Changing my future

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Chapter 21 - Taking the throne

“Father” I said and he stopped “let us end this now, lets have no more bloodshed end this now, face me like a man and fight me and finish this, you win and I will be dead like you have always wanted then you can do as you like” I added

“No you cannot” Astrid said

“Mother please” I said

“My lady you trusted me once long ago, trust me again now, she will be fine” Aldred said to my mother putting his hand on her arm and she stepped back

“Easy” Ultred said “give me a sword” he said holding out his hand and one of his men passed him their sword, this was going to be easy because yet again he would underestimate me like everyone else, we started to fight and I let him think that he had the upper hand and then I fought back and had the sword at his throat

“Tell them to drop their weapons this is over” I said

“Drop them now” Ultred shouted

“You are done as king do you understand me” I shouted

“I do” he replied “now end this” he added

“No” I replied

“It is how this fight works” he said

“I am not you, I will not kill you just because I can, you will live” I said and let him go, I walked towards Astrid

“Hello mother” I said

“My beautiful girl” Astrid said and I heard a commotion behind me, Ultred had decided to try and kill me whilst my back was turned, I watched as Madare stepped forward and plunged his dagger into Ultreds heart letting him fall to the floor

“Thanks” I said

“It was better him than you” Madare said

“We have a new king” someone shouted

“What?” I asked

“Madare killed our king” someone shouted

“And” I replied

“”You keep what you kill” came the reply

“The fight was already over, he had surrendered I have my own kingdom to run I do not need this one” Madare said

“Besides the leader you want is here” he said pointing at me

“We cannot have a queen” Ragna said

“Why not?” Madare asked

“A woman does not have the right to rule over us” Ragna replied “women are weak” he replied

“She is not weak and she has the favour of the gods” Madare said

“Odin would never grant favour to a woman” Ragna said

“Well this woman does have his favour” Madare said

“And what would a northern king know of such matters?” Ragna asked

“More than you it would seem” said Madare pointing behind Ragna, Ragna turned to see Odin standing before him with Frigg and Thor at his side

“My lord forgive me” Ragna said bowing

“Silence boy my father is not here to talk to you” Thor said

“come forward child” Frigg said gesturing to me to step forward and I did as I was asked who was I to deny the gods

“My lord” I said bowing to him

“Stand child” he said and I did “it would seem that no matter what life has thrown at you, it was your destiny to align the kingdoms, I did warn your father long ago of what his decision would cause” he said

“I know my lord I saw it” I replied

“May you lead these people with our blessing and lead them into a better future, lead them down a better path than you father did” Odin said

“I will my lord” I said and all three of them disappeared

“It would seem that the gods have spoken and you have a leader, one that will not betray you, I hope all goes well for you” Madare said and went to leave

“Please stay and send for your wife we have much to talk about” I said

“As you wish” he said and left to tell his men to go and fetch his wife, my mother stepped forward and hugged me

“Latna” I called

“Yes Freyja” je replied

“Do not call her that you will call her my lady” Astrid shouted

“Mother and everyone else here for that matter, you will listen to me now, I will not have any of you call me my lady my name is Freyja and you will call me that” I said

“Latna find Molka please” I said and Latna left to do as I asked , he come back moments later helping Molka to walk

“I offer my life for what I did” Molka said dropping to his knees

“Stand Molka that is not necessary, telling Ultred who I was, was the only way for you to stay alive, your place is here at my side” I said and smiled

“Thank you” he said and he stood next to me, Lafrim started to walk towards me

“You disobeyed my orders, you lied to me, you miss led me from the moment we met, you played me for a fool, you brought traitors and a foreign king into our lands” he shouted walking closer, Latna, Molka and Dranian all raised their swords

“One more step and you lose your head” Latna said

“Really” Lafrim said looking at me

“Yes really” I said

“Drop your bloody swords” Lafrim shouted

“Latna, Molka, Dranian it is fine, this pig headed fool is Lafrim and he is mine” I said and they wall lowered their swords “you were saying” I said

“I have never been so glad that someone disobeyed me, without you risking your life a thousand times over, going into Madare’s kingdom to save me, I would be dead” he said and kissed me

