She fell to her knees and looked at the floor she dared not look the king directly in the eye “Your majesty, forgive this insolent servant of yours, I never knew who you were. Please forgive me” she pleaded.
Adeola sighed “I should be the one to apologize, I am sorry I deceived you for a long time, please get up and sit with Me.” he said.
Omotayo shook her head “no your majesty, let me remain like this till you forgive me”
“Are my just a king to you? Fine if you want to remain like that then I have no choice.” Adeola stood up, placed his horsetail on the table and knelt before her.
“Your majesty, you shouldn’t do this” Omotayo said without looking up.
Adeola smiled and then he touched her chin and pushed her face up to look at him “look at me” he said and Omotayo slowly brought her head up with the support of his hand under her chin
“To you Omotayo I am not a king, I am that nameless soldier, I am that stranger, I am nobody whom you promised to marry I have always felt free and natural with you but if you choose to treat me this way, the same way everyone treats me even my mother, it will kill me. Don’t treat me this way Omotayo, don’t! Otherwise my world will come crashing down. Please I beg you”
Omotayo looked at him tears ran freely down her eyes “your majesty!”
Adeola shook his head “no Omotayo, let the rest of the world call me that but to you I am nobody and I will remain nobody” he corrected her and then he hugged her.
They both sat opposite each other at Omotayo’s table, Omotayo told him the story of how she got to the capital city, and he explained his problems to her and how much he needs her support, no matter how little.
“I will not support you simply because I have grudge against the rebels, I will support you because a wife should always be there for her husband. I will support you because the citizens of Ifokanbale are suffering and it is time to put an end to it, I will support you because I love you.”
Adesewa was preparing for bed in her chamber when one of her maid ran in.
“Your majesty, something strange is happening in the palace” the maid said as she ran in.
“What could be so strange that you have to run into my room like that?” Adesewa asked angrily
“Forgive me your Majesty, but the supreme commander’s first wife is in the palace and she came with her daughter, the one she adopted.”
Adesewa sighed “And what is strange in that? You know how close the king and the supreme commander are, they probably came to pay homage to the king” Adesewa replied uninterestedly.
“Your majesty, if they came to pay homage they should be in the king’s chambers and not otherwise. And the lady is really beautiful she is as fair as the morning sun” the maid said.
“What? Do you mean the king is in the guest quarters? Adesewa asked
“Your majesty, as we speak the king is alone with lady Motayo” the maid replied.
“Really so her name is Omotayo” she got up from her bed and walked slowly towards her maid shaking her head “I hope it is not what I am thinking, I trust the king he will not dare wake up a sleeping tiger.”
The next morning Omotayo woke up early even before her maids, she showed enthusiasm about everything much to do surprise of Titilayo.
“My lady, you are so happy this morning”
“I am getting married today, should the bride be sad on her wedding day?” Omotayo asked smiling
“But, yesterday you were…”
“You will never understand so don’t bother yourself about it just make sure I look perfect and flawless” Omotayo cut her short
“With pleasure, my lady” Titilayo said and smiled and then she hurried outside giving instructions to the other maids as she went.
Just as Titilayo went outside Abike came in, Omotayo had been busy looking at the mirror she did not notice Abike when she came in.
“Abike cleared her throat “Did you sleep well last night?” she asked. Omotayo turned from the mirror and then she smiled.
“Mother!” she screamed like a child who was seeing her mother for the first time, she ran to her and hugged her.
“Of course I slept well, I am so sorry I doubted your love for me, why didn’t you tell me you knew all this while?”
Abike smiled “I didn’t want to ruin the suspense why don’t we sit and talk?” Abike said
“Oh that’s true” Omotayo said, as she let go of her tight embrace they sat at the table.
“Titilayo brewed some herbs for me this morning she said it helps improve good health, I’ll have her make some for you” Omotayo said happily
“I received the king’s message explaining everything and his intention to make you his wife, but you see the king cannot marry you because of your birth status, so I had to adopt you to elevate your status. I got the child I have always wanted to have and I also get to become the king’s mother in law and you will have a good life, I guess I was a little selfish after all” Abike said and they both laughed.
“I am really sorry I said those words to you” Omotayo apologized and Abike smiled.
At the palace courtroom, the chiefs and ministers were present, the king was also the room seated on his throne. They wondered why the king summoned them that morning, they king had arrived over an hour ago but he has not said anything.
Adeola watched as his retainers shifted uncomfortably in their seats, and then he decided that it was time to end the suspense. He cleared his throat and began “let me start by warning everyone present that if anyone interrupts me before I finish speaking, I will have that person locked up, do you all understand me?” he asked with a straight face
“Yes your majesty” they replied in union
“Today at midday, I shall name a second queen and you all will bear witness. I king Adeola shall make Omotayo the daughter of Abike my wife here in this palace the chief…”
“My lord that cannot happen, you have to consult us before you marry another woman we will choose your second wife” Lukosi interrupted
“Besides, your majesty Omotayo is a woman of low birth, the fact that a woman of nobility adopted her does not change the fact that she of low birth.” Iyalode added.
“Guards!” Adeola called, two guards came inside and bowed
“You called your majesty” they said
“Take Lukosi and Iyalode and lock them up, release Lukosi as soon as the wedding is over, do not release Iyalode until after three days. She did not only interrupt me she also slandered my bride to be” Adeola ordered.
The guards stood up and shoved the chiefs out of their seats and dragged them away.
“Your majesty you cannot do this I am a respected member of the court” Iyalode cried as they dragged her away, Lukosi said nothing he quietly followed the guards.
The remaining chiefs and ministers were shocked they never seen this side of their king.
“So, does anyone else have anything to say?” Adeola asked, and everyone in the room remained silent. “I didn’t think so, I will see you all at the wedding, make sure you dress appropriately” he said and then he got up and left the room the servant carrying the staff of office followed him.
Minutes after Adeola had left the chiefs and retainers still sat in the court room dumb founded.
“Your majesty, her majesty the queen is here to see you” the steward announced.
“Let her in” he replied.
“Your majesty, what is going in the palace? There are rumours that you are getting married today, is it true?” she asked as she entered without greeting the king first.
Adeola watched her take her seat without saying a word he continued drinking his wine as if no one had entered.
“Your majesty, I am talking to you, answer me”
“Why should I answer you when you have forgotten your manners? Oh I forgot you never had good manners” Adeola replied.
Adesewa was shocked the king had never spoken to her in that manner before.
“What is wrong with him?”
“I don’t know what you are doing here, you should be preparing for the wedding it would be improper for you not to attend” Adeola said still without looking at her.
“Your majesty I know you have every right to marry another woman but I have to access her first. You cannot marry that woman she is from a low origin I will not allow it.” Adesewa said shaking her head.
Adeola slowly looked at her “you will not allow it? Who do you think you are that you feel you can go against my decisions, be careful or you might as well join the chiefs in the prison.” Adeola warned.
“You locked your chiefs up?” Adesewa couldn’t believe what she just heard.
Adeola stood up “I have to get ready for my wedding I don’t want to keep my bride and the chief priest waiting.”
Adesewa knew she was being dismissed she stood up, bowed and left. She didn’t understand Adeola’s new attitude but she feared it.