Πέμπτη, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

Glaucus and the Nereid (O Γλαύκος και η Νηρηίδα)

Glaucus and the Nereid


Chletsos Vassilis Copyright © 2013 . All rights reserved not for commercial use


Where were the myths born, and why, and how?
A woman learnt it at the very beginning of  time.
Who told it to the woman?
The child she had in her womb.
Who told it to the child?
God’s silence.
Who told it to the silence?

The story you are about to read, is about the adventures of a twelve years old boy,  called Glaucus in ancient Greece.
A story that combines various ancient Greek myths, which fit perfectly in the adventures of Glaucus, on the Island of Lemnos, the holy island of Hephaestus and Cabeiri. 

The hero of the book,  admiring the old and famous heroes of ancient Greece, wishes to live at the depth of the sea, in the Kingdom of Poseidon, something that eventually achieves with the help of a sea Nereid, the beautiful Protomedeia and her magic filter. 

Living in an island and hearing stories of sea monsters,  his aim is to help sailors against the mysterious sea monsters, but eventually he discovers that the monsters are of an other kind, than he assumed...

The purpose of this modern myth – fairytale if you want - is to encourage children and adults to get in touch with the ancient Greek mythology, through the adventures of Glaucus.


A symbolic story with many ideas and messages about human nature, human relations, and our connection with nature. Messages which are particularly important at our epoch of global crisis, where we seek new standards and values.




Devoted to my lovely children with great love.  They were my inspiration and motivation to write this story.My little hero Nicholas- Plotinus, and my beautiful, little Nymph, Amaryllis!


IN LEMNOS

               Glaucus was twelve years old that year. He was living in “Anemoessa” Lemnos, Hephaestus’s holy island, where the god of fire and metalworking had fallen, when Zeus threw him from Mount Olympus.

During one of his parents’ ordinary fights, Zeus and Hera’s Hephaestus made the mistake of supporting his mother. Zeus was so angry,  that grabbed him and threw Hephaestus from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus fell with momentum on Lemnos and as a result he stayed lame.

The inhabitants of Lemnos reserved a warm reception to him and accepted the god of fire with love. Hephaestus retaliated, making the laboratory on Mount Mosychlos and teaching them the art of metallurgy.

Glaucus lived in the town of Myrina along with his parents, Evnios and  Hypsipyle in a big house by the sea. He was growing up in the same way as all children in Ancient Greece, learning the heroic deeds of heroes like Theseus, Achilles, Hercules, Perseus, Odysseus and others, who were his standards.

He liked reading a lot, because through the pages of the book he could travel in mind to faraway places where a twelve-year-old boy could never really travel. He was learning about different people and cultures.  In these magical and exciting travels and he wished to grow up quickly to be able to travel to distant places by a large ship,  and be able to be acquainted with all these written in books and much more.

His grandfather Philostratos and his father Evnios had received such excellent education that seemed to Glaucus,  that they knew almost everything. Actually their home had one of the largest libraries on the island. This is why a lot of important people used to visit their house very often,  and they talked about issues related to Philosophy. It was no coincidence, as people who love the wisdom, that is to say the knowledge are occupied with philosophy something that definitely matched to his father’s and grandfather’s studiousness and knowledge.

His father used to say that Philosophy was the art of “living well” as education and virtue lead a person to live honestly. Maybe he could become a philosopher too, later in his life! Despite his young age he had started to show particular interest in the great Philosopher Pythagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Plato and Aristotle although he could not comprehend them yet.

According to their teachings in order to have healthy mind, he had to have a healthy body, so Glaucus used to exercise regularly in pentathlon, a sport whose authorship was attributed, by the Ancient people, to the hero Jason who had stopped at Lemnos with his ship ‘’Argo” on his way to Colchis. When Jason was in Lemnos with his fifty Argonauts, was honored by Queen Hypsipyle (namesake of Glaucus’ mother), who organized struggles in their honor. These struggles were significant as the Argo crew consisted of famous heroes of that time. In the event of discus the winner was Telamon, father of the Homeric hero Ajax, Lynx won in the javelin, Zitis in the race, Calais in jumping. Peleus, father of the Homeric hero Achilles, won in wrestling and came second in all the other games.


          Jason, wanting to honor separately Peleus, he combined these five events in one, knowing that each one had one victory, but Peleus apart from his victory in wrestling, had been second in all the other events. So he awarded him with a separate prize, recognizing him as the most capable man in comparison with all the others who had been with him. Since then the races of pentathlon started.

             Glaucus’ second great love was the sea, as his house was built by the sea. He learned to swim almost simultaneously with walking, and since his childhood he used to play with his friends on the beach, building entire kingdoms states by sand.

              Since he could remember himself, he was spending his time with his father fishing in the shallow water while later, when he grew up, his father at last took him on their boat in the deep to fish.


              His mother Hypsipyle had of course many objections, because the sea was dangerous as she used to say, and she was afraid of Poseidon’s, the God of the sea, unpredictable outbursts.

              His mother was even worried about his father, who knew the sea so well.

How could moreover a mortal defeat the waves that were provoked by Poseidon’s trident? The truth actually was that he had heard of many people who had drowned.

               They were learning most of the news in the Market of Myrina, where they used to go frequently. There he heard sailors’ stories about faraway countries, about terrible tempests, about castaways and huge monsters,  that come out from the depths of the sea…!

               Every time those sailors talked about storms and shipwrecks, they raised the three fingers of their hands, the index and the middle fingers as the symbol of the trident of respectful Poseidon, so that a misfortune never happens to them.

   But Glaucus was not scared of these stories. He had moreover understood that the more wine they were drinking, the more frightening and heroic their stories were. He was very influenced, though.

    So influenced he was,  that he sometimes dreamed that he could live in the sea in Poseidon’s realm. He could imagine the seabed full of strange plants and colorful fish.

    In the depths of the oceans he rode big seahorses killing the sea monsters for which seamen spoke with such terror. He would definitely become seamen’s hero. All these in his sleep of course, because when he was waking up he was simply little Glaucus.

              In the Market of Myrina they could also be aware of the sailors’ news about the great war that was taking place in mainland Greece. The news was very sad, as the war, as always, had caused great misery and suffering to the Greeks. The most worrying fact was that more and more cities were forced to take part in the military operations, so it was certain that the island would soon be obliged to participate in the war. Something that everyone hoped not to happen.

                  The time was passing and Glaucus became stronger and stronger, more and more intelligent while he was spending more and more time at sea fishing with his father.

                  Glaucus was a child always obedient to his parents. He loved them very much, so did they, and they were caring of him so as not to miss anything, but always “in moderation in all things”.

                  His father always reminded to him not to be interested in material goods as he used to say that the most valuable things are the ones that cannot be bought with money and can only be seen by our heart. Material goods are deceptive. The accumulation of wealth and goods is endless and does not provide us with true satisfaction. The more we possess the bigger our requirements become. Wealth is like sea water the more we drink the thirstier we are. In the end we do not possess the goods, we get possessed by them.

         His father used the story of Solon and Croesus as an example. Croesus, the King of Lydia, was famous for his immense wealth throughout the Ancient World. For this reason he believed himself to be the happiest man in the world.

         Once Solon, one of the wisest men in antiquity, visited him, and Croesus accepted him with great hospitality. He even ordered some of his slaves to show his treasures and opulence to his guest. After he had showed his immense wealth to him, he asked Solon who considered to be the happiest man he had met in the world, expecting Solon to mention his own greatness!

          Solon, avoiding to flatter the King, responded: “The happiest man I have ever met was an Athenian King called Tellos”. Croesus was surprised by the answer and asked him why he considered him as the happiest man.

“For two reasons” Solon said “He acquired two good and worthy sons, he was alive to admire his grandchildren’s birth, all strong and healthy. And then his life was sealed by glorious death. He fought and died as a soldier, and the Athenians buried him with great honors and glory.”

              Croesus then asked Solon who considered to be the second happiest man, being sure that he would take at least the second place.


                Solon, however, talked about two young men, two brothers from Argos, Kleobis and Biton who were Cydippe’s sons, priestess of Goddess Hera.

                People in Argos honored Hera’s celebration in a particular way. Their mother Cydippe as Hera’s priestess, was responsible to perform sacrifices in Hera’s temple, but the oxen which were to draw the chariot, were found dead and in order to be able to celebrate the ritual in time, her sons dragged the chariot about eight kilometers from the stadium of Argos to Heraion.

           When they arrived at the temple, the attendants congratulated the two brothers and their mother for her happiness to have such good sons. The two boys exhausted by their overexertion, lied down outside the temple and slept.

Cudippe, touched by their devotion, asked from Hera “the best gift a god could give to a mortal”. Then Hera offered them painless death, as the best gift she could give to them was death at the happiest moment of their life. The two siblings fell asleep in the temple and they never woke up.

The Argives even built their statues and they dedicated them to Delphi as a sign of respect to two outstanding men.
Having listened to the story, Croesus got angry with Solon’s second answer, and before make him leave, he asked him: “Nice to hear all these, my Athenian friend, but what can you say for my own happiness?”

Then the wise Athenian responded with a phrase that went down in history: “Zero before the end beatify” this is to say do not regard anyone as happy before he meets his end.

Only the great wealth cannot make the man happy. These words gave no joy to Croesus and said goodbye to Solon contemptuously.

            However soon after Solon’s departure, multitude calamities happened to Croesus.   His son Atis was killed in hunting and later he, personally, was defeated and captured by the Persian King Cyrus, having lost all his wealth and his Kingdom.     

            When he had been uploaded on the pyre to burn him, Croesus, having finally understood the correctness of Solon’s words and being repentant, shouted three times
“Solon! Solon! Solon!”

Cyrus, who heard him, thought that he was invoking a God, and asked who this unknown God was…

When Croesus recounted his conversation with Solon and his wise words, Cyrus realized the correctness of Solon’s words, which were confirmed by Croesus’s painful position. Cyrus, being wiser than Croesus, ordered to download Croesus from the pile of wood and to gift life to him.


 THE LEGEND

In one of the discussions that his father had with his grandfather and other friends Glaucus had heard of a legend concerning the small island Koukounisi, which was situated close to his grandfather’s village. Once, it was said that Koukounisi was inhabited by Kouckons, wild and huge people who lived isolated on the islet, without having any relationships with the rest inhabitants of Lemnos.

            Once Kouckons decided to stay shut up at their homes and not come out again. But then suddenly, they disappeared one morning of the twenty-first of the month of Skiroforion (June) and no one saw them again. It was said that this was because of their arrogance towards Poseidon, as they prided themselves with conceit that they were as strong- but much smarter- as the Cyclops Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son, who was blinded by Odysseus.

For this reason, Poseidon commanded Hades to imprison their souls to Tartars forever.

So everyone disappeared except for Kymopoleia, Poseidon’s daughter and priestess who had tried in vain to make them prudent.

             When Poseidon imposed this hard punishment to them, Kymopoleia tried to dissuade her father. But he was adamant because hubris always brings Nemesis. Since then Kymopoleia being inconsolable,  put her life’s purpose to help the humble and respectful people and she went to line in the sea as sea nymph.


              According to the same legend, if anyone dared to be on the island the twenty-first of Skiroforion, Kymopoleia, in case he was sincere and humble, would make his greatest wish come true. In different case, however, his soul would be imprisoned in Tartars forever, like Kouckons  ones.

               By then on, many have tried to go to the island that date, but most of them never came back. And those who returned had lost their mind. For this reason visiting the island this date was prohibited by law for all the residents of Lemnos.

               Moreover, the inhabitants of the island in order to protect themselves by Kouckons  evil spirits built a temple dedicated to Hephaestus the protector of the island, according to the oracle of Delphi. So now in addition to the remains of Cuckoos’ large houses there was the Hephaestus and Cabeirian’s temple that protected the sailors. By then on, only a few Hephaestus’ priests, who were said to perform some “secret” rituals, used to visit the island that date only in special cases.     
       
This temple, actually, was not as important and big as that of Hephaestia but ceremonies were taking place there too, with people’s participation.

Every year on the fifteenth day of Boedromion (September) these ceremonies were being held, when people went there to celebrate Pyrforia’s ceremony, the “Advent of the sacred flame” from Delos, Great Mother’s celebration and the first man’s birth, Protolaos  as people used to say. 


The possibility to make his wish come true, the dream to be the hero of the sea which he often saw in his sleep, made him have the brash idea to visit the island  the forbidden date. He would dare that although he knew that it was wrong and although he used to be obedient to his parents.This time he had made his decision. No one would understand it, moreover. This would be his great secret if he was to return of course! He was waiting for the summer
Impatiently, so that,  he would go with his parents to the country house which was situated very close to Koukounisi.

  
KOUKONISI
The morning of the twenty-first Boedromion (June) of that year, when his parents left from the country house, he ran to the beach where their boat was roped. He jumped in the boat and started to paddle under the morning sun. The sea was very calm and it was not blowing at all.

            Glaucus’ lungs filled with sea air, but his heart was going to break because of his suspense. He was looking at the beach and his house all the time, hoping that he would not hear his parents yelling at him to come back immediately.

His forehead was full of sweat as he was rowing in a very fast way.  Koukounisi was very close now, he had made it. He jumped on the beach and tied up his boat to a big stone. He decided to go immediately to the sanctuary of Hephaestus and Cabeirian’s temple that stood on the plateau in the center of the island. In a while he was in front of the main entrance. Above the door a note was written: “Uninitiated non entering” that was to say      “Do not poke your nose into other people’s business!”

