cadence gained by repetition.

“Who told you that?” I ask turning my face slightly to face her. It is then I notice it, a slight twitch before it is covered up.

“None of your business.” She replies with a bit of anger in her voice before she leaves my side and moves forward to continue scouting with her brother.

“What did I do?” I say as I look at Tolu bewildered at the turn of events.

She shrugs and answers “The person who taught us that is dead. Killed by our hands in our first stay in the forest. Kind of a touchy subject for her.”

“Oh.”

“Yes, Oh.” She says with a smile.

It is then I see the Cordon for the first time.

It is a bright white wall. Taller than I would expect and at night it looked like it reached the stars itself. The walls shining with a shimmering intensity. It looked otherworldy in a forest that was from the otherworld itself.

“And here is the majestic Cordon in all its magnificence.” Tolu says startling me as he suddenly appears besides me. Sade giggles beside him, appears she is up to her usual tricks again.

“Beautiful isn’t it.” He continues with a smile on his face. I refuse to rise to his bait, fortunately Makinde is there to prevent anything.

“Ah, so how do we get in?” Makinde directs his question at Tola. “I’ve paid to arrange a little bit of distraction for the period you specify but the cordon still looks solid as ever.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get in and the cordon isn’t as solid as it looks. The enchantments have been weakening in this section, not so much as to attract the attention of the Border guard but enough to serve our intentions.” She answers as she moves forward towards the Cordon.

James and Bankole soon join us, both dressed for war. Bankole in a state of the art armor with some runic symbols that mark its status as an Aja-Orun and a large warhammer in one hand while James is dressed in a simple hunters camouflage with a hunting rifle slung across his back.

Tola soon gets to as close as the cordon as she dares, she stoops and begins to carve some unrecognizable symbols on the ground with a blade that seemingly materializes out of nowhere. She is soon joined by her sister and Sade who begins to ask questions of what they exactly they are doing.

I tune this out and focus on the Cordon itself using my hunter’s mask to increase my sense of the emi behind the ase the wall radiates. It is then
I hear it, a faint song playing in the background, I strain my senses towards it to listen more and it suddenly becomes clear. It is beautiful, haunting, celestial, an orchestra of heavenly voices that I want to reach out and touch, the melodies and harmonies, the greatest symphony I have ever heard, sounds I have never heard fills my ears with the most glorious song.

I am suddenly cut off from it by a slap across my cheek, the sheer anger at the person who dares to remove the greatest thing I’ve heard from me unconsciously makes me to draw my ada before I come back to my senses.

“Snap out of it Segun.” Sade says with concern in her voice as she looks into my eyes. “Your eyes entered a daze and you were walking towards the cordon.”

I look around and see what she says is true, I am far closer to the wall than before and all my companions are looking at me weirdly.

“I was hearing the song of the Wall.” I say, immediately I’m aware of how foolish that sounds. I look around and yes, the weird looks increase with perhaps the exception of Bankole who looks thoughtful but then again that is his default look.

“Weird.” Sade says summing up my thoughts. She frowns for a bit. “Can’t sense anything, maybe you should keep away from using that, pointing at my hunters mask, near the cordon. It is a very powerful bit of enchantment after all.

“True.” I answer and move back to where the bush babies I’ve just finished their carving.

“All set” Makinde asks. Tola nods in the affirmative and moves to the center of the carving which looks like a spiral of letters now that it is completed.

She utters some phrases in the forgotten language that I do not know and the carving lights up. A similar carving lights up on the wall and after a couple of seconds a blank space appears where the carving on the wall was.

“That’s it?” I ask

“Yeah, pretty easy when you know the weak spots.” She replies. “it won’t stay for long though we should make our way across quickly.

And so the 7 entered the forest of Irunmale in a journey that would become one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I would make bigger ones in that forest.

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 7:07am On May 09, 2015
Sage, it's a bit easy to write in the First person Omniscient But you have to stick to the perspective of only one character. Continually writing the narratives of different characters in the First person has got even me confused.
Who is the Aganju Guild? and in whose perspective did you write that fight? Can't be Segun because He's busy trying to enter the forest with his friends.
Biko, since you started writing the story from Segun's perspective, continue like that. Don't switch on us. Your story is very complicated and ur constant switches in writing style is not helping at all.

