"Well then" said Taya
"the choice is made, Dag. You'll leave Jernhest according to your new Master's decision. His name is Magni, The Iron Spark."
A man stepped forward from the row behind. He was a bald man, with a full black beard.
He wore no breastplate, only a white fur on his shoulders, and his bare chest below.
At the center of his chest, a wide black tattoo representing an overturned hammer.
He had a wiry and muscular body: his arms had no protections, except for a pair of leather gloves with little iron scales on knuckles. On his legs, a pair of skin and fur trousers. On the side of his right leg, near his belt level, a black strap held a hammer.
The weapon emanated some kind of frost aura.
"I'm Magni, Chieftain of the Hammers Of Thor. Skol to our new adept!"
Magni rose his fist up.
Everybody followed, cheering Dag.
"We will leave tomorrow at dawn, Dag. Our destination is Mount Torden. There, you will begin your training under Thor's gaze."
Dag leaned down in front of his new Master.
Then he watched the rabbit. It was gone.
He didn't want to look back.
Freydis would have been furious for his choice.
He turned towards the crowd when Taya said:
"Say hi to Dag, of the Hammers Of Thor!"
Everybody yelled again.
Dag looked in the crowd. He couldn't see Freydis.
A hand rested on his shoulder.
"Skol, brother. We will meet tomorrow at dawn here, at the Arena's gates. Bring with you only the things you need, it'll be a long way" said Magni.
"Yes, Master" answered Dag.
His heart was breaking. He probably lost the only person he cared about.
He betrayed her trust.
It must've meant something.
Maybe Brann wanted to talk to him. Maybe the Gods weren't just some human illusion but really existed. Dag was doubtful. But he had to find Freydis.
He greeted Taya and all his friends. Karl was among them.
"Karl, I must find your sister, help me!" said Dag frightened
"You're an idiot. She trusted you. I trusted you" he answered.
"It's not true, Karl! Something happened, something greater than me, that made me change my mind… it has to do with Gods! Believe me!"
Karl looked down
"See you, Dag"
then he turned away.
Dag walked out of the Arena. He was searching for Freyidis. She was gone.
He walked down the road. Once arrived at his house, he would have told about his choice.
Gridd would have been proud of him.
While he was thinking, he heard somebody crying. He walked in that direction, and find out Freydis, sitting on the ground, against a tree.
She was with her hands on her face.
"H…Hey" said Dag, getting closer to her.
Freydis stood up and moved towards the wood, without a word.
"Freydis stop! Let me explain!"
Dag tried to touch her, but she pushed away his hand.
"From now on, I truly believe in Gods Freydis! A spirit came to me when I was about to choose my clan!"
Freydis didn't listen. She continued walking through the dense vegetation.
"Brann! His name was Brann! He loved my mother and died in battle" he continued.
Freydis slowed down.
"He was my sister's real father and he came from Earth, like me!"
"He held the 6th emblem"
Freydis turned to Dag. Her face was completely in tears.
Her dark eye makeup drained on her cheeks. She was looking at him now, with her big brown eyes.
"The emblem was a silver rabbit's foot. When Taya asked me what Clan would I choose, a white rabbit walked along the walls of the Arena. I think it was him"
Dag opened his arms
"Believe me Freydis, I'm speaking the truth"
"Was he in Hammers Of Thor Clan?" asked Freydis in a low voice.
"Yes. Some time ago I swear to my sister Gridd, that together we would avenge him, his honor" answered Dag.
Freydis was still crying:
"who killed him?"
"I don't know. No one knows. We only know that it was somebody from the Lies Of Loki Clan. I wanna destroy them all"
Dag's expression was darker now: anytime he said that name, some vibration flowed down his spine. He felt rage.
Freydis walked in front of Dag, closer.
She slapped his face.
"Why didn't you tell me, idiot!" she yelled.
Dag was displeased.
"I didn't know that…"
"Shut up, I hate you! I just wanted to stay with you, do you understand?"
Freydis interrupted him.
"I…I…I'm sorry" replied Dag.
Hi felt like fire in his chest. Freydis was still, with her hands through her hair, crying.
"I felt like an idiot now. I've been capable to ruin everything between us" said him.
Freydis looked at Dag.
"I dreamed about you since the day we met for the first time" he said
"I've been too fearful, even to speak to you".
Dag put a hand under her chin, raising her head up to his.
"I love you, Freydis. I've always loved you. I didn't tell you about Brann and his story because I didn't realize I cared about it" he concluded.
Freydis and Dag were staring at each other.
They were very close, as when she bandaged up his broken nose.
They slowly came closer, until they nose touched.
They closed their eyes, feeling their breathing.
For Dag, the time stopped around them.
He felt as if they were alone on the planet. At that moment, nothing else mattered.
He lifted her from the legs, holding her.
His heart was beating as it never did before.
He put her on the ground through the fallen leaves.
Her hair was soft as clouds, and her skin was smooth.
They were impatient of being together like that, they felt the desire for a long time.
Finally, the time had come.
She bit his lips, while she continued to touch her hair with a hand and to undress her legs.
After a few moments, they were completely naked, together.
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