Our family was facing one of the toughest times possible. Our father was very sick and his medical expenses consumed all our income. We had debts to replay. All of us were working, yet our income was not sufficient to buy medicine for our father and repay our debt. Our financial difficulty looked insuperable. But there was a way to overcome this.
In the island of VasaWasa, there lives a wizard Lumax, who guards the ambrosia and a thousand gold coins. The ambrosia can cure any illness and make one live forever. Such a panacea will definitely restore our father to good health. Many alchemists, in their attempts to turn iron into gold have sought the ambrosia and ventured to VasaWasa. But none of them came back! I approached the oldest man in the village, told him my intention of defeating Lumax and asked him for further details. He laughed and said that I am not worthy enough to do this task. I ignored his derision and repeatedly asked him for the information. Due to my perseverance, he told me the details.
The old man said, “Listen young man. There are multiple challenges that must be overcome before one faces Lumax. The sea surrounding us is calm but the portion around VasaWasa is very turbulent. Most challengers do not even reach VasaWasa. On the island, the first challenge is from the ‘Angel of the Limpid Pond’. The Limpid pond is the clearest pond in the world; one can see the fishes at the bottom of the pond. This is guarded by an angel and if one could impress her, she will gift the challenger a sword that can defeat anyone. The second challenge is to face the ‘Behemoth Dragon’, which is the largest and fiercest dragon alive. This dragon guards the ‘Repellent cloak’. Lumax has cast evil spells all along the way to his castle. If you don’t wear this magical cloak the imprecations will turn you into a stone. This is all that I know! No one has come back alive to say what lies ahead. I warn you again, the task is much more arduous than it looks. There are numerous traps along the way that one should by wary of. To make things worse, the island of VasaWasa is itself a dormant volcano which has not erupted in the last 100 years but it may erupt anytime!”
The old man’s description may have intimidated a normal person, but I am too brave to be daunted by this. If I win the thousand gold coins it will end our family’s penury. Compared to living 100 years in indigence, death is much more comforting. As I started preparing for the trip, my close friends told me not to do this as I might die. My enemies ridiculed me that I will sink in the seas before even reaching VasaWasa. When you set out on an audacious journey, it is quite natural for friends to dissuade you (as they care for you) and for enemies to deride you (as they feel you are unworthy). I was way too excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of becoming rich and my ebullience could not be tempered by anyone.
Bidding goodbye to my mother and father, I started on my expedition. After two days and three nights, I could see Vasawasa. Suddenly my ship started to sway. The sea was way more turbulent than I had feared. Giant waves splashed tons of water on my ship every second. I thought it is good to wait for some time to see if the turbulence will reduce intensity. But the violent seas never abated and so I decided to carry on. Though my ship was strong it could not bear this for long and foundered. I was worried if my plans will founder like my ship. Gathering courage, I started swimming to the coast of VasaWasa. I managed to make it!
The environment of VasaWasa was very disturbing. It was full of strange cries and noises. The sir had the fetid smell similar to that of rotten eggs. I started searching for the limpid pond. From a tree top, I was able to locate the limpid pond. When I reached the place I was amazed by its beauty. It was so serene that for a moment I forgot that I was in VasaWasa. The water was so clear that I could see the fishes at the bottom of the pond. I could not see any angel anywhere. I dropped my knife into the pond as I was looking over it. Suddenly, the angel emerged from the pond. She held a sword in her hand and asked if that is what I dropped in the pond. I said, “No, I dropped a small knife.” She replied, “I am pleased with your honesty; people who lack probity lie to me that this is the sword they dropped. Such mendacious people are converted to stones in this pond. But as you spoke the truth, I gift you this ‘Invincible sword’. No one can defeat you when you are holding this”. I thanked the angel and accepted the gift. This sword looked like it was not used in a hundred years. Due to desuetude, it was full of rusts. The angel read my mind and said that it will benefit me when it needs to.
I wandered in the island in search of the dragon. It started to rain and I was seeking a place for shelter. I sought asylum in a nearby cave. I heard some noise from the inside of the cave. When I went in I was shocked by what I saw. The Behemoth dragon was there! It was so huge that I looked like a squirrel in front of it. Like a squirrel that runs away at the sight of an elephant, I felt like running back pusillanimously.
