Changing my future

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Chapter 23 - The judgement

“Aldred do it” I shouted and he picked up the sword from the fire, he knelt beside me and placed the sword on my side, stopping the bleeding, the pain was unbelievable but I was not going to scream, it took me a few moments to compose myself, Madare and his men along with Latna, Molka and Dranian had all six men and were holding them ready for me to tell them what to do about them Magna was still on the floor where he had dropped

“Magna deserves a viking funeral he fought bravely” I said

“We will do it” Ragna said and a few men went with him to burn him

“Freyja, what about these?” Aldred pointing at the others

“Their land is no longer theirs, their holdfast will be cleaned of any possessions” I replied

“My lady we were only following orders” Kane said

“Like hell” I said “you have had plenty of time to walk away from this but you still followed the oath and stole Lafrim, you came to his holdfast to get me to give you the kingdom” I shouted

“My lady” Kane said

“I told you before the fight that I would take everything from you and I meant it, your lives now belong to me” I shouted and not one of them answered “they will be coming back with us and I will decide what to do when I am healed” I said and Lafrim helped me up, I wasn’t going to punish them here, I wanted everyone to see that if you went against me then there would be consequences, we rode back to the village and I went to rest Lafrim came with me

“Why did you go alone?” Lafrim asked

“It was the only way” I replied

“What to die?” he asked

“No Lafrim it was the only way to get you back alive” I replied

“You are more important than me you are the queen and you should have let me die” he said

“Maybe I should have but I did not, you are what makes me whole and all of this would be pointless without you, I needed to set an example, I need the 6 f them to show everyone that although I am a woman no one will be untouchable if they decide to turn against me, I need everyone to see that I mean what I say” I replied

“But” Lafrim said

“No, there are no buts, I need to rest” I said and Lafrim laid down beside me and hugged me, it took two days to heal well enough to be able to deal with the situation, I asked Aldred to call everyone to the hall, there were no tables this time just standing room, the 6 men were brought to me and placed on the floor on their knees in front of me

“All of you that are here and that can hear me, the night my father was killed I was named your leader, I told you all how things would be and these 6 decided not to follow my orders, the orders of a foreign bitch as they called me, who among you is my family” I said

“We are” a woman in a group of people said

“Step forward” I said and she did “do you know what they did?” I asked

“We do my lady” she replied

“”My name is Freyja” I said “did you know what they had planned?” I asked

“No Freyja” she replied

“How did you not know?” I asked

“We was not here the night you became leader and they have brought shame and dishonour to our families” she replied

“Do you know what I said to them before they accepted my challenge?” I asked

“No we was told to stay in the our holdfasts” she replied

“I told them that I would take everything that they owned and that their lives would be mine” I said “they did not surrender, do all of these men have children?” I asked

“Only Kane and Sven have boys” she replied

“That is not what I asked” I said “I asked if they have children not if they have boys” I said

“Yes then they all have children” she replied

“Good I will talk to them once I have dealt with these bloody idiots but I want you all to understand that they are being punished for trying to kill me and if any of you do the same, their fate will also be the fate of any that stand against me” I said

“We all know what they did and you are our queen” the woman said I nodded at her and turned back to the six men

“Kane, Neme, Askir, Blera and Vande, it may not have been your idea to kidnap Lafrim and try to take this kingdom off of me but each and everyone of you decided to help Sven instead of telling him no, all of you will receive the same punishment as Sven” I said

“As you say you are our queen and we were damn fools to listen to Sven, we gave up our lives when we helped him” Kane said

“Sven you were the architect of this plan, you roped your friends into help you because you believed that you could beat me because I am a woman, you underestimated me and lost, you became a traitor to the people of this kingdom when you decided to try and take it from me, there is only one punishment and that is death” I said

“I would rather be dead than living under you” he said

“That will soon be your fate” I replied and Latna stepped forward to deliver the punishment “no” I said and put my hand up to stop him “I do not care what the traditions are, I will not let somebody else deal the punishment when it was me who passed the sentence, hand me my sword” I said “for the betrayal that you have done the sentence is death, I hope that you greet whichever god is waiting for you with grace” I said and took their heads , I cleaned my sword and put it on my belt where it belonged, I waited until all the mess was cleaned before I spoke to their children

“I want the oldest child of each man to step forward” I said and six children stepped forward two boys and four girls “what are your names and how old are you?” I asked

“My name is Allegra and I am 13” she said

“My name is Tonkan and I am 11” Tonkan said

“I am Linak and I am 12” said the next girl

“I am Kiera and I am 10” she said

“I am Larna and I am 8” she said

“And you are?” I asked the last boy but he did not answer so I knelt down in front of him

“Do not fear me boy I will not hurt you” I said

“My name is Sven and I am 7” he said

“Good I told you that everything your father owned now belongs to me, I do not need more lands and you would have nowhere to live, traditions states that any lands and titles owned are passed to the eldest son on the death of the father but I believe that girls are just as strong as men, I do not want you without homes, I am making each of you in charge of your holdfasts, your mothers can help to guide you and I will send men to you, to help to teach you to fight, is that acceptable?” I asked

“It is” they all said smiling at me

“Good now that is the end of it,” I said and sat down hopefully that would put an end to anyone else trying to kill me, we all sat drinking for the night, tomorrow we would finally leave to explore the east and find out what was there.

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