If you have time, follow the link on my siggy, it'll give you lots of ideas on How to harness the First person Omniscient. I wrote in the First person but told one Chapter of the story in the First Person reteller.
It would Really clarify things for you. Please.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 7:39am On May 09, 2015
The snippets posted with interlude on top are from a different perspective. The names beside indicate who it was. It is only those snippets that are from a different POV than segun and those will b posted immediately a chapter starts.

The reason for this is that there is a lot more going on beyond what Segun can see so to compromise since I want the story to be in first person i'm using the interlude concept to show some of what is going on. I'll try and add some more clarification to indicate a switch, check it does it help?

The Aganju Guild was mentioned back in the prologue. The person whose perspective was the focus was mentioned in the snippet and back in the prologue.

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Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 7:59am On May 09, 2015
Choi.
Smh....
Well, the good thing about your story is that it's actually forcing me to do some research...
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 8:00am On May 09, 2015
Im gonna start by looking for that book that seems to have inspired you so much.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:04pm On May 12, 2015
The Fury road is the least guarded point of entry into the Irunmale Forest. This part of the forest is said to be the resting grounds of a host of vicious overgrown Aja Oro, beyond that it is widely believed that this was where Agbako lives and that serves as a very effective deterrent to would be smugglers. According to Tola there is a saying amongst the guardsmen that if you survived entering through the fury road well you
deserved to be there.

Our entrance was as quiet as it could be with the bush babies leading the way, their natural instincts proving far better tool than even my sensor. They spotted traps and danger zones I could not detect with it and managed to help us navigate through the beginning part of the journey with several narrow misses of the Aja-Oro.

It made for a very tense thirty minutes as everywhere was quiet as Makinde wove his ase into the air to keep our movements quiet. It was a very subtle piece of power and it was beyond what I could do.

The change when we entered the forest was gradual, the trees stopped conforming to nature and seemed to come alive. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was welcoming us as the branches swayed and the shrubbery parted ways before us. It was not a good feeling and it felt like we were being welcomed to our deaths.

I receive the first sign of wrongness a few minutes later. It was a split second but I saw it from the corner of my eye. A monkey standing on its haunches, its skull laid bare for the world with its visage in the shape of a twisted snarl, it’s thighs was as red as blood a contrast to the midnight black of its entire body. Light shines from its mouths and armpits. Its stare fixed on me. I turn to raise alarm but before I can say anything it is gone, like a trick of light. The unsettling feeling of wrongness grows and seems to seep into the forest around me.

My second mistake was not alerting anyone to what I saw.

We eventually make it to a clearing when Tope raises her hand and with a minor application of ase disperses makinde’s silence field.

“We have to stop here for now.” She announces to the rest of us as she stomps her feet on the ground. I feel her ase moving into the soil causing it to obey her whims as it twists and turns.

“Wait, what, rest here? No, not possible, we have to move forward, this place is to dangerous.” James stammers out, the fear on his face is a very sorry sight.

Tolu scoffs as he answers. “If you wanted to avoid danger, you shouldn’t have entered the Forest of Irunmale.” He turns his back at James as he joins in passing his ase into the floor, strengthening whatever his sister is doing.

James looks like he is about to cry when Sade asks, an odd look on her face.

“They carry your scent, don’t they?” the look on his face is enough answer.

At this observation my eyebrows raise of its own accord. For the Aja Oro to carry your scent means you have been marked an enemy of theirs until they die, any moment they smell that scent they would hunt the person down no matter how long time has passed from when the first collected the scent. It is even said they passed the carried scents amongst themselves so you were not safe from any Aja-Oro that has been in contact with the original carrying your scent. They also do not collect scents lightly as the offence against them must be very grave for them to mark someone like that.

“What?” Tope screeches, she whirls to face Makinde “You brought a marked person into the forest with us? Are you mad?”

Makinde raises his hands in a placating gesture. “Well he has been covering his scent. It is not going to be a problem. Besides we are already here, no use crying over spilt milk eh.” He says with a smile on his face. I move away when Tope continues to curse him with many inventive words.

I head to where Tola is standing, muttering some phrases as she continues to twist the earth to her will. Some of the things is on par with what
Bisi could do and Bisi was the best in commanding the earth back in the academy. I shake my head to clear the thoughts of Bisi away, no use depressing myself on the mission.

“What exactly are you and your brother doing?” I gesture towards Tolu, his face screwed up in concentration as he continues to pump ase into the ground.

