Obscuring the Heart(Part 5)

“Alright Shadowsplinter, sky!” I exclaimed and threw my arm straight up, palm flat to the sun.

My timberjack took a single flap of his wings and blocked out the rays of light in the arena. Everyone was practicing hand signals with their dragons.

“Land.” I told him and brought my arm all the way down, palm flat to the ground. Shadowsplinter landed.

“Good boy.” I encouraged, “Now, roar.” I said and brought my hand to my mouth and opening it up in a talking motion to him.

Shadawsplinter did it without hesitation.

“Blast ’em.” I said and brought my hand into a first before releasing it in a manner of bouncing a ball in the air.

Shadowsplinter did exactly as I asked of him.

“Good boy, Shadowsplinter!” I encouraged and brought my hand out to pet him, he instantly same forward and nuzzled my hand and side.

“As usual, you two work well together.” I heard Hiccup tell us.

I smiled at him and returned it.

“Alright, Ruffnut, Tuffnut. You two are up.”

They both gave opposite orders to their dragon, causing confusion and the poor dragon to fall to the ground.

“Guys,” Hiccup called to them, “Barf and Belch is one dragon, you have to use one signal at a time.”

Ruff ordered for Barf to attack Tuff. And then Tuff ordered Belch to eat Ruff.

Then they got in an argument over who’s dragon it really was, trying to pull the poor thing apart.

“Ruff! Tuff!” I yelled at them, “That’s enough!”

They both stopped instantly knowing I would hurt them if they didn’t.

“You need to stop arguing with one another and start working together with each other and your dragon.” I hissed, “At the end of the day it isn’t either of you who get’s hurt from the other, it’s your dragon. Now cool it!”

Neither said anything as they stormed out of the arena.

“Think they’ll come to their senses?” Hiccup asked coming over to me.

I nodded, “Give them a couple days, they’ll be back to headbutting and creating mischief together.”

 

Hiccup and I walked home that evening hoping for some peace and quiet, which was smashed when we opened the door to reveal dad and Gobber with the ceremonial belt out.

“That time of year again huh?” I asked with a groaned.

Dad nodded, “The annual treaty signing between us and the bezerker tribe. Oswald the Agreeable will be here tomorrow for it.”

“He’s not going to bring his psycho kid, Dagur is he?” Hiccup groaned.

Couldn’t blame him, half the things Dagur has done to him, to me, the retaliation I’d done to him creating more havoc towards me. We both had something against him.

“Most likely.” Gobber called from behind our father.

“And we have to play host to him again, right?” I asked begrudgingly.

“Ha! After what happened last year!?” My father exclaimed, “Not on your life, Sigrid.”

I let out a sigh of relief. Ever since we had met at ages six and three, we pretty much tried to kill each other at every opportunity. It started with me standing up to him for what he wanted to do to my brother, I think it was something like throw him down the well or go to the nearest terrible terror nest we knew of and leave him there. What ever the plan was, it ended with Dagur and I going for each other’s throats and at the end of it our father’s had to intervene, thank you Fishlegs, separate us and then yell at us together and separately about how we would one day in agreement as the chiefs of our villages. Ever since then we would always fight whenever we had the chance, it got to the point where we were keeping score and every visit was a chance to show the other how we’ve grown and how we can best them.

On the last visit they posed it turned particularly brutal. My left arm was broken in multiple places, many cracked and broken ribs, I had a fractured pelvis and a twisted ankle. Dagur’s right leg was broken at the knee, his jaw dislocated, a sprained wrist, and most likely internal bleeding from how hard I’d hit him. He ended up with poison ivy all over his back, and I came down with pneumonia because we some how fell into an ice cold river during our fight. Neither of our fathers were impressed. Hiccup alerted them to the blood battle that was taking place, and they needed to send out a search party to look for us. Gothi actually said, wrote, if we had kept going there was little doubt that we would have ended up killing one another. If I’d won, the damage done to my torso would have caused me to collapse and die from internal injury before I could reach the village. And if Dagur won, his broken leg would have prevented him from getting very far.

“I have a more important job for the both of you.” Dad said as he let out a wheeze, “I need you to hide all the dragons from Oswald.”

“But he’s so agreeable.” I said without thinking, “You think he’d accept them.”

“Even if he does,” Dad started, “I don’t want to risk it, not another Berzerker war.”

“Then you just let Dagur and me go at it until one of us dies and whoever is still breathing is the winner and the other tribe has to submit.” I suggested, “We can kill two terrors with one stone.”

“Sigrid.” Dad said sternly, “I will not have you interacting with Dagur on your childish war level, I would rather you two not interact after last time. Am I clear?!”