The door was locked of course. He went quickly to the side window and climbed so as to be able to look inside. All he could see was the statues of the three Cabeiris, Alkon’s, Onnis’, Aitnaias’ and that of their father Hephaestus.

            In front of the temple there was the altar and around that, there were three trees on which ribbons, small statues and small wooden icons with prayers for health were hanged by the visitors.

             Glaucus had brought with him some honey, flour and fruits to offer to the Gods and Kymopoleia. If he wanted his wish to come true, everything should be done properly and with respect to Gods. His wish was to be able to explore the seabed, something physically impossible for a human being. But for Gods nothing is impossible if they wish.

Before he makes his invocations to the gods, a strong wind blew from the south interrupting his thoughts.

          He feared because when he had arrived it was not blowing at all,  and that was probably not a hopeful omen.

         “Oh” he explained when he remembered that the way he had roped his boat was not very safe. He ran quickly to the point of the beach that his boat was left. Walking down the plateau, he felt frightened when he saw his boat to have been drawn by the wind in the open sea. He had not tied it up well when he arrived and the sudden wind pulled it at the sea. Panic gripped Glaucus. He put his hands to his face and shouted: “ Zeus show pity, what will I do now…?”

           No one knew he was there. How could he return back? His family would search for him but they could never imagine that he had dared something like that. He could just hope someone to notice that the boat was missing or someone else to have dared to go there secretly too. Otherwise he would stay there alone without food and water.
“What did I do the fool? How could this happen to me?” he exclaimed.

          Tears rolled down his face. Glaucus was a strong boy and he rarely cried, but this time things     were very bad. “The gods certainly punished me” he thought. “I came here as a thief, it serves me right.

The sun began to be very hot as it rose higher and higher in the sky, while all he could hear was the sea and seabirds.
Suddenly he heard a strange noise coming out behind the trees to the seaside. A noise that he had heard never again in his life and made him scare…

He was panicked and ran back to the plateau of the Temple to look from above, so as to be safe or to hide if necessary, in case one of the sea monsters, told by the sailors or even worse a giant Koukon, appeared.

          For better and for worse, he grabbed a broken twig that he found,  and went carefully to the side that the sound had been heard. The sound was whistling and weird.

            Reaching over the rocks Glaucus was relieved to see 
that the sea monster was nothing more than a… dolphin…!

             Glaucus took a sigh of relief, while he was looking at the dolphin. The dolphin was wounded and the waves hit it by the beach. He had a deep wound on his back and it seemed to have abandoned its forces. Glaucus ran quickly back to the beach, climbed the rocks and approached the dolphin which was still making squeaking sounds.

            -“How did this happen, poor dolphin” Glaucus asked without waiting any response of course. He felt sorry for the dolphin and wanted to do something to help. The dolphin was staring at him as if it understood his compassion.

-“What can I do now?” Glaucus asked.

             Fortunately when he had come out of the boat he had managed to get his haversack, in which he had apart from some water and his offerings to the Gods, a small vial containing the valuable “ healing Lemnian soil

(Terra Lemnia), the medical soil that Hephaestus gave as a gift to the residents of Lemnos, when he fell from Olympus to the island. Using this medical soil of “Lemnia soil” the God of fire healed his injured limbs after his falling.

With the famous “Lemnia soil”, Philoctetes’ leg, injured by snakebite, was also cured.
Philoctetes was Greeks’ best archer when they were going to seize Troy.
     He put out the small vial that had Artemis’ stamp on it and opened it. He approached the dolphin slowly, tearing a chunk of his tunic.

   -“Do not be afraid, I just want to help you” he said.
He put little “Lemnia soil” on dolphin’s wound and tied it tightly with the piece of cloth of his tunic. Simultaneously he filled his handfuls with seawater and he was constantly raining the dolphin’s spine. The dolphin did not react it was safe in Glaucus’ hug.

  -“We are both unlucky, my friend. Let’s hope that Gods will help us” Glaucus said to himself, looking at the dolphin with compassion. The dolphin seemed to be relieved from Glaucus’ hug. But as the hours were going by, Glaucus began to feel tired, thirsty and hungry.

     “I have to sit down in the shadow” he said addressing to the dolphin. He stood up and went to sit little further, in the shadow of a big rock in water’s edge.
        The dolphin came out at the very shallow water and touched him with its beak.

–“Who will help whom, so are we” Glaucus asked. The fatigue made his eyes close, so he had already gotten to sleep in a moment.

   
IN POSEIDON’S KINGDOM

-           “Glaucus” he heard a sweet female voice, and he felt a soft female caress on his cheek.

-           “They found me” he thought.

 He opened his eyes and saw a beautiful young woman leaning over him. She had long blond hair, green eyes; she was wearing a white tunic and had a white headscarf around her neck. She was as beautiful as Aphrodite.

-           Who are you? How did you get there?” , Glaucus asked.
 -     “Do not be afraid Glaucus, I will help you gust as you helped me,” the young woman responded.

-      “Do you have a boat?” A smile appeared on his lips. The wind took mine and I have no way to go home. My parents must have been very worried. A very hard punishment is waiting for me which of course I deserve” Glaucus said.

-    “I do not have a boat but it does not need to us”. The woman’s voice was warm and melodic. Glaucus amazed raised his eyebrows.

 - So, how will I get home? Swimming or flying?”
The woman smiled.


-         “What about swimming? Are you a capable swimmer? A wave of disappointment flooded Glaucus.

-         “A good swimmer may I be, but even a grown man could not return swimming. How could I, since I am only twelve years old?”

-         “Trust me Glaucus” , the woman said and stood up.
-         “I do not have many options, but you have not told me who you are and how you got here” .

The unknown woman replied with a question.

-“Before I answer to you, have you not wondered what happened to the injured dolphin you took care of?”

Glaucus was surprised, how could the woman know about the dolphin?

-“Was it still here when you came? The poor little dolphin was wounded…”

The woman smiled.

-“My name is Protomedeia, Glaucus, and I was the dolphin you were trying to save little time ago.”

Glaucus was left with an open mouth.-“Excuse me?”….

If this was true, then he had a Goddess in front of him and not a woman. It was true that her appearance was worthy of a Goddess.

How did he make it to have so many troubles? His parents would not have the time to punish him, Gods would do that first.

Glaucus’ heart was beating as crazy. Protomedeia realized his fear.
-         “Do not be afraid, Glaucus, it may have been thoughtless of you to come here alone but if you had not, my wounds would not have been healed so quickly, you actually saved me. I am one of the Nereids and I have been transformed into a dolphin so as to help and take care of my sisters during  our war with the Gorgons and Sirens. You may not know it, but there has been a great war at sea between us Nereids, the Mermaids and  Sirens for a long time. This war for supremacy at sea began with the great war happening at your country.  Glaucus, you see people’s actions and feelings affect Mother Nature, Gaia and all those divine powers that exist in her and help her.

Egoism, malice and hatred become actions which generate pain and suffering in human societies, provoking imbalance and disharmony to the natural powers too, which seeks for a new equilibrium and harmony.

When this happens, then there is most often a large upsurge in natural disasters on earth caused by this disharmony. Occasionally, of course, this is not due to human actions, but to the secret call of the divine plan of evolution. The battle between Good and Evil has been always existed. Evil is “nourished” by anger, jealousy, sadness, frustration, greed, arrogance, insult, lies, vanity, and ego. Good is 
“nourished” by the joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, charity, compassion, generosity, truth, compassion. The poor human thoughts and actions can be balanced only by human love and altruism.

For this reason, if there is even a spark of love, hope there will be as well, and because the hatred and malice are taught while love is just experienced, “conquered”.

For example one can teach you to hate something or someone else without having personally met. But in order to really love someone or something you need to know it and then your heart will know, will feel, will love it.

The most important things cannot be seen by the eyes but by the heart. The love you offered to the dolphin -without knowing it was me-helped me heal my wounds.

So in the world too, if lots of people shared their thoughts and acts of love our world would be better. The more people are, the better the result is. A man creates a path but lots of people together create a road…

Before you return home, I would like to reciprocate the help and kindness you offered me.  Tell me what you wish and I will try to give it to you.”

Glaucus did not believe his ears. Not only had not he caused Gods’ anger but also the reason why he had come here would become a reality.

-         “The truth is I have a wish” , Glaucus said coyly. “I want something that is very difficult to become true…”

-         -“What is it, Glaucus? Tell me and I will try it out”,  sweet Protomedeia said.

-         “Eh…., I wish I could see the seabed, to live among the sea creatures, to meet Poseidon’s Kingdom. But now what I want is to go back home, because I do not have my boat and my parents must be really worried…!!!”


-         “This is something I can make true” , the Nereid said happily.“I will give you a herb to drink and you will be able to swim with me at the seabed, as long as you want. Do not worry about your parents, time will stop at the moment you found me, you will have as much time as you want to go back”.

A wide smile appeared on Glaucus’ face. His green eyes sparkled with happiness.

-         “Thank you very much Protomedeia, I cannot believe it, thank you a lot”…

Protomedeia was wearing a red sash around her waist. She pulled a small vial through it that had Poseidon’s trident painted on it and offered that to Glaucus. He hesitated for a while, but he eventually picked it up and drank it all at once. It was blue and tasted sweet, so it was not difficult for him to drink.

-“And now?” , Glaucus asked.

-“Now we can go for a ride at the seabed, if you want so.” Protomedeia stretched her hand.

-“Perfect”,  Glaucus exclaimed and took her hand in his.
Her hand was so soft and warm, that reminded his mother’s hand, and that liked him very much.
So they started going to the sea hand in hand. Glaucus’ heart was beating as crazy, glad and scared at the same time, small drops of sweat appeared on his forehead.
But what if he drowned? Protomedeia realized his fear and embraced him.

-“Do not be afraid, my dear everything will be fine.” She said and gave him a kiss on his forehead. Glaucus took courage, he was a boy and he should not show fear in front of a woman and especially so beautiful as her.

Little by little, the sea began to cover Glaucus’ and Protomedeia’s bodies. Once the water reached the height of Glaucus’ neck, Protomedeia asked him:
-“Are you ready my dear? Whenever you are ready we will dip together, just as you dive.”

Glaucus looked at her beautiful green eyes while he was taking a deep breath. He shook his head, a sign that he was ready for his encounter with the underwater world.
Of course if it was not Kouckons trick, which would mean his end!

His thoughts were interrupted by the sensation of cold water on his face.

Protomedeia was holding his hand and gestured with her free hand to look her in the eyes. Glaucus looked in her eyes and then something amazing happened.
 Protomedeia was moving her lips and mouth as if she was talking to him.

At that moment he saw small air bubbles coming out of her mouth and he suddenly “listened” to her voice like a whisper in his head.
-  Glacus, take a breath, do not be afraid, you will not drown. For a while, you are a creature of the sea too. We are still in the shallows, if you do not believe me and feel drowning just stand up and take your head out of the sea.”

            Glaucus made a grimace showing wonder and admiration too, for this unusual mode of communication. The truth was that he found Protomedeia’s abilities impressive, so, even though he had been keeping his breath so far, he closed his eyes because of his fear and let the sea water go down to his nose and throat. Few air bubbles came out of his nose and mouth and they soon filled with water.

The seawater did not drown him though.
            He felt some warmth fleeing his chest; his nose tingled a little, and felt dizzy for a few seconds.

-“Do not worry, you will feel better in a minute.” He heard Protomedeia’s whispers “inside” his head. And it was true, Glaucus immediately felt so comfortable, as when someone breathes oxygen, for which the people, the animals, and the plants on Earth are molded. Even his sight was as clear as out on surface.

His joy was indescribable, he squeezed her hand more (the one he was holding) and with his free hand he touched the point of the heart, to show that he thanked her.
Protomedeia winked to him.

-“She is very good”, he thought.

Protomedeia whispered:
-“Are you ready for free diving now?”

Glaucus nodded with his head “yes.”

-“Well! To be able to take you with me I will become a dolphin again.
So you must embrace me and I hope you will like the travel in Poseidon’s kingdom. Let’s go to my father Nereus first so as to meet my sisters. There, 
we will be safe from the Sirens and the Mermaids.”

-“This sounds perfect”,  Glaucus agreed.

They had been in the shallow water yet, so he stood up on his two legs and waited for Protomedeia to be transformed into a dolphin, having his head in the sea.
What he outfaced was magical. Small white whirlpool started to spread cyclically, little by little, from her head to her feet.
Thousands of water bubbles were swirling around her human body until they covered it completely. Glaucus thought he had seen a dream and he stared his eyes…

            All he could see was the white whirlpool, swirling gradually from the upper side, revealing a dolphin’s head. When the vortex disappeared, the dolphin- Protomedeia appeared in front of him!

            Glaucus was trying to recover from the shock. The dolphin- Protomedeia, with an incredibly fast move, jumped out of the water, turned around herself and then swam behind Glaucus. Before he even understood what had happened, Protomedeia was already touching the tip of his legs with her beak playfully.

-“Glaucus, what about helping me go for a reide? Open your legs to get you on my back.”

