Last Days Of Queen Amina – by Davi’O R. Seki (Chapter 1)

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Tanko responded with a smile first and then turning to his friend, he said,
“No need to pay back.”
Then he looked away from Auta and turned his attention at the Idah girls in front of him. Their faces showed great fear, because they did not know what would be done with them. But Tanko was not moved to pity them. He had never taken a life and perhaps never would. He was just the Queen’s company who stayed at a distance watching the battle. So was Auta. They weren’t men of the sword. They were important, but not men made for war. Auta was searching too.
Moments later, Tanko found one girl with a thin figure, but with prominent hips which was obvious even as she sat on the ground. She had tribal marks on both of her cheeks. She was beautiful altogether and Tanko liked what she saw. He usually went for the thin ones. Auta, however, had no preferences. He could choose from the rather heavy ones over the thin ones, or from the rather thin ones over the heavy ones or something in-between. He was a man of many tastes. But he wanted his friend to pick a bride first, as usual — Auta was a few months older than him.
“Auta… Have you found a new bride, yet?” Tanko asked.
Auta heaved a sigh and said,
“Why so many of them? Choosing from amongst them is more difficult than fighting a war… It is a bone of contention in my head!”
“A man of your calibre can pick more than one, you remember that?”
“I see picking one as a task… You suggest I pick more… I would pick all of them, were I King over Zauzzau people, but I do not have enough wealth to manage such a big house.”
“King…”, Tanko said softly to himself, then he continued,
“… if I were a king, my throne would be like a very large bed. I would have a whole of a time resting, eating and commanding…”
He said this while smiling to himself like he was already a king in his thoughts.
“Don’t have a one track mind on the regal seat. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, my father always said, be happy with who you are. Even kings have aching spots”, Auta reminded Tanko while scouring through the bevy of Idah women with his eyes.
“There! That one!” Auta pointed at one just next to the woman Tanko had his eyes on.
“What, which one!?” Tanko asked, to be sure Auta wasn’t pointing at his interest. He was curious.
Auta commanded a male servant into the bevy, to the location he had pointed. One by one the servant touched the shoulders of three women, including Tanko’s choice, but Auta shook his head at all three and just when he touched the fourth, Auta nodded and gave a smile of satisfaction. Tanko felt relieved. Then the young woman was brought to Auta, who looked at her as she was made to bow to him.
“What do you think of her, Tanko?” He asked
“She is beautiful… You have picked well”, Tanko replied.
Indeed he had picked well. She was a young woman with an hourglass body shape, oval face and thin lips. Her face had tribal marks which were three deep horizontal cuts on each side of the face, but she didn’t look anything close to ugly. Her skin colour was like that of brown clay and she was of average size. From Tanko’s guess, she could have been around seventeen or eighteen years of age. Then Auta commanded his servants to have her prepared for the wedding. They obeyed his instructions and took her away.

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