They had sex for hours.
It was late at night. They were lying on the ground, still naked.
The starlight illuminated the outlines of their bodies.
Dag covered Freydis' chest with his jacket.
It started to get colder but they didn't care.
They just wanted to stay together.
He kept touching her body, her curves.
Her breast was small but its shape was perfect to Dag. He loved her, completely.
She returned. She continued to stare at him, caressing his hair.
"Those are not only stars, do you know?" said Dag
"Most of them are planets, like this one" continued.
"Planets? You mean…living planets, with people on them?" asked Freydis.
No one never told her about the cosmos and its balance.
"Yes, people like us, but living different stories. You know, in the past, we all used to live on Earth, our native planet" answered Dag.
"What then?" she asked
"Then the Dark Day came. The brightest of all those stars died. It was called the Sun. On Earth, they've told me that everything was luminous and warm when the Sun shined" he answered.
"Who killed the Sun, Dag?"
Freydis didn't know anything. She was the sweetest creature he'd ever seen.
"Humans killed the Sun. But not someone in particular. It was everyone's fault. We stole resources from Earth, water, rock, animals, even the air we used to breathe. And the Sun was not immortal. He had to die, as an old man die" said Dag
"Then the Xis arrived, and saved us from certain death"
"The Xis? I heard about them, but I don' really know much…" said Freydis, looking at the sky above them.
"They came from a far galaxy, I don't know where. We couldn't live anymore on Earth: the air started to be toxic for us, so the plants and all the food we ate. They came and created cities under the Earth's surface. Then forced us to live there, killing everybody that refused the order. They also created this and other planets, and their atmospheres, the sun, the moon, the day, the night. It's all made by Xis, it's artificial. Their powers are limitless." said Dag.
"They also killed all the men on Earth. No matter the reason or the social role. They killed them all. The males represented a threat to them. Instead, they preserved women, but they soon became something more similar to a machine than a human being, forcing them to live with the reproduction of the species as their only purpose. Probably, my mother still lives, but I'll never know" he continued, with a sad tone.
Freydis felt that sadness:
"It's horrible. They didn't save us, they are tyrants. And what about your real father? And your mother? You must stay with them, that's your family!"
"My father died, they killed him. My biological mother probably doesn't even know about me. I was raised by Lady Ysabel and other kids like me had the same treatment" said him.
"Why did you know Skjold was your destination? Did they send you here?"
"Yes, they submitted us to the Temporum, a machine they built to establish our destination, our ancestral history. The machine tells about your roots. Then you move to your ancestor's planet. We spent our entire childhood learning about planets and their cultures. They made us ready for this" answered Dag with resignation.
"A machine? Does a machine choose for you? They may be powerful beings, but…they feel no emotions, they are unfeeling. I think we all must be able to choose for ourselves, that's how nature works" said Freydis.
"Things are a lot more complicated than this. But you're right, that's how nature works" replied him
"Even if, without Xis, we probably never would have met. I hate them for their cruelty, but thank them at the same time for this"
Freydis snuggled up to Dag's chest, hugging him.
Dag felt beloved. He loved talking to her, she understood his feelings, also if she didn't know things.
"You're right. I love you Freydis, I love you with all my soul and body" he said, holding her.
They fell asleep.
After a short time, the artificial Sun began to rise.
"It's late, I gotta go" whispered Dag in Freydis' ear.
"Promise me that we will meet again, Dag. Swear it" said Freydis, still hugging him.
Dag didn't want to leave anymore.
Right now that his sentiments finally took shape.
"Take this, and bring it with you, always"
Freydis took her armband off
"this belonged to my grandmother, is the most precious thing I have. Take it"
Dag picked the armband. They kissed again, for the last time.
He wore it, on his left arm.
It was a beautiful silver-made bracelet, with a flower in relief.
"I will hold this forever. We will meet again, soon. I love you" he said.
Then he stood up, dressed up and turned away.
In his heart that promise was true. He wanted to meet her again, whatever the cost.
He left the wood and walked down the road to his house. He reached it shortly.
Once arrived, everybody was sleeping.
"Gridd, I must go" he woke up Gridd, touching her softly.
He explained everything to her.
Why he did change his mind, what happened with Freydis and why he didn't spend his night at home.
Gridd hugged him.
"See you soon, brother. The next time we'll meet, you'll be a great warrior, I feel it. Greater than me. We will kill them, the bastards who have marked the end of our family. For Brann, and for Asa".
Dag looked at his mother. She was asleep.
Next to her bed, Eirik was sleeping on his.
He got closer to her and caressed her.
Her hair smelled like the first time she embraced him in her life. What a woman.
He loved her as if she was his real mother.
"I go now. See you, Gridd" Dag smiled.
With a small cloth bag, he walked down the street towards the Arena.
He brought some clothes with him, didn't need anything else.
When he arrived, Magni was waiting at the gates.
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