“As crystal, sir.” I told him, “But if he starts something, I’m not going to hesitate to protect my two point lead over him.”

Dad rolled his eyes at my statement, but I was determined to keep my score comfortably above his.

“I think that’s about all of them.” Fishlegs called to the rest of us.

“Not quite.” I called, “Incoming zippleback!”

We all moved out of the way as it came barreling past us.

“That’s Barf and Belch!” I called.

“I got it!” Snotlout declared as he turned Hookfang around to go after the dragon. He jumped down onto the one of the heads.

“You need two people ridding it!” Hiccup told him, “Fishlegs, help him out.”

The blonde hesitated a moment before jumping down. His weight caused the other head to spew out gas, which Snotlout then lit. Long story short they went flying.

“We’ll get these dragons to the cove!” I told Hiccup, “You hurry along and then rush back to tell dad, maybe he can stall them for a little bit while we get Barf and Belch back or better yet the twins!”

“Right!” Hiccup took off.

I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched him disappear. Something was off.

Astrid and I hurried back to the village in hopes to find Barf and Belch nowhere to be seen. Instead we ran into Hiccup.

“We haven’t seen the twins all day, and we have no idea where Barf and Belch are.” I reported.

“This day just keeps getting better.” Hiccup moaned, “Dagur is the Berzerker chief.”

“What?” Astrid and I asked in usion.

“You’re kidding!” I exclaimed.

“Yes, cause this it totally the time for jokes, Si.” He snapped.

My eyes went wide seeing the zippleback eating from a basket of fish and the previously mentioned chief heading this way.

I pulled Astrid without even thinking and we hurried to lift the basket and take it behind one of the houses so they could continue to eat without being seen. Hiccup met us behind the house.

“What do we do now?” Astrid asked as she stared at the dragon eating without a care in the world.

“Lend me your ax.” I told her. She was taken aback by my statement.

“I’m going to do something bold, which will hopefully buy you guys enough time.” I told her, “But if I’m gonna do it I want as much of an edge as I can get.”

“You aren’t thinking of actually fighting Dagur are you?” Hiccup demanded, “Last time-

“Last time an all out war, and our dragons weren’t on the line.” I cut him off, “You tell dad what’s really going on while I’m distracting Dagur, when we’re fighting his attention can’t be on anything but me without him getting hurt so it’ll be fine. Then run like hell and find the twins, they’re the only ones who can take care of their dragon.”

Astrid and Hiccup both looked at each other for a second before they both nodded. Astrid handed me her ax. I accepted it with both hands. Astrid took off to get a head start on finding the twins.

I took a deep breath and advanced to do what had to be done.

They were about to enter the armoury, the perfect oppertunity. I tossed the ax Astrid gave me right at his head, and, as calculated, it landed just to the right of his head.

He turned around ready to yell at whoever it was, but his face instantly broke into a devilish smirk that mirrored my own.

“You still haven’t learned, have you Sigrid?” He asked with a chuckle as he drew his sword.

“That battle was indecisive, Dagur.” I snarled as I pulled out my own ax.

“We both know I would have won.” He boasted as we started to circle waiting for an opening to strike, “Your body would have been too frail to withstand my blows for much longer.”

“That’s funny coming from the one who had the broken leg and dislocated jaw.” I shot back, “That’s why it was indecisive, because we couldn’t finish it.”

“I do hope you know you’re now dealing with the chief of the berzerkers.” Dagur told me bearing his teeth, “Maybe if you bow down now, I’ll forgive you.”

I let out a bitter laugh in his face, “I will one day be the right hand to the chief of the Hooligan tribe.” I told him, “I will not bow to the likes of you.”

“Oh, Sigrid.” Dagur tisked, “You never did know what your full potential really was, did you?”

“Or perhaps you think too much of me with my two point lead.” I teased.

“You’re only ahead by one point!” He screamed.

“You’re forgetting your last visit.” I growled, “When you made Tuffnut eat dirt, I left you strung up a tree by your belt.”

“I forgot about that.” He said quietly to himself, “Alright, but I say we up the anti this time.”

“Keep talking.”

“This battle, as my first as a chief, will be worth three points.” He grinned.

“I’ll take a five point lead.” I told him.

“You seriously think you’ll win?” He scoffed.

“You’ve yet to realize it haven’t you Dagur?” I asked.

“Realize what? You’re an over confident little girl who need to get back in the kitchen?” He teased with a childish voice.

“Frailty is a state of mind, not of body. Why do you think I made it this far in life with how much and how easily I get sick? Yet somehow I’m one of the strongest ever bred by the Hooligan tribe.”

