The Beauty And The Beast (part 2 of 3)

It was in the morning when the sun was still sitting in the east, three men – Augusta, Caryl and Leonatus saw glints of light coming from a coin en route to France. The gold coin was reflecting the light coming from the sun. As they came closer to pick the coin, they saw another, few steps away. This time as they tried to pick the second coin, they saw Zadie lying unconsciously in a pit.

Zadie was carried into their caravan and they rode off to Gaul. Zadie woke up in the middle of the sea (English Channel) with a loss of memory. He remembered nothing about his home so he joined his new Frankish (French) friends and sailed to the land of the Franks, south of Gaul (Francia), in a new life – a life of robbery, for the three men were living as thieves.

“Welcome to Gaul!” a voice piped at the port. Zadie discovered that it was an amazing life among the Franks. Everyone was vibrant and enthusiastic; busy doing something or the other or even busy doing nothing. He knew this was a place he could fool so many, thus he smiled and rose to his duty.

Zadie and his new friends went from place to place, shop to shop, stealing. They stole whenever the owner was careless of his properties or by pranks on people. It was in this process of stealing that they saw a young boy being pursued by some soldiers on duty. As the young boy ran, he ran closer to Zadie’s feet and fell. Zadie stooped to hear what the boy had to say, only to receive a gift from the boy. The boy fled again as the soldiers came nearer.
“What did that boy give to you?” a soldier returned to ask Zadie after the young boy pitifully committed suicide.
“Gave me? He gave me nothing. He was mere begging for water but discovered it was fruitless since you people were already close,” Zadie spoke cunningly.
“He’s lying, search him!” the soldier piped.
“See, let me tell you people something. Have you ever seen someone with a hunch back like me? It’s because people like me don’t come outside for we are contagious. If you really want to search me then you should be ready to share my hunch back, my scary wrinkled skin and whatever sickness that I have kept secret. You should be ready to contact all that,” Zadie spoke convincingly and was able to scare away the soldier without searching him.

Zadie later found out with his friends that the gift was a magic ring – the missing ring of the great French witch.
“It was the guards of the king of Gaul that pursued that young boy which means that the king of Gaul must seriously be in need of this magic ring,” Zadie thought of this to assess the value of the ring, as a result of this, he barred his friends from touching the ring but only to himself alone.

Three days later, Zadie was on the hunt again. The same people that were chasing the young boy were the ones hunting for Zadie but Zadie and his friends were nowhere to be found. Cleverly, Zadie and his friends came to the shrine of the great French witch with the intention of returning the ring but for something in exchange. Zadie spoke to the witch and promised to give her back her ring which was her magic tool and her sight, only if she will bless them with wealth, power and get rid of Zadie’s hunch back.

“Your wishes are now yours, forever. Please give it to me now,” the witch spoke in lassitude. She has long been searching for the ring with the help of her friend, the king of Gaul, but to no avail.
“What guarantee do I have that if I give you this ring, my wishes will be mine, forever?” Zadie uttered smartly.

“That plant beside you is the only guarantee I can give you. It will save you from danger once in your lifetime besides I don’t give guarantees because I’m a woman of my words – the most powerful in the whole of the Roman Empire.”

Zadie threw the ring while the witch eulogized over herself and fled with the plant. He paused while his friends had already started running to listen to some words of incantation the French witch uttered as she searched for the ring. Zadie was smarter than everyone. He gave the French witch the fake ring and fled with her blessings, the plant and the words on incantation that only made the ring work.

Zadie was now a different man – a rich man with no more hunch back. He can now walk upright like every other person and run much faster in times of trouble. The news spread everywhere that Zadie outsmarted and ripped off the French witch and ran with many blessings. This infuriated the king of Gaul greatly and as a result of this, he triggered a great hunt on Zadie.

So many times Zadie and his friends were nearly caught, so many times, they always escaped all by the power of the magic ring. Unfortunately, Zadie’s friends were caught in an ambush and were taken to the king’s palace, where they were tied. The king sent a message to Zadie that if he doesn’t return the ring, his friends will die. Zadie ignored that, rather he came by himself to rescue his friends with the help of the ring.

In the process of rescuing his friends he became dumbfounded at the sight of the princess – Britannia. He stood firm and kept on reminiscing on where and how he must have known that princess. Simultaneously, his friends whom were a bit further away were barking at Zadie to come and rescue them, while on the other hand, soldiers started surrounding Zadie. As soon as he woke up from reminiscence he realized it was too late to save his friends, thus he disappeared with the help of the magic ring.

Princess Britannia was shocked as she saw Zadie again in her life. She thought Zadie had died long ago and the Zadie that was talked about in Gaul was a different person. She became afraid again because she was aware of Zadie’s capabilities. She told her husband the Prince of Gaul to do everything possible that can get rid of Zadie or else she will leave Gaul back to Ireland.

Zadie became furious again as he remembered his past. He remembered vividly the three old witches and how he was betrayed. He also became more furious when he heard that his friends have been killed, so he swore to get back his wife, the princess and to ruin the lives of the king of Gaul and his son by all means possible.

