I'm sorry I didn't update earlier, but this chapter turned out to be much longer than I expected.
To the guest reviewer Star: Thank you. I had meant to put in a note about the name, but I forgot. Viggo couldn't know that the axe had broken, and because it was Astrid's mother's, I think Hiccup would quite possibly have created a duplicate for Astrid. She also lost her new axe during HTTYD 2, so I thought I could stretch the canon to add that touch. It would be nice if you had an account here to chat.
Now, the story.
The next morning, Viggo was slightly apprehensive as he accompanied Hiccup to the Mead Hall for the morning meal, knowing that he would probably be met by a lot of anger when he was recognized. He wasn't wrong. Luckily, the Hall was somewhat empty when they entered it, Hiccup heading straight for the table where a brown-haired woman sat. As they got closer, Viggo could see that she looked rather like Hiccup.
"Is that your mother?" He asked Hiccup.
"Yes. She must have got here just a few minutes ago," He said as they reached the table. "Hi, Mom. How was your trip?" He greeted her.
"Morning, son. It was good. Heather and I had a really great time. But who's this?" She asked, staring at Viggo for a moment before bolting to her feet. Hiccup hastily got between them, not wanting a re-enactment of the previous day.
"Mom, wait! He's changed! Can you sit down again, please? Both of you," He added, turning to Viggo.
"Hiccup, this man has killed countless dragons and enslaved many others! Why did you bring him here, where he could harm so many?" Valka asked, not taking her eyes off Viggo.
"Mom, he's changed now. He rides a dragon. He's managed to bond with a dragon that trusts almost no-one. He's not the only dragon killer who's changed, remember?" Hiccup asked, almost frantically.
Valka relaxed slightly. "Are you sure, son?" She asked worriedly.
"Yes, Mom. He's changed now, I'm sure of it. Can you at least not attack him while he's here?" Hiccup pleaded.
"Alright, son. Just be careful," Valka sighed.
"Yes, Mom. Now, shall we do this properly? Mom, Viggo Grimborn. Viggo, my mother Valka," He introduced. Viggo was looking at Valka, puzzled.
"Have we met before? I think you recognized me from before I got injured, but I don't remember you," He asked.
"I wore a mask whenever I flew. I think I met you about ten years ago when I freed a huge shipment of dragons that you were taking to a Dragon Trapper base that I knew of," Valka explained guardedly.
"I think I remember. You wore a blue mask with some sort of horns. My crew thought you were a devil," Viggo said slowly.
Just then, Fishlegs entered the hall and looked around. Hiccup saw him start walking towards the table before suddenly stopping and then increasing his pace noticeably. "Fishlegs has seen you," He warned Viggo quietly.
"Viggo? Why are you here? How are you alive?" Fishlegs asked as he reached the table. Hiccup noted thankfully that there was less anger and more curiosity in his question.
"I asked him to come. We met yesterday when I was out flying, and we were talking," Hiccup explained.
"So the Skrill outside is yours? I was just coming to ask Hiccup about it," Fishlegs asked.
"Yes, his name is Lynnedslag. He was the Skrill who helped Hiccup and I get into Johann's base- and back out of it," Viggo replied.
"How did you train him? Skrills are among the hardest dragons to train; they almost never trust people," Fishlegs gabbled excitedly, in what Hiccup called his 'new-dragon mode'.
"I attracted him with a metal dagger, which also stopped him from killing me, but I think we bonded when I freed him in Johann's cave. He stayed with me after Hiccup left, and he was the one who managed to get me out of Johann's base alive," Viggo summarized.
"So are you going to be here long? We'll finally be able to get more information on Skrills! Most of what we know now is from the Dragon Eye," Fishlegs said, still excited.
"I'll probably be leaving tomorrow, perhaps to Vanaheim," Viggo replied.
"Vanaheim? Why would you go there?" Fishlegs asked, slightly suspicious.
"I told him about Osvald, and he thought of going there to help against the Grim Gnashers," Hiccup interjected.
"Hiccup, you can't be serious! He's planning to do something like steal the skins or bones from the dragon tombs there! I knew you couldn't trust him!" Valka said, jumping up again and moving between Viggo and the door of the Mead Hall. The other people eating looked up.
"Viggo?" Hiccup asked uncertainly.
"I wasn't planning to do that, Hiccup. From what you say about the Sentinels, they would definitely kill me if I tried anything like that," Viggo said quietly, looking directly at Hiccup.
