At midnight, Oforiwaa watched the village from her bedroom window. “the age of royals will come to a bloody end’ , those were Gyimah’s words’ she mused. ‘Those are not the words of a group determined to merely usurp the throne.’ ‘It sounds more like they are determined to overhaul the way a village is ruled altogether’.

‘But that isn’t the problem; I could care less about how much power and position I have”. What worries me is their method of gaining power, if that is their main goal.’ “This attack must have taken years to plan if they could do this in just one day.’

‘I need to know more about those three mbrewanana by morning, in addition to what could be savaged form the royal stores and archives’, she decided.

‘At dawn, Pokuaa and her team mates walked on a forest path, flanked by her 3 remaining teammates in silence. They reached a building surrounded by three large trees and situated next to a river.

The same river the founders of the village spies had first met each other. In the early years of the village, they had spotted several warriors plotting against the village from that same spot . They had then reported this to the asafo who soon apprehended them.

The organization had evolved from five women who had spotted threats against the village to become a large force, acting as the eyes of the asafo and pre empting threats before they occurred.

‘And now, one of our own attacks the village along with that dangerous group” sighed Agyeiwaa. ‘I have a lot of explaining to do.”

Even the guards at the gate seemed to be in a pensive mood. ‘They probably had their homes burnt down , just like me’, she mused after exchanging greetings with them. They walked down a narrow path that was mostly dark except for the torches that were placed at each end of the passageway. These became more numerous as they finally reached a large bamboo gate engraved with the adinkra symbol for intelligence.

‘Wait here’, she ordered the others before tapping on the gate three times. There was a creaking noise as the gate swung wide open. She walked through it and pushed aside a mat with a similar symbol engraved on it. The high council of the village spies sat on several raised platforms above her, their straw hats shading their faces. As Pokuaa walked towards them, she noticed the gate creaking open again. Her captain walked past the mat and joined her as they finally stood before them.

‘So despite your strict supervision, both of you were unable to detect Agyeiwaa’s alliance with the Fate keepers for more than two months” one of them noted.

‘You two also failed to note that two units of our spies were colluding with her and preventing Pokuaa and her team ,of which she was a member , from getting to the fate keepers in time’ noted the head of the ahintafour.

‘I know this may sound difficult to believe,’ said captain Asabea quietly, but we were not being negligent. ‘There was no room left for error in all our operations against the Fate keepers, I made sure of that. The two ‘bushfire’ units were strictly supervised and assessed every week , given their role of passing on information from one end of the village to the other.

‘The head of the ahintafour turned to Pokuaa,’ Your colleague has created a lot of problems for us. ‘For someone so close to her, how could you not see this coming?”

After a long silence, Pokuaa replied, ‘She was my colleague but in the past five months, her behavior and all her actions showed no clear sign of betrayal to our cause ‘. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that she received sufficient mental and physical training to maintain her deception completely for that period of time.’

There was a lot of murmuring among the members. Asabea noted quietly that they were all beginning to realize that the training her vice captain had spoken of , could have been provided by Ama and the other rogue mbrewanana.

The head spy consulted with the members and their designated abrewanana for an hour. ‘As the two captains waited, Pokuaa said, ‘Agyeiwaa was not just a colleague to me, Asabea. Like every member of my team, she was my friend. ‘But as she shot an arrow at me yesterday, I realized that maybe I considered her to be close to me but she did not consider me to be her friend.’ If anything at all, I thought we shared the same goal of keeping the village safe from threats. I should…’

‘You shouldn’t think that your relations with her prevents you from being of further use to us ’, Pokuaa cut in Asabea. ‘Whether you feel pain or anger towards her , toss it aside and do your duty as vice captain of the Ahintafour.’

‘Besides , recent events have left this village a bit short of loyal, honest people like you, child’. ‘You should think about what you can do for Nyansakrom in its time of need.’

‘Who knows, she added with a faint smile, you might get a chance to meet her again and knock some sense into that coconut of a head on her shoulders’.

There was a faint rustle of clothing as the council members returned from the consulting room . As the captains rose from the mat, the head spy spoke, ‘Asabea, see to it that our borders are watched closely. ‘We do not need any foreign interference now’. ‘What is the result of your interrogation of Gyimah and his brother?’

‘They only know that they were given orders to attack the princess and that the era of royals would come to a swift and bloody end’ Asabea replied.

‘Stand by for further instructions, captains, the head said. ‘We have decided not to dismiss you both considering the influence of those three women on our spies.’ ‘That will be all.

As the sun rose over the hills of the village that morning, the mbrewanana council members had Aba brought before them. ’ Your request, Aba is most unusual, said one of them.’15 of our number are seriously injured. Three of our best members have betrayed us, taking 15 of the asuafo with them. The other asuafo have all left, as far as I know”.

'On top of that , we currently have no Abrewanana present to guide …’. She was cut short by the rustle of the mat covering the entrance being pushed aside . ‘My apologies for the disturbance, sisters, said a figure in a sing song voice that walked towards them’. ‘I, Abrewanana Serwaa of the 10,000 proverbs ‘,she said ,’humbly requests for your permission to act as this dedicated young woman’s Abrewanana.