The Story of Damarwulan

I.

In the 15th century the Kingdom of Majapahit in East Java was ruled by a King named Wikramawardhana. To help him in his great task, the King selected Hudara, a wise and farseeing man, as his Prime Minister and chief adviser. Hudara had a strong and goodlooking son, Damarwulan by name. Under Wikramawardhana's rule, the Majapahit Kingdom enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity.

Now this King had only a daughter, a beautiful and clever Princess whose name was Kenchana Wungu. The King naturally loved his daughter more than anything else and it was his dearest wish that one day she should be his successor to the throne. But soon great misfortunes came to this happy land. First, the Minister's wife died; and the Minister, unable to sustain the shock of such a great loss, resigned from office and went into a forest where he lived a secluded life devoted to meditation and prayer. He took his son, Damarwulan and two of his most faithful servants, Nayagenggong and Sabdapalon with him.

The King appointed Logundere, Hudara's younger brother, to take Hudara his place as Prime Minister. Then a short time after, the good King himself fell sick of an illness which with all the skill of his physicians could not cure. Knowing that his end was near, the King first declared his daughter as the new Queen of the country. Next he sent for the Minister Logundere, and called him to his bedside and bade him to serve his daughter as loyally as he had served him and told him to give the new Queen his advice whenever necessary.

Logundere promised to do as he was told. At heart, however, he was a very bad man and quite unlike the good brother whose place he had taken. He was greedy and cruel and his chief desire was to gain more power and wealth for himself and his family, which consisted of his wife; his two sons, Layang Setera and Layang Kumitir and his pretty young daughter, Andjasmara. Outwardly, however, he showed nothing but love and respect.

Soon the great King passed away, mourned by all his people throughout the Kingdom. After her father's death the new Queen. Kenchana Wungu, or Queen Kenya, as she was called by her people, soon began to show that she was quite fit to govern a Kingdom. One by one she subdued all the neighbouring lords until finally they all recognised her as their Queen and none dared to dispute her rights. Among those who declared their loyalty to the Queen was Rangga Lawe, the regent of Tuban, who was the strongest and ablest of them all. The Queen soon made him general of Majapahit's army.

Under Queen Kenya's rule, the Kingdom of Majapahit continued to prosper. As the years went by, it became apparent that Queen Kenya was not only an able ruler, but also an exceedingly elegant young lady of exceptional beauty. Soon the fame of her beauty and talents spread far and wide. Before long the news reached the Kingdom of Belambangan.

At that time the Kingdom of Belambangan was ruled by a giant whose name was Menakjingga. He was big and powerful, with a huge mouth and big teeth that excited fear and horror in all who saw him. Now this giant was selfish end strong-willed and he knew no law but his own will. So when be heard of the beauty of the Queen, he at once made up his mind to make the beautiful Queen his bride. He dreamed all night of the beautiful Queen, whom he had never seen, and rose the next morning still thinking of her. As days went by, he became as amorous as an ape and as restless as a wild horse, so that he found no repose at all.

One morning, as the day broke, he called his most faithful retainer, Kee Dayoon, and said to him, "I have heard that the Queen of Majapahit is an exceedingly attractive and extraordinarily clever lady. If I can marry this beautiful Queen, I shall be the happiest man on earth, and you yourself shall be amply rewarded too. Go now as a marriage go-between and ask my brothers, Kotbuta and Angkotbuta, who now rule over the Kingdom of Besuki, to accompany you to Majapahit. Remember that I really rely on your ability, and you must not fail."

That night Kee Dayoon lay upon his bed and did not get a wink of sleep. As soon as it was light the next morning he started for the Kingdom of Besuki. The giant's two brothers, Kotbuta and Angkotbuta, agreed to go with him to the capital of Majapahit at once. Soon Kee Dayoon, accompanied by the King's brothers, set out for the Kingdom of Majapahit on his strange errand as a marriage go-between.

II.

