DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own How To Train Your Dragon. This poor story hasn't been updated in forever, I know, so here's another chapter!
Stoick stood awkwardly and opened his mouth several times before he said, "What is it?"
Liam jerked his head to his right and flinging one last sheep over his shoulder, he nodded to his son and started walking in that direction. Stoick looked at all the other Viking men, and all at the same time, they jerked their heads in the direction Liam had. Stoick nodded and quickly followed his father. He fell into step with him and after a moment, looked up to see his face out of the corner of his eye. Liam didn't look angry or disappointed now; he looked determined. Deathly determined.
Stoick turned his head back and sighed, and his hands clenched into fists as they walked on. He knew that he would have to take whatever punishment his father inflicted on him, no matter what.
After a few minutes, they had made their way into the spacious and green and dirt covered woods. They passed several trees that were hundreds of feet tall. Stoick raised his head up high to look at them, and only when he realized Liam had stopped did he stop.
They were in front of a very large boulder. Stoick gulped. It was over eight feet tall and as wide as a full grown Viking. He looked at it from side to side.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Liam said, almost fondly.
"Ahh, yes," Stoick said, straightening up. "Very . . . . beautiful."
"Too bad that it has to break," Liam said as he patted the boulder.
Break? What did his dad mean? Did he have to break apart this monstrosity with an axe? Roll it off of a mountain? Eat it? Stoick put his hand over his large stomach protectively.
"How so?" Stoick wondered.
Liam sighed and turned to Stoick. He said in a no-nonsense voice, "Stoick, I don't have to remind you that you were acting compulsive this morning."
"You just did," Stoick couldn't help but mutter. Liam answered him with a swat to the head and, "This isn't a joke, Stoick! You cannot act like that when you become chief!" The chieftain sighed and after a moment continued, "What I want you to do is bang your head against this rock."
Stoick gulped. Oh man, what his dad was asking sounded like it would not only hurt him but make him look stupid too. "And when do I get to stop?"
"Until it breaks," Liam said, and he went off to his chiefly duties.
Stoick watched him leave before sighing. He cracked his fingers expertly and after a moment of trying to figure out how to do his punishment, started to bang his head against the rock.
Oh, hell, did it hurt. Every time he banged it against it, it banged his helmet and himself. He gulped and gritted his teeth as he banged and banged his head against the rock.
Vikings didn't feel pain. If they did, they hid it. Vikings didn't feel pain.
That was what he thought at he banged his head against that boulder. The pain spread through his skull but he didn't dare make any noise or inclination of pain.
He thought, instead of pain, of the ships out in the harbor. They were used for fishing, going out to raid other tribes, and for looking for the dragon's nest. His father and his father before him and all their fathers had been looking for the dragon's nest for centuries, for where the dragons that invaded their village came from, none of the Vikings had a clue.
His father was going to probably host a meeting about trying to find the dragon's nest for the umpteenth time. Stoick would have to sneak into the hall with his friends to hear about it-
BANG. BANG. BANG. His head was still colliding with the boulder. It seemed to be telling him, "Don't do that. Your father wants you to grow up and not try to do such childish things anymore."
The more he thought about it, the more that it was pounded into his head. Vikings didn't do things like that. Vikings were tough, muscly men who tamed forests, controlled seas. He didn't want to NOT be a Viking. He was going to be a Viking.
With every pound against the boulder, he thought to himself (his thoughts were very loud), "I am a Viking. I AM A VIKING!"
He grunted and continued to plow his head forward against the rock. With such force, the boulder rolled out of its spot. Growling, Stoick ran to it and banged his head against it again in a different direction, turning it back to where it was. It kept rolling, and Stoick, yelling now, pounded his head against the boulder.
It made a large lurching sound, and as Stoick straightened, the great ton rock made an ear splitting noise and a small crack started to form at the top. It slowly made its way down, creaking and cracking until with the sound of a tree falling, the boulder cracked into two uneven, large parts.
They fell on their back, and Stoick watched them fall. His forehead was covered in blood and he had a monstrous headache coming along, but as he took deep breaths, he felt a sense of proud sweeping over him. The knowledge that he had just done something like this out of sheer strength and determination made him feel proud indeed, and with a grim, small smile, he stepped over the halves and walked up to see his father watching him.
Stoick looked at him blindly, for the blood was pouring down his face, coating his eyebrows and shielding his vision. He could make out his father saying, "I just came down here to check on ya. See ya broke the damn thing."
"Yes, I did," Stoick replied. His father made a tiny effort at a smile and said, "Come on, then."
The two walked on through the woods for a few minutes before Liam said, "I suppose if you're big enough to break a boulder like that, you can come along and listen to the meeting."
A little disoriented, Stoick asked, "What meeting?"
"I've called for another meeting to discuss the dragons. Spout was able to catch a glimpse of where the dragons came from, which direction they went, and we're thinking of going that way," Liam told him.