“We are opening the door to one of our hideouts that litter the parts of the forest we dare go to, it would be a tight fit but it should serve until morning when the Aja-Oro would leave this part to go hunt.” She answers as she waves a firefly away from her face before looking at Sade with amusement “What is She doing?” She asks pointing at her.

Sade was moving around poking at the trees as she took notes on a small notepad.

I shake my head and answer. “I have long given up hope in trying to presume to know her actions.”

Tola smiles at me and says. “Yeah I know the feeling.” At this she spares a glance to her brother.

I laugh “It is no wonder the two get along so well then, hope your brother isn’t getting his hopes up.”

“At this point your hope is already to late.” She says as she shakes her head. “He is used to having a broken heart.”

At this point Sade’s voice cuts across the clearing, silencing the girl cursing out Makinde.

“Is it just me or is the forest getting darker?’ she asks. It is then I notice it. the branches on the trees melting into the shadows, whole trees beside where Sade is standing disappearing into the darkness, the stars in the sky blinking out one by one.

At this I open my mind to my hunter’s mask and at what I sense I let out a gasp.

It is not darkness at all, it is a whole band of Aja-Oro nearly 20 in number, each single one bigger than the one Akanni and I took down during our initiation.

At this realization, I unsling my bow and nock it. I see others doing the same thing, Sade brings out her gun, a very special piece of enchantment as technology usually breaks down in the forest. Tola draws out her ada, its latent power humming in the air, Tolu his pair of axes. Bankole holding one of the biggest hammers I’ve ever seen

Tope looks to Makinde as her chain uncoils from her hand while he simply mutters some phrase and his body is covered with a red substance that sticks to his skin.

“Not going to be a problem eh?” She asks Makinde.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 10:03am On May 14, 2015
Wahala ti de...

Meanwhile, Front page please..
Cc Obinnau, Ishilove, Humbledbygrace..

Inspite of all the 'following', 'nice work', 'you made my day' that would litter the thread as a result, I don't mind sharing this tale with others. Lol.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 11:36pm On May 14, 2015
The shadows stop advancing after a bit instead choosing to start circling us. All apparent avenues of escape blocked. A couple of seconds pass like this before one of the Aja-Oro detaches from the crowd and walks forward, its eyes menacing as it shines with an ethereal light.

It was at this Tola mumbles. “That’s good, good.” Her voice filled with relief as she brings her sword down to appear non-threatening.

“Good!” I exclaim. “How is being surrounded by a horde of these monsters good?” I continue after managing to bring my voice down.

At my tone she rolls her eyes, why that was an eye rolling situation is beyond my understanding. It is not like we weren’t surrounded with things that want to kill us in a very dangerous forest.

“It means they are open to negotiation.” She says as she cautiously approaches it.

“Be careful” I call out, pointing my bow at the Aja-Oro. She may be willing to take that risk but it never hurts to be cautious.

She turns backs and says in a whisper. “Can you keep pushing your emi into the ground, Tolu will manage redirecting it into ase.”

Uh, okay seems she hasn’t taken complete leave of her senses and decided to trust the monsters like I thought.
She stands in front of the monster before giving a small courtesy

“ Eka ro, Se-“ That is as far as I got before her voice falls into the unintelligible words of the forgotten language. She continues speaking in that language, her voice smooth and gentle as the Aja pays careful attention to what she is saying. I’m impressed, to be able to speak fluently in the forgotten language is a skill possessed by very few.

I start pumping my emi into the ground. The action usually meaningless without the direction that changes it to ase but as it enters it is absorbed by Tolu’s ase bolstering whatever he and his sister were doing to the ground. He looks at me and we exchange a nod.

“They want James. Due to consideration for us” gesturing to the fellow bush babies. ”They would spare the rest of us Tola’s voice ring out in the clearing as she announces, still facing the lead Oro.

“Oh well then I guess it is settled then.” Tolu announces with a smile on his face before turning to face James. “Sorry guy, it was a short acquaintance, wished I could say I would miss you.”

“What? No..No..you can’t do that.” He stammers out, his face gains a deeper shade of fear. It was morbidly fascinating to watch a man become even more fearful than you previously thought was possible. He must have really done something to warrant this fate.

“No, I’m sorry but that won’t be happening.” Makinde says as he puts his hand on James to calm him down.

