Dembe was going to be punished for allowing Aprin to return home late. And instead of bringing her home he left her to go touring the market unguarded.
She was going to be the next priestess and can’t just go touring round the market or anywhere alone.
Bash was looking for a way to deal with Dembe after Sheila teased him about Aprin picking interest in a common slave instead of him.
He hates the fact that Sheila compa red him to a slave boy and Sheila on the other hand was glad to watch the effect of her words take root on Bash.
Sheila wish she was the next priestess of Kebra instead of her elder sister. She envys Aprin, especially the way she command respect where ever she goes and how everyone loves her.
She sometime wish she was the only daughter and do not have anybody to compete with her.
Aprin was bethrothed to a wealthy son of the soil. Bash was from a royal line and his father was also a big politician. Sheila saw Aprin as the lucky child having everything she never asked for. Even their great mother listens to Aprin’s words far more than anyone’s.
Sometimes she wish Aprin could just disappear so that she can be in her shoe and be the next priestess of Kebra getting married to Bash or any royal and wealthy son of the soil.
Bash was going to punish Dembe but Aprin learnt of it and stopped him from carrying out his punishment on Dembe.
” Let him be Bash! If anyone will be punished here then is me. Dembe did everything I asked of him. I’m a grown woman and I have the right to do whatever that pleases me. I decided to leave the royal dance and take a walk in the market…is all my choice. So why not scold me instead rather than punish an innocent boy…
Bash fused angrily as Aprin’s speak kindly of Dembe.
” You are going to be my wife and my decision also counts. People who saw you at the market without me beside you will feel I left you all by yourself. They will think I’m careless and not man enough because you choose to be in the company of a slave boy. You choose his acquaintance instead of your husband’s. How will that make me feel? That nonsense boy disrespected me… He deserves to be dealt with but here you are defending him and standing on the way of his punishment. Look at how that useless slave is causing misunderstanding between us. I’m your husband and…
Aprin stopped him from speaking futher.
“Not yet Bash. You are not yet my husband. All I’m saying is that Dembe did nothing bad. I won’t watch you or anyone punish him for my wrongs. This is my final decision. Even if mother hears of this I will still stand in Dembe’s defense. Let’s drop this conversation because is pointless..
Aprin walked out on Bash.
The moment she was gone, Sheila crept out from where she has been hiding and eavesdropping on them.
“I told you that Aprin is picking interest in that good for nothing slave. I couldn’t help but overheard how she was talking to you with a harsh voice all because of a common slave. She also defends him right in front of mother the other day and the sad part is that mother listens to her. Aprin is not fit for a priestess, she is going to bring shame and disgrace to such honorable seat. A priestess does not suppose to be soft at heart or show mercy to underserved people but Aprin does all that. She is not like mother who brought us up. Aprin is opposite of everything we stand for…
After all this happening, Bash decided to hasten up with the marriage preparation.
He doesn’t want to take any chances anymore.
He spoke to his father about making the
wedding to Aprin quick, his father asked him why he was in a haste. But Bash refused to say.
He finally came with his father to meet the priestess of Kebra about changing the agreed wedding date but the priestess refused to their plea.
She said the chosen date was agreed by the gods and can’t be change because of anything except if Aprin will decide otherwise.
Bash felt bad because he couldn’t alter the date and Aprin also refused to support his quest of hastening up the marriage process.
Bash hates the sight of Dembe.
Dembe avoided his presence.
Dembe knew that after their marriage Bash will relocate fully down to the priestess house. He will be the priest in the temple and Aprin will be the second priestess after her mother.
She can only become a full priestess if her mother passed away.
Dembe kept his distance, he prayed to the unseen God of Lydia to protect him from Bash.
Aprin will not be able to defend him forever, once Bash gets married to her and becomes the priest he will have equal right to do to any one as he pleases.
Dembe came to the market one day. this will be the third time he will be coming to the hill to look for Lydia but she was never there.
She used to be the one waiting for him but is over two weeks and he has not seen her.
He was worried and wondered what happened.
Dembe waited for her till evening before climbing down the hill.
As he was going to right back to the market, he met Phatsy who came to purchase a liquid perfume for lady Aprin.
“Lover boy… you look worried. Oh, let me guess… your slave girlfriend didn’t show up today? She might have been sold off to another household or as a temple prostitute…
Dembe’s heart began to race at Phatsy’s words.
Phatsy noticed his discomfort and began to laugh.
“C’mon Dembe….I was only joking. Don’t take my words to heart. Lover boy…
Phatsy walked passed him laughing.
Dembe bought what he was sent to buy before going back to the house.
The following week was going to be Aprin’s wedding.
Preparation was ongoing.
Dembe was going out that afternoon to the market as usual, he overheard noise coming from the over grown flowers and decided to check who was there.
He saw Sheila talking quietly with Lord Bash by the over grown flowers.
The moment he saw them, Sheila also looked and sighted Dembe who tried to turn back quietly without them noticing him.
she ordered him to come over and Dembe went.
And for no reason she slapped Dembe across the face.
He accused him of eavesdropping on her conversation with Bash.
Dembe said he did not do such thing but Sheila slapped him again for lying.
Bash kicked him hard before asking him to run off from their sight.
Dembe ran without looking back.
He almost collided with Aprin who was looking for Bash.
“Why are you racing with speed Dembe? Who is after you? Are you alright?…
Aprin asked with a concerned tone.
Dembe was breathing hard as he nodded.
She was about to ask him if he has seen Bash anywhere, Dembe did not want to lie to her or tell her the truth which may get him into trouble.
He began cough, he acted as if something got into his throat and while Aprin asked the household servant to get him water Dembe continued coughing and stylishly walked away from Aprin.
He ran out of the gate and straight to the road that leads to the market.
Today he will look for Lydia in every corner of the market and he silently prays that the unseen God will favour him.
Whatever Sheila was whispering to Bash does not seem good.
He hopes Aprin is safe because she is the only saviour he has in that house.
Dembe prays again to the unseen God to help Aprin.
Whatever Sheila is plotting will not come to past.
Aprin was going to be married to Lord Bash that week and every one is preparing for the big occasion.
Dembe began to tour round the market looking for Lydia while his heart was deeply troubled.
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