The morning light dawns too early for the king for he is still exhausted from the after party he had with the young girls who lay in his bed. His servant Tambaoga stands at the door bowing down while holding a robe for the king. He has no option but to feel jealous of the king as he too is still young and hasn felt the warmth of a woman, yet the king walks up surrounded by half a dozen of young girls.
”Morning Changamire ” he greets the king without the courage to face him in his jealous rage. The king knows how the young man feels, but he cares not for he is feeling superior to all. He punishes the young man by waking up the girls in his bed who are either naked or half naked and chases them out of his room. Tambaoga has no option but to welcome this act of belittling.
”Bring me my robe ” he commands while smirking. The boy rushes to his side holding the cow softened hide. Using special magic technics, the cow hide is softened so much that it almost resembles foreign wool material.
”What order of business do I have today boy ” he asks while getting off his bed filled with blankets made of different kinds of fur. Tambaoga despite him being a servant boy he knows most of the issues and appointments made for the king.
”The council men, elders and heads of departments are waiting for you my king to discuss matters of the nation ” he replies while slowly backing away from the king.
Changamire Sheunopa with a lazy bored look makes a remark in a low voice while staring in a distant ”oh the hour of my rule starts ”. With his robe on, he heads out of his room into a low-lit corridor.
The corridor walls are decorated by animal skins and beast heads symbolizing the great trophies each king had in their time of rule. These trophies are all over the palace. The corridor slightly seems as if its going upward stating the kings chambers are slightly below ground, but this was not the case.
The palace is about hundred meters tall and has four level above ground. The first level is the common area where you find places like the kitchen area or the areas the servants gathered. The second level is where you find rest chambers of the royal family mainly rooms of the king and his first three wives. The third layer where the main doors of the palace are, this is where the king sits and rules his kingdom from. And the fourth layer is where the royal members congregate, have dinner, lunches and hold small family meetings.
So, the king makes his way from the back of the second level to the third level, behind Tambaoga followed obediently, always feeling insignificant. They finally reach the main chambers of the third layer.
The kings chair is directly opposite the main doors, a good four to five hundred meters apart. They are two small stairs supporting the chair making sure the king was above all others. In a straight line on both sides right and left are benches made of stone running along at least fifty meters from where the king sits. They have different animal skins on them to beautify their plain look. Recently after adopting other nations designs they added back rests to the benches.
The chambers are not decorated fancy nor are they designed in a fancy way. The design is simple. It takes the same oval shape the building has. All the way round they are paintings of previous kings with their weapons places directly under the painting frames. The room almost looks practically empty with an exception of the middle section which is narrow, a sitting area of the king and his council members.
Immediately as the king is walking towards his chair all members sitting on the benches stand in respect. The chief elder Madyiwa Wongai represents everyone and greets the king ”Mamuka sei Changamire [Good morning king] ”.
”Let us get this over and done with council members ” the king still showing signs of restlessness he gives a small wave in reply as he sits down.
”Yes, my king ” the chief elder replies as everyone takes a sit. ”Gathered here are your council members & various department leaders, I know you a familiar with the set up and know the reason for this gathering. ”
The king gives the elder a sharp eye as he makes a remark of detest ”Elder Wongai, don fool around skip the formalities you know very well I am not new to council meets, get on with it ”
It is true Changamire Sheunopa has always accompanied his late father to meetings after he turn eighteen.
”My apologies Changamire ” he bows his head as he directs his hand to Mukuru Sakurema ”you will start Mukuru ”.
On sitting arrangement Elder Wongai sits on the right-hand side of the king since amongst all, he was regarded as the chairperson of the council meetings despite him having always rejected the position. Opposite him was Mukuru Sakurema sitting on the left-hand side of the king.
Mukuru Sakurema the head of all Royal guards, he is a man of strictness and honor. In the whole room he is the second largest person but certainly the strongest. His body built looks like he is a beast ape, the most violent of animals in the empire. He indeed is the most feared man in the Empire. His battle scares make him even more terrifying. He had recently cut his hair bold as a sign of shame for having not been able to save the previous king. With his bold head his whole physic looks like a sculpture placed at the gates to intimidate those who dared wonder aimlessly in the territory.
In the council Mukuru Sakurema carried two titles, Mukuru #1 and Natus Military General. Mukuru duties has no reports to be made as their sole duty is the protection of the king. He is the man trusted with controlling the empires army. In the whole empire he is the second most powerful man in terms of rank with the king being on top of him.
”Changamire, the military has new young recruits who show promise for the future… ” he said while grinning with pride ”…we will continue to make them strong man worthy of the empire ”. The king gives a small nod in approval of his report.
