She walked cautiously, occasionally glancing behind her to avoid running into anyone or being seen. What she had learned was important, and she was determined to deliver the news or make good use of it. As she entered the central attic, she noticed a man there and quickly retreated, her heart pounding as if she had just finished a race.

The man looked at her and smirked, his words laced with amusement, “Comet… Dust, you look quite agitated. Where are you rushing off to in such a hurry, turning this way and that?” She turned her gaze to the ground, her voice trembling as she replied, “The house is like a ship sailing in a sea of troubles, and I’m just a speck of dust trying to rise. But I’d rather keep my mouth shut like a chicken.”

“That’s Ambassador Kubura,” he said eagerly, leaning in to hear more. “It’s never a dull moment with her. Tell me what’s going on.”

Sunkuyowa patted his shoulder and said, “Even if you shake a lotus flower, the one afraid of death remains a fool.”

The man understood the ambassador’s intentions and reached into his pocket, producing some coins, which he handed to her, saying, “You’re just a pregnant woman, so don’t forget yesterday’s gift. Let these coins be a reminder of past kindness.”

She accepted the coins with joy, securing them and saying, “One day, even leprosy and its money found refuge at the bottom of a wall. Open your ears now, and you’ll hear the news. Is Fulani Zaliha pregnant, and who’s the father?” She glanced at him, adding, “One can’t stop squatting until a dog is bought.”

Ambassador Kubura quickly caught onto the direction of the conversation. He stood up and addressed her, “Injunan, you’ve caught on to something, and the roar of a tiger cub won’t frighten a male lion. Make your way to the Fulani section, and remember, Maryam is no Lissa’s sister.” As she made her exit, he turned to her and added, “Indeed, a man who fears the night doesn’t travel far. Don’t forget that even a small needle is made of iron.”

She followed him with a suspicious look and muttered, “The four-legged one submits to the two-legged one, and the one heading to the river will burst one day.” She continued on her path, making her way to the Fulani section of Maryam.

Upon entering, she prostrated herself on the ground in a sign of respect and began speaking, “Farewell to the lady of the wall, the protector of the servants, the mother of orphans, and the champion of the underprivileged. You have done so much for us, the daughter of the king, the granddaughter of the king, the wife of the king, and the mother of the future king. May God grant you more blessings, including a Crown Prince for the kingdom of Kano. You used to say, ‘The stove will never eat its own soup…'”

Fulani Maryam smiled, appreciating the ambassador’s kind words. She interrupted her, asking, “Ambassador, when will you send me a message to come over?” She stood up and took a step closer, her expression serious. “I’ve been waiting for some time, and I sense something’s not right. Tell me what’s going on.”

The ambassador’s tone changed as she began, “I apologize, madam, but I bring distressing news. I’ve learned that Fulani Zaliha is pregnant, and I suspect…”

Fulani Maryam interrupted, visibly upset, and exclaimed, “Why didn’t you inform me earlier?”

The ambassador replied solemnly, “Forgive me, madam, but I fear the girl is in grave danger…”

Fulani Maryam cut her off, saying, “That’s enough. Fulani Zaliha has drawn water to cook her own fate, and leprosy has spread within the community. Many feet will be stretched in her direction. History is repeating itself, and everyone should come to me for counsel. Now, go find Jakadiya. I’ll see you after the Isha’i prayer.”

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