Then he turned to the women behind him.
They were 9.
"Follow me, I'll take you to a safe place" he said.
The women began to smile and look at each other, in disbelief that they were finally safe.
One by one they approached Dag, who opened the line and thanked him.
"We owe you!"
"Thanks to your help we managed to escape our destiny in Castle Of Mork"
"We'd be rotten in there if it wasn't for you, Dag!"
"We will be grateful to you for life!"
Dag smiled. He did not usually receive compliments and words of gratitude.
With Magni on his shoulders, he looked up toward the Sun, trying to recognize the cardinal points.
The farm was on the east side of Mount Torden.
In front of him, there was a forest.
Dag tried to take a closer look at the details, but could not recognize anything.
The vegetation and soil were both different from the areas surrounding the farm.
"I don't know where we are either, if that's what you're trying to figure out" Claire said, breaking her silence.
Dag smiled, beginning to walk.
"This way" he said.
He wasn't totally sure the farm was in that direction.
As he walked with the group of women, he thought of Magni.
From the farm, he had managed to immediately trace his location, even though he did not know about the kidnapping.
Maybe he already knew the castle, but in any case, he had a very good sense of direction.
The Castle Of Mork was a real fortress, more similar to a bunker than a castle, seen from the outside.
Small indentations in the rock next to the huge door of the main entrance were the only communication routes with the outside, from which natural light passed.
They kept walking, entering through the vegetation.
High beech trees covered that stretch of the forest by the sun's rays.
"Be careful where you put your feet. You could stumble or step on some snake" Dag said.
The women shuddered at those words, except Claire, who kept following Dag less than a meter far.
"How old are you?" she said.
"Eighteen. You?" said Dag.
"Sixteen. You said that man was your master... are you a member of a clan?" continued Claire.
Dag told Claire his story in a nutshell: he told her about Jernhest and his family, the Temple Of Orn and his clan, omitting little details, such as exile and Freydis.
"So we're going to this Temple? Wow!" said Claire, her eyes shining with happiness.
"No, we're not going there. There's another place. As soon as we get there you'll see it with your own eyes. You'll like it" Dag said, thinking of the farm.
"How did you defeat Hjalmar? Did your master defeat him?" she continued.
"You ask a lot of questions!" said Dag, looking Claire in the eye: he couldn't resist her big eyes.
"Let's say yes. My Master saved me. If it wasn't for him, I'd definitely be dead. And so would you all" he continued.
"I understand. I feel very sorry for him".
Claire and Dag continued to chat and in the meantime they passed the forest, popping out into a valley.
Dag touched his head, confused.
He rested Magni's body on the ground and got up, looking around.
"Are we lost?" said a young woman in the group.
Dag did not answer back, embarrassed. He kept pretending to know their location.
"No, no, we're almost there. I just stopped to catch my breath. You can rest too, we'll leave in a few minutes!" he said.
A few yards away from them, a small stream flowed into the valley.
The women approached to cool off.
Dag was still puzzled: he could not guess which direction to follow.
"Right after I fell asleep, did they take me on such a long journey? Really?" he thought, as he looked at the No.10 emblem, studying every detail of that pendant.
A scream broke the silence.
One of the women ran towards Dag, who rose suddenly.
"What's going on?!" he said.
"There is... there is something....I…I was…" the woman said, breathless.
"Calm down! I can't understand you!" replied Dag.
"I had seen berries on one of those bushes over there. I got closer to pick up some... but something is moving back there!" the woman continued, panicking.
Dag grabbed the hammer.
"Stay here, all together. Move only if I tell you" he said.
He began to approach the bushes indicated by the woman.
Concentrating, he could hear something moving, but the sound was too faint.
It must have been an animal that was ambushing.
"Who's there? !" yelled Dag toward the bushes, which began to move.
He heard another sound: it was a very short and fast breath, it looked like that of a dog or another similar beast.
Moving branches, Dag saw beyond the vegetation.
"Thalos! Thalos is you!" exclaimed Dag, excited.
From behind the branches, his wolf friend leaped at him, landing in his arms.
Dag fell to the ground for the weight of the wolf and reciprocated the embrace.
"Oh no! Dag! Heeeelp!"
The girls began to scream madly in a panic.
"Hahahah! No, don't scream. He's with us!" exclaimed Dag, rising from the ground after Thalos licked his entire face.
"This is Thalos" he continued, pointing to the great gray wolf.
"Is he... Is he your friend?" asked Claire, slowly approaching them.
Thalos sat next to Dag as if he were perfectly trained.
He let Claire caress him, and all the women calmed down.
After meeting his new friends, Thalos walked to Magni, smelling his body.
"It's not a body you can eat, my friend. He was good" Dag said with a melancholic voice.
Thalos continued to sniff at Magni, uttering small groans, as if he was crying.
"You understand that, don't you?" continued Dag, as he lowered himself to caress him.
"Listen, I have a request for you... take us back to the farm. I lost my way" Dag said.
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