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Stats: 2,565,938 members, 5,934,317 topics. Date: Thursday, 22 October 2020 at 07:40 PM
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by cassbeat(m): 6:48am On Aug 23|
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by monalicious(f): 11:46am On Aug 27|
Chai e pain me. Tan shouldn't have even asked Taiso to spar, she should have just gone in and given him the beating of his life... Ah. E pain me Sha. Stupid agbaya brother.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Fazemood(m): 10:55pm On Aug 27|
Beautiful story, so nicely done. Expected nothing less from our dear Obehid. I like the main character, her strength and charisma amazes me. Debisi is truly ideal for Tan as she is not just strong but also gentle at heart and debisi is calm and intelligent. The muscle and the brain.
Tiwo is another character I like, he seems to portray the comical angle of this story. He seems smart and at the same time wise.
Taiso is what most elder siblings in a royal/political home is. Broodish and arrogant. Used to power and authority.
Mede reminds me of okoye in the black panther, focused and steady yet jokes with her leader when necessary.
I enjoy the combination of every character, they are nicely blended in to create the palatable scenery.
Thanks Obehid. But I wasn't notified of this new creativity, if not by chance I would've missed out.
Looking forward to a new update.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 5:41am On Aug 29|
@cassbeat lol, yeah Taiso is something
@Elvictor Thank you, I'm very happy you're reading and enjoying!
@Folex34 wow, Taiso should come and hear oh
@monalicious Lol, Tan wanted to oh, she really did, but as an oba who would have to be diplomatic with him in the future...she had to reconsider
@Fazemood WOW as in see the character breakdown! I love seeing them from your POV. And thank you so much for jumping into this story as well and I'm sooo happy you're enjoying it
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 5:50am On Aug 29|
“You didn’t need to intercede, you know,” Debisi pushed himself to his feet and brushed off the sand granules stuck to his body. “My brother wouldn’t really have hurt me, he loves me,” the last he delivered in a dry, slightly mocking, tone.
He had a red bruise on his arm, where Taiso had struck him repeatedly, but aside from that he looked okay. Our gazes locked and he tried to smile, but his gaze kept darting to the ground and he fidgeted with his glasses, his usual tell that he was uncomfortable. My tumblers and I were the only ones left standing there with him in the stadium, so if he was nervous, than it had to be because of me.
“So,” he bent his head and looked downwards, then he kicked some sand around. He cleared his throat, rose his head, looked me in the eye and then looked back to the ground. “Well, then, I’ll just go and join my brother.” He nodded to me and then started walking away.
I jumped in front of him.
He looked up at me and scratched his head. “Umm, did you need something?”
“Sticks!” I called. I heard the sound of loose sand sliding underneath leather sandals. Debisi’s gaze moved off to the side, staring at the tumblers who’d left to do my bidden, then back to me. He frowned.
“What are you doing?”
“I will not even consider marrying a man that cannot defend himself. Starting today, I’m going to teach you how to fight.”
“Oh,” he adjusted the neckline of his shirt. “Really, Tan, that won’t be necessary.”
“You don’t want me to consider marrying you then?”
His gaze snapped to mine and for a moment his wide eyes were frozen in panic, then the emotion faded away. He took his glasses off and cleaned them. “You know that I want to marry you,” he stated evenly, “I just don’t need you to teach me how to fight.” His eyes were lowered as he spoke, concentrated on the lenses he wiped.
“Unfortunately for you, it’s an either-or sort of proposition.”
He sighed. Advancing footsteps signaled the approach of my tumbler. It was one of the fledglings I’d fought with. Eghe took the sticks from her and brought them over to me. “I can teach him revered,” he suggested.
Debisi huffed. I glared at Eghe who immediately lowered his head. “Do you think that I cannot train him myself?”
“Tan…” Debisi began.
“No, revered,” Eghe replied.
“Then explain yourself,” I snapped.
“It’s just that…I thought…forgive me revered, it was not my place to interpose.” Eghe stumbled through his words.
“Then you’d better tell me why you did.” I knew why he did, and he knew that I knew why, which was probably why he continued offering up apologies instead of explanations.
“Enough,” Debisi’s soft order, cut my tumbler off. I turned my attention to him. “I can fight,” he said, “I don’t need to be taught.”
My lips tightened and my fists clenched. I forced myself to breathe out. “I am even less likely to marry a liar.” I stated, trying to deliver the words as calmly as I could.
Debisi’s head lifted up. “I don’t think I have given you any reason to call me that.”
“You hadn’t till this moment.”
His jaw clenched. He wore anger finely. His gaze was speculative, as if he was considering my words, his breathing remained steady, his hands idly resting by his sides, and his coloring stayed even, but that tick in his jaw gave him away. Then holding my gaze, he spread his hands out and plucked the sticks from Eghe. He offered me one with a mocking bow that his wry grin somehow made cute.
I took the stick from his hand.
He took a step back, took off his glasses, placed them in his pocket, and then gestured me forward. “Come on then,” he teased.
I attacked first. I tried to ignore his sudden arrogance, and force myself to remember that I was fighting the idiot boy too ashamed to confess to his ignorance of the martial arts. I kept my first thrust light and easy to deflect, he knocked it away with a surprisingly strong blow.
I twirled my stick and then went for him, disregarding all my earlier preconceptions of his fighting skill. He parried my blows with the skill of one well accustomed to swords, not spears. It made some of his blows awkward, but it did not hide his skill. He hadn’t lied. He could fight. He wasn’t as good as a tumbler, certainly not as good as I was, but he was better than average, which made him much better than Tiwo. I smiled, when I saw that he was starting to get into the swing of it. Sweat pooled on his forehead and he grunted with exertion, but he was smiling.