“Why not? I’m not eager to risk my life for a liability especially to something like that” Tope barks out angrily as chain twists and slithers towards James.

“Do we really have a choice though? We are surrounded and outnumbered.” Sade chips in.

“It is non-negotiable, James is crucial to regaining the package and you receiving your ends of the bargain.” Makinde says, and then frowns, his face looking terrible due to the red substance clinging to his entire body.

“Uhm, guys make up your minds quick, they are getting restless.” Tolu calls out as the Aja-Oros begin circling faster. Slowly closing in.

Our decision is taken from our hands when James throws a ball of light at a section of the monsters all the while screaming.

“No!!!! I won’t allow my self be taken by this monsters.”

What he hoped to accomplish by doing that is another thing beyond my understanding.

Several things happened immediately afterwards.

The light exploded, wiping out a couple of the monsters caught in its effects. The Aja-Oro talking with Tolu lunges at her, the ground opens up, a rock with runic inscriptions written on it slides upwards with a hole beside it.

The area quickly devolves into chaos. The remaining Aja-Oro charge at us.The arrow leaves my bow neatly taking the Aja-Oro jumping at Tolu in the eye, buying her some time to get her bearing. I immediately fix another one and prepare to fire, this time imbibing it with some explosive properties.

The statue starts glowing as it sends lighining strikes at the Aja Oros that venture too close. Tola himself jumps in combat with one of them wielding his twin axes with expert skill. Sade shoots at one of the monsters and it appears to wither on the spot before seemingly disappearing and reappearing beside the statue before she shoots at another of the Aja Oro.

“Head into the Hole, It is a safe house” Tolu screams as she slides beneath one with my arrow in the eye.

James hears this and immediately bolts for the hole, a constrast with Bankole who ppearss to be playing monster golf as he strolls towards it using his ridiculous hammer to punt any of the monsters that get to close to him. Ridiculous overpowered Aja Orun.

Tola and Tope move towards the hole together. Tope using her chains to keep the monsters at bay while Tola using his axes to battle the ones that get to close. As I run towards the statue I notice Tolu who appears to have some problems avoiding the Aja-Oro who is closing on her.

I shoot another arrow aiming directly at the space between Tolu and the monster. It explodes giving Tolu more distance from the monster. She closes in on where everyone is while The Aja Oro shoots a hate filled glance in my direction. I smirk back at it and jump into the hole after Tolu.

It was another stupid mistake as it ensured I had an enemy especially gunning for me throughout my stay in the forest.

It was also mistake in the immediate short term as the Beast lets out an unearthly shout of fury that echoes on several planes of existence. It shatters the statue removing all protections it was granting and it changes the landscape, somehow taking the entire ground to the level of the hole we were in effectively destroying our supposed safe house.

“Well, I guess this is a bit of trouble.” Makinde says as he lets out a little laugh
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:03pm On May 19, 2015
“Yeaaaaaah, I noticed.” Tola drawls while giving Makinde the stink eye.

“Any ideas.” Bankole asks as the monsters draw near, moving slowly wary of the effects caused by the statue. That won’t last long, immediately they notice the statue is no longer firing indiscriminate bolts of lightning anytime they draw near they would pounce on us.

“Well I have some but I would need time to set it up.” Tolu says, her voice shaky as she steadies her nerves, recovering from her near brush with the Aja-Orun.

“That I can help with.” Sade replies. She promptly moves towards Tolu, puts her hand on her shoulder and both of them disappear in a blur.

“Well there, a way has presented itself, we just have to keep them busy in the meantime.” Makinde claps his hands in forced cheer. “This is after all while I hired the best, a bunch of Aja-Oro shouldn’t be a problem for you guys.” He finishes rubbing his finger and chuckling slightly while everyone else stares daggers at him. He then twists a ring on his middle finger, a ring that definitely wasn’t there before.

I point at it and ask. “What is t-“ I shake my head as I forget what I was about to say.

“We need to form up.” Bankole says. “A tight circle to present us with our greatest chance of survival. He then stares at Makinde’s red body suit. “I assume that allows you to fight.”

“Well, it gives me some advantage.” Makinde replies, his hand still rubbing left fingers.

“Good, stand beside the girl and watch her back.”

“Hey I protest that.” Tope says but Bankole ignores her and continues.

“Tola beside your sister, and you Segun follow suit.”

I grunt my acknowledgment.

