Katya & Zolokhan Chapter 5.

Katya & Zolokhan Chapter 5.

Zolokhan had arrived back in Kezmizi over three days ago. Already that shrew of a step-mother was making her presence felt. Wherever she could find complaints she would levy them out on the Prince. Having had enough of her, Zolokhan went out to the training fields to practice combat. This was an important year for the festivities and he would not lose in any event.

Currently, the Mwebele tribe controlled the rights to the Wengua River, and the Kezmizi tribe held tributary rights while Mabutu tribe held the rights to the trade routes to the Coast. Zolokhan knew the ambitious nature of the Mabutu Prince. He fought harder and trained even more knowing his defeating Vulcan was crucial. Though Vulcan was three years his senior, Zolokhan was just as heavily muscled as him and equal to the task. He had been defeated when he was thirteen and Vulcan sixteen but not this year.

However, what was most interesting this year was that the warrior put forth by the Mwebele tribe was none other than their Chieftess, Katya. Zolokhan found it so preposterous when he learned the news. She could get seriously hurt, what were the Mwebele tribe Elders thinking. He looked over the rules of the competition and true, there were no rules saying that women could not fight, it just had never been done. The rules only required the best fighters from each tribe.

İn one week, the competitions would begin. All three tribes would travel to the sacred grounds and camp there for the remaining month. The Kezmizi tribe was the main planner for this year’s event. They were in charge of preparations. This was a time for a display of wealth when a tribe was granted the right to prepare the games.

The Kezmizi tribe had never failed to impress. The prizes and rights were decided as follow: winner of the fights won the trade routes, winner of the dance competitions won rights to the Wengua River and the overall winner for the most events at the end of the festivities would receive monetary tributes from the other two tribes for four years until the next festivities. The other events included animal races, food competitions, beauty competitions, singing, hunting, running, cooking, and milking competitions to see whose animals were the healthiest or had the most milk.

On returning from bathing after his training a steward from the Queen’s compound ran up to him.

My Prince, the queen has invited you to her residence .” the steward said.

“Tell her I cannot make it today as I have a long meeting with father for the rest of the week” Zolokhan replied.

“Eh, My Prince she said if you responded with this answer, I should tell you that she already cleared it with your father.”
The nervous steward answered.

Giving the steward an angry stare the Prince marched to the Queen’s compound.

“Since she insisted on lay waiting him he would not give her any consideration of changing his warrior attire.” Zolokhan thought angrily

The steward rushed behind Prince Zolokhan flabbergasted, begging him to halt to let him announce his arrival. The steward eventually took off running to announce the Prince’s arrival to his cruel Queen. The steward did not want to give any excuse to the Queen for caning him tonight.

Trembling and feeling like he was caught between a rock and a hard place, the steward tried to compose himself as he went to the Queen’s hall and loudly announced.

“My Queen, Prince Zolokhan arrives!”

All the young girls from the best families were gathered in what was supposed to be a ladies gathering but was really a matchmaking ploy. The queen had made sure that Sefirah her niece looked the best by letting her guests believe that this was a regular and ordinary meet-up. Hence the other women had dressed a little more plainly.

Standing, the Queen readied herself to see him. Her lust rising up like a giant snake. All these bitches in heat here acting so virtuous she mused in her mind. Jealousy swept over her because she knew that only contempt for her spewed from Zolokhan’s eyes.

Oh, how she wished for even just one lusty night in his bed.” she thought.

She had married the King at fifteen and was still very young with a strong desire and indulgence for young men. But her stepson sent her over the edge. He was so beautiful to look at even at fifteen, she couldn’t even imagine what he would become as he got even manlier. That’s why even if she couldn’t control him she should at least be able to control his wife. Who better to be his wife than her little nitwit niece. She could always drug him and sneak into his room on Serifah’s behalf she laughed in her heart. Her plans well laid out for years ahead.

There he was, in full warrior’s attire his expression fierce. She had to be using so many different tactics just to be able to see him. The girls were so surprised that some of them squealed in delight, several rushing to bow and take his arms.

