Cyrus and Agnetha – English Lesson 105 – My Greek Myth

Once upon a time, in ancient Greece, a young god named Cyrus, born of Athena and Zeus, was on his way to the palace of the king of the region he was in.  The king of the region welcomed him as a hero from previous feats and as a god.  Later, after much drinking and laughter over mistakes made that day, and Cyrus telling of his travels and feats, the king invited him to stay the night at his palace.  Going upstairs, he laid down in the bed the king had allowed him, and fell asleep.  Outside, however, was a young woman, whose identity was concealed, waited for Cyrus’s light to go out, waiting for him to go to sleep, waiting for the guards to become tired enough to slip by and pass as a simple shadow.  She did not have to wait long, as Cyrus had drank much himself, indulging in the rich wine, and he was tired.  The unknown woman’s eyes flashed around the gate, and at the guards next to them.  Noticing that they were sleeping standing up, she slipped through, and in the dark, none but eyes with the ability to see in the dead of night could not mistake her as a shadow, with the dark cloak on.  Her soft footsteps masked that she was even there, and neither of the guards woke up.  Sneaking past the servants and hiding in corners, she was no more than another shadow in the night.

Once at the staircase leading up to Cyrus’s room, she left a spell at the bottom to make anyone who passed it curl up and fall asleep on the staircase.  Knowing that she alone could pass it without falling asleep, she walked right through the enchantment, and grinned.  Quickly slipping up the stairs, she slid a small dagger out from its sheath by about two inches.  Not knowing about the guards outside his room, she simply walked out from behind the corner on her left – and almost froze in her tracks. She dove at the corner to the right and in front of her, right behind the guard to the right, sliding into it as a sword slides into its sheath.  They hadn’t noticed her.  One was staring suspiciously at the corner where she was hiding, and then started talking to the other guard very softly.  She frowned.  Now she knew why she had almost gotten caught, because they were talking very softly and she couldn’t hear them.  She knew she would have to kill them to get through.  They seemed sharp.  What a waste, killing was, but it was the only way to permanently get rid of your envy of another person, even a god.  Annihilating both guards from the shadows before the other could react, she slipped into Cyrus’s room, and tried to stick a knife in his head.  He was too fast, however, as always, and reacted before she could.  Grabbing the dagger hilt and her wrist in his hand, he almost thought that he was holding a shadow.  But then he thought, How would a shadow be holding a dagger – and even trying to shove it in my head? and attacked, drawing his own dagger.  Knowing he would have to find the person first, he searched the room for any sign of a leather-handled steel dagger.  Seeing his torch, he went over and grabbed it, brought it to the middle of the room so there were no shadows, and then noticed the dead guards.  He dashed down the hall and down the stairs, grabbing his sword on the way, and then started feeling drowsy again, as he had walked through her spell.  Going back upstairs, he laid down, lit another torch, and fell back into a very deep sleep.

The next morning, he went downstairs and ate the rich, luxurious breakfast set out for him, as he had slept later than everyone else.  He then went outside to see if he could find a nice plump deer to bring down.  While in the forest, he went close enough to the village – to see sandal tracks.  In the forest?  Leading out of the village, through the forest, and straight to the palace, he wondered if the mystery person was the one who made these tracks.  He followed them to the house that the tracks went into and knocked.  A young lady answered, asking if he had any business there.  He told her about the attempted murder and the tracks, and the young lady’s eyes widened even more at every word.  He noticed beads of sweat starting to form on her forehead.  He asked her if she was scared, and she just ran.  Swiftly, swifter than a regular household girl, and light enough to make her footsteps silent.  How much she was like a deer baffled him.  Dashing after her, he was slightly faster although much heavier, and soon caught her after a long chase through the woods.  After the chase, he was angry, and he held her by the scruff of the neck and lectured her on trying to murder him, and on the murder of the guards.  He asked her what reason she had for doing that, and her only answer was a look down her nose at him with her chin up high.  He told her to give him the dagger, and she simply held her position as if she were not being held off the ground by a young god.  At this, he took pity on this pretty girl with her chin up so high and a fragile, slim body, although she seemed to be over 20 summers old.  Slipping the dagger out of its sheath and off her body, he felt that it was enchanted.  He put it in his leather side bag, and let her go.  Dashing off, laughing and smiling into the woods, she seemed to disappear as though she were part of the fog, and her laughter echoed back in a taunting, disturbing sound.

A fortnight later, she went to her mother, and asked her how she could reach Cyrus without being suspicious as a beautiful young girl, holding a dagger, in a black cloak, striding straight towards him.  Her mother answered, saying, “My beautiful daughter, simply be normal, as if you were simply going to market, and zigzag toward him, buying things as you go.  Also, carry the dagger on the bottom of your basket, with the hilt sticking out of the baubles and fruits, so you can easily reach it.  For I have killed many a smart man in that way out of spite.”  Outside, Cyrus had followed her through the forest and village the whole fortnight, and now knew her plan to kill him next.  Knowing this, he decided to keep it secret, and catch her the next day a market.

The next day, at the market, she was there, buying piles of baubles for her mother, and a new dagger stuck out on top.  Cyrus noticed it hiding in a papyrus, and therefore walked over, asking if she had thought about the scolding he had given her, she said no, and they started a battle with witty sayings, and finally they had walked into the place that he had set up to pull the dagger out of the basket, or in this case, the papyrus.  Once she was in the middle of a saying, he grabbed her free arm, grasped the dagger, and pulled it out of the papyrus, waving it as a mother does a finger at a naughty child.  As she tried to escape, he brought her to the palace as a murderer and she was thrown in jail.  The torturers got a reason out of her, and she was apparently a demi-goddess born of Ares and Agneta.  She envied him as he had more power, and wanted to kill him to give herself glory as he had.  She was then killed, and her mother killed also once he revealed to her that he had been outside her mother’s cottage, and then he and the kingdom lived on happily ever after.

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