One morning the Queen was seated as usual on her throne, listening to reports given by some of the high officials. Rangga Lawe, the General, was also present. After all the reports had been given, she turned to Rangga Lawe and said: "There is an important matter that worries me a great deal, and about which I wish to know your opinion. Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that our country was visited by a great flood. All the people, cattle and houses were drowned. I myself was carried away helplessly by the rapid currents. Then you came and tried to save me, but alas you were too late! As the flood was raging, suddenly my body was caught by the branches of a banyan tree, which I held as tightly as I could. Then I saw three big bats hovering above me and swooping down to attack me. My heart was filled with terror, and so I woke up. Now tell me honestly, what does the dream foretell?"

But General Rangga Lawe did not answer. Sorrow was shown on his countenance. "O your Majesty, there is no need for your Majesty to be anxious," he said at last. "The dream does not mean any harm. It is a good dream." But the clever Queen knew that Rangga Lawe had not told her the truth. She lowered her head. Deep lines appeared on her usually smooth, well-shaped forehead. Just at this moment three delegates from the Kingdom of Belambangan unexpectedly arrived at the gate of the palace. A messenger was sent to invite them in, and the three delegates soon entered the palace. The whole assembly were terrified when they saw the appearance of the two giants, Kotbuta and Angkotbuta, who accompanied Kee Dayoon, for they were really big and formidable.

The three delegates strode boldly toward the throne, but when they stood in front of the Queen and looked at her face, they became amazed and remained open mouthed for a good while. For never, never in all their lives, had they seen such perfect and striking beauty. The Queen bade them to sit down and in her soft sweet voice she said, "Good men, what business brings you here?" They then told her the mission on which the King of Belambangan had sent them. The King of Kings, Menakjingga, they said, wished to marry the Queen of Majapahit, and that it would be much wiser for the Queen of Majapahit not to refuse. Hearing the message, the Queen was thunderstruck, unable to utter a word. She ran at once to her chamber, threw herself on her bed, and wept bitterly.

Rangga Lawe, who was trembling with anger, said to the three delegates, "You see what all this means. Go home and tell your King that our Queen has refused to marry your King."

"But our King his proposal might mean a command," replied Kee Dayoon. "Besides, have you considered carefully the consequences if you dare to refuse the wishes of our King? Think twice before you give your final answer." To this Rangga Lawe replied at once, "Certainly! Tell your people that we know how to defend our honour against barbarous people such as yours!" Hearing this, the three delegates fell into a great rage. The two giants growled and snarled. With an angry, heart-rending shout, one of them stepped forward and roared, "So you dare to insult our King, you stupid people of Majapahit. And you think you know how to defend yourselves against the invincible armies of ours? So you will compel us to fight, eh? Wait, wait until our troops attack you and wipe you out completely! Next time think twice before you speak or you will have to prove even here who is the stronger, me or you."

There was silence in the court. Terror was depicted on every face. Only Rangga Lawe remained courageous. He rose from his seat and without uttering a word, he approached the two giants and beat them so hard with his powerful fists that the two soon fell down to the ground, groaning with pain. "Now", said the general, "will you go back and tell Menakjingga that our Queen refuses to become his wife? So long as there is one living soul in Majapahit, your King shall never, never be our Queen's husband. Now go home and don't you dare mention that rogue's name in my presence again!"

Limping, the two giants slunk away, followed by Kee Dayoon, who was trembling with fear. The three delegates made their way back to Belambangan as soon as they could and reported their experiences to Menakjingga. When the King of Belambangan heard how his demand had been rejected and how his delegates had been insulted, his anger knew no bounds. He jumped and roared, and roared and jumped. "Now, you insolent people of Majapahit, you shall pay dearly for what you have done" he shouted. The following morning, still burning with rage, he ordered his troops to get ready to march to Majapahit to punish its people for their lack of due respect.

Thus marched the great troops of Belambangan, reenforced by those of his two brothers from Besuki, on a punitive expedition, towards the Kingdom of Majapabit, burning, pillaging, and massacring as they passed.

The army of Majapahit, under the command of Menakonchar, came out to meet them. A fierce war broke out. Soon the battlefield was covered with the fearful sights of death and pain. Outnumbered, the brave army of Majapahit under Menakoncbar, which defended the territory of Jippang, were driven back, and within a few days their resistance had collapsed. Menakonchar escaped, while his daughter, Dewi Waita, and several others, were taken captive. Menakjingga then ordered his troops to advance upon the region of Weleri, where its regent, with forces entirely inadequate to stem the torrent poured against them, made a fruitless attempt to resist. As could have been expected, he was soon forced to flee to the capital, leaving his daughter, Dewi Puyengan, at the mercy of Menakjingga.

