He looked around in the cage: even his sword was not there.
In those conditions, he would never be able to break free. He felt like a caged beast.
He stood up, but the cage was not high enough. It was probably designed to contain bears or other ferocious large breed animals.
He got down on his knees, his hands resting on the ground and closed his eyes, trying to concentrate.
From the corridor on the right, there was no noise, but from the left one, he could hear something.
They were indistinct voices.
They were not very close: the walls of that place amplified some sounds.
Considering that both the walls and the doors seemed to have been dug into the rocks, that place must have been inside the mountain.
As he tried to hear the noises better, Dag tried to imagine how long he had been unconscious, so he could see how far the kidnapper had dragged him.
He had to be a man and also a strong one to be able to lift and carry him since he weighed about seventy kilos.
Maybe he wasn't alone, they were more than one.
Dag screamed again, trying to get the attention of someone in those corridors.
"Heeeey! What do you want from me?!"
He thought of Thalos. He was wrong to enter the woods, he should have been more careful and should have brought the wolf to safety.
Who knows where his friend was now. And who knows where he was.
The distant voices gradually became closer to the left.
Dag continued to scream, with the cage bars clenched in his hands.
His body seemed to be back to normal, the feeling of power was gone.
Suddenly a man sprang from the right corridor.
He had a sharp dagger in his hand.
He approached Dag, who resented the cage.
"You're lucky, you little scum! They want you to stay alive, I don't know why. I would have killed you already if the decision was mine!" said the man, threatening Dag with the dagger.
"And who the fuck are you?" asked Dag.
"You killed my brother, you ugly piece of shit! You're not going to get away with it! When King Hjalmar's done with you, I'm going to kill you. I'll tear you to shreds, I'll cut you into many little bits, you bastard son of a bitch!" the man continued, looking out of the cage, tucking his arm inside.
Dag was scared. The anger that the man felt towards him was real. Who was he talking about? Who was his brother?
Maybe one of the warriors riding with Kval?
"Listen to me. I apologize for your brother, whoever he is. He certainly tried to kill me! So far I've killed just to defend myself, please, get me out of here!" said Dag.
The man looked at him with an air of contempt. He spat on him.
"You're going to pay for it," he concluded.
Meanwhile, voices from the left corridor were now very close to the room. Men came out the door, talking to each other, laughing as if nothing had happened.
Dag looked at them as if looking for a friendly gaze.
They didn't notice him, and they sat down at the table.
Gradually, the room was filled with people from those corridors, mostly men.
They all looked like warriors. Each of them wore a red drape and had a small skull on him.
Some had hooked it to the belt, others had it around their necks like a necklace, others had embedded it in the hilt of the sword.
It was a skull much smaller than the human skull and judging by its shape, it looked like that of a bird, perhaps a raptor.
Everyone sat around the table.
At the head of the table was a chair taller than the others.
It was probably meant for this Hjalmar.
Why did he call himself King?
The Viking King was one, Einarr. He was the owner of emblem No.1.
No one seemed to notice Dag. The cage was as part of the décor.
The man who had threatened him was still there, in front of the cage. He kept staring him in the eye.
"Listen, I told you there must have been a misunderstanding! I would never kill for the sake of it!" said Dag, trying to justify his gesture.
"I did," the man replied. Putting his arm between the bars of the cage, he grabbed Dag by his leather jacket and pulled him towards him, pointing the dagger at his throat.
"Well, well, well! What do we have here?"
A baritone voice interrupted the indistinct voice that echoed in the hall.
Immediately, the man left Dag and walked to the table, to take his seat. All the men in the room rose from their chairs and bowed their heads, silently.
A large man, more than 2 meters tall, entered the room. On his face, a helmet in the shape of a human skull partially covered his face and he had a bone crown on his head.
On his mighty arms, both uncovered, were a hundred different runes.
That giant was supposed to be Hjalmar. He looked like an extremely powerful warrior.
He approached Dag's cage, which rose, though not completely, given the size of his cell.
He stopped in front of the cage and said, "What was that man telling you over there?" pointing to the man who was threatening him with the dagger just before.
Dag was surprised by the question.
The man interrupted by saying, "Her Majesty, I did not want to disrespect you by speaking to the prisoner before you, I just wanted..."
Before he finished speaking, Hjalmar turned to him, staring at him.
Immediately the man fell silent and bowed his head, subdued.
"He told me I deserve death because I killed his brother," Dag said, taking courage.
"And is this true?" the King asked.
"I guess so, I'm not sure," Dag replied.
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