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Jewish king Solomon is one of the two wealthiest and most powerful kings on earth. Malian emperor Musa is the other. Each possesses the key to unlock the greatest treasure in the world. Both want it so bad. Rivalry, jealousy and hatred fills them. The risks involved in the journey to Hades is ignored.

Fantasy / Adventure
Age Rating:

Chapter 1


The Royal and the Bell

Sounds of music filled the air that thirteenth day of month five. The capital thronged with its inhabitants and visitors from the Turkish city of Kaya.

The Kayans had travelled over three thousand miles in seventeen days for the wedding ceremony of Isabelle, daughter of the Kanyan premier, to King Solomon. The Kanyan premier was represented by his eldest son, Jakum, to hand over the bride to the wise king. He had just reclaimed his throne with the help of Solomon’s soldiers. The absence of the king for a day was enough for another rebellion.

Solomon had the habit of taking for wives, daughters of lesser kings he had helped one way or the other. Some viewed this as a bad habit, but not him. He was quite generous. He had sent corn grains, precious stones and cotton to regions and states that were in dire need. He had a military unit called the Izra which was always battle ready to quench rebels in other states. At its peak, the Izra was made up of three thousand well-trained, blood-seeking soldiers, almost as much as the army of the other regions combined.

Isabelle was Jakum’s twin. They were the only surviving children of King Moak. A rebellious militia led by Mika, Moak’s cousin, had invaded the palace, killing his wife and two other children. The three were away deer hunting at the time. Isabelle stood at nearly six feet. She had the bluest of eyes and her lips were redder than the rose she was holding. She had a perfect charm and smile that could melt the heart of any man, monks included.

“Welcome to the grand holy solemnization,” a fat white robbed priest who was officiating, shouted at the top of his voice. He was standing at the front of the palace hall, holding the hands of King Solomon and his bride. After a long and boring sermon that had made many fall in and out of sleep, he wore the couple necklaces with silver pendants which symbolized the wedding vows.

Jakum moved forward and kissed his sister on the cheek. “Good bye my darling sister, you are now a woman,” he whispered. She smiled, as some not so visible tears rolled down from her eyes.

Solomon raised her hands, triggering chants from the jubilating crowd. He was dressed in a brown robe made of lion’s skin and laced with silver and gold. His crown, almost entirely made of gold with aluminum lining at the base, glittered as bright as the stars. His almost gigantic stature was kingly. His hands were so big that one could confuse his new wife’s for a child’s, seeing they (hands) were completely covered as he held her for a dance. “I barely even know you,” he said with a wink. “Same here,” replied Isabelle. “But if stories of you are true, then I must be a very lucky woman.”

The sun set, gradually giving way for the moon. There had been dancing, singing and merriment all day. This was not new because the capital had seen many wedding ceremonies over the years. In a certain year, Solomon married twenty three women.

The palace hall had sculptures of the kings and rulers Solomon and his father had defeated. Solomon carried Isabelle on Octavia, his black royal flying horse and pulling the brown leather rein, they exited the hall on the giant creature. Everyone bowed down on both sides as they moved through the center. He pointed at the sculpture of Mika. “That is why you are here” he said. She replied in the affirmative by nodding her head. Octavia spread out its wide wings and made way into the semi-dark skies.

Breakout from Camp Gol

Gol was an island over two hundred miles east of the capital. It was across the Alban River and was barely a hundred hectares in area. It had just one institution in it - Camp Gol. Camp Gol was a prison for the most notorious and condemned criminals in Israel and its environs.

It was divided into two sections. There was an underground section that contained Pheejes which were controlled by seven sorcerers and another which was for human prisoners. It had seventeen cells built and designed for only 17 inmates at a time. If one prisoner died, he was replaced with another from a lower prison. If a criminal was sentenced to Camp Gol, the inmate that had stayed the longest was killed and thrown underground to the Pheejes. The balance was always attained.

A wooden canoe with four men sailed on the Alban River that sunny day. Two hefty men paddled on either side while two others sat in the middle. The older man among them held a map on one hand and a pipe on the other, while the youngest stared at the different species of aquatic lives diving in and out of the river. “How much longer, father?” the youngest man asked. “A few hours,” replied the older man. “We will get there before the day gets dark.”

