"Well, it's not. This is the No. 10 emblem".
"What?! How... When...?! Show me!" continued Karl, grabbing his hand and tugging at him, to observe the pendant in every little detail.
"Soon someone might know that I have it. And he might come and claim it. I need to get even stronger" Dag said, as Karl watched the pendant in amazement, in disbelief as he clutched one of Sjold's legendary emblems in his hands.
"I remember when we were little. You said all the time that you were going to be King of all Vikings and that we would be your most trusted warriors. I will never forget those days of carefree happiness" Karl said softly, immersed in the nostalgia of his memories.
"I will come with you" he replied before Dag could answer.
Dag smiled: "I knew I could count on you, brother. I'm going to teach you everything I've learned, and then we're going to Gridd and Freydis, convincing them to join us. We will be the two of us to rewrite Skjold's future, that's a promise!"
After speaking, he took the tomahawk that Karl had rested on the table and with its blade, he made a small cut on the palm of his hand.
He held his arm towards him, with his bloodied hand open.
"Do we have a deal?" he said, looking into Karl's eyes.
Karl grabbed the tomahawk and did the same thing, shaking Dag's hand.
"Yeah, we have a deal!" he replied enthusiastically.
"Perfect. I was thinking about your clan. Usually, no warrior leaves the capital before he is 18. You're going to have to come up with an excuse for Taya, we can't tell her the truth" Dag thought aloud.
"Don't worry, Dag. I already have something in mind. My stay away from Jernhest won't be that long. Accompanying you on your adventure, I will undergo a much more complete training than that in the arena. Traveling around the country has always been one of my dreams. Thank you for offering me this chance!" replied Karl, glad to have accepted Dag's proposal.
"Don't thank me. We still don't know the dangers we'll encounter during the trip. Before we leave, there's another favor I have to ask you" said Dag, who opened the bag in which he brought bread and dried meat and extracted letters from his warrior friends.
"What are those?" asked Karl.
"My Clan companions have asked me to deliver these letters to their families. Can you help me?"
"No problem. A friend of mine is a raptor trainer. One of his owls can deliver them for us. Don't worry, it's very reliable" Karl replied.
"All right, I trust you. They all must get to their destination, I made a promise" Dag said, entrusting the letters to Karl.
"Easy, brother. I'll handle it".
Karl put the letters in a pocket and walked out the front door.
"Before we cross the FossilWood Forest, we will stop at the Temple Of Orn. My Master is waiting for me" Dag continued.
"On orders, Captain!" exclaimed Karl, with one hand on his forehead, as if he were Dag's personal soldier.
"Hahaha! Don't be ridiculous. We're leaving tomorrow morning. By today get yourself all that can be useful for the trip, I will do the same. And remember the letters, I recommend you!" replied Dag.
"Now more than my captain, you look like my mother" Karl snorted.
The two friends said goodbye and Karl left.
"Why do you want him to come with you, Dag?" asked Asa, who walked behind Dag to the outside of the house with a bucket in her hand.
"He's one of my best friends. Maybe the only one I have left. Master Egill promised me that on my return to the Temple, I will find warriors selected by himself, willing to accompany me on my expedition: I could choose another... three is better than two, right?" asked Dag to his mother, moving by the door to let her through.
"Yes, you're right".
"But he still doesn't know of my detour to the village of Tyven. I hope that it won't change the game" Dag continued.
"You'll see that Egill will understand. He is a man of infinite wisdom. No one can advise you better than he does" Asa said, after sitting next to one of her cows to milk it.
"So you're leaving again, little brother?"
Dag turned back, toward the door. Eirik had just woken up and seemed to have recovered from the hangover.
"Hey, brother. Yes, I'm leaving again tomorrow. But I'll be back here in Jernhest soon, I can't help but see your ugly face for a long time!" chuckled Dag.
"Hahaha! All right, I'm counting on it. Make sure you don't get killed" Eirik replied, yawning.
After greeting his mother and brother, Dag got on his horse and went down to town to go to the market and buy supplies.
He bought more dried meat, which certainly wouldn't be moldy and other supplies, including bread and fresh fish.
Then he went back to the farm and ate with his mother and brother. After lunch, he stayed to talk to Asa, while Eirik headed to the forest to get wood to sell at the market the next day.
"You know, mother... I was thinking of the mutant animals that inhabit the FossilWood Forest. I've dealt with mutant animals before" Dag said.
Asa made a marvelous expression.
"A long time ago, I had to kill a deformed beast with blades instead of claws. Before the transformation, it was a crow".
Dag told Asa about the animals owned by the Xis and the fact that they kept spying on him who knows for how long.
"Are you sure of that? I've never heard anyone say that" Asa said.
"Think about it. This planet, this atmosphere, the vegetation, the animals... were all created by the power of the Xis. I don't know exactly how, but with some advanced technology, they have managed to recreate the perfect conditions for life, both human and other animal species. It is normal for them to control their creations as they please. Just look the animals in the eye. If they have purple eyes, it means they are connected to the Xis, I have yet to find out how" Dag continued.
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