"Have they ever told you what happens to those who kill one of us Renegades?" continued Hjalmar.
At these words, all the warriors around the table began to agitate, as if they were about to celebrate something.
Hjalmar nodded his hand toward them and fell silent again.
"Then?" he asked.
"Those men tried to kill me by breaking into my house. I just defended myself," Dag said, addressing Hjalmar.
"Ahahahahaha!" the King burst into a fat laugh. Everyone in the room did the same.
As soon as Hjalmar stopped laughing, there was silence again.
In one shot, he grabbed Dag by the jacket and pulled him towards the bars, slamming him on them and holding him still in that position.
"Your stupid Master has for no reason killed 9 of my most valiant warriors!" yelled Hjalmar in Dag's face.
"Killing you now would be too easy, I would only do you a favor! You will suffer. You will suffer for 9 days and then I will kill you myself! I will dismember you with my hands and decorate the ceilings of my castle with your guts, little insignificant being!" he continued.
Dag had his face attached to the bars. He could not move in the slightest, Hjalmar's strength was far greater than his own.
"It... It wasn't... my fault," Dag said with a thread of a voice.
Hjalmar dropped him back to the ground, in the cage.
He snorted as if he were annoyed by that answer and without adding anything else, went to sit at the head of the table.
"Now, we eat," he said.
From the right corridor, women began to come out with various dishes in their hands, on trays.
All in a row, they approached the warriors so as to distribute the trays evenly all over the table.
Judging by the chains they wore at the ankles, and the dirty rags they wore to cover their nakedness, those women looked like slaves.
There were about ten of them, Dag could not figure out exactly how many they were because there was great confusion in the hall as soon as they entered.
The warriors were as mad at the sight of those women, some of them very young.
Two female warriors also sat at the table but did not make a turn.
Dag watched a particular warrior, as he palpated the back of one of the slaves, who was resting a tray containing a boar's head on the table.
That slave was a young girl with black hair, tied up. When the man began to touch her insistently, the poor girl said nothing. She was as if she was resigned to her own fate, spending the rest of her days locked up in that place serving and revering crude and vulgar men.
Dag watched the scene when the girl placed the tray and turned, to return to the door from which she had entered.
Dag and the slave's looks crossed: her eyes were deep blue. Even though her face was dirty and sweaty, that girl was beautiful.
He turned to the door and kept walking.
Dag stared at her.
Before entering the door to the right of the hall, the girl turned again, looking for Dag's gaze, which reciprocated her attention.
The men continued to feast.
The smell of meat and other food on the table was really inviting for Dag and his stomach grumbled intensely.
A couple of the warriors seated at the table noticed Dag staring at the food and threw bones already dusted with wild boar meat into the cage.
"Oink! Oink! Hahahah!"
The two laughed at Dag, mimicking the animal's verse.
Dag was too hungry not to check if there were any flesh rhymes left on those bones.
They weren't like that, they were just bones.
Those bastards were making fun of him.
He remembered the episode in which Magni killed the Renegades, while the two of them headed to the Temple Of Orn.
He did so with such a lightness of heart that Dag did not believe that there would be such serious consequences for him. Those two Renegades had been following him for days.
They had studied his behaviors and habits, even managing to understand when Magni was walking away and when he returned. When Dag was alone for days, they attacked, believing him to be vulnerable.
"If only Magni were here, he'd kill every one of these useless pieces of shit," Dag thought, fantasizing.
His Master would return to the farm the next morning.
Judging by the fact that the men in that room were eating, it had to be lunchtime.
Or maybe dinner time?
Being that place windowless, it was impossible to know for sure what time of day it was.
Dag didn't know how long he lost consciousness.
That "castle" as Hjalmar had called it had made him lose his knowledge of time and a sense of orientation.
Dag kept watching the men eating, especially Hjalmar.
"Who really are these Renegades? How many are there? Are they really just here in this castle or are there other ones spread in other regions and continents of the planet?" thought Dag.
But it was hard to think of on an empty stomach. The men finished feasting, leaving Dag high and dry.
Hjalmar rose effortlessly from his chair, emitting a verse of effort.
He walked to Dag's cage.
"Do you like that girl, ah?" the King asked.
Dag looked at Hjalmar with an incredulous expression: he did not believe that he had noticed the look between him and that girl.
Hjalmar looked toward the right door and nodded his hand.
A man came out of the door dragging the girl, pulling her by the long black hair towards the King.
Dag continued to look at her as she writhed and tried to free herself from her grip.
The man threw her to the ground, in front of the cage.
The girl raised her face, looking at Dag as if she were asking for help with her eyes.
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