We continued our sparring, moving around the stadium. I drove him towards the wall to see what, if any, advantage he could take of his surroundings. He wasn’t a tumbler, he got to the wall and started fighting as if he was boxed in. I stepped back, giving him the chance to move away and attack. He aimed to my left, I deflected, he swung in a fine arch over my head, trying to take me by surprise. As if. I twirled my stick and hit his away. He shrugged, as if saying, ‘had to try’, then he went for a straightforward blow, which I knocked away and then counterattacked.
“You’re good,” I said, when at long last, we stopped trading blows.
He was heaving. He gratefully accepted a cup of water from Eghe downed it and then bent over, placing his hands on his knees. He glared at me. “You’re not even tired.” His back rose and fell.
I chuckled. “Is there a lake nearby?” I asked. “Somewhere we can go to wash off this sweat.”
He pushed himself up, “you’re not even sweating,” he pulled his glasses out of his pocket and put them on.
I walked closer to him and whispered, “maybe I just want to see you naked.”
He’d been breathing heavily, then he heard my words, and didn’t breathe for five whole seconds. “God, Tan,” he heaved, “are you trying to kill me? At least let my heart calm down before you give me a heart attack.”
“So, you don’t want to see me naked?”
There were another five seconds where he wasn’t panting. He watched me as I stepped back, then his eyes narrowed. He took a deep breath and forced it out slowly. “There’s a lake in the palace,” he held his hand out to me, “shall we?”
I smiled at him, slipping my hand into his. He led the way and I followed. The sound of footsteps signified four tumblers accompanying us. Mede and Eghe, and two others.
“Why the subterfuge?” I asked, after we made our way around the rounded edge of the stadium’s outer walls.
“You pretended that you couldn’t fight, with your brother.”
He kept his gaze in front, but I saw his jaw clench. “Sometimes,” he said, “the perception of weakness is the greatest strength.”
I shook my head. “I despise all this falsehood. What’s the point? He’s your brother, why can’t the both of you just work out your drama?”
He turned and smiled at me. “There’s only one way to ‘work out our drama’, but, unfortunately, it’s not something I can control.”
“Are you really going to make me ask you what it is?”
His smile widened, giving me a flash of his beautiful dimple. “Of course, I like listening to your voice.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well?”
He sighed and the smile fell away from his face. He was silent as we walked past two guards standing on duty. They bowed to us. I nodded at them, as I always did with my own palace guards. Debisi ignored them. The white stone path merged into a lush forest with tree barks painted white and green leaves left displayed. There was the occasional flash of color as we dove deeper into the forest, the color of fruits, but everything else was green and white.
“Can you instruct your guards to remain here?” We’d reached the edge of a clearing. There was a scattering of painted white mango trees with green fruits, and palm trees, blissfully sprouting orange palm kernels. A white sand footpath emerged between two trees and wove behind a green bush, which cut off view to whatever the footpath led to.
I nodded and then gave the order. Three of the tumblers immediately complied, Mede stepped forward. I shook my head at her, her lips parted, my lips tightened, she nodded curtly and stepped back.
We walked down the path.
“My skin.” Debisi stated, without preamble, after we’d walked ten minutes in silence, down the path.
He turned to face me as we continued walking. “My skin, that’s the thing I’d have to change to work things out with my brother. I’d have to give him my albinism.”
“Ahh,” it was the sort of answer that became immediately obvious after it was given. “Well, he can’t blame you for that.”
“I thought so too, for the longest time, but then Lola died and I learnt that very little in this court is as it seems.” I heard the pain in his voice and I squeezed his hand to offer up comfort. He smiled at me. “She had dark skin, Lola, it was lighter than Taiso’s, but still dark. Light honey-brown, like the Nuri.” He spat the word ‘Nuri’ out, like it had a foul taste. It was the first time that I’d ever heard him react that way to the word. I’d seen Taiso and his father’s hatred for the Nuri, but not Debisi’s. I was intrigued, but I let him continue on in his train of thought. “Lola refused to bleach. Not even when Taiso tried to convince her to do it, she ignored him. She was so beautiful, and she had this bright light around her, this inexplicable way of making everything seem as good and pure as she was, even Taiso, even this court.”
He smiled at me misty-eyed. “You know you’re staying in her room.”
It seemed like such a random statement, but I smiled at him and said, “really?” He nodded. “It’s a beautiful room,” I said.
“Yes, it is.” He didn’t say anything more and I could tell from his silence, and the faraway look that filled his eyes, that he needed some time. I turned my attention to our surroundings, to the shrubs with white stems and green leaves. I recognized the shrubs, I had similar ones in my suite, growing behind my pleasure chamber. I knew from experience how willowy the canes plucked from them could be. I thought of those canes and I remembered Ayisha, and her short foray into being a pain in the ass brat. By now my sweet girl was on her way to Ikeja, to marry the Sehzade. My gaze narrowed on the leaves. I remembered as a child, running through the bushes in the palace and plucking the red flowers. Tiwo and I would make a game out of seeing who could get the most, then we’d sit underneath the shade of our tall mango trees, and suck on the sweet sap of the red flowers. There were no red flowers in these shrubs, just green leaves and painted white stems. I didn’t even want to imagine how many servants it took to cut off those flowers.