Prince Zolokhan were sure your going to win in the fights” one piped.

Another more bold hussy as the Queen called her in her mind said seductively

” My My Prince Zolokhan your so strong” squeezing his biceps.

Nodding with a slight smirk on his face, he stared directly at Queen Nebuli and bluntly asked

“Why did you request my presence Queen mother?” Hard golden-colored eyes stared into her own.

Zolokhan don’t be so harsh with Mummy, I just wanted to introduce a few ladies to their Prince and of course my niece Serifah” she cajoled. That’s what Zolokhan hated most about her, her venomous and silky tongue which always left him seeming like the bad guy.

Serifah bowed to the Prince feeling so superior to the other women in her regal dress and jewelry.

” Hello Prince Zolokhan, wishing you good health and victory for the games” Serifah cooed.

She had spent weeks practicing her lines and looked at her aunt proudly, basking in her smooth delivery.

Thank you” the Prince responded.

“My Queen, Ladies I’m sorry but I have an emergency I must tend to” as quickly as he said that and bowed he was gone, leaving a room full of perturbed and disappointed women.

Everyone knew about his betrothal to the Mwebele Chieftess but they still wanted to be his bed partners. After all Kezmizi men were known for having multiple wives and concubines and everything in between. A promise of faithfulness to the Chieftess was still a foreign concept within their tribe.

Zolokhan couldn’t believe that evil woman derailed him for that nonsense! He had seen the lust in her eyes begin to grow ever since he had changed into a man. İt disgusted him, she disgusted him. Yet his father could see nothing. Throwing her out of his mind so as not to lose anymore of his peace, his mind drifted to Katya.

“You already love me” were the last words she had said to him.

She did not see him off on his way home instead he was warmly escorted and supplied by Chieftess Dedoka and a few Elders. Now to hear the news that she would compete in the fights still left his mind reeling. However, he couldn’t stop the burst of happiness he felt at the thought of seeing her again at the festivities.

Tired from a long day of fighting, the prince laid down in his bed. Thoughts of his beautiful and wise Katya brought smiles to his lips. Then thoughts of their future together, their wedding night made him excited. Such beautiful hair begged him to touch and to play in it. He dreamt of bathing her, going on adventures, diving off cliffs, and seeing the world together. These thoughts washed away all the unpleasantness of the day. Zolokhan fell into a restful sleep.

The next morning in the Mwebele tribe, Katya’s mother Magoba arrived early at the Chieftess tent and barged in boldly. Already up, Katya was not really surprised to see her impetuous mother. News of her participation in the fights had already spread in the tribe. İt was the hot topic of the region. Many tribe members were excited but others were critical calling her a young busybody. All in all, Katya could care less. She had faced many wild beasts and she knew that it was not all about power and strength. With stealth and strategy, she could win any opponent. The main rule to the fighting contest was that whoever’s foot was pushed over the sides of the combat ring was the looser.

Katya, what type of nonsense is dis I have heard?” Why are you fighting the men at the games? Your just a young girl you could get seriously hurt!” Her mother lamented.

Nagaweh (means ‘Hello’ or “pleasant morning”) to you too mother,” Katya said smilingly.

Your father is losing his mind over it, he’s so embarrassed. He’s worried that you will lose and lose all our family honour. And of course, you never told me first. İ had to hear it from the girls. I’m your mother i should know these things first. Your clearly going to lose, you should withdraw Katya. All the aunt’s agreed with me too.” Magoba shouted walking back and forth huffing in Katya’s tent.

More like all the Aunt’s convinced you and sent you here,” Katya thought.

Those hateful crocodiles had turned her mother into one of them as well. Sighing Katya closed her ears to her mother. There was hardly any relationship between them anymore. Frankly, she would prefer if her mother wouldn’t come to her camp anymore.

I will do no such thing. End of discussion. Nagaweh Mother.” Katya replied authoritatively.

