Originally, I was planning on releasing the final part of the Red Riding Hood Saga trilogy this month.
Unfortunately, I needed a bit more time to work on it.
So, instead, let me present to you…
Arash's Shooting Star
From atop Mount Damavand, I looked down over the land.
It was... strange, to look at a land that was finally on the verge of peace, after having been caught in a long and bloody war that had consumed the two kingdoms on it for so long.
A war that we had lost.
"My friend," my companion said to me, "thank you for coming with me."
"Of course, Arash," I replied.
Over the last few days, Arash and I had journeyed to the top of Mount Damavand for our mission - a divine mission that would seal the peace treaty, and bring about an official end to the war.
And now, after a night's rest, it was dawn - and it was time to carry out our mission.
As part of the peace brokered between our two kingdoms, my kingdom was allowed to reclaim some of its conquered land.
However, the land that we could reclaim would be decided by where an arrow, one fired from atop the highest point in our kingdom, landed.
For this crucial task, the greatest archer of our kingdom had been chosen - and that was Arash.
As Arash prepared his bow and arrow, I jokingly asked, "Do you know which way to aim?"
Arash chuckled, "Yes, of course."
He turned his head towards our conquered lands.
As we looked out from atop Mount Damavand, I began to weep.
"My friend," Arash said to me, "what's the matter?"
I looked at him, with tears in my eyes, "You know what will happen to you, when you fire that arrow, do you not?"
Arash nodded, "I do."
The bow and arrow that Arash held were gifted to him by the divine for this task.
And they were no mere weapons.
A mortal body, even one as strong as Arash's, would not be able to withstand using them - especially not when they were said to infuse their wielder's life and power into the arrow.
"We have fought and bled together, Arash," I said to him, "We have lived through the many horrors that the war brought on us. And yet, even now, at the verge of peace, must I lose another comrade?!"
Arash nodded, solemnly, "I'm sorry, old friend."
"Why?!" I asked, "Why would you do this, even knowing that you'll die?!"
Arash looked at me, with sincerity and sadness in his eyes, before he answered, "For peace."
Then, without another word, he aimed upwards toward the sky, and pulled the arrow back on his bowstring.
I watched as he released the arrow.
The arrow flew into the sky. It started to shine as it travelled, as if it was a shooting star.
From dawn to dusk, the arrow would travel. And it would eventually land, far away from Mount Damavand.
"Thank you, my friend," Arash had said, as the arrow began to shine in the sky, "for accompanying me one last time."
With a smile on his face, Arash's body began to disperse into specks of light, not unlike that of a trail left behind by a shooting star.
And before I could say anything, my friend had disappeared, his mortal form taken away by the divine arrow.
For a long time, I wept.
But now, as I travelled down the mountain, with Arash's shooting star in the sky, I made a promise.
A promise to spread the tale of my friend's last deed far and wide.
This time, we have a tale from Iranian folklore.
The kingdom that Arash and the narrator are from is Iran, and the opposing kingdom was Turan. I couldn't find a way to naturally fit the names into the story, so I'm noting them here.
The location of where the arrow is shot from varies between different sources. I chose Mount Damavand simply because it is the highest peak in Iran.
Where the bow and arrow comes from also varies; some sources say that an angel brought it to Arash, while other sources say that the angel instructed the king to have the items made. For this story, I chose to just simplify it to "gifted to him by the divine".
The amount of time that it takes for the arrow to land also varies, so I chose from dawn to dusk simply because it sounded more romantic to me.
Where the arrow lands also varies, so I just left it as a vague 'far'.
The shooting star aspect of this story was inspired by Fate/Grand Order's take on the character.
The narrator who goes with Arash is a creation just for this story - as far as I know, there isn't really a version of the story where a friend goes with Arash.
The Sun Aegis - Continuing work on Part 7.
Audrey, The Unicorn Girl - Continuing to work with @Tobatoons, the artist for this project. Inking continues for Chapter 1!
The holidays are coming soon, so I just wanted to wish all of you Happy Holidays!
I don’t have a holiday video planned for this year. But, if you haven’t seen it yet, please give The Starry Snowman a try!
Thank you for reading!
I hope that you’ll join us next time, for the finale of the Red Riding Hood Saga!
As always, please consider:
Don’t forget, more Retelling Myths can be found here!