"I know you are tired from the long journey. Please rest well today, we will say much tomorrow. Of course if you are hungry, we are all men and I am a wizard, I don't need to cook. Just tell me what you want and you shall have it."
Knowing that this was not the time to cry over the death of Lanok, Kuru managed to calm himself down before turning to the two men with a broad smile on his old face.
"We will be honored to have a taste of a wizard's spell."
Luvembe said with beaming eyes. Lokoit on the other hand was looking at the wizard anticipatively. He too wanted to taste what was made out of the wizard's magic. He guessed it had to be extraordinary.
"You have not told me what you want, say it and it will be here for you." The old man smiled at them.
"I will eat what you will suggest Lokoit." Luvembe shrugged.
Not expecting Luvembe to throw the ball on his court, Lokoit hesitated before he suggested a dish of beef, 'ugali'¹ and a traditional vegetable. The old man performed an incantation and in that instant, several plates with beef, traditional vegetables and 'ugali' appeared on the table they sat at. This left the two men's eyes bulging out in shock.
"We do not have water to wash our hands neither do we have some dessert to sweeten our tongues after the meal. My brain has deteriorated alongside my age." The old man shook his head looking disappointed in himself.
A basket full of fruits and a jug of water appeared on the table after the old man closed his eyes in a short while and opened them.
"Welcome my brothers to this wizard ceremony."
The old man laughed and poured water to wash his large hands.
In Lu tribe, Kisum warriors' camp.
"Okoth, I think I should pay a visit to your clan to honor that brother of yours. He really saved us a lot of trouble this time. What do you think?"
That was the Lu tribe head. He had been left in awe for the young man who saved his tribe the previous day. Lu was not a weak tribe neither was Kalek and Lang tribes. Going against any of the two tribes could have weakened Lu tribe a great deal. One can wonder what could have happened to Lu tribe if that young man and the beasts did not appear.
"It will be an honor to be visited by the tribe head. Since I am the chief of my clan and currently far from home, what if I go at sunup tomorrow to prepare then you follow me a few days later?"
"That will not be necessary my son. I will follow you to your clan tomorrow. Sleep well tonight, we have a journey waiting for us."
"Then I am ready to travel with the tribe head."
In Odindi clan battle ground, the former chief of the clan, Ong'am was with a few warriors enjoying the warmth that was emanated by the fire that they had lit at the center of the ground. Ong'am and his warriors sat in a circle around the fire.
"Brother Ong'am, it has been a week now since your son left. The chief and the warriors he left with must have arrived in Kisum. What do you think has taken place?"
One of the warriors and Ong'am's friend who sat on his left asked worriedly. They did not know the battle had taken place and the outcome was already known.
It is true from Odindi to Kisum could take two weeks on a horse. Using the shortcuts, one could only take a few hours on a horse. Normally, people never used those shortcuts. This was because there was no need. Traveling to a place for days or weeks meant stopping at some homes to have meals, rest and even spend nights. Very many people could take three days on a one day journey just because of the breaks.
Using short cuts with horses meant, taking the shortest paths possible and having the horses run at their maximum speeds without stopping unless necessary. If the place one was going to was too far, one could only stop to feed the horse and let it have drinking water before continuing with the journey. One could also rest at night but after covering a very long distance. This means also had its mishaps so it was rarely used except during emergencies. It is now understandable why Okoth could only take a day or a few hours with his warriors to get to Kisum.
"I do not know either. The best thing to do is to continue with the trainings and wait for them. If have to fight, we will do it for our people. If there will be no fight. The better." Ong'am answered with determination.
"It seems the long time of peace has weakened the great Ong'am. I cannot believe that it is better for you if there is no battle. I miss the days when we felt good only if there was war." Mboya Ogwang, the commander that was sent to Odindi to train the warriors there mocked. He sat at Ong'am's right.
"We have built a lot in this time of peace. War can only destroy everything we have worked hard to build. The blood of our sons can only be shed for no good reason..."
"I understand you Ong'am," Mboya interrupted, "I really do understand you but you know better than everyone that war between the tribes is inevitable. There was an agreement to maintain peace amongst us but that you know is impossible. Do you think the Lang people can just be at peace when the number of your cattle heads increase? Do you think the Kalek people can just watch your beautiful women and fail to admire them? The Kuri people love cattle rustling as much as you love 'kong'o', will you let them have them as you grow poor?"
"Ong'am, war makes man. War moulds us to become what we really need to be. You can only lead your people perfectly only if you can protect them. War strengthens us brother. Let us sleep and wait for tomorrow, who knows what it has in store for us. "
What Mboya said received the approval of most of the warriors. Ong'am was only left shaking his head not knowing what to say.
"Aha! Ong'am, there is something I was forgetting about."
"What is it Mboya?"
"I remember you telling me that your son returned with a woman whom he may marry soon. If I remember correctly, you said she was from the Lang tribe, how did you allow your son have her?"
This question shocked Ong'am a little as he was not expecting it at all. He however did not show that he was shocked, instead of giving an answer, he asked with a low tone,
"How did that even come here? Who are you to decide who is to be married by my son or not?"
"The Lang tribe is currently our enemy. What if they chose to work with that girl to destroy our tribe? You did not even know where your son was before he came back, how can you be sure that through that girl he has not machinated with those Lang people to destroy us? We told him about the incoming war and what did he do? Didn't he walk away? I may not decide his fate but I think you need to think. Who knows, we may be having a wolf in a sheep's skin here." With that, he patted Ong'am's back and headed to his tent.
The other warriors looked at the former chief as if they had been betrayed before leaving for their tents as well. After some time, only Ong'am was left sitting at the fire buried in his own world.
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