Chapter 22: Medusa or not Medusa that is the Question

I finally finished cooking the eggs and I have to say that the eggs were cooked to perfection. I am so proud of myself. Polka likes it too. As for Nate…he is still climbing the glacier. He fell a few times, but he got back up to his feet and continued to climb. He looks so determined to climb this glacier.

I suddenly heard Nate’s stomach grumble and he stopped climbing momentarily. I could definitely see the blush in his cheeks. Don’t worry Nate. I have some delicious scrambled eggs waiting for you after you climb that glacier. Nate continued to climb and I noticed that his climbing pace had increased. He must be more determined since he is very hungry by now…his growling stomach being the proof.

Polka suddenly gave a meow and when I looked at her, I saw that she was beginning to saunter off.

“Polka!” I called and began to follow her, but not before telling Nate that I would be right back. I think he heard me since I saw him nod and then I ran after Polka. She is so fast.

Polka ran ahead of me and then crawled into a small cavity in the side of the mountain. I’m glad I’m small since if I was in my adult body from my previous life, I wouldn’t even consider crawling into this small space. I crawled into the cavity calling for Polka repeatedly. I heard her meow up ahead. I crawled forward and the next thing I knew…I was FALLING!

“OH MY GOSH!”

It was a straight drop, but then I touched the ground and began to slide down. This is a slide made of ice. I would find this fun…if I wasn’t scared out of my wits right now! I was screaming nonstop as I slid managing to avoid sharp icicles on this slide. I swear, I felt like I was in a game…well this is a game, but there was never a slide feature like this.

I swear it felt like hours before I finally collided into a hill of snow. Thank goodness it was soft. If it was completely frozen solid, I would have a concussion…or be dead a second time.

I crawled out of the snow coughing. I guess some of the snow flew into my mouth when I was screaming my heart out. I am so turned off to slides for a long while.

OK, where am I now? I see walls of ice, snow, snow…more snow, ice sculptures…ice sculptures? WHY ARE THERE ICE SCULPTURES? I stood up and indeed there were ice sculptures in the place I have landed. Some were of animals like bears and birds and some were of humans, but of course I didn’t recognize them, but they seem to be struck with fear. Kind of reminds me of those stone statues that Medusa made. You know that myth right? The one where if you look into the snake woman’s eyes you turn to stone?

Well I don’t expect these ice sculptures to be the real people of course because that would just be crazy. Right?

…I hope it is my imagination, but I think I heard something move along the ice.

“OH MY GOSH!”

I coward down, but it turned out to be just a wolf. I thought it was a snake monster…WAIT A MINUTE, THIS IS STILL BAD! The wolf growled at me and began to approach. I guess my animal talent has no effect on this wolf. I better train my animal talent more.

It gave out a roar and I in turn screamed and began to run. The wolf gave chase, but I immediately used my wind talent to jump up and then hide behind an ice sculpture shaped like a bear. I could hear the wolf growl and my heart race, but the wolf suddenly whimpered and then there was silence. I peeked behind the glacier and saw that the wolf was nowhere in sight. Where did the wolf go?

Oh, I haven’t seen that statue. It looks like a wolf…oh my gosh I think that is the wolf that was chasing me. THE WOLF TURNED TO ICE? Does that mean that there is a monster here that is like Medusa? That wasn’t in the game. All right, don’t panic. As long as I don’t see the monster’s eyes, I should be fine…right?”

Walking, walking, walking…I think I hear something. Nope, just my imagination. Keep walking…I definitely hear something…there’s something behind me. I shouldn’t look over my shoulder. I should use a mirror or something reflective like in the myth…I have nothing.

I suddenly hear a shriek behind me like Banshee. Forget turning around! NOW IS THE TIME TO RUN! I dashed forward refusing to turn back. I need to find a way out.

WHY IS THE SHRIEK GETTING CLOSER?

I try to throw a ball of fire at whatever is behind me…IT’S NOT WORKING! Let me try wind blade…not working. Ice spear…not working. Why aren’t my talents working? I am being chased by a monster that can turn living things into ice; my talents are not working for the first time…things can’t get any worse right?

“Wah!!”

It got worse. I should know better than to say that cliché line. Why is Nate down here too? How did he even get here?”

“Reino? Are you here?”

Follow his voice…there he is! I immediately grab Nate and I hide him and myself behind an ice sculpture hoping that the monster didn’t see where I went.

