A young priest from Iran.

  He should be 23 or 22 The white beard man with a goat skin, held fast by a black thread around his hands thought.  The priest was on a red horse and with other men armed with spare, circling up the priest.  


This was the dawn of the late 60's after the Igalaz war. Every village and town were out to protect each other. Only the emperor of Altaf could Avert destruction or write to Tolkata Kare and his air fighters to spare few locations.  

The towns would pledge loyalty with Altaf, making Altaf's Emperor have a dominant say over thier lands.  It was just a strategy to get more and conquer more territories.  


The young priest had led some of his people to Altaf to seek mercy and have their land saved but it failed.  Their town Ulzoma had nothing. No natural resources. It was too easy to have them turned down.  


Malkai was the little town they had stopped to take a rest. Their prayer was to reach their land before night fall and set up ways to protect their people.  

Building a long tent with roofs covered with grasses to deceive the air fighters and harbour themselves when every they heard the sounds of coming choppers.  They also had a big rock down the village which they already had people digging holes around for shelter.  


They rode to an old inn in the town and they sat to meal.  The young priest told his people he was going to be out for little inquires and they allowed him. He didn't move too far.  He found himself around the street with beggars and people who had less friends to stay around.  He was happy to have them and he prayed with them.  The little coin he had,  he offered them and prayed. They got blessed, and relived of their predicament.  

He returned to the inn with full details,  knowing what to say to his people.  He had heard from the beggars, myth about the great town.  What had made the town the most beautiful in the region and what had made it the most visited town.  The beggars had him informed that the town had never experienced war once.  Not even for a day.  That was great news for him. His heightened spiritual experience told him what to do to save his land and after the meal he told his People to follow him on a ride to the Royal Court.  

He was a good and faithful priest so it was hard for his people to turn deaf ears at his instructions. Hundred of times,  he had saved them and he was willing to save them over again. His age had never been a yard stick for his intelligence and deep rooted understanding.  

He hit the Royal Court in minutes and he presented himself to the king.  He was asked what he wanted and he made it known he wanted to present gifts. Eyes went around him and his people.  Obviously it was clear they had nothing on them.  

The young priest began by taking off his shoes and his thick leather bracelet and he watched his people submit their valuables.  He wanted to know their heart.  They all obeyed not knowing the deep meaning of what they were doing. The priest gave up his horse as a gift and he offered to trek his way home while his people rode down with their own horse. He determined two days trek was going to make him reach his village.  

"What do you want." The king asked,  in admiration. He had not heard such a thing his entire life and he was marvelled how little the gift they offered. 

"Obviously, I don't lack any of what you offer." He added.  

The little priest gave a bow and he lifted his face up.  

"If this is collected off us and giving to the less privileged  of this town. It would please us. Just lay your hands over us and speak peace to our land." 


The king rifted a nod showing deep understanding. Now he understood what the gift meant.  He asked for their land's name and he spoke concerning it.  Then he received their gift.  

When they were long gone.  He wrote a note to Altaf telling them Ulzoma was an extension of his kingdom so they should not be touched.  


*********

A tall skinny man in uniform climbed up a stellar stairs with a folded paper in his hands. Smell of garbage and presence of ill plumbing work was what he perceived.  He took steps carefully, knowing the stairs were weak and when he heard his name been called from above he stopped. 

"How was it." The voice struck him again. It was that of his Superior. 

"Good sir. We partially cleared 6 territories today."

"Fine! What about Ilzan and Ulzoma region and the small village around the the red stream." The Superior  asked and what he got in reply was a dead look.  

"We could only reach Ulzoma. But we found nothing their.  Seems the whole land had been evacuated.  All we say was a rice plantation.  We even came lower for a proper view but it was no camoflage. It was indeed a rice plantation.  That made us retreat. It looked like a perfect waste of time." 

"OK." The Superior said and he raised his hands up. 

"Bring the report let me file it. The emperor of Altaf would be here in a week time to see how far we have gone with work so he can release more funds for us to keep conquering stubborn territories." 

┬ęGodwin Okhuoya