We’d reached the end of the footpath.
It opened up to a small clearing with a pond surrounded by a bed of white sand. There were several trees planted on the sand and towels placed on the ground, underneath the shade of the trees. The trees were spread out so that every inch of the sand bed was covered in shade, leaving only the pool exposed. It was quite a sight in the sunny day.
“He wasn’t crazy you know,” Debisi said, after the long stretch of silence. His eyes were clear now, he wasn’t thinking of his sister anymore.
“Who?” I asked.
He turned to face me. We both stood under the shade of the trees. “Taiso.”
“Wasn’t crazy about what?”
“About my skin, about it making a difference. We are Bono, of the pure Eyo masquerade. We have never had a ruler with bleached skin.”
“I didn’t know that.”
He nodded. “Never.”
“How is that possible? There’s never been a prince or princess heir that wasn’t an albino?” It didn’t seem statistically plausible to me. From what I recalled learning, the Bono were about seventy-percent albino, but that still left a significant percentage with dark skin.
“They’ve been born, they’ve just never ascended to the throne. Some were stillborn. Some died in battle. Some died of mysterious illnesses. Some just disappeared. The rest abdicated, claiming that albinism was the mark of a ruler chosen by the masquerade, and without it, they had no true claim to the throne.”
Wow. I didn’t know what to say to that. It should have been obvious. I mean, seeing how obsessive they were about keeping everything pure white, it made sense that it would apply to their skin. But to have never had a non-albino ruler…Wow.
“When I was younger, when Lola was still alive, Taiso would pick on me, and I just saw it as brotherly banter. I thought he wanted me to be better, to be a better fighter, so that I could lead his troops. To be a better thinker, so he could send me as his representative to foreign nations. So, I pushed myself, I wanted to be great, for him. If he beat me in a fight, I trained hard so that he wouldn’t beat me again. If he bested me in a puzzle, I reworked it until I could think circles around his winning ploy. I just wanted to make him proud, when all he wanted was to show me fail.”
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 5:51am On Aug 29|
I felt as if someone had reached into my chest and was squeezing my heart. It was so sad. Now, Debisi’s face was blank, closed off. “I really, really, don’t like your brother.” It was an understatement.
Debisi’s eyes snapped to mine. He blinked, then he shook his head. “It’s not his fault, really, he’s just trying to stay alive. In some ways, I made him into what he is. By trying so hard to impress him, I ended up impressing everyone else.”
“What do you mean?”
“Take archery for example,” he rushed to explain. “Taiso used to thrash me in archery.” I knew how important archery was to them. Archers were to the Bono what tumblers were to my people. Archery was their elite fighting skill. It was what they trained their fine Bono horses to excel at. A good Bono archer could fire an arrow from any sitting position on a horse, without the horse getting agitated. Which of course, was why we had Isan tumblers trained to do the exact same thing, but not just sitting, but standing, squatting, and sometimes balances on two horses. We did not plan on going to war with the Bono, but if it happened, we had to be prepared. Their horses were better than ours though, they trained good, fine, warhorses. “I trained. Day and night.” I could just imagine a little Debisi firing arrows till his hands bled. “Taiso’s taunting when he beat me irritated me. It was the one thing that he was so good at, and I so poor. Other things he was better but not by so much. I was determined to bridge the gap and so I trained hard. And I beat him.” He sighed and his shoulders hunched over.
“Why don’t you sound proud?” He sounded as if he’d lost.
“Things were good till then. Taiso taunted, but he was still my big brother, he still loved me. After Lola died we clung to each other. Taiso got me through it. I was so messed up after, I was so…” he broke off. It took him some time to get himself back under control. “I survived that because of Taiso. He became my protector. He wouldn’t let anyone hurt me, he teased me, but he fought for me. Then that stupid competition happened. The late Alake of Ibadan hosted an archery tourney. Riders on horseback, firing arrows from crazy distances. I wanted to make Taiso proud, I wanted to show him that I’d learnt.” I heard a plea in his voice when he made the last sentence. Then his tone became flat. The blank expression returned to his face. He took a deep breath and it was just as if he was talking about the weather. It was scary how good he was at doing that, at masking his true emotions. “It came down to the two of us in the final round. Taiso against me. I beat him and the late Alake, an albino with no heirs, declared that their victor ‘pure prince’, deserved a title of honor. I can still remember the cheers when she said that ‘pure prince’. The people, nobles, commoners, albino, not albino, they clapped madly, and hammered their hands into the stands. They stomped their feet. It felt as if the stadium was shaking underneath me. They were so happy. Elated. Like my victory over my brother was theirs. The screams.” He shook his head. “It was a test. I didn’t know it then, but it had been a test, and to the nobles, to the Bono people, I passed, but to Taiso, I failed. I lost my brother and gained the title of omo-Alake of Ibadan.”
He was still closed off. There was nothing on his face to show how he felt, but I knew, I just knew. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him into a hug. He didn’t hug me back. He didn’t even blush. I released him.
“After that,” he began. I didn’t want to hear anymore. It was too sad, but he needed to tell me, and I needed to know. “whenever I walked into a room the nobles drifted towards me. I can still remember the empty platitudes. The unending barrage of nobles trying to give me things. The daughters that ended up hanging on my arm. The flirting. I was the one reminding them of the Bono tenet of verdure, and they would always sigh, so disappointed. It was all a game to them. They ripped us apart. I remember the council meetings, I was suddenly invited to after. Taiso made several salient points and they mumbled grudging assent. I said something, anything, and they agreed immediately, lavishing excessive praise on me in the process. It was all wrong. And that was before the nobles started coming to me and dropping hints on how a rightful prince could ‘get rid of a false interloper’. They wanted me to kill my own brother. ‘I didn’t even have to lift a finger, just nod,’ they’d say, ‘blink’. I’d be forced to keep my eyes open till it hurt, all so they wouldn’t think I was giving permission.”