After Sakuremas report the way reports would start flowing is from left to right & right to left until all had made their reports.
Next in line is Elder Chiiko Zandzisai a very elderly woman in her early hundreds. She is a woman who questions everything. Some would call her annoying, but she is respected as a wise woman. She wears an attire which looks like a garment. It has design patterns of a traditional clay pots. She has few remaining hairs making it look as if she is a mad woman, well her character also plays a part in that. She is despite her character the head of the Elders.
”Nothing to report young Changamire… ” she makes her statement in her crooked voice ”…just the usual unrest of the people who are welcoming the thought of a new king, so don worry young king ”.
Her words make the king question her attitude which lacks respect, but he knows he cannot say anything to try correct this for she is the oldest in the room meaning he instead has to show her respect.
”We as the council are here to take note of the things reported here ” Council leader Zanovaviri Misi makes a comment after Elder Chiiko. Indeed, the councils duty is to practically advise the king on matters brought to him.
Zanovaviri is a young man in his mid-twenties. Despite his age he is well respected by all the elders and council members. He is a man known to make wise decisions. The previous king loved to be in his council because he left no stone unturned when making ready the final decision.
Next to make a report was Mukuru #3 Aloisio head of the Home Affairs department. He was known as the nations hero, among the few who brought to an end the greatest war in the history of the South. He has a sluggish lazy look, always reading books. In this instance he looked like he is not into the meeting at all. Sakurema has to make a coughing gesture to get his attention.
”…hmm?!… ” he looks a Sakurema who is staring at him with eyes of fury, then eventually notices everyone is looking at him ”…argh its my turn ” looking slightly surprised.
The king dares not look at him, but rather turns to Sakurema questioning him about his subordinate using facial expressions. Sakurema just shakes his head in shame.
”…aah lets see, the justice department has been a little busy dealing with criminals who started causing havoc after the king… ah sorry previous kings death ” Sakurema is now feeling the heat from the kings temper as Aloisio makes silly mistakes. ”Public works all round have been doing ok, though public servants been a little problem complaining about their wages and it has been hard to look for new writers… Aaah I think thats all ” he finishes his remark already buried deep into his book.
All remain shocked by his actions but they all know his status as hero of the nation is no joke. Some say he is the strongest in the nation, but his lazy nature makes people question that.
Directly opposite him is the Foreign Affairs department lead by Sekuru [grandfather/elder] Tapfuma Godo, dressed in all black, a rare color to find on animal hide. He is holding a strange walking stick which is almost his height, designed with many family emblems of Natu. By the looks of his forever still face which has a pointed grey moustache you can tell he is around his late sixties. But others have suspected him to be well over the hundreds, but this still remains to be proven for he is a mysterious man.
He makes no remark instead he nudges a big fellow besides him. Golaya Godo his son who is also his second in the Foreign Affair department. This young man is huge, bigger than Sakurema making him the biggest person in the room. His physic is intimidating even to the bravest of men. His physical appearance however does not match with his nature, for he looks way too humble like a shy little baby. He is wearing a traditional robe which runs from his left shoulder. Strangely he carries a black umbrella and a sack filled with books.
He reaches into his sack of books and brings out one thin book. The minute he opens his mouth everyone goes into a shocked state, even the king has no choice but be amazed. He has a small mellow voice.
”From the Foreign Affairs we been in talks with both Tisheek and Ricathea about a related issue which seems to be troubling both of our nations, though I will leave that to the Policing department to tell you the full details. Arfa has sent a letter telling us to resume our monthly pledges. That would be all ”.
Even after he finishes people are still amazed as to how such a big guy could have a voice like that.
Environmental affairs follow lead by Chief Zvega Ropa, a humble respected man. He is no flashy man, with him dressed in the simplest of clothes a robe for the elders. He makes his remark quick and short.
”Due to the funeral of the late king and coronation of the new king, we have exhausted half of the yearly food supplies and are on a tight schedule to recover it ”. He has said all that needs to be said.
Taundi Nkomo follows up, ”nothing to report on Culture Affairs ”. She is the youngest leader in Natu only sixteen years of age. She is thought to have the spirit of a great ancient descent, Father of the Nation Nkomo. She is very wise and calm for her age.
Now its the turn of the Health department represented by Mbuya [grandmother/elder] Chidange Shava. She still looks young for her age that people usual mistaken her for a late forties person, however her big round tummy and the way she walks gives away that she is old. She always looks bothered by things, always worrying about people. Well it can be helped for looking after people is her duty.
”Reproduction… ” she says it with such energy that everyone becomes very alert. Soon after it seems she has forgotten what is meant to come next. She just freezes there while everyone stares at her.
