Dag was speechless as if he was paralyzed.
"He... he never told me that..."
"I know. He never even told me, kid. But that's his will" Egill interrupted.
Dag's heart began to beat loudly.
"Obviously you don't know how it works. To become a Master and then Warchief you have to face a series of tests. You have to be superior to any other warrior in the Clan, to get the title... Of course, this will give you some advantage" continued Egill, who took an object from his pocket and threw it at Dag, who grabbed it.
It was the horseshoe pendant.
"Master, I forgot to tell you about this. It all happened all of a sudden, I... I...".
Dag did not immediately find the words to tell Egill about the woman who fled and the warriors he faced to win the emblem.
"Dag, don't worry. This emblem is yours, I have no interest in getting it. It doesn't matter how you got it, I don't care. Now it's yours and you must protect it. That emblem is a symbol of power. Use it to your advantage. About the matter of Magni and his plans for you... you don't have to answer me now, you can..."
"I accept!" interrupted Dag, excited to rethink the words his late Master had written about him.
"Well. From today you will be under my supervision. You will tell me what kind of training Magni did and show me what skills do you have. With a lot of effort and sacrifice, you will become the mighty warrior that your Master would have wanted you to become" concludes Egill.
Dag clasped the pendant tightly in his hand and placed the other on the head of the hammer.
"I won't let him down" he said, confident.
"Spring is about to begin. The snows on Mount Torden begin to melt and the trees to bloom. When the Summer Sun will enlighten the earth, the Warlords Tournament will begin. The winner of the competition, in accordance with my decision and Dargeon's one, will have the chance to become Masters" Egill said.
Dag nodded, confirming his words.
Then he approached him and showed him the runes on his arm.
"These are the only skills I've learned. Magni, sometimes, used to bring me some scrolls" Dag said.
"Mh... well, Earth Stomp, Overpowered Strike, Slam, Perforate, Niva... and this is a +1 Call Of The Berserkr. Not bad for a beginner. You've already managed to improve a level 1 skill. Very good..." said Egill, looking closely at the runes, of which he knew by heart every meaning.
He walked away from Dag, walking to another row of libraries.
Dag sneered, trying to follow Egill with his eyes.
He was consulting scrolls in the "level 4" section.
He took two and brought them to Dag.
"Start with these. As soon as you think you're mastering them, show me your progression" Egill said.
Soon after, before Dag could figure out what ability it was, he left the library.
Dag opened the two scrolls.
"Shockwave and Hamstring" he thought out loud.
With the two scrolls under his arm, he returned to the dormitory.
He took the two scrolls to his room and left them on the bed, and then he went out into the courtyard again to lend a hand to his companions.
"Hey! You were great!"
"Dag! How's it going?"
The other warriors of the Clan, as soon as they saw him, greeted him warmly.
Dag didn't know any of them: during the short time he spent at Temple Of Orn before his exile, he had managed to forge a weak friendship only with Aslan.
As soon as he thought of him, the memory of when, arguing in the room, they broke his bed, appeared in his mind.
Immediately, that happy memory was interrupted by the image of his comrade's head rolling towards his feet, with an expression of terror drenched on his face.
Dag shook his head, trying to forget that moment.
He greeted with his hand all those who had welcomed him with kindness, smiling.
It was time to start all over again.
If one day he would become Master of his clan, he would have everyone's approval. Magni was esteemed by his people, everyone loved him and trusted him.
Dag was going to do the same.
He joined a group of warriors carrying pieces of wall to the main entrance and gave them a hand.
After several hours of work, Dargeon called everyone's attention to the courtyard: "For today we are done. Good job! At this rate, the temple will soon return to its old splendor. Tomorrow, at dawn, we're going to resume work. We will meet this evening at the banquet, during which we will toast our victory!"
All the warriors, fatigued by the hard work, raised their arms and screamed happily towards Master Dargeon, enthusiastic about the news.
After returning to the temple, Dag entered his room and began studying the two scrolls, starting with the one titled "Hamstring".
The scroll was much more complex than the level 1 scrolls. The futhark grammar was more articulated and the text was longer.
The ability, when used at the right time, caused a surgical cut on his opponent's tendons, preventing him from being able to move freely.
Just as Dag was absorbed in reading, someone knocked on his door and all the doors of the next rooms.
"Dinner is ready! The Masters are waiting for you in the great circular dorm room".
Dag came out of his room and with everyone else went into the banquet hall.
He had never entered that hall: the ceilings were much higher than those of the student rooms and corridors. In the middle of the room, a large rope held dozens of candles that lit the long wooden table.
On one of the walls, a huge fresco depicted Thor hitting Jormundandr with his hammer, as the giant serpent emerged from a river, overturning a boat and spewing flames on the innocent sailors above it.
Dag recalled the words Dargeon uttered before facing Wolnir. They were probably inspired by that painting.
All together, they took their seats around the table.
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