It was in the citadel of the Roman Empire, the palace of the Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus that Zadie conceived his plot. People all around the world gathered in Rome to welcome the Emperor into his palace and as the Emperor stood on his befitting caravan with his entourage waving his palms to all the patriots of the empire, he got tensed at the sight of a terrifying sword that swung up in the air from the crowd, very fast towards him. It was the scimitar of the prince of Gaul, the finest sword in the Roman Empire. It came very fast towards him and unfortunately as he dodged the sword, it pierced into his thigh. The sword caught him and everyone by surprise and the ‘sniper’ escaped unseen.

This infuriated the emperor, so he ordered 2 full legions of soldiers to ride straight to Gaul to the king’s palace and destroy everything in the palace while arresting the king and the prince. Ten thousand soldiers rode on chariots and horses to Gaul in anger and did as the emperor ordered.

It was Zadie’s entire plan in a clandestine conspiracy with the emperor. The emperor gave Zadie back his wife in return for the great magic ring. Zadie got thrilled and surprised on how the whole plan became successful. The prince and king of Gaul were put to jail for conspiracy to murder.

However, that thrill soon became overwhelmed by a grimace when Zadie realized that he was being arrested by the same emperor. The emperor made it clear to Zadie that he had a promise to his father and predecessor, Marcus Ulpius Traianus to wipe away all the witches and wizards in the empire and any king or prince that condones them. He saw them as enemies that could jeopardize his empire, which was the reason he agreed to conspire in Zadie’s plan. Zadie was amazed when he saw Benjamin right in front of him. He was saved by the emperor in the hands of the late three witches of Ireland.

Thereafter, Zadie was tied all around his neck to be hung. He was made to say his last prayer before he would be killed by hanging but Zadie still proved that he was smarter than all of them even without his hunch back. He brought out the leaf of the plant the late great French Witch gave him that will save him just once in a lifetime and ate it. As he ate it, he smiled at the emperor and all of them who betrayed him and to their surprise, he disappeared.

To be continued…Part 3

Culled from: “Once Upon A Time in Umuaka” by Emmanuel Aghado

ISBN: 9781301655830  ASIN: B00AGZVAFI

9 thoughts on “The Beauty And The Beast (part 2 of 3)” by Emmanuel (@Emmanuelpro)

  1. This is a combination of, friendship, love, trust and betrayals. Nice theme, well punctuated and typo free.

    Zadie, must be another name for wizardry, I guess.

    I like this better than †ђξ former and I bet the continuation would be ßε̲̣̣̣̥ttε̲̣̣̣̥r.
    Well done.

  2. Thanks @Chime221 for your comment. Yeah, Zadie is another name for wizardry, but at the end of the trilogy, someone outsmarted him.

    1. Someone outsmarts him in †ђξ end?
      Hahahaha…that goes a long way to prove that we are yet to ‘see anything’!
      Bring †ђξ next episode on joor…I’m already salivating for it.

  3. Thanks @Nalongo and @itsabum for your comment.

  4. @emmanuelpro,

    I like that this installment feels more ‘Gaulish’ than the previous installment. There are many more references to the places and events of the time.

    But there are many plot holes and gaps in the story. How does Zadie know that the ring is magic? Where do these new friends of Zadie appear from? How could Zadie not remember the princess of Britannia – it wasn’t like it was a long time since he had seen her? How could a stranger like Zadie be trusted enough by the Emperor to conspire with him?

    I also think that using the device of a magic ring makes the story potentially weak. The problem with a magic ring is that since the owner can do anything, where is the conflict? For example, why didn’t Zadie use the magic ring to kill the Emperor and become Emperor of Rome himself? The only solution to this problem is for you to impose some limitations on the power of the ring, and let the reader know what these are.

    Lastly, Publius Aelius Hadrianus (Emperor Hadrian) was NOT the son of Marcus Ulpius Traianus (Emperor Trajan). Rather, Hadrian was a just general in the army who was selected by Trajan to succeed him as Emperor when Trajan died.


  5. @TolaO: Thanks for your time in reading & your critique, also thanks for editing my other story. I later changed the title to “The Judas Amongst Us” after I figured that the story was more like and allegory of the Nigerian situation.

    Well, to answer your questions, firstly, this story is 7 years old; so I wasnt really as good as I was in that new story you edited.

    1. How does Zadie know that the ring is magic?
    Ah-ah, I said it in the story, “Zadie later found out with his friends that the gift was a magic ring – the missing ring of the great French witch.” They must have chatted and asked questions about it or even heard hearsays about it. A ring that belongs to a witch obviously implies magic.

    2.Where do these new friends of Zadie appear from?
    They found Zadie in a pit and hauled him into their caravan. And on their way to France they definitely should make acquaintance.

    3. How could Zadie not remember the princess of Britannia?
    He had collasped (because of his hunch back) into a pit. It’s possible to have a temporal memory loss from that incident. He may or may not have hit head somewhere, yet amnesia can kick in.

    4. How could a stranger like Zadie be trusted enough by the Emperor to conspire with him?
    The emperor had his own agenda, remember, I said in the story. So the emperor was willing to connive with Zadie as long as his own agenda can be achieved.

    4. why didn’t Zadie use the magic ring to kill the Emperor and become Emperor of Rome himself?
    Lolz. I could ask the same question to the movie Lord of the Rings and some other magic ring stories. Honestly, I dont know. It was how I felt at the time of writing this fantasy.

    As for the son issue, well, 7 yrs ago when i did the small research for this story, they said Hadrian is the “adopted” son of Trajan.

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