Vinland Saga: Friends Nehszriah

Friends

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travelers to go?

All my life has been for the past few years is revenge. Askeladd refuses to fight me. Instead, he makes me work. No one thinks a small boy would be dangerous. I am dangerous. I need to be dangerous. I need to be able to beat that bald bastard in a duel. The cheat killed my father and only I can seek revenge. That is why I train to become a powerful warrior. I am not interested in booze or women or treasure like the other Nordics are. My treasure is taking Askeladd’s life.

Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need

I remember feeling... cold.

Askeladd had sent me on another mission. I was no more than ten or eleven at the time. All I had to do was mark the landing point on the shore. The coward had been favoring night attacks at the time. It was simple enough: go with another Normanni battalion as a retainer during their land siege, escape and lie in wait until the night after. It was the Angle-Saxon idiots we were fighting after all, so it wasn’t like they were going to do anything to counter. Simple, right?

I guess the enemy figured it out. They wanted to make sure no one lived. I was injured in battle and ran so I wouldn’t be put down in a mercy kill. The dogs smelt my blood. I had to run quickly. My only choice was to jump in the river. It was cold. My body shivered. Red filled the water and I passed out.

I wasn’t cold when I woke up. Women were there. The younger one reminded me of Ylfa with how she looked at me. I hadn’t thought about my sister in years. The strange thing was that they had not bound me. My sword and new clothes were on a stool close by. I dressed and they fed me.

As I ate, they talked. The girl sounded just like Ylfa. The older one seemed to act like my mom. I guess she made not-Ylfa stop arguing with her. I knew it was about me.

With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything's all right

The older one took me outside after I ate and tried to comb through my hair. It was annoying because she kept on talking to me. Idiot woman... couldn’t even figure out I can’t speak her language. Her voice dropped, like mom’s used to when she was sad. I tried to say I couldn’t understand her, but she laughed instead. I swear, the only women that aren’t idiots are my mom and Ylfa.

I felt the horse’s canter before I could see or hear. A man on horseback came and talked to the woman. It was about me. The man knew I was dangerous. The woman made him leave though. I had my hand on my shortsword and was ready to fight, but she sent him away. Since I left home, the only one who protected me like that was my dad.

After dinner, the women argued again. I was beginning to feel bad over what I had to do, and what would end up happening to the women. I wanted the older one to be safe. The village was far enough away to not be a problem, but if I knew Askeladd’s men, the woods between the cottage and the shore would be a game to them. I took a log of their fire and said one of the few English words I knew:

Run.”

It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by

That look she gave me... it hurt.

I had already thrown the torch into a shack and killed three men. A fourth was ready to attack when she appeared in the crowd of idiot villagers. For a moment, I saw my mom standing there. My mom had always been kind of sick from what I remember. Anything upset her, so Ylfa, Dad and I were careful about it. I saw that it was her again, just in time.

I easily killed the attacking soldier and ran up to her. When I got there, I realized I had been yelling at her in my tongue. I tried to tell her to leave, but she just stood there crying.

It was then when I realized I killed her.

Men were shouting in the background as we stared at each other. “Danes! Danes!” they cried. The woman stood there. I could see pain in her eyes. She didn’t have to speak Norse to tell me she was hurt and confused. As the men from the boats began to land, I wanted to run to her. I wanted to hug her, tell the others she was not to be harmed and kill anyone who tried otherwise.

Before I could do so, Askeladd slapped me on the back and congratulated me on doing a good job. By the time I turned back, she was gone. I was too late to save her, even after she saved me.

I took a deep breath and frowned. I didn’t want to look sad in front of the other warriors. That man, he has to take away everything I want. Without even trying, he has taken away my family, childhood and friends. I can’t even return the favor unless he fights me. He never fights me.

I followed the screaming and killed the younger woman before she knew it was me. I would rather her go at my hand, so she is unspoiled by my crewmates’ lust and selfishness. Afterwards, I didn’t talk for days.

A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly

Author
Nehszriah
Date Published
05/25/08 (Originally Created: 05/25/08)
World
FanWord Arena
Category
Vinland Saga Fan Words
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