-“Of course,” Glaucus said and Protomedeia slipped beneath his legs immediately waiting for him to embrace her. Once he did it Protomedeia-dolphin swam quickly to deep with rhythmic movements.

What happened was unprecedented. He felt the seawater slipping to his body, pulling his facial features, as if he was riding a horse very fast.

 Around him the seabed was changing colors and as Protomedeia-dolphin was leading him deeper, its color was getting darker.

         Now the seabed was covered with huge seaweed which was moving left and right like the crops in the meadows, in Limnos in spring, with plenty of fish popping in and out.

         As time was passing, bigger and bigger fish were swimming around them, while the depth was still growing. Glaucus lifted his head up, looking at the surface and saw that the color of the sea near the surface was having a lovely blue tint, as the rays of the sun were falling over it.
          Lines of light were tearing the surface until they were gradually being lost in its hug.

         Now they had reached the very deep and the water was much darker. He looked at the surface again, which seemed to be very far. He looked ahead and he saw a lot of big rocks, as the landscape was getting wilder and wilder.

        On the surface of a big rock an enormous brown octopus was moving quickly. Glaucus shuddered watching the octapus’ size and squeezed Protomedeia even tighter.

   -“We arrive in a moment”,  Protomedeia said as she understood that Glaucus was getting a little scared.

         Suddenly the rocky seabed ended and they began to go down a steep rocky ravine. The rocks were covered with colorful corals, while hundreds of swarms of small and big fish were wandering around the rocks. Then other dolphins started to come from the deep, too, and once they approached them, they began making circles around them, passing above and below them, playfully.

-“Glaucus, welcome to our hom”, Glaucus heard in his head lots of voices to say simultaneously, in the same magical way Protomedeia had also used. And they continued their playful dance around them.


-“Glaucus, you well understood. They are some of my sisters”,  Protomedeia said.

-“ Hello, I am very happy to be here with you”,  Glaucus replyed.

          Suddenly, he saw an enormous rock in the seabed that looked like a hill, which had lots of openings on the side, from which various sea creatures were going in and out.
       But as they were coming closer, he noticed that the rock was covered with beautiful colors, and reflected the little light was falling on it, so it was glowing dazzling as if it was lightened by a magical way. In a while, they would be getting into one of the entrances of the rock.

       Once they got inside, wonderful light flooded the space through a dome in the centre of the rock, which was open although it was not visible from outside.

Round and round inside, there were plenty arcades while in the centre there were incredibly beautiful, colorful corals, shells and lovely big nautilus.

       In the centre of that marine garden, there was a throne made by two huge clams. The one was the base on which another one open was, which included the throne in shape of a folded starfish. Nereus was sitting on the throne, “the elder of the sea”, as he was known.


      Nereus had the grandiose appearance that befitted a god. His appearance was different from a human’s one, as green seaweed covered his head instead of hair and beard. His body was naked from the waist up, while he had a fish tail from the waist down. Nereus was known to be good and lovable, “he had noble thoughts and never lied”. 

Glaucus had been taught in history that when Hercules had been looking for the garden of Hesperides, in one of his feats, he had asked the Nymphs in the river of Illyria Eridanus, if they knew to show him the way.

        The Nymphs then urged him to ask the old Nereus which way he should follow to find the garden. Nereus who now was in front of him – who could have thought it- was not so willing to help Hercules and the hero had to force him.

        Firstly, Hercules tried to arrest him while he was sleeping, but Nereus woke up and tried to escape, being transformed sometimes into water, and sometimes into fire.
Hercules however caught him and after Nereus had taken his original form, he showed him the way.

      “So this is Nereus” ,Glaucus thought, who would have thought that a little mortal like Glaucus would be here now in his kingdom, talking with him.

                 Protomedeia-dolphin stopped, so that Glaucus could get off her back. In the same time the rest dolphins that is to say her sisters who had come to welcome them, eight in number, stopped beside them. When Glaucus left Protomedeia, she and her sisters began to be transformed again into women.

             Although he had already seen once the process of transformation through the eddy, when Protomedeia was transformed, it was exciting to see nine such strange transformative eddies around him simultaneously.

           Protomedeia’s eight sisters ran and sat on the tail and on the side of their father Nereus, who seemed to be very happy with so many women taking care of him. Who would not be happy, moreover, having fifty daughters- because so many his daughters Nereids were- and having as wife a goddess, to groom him?

         -“Welcome to my home, Glaucus, come closer” he heard old Nereus’ calm voice who did signal with his palm to approach.

In his hand, he was holding a scepter which had a sculpted dolphin on its top. Beside him, right and left of the throne, two Ichthyocentaurs  were sitting, Bythos and Aphros.

These were Cronus and Philyra’s twin sons and they were half siblings of the wise centaur, Chiron. Both of them had a human form in the upper part of their body, and a horse form in their lower part, which had a fish tail instead of back legs. Aphros had lobster’s antennas and Bythos had lobster’s claws, on their heads. This was their only difference, since their figure was absolutely the same. Their appearance made Glaucus feel scared, but he tried not to let it show.


 Protomedeia standing beside Glaucus took him by the hand to sit next to Nereus.
Glaucus, although he was in the water, had reddened from shame and respect. Once he sat beside him, Nereus smiled and stroked his thick, curly hair, which were dancing messy right and left in the sea, and seemed rather funny.

          -“Well I learnt that you helped my daughter, Protomedeia. Protomedeia’s deed is to take care of us all, but this time you took care of her, with great love.

I also learnt, how much you love the sea, and that it was your desire to know the underwater world, something that no man has done before. We will try to have fun for the little time you will be with us, if you want to, of course.”

        -“Of course I would love to, this is my dream, thank you very much.” Glaucus said having his eyes lowered, as he was afraid to look right in Nereus’ eyes.

       -“Protomedeia, maybe should you introduce Glaucus to your sisters?” Nereus said smiling.

Protomedeia’s beautiful sisters were smiling playfully and they were whispering secrets to each other, apparently about Glaucus, causing great embarrassment to him. They all had blond hair and green eyes, it could hardly be said who was the prettiest, as each one had her own unique beauty. They had youthful faces and they would certainly make pleasant company as smile was permanent on their lips.  
      
           -“Of course father, that was my omission. Glaucus this is Galene” Protomedeia said pointing at the Nereid sitting on the left side next to Glaucus and Nereus.
Galene smiled shaking her fingers in a friendly greeting.

“Galene brings us calmness in the stormy sea” , Galene did a grimace of approval.

Protomedeia continued pointing the Nereid next to Galene, “Eukrati calms the waves, and as you see, they are very close to each other”.

The two sisters hugged each other smiling.

        -“This is Nemertes, known for her truthfulness, while Nesaea and Neso have the islands under their jurisdiction” , Protomedeia said pointing.

        They all together nodded to Glaucus who retaliated with his best smile.
Pointing at the right this time, Protomedeia introduced Pontoporeia, who always finds a way out.

“So, if you ever get lost in the seabed, you know who to call, she knows every stone, every street and every star in the sky”.

      -“Oh, my sister exaggerates, but if you ever need me, I will be glad to advise you” , Pontoporeia said.

      -“Thanks a lot, I will definitely remember that” Glaucus said happily.
     -“Polunoe, known for her wisdom and Pronoe known for her foresight” Protomedeia continued the recommendations. “Finally, these are our wise teachers, Aphros and Bythos, our guards and protectors.” Both Ichthyocentaurs shook the lobster’s antennas and claws that had on their heads as a sign of greeting.

        -“Nice to meet you” , Glaucus said coyly and being perhaps a bit frightened, addressing to the Ichthyocentaurs.
After recommendations had finished, Nereus took the speech again.

        -“As you see, Glaucus I am a lucky father. I never miss care, song and dance, my daughters care for it. However, this period we are facing a predicament, as my daughter Protomedeia explained to you, that spoils our fun a bit.”    


       -“Yes, she explained to me that this happens due to the war that is taking place in the land.” Glaucus replied.

     -“So is it, but things are temporary for us here as our time is eternal and our souls are not in danger of being seduced by the evil forever, only impermanent. In human societies, however, the battle taking place in people’s souls is much more important and the consequences are very serious.

 People have only a moment available, the present. Like Hercules, who had to choose between two paths, people are also asked to make their choices, to choose their path. This is not an easy decision to make. 
                                                                               
 Glaucus imagine an eternal battle, taking place between two wolves that exist within all people. The one wolf is the Evil representing anger, jealousy, sadness, frustration, greed, arrogance, guilt, attack, inferiority, lies, vanity and ego.

             The other one is the Good and represents joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, compassion, generosity, truth and faith in Gods. The winner will be this one who is fed up more in each one’s soul. If the Evil dominates, then societies will be wild herds and might makes right dominates, not the justice. Societies and people get waned.

             As you can see, Glaucus, the choices and decisions that everyone makes determine not only his own future, but also that of the next generations that follow.
This is because each one is the sequel of his ancestors.

         Each one’s value is considered by what he can offer not by what he can receive. What you give is more important than what you get.
        Hercules in his return from the garden of Hesperides told me a teaching story that a wise old man had narrated there and I would like to share it with you. I am sure you will like it.

        People there call the creator of the world, “The Great Spirit”. This created everything, and gave to the First People presents enclosed in carved cedar boxes.

Early humans were animals, the creatures that pre-existed. One of the boxes contained the water. And when the box was opened, all the water came out and went to heaven.

So the clouds were created. Then it fell like rain and formed the rivers that spilled in the big pits and so sea was created. In another box, all the mountains were. They were situated on the place that they still are today. In other two boxes there were all the seed plants and the wind that blew and scattered them to the four sides of the world…

          All first people opened their boxes apart from Seagull.  All the light of the world was in his box. But Seagull was holding the box tightly without opening it.

         So, at first darkness only existed in the world…. The animals-people were asking him to open the box, but he was constantly refusing, holding it under his wing tightly. Thus, the first people asked  raven’s help, who was Seagull’s cousin. Raven tried in every way to persuade Seagull to open the box which contained the light of the world. He begged him, flattered him, threatened him…but no result! Raven then, angry as he was, thought: “Seagull hurts all the people. He deserves to get a thorn in his foot…” Raven’s every thought used to become true. So Seagull suddenly started to scream from the pain: “My foot, my foot, something tapped my foot!..” Raven was offered to help, as if he did not know what had happened. He stooped, then, saw the thorn, but instead of pulling it out he pushed it even deeper.

      -“Oh, Seagull, excuse me. I cannot see what I am doing. If only there was light, even a little… I could see what has hurt you and I would certainly find a solution…”

       Then, little Seagull opened the cap and let some of the light out of the box. A lot of molecules of light escaped, streamed into the sky and raven was the first one to see the stars. And they were wonderful…
       Raven leaned over Seagull’s foot again and pushed the thorn even deeper. Seagull screamed, crying from the pain.

     -“I am sorry, there is not enough light. Open the box a little more” Raven said.
Seagull lifted the cap little more so that dim light could get out, which was towered in the sky. Raven was the first who saw the moon. And it was wonderful…

       Raven leaned over Seagull’s foot again, and pushed the thorn much deeper, Seagull cried loudly, he opened his two wings and the box fell down. The cap opened and a huge ball of fire got out of the box and sprang up in the sky.

Raven could not look at this very bright light, he could not look at… the Sun! But he could see more clearly and draw the thorn from Seagull’s foot…

       Seagull then realized that his unwillingness to give what he had, caused him this pain.
Only when you give without hesitation, the pain leaves and the road to freedom opens.
 For this reason, Glaucus, if you ever go to the place that Seagull lives, you will see that he sometimes stands on his one leg and puts the other up. This is because the pain that the thorn provoked has not been forgotten yet…
.
         -“I made you feel tired with my verbiage, Glaucus” Nereus smiled.

        -“Not at all, Venerable Nereus, your words are wise” Glaucus answered. I wish all people could think in the way you advised me. I would like the pain caused by the war here and on land to stop. But I am little and the adult world is too hard. I do not think that a child as me can convince them to change their habits and behaviors.”

       -“Glaucus, you may be young, but do not forget that sometimes the mind and the heart are an incredibly powerful weapon if they are used properly.”

      -“I would like to see and learn more things from you. But to tell you the truth, one of the reasons I wanted to live in the seabed was to protect the sailors from the sea monsters that men in the 
taverns talk about. Do these monsters really exist?”

     Nereus, his daughters and both the Ichthyocentaurs laughed loudly.

    -“Glaucus, the wine can create lots of monsters; I do not know what the seamen exactly mean. Do not forget that the first glass is that of joy. The second one is that of laughter, and the third one is of drunkenness and insult. Then the mind and the body lose control and seamen drink enough, as I know. But the monsters, even if they do not exist, they can be created. Currently the Mermaids and Sirens have caused great imbalance in the sea, as they have poisoned with malice and murdering instincts the sea creatures.

In the cycle of nature survival instinct may dominate but none of the creatures kill for pleasure, but only in order to be fed. Of course this does not apply to human societies, where people kill each other to impose their authority and dominance to other people.

Unfortunately during this predicament Sirens and Mermaids accompanied by swordfish, moray eels, sharks, scatter fear and death at the seabed, not because of necessity but of malice. So if you want to protect the sea creatures from the monsters I described you, you can, but are you sure that you really want to?”

    -“Of course, I would like to, but I just do not know how I could help you” Glaucus said with excitement.

