Chapter Two – Jason’s Task

Sep 28, 2019

When she woke up, she immediately started smiling. Everything was like every other morning but to her, the colours of the day seemed brighter than ever before. Her maids entered the room earlier than usual, because of the Jason’s task. He had only one day to perform his feat and needed all the time he would get. Even with the help she gave him, it would take a long time. She hoped he would know that. She should have said it to him yesterday. Now it was too late. She got dressed into her royal attire – beautiful red dress and jewels she normally didn’t have to wear. They felt cold against her skin. They felt strange. When she got ready, she went out of her room followed by servants to the nearby plain where Jason would perform his task.

She saw him from far away. He stood in the middle of a field, topless and ready. She wanted to run towards him. She wanted to cover his body with kisses and wanted him to do the same to her. But she couldn’t do that. Not yet. She had to remain calm. She allowed herself to go a little bit faster, but not so much as to appear eager. When she got closer, she noticed that special glint that was caused by her ointment. Her heart skipped a beat but she knew nobody else could see those signs. No one else in here was a sorceress like her.

She sat down on a prepared chair next to her father who greeted her. He was excited. He thought only a few minutes and the challenger would be reduced to ashes. He is in for a terrible surprise. Everyone else assumed their designated position and the royal speaker began. He reminded everyone what was happening and why they have gathered there. Finally, a question to Jason. “Are you ready?” asked the herald. “Yes,” answered her beloved and even though it was just one word, it was one of the most beautiful ones she heard. “Release the bulls,” said her father and the task had begun.

Door from a nearby metal barn were opened and the bulls came out. They went straight to Jason as if they knew what was happening. They started to run. Jason dodged both bulls swiftly and resumed his stance. Bulls stopped and turn towards him again. They tried going fast again, but Jason just dodged them again. They knew they had to adopt a new approach. One of the bulls slowly came towards Jason and tilted his head. Her father tilted forward on his seat. The bull opened his mouth and covered Jason with brightly burning flames. Even though she knew he should be okay, she almost screamed aloud. Her eyes were fixated on the spot where Jason stood. She noticed her father’s wicked smile. Smile that was fading. When the flames stopped Jason stood there unharmed. Audience gasped and her father almost broke arms of his chair in rage. Meanwhile Jason took the bull by its horns and forced his head to the ground. The bull was kicking and spewing more flame, but nothing helped. Eventually, he got subdued and yoked. She couldn’t help but smile. Her heart was beating with excitement. Next, Jason yoked the second bull and started plowing. Bulls, unused to this feeling, didn’t know what to do. They stopped their aggression and obeyed Jason’s every command. Plowing of the field took a long time. When the deed was done, a servant handed him a bag with dragon’s teeth and Jason started to plant them. He emptied the bag and waited. Her father was intently looking at the ground like the gaze of his eyes could speed up the process. Suddenly, the ground broke and skeletal hands of Spartoi appeared. Hundreds of hands. They were coming from the ground with desire to fight. Jason moved to a nearby standing boulder and just as the fighters came out, he threw the boulder in their center. Mayhem ensued as the fighters started fighting the boulder and also started fighting themselves. It took ages before everything calmed down, but when it did, only the boulder stood in the field and all Spartoi were gone. The task was done. Sun was setting down and her father wasn’t capable to say a word.

“I finished my task,” said Jason finally and looked defiantly towards the king. Few uncomfortable moments of silence until her father finally spoke out.

“Yes… you did finish it… you did as I asked…,” he forced each word with so much strength to not reveal his anger. “Tomorrow, you will be presented with the Golden Fleece, just as I promised,” he continued and Medea was unsure if she heard him correctly. Did he just agree to fulfil his promise? Something was off. The king said a few words of praise and asked Jason to go back to the palace and told him they would celebrate his victory. The crowd dispersed and only the King, Medea and king’s commander stood in the place. The king dismissed Medea and told her to return to her chambers. When she was going away, she noticed that her father was whispering with the commander and suddenly she realised what her father planned. She started running towards the palace.

Out of breath she arrived to the Jason’s room and hurled into his chambers. He stood there still covered with ointment looking from the window. He turned towards her.

“We have to rush! My father won’t honour his promise, he will have you killed!” said Medea.

“I knew it! Something was odd with the way he said it. What should we do now?”

“You should escape to your ship. You have to do it quickly!”

“I can’t return home without the fleece. I need it. The oracle said I have to return it home or the land will suffer!”

“If I’ll do this… I’d I’ll help you, I will be executed.”

“You don’t have to stay here. Help me and come with me. We will sail towards my homeland and you will become my queen. I love you.”

“I love you too… Can I really go with you?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way”

“Okay, well… First we have to go to my Chambers. There are things I need for the fleece and I also want some of my books to take with me. Follow me. The faster we’ll do this the faster we’ll be on our way toward your home.”

She took his hand and dragged him out of his room. They headed to her Chambers. Somehow, there was no one in sight. She opened the door and rushed to her table. She took out several books and handed them to Jason. She also picked up few small boxes and vials from her drawer and put them all in a bag that she fastened around her waist. “I have everything. Let’s go!” she said and took lead. On her way out, she looked back at her room. She let herself watch it for a few moments and silently said her goodbyes. She would never return here. She turned again and rushed out of the room with Jason following her steps. On her way out of the castle she wasn’t so lucky. One servant appeared in the corridor, looked at her with confusion and before she could do anything, he turned the other way and ran. “He will alert others, we have to hurry,” said Medea and switched from her fast walk into a sprint. She guided Jason into the depths of a forest, where the fleece was hidden. The air buzzed with energy. Everything seemed more alive then everywhere else. The fleece was set on a tree and glowed golden, radiating its energy into the space around it. It was so beautiful that one might not even notice a giant dragon that was curled around the tree. It was the guardian. If anyone ever wandered around or tried to steal the fleece, they would have to face a dragon that never sleeps. “Be careful. Do not approach it. Stay here in a safe distance. I have to do this alone. Trust me.” Jason appeared like he had a different idea, but in the end he nodded and let her go alone. She walked slowly and tried to look non-threatening. She paced towards the dragon that was starting to pay her attention. She knew what she had to do. She knew the words. As she was approaching the dragon she began to mutter the spell. She knew it by heart. She used it on several occasions usually on herself when she couldn’t fall asleep. She wasn’t sure whether the spell was powerful enough to knock down a dragon, but she had no idea what else to do. It would work. It has to work. If not, she is toast… Literally… She was as close as she dared now. She spoke the spell more and more loudly until she shouted the final words. The dragon was standing on its hind legs and prepared for attack, but as the final words were spoken, he stopped. He shook his head trying to get rid of the urge to sleep but it didn’t work. The spell WAS powerful. Few seconds the dragon fought its effect but eventually, the dragon that never sleeps, fell into a slumber. Her heart sighed with relief and she had fought the urge to do a little victory dance. The time was short. She grabbed the golden fleece, tugged it into her arms and went back to Jason. He stood there stunned. He saw her power. Did it make him hate her? How did it look to his eyes? Was he terrified of her? Timidly, she looked into his eyes. The magic was still there. At least for her.

“Are you alright?” she asked. Jason kissed her as an answer.

“That was amazing,” he said.

“Thank you. But now, we have to go. Lead us to your ship.”