The legend of Medusa was a tale that had gone through multiple retellings and had a ton of different versions floating around.
One such version claimed that she was a priestess of Athena who, due to her beauty, caught the fancy of Poseidon. Poseidon visited her in Athena’s shrine and raped her. Having been raped, her body was no longer pure and was viewed by Athena as being a taint on the shrine. And so as punishment, she was turned into a snake demon.
Some claimed that Athena was unable to punish Poseidon and so ended up venting her anger on Medusa…
Another version claimed that she was in a relationship with Poseidon despite being a priestess and was punished because of that. There’s another retelling that said that Medusa was extremely narcissistic and even had the gall to claim that she was more beautiful than Athena and so she got punished for that…
There was even a version that claimed that she was actually a clone of Athena…the Greek mythology is just so chaotic, completely unlike our Chinese legends. There was only one Yellow Emperor and that was Xuanyuan. There’s no instance of his legend being cloned like what happened to Zeus and Jupiter.
(In roman mythology, their king of gods was Jupiter who was also Zeus in the Greek mythology. There was a saying that goes: Rome conquered Greece with its might but Greece conquered Rome with its culture.)
When I first encountered the Medusas in this world, I found, to my surprise, that they had no connection to the legend of Athena at all. In a sense, it was impossible for them to have a connection anyway.
————-<<Random musings by me>>
(In order not to forget how to write in Chinese, Mo Ke would write down his musings from time to time in a diary of sorts. This diary contained some of the thoughts he had when he was free.)
“Master, can I ride my hellhound into battle?”
Big 5 stood anxiously at the side with his hellhound as I went about crafting a new set of equipment for him.
“You wish to fight while riding him?”
Due to his evolution, his body had grown bigger, making it awkward for him to ride his hellhound. In the past, the pair were a perfect match for each other proportion wise but now, his feet nearly touched the ground as they rode along, creating an extremely awkward looking sight.
I guess it wasn’t strange of him to suggest such a thing. Furthermore, I originally had the intention of creating a cavalry unit but I ended up giving up on that idea since I didn’t know how to create a saddle and reins. Since he took the initiative to ask me, I guess there’s no harm in trying.
Seeing that I had no intention of rejecting him, his enthusiasm grew even stronger. As he stared at me with longing eyes, he answered, “Yes Master, I wish to ride him into battle, I feel that it makes me look cool.”
“I have no objection to you being a cavalryman but I have no way to secure you to his back. If you aren’t secured to him, it’s highly likely that you will fall off his back. Plus, I can’t teach you how to fight so you have to figure it out step by step. All I can do for you is craft a weapon.”
Even after saying all that, the enthusiasm on his face didn’t dim a bit. Judging by that, he probably already came to terms with these issues. Even so, I asked him one last time, “Don’t forget that you will be the only person in the cavalry unit for now. Before the other devils get the approval of the hellhounds, you won’t have any subordinates to command. Are you fine with that?”
“Master, I’ve already made up my mind, please allow me to do so.”
“Alright, I understand. If you’re able to prove yourself in the coming battles, I will support you in creating your own hellhound cavalry unit.” I’ve already received his resolve, all that’s left for me to do as his master was to support him with a handcrafted weapon.
Because I didn’t know how to create a crossbow, I ended up making a variant of the Mo sabre that was significantly shorter at just two meters in length.
Truth be told, this was merely an experiment to me, one that was unlikely to succeed. After all, the issue of the saddles was still up in the air, until that was resolved, the future of our cavalry unit seemed bleak.
As for Big 5, his thinking was just as innocent as always. Upon receiving his own custom short Mo sabre, his face immediately broke into a silly grin.
Thankfully, the hellhound’s weight bearing abilities were still pretty decent. Even while carrying the slightly enlarged Big 5, he still didn’t lose much speed. The only issue was the bumpiness of the ride.
Big 5 had to use his legs to support himself from time to time in order to maintain his balance, creating an extremely awkward scene. Furthermore, this style of riding was a heavy burden on the hellhound’s fatigue; are dogs even suited to being mounts?
The summoning of the skeleton archers proceeded as smoothly as projected. Within the first day, I managed to summon 15 archers. However, they didn’t seem to work out as well as I would hope. Against the wandering undead, they were significantly less effective.
I was only able to command them to fire in a general area, as for targeted shots, it was simply impossible. In other words, their archery wasn’t that good.
This became a huge problem when fighting the undead as their only weak point was their head. These skeleton archers had to fire directly at the skull of the undead in order to damage the soul flames within…this was the equivalent of asking someone who didn’t know how to play basketball to make a three pointer shot right off the bat.
So far our journey today was really smooth; we had zero casualties despite our battles. While we didn’t acquire any meat for the half-orcs, they were still able to feed on the meat stored up from yesterday so they didn’t have to starve.
However, the issue of distance was truly a hair pulling one. According to Violet Snow’s translation of that old hellhound’s words, the dogmen were supposed to be quite close to us.