Burning with patriotism, the sons of Majapahit continued to fight heroically. A few miles from the capital a long and fierce war was waged. The brave sons of Majapahit continued to pour into the battlefield, in spite of great losses. For two days and two nights shields and kris resounded with the shock of spears and flying arrows. Sometimes the men of Majapahit were victorious, sometimes the soldiers of Belambangan drove them back with their battle-axes. But it was soon clear that the brave sons of Majapahit were rapidly falling under heavy pressure. General Rangga Lawe was killed in the battle by Menakjingga, and his men soon retreated in dismay at the loss of their leader. Hereafter the march of the armies of Belambangan and Besuki became a triumphal procession, for there was no one to resist them, and now they made ready for an advance to the capital of Majapahit.

III.

Every morning since the outbreak of the war the Queen would sit on her throne, giving audience to messengers who came to report to her the sad war news of the battles and demands for more men and weapons for the war. That morning when the Queen ascended her throne as usual, her heart, sure enough, was heavy within her. Many lives and beasts had been sacrificed to check the advancing hordes of barbarians from Belambanaan, but it was all in vain. "What plan shall we adopt? What counter moves can we take?",she kept on asking herself. For no matter how hard she tried, she could find no peace of mind. So that morning the young Queen felt distracted for a good while. Her heart died at thinking of her own sad fate. Then suddenly an idea struck her, and she hurriedly ordered several of her men to go round the country and proclaim:

THAT THE QUEEN WOULD MARRY ANY MAN WHO SHOULD BE FOUND ABLE TO DEFEAT MENAKJINGGA AND BRING HIS HEAD AS A TROPHY TO THE PALACE"

There was great excitement in the country, especially among the young men. You may be sure! There were many adventurous young men who tried their luck in the battlefield against Menakjingga. But most of them were frightened to death and took to their heels once they saw the giant's horrible sight. Some of the ones who refused to run away were killed by the giant. It was rumoured that the giant had in his possession a magic weapon called "the yellow-iron club", which made him invulnerable to all weapons and therefore invincible.

The people of Majapahit were in a state of great fear. Then one day there arrived at the capital the regent of Weleri who, accompanied by Menakonchar, came to make an official report of the results of the war. All resistance had failed, they said, and Rangga Lawe, the General, had been killed, and that the country was in great danger. When the Queen heard of the sad news, her beautiful face darkened. She remained silent for a long while, and then, turning to the assemblage of civil and militair officials, she addressed them as follows:

"To my children, patriotic sons of Majapahit, the barbarians will soon be moving troops in to occupy the capital. All our efforts have hitherto failed. But we must not lose hope, for God helps those who help themselves. Personally I have nothing to fear, for should our last efforts fail, I have decided to take my own life rather than be the wife of the King of Belambangan. So loyal sons of Majapahit, it is my wish that you all shall face this overwhelming disaster with sufficient courage and patience. I trust that you will perform your duties as true citizens of Majapahit. I have sworn before Almighty God that I am ready to take for my husband any man, regardless of rank and caste, who can beat Menakjingga and bring his head as a trophy to my palace. I believe that such a hero will soon be found and will save us all from this calamity. But before such a man can be found, let there be no more war. Let all resistance cease, temporarily, and let us receive our enemies in an atmosphere of calm and peace. In order to gain time, I have decided to resort to different tactics. I beg you all, therefore, to cooperate with me, and restrain from all sorts of provocation".

Meanwhile the King of Belambangan and part of his army had reached the palace of Majapahit and were waiting outside the palace gate. The whole court came out and gave the conquerors a ceremonious welcome. The king and his officers were then ushered into the reception hall where they greeted each other with ceremony, and hosts and guests took their seats as formality demanded. Everybody noticed that the Queen was smiling all the while, but everybody, except the enemies, knew that behind her smiles there were tears, tears of sorrow and disgrace. When Menakjinaga saw how truly beautiful the Queen was, he was dumbfounded and could not take his eyes off the her.