Gather courage, a held my sword upright and ran towards the dragon. With the rusty sword, I managed to cut a bruise in its leg. The dragon sneered at me. Its contemptuous smile was like saying “Dude, do you think you can kill me with that sword?” suddenly a miracle happened. The dragon’s blood seemed to have an effect on the sword. Its rusts disappeared and it started to shine brightly. The sword was so refulgent that the dragon was blinded by the sword’s brightness. I ran around the dragon, took the cloak and ran out of the cave. As it was fettered to the cave by thick chains, it could not chase me.
I reached the road that connects to Lumax’s castle. I could see so many people who were turned into stones by the wizard’s imprecations. I was protected by the ‘Repellent cloak.’ I moved cautiously and carefully as I did not know what danger might come. Walking gingerly, I crossed the imprecated pathway. As I reached the entrance of the castle I had some discouraging thoughts. I could see my mom crying over my dead body, my family struggling without me and all of them committing suicide. I had an urge to not face Lumax and return to home. But soon I realized these deterrent thoughts were the work of Lumax’s spells. The castle doors opened and I saw Lumax in his seat.
He spoke to me, “Young man, you have proved your physical strength by coming here, now I shall test your intellectual strength. I give you a choice. I will ask you either one tough question or two easy questions. Whatever your choice is, if you answer me incorrectly I shall turn you into a stone.”
I said, “I shall answer the one tough question.” Lumax asked me, “Did the chicken come first or the egg come first?”. This was not only difficult but also confusing. Had I known that he will ask a conundrum like this, I would have opted for the two easy QUESTIONS. However, I answered him, “The chicken came first.” Lumax asked, “How do you say so??” I retorted, “Lumax you said you will ask one tough question and your one question is over.” Lumax chuckled at my quick and humorous answer. He said I have won all challenges and gave me the ambrosia and the thousand gold coins. He said, “The ambrosia was prepared 624 years ago. I do not think it is effective to make you immortal. But do not consider it to be effete. It can still cure maladies.”
I returned home after 2 days. My dad felt a lot better after drinking the ambrosia. I repaid our debts and gave a gold coins to be my friends and relatives. My enemies who were eager to get the gold coins tried to placate me. As a conciliatory gesture they gave me some tasty snacks. But years of enmity cannot be pacified by some tasty snacks. I told them to get out.
Meaning: A problem or difficulty that is impossible to overcome
Meaning: 1) A food that makes one immortal
2) Food of the gods
Meaning: A solution for all problem or difficulties
Meaning: A person who practices alchemy (A science used in middle ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold)
Meaning: Act of looking down with disrespect or laugh at someone/something in an insulting way
Meaning: Persistence in doing something despite difficulties or obstacles
Meaning: Violent or unsteady movement; State of confusion or agitation
Meaning: Very clear
Meaning: Involving strenuous efforts; difficult or tiring
Meaning: In a state of rest
Meaning: To make someone afraid
Meaning: Extreme poverty
Meaning: Extreme poverty
Meaning: Inclined to take bold risks; showing lack of respect
Meaning: To demotivate someone from doing something
Meaning: To mock at someone
Meaning: Cheerful and full of energy
Meaning: Made moderate in intensity
Meaning: 1) Move back and forth
2) Control or influence
Meaning: To become weaker
Meaning: (Of a ship) to sink; (Of a plan) to fail
Meaning: Having a strong unpleasant smell
Meaning: Calm and peaceful
Meaning: The quality of a person who is completely honest
Meaning: Not honest
Meaning: Cannot be defeated or overcome
Meaning: State of disuse
Meaning: Lacking courage; afraid of danger or difficulties
Meaning: To express dislike or show lack of respect
Meaning: Shinning brightly
Meaning: To restrain freedom to act
Meaning: To do very carefully
Meaning: Something that discourages someone from doing something
Meaning: A confusing and difficult situation
Meaning: To reply sharply/Angrily
Meaning: Lacking strength or courage; no longer capable of effective use
Meaning: To make someone less angry
Meaning: Having the intention or effect of making someone less angry or more friendly
Meaning: to cause someone to become or quiet