“What are you thinking?” Dagur asked me as I looked at him unsure.
“I wondering if this is the best idea you could have.” I replied as I fine tuned the edge of a sword.
“Explain.” He told me.
“You need time before you can get revenge on Hiccup, Dagur.” I told him, “You can’t just rally a bunch of people under you who are good fighters and expect to win, they do have dragons.”
“Then what do you suggest we do, Thora.” He asked.
“We should gather as many troops as we can, on the down low.” She stressed, “As well as strengthen your armada before we even think about attacking head on. And I would like to suggest that when get a good number of troops we leave the archipelago and train before coming back and hitting them when they least expect it.”
Dagur thought about what I said for a moment before nodding, “We’ll do that, then.” He said with a smile, “That’s why I love keeping you around, Thora. You always have a better plan than me.”
“Good to know it’s not just because you love me.” I said sarcastically.
“There are a million reasons why I keep you around.” Dagur said as he sat down next to me and rested his head on my shoulder to watch me as I worked, “And all of them are equal to the reasons why I love you.”
“Don’t try to butter up a girl who has a sword in her hands.” I warned.
“When haven’t you had a sharp object in your hands?”
“When I was born.”
“Dagur, are you sure we should be going this close to Berk?” I asked him as we sailed towards a near by island.
“We’ll be fine, Thora, don’t worry.” Dagur assured from the helm.
“If you’re wrong can I hit you with my hammer?” I asked.
“If it makes you feel better, then yes.” He told me with a chuckle.
I gripped my hammer tightly and let my back hit the mast of the ship. There was something out there in the clouds, I could feel it. And I knew better than to let my guard down when my gut told me something.
Her brown eyes darted across the cloud line, looking for some kind of movement.
“Dragon attack!” I heard behind me.
I whipped around to see the other side of the boat. There was in fact a gronkle and a nadder behind the ship with riders on them. I took a couple steps back as habit, but shook it off and shifted my hammer to my right hand ready to charge.
Oh, this was magnificent! Two dragons and their riders. One was the girl too, so Hiccup couldn’t be far behind.
I was prepared to get to the catapults when a blood curdling scream wept over the ocean.
I turned around instantly to see Thora being carried off by a monstrous nightmare. Her hammer was thrown on deck haphazardly.
My fingers dug into the wooden railing so hard my knuckles turned white, and my jaw almost snapped out of place when I heard the riders were gone too.
“We’re going after them!” I declared angry with myself for the fact I wasn’t about to do anything but watch, “No!” I contradicted, “We’ll get more recruits and ships before going after her!” I decided, “That way we have better odds of getting her out of there alive. I mean she’s smart so as long as she keeps her mouth shut they’ll keep her alive. Stoik doesn’t have the stomach for blood anyway.”
“Oh Thor! Oh Thor! Oh Thor!” I repeated loudly as I was carried though the sky, my heart was beating so hard I couldn’t distinguish the beats from the dragon’s wing flaps.
“Oh sweet Odin!” I cursed as a boy with long blonde hair in deadlocks came up to eye level with me on the back of a green dragon.
“I don’t know!” He called downwards, “She doesn’t look like a crazy killer! And more than that she looks scared to me!”
“What?” Someone else yelled up to him.
I screamed again.
Another person, this time a girl, with long blonde hair kept in braids came up next to the boy, and I realized what they were ridding.
“Hideous zipple back!” I screamed much more to myself than anyone else in ear shot, “Oh Odin, why?”
“We actually didn’t get to pick.” The boy told me, “Like as much as I like the guy, I would have much rather had a solo dragon away from her.” He pointed to the girl.
“You think I’m happy about sharing my dragon with you?!” She demanded.
“Ruffnut! Tuffnut! Now is not the time!” I heard another girl yell.
I looked over and saw a blonde girl on a deadly nadder.
I began preying to any and every god I could think of for salvation from this bad dream.
“Leave her alone.” Another voice told them sternly.
“Fine.” They said in usion and glided down leaving me to stare at open sky and ocean.
“Where are you taking me?” I yelled back to them hoping someone would answer me, I had calmed down a little having the zipple back out of my face.
“Berk!” The same voice that called the siblings off told me.
“What do you want with me?”
“Hard to say!” He told me.
“Why don’t you just drop me in the ocean and let me drown, or let thunderdrums, or scauldrons, or seashockers get me?”
“That’s just kinda cruel, don’t you think?”
I just sighed, I wasn’t going to get much out of them until they wanted to give me information.
I tried to take a few breaths to calm myself down completely, they weren’t going to kill me just yet. But I found it impossible with the claws of a five plus ton beast carrying me through the skies.