“If you’re the strongest, I’d hate to see who the weakest is!” He laughed, “Oh wait, that’s your brother. Oops.”

I sighed to myself, if only he knew.

Dagur lost his patience with me, and lunged forward with his sword battle ready to take my head off. I rolled to avoid him and jumped up, swinging my ax to get him from the back. Dagur blocked with his ax behind him. I jumped back as he spun around hoping to hit me. I blocked both his spinning attacks and then shoulder checked him when I found an opening. It knocked the wind out of him, I hurried to straighten myself up and then kick him in stomach. That sent him falling backwards onto his back. As he was gasping for breath, I raised my ax above my head, ready to bring it down on his head.

“Sigrid!” My father barked at me, causing me to stop and look at him, “Do not kill the chief! Dagur, chief or not if my daughter does die, I will not hesitate to take your head and kill any berzerker that steps foot on this island!”

Dagur ended up kicking me in the stomach while he was on the ground, that sent me flying backwards. I did a backwards somersault and jumped up so I was on my feet. Blocking another attack from Dagur, I managed to get the sword out of his hand. It went spiraling through the air and then got stuck in the ground a few yards away.

It was now ax on ax, locked in battle. It ,unfortunately, couldn’t be to the death this time. All I needed to do was buy time for Hiccup and Astrid to find the twins and help Barf and Belch. That’s what I had to keep telling myself anyway. There was just something about fighting Dagur that made my blood turn to fire, my heart race increase, time seemed to stand still, and for some reason I felt like my body was weightless. The perfect combination for a fight.

Dodging, blocking, swinging. A lot of it was more along the lines of showing off rather than trying to hit one another. At least, that’s always what Dagur showed me, so I assumed I was the same way.

The decisive blow finally came. We both flew off the other’s attack, both of us were wide open. It came down to who was the fastest out of the two of us. I took the plunge and swung my ax to his rib cage, I used the side instead of either edge to avoid killing him. That sent him back, he landed on his other side with a groan. I dropped the hilt of my ax on the same spot I hit to amplify the pain. He cried out in pain as it hit him, I picked it up again quickly and kicked him in the side.

Dagur howled in pain, his ax far from his hand. He was completely unable to defend himself, but he wasn’t incapacitated yet. Dagur rolled onto his stomach in an attempt to get away from me and to get his ax. The second he did, I dropped my ax simultaneously as I fell to my knees landing on his back. I pulled him up slightly and put him in a head lock. Dagur was squirming with all his might try to get free, but I held firm. Dagur tried to pry my arms off of him, but it didn’t work. I knew I was starting to cut off his oxygen supply, but that was part of the fun.

“Alright.” Dagur wheezed, “Alright, you win, Sigrid.”

I let him go instantaneously and stood up. Dagur flipped onto his back the second I was off and gasped for breath.

“Yeah, a five point lead.” I told him leeringly as I glared down at him.

Dagur didn’t say anything as he caught his breath. I smirked and picked up my ax, put it back in my belt. Then I went over and picked up Dagur’s sword, and then pulled out Astrid’s ax.

I turned back to Dagur and offered him his sword. Dagur rectified himself and took it from me.

“It’s always my down fall.” He muttered to himself as he sheathed his sword.

“So what did you do?” I asked as he picked up his ax.

Dagur looked back at me with a static expression.

“To become chief.” I added, “What did you do to get that title?”

Dagur ignored me as he strapped his ax to his back again. I watched him silently as he dusted himself off and headed back over to the group of men consisting my father, Gobber, and two guards of his.

“You killed him, didn’t you.” I accused just as he was about to speak to the me. He stopped instantly and went stiff.

“You did, didn’t you.”

“What are you talking about, Sigrid?” He asked almost defeated, there was nothing demanding in his tone, nothing accusing.

“Oswald the Agreeable would never give up the town or title to you, at least not with you being this out of control.” I explained, “The only way you would get this title is if you’ve finally grown up enough to meet his standards, which seeing you now is definitely not the case at all, or if he had suddenly died. You being the oldest son would make you first in line for the title. What did he do that finally made you snap?”

“Let’s carry on.” Dagur said ignoring me all together.

“Was it the fifty years of stagnant war or the millionth and first lecture you got from him?!” I demanded.

“You have no idea what it was!” Dagur finally turned and screamed at me, “You don’t know what it is that makes me tick, and why I do the things I do! So, why don’t you get off your high yak and shove it Sigrid! You have a five point lead on me now, and the ability to say you beat a chief! Now leave it alone!”

I wasn’t taken aback by his outburst, I was use to it.

“East most cliff!” I called at him, “Dusk!”