What a cesspool. I was disgusted. I wanted to go back in time and be there to shield him from all of it. “What did you do?”
“I told Taiso.”
That sounded right. “What did he do?”
Debisi’s mouth twisted. “He thanked me.” I frowned, there had to be more to it. That was the first reaction I’d gotten from him in a while. “He thanked me, and then in under a month all the nobles I’d mentioned to him were dead.”
My mouth was dry.
“I hadn’t understood till then what the stakes were. I’d never really thought about what it meant that no non-albino had ever been a ruler, that they’d been killed. Then everything changed and I learnt how ruthless my brother was, but I also understood why. I finally understood that we were being pitted against each other, that by showing me their favor, the nobles were trying to pressure Taiso into abdicating, or my father into naming me heir. That was when Taiso’s mad grab for power started. One after the other, he got dirt on the nobles. Not all of them, just the ones powerful enough to make a difference. Still, even with Taiso’s foot on their necks, they wanted me. Even now, after everything I’ve done, there are some who are still rooting for me, in silence, but it's there all the same. They don’t understand that I don’t want it. I never have. The cost is too high. I will always choose my brother over power.”
“After everything you’ve done? What exactly have you done?”
Debisi frowned. The blankness faded and his gaze focused on me, as if he was only just then realizing that I was with him. “Did I say that?” I nodded. He fidgeted with his glasses, then his frown got deeper, and he pulled his hand down. “Nothing, forget I said anything.”
It was my turn to study him. I took a step back and perused him.
“What are you doing?”
I ignored him and watched as his uneasiness increased. He took his glasses off and wiped them absently against his shirt. His eyes met mine. “I wish you wouldn’t look at me like that.”
“Like I’m a riddle you’re trying to solve.”
He put the glasses back on. The motion caught my eye and I found myself staring at those glasses. “I never asked, what’s wrong with your eyes?”
“What?” He appeared puzzled.
“What about my eyes?”
“What’s wrong with them?”
“Why would you think there’s something wrong with my eyes?”
I tamped down my triumphant grin. “That’s usually why people wear glasses.”
“Oh, yes, of course.” He fidgeted with his glasses. “Hyperopia.”
He frowned at me. “I told you that I’m not…”
I put a finger on his lips. He appeared to be getting used to my touch because he didn’t immediately go scarlet. “Hush, before you say something you’ll regret. You’re not farsighted. You fought me without your glasses.” Now I let the triumph shine through in my quirked eyebrow and grinning lips.
He parted his lips, shaking his head as if he was about to argue, then he sighed. “You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with my eyes.”
“I needed to give them a reason to support my brother. When I woke up one day, clumsy, unable to fire the arrows that had won their love and support, tripping on myself in a fight, struggling to mount a horse, I proved that my brother would make the better Ooni. Or at least I tried to, I always try to.”
“Does Taiso know?”
“If he does it’s not from me.” His eyes scanned over my face. “You’re the only one I’ve told. Promise you won’t tell?” He affected a grin to hide his worry, but I’d heard it in his shaky speech.
“Why did you tell me?”
“You were already getting there.”
“You could have lied.”
He shrugged. “I trust you.” His voice dropped till it was barely above a whisper. “It feels good, it’s been so long since I’ve had trust. Most days I feel like I’m dangling precariously on a ledge and the softest wind could push me over.”
He sounded so sad. I tried to put myself in his shoes to think of the hidden life he was forced to live. He’d said, ‘I always try to’, present tense, which meant he was still facing those pressures, there were still people looking on him to take the throne from his brother, to kill his own brother. I didn’t want to think it, but I couldn’t help myself. “Does Taiso want you dead?”
“I’m not a mind reader,” his voice was harsh. His lips tightened and his hands clenched. Then he looked at me and I saw the uncertainty in his shimmering eyes and quivering lips. He cleared his throat.
“There have been attempts on your life,” it wasn’t really a question.
His shoulders slumped. He looked away from me. “Just one,” he whispered, “before I started wearing the glasses. Nothing since then.”
“Taiso?” I asked.
“No,” he shook his head, “Taiso wouldn’t.” He uttered the words with so much force, as if the more vehement his protest the more likely it would be believed. I didn’t know who he was trying to convince, me or himself.
I needed to distract him. I couldn’t take any more of the tragic web, not then. I chose to believe what Debisi did, I chose to believe that his brother wouldn’t hurt him. It was easy to persuade myself that what I wanted to believe was in fact the truth. I had a brother who backed me and if the roles were reversed, I would do the same, I would support him as Oba. What was power that it could tear a family apart? Could power make anyone hurt a brother as sweet as Debisi? No, Debisi was smart, if he said it wasn’t Taiso, then I believed him, and I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I needed a distraction and it was clear that he needed to be distracted.
I forced myself out of the shroud of gloom that accompanied Debisi’s tale. It was easy to shove all the thoughts to the background, and once I did, I sought to do the same for him, to relieve him of his worries, for this moment, for as long as I could.