It wasn’t much longer that we came to a land mass. I assumed it was berk.
The dragon that was carrying me, went down into this arena looking structure. I was dropped near the wall to the left of the entrance by the nightmare.
There was a boy ridding it.
Everyone of the ridders got off their dragons, who then started to surround me.
I swallowed hard, and started to back up. There was the monstrous nightmare, the hideous zipple back, a deadly nadder, a gronckle, and a. . .
“Night fury?” I squeaked out, pressing myself against the stone wall.
“Yeah.” Said the same person I was talking to earlier.
“Alright girl, back up a little and giver her some room.” The blonde girl said to the deadly nadder.
“You too Meatlug.” A husky blonde boy told the gronckle, “She doesn’t look to good.”
“Back up a little bud, I don’t think she’ll give us any trouble.” The brunette told the night fury who did as he told.
But as those three dragons got further away, the hideous zipple back got closer. There was only about two feet between me and their faces, I closed my eyes and turned my head the other way to stop myself from seeing my fate. But they didn’t get any closer than that.
The unmistakable roar of a monstrous nightmare echoed throughout the stone structure.
I opened one of my eyes to see what was going on. The hideous zipple back had backed off, the same monstrous nightmare that had carried me off was standing about ten feet from me looking angrily at the other dragons.
My legs lost feeling at that moment and slid down the wall until I was sitting in the fetal position.
“Non of the dragons are going to hurt you.” The brunette assured me as he inched closer trying not to startle me anymore than he could see I was, “I promise you that.”
I swallowed and hugged my knees as he knelt down in front of me. I had realized that he was missing a leg, was this who Dagur was after?
“My name is Hiccup.” He told me with a smile.
Well that answers that question.
“This is Astrid,” He pointed to the girl with the deadly nadder, “Fishlegs,” The husky one with the gronckle, “The twins, Ruffnut and, Tuffnut,” He pointed to the girl with the long braids when he said Ruffnut and the boy with the dreadlocks when he said Tuffnut, “And that is Snotlout.” He pointed to the short boy with black hair who stood next to the monstrous nightmare.
He smiled at me waiting for me to tell him my name.
“I’m Thora.” I almost whispered.
Hiccup looked surprised a second and then he smiled bigger at me, “You’re lucky to be named after such a strong God.”
“Why were you with Dagur on his ship?” The girl named Astrid asked as she stepped forward a little.
“Dagur was, and to many people on berzerk still is, the chief.” I started, “When he came back, and asked me to come with him, I couldn’t really say no.”
“Why would he want you?” The twin, Tuffnut asked, “Like no offence, but you don’t really look like the kind of person who would be best on the battle field.”
I swallowed, “I’m a skilled black smith.” I told them, “He wanted me to come to keep him in supply.”
“Wait.” Astrid said suddenly, “Are you THE Thora Pilkvist of Berzerk? As in the same legendary black smith?”
“I wouldn’t exactly call myself legendary.” I said more to myself, “I mean I lack a lot of experience, but the hard work I’ve put in has defiantly made my name.”
“You are!” She exclaimed.
“That is my name, and where I hail from yes.” I said softly.
“I am such a big fan!” She exclaimed, “Your work is inspiring!”
“I traded Johan a hefty price for that one mace, and it was so worth it!” Tuffnut exclaimed, “The quality, how it felt in my hands, you woman have a gift from the gods.”
“Thank you?” I said more to myself as he and Astrid went off on the weapons they had gotten from my handy work.
“Sorry about this.” Hiccup apologised to me for their weirdness.
“Believe it or not, I have seen much stranger walk into my forge.” I told him as the two started almost squealing like little girls about how long the sharp edge lasts as Ruffnut joined in.
“So what are we going to do with her?” Fishlegs asked as he walked up to the brunette.
“The best thing to do right now is keep her as far away from Dagur as we can.” He said and stood up.
“No!” I exclaimed. Hiccup stopped and stared at me, everyone stared at me. I clambered up to my feet awkwardly, “Trust me.” I assured him, “Dagur will stop at nothing to get me back now that I’m gone.”
“And how do you know?” Tuffnut asked getting right up in my face to ask that.
“Because it’s happened once before.” I said more as a question than a statement.
“When?” The blonde demanded.
“When he came back to Berzerk.” I said, “My father was one of few who no longer saw Dagur as the rightful chief since he wasn’t dead, and because he wanted me to come with him, Dagur just about offed my father to get what he wanted.”
“Sounds like Dagur, alright.”
My attention shot from the blonde way to close to me to the entrance of the arena.
A tall man with a bushy red beard came through with a blonde man that had a long mustache.