Hiccup sighed. "I'm not sure I can believe you, Viggo. You could just be tricking me. Thor knows you've done it before".
"Then believe the dragons. You say that Skrills are hard to earn the trust of. Would Lynnedslag trust me if he thought I would harm him or other dragons? I didn't even know that you had been to Vanaheim until last night. I'm not lying to you, Hiccup," Viggo said convincingly.
Hiccup scrutinized him thoughtfully. "No, I don't think you are. You're right. Mum, it's fine. Leave him be," He said, turning to Valka. Valka sat down reluctantly. "If you're done, Viggo, we should head out now. I need to speak to Gobber and Astrid."
They left the Mead Hall and headed towards the forge, where they found the twins arguing with Gobber. Suddenly, Hiccup was filled with a wicked urge to trick the twins. He pulled Inferno out and handed it Viggo.
"Quick. Light it and keep it in a non-threatening position," He whispered. Viggo looked mystified but did so anyway, wondering what Hiccup was doing now.
The twins turned around as he walked up, then looked at Viggo open-mouthed. "Uh, Hiccup? You do realize that Viggo- the man we all thought was dead- is right behind you with a lighted sword?" Tuffnut asked.
Hiccup winked at Gobber to let him know that there was no problem before speaking to Tuff. "Yeah, why?" He asked innocently.
This time it was Ruffnut who spoke. "Viggo? You know, the guy who's tried to kill each of us multiple times? Dragon Hunter? That Viggo?"
"I know who Viggo is, Ruff. What's wrong?" Hiccup asked impatiently, acting exactly as if Viggo had never been his mortal enemy.
"What's he doing here? Anyway, wasn't he meant to be dead?" Tuffnut asked, also impatient.
"I met him yesterday and invited him here. Don't worry, he isn't trying to kill us anymore," Hiccup said, dropping his act.
"Wait, so he's our friend now? This is too confusing," Tuffnut said. "Do you understand what's going on, sis?"
"Not a word, brother," Ruffnut said before butting heads with him, causing both of them to fall down.
"Now that those two idiots are out, will ye tell me wha's goin' on, 'Iccup?" Gobber asked.
"Who are you calling an idiot?" Tuffnut groaned, lifting his head up momentarily before falling down again.
"Like I said, I asked him to come," Hiccup said, reaching out a hand for Inferno, which Viggo passed back. "And yes, I'm sure," He said as Gobber started to speak.
"So 'ow long will ye be stayin'?" Gobber asked Viggo.
"I'll probably be leaving tomorrow," Viggo replied, slightly startled that Gobber was accepting him so easily.
Gobber nodded, then turned to Hiccup. "So what brings ye 'ere today?"
"I came to check over what happened yesterday. Were there any major problems?" Hiccup asked, and the conversation turned to village matters, Viggo listening with half an ear.
After a few minutes, Hiccup turned to Viggo. "Would you like to go to the Dragon Training ring? Astrid should be there, so you'll be fine," He suggested, pointing out the Academy.
Viggo flew to the arena, where a group of children holding brooms were listening to Astrid. She looked up as Lynnedslag cast a shadow over them and waved him down to land.
"Do any of you know what dragon this is?" She asked the children. One of them put up his hand. "Yes, Henhorns?" Astrid asked him.
"It's a Skrill! Strike Class dragons that can redirect lightning and are very hard to train," He gabbled.
"An Ingerman?" Viggo asked Astrid quietly.
She nodded slightly, then spoke to the boy. "Correct! And why are they so hard to train?"
"They don't trust people easily, often because of bad experiences," Henhorns replied. "How did he train it?" He asked.
Viggo smiled. "I rescued him from Dragon Hunters," He said.
"But my Daddy says you are a Dragon Hunter," Henhorns argued.
"Henhorns!" Astrid interjected sharply. "He's not a Dragon Hunter anymore. He's a friend now," Viggo sent her a surprised but grateful look.
"Sorry, Astrid," The teenager said, dropping to the floor and starting to do rapid push-ups. Astrid shot a fierce look at Viggo, daring him to comment. She continued the lesson, Henhorns joining in again after about twenty push-ups. Viggo watched interestedly as the children 'rode' their brooms around the ring, then started practicing with axes against targets.
After a little while, Snotlout came flying into the arena on Hookfang. He stopped in front of Astrid. "Astrid, Hiccup asked me to give you a mess… What's he doing here? He's dead, right?"
