Changing my future

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Chapter 9 - The Northmen

I rode to the lake and and sat looking out over the water, I sat there and watched the sunrise, it truly was a beautiful spot, I had tears rolling down my face remember when I had gone there with Lafrim alone and we had spent 7 days here, it was here that he had told me he loved me, it was time he would soon be awake and reading the note he would send someone to check soon enough, I put the clothes on the floor and drew my dagger across my hand letting the blood run onto my clothes

“My lady” a voice behind me said, I knew it was Aldred

“Please leave my lord” I said not even turning around

“Alfred told me about the note, you need not do this, you can come to my holdfast and live with me and my wife, we will look after you, it is not your time to greet god” Aldred said “I know that you are suffering but you need not do this” he added

“I am not going to greet god on this day” I said

“What?” he asked

“I only want Lafrim to believe that I am dead so that he will move on” I replied

“Where will you go?” he asked

“I do not know yet” I replied

“My son is a fool” Aldred said

“It doesn’t matter anymore, what we had is gone he doesn’t love or need me and it is time for me to go, I cannot be around him anymore, I love him too much and it hurts too much to stay” I said and turned round to leave but I was greeted by a large group of armed vikings

“Freyja run” Aldred shouted drawing his sword, I ran into the woods and found a place to hide, I wanted to watch and make sure that Aldred was safe, i watched as Aldred fought as hard as he could and managed to get back onto his horse, he rode off as fast as he could

“Follow him, we will wait here and see if anyone else comes” a man said and they went off into the woods opposite, whilst the others got on their horses and followed Aldred, I had been hiding for a while and was about to leave when I heard another set of hooves heading towards the lake, I looked out and it was Lafrim what the bloody hell was he doing here, I had assumed that he would send someone else to check that I was gone and that I could no longer cause him pauin

“Odin the great all father, Let it not be true, let my stupidity not have forced her to do this” Lafrim said getting off his horse and looking around, he saw the pile of clothes and looked out over the lake “Freyja” he shouted and dropped to his knees, at least it had worked he believed me to be dead and would move on now, the others stepped out from the woods I could not leave now I had to make sure that he was safe

“Northmen, why are you here?” Lafrim asked drawing his sword

“We will kill you and take this kingdom” one replied

“And your name is?” Lafrim asked

“Dragna but what difference does that make and who are you?” the man replied

“I am Lafrim Aldredson and I like to know the names of the people that I sent to greet Odin in Valhalla” Lafrim replied and charged at them, it wasn’t long before he was wiping the blood from his sword and putting it away, he walked back and sat by the edge of the lake, it was time to go he was safe, I turned to go and that was the last thing I remember , when I woke up I was tied to a pot in the middle of a tent

“You are awake” a man said looking at me

“I am” I replied

“Are you one of them?” he asked

“I am not” I replied

“But you speak the tongue of our people” he said

“I was taught by my lord” I replied

“And your name?” he asked

“Freyja” I replied looking around at all the other men

“Do not fear them, they will not touch you we do not take women that are not our own kin” he said “my name is Madare” he added [Text Wrapping Break]“Madare and I do not fear any man” I replied and I saw a man whisper in his ear

“It would seem that you are not telling me the truth, he says that a man was calling out your name at the lake where we found you” madare said

“That would be Lafrim Aldredson he was my lord and he is very protective of his people” I replied

“So you mean nothing to him?” Madare asked

“No my lord I am merely his property, I hold no other value to him than that” I replied

“If you say so but my man told me, he reacted to the sight of bloody clothes and fell to his knees thinking that you were dead,” he said, “You were not there after my men got you, my man said that Lafrim prayed to the gods begging for forgiveness for what he had done to you” Madare said smiling

“I do not know why he would do that” I replied

“We shall see” he said “take her and tie her to the whipping post” he said

“What” I shouted and I was untied from the post and dragged from the tent to a large post in the middle of the camp and tied to it, Maddare sat where he could see my face

