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Chapter 6: Harkenshield Prison
“You decided to come back from the dead, again…” Ulvarg’s eyes flickered as he slowly regained consciousness.
“What-what happened?” Ulvarg’s head pounded. He cringed while pushing himself to sit up straight.
“Do you want to hear the whole story ?” Skjall chuckled while asking, desperately in need of something to smoke, or even just a bit of ale to drink.
“I guess so. Something went wrong with that strange man who came to your farm.” Ulvarg opened his eyes, there was not even a sign of hopelessness in his eyes. It was as if Ulvarg was used to situations as such.
“Where to start…” Skjall sighed. He and Ulvarg were inside of a tightly secured prison with only the most dangerous of Midgard inside. There were almost no prisoners around them on the first floor. Those who came to the prison were soon executed or tortured until they perished. Far in the distance, some echoes of cries could be heard from floors above and below. Skjall was sitting in the corner of the cell, there was not even a bed or a bucket to relieve oneself. Ulvarg dragged himself towards the wall with a window, facing the reinforced barriers in front of them. His body felt in shock as if a lightning bolt struck his heart over and over until it suffered from the continuous impacts.
“You changed into that horrifying beast, fighting with all your might against a man called ‘Olaf the Stone Eye’. This man then fell to your absolute might and thus we ended up here when you calmed yourself.” Skjall wiped his hand on the floor, scooping almost all the dust with the first sweep.
“Really?” Ulvarg frowned while wondering where the part of them ending up in jail would come in.
“Of course not, Lad!” Skjall furiously answered.
“You went into a frenzy! Killed almost all of my herd, destroying my house, almost killed ME!…” Skjall stood up, kicked dust towards Ulvarg’s face. Ulvarg covered his eyes just in time.
“And then when you finally decided to charge Olaf, he cut you in half with a single strike!” Skjall stared at Ulvarg. He felt nothing but rage at this very moment, yet he could not stay mad. He took a deep breath and sat down once more.
“I’m-sorry.” Ulvarg’s head lowered.
“I don’t remember what happened.” He tried to comfort Skjall just enough to forgive him, but there was a feeling of disbelief dwindling inside of Ulvarg. Something inside of his heart weighed heavily on the fact that he was the reason why so many terrible things happened in his and others’ lives.
“It is my fault, Boy.” Skjall turned his head away from Ulvarg.
“I should have told you the truth.” Ulvarg felt that the feeling was mutual in every perspective. Far in the distance, Ulvarg could hear two guards approaching, both light in armor, each sheathing a single sword.
“What did you eat for lunch?”
“You know, same as yesterday, bread and vegetable soup.”
“I wonder when we would be getting meat again…”
Ulvarg grunted while listening, lifting his head to the ceiling while patiently awaiting some interesting topic to surface from the guards. Skjall cleared his throat and prepared himself to speak to Ulvarg. He could witness Ulvarg in a state of absolute calmness. It was almost as if Ulvarg went in a state of intimate meditation to calm his senses in times like these. He wondered how Ulvarg felt in a cramped space with hundreds of small cracks and twitches, also having voices in the background.
“Listen, Boy. This Olaf wants to use you for something. I overheard them when they carried us here. Something about ‘Crossing to the other side’…” Skjall stuttered, forcing himself to remember exactly what the conversation was about.
“Crossing to the other side? Crossing to the dead?” Ulvarg asked curiously, moving his lower body to find a comfortable spot. Now all his senses were awakened again, his whole body felt like it was under a constant volley of arrows.
“No, no, no-” Skjall frowned deeper.
“Something about the world tree to cross to a new world. A world where fire and ice could meet as allies.” Suddenly everything became a little more clear to Ulvarg.
“This Olaf, he has a serious grudge against some boy who is almost equal to a god. The guards said that they were hunting a voodoo doctor down in the tropical lands. They found a small settlement with the man they were searching for hiding inside an isolated hut…” Ulvarg turned his head towards Skjall in anticipation.
“Then they almost managed to capture this man, but Olaf had another agenda, he saw those very blades, you encountered when you fought him, and stole it. These blades have a way to weaken whatever is not human. Ghosts, monsters and even Gods could fall to this weapon. Then he saw the child. The boy picked up a sword, and struck him. But Olaf toyed with him, mocking him for being weak, mocking the voodoo doctor for not even being as his reputation proceeded him. The boy lost all of his control and shot lightning from his hand into Olaf’s face, damaging the poor sod’s mug.” Skjall fiddled with his fingers. He could feel that the story had a truth to it which no one could change.