Musa awoke abruptly from a nightmare about the Leviathan’s Fall; it was a replay of the time when he ventured to the center of that dark enclosure, he was almost swallowed whole by the abyss in his mind left from Niyi’s death.
It was the darkest hour of the night when Musa got up but it was actually easier to “see” with his evolved shadow awareness.
In total Musa had spent 3 months battling the dark beasts of the Fall. His own foray to the heart of the Fall nearly caused him his life and left him with debilitating nightmares for a while. However, this was the first occurrence since he left the Leviathan’s Fall and he suspected it was triggered by worry for Aunt Turayo…Musa’s only existing fear was losing the people he cared about.
Despite all the danger involved, however, those months balanced on the edge between life and death, while surrounded by darkness and dark essence had sharpened Musa’s power and control. It even increased his capacity and he developed unique ways of manipulating dark energy.
One of these nouveau skills was the shadow hawk puppet that could only be used for high speed motion was derived from his knowledge of Niyi and his encounter with a darkness creature similar to a falcon with a silver beak that could be differentiated even in the darkness.
Musa reminisced on his experience battling the beast:
First he entered stealth mode with an advanced shadow cloak to approach a good firing range, then he weaved pure dark essence into his body and slipped through the shadows to bridge the final gap where the dark beast would be most perceptive of any movement. As soon as he made his way to an opportune spot, Musa made his move, shooting of corrosive darkness spears. The adult falcon reacted by attempting to protect itself with its wings while trying to dodge as many spears as possible, but it was already too late. Ths spears stroke home repeatedly, knocking the falcon from its short flight. However, the defeated falcon still struggled desperately despite the clear severity of its wounds, as it tried to force Musa away. But it was destined to fail and soon succumbed to its wounds. Musa found that the falcon had been protecting its nest with two actual eggs being nurtured inside.
Musa was still left with his spoils of war; in fact he kept feeding darkness energy to the two eggs as he suspected they would die without it. He envisaged that with his naturing he would manage to tame the beasts. He knew they could not possible be replacement for Niyi, but the sense of loss was unbearable without such measures.
At this point, Nnenna was fed up with the Oshodi Kingdom and disappointed in Jide’s father. At first she displayed her intellect and prowess thinking it will serve to attract them and strengthen their bond.
But instead, the ministers, general and even the King became more anxious and even outraged. She suspected that there had been conversation to eliminate the problem permanently but poisoning mages was always trick and no one wanted a direct confrontation.
After this had already gone this far, she stopped responding to their tests, empty promises, misdirections, flattery, coercion and other tactics.
However, she hated the researchers and scientists more than the ruling council because they were ready to try anything short of killing (some may not have minded) to discover how she was an external mage and what was fundamental different for internal mages. Nnenna could usually control her temper but it had sparked into an internal fiery blaze that almost got fully unleashed on the instructor that asked for her monthly flow.
After dealing with the researchers,Nnenna barged into the throne room quite reminiscent of Moji’s antics but this time with the help of her own space ability and stated categorically, “I am done with your probes. If in a week there is no word from you or further action from your side, I will assume we have failed to reach an understanding and look for help elsewhere.”
And before anyone could react or say a word she stormed out.
“Call her back”
“She needs to be taught a lesson…”
“…this is his majesty for god’s sake”
As the torrent continued some of the King’s opposition silent smirked at the young girls dismissal of the King’s authority and were hoping this lost heir could bring them the power and desire they want.
King Fola silenced the noise by proclaiming, “She is right you know.Her ability as the only known external mage gives her leverage when discussing with me especially since she can’t easily be dispatched off.”
“Hmmm, what are the preliminary results from the scouts we sent, team pegasus and team hydra.” King Fola continued but was soon interrupted.
“Sie we can’t have another heir…princess Emoji…”
“I understand your reluctance General,” King Fola answered, “but one new heir is not as important as one unstoppable weapon. Besides being an heir doesn’t mean you will inherit after all.” The King paused at this point and smiled. “In addition, I want results in Project anti-space, I saw your proposal of commissioning a longbow assassin squad to neutralize the threat from outside its perception range. I want to see a list of Hunters by tonight.”
Nnenna returned to her merry group of friends and stated, “It’s time to separate.” This immediately dampened the mood.
“Amaka and Amina you need to go an update master on everything we have learned. Obi and Tunde need to create me an organization of internal mages who are powerful, loyal and of good moral value. I have realised in my short time in Oshodi that conflict is unavoidable and strength is what matters. Kayto will join you for ease of movement. I will stay in the capital as a silent reminder and train on my own”
“FINALLY! You are training seriously. I Ibrahim will supervise. I had almost lost hope in you that you were too connected to the secular world.”
Nnenna was skeptic and Ibrahim caught the look.
“Why don’t we spar opening, no sneak attacks, to see how useful my training can be.”