“Are you seriously Thora Pilkvist?” The blonde asked as he looked me up and down.
I shifted slightly, because Tuffnut was still too close for my comfort but nodded.
“Not what you were expecting?” I asked him.
“Yeah, I thought you’d a been taller.” He said and scratched his chin.
“Regardless, we can’t allow her back to Dagur if he is out and building his armada.” The red hair told Hiccup.
“Dad, I already know that. But she just warned us Dagur’ll do whatever it takes to get her back.”
“I am not saying we just give her back, but what I am saying is we need to think about this rationally and weigh out all the options before making any rash decisions.” Hiccup said and put his hands up in defence.
“Speaking of rash decisions,” I said gaining their attention, “Could someone please get him off me.”
Before any of them could say anything, the monstrous nightmare shot his head forward successfully knocking the blonde far away from me. I jumped back as best I could with the wall still behind me.
The dragon then turned to look at me, I was pressed against the wall and breathing heavily as it just stared at me for a few seconds and then slowly pulled its head back to its body.
“What’s up with you, Hookfang?” Snotlout demanded from the dragon. He got no reply other than smoke being blown out of the dragon’s nostrils.
“He has been acting kinda weird since we touched down.” Astrid noted, “Maybe we should bring him to Gothi.”
“That sounds like a good idea.” Hiccup added, “But what do we do with her?”
“I want to see if this little miss is actually the legendary black smith.” The blonde man said to them, “It’s easy to say the name but hard to back it up.”
“Don’t scare her, Gobber.” The red head told him, “We still need her.”
“No problem.” The one known as Gobber said, “Grump’ll keep her in check.”
“Actually,” Hiccup started, “It seems she’s afraid of dragons.”
“Really?” The two asked in usion.
Hiccup nodded, “Yeah, we couldn’t believe it either. But, hey, each it be their own, right?”
“Well, she’s not going to adjust here any time soon.” Gobber said to the two men before turning his attention to me, “Come on lass, we’re burning day light.”
I swallowed before pushing off the wall and advancing slowly.
“Don’t worry,” The red haired man told me, “The dragons will not attack you unprovoked.”
I nodded, not really believing him. They lead me out of the arena place.
“Come on, Hookfang.” I heard Snotlout call to his dragon behind me. Then I heard a loud whack sound, I looked over my shoulder to see the boy face first into the side of the rock wall and the dragon following us.
I had to stop my skin from crawling as the huge lizard shadowed us. The red haired man broke off after a short while leaving me with the blonde man, Gobber.
He led me into my domain, the smithy. I swallowed hard as I entered and then jumped back seeing the hotburple near the fire.
The monstrous nightmare stuck its head through the window and roared at the bolder class dragon. The hotburple then slowly and lazily exited the smithy as the nightmare pulled its head out and then curled up and sat down outside the smithy.
I just stared at the red dragon dumbfounded. What just happened?
“Well, I’ve never seen that before.” Gobber said as he passed me a sword and a hammer, “Fine tune it.” He told me.
I nodded and stuck the sword in the hearth, adjusting the temperature with air until the metal was the colour I wanted.
“Welcome aboard!” I exclaimed to the warriors who stepped onto my ship, “We are glad to have you.”
As they passed him, Dagur turned to Savage who was behind him looking at a couple pieces of paper.
“How many do we have now?” He growled.
“We have a total of six ships and one hundred men.” Savage replied, “However according to miss Thora’s specifications, we’re hardly half way there.”
“Well get us there!” Dagur yelled at him and stormed off below deck. The red head sat on a crate and put his head in his hands. She was gone, all gone, and there was nothing he could do at the moment but build his forces. That’s all he ever could do for her, protect him to best of his abilities. But now he failed. Now he didn’t even know for sure if she was alive. He held back a sob, as he started to laugh. He always protected her. And there was nothing that was going to step in his way this time.
I ran the still glowing sword over the sharpening wheel until the sides were red and the middle a dull orange. Then I plunged the metal into the bucket of water near by.
I thumbed it over once and returned it to the wheel, all the while being stared at by the Berkian black smith like I was stupid. When I was happy with the edge I presented it to him.
He took the sword and looked over it very closely. He took a practice swing at a wooden pillar close by, the wood fell to the floor with a clean cut along the edge.
“I’ll be. . ” He drifted off looking over the weapon again, “You really are who you claim to be, the legend!”
“I never claimed to be a legend!” I told him, “I only said my name.”
“You were born with a gift to feel the metal.” Gobber said, “It’s amazing.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say that.” I started but was ignored.
“I never thought about sharpening a sword while it was still hot.”
