King Vulcan and his family had passed three months on the large İsland of Dubadaran. King Vulcan had recovered from his shoulder injury and was really enjoying himself in this secluded place. Last night he and Kadija had swam naked in the warm seas together after the children had gone to sleep.

The hospitality of the ruling tribe here was sincere and they honored their guests with their much desired privacy. Today King Vulcan reveled in spending his hours with his little son. They were watching the butchering of some animals in preparation for a feast.

” Ozaka, know that it is your right to take the life of an animal for food. İt is the purpose of the animal and it is its honor to die so that you may live. İt was created for you and not you for it. Don’t cry my son.” King Vulcan instructed his young son who was crying over his goat that had been butchered.

Nodding his head at his father’s gentle but firm instructions little Ozaka took his father’s hand.

” Come, you must help with the preparation of the meat. Let’s take the leg to the men over there for skinning. Help Baba to hold the leg.” King Vulcan instructed

Together father and son brought the leg of the goat to the busy cooks. On seeing the King’s approach, the head cook scurried forward to greet the revered guest.

” King Vulcan, Thank you. But it is not fitting that a king such as yourself be involved in this type of work. This feast is being held in your and Queen Kadija’s honour and the birth of your healthy girl. Please don’t trouble yourself, dear King.” a bowing and sincere cook pleaded.

” Your name is Tahren, right?” King Vulcan asked rhetorically.

The cook nodded.

“Tahren, it is not a burden for me at all, but it’s an opportunity to teach my son. Don’t be bothered, be at ease.” King Vulcan said courteously.

” As you wish great King.” Tahren bowed and left them to it.

When King Vulcan felt like his son was sufficiently calm and less upset about his dead goat, he lifted him up and said,

“Come Ozaka let’s go down to the sea and catch fishes. We will dive together.”

” We going to go swimming?” His now almost three year old son asked happily.

” Yes my son.”

” And we going to catch fwi-shee-shes?” (how little Ozaka pronounced fishes). His cute little stumble over his words warming the heart of his father.

” Yes, big fishes too.” King Vulcan replied.

” Will MoMA come and sister?” Ozaka questioned.

” No Ozaka, both MoMa and baby sister are tired. İt will just be you and Baba today.” King Vulcan replied

Undaunted the little boy smiled and happily said,
” Yay, Yay, Yay.” pumping both his fists into the air.

” Baba will we make fire?” Ozaka asked

” Yes, just like last time, we will gather wood and make a fire to roast the fishes.” King Vulcan answered.

” İ love making fire.” Ozaka replied.

When they reached the beach, the little boy wiggled out of his father’s hand and ran to the sea’s edge. Then he ran back to his father. He repeated this action several times, each time going in a bit deeper into the sea. He splashed and kicked the water, all the while giggling. King Vulcan joined him by running into the sea and diving into the incoming waves. They spent a good time just swimming and holding their breaths together. King Vulcan took Ozaka out into deeper waters and threw him. He watched as his son expertly swam and paddled.

After that they returned to the shores and pushed a little boat out into the water. King Vulcan took a small net with them. He paddled out into deeper waters. They sat in the boat and he instructed his son to cast out their net. The two leaned back together in the cool and dozed off to sleep. When they woke from their nap, they checked their net together. Sure enough they had caught seven fishes, two of which were too small so King Vulcan threw them back into the sea.

” The sea is plentiful Ozaka, no need to take the really small ones. Let them grow some more.” King Vulcan had told his curious son.

King Vulcan allowed his pleading son to row one side of the boat. İt took them longer than usual to reach back to the shores but it was worth the happiness written on Ozaka’s face.

Hugging his father spontaneously, the little boy said

” İ love you Baba and i love MoMA.”

King Vulcan hugged and kissed him in return. He was unfettered in his affections towards his son. He loved kissing him and throwing Ozaka into the air. He had vowed to give Ozaka the childhood he, Vulcan, had never had.

They then went to look for firewood and King Vulcan reminded Ozaka how to start a fire. His son watched with intense interest as his dad made the fire. King Vulcan made quick work of gutting and scaling the fishes. He watched as Ozaka fanned at the wood fire. The boy really did love to make fire.

When they had eaten their fishes, his son started looking sleepy again. They had been out all day so King Vulcan was not surprised.

Scooping up the tired boy, King Vulcan walked a good distance along the beach, then turned into a coconut tree lined pathway that led to a large wood porch. İt was where he and Kadija were staying.

” Come my son, stay up a little bit more for your bath.” King Vulcan said shaking Ozaka gently.

When their servants saw the King coming down one of the long alleyways, they rushed to take his son. However Vulcan raised his hands to stop them

” No, just prepare some warm water for us to bathe in the bath house, i will bathe him.”

” Yes, King Vulcan.” They answered.

