The Demon Wolf (Book 1 of The Devil and the Huntsman)

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Chapter 20: A Long-Awaited Welcome

As they were starting a conversation with each other, Lagertha was becoming more interested in getting to know the son of Harald. Brant was trying to stay calm while talking to this person, and he saw a small resemblance to each other.

“Hey, haven’t we met before?” Brant asked.

“I have no memory of a previous encounter,” Lagertha answered.

“Oh, we have met. I’m sure of it. I remember that day so clearly,” he said.

“Do you care to explain? Mind if you tell me what you remember in that memory?”

“Well, it was about six years ago. Julius, the knight leader, has already killed a hundred thousand demons and was being recognized. His ambition and status have already been well known to all of Midland. You were there with him when he was celebrating with his friends and the aristocrats. I was walking around, and you came to me to see if I was alright. I’ve never forgotten the day you asked me if I wanted to walk with you around the main hall of the palace.”

For a solid moment, Lagertha was getting back her memory of that part of her life. It was not impossible to get the pieces back together, but it took some time to fully understand it. It was a short time when she was talking with Brant and took much longer for the feast to start. But of course, these two had plenty of time to talk about themselves and why the suspense. Then, she finally knew who he was and why she came to him to check on him because nobody else would do it.

Then Lagertha said to him, “Oh yes. Now I seem to remember all about you. I came to you and you asked me for my name, and I told you that my name is Lagertha. I remember you telling me my name was a lovely name that might’ve been taken from an old story. I heard your voice, and I came to help because you fell and tripped over the rug. I may have been the only person out of anyone to discover more about the palace.”

“You know, I haven’t realized this until now. But your father seems to know so much about my father and even said they are both brothers,” Brant said.

“I had a feeling that I’ve always known. I’ve had this feeling for quite a while now. That’s because the earl and my father are both related and are part of the same bloodline,” she said.

“That must mean that you and I are...”

“Yes. We are both cousins. And we are both the same age. We were born the same year and your father was married first before my father. But, because of the demonic invasions and the outbursts, we had to hide our identities and had to move our separate ways. It may have been your father’s only choice, but it was the only way for me and you to stay alive.”

Then Brant’s eyes were opened very wide, and he was very surprised because he was standing before his cousin. The thought of him being with Lagertha was truly special for him; it seemed like ages before he could meet another member of his family again. Then, he slowly raised his hand and wanted her to shake his hand as a sign of welcoming someone to the palace. He was already old enough to allow his friends to enter his room, and he wanted to give Lagertha a chance to explore more of what’s left. Then, she was looking down at his hand to understand the situation and wonder why he was doing this with her.

“What is this?” Lagertha asked.

“We’ve never really introduced ourselves that much, even though I already know your name. My name is Brant,” he answered.

“Oh. Well, alright then,” she said. Then, she raises her hand and shakes Brant’s hand as she remains with him until the sun trickles down.

She then looked out the window and saw the city and the giant wall that protected the town; it was a huge white barrier that was about a hundred feet tall and was protected by metal and steel. The window gave out a glorious sight for Lagertha because she enjoyed being in high places to see everything that was outside. Then, she takes one last look at Brant as he was still thinking about her as the evening was slowly being upon them.

“Well, we should get going. I don’t want to keep my parents waiting,” Lagertha said.

“Yes, of course. I think my father wants a word with me,” Brant said.

“See you around, Brant,” she said. And so, she walks in front of him and heads back to the throne room where a few people were getting situated.

As she looked at the scenery, a group of people was coming inside while others were waiting for their turn to find a seat. For some strange reason, Harald was nowhere in sight; he must’ve been doing something outside the palace and must expect someone else. Then, she noticed that someone else was walking in their direction, and she stopped walking to wait for this person. It was during this moment that Erica was the one who was strolling towards Lagertha and Brant. Her appearance was quite appealing and perfectly fit for clothing that’s good enough for banquets; she wore a red dress and had her red hair into a ponytail.

“Brant, the feast is about to begin, and your father is expecting you,” Erica said.

“Yes, mother. I’ll be down there,” Brant said. Then, his mother turned her head and looked at Lagertha for a few seconds, and she saw something familiar about the young girl.

“And you are?” Erica asked.

“My name’s Lagertha. I come in peace,” she said.

“My dear, we all come in peace. This is not the time for war and darkness to cloud this great city. Hell and its devils shall not bother us while we feast. Only songs of the highest will be sung, and only tales of victory and triumph shall be told.”

Erica’s words to Lagertha and Brant were marvelous to hear, and Lagertha kept these words in her heart. This banquet has been known through all the regions of the earth, and many people have known its importance. On that day, so much has happened to everything and everybody; they all had to fight back because there is no choice. Then Brant walked in front of Lagertha and stood beside her as his mother was talking to them. Erica was a bit confused with her son standing so close to a girl he just met.

“Hey, mother. This is Lagertha. She and I are cousins,” Brant said. Erica became stunned after hearing this, and she recalled the day she first saw Lagertha, and it was when she was just a little girl.

Then she said to Lagertha, “Oh, I remember you. You’re Julius’s daughter. You still look so much like the first time I’ve laid my eyes on you. I remember everything that happened on that day when Julius showed you to me for the first time. But, now that it’s clear, we must get ready. The feast will begin in about ten minutes.”

And so, Lagertha and Brant follow Erica down the steps to the first floor and they were seen by so many people. About fifty people were already seated and filling each table as full as possible so that the other fifty people could join in. Lagertha knew that her parents were sitting at the table in front of the throne and understood that they were very talkative people during special times. Then, she walked towards her father to see where he was amongst the crowd. During this celebration, many of the townspeople were ready to sink their teeth into some food and taste as much wine as they could.

“Ah, Lagertha. You came just in time,” Julius said.

“Father, are these all the people coming here?” She asked.

“No worries. There will be more people along the way and we’re lucky enough to be the very first ones here,” he said.

“If we’re the first ones here, how long do you think it will take every single person to find a place to sit?”

“It’s quite simple. It depends on how late they are. They could walk as quickly as possible to the palace. I don’t know if that will change things for the better, but we should be proud that we could find a seat before they close the door on us.”

Then, before he could answer any more questions, Harald was seen walking down the steps behind the throne, and he was greeted with thunderous cheers and applause.

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