A feast was laid before them. Meat and drinks were set out. Nearby a band of gamelan musicians and a score of ladies of remarkable beauty continually made the most exquisite music. Both food and wine were of the best, and every one had his fill. So hosts and guests made merry to the full and drank in the utmost harmony.

"This is but a poor meal," said the Queen, smiling, "so you must forgive us for our lack of respect." This flattered the King exceedingly and his face became illumined with smiles. They continued drinking until they all became half drunk. Then suddenly Menakjingga brought up the question of marriage. He wanted the marriage ceremony to take place there and then, and to take the Queen back to his country the next day. The Queen tried hard to hide her feelings, and then in her sweet voice and with that gracious sweetness that had never left her, she said, "I am neither of wood nor of stone, and your affection for me touches me deeply. I thank your Lordship for it. Far from my heart is the thought of refusing your wishes. But I have one request to make before our marriage ceremony takes place, which I sincerely believe your Lordship will readily grant me. I request that our marriage be postponed until next year, for I have sworn before the Almighty God that I would spend this one year in purifying my soul through meditation, and it is natural that during the year I must renounce all thoughts of love and abstain from coming into contact with the body of any male, that of my future husband included."

Wild and strong willed as Menakjingga was, his heart was by this time so moved by her sweet voice and persuasive language that he was entirely deceived as to the young Queen's secret intentions. The Queen's request was at once granted. The next day Menakjingga made preparations to go back to Belambangan. He told the Queen that, while waiting for the marriage to take place, he would first of all have a beautiful palace built especially for her in Belambangan. Then at last, the victorious King and all his men started the homeward bound, carrying with them all the spoils of the war and several captives, among whom were two young maidens, Dewi Puyengan and Dewi Waita.

It is now time to speak of Damarwulan, who had been residing with his father, then a great and holy person living in a big forest on the slopes of a mountain. Now this holy man, whose real name was Hudara, the ex-minister, had now assumed the name of "Kee Hadjar Tungoalmanik". One day both father and son were sitting opposite each other in their cottage when suddenly the father said, "My son, I see that you have grown up. You are no longer a child. You have received enough education and training from me. Do you know, my son, that the country of Majapahit is now in great danger? It is beset with immense difficulties, both internal and external. On your shoulders lies the future of Majapahit. Go back now to your country where your help will soon be needed. It is not right for a young man like you to be wasting your valuable time in seclusion like this. Therefore, I say, go to your uncle, Logundere, who is now the Prime Minister of Majapahit. Wait there patiently until your opportunity comes. Obey all his orders, even if he should ask you to be his stable-boy. Go now, my son, there is not much time to waste."

Then, after a short pause, he continued: "What are you waiting for? Nayagenggong and Sabdapalon will accompany you wherever you go. They are the most faithful companions I have known in my life. Treat them kindly, and you will never ever regret. Farewell, my son. May God be with you and protect you always".

Damarwulan lowered his head for a moment and after kissing his father's feet, he bade his father goodbye and started at once for the Kingdom of Majapahit, accompanied by his two most faithful servants, Sabdapalon and Nayagenggong.

One day, Logundere and his wife, together with their two sons, were enjoying themselves in their home. The country was in trouble, but why would they care? By squeezing the people and stealing from the governments treasury, the Minister had made a large fortune. And so long as he had a respectable position and a fat income, it did not matter to him who ruled the country. He was even willing to cooperate with the enemy, provided he was allowed to retain his good position and wealth.

Wealth, however, had made his two sons, Layang Setetra and Layang Kumitir, naughty and vain. They were thoroughly spoilt children, owing to the manner in which they had been brought up. They gave themselves many airs, and declined to mix with those of lower rank. Logundere his daughter, fortunately, was quite different from the two brothers. She was noble and kindhearted by nature. In fact so charming and pretty was her face, and so winning were her ways, that she was not only loved by her parents, but by everyone who knew her.

The mirth was at its height when suddenly a shabbily-dressed young man, followed by two older men, presented themselves at the Minister his door. Logundere ordered to have the men come in. Damarwulan stepped forward, followed by his two servants. The three unexpected visitors then seated themselves on the floor. Logundare, not accustomed to see a man so unceremoniously clad under his roof, pursed his lips and said to the youth haughtily: "Tell me, what is your name and whence and wherefore have you come from?"