So King Vulcan took a quick bath with his son to wash away the salt from their bodies. He rubbed oil over the drowsy boy and himself. Covering their nakedness, King Vulcan carried his son to their sleeping rooms and put him to bed. He patted his back, but he didn’t need much help to fall asleep. After five pats, Ozaka was out.

” Tomorrow we will do it all again my son. To enjoy your childhood is your only goal.” King Vulcan said tenderly to his sleeping son.

Finally he was able to go to his wife. He found her relaxing with a sleeping Adassah, their newborn daughter, by her side.

” İt’s my time now.” King Vulcan said taking up the sleeping baby and kissing her. He gently put their baby in a comfortable cot and took her place beside Kadija.

” Mhmm you smell so nice, beauty.” King Vulcan said

” İt’s a new scent that the Ajabay women made. The chieftess sent some over for me to try.” Queen Kadija told him

” Look at you, your nose is burnt.” Kadija said

” Ozaka and İ were out fishing for a while. We fell asleep in the sun.” King Vulcan said

” You have been so happy here my husband.” Kadija commented.

” Mhmm it’s very tranquil. Plus it’s nice to be away from the throne for a while.” King Vulcan answered.

” Has Salan reported anything new?”

” Yes, They have captured the one named Lucario who was the right hand man for King Killin. He has exposed everything. Seems he has lost heart since we told him that his wretched king was butchered. He was stunned to hear that the new Kings of Cappadocia are none other than King Zolokhan and Queen Katya.” King Vulcan reported

” He is not the only one! Well Vulcan aren’t you awed by the news? İ know i am. What a turn of events! İt’s almost impossible!” Queen Kadija said in astonishment.

” Ah Kadija, let’s face it…with those two, Queen Katya and King Zolokhan…well anything is possible.” King Vulcan said admiringly

Snuggling up into his arms, Kadija said

” We must count our good fortune too, everything has worked out so simply and easily for us. Your brothers’ crimes have been exposed and all those who helped them. We can return soon.” Kadija said

” Mhmm.” King Vulcan nodded

” İ wonder what changes will it mean, now that King Zolokhan and Queen Katya are the new rulers over Cappadocia?”

” Only time will tell, my love.” King Vulcan replied.

” İ hear Queen Katya is pregnant. King Zolokhan must be overjoyed. He loves her very much.” Kadija said carrying on the conversation

” Mhmm.” King Vulcan answered.

” Your very short on words tonight…” Kadija observed

” Yes short on words but full of feelings my love. Let’s stay here a little longer before we return.” King Vulcan said to his wife, scooping up behind her and snuggling into her.

” This extraordinary occurrence with King Zolokhan and Queen Katya has got me thinking.” King Vulcan uttered.

” Mhmm..” Queen Kadijah replied waiting for him to continue

” Expanding and claiming new territories Kadija, but without war or death.”

His wife made no reply for a time, not wanting to be hasty in her words. His comment pleased her in her heart, that much she knew and felt. How to expand and how to do so without feuding and spilling blood was a whole other matter though. So this she pondered.

When she had thought of something to say and was about to say it, she heard snoring from behind her. Smiling, she turned her head as best as she could to take in the handsome features of her love. She turned and placed back her head in her palm and enjoyed the feel of him behind her. Then her thoughts strayed back to their history with each other: how they met, all he had done for her secretlyim their youth, the festivities, their marriage day, the birth of their son and now their daughter. Her heart was full of happiness and contentment. She prayed a sincere prayer from her heart, without words…which said

” May our days continue to be full of happiness and contentment and peace only.”

Katya and Zolokhan:

Now to fill in the details of what occurred in Cappadocia and how Katya and Zolokhan became the new Kings- so as to satisfy the reader’s curiosity, let us go back to the day of the Sacred Pick in Cappadocia.

On the early morning of the Sacred Pick a voice was heard shouting through the streets saying,

” Today you will behold two, who are but one, who shall rule the throne of Cappadocia and the rest of the world. Their reign is divine and none shall conquer it. This says the lord.”

Over and over again, a simply dressed but strong faced older man with a staff in his hands, repeated through the streets. The people made way for him respectfully. Some whispered,

” İt’s the prophet from Old King Solomon’s country. The country of Israel. He is the Lord’s prophet.”

” He brings good tidings.” Others uttered.

” Yes, he says the reign of our new king will be unconquerable.” People said spreading the word.

” But what does he mean by ‘two who are but one’?” Some questioned among themselves.

” You know these prophets, always a bit mystical” one said from within the crowds shrugging his shoulders.

The strong prophet was named Melchizedek. Spurred by the spirit of God within him, he had made the long journey from Israel to Cappadocia for this important day.
Now when he became tired, he rested by a large tree where a number of tents were. There, he was spotted by Katya. Katya had taken refreshments to the weary looking man. Melchizedek had then asked her to stay and converse with him.

