Welcome to Part 3 of The Arewa Traveller: The Warrior. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here if you haven’t already. In Part 2, Husna takes a potion that allows her to travel back into time. After taking the potion, she wakes up in the middle of a battlefield and is about to be trampled on. Does she get injured? Read on to find out.
When Husna woke up, she opened her eyes and was surrounded by different noises. There was the sound of horses and what sounded like war cries. She sat up and screamed instantly. She was in the middle of what appeared to be a battlefield and soldiers were advancing towards her. There was no time for her to react and she knew she was going to get trampled. She curled herself into a ball and braced for the impact.
But nothing happened. The soldiers and their horses went through her like she wasn’t there. Then she remembered that the Mallam had warned that no one would be able to see or hear her. The soldiers that charged forward were wearing armour with green and red turbans tied around their head and chin. The clothes looked like what the men in Arewa currently wore during hawan sallah.
Swords clashed and blood spilled mainly from their opponents who wore similar attire but with black and white. Although they couldn’t see Husna, she decided to move closer to the side-lines to avoid seeing so much blood.
It was an odd feeling having people and horses walk through her and she didn’t like it. She got to a safe distance and took in her surroundings. The fighting was still going on but the soldiers in the green attire appeared to be winning and they outnumbered the other men. There were more of the soldiers in green still advancing on horses.
There was one particular man that stood out even from a distance. His horse was magnificently decorated in gold and green material which matched his clothes. His turban covered most of his face and Husna could only see his eyes. He appeared to be the leader as he was flanked by other soldiers on horses.
Suddenly, he and his horsemen charged towards the middle of the fighting. He jumped down from his horse and struck one of his opponents with his sword. He continued striking soldier after soldier. His soldiers didn’t appear to be worried about protecting him. Husna thought he fought better than all of them. After what seemed like an hour, their opponents were defeated and they began to retreat. Some of them were captured and the soldiers cheered.
Husna was intrigued by the man so she moved closer to where he was in the middle of the battlefield. His back was turned to her and he took off his turban. He turned around and was smiling at the men.
The man was a beautiful woman and Husna understood who she was because she could now hear what the men were saying.
‘Our Queen Amina! May you live long!’ they cheered.
It was Queen Amina of Zaria. She had beautiful skin that was shining under the sunlight and her sweat. She had jet-black hair that was intricately decorated. She climbed back onto her horse and started riding away. The soldiers that had horses followed suit and Husna ran after them. Although she ran a long distance, Husna didn’t feel tired.
They came close to high walls that were painted in bright shades of green, red, blue and yellow. They also had several versions of the Arewa symbol on them. Husna recognised one of the walls as being the great wall of Zaria. As they got closer, the gates opened to let them in. Inside, the city was flooded with people cheering and dancing to the music that was played by musicians on the street. The musicians were playing the talking drum and kakaki – a long trumpet Husna recognised.
Amina and her soldiers walked through the city on their horses and she waved at the crowd. The crowd followed all the way to her palace which was just as grand as the walls and decorated in the same style. The heavy wooden doors opened and Amina walked through them. Amina was greeted by a group of three women in the courtyard.
‘Sannu Queen, another victory and more men to serve you.’ one of them said cackling.
‘Asabe, it was a good battle. I got bored after some time but I don’t think my men noticed.’ Amina replied walking along the palace corridors while the women followed behind her.
‘Adamu came by just after you left. He said he will come during dinner time to see you.’ Asabe replied.
‘That will be nice.’ I haven’t seen him for a week now.’ Amina said now in her room and removing her armour with help from the one named Asabe.
‘Gaskiya, I think he was upset with you.’ another of the women said helping Amina remove her shoes.
‘I’m not sure why. Talatu, I told him from the start that I’m not interested in marriage.’ Amina replied rolling her eyes and resting on her bed.
‘But why? Your brother wanted you to get married before he died.’ the smallest of the women asked.
‘Because I refuse to be ruled by any man. Zahrau, if I get married, he will be the King and the people will see him as my ruler.’ Amina replied in a harsh tone and with a visible frown on her face.
Asabe and Talatu glared at Zahrau, clearly irritated with her for bringing up Amina’s brother.
‘Ki yi hakuri.’ Zahrau apologised to Amina while bowing her head.
Amina’s face softened. ‘It’s alright. It hasn’t been that long since Karama died. We didn’t agree on many things and marriage was one of them.’ she replied.
‘You’re tired, you should get some rest. What would you like us to make for you for when you wake up?’ Asabe asked changing the conversation.