They continued the journey towards the island, just as the sun was losing its brightness. The two paddlers stopped at the command of the old man. He looked at the map. “Bring out the weapons. Some guards should be stationed close by.”

The men removed a black tarpaulin at the edge of the canoe to the sight of bows, arrows and swords. Each man quickly fixed an arrow to his bow and took attacking positions.

A big patrol boat sailed towards them. The boat had gotten fifty yards to them when one of the guards inside shouted, “Intruders, intruders!” The four men shot their arrows immediately at the guards. Two of the three men were struck on their chests. The last man appeared to have been awoken by the noise. Seeing his colleagues lying dead on the boat floor, he quickly jumped behind some metal tanks to take cover from the flying arrows. He looked up and saw a black opal bottle inside a basket hanging just above his head.

Black opal was a chemical weapon that had recently been developed. The damage it could do was better seen with the eyes than mere hear-say. He stretched his hand and grabbed the basket. Then, he peeped through a small space in between the tanks and noticed that the boat was quite close to him as arrows continued coming. He stood up facing the canoe and attempted to throw the black opal bottle at them. He was riddled with arrows all over. The boat exploded seconds after the bottle dropped from his hand.

“Bloody black opal,” the old man said in disgust. “We are a few meters away.” He pointed his finger to the left at the magnificent building of the prison. “Homecoming for you, I guess,” the younger man said to him. “Certainly!” was his reply, with a smile on his white bearded face.

The old man was Augusta, a former warrior and one of the builders of Camp Gol. He served as the deputy warden for fifteen years but was dismissed when his brother Luis was executed by King Solomon for treason. Luis was no supporter of Solomon’s involvement in the military affairs of other regions. He had formed a small pressure group with other philosophers. They were executed publicly and their family members relieved of their various positions without severance.

A few weeks back, Augusta had received a letter from an anonymous sender. The content of the letter was simple and straightforward, “Recover inmate from room and deliver to the salt desert immediately.” The letter was bagged along with fifty gold coins, a key and a map. The map was the direction to the prison. He embarked on the break out mission with his only son Josef and his nephews - Prike and Matthaus. They were sons of Luis.

“We are leaving the boat here,” Augusta informed his crew. “We are to swim. Take all the weapons you can carry. Let’s do this!” They put some small knives, bow and arrows in bags tied to their waists, jumped into the river and swam towards the prison. Augusta was in front, followed by Josef, then Matthaus and Prike.

Camp Gol had a single entrance, one way in and one way out. The twelve feet gate was made of thick brass. Heavily armed men guarded the gate at all times. Prike brought out his head from the water and sighted a watch post at the extreme left of the gate. There was no one inside. The post was wooden and built from the bottom of the river up to twenty feet above water level. He signaled the others to raise their heads and pointed towards it. “I will go over there and cover you guys,” he suggested. “They would not know what hit them. Bastards! ”

Prike swam to the post while the others made their way to the gate. He reached it and climbed, using the attached ladder behind. Removing the bag from his waist, he set up the weapons. A boat was sailing a few meters from his position. He hadn’t seenit but he saw water ripples and heard and men laughing from a distance. It was another patrol boat with four men in it, two were paddlers. He looked at Augusta, Josef and Matthaus in order to ascertain their distance from the gate. They were less than a hundred yards out. Confusion set in and his eyes became as red as blood. He knew he had to get rid of the men in the boat before his crew got to the gate. He also had to do it as silently as possible to prevent the gate guards from knowing.

Quickly, he fixed an arrow on his bow, aimed and shot one of the men that wasn’t paddling. He was on the back edge of the boat so he fell into the river immediately. The two paddlers stopped immediately the other man yelled, “Up there!” while pointing to Prike. He was about to say something when an arrow went through his mouth and pierced the back of his neck. One of the paddlers picked up a metal shield and instructed the other to get behind him as he used it to block incoming arrows from Prike’s bow. Prike continued shooting arrows until the shield fell from the paddler’s hands. The force from the arrows had overcome his grip on the shield. Two quick shots and the two men were dead.