” Have you anywhere to rest or sleep Melchizedek?” Katya had asked.

” No i must find lodgings once this day is over. Then i will make my way back to Israel in a few days time.” Melchizedek replied

” Then you can come back with us and rest at the inn where we are staying. We will pay the innkeeper for all your needs. My husband Zolokhan and İ are also strangers in this land. We understand how refreshing it is to be met with hospitality rather than hostility.” Katya said invitingly and comfortingly.

Melchizedek had already discerned who they were and what was to occur in their lives; all by divine insight from heaven. Nevertheless he did not give it away but graciously accepted Katya’s offer.

Finally the time had come. Trumpets were sounded and drums were beating. Signaling to all the people that the time they had all been waiting for was near. The High Priest made his appearance along with important members of the high council. The High priest then began by recounting his dream from God to the people.

He then shouted to the great crowd,

” Will you accept the will of God? Will you accept whatever decision comes out of this box?”

” Yes, Yes we will! or let God strike us dead with severe punishments.” The people swore.

” Then let us begin, uncover the box. All men take out your numbers.” The High Priest commanded.

The High Priest then walked forward and had his hands washed in blessed waters.

” İ wash my hands to show you that all has been done with no corruption on my part. There is no trickery involved in the Sacred Pick. This is a sanctified occasion.” The High Priest announced

” We have seen and we acknowledge it, High Priest.” The people responded.

” Spin the box three times and in three different directions.” The High Priest commanded.

The box containing the numbers was mounted and tied to what looked like a threshing grinder. Except that by pushing three arms that extended from the rotator, the box could be rotated in three different directions. Hence the box of numbers were spun three times in three different directions. The box was spun as the High Priest had commanded.

“Open the sacred box.” The High Priest commanded.

Two men then lifted the lid covering a large wooden box. The wooden box had gilded gold edges at each side. The High Priest stepped forward and putting his hand into the box, he drew out a thin and flat wooden square. The crowd waited with bated breaths, bulging eyes and excited hearts to hear the number read, that was written on the thin wood.

A perplexed expression then came over the features of the High Priest; for stuck together were two pieces of thin wood with numbers. Remembering his oath to do things openly and clearly before all the people, the High Priest did not hesitate to disclose the matter to the people immediately.

” Citizens of Cappadocia, i have drawn it seems two wooden numbers stuck together.”

Shock went through the crowds and a great uproar of voices could be heard as many questioned,

” What does this mean? Two numbers?Two Kings?”

” How can there be two Kings?”

” Will the ones chosen have to duel it out?”

” What will we do? How do we decide? For surely there can’t be two heads?” The people reasoned.

The High Priest called for calm and said,

” Let the men with the following numbers come forward on this mighty stage. They will duel it out for the throne.”

Cheers erupted from the people at the thought of this kind of entertainment. They would get to see even more, the quality and mettle of their chosen King by his fighting prowess. So the high priest called on the numbers,

” Number √°°°^(79996) and number √°°°^• 79997, come forward.”

An immediate groan went up from some sections of the crowd as they knew their number was nowhere in that region. Hence they could only lick their wounds of disappointment and wait for the holders of the winning numbers to be identified.

” Well my number is only \\∆^| (3560)” Syria said disappointed.

Muffles of anticipation went through the crowds as they waited for the men to identify themselves. Who could it be? Was the question in everybody’s heart.

” Well has no one called out yet?” Who has those numbers?” Rebecca the innkeeper said frustratedly, nervous excitement lacing her tone.

The High Priest announced once more through a loud trumpet for the numbers, and the people in the crowd spread the word of what the numbers were. Everyone was careful to be accurate in spreading the news of the numbers.

Now it may cross a discerning reader’s mind, a question of how such a very different mix of people, with foreigners, foreign traders, foreign visitors could understand the language? At that time, there was a common language called Pigeon which was learnt by travelling traders, scholars, explorers, wanderers to other nations and the diligent commoners. This was in an effort to form some common ground between nations and to invigorate trade. This language which was called Pigeon ( symbolic of birds flying everywhere without borders and also that pigeons could be found almost anywhere) was learnt as a dual language by many nations. Hence the High Priest would speak in Capadocian language and in Pigeon. It was the same practice amongst Katya and Zolokhan’s Mwebele and Kezmizi tribe. The same was practiced within King Vulcan’s Mabutu tribe as well.

Becoming curious as it was taking so long for anyone to step forward and claim their number, the crowd began to grow restless. The High Priest ordered them to sit down under their shaded canopies, to rest and to eat while enquiring of their neighbours what was their number.

Meanwhile the High Priest said to Halkali

” Is anyone missing I wonder?”

” High Priest, with a crowd so large it would be impossible to know. The gates are closed however, no one can go out and no one was recorded as going out recently.”

