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Chapter 45: Dagur's Return

Hiccup, Toothless, and Astrid were in disbelief…standing across from them was the almighty Skrill…and standing just a meter away from them was a slightly older Dagur the Deranged.

They realized the rumors were, indeed, true…Dagur and the dragon had escaped the glacier and had been running amok.

Hiccup tensed up a bit…lips quivering slightly at the sight before he finally responded to the Berserker, "Dagur…you're alive!"

The man across from him simply smirked in return, "you bet, and I've been a busy person, brother!"

I, along with the dragons and their riders, arrived to find out what was going on.

"Why am I not surprised?" I scoffed.

"The rumors are true!" Stormfly squawked, "what do we do?"

"Yeah, isn't he on our side now or something?" Barf asked.

"If not, can we eat him?" Belch added in.

"Oh stop it you two, this is serious!" Meatlug snapped back.

"Hopefully, we won't have to fight…" I said under my breath.

"Knowing this human, we will have to" Hookfang added in with a scoff.

Quickly, clouds gathered overhead…accompanied with a flash of lightning and the roaring of thunder meant to instill dread into us. Dagur put his knuckles on his hips…walking closer to HiccTooth without even caring if it meant it would put his life on the line, "so, I take it you're here the same reason I am, Hiccup? Johann told you, didn't he?"

"I dunno, I stopped listening once Johann started talking back on Berk" Tuffnut chimed in while on the green Zippleback.

"I wasn't talking to you" Dagur retorted in a sing-song voice before turning back to the trio in front of him, "clearly I was talking to the smartest one in your group!" He said, gesturing Hiccup. Fishlegs took offense to that, funny enough.

Sure enough, Haddock asserted himself…stepping forward a bit. The Skrill didn't like that, but it was soon stopped by a hand brandished by his master. Soon after, the man barely spotted the cylinder-shaped object that Astrid and Hiccup took below decks, "ah, I see you found it! Let's have a look see!"

The brown-haired Viking tried to feign ignorance; however, Deranged wasn't having it, "oh come on, Hiccup…it's in your pocket. Take it out so everyone can see it!"

Toothless growled deeply in response to Dagur's assertiveness…not liking his demeanor one little bit. I landed down beside him to reinforce the dragon's notion and his motions.

Hiccup ultimately took out the cylinder device, however, and the Berserker's wicked smile grew, "Dagur…I don't know what this thing does…"

"Oh, but I do…" the other man deadpanned.

"Well, in that case, we won't let you have it" Haddock retorted.

Deranged just stepped a bit closer before Toothless jumped and stood right in front of where Hiccup would be…vowing to counterattack if anything escalated further, "don't you come any closer!" The Night Fury said in dragon speech. The tattooed human shook his head, "I kind of didn't want to ruin the surprise, but I guess I have to. I NEED that map, brother. You don't know who's out there…what I've seen as of late. You could use my help in saving your beloved Berk."

We all just looked at each other in confusion. Map…what is he on about? That thing that Hiccup is holding is some kind of map…a map to where exactly…more treasure?

I am snapped out of my thoughts once Dagur the Deranged continued making his statement, "Hiccup…we can build an army to destroy Johann and the others!"

Everyone reacted the way you would expect.

"Johann…w-what?" Horrendous gasped, confused greatly by all this.

"What are you talking about?" Astrid reinforced.

Dagur put his knuckles on his hips and gave a smug grin back in response, "oh please…tell me you didn't know about Johann? Are you two playing me for a fool right now? Pinch me, I'm dreaming!" Suddenly, he moved up to me…wrapping an arm around me as I scowled in response, "no, really…pinch me!"

"Get off him, Dagur. Enough games…tell us what's going on here…you obviously know something we don't…" Hofferson narrowed her eyes…stepping closer to stand beside Toothless.

He stepped away from me and stated in a matter-of-fact tone, "Johann's not who you think he is…"

"Elaborate…please" Hiccup groaned, facepalming a bit at the insanity before him.

"If I do, we'll be sitting here all day talking about it! Just take my word for it, okay?" Dagur smirked before everyone rolled their eyes in return. Then, the Berserker began pacing across from us, saying loudly, "I will say this, just to drop a hint for you all…Johann is looking for something…something BIG…and it's NOT treasure! He's been playing everyone for fools this entire time to get to it!"

"I knew it!" Snotlout shouted before everyone soon stared at him with daggers and he suddenly sank down on his leather seat on his Monstrous Nightmare, "I mean, I never really liked the guy…"

"Alright, enough with your stupid mind games…you got about ten seconds to get back on your dragon and get out of here!" Astrid exclaimed, threatening the man.

In response, Dagur placed his hands against his chest in defense, "I think you misunderstand my intentions, dear Astrid."

Hiccup shook his head, sighing loudly as Hofferson laid out her terms. Inside, the Berkian didn't want a fight, but, unfortunately, that's what would end up happening.

"Fine…if we can't work together; I'll just take it!"

Dagur is thrown onto the saddle of the Skrill by said dragon and the man howls excitedly. Everyone gets ready for the inevitable confrontation.

Toothless had had enough…the midnight-scaled beast unleashed his signature blast; however, the Skrill returned fire…creating a shockwave that stunned everyone! This gives our opponents time to fly in and grab the cylinder device that Hiccup was holding!

Once everyone regained their senses, we saw the duo in the sky…getting ready to flee! Astrid got Stormfly to use her barbed spikes to try and incapacitate the foes, but the devilish reptile managed to evade.