“It can work for axes too, if the metal is hard enough.”
“Really?” He asked and whipped around to talk to me.
I nodded, “They keep their edge longer that way.”
“I never thought about that.”
“Hookfang!” I looked over to see Snotlout advancing towards us, and his dragon.
“Come on boy.” He said and climbed onto the dragon’s neck, “We have to go see Gothi and make sure you’re okay.”
Hookfang snapped his neck backwards sending the boy flying back and landing in a pile of sheep.
“Hookfang!” He exclaimed.
“Well this is odd.” Hiccup said as he approached the scene with Astrid and an old woman with grey hair in two braids.
“Not really, Hookfang’s done this many times before.” Astrid told him.
“Not like this.” Hiccup told her, “And not so suddenly.”
The old woman approached the dragon and put her hand out. Hookfang didn’t move. She started to circle the beast, looking under his wings and at his tail. The she got really close to him, she just stared at him in the eye for a moment before writing something in the dirt.
“She says there’s nothing wrong with him as far as she can tell.” Gobber said as he read what was written.
“Impossible!” Snotlout said marching back over, “There is something wrong, and there’s been something wrong since she stepped foot on this island!” He turned and pointed an accusing finger at me.
“Snotlout!” Astrid started, “You saw her in the arena, you heard her on the way over here! She’s terrified of dragons! How could she even do something like that?”
“Maybe she’s magic, ever think of that?” Snotlout shot back.
Hiccup looked unamused as he looked up from the boy and over to me, “Thora.” He started, “Do you happen to posses magic skills in manipulation of any kind?”
I crossed my arms over my abdomen, “I wish.”
“See?” Hiccup asked Snotlout.
“Then why is my dragon following you like a lot puppy?!” He yelled as he approached me.
“How should I know!?” I shot back, “I’m not a dragon trainer, if he’s yours you should be able to tell why that is! I don’t even like him!”
“See that, Hookfang, she doesn’t like you- Hookfang?” Snotlout asked eyes darting everywhere.
“Hookfang!?” He called out hoping for a reply from the dragon, “Oh no.” He looked very nervous as he ran out of the smithy and looked back and forth before turning around glaring daggers at me, “You did this!”
“What did I do?” I snarled at him.
“You made him run away!” He accused.
“Snotlout may actually be right.” Astrid said.
“Yeah I am!” Snotlout exclaimed.
“He is?” Hiccup and Gobber asked at the same time.
“Think about it this way,” She started, “When you like someone what would you usually do?”
“Try to prove myself.”
“Show off how great I am.”
“Make them an amazing weapon of their choice.”
“Exactly!” She exclaimed, “Hookfang is trying to prove himself, and show off how powerful he is by getting other dragons to stay away and getting Tuff off Thora.”
“What about the weapon?” Gobber asked, “It’s a good idea!”
“Yes, you.” Astrid said and advanced forward to me, “Something about you, he likes. And you saying you didn’t like him must have hit a cord and made him leave. That explains why he’s been following her, why he got Barf and Belch off her, and why he hit Tuffnut. It makes sence!”
“So how do we make him, you know, unlike her?” Snotlout asked.
“We can’t.” Astrid said and rolled her eyes.
“In case you haven’t noticed, Astrid.” Snotlout said and approached us, “She’s a Berzerker! We need to use her to lure Dagur forward and take him on! She’s the perfect bait.”
“We’ve already thought of that, Snotlout.” Hiccup said calmly.
“You have?” Snotlout and I asked together.
He nodded, “But first, we need you to make up with, Hookfang.”
“And how exactly am I supposed to do that?” I asked and put my hands on my hips.
“I have a few ideas.”
Astrid said and put her arm around my shoulders.
I took deep, deep breaths as Hiccup instructed me on what to do as Astrid put a salmon in my hands.
“Got it?” Hiccup asked me.
“Not really.” I replied.
“You’ll be fine.” Hiccup said and put a hand on my shoulder as he led me around the house to where the dragon lay, “Hookfang is a nice dragon, he likes you already so you have an advantage, and I’ll be right here incase you really need help.”
“And then you’re going to bring me back to Dagur and his armada, right?” I asked him for good measure. Hiccup had said that if I got Hookfang to feel better he would bring me back to Dagur before He could do any real damage through out the archipelago.
“Yes.” He told me for the umpteenth time, “Now go.”
I nodded and took another deep breath as I rounded the corner slowly. I approached with caution.
The dragon turned his head to look at me, then stood up and turned away.