“I did not do it for you, I did it for everyone” I said “rest up everyone, there will be a pyre built for Ultred for those that wish to say goodbye, tomorrow night there will be a celebration” I said and walked from the hall, the pyre was built and Ultred placed upon on it, no matter what he had done he was still a viking and still my father, most of the people came and watched the fire and said their goodbyes, I stayed for a while and then walked back to the hall and out to one of the back rooms and sat at the table, pouring myself a drink I sat and smiled to myself Lafrim came in and sat next to me

“I am sorry Lafrim” I said

“Why are you sorry to me?” he asked

“I am guessing that Ragna told you everything that happened at the camp, I never meant for you to find out and think me a traitor” I said and handed him a drink

“It did not matter what Ragna told me, everything you have told me since I found out who you were has been the truth and I will not think that you would lie to me, I knew that you must have had good reason to be with Madare, why do you think I did not tell him were you where” Lafrim replied

“You didn’t know” I replied

“I saw you walk around the edge of the hall, in with your hood on I knew that it was you” he said

“You could have told him, it would have saved you a beating” I said

“You got whipped because of me and did not say anything, it was only fair that I did the same for you” he replied

“I had hoped that you would trust me” I said and turned to face him

“I will never turn against you again” he said and started to kiss me

“I missed you so much, there were so many times that I wanted to ride back to you but I knew that I could not” I said to him as he stood up

“And I you” he said and picked me up and carried me to the bed that was on the room, we made love and it didn’t matter now if anyone saw I was queen, once we had finished I laid my head on his chest

“I have missed that too” I said

“I am good am I not” He said laughing

“You may think you are” I said getting up and sitting on him

“I do not think I know” He said smiling

“Do not get to much of a big head, I don’t like people with big heads and I can always go and find someone else, I am queen after all” I said

“You would never find another man like me” he said sitting up and kissing me

“No you are right I would not you are the only man that I ever want” I said and we made love again falling asleep when were down

When I awoke the next morning many were still asleep, I spent the entire day helping to cook the food that we would eat at the celebration that night, before everyone turned up Madare and his family had come into the hall and sat down, I went and sat with them

“Thank you” Rollo said

“Yes thank you” Astral said

“You are most welcome no matter what goes on in this world children are innocent and always will be until they pick up a sword” I said

“What is the plan for our kingdoms now?” Madare asked

“I think that we can both help each other” I replied

“How?” Madare asked

“Everyone is so worried about raiding the lands that are off of our shores, no one has looked at the land that we have here, what do you know of the west and east kingdoms, those we should explore, Also I know that our lands produce better food than the cold in yours and I know that you have better animals than us, I suggest that we share between us trading what meat and crops we need” I said

“That would be a great idea, what would the plans be for the west and east?” Madare asked

“To raid both of them together and share what we find and the land that is there will help both of our kingdoms grow” I said

“Again that sounds like a good plan” he replied

“Which way first?” I asked

“Whichever you decide” he replied

“You look good Astral” I said

“I am” she replied

“We are expecting a child” Madare said

“That is wonderful news” I said

“Is it” Rollo snapped

“Rollo you will make a great older brother and will be able to help your younger sibling learn the things that they will need to, that will be a job” I said

“I suppose” he said

“You will be good at it” I said and everyone else started to walk into the hall, I was sat at a large table on the end with 8 eight chairs which would be filled by the end of the night, everyone apart from my mother, Madare and his family all sat on other tables, it was time for me to talk

“Shut up you bloody animals” I shouted and a silence fell over the hall “I know and understand the traditions of our people and I will not change them all, there is only one thing that I will change as of this moment, the slaves that you bring back from the raids, you will not touch them, you will not take them by force, and if any of you do I will take you with my sword” I shouted

“It is our way” Ragna shouted

“I know your way, I was at the end of your rage, touch them and you will face me, do you understand” I shouted

“I do” he replied sitting back down

“Also in regards to them you will all build an extra house on your holdfast for them to live in, you will treat them with respect, you will feed and clothe them, I will help to pay for it with the gold that Ultred has stashed away” I said “Alfred step forward” I added and he did as I asked