I reached forward and took the faux glasses off his face and bent to place it gently on the ground. As soon as my fingers brushed against his skin, his gaze snapped to me. His eyes latched onto me, watching my every movement, peering into my face as I put my hand underneath his shirt and ran it over his belly, pulling his shirt up with my hands in the process.
“What are you doing?” he finally asked, a slight tremor in his voice. His blush had returned.
“I’m stripping you. We came here to swim, remember?”
He lifted his arms and I pulled the shirt over his head and let it fall. Next was his shorts. I undid the button of his khakis slowly pulling his zip down. He stood still, as if he was scared to move, and he kept his gaze away from my face. His color deepened as I bent, pulling his knickers with me. He wore white undershorts. I put my fingers underneath the elastic band. “Would you like me to take these off too?”
He swallowed. “Can I take off your girdle?”
I nodded. He must have caught the motion of my head in his peripheral vision, because he nodded and then muttered something that sounded like a prayer. I pulled his underwear down and then whistled. He blushed. The head of his rooster was so close I could lean forward and lick it. But I knew how he felt about his tenet of verdure, so I restrained myself.
“I’ve never been naked with a woman before.” He cleared his throat and forced his eyes to mine. “Are you considering a betrothal Tan, or are you just toying with me?” His hands kept making this funny spastic motion, where they jerked towards his pelvis, as if to cover up his semi-erect rooster, but then they went back. Those hands clenched.
“I’m seriously considering a betrothal.”
He relaxed but only a little. Then he stepped closer to me and put his fingers into the top of my girdle. His hands shook but he kept his attention so seriously focused on his task. He pulled the girdle down. His fingers brushed along the sides of my breasts, down my belly, over my hips and then down my legs. He looked at my pubes and gulped. Then his gaze travelled up to my breasts and stayed there.
He was fully erect now. I liked his rooster. It was long, not the longest I’d seen but long enough, and not too wide. The girth of his penis was like the rest of his body, lean and muscular.
“You can touch me,” I said.
His gaze didn’t move up from my breasts. He shook his head. “I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from ejaculating. My first seed is sacred, for our wedding night.” He still didn’t look up. “But I’d like to kiss you.”
“Then kiss me.”
He swallowed. “You’re so beautiful, Tan,” he said this with his gaze still fastened on my breasts. “I think about you and I get hard. It’s never been this difficult to fight off my arousal.”
I leaned into him and whispered, “then kiss me,” against his lips.
Our lips met and our tongues delved hungrily into each other’s mouths.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by xaviercasmir(m): 7:43am On Aug 29|
Since yesterday that I stumbled upon this work, I don't regret it. Your command in English language makes it so easy for me to see each chapter through your eyes.
Thank you very much and keep up the good work
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by cassbeat(m): 9:08am On Aug 29|
I love the way you picture real life Shii in your works.....
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by GeoSilYe(f): 10:45am On Aug 29|
Wow Obehid this was sublime
The way you weld your words is just breathtaking lol, keep up the good work.
However, I'm curious about Tan's age, you always seem to avoid giving out her precise age except if I missed it, I'd like to know tho
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by doctorexcel(m): 11:05am On Aug 29|
Your mastery of expressions and descriptions is always breath-taking. God bless you for this update. You are truly gifted, a true Bono "WORD-RIOR"
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by dawno2008(m): 7:36pm On Aug 29|
cassbeat:Don't mind him,with his bleached skin Mtchewww
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by cassbeat(m): 8:52pm On Aug 29|
dawno2008:this one off me
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 9:58pm On Aug 29|
you are a bomb man, Tan is now a trophy wife that will set record straight, hope it won't draw so much blood?
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Fazemood(m): 12:08am On Aug 31|
My kind of perfect couple.
Obehid you are doing well
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Folex34(m): 9:59pm On Sep 04|
Op you don Forget this story ni
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 5:51am On Sep 05|
@xaviercasmir thank you so much! I hope you keep enjoying
@cassbeat thank you very much
@GeoSilYe Thank you! Yeah, you're right I haven't outright stated her age. I think I did a comparison to Mede's age in the second chapter, but Tan is 20
@doctorexcel Thank you. Wow, a whole Bono WORD-RIOR, me? Chai, thank you oh
@Elvictor well...I guess we'll see
@Fazemood Thank you very much! And I do really like the Tabisi team
@Folex34 lol, no I haven't forgotten
This is a short update today, please bear with me
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 5:56am On Sep 05|
The next few days in the Bono court fell into a pleasing routine. I spent the mornings training with my tumblers, amidst an ever-growing number of onlookers. Debisi was always there. We never sparred again, but we went to the lake together after I was through. The skinny dipping became our morning ritual. I’d noticed that Taiso came, as well, every morning, to watch my sparring. After hearing Debisi’s story, I couldn’t help but see him in a different light. Every time he looked at Debisi I wondered if he was planning his brother’s death.
The afternoons were spent with the nobles from my court, administrating over whatever minor disputes my ministers thought important enough to send via pigeon. None of it was pressing. The only letter of note was from Ayisha, a missive letting us know that she’d gotten safely to Nuri. The Eze had surprised them at the border with a massive escort of troops, forcing her and the Sehzade to hold off on their elopement till they travelled close enough to a shrine that they could sneak away from the escort the Eze sent. I wasn’t too worried that she’d fail, Ayisha could be quite devious when she wanted to be. But in case there was a problem, I sent her a reply to let us know if she was in jeopardy of drawing too close to the Nuri palace before she was able to achieve her motives. If that happened, I’d have to sneak into that damned nation, but I wouldn’t let myself worry about that till there was a need to.
