"You were great at the Arena… I know you were looking, I felt your eyes on me" Freydis said.
Dag's cheeks turned red and his eyes looked down.
"I liked it. I liked that sensation" she stated.
"I remember about you, and what you did for me when we were kids. I remember your word against Arne's word. I remember everything" she conclude, keeping on clean up the blood from his chin.
Dag felt still paralyzed but said: "It was not fair. They had no right to force you to strip in front of everybody".
"No Right? Oh, Dag…rights don't exist here on Skjold, only strength matters… but you were so kind doing that to me. Thank you…" Freydis answered, looking him with gentle eyes.
"I did nothing special, it was my man's duty. And then, this belongs to the past. Now, let's look at the future… I saw you in combat, you fight like a real Shieldmaiden" Dag replied, paying a honest compliment.
"Well, you knocked out that guy before… he lost his senses! You're strong too! I never saw such a show of anger from you… I don't know you well, but you looked like another person" she answered.
"Something made me get mad, he challenged me and he hit me when I was not looking!"
"You're obsessed with fairness and justice, aren't you?" she asked back.
"No, I'm not… but sometimes, somebody must enforce it. And that 'somebody' was me when I protected your honor in front of the best warriors of the planet" he concluded.
"Are you coming to the Arena tomorrow? We can go together if you want… I live down there" Freydis replied, pointing her hand to a house slightly hidden in the wood on the roadside.
Dag was celebrating those words, he was about to explode for happiness, but he contented himself with saying: "I know perfectly where you live, Karl is my best friend. I go to the Arena every day, but probably we never met because I'm always late, but… y…yes! Of course, we can go together, I'd be happy to!"
"Ok then, see you tomorrow! Oh, Dag… put something cold on your nose, it would be better soon" Freydis said, greeting Dag and walking towards her house.
"See you tomorrow, Freydis…"
Dag couldn't believe it really happened, because he called her name only in his dreams or talking to Karl and just couldn't wait to meet her again.
His nose still hurt, but it didn't matter: Freydis finally noticed him.
Once arrived at home, Dag entered the door and Asa was inside: "Oh dear, who did this to you? Poor boy… did he pay for that? Come closer, let me help you".
Dag obeyed and replied: "Yeah, I was not focused and he caught me off guard. But I beat him in the end. My nose is fine, Freydis fixed it".
He didn't add anything else, leaving out his report about his loss of control.
"Freydis? Karl's sister?" Asa asked, checking the wound behind the bandage.
"The puppy likes her! C'mon, mom, it's so obvious! I heard him talking of her with his friend a lot of times!" interrupted Eirik, joining the conversation when he entered the farm.
"Hahaha Dag, you should have expected it! You've chosen to be a warrior, now, look at you. This is just a little scar on you, imagine how many others will you get, fighting steadily stronger enemies!" Stein chuckled, following his son and making Dag smile.
After a few minutes, he already felt better when Asa put a cold blade on his nose and helped him to spit all the blood inside of it with the help of some cold water
Right after that, they sat and ate together at the main room's table.
At night, when Dag finally laid on his bed, he kept staring at the roof, not being able to sleep, thinking of Freydis: when they were very close, he really wanted to kiss her.
Her lips looked warm and soft, and when she touched his face, her hands smelled nice, even if, a few minutes before, she was fighting in the Arena.
He was not able to think something or someone that wasn't Freydis.
It took hours to him to fall asleep.
The day after, Dag woke up early, for the real first time, excited to meet her.
When he got up from his bed, only Asa was missing, while Stein and Eirik were asleep.
She was outside and he greeted her after exiting the main door, walking down the road without even having breakfast.
While he was walking, a group of four people moved in the opposite direction, towards the hilltop.
Dag looked at them, noting that their faces were not so friendly, and two of them wore something similar to armor.
When their path crossed with Dag's, he observed something on one of those men's back, a metal, sharp object, similar to a sword.
One of them looked at Dag without saying anything and then, they continued on their way, merely ignoring him.
Dag did the same, continuing to descend the hill and look the other way, with a questioned air.
"Why that men were climbing the hill carrying weapons? Where are they going? Except for my house, there's nothing on the hilltop… that's weird" he thought, not knowing whether to continue downwards and meet Freydis, or turn back and find out what was happening.
His thoughts suddenly went to his mother, who was the only one awake and the only one who could fight in case of need, since Gridd was still in Hevnen.
He took a deep breath, turned back, and walked towards his home, worried to disappoint Freydis, that probably was already wainting for him before her house.
Covertly following the strangers, hiding through some bushes and trees, because of his good knowledge of every single corner of that road, he found out that they had just overcome the water stream.
"There is no doubt, they're heading to our farmhouse!" he thought, scary and not knowing what to do, realizing that that direction only led to his house or in the woods, but those men didn't look like lumberjacks or woodworkers.
Dag stepped up the pace, moving to the rocky wall's shortcut, shifting the thorns and bushes and climbing on the wall, Quickly hiding behind a thick tree from where he could see better what was happening.
Nobody was outside, only animals in the fence.
The coach wasn't on its place, meaning that Stein and Eirik were in the woods, as usual.
One of the strangers without armor drew a dagger from his belt and after that, the other two of them did the same, wielding a sword.
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