The king slowly getting annoyed askes ”is everything ok Mbuya? ”
She comes out her frozen state and continues as if nothing happened ”…yes reproduction. My king we need little heirs, now is the time for you to exercise your youth ”.
The kings reaction is massive elements of shyness with rage mixing it. Everyone averts their eyes from looking at the exposed king, for they fear they can break out in laughter.
The king calmly makes a small laughs ”hahaha thank you Mbuya, will keep that in mind ”
”Aah ndokuita Changamire manje [thats being king right there], otherwise they haven been any strange developments in the health department, the majority of the population is very healthy ” she finishes up and takes her sit.
Xola Wanai the Treasury head clears his throat ending Mbuya Shavas episode. He elegantly stands up and takes out his small book. He has gold markings which run from his face down to the rest of the body, wearing fancy foreign materials. He has jewellery all over himself, from his fingers to his toes. Everyone knows he is a show off and has cocky tendencies.
Looking at his book which has glowing crystal edges he starts his report
”My king we have spent a lot of national funds this year, nearly leading us into the bankruptcy. But good fortunes are with us as we have discovered a new rich mineral in the highlands of the east lands, which we are currently mining… ” this arouses the Kings interest as he leans forwards to play close attention.
”…we will get to name this new mineral later. Aside from the discovery, we will use the remaining valuable minerals to pay tribute to the World Rulers ”. The Kings eager self is disturbed at the mention of the World Rulers that his smile immediately fades away as Xola takes his seat.
Sitting opposite Xola is Mukuru #2 Hluphekile Ncube current head of the Police department. She is unlike other fellow Natu people for she is of foreign origins. However only a select few know of her origins. She has an elegant face which looks aggressive yet calming
”We have been encountering some difficulties with the underground crime organized groups… ” before she could finish the king interrupts her.
”Oh, isn it why you are there, to enforce the law and keep them in check ” his tone is very aggressive which shocks most of the people around. It is clear the King has personal issues with her.
Not fazed by the Kings remark she continues ”…it seems someone has been causing an uproar. Like the Foreign Affairs representative said, this has been happening around Tisheek and Ricathea too ”
The king slightly gets embarrassed with how calm and strong her voice is as she paid no attention to the Kings remark.
She faces the Intelligence department head Mupambawashe ”does the Intelligence department have anything they have found? ”
Mupambawashe just like all intelligence officers he keeps his name a secret. He is calm guy with only one eye & a scar on the other.
”None at the moment, we currently co-operating with the other nations to find out more about this disturbances ”.
Hluphekile turns back towards the king ”this is what we know so far Changamire. A single person first sited in Tisheek has been stirring up the underground crime groups. Tisheek have labelled him as Wraith and we have adopted that name also ”.
”Wraith? ” the king takes an interest as he now pays more attention.
”Yes Wraith. Seems one of the gang members before he died uttered the word Ghost. We encountered him in the outer north-west villages and he took out the whole squad which was sent to capture him ” she makes the statement looking down with rage.
Council leader Zanovaviri Misi curious and alarmed asks ”how many members make a squad Mukuru? ”
Mukuru Hluphekile raises her head and answers ”a group of thirty-three members ”.
King shocked ”so you telling me someone took out an elite police squad of thirty three by himself? ”
”Yes Changamire. Its not only police members who were taken out, Ricatheas information says he took out single handed an elite military force which was sent to hunt him down. This has caused bit of panic in both nations that they have requested we create a special joint unit tasked in hunting down this guy ”
Mukuru stares at the king and makes her last statement ”I advise we collaborate with the other nations on this one ”.
Now everyone is a bit tense as they don know what to make of this. It seems this has become the immediate issue which needs addressing.
Mukuru Sakurema leans towards the king and whispers ”I think we should agree to this matter and put our elite members in the group ”. The King nods in approval and makes his decision.
”Ok Mukuru Hluphekile, agree to the joint unit. I and Mukuru Sakurema will make the decision of who will be in the unit. By the way how many have they suggested be in the group? ”
”Only two members Changamire ” she replies with a calm expression which is received by the Kings shocked expression.
”Only two members, are they serious? ”
”Yes Changamire, they have sent their elite. They wish to deal with this as quickly as possible. The Police and Intelligence departments will back them with information and personnel they may require ”.
The King is stunned but understands the situation.
The meeting goes on for a good twelve hours as they tackle other issues.
Its around sun down and the darkness is eager to arrive. Lights start to appear one flicker at a time as the people of Natu welcome the night. Places of gathering start to get lively as beer starts being served, kids running all over the city and some are gathering at Gogo [grandmother] Madumbes place to hear ngano [folk tales] made up of history and fiction. Ladies of the night start troubling men & young boys. Indeed, night has arrived.