read part one here: http://www.naijastories.com/2019/05/the-chronicles-of-koruga/
But, this news of my father meant little to me. As far as I was concerned, he was a distant memory I knew nothing about. As I mused and ate, a flurry of commotion broke out in the lunch and she walked in. Everyone was afraid of her and as far as we korugians were concerned, she was was a taboo. The Vitainians coincidentally hated her more since they felt she was an aberration, a freak of nature, someone that should not have been born. She sat down next to me as most of our school mates looked away, she muttered: “gboka, you skipped mass again”. I answered, “Shalewa, leave me alone”. This is Omoshalewa, a half breed daughter of a Vitainian Woman and a Korugian Man. She didn’t know who her mother was but, her father, a Korugian low-level civil worker in the ministry of integration had never abandoned her.
Their family of two moved next to our house when I was 3 and she was four. We have been “Friends” since then. Shalewa did not like to talk much and neither did I, most of our friendships have been based on quiet reading sessions with me reading my father’s tomes and shalewa eating fruits quietly. She loved apples and had said once or twice that she didn’t mind eating only those for the rest of her life. Shalewa had always been scorned since grade school for being an “Onidaji” – A halfie. She was rumored to be as strong as ten korugian men, could fly, drank blood and worshipped Grandan, the vitanian dark god of sin. But, as far as I knew, shalewa had not vitanian natural strength, speed, or extremity. I was aware that she worshipped apples as a deity but, she was as normal as normal goes, save her mind. Shalewa was the only child around who could keep up with me mentally – when she wanted to.
I was indecipherable to my peers – as a result… alone, shalewa was scorned and as a result, I was her only friend as she was mine. We finished eating and she stood up abruptly as was her nature and told me “See you at 2.30 in the afternoon”. She walked to class five while I proceed to class four.
Our Teacher for the second period was the professor of Xaxwekian Studies which was a required study for all korugian children. He started the class by telling us that the shibboleth of absolution for the school was today, the shibboleth being a test by Vitania measuring god know what. All children took this test every year and sometimes some children usually one in a million who failed were sent to the vitainian commission. These children would usually return and then their whole families would be transferred to the Vitainian Capital on the other side of the planet. Failure of the Shibboleth was seen as a fortune and most Korugian children hope they would be the ones to “Fail” This year.
At the end of the second period, the principal made an announcement through the P.A system that all students were to assemble at the Xaxwekian Temple in the school. I hated doing this but, I had no choice so I trudged along with my classmates looking out for Shalewa as I walked to the temple. She later came in unceremoniously and stood next to me. Everyone else did not find it strange that a year five students chose to stand amongst the fourth-year class. We were two weirdoes no one understood or wanted to engage with anyway. Our principal floated in with his assistant floating behind him. He walked to the Shrine of Xaxwek in the hall and lifted the stone of absolution in its center. The stone weighed as much as 150 tons, only a Vitainian was capable of lifting it anyways. The Vitainian staff all filed to the front of the hall as he set it down off the shrine. He announced with a deafening voice that we were to start.
The Shibboleth only consisted of all students touching the humongous stone one by one. The stone would flash a variety of colours depending on whom touched it. For the students, who failed, it would either display white or purple while for the students who passed it would display green, blue or red. All the students hoped to fail, to move to the Vitainian capital, and live the rest of their lives in opulence. Me? I wanted the opposite. Shalewa’s face was indecipherable as usual and we had never discussed what she wanted or thought of the shibboleth itself.
As we were about to start the shibboleth, a Vitainian grand ship sailed above the school and came to a stop. It was a golden ship of grand design we had seen many times. These were the ships used by the Grand Order of Vitainian Priests of Xaxwek. They were a secretive sect of Xaxwekian Worshippers who were known to spill blood, silence dissenters, and decimate entire populations. Getting a fail was not enough to get their notice, but they supervised all shibboleths from afar.
(SWITCHING TO 3RD PERSON VIEW, APOLOGIES, I REALIZED I WRITE BETTER IN 3rd PERSON)
The Golden Ship with many ancient Vitainian symbols came to a stop over the Adolescent Centre. The Students were unsurprised as they had seen this same ship several times from afar. They were quite aware of its passengers and knew to be on their best behavior. The Student started walking towards the Stone of Absolution one by one touching it. Xmith Savid, the principal was floating very close to the stone while observing intently. The students all touched it as was the norm and it was unceremoniously Gboka’s turn. He had done this test many times and he felt there was nothing special about this particular time. It was Shalewa’s turn before him and the stone displayed a yellow light when she touched it. Gboka noticed several of the Vitainian staff smirking with the Mr. Savid directly mouthing “trash”. Her face remained straight as always and she shuffled to the side.
Gboka felt anger but, he pushed his anger down immediately. He touched the stone as he prepared to join Shalewa on the side. As he touched it, the stone all of a sudden started to rumbled and sucked his hand in. At first, he lazily tried to remove his hand but the stone would not let go. A white light shot out of the stone into his head and the world exploded into a myriad of colours for him alone. Without notice, there was a huge rumbling that could be felt even in the golden ship in the sky, the stone of absolution split into two and both sides collapsed with a noisy “KRAAAAAAAAAAk!!”. Gboka jerked his hand away from the stone as his eyes cleared up and he looked around. The entire hall was quiet with Mr. Savid frowning heavily. No one clearly knew what to do or what to say. Suddenly, a figure descended upon the ground wearing white robes and a gold mask. When the dust settled, Gboka noticed it was a young woman lightly holding another stone of absolution and starring him intently. She spoke authoritatively and said “That stone of absolution was faulty”, “you will retake the test”. When Gboka looked around, all the Vitainian were kneeling facing the ground, while all the Korugians were lying down face down. The Golden ship creaked noisily and several figures numbering eight flew out of the ship and descended on the ground to surround Gboka. He realized then, that something had changed in his vision. He could see these glowing lights everywhere, they were emanating in constant streams from the Korugians but, they avoided the Vitainians.
To be continued…