Walking out of the tent leaving her mom behind, Katya proceeded to the training grounds. Passing by the courtyards she could see the dance groups practicing. Cooks were busy trading recipes and suggestions on spices in preparation for the food selection competition. Entertainers honed their performances and last-minute alterations to garments and costumes were being done. Young boys rounded up their best cattle and goats for trading in the big markets. Not only would the three tribes gather and compete but many envoys from foreign countries and tribes would also come. These foreign envoys would judge many of the different competitions to maintain neutrality and fairness.

“İ wonder what he is doing now,”  Katya pondered with a smile.

Making her way to Chieftess Dedoka, Katya whistled three times. Heavy footsteps could be heard running down the flowered pathways.
Quanza your up early, good boy you came when you heard my whistles. Your learning so fast” she complimented her pink elephant friend.

Walking along to the gathering area, she could see a spry, old lady dancing with some children and singing to their beating drums. Chieftess Dedoka loved spending time with the children the most. She often complained that the Elder Men loved to debate on everything, every day, all day, to the point where they had to discuss the merits of roasting a goat vs a warthog.

Chieftess, Salam (peace),” Katya greeted the old chieftess warmly.

Smiling warmly to the young chieftess, Dedoka replied,

They won’t know what’s going to hit them, Katya! That Prince Vulcan and your Prince Zolokhan swear that the fights are really between them. But won’t their jaws drop for our Katya!” Laughing haughtily the little old Chieftess danced in a circle.

You have brought so much joy to my latter years Katya and to our tribe, don’t let any naysayer get into your heart. People are always fickle.” Chieftess Dedoka encouraged her with soothing words.

İ know Chieftess, I know” Katya responded.

İ suppose your mother has come with an earful” the old chieftess asked knowingly.

Not even waiting for a response for she already knew the answer, Chieftess Dedoka said
Your mother was not always so bad but years and years of these women’s company has turned her like this, a busybody gossip who would even tear down her own child” Chieftess Dedoka huffed.

These foreign women who marry into our tribe often bring trouble. They have different customs which sometimes they don’t want to let go of. They prove to be the worst enemies to the Chieftess.” Chieftess Dedoka looked into Katya’s steady dark brown eyes, and cupped her cheeks; with full conviction she said,

You are the greatest ever born and you are blessed by Heaven. Never you forget it!” Chieftess Dedoka’s firm face gave way to a big smile.

By di way, Prince Zolokhan is very handsome isn’t he Katya” The old lady teased, wiggling her body and making kissing gestures.

A Mweble Chieftess was never able to marry before, you are the first and my do you have a fine choice. Our investigation of the young prince over the years shows he has a solid character. İ am content in you marrying him” she stated.

How about you Katya, like what you see?”
Laughing loudly and slapping her legs the old lady already knew the answer.

Giving the older Chieftess a long stare, already used to her teasing nature, Katya didn’t back down,

Of course Chieftess Dedoka, he looks well hung like our donkeys, I’m sure he will make a great partner” the cheeky girl responded.

The old lady’s mouth made a wide ‘o’ and stood there stunned at the bold response said from such young lips. Then bursts of laughter rolled out of Chieftess Dedoka. Surely that was her Katya, bold as a Lioness and matter of fact with a straight face.

“Enough, you have won this round. İ will not even ask how you know of such things between a man and a woman” taking her hand the two went to sit on a nearby swing bench.

After the festivities we must plan for the tribe’s sojourn to the Coasts. Half the tribe will remain while the other half will make the journey. İ am old and  so are many of our Elders. We are not up for the journey so you will lead our people to the coast.” Chieftess Dedoka said

Katya nodded,

“I will break the group into three groups and set three capable leaders for each. The leaders will be able to take care of any minor issues or disputes along the journey and report to me as well. Though our journeys are usually peaceful yet everyone should be armed. We will take it at a light pace for the sake of the younger children, even at a mild pace we will still be able to reach the Coasts before the cold winter sets into the grasslands.” Katya said.

“I’m confident that you will win the rights to the trade routes. This will make our journey much easier as there are many rest stops and supply posts along those routes” Chieftess Dedoka said.