Astrid rolled her eyes. "No, Snotlout, he is not dead. He couldn't be standing there if he's dead, could he?" She asked sarcastically. "And the Chief asked him to come here yesterday,"
"But the Chief's dead too! He died two months ago, remember?" Snotlout asked. Viggo felt like face-palming but resisted, wanting to watch Astrid's reaction.
"Snotlout! Hiccup is Chief now!" She groaned, looking as if she was about to smash Snotlout's face in. "What did he want you to tell me?"
"He said that there's a Council meeting in the Mead Hall now and that I'm meant to entertain your guest while you're there. Where is this guest of yours, anyway?" He asked, looking around.
"He meant Viggo. I almost feel sorry for him, being entertained by you," She muttered under her breath. "Alright, we'll finish this lesson tomorrow morning," She said loudly, and the children started trooping out of the arena with their broomsticks.
"I'm meant to stay with Viggo then? Even though he's meant to be dead?" Snotlout asked.
"He isn't dead, Snotlout! We just thought he was. Now I need to go. Viggo, try not to kill Snotlout. I'll probably see you around sometime," She said before leaving with Stormfly.
"So didn't Johann kill you? Before we killed him, I mean," Snotlout asked Viggo. "And is that Skrill yours?"
"No to Johann. Yes, I escaped with the Skrill, who is mine. His name is Lynnedslag," Viggo explained.
"Lynnedslag? Cool name, but he's not as cool as Hookfang. I mean, your dragon can't set himself on fire, can he?" Snotlout asked.
"No, but he can do this," Viggo said, gesturing at Lynnedslag, who charged his scales up with lightning.
"So he can basically do the same things with lightning that Hookie can with fire? Fire is way cooler than lightning, and I bet you can't collect gel from his skin that makes lightning," Snotlout boasted.
"I wasn't saying that my dragon is better than yours, Snotlout," Viggo said, raising his hands in a placating manner.
"So, where do you want to go? Hey, do the twins know that you aren't dead? And are you still trying to kill us?" Snotlout asked.
"I saw the twins earlier, so yes they know I'm alive, and no, I'm not trying to kill any of you. Or your dragons," Viggo replied.
"What happened? I mean, people don't just stop attacking their sworn lifelong enemies, do they?" Snotlout asked.
"A Monstrous Nightmare saved me from a cave-in that Johann and Krogan had ordered. Along with everything Hiccup had said, that changed my mind about dragons," Viggo explained.
"So your friends tried to kill you and your enemy saved you? You really need to make better choices."
"I did, afterwards. I got myself a really nice dragon, too," Viggo said.
"Can he fly as fast as Hookfang? 'Cos I don't want to have to go slow," Snotlout said.
"I think he can beat Hookfang in a race," Viggo said, smiling slightly as he remembered racing Toothless.
"I'll show you how wrong you are if you come down to the sea stacks," Snotlout offered boastfully.
"I think you'll find that I'm right," Viggo said, mounting Lynnedslag.
"Hookfang beats Stormfly sometimes in our races, so I think he could beat you," Snotlout argued.
"We'll see. So what do you do now that you haven't got anyone to fight?" Viggo asked.
"I do a lot of training with the A-Team now that Astrid is focused on training new Riders, and I'm getting ready to be Hiccup's second-in-command like my Dad was the Chief's," Snotlout said.
"You know, Hiccup is the Chief now. You should probably get used to that being his title," Viggo suggested.
Snotlout frowned. "But Hiccup asked us not to call him that," He protested.
"He asked you Riders not to call him Chief?" Viggo checked. Snotlout nodded. "But the rest of the village calls him that, don't they?"
"Most of the time," Snotlout admitted.
"And then you think of Hiccup's father?" Viggo asked. The younger man nodded again. "You should be careful. I think Astrid wants to hit you for that."
"You mean because I think she's talking about the Chief and not Hiccup? She usually just puts on a really funny face like she's eaten a piece of Stormfly's fish," Snotlout said.
"You know that means she's really annoyed? Hiccup's going to marry her someday, and she definitely doesn't like it when you don't acknowledge that he's Berk's Chief now," Viggo said seriously.
"Why are you even telling me this? Nobody's seen you since before he became Chief. You can't understand what's happening," Snotlout argued.
