Blood sputtered forth out of the mouth of the tyrant, Arlock. A beast of a man whose ambitions surpassed twice the altitude of a mountain.
Pillaging villages to the ground, killing both men and women; sentencing children to burn alive at the stake. Raping the population for all it was worth. That was his forte.
And now he was no more.
The Gods had grown wary of him and as a consequence, he fell at the blade of the fearless warrior, Lufner Modig.
The battle raged on for as long as time.
Rain fell heavy from above, dead bodies littered the land. Battle cries filled the air.
Like a coward, Arlock hid behind the strength of his men. Though he carried some strength of his own, it was not enough to preserve his despicable life. The empire he dreamed of full of hate and suffering was now a thing of the past. Men like him were never fit for rule; no matter how powerful, no matter how ambitious. Absolutely nothing was possible without the help of the gods.
The adversary's demise made the battle come to an abrupt end. What was left of Arlock's men, fled with their tails between their legs but were hunted down and killed. Every single last one of them. And how the earth welcomed their blood.
Lufner's ears became deaf to the turmoil around him. His breaths were laboured and his flesh burned and stung from his bleeding wounds. At the side of the cadaver, he collapsed.
A warrior ran towards him and thanked the gods to find that his dear friend's soul had not yet left the world.
Turning him over, Lufner groaned and winced. Mud caked in his hair and face. The skies above opened up and the rains had finished their pour. The sun reigned above to join the shouts of victory.
"Speak to me, Luffy. Will you live?"
Lufner's stomach did the talking, growling like a wild beast and he whined for this was a feeling worse than death.
The colossal doors of the great hall opened up and Lufner and his men piled in. All took their turn to bow to their Earl who awaited them. It was Lufner, the man who lead them all who remained low.
"Welcome back my warriors. Lufner."
"With the help of the gods, we were victorious, Earl Genzic."
One Viking paraded the bastard's decapitated head on a spear. An explicit proof of their success.
"You have done well."
The crowd erupted in cheer and Lufner rose to his feet.
"We lost good men."
"Their families will be greatly rewarded for their bravery. May they dine well amongst the gods in Valhalla."
Lufner nodded and smiled. It felt great to be home but he yearned for something far more.
"All glory goes to you, Lufner Modig," said Earl Genzic.
The Earl knew of the Viking's prowess on the battlefield. He had heard stories. Legend had it that even the fish knew his name. Lufner Modig was a man like no other. That is why he chose him to lead his men. From the very beginning, victory was theirs. It did not take the prophecy of a seer to know so.
However, Lufner deemed the praise and worthy unjust.
"I was responsible for cutting down Arlock. And I thank you for your praise but the men who were under my command are just as worthy. Had I been without them, victory would not have been secured."
The crowd taken back by the Viking's humility, applauded for all the village to hear.
Dropping the facade, Lufner turned to the men. A wide grin paraded his features and he rubbed the back of his head. They chanted his name but he did not care for any of that. The only thing he looked forward to was the peaceful days ahead.
His stomach growled and Lufner faltered on his feet. It had been days since he had a proper meal. He wanted nothing more.
Earl Genzic raised his hand and the room became as silent as stars.
"Of course. All of you, my men, will be returning home with pockets full of gold and silver. Well deserved, is it not?"
The men celebrated. Arlock's loot was aplenty. The Earl did not consider keeping a morsel of it for himself. It belonged to the ones who risked their lives for the greater good.
However, Modig did not want precious stones. He wanted meat. Gold and silver did not compare.
"But listen to this. For my bravest Viking, Lufner, I offer him something priceless."
Luther's mouth watered. Whatever it was, it must be too good to be true. Like the meat of a cow from the mainland or a whale.
Whales sold for a high price and for good meaning too. The taste was out of this world.
"What I offer you is more precious to me than my life. And I could not have thought of a greater way to reward you for all your troubles and the love you have shown your people."
At this point, Lufner knew that it was not food. It was something valuable as the Earl said and he wondered if it was a prized axe or sword. Alas, he was dead wrong.
A tall figure in dark cloth appeared from the back and took stance on stage.
Those present whispered and stared. Some held their breaths. Gasps could be heard when the hood lifted, revealing a visage of a young woman. Her hair was a bright orange fire. Her skin, soft and fair. Her body lean. Her posture was strong.
This "Namitha" was a beauty. A personified goddess with a face too serious for her own good.
The room was rendered speechless.
"This is my daughter, Lufner Modig. To you, I give her hand in marriage."
The men were floored. Lufner had questions.
"I do not understand, Earl Genzic."
"What is not to understand?"
Lufner closed his eyes and sighed, shaking his head from left to right.
"You are giving me this woman as a wife, correct?"
"Then you do not know me at all."
"What are you saying?"
The Earl narrowed his brows and looked between his daughter and the Viking. She was without flaw. Surely she would be enough.
"I refuse. I do not want a wife. Not in this life nor the next."
Lufner had no problem with women per se. He knew and was raised by great women. Wives on the other hand were a completely different matter.
The men who proudly joined him in battle jeered and scoffed. Genzo flabbergasted, had his hands gripping onto his seat. His knuckles were white like snow.
More importantly, the woman in the heat of it all bunched her fists and stared hard at the floor.
The Earl thought him insane. What kind of man refused such a gift? Such an honour?
"Namitha is young. Around your age. And is more than capable of bearing you many sons."
"Can she cook?"
"Well.. uh. A little."
Genzic tried disappearing in his chair. Namitha stormed away. She had never been more insulted in her life.
The woman stopped in her tracks at her father's command and with heavy feet, she reclaimed her post.
Genzic cleared his throat.
"What is your final say, Lufner Modig?"
"I already had my say. This woman won't do. What I want is a year supply of your finest meat. I will take that any day." 'Shishishishi'
The Early slammed his staff and stood bellowing with anger.
"My daughter is now your future wife and that is final! Refusing will be an insult to your Earl who has been nothing but good to you. An insult to the gods!"
Lufner bowed, his head inches away from the floor. In the village the Earl's word was final.
"Now we feast!"
The food came out in their numbers and the mead poured out in galore. Before joining the festivities, Lufner stole a glance at the maiden and walked away in search of his friends.
She was a peculiar thing. Had her eyes planted on the floor the entire time; never meeting his once. How was he supposed to take a wife who would not even look at him? And why was he not allowed to have a say in the matter? It was his life after all. Like the next man, he had dreams ahead of him. A wife was not in the plan.
Consequently, he missed the moment the Earl's daughter lifted her caramel eyes to stare at his retreating back. Her frown only deepened.
A little over a week ago, she had her 19th birthday and now she was to be wed to a man that did not want her. Namitha was not a firm believer in fate but she had the choice of deciding her future whether or not she had the backing of the gods.
To be continued...
This one's bound to be exciting!"The Viking and his Wife" is a fanfic inspired by the Netflix series, "Vikings" and the anime, "Vinland Saga". Hence the Nordic names. I've been doing loads of research and though I won't be accurate in all aspects of this fanfic in terms of Nordic culture, I hope you'll be kind.It is rated M for Mature. So my advice to the younglings and the squirmish is BEWARE. In this fanfic, I will be experimenting with adult themes and gore.Updates should be done in a timely manner. At most twice a month if not more depending on my mood.Thanks for reading and see you in the next charter.