JAIYE’S Festival of Earth Purity was looming close.
And now that slaves would be the sacrifice alternative to the people’s rare white horses, the Jaiye people could now rest from a lingering mental stress.
In the previous years, young men had always been sent to sought for white horses for their separate clans. And on the part of the royal household, it was the crown prince Àlà who’d sent to fetch the house’s own offering.
Now that the greater burden of the festival’s ritual had been lifted off the people’s shoulders, even the council of nobles now focused more attention on enjoying the ceremony.
The earth purity festival was customarily celebrated in the length of a single day. And with three significant events.
The day started with a sacred ritual at the Altar of Slaughter. And right from midnight until the spiritual climax came… when the Sacred Rooster’s sounded its first crow.
Only the top priestly order, the highest royal authority as well as the sacrificial offering was permitted within the Altar of Slaughter. And on behalf of the entire Jaiye kingdom.
Daybreak came with light and with fun. As it ushered in the ceremony event for the entire public… with talks and merriment up till noon.
And Jaiye as a people would usually mark the year’s cleansing from the Death Curse with so much jollity and ecstasy.
Yet the Day wouldn’t be done with. Not without the Jaiye citizens going home to kith and kin for a household feast.
And Jaiye families would feast all day, and celebrate the purification of their earth and hearts… From noon until night.
However, for the oncoming festival event, King Obade together with the central council of nobles, decided to do something more.
They decided to invite several many more dignitaries than they’d ever hosted. Especially, top royalties of allied kingdoms and empires round about them.
It was time to show the world that Jaiye knew much more than fighting and winning battles of grandeur. That Jaiye knew how to feast and merry, too.
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‘We will send them a written message written with ink made from a peacock’s blood!’ the voice blared.
It was Ragun the war chief who spoke. The king and his chiefs had gathered to plan for the festival.
It was King Obade who proposed inviting dignitaries from other nations. And Ragun had suddenly taken up the idea and injected some astonishing fire than Obade himself had expected it to contain.
Ragun thundered his words. ‘We call them to be guests of the greatest festival kingdoms have ever had!
‘We must send them the message in a letter. And since they can never read or write like us, we should send them learned emissaries to read our invitation in their ears.’
Ragun’s idea seemed like the perfect seal to a document. Everyone in the palace meeting loved it. And a thunderous clap shook the Central Palace council hall.
The Women Chief was the one who spoke next. She suggested the message be written by the man with the best handwriting in the kingdom.
And Jakan the chief priest knew the Woman Chief was referring to him. He shifted in his seat and gently cleared his throat to register his presence. Just in case other nobles were quick to forget that fact.
The seated chiefs all attended Jaiye’s royal academy at the palace courts while they grew up. And it was Jakan who excelled in handwriting among them all. Right from childhood up till then.
Jakan was a meticulous person who put his heart and soul into an ability. So, his handwriting came out as glorious and beautiful as the peacock itself.
Right now, the old man treasured being recognised for his handwriting than for slaughtering horses for sacrifice. And even when the Women Head didn’t mention his name.
Everyone in the council laughed when Jakan cleared his throat. ‘We see you already,’ they said. ‘We see you Jakan. No one’s going to take that from you,’ they spoke severally.
Jakan smiled. He was satisfied people still remembered. He nodded and smiled without saying anything.
Obade welcome the idea. And he asked the chief priest to work with Ragun, who had the list of Jaiye’s allies.
Jakan was delighted he could put the brilliance of his calligraphy on show once again. He was pleased to do something else for the kingdom. Something different from the burden of slaughtering beast or man at the altar.
Even when that something else was as little as penning down an invite.
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