It was this “quite close” that scammed me. This “quite close” was based on their galloping speed and their equally formidable stamina. My large imps definitely couldn’t compare to them in either category.
And so, even after four days of travelling, we still haven’t encountered the dogmen tribe. In the words of that old hellhound, we still had another half a day’s worth of travelling left, which means that my large imps had to march for another whole day…
On the day I brought my archer count to 30, Violet Snow came to me with a long awaited piece of good news.
“We are about to reach our destination.”
“Are you referring to the dogmen tribe?”
“That’s right but there seems to be a variety of scents nearby. Other than the dogmen, I picked up the scent of the demonic werewolves and the medusas.”
“Three different races? Is this the War of the Races or something?”
“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.” She rolled her eyes at me, obviously not getting my sense of humor. Her eye ridges drew together in worry as she continued, “ If I’m not wrong, those dogmen are either dead or enslaved.”
“Isn’t this too much of a coincidence, we just got here and you tell me that my target is already gone?” I should’ve checked my horoscope before leaving…if there’s even such a thing here.
It was at this moment that the scouting hellhound sent out by Violet Snow came back. He barked at her several times and she barked back several times as well. The two dogs barked at each other in what I assumed was them communicating before the scouting hellhound finally turned around and trotted off.
She turned back to me, her face visibly darker. “We encountered a patrol of demonic werewolves in front of us. They got into a fight with my hellhounds and we ended up leaving with the short end of the stick.”
“Can you confirm their exact numbers?” I’ve never seen these werewolves before but so far, the monsters I’ve encountered seem to somewhat follow the legends on Earth. These werewolves shouldn’t be an exception either. They should be covered in a thick coat of fur with the head of a wolf and the body of a human’s.
They should have a set of razor sharp claws and teeth and also possess an astonishing strength level, speed and regenerative ability. Their weaknesses should include a vulnerability to fire and a lack of magic talent.
“The scents are too mixed up so I can’t confirm it. However, the medusas and the demonic werewolves aren’t allies so they should be fighting with each right now.” She paused for a while before proceeding to explain the characteristics of the werewolves.
According to her description, it was pretty similar to what I envisioned a werewolf to be. With a new notable points such as their fur being a defensive tool. This meant that my arrows and archers were basically useless in this fight.
Their weak points were their head, throat and heart. Attacking them elsewhere would have limited effect at best and as expected, they were afraid of fire.
I tried to think of a way to counter them but I ended up with nothing. In the end all I could do was pray that their human form was weaker.
“Can they turn into humans?”
“Demonic werewolves aren’t able to assume a human form.” She immediately destroyed that last bit of hope I held. “Due to the adverse conditions in hell, they’ve evolved to always maintain their wolf form.”
“No human form huh…” The werewolves described on Earth had the weakness of a weaker human form. What couldn’t kill them in their wolf form might just be able to kill them in their human form. I originally planned to fire off an arrow storm before they turn into wolves but…these werewolves weren’t cooperating with me at all!
“The werewolves who were thrown here shouldn’t be too strong but given that they are able to fight with the medusas, they should have a few three-stars.”
Upon hearing her mention the medusas, my curiosity was piqued. “What are the Medusas like? In my memory, their hair is made of snakes and their body is that of a snake’s. Anyone who lock eyes with them are turned to stone and they possess an affinity for the bow. Furthermore, their blood is toxic.”
“What you just said pretty much matches my own except for the part about the bow.” She gave me a bland look and said, “Medusas have their own unique ranged attack, they don’t need a bow.”
“…” I guess they aren’t the same as the ones on Earth…
Ignoring my wry smile, she continued explaining in that icy tone of hers, “Medusas are one of the combat races of Gehenna just like the werewolves. While they don’t have the regenerative ability of those werewolves, they have a strength that matched the werewolves’. In terms of close combat, they are a force to be reckoned with as well.”
“As for their speed, perhaps it’s because of their tails getting in the way, they simply aren’t a match for the werewolves in terms of speed. As a comparison, they are about as fast as your large imps.”
“The medusas have a set of poisoned teeth which can paralyze any living creature they bite while the snakes on their head are able to spit out poison up to a range of 30 meters. It’s a corrosive poison that can even chew through rock. The same goes for metal as well.”
“However, their most terrifying weapon is their eyes, anyone who stares at their eyes run the risk of being petrified by their innate magic though, this isn’t a permanent effect…”
“From the looks of it, the medusas seem a bit stronger than the werewolves, after all, the werewolves didn’t have a long ranged attack.” While I didn’t have any particular fondness for these snake women, the facts simply suggested that they had the advantage.
“Actually, the sturdiness of their body allows them to temporarily resist the paralyzing effect of the medusa’s bite. Plus their fur allows them to resist the corrosive poison shot out by the snakes. All in all, they have a pretty similar combat strength and neither side could claim a decisive advantage over the other.”