Changing my future

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Chapter 15 - Aldred's holdfast

“Astra are you here?” I asked walking through the door

“Freyja, thank the gods you are safe” she said stepping out of the room

“I am are the other gone?” I asked

“Yes they rode for the king this morning” Astra replied

“I have some people with me, can I bring them in?” I asked

“Of course” she replied and I went to the door and let them in

“Latna” Astra said recognizing him “what in the name of Odin is he doing here, do you know who he is? And what he has done?” she asked looking at me

“I do he is here to help protect you” I replied

“He is a traitor” Astra said

“I know what he is” I replied

“Are you sure?” Astra asked

“I am” I replied

“Then they can stay my lady” Astra said why the hell did everyone keep calling me that, it is not who I am but no one said anything this time

“My lady Astra you look as beautiful now as you did the last time I saw you” Latna said

“You haven’t lost your charm then?” Astra asked

“I have not my lady, thank you for letting us in” Latna said

“If Freyja trusts you then so do I” Astra said “would you like food and drink?” she asked

“That would be great” replied Molka

“Helen food and drink for our guests” Astra said

“Yes my lady” Helen replied and went to do as she was asked and Astra sat down at the table

“Why are you here?” Astra asked

“The northmen are coming” I replied

“That is why the other have rode to the king” Astra replied

“You do not understand” Dranian said

“What do I not understand?” Astra asked

“Madare and his army are indeed riding to meet the king on the battlefield but he sent 60 men to Lafrims holdfast but when they find out that he is not there they will ride to Madare and kill everyone that they find in their path” Molka said

“There are four of you, what can you do against 60 men?” Astra ask ed

“ we will fight and defend you, Aldred and Lafrim would not be able to live if anything happened to you whilst they were not here, although we could do with some archers” I replied

“I can shoot and so can a few others here” Astra said

“Aldred would not see you fight” I said

“And Lafrim would not see you fight but do you see them here, if we always did what they wanted then we would be dead” Astra said smiling

“Men can be fools at times” I replied and laughed

“Alfred we need the bows and arrows ready” Astra said

“I will get them my lady” Alfred said

“Also bring the stuff to feather more arrows we will need them” Astra added

“Yes my lady” Alfred said and left the house to fetch what he had been asked for

“How long do we have?” Astra asked

“Two days at the most but if they reach Lafrim’s holdfast quicker then we may only have one day” I replied

“That is enough time” Astra said “do you have a plan?” she asked

“Stand and fight” Dranian replied

“Freyja is that the plan?” she asked me

“Not quiet” I replied

“What do you mean?’ Molka asked

“If only the four of us stand to fight them they will not all stay and we need to keep them all here” I replied

“And how do we do that?” Molka asked

“Fire” I replied

“Huh” said Dranian

“We dig a small trench around the entire holdfast and we fill it with oil,once they have all stepped in we light it” I replied

“Then what”Molka asked

“The Astra will need to step out and talk to them” I replied looking at Astra

“What do I say?” she asked

“I need you to convince them that they are surrounded, the four of us and anyone else that can shoot will hide in the woods and pick off as many as we can, we will not let them get to you, we will destroy them all” I replied

“You cannot ask the lady to risk her life like that” Latna

“Why?” I asked

“Because she is a lady” Latna replied

“She may be a lady but if everyone does not stand and fight then we will die” I replied

“Freyja is right if I do not defend my home then I am a coward” Astra said

“We will sleep now my lady Astra” Latna said

“We will take the barn” Molka said

’Do not be stupid you will take the floor, we all stay under the same roof tonight” Astra said Latna, Molka and Dranian went to the far side and went to sleep

“We should all rest, we maybe in for a few long days” I said and I did they same, I woke the next morning with the sun we had a lot to do, i woke everyone else and we all got ready to begin

“What’s first?” Latna asked

“We need to dig the trench and we need arrows made” I replied

“Us ladies will make the arrows, Freyja I assume that you will help dig the trench?” Astra asked

“ yes I will” I replied

“We will start” Astra said and took all the ladies to the table t begin making arrows whilst the rest of us went outside to dig the trench, it took us half a day to dig the trench and fill it with oil, we covered the top with hay so that they would not see it, we left a gap wide enough for them to walk through and not know that it was there

“Now what?” Latna asked

“We need to find hiding places in the trees where we will be able to see the entire holdfast without them seeing us” I replied

“We will go and find them now?” Latna said and we all walked into the woods to try and find the perfect spot, once we had found enough we went back to the house

“Alfred we need a warning of when they are coming” I said

“I will ride out and keep watch” Alfred said and left the house, we all sat down at the table to eat and drink,we sat down and the ladies began to serve us, they went to give Dranian beer but he put his hand over his glass

“We do not drink tonight” he said

“Why?’ I asked

“We do not drink the night before battle, drink makes you slow” Dranian replied

“That makes sense” I said

“Why does everyone here listen to you?” Molka asked

“Because I am the woman Lafrim chose” I replied

“No it is more than that” Molka said

“Why would you say that?” I asked

“It is something in the way that they talk to you and look at you and you have been called my lady a few times since we met you” Molka replied

“It is because of Lafrim” I said

“Are you his wife?” Molka asked

“No” I replied

“Then by the customs of our people you are not to be called me lady, if you want is to fight for you then we would like to know the truth” Molka said

“She has given you the answer” Astra said

“Why do you protect her?” Molka asked

“Because my son chose her” Astra replied

“That is a load of rubbish, why won’t you tell us?” Latna asked

“There is nothing to tell a bunch of traitors” Astra said

“If you knew what we did then you would do the same” Molka snapped jumping up from the table

“That is enough I will tell you” I said slapping the table

“My Lady” Astra said

“They hate him as much as I do and they will not tell anyone” I said

“How can you trust a traitor?” Astra asked

“Because I know their reasons” I replied

“Well?” asked Molka, I was about to tell them when Alfred came running in

“They are coming” Alfred said

“When?” I asked

“They will be here by dawn” Alfred replied

“Then let us get into place we are in for a long night” I said standing up and getting ready, I put on my weapons and armour, once I was done I turned to face all of them

“I appreciate each and everyone of you for fighting by my side and for this holdfast, I hope that if this is your last battle then met Odin at the gates of Valhalla” I said

“Same” they all said and off we went to take up our places in the trees and wait for them to arrive.

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