Later that evening, five people rushed to the same clearing in the forest. "nothing here, just like the five other clearings, we checked," muttered a girl with braided hair. "I am beginning to suspect that those twins asafo captain dede handed over to us last night lied to us, Pokuaa,she sighed." "As an nkatahofo, you should be more observant, Agyeiwaa, said a girl wearing a large straw hat,covering most of her face. 'there are traces of cloth on the rough bushes where they left, she said with their distinct blue and white markings.she said. "besides that, there were several traps here on this path , traps set for us."she concluded. ''the twins were right, she mused ,there are seven main meeting places, this place is certainly the sixth.' given the trouble we've had to go through to reach each one and the senties we caught on each one.'nkatahofo),she spoke up, we will proceed to the final location now", if they are there, bear in mind that several traps will be set for us on the way. on spotting them, we are simply to inform the asafo through the usual chirping signal and let the m handle things." Engage them in combat, only when neccessary, she stressed. 'let's go, she signalled, and with that, the nkatahofo) , the dreaded village spies of nyansakrom sped off into the woods as the sun began to set.
in the night, at abrewanana ama's hut, the head of the royal guard, Nii, the head of the nkatahofo), ewurabena, dede and abrewanana ama herself, thrashed out the final points of the plan to deal with recent events.'so, it's settled , said nii, the royal guards will triple their defence around the palace to keep out the threat,the ...um..the.." the keepers of fate, sighed the nkatahofo) head. that is what they call themselves. so far they have been content with stealing weapons, capturing spies and destroying our defensive outposts, but now they've become more focused, more watchful of us." dede spoke up,"Im not so sure why they would target osuani but if they are, perhaps we should cancel the osuani program for now, at least until things become stable again, as well as ..." "triple the protection around the osuani, interrupted nii, we cannot do that, we've had to assisst the asafo in patrols around the village by tripling their forces already. 'so, abrewanana ama spoke up, let's arrange things in such a way as to ensure maximum protection for the royals and the osuani, and still have a team left to hunt down this group." she concluded.
later that dawn, pokuaa stealthily crept towards the cave prison, recalling what the twins had told her in private. they had made it clear that the keepers of fate had infiltrated every village group and thus keeping them in the cave prison would not be safe." i can't forget the look of terror on their faces when i assured them that nothing would happen to them here for failing their task top observe the osuani", she mused. normally, i would not go alone but I feel uneasy whenever someone doubts the security of the largest prison on this land." she went around the main entrance, noticing with growing unease the abscence of any guards and the eerie flashing of lights from the windows. walking through a darkened entrance, she realised that it had been recently used.'impossible, only the nkatahofo) should have access to this particular entrance into the prison. she soon heard murmurs and was shocked to find several sentries gagged at the lower level of the prison huddled together! "all the sentries have been tied up here, she realised , then that means... suddenly ,there was a loud clang as several weapons skidded along the floor towards her. she quickly rushed towards the shadows, as a heavily scarred man yelled, "careful, nyamekye, we do not want any more delays in transferring the weapons to the others'. "alright, yelled a bald man gathering up the weapons, the strike begins in a few minutes after all". " a strike against the village", realised pokuaa. suddenly, an axe flew towards her, missing her by inches as she leapt back out of the shadows. the two criminals froze upon seeing her, but a familiar voice snapped. 'dont just stand there, transfer the weapons to the others. I will deal with the intruder." Asafo captain asamoah, so you are one of the keepers of fate, ' pokuaa slowly said as she drew out two drumstick shaped weapons from her clothes. asamoah ,with two maatchetes in hand rushed towards her, swinging each machete alternatively. But she sidestepped all these attacks, shifting her weight from one foot to another. 'she's good, asamoah noted as he swung his blades consistently and with disturbingly increased speed and force. but even as a vice captain of the nkatahofo), she is still just a spy." 'she cannot last long in a drawn out fight, no she is only supposed to strike quickly and effectively. so long as i keep her at a reasonable distance without allowng her to escape, i have the advantage,he concluded. ' with that speed and power behind each swing , he could have ended the fight moments ago, if I wasn't fast enough. but so far, he hasn't figured out what my customised weapons are for, she noted in between dodging his blows and fending off strikes that were too close with her weapons..she leapt to the side dodging asmaoah's strikes ."she's slowing down , asamoah grinned, it's over, " he concluded as he swung the blades with full force at her retreating form. 'too fast to dodge, pokuaa gasped so.... . at the same time , both weapons clashed and asamoah was shocked to notice that the deumstick shape of pokuaa's weapons enabled her to hold onto and wrench the machetes from his grip.there was a sharp clang as asamoah's matchetes clattered to the ground. even more shocking was the rain of palm thrusts that pokuaa began to deal to asamoah, each blow connnecting with his joints." as he fell back, panting, he gasped, ' so she planned to disarm me and knock me down. "those joint focused attacks are difficult to block,but I can't fail here,not yet. As pokuaa watched asamoah warily for any sign of a counterattack, she was suddenly aware of a blur of movement behind her. as she dodged an arrow that grazed her shoulder, she landed on her side. she was shocked to realise that standing behind her, bow and arrow in hand, was Agyeiwaa! even the nkatahofo) have been infiltrated!, she realised with growing despair."just how many people are part of the keepers of fate?,"she weakly wondered as the venom from the poison tipped arrows began to take effect