To this Damarwulan humbly answered, "My name is Damarwulan. Misfortunes have brought me to this place. If your Lordship are willing to employ me as one of your servants, I shall be most grateful. I will do all you ask, whatever your orders may be".

Before the Minister could answer, however, his two sons had stepped forward and shouted. "There is no place for you in our house." Then turning to their father, they said: "Father, is it not enough that you already have two sons and one daughter to take care of? And should we, who have been brought up in good surrounding, associate with such a dirty and low class villager?"

"But I will take any job that you may offer," said Damarwulan. "I am willing to work, even as a stable-boy, 1 shall do anything faithfully and willingly."

The Minister looked at the youth, but did not speak a word. He knew in his heart that the youth before him was none other than his own brothers only son. He saw that the youth was much better looking than his own son and was highly displeased. But when he saw Damarwulan clothed in rags, he was satisfied. He made up his mind to keep the young man as, long as he could, as slave under his roof, so as to hide him from the world. This, he thought, would eliminate Damarwulan's chance of ever rising in the world and competing with his sons.

"Since you have to earn your living somehow", said the Minister to Damarwulan, "I propose that you and your friends stay with us as our stable-boys. I have twenty horses which you must feed and wash every day. It is the only job we have for you right now. Will that suit you?"

"In our evil fortunes," answered Damarwulan, "since all doors are shut against us, if your Lordship will take us under his protection, it will suit us very well indeed".

So from that day onwards Damarwulan became the stable-boy of the family. His life was hard enough before, but now it had become almost unbearable. He was treated worse than any servant and made to do all the hardest, meanest and dirtiest work of the house. He was, however, greatly consoled by his two faithful companions, Nayagenggong and Sabdapalon, who helped Darmarwulan in every way they could. They went quietly about their work the whole day long, without once envying their unkind cousins.

As year after year succeeded, Damarwulan grew into a stronger and handsomer lad. The more handsome he became, the more his two cousins hated him. But Andjasmara, the lovely sister of the two cruel brothers, was of different nature. When she saw what a handsome and elegant person Damarwulan was, she was moved with admiration, experiencing a strong desire towards him. She soon fell deeply in love with him. And Damarwulan, who had never seen such a pretty and charming maiden before, fell in love with her too.

But in her heart she knew only too well that her hardhearted father would never allow his pretty young daughter to wed a stableboy. And her cruel brothers too, would certainly oppose such a matrimony. But they loved each other so much that they felt they would rather die than be parted. Knowing full well that the path of love is never smooth, she determined to bear her sorrow patiently and walt for a better chance. In the meantime she kept the secret strictly to herself.

One day, early in the morning, the Queen sent a court official to go in haste to Logundere's house and summon him. As soon as Logundere came she said to him, "There is an important matter on which I wish to consult you. Last night while I was purifying my soul by meditation and prayer, I heard a mysterious voice saying to me, 'Your only hope lies in a young man named Damarwulan. He is the only person now who is able to save you and you country from disaster.' The name of Damarwulan was mentioned to me so distinctly that I have no doubt there is such a man in this country. Go and search for this man, and bring him back to me as soon as you have found him."

"Yes, yes" stammered Logundere, "I will try to find him, your Majesty." But down in his heart he could not bear to think that Damarwulan, his stableboy and not his sons, should be made the hero of the day. On his way home he kept asking himself. "Could it be that Damarwulan, my stableboy and Damarwulan of the Queen's dream is one and the same person?" At night he could not rest for the jealousy which grew up like a weed in his breast.

In the morning this greedy and cruel man decided to do something. While outwardly he kept up an unruffled appearance, a cunning plan shaped itself in his mind by which he hoped to get rid of Damarwulan. "No, no," he said to himself, "I shall never, never, let Damarwulan be a hero and a king!"

