"Look how many there are up there. I mean... planets. I can't stop thinking about what's going on above them. Maybe down there, somewhere, there is someone who has my same powers, another human being" he said, without looking away from the night sky, in which the planets and stars shone, illuminating the clearing.
"I always believed that everything I needed was here, on Skjold. I never thought about the other planets and everything... maybe it's a thing related to my origins, probably if I was born like you on Earth I would act like you. I knew there was something different about you, Dag. I felt it inside me, as I feel it now. It's inexplicable" she replied, turning her head towards him.
"Being born on Earth doesn't make me any different. Of course, maybe I received a more rigorous education, being treated like a machine. You and I are brother and sister, Gridd, even though we have different parents. But the people who inhabit the other planets are also like us. My childhood friends have all been sent to planets different from mine... I often think of them, asking if they are okay, if they have chosen to fight, if they are still alive..." sighed him, keeping a serene expression.
"If they're all as strong and determined as you are, I think they're fine!" exclaimed Gridd, trying to make Dag smile, who immediately felt better.
"I feel to speak so freely only with you... there is empathy between us, sister. You will become one of the strongest Shieldmaidens on the planet, stronger even than Asa. I love you, Gridd" he continued, turning to one side and closing his eyes, ready to fall asleep.
"I love you too Dag. It will be an honor to be the sister of the King of all Vikings! Good night..." whispered her, turning to him.
Within minutes, both they and all their companions fell asleep like stones, with no one doing the usual guard duty, convinced that they were in safe territory, far from danger.
"No... no... naaagh!" yelled Dag, waking up startled, sitting next to Gridd, who turned the other way, continuing to sleep.
He had just made a nightmare: that giant hand, after destroying the Sun had approached him, clutching him forcefully until he died.
Breathing deeply, as his heart beat madly in fear, he looked at his hands, to check that nothing had happened to him.
After a few minutes, he took a sip of water and went back to sleep, relaxing.
As dawn came, they all awoke, stretching after recovering their strength.
Dag had been awake for more than an hour, but he had been lying on the ground, staring at the sky, thoughtful.
The red dawn sky was partially covered by the gray clouds floating above the FossilWood Forest, right at the foot of the mountain on which they had camped.
"Come on, let's get back on the road" Dag said, standing up and heading for the horses.
Without objecting, still a little sleepy, his companions executed the order and rode horses.
After a few hours of travel, Gridd said: "There's something down there... it looks like a dwelling".
"We've been there before, Gridd. It was there that we met those two elderly people who turned out to be Xis! They hosted us there at night, setting a trap" said Karl, who as soon as he looked at that wooden house from a distance, shuddered for an instant.
Gridd nodded, confirming that she understood.
After about a kilometer, they descended from the mountains, heading for the valley leading to the Temple Of Orn trail, at the top of Mount Torden.
Along the river that carved the valley in the center, they saw caravans dragged by donkeys.
Judging by their size and shape, they seemed to be wagons of traders, exporting all kinds of goods from Jernhest, directed who knows where.
"I feel at home here... the Kvete region was practically deserted, while in Sjonir we never met anyone on the street. I'm glad to be back in Jordstäl, which is teeming with life!" exclaimed Karl, waving his hand at one of the merchants driving a carriage, who reciprocated the greeting with kindness.
They took the path to the Temple, and when the Sun was high in the sky, they reached its entrance.
"This place is beautiful! The statue of Thor is so majestic and the view... It's breathtaking!" exclaimed Gridd, looking around in amazement, mesmerized by the beauty of the majestic Temple Of Orn.
Dag did not answer, merely smiling.
The five travelers approached the large doors of the main entrance, which opened immediately before they could knock.
Gridd's astonishment increased further as she saw the interior of the walls: as every morning, hundreds of warriors gathered to train in the center of the courtyard, while the Sun lit up the beautiful dome of the library and the roof of the dormitory, both imposing and architecturally perfect buildings.
In front of the crowd of people who populated the Temple, on their pedestal, both Egill and Dargeon were watching the demonstrations of their warriors, when they noticed that the big doors opened.
From a distance, Dag and Egill looked at each other, happy to meet again.
When the Master Of Healing noticed that there was an unknown young Shieldmaiden next to him, his happiness increased further, already imagining the outcome of the negotiation.
"But that's Dag!"
"Yes, it's him!"
"Look at his armor! It's beautiful!"
"And that axe... I'm sure he didn't have it before he left!"
"Who is that girl beside him? She's so beautiful!"
Among the warriors of the Clan, a buzz rose as they commented on the scene, intrigued.
"Dag! Hahaha! You're already back!" shouted Dargeon, who with his usual crude manners approached them, followed by Egill.
"Good morning, Master Dargeon! Master Egill..." greeted Dag, bowing his head out of respect.
All his companions did the same, including Gridd, standing beside him.
"I'm glad to see you safe and sound, boy! Hahaha!" continued Dargeon, hugging Dag and lifting him off the ground, until he lost his breath.