    -“Very nice, so our sage teachers, Aphros and Bythos, will explain to you what can be done. You have to know that I would not permit to you to participate in something like that, if the human involvement in the preservation of natural harmony was not important. I should also let you know how important a role nymph Kymopoleia played for your presence here…”

        Glaucus raised his eyebrows, puckering his lips, indicating that he could now understand that his presence on Kouckonisi Island that day caused his wish to come true, so the legend was true then. His thoughts were interrupted by Aphros and Bythos that moved towards him.
It was true that they seemed scary, but their faces were calm and the antennas and claws on their heads saved the day, as they were constantly going back and forth.

        -“Come with us Glaucus, let’s go to the teachers’ training, follow us” Bythos said with a bass voice. His brother Aphros did not say anything. He just moved next to his brother.
Glaucus turned and looked at Protomedeia showing that he was not sure if he wanted to be left alone with them.

       -“See you later, Glaucus” , Protomedeia said with a brilliant smile. She was so beautiful that every time he was looking at her he could feel tightness in his heart, strange but certainly nice feeling. He could feel very nice with her. But now he had to stay alone with the wise brothers Ichthyocentaurs, as he was told to. As he was following them he could not but compare the moment with the heroes he always admired, Castor and Pollux, the great physician Asclepius, Jason and especially Achilles, who were taught by wise centaur Chiron.

    “May I am dreaming”, he thought and pinched his leg secretly. But nothing happened.

He was still there between Bythos and Aphros swimming towards the one of the inner gates which was behind Nereus’ throne. Nereus surrounded by his daughters was laughing loudly.

Once they approached this which seemed to be a door, Aphros and Bythos who were ahead just passed through it. Concentric cycles were spread on the surface of this thing that looked like a door when the twins passed, as happens when you throw a stone on the surface of a lake, but in this case they had already been in the water!
Glaucus had stayed outside looking dumbfounded.

  -“Glaucus come here, please, we are waiting for you”, he heard the voice of one of the brothers.
He tried to be encouraged and passed the strange door. He felt nothing, while he was passing. The strange door was like a curtain, but you could not see from outside to inside and vice versa, but there was nothing solid to prevent you pass through it.

 Once Glaucus got inside he saw the twins at the centre of the circular room.

The room was all along carved symmetrically with square wickets, in which there were thin stone slabs that probably were books. Round and round there were some nautilus stuck on the rocky walls of the room which was lightening the whole room with a wonderful light.

       In the centre of the room, there was a round table made of stones, framed perimeter of a circular stall also made by stone.

     The twins were waiting for him there. The antennas and claws on their heads were still wiggling back and forth. The spectacle was funny but Glaucus tried not to laugh.

      -“Come and sit between us” , Bythos said calmly.

Glaucus sat in the centre between the two brothers and crossed his hands on the stone table.

Nobody was talking. Glaucus felt embarrassed and was looking at his hands. Suddenly Aphros talked.

     -“There are two ways for a man to fight Glaucus. The one is through logic and intelligence and the other through muscle strength. The first method suits to humans and the second one to the beasts. However, sometimes the first way is woefully inadequate for most as they cannot control their wild instincts, so most resort to the second. Both 
Centaur Chiron and us, we are heroes’ teachers.”

Aphros thought for a while, remaining silent, and after a while he continued.

    -“Notice our body. What can you see?”

   -“I can see two Ichthyocentaurs who have the body of a fish, a horse and a human.” Glaucus said being careful not to break a smile on their lobster’s claws and antennas!

   -“Learn to see beyond what eyes see, Glaucus” , Bythos said.

“The lower part of our body does not have this form of horse randomly, while our upper one has human form. This symbolizes humans’ superiority over the animal kingdom. Our antennas, which you find funny, symbolize a conscious man who has contact with his divine substance.

         But this is something you will understand in time when you grow up. Heroes fight for this reason, to “exalt” humanity. This is why they become demigods in the end.

This is in contrary to the chthonic forces that are nurtured by destruction and negative emotions. Currently, Phorcy and his daughters, the three Mermaids, Stheno, Euryale and Medusa, and the three Sirens,  Aglaopheme, Molpe and  Thelxiepeia express these chthonic forces.


       The situation is critical as lots of sea creatures are being lost. The problem is that Gods cannot imprison Gods for human affairs. Therefore Glaucus, your contribution to Phorcys’ and his daughters’ arrest, could be extremely important so that lives will stop being lost.

      We are planning an operation at the extremity of the night across the Atlantic Ocean at Hesperides, where Mermaids live. If we are lucky and we surprise them, then we may be able, with your help, to catch them and prevent them from carrying on their destructive work.

If we are lucky we may find their father Phorcy there too, if not we may need to go to the lake 
Tritonidia in Libya, where his Kingdom is”.

      Glaucus listened to Bythos words with attention and enthusiasm.

      -“And what about me? How could I help you?” Glaucus asked wistfully.

Aphros took the speech again. The Nymph Kymopoleia has persuaded her father, Sea power Poseidon, to intervene and he will “pretend not to see” whatever it happens.
The wise Nereus has asked from Hephaestus to create a special armor for you, and a unique crossbow which is going to dispose arrows with multiple heads which will be joined together with steel net. When the arrows are launched toward the goal, heads open circularly and close once the central shaft hits to any hard object. If you are good at shooting, we may be lucky and you may captivate the Mermaids and the Sirens with their father.

       At that moment, Protomedeia, the personification of beauty, entered the room smiling, passing the strange entrances.

     -“Wise teachers, can I take Glaucus now?” , She asked.

The twins nodded “yes” with a nod of their head downwards, bearing their antennas and claws at the front! It was apparent that the twins did not like to talk too much. They were definitely proponents of brief speech introduced by the Spartans. “Brevity is the soul of wit” they used to say.
    -“Come on, my dear, you should take some rest for tonight, we expect a difficult day tomorrow” , Protomedeia said, stretching out her hand to get his own.
  Glaucus popped up, so to speak, as the movements of the human body in the water are necessarily lazy.

   -“Thank you a lot”,  he said to the twins and held Protomedeia’s velvet hand.

They came out of the teachers’ training to the central colorful room where Nereus’ throne was. Nobody was here now apart from the besides plenty of colorful fish in all sizes which were swimming in the room. Protomedeia led Glaucus into another room opposite the tutorial. Passing again through another strange door- curtain they were found in a small circular room similar to the tutorial, with the only difference that there were not any shelves on the walls, but various wonderful murals inspired by the sea.

    In the centre of the room, there was a huge open clam which had been converted into a bed.

Protomedeia led him there to lie down. Then, she stretched her hand out in which she was keeping a green round mass of seaweed, and said:

“ Glaucus, I want you to  eat these seaweed which will help you not only to sleep, but also to dream, as we have too many things to do tomorrow”,  Glaucus did not hesitate at all this time. Their taste was bitter but nevertheless he thanked her, and after he had eaten them he lied down on the bed-clam.

   Protomedeia then, recited a pray for Glaucus:

       “Spread your wings, God of dream, prophetic messages to bring. Come to the mortal people savior, tran singer oracles to chant! You silently come forward, amid the serenity of the sweetest sleep, and you awaken the thought, talking to the souls. You bring to earth the wills of Blessed, during mortal people’s silent sleep, and you reveal the future to the silent soul, which the Divine Mind governs with compassion, until the heart conceives the Beauty, which will lead man’s full of joy life to the charm.”

       Immediately the Nereid got out and Glaucus stayed alone. So many facts had happened that day that he did not know what to think about first. What he had lived, or what he was expecting to live the following day. Had Hephaestus created an armor and weapon for him? It was unbelievable. He could not have dared something like that, even in his dreams.

     On the other hand, how could just a twelve-year-old boy fight the Mermaids and the Sirens? His tireness was so great and his bed-clam so soft that he did not realize how soon he fell asleep. But something magical happened when he fell asleep. The clam closed hiding little Glaucus inside. 
Simultaneously a yellow-red color started to be vibrated from the clam’s centre, and the whole room was lightened.

            Of course, Glaucus did not see and feel anything during his sleep. He saw the same dream during all night. He was in a green meadow with Aphros and Bythos and they were teaching him shooting with a strange bow. Nymph Kymopoleia was with them, whom he had never met, but in his dream he knew who she was.


           Whenever the twins gave instructions and asked him to shoot, Nymph Kymopoleia was touching the hand that was shooting, and then Glaucus felt strange energy to penetrate him and make him shudder

           The shots were always accurate, and his speed was extremely fast. Exactly the same happened with the exercises he was doing with a strange spear, which had two round metallic protrusions in the edges in shape of sea urchins with very long spines.

          The twins Ichthyocentaurs were teaching him how to use it. When the time of exercise was coming, Kimopoleia was touching him again making the spear-urchin as easy as a game in his hands.

         Glaucus was twiddling it around him and over his head with mastery. He was repelling the blows from the attacks of wooden swords that Aphros and Bythos were using for this reason.

        The next morning, Glaucus woke up, having felt two warm lips on his forehead. The clam- bed had opened again. He opened his eyes and saw Protomedeia above him. He could not have imagined a prettier awakening than this. His beloved Nereid smiled.

      -“ Good morning Glaucus, today is the big day! Come out, we are waiting for you”.
Glaucus got up quickly, feeling very refreshed and incredibly strong. His moves were much quicker than usual, without making any efforts.

He opened and closed his palms looking with amazement as this move was made effortlessly with a great speed. Coming out in the room with Nereus’ throne, he saw an incredibly beautiful sight.

         Nereus was sharing his throne with a beautiful woman today, his wife Oceania Doris.
Besides Nereus and Doris, the room was full of beautiful Nereids, all fifty must have been here! The two Ichthyocentaurs were also here, right and left of Nereus’ throne.

       -“Come here, Glaucus, approach us” Nereus said. “Did you sleep well?”
      -“I slept very well, I feel strange but really very strong today” , Glaucus replied.
     -“Very nice. This is what we wanted. So you are ready to become a little hero. We have a small present for you that will be very useful”,  Nereus told him.

Suddenly circle light in size of a large shield appeared in front of Nereus’ throne. After a while the light gradually disappeared and in its place a brilliant bronze-colored armor appeared, a shield that had Hephaestus’ symbols on it, a hammer, an anvil and a nipper, an armor, a crossbow and the spear that Glaucus had dreamed of.

     At the same time two huge seahorses approached having a chariot behind them.

The chariot did not have wheels of course, as they would not be useful in the seabed.

They stopped in front of Nereus and Glaucus. The chariot was the same color as the armor, and representations of dolphins were depicted, while in front Poseidon’s trident was embossed.

       Glaucus was looking as if he was hypnotized. One surprise succeeded another. He had been living in a dream by the previous day. Protomedeia and one of her sisters took the armor and weapons and approached Glaucus who had been dumbfounded.

     -“Amphitrite and me will prepare you” , Protomedeia said smiling.
Glaucus smiled too, although this smile was of embarrassment.

          Both of Nereids helped him put on his armor and gave him the crossbow, which was exactly the same as the one he was using in his dream. Nereids expressed exclamations of admiration as Glaucus looked like God Mars in his armor. Glaucus was very proud and a smile was constantly etched on his face.

       Amphitrite, in the meantime, put the big quiver with the specially formed arrows, and the spear with the sharp edges like urchin’s, on the chariot that the Seahorses had brought.
     Aphros and Bythos moved towards the chariot and took the Seahorses’ place.
Protomedeia and Amphitrite roped the chariot on the twins.

    -“ Glaucus, the chariot is for you. Aphros and Bythos will drive you and my daughters will protect you. I wish you good luck, your mission is very important. Remember, that today you have to confront your fear, everyone’s biggest challenge. You must be courageous. Courage is the art of concealing your fear, as everyone can get afraid even the most fearless.Imagine that even omnipotent Zeus dreads Hera!” , Nereus said smiling and everyone could not help but burst into laughter.


He continued: “This requires courage; it is not lack of fear but an action despite fear.
Remember, Glaucus, you do not conquer your fears by avoiding them but by chasing them! When the wrestler enters the arena and manages to preserve his dignity and honor, he will never be defeated, even if he loses the match, his soul will be intact because he will know that he did his best.

      Even when you lose, if you are taught by your mistakes, victory will eventually come. And if this does not happen the next time, it will happen one after that. The worst is not to fall down; the worst is not to stand up. You are defeated only when you give up. So, Glaucus, try not to give up due to your fear, before you even fight, this is my advice”.

      -“Thank you very much wise Nereus, I hope to be worthy of your trust”,  Glaucus answered.

Suddenly an enormous white circle of transformative whirlpool filled the room as Nereids were being transformed into dolphins, for their mission. All apart from Protomedeia, who took Glaucus by hand and drove him to sit together on Ichthyocentaurs’ chariot.

             Once Nereids were transformed, their father Nereus and their mother Doris stretched their hands forward simultaneously, lowering their heads until their jaws touched their chest.

Absolute silence prevailed for a while. After that four beams of light got out of their hands, which spread in the room wrapping all Nereids who now were dolphins.
Gradually the light was confined in each Nereid-dolphin, in their beaks, fins and tails.

      Little by little the light was concentrated and became brazen at these points, protecting them and simultaneously turning them into sharp and powerful weapons.
Once this happened, Nereids being transformed into dolphins, sluiced altogether out playfully, from the gates to the deep ocean, with Glaucus’ chariot, Protomedeia and the twins at the centre.