“Reino, what are you doing?”

“How did you get here?” I demanded in a hush voice.

“I finished climbing the glacier the number of times you told me, so I was looking for you to get my food and to pet Polka, then I found your footsteps in the snow, I followed them to a very scary slide, and here I am…so where are we?”

“In a very scary place where there is a monster that can turn you into ice sculptures by looking at your eyes.”

“…that sounds very scary.”

I nodded and then I remembered something…Nate has a mirror. I remember seeing it when I first saved him.

“Nate, can I borrow your mirror?”

“Sure, but be careful with it. I was told I would need it to get the power of this mountain for my trial.”

I nodded and took the mirror gently from Nate’s hand. Now that I get a good look at it, it has traces of gold and ruby. A very pretty mirror. Seriously, Laveda, you have to pay attention or you might become a new decoration for this place.

I held the mirror at an angle and made the reflective surface show me the surroundings from behind the sculpture. Nothing there…nothing there…OH MY GOSH, there’s a woman with a snake body just like Medusa, but there are no snakes in her hair. Her hair is pure white like mine and gives off a shine like snow in the light. She was slithering around looking in all decorations.

“I know you are in here child.”

She can talk? I didn’t expect that, especially since Medusa in the myth never spoke as far as I know. The snake lady slithered around looking in all directions.

“You are the first to avoid my gaze. All others turned to ice before they could even speak before my great presence.”

Great presence? She speaks like a royal…kind of annoying.

“You must have come for the power just like other fire wielders.”

I noticed Nate tug my sleeve and glanced at him. He had a look of excitement and whispered, “She’s the guardian of the power that I am looking for.”

“Guardian, you never mentioned that,” I pointed out.

“I thought it would be obvious, since in order to get the power you have to defeat the guardian,” whispered Nate. I rolled my eyes. So typical, but why did the guardian reveal itself now?

“This place must be its chamber. We were lucky to find it,” stated Nate with excitement in his voice. He calls it luck, but I call it a pain in the butt, since I can’t even use my talents in this chamber for some reason.

“Try all you want, but I refuse to surrender the true power of this mountain to a fledgling like you.”

Don’t call me a fledgling! It makes me sound like a kid…all right, I am a kid right now, but I have a spirit of an adult woman.

I noticed Nate was trying to summon his flames, but to no avail. This chamber really does seal talents. Nate cursed under his breath and whispered, “I need to defeat the guardian to get the power, but how do I defeat it with my flames sealed.” Even I couldn’t answer that. This creature is like Medusa, so we can’t fight head on and I don’t know where there is an exit, so we can’t run away either.

The snake lady suddenly slithered toward us making me push Nate behind another ice sculpture to escape her sight. I made sure that the mirror showed me where she was.

“You can’t hide forever child. If you do plan to fight this great one then know this, if I am to fall, the power will be yours, but a curse will fall upon you.”

“A curse?” I muttered and then looked at Nate whispering, “You didn’t mention a curse.”

“I didn’t know about that either, but I still plan to get that power, even with a curse.”

That’s really stupid. I know Nate wants to get stronger, but we don’t know what this curse even is. I want him to forget about getting the power, but he looks so determined, so I don’t think he will give up on it. I wonder if there is a way to avoid the curse.

“I know you are near.”

OH MY GOSH, she is getting closer. I need to find a way to fight her. Think Laveda think! Maybe I can use this mirror to defeat her.  I mean Medusa was defeated by gazing at her own reflection and turning to stone, so maybe this can work. I was ready to jump out to make her face her reflection, until I realized something…there are reflective surfaces everywhere and she is not turning to ice. There goes that plan. Time for Plan B…THERE IS NO PLAN B!

I haven’t been this panicked for a long time. Think Laveda Think! I looked to Nate hoping he had some idea on how to save our butts, but he seemed to be just as panicked as me.

“Nate, any ideas?”

I know I am pushing my luck, but I am desperate for some ideas. Nate glanced in all directions and then I saw a smile on his face. He pointed upward and whispered, “We can use that.” I followed his pointed finger and saw that a glacier sat on a ledge.

“You’re a genius Nate,” I cheered silently. Nate smiled in reply. I am so proud of him. We can use this glacier to crush this monster, but we now have to figure out how to get the glacier down to crush this monster.

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