Erik The Berserker was the most ruthless Viking in Kattegat, and Askild had problems keeping him under control. This was why Askild sent him on the most dangerous tasks for he hoped that maybe one day, he would fall but he always came back.
Erik never stayed too long in Kattegat, and this struck a balance because he proved to be an invaluable warrior to Askild.
Liv was frozen in fear but she knew he meant well and she managed to force an approving smile that Erik appreciated but she was not who he came to see.
He came to see King Askild as he had business to discuss with him, this was rare for Erik but his arrival was welcomed considering what was at stake in Kattegat, and with King Asmund coming the next day he could not have asked for a better time.
"Where is King Askild, my lady?" Erik said. Despite being a barbarian, he has manners when he needed manners.
He might be mad man but Askild tamed him long before and thus, was the only man he considered to be his superior. He did not respect any other person and was ready to give his life for Askild if need be.
"Erik, I see you are back," Askild said, clothed in his traditional clothing and cloak made of skin like a true Viking. Erik bowed his head immediately, he did not dare look up.
He was much bigger than Askild yet Askild commanded such respect and Vikings respected strengths above all else.
Askild saw the heads on the floor and recognized one of the men as a famed warrior in Agdesiden but this Kingdom was on friendly terms with Kattegat, what was he doing in such a place without him knowing, or did Erik deviate?
No, Erik was a loyal dog that obeyed his orders right down to the bone, unlike Asger that used more of his brain than instinct.
Erik was given a task to curb an extreme faction in a neighboring village. These Vikings were not humans or so the rumors went as they ate the flesh of their fallen enemies as a tradition because they believed it multiplied their strength.
All a warrior needs to be unstoppable is a strong belief, regardless of how delusional it may seem and they had such a belief, they thought themselves an embodiment of mortals turned gods.
This was not a problem for Erik, he charged at the challenge head on but it was not easy and took years to emerge victorious and now he knew why.
The kingdom of Agdesiden had a hand in this but it was one of those things, it was unfortunate that the warrior met Erik as he would have had a better chance at survival with Asger in charge.
He thought nothing of the involvement of the Kingdom of Adger, they were far too weak in military might to prove a threat and King Asmund remained his priority.
"Raise your head, Erik. You have earned the right to address me." King Askild said, crossing his legs. Liv could barely stomach the sight but she managed not to throw up.
"Thank you, my lord," Erik said, looking right at Askild. He was like a god on a throne, this was how Erik's mind perceived him.
"I wish to join the expedition, my king!" Said Erik but Askild was surprised by this request considering Erik has been satisfied until now with going to cause carnage because an expedition was far more delicate as it could easily shift the balance scale.
"Expedition, the only expedition is being led by Ragnar Lothbrok and I do not believe you will be a good fit," Askild said in a stern and absolute tone. Sadness soon danced in Erik's eyes.
"But I will not deny your request, convince Ragnar Lothbrok that you will be a good addition to him," Askild said and the moment he said this, Erik smiled. He did not have a pretty smile but his excitement was genuine, he was like a child that found a new toy.
He left the throne room as his business with King Askild was done but not before packing the decapitated heads he littered on the floor. Askild gave him a very specific instruction and that was to hang the head of the warrior from Agdesiden on a spike at the entrance of Kattegat.
This would send a strong message to Asmund and any other kingdom in case they think of doing something similar.
King Asmund was with his son, Signy. Signy was to accompany him on his journey to Kattegat because he was going to succeed his father and needed to know how things worked firsthand.
This was a golden opportunity and he knew Signy was not reckless enough to lose his head and risk making Vestfold look frail.
Everything was ready, they were ready for the journey tomorrow. The downpour of rain was heavy moments earlier but it lightened up.
"Father, I heard King Askild has accepted your audience, but I have a few concerns," Signy said, the was at the diner table with his father but his mother was nowhere to be seen for she died in childbirth.
"I know what you want to say. It is foolish walking into enemy territory for a King must be protected at all cost,"𝗇𝒪𝗏𝚎𝓛𝗇𝔢xt.𝕔𝗈𝕞
Losing a king means forfeit and the worst-case scenario was King Asmund getting captured and humiliated for the pride of Vestfold would fall if this happened.
"Yes father, I know but let me go. We cannot risk your safety! "Signy said but Asmund took a deep sigh,
"I am the King. A King leads by example," Asmund said. Signy understood this but he hated that it had come to this, he also knew it was a necessary step.
"Kattegat will face my wrath if harm comes to Egil. This, I promise you, Signy." Asmund said, gulping down a cup of water to allow the meat to go down his throat easier.
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