PROLOGUE ~•~ GEMINAE DEOS
He felt the water from the ocean, washing up the sand against his feet. He watched the stars align in the middle of the sky. It was a moment of magic, he thought. This was an event that would happen only once in his lifetime, he had to enjoy it.
He looked at the ocean and he maintained his gaze, not caring how long he would have to stand there, he was determined to wait for their arrival.
According to the stories, they only revealed themselves on the night when the moon and stars stood at the center of the sky in a straight line. It was an impossible story to believe, and yet they told it to the children at moonlight story times. Shaka wanted to see.
Loud footsteps approached him from behind, someone had found him.
"My king! I looked everywhere for you! you are needed in the palace!" The stalker said with an overwhelming zeal.
He turned around to be sure of who it was.
"Akin! Of course it is you. I was sure no one else would find me, given how far away we are from the palace."
"Yes my king," Akin replied
"You can drop the formalities now, Akin. We are far enough."
"If that is fine with you, Shaka".
"Do not worry, brother, it is fine. Shaka! When last was the last time that I was called by my own name? It is always my king or your Highness".
"I cannot imagine what it is like. Does it make you sad?" Akin asked.
Every now and then, Akin wondered what it was like to be king. Being so close to the title always made him wonder, what could have been if he were to be chosen, although that was impossible.
He maintained his gaze on Shaka waiting to get an answer from him, but Shaka was closely focused on the wind and the ocean tides before him.
"Are you waiting for their arrival? The twin gods." Akin asked again. "Do you believe the stories?"
There was a calm air between them as neither of them said anything. They just listened as the sounds of the ocean waves whistled in their ear.
"They were once called whales," Shaka said suddenly.
"So he talks," Akin whispered, not loud enough for Shaka to hear.
"They are Gods of the ocean and the waters. Many years ago, they lived hiding in their own territories, afraid of the threat that humanity posed against them. Now they do as they please and grow as they wish," Shaka said. "We shall watch them from here tonight. We shall watch how the dance a and celebrate beneath the stars."
He took in a deep breath and held it in for some seconds before he let it out. Akin watched as he did the same over and over again. There was a spec of admiration in his gaze. He admired his calmness and eagerness to do the things that he loved doing, it was the reason why he had many supporters in the council.
The winds got stronger and the clouds gathered in the sky. The sound of the air became louder, the whether had changed so quickly. Shaka could not hold in his excitement. They had arrived, it had to be. The tides rise and fell continuously, the waves grew larger with each passing minute. Akin
"Brace yourself, they are here!" Shaka said.
The clouds grew thick covering the light from the moon and the stars, they were left in total darkness. Akin clenched his fists, his heart began to race he was scared, but he didn't want his brother, his king to notice. Shaka stood still and folded his arms. His demeanor alone was enough motivation for Akin to stay calm.
The waves grew bigger, the water moved like it wanted to feed on everything in its path.
From the depths of the ocean it rose. It was so high, it wanted to split the clouds. The flukes extended far wide like they seek the edge of the world. The calls of the whales could be heard as far and wide.
"Incredible!" Akin said on top of his voice.
The whale lowered its tail changing the speed and direction of the wind. It almost seemed like it was summoning destruction with its movement
"Any minute now," Shaka said followed by a huge laughter.
And like that, the twin gods revealed themselves. They jumped out of the ocean, while facing each other as the reached for the sky. They looked big enough to take a bite out of the moon. The world was at their feet.
"Brace yourself, Akin!"
Akin did not understand their current situation at first,but then he saw the twin gods descend and he knew that their lives were in danger.
"Run!" Shaka said as he turned tail and ran just as life depended. Akin hesitated at first, but then he ran as fast as he could.
They ran untill they were clear of the danger before they stopped to catch their breath, by then they were already deep in the forest.
"That was amazing brother," Akin said. "Who knew you did things like this," he stopped and tried to maintain his breath.
"Are you saying I can't run?" Shaka replied.
"No, I just thought you weren't interested in leaving the palace," Akin replied. "You always stay in your chambers doing things no one can tell".
Shaka narrowed his eyes and glared at him. Whenever he did that he looked like he was marking an imaginary prey.
"Come with me, Akin," he looked away and walked deeper into the forest.
"Should we not be going back to the palace, brother?" Akin asked. "Sister Amina would be looking for our heads". He was debating with himself if he should go with Shaka or not.
"You can go back to the palace if you want. But I think we both know what will happen if you go back alone."
Akin didn't want to think about it, so he decided to follow shaka to wherever he was going.
"Where are we headed? It is too dark to tell the way," Akin said
"Be patient, we are almost there."
The forest was thick and filled with many different trees. The palm trees especially, were so tall no human could see the top from the ground. The insects crept around as the carried out their nightly activities and then fireflies gathered to light up a path.
Akin could not hide his astonishment. He wondered if Shaka had seen this before
Shaka, who had seen this too many times, followed the path very calmly. It led them to a very big iroko tree. The tree was about a hundred meters long and there was a field around it that separated it from the other parts of the forest.
Shaka stopped for a bit, he noticed Akin standing behind him. "What are you doing there?" He asked "Let's go!"
Akin felt his excitement in his legs and could barely move. He wondered what was about the tree that made it so special, he didn't need to be a seer to tell that it wasn't normal.
On getting closer to the tree, they noticed a flight of stairs beside it, Shaka quickly began climbing and Akin followed immediately. At the top of the stairs was a dark wooden house. Akin didn't know if he wanted to keep going, but he had no choice. He was not going to find himself back at the palace by himself.
"What is this place?" He asked. "I have never seen a hut built like this one"
"It looks quite primitive," Shaka said.
"Yes it does," Akin replied.
"This was built by the ancestors. Wait till you can see the inside."
They walked into the terrifyingly dark house and Shaka hit the wall beside him and yellow lights brightened the house.
"What is all this?" Akin asked as while looking around the house.
"These are light bulbs," Shaka replied. "Centuries ago they were used as sources of light, and as you can see this tree house was used to store ancient texts that carries the knowledge of the ancestors. The problem is that only a few of them are written in a language that we can read."
Akin had a hard time processing all of it, he had so many questions but he felt it was best to remain silent. He looked around the house and observed every detail of it, from the ceiling to the creaking sounds of the floors.
"This way, we shall spend the night here".
Akin complied without any complaint. He was tired and he assumed Shaka was tired as well, so they both laid down in a corner of the house to rest
"Whales, you called them," Akin said.
"Yes," Shaka replied. "This is where I read about them," he added.
"Go to sleep. We would have a lot of work to do, explaining to sister Amina why she shouldn't kill us". Shaka said.
They both laughed at the very possible joke. Shaka had a long road in front of him.