“James will stand beside me. Everyone get ready, the longer we hold out the greater our chances of escape with whatever the girls are concocting.” He then takes a look at James who is still looking very pathetic. “Get your head out of your arse or I’ll take it off for you.

My respect for the man increases. The way he took control of the situation and organized us, distracting us from our imminent death is worth noting, then again he was an Aja-Orun. This kind of situation must not be new to him.

We move into our positions and not a second too late and one particular courageous Aja-Ojo sniffs the air and moves into the range of the statue and it howls before charging at us.

I feel a slight change in the speed of the wind on my hand and suddenly I’m gripping Tolu’s blade. It is one of the fully enchanted blades given to Ode’s upon initiation, a powerful item and would serve me better than my blade or bow in this battle.

I mutter a thanks to her and encouragements that she hurries up whatever she is doing with Sade in her period of slowed time.

The Aja-Oros charge and soon we are engaged in a furious fight for our lives.

I dodge the first one swipe for my head using the sword to open its belly, the ada singing a whistling tone as it parts the Aja-Oro into two. I move to attack the next one that approaches me but then I choose to feint twisting beside it to strike at the third one. Tola’s axe neatly takes the second one head off.

“Cover me” Tola shouts and immediately I drift to his front while he shifts back and I start to dance with the next Aja-Oro. He mutters some weird phrases and suddenly the ground in front of me turns into a sinkhole taking the Aja-Oro I was fighting and the one behind it with it.

He smiles at me and was no doubt about to give a smart line before he is interrupted by a scream beside him. Tope’s chain snaps around one of the monsters, the enchantment breaking as the monster sinks his teeth into her hand.

Tola throws one of his axes at it, the weapon burying itself into its snout forcing it to release its grip on her hand but the damage is already done, she falls to her feet clutching at her injury while still screaming. Makinde smoothly steps in front of her and punches the creature. The monster freezes in one place as its skin takes the shade of his suit before disintegrating into dust.

A blur drags Tope into the middle of the circle and we are forced to close ranks on her, our very small circle further reducing in size. Sade's work.

The next few seconds are frantic, I continue slashing at anything that comes close with no time for style or skill, just the desperate drive to prevent the monsters from getting too close. Tola driven by rage and the whimpering of his sister in the circle fights with a careless abandon. James lobbing small explosive lights into the midst of the monsters, his own face driven by fear.

It is then I see the leader, the one with my arrow sticking out of his left eye. He has been waiting his time, letting the others throw themselves at us to weaken us. It is now he chooses to attack me.

I am saved by the bell as Sade and Tope reappear both holding themselves while Tope clutches a doll with her left hand

“Join hands.” she screams.

Tola quickly grabs my and I stretch out my hand to James. Immediately his fingers touch mine.

We disappear into the void in a way not too different from my travel through the gate. A couple of seconds later we return back to our reality, all of us landing in a different section of the forest.

I collapse to the ground and take stock of our group. Tope continuing to whimper as she clutched her hand, the venom of the Aja oro coursing through her veins. Sade tittering on the edge of consciousness caused by her pushing her authority as far as she did. James standing off to one side, tears glistening in his eyes. Makinde face changing back to normal but leaving some extra lines on it, showing the strain he has kept on his body. Bankole is the only one that looks unfazed by the events we just faced but even he is breathing heavily.

We haven’t spent up to six hours in the forest and we are already exhausted, tired, injured and some of us broken.

Our journey has just started.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:22pm On May 20, 2015
Chapter 4


Interlude: The Ex

The journey to Ijebu-Ode is a tense affair. The guild has never experienced a loss as big as this since the early days. Most of the older members were still shaken up about the events at the factory in Ibadan. From what I had learned since joining the guild treated itself closer than family, a byproduct of the high risk mission they took and the secrets that bound them together. The secrets I have been made privy to since joining had completely shattered my worldview and many of the foundations my life was based on has been destroyed.

I take a look at my fellow rookie, Akanni was looking as miserable as he felt, probably more and most likely he was blaming himself for what happened. That was perhaps one of his biggest faults, his ability to take the blame for anything that remotely goes wrong around him. Even after what we had learned when we were initiated into the guild he still managed to blame himself for everything that went wrong in that forest.