Fishlegs and the others attempted to intervene also, but that is when we witnessed an awesome sight. The Skrill is struck by a lightning bolt…and it uses the channeling to travel into the clouds above at the speed of sound!

"Toothless, hurry…before we lose them!" Hiccup exclaimed just as his best friend ushered him on his back. We take off…giving chase into the storm regardless of whether it was too dangerous or not!

Just as we ascended, the storm had reached its climax…the thunder all around reached a crescendo. Hiccup and the rest of our group chased Dagur and the Skrill…it got to the point where we reached a threshold where Astrid and the others could not follow us. The storm was simply too powerful for them, but this wasn't the case for two Night Furies…nope…certainly not! Gosh…there's that smug demeanor from Toothless rubbing off on me again…

Anyway, the three of us (Tooth, Hiccup, and me) chased the duo…dodging lightning strikes and repelling the deafening winds. I decided to take the initiative…narrowing my green eyes as I controlled my breathing. I give myself a much-needed speed boost and move slightly higher above the others…I had a plan.

Dagur looked behind him to see Toothless gaining on him, so he directed the Skrill to turn its back and fire a powerful lightning bolt from its mouth. Hiccup gasped…getting his dragon to evade the blast just in time. The adult Night Fury responded, in kind, with his own artillery: sending a purple attack at Dagur.

It ended up being a back-to-back confrontation, but it was the distraction I needed: I swooped in and opened my mouth at Dagur. I managed to bite into the cylinder device he was holding…snatching it away from him before flying to safety.

"H-hey! You better give that back!" He shouted before his loyal mount spat an electrical charge. The attack, combined with a rogue lightning strike, had struck my back. As a result, I am stunned, and I begin falling from the sky…dropping the device from my mouth!

Toothless gasped…quickly swooping down to catch me. Dagur, and his dragon, meanwhile had tried to grab the falling treasure from us. We had descended to the point that Astrid/Stormfly could see us coming out from the cloud cover. With haste, Hofferson directed her faithful beast to retrieve the device from the infamous duo. Ultimately, the Deadly Nadder got in the way and grabbed the "map" and unleashed her barbs at their two enemies.

While this is all happening, I am falling from the sky, but Toothless manages to grab a hold of me with his arms…using all his strength to do so. Hiccup looked down at me with concern running down his face for me, "you alright, little bud?"

I looked up at them and nodded, finally getting over the effects of my paralysis. I am, once again, able to fly on my own as I flap my large wings to hover beside them.

The other riders flew in…attempting to harass Dagur and the Skrill. Stormfly flew by us, and Astrid threw the cylinder object to Hiccup, "here, catch!"

Upon obtaining it once again, the brown-haired Viking looked at the scene in front of us. Dagur's purplish beast couldn't take it anymore.

Dagur stared Hiccup down and said with a growl, "you really think you can stop us!? Think again! We're just getting started!" As soon as he said this, the Skrill screeched…turns out, his dragon WAS done. It used a flash of lightning to blind us…and ride it to escape...vanishing altogether, "H-hey, what are you doing, you stupid dragon…AHH!" They were both gone.

Once it was said and done, the storm began to calm, and we were all left to pick up the pieces. A minute passed by before we gathered on a small rocky island to rest…gather ourselves.

"Well…that was quite the encounter…" Hiccup sighed…patting me on the neck as I silently nodded to him.

"We have what he wanted from us at least…" Toothless responded to his best friend, but of course...Hiccup couldn't understand his grunts and warbles.

"He said it was a map…maybe there's a scroll hidden inside of it?" Fishlegs grabbed it and inspected it. Just as he does, Snotlout just had to chime in…grabbing it himself, "I say we SELL IT. If everybody wants it so bad, we can sell it to the highest bidder!"

"Or…" it's Ruffnut's turn to take it, "it could be a grrreat backscratcher!"

Then, she and her brother started fighting over it, "it should be MY backscratcher!"

"Hands off, you idiot, I found it first!"

Hiccup calmly asserted himself and took it from them before we all looked at him, "guys…can't you see? This thing isn't a toy, it's something that could be dangerous and should be treated as such."

"A map that's dangerous, how?" Snotlout retorted, crossing his buff arms in retaliation.

"A map that could give us valuable insight on places beyond what we Vikings know" Astrid snapped back with the same, if not more, intensity…and the man backed off from that…fearing her wrath.

"Let's head back to Berk with it and we'll see what we can do from there."

We all agreed. The humans got on their mounts, and we lifted off from the ground. As we prepared to leave this desolate place, I was left inside my thoughts for a brief moment.

I guess Dagur is our enemy again…that really sucks because I kind of hoped he learned from everything. Yet, what did he mean by all that earlier? Johann being a part of something we don't know of…what if that lunatic is right? It's quite convenient Dagur managed to meet us here when he did…what if the trader (Johann) told him to come also? What if Johann really is hiding something?

As we left, something managed to catch my green eye: there was a cloaked figure standing at the very end of the stern of The Reaper. I immediately knew who it was: it was Dith.

It's been a while since I've seen him. The ethereal being had a slightly serious look on his face, but also one of great curiosity…as if something had changed from the original timeline to the one which I currently inhabit.

I can't really know for sure what will happen…what to expect. Though, inside I knew things were changing…and I knew in my heart that Toothless and I had seen NOTHING of what was to come...