“Wait!” I called to him, the dragon paused, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I did earlier, it was without a doubt uncalled for. I don’t actually know you, so I can’t really say whether or not I like you or not, but you are defiantly not like the other dragons. If you would just sit and talk to me for a minute, maybe I would like you.”
Hookfang turned around to face me and layed down so we were more eye level.
“Maybe, we should start over.” I said a little hurriedly, then swallowed before I took a deep breath, “Hi, my name is Thora. You’re Hookfang, right?” He nodded, “It’s a nice name.” I told him with a forced smile.
“I named him!” I heard Snotlout yell to me.
“Do you like salmon?” I asked the dragon, who then nodded again, “I heard that, so to make some peace, I brought you this. Take it.” I offered the dragon the fish with a lot less enthusiasm than talking to him. Hookfang reached his head forward slowly as to not make any sudden movement to calm me down, then he looked at me to make sure I was okay with feeding him. I nodded and he gently took the fish from my hands before downing it.
“Good?” I asked him, he nodded again. I had nothing else so I looked over to where Hiccup, Astrid and Snotlout were.
“Make a bond with him!” Hiccup whisper yelled over to me.
“He’s my dragon!” Snotlout exclaimed.
“Do you want to fly him again?” Astrid asked as hit him.
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“Put your hand out like this.” He showed me what to do, “And talk to him while you do it.”
I swallowed again, and took a small step back.
“I understand you’re a good dragon, Hookfang.” I said as I hesitated, “But I’ve had quite a few bad encounters with dragons. I mean, back on Berzerk, we’re still at war with dragons.” I hesitated again, “Because of these experiences I became afraid of dragons, monstrous nightmares and hideous zipple backs the most. And I’m even more scared because my savior isn’t here with me right now.” Again, “Look at me calling him my savior, in a way I guess he is.” Again, and I took another step back, “He always protected me from dragons when I was a kid and there were raids, but I guess that brings back bad memories for you so I wont go into that if you don’t want me to, you don’t want me to, do you?” Hookfang nodded.
“Really?” I asked, he nodded again.
“It’s a long story.” I started, my back hit the side of the hut. I took a few more deep breaths, “I’ll tell you what made me afraid of dragons, if you promise not kill me, deal?” He nodded again.
I took another deep breath as I slowly slid down the side of the building until I was sitting across from him.
“I was about nine years old, until that point I hadn’t exactly had an oppionon of dragons just that they were there and it would one day be my job to make weapons against them.” I started, “This one night, there was a dragon attack. I ran with my father for protection until we got to the town, then he went to the docks and I had to go to the other side of the island to the smithy. Somewhere along the lines a hideous zipple back caught sight of me and chased me, cutting me off one way, and then eventually cornering me between a giant slope and a burned building. I thought I was going to die at that moment when their heads came closer. But they stopped, and a monstrous nightmare came charging at them full body flamed. I realized that the zipple back was an adolescent, and the nightmare was fully grown. After it chased them off, the nightmare turned its attention to me. It had its jaws open ready to either eat me or send out a fire ball, I don’t know. But before either of those could happen, a grappling rope came out of no where. It closed his jaws. And then this one little boy who was only a couple years older than me, he came out of the same place. And he took on the nightmare. He saved me, and in the process he killed the dragon. His first kill, for me. The boy was a mile past crazy. He still is, but he’d never let anything hurt me. He even said I had a way with animals so maybe that’s why you like me? I’m just rambling now, I’m sorry.” I smiled at him, this time it wasn’t forced.
The dragon looked like he was smiling too.
“You aren’t what I expected, Hookfang.” I said and slowly got up, “You aren’t like the nightmares I remember, and I’m glad. Because if you were, we couldn’t be friends.” I hesitantly stuck out my left hand towards his snout, he nuzzled my hand instantly.
I gasped at the feeling, partly because I was touching a dragon, or it was touching me, partly because I had just become friends with a dragon, and partly because of how cold his skin was.
“I always thought you guys had hot skin because you can light yourselves on fire.” I said and put both hands on his snout, still breathing heavily, “It’s not so bad.” I said to myself, “You’ve been over reacting your entire life. You’re a good boy, Hookfang.”
He made a noise that caused me to flinch.
“You did it.” Hiccup said coming up to me with the others.
“And he’s my dragon.”
“Yeah, I did didn’t I?”
“Are you okay?” Astrid asked me, “You look like you’re about to pass out.”
“I just might.” I admitted, “It’s a lot to take in.”
“It can be.” Hiccup said to me.
“So, when are you taking me back to Dagur?” I asked.
The look on his face dropped for a split second, but I caught it.
“Soon.” He said quickly, “Very soon, I just need to check in with my dad, saddle up Toothless, get the others ready, and prepare myself for a possible ambush. Shouldn’t take more than a day.”
