The Legend of the Yellow Narcissus
Once upon a time, in a land threatened by war, a young man by the name of Ajax was making preparations to leave his home, so he could join his fellow comrades in defending the Kingdom of Alm. The King himself had called to arms all those able to fight in hopes of driving away the enemy forces that had invaded the land.
With a saddened heart, the young man said goodbye one last time to his young wife, who was crying at the thought that she might never see her beloved husband ever again. Before leaving, though, Ajax told his wife not to worry, promising her that he would return when the Yellow Narcissus bloomed. As the flower of purity and rebirth, the appearance of the Yellow Narcissus symbolised a new beginning and the arrival of Spring.
The young man gave one last kiss to his pensive looking wife, and then saddled his Mighty White Steed who would take him on a perilous journey to defend his homeland.
While riding through a thick forest, Ajax became terribly lost. He rode for several days and nights, but he always ended up in the same place as before. It seemed as though he could not leave the deceitful forest. Thinking that something or someone was playing a trick on him, he began shouting to see if anyone was out there. No one responded at first, but after a while, a mischievous Forest Imp asked the stranger what he was doing in his forest.
Ajax quickly replied that we was off to join his fellow comrades, so he could battle the enemy that had invaded the Kingdom. The Forest Imp told the young man that only someone with pure intentions could ever hope to escape from his magical forest, so he gave him a test.
Ajax was handed a vial containing a glowing substance made from the petals of the Yellow Narcissus. If indeed the young man was telling the truth, then upon drinking it, he would gain strength for the battle ahead. If he was lying, however, the glowing substance would then become poisonous, killing him instantly.
Without any fear or hesitation, Ajax took the vial from the Forest Imp and emptied it on the spot. Instantly, he felt refreshed and ready to continue his journey. Seeing that the young man was pure of heart, the Forest Imp had no choice but to lift the magic that tricked travelers into getting lost. Ajax bid the Forest Imp farewell, but not before being handed a second vial filled with the same glowing substance made from the petals of the Yellow Narcissus. He was told to use in in case he ever became injured. Glad to be out of the forest, Ajax spurred on his Mighty White Steed to catch up to his fellow comrades.
Feeling thirsty after a long ride, the young man decided to rest next to a creek known for its rejuvenating crystalline water. He noticed that his Companion was feeling very tired, so Ajax hoped that the water from the creek would help rejuvenate his beloved Companion.
Much to his dismay, Ajax discovered that the creek had actually dried up. Nothing remained but a few puddles in which fish were twitching and struggling to survive.
As he was looking in disbelief, the young man came to the conclusion that something awful must have happened. He immediately took his Mighty White Steed and followed the dried creek upstream to discover the reason why it had stopped flowing.
Walking slowly through the mud and the branches left at the bottom of the creek, Ajax and his Companion reached a huge boulder that was completely blocking the stream. Next to it a few tiny fairies were crying profusely.
Ajax approached them and asked them why they were so sad. The tiny fairies told the young man that during a landslide, a huge boulder had come crashing down, blocking the creek and preventing the animals and flowers from having anything to drink. Even with their magical powers, the tiny fairies were still unable to move aside the huge boulder.
Stirred up by what had taken place, Ajax promised the tiny fairies that he would somehow remove the huge boulder and restore the creek to its former self. The young man got up on his Mighty White Steed and rode into a nearby copse, from where he brought back the trunk of a fallen tree. He then wedged the trunk underneath the boulder while balancing it on a small rock. All that remained was for his Companion to press down on the other side of the trunk with his powerful hooves and hopefully push the boulder away from the creek. With help from Ajax and all the tiny fairies, the Mighty White Steed managed to prod the huge boulder, which then rolled to the side and unblocked the creek. Soon enough the water flowed once more, much to the joy of everyone. With the creek restored, the tiny fairies thanked both Ajax and his Companion for their quick thinking and selflessness, and as reward, they presented them with a shield and armour that had a Yellow Narcissus adorned on them. It was said that they had belonged to a great hero and his steed who were responsible for protecting the Kingdom of Alm in ancient times.
Ajax once again mounted his Mighty White Steed and resumed his journey, as all the tiny fairies shouted goodbye and goodluck to them.