The evenings were spent in a mix of dizzying court parties and quiet nights, like this one, which I spent with my brother. On nights like this, we went on strolls around the palace grounds and he tried his best to pester me into leaving.
It didn’t matter what I did during the day, every time I came upon Bono nobles, I’d find myself staring at them, wondering what role they’d played in Debisi’s life. Were they friends of the dead nobles who’d tried to convince Debisi to kill his own brother for a throne? Did they know what those nobles had done? Did they secretly wish for Debisi to be Alaafin, did they plot to make it happen? On and on, the intrigues of the Bono court filled my thoughts, until it was time for the Ooni’s massage. Since the first night I’d done it, he’d asked me to keep at it. I didn’t mind, I could see how much better he looked. His coughing fits seemed to be reducing, and he’d told me himself that he felt more alive than he had in a long time.
A loud string of barks intruded on our silent night.
Tiwo perked up immediately. He loved animals. Our father had spoilt him with pets. Dogs, cats, goats, turtles, even a snake once. I was indifferent. I did not mind them at all, but I did not have the kind of affection for them that Tiwo did. As soon as he heard the dog barking, his face lit up. He sprang to his feet, jumping off the mat we shared and swiveled in the direction of the sound. The novel he’d been reading slipped from his fingers.
We were in one of many of the clearings in the palace’s forest. It was one that was surrounded by trees with colored fruits, which made it an instant favorite for the both of us. The preponderance of white was getting very old, very quickly.
The barking got louder.
Tiwo bent to a squat with his arms spread out and moments later, a white dog bolted onto our mat and into Tiwo’s arms. Tiwo wrapped his hands around the dog and petted it. He stroked its fur and the dog lapped his face with an eager tongue. Tiwo enjoyed the attention, I would not.
“Where did you come from?” Tiwo asked the dog. He got several more licks for a response, which predictably set Tiwo off on a round of laughter. I shook my head and leaned up, resting my palms on the mat. My gaze turned to the left, where the overeager dog had come tearing in from, and I watched the shadows growing bigger. The Bono used white light torches at night. Their forest was kept blanketed by the large fronds of the trees, which provided a pleasant shade during the day, but at night it blocked off the natural lighting of the moon.
Two servants emerged first, holding out a white metal mesh cage with a bulb of white light hanging in the middle. They stood off to the side, adding their light to ours. Two palace guards walked in after them. I sat up straight, taking my palms off the ground. Mother came in behind them, followed by two more palace guards.
I smiled and jumped to my feet. “Mother,” I said, “this is a surprise.” We’d been missing each other so often over the last few days that I’d become entirely certain she was avoiding me.
She walked over to me with her usual air of quiet dignity. She’d always been that way, always composed, always smiling. I’d never heard her raise her voice to anyone. Mother was shorter than I was, so she had to reach up to cup my face in her hands. I bent and she kissed me on the cheek.
“Do you like the gift I brought you, Tanose, she’s a white shepherd, a pure Bono breed?”
I sighed. “You know I don’t like dogs.”
“She’d actually have to know you to know that,” Tiwo remarked.
Mother was unfazed by Tiwo’s words and his tone. She walked to him and bent to place a kiss on his head. He pulled away from her touch and glared at her. Then he turned his head away and hugged the dog closer. Mother rose and turned back to face me, still smiling, completely unaffected by Tiwo’s reaction to her. She never was. Our mother.
“Can we talk, Tan?”
I wasn’t sure what to make of this. I nodded warily, as Tiwo turned back around to peer at her. Then he gave me a direct warning look and turned his attention back to the dog. Mother was already sitting on the wooden bench. I walked over to her and my gaze caught on Mede’s distrustful one. She didn’t say anything, she just kept watching. I shook my head at the both of them. Really, what had mother ever done to earn their ire?
I sat down on the bench next to her. She smiled at me and then gestured at one of the servants. The girl dropped her lantern and rushed over, carrying a basket I hadn’t seen when they’d walked in earlier. It was my mother’s sewing basket. I froze and then forced myself to tamp down my irritation. The girl sat on the ground beside my mother, while mother pulled out a white silk material. It looked like she was making an Isan tunic, one similar to what we both wore. She was very talented in her sewing.
“Will you join me?” she offered me one end of the cloth. It looked like she’d been sewing an embroidery onto the sleeve she held out to me.
“You know I don’t like sewing.”
“But it’s so pleasant, and it’s so relaxing, isn’t it Yem?” The servant, who was threading a needle, nodded in agreement. “Won’t you do it for me?” Mother said all of this smiling as she usually did. Her face was pleasant, her eyes gently entreating. All the things she’d gotten me to do as a child with that same look. I shook my head. She nodded, as if she’d been expecting my refusal, and, still smiling, pulled the material back. She accepted a threaded needle from the servant and started sewing a running stitch on the hem. She’d always sewn in straight, immaculate, lines. I’d looked once, trying to compare her stitches with one done by a machine, and I’d found no difference.
She hummed an Isan tune, it was one that had been my favorite when I was younger. It had always relaxed me. Mother was a healer, it was her calling, and it was as natural to her as motion was to me. Everything that came from her relaxed. I remembered how soothing just listening to her sing had been. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?”
I nodded. “Yes, mother, very beautiful.” I watched the graceful sweep of her hands and remembered my conversation with the Ooni. “I hope your hands don’t hurt.”
