Wuxiaworld > The Legend of Karachuo > 24 The Challenge


Ochieng' had never fought a fellow human before. His eyes were gleaming excitedly. He was anticipating the 'amen'. His blood started boiling unnecessarily and cold sweat started sudating from his forehead. He was even trembling a little. The onlookers thought he was afraid and started laughing mockingly.

His opponent extended his hand to greet him and introduced himself, "I am Onunga Rakuom."

"I am Ochieng' Lwanda." Ochieng' replied back respectfully.

"Oh! You have a nice name. I warn you to be careful because I am a very strong man when it comes to 'amen'." Rakuom warned.

His warning got the approval of most of the people present. This made Rakuom elated. Ochieng' on the other hand laughed softly and kept quiet. He knew his actions were going to speak louder. The crowd had already created space for them and their eyes were nitid with anticipation. They wanted to see the strength of this man that was highly regarded by the great seer of the south.

Rakuom made his move first. He ferociously charged at Ochieng' with his teeth gritted tightly and his red eyes widely open. Behind him clouds of dust were rising ragingly. It was clear to everyone that he went all out from this move. Ochieng', on seeing Rakuom coming, his look became serious. He stood firmly on the ground not to fall if Onunga hit him.

'Amen' is a type of fight that involves two people. During the fight, each party's aim is to make sure that the opponent's back touches the ground. The one whose back touches the ground first becomes the loser. Traditionally, it was a type of sport that brought people from different communities together. It was also used to resolve conflicts between two individuals.

When someone was constantly intimidating the other, they were made to duel and the loser had to respect the winner whether the winner was older or not. 'Amen' was also used to solve disputes such as the one that Ochieng' was currently in.

Rakuom wanted to make Ochieng's back lie on the ground in one move. If he could win, it could be an easy fight as no one would know who's stronger between the two of them.

Just when people thought that Ochieng' would lose, he made his move, when Rakuom was around twelve inches close to him. He clouted Rakuom's left cheek. The fellow was sent flying with his teeth following him several metres away before he landed on Ndori's eldest son's hut. The hut straight off collapsed burying Rakuom.

Silence!

The scene became completely silent. Nobody including Ndori and his sons expected things to turn out that way. The way they looked at Ochieng' even changed. It was as if they were seeing a ghost.

In Nyangini's hut,

"That he is a 'Mogwedhi', what's that?" Nyangini asked bewilderedly.


"Yes, that..."

BOOM!

Nyangini and Apeleka were in a heated discussion when they heard a rumble. They rushed out to see what was happening only to find Nyangini's eldest son's hut in ruin and a certain figure was struggling its way out of it. They unconsciously turned their heads to look at each other only to see the shock in each other's eyes.

They wanted to ask what happened when they heard the people's discussions.

"So, he is this strong!"

"And I thought he was just some doormat who couldn't face the initiation stage of life, how laughable!"

"He devastated the great Rakuom with just a punch!"

...

"He is the one who did this!" Nyakam came to realization. They were buried in discussion with Apeleka that they forgot about what was happening outside the hut. Even when Ochieng' challenged the men from the clan, they were still unaware, this confirmed the saying, 'when women meet'¹.

Unremarkably, when Nyangini walked where people were, they would bow respectfully. Even though she had met the people a few minutes ago, it is right to say that they were to bow if she appeared again. Nevertheless, the people were staring at Ochieng' that her presence was completely unrecognized.

Ndori and his sons stared at each other in disbelief. They knew Ochieng' could win but never expected such an outcome. They were tired and hungry from working the whole morning and from being struck by shock from the man. When this happened, their energy was drained and were almost falling down.

The fellow who had caused all these wore a mortified expression. It was as though he had done the greatest sin in the clan. All he wanted to do was to make the Rakuom fellow lie in the ground next to him and wait for the people's apologies. Who could have known that he would accidentally use too much strength and reduce the hut he had spent a night in into nihility. That was too embarrassing! Right now he hoped there was a hole beneath, he could have jumped in without a second thought.

He wanted to say something when a soma arrived before him. He lifted his head only to see a fellow covered in dust from head to toe. The soma was grinning exposing its toothless mouth, its eyeballs glinting inside that face covered in dust. Ochieng' thought it wanted to fight again, it withal bowed in reverence. That figure was definitely the devastated Rakuom.

What bemused him more was after the figure bowed, everyone present followed suit, except for two people who were at the back. The two were approvingly nodding. They were Nyangini and the love of his life.

"We apologize for insulting you Sir!"

The crown unanimously apologized. Even the elders called him Sir! That was surprising especially in a land where the young could not even breathe loudly in front of the elders in fear of offending them. In several ancient African communities, people from middle age to old were highly respected by the younger generation. It was believed that disrespecting them could make them curse someone. Whoever was cursed was nothing better than a walking dead.

After the apology, a passageway to Ndori's hut was made for him. He was at first nervous to go through but when he saw the awful look of the people, he walked softly to the hut. After he sat on a stool, Ndori and his boys came in and sat on others.

"I am sorry for..." Ochieng' begun but was interrupted by Ndori who was continuously nodding his head repeating 'it's okay, it's okay' as if Ochieng' wasn't listening. Ochieng' did not fret over the matter of destroying the house when he saw Ndori.

Not long after they settled, Nyangini and Apeleka arrived with a tray of sweet potatoes and a few calabashes of millet porridge. The people outside were also dispersing silently. No one dared to discuss the happenings of that day as that could bring bad luck to Ochieng'. Some were coming in Ndori's hovel to get acquainted with Ochieng'.