“Freyja” he said bowing

“You have been loyal to Aldred for many years and loyal to me since I was brought back to this land, if you will I would like you to be the person that they can come to if they have any issues and you can bring me news” I said

“It would be my pleasure” he said and went to sit back down

“You place is here” I said pointing to one of the empty chairs that sat on my table, I wanted to speak to all the slaves and would do it in their native tongue I wanted them to trust me “listen to me all of you, you need not fear any of these fools they have been ordered to not lay a finger on you, I am here to help all of you, I was raised as one of you, Alfred will visit you all at your holdfasts and make sure that you are all happy, do not fear your lords if they touch you, you must tell me and I will deal with them” I said and saw a man grabbing one of the girls, I looked to Latna and he moved towards the man and grabbed the back of his hair

“You were told not to touch them” Latna said and drew his sword across the man’s throat

“I will not tolerate disobedience among my people and if any of you think that they can do a better job, then they can try and take it from” I shouted “Aldred step forward” I said

“Freyja” he said standing up and bowing

“Aldred I can never repay the loyalty that you have shown me in all the time that I have been there you have been loyal to me since the day that I was born, all I can give you for that is my gratitude” I said

“I owe you a great deal of gratitude to you for saving my wife and my holdfast” he replied

“I could not let any harm to any that live their you and Astrid both saved my life and I only returned the favour, I do have a question for you” I said

“Anything” he said

“I wish you to come and stay by my side and advise me as you have always done, although I may not always listen to you” I said

“It would be an honour” he said bowing

“Then these two seats are for you and Astrid” I said pointing at two more seats at my table

“Latna, Molka, Danian step forward” I said and they did bowing “you three risked more than anyone including myself, you did not know me when you met me in the woods and agreed to accompany me on my journey, you agreed to come back to this kingdom even though it meant certain death if you were captured, you fought by my side against many foe’s to defend a holdfast that was not your own” I said

“We did what any man would” Molka said

“You went above and beyond what any man would do and I have a question for all three of you” I said

“Ask away Freyja” Dranian said

“I can ask for no one better than the three of you to stand by my side and protect from any enemy that I may miss, I know that normally only one man is chosen to protect the king but I do not hold with that I chose all three of you, do you accept?” I asked

“It would be our pleasure” They said

“Then come and take your rightful seats” I said pointing at three of the empty seats at my table and they came and took their seats “Ragna step forward” and he did

“Freyja” he said bowing

“I know you are an ugly pig that Hel would not accept in the underworld, I know that you are a fool” I said

“I am” he laughed

“I also know that you are one of the best warriors in the kingdom, I trust you to follow my orders and I trust you that you can now trust me” I said

“I can follow orders and I do trust you” he replied

“Then I have a question for you” I said

“Anything” he said

“I want you to lead the raiding boats, I want you to be in charge of them all, just remember you do not take the girls” I said

“It would be an honour” he replied

“Well come and sit then” I said pointing at another seat at the table, it only left one empty seat now and that was for Lafrim, I was going to make him wait, just because I could

“The rest of you I have named the commander of my fleet, you will follow his orders or you will die, whilst those who are raiding are gone, with the help of Madare and his men, we will travel to the east and west kingdoms, Madare and I will be leading the way and together we will bring great prosperity to both of our kingdoms” I said and everyone cheered except for Lafrim, I could not help but laugh

“Lafrim step forward” I said

“Freyja” he said and bowed

“I am sorry for making you wait but you have ignored me in the past and I wanted to make you suffer as you do to me” I said smiling at him

“You can do as you wish you are the queen” he replied

“You are a pig headed fool and an arsehole but you are the arsehole taht I love, there is only one thing that I want and that is for you to help me rule this place at my side” I said

“I will think on it” he said smiling

“I do not have time for you to think on anything, I ride tomorrow and you will either ride out at my side or you will never ride at my side at all” I said

“There is no way that I would not ride out at your side, it is where I belong” He said and smiled at me

“Then this last chair belongs to you” I said pointing, I sat down and everyone began to eat and drink and enjoy the celebration, the drinking went on way into the night, we sat and discussed the plans of what was going to happen, there was a long journey ahead of us and it was time to rest, I knew that there was still much more to do before we could live in peace,

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