Once upon a time….
A time when girls respected their mothers,
And little boys still looked up to their fathers.
The people of a particular kingdom lived in darkness while the rest of the world was in different sorts of light.
The kingdom was ruled by a king whose evil had no way of being measured.
A king whose smile meant doom and whose frown brought instant death.
He ruled with the hand of a god, obliterating any who stood strong in his path.
The voice of reason was lost to his people, so was the voice of rage and the feel of a free heart.
The people lived as slaves, bound to the king and his whims.
There was no help in sight, none at all.
In this time of great peril came a traveller.
He had travelled the world over and met its people.
He had survived the horrid deserts of the east, journeyed through the streets of Bangladesh, braved the mountain ranges of the Andes and marveled at the beauty of the pyramids.
Oh this was no small man in any light: he was all the man women would want.
Now he didn’t just stumble onto this kingdom.
As a matter of fact, he had stumbled upon very interesting information.
He had heard the rumors about a certain mystical kingdom.
“The kingdom which the sun was fabled to omit when it shone its light on the earth.
The kingdom whose rain could burn steel and whose water could melt diamond.
The kingdom that continuously took from the world and gave nothing in return.”
So he journeyed deep and discovered this land.
He didn’t know what to expect, this made all his sojourns truly exciting.
He got to the kingdom and snuck in, uninvited.
He tried to be polite with the people, offer them greetings and pleasantries and the likes but they just stood and moped.
The women immediately took all the little ones inside and all the men stood guard.
He then spoke in every language he had learnt on his various journeys, but none of them replied.
It was like they were present and absent at the same time.
The atmosphere was unusually silent and eerie, like a disaster could break out at any minute.
They seemed like dead men walking: empty bodies, no souls.
He reached into his bag and brought out a gold coin.
The people were taken aback, most of them had never seen gold.
The ones that recognized gold were either blind..or dead.
He was making a fool of himself, they all stared as if he was retarded and they were the sane ones.
Before long, hefty looking me came and bundled the crazy traveler off.
He was the king’s priority now, the people carried on as if nothing of any significance had happened.
‘Who are you?’
‘Who dares disturb the peace of my Kingdom?’
‘A lowly traveler my Lord’
‘Hahahahahahahahaha A lowly traveler? Is that a name? Or do think me a fool?’
‘Heaven forbids I think such a thing, my King’
‘You dare patronize me?’
‘My Lord I have traveled far and wide. Every place I have visited heralds a new name, you ask for just one my King, so telling you one would be a lie. Where I come from, we don’t lie to our King.’
‘Fair enough, state your business, what is a poor and lowly traveler doing in my kingdom?’
‘I was passing by my king, I ran out of supplies and I decided to take a detour, to stock up. That is all, my king’
‘Since we are telling the truth here, you want to know what I really think?’
‘Of course my King, go on’
‘I think you are a usurper sent from outside my walls to come and wreak havoc in my peaceful kingdom. No ordinary man can find my kingdom on any map in the world. Mr. Traveler who are you once more?’
‘Just a lowly traveler my King, nothing more.’
‘Well I shall have to put your words to the test. Come here you, call me my greatest soldier – Muimerp. Tell him his King has a favor to ask of him. Tell him also to dress in his best apparel as if going for war, tell him to carry his best of his steel and shield’
‘Who are you, Mr. Traveler? ’
‘Just a lowly traveler, my King’
‘Okay then. come over, town crier, Go announce to the people that their King requires their presence at the town hall in an hour.’
‘Now listen to me, Mr. Traveler I don’t take kindly to people insulting my intelligence. I give you one hour to tell me your name and state your business on my land.’
‘With all due respect sire, in an hour, I will still have the same answer. I am the man who will not be named even if it means certain death. Take away the name of a man and he has nothing left. I choose to live and die a man of my word’
‘Oh what an emotional speech there, I almost shed a tear for you. Orderly! Come, go prepare our Titan here for his fight and tell the cooks to prepare a feast.’
All the people were gathered in time for the fight. The King made sure he asked the traveler for his name once again before all the people. The Traveler refused one too many times and was sentenced to death right there and then.
Miumerp was clad in all his glory, full army regalia and weapons while The Traveler was armed with a wooden shield and bronze sword and thus the execution began.
No one really understood what happened, but in a series of moves which looked like strange dances The Traveler disposed of the greatest warrior in the land in three blows.
Everyone silently witnessed the lifeless body of Muimerp hit the ground.
Suddenly the King burst into an insane kind of laughter. He immediately ordered that five of his best warriors be dispatched into the ring at once.
The Traveler disposed of them one by one in such fluid fashion, it was unbelievable.
The people suddenly began to whisper amongst themselves.
The king was infuriated and so he started chanting sporadically.
The king had been known to dabble into the dark arts; the people had witnessed his powers before now.
Everybody knew what would happen next.
He spoke words nobody could understand and the atmosphere changed, instantly.
Something evil was in the air and they all knew it, they had seen it one too many times already.
The King then began to float in the air and move towards The Traveler.
The Traveler didn’t look shaken in the least. He stood in the ground and started reciting his own words too. The people could understand what he said, but they knew not of its significance.
He shouted out the words in desperation:
‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The king suddenly fell and hit the ground hard, the air could carry him no more.
He was dead within seconds of his landing and the people were free.
The people rejoiced.
This is the legend of the Titan, The Traveler.
Written by Akinbobola Adeyemo
Photo credits: www.mainlesson.com