‘Tuwon shinkafa and miyan kuka.’ Amina replied grinning.
‘You are very predictable when it comes to your food.’ Talatu said laughing.
Amina lay down on her bed while the women fanned her. When she fell asleep, the women left the room and Husna followed them to a different part of the palace which was an open space with large iron pots arranged on firewood. It appeared to be the kitchen.
‘Why did you bring up Karama?’ Asabe asked Zahrau as soon as they were alone.
‘I didn’t mean to it just came out.’ Zahrau replied looking ashamed.
‘I don’t like that Adamu anyway. He seems possessive and the Queen is right not to want to marry him.’ Talatu chimed in.
‘But he’s the richest man in Zaria and any woman would want him. You just don’t like anyone she dates. You’d marry her if you could.’ Asabe said cackling.
‘That would be a good solution to the Queen’s problem. If she has a woman as her wife, she will still be seen as the ruler.’ Zahrau added giggling.
‘You’re going to get all our heads cut off.’ Talatu replied also laughing.
‘Let’s start making the food so it’s ready for when Adamu comes and the Queen wakes up.’ Asabe said in her serious voice.
Hours went by and the sun began to set. When the food was ready, Husna followed the women back to Amina’s room where they helped her have a bath. They dressed her in a loose gold and purple dress and did her make up. This involved putting what looked like eyeliner in her eyes and painting her face with black and white markings.
There was a knock on the door and Talatu went to open it. One of Amina’s soldiers came in.
‘My Queen, Adamu is here to see you.’ he announced.
‘Thank you Haro. Tell him I will be there soon. How are the captives? Are they behaving?’ Amina replied.
Haro was one of Amina’s most trusted soldiers and confidante. He never left her side and protected her fiercely. He had done the same for her mother and brother Karama before they died. He was much older than Amina and saw her as his daughter.
‘They are my Queen; they are not causing any trouble.’ Haro replied smiling.
‘That’s good. I don’t like when we have to kill them.’ Amina replied.
Haro left and Husna followed him as she was curious to see what Adamu looked like. Adamu sat in the courtyard surrounded by men that were fanning him. He was wearing a white babban riga with gold designs on the front. His turban and shoes were also gold. Husna thought he’d gone overboard with the gold but he was very handsome. He had caramel skin and cheekbones that looked like they could cut through Amina’s armour.
‘The Queen will be down shortly. You may wait in the dining area.’ Haro said gesturing to another set of doors.
‘What was made for my dinner?’ Adamu asked nonchalantly.
Husna saw Haro’s eyebrows raise briefly.
‘I believe it’s the Queen’s favourite.’ Haro replied.
‘Which is?’ Adamu replied.
‘Tuwo and miyan kuka.’
Husna saw what Talatu meant. If Adamu cared about the Queen so much he wanted to marry her, how come he didn’t even know her favourite dish?
‘Great! I’m quite hungry.’ Adamu said getting up and making his way to the dining area.
Amina joined Adamu minutes later. When she walked in, he stood up and bowed his head briefly. Then he hugged her closely and kissed her on the lips. Husna was surprised Amina allowed it.
‘How are you my dear?’ Adamu asked Amina when they both sat down.
‘I’m good, I’m still a bit tired from today’s battle.’ Amina replied through mouthfuls of tuwo.
‘How many more battles do you plan to fight in? If we got married, you wouldn’t have to do that.’ Adamu said.
Amina stopped eating and was still for a few moments. ‘I like fighting, I trained most of my life to be able to do it.’ she replied.
‘Yes, but you need a man by your side. Someone like me who can protect your dignity and rule the kingdom when you are away at battle. Someone who can give you children to continue your line.’ Adamu replied.
‘Protect my dignity? What do you mean by that?’ Amina replied coldly. Husna recognised the tone of her voice. It was a much harsher version of the tone she’d used when Zahrau mentioned her brother earlier that day.
‘You must know what they say about you behind your back. They say you sleep with one of the captives after every battle and you kill them after so he doesn’t live to tell the tale.’ Adamu replied shrugging.
Husna gasped. She was shocked at Adamu’s insolence and was worried about what the Queen would do next.
*End of Part 3*
What do you think of Adamu? Arrogant or just confident? What do you think is the Queen’s reaction? Let us know in the comments! Subscribe using the form below to know when the final part comes out if you haven’t already. If you enjoyed reading this, share the post on your social media using the buttons below. Tell us what you think happened next using our hashtags #TWIHW #theworldinherwords