“Why did he shout out your name?” Madare asked, I did not answer I knew that no matter what I said it would not be the answer that he wanted “if you do not answer you will be punished” he shouted and I had no intention of answering him “fine I will ask a question if Freyja does not answer then you know what to do” Madare shouted “why?” he asked and this time when I did not answer I was whipped but I did not make a sound[Text Wrapping Break]“You can scream” he said

“Not a hope in hell that I will not give you the pleasure of listening to me scream” I said

“Why?” he asked again but I stayed silent, for two hours he asked the same question over and over again and I was whipped over and over again, I could feel the blood running down my back the whip was cutting in deeper and deeper

“Enough” Madare shouted “if we continue this way she will be dead before I get the answers that I want” he said and I was dragged from the post to a different tent and tied to yet another bloody post, a woman came in and began to clean the wounds on my back

“If I untie you will you promise not to run?” she said

“I will not run I have not the energy” I replied and she untied me

“Lay down” she said “my name is Lana” she added and I laid down on my front so that she could clean all the wounds and cover them so that they could begin to heal, after she was done she handed me a drink, I sat up and drank it

“Thank you” I said

“You should give him the answers that he wants,” she said to me

“I will not, he can do what he likes to me, I will not betray him again” I replied

Just as she was about to talk, Aldred slipped into the tent and pulled his dagger across her throat

“Come now” he said

“I cannot I am too weak” I replied

“I will carry you” he said and came over and picked me up, he carried me out of the ten and put me onto his horse, getting up behind me and rode as hard as he could, I must have passed out because when I opened my eyes we were riding into what I assumed was his holdfast, when we reached the holdfast he jumped down and took me off of his horse, carrying me into the house, it had different rooms, I was put in one of them

“Astra” he called and a lady came in

“”My love” she said

“She is badly hurt” Aldred said

“Get me clean water and I will look” Astra said and looked at my back “I will need a needle and thread my love” she called after him, he came back in moments later with what she had asked him for

“I am sorry my lady, this will hurt” Astra said

“Do not call me that” I said

“I am sorry, Aldred told me that you were back home and I did not believe him” Astra said and she started to try and sew up the wounds on my back but I flinched

“Drink this” Aldred said handing me a glass

“Aldred really” she said

“You want her to stay still then this will help” he replied Making sure that I drank that and another one, once I had drank it Astra started to stitch up my back but with a mixture of beer and the pain I was in and out of being awake but could hear them talking

“Who the hell did this to her?” Astra asked

“It was the northmen’s king Madare” he replied

“Why?” she asked

“They wanted information on Lafrim, he killed 15 of his men at the lake” Aldred replied

“Is he safe, did she say anything?” Astra said

“Stop worrying” Aldred said

“But they tortured her” Astra said

“She said nothing” Aldred said

“Even after what they did to her?” Astra asked

“Even after that” Aldred said

“I cannot imagine what she went through it must have been agony” Astra said

“Two hours they whipped her for” Aldred said

“Two hours the screaming must have been horrible to hear” Astra said

“Not really” said Aldred

“What do you mean?” Astra asked

“She didn’t make a sound” Aldred replied

“Not a sound” Astra said

“No whenever he asked a question, freyja refused to answer, she was whipped I waited to hear her scream when the whip connected with her back but she did not make a sound, I have never known anyone to take that much and not scream in pain” Aldred replied

“We need to leave her to rest” Astra said and left the room

“Do not fear my lady you are safe here” he said and left the room, for two days they took care of me, I was in and out of being asleep and awake, on the third day when I opened my eyes they were both sat by the bed

“Thank the god’s” Astra said

“What?” I asked

“We were not sure that you would make it through the night” she replied

“Why?” I asked and coughed

“Drink some water” she said handing me a glass “you came down with a fever and have been fitting through the night” Astra added

“You are a strong person my lady” Aldred said

“Is Lafrim safe” I asked

“Do not worry about that idiot he is fine and he will be here soon but you will stay hidden I do not want him to know that you are alive, he needs to feel pain for what he did to you” Aldred said

“Please do not be to harsh on him, he had a good reason to behave the way he did” I said

“Even after all that he has put you through, you still want to protect him, do not come out if you hear him” Aldred said

“I will not” I replied and they both started to walk from the room

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