      The sunlight was lighting the surface of the sea, while the full of colors seabed was throbbing with life.
Nereids-dolphins were dancing around Glaucus’ chariot, who was sparkling in Hephaestus’ magnificent armor. Glaucus admired the exciting underwater world and he was constantly asking Protomedeia about the creatures he saw and he did not know. His beloved Nereid was patient with him and she was answering willingly to all his questions.

      -“We are reaching our destination in a while, Glaucus”,  Protomedeia informed him.

“Your body is ready for what is going to come next but your soul is not.  What you have to overcome is the fear that will certainly come upon you. What you are going to see and face will be unknown for you. Do not let fear get the win before the fight. I will be here beside you and I will help you to make it. At least we will try. And if we finally do not make it, we will know that we will have tried for what we consider good and right, not so much for ourselves as for the common benefit. Prepare yourself Glaucus; take your crossbow in your hand”.

        Protomedeia took the spear with the radial sharp edges in her hand.

      -“Do not worry Protomedeia, I will do my best”,  Glaucus assured her, though in fact, he got more scared after her words but he just tried not to show it.

Suddenly the water started to get darker even though it was not deeper. The landscape was also deserted; there were only stones and rocks everywhere, while no alive creatures appeared anywhere. No movements, only dark water. The place seemed deserted and threatening. Bad instinct came upon Glaucus and he immediately tightened the crossbow in his right hand and his shield in his left one.

           An eerie whistling sound which resembled to screams and became louder and louder made Glaucus shiver.  

     -“They are coming” Protomedeia told him. Her sisters were spread in the area around the chariot, creating a protective collar around them.

Numerous black figures were approaching fast from the depth. When they went closer Glaucus understood what it was. Dozens of sharks, swordfish, moray eels and rays, were coming straight towards them at a great speed, while Mermaids were in the centre of the formation. Mermaids were Phorcy and Ceto’s daughters. Their names were: 

Sthenoe that meant strength and symbolized the power of the sea, Euryale that meant wide sea and Medusa which meant “govern”, “dominate”, “Protect”. On their heads they had snakes instead of hair and their threatening red eyes provoked a frightful sight that made one unable even to breathe.

     Despite Medusa’s repulsive appearance, it is said that once she had been so beautiful that Poseidon wanted to be united with her and he made it being disguised as a horse, in Athena’s sanctuary. Goddess Athena was furious but she could not punish Poseidon, so she broke her anger over Medusa. She transformed her to a hateful monster, who had snakes instead of hair. Such was her ugliness that everyone who looked at her was turned to stone. Finally Perseus killed her with Athena’s help. 

At the moment that Perseus was cutting her head, Medusa gave birth to Chrysaora and Pegasus, the winged horse, that were the fruits of her union with Poseidon. Athena was given Medusa’s “Gorgoneio” head by the hero, and placed it on her shield, because even though it was dead, it could still turn to stone whoever looked at it. Medusa was not possible to die, though, but she was simply the shadow of herself and inhabited only in the deepest and darkest part of Hades’ kingdom. She no longer had the power to petrify anyone that looked at her, but Glaucus had almost been petrified by his terror.

       Glaucus shuddered at their sight. The sound was deafening and the screams were howling.

    -“Prepare your crossbow, Glaucus, are you alright?” . Protomedeia looked at his eyes with persistence and comprehension. Her eyes gave him courage.  The Nereid took the spear with the radial sharp edges and Glaucus was shooting to the centre of fish’s formation that was rushing at the place Mermaids were.

       But their number was large and he was not able to shoot the Mermaids, despite Ichthyocentaurs’ skilled maneuvers who were driving the chariot.

        The first shark, moray eels, swordfish and rays came to front Nereids-dolphins with their jaws open showing their scary and sharp teeth and noses, while the rays were lifting the poisonous stings of their tails.

      Nereids-dolphins were trying to avoid their jaws, swords and stings with maneuvers, and they were hitting their rivals with their brass muzzles and their sharp brass fins and tails.
     The battle was fierce in the first line, since each line up was protecting its centre.

 Glaucus’ chariot was in the centre of the one line up and the three Mermaids were in the rival one.

      The Mermaids were using their huge and sharp nails in order to inflict wounds on Nereids-dolphins. And then a ray managed to approach Glaucus’ chariot Ichthyocentaurs turned the chariot to the side to enable Protomedeia to hit the ray with her spear. The beating was strong and the hurt ray ran away. Protomedeia winked to Glaucus who had been dumbfounded by the fight.

       Suddenly, a swordfish approached from the right in a great speed, and Ichthyocentaurs did not realize it. Glaucus saw it out of the corner of his eye. Without realizing that, he covered himself with his shield in lightning speed.
      The swordfish hit Glaucus shield with extreme power, throwing him onto Protomedeia making them both fall off the chariot, without their weapons that also fell to the bottom.

The shield saved Glaucus but, the swordfish, that had made a turnaround the chariot, was going straight towards them.

       Panic prevailed, as Mermaids, who had seen what had happened, came out the centre of their formation and headed to Glaucus and Protomedeia, who no longer had their weapons, as they had already fallen to the bottom.

       Ichthyocentaurs headed downwards to pick up the crossbow, the quiver and the spear, while Protomedeia was lightning transformed to dolphin. She did not have the protective brass parts that her sisters had, though.

      Immediately, she went under the swordfish, which swooped down, and hit his exposed belly. The stroke was so strong that the swordfish was forced to change direction in order to confront her.

      “Protomedeia” , Glaucus yelled with terror, as he knew that without her brass parts she was in disadvantageous place in comparison to the swordfish.

     At that moment Ichthyocentaurs went between Protomedeia and the swordfish with the chariot. The swordfish hit over the chariot and as a consequence his nose-sword broke.

     -“Get on quickly” , Protomedeia yelled at Glaucus while being transformed to Nereid again.

“Mermaids are coming”,  she said pointing upwards.
The ray and sword’s coming in the centre of Nereids had brought panic to their formation, as Mermaids had got the advantage.

       Glaucus grabbed his crossbow in incredible speed and was shooting Medusa that was in front of their sisters. The spectacle was breathtaking.

Sharp teeth, cries, red eyes, snaky hair, malice and viciousness were at the height.

The blood from the wounds that had been caused during the fight had made carnivorous fish mad, rendering their rage even mightier.

      If the Evil had a specific picture, this was definitely representative.
Glaucus brought his dreams in mind. That was the moment he always waited. The monsters were there, strange and frightening. In milliseconds, he targeted and pushed the trigger.

A spooky howl was heard as a special arrow of the crossbow hit Medusa’s chest.
The arrow opened and the special net unfolded through it, closing Medusa in the centre. Medusa was howling and hitting the net with rage so as to escape.


       Her sisters, Sthenoe and Euryale were trying to extricate her, but Hephaestus’ net was powerful. In the fluster of the battle a moray eel and a huge shark were benefited by the confusion and pounced. The shark pounced at Aphros and the moray eel at Glaucus.

The shark  bit Aphro’s tail, but his brother Bythos hit it with his two front horse legs, forcing it to flee.

      The moray eel, having her mouth open, was directed from behind to Glaucus’ hand, who was now targeting Sthenoe. Protomedeia shook her spear towards him but she missed as the moray eel turned right with a lightning move. It pounced again to Glaucus immediately.

Protomedeia put her body in front of Glaucus’ back. Glaucus, without having realized what was happening behind him, threw the second arrow that reached Sthenoe, who was trying to help her trapped sister.

     The moray eel that was targeting Glaucus’ leg was made to bite Protomedeia’s who came in front of it. Protomedeia cried of pain, and this time struck the moray eel which still was on her leg, flopping furiously back and forth to cause as great damage as possible.

The moray eel fled, and Glaucus, who heard Protomedeia’s howl, turned only to see Protomedeia’s injured leg bleeding.

     -“Do not worry the wound will be healed soon. We are not in danger, Glaucus, our wounds are only temporary, as you remember. We are very close to the victory. Now shoot Euryale, too”.

       Glaucus turned forward and aimed at the last Mermaid, who was headed to the bottom with her two trapped sisters, drift of their weight, since they could not swim through the net anymore. The shot was also successful, finalizing the battle, immediately after carnivorous fish fled.

     Glaucus’ worry about Protomedeia did not let him feel happy for his accomplishment.

    -“Let’s take them, Glaucus, and then I will take care of my sisters”,  wounds and of mine too
.
Protomedeia had said before Glaucus said anything.
      Many of her sisters and Aphros had actually been wounded, but they were not worried, because their achievement to catch Mermaids and render them unable to continue their destructive deed in the seabed was much more important.

     All of them swam to the bottom, where Mermaids were dropped making horrifying screams trying to flee. Once Nereids and Glaucus’ chariot approached, Medusa said with squeaky voice:

   -“Do not rejoice. Nereus’ daughters, your victory will not last for long, our sisters, the Sirens will take revenge for us.”

  -“Medusa, you are talking too much, and you did even more”,  Protomedeia said

“It is time you quitted, for a while, so that the seabed enlivens again in these places”.

    Glaucus could not take his look from Mermaids. They were so disgusting, that they seemed threatening even trapped. Some of the Nereids- dolphins were transformed into Nereids again in order to put the trapped Mermaids on the chariot.

     -“ Glaucus, as Mermaids have taken our seats, do you want me to take you on my back during our return?”

   -“Of course” , Glaucus replied.

Protomedeia was transformed to dolphin again and so did her sisters, and they started their return journey to Nereus’ kingdom altogether.

          During their travel everyone was happy, except for the Mermaids who did not stop trying to escape and threatening the Nereids even for a moment.

      When they approached Nereus’ realm a large number of fish came to welcome them.

The seabed was full of life and vivid colors as small and big creatures were dancing around Nereids and Glaucus’ chariot.
      When the company of Nereids, Ichthyocentaurs and Glaucus got in Nereus’ palace a celebration followed which Glaucus would never forget.

Nereids were dancing and singing with excessive grace, while Nereus, their mother Doris and of course Glaucus admired them. The wonderful and unknown for Glaucus’ senses music was synchronized harmonious sounds made by dolphins which participated in the feast.


      Mermaids had been limited to a room in Nereus’ palace for as long as needed.

Despite their effort to spoil the feast with their screams, they did not make it. Actually, all they managed was to have a sore throat due to the effort.

Glaucus felt relieved that he did not need to see their faces. At least he hoped their sisters, the Sirens not to be so repulsive. Actually, he had made it. It was the first time he had been proud, because not only he did not run away, but he instead managed to captivate the Mermaids.

     This is why he was the honoree of the celebration. Nereus praised Glaucus’ courage, stressing that Glaucus was now a little hero, as he had defeated his fears.

     Of course he knew that nothing would have been done but for Protomedeia, Kymopoleia, Nereus and Hephaestus’ help. He was very lucky; Gods were very good with him.
   When the celebration was over, Protomedeia drove him to sleep in the same room; he had slept the previous night. She gave him to eat a small maze of seaweed again,
And she repeated the same prayer :

       “Spread your wings, God of dream, prophetic messages to bring. Come to the mortal people savior, tran singer oracles to chant! You silently come forward, amid the serenity of the sweetest sleep, and you awaken the thought, talking to the souls. You bring to earth the wills of Blessed, during mortal people’s silent sleep, and you reveal the future to the silent soul, which the Divine Mind governs with compassion, until the heart conceives the Beauty, which will lead man’s full of joy life to the charm.”

      Immediately after that, Nereid came out and Glaucus stayed alone. After Glaucus had slept, the clam closed again hiding little Glaucus inside, as it had happened the previous night. Simultaneously a yellow-red color started to be vibrated from the clam’s centre, and the whole room was lightened.

     This time he dreamed that he was riding enormous horses with excess capability, and was able to shoot the targets with his arrows with great accuracy, while he was riding, according to Ichthyocentaurs’ instructions and Kimopoleia’s touch. He also dreamed his parents; he had missed them very much. They would certainly be very proud if they saw him in his brilliant uniform capturing the Mermaids so bravely.

    Protomedeia woke him up again the next morning (the best awakening of course) and led him to the tutorial where Aphros and Bythos were.

    Ichthyocentaurs explained to him that this time his mission would be to arrest Sirens.
Afros took the speech first.

       -“In order to help you succeed in your mission, Glaucus, Hephaestus lent us his two brass Cabeirian Horses with the fiery breath. These horses are constructed to draw Cabiris’ chariot, but they will be yours for a while. In addition, you will have the Giant brass Eagle to help you which is also constructed by Hephaestus.

       In ancient times, this was the eagle whose expedition was to devour Titan Prometheus’ reproducing liver. Prometheus had been chained in Caucasus by Zeus because he had given the fire out to you the humans.

    Protomedeia will take you to “Anthemoessa” island in Tyrrhenian Sea, located in the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria. Sirens live there, as great negative energy has been accumulated in that place because of humans’ actions and the destruction of the environment. Formerly  Erysichthon reined there, Triopa’s son and Poseidon’s grandson.

      Erysichthon was selfish, irrevent, blasphemous and arrogant. Wanting to build a majestic palace, Erisichthonas opened several gold mines searching for gold, polluting lakes and rivers. Our sisters Naiads, nymphs of the rivers, who lived in the rivers of the region, and also Amadryades, nymphs of the forests and trees, who lived on the trees, were suffering and dying. And that is because in addition to gold Erysichthon needed much lumber.