Prike’s men were almost at the gate. He knew this from the gold chain on his brother’s neck that shone through the river. It was now time to distract the gate guards so Augusta, Josef and Matthaus could enter the prison. He took a deep breath and wiped his eyes with his right hand. He set up three arrows to his other bow. He had designed the bow himself a long time ago. He took the shot towards the gate guards. One hit one guard on the head and another on the chest. The last arrow was a miss. “Damn!” he shouted in disappointment and shook his head.

Augusta, Josef and Matthaus realized the confusion and chaos among the guards. It was time to make their move. Prike and some of the prison guards exchanged arrow shots while some moved towards the post with swords. Augusta set up his bow and took some arrow shots at the guards, just as Josef and Matthaus ran to the gate with knives in their hands.

There were only four guards left when Josef and Matthaus got to the gate. Unfortunately for Augusta and his men, he ran out of arrows. Two guards ran towards Josef while the other two ran towards Matthaus. One of the guards threw a short knife at Josef’s head which he dodged by leaning back. The other guard picked up a sword and tried to strike him. He defended himself and blocked the strike with a knife. The knife fell from his hand. He saw a metal shield and tried to reach it as he ran away from the sword carrying guard. The guard followed him. Josef was still on the floor. The guard lifted the sword but Josef raised the shield. He used the shield to hit the sword and it fell from the guard’s hand. He kicked the guard on the stomach and as he fell on his back, he used the shield to smash his head. The other guard started running towards Josef but swiftly, he picked up the sword and struck it through his heart.

Matthaus was still battling with the other guards. He was way better with bows and arrows than he was in a knife or sword fight. One of the guards swung his sword towards him. It resulted in a cut on his stomach. He yelled in pain, angrily kicked the sword from the guard’s hand and kicked him until he fell. He noticed the other guard running towards him, so he dragged the fallen guard from the floor and threw him towards the other. Both fell on the ground and an incoming Josef put a knife, through each of their chests.

Prike continued to take arrow shots at incoming guards making their way to the post. He eventually ran out of arrows. Tears fell from his left eye as he saw five armed guards climbing up the post. His right eye was next. Josef, Matthaus and Augusta all watched helplessly as the guards approached Prike. Matthaus tried to run to rescue his brother but he was restrained by Augusta. “There is nothing we can do son,” he said in an effort to console the boy.

Josef, Matthaus and Augusta entered the prison with some weapons they had picked up. They heard loud roars and incantations. The roars were from the mouths of the Pheejes. The sorcerers were present to control and tame them. “The human prison is upstairs” Augusta said. “Let us take the stairs!” They climbed the thirty-six steps which led to a hall way with cells. Each cell had one inmate in it. “How the hell do we know which one he is in?” asked Josef. Augusta replied, “We try them all.”

The guards that had killed Prike had entered the prison. Their running footsteps on the stairs were loud enough. Matthaus and Josef drew out swords, while Josef kept on trying the keys on the padlocks. He eventually opened one of the gates after several tries. Inside was a man dressed in a blue cotton robe. He had no hair and he looked about thirty years old.

The guards got to the hallway. “Get them!” one of them shouted and they all ran towards Josef, Matthaus, Augusta and the inmate. Again, they heard the same roars and incantations they had heard minutes earlier. But this time, it was close by. “Behind you!” Josef yelled and pointed. The guards stopped and looked back. It was a Pheeje and a sorcerer.

The Pheeje was a black monster that stood just a little less than eight feet. It had big and sharp teeth that showed when it roared. The claws on its four limbs were equally sharp. Three horns were on its head and its relatively long tail wagged vigorously whenever it moved and roared. The guards involuntarily dropped their weapons, fear caused it. The sorcerer continued the incantations standing just behind the Pheeje. In a few seconds, it had gotten to the guards and tore their flesh apart. It looked at its next set of prey with its dark red eyes. It ran towards Josef, Matthaus, Augusta and the inmate but stopped all of a sudden. Blood gushed out of its mouth and chest. It looked back before falling down. It was the sorcerer. He had stabbed himself on his chest with a knife to kill himself and the Pheeje.

“We have to go now,” Augusta told the others. “They could be more of these monsters here.” “Yeah we have but not without his body. At least, he deserves to be buried properly,” Matthaus said. He retrieved Prike’s body from the post. They boarded one of the guard boats and set sail. Although they had succeeded, Prike’s death made it look like they lost.