“A day?” I exclaimed, “Do you realize what could happen in a day with him?”
“You seen of fully egar to get back to Dagur.” Astrid observed.
“I am what keeps him grounded.” I assured her, “He goes from zero to berzerk in two point five seconds if I’m not around.”
“Just give me some time.” Hiccup said, “I’ll sort it all out, just for right now, I don’t know. Go back and see Gobber at the forge, or if you don’t want to you can hang out with Astrid.”
“You can’t stay with Hookfang.” Snotlout said as he pushed me away from the dragon, “He’s mine.”
“I’ll go back to the forge then.” I said.
“I’ll make sure you don’t get lost.” Astrid offered.
“Thanks.” I said and pulled away from Hookfang.
We turned and started to head off, but I stopped when I heard Snotlout speak.
“Hookfang, you stay here!” He yelled at the dragon who then flicked him out of the way with his tail.
I walked back a few feet to the large dragon and put my hand out again, Hookfang returned the gesture instantly.
“You have to stay here with your trainer.” I told him softly and rubbed his snout, “You can’t keep following me, okay?” He looked really sad when I said that, but he nodded anyway, “Maybe when everything gets sorted out, we could have lunch again.” He perked up at that, and then did something I never thought would ever happen to me.
Hookfang broke contact then brought his head downward and then flicked it up, all the while dragging his tongue up my body. My torso to my head was covered in dragon saliva, which was dripping downward.
I wiped a little away from my face before talking to him, “Can I take that as a yes?”
He licked me again.
“Alright.” I said tried to wipe it all off of my face, “I will see you later.”
Astrid and I walked off as Hookfang sat down and watched us leave.
We walked a little bit, and I realized the forge wasn’t in sight.
“Isn’t the forge in the other direction?” I asked Astrid.
“We aren’t going to the forge.” She told me.
“Then where are we going?”I asked.
“You’ll see.” She said simply.
“You should be a tour guide here for Berk.” I told her, “You’re so informative.”
She just rolled her eyes and picked up her pace.
“How many do we have now?” Dagur asked Savage impatiently.
“We just two hundred and forty-three solders, and fifteen boats.” Savage replied looking a piece of parchment, “We have exactly half of what miss Thora has written we should have.”
“It’s good enough!” Dagur exclaimed and trudged onto the ship, “We’re going after her, now!”
“What ever you say Dagur.” Savage said and rolled up the parchment before following the man onto the ship, “I’m sure these were drawn up by miss Thora on her thinking we wouldn’t be prepared.”
“Are you calling her stupid for thinking we would need more men than this?” Dagur asked getting up in Savage’s fave.
“No sir!” Savage defended, “I know first hand how intelligent miss Thora is in her planning, I was merely stating that in the situation at hand we aren’t going to need as many men as she had drawn out for us, because of the amount of berzerkers that are here, so we can get her back no problem.”
“That’s what I thought you said.” Dagur growled, “Set course for Berk!”
“Come on.” Astrid said and grabbed my arm, pulling me inside a building. I knew where we were instantly seeing the bars on the doors.
There was one cell already open, and despite my struggle I was forced in the cell with the door shut behind me.
“Hiccup, promised!” I shouted.
“Hiccup isn’t the chief of Berk!” Astrid shot back, “These are Stoik’s orders.”
“Astrid, you do not understand!” I plead, “Whether Dagur has twenty men or two hundred he will rain down on Berk to find me without mercy. The only hope is to get me back to him.”
“And then what are you going to do?” She snapped, “Make proper calculations about our weather patterns in order to pin point the perfect time to strike!?”
“No. Dagur is currently blinded by the fact he got his freedom.” I told her hanging onto the bars of the cell, “He’s going to be sloppy and under prepared without me there with him, he needs me.”
“Why is it you’re so adamant on getting back to that, thing!” Astrid exclaimed with lack of a better word.
“Because I owe him my live.” I told her, “I know you were listening when I was telling Hookfang the story. The boy that killed the monstrous nightmare in order to save me was Dagur. He took it down because he didn’t want anything to happen to me. And now I need to return the favor.”
“It’s sweet of you to want to do that.” Astrid said calmly, “But Dagur is currently our enemy, meaning so are you.”
She left with those words. I slid down the bars until I was siting between my calves. I wasn’t going to be able to get back to him. Ever.
I rested my head against the cool metal of the bars, I wasn’t going to be able to get to him. Not soon anyway.
“We’re only shadowing her.” Hiccup said to the others around him. The door to the great hall opened and Astrid walked in.
“How did it go?” Hiccup asked her.