So one day, when Damarwulan was out cutting grass for the horses, Logundere stole into Damarwulan his room and put some valuables under his bed. He then hurriedly himself to the judge, complaining that some of his valuables had been stolen. He also told the judge that he greatly suspected his stableboy to be the culprit who had committed the theft, for the youth had behaved rather strangely those few days. When Damarwulan his shack was searched, it wasn't a great surprise the valuables were found under his bed. Damarwulan was therefore arrested, chained, and sent to prison. Sabdapalon and Nayagenggong were accused of confederacy in the crime and were also imprisoned.

Logundere now felt as if a heavy stone had rolled off his chest. A few days later, he went to the palace and reported that he had searched throughout the whole kingdom for a man named Damarwulan, but that all his efforts had been fruitless, for no man with such a name could ever be found.

"Have you searched for him everywhere? In the villages, in the woods, up hills and down the valleys?" asked the Queen. "Yes, I have searched for him throughout the whole kingdom, but still I couldn't find him. I do not think Damarwulan really exists." But the queen, remembering the mysterious voice which she had heard so distinctly, began to suspect that something was amiss.

"It appears," said the Queen at last, "that you are trying to hide this man from me. Your cunning is at the source of this whole matter. Now go and bring this man to me as soon as you can. Or shall I be forced to accuse you of treachery and therefore condemn you to death?" This alarmed Logundere more than just a little. For, although he was an extremely cunning fellow, he was by nature a coward, so he proceeded to tell the fact of Damarwulan his whereabouts, saying meekly, "Yes, your Majesty, there is a man with such a name, but he is a thief and is now in prison. I did not dare to bring him here, for fear of offending your Majesty." For a moment the Queen sat in utter amazement at the wonderfull news she had just heard, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. Then she said loudly, "Go and bring this man to me at once. Yes, at once!"

So Damarwulan, still in chains, was brought to appear before the Queen. The Queen looked at the prisoner closely. She noticed that the young man, though somewhat pale and shabbily dressed, was strong and extremely handsome. She thought it strange that one with so distinguished an appearance should be made the victim of Loguodere his treachery and she felt a wave of compassion for him. Then she asked him what his crime was for which he had been imprisoned.

"I, your humble servant," he answered, "have from my earliest live lived a blameless life. I have never in my life committed any theft. I believe that I am innocent, your Majesty".

"But why did they send you to prison after all? And, by the way, where were you before you came here?", the Queen asked.

"I do not know, your Majesty. They suspected that I had stolen some of my master his valuables and before I could prove my innocence, they chained me and put me in prison. Before I came to this country, I used to live with my father on the slope of a high mountain."

The Queen, who remembered the mysterious voice and who had already been struck by Damarwulan his appearance, came to the conclusion that he was telling the truth. So she ordered the prisoner to be released at once.

"Now there is one more question I wish to ask you," said the queen. "You have without a doubt heard that Menakjingga and his troops have invaded our country. Many of our people have been killed and our houses have been burned down. We prayed to the heavens to send us a strong and resourceful man who could deliver us from this calamity. But such a man did not come and we almost gave up hope. Maybe the heavens have finally answered our prayers by sending you to us. Suppose I lay on your shoulder the duty of defending our country, what would you say?"

"I am completely at your orders, your Majesty. I am the recipient of your great kindness, which I can never hope to repay. It would be an extremely big honour if I can do my part in defending your country."

"Very well then," said the Queen. "Prepare yourself for the great task. In a few days you will start for the Kingdom of Belambangan. Your duty is to kill Menakjingga and bring his head as a trophy back to Majapahit. But I warn you that Menakjingga is an extremely dangerous fellow."

Damarwulan promised to do his very best. Feeling sure that he could beat his enemy singlehanded, Damarwulan refused to be escorted by the Queen's soldiers. Only his two faithful servants, Sabdapalon and Nayagenggong, were allowed to go with him.

VIII.

Damarwulan started his eventful journey on foot and after walking for several days, he reached the kingdom of Belambangan at last. He then unfurled his banner in an open field near the King his palace and made several loud cries as a challenge to the giant to come out and fight.

The King of Belambangan woke up from his sleep and when he heard some one calling his name and challenging him to fight, his rage was terrible. Seizing his weapons, he strode down the field, pounding his breast and cursing loudly all the while. But when he saw what little a fellow stood defying him, accompanied only by two other little men, his huge body shook with laughter. "You must be foolish, little weakling!" he roared. "I really hate to kill such a handsome little baby, so go back to your mama and beg her pardon before I crush your little brain out of your head! Go away as quick as lightning before I change my mind!"