"I know more about Berk's affairs than you might think, and I was the Chief of my own tribe. Believe me, I understand what's happening here," Viggo replied calmly. "For one thing, I think your father is involved somehow."
Snotlout looked up sharply. "How did you know?" He demanded aggressively.
"As I said, I know a lot about Berk, and that includes some knowledge about your relationship with your father," Viggo said.
"Did you have people spying on us?" Snotlout asked suspiciously.
"I didn't need them. I worked for Johann for some time, and he let out a lot of small pieces of information, probably unintentionally. Pieced together, I got a lot of information about the individual people in Berk," the former Dragon Hunter explained.
"If you're so smart, then tell me why I don't associate 'Chief' with 'Hiccup'," Snotlout challenged.
"I don't know exactly, but it's probably something from a long time ago, long before Hiccup became Chief," Viggo hazarded.
"You aren't meant to know so much about it. Even Hiccup doesn't do that," Snotlout protested. "Anyway, we're near the best part of the sea stacks for a race, and Hookfang and I are going to kick your butts," He said, patting his Monstrous Nightmare's head. Hookfang rolled his eyes, knowing Lynnedslag was going to beat him.
"If you want to talk about any of it, I'd be happy to. Now, what route do we race on?" Viggo asked.
"We can start over there and finish there," Snotlout pointed at the marks from previous races.
"Do you have a lot of races here?" Viggo asked.
"Not really, we usually have races with sheep. You'll probably see if you stay here long enough," Snotlout explained vaguely.
When they started racing, Viggo didn't try to win completely, staying very slightly ahead of Snotlout without actually pushing ahead of him. Hookfang tried to overtake them but the Skrill quickened slightly, effectively preventing the Nightmare from managing to overtake. Viggo stopped Lynnedslag just as they were about to cross the finish line, allowing Snotlout to win on Hookfang.
Snotlout stared at him for a few moments before speaking. "Why did you do that?" He asked curiously. Hookfang looked just as confused.
"There was no reason for me to do otherwise. We both knew I was going to win, so I had nothing to prove. If anyone asks what we did, you can say you won. I know what Lynnedslag can do, and what he can't; you can't be certain if any new dragons can beat Hookfang in a race," Viggo replied.
Snotlout looked down at Hookfang's head. "Hiccup did the same once, at our Thawfest games. We were in a tie-breaker, and I had a massive head-start in the dragon race part because of the running and climbing we had done first. He and Toothless caught up with us and he overtook for a split second before he crashed. I only realized much later that he had done it on purpose, and when I won I treated him like yak dung," He said, looking ashamed.
"He probably didn't mean for you to realize what he had done. You would have hated to feel that you only won because he let you, wouldn't you?" Viggo said, pulling Snotlout up short.
"I'd have been really annoyed, and if Dad knew, he would have been absolutely furious," He admitted.
"Then you don't have to tear yourself up over it. You could apologize to Hiccup if you want to. He probably hasn't thought about it for a long time," Viggo advised.
"Why are you even trying to help me?" Snotlout asked suspiciously.
"You're one of the few people currently alive who don't appear to want to harm me. I don't want that to change," Viggo said, slightly nonchalant.
"Are you that unpopular?" Snotlout questioned.
"It's what happens when you change from one side of a war to the other. Your former allies want to kill you for changing sides and your former enemies don't trust that you've changed. The people in between generally suspect that you're tricking them, too," Viggo said sadly.
"I don't think anybody trusted you further than they could throw you, even before this all happened," Snotlout argued.
"Ryker and the other Dragon Hunters did, or they wouldn't have kept me as Chief," Viggo contradicted.
"And most of them can't trust anyone anymore because they're dead- including Ryker, who you pretty much killed."
"Ryker isn't dead, as far as I know," Viggo said, surprising Snotlout.
"Is anyone we thought dead actually dead?" He asked, groaning slightly.
"It is possible, if unlikely, that Krogan is alive…" Viggo said thoughtfully.
"Eret did say Drago had him executed," Snotlout protested.
"He could have survived somehow, but there is no reason to worry about it, considering how unlikely it would be for someone to escape Drago," Viggo said reassuringly.
"Drago was a murderer," Snotlout said angrily.
"A very ambitious murderer," Viggo said. "Who isn't dead."
"Wait, do you mean he's going to come back and attack us?" Snotlout asked, alarmed.
"You stopped his plans of ruling the whole of the known world and beyond. Do you think he's going to forget that?" Viggo asked sensibly.