“It could have gone worse.” She said with a shrug.
Hiccup nodded knowing she didn’t want to talk about it, “We’re getting a boat set up for you right now. Why don’t you go get ready.”
“How come Astrid always gets to play the part?” Ruff asked as Astrid started to leave.
“Because she usually has the hair length for it, and she can stay in character.” Hiccup told the female twin.
Ruff sighed and slumped against the table.
“Come on,” Tuff said getting up, “We have to feed our dragon for this to work.”
I sat in the cell, knees up to my chest. There was no one here, and there was no way I would be able to get out, get a boat and get to Dagur before they did.
I heard the door open and looked up to see who it was.
“You need to fix my dragon again.” He growled at me as he opened my cell.
“And what’s wrong with him this time?” I asked and slowly stood up.
“He’s not going with me, and he have a job to do.”
“What job?” I asked with a raised eye brow.
“We’re taking care of Dagur.” He told me in a ‘duh’ tone, “Astrid’s dressing up like you in order to gain access inside, and then we’re gonna take him in.”
I swallowed, not because they were going to take in Dagur, but because of what Astrid is going to do after I warned her.
“He’ll know it’s not me almost instantly.” I told him with a half laugh.
“That’s why we’re shadowing her.” He told me again.
“Have you spotted his ships?” I asked needing this vital piece of information,
“Yeah, patrol spotted him heading this was from the south west. We’ll get him, so fix my dragon!” He told me.
I walked forward to him, he moved so I could exit the cell.
“You’re a good person, Snotlout.” I told him as I stopped right in front of him and placed a hand on his shoulder, “I can see where Hookfang got it.”
He couldn’t say anything as a reply because of the pressure I put on his pressure point causing him to fall unconscious. I dragged him back into the cell and closed it. That’ll keep him out of my hair for a little while.
I exited the prison cautiously incase there was anyone around, and there was. Hookfang to be exact. He looked sad, but then turned happy when he saw me.
“Hi, Hookfang.” I said with a smile, I didn’t need a boat now, “Snotlout said you needed cheering up, how about a flight?”
Hookfang nodded ferociously. I put out my hand gently, and he returned the gesture. Then he lowered his head so I could get on.
“Okay,” I said and went to where the saddle was, “I have never in my life done this before, so please be easy with me.” I got on and held onto his horns.
“Alright,” I said keeping a firm grip on the horns as I prepared myself, “Up, Hookfang.”
He took off, fast but gently. I held back a shriek in the process.
“How about we go south west?” I suggested to him. Hookfang then turned and went into the direction. The flight itself was smooth, I was only jarred slightly by the wing flaps.
We flew for a few minutes, before I realized we needed a plan.
“Hookfang, can I be honest with you?” He let out a low roar as a reply, “Up ahead is where I belong. That’s where I’m going to stay, now before you stop me, you need to know that Astrid is going to be in danger, quite possibly it’s going to be grave danger. Dagur is going to know she isn’t me, and he’s more than likely going to kill her when he finds out. I’m going to jump down on the ship and call off any and all attacks directed to you, and then you need to loop around and pick up Astrid. Okay?”
He didn’t reply, he just narrowed his eyes and slowed down.
“I know, you don’t want me to leave, but we live on different ends of the spectrum.” I told him, “You live where people have made peace with the dragons and you can live with humans like it’s nothing. I live where dragons are still enemies, and most people will kill them on sight.” I explained, “You’re different from the other dragons, and I know that, and that’s why I’m talking to you about this, because I know you’ll care about your rider’s friends, and Astrid is one of them. Maybe one day when the world changes to accept dragons for what they actually are and not what they used to be, you could come with me. But even if the world doesn’t know how amazing dragons are, my thoughts of them have been changed by you. I’m not afraid of dragons anymore, because I met you Hookfang. But I need your help, Astrid needs your help.”
Hookfang let out a loud roar and sped up going ahead.
In a few more minutes we came across the other dragon riders up a head.
“Glad you could join us, Snotlout.” Hiccup said sarcastically as he looked at the boats below him.
“Snotlout is currently unavailable.” I told him, Hookfang paused and hovered with the other.
“Thora?” They all asked in shock.
“Who were you expecting?” I asked them, “You promised me you would get me back to Dagur if I made it up to Hookfang, and I told you that Dagur would stop at nothing to get me back, and for the record; when Dagur find’s out Astrid isn’t me, he’s more than likely probably going to kill her, or keep her hostage in exchange for me.”
“You just decide to tell us this now!?” Tuffnut exclaimed.
“I told you guys that repeatedly.” I snarled.
A smaller boat approached the larger ones.