Dagur made immature random sounds in reply, but I knew he was going to be there.

Oswald had always made these visits three days at the shortest, so I know with Dagur it would be at least one day.

I sighed and headed out to find Astrid and Hiccup. I couldn’t find either of them in town or the twins.

I started into the forest to see if I could find them there. I saw Ruff and Tuff on the ground hugging their dragon with the others around them.

“Are you two good to co operate now?” I asked them.

Tuff looked over first.

“Yeah, if it’s with this guy I don’t mind it.” He said.

“Yeah, for Barf I can manage putting up with this mutton head.” Ruff told me.

“Great!” I said, “Let’s get these guys to the cove.”

“Your ax.” I said to Astrid as I handed it back to her.

“You kept Dagur busy for a while there, Si. I hope everything went okay.” Hiccup said as he came up showing concern.

I nodded, “I got a five point lead on him now, we’re good.”

Hiccup rolled his eyes.

I entered the great hall with Hiccup, we took our places next to our father as Gobber was telling another of his tales. Dad looked at us and we nodded, letting him know we had everything under control.

“Now.” Gobber said after he finished his story, “How about that treaty.”

“Fine!” Dagur grumbled, before he stood up and declared, “Bring out the dragon blood!”

“Dagur, that’s ridiculous!” Dad told him, “Your father and I haven’t signed a treaty in dragon’s blood in years.”

“I’m not my father, am I?” Dagur retorted.

“I’ll fetch it for you.” I said and stood to leave.

“Sigrid?” My father questioned.

I looked back at him and smiled, “Just because Spitelout spilled the last of the dragons blood you had, doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own.”

I quickly left and hurried home. I all but ran up stairs and pulled an old box out from under my bed. I opened it up and found a bunch of told treasures and trophies I had. A tooth from each type of dragon I’d slain, the blade to my first ax, a pressed flower, the first tooth I knocked out of Dagur, every scab I pulled off, a small recipe book, and an ink bottle full of dragons blood. I would always take a couple drops of blood from every dragon I ever slayed in the mind set it was kinda like a trophy. I really needed to go through this box and get rid of a lot.

I picked out the bottle and put the box back under my bed before hurrying back outside and into the great hall.

“I got the quills!” Gobber declared from the other end of the table. I came over with the bottle and set it on the table.

“Sign away.” I said sarcastically.

Dagur continued with his immature muttering as he dipped the quill in the dark liquid.

My ears perked as I heard him scratching the pen to the paper, he’d be leaving in the morning.

Dad took up his quill next and scratched in his signature. I knew it didn’t sit right with him signing a treaty like this without Oswald.

“Well, looks like we’re in agreement.” Stoik finally said.

“Indeed it does.” Dagur told him, “I’ll alert my men and tell them to start unloading the goods we’ve brought for trade.”

Dad nodded, “Gobber, you can our half down to the docks, right?”

“Of course, Stoik. No problem.” Gobber replied.

Dagur and Gobber, along with Dagur’s men that were here left to get the goods ready.

Dad turned to us the second the door closed.

“I’m glad you got that dragon under control, and Sigrid, it was dangerous of you to try to take on Dagur like that. But I’m glad you did manage to buy time for your brother to hide the zippleback, and that neither of you got killed in the process. Are you going to be alright, though? I saw he did a number on you.”

I smirked, “Dagur’ll have to hit a lot harder than that to hurt me, dad. For some reason I don’t think he went all out.”

Dad smiled at as, “It doesn’t matter.” He said, “As of tomorrow morning Dagur will be out of our hair for another year.”

“And hopefully by then his own insanity would have killed him.” I muttered.

“We can hope.” Hiccup chuckled, “Come on, I wanna get home before Dagur get’s back.”

I nodded and followed a little behind him. Dad went down to the docks to make sure everything was going well.

I told Hiccup I was going for a walk, and headed for the eastern most cliff. I sat down on the edge and watched the sun start to disappear beneath the water line as I waited for Dagur.

“Alright!” I head Dagur announce from behind me, “I’m here, what is it?”

I rolled my eyes before I replied.

“You killed your father in order to gain the title of chief,” I started, “All I want to know is what is it that finally made you snap?”

Dagur sighed deeply before he advanced over and sat down on the cliff next to me. We were both just outside of arms length from each other. That way neither of us would go over the edge.

“Why are you so stuck on this?” He asked softly, “It’s not like you.”

“And it doesn’t seem like you to kill your father either.” I bit back in the same tone, “I know you two have always had your differences, but to think you would do that. Family has always been your priority, Dagur, so it isn’t like you either.”