Going past a mysterious cave, Ajax and his Companion were startled by the horrific noises and growls that were coming from it. The young man naturally assumed that a giant monster had taken residence inside it, causing trouble no doubt, so he went on to investigate the matter.
Instead of a terrible beast, though, what he found was a man as big as a bear, lamenting his fate. The man was feeling so lonely that he had started crying and wailing over his unfortunate life. Seeing Ajax made him happy, though, and asked him if he could become his friend.
Ajax gladly accepted, but explained to him that he was in a hurry, as the Kingdom was under attack. The man as big as a bear, who later introduced himself as Hector, told Ajax that if were to defeat him in hand-to-hand combat, he would not only join him on his quest, but he would also give him a very special gift.
Ajax was not so keen on the idea at first, but thinking that a man of his size would be a good addition to the army, he ultimately agreed to the duel.
Before the fight commenced, the young man made sure to drink about half from the vial that he had received from the Forest Imp. Someone as strong as Hector could certainly not be beaten very easily, so any help was more than welcomed. Even the Mighty White Steed gave a little shove when needed, so Ajax was able to win over Hector, who was surprised by the braveness of his young adversary and the loyalty of his Companion.
True to his word, Hector vowed to follow his new friend wherever he went, and as a present for defeating him, he gave him a sword made from the sharp crystals found within the Yellow Narcissus. It was said that the crystal sword had been forged by the greatest smith in all the Kingdom of Alm.
Ajax atop his Mighty White Steed with Hector running behind hurried toward the battlefront, hoping that he would make it in time.
Finally, the group arrived in a small valley where the enemy forces had gathered. Ajax met up with his fellow comrades, who were equally surprised and intimidated to see the giant Hector.
Learning that he was on their side, however, made everyone quite confident, so they decided that they should wait no more and drive the invaders away once and for all.
The opposition greatly outnumbered Ajax and his allies, but that hardly even mattered, as each one could take on a thousand of the enemy’s troops. Swinging his crystal sword on the battlefield made all the enemies tremble before Ajax, while the mere sight of Hector was enough to make them run scared. The rest fought just as bravely, showing no fear whatsoever.
Unfortunately, a stray arrow implanted itself in the right thigh of the Mighty White Steed, making him falter and throw Ajax off him. The injury was great, but the young man would never have let anything happen to him most treasured Companion. He immediately sprinkled what was left in the vial filled with the glowing substance made from the petals of Yellow Narcissus on the wound, hoping that it would be enough to save him. Everyone, including Hector, felt dispirited seeing the Mighty White Steed collapsed on the ground.
Fortunately, the glowing substance provided by the Forest Imp did its magic and the wound was soon healed. Reinvigorated, the Mighty White Steed got up and started chasing away the enemy. Upon seeing this, Ajax, Hector and all their comrades followed suit, making sure that no one would ever dare to invade the Kingdom of Alm.
With the enemy defeated, many celebrations were held all throughout the land. The King himself invited Ajax, his Companion, Hector and all their comrades to the palace, where a great banquet was thrown in their honour. Moreover they were all offered royal positions at the palace. Hector was tremendously happy that for the first time in his life he did not have to stay in a dark cave all alone. He had made many friends, and everyone came to love and admire him.
Ajax, on the other hand, only asked that the King relieve him of his duty and send him home, for the terribly missed his young wife. Hector wanted to come also, as he had vowed to follow his young friend wherever he went, but Ajax convinced him that it would be much better if he stayed at the palace and protected the King. After they both promised to see each other again in the future, Ajax saddled his Mighty White Steed and went back to his home.
The Spring wind began to blow as if to gently caress the first Yellow Narcissus that had bloomed. The pleasant weather also had the young wife of Ajax out working in the field. Her heart was heavy and full of sorrow, but she did her very best to carry on.
Far away in the distance a dark silhouette suddenly appeared, making the young woman curious. She started wondering who had come to visit her.
As the silhouette came closer and closer into view, the young woman realised it was her beloved husband, riding his Mighty White Steed. Overjoyed, she dropped her tools and ran toward him. Ajax dismounted his Companion and went to meet his young wife. Their reunion was as beautiful as it was as tearful. After a really long time, the young lovers were together at last.
In their cozy little home alongside the Mighty White Steed, Ajax and his young wife lived happily ever after.
~ The End ~