“Oh no.” I said.
“Just wait, Astrid isn’t a push over.” Hiccup told me,
“Astrid isn’t me.” I snapped.
“She can handle herself.”
“On Berk, yes I agree. Out here on the open ocean, surrounded by berzerkers and Dagur’s followers, without her dragon?” I asked, “She has about the same chance of survival as mutton on the dinner table.”
Hiccup and I bickered back and forth for a few moments, before I realized that Dagur was going to take Astrid below deck.
Astrid took a deep breath as she approached the armada, she had no true idea of how Thora acted with Dagur. She figured since they were friends it wouldn’t be much different than her and Hiccup.
She shifted a little under Dagur’s gaze and how he glared at the boat, before his face lit up. Astrid was now confused.
Dagur himself threw a rope out to the smaller boat and hauled it in towards him, before he stepped onto the edge of the smaller boat and picked the girl up at her waist and placed her gently on the deck of the bigger boat.
“Are you hurt?” Was the first thing he asked as he started to circle her like a vulture, “The berkians didn’t starve you, or harm you in anyway, right?” He asked as he continued his circles, “You must have been so terrified.” He said and gently placed his hand on Astrid’s cheek, “Being carried off by that dragon, a monstrous nightmare no less, and then you were probably surrounded by them when you got back to berk, and I wasn’t there to protect you or anything! Well, I swear on my Berzerker honour that from now on I will protect you from everything, especially dragons until the day I die! What do you say Thora? After everything we’ve gone through together, become my wife now! Oh, what am I thinking, you don’t have to answer me right now, you’re probably exhausted from what you just went through. Come on, I’ll get you some mutton and warm yak milk, and then you can settle down for a nap. And we’ll talk about everything in the morning when your ready. I promise, and you know I don’t got back on my promises to you.”
Astrid never even got the chance to get a word in with how fast he was talking, and it had dawned on her why Thora had said she could calm him down, why he needed her, why he would indeed never stop at anything until Dagur had Thora back. He loved her with his entire heart, however small it was, and she felt the same.
Then Astrid realized the situation she just got herself in, as Dagur dragged her towards the trap door leading below deck.
“Remember the plan, Hookfang?” I asked as I rubbed the top of his head, he let out a growl to say yes.
“What are you-?” Hiccup started to ask but couldn’t finish.
“Let’s go!” I said and we dove down.
“Dagur!” Savage called to the red head, “We have a dragon attack.” He pointed to the single monstrous nightmare heading straight for them.
“Get below deck.” Dagur told Astrid, “I’m not losing you again.”
Astrid was frozen on the spot, that was Hookfang, what was going on?
“Get ready.” I told Hookfang before I jumped off him onto the deck of the same ship Dagur was on, “Hold all fire!” I shouted to the armada.
Dagur looked completely confused as I approached him, his head kept darting back and forth between me and Astrid.
“You’re the imposter!” Dagur said pointing an accusing finger at me.
“Yes! Because the imposter always comes in after the real one.” I growled, “Check her eyes and neck closer, moron!” I said and crossed my arms over my chest.
Dagur whipped around and stared at Astrid, it finally clicked in his head as he grabbed her by the hair.
“I thought something was off when she didn’t hug me.” He growled, then something else clicked, “Did you just come in on a dragon?” He asked me.
“Long story.” I said with a smile as I approached him and grabbed Astrid from him, “I told you, you wouldn’t fool him.” I growled at her.
Astrid fought as best she could with me holding her hair and one arm behind her back.
“Since when were you this strong?” She demanded.
“You caught me off guard that one time.” I hissed and brought her to the edge of the ship, “It’s amazing what years of working in a forge can do to one’s body.”
She glared at me and gritted her teeth.
“Hookfang!” I called, the dragon turned sharply around heading towards us, I threw the natural blonde up in the air just as Hookfang passed over us. He caught her in his claws and flew off, sparing no glance back. I smiled at the sight at hand he really was a good dragon.
I saw a net try to go after it.
I gritted my teeth and yelled, “I said, hold all fire!”
“Who says you’re the boss!?” A new man asked with a scoff.
“I did.” Dagur growled coming up to my side.
The newbie muttered an apology.
“We should head outside of the archipelago.” I told Dagur.
“Probably the best thing to do at the moment.” He told me, “I’ve made arrangements for new ships to be delivered to us.”
I nodded, “We’ll lay low until then.”
Dagur wrapped and arm around my shoulders and led me down below deck.
“We have a lot we need to talk about.” He said as he entered the captain’s chambers, the room he and I shared.
“Yeah.” I said as he took a seat on the bed, “We do.”