        So, having no other trees to destroy near his palace, one day he ordered his servants to go to a sacred grove dedicated to Goddess Demeter, which was further away.

       Among the trees there was a towering sacred oak, dedicated to Goddess Demeter (Goddess of the Earth), around which Dryads danced.


      When his servants realized the reckless destruction of trees, tried to dissuade him.
However, they mainly expressed their fear about Demeter’s possible outburst of wrath upon them.

     But Erysichthon grabbed an ax and said: “I do not care if  the Goddess loves this tree, even if it was her, and became an obstacle in my way, I would drop her down”

       At the first chop, Demeter’s priestess Nikippi, appeared who none other was but the Goddess herself transformed. The priestess tried to prevent them from cutting down the trees, but Erysichthon s threatened her with his ax.

        At the next chops, the oak, this huge tree signed, blood ran by the wound and the Nymph who lived inside, while dying with it, predicted sacrilege Erysichthon punishment.

     The Goddess then appeared in her whole divine grandeur and asked: “ Who is that profane that is cutting my sacred oak?”

     The slaves fled in panic, begging for mercy. Demeter actually pitied them and let them go without hurting them in contrary to wicked Erysichthon who would face a very harsh punishment, a little later.

        Goddess Demeter asked from “Famine” who lived in Scythia with fear and cold, to visit and come upon Erysichthon. She asked her to make him unable to relieve his hunger with the rich gifts that the Earth gives to man. Famine obeyed Demeter’s orders and visited him at night, while he was sleeping. After that Famine left and returned to her house. Sacrilegious Erysichthon dreamed he was hungry, and when he woke up his hunger was indescribable.

     From then on, Erysichthon started eating whatever he was finding. After he had eaten everything edible in his house, began to go around the streets and grab the offerings of the altars. Nobody could help him; neither his parents, nor his grandfather Poseidon due to his hubris against another God. Meanwhile Erysichthon was being more and more tortured by the hunger.

     His daughter Mestra, who had inherited from Poseidon the ability of being transformed, was being constantly transformed to a slave, in order to earn money to “save” her father.

       But in the end, nothing was able to saturate Erysichthon hunger. So, having nothing else to eat, he started eating his own flesh, until he found cruel death, in this way…!”

       Bythos took the speech:

   -“ But even after Erysichthon punishment, many still go to the mines to mine gold and metals, polluting the environment constantly, making Sirens stronger and stronger, because of their intolerance and greed. You must be very careful as Sirens will have an army of vicious wolves with them.  The Cabeirian Horses and the Giant brass Eagle will be waiting for your arrival in order to help you arrest Sirens. Apart from your crossbow, the Cabeirian Horses with their fiery breath and the brass Eagle will offer you a powerful weapon.  God Pan with few Nymphs remained on the island, will also try to help you, but their help will be little as they are very weak”

       Glaucus was looking at them thoughtfully. How worse could the situation be, since he had already faced Medusa accompanied by numerous sharks, moray eels, rays and swordfish?

       -“And when do we depart?” , Glaucus asked.

      -“Immediately” , Protomedeia replied.

       Ichthyocentaurs kissed him and wished him good luck.
      Coming out in the fortcourt of Throne, Nereus, his wife Doris and the rest Nereids goodbye him wishing good luck.
      Protomedeia was transformed into dolphin having Glaucus hooked on her, although his armor incommoded him enough, and they started their travel to Anthemoessa, with the pleasant accompany of Protomedeia’s sisters.


Anthemoessa


    This time the travel was much shorter than that in Hesperides. When they reached Anthemoessa Glaucus descended from Protomedeia who took her human form again.

           -“Do not get out of the sea yet, I will tell you when.” Protomedeia said to Glaucus.
“I have to give you a philter to drink again so as to breathe regularly in the air.”

       She put out of her red sash, tied around her waist, the small vial which had Poseidon’s trident painted on it, and told Glaucus to get out on the surface.

      Glaucus got out of the water and drank the magic herb. He started to cough and pump water from, his filled with sea, lungs.

     It was true that hat he felt sickish for a while, as he had felt dizzy because of the constant coughing until his lungs cleared from the water. Throughout this time, Protomedeia was embracing him and trying to encourage him saying that he would be as fit as a fiddle.

    Indeed, after a while he was able to breathe normally and the feeling of dizziness had definitely gone.

    -“Do you feel better now, my dear Glaucus?”,  Protomedeia asked him with love.

Glaucus took deep breaths and felt the cool air in his lungs. The sea breeze gave him a wonderful special aroma in the air as if it was the first time he had smelled it, although he had grown up in the sea.

  He had never imagined himself to feel so nice just because of breathing the…air!

    -“I feel much better now, thank you” , Glaucus replied.

    “And now what?

  -“Now, we have to wait. Let’s sit under the trees. The Sirens have eyes everywhere.

Ravens roam everywhere; they are Sirens’ eyes.

     The landscape was dismal beyond the sea. The mountains were dried without trees and black fumes were coming out behind the mountains.

    -“Glaucus, you cannot hear their songs and see Nymphs and Graces’ dance that accompany Pan and Artemis, because there are no crops in the meadows while the springs and the rivers are polluted.

    The man is a child of nature. He is born and dies here. Being in unity with nature, means you are alive. Being isolated from nature means you are dead.

    Many people have been isolated from nature and they face it in a utilitarian way taking only what it offers to them, being oblivious to the pain they cause to it. However the mother, even if she suffers, loves her children. The more independent and isolated humans are, the less sensitive they become. When you feel more and more connected with nature, for example, then it will be a part of you which offers food to you. Everything is an endless, united ocean. When you inhale, you take oxygen inside you, when you exhale you give carbon dioxide. Trees inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. There is interdependence everywhere in nature.

       This relationship has been deranged on this island and this is why Sirens have been installed here.

     Now we are waiting for Pan and the Nymphs to bring the Cabeirian Horses and lead us to Sirens Aglaopheme, Molpi and  Thelxiepeia nest, through the tracks they know. I have to admit, however that we are lucky that their other three sisters Graeae,  but aslo Scylla and Charybdis are too far to help them.”

     Protomedeia’s words were interrupted by a noise heard from the glade behind.

     -“Hide yourself”,  Protomedeia said anxiously.

    -“It’s us, Protomedeia”, a female voice was heard 
behind the trees, “your cousins Amaryllis, Arethousa, Chrysopelia, Caria, Valanos, Krania, Aigeira, Ptela. Pan with the Cabeirian Horses and Hephaestus’ brass Eagle arrives in a while as well.”

     All eight Nymphs got out of the trees immediately. They seemed to be distressed, very weak, and their clothes were torn. They would certainly be very beautiful, but in their present situation they seemed less beautiful than the Nereids. Sadness and fear were depicted in their eyes.

   -“But Poseidon” Protomedeia yelled and ran to embrace them in tears.

 “What did they cause to you? How could they do that?”

  -“Death is everywhere here Protomedeia, ” Amaryllis said with grief. “It is very difficult to survive here. 
Even the beasts that follow Sirens have no food anymore, they become brutes. People bring food for the slaves by their ships and leave. No one wants to stay here anymore. They take gold and ores and leave. No state can survive here.”

  -“We will stop that with Glaucus’ help, I swear to you”,  Protomedeia cried and put out another “magic” philter of her sasha that gave them to drink.

       A raven was heard in the sky that moment and they saw a ravencircling above them.

  -“Hurry Glaucus, shoot it, it must not inform Sirens that we are here.”

Glaucus armed his crossbow, aimed and shot like a lightning without wasting time.

The shot was well-aimed; the raven fell to the ground trapped by the special net of the arrow.
Nymphs caught it and put it in a sack. Straight after that, gallops were heard and two huge brass horses appeared, while the goat-footed God Pan, the protector of forests and shepherds was following behind them.

      Hephaestus brass Eagle appeared in the sky above them. He was shining and seemed enormous. A trolling sound was heard as he opened and closed his wings. Once the eagle landed, a cloud of dust was raised beside Pan and the brass horses.

     Pan was called goat-footed, as the upper part of his body was human, while his lower one had the shape of a goat. Pan was holding his beloved flute in his right hand.
He had constructed the flute when the  God of love hit him with his arrows, making him fall in love with the beautiful Nymph Syrinx. He had seen her near a river one day and approached her to confess his great love to her. Though the nymph felt scared seeing the strange God and ran away to be hidden. The river was in front of her so Syrinx was able to escape.

    Then she wished to be transformed into stubble in her desperation, and she immediately was. Pan, sad as he was, he made his flute with these reeds to remind him his beloved Syrinx.


Since then he had been playing his flute, but this time they had to be quiet, so he was just holding it in his hand, expecting the moment when they may win to play and dance with the Nymphs.

    Every time the brass horses breathed, fumes were getting out of their nostrils. The truth was that their appearance was scary, but luckily they were in their favor, and that was important. Once Protomedeia and the Nymphs saw Pan ran to embrace and kiss him.

    -“Thank you for this welcoming my ladies” , Pan the swift-footed said.

“Is this young man our little hero?” , he asked smiling.
      Glaucus blushed and bowed his head.

   -“Glaucus has an excellent heart filled with love and he is a very brave child” Protomedeia assured him
. “He had already captured the Mermaids”

     -“Not bad at all, then”,  Pan smiled and caressed his head friendly. Glaucus said nothing. What to say, moreover, Pan was caressing his head. It was impossible!

    “Well, Glaucus, are you good at riding?”
   -“Very good “, Glaucus said shyly.

  -“Let us see then. Ride this giant. But be careful because if you go very close to his nostrils, their breath will burn you.” 

Pan joined his palms making a step so that Glaucus could get on as the Horses were very tall.
    The Horses were gray-green and they emitted much warmness from their brass bodies. Protomedeia gave him his shield and crossbow and he got on the brass horse.

      -“However, I have to admit that the horses suit to your armor”,  Pan said and laughed loudly. It was also known that Pan was a great joker and liked to make fun of.
         Glaucus was afraid as he seemed to be very little and fragile on the enormous brass Horse despite his armor. He was looking around as if he had been abashed, not knowing what to do. The brass horse was sniffing, making a strange and eerie sound, sending heat waves to Glaucus.

      Protomedeia and the rest were looking at him impatiently, something that made him feel bad, and he felt that he had disappointed them. So, he grabbed the reins in his hands and slammed his feet on the horse’s croups to walk.
     The brass Cabeirian Horse did not move at all, though. Glaucus resumed the hitting, but nothing again. Drops of sweat appeared on his forehead.

     -“I got embarrassed”,  he thought.

     Pan smiled when Protomedeia nudged him.

  -“Help him, ” she said.

 -“Glaucus this horse is unlike the others. Just think where you want to go and the horse will obey immediately”,  Pan said still smiling.

        Glaucus looked at him with question.

       -“I want to go quickly on the hill on the right” , Glaucus thought following Pans’ advice. The brass horse began to gallop noisily following the route Glaucus had in mind.

The ground was trembling from the horse’s gallop and weight. The Cabeirian brass Horse was carrying out Glaucus’ every single thought automatically.

      -“That is wonderful”,  Glaucus cried. Then he thought that he would like to see the horse’s famous fiery breath. He had just thought about it when the horse raised its head and two big flames got out his nostrils. Pan followed him running and shouted:

-“Do not overdo it, Glaucus, the whole island will hear of us. Come back.”

        Glaucus returned with Pan, at the point that the Nymphs, the other Cabeirian Horse and Hephaestus’ brass eagle were, with disappointment.

        -“How was it Glaucus?”,  Protomedeia asked.

       -“It is…. It is fascinating Glaucus said. “With these horses and the brass Eagle our victory is certain.”

     -“Do not underestimate Phorcy and his daughters. Surprises may be waiting for us tomorrow” Your presence disturbed the balance and Phorcy has already complained to the Gods of Olympus.

          The situation may not be so easy tomorrow. We are going to send spies tonight, and we will decide what must be done tomorrow morning. Tonight we will be hidden in a cave at the raven’s gorge, a place that ravens which are Phorcy’s and Sirens’ eyes and spies avoid, because a raven had been punished there by Apollo many years ago.

       In this rough old gorge, once there was a fount whose water was considered to be sacred and the residents used it in sacrifices. So they had to send someone to this difficult and uphill route to bring the “holy” water for that significant sacrifice.
      Suddenly a voice was sounded from the nearby trees. It was one’s husky raven voice who offered to undertake this venture.

       Despite the surprise that the residents felt listening to the raven’s voice they decided to entrust this mission to him, as because of his wings, he would arrive easily and fast to the fount in which this “holy” water was running.

      So people gave a small jug to the raven, he grabbed it with his nails and flew in the sky towards the fount. The raven arrived quickly at the fount. He saw a fig tree full of figs next to the fount and greedy as he was, he started to taste some figs. But the figs were unripe and the raven decided to wait until they ripen, having forgotten the mission he had taken on, on behalf of the people. He had eventually been waiting for two whole days until the figs ripened. He had eaten a lot and at last he remembered the real reason why he had gone to the fount. He started to think of excuses for his delay. Finally, he filled the small jug with water, he saw a large snake in some bushes, grabbed it with his beak, and flew to the town.

