Before continuing their dialogue with this stranger, he ordered some of his men to make a perimeter so they wouldn’t be disrupted by the aggressive natives. The Aren’s men took this time to resupply their boat to make the return trip. On their part, their new ally seemed to just be investigating a small ship that washed ashore which Aren had not even noticed until now.
After restarting the dialogue, Aren and Bjorn tried finding patterns and started to decipher what the woman was saying to her colleague. But there was something that amazed them, it seemed that she was able to comprehend much faster what he was saying as if that was something she did pretty often. Their conversations were bare-bones but he was able to understand what seemed to be her name: Alania.
She wrote a lot while they were trying to communicate. Her way of learning languages seemed quite intuitive. She drew a lot of objects, some unknown to Aren, while others were definitely known. She seemed really interested in his language. It almost seemed like she was writing a whole saga.
“Eum... I know I’m disturbing here, but we’ve pushed back pretty much all the natives close by. The lads are asking what to do next” Calum intervened, startling Alania and Aren.
“Go ask Astrid, she’s the one giving orders for now” Aren replied
Calum left them and the talks continued.
“Where in Yolkir’s name were you Calum? I was looking for you. How can you miss the meetings every day!” uttered Astrid with disappointment
“Well... first I got lost in the forest, then I saw a bear, then when I finally came back to the camp, I saw nobody so I went to Aren” Calum asserted.
“Calum, the only thing you got lost in is that woman’s eyes” Astrid retorted while pointing at the mysterious vessel where Aren and Alania were discussing.
“Ok, you got me there. So what is there to do?” Calum replied
“Actually there is nothing more to do so you can just come with me to patrol. You’ll at least be useful for something for once” Astrid suggested jokingly
The pair went into the forest to patrol and scout ahead. It had been a while since both of them had been completely alone. They spent a lot more time together when they were younger training to get the attention of the Jarl. They then talked about their worries towards Aren, as he kept spending all of his time with the stranger
“I wonder what they’re doing while there’s no one at camp?” Calum sarcastically asked
“You know Aren. When the opportunity for him to learn is there, it’s the only thing he cares about” Astrid responded as if it was something that happened way too often.
“It would be time he learns how women work though, it seems to be the only thing he’s incompetent about” Calum alleged as Astrid looked at him funny.
“You’re not better than him, also I worry about him passing this much time with her, it doesn’t seem like he wants to leave soon” Astrid asserted reminding herself of what was to come
“That’s understandable considering that the jarl will want to behead us all for this insult” Callum stated knowing full well what he just said would quite literally happen.
“Speaking of which I hope he has a plan, I don’t think it will be possible to save him if he keeps screwing things up.” Astrid remarked.
The pair continued their patrol while thinking of how they could plan out a way of getting out of the trouble they were dragged into. Meanwhile, Aren and Alania were getting better at understanding each other but they still had a lot of work to do.
“Why did you come here?” Aren asked pointing to the ground
Alania expressed that someone forced her to come here. Though that was what Aren understood.
“You were forced?” Aren replied trying to understand the phrase Alania just uttered.
“Yes?” Alania tried as she was still trying to work out the language she was learning.
“But why?” Aren asked confused on why someone would force her to go on a raid so ill-prepared
Alania revealed that she was chasing the small boat, which she was pointing at. She seemed to get better at speaking the language but there was still a lot of hesitation.
“Why you?” Aren questioned.
“They said... it’s ... my fault?” Alania explained taking the time to choose her words. Aren remarked she was starting to at least make a simple sentence in this language.
“Why your fault? Did you help him?”
“Non, I let him... live before.” Alania expresses with remorse.
“Why did you let him live if he killed someone? Don’t you have laws or rules?” Aren enquired.
“Yes, but death isn’t something that should be... a conséquence for crimes.” Alania conveyed as she looked away.
“Then how do you deal with murderers? Is it the same way than with a man simply stealing a fish on the market” Aren asked with interest
“They should be.... taught how to be a good person.” Alania responded with determination.
The conversation continued for a while, Aren learned that Alania comes from a land called Patriala. A land with no gods and where the elites ruled with little to no restrictions. They also seemed to worship what they call science. The conversation continued a while with Alania taking a lot of notes and Bjorn and Aren comprehending a bit more of what Alania was doing here.
They then returned to their respective camps to prepare for their return journeys with Astrid and Calum questioning Aren.
“Is the boat ready?“Aren asked Astrid
“The real question is are we ready, are you ready?” Astrid retorted with a glare.
“I am, don’t worry I’ll take the blame, I’ll tell him that I forced you while you were drunk” Aren responded while looking at his ship.
“You know that won’t work. He’ll make an example of you” Astrid remarked as there was a precedent for that kind of behavior.
“Not if I defy him first to a battle to the death, surely he won’t refuse this before the whole village”
Aren then returned to see this so-called Alania and bid her farewell. He also expressed that he would really like for them to meet again to trade perhaps. Aren and his crew then embarked on their ship and rowed away as Alania thought about her own return.