Seasons and moons passed. Ochieng was already eighty seasons old. That was forty eight seasons since he left his clan. He sat at the entrance of the cave that he inhabited in the middle of the forbidden land.
He was thinking of arduous times he had gone through in this foreign land. The land he was an alien in was now his home. He remembered the first unfortunate beast he met on his journey here. He remembered how compulsive he was in his revenge for Le Lwenje.
Sibuor Mudho who was his enemy in the past was currently his best friend. The lion, after the Le Lwenje ordeal had been blinded. When it found its way home, it was fitted with artificial eyes that the intelligent members of its clan improvised specially for it.
Ochieng' remembered how forty seasons ago, while he was wandering in the southern parts of the forbidden land, he met a white horned python. The python was known to be the king of the southern part of the forbidden land.
The python started a fight with him but when it discovered that he could be a 'Mogwedhi' human, it took him with it. Mudho being worried about him, it used its special sense of smell to get him. When it found him, he was too exhausted to recognize it.
Having lived for two years together, the boy had a special place in its heart. It decided to start a fight with the python. The fight was so intense that the recuperating Ochieng couldn't help but stand where he couldn't be harmed to enjoy watching the scrap.
In the end, the lion killed the python but it was left with a serious wound on its left shoulder. Ochieng wanted to help it walk but its size and weight could render his efforts useless. They had barely walked away from the python's residence when they were surrounded by around fifty twelve feet long yellow horned pythons.
Mudho having an injury could not protect them. Ochieng on the other hand had recovered a little from the battle with the white horned python; a battle that lasted for less than a minute because Ochieng was defeated, he had to face the fifty or so beasts by himself.
The two years he had stayed with Mudho had given him enough strength to fight weaker animals. He had trained the ways of fighting by following the teachings of his ancestors through dreams. Pursuing such teachings had made him the man he was.
He went at those beasts without any fear. He swayed his sword and every python fell by every swing. The scene was eye catching. The lion could not help but wonder how the young boy had grown stronger...
He was replete with a feeling of nostalgia when he began to think about his family. He remembered how his mother Anyango adored him. He remembered how his father used to hate it when he left his side.
'I wonder how they are doing now... ' he sighed.
'I wonder if they can still remember me. I wonder how father behaved when he found I was not at home when he came from Kisum... '
'...I wonder... I wonder... I wonder...' and without knowing, tears started rolling down his cheeks.
"What is troubling you that much? "
He was woken from the reverie by the roaring of Mudho who stood in front of him for over five minutes without him even noticing. It was clear that he wasn't himself.
"I'm missing home"
"You will one day go back..."
"I know, but how long will it take me to get the power beyond the beasts of the forbidden land, how long am I going to live without a family. When will I leave this place to go and go through the initiation ceremony to become a man? "
"Not too long Ochieng', It's not going to be long... you have now grown to become a man. Train hard because this is just going to be the beginning. It's time you paved your own path. I will be spoiling you if I continue protecting you like you have no hands. "
"This land is much dangerous than what you've known. We have only gone to the southern and the eastern parts. Deep inside this forbidden land there are much you're yet to learn..."
The beast advised. Ochieng' knew it was not yet time to leave the forbidden land. All along he had been depending greatly on the lion's strength for protection. The lion had learned that Ochieng was indeed a Mogwedhi, even so, he still couldn't release the mysterious aura to chasten any beast. He was still too weak.
The time he had taken before he could achieve that cryptic strength came to show how difficult it was to achieve such feat. Something worth mentioning though was that no one in the lions tribe could do him any harm, not even Mudho. Mudho still protected him because it was used to doing so.
The training he had gone through involved jogging, running for long periods, currying heavy loads such as stones, smashing wood, learning fighting skills and doing a lot of preposterous things to temper his body. He was currently strong enough to make a thirty metres tall and a metre or more thick tree fall with just a punch.
His breath had become so pure that he could kill the weak with it. His sense of sight had become sharp. His hearing was an ace. His other senses of touch and smell were extremely sharp. If he went to his clan at the moment, probably only the trainers of the warriors could be his match.
Because he wanted strength to protect his land, he couldn't go back when he was just slightly stronger or on per with those who trained his clan warriors, right? After all, the world was bigger than no one could think. Who knew when he could meet stronger war trainers only to die in their hands. That was a risk he couldn't take.
"Thanks a lot for everything Mudho. I don't know where I could be without you. Actually I really wanted to avenge Lwenje but I realized that that was meaningless since I was too weak to do so. I thought of killing you after gaining some strength but forgot about doing so, considering that you all needed me for the same reason."
"If it were not for that reason, even Lwenje could have killed me the first time he met me. I have gone through life and death situations in this land, I am still alive because when I was most vulnerable you helped me. I will remember your favor forever... "
"I rely on you too much. It is time to rely on each other. I will train as hard as I can to become the powerhouse you expect me to become. I will then give you what you want to pay for the favor I owe you..."
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