       When he arrived at the town, the residents wanted to know why he had been so late to return from the fount. The raven put the jug and the snake down and claimed that the snake was sipping water from the spring and it consequently started to desiccate.

      Then he told them that when the snake fell asleep, he filled the jug with water and clutched the snake to present it to them. The people believed him and killed the snake with stones and wood. But that was Apollo’s serpent and the God of light became furious and decided to punish the raven for his lie.
So from that day every time that the raven tried to drink water from a spring, it was dried up. This torment of thirst had lasted for a long time until Apollo felt sorry for him and made him a star in Heaven. From then on, when people are very thirsty they use the phrase “I am so thirsty like a raven!” As it is also normal the ravens do not approach that gorge.

        -“So how about going to the raven’s cave?” , Pan asked.

       The whole team started the upgrade to the rough canyon in the raven’s cave except for Hephaestus’ brass Eagle, which was hiding under the trees on the beach for fear not to be seen in the sky. He would fly to the cave at night in order not to be visible.

       Glaucus and Protomedeia got on to both Cabeirian Horses, while Pan was ahead to detect the path they were following. The remaining Nymphs were transformed into sparrows and watched the area from above.
     The process of transformation on land was a little different from that in the sea.

A white cloud encircled the Nymphs here from the feet to the head, and their new form was gradually revealed.
     Even with the Nymphs transformed into sparrows, Glaucus’ company was difficult to skulk as the landscape was dry with minor trees. Only the fumes getting out behind the mountains helped the situation somewhat because of mining.
     The route was exhausting because the path was steep and rough, especially from the enormous and heavy Cabeirian Horses. During the route no one was talking as everyone was thinking of the following day.

           It was getting darker when they finally arrived at the raven’s cave. The Cabeirian Horses were very big and were emitting much heat to stay in the cave, so they left them out under a clump of large trees.

           Glaucus with Pan and the Nymphs entered the cave and lit a fire to stay overnight.

          -“Glaucus, you must sleep and rest”,  Protomedeia said stroking his hair.

“Take off your equipment and make yourself comfortable where you can. Unfortunately, we have no luxury here”.

         -“And what about you? Won’t you rest?”,  Glaucus asked.

         -“Do not worry about us dear Glaucus, rest so as to be ready in the morning” , Protomedeia reassured him. Glaucus smiled and yawned. He found a corner and lied down.

Protomedeia had pronounced to Glaucus the prayer again as she used to before he fell asleep.

         His eyelids were getting heavier so he slept quickly despite his anxiety for the next day.

Once Glaucus slept, Protomedeia and the rest Nymphs, made a circle around him and joined their hands, closed their eyes and lowered their heads. Beams of light began to appear around their hands and spread out to the point the child was sleeping.

        This dim light bathed him for a while.
        This time he was worried during his sleep. He dreamed that he was a small eagle and his mother was teaching him to fly. But his wings were weak and he was constantly falling on the ground. After several attempts, he managed to fly, it was difficult for him to control his flying though. As the time was passing, he managed to control the strength of his wings and fly with his mother. It was so nice to fly and see the world below, so small…!

         Pan, in the meantime, ordered the Nymphs to be transformed into owls and rummage the island to discover the Sirens. The eight Nymphs fled in pairs, two for each direction, North, East, West, and South.

        He woke up hearing talks and commotion in the morning. When he opened his eyes, he saw Pan hotly debating with the Nymphs outside the cave entrance. He got up quickly and went to meet them. Arriving at the entrance of the cave, he saw the plateau beneath the cave, full of Centaurs.

        Centaurs were humans from the waist up, and horses from the waist down.

They all had quivers and bows past on their backs and were holding thick wooden spears in their hands. There was fog everywhere around, it was apparently Pan’s trick so as not to be localized.

       -“What is wrong?”,  Glaucus asked with questions.

      -“Unfortunately, we have some bad news”,  Pan said.

      -“What do you mean? ”,  Glaucus asked

      -“I mean that the situation is much worse than what we had expected to. Phorcy sought help from Hades, who opened his gates and Cerberus the guardian of the under World, the awful dog with the three heads and the dragon’s tail, but also Griffin and Chimera came on the island. Griffin has a lion’s body, eagle’s head and wings and snake’s tail. Chimera, with the fiery breath same as that of Cabeirian Horses, has a goat’s body, a lion’s head and a tail that ends up to snake.

        Phorcy is also hidden here, having as a guard his sleepless son, dragon Ladon with the hundred heads.

        We need, as you can see, something more than luck and bravery, we need intelligence. Phorcy and Sirens know that we are here and they will attack to us. We will not have, therefore, the advantage to surprise them. So, we need to make a move of diversion that they are not predicting.” Pan said.

“This is why we called for the Centaurs to help us, as you can see. The wise Centaur Chiron, famous Chiron’s grandson, has already a plan that he will explain to you. Let’s go to meet him”.


        They got out of the cave heading to the cluster of trees where Centaurs were gathered, peering into the two Cabeirian Horses and Hephaestus’ brass Caucasian Eagle.
The eldest of all began approaching them. He was old in age but he had imperious look

       -“Chiron is coming”,  Protomedeia said

       -“Good morning, Glaucus, nice to meet you”,  Chiron said with a hoarse voice.

      -“It is my honor to meet you, wise Chiron”,  Glaucus said respectfully.

     -“Well, Glaucus, my dear, I will assign a mission to you, that we hope it will be successful and offer us the victory. As you have learnt the forces of destruction have become very powerful with Hades’ help. We need to make a move that will subvert the balance of forces.

         Phorcy and his daughters are aware of our presence here. What they cannot predict is to be attacked at the crucial moment by powers considered to be theirs.

         Hephaestus’ brass eagle alone is not able to give us advantage in the air.
You must, therefore, fly with him to Helicon, where Pegasus the winged horse is.

As you know Pegasus was born when Perseus beheaded Medusa, who had been pregnant by Poseidon. He was born by the blood that fell to the sea.

       Pegasus, of course, would never come to help us. For this reason, you have to go quickly to Helicon, with Hephaestus’ eagle, and drop the philter Protomedeia will give you in the river where he drinks water.

      Once Pegasus drinks this water, he will lose his consciousness for a while. For as much time as you need to close his eyes so that he does not know where he flies. When will come back hidden on Pegasus, during the battle,  Sirens will think that he is coming help them. Then you will exploit the opportunity to help us. We hope this move to bring panic to them. Before you leave you must have your hair cut and your whole body painted white so that you cannot be easily recognizable onto Pegasus, from afar at least. When you are close enough to them, we hope it will be too late for them. Well, what do you think? Will you make it?”

          -“I will try with all my mighty, wise Chiron”,  Glaucus replied.

          -“Nice, so I consign you to the beautiful Nymphs to take care of you, so that will leave as soon as possible” Chiron said and went along with Pan to meet the rest Centaurs.

         -“Come on, Glaucus. Let’s go to cut your hair and paint your body” Protomedeia said stroking his dense, curly hair which would be past after a while. The grooming by nine Nymphs was wonderful and definitely deserved to lose some hair for it!

         In a while, Glaucus was unrecognizable, having been white from his feet to his head, as if he had fallen into a pot with milk.

        -“You remain gorgeous, even like that”
Protomedeia said boosting his morale.

The other Nymphs were smiling. Protomedeia gave him the philter destined for Pegasus, kissed him on his forehead and told him:

        -“You guide the eagle in the same way as the Cabeirian Horses, with your mind.
Hold on it tightly and do not be afraid, it will take you to Helicon safely.”

         It is true that when Glaucus heard about flight with the eagle, he was terrified! And what if he fell down?

        Icarus’ story came to his mind. Icarus was ingenious Daedalus’ son, who had been punished for his arrogance to want to fly as a God. His father Daedalus had built the Labyrinth in Crete, for King Minos, to have the Minotaur live inside. Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in the Labyrinth, though, because Daedalus had helped Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, to be united with Poseidon’s Bull and so the terrible Minotaur to be born.

But Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape from the Labyrinth with the help of the wings that Daedalus had constructed using feathers and wax. They put these wings on their shoulders and flew in the sky.


        Icarus, though, being amazed by the flight, disobeyed his father’s order not to fly neither too high because the wax of his wings would melt by the sun’s heat, nor too low because their wings would be untied by the moisture of the sea.

        He flew too high, wanting to imitate the sun, and as a consequence the wax melt and his wings ablated. He fell in the sea and lost his life.  The sea area, where Icarus died, has been named Icarian Sea since then.
       But Glaucus did not intend to disobey anyone, so he hoped everything to go well.

He was caught tightly by the eagle’s brass body and the eagle immediately started to raise skyward, with a strong shaking of its wings. Glaucus brought in mind immediately the flying techniques he had dreamed of, something that helped him control the Caucasian eagle.

       The feeling of flying was unique, if the fear caused by this feeling is excluded.
From this altitude, you could realize how small the man is in comparison with the vastness of the world….!
       The time was passing very quickly, apparently due to some divine intervention, so the alternation of the images was also very quick.

THE RAVEN’S GORGE

         Back at the raven’s canyon, agitation prevailed. Wolves’ cries were heard from everywhere. And not only cries. Lions’ roars and some other unidentified scary sounds covered the preparation of Pan, Centaurs and Nymphs’ camp.

In the centre of their array, Centaurs had dug big pits in the ground, having put branches and leaves in them so as to be covered and not visible.

        According to the plan, Protomedeia and the rest Nymphs, transformed into eagles, would try to keep Sirens busy until Glaucus with the Caucasian eagle and Pegasus returned.

        The Centaurs were lined up in a straight line in the woods, with a Cabeirian horse at each end of their array (one on the right and the other on the left), having the intention to retreat from the centre to the edges through some alleyways that had left between the pits, in order to mislead their adversaries to fall into them.

        Then, they would lash out from their two reinforced edges, creating a circular move to trap their rivals. The Centaurs were lined having Pan and Chiron between them and waited…
         Suddenly, a multitude of wolves seemed to come at a high speed from the dry area in front of the forest, with the frightful figures of Cerberus, Chimera and Griffin to distinguish in their centre. The image and the sound of the menacing army of destruction that pounced were scary.


          The nine Nymphs were transformed to eagles in order to face Sirens in the air, expecting Glaucus and eagle’s return from Helicon.

          The Centaurs’ line was waiting patiently for the herds of beasts to approach to a striking distance.

          Once this happened, a barrage of arrows towered in the sky forming an arc resulting in beasts’ line. Many of the arrows found their target, creating confusion and raising clouds of dust, which made the onslaught of the beasts even scarier.

          The arrows falling on Cerberus, Griffin and Chimera did not seem to cause any damage to these huge beasts. Some of the arrows just hit on them and fell on the ground since they could not penetrate their hard skin, while others were simply hanged on them.

          -“Are you ready?”,  Pan asked Chiron.

         -“As much as you”,  Chiron replied meaningfully, cocking to him and blowing the horn he was holding in his hands.

         The sound heard, marked the beginning of Centaurs’ attack. Centaurs’ line trotted towards beasts’ line. Then the flames coming out of Chimera’s mouth could be discriminated, in each of her trots.

         Centaurs’ first line met the Wolves and Hades’ beasts with momentum.
Dust was spread everywhere in the battlefield, voices and screams resounded in craw’s gorge.
Centaurs, wolves and Hades’ beasts embraced in a fatal struggle.

           Centaurs were hitting the wolves and Hades’ beasts with arrows and wooden spears.
The wolves were rushing furiously trying to bite the Centaurs.

          There were two critical points in the battle. Both the edges and the centre were.

At the two edges, the Cabeirian horses because of their size, their armour and their fiery breaths had made the wolves flee. Those, who managed to approach them, were trying to bite their brass bodies, in vain. When Sirens realized the problem at both ends of their array, flew there. Griffin followed them, flying to the opposite edge, so as to cope with the losses that had been caused by the powerful Cabeirian horses.

         Protomedeia with the other Nymphs, transformed into eagles, flew to meet the Sirens, but the battle was unequal as the Nymphs were weak due to the hardships, unlike the Sirens, while Griffin had no rival without the Caucasian eagle. The Sirens forced them to retreat easily without even a chance to face Griffin. Protomedeia and the rest Nymphs returned to the Craw’s cave, where Protomedeia took care of remaining Nymphs’ wounds, which had been caused by Sirens’ sharp claws.

           The situation in the centre of Centaurs’ array was really bad. Despite Chiron’s and Pan’s heroic efforts, Chimera and Cerberus had easily disrupted the centre of their array.
Hades’ beasts had had sowed panic due to their size, strength and terrifying appearance.

          In the battlefield, Chiron tooted retreat towards the centre of their array, so that the beasts misled into the traps dug among the trees. The Centaurs that were there along with Pan and Chiron retreated among the trees using the safe alleyways behind the pits-traps.

Most Centaurs hidden behind the trees ran to the edges, while Pan, Chiron and a few more, stayed behind the traps to lure the beasts in the pits-traps.

          Cerberus and Chimera, followed by some wolves, furiously persecuted the Centaurs, who were retreating, and they consequently fell in the pits with a large number of wolves.

         The beasts behaved as if they were crazy, screaming, trying to climb to get out of the pits. Chiron and Pan had minded the pits to be big enough. Nevertheless, Centaurs were standing above, discouraging all the efforts of the beasts to get out of the pitfalls.