Her face remained pleasant but her eyebrows pulled together by a tiny fraction, just enough to show her worry. “Why would they?”
“The Ooni mentioned your arthritis.”
“Oh, that,” she waved it away, “just a minor discomfort.” She took her focus back to the sewing and continued humming. I was starting to remember how much her stillness unnerved me. When I was younger she’d come to me, just like this, and she’d hum while doing some embroidery, or knitting, or sewing, and I’d find myself spilling confessions out to her that I hadn’t even known were eating at me.
I looked at Tiwo. He was seated with the dog in his lap, stroking her fur, while he frowned at mother. He saw me looking and mouthed, ‘what does she want now?’. I shrugged. He rolled his eyes and turned back to frowning at her.
“So, what do you think of Debisi?” She spoke finally.
“I like him.”
She looked up at me and smiled. “Good, good, he’s a good boy.” Then her face turned serious. She rarely got this serious. I found myself sitting up. “He’s a good match for you Tan, why don’t you take him to Isan, continue your courtship back there.” There was a desperation in her voice that surprised me. Then she smiled, patted me on the knee, and turned back to her sewing. She wasn’t humming.
I looked at Tiwo. He mouthed, ‘I agree.’ Tiwo liked Debisi, but what he agreed with was the getting back to Isan part. I knew why Tiwo wanted to go back. He had pleasure slaves, friends, a life, his pets, all waiting for him in Isan. I didn’t understand why mother wanted me gone.
“Why didn’t you tell us you were pregnant?”
She turned to me and said, “I knew you wouldn’t approve.”
“When have I ever not approved of anything you’ve done?”
She smiled at me. “The fact that you do not voice your disapproval doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You are my daughter, Tan, I know when I’ve disappointed you.”
“Why did you leave him, mother?”
She sighed but her smile didn’t fade, it got bigger. “I thought we talked about this already.”
“No, we didn’t, and you know we didn’t. I’ve accepted that you’re happy here, that the Ooni makes you happy, but I thought your husband made you happy, I thought that was why you married him so soon after father died.”
She stopped her sewing and palmed my cheek. Her touch was soft, her smooth skin warm against my face. “He made me happy for a while, when he needed me, then he stopped needing me and I was alone in yet another mansion.”
“Alone in yet another mansion?” Tiwo screeched.
“You were not alone, mother, how could you say that?”
“You always belonged to your father Tan, and Tiwo was yours. The both of you were all Netite needed. There was nothing he could get from me that he didn’t get from his pleasure slaves.” I groaned, that was so not on the list of things I needed to hear. “I loved your father, but I needed to be needed.”
She was a healer to the core, it didn’t surprise me that she felt that way. “I needed you.”
She shook her head. “You’ve never needed anyone Tanose.”
She was wrong about that, but telling her so would only hurt her, so I moved back to my earlier subject. “What happened with your husband?”
She gave me a suffering look, then she laughed and nodded. “When he stopped needing me, my eyes opened, and I saw his village for what it really was, a military garrison, and he was nothing more than a soldier bored with peace. I grew tired of living in a barracks. So, when the Ooni came for a tour of the village, I asked him to bring me back with him and he did.” She turned back to her sewing and continued humming. The conversation was over, I’d gotten as much from her on the subject as I was likely to.
One thing in mother’s words stood out to me. I thought about it for the rest of the time that mother spent with us, and it played at the back of my mind as Tiwo and I escorted Tiwo’s Bono pet, Bonnie, back to the palace. Tiwo bragged about how smart she was, already obeying orders quickly.
He showed her off, I thought about mother’s words.
It still played in my mind as I walked along the corridor that led to the Ooni’s suite, to administer his daily massage, later that night. Mede trailed silently in my wake. I was so distracted that I was taken by surprise when Debisi walked up to me and slipped his hand into mine. He’d started accompanying me to his father’s suite two days ago, after someone started a silly rumor that the Ooni and I were lovers. Really, the things they did and said in this court.
“What’s wrong Tan?” Debisi asked.
I nodded to bowed palace guards who held the door to the Ooni’s suite open. “Something my mother said.”
We walked into a dimly lit hallway with white walls bearing off-white paintings.
“She said the Alake of Ikeja’s village was a garrison and that your father toured it. Is Bono preparing for war with the Nuri?”
He seemed genuinely startled by my question. “No.”
I frowned at him, not quite sure if I could believe him and not fully sure I knew why. It would make sense. This sudden desperation, the Ooni’s eagerness for me to be wed to Debisi. I had a feeling the Ooni was behind my mother’s visit, her slight push towards Debisi. If Bono was preparing for war with the Nuri, then it would make sense that the Ooni would want me tied by marriage to his family, bound in a way that would ensure Isan stood with Bono against the Nuri. There’d been no war thus far, in my reign, and I was not eager for one. I would not shy away from war, but I would not court it.
“What’s bothering you Tan?”
I stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why would your father allow an Alake to house a military garrison if he was not preparing for war?”
Debisi shrugged. “I told you, the Alake of Ikeja is very powerful.”
I shook my head. “No, you told me he had something on your brother, something powerful enough to make your brother acquiesce to him. But we’re not talking about your brother, we’re talking about your father. Why would your father allow it? They are enemies. Unless it was wartime, he would be insane to let an enemy have that much autonomy in controlling arms and training soldiers.”
“They are not enemies, not anymore. Not since,” I could tell from the way his lips tightened and his expression saddened that he was going to mention his sister. “Lola and Kola.”
