Vice & Virtue: Noa

Chapter 9

The incessant beating of the drums, the annoying sounds of merriment, it gnaws at my soul to know that he’s so close. Ramonda planned to have him disposed of while he slept, but he left in a hurry. Noa had done something to displease him, and their plans to stay were altered.

I hope that she hasn’t become attached to him, her mother is in league with Ramonda, and I hope that for her sake, that she remains ignorant of their plans. He’s not a merciful ruler, and if found out, all involved will pay. Warning us to remain hidden until he left, I ventured out wanting to see Noa, and glimpsed my enemy. I can wait no longer, it is now time to take back what was mine.

Leaving my sister and mother, I’ve ventured out on foot. I can be pigheaded and proud at times, and this is a time that I wish that I would have asked for assistance. It’s daybreak and nearly frozen, I’ve made it to a small farm just outside of the Jabari territory. Weary, and hungry, I just want to rest...

“Are you all right, sir? A young boy of about twelve greets me.

Upon closer inspection, he backs away, eyes round as saucers.

“Ma-ma...! He yells hurrying into the house.

A large man, not nearly as big as the Jabari, but still of gigantic proportions comes out, watching me from a distance.

“You’re supposed to be dead.” He says.

“I feel like I am.”

“Mekumeku.”

“Da?” Answers the boy.

“Take the fallen King to your room to rest.”

Waking, i’d slept on into the next day, and venturing out the family that gave me sanctuary are having their mid-day meal.

“Join us.” Offers the woman.

“I need to be going as soon as possible, I thank you for your hospitality...”

“The reclaiming of your throne can wait, you don’t look fit enough to take it back anyways.” Says, the man.

He’s right, but I will be soon enough, I just need the heart of Wakanda.

“But we will not hold you here, my son will take you into the city.” He adds.

“Meku, show the King to the bath, if you leave within the hour, you’ll make it back by dusk.” Says, the mother.

“Thank you, for your kindness.”

The boy left me hours ago, and keeping my head lowered I manage to barter meal and board in exchange for work as a messenger. Some of our people refuse to accept our technological advancements, and like the Jabari, keep with the old ways.

Noa’s people keep with the traditions, and delivering a message to a neighbor, I call on her.

A domestic worker announcing my visit, she greets me, ushering me into her parlor.

“Here.” She says, not at all surprised by my visit.

“What’s this?” I ask, accepting the small box.

“What you came here for, didn’t Ramonda...”

Eyeing me through narrowed eyes, she takes my hand in hers. Her eyes close and open just as quickly.

“Gah! Are you mad, what if someone saw you?” She states, releasing me.

“Only a farmer and his family, but they won’t say anything.”

Opening the box, it’s what i’ve been waiting for, but wasn’t sure of how I would get it.

“How did you get this?”

“My daughter’s to marry the King, I have access to the palace now.”

It’s the Heart of Wakanda, the heart shaped plant. “It needs to be prepared...”

“Here.” She says, pouring me a glass of water.

“Plant, water, swallow, and in that order. I don’t know who you think I am...”

Another reason why I waited so long to make Noa my wife. Like mother, like daughter...

Consuming the bitter, metallic herb, it’s terrible... The water does nothing to dilute the vile flavor.

Lying back on the settee, she leaves me as the vision takes over.

I was expecting my father, but it was my mother. N’Yami, clad in a flowing black gown, her locs hanging past her waist, an ethereal glow about her.

“Ma-ma...”

To see her, to hold her in my arms...

“My son, i’m so proud of you.”

“I’ve let father down... I’ve let you down.”

“No, this is a learning experience, take it as such. Your enemy is family, show him love, teach him another way.”

“It will be difficult, he’s blinded by power.”

“Nothing in the world is worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… It is your duty to show him the way.” ( -Quote by Theodore Roosevelt )

“For you, ma-ma.”

The smile she bestows upon me warms my heart. I can feel the pull from within, summoning me back to the earthly plane.

“It is time to say goodbye my son.”

I feel better about the situation, free from anger, and remorse.

“Ma-ma what do you think of Noa, have I made the right choice?”

“I like Nakia better.” She says, smiling before completely disappearing.

I’m back in the world of the living, and sitting straight up, I try to catch my breath. Breathing deeply, Dacia re-enters the room coming to my side.

“So, how do you feel?”

“Rejuvenated”. I reply, my strength returning.

Inhaling deeply my senses are amplified. “It’s time.” I add.

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