"When you put it like that, no," Snotlout gulped. "But why isn't Hiccup doing anything about it?"
"Knowing him, he has a master plan for when that happens. He's defeated every enemy he ever had, and I don't think Drago is going to change that," Viggo said calmly.
"Actually, he didn't defeat most of his enemies, they just aren't fighting him anymore," Snotlout pointed out.
"It really comes to the same thing. Nobody has ever defeated him in a war, have they?" Viggo retorted.
"We wouldn't be here if they had," Snotlout agreed. "But have you ever lost a war?"
"I went from the Chief of one of the most powerful tribes anywhere around to someone who lives on a small island with only a dragon for company. Does that answer your question?" Viggo asked.
"But before you met us?" Snotlout pressed.
"No," Viggo admitted. "Hiccup was the first person to defeat me if making me change sides counts as a defeat,"
"So if Hiccup defeated you when nobody else ever had, what's to say that Drago can't defeat him?" Snotlout asked worriedly.
"There isn't really anything anyone can do except trust him and make sure that you're ready to fight. Worrying the other villagers won't help either," Viggo cautioned.
Snotlout nodded. "I guess that makes sense. We should probably go back now. We've been here for some time," He said quietly. They turned around and flew back towards Berk.
"Are you going to stay on Berk?" Snotlout asked suddenly.
"Probably not. I might go to Dragon's Edge or Vanaheim to help the dragons there," the former Hunter replied.
"Are you going to hunt them? There are a lot of vulnerable dragons on the Edge," Snotlout said, eyes narrowing.
"No, I don't want to hurt dragons anymore. Not now that I have Lynnedslag," Viggo said sincerely, patting Lynnedslag's head.
"Did you say Vanaheim? 'Cos Hiccup said that we weren't supposed to go there unless there's someone else there."
"He agreed that it might work. He said there are some dragons that attack injured ones?" Viggo asked.
"Yeah, I remember them talking about it afterwards. Dagur's father used to fight them," Snotlout said vaguely.
"Hiccup said something about that," Viggo said, lapsing into silence.
When they got back to the village, they found Hiccup talking to some villagers near the Mead Hall, in much the same scenario as Viggo had entered Berk to the night before. He nodded to Viggo and Snotlout before continuing his conversation.
"He'll come over here once he's done with Ack and Jusken," Snotlout explained.
"He can't just interrupt his chiefing to speak to us. I understand," Viggo nodded.
As Snotlout predicted, Hiccup walked towards them when he finished talking to the villagers, who went into the Mead Hall. "Did you have a good time? You've been gone for quite a while," He asked by way of greeting.
"Yes, we raced a little and talked a lot," Viggo replied.
Hiccup raised an eyebrow but made no comment. "I take it you didn't try to kill each other?" He asked instead.
"You didn't kill him yesterday," Snotlout pointed out.
"Oh, he came pretty close," Viggo answered before Hiccup could speak.
"Snotlout, can I have a word with you?" Hiccup interjected. "Please give us a minute, Viggo," He said before moving out of earshot with his cousin.
"Snotlout, you know the council meeting I had earlier? It was about Viggo. The other council members agreed that it should be alright if he stays here for a short while, but one of the Riders should be with him all the time. I'll probably be with him for most of the afternoon, but in the evening, I've got to speak to Dagur and Mala. You seem to be getting on pretty well with him, so do you think you can stay with him? I'm not sure if you've got other plans," Hiccup explained quickly and quietly.
"Sure. He's pretty interesting," Snotlout agreed.
Hiccup looked relieved. "Thanks 'Lout. I owe you one. I didn't want to have to put him with the Twins," He said gratefully. They walked back to Viggo, Hiccup looking considerably more light-hearted than he had previously. "Sorry about that, Viggo," He apologized.
"Not at all, I know what it's like to not have enough of you to go around," Viggo replied.
"It helps to ride a dragon, you can get from one place to another much faster," Hiccup answered. "I can't imagine what it must have been like for my dad when he hadn't got Thornado."
"Thornado? Odd name for a Rumblehorn," Viggo observed.
"Thornado was a Thunderdrum, Dad's first dragon. He had to leave him on Dragon Island with some baby Thunderdums. He only got Skullcrusher about three years after that," Hiccup explained.
"So he didn't have a dragon for three years? That sounds rather unusual if he had experienced having a dragon to help him as Chief."
