Chapter 31: The big leopard

Ije, who could not explain how she defeated the prince and his guard lowered her gaze when her grandfather threw the question at her. She did not know what came over her. There were so many things Ije was yet to discover about herself. This frightened her.

Mazi Ileka was touched by her sudden countenance. He had never talked to her in such a manner. He knew Ije was holding up great responsibility. The least he could do for her was provide a sufficient backup for her.

"Come to me, Ije," Mazi Ileka said softly. Ije went to him as she wiped her tears with the back of her palm. Her grandfather embraced her warmly.

"Do not cry, my child. The gods are with you. Their strength succeeds when yours fails. This is your destiny." Mazi Ileka kneeled beside Ije and stroked her soft hair.

"I'm sorry I did not inform you about your strength. I felt you are too young to understand. I feel so ashamed right now that you discovered it by yourself."

"You knew?" Ije asked.

"Yes, the old woman o
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