Behind Closed Doors

Thunder storms and lightning defined the night with their noise. It was raining, but not as heavy as the lightning and thunder made it seem. Rain drops had made the window opaque. Inside the room were candles hanging in all four corners, surrounding a wide bed at the center. The woman cried mildly without tears. Actually, she was moaning. She was on top of a man, riding him as fast as a horse racer would do on his horse. It was Solomon and Isabelle. She was on top of her voice while Solomon kept mute. She kept riding him as he fondled her butt continuously, dropping kisses on her neck. He pulled her face closer to his and kissed her passionately. It was quite a long kiss.

Isabelle stood up and watched her husband lay on the bed. “What more do you want my king?” she asked. He replied, “I will let you take charge.” She grabbed his erect penis that was about eight inches long, thrusting it back and forth. He eventually moaned a little. Feeling a bit shy or perhaps displaying his royal manly ego, he held back and stopped. She put the penis next in her mouth. She sucked it gently at first, then increased the velocity.

He leaned forward and grabbed her by the hair. Different thoughts started to flow through his head. However, the pleasure and ecstasy he was getting made him worry less. He wondered how his wife was so adventurous in bed. He could have sworn she was a prostitute, but days earlier he had watched her in pain when her broken hymen stained the white expensive royal sheets.

He removed his penis from her mouth. He pushed her on the bed and slid into her wet, hairless vagina. He hit her hard and fast, his face showing his excitement. She wiggled on the bed wishing the moment would last forever. It didn’t. In minutes he ejaculated inside her. They both lay on the bed smiling and reminiscing about the last hour. It was going on fine until a knock on the door and an accompanying voice came through, “Master! It is time.”

Desert Storms

A thin line of estuarine water bordered the eastern edge of the Alban River and the desert. Hence, it was called Salt Desert. The desert was not very big, but it was filled with shallow pools of aquifer and dark green shrubs. The shrubs were most likely tasteless or inedible with the unavailability of even the least member of the animal food chain. The sand was red and hard. It was obvious it had been ages the grounds were touched by rain. The closest hamlets were tens of miles away. People rarely came here. They only did to scoop out salt deposits that were only present during the last two months of each year.

However, that day was different. There were four people in the desert, with some others on the way. Josef, Matthaus, Augusta and the man they came out from Camp Gol with, had arrived at the inmate’s delivery point as instructed in the letter. Matthaus had just buried his brother and was offering prayers to one of the several Jewish gods.

“I guess we wait for whoever is coming to pick your pathetic ass,” Augusta said sarcastically in reference to the man. “What the hell are you even worth? We bloody lost a man to get you.”

The man who had not uttered a word since his break out starred at the three and shook his head. He finally spoke, “No matter how much they offered you wouldn’t have taken the job, my dear friend. A sorcerer and a Pheeje died for this course. I don’t know what this is all about, but my guess is that you three are not leaving this desert alive.”

He had barely finished talking when Matthaus put a knife on his neck. “Watch your tongue, little man. I am in pains,” he said. The man raised up his hands in plea. “I am sorry for your loss. I know how it is to lose a brother. A while back I and my twin brother were kidnapped. One of the captors said we belonged to a line called the finder or something like that.” Augusta interrupted, “Did you say finder?” “Yes, finder. We were kept in separate cells. I managed to escape but I was recaptured by the king’s guards. They said I have the finder’s symbol on my chest. I ended up in the Gol until you came.

“Let’s see the mark,” Josef said. The man removed the robe and pointed to the tiny mark on the right side of his chest. “This is it,” he said. “It is real,” Augusta said in amazement.

“Yes it is Augusta,” a voice from behind commented. It was king Solomon and two soldiers. Augusta spat on the ground in a bid to mock and disrespect the king. “I should have known it was you. Murderous king!” “Bring out your swords,” he told Josef and Matthaus.

“There wouldn’t be any need for that, Augusta,” Solomon said with a wink. He moved his hands in a certain way and made a ball of fire from them. The fire ball grew bigger as the sound it made became louder. He directed them to Josef, Augusta and Matthaus. In seconds, they were roasted. He moved closer to the man who was trembling in fear and said, “I am looking for something and only you can help me find it.”

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