The whole villagers began to murmur, they were obviously angry with Asake. Some even began to shout – Stone her! Stone her! But the king calmed them and nodded at Baba Fasakin. Baba, what do you have to say to this? What is your own involvement?
Fasakin opened his mouth in regret. Badejo. You were not controlled by any demon, you are one. But I am the devil. It’s true that Aduke used to come to me because of her problems. Badejo, when you married Aduke, you must remember how much I praised her and commended you for a good search. The truth is my eyes never left her since that day I first saw her. All the time you battered her and she came to me out of the pressure from your mother, I would clean her wounds and massage her body. On two occasions I continued until my own emotions took hold of me. With sheer force I had my way with her. She curses me every time she sees me but she is too desirous for me to look away.
Badejo jumped on Fasakin and tried to squeeze the remaining strength he had in his neck but the palace guards quickly restrained him. The height of emotions in the court was becoming unbearable. Some teardrops were becoming noticeable.
Lastly, Badejo, In a crooked voice, I was the old man with your wife yesterday. She came to curse me as usual. This time, it was in the open where someone like your friend could have seen us.
The atmosphere was gloomy. Some silent wailings had started growing louder. The king’s emotions were not left out. He tried to hide his brokenness but his red eyes had betrayed him. He was furious with all three testifiers.
The Ifa priest, Faleke, the oldest man in Gbaborun village then stepped forward after the king’s beckoning. He was reluctant to speak. He looked at the king in a sorry state. Kaaabiyesi oo, If I speak… Ti mo ba la nu mi nkan a bajee (If I open my mouth things will spoil). Open your mouth Faleke! The king barked. Open your mouth!
Hmm. It is true that Aduke came to me a couple of times. She often came with her life’s problems. At a time she asked me to make for her a love portion to make Badejo love her. At another time she asked me to cast a spell of sickness on Fasakin and at some other times she just came to weep. She was a woman of many sorrows. I wanted to help her initially until Ifa cautioned me and told me to stop. Ifa said she was the chosen one and I should not help make her life better. “The chosen one?” chorused the villagers. She persisted and I got frustrated too. Yesterday when she came, seeing the marks on her face and some blood stains, I was so frustrated because Ifa would yet refuse me if I asked for help. Out of my anger I voiced out. ‘Aduke, Ifa cannot help you. He is not interested in your case. Just leave my presence. Ifa cannot help you’. Aduke left. I cried for her but there was nothing I could do about it.
King Aderogba looked at Faleke in anger. Baba Faleke you are obviously not telling the whole story. What do you mean by ‘chosen one?’ Tell us all there is to know so that the judges would know how to judge this matter. Baba Faleke opened his mouth. Kabiyesi if I talk trouble will start oo. Aderogba who was determined to end what he had started screamed at the old man in fierce furry. Baba, spill it out! Spill it out!
Faleke continued with a slow and his often calm voice. Aduke was the chosen one. It was her Ifa chose after the consultation you had with me Kabiyesi very early in the morning of the yearly gladiator’s fight. When you left my shrine that day, Ifa said the chosen one would be the first woman to enter into my shrine that day. Minutes later, I lifted my eyes and I saw Aduke coming to report her husband again.
Faleke, knowing that he had to complete the story and explain to the people what the king’s consultation was about faced the jury.
The king simply wanted to be like his father. He wanted to be feared and revered like Adepegba. He asked me to consult Ifa for him. He complained that no one respected him like Adepegba. His weakness and contrast with his recently dead father was fast becoming the talk of the town. Ifa gave him two options which he was to choose one. Either wait for a period of two seasons (Fourteen years) and rule like a slave on the throne while Balogun would be the one calling the shots or eat the heart of a human being whom Ifa would choose himself. Our king asked for three days to brood on the matter and came back with his decision. He chose the latter and I had no choice. Ifa asked for the heart of a woman and Aduke walked into the shrine at the wrong time. This is why Ifa could not help her. She was supposed to be slaughtered secretly in eight days’ time on the King’s one year anniversary.
King Aderogba was very ashamed. He would eventually face his worst fear – The fear that his reign would be worse than the shadow of his father’s – the greatest fear of his childhood and adolescence ages. He should have refused the crown and given it to his brother like his mother suggested to him some years back. Now that everyone knows he is at the root of Aduke’s death things would even get worse.
The king went inside with his hands covering his face. When the crowd got impatient with the waiting, they sent messengers to fish him out. And just like Aduke, he also used a blue rope and kitchen stool to aid the transition. Even the Olori could not say goodbye to her husband of ten years.