” Mhmm then we have a few sceptics who care nothing about their numbers then. People who never were interested in the Sacred Pick.” The High Priest said to Halkali.

” What are we to do?” Halkali asked.

“Send out the announcement that all men are to look at their numbers immediately. Check also to see that there are no murders, no illness or fainting that may have befallen anyone. Perhaps the holders of the two numbers have fallen into some trouble.” The High Priest ordered.

When the message went out through the crowds, that everyone was to double check their number and that of their neighbour, Rebecca suddenly had a flash of insight. She turned and looked at the nonchalant and carefree couple of Katya and Zolokhan.

” If there were ever two people as non interested and unbothered as stones…it’s these two. But Katya is a woman so she would have no number…. Ah-ha! but Zolokhan would,” Rebecca thought in her quick mind.

Moving like a woman on a holy mission, she went up to a chuckling Zolokhan who was talking with the prophet Melchizedek and said impatiently to him,

” Master Zolokhan, what is your number?”

A surprised Zolokhan shrugged his shoulders, and said.

” I’m not sure, I haven’t checked it. Let me go for it, it’s bundled in my sack in the tent.” with those words Zolokhan got up and went for his thin wood block with the number on it. Taking it carefully from him, Rebecca checked and as she had suspected, here was one of the numbers. She wanted to give out a great shout but something restrained her.

” You are a wise woman,” Melchizedek said knowingly from beside her.

” Now go ask Katya to check her number, for surely she has one too.” Melchizedek advised.

” But she is a woman.” Rebecca replied to Melchizedek

” Remember my prophecy this morning, two who are really one shall rule the Throne of
Cappadocia this day. Who are two yet one, if not a husband and wife? This you know very well Rebecca,” Melchizedek said looking directly at her and then looking at Sybil her husband.

” Yes, two in body but one in spirit and love.” Rebecca muttered.

That was how she had her Sybil were. She recognized the same thing in Katya and Zolokhan.

” Let us discreetly bring them to the High Priest. We will not alert the jealousy of some in the crowd or perhaps the bad intentions of many.” Rebecca said

After they had confirmed that Katya’s number was the second number, Rebecca and Melchizedek discreetly ushered the two through the crowds towards the large stage in the centre of the square. Melchizedek then went to call aside a messenger stationed at the stairs and said,

” Tell your master, we have found and brought the two with the numbers.”

A wide eyed and quick messenger, shot up the stairs towards the High Priest, dropping himself before his master he said

” My Lord urgent message.”

” Speak” the High Priest commanded.

” A prophet has come to me, he says he brings the two men with the numbers.”

” What! Bring them at once.” The High Priest said excitedly.

When they brought Katya and Zolokhan, the High Priest was very surprised. They first checked the numbers and sure enough it was the correct numbers.

” But how could a woman have gotten a number? What does this now mean?” The High Priest thought confusedly.

To the High Priest inner musings, Melchizedek provided an answer.

” A few weeks ago, the lord said to me- get up and go to Cappadocia. Say to the High Priest and the people these words:

“Today you will behold two who are but one, they shall rule the throne and the rest of the world. Their reign is divine and none shall conquer it. This says the lord.”

“Now here we have a married couple who are two in body but one in spirit and unity. They have been divinely chosen by God to rule Cappadocia. This is what the stuck together pieces of wooden numbers mean. There needs be no duel between a husband and wife, behold your new King and Queen of Cappadocia.” The prophet announced.

At his explanation, clarity came over the High Priest’s mind and he went and rejoiced in front of the people and explained everything. Then some in the crowd shouted and said,

” Is that not King Zolokhan and Queen Katya?”

“Is this true?” The High Priest questioned wonderingly.

When it was confirmed who they really were, shouts of loud joy and ecstasy went up from the crowds. Overwhelming awe and wonder came over the people and they bowed down one and all. Shouting

” We accept the rule of King Zolokhan and Queen Katya and the divine will of the almighty God.”

This continued for hours until the High Priest had to urge the people to quiet down so they could crown the new rulers and they could feast.

Now for the fun of it, we will tell the story of how the two wooden pieces became stuck together. You see that day, a guard at the country’s gates named Ishbrahim had been working very hard and long to assign and record a number to each man. He had grown very hungry but was unable to leave his station. Then he remembered that is wife Bethune, had sent him some sweet honey comb and flat cakes earlier in the morning.

Ishbrahim on recalling what his wife had sent him, and seeing a short lull in incoming men through the gate, had hastily eaten some of the sticky honey comb and two flat cakes. It was then that Katya and Zolokhan’s caravan had pulled up and Isbrahim had hastily out away the remaining food. His hands however were sticky with honey when he recorded Zolokhan and the disguised Katya and placed their wooden numbers to be carried to the Sacred Box.