Story of the Knight Yaroslav Lasarevich and the Princess Anastasia
Raslanei heard this, and cried with a loud voice: “Ho, Sir Knight! return!” So Yaroslav turned round, and went back to the Head; and the Head reproached him, saying: “Thy sword could not touch my helm.” Then Yaroslav fell on the ground and said: “Sir Knight Raslanei, pardon me for having offended thee!” And the Knight’s Head answered: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, thy youth and want of understanding have made thee speak thus. Thou hast taken my sword indeed; but even with this thou mayest still lose thy life; nevertheless, I wish thee well, and will teach thee understanding. When thou comest to the city, and the Tsar sees thee, he will descend from his throne for joy, welcome thee in the midst of his Court, and give thee gold and silver and precious stones. Then deal him a single blow upon his head with the sword; but beware of striking a second blow, or he will revive and kill thee.”
And so saying, he stretched out his hand to take the sword.
Yaroslav bowed himself to the Knight’s Head, and rode to the city; and no sooner had he reached the castle, and the Tsar saw him bringing the sword, than he sprang from his throne, flung away his sceptre, received him in his Court, and said: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, in return for this service I grant thee one place opposite me, the second by my side, and a third where thou wilt. My treasures are open to thee—take towns and handsome villages, and if thou wilt have my daughter the Princess Nasaria for wife, I will give thee one-half of my kingdom.” And so saying, he stretched out his hand to take the sword; but Yaroslav struck him a blow which cleft his head, and the Tsar fell dead on the spot. Then all the princes and boyars cried aloud: “Yaroslav Lasarevich, strike him a second blow!” But he answered: “A knight deals one blow, and that is enough.” Forthwith a number of princes and boyars and the twelve knights fell upon him, and were going to put him to death; but Yaroslav set his lance under his arm, seized the Tsar with his left hand, and clutching his sword with his right, he fell to slaying the princes and knights on all sides.