Sacriprice eNovel: Chapter 32

IYUN and Shao stooped down by River Ta. And they scooped water in their hands for a refreshing drink.

And when they had got a fill from the cool spring, they filled up their empty travel waterskin, too. And then settled down under the shade of an oak tree at the riverbank.

The young man exhaled aloud. ‘Iyun, this is where Shao witnessed that epic rescue by the hands of the Prince!’ he exuded, his arms flung wide and about.

Iyun gave a little nod and sighed.

Shao didn’t get the reaction he was expecting. So he charged on; this time singing the praise of his gracious saviour. But Iyun was as cold and chilly as the morning breezes that passed over their weary skin every once in a while.

Yet Shao knew it wasn’t out of tiredness that Iyun was acting with apathy. The young man knew Iyun wasn’t just disinterested in what he was saying. That her disinterest was rather in the prince himself

But Shao went on to persuade his cousin all the same. If perhaps Iyun could have a rethink about the crown prince’s deep feelings of love for her. If perhaps she could trust the man that was so real and true to her.

Yet it was for the reason that Àlà was so real and true, that Iyun found it hard to reciprocate his love. It was for the fact that Àlà’s feelings were intense and consistently chasing, that Iyun often wavered between love and indifference.

It was because Àlà was indeed Àlà, that Iyun didn’t know if she’d be his.

Iyun didn’t want to go through the hazels of explaining to Shao. She thought her naïve cousin wouldn’t understand the peculiarities of her relationship with the prince.

It was easy for Shao to love his master, Iyun said to herself. But an entirely different thing it is with a love between man and woman. And especially when the man is as high as the heavens. And the lady as low as the earth.

Iyun changed the topic with an abrupt question. ‘How is life at the palace courts, Shao? What does the palace look like?’ she asked, a straight look in her face.

And just when Shao was about to mutter something, Iyun added some more quick questions. And her face lit up with excitement right then.

‘Hey, tell me Shao, what do Jaiye men look like, huh? How do they really talk? You know I wasn’t able to take in everything at the market.’

She warmed up to him anew. ‘Wait a moment… Do the men here smile too, like the crown prince does? Are they great lovers? Are they good to their women, too?’

Iyun thought to learn about the men of Jaiye. She thought to know all there was to know about them. So she could know and understand the prince, she said to herself.

Shao raised a hand to still his talky cousin. ‘Patience, Iyun; patience. Ask one question at a time! I can’t even remember your details. What d’ you want to know about the men here, uh?’

Iyun interposed immediately. ‘Everything. I want to know everything!’

‘Well, well…’ coughed Shao. ‘Where do I start from, where?’ he mused.

‘Anywhere!’ retorted Iyun. ‘Start anywhere!’

Shao cleared his throat again. ‘Okay… let’s start from the high. Let’s start from His Royal Highness, my master and your man…!’

Iyun raised her hand so high. ‘Enough, enough; come on!’ she snarled. And the excited gleam in her eyes dissolved into nothing.

The young woman was more than frustrated. All she wanted to know was things about Jaiye men. But here was Shao driving the conversation to the crown prince again.

She spluttered it all out. ‘Hey, hey! Am I living his life, huh?! Am I existing for him?!’ she blurted. ‘It is the prince when he is here. It is the prince again now that he’s gone. Always and always the prince! Every now and then… huh!!’

Shao’s was shocked at the outburst and he only stared speechlessly.

Iyun couldn’t take the bewildered gaze now. ‘Why stare at me like I’m a ghost?!’ she blurted.

Shao couldn’t help the next words that rolled out of his lips.

He muttered. ‘You didn’t tell me you hate him this much!’

The young man took his gaze away from her, absolutely disappointed. He wondered why Iyun would be looking around for Jaiye men when she had the prince of Jaiye all to herself.

He wondered why she would rather want some men painted out to her than know the man who had come into her reality to spark it all up with lights.

Shao looked away. And he saw some horsemen ride down the riverside at Ta. The horse riders were heading towards them with a galloping pace.

And it was Jakan and his men.

Shao’s heart leapt up in a sudden moment of anxiety.


The palace bondservant felt disturbed for a bit, before he took his eyes off the nobility caravan heading towards them.

The young man waved off a concern building up beneath his chest.

Nothing’s so out of place with this troupe, he said to himself. Besides, they won’t notice us merely sitting here. Nobody from Jaiye pays attention to a Koje born. No lord regards a slave.

Shao’s eyes fell back on his cousin. He thought to continue with their talk, but the tiny, little fear crept back into his heart. And it grew so large in a little bit.

The young man shut his eyes in a moment of frightened stupor. He thought it was a little apprehension that’d crept up to his chest. But he never knew the fearsome party itself was there already. Right in front of him

In that brief moment, Shao thought his ears heard wrong. He’d heard the thuds of horses’ footsteps approaching just a while ago.

But now, everything was still in his ears. And not even the sound of nature in the sweet birdsong and running rivers was loud enough to interrupt the silence in his eardrums.

It wasn’t just the horses’ trotters that was gone in Shao’s hearing. The young man could hardly hear his own breath, too.

In that sudden moment, Shao’s heart raced up a dozen times faster. Numerous worries crept up the wall of his heart. He was scared. And he slowly parted his eyes open to see if his dear cousin was still with him.

Just right then, he saw that it wasn’t only a dazed Iyun that was beside him. But also a band of priests with straight faces.

Jakan the chief priest looked down at the two Koje born with a blank expression. No one could tell what he was thinking and not even his grandson Jawon.

Everything had stopped for that moment for Jakan. He seemed absent from the scene yet he was there in person. Everyone was still. And until a cough interrupted that celestial moment of quietness.

It was Iyun who coughed.

Just as soon as the Koje damsel did that, everything started to move as the chief priest passed his order.

‘She is the one. She is the Heaven’s choice. Seize her immediately!’

A team of five priests rushed up to Iyun at once. And before the young maiden could process what was happening, she’d been captured in a large fishnet flung over her.

It all happened in an instant.


Iyun struggled pitifully and cried out for help as she was carried into the cart waiting for her. And the more the young maiden wriggled herself in the net, the more tangled she was in it.

Shao leapt away in a frightened flight. He cried out for help and rescue. Yet he knew there was nothing forthcoming. He knew there was no help for their kind in Jaiye kingdom.

Everything had come to Shao like the wind, a wind he couldn’t grasp in his hand. Before he could make sense of the apprehension in his heart, a mysterious silence had enveloped the atmosphere.

And before Shao could find a meaning to the mystery, Iyun had been captured.

Click HERE to See Other Chapters of the Free Suspense eNovel Sacriprice

© 2020 by Kayode & Tola Olla

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