"Then, in the meantime, I will try to make a selection among the warriors and choose 3 possible companions. When you come back, you'll choose the best match for your requirements" Egill replied, in a serious tone.
Dag couldn't believe it.
In a very short time, he passed from being in exile to giving orders to his superior.
He wondered what other surprises life had in store for him.
Anyway, he was happy to return to Jernhest. He would meet his mother again and with a bit of luck, he would have been able to see Freydis again, although probably, she had already left for Skjegg, the city dominated by the Crows Of Odin.
As Dag continued to fantasize, he walked into his dorm to his room, where he began studying scrolls again.
He looked at his arm: 8 runes were engraved on his skin, his arsenal was growing fast.
On his shoulder, the Berserkr symbol was engraved, from the day of his pledge in front of Arne.
He thought of Gridd. She had never shown him her runes, but she still had to be very strong, judging by her fighting style.
After convincing her and her Clan to prepare for the decisive battle, they would have to travel to the other capitals of the kingdom, to propose the same thing to all the other neutral Clans.
Dag's plans were beginning to take shape.
But something was still missing.
If he really wanted the Warchiefs of the various Clans to listen to him, he needed a higher rank than his.
Emblem n° 10 wasn't enough. He had to gain a better one, otherwise, he wouldn't have had credibility and his plans would go up in smoke.
At Temple Of Orn, his Masters didn't seem to know much about it: they never talked about emblems and social hierarchy of warriors. Yet a high-level emblem was one of a warrior's greatest aspirations.
Being able to get the last of the leaderboard might seem like a disadvantage, but in reality, it was an advantage for Dag: he would have had more time to train and get to the strongest warriors because he had something that others didn't have. The dark power. If he could completely dominate it, he would surely have reached the top of Skjold's warrior hierarchy.
Moreover, only unknown or low-level warriors would have aspired to its emblem, the horseshoe.
As he thought, he looked at Magni's hammer.
He had managed to trap the powers of his Master in that weapon, even though they were forceful.
That black fluid had no limits, it was a formidable weapon. Dag's potential was boundless: no one had ever seen anything like it, so even the most skilled warriors would not know how to counter that power.
Dag finished reading the Hamstring scroll and began reading the second skill Egill advised him: Shockwave.
This ability, like Earth Stomp, was more like a "utility" than a real source of damage. The moveset was similar, but instead of crossing his arms, the warrior who wanted to perform this ability had to stretch them forward, with his fists closed.
In this way, he would generate a shockwave proportional to his own physical strength.
Dag continued to read the scrolls carefully until evening.
Just as he was about to fall asleep, someone knocked on his room door.
He opened his eyes and rose up from the bed, on which he sat.
He went to open the door.
There was a group of young warriors, consisting of 4 men and 2 young women.
Dag looked at them with a confused air.
"Hello, Dag!" said one of them.
"Master Egill told us we could find you here".
"We know you're leaving for Jernhest tomorrow and we wanted to ask you a few little favors!".
They continued, speaking one at a time.
"Of... of course! Tell me" Dag replied.
"We are not allowed to return to the capital and our origin villages. Could you bring our greetings to our families?"
"Yes, maybe they wonder how we are, we haven't seen each other in months!"
"We'd be grateful!"
Some of them held their arms toward Dag, handing him letters, with names written on them.
Dag took them without hesitation.
There were four envelopes and on each of them, there was a name, written in futhark.
"Thank you, Dag! Thank you very much!"
Dag smiled, as a sign of friendship.
"That's not all, we'd like to pay you back! We brought you dinner!"
"Not just dinner. Even something to take with you on the trip!"
The group of youngsters handed Dag a bag of tissue and a bowl containing roast chicken and potatoes.
"Guys... I don't know how to thank you!" said Dag, who did not expect such a courtesy to be made towards him.
"It's the least we could do for you!" they said, then turned around and left, going back to their rooms.
Dag was in disbelief again.
His misadventures had made him lose faith in people. But in reality, proving to be loyal to his Clan, he could finally feel the warmth of brotherhood on his skin.
Happy with what just happened, Dag ate the dinner still warm.
After finishing the chicken, he looked inside the cloth bag: there was bread, dried meat, and a small jug.
He took the jug and opened it. It was mead.
He took a sip and then put it back in its place.
With his stomach full, he lay down on the bed and blew on the candle.
He fell asleep after a few minutes.
The rooster began to sing. It was dawn.
Dag wore the belt, putting the hammer on it.
With a rope, he tied the bag with food behind his shoulders, making sure he took everything he needed.
He left the scrolls bent on the small wooden table next to his bed and walked out of the room, trying not to make any noise.
There was no one in the hallways, everyone was asleep.
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