“The Alake’s heir.”
I remembered Debisi mentioning the Alake’s son, the one that the Nuri had stolen and made into a slave. Debisi’s words only further confirmed my thoughts. The only thing that could unite the Ooni and the Alake was a common goal and considering what the Nuri did to the Alake’s son and the Ooni’s loathing when he’d spoken to me of the Nuri, I couldn’t think of anything more unifying than war with the Nuri.
“Please don’t lie to me Bi.” He’d flushed the first time I’d called him that. It was just a simple nickname, but he’d been so happy. Now, I couldn’t help but question it. Was this all an intricate Bono scheme?
He shook his head. “I wouldn’t Tan, I swear, we’re not preparing for war with any nation.”
He looked honest and open, eager even to portray the sincerity of his words. I nodded and gave him a tight smile, but I remembered the rules of diplomacy, the dogmas father taught me, and one of them was that no monarch showed all their cards. There was politics in this, and I’d let myself forget, I’d let myself be as free as I was in my own court. Bono was not my nation.
“I will be returning to Isan,” I announced, a few steps away from the Ooni’s door.
Debisi froze. “What?”
“I’m going home, Bi,” I placed an open palm on his cheek. “Come with me?”
As soon as I made the request, I was surprised by how much his answer mattered to me. I wasn’t in love with him, but I did like him, and I would miss his company. But more than that, I wanted to protect him, I didn’t want him sucked any deeper into the quagmire that was Bono court politics.
His face lit up. He smiled so wide that those beautiful dimples of his emerged. He nodded.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 6:50am On Sep 05|
is this all for today?
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by dawno2008(m): 11:26am On Sep 05|
[quote author=Elvictor post=93586715]is this all for today?[/quote
Oga landlord, he said it will be a short one for today.
"Mr talk and do" nor vex oo
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 11:32am On Sep 05|
[quote author=dawno2008 post=93594610][/quote]
lol.. I dey ask oh! I wan pass observation
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 4:59pm On Sep 08|
Lol, yeah it was a short update, but this Friday's will be longer
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 5:32pm On Sep 08|
obehiD:if you wrote so... lol.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Fazemood(m): 6:15pm On Sep 08|
Obehid this update seems quit short but very satisfying. I would like to ask, what's is the setting of this tale? Is it in a precolonial or post colonial era? Because I read and I am curious, the attire, the means of transportation, the weapon used and the land markings seems ancient yet there are technology in it as well.
What era can we put this story?
I feel sad for tan's mom, she seems quite lonely despite her constant smiling.
Please clear me of my curiousity.
Thank you Revered
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 7:00am On Sep 09|
I was even about to ask him why he is bringing contemporary ideas into the story, technology is as old as man.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 3:24pm On Sep 09|
It's actually her not him, lol, and your 'if you wrote so' made me laugh so hard. Nice
You are so right about this Fazemood, I've spent too much time writing books with powers where magic makes the impossible possible so you can fuse eras....I really need to be more careful with this one. The answer to your question though is it's late pre-colonial timed, but it's fantasy so I might take some liberties. To clarify though, the sewing machine I was thinking about is treadle machines. The 'light bulb' is like a kerosene lantern but the metal mesh frame is white and the 'bulb' is glass that's been tinted so that the typical yellow flame light is absorbed and only white shines through. So basically, no electricity.
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|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Fazemood(m): 5:15pm On Sep 09|
obehiD:I see, although having a story where Africa has its own technological development is worth reading too. If you can twist it a bit to this flavor then it a 'good to go'.
Thanks for the clarification
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 9:50pm On Sep 09|
obehiD:is it some kind of ancient physics explanation?
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Elvictor: 9:56pm On Sep 09|
I apologize for mistaken your gender although I realize where the feminist theme is beaming from, aay!
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by PenHub: 9:45am On Sep 10|
Nice update @ obehid. Story is all but class..........
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 3:52pm On Sep 10|
Yup, it's the physics of the Nulin Nation...lol
What do you mean by Africa having its own technological development? I'd like to hear more about this, sounds interesting...do you have an examples?
Thanks. I don't know if your 'all but class' is a compliment though, but as long as you're enjoying the story it's all good
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by Fazemood(m): 7:43pm On Sep 11|
Well, I don't really have any in mind but if we can imagine having probably slight changes to some tools like the spears having to reconstruct and become a sword or a bow or a lamp stand illuminating light from a source other than oil, or maybe genetically empowered motion warriors like mede and the others, or even still like it is in your other books teleportation devices that aren't link with magic rather some sort of materials and the likes, it will give some impression that Africa isn't as archaic as many imagine.
For instance the reason most like the movie 'Black panther' isn't because of the action but rather the feeling that wakanda is more advanced than any other nation on Earth.
I am not saying we should copy that pattern of technological development, its way too ambigious, rather little things that I believe we had as our own technology in the ancient times before the whites came and probably stole and turned around and claimed they created after some alterations. I believe we had that kind of things in the past like every other races did.
Well, it is good to keep it this way but mysteries brings curiosity and curiousity brings interest and interest devotion. So just think and see if this is feasible.
|Re: Masquerades Of The Nulin Nations (18+) by obehiD(f): 2:10am On Sep 12|
I have a better understanding of what you're saying now. I think Nnedi Okarafor did something similar with technology in African themed literature in Who Fears Death...I think that could have been cool here. I don't know if I'll be able to incorporate that into this book, but I'll think and see if there's a way to put it in. Thanks for the inspiration
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