"None of the other dragons caught his eye like Thornado and Skullcrusher. It's all about finding the right dragon," Hiccup replied.
"And he probably was hoping he could get Thornado back sometime," Snotlout interjected. "I wouldn't like to have a new dragon if Hookfang was still around."
"Even if he regularly sets you on fire?" Hiccup asked, raising his eyebrows.
"He doesn't really mean it, do you, Hookie?" Snotlout asked, patting his Nightmare's flank. Hookfang snorted.
"I would hate to have to replace Toothless," Hiccup admitted.
"I don't know what I'd do without Lynnedslag now," Viggo chimed in. "Living alone with him for months means I've formed a really close bond with him."
"I think every Rider feels that way about their dragons," Hiccup surmised.
"I'm not really a Rider though," Viggo pointed out. "I mean, I ride a dragon, but I'm not one of the Dragon Riders. One of you."
"What makes a Dragon Rider a Dragon Rider?" Snotlout asked. "Heather rode Windshear for ages before she became a Dragon Rider, right?"
"I guess it's about what we've been through together, and the fact that we would do anything to save each other," Hiccup said thoughtfully. "Astrid called the A-team Dragon Riders after they helped us fight Dagur, and Heather became a full-blown Rider after she helped us and the Nadders against the Hunters."
"But we had asked her to become one of us before that," Snotlout argued.
"True, but she had fought with us before. We fought against Alvin, Dagur, and Viggo together- no offence- and she had been spying for us as well, remember?" Hiccup contended.
"But if fighting together on dragons means someone is a Dragon Rider, you said Viggo and Lynnedslag fought with you against Johann," Snotlout pointed out. "Dagur and Mala would be Riders too."
"Mala doesn't have her own dragon, so I don't think she counts. Dagur never had the time to be one, and we thought Viggo was dead, so he couldn't have been one," Hiccup argued.
"I don't think I've really done enough to be a Rider," Viggo interjected. "The one friendly thing I did for you'll was hold off the Dragon Hunters in Johann's cave- and even then, I was almost dead anyway."
"Dagur saved my life once before I was willing to give him a dragon," Hiccup stated.
"But you didn't want him to be on the Edge," Snotlout argued.
"That was because of Heather. She was a Rider then, and I had to put her above Dagur," Hiccup explained. "But yeah, I'm not sure I would have let him stay anyway," He admitted.
"But you invited me here?" Viggo asked curiously.
"I felt like I could trust you," Hiccup said. "Like you said, Lynnedslag trusted you completely, and Toothless accepted you. He was more relaxed around you than usual. Maybe Lynnedslag convinced him that you had changed."
"I owe him a lot. I sometimes feel as if I'm taking from him but not giving anything back," Viggo said.
"I know what you mean," Hiccup admitted. "But I think we must give them something, or they wouldn't stay with us. Perhaps it's the companionship."
"Maybe you're right," Viggo acknowledged.
"I really should be checking on the other side of the village," Hiccup said suddenly. "I didn't realize we'd been talking so long."
"My Dad will be waiting for me, too," Snotlout realized. "I'll see you'll later," He said, mounting Hookfang and flying quickly towards his house.
"Shall we go too?" Hiccup asked Viggo, getting onto Toothless as he spoke.
"You said the other side? How big is it?" Viggo asked as they took off.
"It's pretty big now that we don't have to deal with dragon raids. Berk's come a long way since we befriended dragons," Hiccup replied.
"The raids must have taken a lot of food and materials," Viggo observed.
"They did. We've been able to expand a lot, both in population and in size, since then. We're thriving now, especially since the dragons can help us in our daily work like cutting trees and fishing," Hiccup explained.
"Timberjacks and Thunderdrums?" Viggo asked.
"Most dragons can help with the fishing, but Timberjacks are the best choice for woodcutting. The farmers do well too, especially because of the amount of easy fertilizer they can get."
"So dragons do a lot of the manual work then?"
"Yeah, they're much stronger and better adapted to the jobs we ask them to do. It works well for everyone."
"Not quite," Hiccup said quietly.
"What's wrong?" Viggo asked, concerned. Lynnedslag side-slipped slightly towards Toothless, bringing the two riders closer together.
"I wish Dad was here," Hiccup replied quietly. "He was much better as Chief than I'll ever be,"
"I felt the same when I first became Chief. You might not be the same type of chief as your father was, but you do just as well in different ways," Viggo said reassuringly. "Your own successor will probably feel the same way, but the people of Berk probably won't feel a steady decline. I didn't know your father, but I think he would be proud of you."
