The guards and Nnenna’s father drew closer to the frozen Jide, from all around the house. One of the guards from the gate even asked,”What is wrong with him? And how did he even get in here, in the first place?”
Nnenna’s father responded, “That is not important now. One of you should go call the midwife, she might know what is wrong with Jide. Onos, you go with a couple guards, and check out what is happening at the inn.”
Just as Onos, the head guard was selecting who would do what, Nnenna broke free from her mother’s embrace and rushed to Jide’s side.
“Don’t go out yet!” She yelled to everyone, then grabbed Jide by the shoulders and shook him.
Jide woke up abruptly with tears in his eyes. He was startled by all the people around him especially since some of them were holding weapons, but when he saw Nnenna near him, he hugged her tightly and began to recognise the people as her father’s guards. After catching his breath, Jide looked straight at Nnenna’s father and said, “Sir, we need to get everyone in town to run away as fast as possible. There is no time to collect anything. There are some dangerous men in the inn and no one will be able to stop them…my uncle and aunt…” at this point Jide started crying again and trembling.
Everyone looked to Nnenna’s father, who was deliberating on what to do. He considered what Jide said but couldn’t not afford to just leave all his property behind.
After a minute of silence apart from the sound of Jide’s crying, Nnenna’s father turned to his men and said, “Ahmed, run to the constable and get them to ring the town bell telling everyone to head into the woods. Hmmm…Jide your sure nothing can be done for the inn?” Jide responded with a nod. “Onos and the rest of you secure the estate, we will pack quickly. Only essentials. Nnenna, Titi hurry!”
Jide tried to protest but everyone scattered after been assigned a task. Nnenna raced to her room with Jide and a maid who her mother had assigned to help her. Luckily, Nnenna had already packed what she wanted to carry and only needed to get it and the sphere from her secret hiding space. However, as soon as she pulled out the weightless sphere, a vortex of energy began to concentrate on the sphere and a force pushed everything around her, including Jide and the maid, away.
The sphere glowed in a mysterious black and mercury colour and cracks began to appear on its surface as it expanded further. The light from the sphere spread through out the house and escaped through the windows, signalling throughout the town.
Uncle Emeka was bruised and bleeding but he had always been an obstinate man. Rage could be clearly seen on his face as he heard the sounds his wife made in her agony. He knew he was no match for Nze who was toying with him or the other one, Danjuma, for that matter but which man could allow such a thing to happen to his wife in front of him. He felt helpless and despaired. Were this people still human, he wondered. The final man, Osaze, had come down the stairs and all the other screams had silenced except for his wife’s tears and Danjuma’s grunts.
“You monsters. Just kill us. Bisi…” Uncle Emeka choked as he could not pick himself up again not to talk of the cudgel. He had broken bones all over as Nze preferred to use his fists, since apparently, he didn’t even need his sword against a regular human.
The old man had returned, disappointed, from Jide’s room. He seemed disinterested in all that was happening but there was finally a smile in his eyes. At Uncle Emeka’s words, the old man replied, “There, there, this is just an introduction, innkeeper, so you don’t lie to us when we start asking questions. Now, after the warm up we can start. When did your nephew start acting strangely? Have you seen anything, foreign and different, with him that is spherical? Who are the other kids he hangs out with and where can we find them? Answer quickly as once Danjuma finishes enjoying himself he likes to cut… to take souvenirs.”
The four men laughed sinisterly at this.
Uncle Emeka was reluctant to answer as he was glad Jide has escaped this fate, however he noticed Danjuma unsheathe his daggers with glee and so he figured if he gave them what they wanted, he and his wife could at least enjoy a quicker, more humane death.
“I don’t know the answer to any of your questions except the last one. He only has one kid friend, a 13 year old girl with long black hair that always dresses like a boy. She is the daughter of the only real merchant in town and they live in the biggest house in town which is also the only fenced property in town apart from the mayors residence…its just a couple blocks from here. Now kill us or do whatever you want, we have nothing else left to give.”
“Wait a miunte…” Nze said as he seemed to struggle to regain control of himself, “That’s the girl that I saw following me.”
The old man frown at Nze and said, “It seems we were not as subtle as we thought….Ha ha ha. No matter. The mystery is solved and if there are no longer any Magical Beast Eggs left we will take the kids and trained them to be obedient weapons. Hopefully, none have hatched and the boy is just an internal mage.” However, you could see the rage and disappointment in the old man’s eyes.
“Let’s…” just as the old man started instructing his men to ‘clean up’, they felt an enormous amount of energy congregating at a certain location.
Next thing, Uncle Emeka felt a sword enter his stomach and heard his wife gurgling blood as her throat was slit. Then all four men raced out of the inn towards the source of the conflux of energy.