"You vile and worthless scoundrel!" came the reply, "shut your big mouth up and understand that I am here to kill you. You had better try to defend yourself before I slice you up in ten thousand pieces!"

The giant, more enraged than ever, sprang forward to where Damarwulan stood and stretching both his arms wide apart and thus exposing his breast to his enemy, he roared again, "So you are the little fellow who wants to kill me, eh? Try to take away my life if you can! Take out your weapons now, my little man, and stab me in any part of my body you may please to choose! You have yet to prove that you are my match!"

Damarwulan took out his kris and slabbed and stabbed, first in one part, then in another part of the giant's body, but all to no avail. At last he became so exhausted that he could not stab anymore. Meanwhile Damarwulan his two servants, Nayagenggong and Sabdapalon, were trembling and praying for their young master's success. Now it was the giant his turn to strike. He whipped out his sword with a hiss, and before Damarwulan could raise his weary hand to defend himself, his body was smitten and fell to the ground. His two companions, who were no match for the big giant, were soon killed, too. Leaving the three dead bodies lying about in the field, the giant went back to his palace, laughing loudly all the way.

Now our story brings us to Hadjar Tunggalmanik, Damarwulan his father, whose original name was Hudara, the ex - minister. In seclusion he had purified his soul by meditation and was now a truly Holy One. He possessed that uncanny power of foreseeing the future and he could tell what happened around him in far-away places, thousands of miles away. He could now see with his minds eye that his son was in peril. He descended at once to the Kingdom of Belambangan and came to the field where the three dead bodies were lying. The Holy One then muttered some incantation and the three dead bodies soon rose up as if from a dream. He then said to Damarwulan, "My son, let It be known to you that there is only one magic weapon called "The Yellow Iron Club," with which you can beat Menakjingga, the King of Belambangan. The weapon is now in the hands of Menakjingga. So long as he is in possession of that magic weapon, he will be invulnerable and therefore invincible. Get it at all costs and then beat the giant with his own weapon".

So saying, he glided away as if he were blown away by the wind and disappeared mysteriously.

A full hour passed, and it became dusk. Damarwulan seated himself on the meadow and thought of the Queen, reflecting with sorrow how be had failed in his mission. If he could only get the giant his magic weapon.

Then suddenly, he saw two figures coming stealthily towards him. He tried to probe into the darkness with his his tired eyes. They looked like the figures of two young women, but who could they be? When they came nearer, he recognized by their dresses that they were women from Majapahit. They were Dewi Puyengan and Dewi Waita who had been taken captive by Menakjingga.

He was happy to meet people from his own country. He wanted to talk more, to pour out his troubles and sorrows to the two women from Majapahit, but there was not a moment to be lost. So he asked them whether they could manage to steal the wonderful magic weapon of Menakjingga, The Yellow Iron Club, for him. The two women went away at once, and after what seemed to Damarwulan to be a whole night long, the two women came back, bringing Menakjingga his powerful weapon with them. They had stolen the weapon while the giant and all his guards were snoring in their sleep.

Sure enough, there was a fierce fight between Menakjingga and Damarwulan the following morning. When Menakjingga saw his magic weapon in Damarwulan his hand, he began to tremble with fear, for he knew that his end had come. With the newly acquired weapon, Damarwulan struck the mighty giant on his head and in a few seconds the giant rolled over, dead. Damarwulan took out his knife and cut off the giant's head.

Damarwulan brought home with him plenty of gold, silverware and jewels in great heaps. He also brought the two captive girls back to Majapahit. Being anxious to bring the good news back to his own country and present Menakjingga his head to the Queen, Damarwulan walked as fast as he could, leaving his men many miles behind.

When the news of Damarwulan his victory reached the palace of Majapahit, it was received with great rejoice. Everybody celebrated the victory, especially the Quean herself, and last but not least, Andjasmara, the woman who loved him most. Only the Minister, Logundere, felt very unhappy. He hurried home and told his two sons of what he had heard. The three sat down and discussed the matter until late at night. They were indeed greatly irritated by Damarwulan's unexpected success. They were furious and went red and yellow with envy. After a long discussion, they decided to form a most base resolution.

