This is my weekly serial, written raw and uncut!
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
“I can’t believe your going back to Myrrhn, Old Wolf.”
“Twenty years is a long time Thyra, I’ve built a life there.”
“You have friends here, too.”
I laughed. “How long will you remain here, Sea Wolf? I’d wager with your wandering ways I will see you as much in Myrrhn as I would at King’s Hall.”
“Besides,” I continued, “my exile may be over, but my clan still hates me, and the king I once served is long dead. The North will always be in my heart, but it is no longer my home.”
Thyra frowned, but it was not in her nature to sulk; after a moment she turned back to me with a sly grin. “Are you certain you’re not a Sea Wolf, wanting to live your life in search of strange places and exotic peoples?”
“A fine compliment, but you’ve seen how well I sail.”
“Hah! we’ll have plenty of time to practice on the way back to Cassander’s shield, brother.”
Three days after ending my exile, High King Athelbjorn abdicated in favour of his sister, Svana. Knowing what I knew, it was a wise decision; his secret was too great a weakness for the most powerful man in the North.
The return trip to Myrrhn was free of both bad weather, and bloodshed. The city was shrouded in mist as we arrived, robbing me of a breathtaking view of the place that I had called home for so many years.
“I’ll miss you, old wolf,” said Thyra after we drank a parting round in the great hall of Cassander’s Shield.
“Then visit more often.”
“I’ll try. We’ll see where the wind blows me.”
“Thyra Hurnsdottir, you have been a true friend to me. You never doubted me. You risked your own reputation in supporting an exile. I owe you a debt, old friend… if ever you need shelter from a storm, Sea Wolf, seek me out.”
“I will. Farewell, Ragnar Skyggesson. May the gods watch over you on distant shores.”
The mist lifted by the time I reached the house I shared with Vethri and Eiskra. The streets were crowded with people, most of them in a hurry, but I did not mind.
My stomach growled as I caught the scent of a steak and kidney pie cooked in Pelaram gravy from one of the charming little restaurants down the street.
There were no guards at the door, and for a moment, as I sounded the bell and heard no movement, I wondered if they’d gone out or…
Then door opened. The Twins and Carmen were there, enjoying red wine and brandy as they conducted Union business. It was a cheerful reunion.
I had just finished telling them as much as I dared of my meeting with Athelbjorn, feet up, glass of brandy in hand, when a knock sounded at the door. Carmen went to answer the door, leaving me alone with Vethri and Eiskra.
“I knew you’d come back,” said Eiskra quietly.
I nodded and smiled, but before I could speak, Carmen led a familiar figure into the room.
“I was hoping to find you here, Ragnar,” said Murith. “I could use your help…”
And that is it, for now. Thanks for reading. I will be starting up another serial in a week or two!