Thinking about that forest brought unbidden thoughts about Segun. I often wonder how he was surviving civilian life now. His entire life was built around military service and becoming an Ode especially after the incident with his mother and little brother. Losing his purpose in life like that is something to be pitied and cutting contacts with him was distasteful but was made necessary for me if she wanted to join the guild and now knowing what she knew she understood how necessary it was.

Shaking off that train of thought, I focus on the present. Putting my hands on Akanni I say.

“Hey, it wasn’t your fault.” His smile at her tells her he doesn’t believe me.

“There was literally nothing you could have done to save Wale in that situation.” I continue.

“Funny how doesn’t help him in the slightest. I don’t want to talk about this Bisi” is his caustic reply. At that he turns away indicating an end to the conversation. It was this kind of attitude that made me go with Segun instead of him when they both asked.

Looking away I see in front of the bus Oyabi and Martins in a furious argument as Dapo trying to play peacemaker. Those three have been
arguing since they left Ibadan to Eso Gbonka’s men.

The discovery of a hidden military base in the heart of our country was a major shocker and it throws a spanner into the plans of some powerful people or maybe it was part of it but from what I had learnt that is doubtful. That plus Oyabi’s refusal to wait for backup has been the cause of their arguments since the mission ended.

The bus soon stops at the gate into the forest of Irunmale. The journey here has been extremely fast especially with Oyabi using his military clearance to bully the Gate officials to transport our entire bus across the void from Ibadan down to Ijebu-Ode.

We all soon get down from the bus. The thirteen of us looking pathetic especially compared to the twenty that started this mission.

The wall of the cordon is huge, the white color shining brightly at night adds an additional element of stark beauty to the scenery. Built into the wall is a gate made of obsidian, a contrast to the cordon walls. Beside the gate is what can only be described as a fortress. The headquarters of the Border security was built as one of the first defenses against anything from the other side attacking humanity again. Filled with inscribed runes all of the place it was a veritable security against supernatural and physical attacks, coupled with the guards that are walking on top of wall armed with guns, bows and more esoteric weapons gives it the picture of impregnability.

“Bisi secure the packs.” Dapo tells me as he follows Oyabi to talk with the head of the Border security.

The packs themselves were kept in a container by the gate to the Border Security mission house. It is a squat building built only for its functionality like all the early military buildings. The container was marked Agaju Guild and was one of the few concessions Oyabi allowed the group to have. An urgent request for new weapons and provisions for the remaining members was put in and for once it seemed the Logistics
department as on time.

Opening the box, I begin to check the various materials and weapons in there to make sure everything requested for was in there and was up to the specifications indicated. I will not let my inefficiency lead to another clusterfuck. I soon focus my attention at the task at hand to distract myself from thoughts of the failure, the friends lost, the seriousness of the mission and past boyfriends.

The next twenty minutes pass like this and by then my checklist is complete, the package sorted out into packs for each member.

“Hey Dapo” I raise my voice. “It’s all done, should I begin sharing?”

He turns his head giving me a nod from where he is standing beside Oyabi who is giving the head of Border Security a tongue lashing that has him wanting to curl into a ball.

“Okay guys, come take your toys.” I say to the rest of the group who have been loitering about, some stretching while the rest are enjoying Oyabi at his best. The team comes and picks up their reinforced tools, weapons meant for heavy destruction. The guild isn’t taking any chances now.

After sharing I join the rest Bunmi and Chidera are always up for a discussion. Together we continue to watch Oyabi as he tears into the poor man who reallymust have a lot of courage has he had held up well all things considered. I try to catch Akanni’s eyes but he keeps avoiding looking to at me, the guilt of Wale’s death still fresh in his mind.

The mild entertainment is cut short when we notice a large explosion of white light inside the forest.

“What is located there?” Oyabi barks at the man.

“Nothing, nothing, that is the fury road, only a wild pack of Aja-Oro lives there. Nobody goes through there, not even the smugglers.” The man answers, his voice laced with fear.

At this Oyabi pulls out gun and points it at the man’s head. At his actions weapons are drawn everywhere with the Agaju guild pointing at the border security and vice versa.

Oyabi then speaks. His voice measured and filled with steel.

“Enough talking, you will open the gates for us now or I will blow your heads off and damn the consequence. Make you decision now.”

“Open the gates.” His tiny voice squeaks out. At this the border guards relax, some of them muttering against the guild as the gate is opened.

Turning to face us, Oyabi talks as if nothing just happened.

“Team formation, everyone move out.” And at that he darts into the forest.

