Early the next morning, Ochieng' woke up only to find the tribe head at his door.
"Why are you here? " He asked.
"You have woken up at last, you have no idea how I have waited for you..." The beast answered with a broad smile.
"What for my elder?"
"Ochieng', I really don't know how to thank you for what you've done for my third brother Mudho."
He understood that the tribe head was thanking him for 'ordaining' Mudho and he unfeignedly said, "You don't have to thank me tribe head. Mudho is my friend and that was the best thing I could do for him. "
"According to you, you availed yourself to Mudho. However, what you don't know is that you've helped the entire lion's folk. Even if he is not interested in holding power, no other beast tribe can harm us. Mudho will be our guardian. We will walk through the heavens with his help. We will get whatever we want so long as we have him. On behalf of the tribe, Ochieng', I will present this to show our appreciation. " The lions tribe head removed a pouch out of its mane the moment it finished speaking.
Its gifts were immediately jilted by the young man. He said, "Ever since I came to this land, I managed to survive through your tribe's support. Mudho most of the times rescued me from life-threatening situations. The favor I owe him should be paid with my life. Here I give him this infinitesimal thing and you think I've given him enough, do you think I can do that?"
"There is no Is! I can't take any reward for this."He sternly said and walked out of his cave.
The tribe head was left chuckling bitterly. He was heading to Mudho's cave. He wanted to discuss with that friend of his something very crucial. "Good morning Mudho." He greeted the moment he got into the beast's place of abidance.
"Good morning Ochieng', how have you woken?" It answered back.
"I have woken up fine, I hope you are alright. I have come this time to request for something very important."
"Please tell me and so long as it is within my cpability, I will do it."
"It is nothing much brother, I only want you to take me to the entrance of the forbidden land on the Lu side."
"What do you want to do there?"
"I want to go home brother?"
"What?? I am not yet prepared for that!"
"You don't have to get prepared, because I'll go eventually."
Actually, that's not what really brought him to the animal's cave. He only wanted to see how it could react. He wanted the animal to go help him find that girl. Even though his sense of smell was currently herculean, that was a beast for heaven's sake, th difference in their senses was like heaven and earth. Taking it to this mission could help him use less effort and time to find Apeleka.
"You will never understand." At that point, the beast fell on his feet and started licking them. It's tears started falling. Ochieng' couldn't help but laugh. He didn't know that the beast loved him that much.
"Please rise, that is not what actually brought me here." He told it but then it felt like pommelling this human to vent its choler; how could it play around with it?
"What is it then?" It asked quite incensed.
Ochieng' saw its anger rise but there was nothing he could do. He bottled up his itch to laugh. It was not that easy, the laughter just erupted. This annoyed the lion even more. Inadvertently, it hit hard the human friend. The man was sent flying before smashing on the walls of the cave. He made a big hole at the point of collision and was covered with dust.
He struggled his way out and dusted himself before looking at the animal in fear. He didn't expect it to react that way. He rued laughing at that fellow.
"Are you just going to stand there or climb my back?" The beast asked exultantly.
He jumped on the beast's back and they left. Until they covered a distance of around twelve kilometers, no one spoke to the other and no one got this awkward.
"So, what are you going to do where we're going?" Asked the beast.
"There is a friend of mine I am going to get there." After being taught a lesson once, he dared not bring his jokes. Who knew what the beast could do. Indeed, once bitten twice shy.
"Who?" the beast asked with bulbous eyes.
"You will know when we get there."
"Save my curiosity please."
"You will know when we get there."
"Okay."The beast did not bother him any further, they walked quietly for the rest of the walk.
Up above them, a gray white winged bird with orange bill flew. It was watching them closely not to lose them. It was there to keep them in line whenever they took the wrong paths. It could do that easily by just producing a sound to beguile them.
The lion also used its powerful sense of smell to trace any scent of a human in the forest. It knew so well that Ochieng' didn't have any friend apart from its brothers and other tribe members. Therefore, the friend had to be a human, after all, according to what it knew, humans could meet through dreams. It knew Ochieng' met one in one of his dreams.
It started even wondering whether that friend of his was a woman or a man. If it was a man, it thought it could have wasted its rest for no good reason. Tout ensemble, this man was everything to it. It had everything it had just because he was directly or indirectly involved. When he was weak, it work hard to protect him. When he grew strong, it got that aura from him.
The place he had in its heart not even its fellow lions could get. The man was unaware of what the beast was thinking of. He was anticipating meeting the girl in person. They were several kilometers away but started feeling queasy. The beast maybe realized this because he was trembling a little.
"I didn't know you were such a coward." The beast said disdainfully.
"What?" Exclaimed Ochieng'.
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