Welcome to Part 4 and the final part of The Arewa Traveller: The Warrior. Read Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3 if you haven’t already. In Part 3, Husna meets Queen Amina of Zaria in battle, follows her to her palace and witnesses a confrontation between Queen Amina and her boyfriend Adamu.
‘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 they don’t live to tell the tale.’ Adamu replied shrugging.
Husna gasped. She was shocked at Adamu’s insolence and was worried about what Queen Amina would do next.
Although the lights were dim, Husna could see that Queen Amina was furious. She washed her hands in the bowl of water next to her meal and stood up quickly.
‘I’ve had enough of your sly comments Adamu. Ever since I rejected your marriage proposal, you’ve been acting differently. Come to think of it, these rumours started just after I rejected you. How do I know you’re not the one who started them?’ Amina said, her voice rising with each word.
Adamu stood up and faced Amina. Husna could feel the tension in the room rising.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if they were true.’ Adamu sneered.
Amina looked like she wanted to hit him. Instead she said ‘You’ve gone too far. Leave my sight and don’t ever come back. If you do, I’ll tell my soldiers to beat you up!’
‘This kingdom cannot continue to be ruled by a woman. I will not allow it. I’ve tried to be reasonable with you and offered you marriage. Since you refuse, I will take it with force. I challenge you to fight me tomorrow for your crown in the town square!’ Adamu yelled.
Husna was shocked. “Damn, I guess even here men are trash.” she thought to herself.
To Husna’s surprise, Amina smiled. ‘Now the truth comes out, I was wondering why you were so desperate to be with me.’
She paused and added ‘I accept your challenge. Now get out of my palace! Haro!’
Haro entered the room and said ‘Yes my Queen?’
‘Get him and his men out of the palace and give instructions to the palace guards. He must never be let in again.’ Amina said pointing at Adamu who had left the room.
‘Is everything alright my Queen? You seem very angry.’ Haro asked softly.‘I am angry. Angry I trusted that snake. He wants my throne and I will fight him to keep it.’
The Final Battle
The next morning the palace was quiet, save for the sound of Amina’s sword clashing with Haro’s in the courtyard. They were preparing for the fight. Amina moved quicker than she had during the battle Husna had witnessed the day before. She was also still visibly angry as her moves were not as smooth.
‘You’re emotional my Queen.’ Haro said to Amina.
‘How could I not be? I was starting to love the snake. And now he does this?’ Amina replied.
‘I know but if you let your emotions control you, you may lose the battle.’ Haro replied.
‘Lose to a man? Never!’ Amina spat.
‘Then control your emotions like a woman. Teach him a lesson!’ Haro replied.
Amina was quiet for a few moments. She nodded and they continued. Hours passed and Amina returned to her room and emerged wearing her battle costume. She didn’t wear any armour, instead her garments were light and form fitting. Amina and her soldiers emerged from the palace to find a crowd outside. The crowd parted and she walked into the heart of the city to the town square.
Adamu was waiting in the square also surrounded by his men. He was shirtless and he seemed to have painted his face with what looked like blood.
‘Haro, if anything happens to me…’ Amina started to say but Haro interrupted.
‘Nothing will happen. You can beat him even in your sleep.’ he said.
Amina grinned and walked over to face Adamu. The referee spoke to them and reminded them that it was a fight till the death. He went over the rules of the fight and asked them if they accepted. They both nodded and before the fight began Adamu spoke.
‘Last chance to change your mind and marry me Amina.’
‘Over my dead body will I marry a snake.’ Amina replied sneering.
‘Begin!’ the referee shouted and Adamu charged towards Amina immediately with his sword drawn. What followed was the most intense fight Husna had ever seen. Adamu was not holding back. He punched and kicked Amina with no mercy. When he saw the opportunity he would slash her with his sword. She attacked back ruthlessly.
The fight went on for what seemed like hours and Husna could see that Amina was getting tired. Suddenly, Adamu took advantage of this and pinned Amina down on the ground. Husna’s heart fell as she knew this would be the end. He raised his sword to strike her but he stopped halfway and clutched his side. Blood spurted from him and Amina pushed him off her and rose.
Amina had managed to plunge her sword into him and had therefore won the battle! The crowd cheered and Haro dashed over and hugged Amina. She was lifted onto shoulders and paraded around the city. Husna was ecstatic and she joined the cheering and dancing. She felt someone tap her on her shoulder and she turned around. It was the Mallam.
‘What are you doing here?’ she asked him.
‘It’s time to go back. I think you’ve learned the lesson here.’ he replied smiling.
‘What? Never trust a snake?’ Husna replied laughing.
‘I thought it was to choose your partner wisely.’ the Mallam replied.
‘Are you sure I can’t stay longer?’ Husna asked.
‘I think your brother will be coming to wake you up shortly. We wouldn’t want him to worry.’ the Mallam responded.
Husna woke up and saw Ya Halim standing over her looking flustered.
‘I’ve been trying to wake you for the past ten minutes! You weren’t moving at all. Are you okay?’ he asked.
‘Yes I’m fine. Actually, I’m great.’ Husna replied smiling and rising from her bed.
‘What happened?’ Ya Halim asked looking suspicious.
‘I met Queen Amina.’ Husna replied.
‘What? You’re joking!’ Ya Halim replied with disbelief.
‘I’m not. I learned a lot from my time with her. By the way, I’m never going to marry Aminu so you and Baba can give up on that dream. He’s arrogant and selfish. I’m not interested in being with him.’ Husna replied still smiling.
‘What’s gotten into you?’ Halim asked.
‘Nothing. Just being wary of snakes.’ Husna replied leaving her room and Halim wondering what she meant.
Thank you for reading the story so far. The stories were excerpts from the book I am currently writing. I hope to finish it this year. As always, let me know what you think in the comments and share the story on social media. If you’d like to contribute a story, you can do that here.