“Balls of steels” I hear Chidera mutter as he shakes his head and falls into formation.

Balls of steel indeed.

I fall into formation and follow the rest as we head deep into the forest of Irunmale in a mission that might just determine the fate of our country.

XXXXXXXXXX
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 2:44pm On May 21, 2015
Hmm. The pace is correct.. exciting, suspense filled. But your errors..I've long given up correcting them.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by sage1000: 9:36pm On May 21, 2015
AN: Hope the grammar is better here.

Segun

“Give me my ada” Tolu barks at me as soon as she comes through.

My mind is still clouded by my exhaustion so I can only slur “ehnnnnn?”

“My ada, give it now” her voice rising in pitch as she points at the weapon I have clutched tightly.

“Oh that, no need to get testy” I scratch my head in faint embarrassment as I hand it back to her. She quickly snatches without as much as an acknowledgement and marches to where Tope is still whimpering from the venom flowing through her hand.

I hear a whispered sorry before the ada flashes down, neatly separating the elbow downwards from the rest of the body leaving only a stump remaining. Tope screams, her voice bathing the air with an unholy cacophony.

The shock on my face must have been very visible as she takes one look at it and gets defensive.

“It was necessary or the venom would have spread and killed her.” She says although that was not the source of my shock. It was the determination at which she went through with it, without pandering or hesitation of any kind. I am once again reminded that although they may look like kids, they are most definitely not and have survived for years in this very forest alone without any training and were kids at that time.
If this was the kind of situation we ran into in the first few hours of our entry in the forest and all of us here were somewhat experienced and heavily armed, a shiver runs down the length of my spine as I wonder how they had survived at all.

Sade despite the exhaustion written all over her frame she immediately moves towards the crying girl and touches the stump.

“There I’ve frozen it, the pain should stop now.” She says, her voice without the usual cheer that accompanies everything she normally says.

That above all else convey just how weak she was.

A strangled thanks filled with sincere gratitude comes out from Tope’s mouth before she moves the heart of an Iroko tree and rests her back on
it.

“That was a nice thing you did there.” I tell her as she moves to sit beside me.

“What can I say, I’m awesome.” She replies with a tired smile on her face.

“Yes that you are.” I reply and pause taking my time to really look at her. She had applied her authority the longest in that fight and using authority over time was not the easiest thing to do in even the most ideal situations.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

“It’s me-“ she begins to reply in her usual casual tone before seeing the look on my face. “I will be fine.” She finishes.

We sit in the comfortable silence you find between friends where talking is not at all necessary for the next few minutes as we watch the rest of our bedraggled group. Bankole is sitting with his Hammer beside him as he looks deep in thoughts, James muttering to himself as periodically he looks in the direction we just escaped from where a huge flame is burning. Makinde is pacing around looking at everybody, it is something of his process for dealing with pressure. Tola is quiet for once as he is sharpening the blade of his axes while shooting worried glances at his sisters. Both girls are hugging as Tolu is comforting the crying Tope.

“They are strong.” Sade says

“What?”

“The Bush babies, they have a kind of deeper strength that is humbling, not the strength that allows us to bend reality to our whims but something else. I don’t know how to define it beyond that. I don’t know if you get.” She says as she looks at me.

“I understand, they did live in the forest without any adult supervision. It takes the kind of inner strength you are talking about to survive it.” I reply

“yeah.”

I turn to look at her again before asking. “Sade, why are you really here?”

She gives a wry smile in response. “To help you.”

“I’m serious.” I reply my voice taking an edge.

She looks away before she replies. “Can you let this one go.” Turning to face me she takes my hand in hers. “Please drop it, it won’t do you any good.”

“Just like that, I should drop it? That is going to be hard.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Can you at least tell me if you going to oppose my real mission here?”

“I know how much you want to save your little brother and how much it means to you.” She says and stands up before kissing me on my head
and looking me in the eye. “Know that I’m being a good friend.” She says leaving my side to go meet the girls.

Funny how she didn’t answer the question I asked.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 12:30pm On May 22, 2015
Hmm. Sade.... What's she up to? Ride on, dear.
Re: Ode: A Yoruba Urban Fantasy by whitemosquito(f): 2:46pm On May 28, 2015
Sage. Are you Okay? It's been a while o.


Meanwhile, Im going to start your editing...chapter by chapter. May I have your email, so I can send once Im done?

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