         Griffin, the only beast still free, was trying by air to put the Cabeirian horses out of the battle, with Sirens’ help as the Cabeirian horses had placed the wolves in a difficult situation at both ends.

         Then, Ladon the terrible dragon with the hundred heads, appeared. Dragon’s Ladon participation would obviously make the fight unequal, despite Centaurs’ brave defense.


 PEGASUS


           Glaucus, arriving at Helicon, looked for Pegasus, the wonderful winged white horse.

It did not take him long to see it. Glaucus looked at him dazedly; this horse was wonderful and unique. Following Chiron’s instructions, he walked to the river upwind, above the point that Pegasus was. He opened the philter Protomedeia had given to him and threw it in the river.

          While Glaucus was waiting, he was thinking what to have happened back to the raven’s gorge. Would he obviate to take part in the battle?

          And on the other hand, what if he only found the Sirens and the beasts when he returned at the canyon? What would happen to him if Protomedeia, Pan and Chiron had lost the battle?

         Anxiety started to capture him. Sometime, Pegasus approached the river and drank water. After that Pegasus seemed to be dizzy until he fell on the ground with thud having lost his consciousness.

         Glaucus ran immediately to him and bandaged his eyes with the white cloth Protomedeia had given to him. After a while Pegasus began to regain consciousness, and stood up tottering. Glaucus managed to climb up on him before Pegasus came round thoroughly. It was important to take the horse’s control before it throws him off.
Pegasus neighed annoyed and tried to throw him off his back but he was still weak.

Glaucus managed to calm him down using the power of his mind. After a while, Pegasus did not show any resistance while Glaucus was caressing his neck.

         -“It is time to go, my boy”,  Glaucus shouted, immediately Pegasus stood up in the air.

The Caucasian eagle stood up too, immediately after, following Pegasus from distance.

Glaucus could not wait for the moment he would help his friends.


 THE FINAL CONFRONTATION

          Arriving at the raven’s canyon Glaucus saw the battlefield and feared. A huge monster with hundred heads had already extinguished the Cabeirian horses, while Centaurs were retreating to the cave.

         The Sirens and Griffin had gone to the pits, in which Chimera and Cerberus had been trapped, and they were trying to release them.

        Glaucus nestled up Pegasus’ body and flew towards Sirens hiding Hephaestus’ crossbows under his body.
         The Sirens did not realize Pegasus’ arrival immediately, but once they did, they left Griffin in the pits and went to greet him, considering that he had come to help them.

        Once Sirens reached the point shot, Glaucus with a motion as fast as lightning, put Hephaestus’ crossbow out and scarred on them. When Sirens understood what it was going on, it was too late as Aglaopheme and Molpi  had already been trapped by Glaucus’ arrows.

Thelxiepeia turned trying to escape from the arrows but the brass eagle prevented her.

Glaucus, taking advantage of the eagle’s involvement who delayed Thelxiepeia, scarred and trapped her.

        The three Sirens, trapped and unable to fly anymore, fell on the ground.

Griffin and Ladon, being furious, directed towards Glaucus and the Caucasian brass eagle.

Fortunately, he did not risk of Ladon as he was flying. The Caucasian brass eagle cut Griffin’s way when he met him in the air, giving a scary fight but depriving Glaucus of his possibility to shoot him.


         Glaucus ordered the brass eagle to leave the battle, so that he could shoot Griffin.

The Caucasian eagle retreated and Griffin then grasped him with his nails from behind, pushing him to one of Ladon’s hundred heads. Ladon crashed the eagle in the enormous jaws of one of his heads.

        Glaucus was staring at this beast being amazed. How could he beat it? It seemed impossible. His arrows were powerless in comparison with Dragon’s size.

        Glaucus was trying to scar on Griffin, avoiding in the same time the jaws of Ladon’s heads, who suddenly launched them towards Pegasus and Glaucus.

        The maneuvers he was forced to make in order to avoid Ladon did not permit to him to scar on Griffin, who deliberately misled him near Ladon.

        Protomedeia with the other Nymphs were transformed into eagles once again to help Glaucus against Griffin.
       When Nymphs distracted Griffin, Glaucus found the chance to shoot him and he then fell on the ground, being trapped by Hephaestus’ arrows.

       -“Glaucus, Ladon cannot be beaten by the arrows of the crossbows. Let’s go to the craw’s cave. I will give you some special vials full of philters, which you will have to throw in Ladon’s jaws so as to sleep him”, Protomedeia cried.

       -“You could have said that earlier, Glaucus told her laughing and trying to amuse the situation. Ladon, was destructing the trees being in a frantic state, trying to approach craw’s cave, having received a large number of arrows by the Centaurs, who were being hidden behind the trees.

         Cerberus, Chimera, Griffin and the Sirens were screaming trapped in the battlefield.
There was no time to waste. Glaucus and Protomedeia reached the raven’s gorge. Protomedeia gave him seven vials that contained some red liquid.

        -“You are very brave Glaucus, Protomedeia said.
“But now you must be very careful in order to be able to sleep Ladon. You have to approach him fairly close so as to throw at least three of these philters in some of his jaws to make him sleep. Though, one wrong move may be fatal. Be very careful please.”

       -“Thank you very much Protomedeia”,  Glaucus said, took the seven vials with the philter and turned to leave.

      -“Glaucus wait a minute”,  the Nereid shouted and gave him a kiss on his forehead. “This is for good luck.”
        Glaucus blushed and smiled from embarrassment. He had left Pegasus tied outside the cave. He got on him right away and flew to dragon Ladon who was destructing everything in his passage. The Centaurs and Pan had retreated to the rocks under raven’s cave.
They were throwing not only arrows but also stones and rocks and whatever available they found around trying to delay him.

             Glaucus made three rounds above the dragon trying to disorient him, something that fortunately was not so difficult as his size made him extremely cumbersome.

            At the end of the third round, Glaucus attempted vertical pounce on the side with the fewest heads. Just before reaching very close to one of them, he threw the first vial which found the target. Immediately after, he raised to the sky avoiding the jaws closing behind him.

            Ladon’s jaw in which the philter had  been dropped, filled with red liquid and foams, while it began to make circular moves banging awkwardly over his other heads.
Ladon took then a terrifying scream that made Glaucus shiver.

            -“Two more only, I have to make it”,  Glaucus thought while the Centaurs with the Nymphs and Pan were cheering him up to encourage him.

           Pegasus and Glaucus continued the circles around Ladon and after two additional pounces Glaucus managed to find the target once more. Twice missed and the philters were dropped on Ladon’s back and from there on the ground.
           Glaucus continued his attempts and in the end he managed to drop one of the philters in the third head, too.

           -“Yes! I made it” He shouted once it happened while the gorge resounded with his friends’ cheers.

           Ladon was floundering in its full of red foams jaws. Eventually Ladon fell noisily to the side, breathing with scary noise unable to move.

          The Centaurs, Pan and the Nymphs came down from the Craw’s cave and approached to see the fearsome dragon up close, shouting Glaucus’ name.

          Glaucus descended from Pegasus to take part in the celebration.
Everybody expected to hug the little boy, the little hero who dared to mess with so many beasts and monsters on land and sea.
          Glaucus had a smile up to ears and not time to listen to the applause. Here’s his dream became reality. He became himself a little hero even if no one knew about it, neither his friends, nor his parents. It was important that he and his divine companions lived it.

         Protomedeia informed him that Phorcy hid in the depths of the sea, after his children’s defeat, so they will not have to worry about him anymore.

          In the evening, a feast was set up, worthy of the adventure that all participants lived.

          Glaucus lived in the seventh Heaven, he, a little mortal from Lemnos was among Nymphs, Centaurs and Pan drinking and singing. Pan with the beautiful Nymphs spearheaded in dance and song as it was normal.

           When the feast was over the Centaurs and Pan Goodbye Glaucus with emotion while Glaucus and the Nymphs returned to Craw’s cave to spend the last night they were together.

         There, Protomedeia explained that because of their victory, the balance would tilt in his world too, the world of humans, that was to say, to the forces of creation and peace.
        Protomedeia looked him in the eyes with love and said:

        “Tonight Glaucus you will sleep with us in raven’s cave for the last time.
When you wake up, you will be back in Koukounisi within your boat to return home.

You have to know that you are a very special and dear child for us. For this reason whenever you want to meet us again, before you fall asleep the previous night, you should repeat the prayer you have heard me telling you the nights you are with us.

            The next day you should go to Koukounisi and I will be waiting there for you to take you back to Poseidon’s kingdom again.”

            Glaucus wept for joy. The recognition and love he received by all and especially by his good Nereid was really touching.
          -“I do not know how to thank you, sincerely” , Glaucus said.
“What I experienced during these three days was beyond my imagination. You are all so kind to me, thank you very much”, Glaucus said.
            -“Each one of us Glaucus is co-creator of reality and it attracts what he is. The mind, the thoughts, the feelings, the expectations and behaviors create our reality.

When we change, our reality is changing too. Positive thoughts and positive feelings attract and create positive realities. Do not forget that. Also you should not forget to abide in your life what I will tell you.

              Pray with sunlight when you wake up in the morning. You do not need to search the Gods, but avoid what makes you unable to realize their ubiquity presence.

Gods will listen, just talk to them.

            Search within yourself, be yourself. Do not allow anyone to create your path. The way is only yours. Others can talk with you, but no one can walk in your place.

          Be empathetic for those who have lost their way. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed bloom from a lost soul. Prey to find guidance.

           Try to keep yourself balanced. Your mind, spirit, soul and body must be kept pure and healthy. Sharpen the body to strengthen the mind. Be enriched in spirit to heal physical and mental ailments.

            Always be honest. Honesty is the measure of someone’s free will in the universe.

Take conscious decisions about who you are, and how you react. Only you, you are responsible for your actions. Bad thoughts cause illness to your mind, body and spirit. Make positive thoughts.

           Never take something that does not belong to you, neither from someone else, nor from a community or from nature. If it has not been donated to you, or you have not won it, it is not yours.

          Respect whatever exists in the planet, either people or plants and animals.
Nature is not for us. It is a part of us. It is a part of your global family.

          Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Do not interrupt others, do not mock anyone and never imitate someone rudely. Recognize everyone’s right of freedom of expression. Respect others’ religion. Do not try to impose your own views.

Respect everyone’s personal moments and property.

           All people make mistakes and all mistakes can be forgiven.

Never refer to others with a bad manner. Do not hurt others’ hearts. The poison of the pain you have caused will return to you. Negative energy, sent to the universe, is multiplied when it returns to you.

          Children are the seeds of your future. Sow love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life lessons. When they grow give them space to be developed.

          Be true to yourself. You cannot help others, if you do not help yourself first.

If you have good destiny, share it with other people!
          But it is time you rested, Glaucus. Lie down and we will mind everything.”

Protomedeia said giving him a kiss on his cheek.
         The atmosphere was emotionally charged as everyone’s eyes were in tears.

          -“I will never forget you”, Glaucus said, bowing his head and trying not to cry.

Despite his effort, however, tears flowed from his eyes.

           Protomedeia turned to the other side so that Glaucus could not see her own eyes which also were full of tears.
          Glaucus was too excited to be able to sleep even though he was exhausted as he knew that he would not see his beautiful Nereid Protomedeia when he woke up.
At least he hoped to have been told the truth, that he could see her again.

          But the fatigue overcame him so his eyelids drooped.

          Once Glaucus slept, Protomedeia with the other Nymphs made a circle around him again, joining their hands, closing their eyes and lowering their heads.
After a while beams of light began to appear around their hands and spread to the point Glaucus was sleeping. That dim light blazed him down for a long time…


 THE RETURN

         Glaucus was awakened by the seagulls’ voices and the lapping of the waves.
He opened his eyes and saw that he was in his boat that had been roped at Koukounisi.

        “It is over”,  he thought, smiled, stood up, unhitched his boat his boat and began paddling fast to the beach of his village.

          How much had he missed his family? He was sure that his absence had not been observable, since Protomedeia had assured him the time had stopped at the moment they reached Koukounisi three days ago.

What a adventure, he thought, a Divine bless for me. Gods were so generous with him.  When he decided to go to Koukounisi,  he could never imagine that he would live and fight along with Gods, nymph and monsters, like other great heroes in the past.  His achievements might not been witnessed by other humans, but he knew that he too,  become a small hero, and he was proud for himself.  Maybe one day he would also have kids, and he would tell them his story as a fairytale.  

If only their victory at the Poseidon kingdom has been also the end of the war at home likewise Protomedeia told him that would be great.

  
CLAUCUS


           With the passing of time Glaucus changed into a beautiful and wise young man and Protomedeia’s promise came true as he was spending a lot of time in the seabed with her.

           So he was handing out his time between the island and Poseidon’s kingdom.

There Nereus taught him not only to predict the future, but also to carry out the noble wishes of humble people, as Kymopoleia had done for him.

           Glaucus never forgot his love for the people of the sea, whom he always helped when they were in danger, and this is why they commemorated him as the protector of sailors and fishermen.

           So when you find yourself in the sea, lift up the three fingers of your hand, the index and the middle fingers as a symbol of Poseidon’s trident, make a wish and you never know, our little hero Glaucus may listen to that and make it true…!

Chletsos Vassilis Copyright © 2013 All rights reserved not for commercial use
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