Ragnar lunged at his guest and tackled him right before cackling like a madman.
The man was Hagen, it has been months since Ragnar saw him and he was excited.
"You let your guard down!" Ragnar teased the man he was on top but Hagen just took a sigh.
"You never change, Ragnar," Hagen muttered with a smile. The voice was familiar, prompting both Bjorn and Tyr to run outside to see just what was happening with their father and Hagen.
But all they saw was Ragnar on top of him and this drew suspicious stares from both boys but Ragnar did not care.
"Boys, come greet Hagen" Ragnar encouraged his children as they too jumped on him, almost suffocating him to death. Ragnar noticed this and stood up, dragging Bjorn and Tyr off of him as they had gotten carried away.
"What brings you here, Hagen?" These words escaped the lips of Ragnar but his eyes were fixed on his children, who were trying to cause trouble for Hagen. The sons of Ragnar had forgotten about their request but it did not matter because they had gotten what they wanted already.
"I am here to speak to you about something of urgent concern, Ragnar." Hagen requested in a stern voice and Ragnar quickly told his children to go inside as he and Hagen sat outside to discuss their business.
"What is it, my friend?" Ragnar started off the conversation with a question, and Hagen's face turned serious.
"It is about the expedition, Ragnar. I want you to tell me about it." This was the answer he gave Ragnar. Ragnar was hesitant at first but he gave in considering it was Hagen asking.
"King Askild's ambition is not just Kattegat, King Askild is after Norway. Little by little, he wishes to absorb the neighboring kingdoms." Ragnar informed Hagen of the plan of Askild, and Hagen did not look surprised at all.
"Norway? That is a bit far too ambitious, don't you think? If one kingdom falls, the others will unite and attack Kattegat. I do not care how strong Askild is, he will not survive the war," Hagen responded, he knew that this was not some simple expedition as Ragnar had been saying.
"We follow our king, if his ambitions damn us all to our death then we shall feast with Odin but it is not in our place to question his decision. Kattegat has only stood this long because we follow the decisions of our Kings." Ragnar responded in a firm tone but Hagen did not look happy with his response.
It was almost like he had become yet another loyal lapdog to King Askild but saying anything other than that could be considered treason and as such, Hagen played along.
"You are right! Enough of that, have you decided to make your sons men?" Hagen quickly changed the topic because he did not want to let his true thoughts slip through.
"Make them men? They have shown no interest in ladies." Ragnar responded with a faint snicker.
"That is not what I mean Ragnar, your boys are ready for battle," Hagen said and Ragnar nodded in agreement to this statement.
"You are right and that is why I am taking them on this expedition, those boys will become great warriors, Kattegat is in good hands." Ragnar's pride echoed in his voice, and this brought a smile to his face.
"Have they gotten their arm rings?" Hagen inquired further, he was interested in both boys.
"Not yet, I just decided. King Askild is busy with King Asmund right now so that will have to wait." Ragnar spoke to his old friend and they continued with their discussion.
Ulf answered the door but what he saw before him was Erik the berserker. He immediately put his head outside to see if anyone followed him but from what he could see, no one did.
He then dragged the giant into his house, with little to no resistance from Erik.
"What the hell are you doing here, Erik!?" Ulf shouted but all Erik did was smile while looking around his house.
"I am starving! Do you have anything to eat?" Erik asked. This did not sit well with Ulf but regardless it was Erik he was talking about. Erik is a man that acts based on his mood and Ulf knew it would be in his best interest to keep him under control because he knew he would not win in a battle against Erik.
"Fine, I am coming. Do not move!" Ulf warned as he went to retrieve something for him to eat.
He got some bread and ale for Erik, and Erik devoured it like a caveman. This was befitting of his appearance but why was he here? This was what Ulf was about to find out.
"This is delicious!" Erik said. It was just bread and bear, it can not be that good.
"What brings you here, Erik?" Ulf asked, sitting right across the seated Erik.
"Why I am here? I want you to return the favor you owe me, little man." The voice in which Erik conveyed this message was anything but friendly but Ulf knew this day would come.
"What do you want?" Ulf asked him but Erik was once again too distracted with the bread in his hand.
"I almost forgot what food tasted like, Ulf!" Erik said, gulping down the full cup of ale in front of him before slamming it into the table but the force he used broke the cup.
"I want you to talk to your brother, I want to join his expedition, Ulf!" Erik shouted like he was some prophet and judging by Ulf's face, he was not a fan of this idea.
"You are far too unpredictable to be on a battlefield, this is not just about rampaging, Erik," Ulf responded but it did not matter what he said, he owed Erik one for saving his life back in the day.
This chapter upload first at NovelNext.com