Even so, knowing Prince Vulcan’s nature and ambitions, the Mabutu tribe may grow jealous and cause trouble. They will never do anything outright but be on guard they are mischievous” Chieftess Dedoka warned.

Katya listened keenly to the old veteran. She had experienced the Mabutu tribe’s treachery before and was always observant of their doings.

With you and Zolokhan’s marriage, it’s time to concentrate the power between our two tribes for the stability of everyone’s future.” After finishing their discussion the two women kissed each other affectionately and parted ways with a hug.

Quanza followed beside Katya as they went to his fruit grove, feeding his giant hunger was the top priority in his mind.

“Katya, will you take me with you to the coast this time?” Quanza asked her. She could hear him in her mind.

Most definitely Quanza”, she answered out aloud.
Now that we’re both older it’s much safer to take you with me, i can take care of you from any wild beasts, and feed you much better without any of the tribe’s people grumbling about you eating all the food.” Katya assured him.

A satisfied and happy Quanza ran on ahead of his master, his heart very happy and carefree. Soon enough he would reach the age for training him in defense and fighting tactics but she did not want to rush him. Although the pink elephant clan was a mighty clan yet still their nature loved and preferred peace not fighting. She just wanted to live carefree days with her Quanza.

Back in the Mabutu Tribe, Vulcan had heard the news of the Mwebele Chieftess’ entry into the fights.

So the Mwebele Chieftess aims to take on the fights,” Vulcan said to his brothers.

Can you believe such foolishness?” Warsax huffed.

İ think it’s interesting, it will certainly make the games more exciting this year, ” Darjan said while plucking a Keeble berry into his mouth.

Don’t underestimate the Mwebele Chieftess, she is no ordinary person” Vulcan stated.

At his response, both twins looked up at him.
Vulcan are you afraid of a girl!” Laughing Warsax mocked the Prince.

Seeing the Keeble berries, Vulcan remembered his Kadija. He had somewhere he would much rather be than with these two.

İf that’s what you get from my warning Warsax, I won’t try to convince you,” Vulcan answered and turned to walk out.

Wait till father hears this one, the great and mighty Vulcan scared of a girl!” Warsax drawled with a cocky smile.

Not caring, Vulcan walked out of the room.

Brother why do you have to always take it too far!” Darjan scolded his twin.

Darjan don’t be soft. Whose side are you on anyway?” Warsax replied.

Shaking his head at his twin, Darjan popped some berries into his mouth.

“Ok, let’s go tell father.” Darjan agreed. Laughing together the twins went in search of their father King Xanoz.

When they arrived at his compound they heard music and dancing. Their father was surrounded by six young beauties all in different states of undress. A few Elders were drunkenly watching some other girls dance while leeringly trying to touch their legs. On seeing his sons King Xanoz beckoned them closer. He drunkenly slurred,

My boys! Come let’s party”

Smiling to each other the twins each grabbed one of the girls and indulged all day in drunkenness and womanizing with their father. When they told their father about Vulcan’s reaction to the Mwebele Chieftess entering the fights, their father responded contemptuously.

He’s his mother’s son! İf it wasn’t for the fact that we have the same eyes, I would wonder if he’s really mine” a drunk King Xanoz boomed.

The twins looked at each other smiling and nodded to each other.
Father you have three sons, are you sure you want to make Zolokhan your successor?” Warsax intimated.

Well he is the oldest and he is the crown prince with many Elders supporting him” their drunk father replied.

Beckoning to two of the girls to come and rub their father, Warsax said lowly,

But you are the King, you can always change your mind. Whatever you say goes. Who can stop the great Mabutu Rhino from doing what he wants” Warsax flattered his father.

At the mention of their Rhino emblem, their father puffed his chest, listening to the connivings of his favorite sons.

Zolokhan had arrived back in Kezmizi over three days ago. Already that shrew of a step-mother was making her presence felt. Wherever she could find complaints she would levy them out on the Prince. Having had enough of her, Zolokhan went out to the training fields to practice combat. This was an important year for the…Read MoreRead More

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