I watched the red head press his mouth into a thin line and glare into the ocean, I brought up my legs from hanging over the edge and sat with them against my chest, I rested my cheek against my knee as I waited for his reply. We stayed like that for a long while, when Dagur finally spoke again the sun was almost completely set.

“He said, some things.” Dagur started slowly, I waited for him to continue, “It doesn’t matter at the moment, but I wasn’t about to stand for it at all. The worst part was that he was serious about it and I would have had to go through with it if he were here no matter what. And to be honest with you, Sigird, I would rather die than do what he wanted me to.”

I waited a few seconds to see if he was going to say something else, but he didn’t.

“It must have been really bad.” I said and turned my attention from him to the rapidly darkening sea, “I mean for you to want to die instead of carry it out, and here I thought Oswald was agreeable.”

“Not nearly as much as you would think.” Dagur said letting out a laugh, before he moaned and clutched his side.

“Did he want you to get married or go into an alliance with a tribe you’ve usually been at war with?” I asked curiously.

“It doesn’t matter, Sigrid.” He told me, “And I want you to know something.”

I turned my head to look right at him, Dagur looked into the ocean for a few seconds before he said anything.

“I want you know,” He started, swallowing something in his throat, “That no matter what the situation is, I’m not going to kill you even if that’s your intent towards me.” I raised an eye brow at him, not really sure what he was saying, “I mean, even though I’ve probably said a thousand times, I’m not going to kill you under any circumstance, but you’re free to do that to me.”

I just stared at him for almost a minute waiting for Dagur to laugh and say that it was a joke and he’d kill me the next time we meet. He didn’t so, I knew it wasn’t a joke he was playing. He looked at me in my silence, his eyes filled with something I had only seen from the boy in front of me a handful of times: vulnerability.

“If you aren’t going to kill me, or hurt anyone I hold dear again, Dagur,” I told him, “I’m not going to go for your head, and you have my Hooligan honour to back that up.”

Dagur just smiled lightly and continued to stare out at the sea. It was pitch black at this moment, and even though we were right next to our sworn enemy we both had a change to think.

He won’t hurt me? I guess this is something from Dagur only I can see. I can definitely let my guard down a little now, but I still know he’s not one hundred percent trustable yet. But in all honesty I wonder what Oswald said about me to make Dagur snap?

It was kinda funny when you think about it. Two people so different, could get each other. Dagur’s fighting style reflected his mood, his smack talk before hand gave good indications of how brash he was feeling, and ever since we were kids Dagur somehow felt it safe to confide in me because I was stronger than Hiccup and the most likely to take the title after dad decides to step down. We were first in the running for it, misunderstood by others around us, liked to fight. I guess with our personalities we would be considered complements.

“Sleep well, Dagur.” I said as I stood up, “See you in the morning.”

“Don’t let the terrible terrors bite.” The red head called after me.

They wouldn’t, all of them are safely on the other end of the island.

We all stood on the docks trying to contain our excitement that Dagur was leaving.

“It was good to have you, Dagur.” Dad said through gritted teeth.

“The pleasure was all mine, Stoik.” Dagur told, “I’ll keep my ear out for rumors, but if I see even one dragon, me and my entire armada will rain down on you with the-

“Force of ten thousand angry Berzerkers backed with the power of Thor.” I finished unamused, “We know.”

Dagur glared at me.

“How dare you!” He exclaimed, “Beating a chief and then mocking his warnings!”

“I’ve heard it a million times as a kid from you.” I snarled, “Either get something new or be prepared to have eyes rolled.”

All Dagur did was turn on his heel and stomp back onto his boat after he glared at me for a moment.

“See you next year!” I called teasingly as the boat set off.

“I look forward to it!” Dagur yelled back.

We waited for the ships to be a good distance away before we turned and headed back up to the village.

“I really hate that guy.” Astrid muttered, the rest agreed.

“I still think Dagur’s pretty cool.” Snotlout said with a laugh.

I think you’re all wrong. I thought as I watched them yell at Snotlout. Dagur isn’t anywhere near as bad as people make him out to be, he just has too strong of Berzerker blood for most of us to be able to understand or keep up with him. And at the same time, he isn’t all that great. He has insecurities, the inability to communicate in any other way than mean words and crude actions. But deep down he does have a good heart, you just have to be smart enough to know not to break it.

“Sigrid?”

I looked up to see all of them staring at me.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“Are you alright?” Hiccup asked.

I smiled and nodded, “Just thinking.”

“Well, think as we go get our dragons!” Astrid told me.

I just followed as they laughed and talked. I always enjoyed the times just after the Berzerkers left. Peace was never more prominent than it was at times like these, not even for Snoggltogg.

 

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