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Chapter 2

The wind whistled around the mountain tops as we began our descent, my Sleipinir slipped a few times and threw his head up. I dismounted as we reached ground level and walked him around the village instead. Most of the streets were empty now, shutters were across windows and most candles were extinguished. I heard the caw of the night griffins as they flew above us circling around the barracks.

We patrolled until the moon was at its highest and bathed us in her ivory rays. My Sleipinir returned to the stables, but I stood still just staring at the moon and drinking in her light this was the time of night I loved to be out in. I ignored the harsh coldness biting into my skin, I pulled my furs over my arms. I saw a light flickering in the window of the tavern, Felicity always kept it burning for me she knew I would always go there after a patrol. To warm my bones by the fire, drink myslef to sleep with a tankard of mead and tend to my dull blade.

Being my sister she never charged me for the mead. I swung the door open with a thud, it was empty. “Close the door Autumn don’t let the snow in here! I’m freezing as it is!” She exclaimed popping up from behind the bar. I slammed it shut with one swing of my hand. The great boars head stared at me, and our mothers shield and axes shone dimly in the light of the moon through the small windows.

“If you’ve got another dwarf behind there the Jarl is going to flip,” I said.

“No,” she smiled.

“Yeah that says it all,” I answered catching the mead as she slid it up the bar to me. “You know men are forbidden here.”

“As if you haven’t broken the rules with that centaur of yours!” She exclaimed.

“Well you see we met on the outskirts, we were safe,” I said looking away as tears began to fog my eyes.

“Aw Autumn, it’s okay, you did what you had to do,” she said walking to me with open arms. “There was nothing you could have done to save him.”

“But the way he begged me to finish him, I hear it every night,” I said as my vocal chords became restricted and seized all functionality.

“Autumn, he had been fatally wounded. Better to be killed by a Norse warrior than die slowly from blood loss,” she said squeezing me tightly. She pulled back and wiped the tears from my eyes. “Now go sit by the fire, warm yourself and forget about him.”

“She’s right lass,” the red haired dwarf said now sat on the bar. “The pain you feel will eat away at you.”

“He’s gone, but you remain,” she said as she walked to the door and opened it for the dwarf.

“You deserve time to yourself, it must be hard being the warrior of the village,” he then disappeared out of the door.

“Don’t listen to him he’s just very grumpy since he got demoted back to a soldier,” she said and sat next to me.

“But he’s right, there’s got to be more out there for me than this! What if I’m destined for a big adventure away from here?” I turned to look at her she had hurt in her eyes.

“You would leave me?” she asked as the wind began to pick up.

“If I had to yes. How are you not bored of all this?” I asked.

“Because, I’m content,” she replied.

“Well you maybe, but I want more. As soon as I get a chance to leave this rat run I will,” I said swigging down the last of my mead and slamming the empty tankard down onto the floor.

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