They decided to meet Damarwulan on the way and kill him before he was able to see the Queen, So the two brothers started out together, and near a big forest they waited for Damarwulan. When they saw Damarwulan coming towards them, they nodded and smiled, trying their best to look pleased. They succeeded so well that Damarwulan was very glad to see them. Innocent himself, Damarwulan did not suspect deceit in others.

"Welcome, welcome, our cousin and congratulations on your great success" the two brothers said. "We are indeed very proud of you!"

Damarwulan bade them to take a rest under a big tree where he related his adventure to his two cousins. He then innocently showed them the magic weapon with which he had killed Menakjingga. Layang Setera begged to be allowed to hold the weapon and while pretending to examine it, he suddenly raised the weapon and dealt Damarwulan such a blow as would take the life out of any man.

Damarwulan lay on the ground unconscious, with an ugly gash on his shoulder. The two brothers then took Menakjingga his head and hurried themselves to the palace. There the two brothers presented the head of Menakjingga to the Queen and told the her that it was they who had killed the giant King. Damarwulan, they said, was killed by Menakjingga long before they arrived in the Kingdom of Belambangan.

The Queen and those who were present looked at one another and were dumbstruck. From the language, the accent and the demeanour of the two brothers, they saw that the account they gave of their adventure was not genuine. But with Menakjingga his head presented before the Queen, they were forced to accept the story as true.

The two brothers, not being very clever persons, thought that they had succeeded in deceiving the Queen and began to hope that one of them at least, if not both, might be the Queen's husband. The Queen herself decided to keep her word. She consented, to take Layang Setera, the eider brother, as her husband. But she could never entirely banish her suspicion that there was some treachery in the whole story. For, had not the mysterious voice told her that it was Damarwulan and no one else, who was destined to save her and her country?

There was someone else who didn't believe the story of the two brothers. It was no other than their own sister, Andjasmara, the faithful lover, who, on hearing her wicked brothers' tale, experienced the feelings of one unexpectedly plunged into cold water. How could her useless brothers have accomplished such a great task? What had really happened to her sweetheart, Damarwulan? Could it be that he had been treacherously murdered?

Suddenly there was great noise and excitement outside the palace. It seemed that a big crowd had gathered at the palace gate. Soon afterwards a man strode through the gate into the palace. Everybody looked up and there, before their eyes, stood Damarwulan himself!

Brought back to life once more by his Holy Father, Damarwulan had now come to the palace to report his adventure to the Queen and to arrest his two cousins. Happy beyond description, the Queen advanced to greet him. The two brothers, not knowing whether to fight or to run, stood dumb for a good while. Damarwulan strode angrily towards them, and before the two brothers had time to make any excuse, Damarwulan had already approached Layang Setera and deprived him of the magic weapon.

Then, pointing hit finger at the two brothers, Damarwulan shouted, "Blackhearted thieves that you are! Not content with making me into a slave and prisoner, you have tried to take my life as well! Then you concocted a lying story to deceive our Queen!"

Then he related his adventure before the court. Perplexed, at first the two brothers did not dare to give vent to the anger and hatred that they felt. But as the minutes passed by, they became bolder and finally decided to challenge Damarwulan to a fighting bout, in order to prove who was the real hero. It was clear that they were no match for Damarwulan, for within a short time they were utterly beaten.

Being a kindhearted man, Damarwulan spared their lives. The Queen ordered them and their father to leave the country forever. The two brothers were now so overcome by shame and remorse that they were only too glad to go home and attend to the bruises that they had received as the result of the fight. They covered their faces and fled away like rats to their holes. The next day the two brothers, together with their father, left the country for good.

The Queen, true to her word, became the wife of Damarwulan. The wedding took place amid great rejoice. Together they ruled the country wisely, loved and respected by their people. Andjasmara, with the Queen's consent, was made the second wife of Damarwulan.

If ever you pay a visit to the town of Blitar in East Java, you will find an old relic, Chandi Panataran, the only memory left of the beloved King and Queen of Majapahit. Then you will remember this story, which children as well as old people in Indonesia have loved for ages.