"Thanks," Hiccup said softly. "That means a lot to me,"
"Anytime," Viggo replied sincerely.
"Viggo?" Hiccup said after some time.
"Yes, Hiccup?" Viggo replied questioningly.
"Was the Submaripper incident your backup plan when the bounty failed?" Hiccup asked curiously.
"No, not exactly. When my plan failed, I got frustrated, and then when you and the other Riders were causing so many disruptions to my operations… something snapped. I hadn't particularly wanted to hurt you before, but I started wanting to really kill you. The shipyard trap was part of that, and Dagur saving you from it only made me angrier with you. Ryker was starting to rebel, and that didn't help matters. I started losing control over everything, including myself. If it hadn't been for having the safety net of Project Shellfire, I might even have gone crazy like Dagur did with his obsession over you." Viggo said with feeling.
Hiccup spoke again after a long moment. "I think I lost that piece of control when we first met. For months, I practically worked myself into the ground trying to find you. Then I met Dagur on that island. Strange as it may seem, his crazy talk made me re-evaluate what I was doing slightly. I wasn't quite as intent on revenge as I was before, but I was still completely different from what I used to be. It was like that for some time, even after the Buffalord incident. Then the auction happened, and then you tricked me over the Eruptodon, and then the shipyard… The Submaripper incident was simply the clincher. If I hadn't had my Dad and the other Riders, and Toothless, I would probably have gone over the brink. Maybe I would have made one last attempt to kill you and killed myself in the process. As it was, I managed to keep hold of myself until Shellfire." He finished.
"When I had to destroy the Shellfire, and as I thought, Ryker with it, I completely broke, I think," Viggo replied. "It's what made me try that last-ditch attempt to get back what I had given for no benefit. I lost everything that day, and I didn't succeed in my goal of destroying you. I got out of that volcano and off the Edge only because of my determination to have another crack at killing you. Finding out that Krogan, of all people, had taken away my tribe meant that I blamed you even more. The irony was that you had done to me everything I had wanted to do to you, except killing me."
Hiccup had slowed down to make sure they wouldn't go too far while talking.
"I didn't think much about what happened then, mainly because it was too painful. I felt even angrier with you after you threatened Astrid, but I felt slightly sorry that you had died in the volcano, as I thought. I wasn't even sure why I felt bad about it because I know I would have killed you myself if you hadn't fallen in," He said quietly. "I cooled off about you slightly when I found out that Johann had betrayed us; he was so much worse. I always knew you were my enemy and out to manipulate and kill me, but Johann had tricked me into going to almost certain death so many times, and I never knew it."
"I only joined Johann and Krogan because of you. Johann had always been an informant on some of your actions, but I never really trusted him, and he was never my superior until after Krogan took over the Hunters. The only thing Krogan and I saw eye-to-eye over was hating you. That was probably why we could never defeat you; you and your friends were always on the same page where attacking us was concerned," Viggo explained.
"We did everything together for years," Hiccup shrugged. "We often did argue, but we never split. You and Krogan were too different; like you said, you only agreed that I needed to go."
"Somehow, I'm not too sad about not being able to defeat you," Viggo said, lightening the mood.
"Oddly enough, neither am I," Hiccup retorted, and they both laughed. He pointed at one of the further fields. "We need to land in that farm over there."
"You have a lot of yak farms here, don't you?" Viggo asked as they landed.
"Yeah, they seem to thrive living this far north," Hiccup replied before speaking to the farmer. "Gobber said you had some trouble yesterday?"
The Hooligan replied respectfully, Viggo increasingly admiring Hiccup's handling of situations as the afternoon progressed.
A few hours later, Hiccup landed in front of the Mead Hall, closely followed by Viggo.
"I'm sorry about today, Viggo," Hiccup apologized as they dismounted. "I know that flying around for hours listening to boring conversations isn't the best way for you to spend your day."
"Hiccup, I've spent the past two months living on a small island with a dragon. Almost anything is a change from that. Not that I don't like your company, boy," He added, patting Lynnedslag. The Skrill purred. "I've actually enjoyed watching you play the role of a Chief."
The next chapter will probably be the last, but I'm not sure how it'll work out. Again, sorry about the delay.
Thanks to Draconicbeing2.0 for beta-ing this chapter.