I found myself on the mountains.
Shock lifted my feet when I saw many of our people receiving treatment from the local herbalist. He had been helping the devil stricken since the devil himself came to town. The people I saw were chastened with pains upon their bed, the multitude of their bones with strong pain; their life abhors bread and their soul dainty meat. Their flesh is consumed away and it cannot be seen and their bones that were not seen stick out. Their soul draws near to the grave and their life to the destroyers.
As I moved close to Bogini, my friend’s cousin, “Touch not!” I heard. “The hand that touches the waters of the devil stricken carries the devil himself. Any hand that touches it will surely be cut off.” I pulled my outstretched left hand with my right and covered it with my pocket. Mokwe, the herbalist said his old friend died shortly after touching the waters of Badira while caring for him. I closed my eyes and three drops of tears dropped to the ground. I moved further and finally sat on the rocks. My eyes refused to obey me as I opened the scrolls to read. Both of them wrapped themselves with the blanket of my eyelids. They collapsed under the weight of sleep on them.
While in the centre of the deepest ocean called sleep, I met an old man. As I moved closer, his words came suddenly. “Stand up and leave the mountains, you have a journey ahead of you. Go northwards into the forest called Zabiza – the devil’s stronghold. Along your way you’ll find Ebira, the only son of his widowed mother. He has neither taken wine nor strong drink and blood has not touched his lips before. His hair stretches down his waist because no razor has come upon his head before. He will help you defeat all the devil’s cohorts in Zabiza forest. The fulfilment of the words in the scrolls will take place a day’s journey away from the forest”.
Three sunsets have passed since my vision of the old man. Now I sit on the most exalted throne in Zabiza forest. None of the devil’s cohorts survived Ebira’s exceeding might. They all lie dead begging for a proper burial. I picked the scrolls to continue from where I stopped, and then it was a slight itching sensation in the third finger of my right hand. What would later become a full burning sensation on the whole fingers on my hands.
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