Stoick thought a moment before nodding grimly, and the father and son both headed toward the Meeting Hall.
Inside the Great Hall was a great mass of steel-plated, sweaty and hairy covered flesh that were arguing about who knows what. They didn't stop as Liam and Stoick made their way through. The atmosphere was not surprising to Stoick, even when he had never been to a meeting before. It was natural that when a group of Vikings gathered that they were exceptionally loud.
"Alright, alright, calm down before I throw a punch or two," Liam said calmly. Several Vikings looked at him strangely.
"I say that we go out and search for it, and then take it out!" Liam pounded the table with a fat fist. "It'll be better 'en just tryin' to keep them away from us!"
"That's a dangerous expedition, though, Liam," a Viking by the name of Codfish said. He was one of the larger men, yet he didn't seem to be too sure about the plan.
Liam's face turned red as he said firmly, "I don't care. The dragons are tearing down this village faster than we can build it back up! There is NO CHOICE!" His fist pounded again and he pointed to men from the right and the left.
"We're leaving, first thing in the morning," he said. "Start packing up."
At that, the men started to disperse, talking, muttering, among themselves. They soon were almost cleared out when Stoick turned to his dad.
Liam's eyes were fixated on the map in front of him. The map had several islands of it, with a mist on the left side, for no one knew what was beyond that. Fierce waves, dragons flying and words written in the Norse language was written with arrows pointing everywhere.
"Ya can go now, Stoick," he said, not looking away from the map. "Go tell your ma if ya'd like."
Stoick nodded and headed outside. Closing the heavy doors behind him, he thought of where he should go first. Ma didn't need to know at this moment, for she was still in that mood that made him cringe, and it took a lot to make him cringe, for he was a Viking.
Stoick decided and headed out to the smithy to talk to Gobber. The Viking apprentice was hard at work in the smithy. Blubber was watching him critically, his sharp eyes darting around as he hammered and pounded and clanked the hard pieces of metal.
Gobber was dunking a blade into a barrel of water when Stoick came up. Gobber looked up and said, surprised, "Oh, Stoick, what 'appened to yer face?"
"My face?" Stoick said after a moment, and raising a hand to his face, he remembered the rock. "I was . . . . uh, banging my head against a rock."
"And why on earth gave ya the notion to do that?" Gobber said as he put the blade down.
Stoick sighed and looked around a moment before leaning in and whispering, "It was my punishment, for, ya know, this morning."
"Aye, I see," Gobber said understandingly. "Tell me about it. Staying here with no one but Blubber isn't very nice a'tall."
He bent down to grab the blade to but to his surprise, it was nowhere to be seen.
"Stupid trolls," Gobber scowled.
Stoick smiled slightly and explained what had happened to Gobber. The apprentice nodded and added a sarcastic remark every now and then.
"It taught me something, Gobber. Vikings can do anything they want to if they set their minds to it!" Stoick said proudly as Gobber started to hammer another blade.
"Aye, bet ya got a headache," Gobber said.
"Well, yes, but-"
"Your head still hurt?"
"A little, but-"
"Does it still hurt?"
"Yes! Gobber! For the love of-"
"Ya might want a rock to your head. Knocks ya straight out, and when ya wake up, yer head doesn't hurt anymore," Gobber supplied further. Sparks flew about him and his teeth stuck out at odd angles as he grinned somewhat evilly, it seemed to Stoick.
"No, ya just wake up with a bigger headache," Stoick continued.
"Really? Okay," Gobber said dryly, clearly not impressed by anything Stoick said.
"Well, after that, guess what?" Stoick asked his friend excitedly.
Gobber let out an exhausted breath and asked, "What?"
"Dad let me go with him to a meeting in the Great Hall. They're going to have an expedition to search for the dragons' nest. Do you know what this means, Gobber?" Stoick asked him.
Gobber shrugged. "They'll freeze their butts off like they usually do?"
"Gobber, I'm being serious! They could find the nest, take it, and then there'd be no more dragons around here! Almost three hundred years, they've been plaguing us! Do you still want them too? No!" Stoick told him.
"Can we go?" Gobber said. Stoick smiled and laughed at his friend's sudden interest.
"Sorry, boys, none of ya are," said a voice. Both teens turned to see Blubber approaching them. Out of the corner of his eye, Stoick saw his father walking away.
"Why not?" Gobber asked, though he sighed as though he already knew the answer. He had work to do. A lot of work, especially since there was just a raid.
"Because," Blubber said, putting his hands on his hips, "ya'll both be in dragon training."
Gosh, UPDATING TAKES ME FOREVER. WHY. WHY MUST I SUFFER WRITER'S BLOCK? THIS IS WHY I'M BETTER WITH ONE-SHOTS. Oh wells. I hope you liked it, and please, review!